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What cost cutting measures are you taking?

ire

Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
6,199
4
There have been some articles about measures people are taking to reduce their costs, driving less, buying generic, stopping eating out, etc. and I was wondering what the Monkeys are doing to save money? My wife and I cut our blockbuster subscription in favor of netflix (about half the cost), I stopped driving to work, and we have been trying to keep the grocery bill around $100 every two weeks, but its hard.....we went to the store last week and we didn't have much in the cart but it still came out to be a little over $100 :( We don't eat out much and I've tried to cut down my bike part buying habit (not to mention my problem with hoarding tires)
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
10,665
960
Seattle
You should help me cut costs by selling me some of those tires on the cheap.
 

thebornotaku

Monkey
May 19, 2008
359
0
Northern Bay Area
I ride my bike everywhere and try to cook my own meals with stuff we have in our house. We also bought a push lawnmower and a manual edger to save on petrol that way too. Also end up doing a lot of unskilled labor around the house myself instead of hiring other people.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
27,787
2,302
1. no car: so no gas, no insurance, no parking, no maintenance
2. costco for food
3. no cable tv (only had it before for roommates)
4. sold my dSLR (albeit to be replaced with a new one, heh)
5. save on laundry costs since i get/have to wear hospital scrubs 6 days a week
6. eating out less when i'm footing the bill
 

BurlyShirley

Rex Grossman Will Rise Again
Jul 4, 2002
19,182
8
TN
Nothing significant yet except trying to drive less. Haven't really seen price spikes in other areas yet.

Ire, $100 for 2 people for two weeks? Are you subsisting on Ramen and wild berries?

I think we spend $200 a week for the two of us. :dead:
 

CBJ

Turbo Monkey
Mar 19, 2002
11,056
1,345
Copenhagen, Denmark
Try to make more money in stead of saving as I am not a big spender in the first place. New York has always been expensive so nothing new really for me.
 

ire

Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
6,199
4
Ire, $100 for 2 people for two weeks? Are you subsisting on Ramen and wild berries?
Is there something wrong with carrots, pickles and ramen?? :biggrin: It hasn't really been panning out, we end up spending around $300 a month, sometimes a bit more. We are a lot more conscious of what we buy at the store
 

4xBoy

Turbo Monkey
Jun 20, 2006
5,010
314
Minneapolis
Buying less bike parts a month, but each part is more expensive so I guess that isn't working.


I don't drive so I guess I haven't needed to change anything.
 

DirtyDog

Gang probed by the Golden Banana
Aug 2, 2005
6,599
0
Drive less. And life is actually better as a result. Who'd a thunk it.
 

pinkshirtphotos

site moron
Jul 5, 2006
4,676
47
Vernon, NJ
i have been spending more to boost our economy! i stopped with regular gas (found in these parts for as cheap as $3.81) and started using super ($4.11). I just bought a new bike, and a second car. But I have been recycling scrap metal. My family is putting an addition on our house. i have cut some costs by shutting off the tractor when i'm not on it. Also my family has tried to conserve electricity by not using the ac this summer. We just caved on that yesterday. but we shut it off during the morning and early afternoons.
 

daisycutter

Turbo Monkey
Apr 8, 2006
1,519
43
New York City
6 ways

1) Buy food/house supplies at costco
General rule is if it doesn't go bad get it at costco

2) Run air conditioners on sleep setting during the day and only in the bed room at night.

3) Go out less often brown bag when possible

4) drop HBO

5) buy gas in NJ

6) Got a Diablo season pass and when I go I stop buy costco,bring my own food,buy gas in NJ on my way home.
 
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mudgirl

Molester of monkeys
Jun 8, 2007
540
3
Tied up in the basement
Well, I started taking the bus to work a month and a half ago. But last week they cut the bus lines so the schedule is whacked and raised the fares so that (at least for me) it costs more to take the bus than it does to drive to work!!!! :wtf: I live about 8 miles outside of town, and try to make only one trip into town per day instead of running back & forth 2 or 3 times like I used to, especially on weekends.

As far as groceries, it's just my son and I, and we're pretty happy with PB&J sandwiches (seriously!), so our bill is generally under $100 per week. I now buy only frozen vegetables and not fresh, but I really hate frozen fruit, so I can't bring myself to do that with fruit. I can't really think of anything else I've cut back on. We don't live a terribly extravegant lifestyle to begin with, and I already do most of the things I read about in magazines to cut down on living costs.
 

psychodad

Chimp
Jun 24, 2008
46
0
New York
I doubled the size of my garden.
I stopped drinking Mountain Dew. :clapping: I drank A LOT
I took up hunting and get fresh meat.
I've been scrapping a little metal.
I bought a Kona frame, instead of a whole new bike because every part swapped right over.


on the other hand,
the deer ate and killed my apple tree
my wife has the AC going alot.
I'm going to build a house,,,,
 

Ciaran

Fear my banana
Apr 5, 2004
9,844
11
So Cal
I'm from the wrong side of the tracks. I spent 30+ years cutting back becaue I had to. Now that I can afford to consume, I am. In massive quantities. (Well as massive as I can afford anyway)

more. more! MORE!!!!!!!

We're about to buy a house... my only two requirements? A big back yard so I can still host my fighting practice and central air so powerful and so cold I don't need to put my beer in the fridge. :cheers:

Oh yeah, we just added more cable channels and I only buy expensive pot.

My wife thinks I am :crazy: but hey... I am.


In all seriousness though... why are you "cutting back"? What's the (or your) point?
 
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ridiculous

Turbo Monkey
Jan 18, 2005
2,909
1
MD / NoVA
I actually go out more as all of my stuff at home only makes things more expensive. Im home to cook, sleep and maybe get in an hour of TV.

My biggest savings come from staying at work later Ill leave around 7 instead of 4:30. Stay at the gym a bit longer, shower at the gym, catch the news on a stationary bike. This allows me to basically use someone else's power instead of my own and prevents me from generating more heat in my own place by keeping me away from xbox and my computer.

My company is also doing that flex week thing. So when my workload dies down a bit Ill start doing 4 10 hr days, one less day I have to commute.

Im also making plans to move to a smaller place in December, I dont need all this space for just me.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
27,787
2,302
In all seriousness though... why are you "cutting back"? What's the (or your) point?
personally i cannot fathom why the average american thinks living with a negative savings rate is a good idea even in the short term. teh sweet jeebus sure knows they're not using the extra money on their education or to improve their own personal health.

on the other hand, if you don't need to cut back to ensure that you're living in a fiscally responsible manner then you've been doing it right all along. :thumb:
 

Ciaran

Fear my banana
Apr 5, 2004
9,844
11
So Cal
personally i cannot fathom why the average american thinks living with a negative savings rate is a good idea even in the short term. teh sweet jeebus sure knows they're not using the extra money on their education or to improve their own personal health.

on the other hand, if you don't need to cut back to ensure that you're living in a fiscally responsible manner then you've been doing it right all along. :thumb:
That's kinda what I mean. I thought living in a fiscally responsible manner was what one was supposed to do. Sure I could cut back and save more money, but our current budget works for us for now (We actually cut back on cable channels because we never watched them). We pay our bills, we have no credit card debt, and should in fact be completely debt free before the end of the year. We save money and ultimately have more coming in than going out each month. Though I suspect things are going to change with the kiddo coming in Dec. Gak.
 
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Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
27,787
2,302
are you saving for retirement and all that good stuff? my goal for this year is to put away ~15% (including matching, 10% not including it) of my gross income as tax deferred retirement savings, and i don't want to be squeezed elsewhere while trying to do this.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,133
2,955
Portland, OR
The first thing I did at the start of this year was max my 401k and stock purchase plan (10% return regardless of market). That took a large chunk out before I see it, so what's left is what I deal with.

The only debt I have are student loans and when the wife starts working full time, I will toss a truck load of cash at that.

I ride the bus/bike and the scooter to work, that helps a lot. I eat TV dinners for lunch (they are cheap/somewhat healthy/easy) and cook meals at home.
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
14,697
1,639
Colorado
If you are making purchases online, you should check out www.fatwallet.com. They offer cash back on purchases made through their site. If you buy online (cheaper), use a csh back card, and get cash back from the website you can save a good chunk of change.
 

stinkyboy

Plastic Santa
Jan 6, 2005
15,192
0
¡Phoenix!
Dumped the car (gas, insurance, etc.) and have been commuting all summer on my beater Surly 1x1 to keep bike expenses down. I eat oatmeal and an instant breakfast in the morning. Work picks up lunch everyday to keep us in the building and I don't eat dinner as my body is no longer asking for it.

Made it easy to spend $1300 at Ralph Lauren today (Just to have a couple "outfits" for my brothers wedding, otherwise I'm happy with Old Navy for work clothes).
 

j.les

Monkey
Jul 21, 2007
475
0
Chicago
I stopped going out to bars and cut my drinking down 95%. But that was due to brain surgery, not $. I'm also on long-term disability, so I'm only making 60% of my pay, and that gets taxed. Strangely, I have more money now then I ever did.
 

ire

Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
6,199
4
In all seriousness though... why are you "cutting back"? What's the (or your) point?
I'm cutting back because my dollar doesn't go as far as it used to and my pay increases aren't keeping place with inflation. I live in a fiscally responsible manner, with my wife and I's only debt coming from our house and student loans....we don't have a car loan or CC debt. I'm sticking as much as I can in my def. comp plan (similar to a 401k) because the market is down so far its a great time to buy
 

ire

Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
6,199
4
I stopped going out to bars and cut my drinking down 95%. But that was due to brain surgery, not $. I'm also on long-term disability, so I'm only making 60% of my pay, and that gets taxed. Strangely, I have more money now then I ever did.
I quit drinking a little less than a year ago and its amazing how much money you save, plus the UPS guy doesn't show up with stuff I don't remember ordering
 

Greyhound

Trail Rat
Jul 8, 2002
5,060
356
Alamance County, NC
I'm not driving the far distances to ride new trails. Staying local and wearing it out.

We're buying store-brand groceries, using our "rewards" cards for discounts at those stores, and not eating out but maybe once a month. Justine and I try and see who can "outsave" one another when we go grocery shopping.

I reduced my grade of reefer to standard-issue Mexibrand. Saves a lot more than you think. Much cheaper than pills, and still keeps me from strangling the life out of every idiot I meet.

We're keeping the AC at about 78 degrees. That sounds high, but when you consider how hot our summers are here, coming inside from 100-degrees outside seems like a pretty good break.

I've been using the push-mower instead of my riding mower to save gas. Put 5 gallons in the can earlier this summer and still haven't run out yet.

Been regulating my drinking......a lot less now, but when I do, I drink better beer.

I've cut back on my sushi habit. Rolling my own now.....and I suck at it. But the mistakes are damn tasty.

Haircut once a month instead of twice. Because cutting those three remaining hairs gets costly.

Replaced the bulbs with flourescent lights.
 

vtjim

Beware of Milo & Otis
Jan 6, 2006
1,346
0
North Andover MA
That's kinda what I mean. I thought living in a fiscally responsible manner was what one was supposed to do. Sure I could cut back and save more money, but our current budget works for us for now (We actually cut back on cable channels because we never watched them). We pay our bills, we have no credit card debt, and should in fact be completely debt free before the end of the year. We save money and ultimately have more coming in than going out each month. Though I suspect things are going to change with the kiddo coming in Dec. Gak.
Yup. We were pulling money in hand over fist before my daughter arrived. Then my wife quit her job and we're living off of my income only now. We're ok, but man did we have some flow back in those days. DEEAAAMN!!
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,133
2,955
Portland, OR
In all seriousness though... why are you "cutting back"? What's the (or your) point?
My daughter is also a driving force in our house about conservation vs. consumption. She will often ask "Is this recycled?" or "Is this better for the environment?". Maybe she's brainwashed by "green" tv shows, but it makes sense. I don't want to look my 7 year old in the face and say "No, it's not good for the environment, but I am doing it anyway because I don't care." She will also ask "Is that healthy?", so I have also rethought some of the ways we eat.

On Friday we had a neighborhood girl babysit for a few hours. My daughter was watching some TV after lunch, then got up and turned it off. She looked at Liz and said "This isn't very educational, I would rather go to the park and play." Liz was shocked, but gladly took her to the park to play.