With The Economy Being At An All Time Low?

@KrauseHome (35517)
United States
June 28, 2008 7:34pm CST
and everything seeming to go higher and higher, how are you doing with making ends meet? Like when it comes to being able to afford to put Gas in your Carm buy groceries, etc. it now takes at least 2 incomes, and sometimes 3 to do this. We are struggling at times, and wanting to Sell our Condo and buy something different in the process as well. It seems like you can almost never make enough money these days to completely be able to make ends meet as it seems like the more you make, the more you spend, etc. So what are some money saving hints and tips you have found that you could offer to help people be able to live in this tight economy, and have you had to take on another job, or part time job to be able to do so? Looking forward to everyone's thoughts... ~~TINA~~
6 people like this
15 responses
• United States
29 Jun 08
My husband works as a manager for a concrete company which was recently bought out. With the buy out and the construction industry getting hit hard by the real estate industry, he has not received any of the raises or bonuses that we were used to getting. On that note, I was working and because of the cost of gas and daycare for two infants...I had to stay home. I am now working part-time from home doing transcription and am taking care of my babies, but I'm not making nearly the amount of money that I need to be/would like to be. My husband decided to get a second job, so that helps supplement and leave us with a little wiggle room. To save money, I try to make as few trips as necessary in our car to conserve gas. I also do most of the grocery shopping (i.e. meats and frozen veggies) once every couple of months at Sam's Club which saves us from a lot of impulse buying that we were doing when we shopped once a week. Really the only things I go to the store for on a weekly basis are fruits, milk, and bread. Just a tip because milk has gotten so expensive, it's about $.60-1.00 cheaper at Sam's Club. We've also adjusted our temperature in the house and keep it considerably warmer (we live in Florida) than we used to.
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
29 Jun 08
I wish we had a Sam's Club here locally. My nearest one is about 40 miles away. And with the cost of gas I'm not driving that far these days. I'm like you - I'm in south Texas and we are keeping our AC at a higher temp. I don't like it, but I'm doing it. LOL
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
30 Jun 08
In Canada we have always had high gas prices. So we do most of our economizing at home. We keep the lights off of the room when we are not in it. We cook from scratch, we own our own home and we did that by doing bi weekly payments. We use those funny twisty light bulbs that save energy. We go grocery shopping once a week and we buy the no name brands, I also get bread from the clearance shelf, but I would never get old vegetables or old lettuce. I have taken to get rice, noodles, raisins, nuts etc. from bulk rather than pay for the packages. We do out to the Mall almost every day and we have to drive because my husband had a stroke. I do think that part of the reason is the taking of the corn fields from food production to oil and not allowing drilling in Alaska. I think the Democrats want the US to be reduced to a third world country and they are on the way to do it.
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
30 Jun 08
We watch sales, and stock up on things when they are really cheap. I can still usually keep my grocery budget under $300 or $350 at most per month. That's for two adults, one toddler (who actually eats more than me!), 3 dogs, and a cat! I use lots of coupons as well. We also don't drive much extra anymore. We do live 20 miles from base (my husband is active duty USAF), so we use quite a bit of gas just for my husband to get back and forth to work, but we really limit any extra trips. We have two cars, but right now we only drive the minivan. My son and I walk when we want to get out of the house, except every other weekend, when we go grocery shopping, and buy other things that we need from CVS, Target, or somewhere like that. We're letting magazine subscriptions expire now. The only ones we are keeping are the free ones, and the one that my toddler really loves. We would consider getting rid of internet, but I'm a stay at home mom, so I do some work online. My husband also does a few things online, and between the two of us, we average around $300-350 per month, so the internet obviously has to stay.
1 person likes this
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
29 Jun 08
Well I read thru some of the posts here before responding and was surprised by a few of them. Especially when it came to groceries and meals. A few things I do to help cut the cost of groceries, is I do not buy ANYTHING in single serving size packs. You get so much less for paying for so much packaging. Also, the only thing I buy to nuke is my frozen veggie packs. Everything else I cook from scratch. I ALWAYS make a weekly menu plan and then make my list based upon what meals I am planning. This enables me to not only make healthy meals, but to make sure I have what I need and not make wasteful trips for items I've forgotten. Plus, by sticking to my list I pick up alot less impulse and junk food items. We don't go anywhere right now, especially since I lost my job 4 weeks ago. Matter of fact I haven't left home since last Monday. A quarter tank of gas has now lasted me over 4 weeks. Another thing I do is set the AC on 78 when I go to sleep and turn on the fan to help keep cool. During the day we don't turn it below 76. Turn off lights you aren't using, shut the curtains during the heat of the day to help keep the place cool and the sun out. Also, we do all our laundry in cold water. It saves money and the laundry comes out just as clean. Plus you can get away with using only half the amount of detergent they recommend. Don't you find it odd that THEY tell you how much to use? We use 1/2 the amount suggested and have no problems getting things clean. Most of these things I've done for years, they aren't new things for me. It not only helps with expenses but some of them help the planet.
1 person likes this
@fatragu (349)
• United States
29 Jun 08
We don't drive many places anymore. My kids and I take the bus whenever possible. We also don't buy as much snack food as we used to. We look for sales instead of just buying because we want it. We eat alot less meat.
1 person likes this
• Canada
29 Jun 08
I don't have a car, so I don't hae to worry about gas directly, although the price of gas affects shipping, postage, and eerything else that involves transportation. It's cheaper for me to use the internet at he coffee shop than it is at home, so I use it here, rather than payig the extra to hae internet at home, when I'm never actually there.
1 person likes this
@terri0824 (4991)
• United States
29 Jun 08
I was already working extra hours just to make ends meet before the rising prices of everything. I'm just thankful that God has provided me with everything that I need, might not be everything I want but I've never gone hungry or not had a roof over my head or gone without transportation. For these things I am very thankful. Because I know there are many without the things that I just listed.
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
29 Jun 08
You are so right. People often forget others are struggling. Unfortunately I've turned into one of those strugglers. My ONE extra I allow myself is internet. I'm disabled, and also lost my part time job due to my health last month. I was always one of those who donated to Food Banks when I was healthy. Now I'm going to have to utilize one of those myself. We just never know what our future will bring do we?
@sedel1027 (17854)
• United States
29 Jun 08
The bets money saving tip: clip your coupons and watch for sales. Take a bit of work but I have saved a ton of money that way. I have a friend that actually got money back one day while grocery shopping. If I wasn't there to witness it, I would never have believed it! Make a meal plan and stick to it! Make items like bread and pasta at home. Try to do at least one "cheap" meal a week - like beans and rice.
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
29 Jun 08
You can also find online coupon sites now. You just print them out on your printer. Plus if you do a search just typing in "free stuff" you will find all sorts of things. Companies love to send you free samples to try their products. LOL
@trish32 (1471)
• United States
5 Jul 08
At first I started clipping coupons for things that I never really clipped coupons for before. Then when that wasn't enough we started consolidating as many of our errands as possible into one trip. I've also started working more hours than I was before. I also turned the air conditioning up to 74 instead of 72 to try to save a little on the electric bill. I even run the air conditioning in my car less than I used to, as that helps to improve gas mileage. I check the air pressure in my car tires more, too. I've been told that if the air is a little low it will decrease your gas mileage.
@gem4678 (220)
• United States
2 Jul 08
Everyone is getting tight, my mother in law keeps saying this is a wake up call to America to quit wasting everything and to be more conservative. I usually spend about 350-400 a month on groceries for a family of 4 however my kids are only 1 and 3 but are very picky eaters. We also spend I'm sure more than we need as we usually have a decent amount of money left after the bills until recently anyway. My husband works on commission and until now we have been doing great now all of a sudden we find ourselves struggling a little bit. It is hard because we never know how much he will get and it varies so much from paycheck to paycheck. Unfortunately I don't think its going to get better anytime soon, nobody wants to do what it would take that actually holds the power to do it. There are so many things that could be done that would ease these problems if not get rid of them over a few years I believe but nobody wants to do anything about it, of course those that can do something make enough that they don't care, but anyway thats of topic a bit. But yes we are all hurting some and you are totally right you could get a $500 dollar a month raise now and you would still struggle because as Americans instead of spending what you need and saving the rest we grow accustomed to living with what we get no matter how much or little. Almost everyone lives paycheck to paycheck no matter how much they have. By no means am I saying everyone I swear my dad has been putting about half his paycheck into the bank forever he's smart to bad we weren't all a little more aware of our finances.
@ambkeb (782)
• United States
29 Jun 08
I really should find a job because they have stopped working my husband 5 days a week. For the time anyways...we are just waiting for the day when he starts working normally. Which they are saying will be sometime in July! WOOT WOOT. We only have the one vehicle and very few actual bills. Car, internet/cable/phone, and electric. That is it. Because we JUST baught the car because our truck was getting ready to poop on us and he hasnt been working normal...we have gotten behind. But we will get back to where we should be. It is just taking time. We have also started ONLY getting what we need...not what we want...when we go grocery shopping. All the snack stuff we were buying has dissappeared in our home. My husband has also started taking leftovers for lunch at work and that has saved us a little bit of money as well.
@wachit14 (3600)
• United States
29 Jun 08
The first thing I try to do is to cut back on my driving. I consolidate my errands to the point of only maybe making one or two stops. I clip coupons and eat at home much more. We don't go to the movies very often either. Having said all that, I can say that our life is pretty good. I do feel bad though for those who have to struggle to pay their rent and buy food. That's a scary situation to be in right now with the price of oil being so darn high.
@lishiwei (1553)
• China
29 Jun 08
It's really very hard to do that.All the things is higher and higher.I'm so shame that I still relay on my parents now.I think I also should make money by myself now. Thanks for you reminding!
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
29 Jun 08
I've always been frugal (some call me cheap. LOL). Always looking for a cheaper way. I've been this way most of my life, so I really haven't had to make many changes to live with today's economy. I belong to a site called "The Dollar Stretcher". The site is: http://www.stretcher.com/subscribe/subscribeDS.cfm. You don't have to subscribe if you go there, but this page in particular has all the information about the site. I'm not getting a penny from it... it's not a referral thing. They send you weekly emails with great money-saving tips. And, if you have a tip that they haven't covered, you can send it in and they will post it in one of their weekly ezines. I love the tips they give in this site!
@avidwhit (1492)
• Mexico
29 Jun 08
Live in communities and trade for things thus avoid paying the triple taxes on things. Go back to old ways of living and eating to cut out excess luxury. Get involved with a Co operative group down size and recycle. Be concscience about what you do and how you spend. Do more things yourself for yourself. become more self sufficent. This seems like the mainstream way of thought nowdays.