Changing perceptions due to rising costs?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Mom2oddson, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    Over the last couple of months I've really noticed changes in the way my family thinks.

    At one time husband thought riding the worker/driver bus was for losers. Now - he loves the bus. Thinks it's the greatest thing and only a fool wouldn't ride it.

    easy child - a High School Senior - thought only losers walked...Cool kids drove to school. He's been walking the two miles to school everyday and thinking that it's great exercise.

    I now drive my little blue car all the time (instead of the SUV) and I'm falling in love with this car and its 35mpg. Plus, I used to think my house was too small or that it needed granite counters, hardwood floors, bigger bathrooms.... Now, I just want to be able to keep it!

    I'm wanting to buy off-brands on things. I'm re-evaluating what is a need and what is a want. I'm finding out that a lot of my Needs were really wants.

    Is anyone else going through this? What changes in your thinking have you noticed?
  2. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Great thread! We used to order pizza (difficult child's favorite) once a week "for our treat". Cost: $30 a week. We now wait until the good quality frozen ones come on sale 2 for $4.97 and we add extra veggies from fridge etc when we bake them. WHen they are on sale I stock up on the freezer. The kids could care less about delivery vs frozen as long as it's a good quality frozen.
    difficult child is a major addict to one brand of pop (soda). It is regular price $7.97 here for 24 cans. I wait until it's on sale for 18 cans for $3.97 and stalk up. I will NOT replace them until the next store sale sooooo difficult child has learned to pay attention to when the sale is coming again and making sure his pop stash lasts him. Before I was buying soooo many cases at full price to keep him "supplied".
    I am still a fan of certain brand name things, especially regarding groceries. Kraft PB is a must, so when the huge jars are on a great sale I buy 2 or 3 and usually pay for those what I'd have paid for one at regular price.
    I have found online sites for coupons where you can pick up to 20 coupons every so many weeks from a huge inventory of coupons. They arrive free by mail within a few days. So for example I may have a coupon for $2.00 off a 24 pack of a specific brand name toilet paper. I will hold the coupons until a store has a sale at half price for that brand. So normal price would be 24 rolls for $8.99 and go on sale for 24 rolls for $4.99 and after my $2.00 off I pay $2.99, saving $6.00. I never thought I'd care enough to put so much effort into my shopping.
    But now that I have been paying attention and sale shopping and using the coupons and being careful of what is too high priced to bother with, we are saving a TON of money in this house. There were things we were doing without, like wearing jeans longer than we would like, they would be getting worn but we'd hold off replacing them. With my smarter shopping I'm able to keep up with the kids growth spurts and the wearing out of clothes much easier without noticing it in my budget or having to sacrifice for it.
    We don't rent videos anymore. I have friends who download constantly so will give them a spindle of DVD's and ask them to burn me a copy of everything they burn. Once all 25 on the spindle are full I pick them up and we have a stash of movies just waiting for whenever we want to watch something, PLUS we get to keep them. A spindle of 25 disks is about the cost of renting 2-3 movies at Blockbuster.
  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I've always been a big sale and thrift shopper so my kids are all used to that. My daughter has a great thrift shop wardrobe and isn't afraid to tell anyone.

    I've been dragging my heels on going back to work. The most natural thing would be for me to substitute teach but it's not a good fit schedulewise. I did just pick up an application to do homebound instruction and may give that a try this last month of school.
  4. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    I have always been a frugal shopper, Looking for the sales... Wal-Mart is a awesome place to buy snack foods because they are always allot cheaper there. I have noticed for the past few months that the price on food has gone up big time. A good example are eggs. I used to get the 18 count at Vons for under $4.00 now they are a whopping $6.99 for the same 18 count. Sometimes they have the buy one get one free but ummmm I can't see me spending $6.99 for the one. Yikes!!!! Thinking to get a chicken for the backyard. Lol!!! and I do not hesitate to buy storebrand. And as for the gas. OMG!!!! its breaking me big time. I am only getting about 10 MPG. Our minivans (6 cylinder) nickname is HOGZ. The bad thing though is that its my only vehicle and I have to have it for the wheelchair that my son has. I need to somehow figure out how I can get an economical smaller car (4 cylinder) and just leave one of the wheelchairs at his school. He just got a new wheelchair and I held onto the other one. As far as the public transportation, I would use it everyday if I could. Not only saves on the wear and tear of your vehicle but is actually cheaper so long as you can schedule appointments and all around their schedules. I have taken the Metro Link Train several times to my sons Dr appoinments that are in another county and it works out quite well. Allot of standing around waiting for the limited trains coming back our way but well worth it. It relieves the stress of having to deal with the 91 frwy as well. That frwy is a nightmare and can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to get back home verses 20 minutes if we take the train bypassing that nasty traffic. If I could I would get a gulf cart or just go horse and buggy. Lol!!
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    We are major tightwads. I have ALWAYS (since before marriage) liked to make my own stuff, shop thrift stores and garage sales. I don't have many garage sales, but most of our "stuff" comes from them. Now I am working estate sales, esp the last day where we can pick what we want for free from the leftovers.

    I strongly recommend the Top Secret Recipes books, the tightwad Gazette 3 in 1 volume, and a book called Cheaper and Better. they are older books mostly, and not found used much, but worth the ebay or price.

    My kids think it is strange to buy clothes at regular prices, even clearance walmart prices are higher than they think is good.

    I did have to drive thank you to school today because there was a thunderstorm when the time came to leave for the bus, but he LOVES the bus. (This is the 8yo, NOT difficult child).

  6. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I've always had a pretty frugal streak and tended to look for bargains. We usually shop at No Frills (our discount grocery chain), buy in bulk and buy no-name or store brands.

    husband and I share a truck, I take public transit as much as I can (with a bus stop right at the edge of my front yard, I really have no excuse not to), and when I'm at work downtown, I walk between buildings both to save transit fare and get some exercise.

    Since husband has been out of work for the last 6 months, we've had to get very creative with ways to trim the budget. husband is on a medically supervised diet, so we have stopped buying almost all snack foods, bread, rice, pasta, sweets, etc. We don't eat out or order takeout anymore.

    I work at home several days a week, which saves gas, transit fare, clothing and dry-cleaning costs (I can "dress" for work in sweat pants and a t-shirt rather than a suit when I'm home). When I do go into the office, I take a packed lunch, tea bags and a thermos of milk for tea, and a snack for the afternoon, so that I don't spend money on lunch or tea breaks. I've also been working all the overtime I can manage.

    Little easy child, who is growing like a weed, has inherited a bunch of my t-shirts (which I buy in the boys department at Wal-Mart) now that he and I wear the same size.

    I was doing some calculations the other day and realized that just by cutting back on these things over the last several months, we have cut about 30 to 35% off our monthly spending.

  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Not so much for me, but definitely husband is becoming more aware of his daily expenses. He added up gas,tolls, and money for lunches out, and figures it costs him $630 per month just to get to and from work and eat lunch out every day. Add to that the fact that he took a 20% pay cut this year, and maybe he'll consider taking his lunch once in while now...
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Neat thread -

    I got a giggle about the language - tightwad, frugal, thrifty, and I thought - OMG - I've been those for years just to survive and make ends meet.

    So I'm throwing surving single mom-dom into the mix. Sounds nicer than SM on a budget. I used to not have enough money to be ON a budget. difficult child was raised on second hand stuff - which may not be so bad since he has decided he does not need to work. At least he knows how to get free food, free clothes, and barter.

    -I call them Skills for the new age.

    by the way - FOOD LION rising crust pepperoni pizza is every bit as tasty as anything that's been delivered. We usually ad a little more pepperoni and some cheese - but even wtihout at $4.97 it's a steal.

    And - FYI - if you RIGHT NOW with liquid laundry detergent use 1/2 as much as the cap says - your clothes will still come out clean and fresh.

    I save my water bottles and refill them. I use some for OJ and Grapefruit juices too.

    We've gone from 3 x a week grocery shopping to 1x a week and buying more fruits for snacks. And we call it our Trip to town day - like we were pioneers. lol.

    After watching the movie about the Polar bears and how they are being affected by global warming? We are turning off a light as we go and we say "SAVED ANOTHER POLAR BEAR" - it's a fact. Watch the movie. It will make you cry. But the kids comments at the end for what you can do - astonishing what a little bit each of us can do - helps.

    We also started to save all plastics and take to the recyclers. Each time we do - "SAVED ANOTHER POLAR BEAR." It makes you feel like you've actually done something good.

    Rinse off our dishes and let them sit for a day and run a load of dishes every other day and put the auto air dry cycle on.

    We aerateed our lawn and bit the bullet to buy Scotts turf weed/seed/feed and bug using that - it makes the grass healthier and requires less water, AND will require LESS MOWING with requires LESS GAS.

    I have 2 acres - I've already done by hand so electric mower is NOT going to replace my pink Snapper. er.....Orange Husquvarna.

    We put the dryer lint out for the birds nesting - they love it and hair from the brushes.

    I get the air in my tires checked once a week to help with gas mileage. And when I fill up - I do it at night .

    I've planted erosion control plants in the yard and we plant at LEAST 3 trees every year. We recycle lawn clippings and leaves for making mulch and compost too.

    And due to being in Healthy Living format here on the board - I've cut down on buying junk tremendously and replaced it with eating well.

    Thanks for asking.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We don't have public trans in our tiny town, but, when weather permits, I walk or bike if I can. Otherwise I make one trip only into "town" and make all stops at that time. I have a 4 cylinder ten year old Escort that gets GREAT gas mileage. Hub is a car mechanic so we don't need new cars--maintenance is minimal and the cars last forever. I shop for food mostly at Aldis, a discount food store chain. Always was huge on garage sales (you can get name brands or just great comfortable clothes for almost nothing). Never buy anything at full price.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am hoping that at my doctor appointment in May he will do something and then I will be able to go the garage sales, etc.... Saw one yesterday and couldn't do it. All I could do to get thank you to school and get Jess started on school.

    The other book I rely on is Make-a-Mix Cookery by Eliason et al. The mixes are AWESOME and save SOOOO much $$$$$ husband is totally in love with the taco seasoning mix which tastes better than the one sold in the store!!! I keep a bottle of it so he can put it on whatever he wants.

    If you can go to a restaurant show, get all the freebies there. I came home with business cards (kids collect them), pens (won't need to buy a pen for a LONG time). blue cheese dressing mix (makes a gallon, great for using the powder on pasta, meat, etc..., creamy italian mix (same as the blue cheese), a few of the new Life waters by Sobe - NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER so I can drink them, and only 80 calories.

    If you haven't tried true lemon or true lime, they are a great deal. Dehydrated lemon or lime in a bottle - we put 1/4 tsp in a bottle of water for a refreshing drink. It is also good to keep fruits from turning brown, and in pastas for a fresh taste.