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Official SS Poll: What do you do to eliminate bills / cut down expenses?

Discussion in 'Official SS Contests, Polls, Etc.' started by Support, Oct 12, 2016.

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What do you do to eliminate bills / cut down expenses?

  1. Make your own ______ (e.g. bread, laundry detergent, shampoo, etc.)

    24 vote(s)
    72.7%
  2. Maintain a vegetable / fruit garden

    28 vote(s)
    84.8%
  3. Raise my own livestock

    21 vote(s)
    63.6%
  4. Use discount coupons

    10 vote(s)
    30.3%
  5. Recycle / Repurpose

    27 vote(s)
    81.8%
  6. Buy at Thrift shops

    22 vote(s)
    66.7%
  7. Can / Preserve / Freeze your own

    26 vote(s)
    78.8%
  8. Cook at home and avoid eating at restaurants

    27 vote(s)
    81.8%
  9. Others: (Please specify)

    7 vote(s)
    21.2%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Oct 12, 2016
    Support

    Support Almost Self-Reliant Administrator

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    Who doesn't love saving?! May it be lessening your electric bill or pulling off a DIY, every dollar saved is huge deal!

    So tell us, what do you do to lessen your bills or cut down your expenses?

    If your answer is not included in the list, please choose Others and comment your answer in the discussion below.
     
    DarkRaven and Dianna Starr like this.
  2. Oct 12, 2016
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    My big pet peeve is the electric bill. I'm fanatical about turning things off, or thermostats up, or thermostats down depending on the circumstances. Instead of running electricity to the barn (besides it being hard work and expensive) I bought two solar motion detector activated lights and mounted them on the barn. They work great!

    Also hate to pay interest, so we pay cash whenever possible and never carry a balance on a credit card. We use an AMEX almost exclusively (pay it in full every month) and there are reward points associated with purchases. Last year we had enough reward points that we were able to get gift cards for all the kid/grandkids for Christmas and it didn't cost us a dime!
     
    Dianna Starr and tortoise like this.
  3. Oct 12, 2016
    NH Homesteader

    NH Homesteader Super Self-Sufficient

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    Ooh the electric bill is a battle in my house. My husband is so forgetful and he refuses to be cold so he cranks the heat in the winter. Apparently he doesnt own any sweatshirts? Haha. We have an outdoor pellet boiler but the blower uses a lot of electricity so the warmer it is, the more it runs.

    We have no credit cards and drive older vehicles so no car payment. We have a very low mortgage that will be paid off in 6 years. My biggest financial battle is student loans. Almost wish I never went to college (never mind grad school).
     
    Dianna Starr and terri9630 like this.
  4. Oct 12, 2016
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    This is going to sound terrible when I say it - but I'm going to say it anyway, lol. My biggest financial windfall was a bad divorce that turned out financially profitable for me. :hide I got my house free and clear, a nice lump sum of cash and a big fat 401k investment. Everytime, for the last 18 years, that I walk into my paid off house - I thank my ex husband, lol! Even my "new" husband thanks the old one, lol! :lol:
     
  5. Oct 12, 2016
    NH Homesteader

    NH Homesteader Super Self-Sufficient

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  6. Oct 21, 2016
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Almost Self-Reliant

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    By far, raising & preserving our own food is the most selected options. Probably the smaller livestock would be the MOST raised -- chickens, rabbits, pigs, goats & sheep.

    For me, my biggest "next" effort is to raise more of the feedstuff necessary for my animals on a year round basis. They get the leftovers, extras from garden, excess eggs & goat milk. I have been putting strips of some "mixed" forages in many pastures by lightly discing & broadcasting some mixed varieties of seed -- clover, rape, peas, grazing alfalfa, various grasses, turnips, millets, etc. I have about 13 acres of heavy pastures.

    This year the pigs have been placed in the field I would most like to convert (as to weed/grass variance) and I hope to get it lightly hit with the disc & graded to remove their over enthusiastically plowed areas. Don't want little ponds everywhere. Then I hope to put a heavier blend of forage that could be a permanent goat graze lot, used, rested, used.......thru the season. In this I hope to have a couple strips of milo, which will be left to mature & seed pods collected by hand. MAY have to hotwire that to preserve it from the grazing of the balance of the field. You see I have been thinking about this;)

    Three sisters will be planted in another area. Plan to harvest for self as it is prime, then let the corn & beans dry for storage -- and feed to chickens as I cook a pan for them. Corn can use for all and pumpkins will be used for same -- animal feed -- seeds were selected with this in mind. Turnips & mangel beets have a spot and I have had them go into winter in the ground, harvesting as needed. Mid winter they can be harvested and stored in hay, for later use.

    I will never get equipment to hay due to expense! Older units? I am NOT going to deal with repairs, etc. Just not. BUT have considered a side cutter, then raking & storing "loose". Have plans downloaded to make a hand baler.........not done, just at ready. Since the feed situation is the one thing I would like to get self-contained, I watch for seed on sale. Food plot seed for deer is a good source at end of season to buy mixed for better $$.

    What's working for you?
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  7. Nov 7, 2016
    tortoise

    tortoise Wild Hare

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    I could check off almost everything on that list, but my family income is shrinking and I need to be much more serious and careful. I'm pretty sure our animals are an expensive hobby with a side of meat. I don't even want to calculate at this point. Our sale lambs died. A fox killed ALL of our meat chickens this year. I couldn't get my rabbits to breed - can't figure out why. A late frost wiped out apple and raspberry crops. Feels like I'm paying for everything twice - once for the animals and then at the grocery store!
     
    Dianna Starr likes this.
  8. Nov 7, 2016
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    Oh man, @tortoise - that stinks in a big way. :hugs Hope you figure things out. Sounds like you're due for some good luck.
     
    Dianna Starr likes this.
  9. Nov 7, 2016
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Almost Self-Reliant

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    Sorry about your losses @tortoise -- hope things turn around for you. We all have/have had bad years. It hurts.

    Haven't seen you post much lately. Hope you will find time to check in more often. How are the kids?
     
    Dianna Starr likes this.
  10. Nov 7, 2016
    tortoise

    tortoise Wild Hare

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    Hi Mini Horses! I can't stay away from here for too long! :D Kids are good! DS9 is as sassy and oppositional as ever, and Baby is 18 months old and a little spitfire! A very responsible spitfire. Guess which one of my boys cleans up after himself? LOL, the Baby! Baby loves trucks, tractors and animals. He was born into the right family. :love
     

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