Money Saving Ideas - Greenville,TX

Updated on March 04, 2010
K.D. asks from Greenville, TX
21 answers

Good afternoon all!

I would like to know what you have saved money on? Share your money saving tactics with me!
Two things I have saved money recently by buying shaving cream at the dollar store, and using Walmart brand laundry detergent (it works great!) What are your ideas?

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J.L.

answers from Dallas on

If you're patient and don't mind watching movies a couple months behind, skip paying for DVDs and rent from the library. I know Frisco's waiting lists are quite minimal, and we just watched Star Trek and District 9 this weekend!

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K.B.

answers from Dallas on

One thing I have discovered is buying online often saves a lot of money. I do not like to pay shipping though, so I look for those deals that are free shipping. Especially on big items like electronics, you can always find a better deal online, usually with free shipping and no sales tax.

One trick I have found is before I order something online, I google that store coupon codes. Almost every time I find a coupon code to save 10, 15 or 20% off or at least free shipping.

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More Answers

S.J.

answers from St. Louis on

- No more movies out - we rent movies once a weekend and that is our entertainment!

- All meals at home - it is really hard to do this all the time, but the money I save is incredible! Some day, when all debts are paid, we will eat out again!

- to assist in the abovementioned, make tons of meals on Sunday evening for leftovers throughout the week. Baked ziti, meatloaf, and a crock pot soup and you are set for lunch M - F!

- No more starbucks......I get giftcards for starbucks from family for my christmas, birthday, etc. When those run out, no more starbucks for me.

- Get a programmable thermometer and set your heat for very low when you are away - ours is set to 68 when we are home, 65 when we are gone.

- Energy efficient light bulbs - good for the environment too!

- clip coupons....coupons.com and other sources have good ones.....just google "coupons" you can even find organic food coupons - I love that!

- use vinegar to clean (you WILL get used to the smell!) and olive oil on your face as moisturizer...a bottle of organic olive oil runs about $12 and last months for use on the face/hands/entire body!....MUCH better for you and cheaper than store bought lotion...you won't believe how wonderful your face looks! I also use vinegar as my fabric softener on occasion. It does not smell at all and it really works to keep away static cling.

- the SECOND you get any sales magazines in the mail....RECYCLE BIN

- skip buying ANY drinks at the gas station.....and get a brita instead of buying bottled waters - saves TONS - keep bottles of water in the car for trips.

- make sure all lights are off in your house when not in use......and turn off and unplug appliances that don't need to remain plugged in.

- I buy all of my boys' clothes on ebay. I can get a looks-like-brand-new pair of Gap jeans for $9 including shipping. I also sell my kid's items on ebay when they outgrow them. I use the money I make to buy the next season's wardrobe.

- I also buy a lot of my beauty products on ebay - for example: a Mary Kay targeted line reducer normally runs about $50 retail....I get mine for $11.95 including shipping. Just make sure to check the date code (you can request it from the seller if it is not in the listing). Most makeup products have a long shelf life if stored properly.

- Unfortunately, both my husband and I work, so we cannot do the one-car thing....but if we could, I would go down to one car in a heartbeat.

- DON'T USE CREDIT CARDS - EVER! If you cannot pay for something with cash, don't buy it.

- Get ahold of Dave Ramsey's book(s) - his baby steps are simple to understand and he is so motivating. Saving money is hard work, and Dave Ramsey keeps you on track. Get his book from your local library or ask for it as a gift for your birthday or valentines, etc. Or if you need to, break down and buy the book/cd, etc....he is soooo helpful!

- PM me if you need more ideas....I could go on forever! We can share some ideas too!

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M.A.

answers from Seattle on

Some ways that I save money are -

-Plan my meals a day in advance and make my lunch for work the night before to avoid eating out.
-Buy diet coke at the grocery store and keep a case under my desk at work to avoid buying it at work. I can buy a 12 pack at the grocery store for about $5 (41 cents/can) but when I buy it at work it will cost me 86 cents per can, which means 10.32 for the same amount that's in my $5 12 pack!
-Rent movies from Redbox (not sure if these are everywhere?) instead of going out to movies or ordering movies from my cable provider $4.99/movie). Redbox costs $1 (per night, but I don't keep them any longer).
-Buy my son's clothes at consignment stores and sell them back once he's outgrown them.

The most effective way of saving money for me however was through my direct deposit paycheck. Instead of having my employer deposit 100% of my paycheck to my checking account, I have 25% put into a saving account. The savings account is through a credit union and it's much more time consuming and inconvenient for me to transfer the money out or to withdrawal it from them vs. my regular bank. Out of sight, out of mind!

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A.K.

answers from Boston on

+I love to use coupons on items that are on sale, especially when the grocery store doubles them!
+I don't read the catalogs that come in the mail because they create desire. They get me thinking about all sorts of things I could redecorate or new outfits, all sorts of WANTS but not genuine NEEDS.
+I also don't browse in the stores for the same reason.
+I sometimes purposely don't carry any cash so I can't spend it on little things like drive-thru soda or coffee.
+I keep bottles of water in the car so when the kids are thirsty we don't have to go to the drive thru.
+I've been spending the change in my husband's coin jar on small purchases. Better to spend nickels, dimes and pennies that are just sitting around than break a $5 bill or use my last 2 or 3 dollars. (Embarrasses my kids, but who cares!)
+Store-bought snacks for the kids (like granola bars) can get really expensive. Instead, I've been offering things we have around the house--peanut butter & saltines, hummus & pita or crackers, veggies & dip, yogurt, homemade popcorn, bagel pizzas, homemade pudding, muffins/breads.
+For dinner, I often make casseroles that will last for two nights. (tuna noddle casserole, American chop suey, chicken & broccoli with rice, mac 'n cheese...)
+Pot roast in the crockpot for dinner one night becomes beef stew the next night.
+My husband's car gets better gas mileage than my minivan so I use his car when he's home.
+I read somewhere about playing survivor for a week. Don't buy anything at the grocery store except for basic staples--milk, bread, oj and fruits/veggies. Then, make dinners using only what you already have in the house. Great way to save a chunk of money and clean out the freezer, extra canned goods, etc.
+Here's my favorite trick: Make 2 large meatloaves for dinner one night. On the second night, break up the leftover meatloaf into small pieces and heat with a jar of your favorite pasta sauce to make a meat sauce, then serve with pasta. On the third night, add a few large cans of drained kidney beans, a bottle of chili powder and small chunks of any other leftover meat in the fridge (pork chop, steak, chicken) to the leftover meat sauce to make chili. If you have leftover chili, you could serve it over pasta like they do in some parts of the country.

Looking forward to reading other answers.

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N.M.

answers from Dallas on

Lots of good advice here, and I do a lot of it too - especially using grocerygame.com and shopping at consignment sales for my kids' clothes. One more I wanted to add is shopping at the local bread store. Yesterday I went by the Mrs. Baird's Outlet and bought SIX loaves of Mrs. Baird's bread, a bag of Tia Rosa tortilla chips, a package of flour tortillas, and a bag of bagels for $9.44. Because I have a punch card there and had filled it, I also got a package of English muffins and some powdered donuts for free!

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P.P.

answers from Dallas on

Angel Food Ministries is a non-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to providing food relief and financial support to communities throughout the United States. The program began in 1994 with 34 families in Monroe, Georgia (between Atlanta and Athens), and has grown to serve hundreds of thousands of families every month across 44 states.

Angel Food is available in a quantity that can fit into a medium-sized box at $30 per unit. Each month's menu is different than the previous month and consists of both fresh and frozen items with an average retail value of approximately $60. Comparison shopping has been done across the country in various communities using a wide range of retail grocery stores and has resulted in the same food items costing from between $42 and $78.

Generally, one unit of food assists in feeding a family of four for about one week or a single senior citizen for almost a month. The food is all the same high quality one could purchase at a grocery store. There are no second-hand items, no damaged or out-dated goods, no dented cans without labels, no day-old breads and no produce that is almost too ripe.

Also offered are specialty boxes such as steaks, chicken and pork. Many participants in this bonus program appreciate the expanded choices. Additionally, there is no limit to the number of units or bonus foods an individual can receive, and there are no applications to complete or qualifications to which participants must adhere. Angel Food Ministries also participates in the U.S. Food Stamp program, using the Off-Line Food Stamp Voucher system.

It's both a Bargain and a Blessing!

Sample Menu:
(this month's menu can be viewed here)

http://www.angelfoodministries.com/menus/menu_2010-02_en.asp

4 lb. IQF Leg Quarters
4 oz. Beef Back Ribs
1 lb. 80/20 Lean Ground Beef
2 lb. Breaded Chicken Tenders
1.5 lb. Bone in Pork Chops (4 x 6oz.)
1 lb. Ground Turkey
18 oz. Stuffed Manicotti (Cheese)
12 oz. Smoked Sausage
Betty Crocker Seasoned Potatoes
7 oz. Cheeseburger Dinner
16 oz. Green Beans
16 oz. Baby Carrots
2 lb. Onions
1 lb. Pinto Beans
1 lb. Rice
7 oz. Blueberry Muffin Mix
10 ct. Home-style Waffles
Dessert Item

www.angelfoodministries.com

I am the AF director of a Church on the Westside of Fort Worth, Chapel Creek Fellowship.

Go to the website, and click on "find a local site". Scroll down, and enter your zip code.

The search results will pop up next. At the top is a map, scroll down and there will be a list of the organization that participate. There is a column that has mileage, if it says 0.0 miles; they are within your zip code. Most sites will allow you to order online, and then you pick up your food at the end of the month.

P.

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L.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

*We have a digital thermostat. At night, the heat is down to 65 deg., 68 during the day
*For kids movies, I stopped buying DVD's since we have DVR and DVD's tend to get scratched. When one of his favorites (Diego, Curious George, Clifford) is on, I just hit "record" and we have a collection to watch at the click of a button
*We do Netflix (3 movies at a time, numerous that can be watched instantly on computer)- for $9.99 (I think) per month.
*We do RedBox at our local grocery store (Cub)- new releases are only $1/day. You can even set up an account at redbox.com, search your local area to see which location has it and reserve it so it's not rented when you arrive. They can also be returned to any RedBox.
*I watch local grocery stores (Cub, Byerly's) for their Buy One Get One free deals. Great time to stock!
*Garage sale, garage sale, garage sale! I never did this much until I had kids- and now May is my favorite time of year. I hit the Woodbury garage sales, as well as the Liberty Village and Settler's Glen sales the weekend after in Stillwater. I have plastic bins for my 18 month old girl up to six 6 and size 8 for my sons. Great deals too good to pass up on, and I can get stacks for cents on the dollar! When they outgrow them, they get passed on to friends' kids, and I'm happy to pass them on after that as I got them for so cheap!
*I iron all my husband's shirts. No more drycleaning! I hang them to dry, then iron... more time consuming, but saves a ton! I used to hate ironing, but now find it kind of relaxing
*I have a couple of workout DVD's (the Firm, Hip Hop Abs, etc)-and skip the gym membership
*No more Caribou or Starbucks. I brew my Folgers every morning in my $20 Mr. Coffee coffeemaker and my treat is my array of flavored creamers from Int'l Coffee and Coffee Mate. I've tried more expensive coffee, and found that with the creamers it doesn't matter.
*After I was laid off and handed my company vehicle in, we went 18 months with one vehicle. Only one insurance and car payment was heaven!
*Swap watching friends' kids to run errands, etc. Saves on babysitting fees and the kids get
playdates
*I started "unsubscribing" to various retailers emails I receive that send tempting offers to take advantage of "sales". I'm also planning to set up a separate account via yahoo.com only for ordering online, so these offers don't come in my daily email.
*I started grocery shopping for the staples/weekly items (except for bogo offers, etc) at Cobornsdelivers.com. My husband works 18 hour days, and we have a 3 year old and 18 month old twins. Doing it online keeps those unnecessary items from ending up in my cart, keeps me from grocery shopping with 3 'helpers', and it saves precious time when I do get out as I'm not at the grocery store.

1 mom found this helpful

L.U.

answers from Seattle on

K. -
Wow, lots of good ideas.
I will second in with the coupon cutting!! I find that my local Albertsons often has double coupon days, so I take them in to get toothpaste (50 cents!) kids shampoo (last time it was free) and other household necesseties.
When I grocery shop I only shop around the perimeter of the store. Besides the fact that I am dieting, I hardly ever need to buy things from the middle of the store.
I buy all our nuts, flour, oatmeal, beans, rice...in bulk!! yeah!
Second hand stores are great for kids. I LOVE garage sale clothes! 10 shirts for $5. Sounds good. I have also got their sheets, towels, dishes, pans, furniture, toys, books....all from garage sales.
We also look at the "free" ads on craigslist.
Here's one that I am doing to get ready for the holidays and a summer vacation. I know it seems kind of ridiculous to think about Christmas, but I did this last year and it worked GREAT! I am a full time nanny and full time mom. I don't make a TON of money ($1,100 a month) but with every check I get I put $20 aside for Christmas. Last year I started in Feb, and by the end of the year I had $1,000 saved up for Christmas. This year we want to go to California for vacation, so every check I am putting $50 aside for that plus the $20 for Christmas. That way it doesn't hurt that much and the money is there when we need it, we don't have to scramble.
I NEVER buy anything full pice. Even my kids know to ask me if things are on sale.
We don't go out to movies, ever. We rent them. Or burn them (shhh, don't tell!).
See if someone wants to go in on a zoo pass with you. My friend put me on hers. I got a museum pass with my employer and only spent about 30 bucks and it's good for the whole YEAR! Parks, walks, beaches, lakes, all things you can do that cost no money.
It's always nice to hear other people's ideas.
L.

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L.B.

answers from Charlotte on

i joined thegrocerygame.com! check into it, there are some really good savings!! also, i started making my own laundry detergent with equal parts oxyclean, borax, and cheap laundry powder. you use 1/2 cup per load. it takes about $10 to make and ends up being about 5 cents per load!!! :o) also, we are only going to eat out once a month. i look forward to seeing every one's ideas!

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R.K.

answers from Dallas on

Good Morning K.!
I can speak for all of my new customers this past year who used to use department store skin care and color cosmetics. They wanted to be more economical and were tired of paying a lot for their skin to look great. One example is that instead of paying $60 for their foundation they found they could get the same high quality and it came with a 100% satisfaction guarantee when they bought my Mary Kay foundation. ($14-$18 depending on what version you desire)
My team and I have also done an experiment in the past years comparing Mary Kay to the "supermarket/super stores". We all found that the results were not lasting over time and we had to buy the product 3 times before the Mary Kay actually ran out. So, in reality we paid the same amount and missed out on the quality.
Our motto through this recession has continued to be... "Cut before you call." It is a reminder to us all that if you cut open your containers from Mary Kay you will find at least two more weeks worth of product. It might not look as pretty on your bathroom counter, but it is a short term solution to long term benefits.
You have a great idea sharing savings! Keep it up!
R.
www.marykay.com/rkuipers
[email protected]____.com

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S.B.

answers from Kansas City on

We cut down on eating out, which has really helped. I'm a dvd nut, so I refrain from buying them new and keep an eye on sales to get them cheaper. (for example, at Target I got all three seasons of Psych for 13.99 each instead of 30-40). I also stopped buying books and only get them at the library, which sucks if there's a long wait, but has really helped my pocketbook. I can even get dvds at the library, which is good for stuff I dont want to watch over and over.

We also do most of our shopping at Walmart. I clip coupons out of the paper and scout the ads, planning meals based on what's on sale. Then I bring the ads to walmart and they price-match, saving money on going from store to store. We also bring snacks to the grocery store (off brand goldfish crackers, usually) so the kiddos dont get hungry and beg for stuff. We also rarely buy anything name brand unless we have a coupon and it makes it cheaper than the off brand. It took a long time to convince my husband to agree to this, as he's a food snob, but even he agrees that he cant taste the difference (which is because they are generally made by the same company!).

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

When my youngest was a baby we used Parent's Choice formula from Walmart. Other store items I've tried and found to be good are:trash bags, grated cheese, coffee creamer, paper towels, cookies, crackers, canned beans and broth, and frozen veggies. These are the Walmart store brand items I've tried and liked. Also, shopping around for the best deal on phone service, electricity, internet service, TV service, etc. can add up to quite a savings every month. Good luck!

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

Go to couponmom.com for a free service onl how to save money at the grocery store using coupons, or grocerygame.com for the same type sevice, but it costs a bit...personally, I use grocerygame.com because I think it's better, hardly ever has any mistakes, and easier to use. You can try it free for 1 month use me as your reference [email protected]____.com can also save on things like eating out by using coupons in the entertainment book, or look for places where kids eat free. Carino's has a family night on Monday's where you can feed your family for like $20. Go to the movies during the day when it's cheaper, etc. etc. there are TONS of ways to save money. Oh, buy whole bags of chips and then divide them into smaller bags for lunches or use resuable containers to put them in so you get the benefit of buying in bulk without the expense. Try southernsavers.com blog for deals and survivingthestores.com for deals too.

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S.E.

answers from Wichita Falls on

Start a spening diary. It's really hard to figure out where to save money until you know where you spend it. Write down every penny you and your husband spendfor at least a month and for what (it works best over three months). After doing this, I put myself on a cash allowance for all non neccesities(cokes, eating out, presents, etc.) and that stopped the unexplained drain on our expenses (you know, the money that just seems to disappear).

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B.V.

answers from Dallas on

Watch for the sales on items you use a lot of. For example I recently bought 20 boxes of 200 count kleenix for .99 per box. There was a coupon in the store for .55 off three boxes of kleenix. I used 6 coupons, making them less than .83 per box. (We use a lot of kleenix and the 200 count are usually about $2.00) When the stores have the "by 10 and get a large discount" you don't have to buy 10 of the same items. You can mix them up. The way it works is if you buy 10 of the sale items they give you a $5.00 credit. Usually the discounts are really good. The trick is to buy only the sale items. On my last shopping trip I got a $20 credit and all the items I bought were things we use all the time and they ended up much less than I would have paid for them. I really stock up when these sales are on.

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J.G.

answers from Cleveland on

To add to Angela meal ideas... I like making a whole chicken or turkey now and then. On the first night we have it w/ potatoes, gravy & a veg. (kinda like Thanksgiving dinner). I keep some of the broth in a jar in the fridge for another night and save all the extras. Usually we have lots of gravy - so there is left overs. I take the left over gravy add some left over meat & put it over egg noodles & bread w/ a veg. On night 3 I use the jar of broth gel... sautee cut up carrots, celery & onions - then add broth, meat, parsley, water and salt & pepper. Let it boil a little for about 10 - 15 min, then add a small noodle and cook by directions (I use letter & numbers since my kids are so small). Plus, you have meat for sandwiches for lunch if it's a nice size bird.

You can also do the gravy & meat w/ egg noodles and bread with pot roast left overs.

Spagetti is always a 2 night meal for us... we eat it one night, then wait a few nights & eat it again.

Home made soups are always good meals... a lot of them can use left over meats in your fridget or streach a pound of meat into 2 meals. My family loves vegtable beef soup. I use tomatoes I can myself (but you can use tomatoe juice or squshed stewed tomatoes), a bag of frozen mix veg., 3 peeled and cut up potatoes, an onion, a stalk of cut up celery, 1/2 head cut up cabbage, 2 or 3 beef boyon cubes, worcestershire sause, salt & peper (to taste) and 1# stewmeat/cheap cut up meat (outside browned a little) or left beef of any kind. Mix it all toghter then add water till it covers everything or fills a large pot. We can eat soup for 2 or 3 meals (2 dinners & a lunch) and there are 5 of us & the kids will eat 3 bowls each.

If you need a cake - bake it... it's only about $5 for the mix & iceing instead of $20 for a baked one.

We also don't do a lot of "extra" stuff... no movies, renting movies or dinning out. We try to go to local parks/playgrounds for entertainment or buy cheap DVDs at the supermarket so that we can watch them over and over - sometimes you can get good ones for only $5 (which is how much it cost to rent them). Also, we play board games with the kids & sometimes just me & hubby after the kids go to bed.

We also have a grocey store w/ fuelperks... for every $50 you spend you get .10 off gas per gallon up to 30 gallons. We buy gift card (Home Depot, Toys R Us, book stores, or anywhere else we are going to shop) from the grocery store to get the fuelperks. It have saved us about $800 last year in gas cost.

Coupons are always a help - sometimes you can visit sites of companies you use a lot & have them send you coupons or get the Sunday paper... a lot of the times you will get more in coupon savings then you spend on the paper. And if you try to only by what is on sale it's helps $ to go farther.

Check out second hand stores for clothes & other items... I have found clothes with tags still on them for my kids at the Goodwill & Salvation Army (I've gotten away with school shopping for only $20 there - 4 pars of pants, 6-8 shirts, a dress, and a few skirts). I've also found used dishes that match the ones I have, toys, books, movies & more in good shape for a dollar or less.

Pay bills online through your bank site - it saves on check cost & stamps.

It's hard for me to think of what all we do... we have been a one income family since before our kids were born. We are living on less then what the goverment says a family of two would be living in poverty with. But we manage to raise our kids (3 & 1 due in July) on it, still have fun & do get the kids special things now & then. So, for us it's not a saving thing - it has been a way of life for so long, that it's just natural for me & hard for me to pin point what I do to save $. If I do think of anything else, I'll try to add it later.

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S.B.

answers from Dallas on

We got rid of cable. We did this about 8 years ago. Instead we have a laptop hooked up to our tv. We use netflix and take advantage of their "watch it now" feature. There are also several websites that will link you to copies of tv shows. The hubby and I keep up on all the cable shows our friends watch, just without the bill attached to it.

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V.T.

answers from Dallas on

i didn't read all the responses, but i love dave ramsey!! keeping track of where your money goes helps a lot.. i went through all our bills, cut out the caller id, call waiting. (we actually eventually cut out the home phone completley). cut dish down to the minimum. don't go see movies we redbox. cut down our cell phone minutes to what we absolutly use.
I also plan out the meals for the week before i go grocery shopping, check for needed staples in the pantry, make a list and stick with it!!
we also continue to give to charity. i believe God will bless you with gifts when you are giving yourself!

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D.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Check out couponmom.com where you can find a specific grocery store in your area and be given a breakdown of the ale item and the % off that the item currently sells for. It also tells you what coupon flyer/date that the applicable coupon is available in.
Also, if you have an ALDI near you, start shopping there!

F.M.

answers from San Antonio on

I didn't read all the answers either, but we are very budget oriented. Here's a few of the things we do:

- stock up. When chickens are on sale for 88cents/pound, we buy 6 of them. When almost any other meat is on sale for $1/pound, we buy a few and put them in the deep freeze.

- get rid of text messaging. Not sure how much it costs, but there's either actual use of phone or email instead.

- tv. we use bunny ears. we get most local channels.

- resale shop. More for my son. I rarely buy him brand new clothes.

- cook. We go out to eat maybe once a month, maybe once every two months. cooking is so much cheaper.

- heater/ac. start wearing your sweater indoors and keep the heater set lower, like 65 degrees. in the summer, acclimate yourself to 78/80 degrees inside. You'll get used to it (maybe?) I did. Husband got too hot, but it was his idea to keep the ac limited. We turned it cooler at night so he could sleep.

- rid yourself of bad habits. smoking, candy, soda. We used to have a stash of candy (maybe spending $5 a week). We don't have the stash anymore, so we save a few bucks and save a few calories too. Husband buys LoneStar to keep the beer intake a little cheaper.

- freebies4mom.com - they have free samples a lot that are mailed to me. Sometimes there are coupons. But I'm not a huge coupon fan. I am tempted to buy something I don't normally buy, which means I buy one thing extra that I probably don't need.

Oh and I see you are new to Texas. Welcome! My husband moved here from California too.

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