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ELISADENK's Photo ELISADENK Posts: 7,557
11/15/13 9:50 P

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SIC: I did what you mentioned about saving the butter wrappers, etc. The problem for me was that I kept forgetting I had them! LOL

As for Dandelions: Make sure you are harvesting the correct dandelions, also ones that haven't been sprayed or been around exhaust fumes, etc. The leaves taste fine. I tried making tea out of the roots. Took pix and everything. WAY too bitter for me. emoticon

I have most of my electrical appliances plugged into a power strip. That way, almost everything that isn't being used is unplugged. There are times when the electricity failed and I didn't even know it!

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9/27/11 10:30 A

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Cool link, Linda, thanks!

Another option is gleaning/foraging, though you have to have the time to do it. Also, there are many places with organized local gleaners' societies, which have good info on where you can go by-season to do some harvesting; primary among them appears to be the Society of St. Andrew. Here's some info on one chapter: www.charlottegreenteam.com/home/char
lo
tte_greenteam-news.php?news_id=61
. These societies actually distribute food to hunger banks, but if you're in need, the article lists some resources available to you that are directly supported by gleaning groups, so you know you are getting farm-fresh produce by using those sites.

Of course, you don't have to be a formal gleaner in order to do it, especially if you are wanting to do foraging for yourself: in Oregon where I live, blackberries are thought of as a nuisance, so you can see them all over the roads and *everywhere.* This year, I went several days over a couple of weeks and picked/froze them. That was the first time I had done it, and since it was on a city street, I was a little self-conscious at first... til later in the week, I saw 3 other people doing it, too. Fresh blackberries are awesome, so who cares, right?! :)

Speaking of nuisance plants, the dandelion is about the most useful plant in the world. I got this information somewhere online and didn't record where, so I apologize for no attribution:

- Medicinally, it is a diuretic, and also is used for liver detoxification. It is quite high in Vitamin A.
- Gastronomically, you can steep the leaves to make a tea, or trim them for a salad; you could also or sauté them, like spinach, or use them in soups and other side dishes. The yellow dandelion flowers can be used to make a delicious, delicately-flavored wine.
- Dandelion roots can be sautéed and eaten like other tubers (such as potatoes and radishes), or they can be roasted and ground to make a healthful coffee substitute.

---------

I want to check into gleaning societies or some formalized instruction locally, next year, because I'd love to have someone teach me about mushrooming. That is not something you wanna do without a good guide and a clear set of practice runs before you try on your own...! Does anyone else regularly forage and have some experiences to share? (This may be a topic for a whole different post, though foraging/gleaning will definitely stretch your budget!)

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60SIXTY's Photo 60SIXTY Posts: 24,910
9/27/11 8:05 A

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I just found this article on yahoo about living below your means!
finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/
ar
ticle/113561/secret-living-well-4000R>0-Year-usnews


It is about a teacher's family that lives on less than $40,000 a year.
I think that it depends a lot on where you live.
When I watched Dr. Oz recently he talked about the price of foods he was featuring. Everything was about 30% more than it would be here.

Linda - North East Indiana, USA `Goal to build myself up to reach 1,000 fitness minutes per month.

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JELAINE65 SparkPoints: (3,954)
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9/26/11 10:01 P

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5 friends and I formed a magazine exchange. one works in an office and has access to all one month old mags in the waiting room. Another owns a nursery, so gets several gardening mags. one is a retired history teacher and has subscriptions to such magazines as American Heritage, Smithsonian, and Archaeology today, one is a rancher and gets mags such as Mother Earth News and I volunteer at 2 libraries and have access to lots of expired magazines. We meet once a month at one of our homes,bring our mags.(and anything else we want to trade), have a snack, and usually spend most of the time praising our grandkids. Great fun and we each go home with lots of interesting reading.

Daily reminder: count my blessings, state my affirmations, walk with Jesus, think positive thoughts, help others,and spoil my grandkids.


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LAURIEANNIE1's Photo LAURIEANNIE1 Posts: 2,203
9/26/11 6:45 P

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Those old recipes are pretty good. I should talk to my mom about how she used to cook for all of us kids. My dad is fond of saying when she cooked pork she cooked everything but the squeal!

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SUGARSMOM2 SparkPoints: (145,822)
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9/26/11 12:52 P

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been going over old receipes that are for hard times . making the food dollar get more mileage .

sugarsmom2 donna wva


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LAURIEANNIE1's Photo LAURIEANNIE1 Posts: 2,203
9/14/11 6:47 P

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There is a lot to be said about patience when considering a purchase.

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ANNIE1114 SparkPoints: (62,728)
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9/14/11 6:24 P

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SRIVERS1, I also ask myself if what I want to buy is a want or a need. A lot of the time it turns out to be a want that I can live without. I also wait a few days before buying something.

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FLUTTER34 Posts: 680
9/12/11 9:48 P

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Thinking how long I had to work to get an item or do something makes me think twice. Often, the reward is just too "expensive".

Flutter

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LAURIEANNIE1's Photo LAURIEANNIE1 Posts: 2,203
9/11/11 8:55 P

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I also plan my errands and route them out so I only make right hand turns. I read that several companies do that because you have to wait to make a left hand turn idling your vehicle. I started noticing that you can sit quite a while making a left hand turn. I have never figured it out, but it seems like it saves time and money.

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FROSTY99's Photo FROSTY99 SparkPoints: (195,941)
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9/11/11 6:18 P

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I try to route myself when I go out so I can run several errands at a time which saves on gas. I used to run out to get 1-2 things at the store-don't do that anymore, if I don't have what I need, I start checking the pantry and make something else! By this strategy alone, we have been able to only fill the gas tank every14-18 days. At the price of gas, it is a big savings. I even schedule dr appts back to back to save trips there.

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SICIANASARI's Photo SICIANASARI SparkPoints: (0)
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9/10/11 10:18 P

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I thought of another: for online shopping regardless of what merchant, I always check www.retailmenot.com/ , where you can often find a %-off coupon code and/or a free shipping code for the merchant you are using. Just complete your order with the merchant as usual, then enter the code you've found at check-out in whatever box they have for those sorts of things. (In other words, Retail Me Not isn't a shopping site - just a resource for the codes.)

Some may say that I can't dance, but no one can say that I don't dance.
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JELAINE65 SparkPoints: (3,954)
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9/10/11 8:24 P

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I LOVE to shop, but according to my kids and the grandkids who are grown, have it down to an art form....
For instance, one place I shop is at Kohl's...since I use their credit card, I'm considered a MVC (had that explained to me by a store manager...means most valued customer). i get special buy ads, a coupon each month in the mail good for 15, 20, or 30% off everything in the store, even clearance racks, and on my birthday, they sent me a 10.00 Kohl's gift card each year. I only go to Kohl's when I get the 30% off coupon, which is about 3 or 4 times a year and then I only shop the clearance racks...the clearance racks are 40 to 90% off at Kohl's stores, so I look for items that are 50% or higher off, and that's when I get the good buys...Last mo. got 3 pairs of New balance cross trainer shoes...60% off, with the 30% coupon, meant I paid 10%, or a whopping 6.90 a pair...that trip I also got myself 3 pairs of jeans...my final cost was 3.40 a pair,.Many times I bring home from the 80and 90% off racks, free clothes or items for the house. last Christmas, 6 gifts I gave away to family were 'free' to me from Kohl's.
I learned many years ago to keep my one regular credit card (Visa) in my safe deposit box at the bank..i save up for my purchases, but .If I can't pay cash for it, I make a habit of taking overnight to think about it before going to the bank to get the card to use. I haven't paid one cent in interest/finance charges on my VISA bill in a long time, as I pay it off when it's due.
Bartering for services is something I really enjoy as it helps both parties. One instance of bartering I'm doing now is ironing a friend's dress shirts (he's a widower) and I get a complete tuneup/ radiator flush, sparkplugs, the works...in exchange. My local auto repair place wanted 700.00 for a complete tuneup.

Daily reminder: count my blessings, state my affirmations, walk with Jesus, think positive thoughts, help others,and spoil my grandkids.


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KURTORTOISE's Photo KURTORTOISE SparkPoints: (9,208)
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9/10/11 5:52 P

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NYC is quite different:

I'd been shopping at thrift stores since the late 1970s, but they have become trendy here and aren't cheap, unless it's a Salvation Army outlet. Many of the "thrift" stores look up the value of their donations on-line and/or in collectors' pricing books, so they mark it up accordingly.

Our 99-cent stores are now called "99-Cents & Up" stores, so I only go there for the things that are worth the 99-cents. Once in a while I'll get one of the "& Up" items if it's worth the price they're charging.

What I've wound up doing for the past few years is buying second-hand items from the Internet.
AND, I usually don't buy something right away -- I wait. More than 60% of the time I either forget about it or decide I don't want it at all. The things I really want stick in my mind until I buy them.

I envy people who live in areas with good garage sales and flea markets.

Edited by: KURTORTOISE at: 9/10/2011 (17:53)
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I've already had all the bad things thrown at me early in life, so now that those are out of the way, my future should be wonderful.


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9/10/11 3:54 P

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I like indulging "cheap thrills" - for instance, like someone else mentioned, if I just have to buy something, I will make it a thrift store buy. Another favorite of mine is our local Dollar Tree store, where everything is $1 or less. There's a related project idea site, which sometimes even hosts competitions for on-the-cheap inspiration, that I love frequenting: dollarstorecrafts.com/ ; it's great for gift ideas, kid's party ideas, decor ideas, etc.

Another money-saving idea that comes to mind, only because we've lately begun using it (and seeing BIG results) is to plug everything you can into a power strip, and make sure the strip is off when not in use. I do this for small appliances in the kitchen, our computers in the study, and the lighting, fans, and electronics in the bedroom. We've seen a monthly reduction of $35 in our electric bill constantly (down from our previous average monthly cost of $185) just by doing this one simple thing.

Edit: I thought of another savings idea, which my mother used to do: save those butter and margerine wrappers! Fold them up and keep them in a zippered bag in the fridge (or freezer, if you go through many) and use them to grease casserole dishes by just rubbing around on the surface of the dish. Saves money on oils and sprays you'd otherwise need, and keeps your hands from getting messy while doing that step, too!

Edited by: SICIANASARI at: 9/10/2011 (16:19)
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LEW0213's Photo LEW0213 Posts: 4,001
9/10/11 3:47 P

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I just never go shopping. If I have to buy something, I just go to the store that has what I need. Plus, I never go without a list. That way I only buy what is on the list and can say "No" to other things.

Linda
Arkansas

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SRIVERS1's Photo SRIVERS1 Posts: 10,332
9/10/11 1:34 P

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My mom taught me 2 things when I went shopping:

1. always ask yourself "is it a need or a want".

2. If it's not on sale wait, and when it does goes on sale and your size is there (or the item you want is) then it is meant for you.

These 2 have always helped me and has saved me money.

I have learned to consolidate what I have and really look at the clothes that I have. The clothes I have given away I look to see if I need to replace or not. Most the time I don't. I am just happy with what I have. After moving from California back to Washington state I did have to change the clothes.

I hope this helps everyone.

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TRAVELNISTA's Photo TRAVELNISTA SparkPoints: (180,805)
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9/10/11 11:50 A

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I have really been into Thrift Stores lately. I often find items that are brand new with price tags still on. My latest coup was finding a brand new Italian Pocketbook that I purchased for $3.00 that when I looked up the bag on the internet it originally sold for $150.00 but was now on Ebay for $55.00. It still had the tags on it but it was in Italian and I could not read it. The bag was never used. Go figure!





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DAVENALEE's Photo DAVENALEE Posts: 872
9/10/11 10:28 A

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I am ALWAYS "shopping" but rarely BUYING! It has to be extremely discounted or at a Yard Sale. I'm VERY picky at yard sales, too. But I LOVE the thrill of the hunt and the elation of a GREAT bargain. Free or bartering are also a favorite method of mine.

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BILBY4's Photo BILBY4 SparkPoints: (45,863)
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9/10/11 8:22 A

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What's shopping?

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60SIXTY's Photo 60SIXTY Posts: 24,910
9/10/11 7:33 A

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Shopping
Resist peer pressure. If you shop with a friend, make sure it is a budget-minded friend.

Linda - North East Indiana, USA `Goal to build myself up to reach 1,000 fitness minutes per month.

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60SIXTY's Photo 60SIXTY Posts: 24,910
9/10/11 7:29 A

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While cleaning, I found a year old magazine with the above title. I bet you have as good or better suggestions for shopping, saving at home, in the kitchen, on your family, on your health, on beauty, on your free time, and on your pets. List your Strategies.

Linda - North East Indiana, USA `Goal to build myself up to reach 1,000 fitness minutes per month.

Frugalists and Simple Living [co-leader]
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"To lose a healthy one pound of fat per week, all it takes is a 500-calorie deficit per day."
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