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

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

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

    Votes: 43 68.3%
  • Maintain a vegetable / fruit garden

    Votes: 53 84.1%
  • Raise my own livestock

    Votes: 42 66.7%
  • Use discount coupons

    Votes: 21 33.3%
  • Recycle / Repurpose

    Votes: 53 84.1%
  • Buy at Thrift shops

    Votes: 45 71.4%
  • Can / Preserve / Freeze your own

    Votes: 52 82.5%
  • Cook at home and avoid eating at restaurants

    Votes: 55 87.3%
  • Others: (Please specify)

    Votes: 17 27.0%

  • Total voters
    63

frustratedearthmother

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Hi shikauhr! Welcome, from Texas! Glad to have you aboard. Where are you located? (general area, not asking for an address, lol) You mentioned the high cost of water, so I'm just wondering. Sounds like you have some good skills and we would love to hear more about your projects.
 

sumi

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Welcome to the forum @shikauhr! Between us we have a bit of knowledge on things like building, animals, etc, so feel free to ask any questions on any topic we can help you with :) And please do keep us posted on your projects!
 

baymule

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Haven't found anyone that doesn't love to save a little money. We have a PV system on the house to help with the electrical bill, but we need a bigger system and are trying to save up the money to get one. We have a garden, which is helpful, though I am wanting to expand this with an aquaponics system, as we have to deal with the drought here and the high cost of water. We recycle and reuse alot, and even have a worm bin. Wanting to expand further, but my wife and I are looking for some land we can get. As I do have some carpentry skills, and mason skills, I was planning on building my own house, though planning on a microhome, vice anything big, have more animals than people at the moment. Will keep everyone advised on how things are going. We are wanting to learn as much as we can from others, but, like everyone, we will most likely make our own mistakes here and there, and with your help, we should be able to figure out a solution to them. As the old adage goes, the more minds you have, the more options you will get. And, I've found this to be true during my working life.
Welcome to SS, this is a great place to learn lots of stuff. I bought an Excalibur dehydrator due to discussion here, as well as a Family Grain mill and a All American 941 pressure canner. I had a Walmart dehydrator and a cheap pressure canner, used both for years. But I was ready to step it up, thanks to SS and the people here, I got just what I wanted. Glad you joined us, now go over to the new member section and tell us about your SS journey!
 

Myrth

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Prices are going up, up, up! I am changing some things and doubling down on others to make ends meet.

One thing I have started doing very recently is doing stock up runs to ALDI. There is one within driving distance, and the prices are dramatically less than other grocery stores available to me, even utilizing coupons or other store brands. ALDI doesn't take coupons. They are still cheaper. I was surprised how much farther our grocery budget went at ALDI. Also, I check their sale flier online as I make up my list before I head into town for a shopping trip. Some of their sales are jaw-droppingly good and so buying a bunch for canning or freezing is often worthwhile. I took DD with me when she was here for a visit and she is now a convert.

We also go to the local farmers market for things we don't grow (or that we don't produce enough of yet). Their prices are good. The freshness - well, the produce hasn't been shipped in - it is almost as fresh as home grown.

I bake almost all of our bread now, using my homegrown sourdough starter. I make our soap. I need to start making our laundry soap too!! I freeze and can and dehydrate food. I get organic flour online as it is way cheaper and of wonderful quality (I recently discovered Breadtopia and was happy to find better prices and really high quality).

We garden veggies and fruits. We raise chickens - had to restart that due to a disaster, and we are approximately 6 to 8 weeks from pullet eggs - yippee!! I raise some of our chicken feed and I ferment the commercial feed that I give them to increase the nutritional value and to decrease the amount of commercial feed needed.

I am looking into getting back into dairy goats. I got out of goats some years back so that we could actually travel - that twice per day milking really keeps one close to home! But I miss the great bounty they provided for very little cost. Besides, with costs soaring and our earnings rather flat, that whole travel thing isn't going to happen. I think getting back into goats would be very good in this crazy economy! Besides, I miss them - I missed them as soon as I sold them.
 

frustratedearthmother

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rices are going up, up, up! I am changing some things and doubling down on others to make ends meet.
You are right about that! I sale shop too - but haven't tried the local Aldi's. Maybe I should!

I've gotten really fanatical about our electric bill. So fanatical in fact that I got our July bill to drop $10.00 lower than our June bill. Crazy if you understand June, July and August in my part of Texas. Of course, DH isn't loving it, lol. Oh well...he'll get used to it.

Keep the tips coming!!

And, welcome back!
 

Myrth

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Thanks @frustratedearthmother - yes you should try ALDI. Now that I shop there, I wish I had started years ago.

I police our electric also. The A/C is turned off and windows are opened whenever temperatures allow. Ceiling fans are cheaper to run, so when possible we do that. When the A/C is on, I keep it set at a higher temp than we used to use.

I also use blinds to keep summertime morning and afternoon sun out. That can reduce how hard the A/C has to work. It is amazing how much passive solar gain we get (I use that to our advantage in winter, to reduce our heating costs).

Also, unplug anything not in use. Many things use electric even when "off" so they can start up quickly. These are also known as phantom loads. It is surprising how much power things use when off!
 
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Myrth

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Another cost saver that is also an emergency prep is my Solavore solar oven. I got it this summer and I like using it because the energy is free and cooking outside doesn't heat up the house and make the A/C run more - so it saves on propane and electric.

I also like that it is another means of cooking during a power outage, and I had wanted one for that reason for several years. In our area we sometimes lose power after storms, or randomly for no apparent reason. So a solar oven is a nice back-up. Obviously it requires sunshine, so it isn't going to be a sole back-up, but it is a useful no-fuel cooking method for sunny weather, which conserves fuel (propane, wood, etc.).

It is sturdier than I could have made on my own, although a super handy person could probably make an even sturdier one more cheaply. I haven't had it long enough to report on how long it lasts. It has been getting a lot of use this summer, though.
 

cabinguy

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Another cost saver that is also an emergency prep is my Solavore solar oven. I got it this summer and I like using it because the energy is free and cooking outside doesn't heat up the house and make the A/C run more - so it saves on propane and electric.

I also like that it is another means of cooking during a power outage, and I had wanted one for that reason for several years. In our area we sometimes lose power after storms, or randomly for no apparent reason. So a solar oven is a nice back-up. Obviously it requires sunshine, so it isn't going to be a sole back-up, but it is a useful no-fuel cooking method for sunny weather, which conserves fuel (propane, wood, etc.).

It is sturdier than I could have made on my own, although a super handy person could probably make an even sturdier one more cheaply. I haven't had it long enough to report on how long it lasts. It has been getting a lot of use this summer, though.
Myrth Ive been thinking about a solar oven for camp,tell a little about how long it takes to cook in it and what you cook in it.
I start looking at them and kind of stoped when I saw the gosun a vacuum tube type solar cooker.
 
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Myrth

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My solar oven gets to 300 and up to 350 depending on clouds and how often I turn it to follow the sun. Because you can't just set the oven temp, you may have to adjust cooking time accordingly. If the oven is at 300 and your recipe calls for 350, you will add time to your recipe.

I have baked breads, meats, stews, etc.

You can use it like a slow cooker for stews also, and not fuss with turning it to follow the sun. It won't get as hot done that way, and behaves more like a CrockPot.
 
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