OT Ways to budget/save money?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by shootingstar, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. shootingstar

    shootingstar New Member

    Have those of you on very limited income discovered any tricks for budgeting/organizing/stretching your income, avoiding having what little cash there might be seem to disappear? I'm especially interested in how single parents (I am not in that position but would like suggestions for someone who is) manage tight finances with a stressful job schedule, strain on energy levels, little time to bargain hunt etc. Not easy! Appreciate any help here.
  2. shanel06

    shanel06 New Member

    I'm not a single parent, but we have been trying (needing) to tighten the belt a bit this year, so I've learned a little bit.

    My #1 way of saving money this year has been meal planning. Literally planning out meals for a week or two in advance, writing them on a calendar. This has not only helped us save money, but also saved us a ton of energy. I can now look ahead 2-3 days and prepare food when I have energy. I can plan to cook leftovers for another meal on a day when I have more energy. And I don't spend my evenings sighing and being tempted to pick up something on the way home quickly for dinner, or my more common alternative - simply not eating at all.

    Going to the grocery store only once a week or once every two weeks helped a ton.

    And basing those meals on what was on sale - at the local near to us grocery store - also helped.

    I will admit though, the main benefit that I got from meal planning was elevating stress on myself. I also keep all my more commonly cooked recipes in a binder in the kitchen. No hunting for them even.

    Laundry was another energy/money zapper for me. I now put out 3 baskets - one "whites', one "colour/dark", one "towels/linens". When one gets full, it goes in the laundry. No sorting needed. And we only wash on cold water. I was amazed how much our energy costs decreased once we stopped washing on warm/hot water.

    Dollar stores are my friend too. We have an excellent one near us. I keep a growing "grocery" list of items we need around the house that might be at the dollar store, and we go maybe once a month or once every six weeks. That might be shampoo, kitchen stuff (aluminum foil), cleaning supplies, etc. etc. etc. And when I go to dollar stores I keep an eye open for "gift ideas". Last Christmas we put together some really great gift baskets as gifts for family or friends. You'd honestly never have guessed that alot of the stuff came from dollar stores throughout the year.

    If you have friends who live near you in a similar situation, consider going in together and buying in bulk. We have 2 other couples that we're friends with that we'll split things with - like paper towel, toilet paper, even two or three packs of some type of food.

    I'm sure there's more and more logical ideas at that. But brain fog has moved in :)

    Good luck !
    Shannon L.
  3. place

    place New Member

    I love reading so I go to the library.

    I have dial up internet for 10.00.

    Basic phone and no cell phone, my husband has one that is 6 dollars a month with 10 minutes on it. for emergancy

    Save all junk, I just had a garage sale and made 600.00 on stuff I would have just thrown away!

    Buy quality clothes. In the long run, basic good quality will last you years. I never by cheap unless it is a trendy item.

    Discount shop, I do all my research on the internet.

    Go shoping with a list! and buy nothing else that is on the list.
  4. shootingstar

    shootingstar New Member

    Thanks so much for your replies. I'll definitely check the other thread. Some good suggestions here to make things run more smoothly.
  5. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    I'm not in that situation, but I have been in the past.

    The only "treat" I allow myself is a latte. I used to get them everyday at a cost of $3.00 a day! When I cut back to one a week I started putting that $3 I didn't spend in the glove box of my car. After three weeks I had $36!

    It was one thing for me to tell myself how much I saved by not buying my daily latte, but it hit home much harder when I actually SAW the money after 3 weeks.

    The other thing I have learned to do is control the impulse buying. A list really does help. When I find myself picking up a pair of earrings or a new kind of make up I don't really need I carry it around the store in my cart and then put it back. I know I don't need it but I have to have a meeting with myself to remind myself that I don't need it!

    I do basically the same thing when I internet shop. I wanted some shirts from Penny's. I went to the website and picked out what I wanted and put it in the "shopping cart." Then I saved the cart for later. That gives me time to think about whether I really need that top in three different colors! I also comptemplate the cost of the shipping!


    Oh, yeah. We also raise our own beef which isn't too practical for most people! But if I need lamb (yuck but DH loves it) or port I buy it on Thursday or Friday when they have marked everything down to clear it out for the weekend. The meat is still good and if you freeze it or use it the same day you buy it it isn't a problem.

    More Hugzz
    [This Message was Edited on 06/05/2006]
  6. suzetal

    suzetal New Member

    If you have children who like popsicles.Make your oun .You buy the trays to make them at any dollar store,

    Fill them with juice or coolaid.The kids love them and there alot less money than at the store.You can also dip bananas in chocolate and freeze them.My kids used to love them.

    I also used to make my own potato chips.Pop corn balls are also very cheap if you make them yourself.

    Sorry thinking of the children here.

    Take care
  7. sisland

    sisland New Member

    i'm on the watching my budget very closley list!! Raiseing 3 girl on my own was definatley a challenge!...................like sues says alot of homemade stuff!..................................................Went to the library for movie rentals/ went swimming, hiking etc. entertainment for free i guess!...............................we are very close and i think that being financialy challenged was also a learning process for us................................................let's just say that we all know the value of the $...................now i really try to conserve on everything, electricity #1, Only buying what i need at the grocery store (thats a hard one) etc............................it's a learning process.............God bless sisland
    [This Message was Edited on 06/05/2006]
  8. starmom

    starmom New Member

    I make popsicles with unsweetened applesauce and cinnamon. My kids love them. I got my popsicle molds (tupperware) at a garage sale for $.50. I have more stick parts than mold parts, so when we take one popsicle out I just refillit and stick a clean stick thingy in it.

    I mix fruit juice iwth 7up or club soda to make popsicles. Or lemonade and club soda - yum!

    I have a book that is 3 volumes of "The Tightwad Gazette" in one. It was $20 at borders. Well worth the price, can help you save $$$ on all kinds of things.

  9. shootingstar

    shootingstar New Member

    Lots of great ideas here. Thank you all.