Austerity Measures -- Suggestions?

ChaChaMama

Well-Known Member
#61
Oh...and my cousin's wife is brilliant about getting bumped from oversold flights. She has gotten free vacations out of being bumped, and then bumped again.
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
#63
[quote="]
My other caveat: Don't buy food that you're going to throw away. I know that sounds obvious. But what I mean is that, especially for perishables (such as fresh fruit and veg,) bigger is not always better. A two pound tub of baby spinach from Costco for $4 sounds like a bargain. But a 12 ounce bag for $3 is a better deal, if all I'm going to eat is 12 ounces. If I buy the big, "bargain" package and throw away most of the spinach, then I'm actually throwing away a dollar.[/quote]


I think since I often throw some spinach away becuase the leaves have gone soft, that maybe having some brown papaer bags rather than cellophane and decant the spinach. dry wrinkly spinach is still edible if cooked but the stuff that's turning slimy isnt. But its a general problem, buying the food you need and not throwing excess away.
 

Purr

Well-Known Member
#65
-We paid off of our mortgage early. This saved a TON of money. Probably the best financial decisions we ever made were to re-fi from a 30 year fixed to a 15 year fixed, and then to pay off that 15 yr. early.
I did this too - my mortgage was paid off last year.

-I don't have a cell phone plan. I do pay-as-you-go. Also, my phone is an unfancy 2005 non-smart phone. I'm sure you can imagine how deeply impressed my students are with this phone! ;) It is like the anti-status symbol. But it meets my needs for now.
I have a year old not very smart phone, that I buy minutes with Tracefone cards. Last year every time I bought a card to load up the phone, I got double minutes or some kind of extra bonus. I don't call or text very much with it, so it works for me.

-I also drive a 2000 vehicle that we paid for in full at the time of purchase. My husband's vehicle is a 1997. When we buy our next vehicle, we will also buy it outright.
I drive a 2006 car, and it's paid for. My plan is to drive it into the ground, or until it becomes a financial liability, before I replace it.
 

toothlesstiger

Well-Known Member
#67
I drive a 2006 car, and it's paid for. My plan is to drive it into the ground, or until it becomes a financial liability, before I replace it.
I'll see your 2006 car, and raise you a 1993 car that I drove for 114k miles before some dork in an SUV totalled it, and the current 2000 economy car that I paid cash for when I got it. :)

Mortages, it really depends on your tax situation, and mortgage rates. If you aren't inclined to do the math on your other possible investment vehicles and available mortgage rates, then I agree paying it off as early as possible makes sense.

For those of you that have an upside-down mortgage, you have my sympathy, and my vote for anyone willing fight our financial overlords.
 

Purr

Well-Known Member
#68
I'll see your 2006 car, and raise you a 1993 car that I drove for 114k miles before some dork in an SUV totalled it, and the current 2000 economy car that I paid cash for when I got it. :)
I drove my previous car for about 10 years, until it started burning oil and an became a financial liability. While the car was paid for, the repair would have been expensive, and more repairs were an eventuality. I knew it was time to trade the old car in for a new car.
 

toothlesstiger

Well-Known Member
#69
I drove my previous car for about 10 years, until it started burning oil and an became a financial liability. While the car was paid for, the repair would have been expensive, and more repairs were an eventuality. I knew it was time to trade the old car in for a new car.
My criteria for car purchases were reliability and economy. After doing my research, I decided on a Honda Civic. After looking at used car prices, I decided a used Honda was not a bargain, and bought new. Maybe I'm just lucky, but when I brought in my wrecked hatchback to the dealer, the salesman was genuinely disappointed that I had over 100k miles on it, since in CA dealers were not allowed to sell cars with that high mileage, and they still gave me a trade-in. Even now, the blue book value on my 13 year old honda seems insane to me.
 

Joe

Well-Known Member
#70
Can you get the feed without broadband, DSL, or cable?
No. My point is, you don't need the add-on TV service if you can get broadband intarwebs If intarwebs costs $50/mo and bundled TV costs only $10, it may be worth it to get the TV. But if bundling TV costs more than a Netflix subscription, then Netflix becomes a better option.
 

Joe

Well-Known Member
#71
I'll see your 2006 car, and raise you a 1993 car that I drove for 114k miles before some dork in an SUV totalled it, and the current 2000 economy car that I paid cash for when I got it. :)
1998 Mustang here. 210,000 miles. Hoping to get it to last until 2016. Hasn't been touched by a mechanic (other than me) in years, other than the fellows at the tire & alignment shop (I don't do tires).
 

Lioness

Well-Known Member
#72
My car is older than me...1992 Toyota Camry. It's 60L tank gets me 500km, and it doesn't break very often. Does cost me $80 to fill up, though.

If I need to save money, I leave my debit card at home and only take $5 of emergency cash. Pack lunches, ride bike, take the bus. Park in cheaper parking if I have to drive somewhere in town.
 

toothlesstiger

Well-Known Member
#73
1998 Mustang here. 210,000 miles. Hoping to get it to last until 2016. Hasn't been touched by a mechanic (other than me) in years, other than the fellows at the tire & alignment shop (I don't do tires).
Definitely economical in terms of replacement. In terms of annual TCO, I would expect gas and insurance to be a bit higher than minimum.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#74
I am an automotive cheapo. Buy a good car. Take care of it. Drive it until it curls up and dies. That's me. Never have understood why so many people sign up for that driving off the lot automatic, massive depreciation that *most* cars go through. *shrug*


Back to groceries for a minute. Sign up for the store reward cards. Yes, yes. Before you say it, I know. Those cards are a sneaky way of getting marketing information about you. Yup. So do what I did. When you pick up the application in the store, pretend you're too busy to fill it out right then. Then just "forget" to ever fill in the application. The store's got nuthin. You've got your discounts and your privacy. Yay.
 

toothlesstiger

Well-Known Member
#75
Back to groceries for a minute. Sign up for the store reward cards. Yes, yes. Before you say it, I know. Those cards are a sneaky way of getting marketing information about you. Yup. So do what I did. When you pick up the application in the store, pretend you're too busy to fill it out right then. Then just "forget" to ever fill in the application. The store's got nuthin. You've got your discounts and your privacy. Yay.
One of my loyalty cards is from one state, four address, and five phone numbers ago. Don't think there's much marketing value there. I don't think it serves so much for marketing, they've got to know the data is pretty poor quality. Rather, it's a way of building loyalty, and of making you think you're getting a deal when you are buying their overstock. ;-)
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#76
If you stay in one place and tell the truth, they do get a lot of data. I know, because, back when I was less circumspect with my info, the stores used to snail mail me coupons and ads that were frighteningly suited to the things I normally buy. And, even now, without my personal info, when I use the reward cards, I often get creepily suited coupons/ads printed out, right at the check-out. They may not know where I live, but they do know what I buy.

And no, IMO, as a decades-long couponer, I don't think you're buying their overstock. I think you're buying either 1) price leaders (items that are artificially inexpensive to lure you into the store to buy other stuff ) or 2) items at their "real" price. People without loyalty cards are paying a premium, a lot of the time, based on my considerable experience. They don't know how much food really costs, so they allow themselves to be penalized. I'll never forget Sister D, a lady I went to church with, when I was a child. She and her family were very, very proud that they only bought brand name foods at full price. Even then (when i was in my early teens and learning the joys of discount shopping) I thought, "Wow. They are paying a lot of money just so they can boost their egos."

Same deal as with Starbucks, IMHO. Pay full price, if you want, and tell yourself it's better. But it's not. It's just the same thing for more money. *shrug*
 

Purr

Well-Known Member
#77
Back to groceries for a minute. Sign up for the store reward cards. Yes, yes. Before you say it, I know. Those cards are a sneaky way of getting marketing information about you. Yup. So do what I did. When you pick up the application in the store, pretend you're too busy to fill it out right then. Then just "forget" to ever fill in the application. The store's got nuthin. You've got your discounts and your privacy. Yay.
I don't think my Kroger reward card is such a bad thing. From time to time I get a bunch of coupons from Kroger, and it's items that I regularily buy. Usualy there's at least one coupon for a free item. Obviously they have pretty good profile of how I shop.
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
#78
I have a co-op card. I get discount coupons every quarter. Not much junk from them- just a newsletter.

mind you I just blew my austerity on ebay last night..:(
 

toothlesstiger

Well-Known Member
#79
And no, IMO, as a decades-long couponer, I don't think you're buying their overstock. I think you're buying either 1) price leaders (items that are artificially inexpensive to lure you into the store to buy other stuff ) or 2) items at their "real" price.
Different stores, different approaches. This is where knowing the prices of stuff helps a lot. I'm generally not interested in the "price leaders", since it tends to be stuff that's the over-processed name brand stuff. Of the stuff that I do buy, I can tell when they are actually giving a deal versus "pricing stuff to move". Back in the day, they would have just had a sale. Now, they give club-card holders a warm fuzzy.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#80
Different stores, different approaches. This is where knowing the prices of stuff helps a lot. I'm generally not interested in the "price leaders", since it tends to be stuff that's the over-processed name brand stuff. Of the stuff that I do buy, I can tell when they are actually giving a deal versus "pricing stuff to move". Back in the day, they would have just had a sale. Now, they give club-card holders a warm fuzzy.

Yeah. A few years ago (five? six?) Albertson's dumped the card and went back to the old fashioned way. They have sales. Either way, I agree with you. Know what food actually costs.

This weekend, though, I have to admit I'm loving my discount card. I got enough fixins for queso for a crowd yesterday. $14 instead of $21 (and $21 is the real price, not artificially inflated.) Too bad I don't like queso. *grin*
 

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