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Thread: What are you doing to cut back?

  1. #1

    What are you doing to cut back?

    With the price of gas and food going up, what are doing to cut back? I've cut down on unnecessary trips and watching what I buy at the grocery store. What about the rest of you?
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Jul 2003
    SW-Coastal WA
    As stated previously: I gave up my car.

    I've done lots of other things to cut expenses, but the short version of that is "getting well so I don't need so many expensive supplements...etc"

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries
    * Cutting back a LOT of entertainment: eating out, movies, and so on. The library down the street has replaced Blockbuster.
    * Didn't renew JCC membership ($500/year); giving up curling in the coming fall (about $1,600-$1,800/year with clubhouse dues, bar tab, bonspiels, etc.).
    * Thermostat off or in the low 60s.
    * Few luxuries; buying only essential new items (clothes, etc) as older clothes get worn, torn and so on. Last major purchase of the year may be a refurbished HDTV set -- the televisions at Casa Cyburbia are still all analog -- and hybrid bike.
    * Probably cutting HBO.
    * Selling many nonessential items (old stereo equipment I no longer use, gold college ring I haven't worn in a decade and a half, etc.)
    * May begin to bake more bread. (I don't have a bread machine; I've made loaves the old fashioned way.) May also cut back on meat and eat far fewer processed/prepared foods, although it's difficult if you're single.
    * Using half of the normal recommended amount of various consumables for many things: laundry detergent (still seem to get loads clean), shampoo, dishwasher detergent, and so on.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
    May 2005
    Blog entries
    Not buying new clothes
    Going home on the weekends so I can get free home-cooked food; Also mooching off friends and other organizations for food (hey, people have mooched off me before, so it's my turn now)
    Holding off on some major purchases I'd like to make (car stereo, computer repair, car repair)
    I'll probably be going home for lunch a lot this summer, rather than eating out
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus
    Jun 2003
    Pretty bare bones here already.

    Have not considered altering vacation plans yet ?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
    Jul 2006
    Slightly Off-Center
    This year:

    Finish paying off all credit debt except mortgages
    Possible refinance of one mortgage depending on rates
    Additional payments against mortage principal
    Trying to minimize unnecessary car trips
    Win the lottery

    Next year:

    Dropping APA/AICP
    Win the lottery again
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  7. #7
    Nov 2005
    In the Peach State
    I watch movies in the house rather than going out and spending what I consider to be a rip-off in pricing.

    I am trying to eat out less.

    Watching how much I am driving, trying to reduce mileage.

  8. #8
    Jun 2005
    I'm taking a new job and we are moving so MrT won't be spending 3.5 hours in the car (and spending the money-about $7500 annually-on gas). We got an apartment that is two miles (if that) from work. We could walk, but only if we want to take our lives into our hands on those busy roads.

    I've just gotten out of school so I don't have a lot to "cut back." I tend to buy nice, expensive clothes, but I buy almost solely from a store I worked at and know all the sales, my sizes, when is the best time to buy, and I save a lot of money that way.

    We've been eating out more in the past few weeks because the house is in the middle of a move, but generally we try to cook for ourselves and find new recipes to try.

    I did spend $38 on foundation (makeup) last weekend. Tee hee hee.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
    Aug 2005
    in a meeting
    I find all available cash goes for just what you said: groceries and gas

  10. #10
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
    Oct 2002
    Under the Table
    Blog entries
    Rarely buy lunch
    Have basic cable (20 channels)
    Gave up net flix
    Sold SUV
    Buying conventional food products (used to do more organics)
    Bring coffee to work in thermos
    Do not eat out
    Sold boat (but bought camper...)
    Use paddle power for boating
    and the biggest....shopping a Walmart

  11. #11
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Feb 2004
    on my 15 minute break
    Grow more of our own food instead of buying it at the store.

    Will likely be going down to one car this year.

    We already live quite modestly. There's not a lot of other areas left to (or rather that we need to) cut back on.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  12. #12
    Sep 2005
    North Florida
    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    I find all available cash goes for just what you said: groceries and gas
    This is me.....I am finding that the same $100 I spent for food three months age now costs around $135. But it could be worse...I saw some story the other day where in Hati they were cooking mashed corn, water and DIRT into flat pancakes to live. The dirt added bulk so that it would be more filling.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
    Aug 2005
    Above urban19's plane field
    Well...nothing. The higher cost of gas and food hasn't made any sort of noticable dent in our disposable income, for whatever reason.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  14. #14
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
    Apr 2004
    Tri-Cities, Washington
    Blog entries
    What am I doing?*

    Staying home more.

    Eating out less.

    Basically one car family right now, the SUV sits in the garage until its use is warranted.

    Making and growing more of our own food.

    Avoiding unnecessary trips.

    Shopping at the Food Co-op (with other like-minded simpleton hippies)

    Buying more local beer.

    *-This of course means one thing. These are things that I have conducted before this "crisis", well everything except for the dining out part. However, there are still things that I will pay for out of my own ethics.
    I will still:
    -Buy more organic, fair trade and local food
    -NOT shop at Wal-Mart
    ...and others.

    I live, self admittedly, in a bedroom community that averages 10 miles to the nearest employment centers here in Northern Colo.. While I now work (and walk) in Town, the extra time it takes to walk allows me to see more of my neighborhood and neighbors and, true to my cynical nature, I make observations about them.

    Maybe people I see are not cutting back. I still see a lot o single occupancy vehicles and large footprint living going on. If the temparature rises above 70 degrees, our neighbors' air conditioning is on and will run throughout the day and night. I see others that drive very large trucks as commuter vehicles and I see many that shop for processed foods and cheap Wal-Mart stuff that is not recycled (a major past-time in my 'hood is to place the garage bins right in the middle of the sidewalk on trash day, so yes, I see what is inside).

    To my observation, people haven't cut back. They have continued to live the "American" lifestyle, but now they are just complaining more.

    America is only 5% of the world's population
    We consume 30% of the world's resources
    We generate 30% of the world's waste
    To keep the American lifestyle going, we need 3.5 planets.

    A side effect of the energy crunch will hopefully be a forced reduction in our usages and wastes. Much like weening a baby though, expect many to be cranky.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone

  15. #15
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
    May 2005
    Metro Detroit
    I'm not doing anything to cut back. My family's financial sitation is much better than just a year ago. Our income gains over the past year easily pays for any increases in gas price.

    That being said, we still continue to live quite frugually. Small house/mortage, no real extravagances. So I guess we're just keeping the status quo. Although we will be downsizing the SUV probably next year now that my girls are getting a little bigger (much less "baby" stuff to haul around).

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    We have tended to drive less, or at least shorter distances, for non-essential trips.

    The thermostat has been set to 65 degrees.

    We will be growing our own vegetables this year. Actually, we even grew a few in containers last year when we were renting, but now that we have a house again (with over an acre), we will grow on a much larger scale.

    I have been taking lunch to work or going home at noon instead of eating out. My morning coffee trips are down to perhaps one each week, and I have an instant cappucino mix at the office if I need a fix.

    We are cutting back to basic cable.

    I am making my own furniture.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  17. #17
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
    Jun 2005
    NYC area
    Nothing much to cut back here. I don't have cable, have a 2.5 mile commute (which I will soon being doing by bike) and don't buy much of anything unless I need it. I live pretty simply but I do get high-quality groceries and I'm not about to compromise and buy stuff full of high-fructose corn syrup - I'd rather take the financial hit. The things I do spend the majority of $$ on are things that I can't cut back on at the moment, like utilities/rent. I'm going to be moving to a new place soon and will be looking for a roommate, that'll help too. I've been going into NYC less too - the $7.50 train fare each way is a killer.

  18. #18
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Jun 2003
    at the neighboring pub
    We are already pretty modest and have been for the last few years following our Dave Ramsey indoctrination (M'skis 3rd Law of Ramseydynamics).

    After thinking, we're buying much less meat that we used to. Most of that is for health reasons, though the rise in meat prices has created more motivation. Oddly, our local farmers market is now slightly cheaper than the grocery store on produce. I'm guessing this is because of transportation costs.

    We've sworn off bottled water, but that doesn't have much to do with rising costs as it does environmentalism. I've been wanting to do this, but had a hard time finding reuseable bottles that I felt I could clean the inside adequately at work. I found what I was looking for a few weeks ago, so we're now on track with that.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  19. #19
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Mar 2007
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Once inflationg began to go up, I decided to ask a rich girl to marry me. She said yes and we tie the knot next month.

    But, since she's not going to let me quit my job and be a trophy husband, I have gotten back into the habit of packing a lunch as often as possible and stopped going to the bar for dinner between work and school... but I do miss the $2 Ghettoblasters!
    1 3 5
    2 4 6 R

  20. #20
    Well, my income has increased considerably with the new job, but I'm trying to live as if I were still on my old wage packet (£7,000 ish p.a.) before I get too used to having all this lovely money. With expenses, mileage and car scheme bonus, I'm almost on triple the pay.

    This means:
    * Avoiding driving unless strictly necessary, so no car trips just to shops, recycling, etc. - I try to arrange things so I do "loops" or complete more than one task in my travels.
    * Walk where ever possible - I live just outside of my (small) town centre and ten minutes from a major supermarket, so this is easy - provided I only buy what I can carry!
    * When I cook, I make enough for several people and freeze portions.
    * As I don't cook very often, really, but I buy fresh fruit and veg and freeze in amounts that I can then defrost and cook with. I do both this and the previous point more now that I have moved to a house with freezer space. My previous rental had just an ice box.
    * Where I buy ready-made foods, I tend to buy the cheapest / in-house ranges.
    * I grow my own herbs as well as some fruit (strawberries, gooseberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants). These are all growing year round in indoor pots. I don't have room for more plants and am now struggling to keep the hellhound off what I have.
    * Not being very girly, I keep clothes, make-up and such to a minimum.
    * I don't go out much (does it show? ). I watch movies on basic british tv. Actually, I have freeview, which is a few channels more. I think I get 20.

    On the more expensive side, I use the Internet a lot and I play WoW, but my biggest single entertainment/luxury expense is probably books and magazines. The books are usually second-hand and shared with my sister, while the magazines (which I also share) are as much an investment from the hobby point of view.

    My biggest single expense at the moment aside from house rent, is a brand spanking new VW Golf BlueMotion. I paid a considerable amount of money (considering what I've just said above) as an initial payment and the monthly payments are a little over what work gives me to be in a presentable car. It's diesel, which costs more, anyway, and living in a relatively isolated part of the UK, petrol stations lay it on a bit thick so my local charges £1.20 ish per litre. On the more positive side, I'm currently averaging 13.4 miles per litre(almost 61 miles per UK gallon or almost 51 miles per US gallon). From a work point of view it is absolutely necessary to have a car as I need to access several out of the way landfill sites I couldn't otherwise get to. What isn't strictly necessary is the new model!

  21. #21
    Having a baby

    Although me and my Fiance are going to start taking one car to work and I will just drop her off each day.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
    Aug 2005
    like others have mentioned, we're pretty frugal here. but that is mostly because we just bought a house and got out of grad school.

    -no cable.
    -in winter thermostat was on 56 or 58, now it is pretty much off. though i must say sleeping in thermal underwear and a winter hat isn't doing much for the sex life.
    -no new clothes in sometime
    -don't go out much, prefer staying home and getting movies through netflix. that way i can at least SHHHHH the people or animals that are making too much noise!
    -we live close to a grocery store so unless we need to do a big shop we walk to the store.
    -now that the weather is a bit nicer i'll be walking or biking to work.

    biggest expense for us is gas for the BF's 50 mile one-way commute. but he only has about 4 more weeks of that for this semester, then he'll be in russia for part of the summer, and lounging around the house for the rest. then next fall he only teaches MWF so that will reduce the amount of gas he uses.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  23. #23
    Dec 2006
    Los Angeles, California
    Less going out.
    Less driving
    More game nights
    More utilization of the local things to do.
    More walking
    More bicycling
    Started Playing the Lottery
    Pray more!!!

  24. #24
    Getting tons of extra napkins when I go to restaurants so I can save on paper towels. If anyone knows where I can get those Mayo packs, please tell me.

    Buying Dole salad packs a day or two before the expiration date. The stores usually drop the price drastically to get rid of them before the "Sell By" date.

    Clipping coupons.

    Trying to find someone to car pool with me to work.

    Combining trips: E G. Getting groceries on the way back from visiting mom or my kids.

    Cutting the thermostat down to 55F at all times (except when the kids are with me and before bed I put it up to 65 so the furnace won't come on for a while)

    Baught an "economy car". However this backfired because the extra insurance costs more than negate the gas savings of not driving the van. Plus it put me another $7000 into the hole on the purchase price.

    No cable. No internet (except the library and when I try and tap into someone's Wifi)

    Very basic cell-phone line. $30/month for 200 minutes + free calls after 9:00 and other Sprint customers.

  25. #25
    Jun 2007
    Oklahoma City
    I've been keeping the thermostat off and opening windows if warm or wearing my sweaters, etc, inside if cold. I already try not to drive anywhere if I don't have to (esp. because I have had to drive to Oklahoma City several times this semester for wedding stuff). I've thought about joining an Angel Food program because times are already tight, and I'm thinking that once I get married I'm going to get a scooter or light motorcycle to commute because it'll cut my fuel expenses by 200-300%.

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