USKiwi Wrote:I am saving a lot of money due to being awake and alert with energy when I get home from work and making lunch for the next day instead of buying.
I was going to reply in USKiwi's post in this thread
in the Main Forum, but decided this was more off-topic and it belongs here in the Off-Topic forum.
USKiwi's post got me thinking about what my wife and I have done to save money lately. But we're always interested in learning more from others on how to be thrifty and yet live a relatively comfortable life.
Both my wife and I have been on the wonderful receiving end of what some have called "corporate downsizing". It was a shock for both of us to lose our jobs and all benefits and having to cash in my small 401k to make ends meet and pay down some debt. Now, I'm working in a "non-traditional" relatively low-paying job with no benefits, and I've learned that we really don't "need" a whole lot to survive comfortably. Packing lunches, not going out to eat, not spending a whole lot of money on what passes for "entertainment" these days... stuff can be done a whole lot cheaper if you really take time to think about it. After a while it becomes a game where you try to see how much money you can save. It's rewarding.
Some folks won't take it to the level we have, I realize. I gather free firewood from local tree cutting services and hand split all our winter firewood for our wood stove with my trusty Gransfors-Bruks splitting axe. I re-use my "disposable" CPAP filters by washing them out at least one time before replacing them (cutting my costs for filters in half). When my CPAP tubing cracks, I use electrical tape for repairs. I've been using my current nasal pillows and headgear for nearly a year now (thoroughly washing them and being gentle with them). I've used "fish antibiotics" personally because we have no health insurance. A lot of folks don't know that antibiotic pills designed for "aquarium use only" are the exact same pills that are distributed to pharmacies for human use, but they are cheaper and require no prescription. They come in the stardard human dosages - pills of 250 and 500 mg.
My wife is into couponing and we hardly ever pay more than 50% of retail price for most of our household consumables. We have a small, non-hybrid garden where we are learning to grow our own vegetables. I have a 12-volt cheap solar panel system that allows me to have limited lighting in the house for "free", plus I can power my CPAP with it. We go to yard sales and thrift stores - it's amazing what kind of stuff people just throw away or sell for pennies on the dollar, when all an item needs is a new screw or a cheap repair to become fully functional again. We live in a disposable society, and my wife and I are trying to break out of that type of thinking-- it helps the environment, plus it does wonders for our checkbook balance.
Do I feel "ashamed" that I'm over 50 and living like this? Heck no, it's a very self-satisfying way of life. We're becoming less dependent upon anyone else, any "system", "government" or "corporation". It's really a liberating feeling.
So, if times are (or have been) a bit tougher for you, what kinds of things did you do to live "life on the cheap