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Frugal Living


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#21
The_Gabe
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t. I don't think I've paid less then $13 for a movie ticket since moving to LA. It's crazy.


Between 4 to 5:30 in my town a movie ticket costs like 6 bucks. On regular days if it's 3d it'd be like 9 or 10 bucks.
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#22
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You should buy the Sunday papers at gas stations or wherever else they sell the paper daily and cut out the coupons.


Many local papers will also sell sunday paper only subscriptions which can be slightly cheaper, if only in saved gas alone, than buying at a convenience store. In addition to your local supermarket circulars put out weekly, they will also come (in the east coast of the states) Redplum and SuperSaver booklets of coupons. Couponsuzie, Redplum, Coupons, buxr, and dealhack also have printable coupons -- though you should only print the coupons you're going to use to save ink, which is [bleep]ing expensive.

Check which stores price match to other supermarket's circulars or listed prices and compare. Sometimes it can save you 50cents per pound on a whole cooked ham or something that is normally very expensive. Always ask for rain-checks if a really good priced product/meat/cheese is out of stock and redeem later on.

One of the supermarkets by my house gets a lot of its beef locally from the many livestock farms in the area. Unfortunately they never seem to sell fast enough, and they start to oxidize. The good news for the consumer is if you're in the area, you can get a ridiculously cheap cut of meat that you can marinade and cook that night for a fraction of what you'd normally pay because they just want to get rid of it. During the growing season, they'd also do this for produce. Perfectly good peppers and tomatoes with only a few blemishes were being discounted to 50c for two honkin' tomatoes/peppers/whatever. Chop em up, use them in a vegetable roux, freeze them, cook with them, whatever. They were a great bargain.

Also, everyone should have a box of herbs growing on a windowsill. Frozen herbs will last a bit to allow you to keep a fresh-picked flavor. They make great gifts. They're easy to dry and store in bulk. Fresh picked always makes a meal that much better. herbsherbsherbsherbs<3 Get the soil from your back yard and pick up a bunch of seed packets as the planting season starts to pass at a discounted price. If your soil is especially hard-packed, has a high iron/alkali/acidic/whatever, or bugs are big concern for you, get a nice bag of Schultz potting mix. It cuts away from the frugality, but it also cuts a lot of problems out of the equation if you don't know how to correct these things yourself.

Oh. A lot of people throw away overripe bananas, but freeze them instead. Chuck em in the blender with yogurt, ice, and anything else you like for a quick and tasty smoothie rather than wasting them. Add milled flax seed or other seeds for extra cheap nutrients. Or save them for a tasty and cheap banana bread. (Make muffins instead for easier portions. Freeze them to store, put them in the toaster oven for 10min at 300 to defrost, longer if you want em toasty. Have for a nice breakfast/lunch with yogurt or fruit.)

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#23
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Along the lines of meat.... Stuff like ground beef and chicken breasts can be frozen for long periods of time, and quite commonly, these items can be pretty cheap if you know when to buy them. Stocking up on cheap meat and freezing it is definitely the way to go.

#24
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Boneless chicken breasts can be very expensive. Bone in breasts tend to be slightly less expensive and you can use the bones for stock (freeze'm until you have enough). Thighs and other dark meat (bone in of course) are even more affordable and often tastier with a little bit more work. But almost all meat will hold up well when bought fresh and stored asap after bringing it home for 6 months and more. Deep freezers and ridiculous sales around holidays are your best friend. (Almost typed breast friend fml)

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#25
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Around here Asda dramatically reduces the price of food that are almost out of date. They typically do this at 8pm and a lot of stuff is 20p because they want to clear it. You can get bread, cookies, scones, sandiwches, fish. It depends on what they haven't sold. The downside is that you have to eat them quickly.

Also shop at supermarkets like Aldi or Lidl instead of Tesco/Asda/Waitrose because they'll have cheaper stuff. And don't buy big brands if you can help it. Food quality may be bleh but it is very cheaper.

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#26
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Unfortunately, coupons don't exist here, but we do have a half price sale on a lot of stuff and quite often. When I go for groceries, sometimes I only need what's on sale. Just now there's 2packs of pork chops for around $2 each, I buy more than I need in those times and freeze what I won't eat right away.

There's often sales on bread, which has the advantage of making me taste a lot of brands of bread.

#27
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Frugal living is great and everything, until you have a significant other, especially one who is absolute shit with money. I'm pretty good with money when I'm on my own, although of late alcohol purchasing has gotten a bit excessive, even though I drink a small percent of what I pay for.

Anyways, really cool thread. I'll look through it more closely when I have a chance. I'm always interested in new recipes. Especially cheap ones.

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#28
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I don't see how a significant other is a barrier to frugal living if they also practice it.

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#29
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t. I don't think I've paid less then $13 for a movie ticket since moving to LA. It's crazy.


Between 4 to 5:30 in my town a movie ticket costs like 6 bucks. On regular days if it's 3d it'd be like 9 or 10 bucks.


Wow, that's cheap. I can't remember the last time I bought a movie ticket for $6.
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#30
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I don't see how a significant other is a barrier to frugal living if they also practice it.

Or even if they don't.

Let's face it, with the average age of people who use TIF, they're not likely to be in relationships where money gets shared between both spouses. Most people on TIF aren't old enough for that (although they no doubt think they are--teenage dreams and all).

#31
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I don't see how a significant other is a barrier to frugal living if they also practice it.

The problem is, not all of them do it. My ex-wife was (and still is) awful with the money I earn.

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#32
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I don't see how a significant other is a barrier to frugal living if they also practice it.

The problem is, not all of them do it. My ex-wife was (and still is) awful with the money I earn.

She's your ex-wife. That should explain why she doesn't care about your money :P .

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#33
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Oh, for movies theaters, always buy a small drink with no ice in it. I promise that it will last the entire movie and that it will stay cold. As an added bonus, it doesn't get watery halfway through.
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#34
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I don't even buy theater food. Smuggle my own stuff in.

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#35
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Never fund your significant others' life. You should make your own money, they should make their own money. Come together to help each other out once in a while, but never fund their life and lifestyles if they got any. Oh, also...don't fund them for sex. I've seen too many of this happening, blows a huge hole in everybody's wallet. :wall:

The only time it would be acceptable to fund each other would be being married with kids. One works, the other takes care of the kids and does housework to still earn their share.
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#36
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Working on updating the second post, I would post the whole download but there's a load of bomb-making instructions and such.

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Ohhh.

Making breads and doughs. Freeze them in batches for 3-4wks, or parbake then freeze. Great for tasty homemade loaves of bread, often a good hobby & stress outlet if you hand-knead and shape. Making pizza dough at home and freezing mini calzones for snacks or portion controlled lunches. Just delicious.

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#38
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Ohhh.

Making breads and doughs. Freeze them in batches for 3-4wks, or parbake then freeze. Great for tasty homemade loaves of bread, often a good hobby & stress outlet if you hand-knead and shape. Making pizza dough at home and freezing mini calzones for snacks or portion controlled lunches. Just delicious.


Bread takes time to rise but is delicious and inexpensive to make. You can make with as little as flour, sourdough culture or yeast, and water, but salt, sugar, eggs, and oil help add flavor and nutrition. As you add eggs remove an equivalent amount of water, an easy way to do this is fill the measuring cup with available eggs then finish with water. Using yeast means that you do not have to air culture a bowl of flour paste into sourdough, which takes several days. If it is just too cold in your food prep area to keep a culture active or even to let bread rise (try a closed cardboard box with a small wick candle inside, placed in a fireplace for fire safety) try our pancake or cake recipe.
Mix sugar, warm water, and yeast into one large bowl and let it proof (reproduce) while working the other ingredients. Let it proof a long time for a strong yeasty flavor. Once you have a thriving bubbling yeast bowl, you can mix it into the bread bowl with the eggs, flour, oil, eggs, salt, and more sugar if you want a sweet bread. Lots of olive oil and herbs makes a tasty foccacia. Of course if you want to make a granola, fruity, or nutty bread go nuts, ground beans are a great way to balance the amino acids for full nutrition. Try this first and then experiment to your liking:
1 1/2 cups warm water (feels warm to hand, not burning hot)
1 Tbps sugar
1 tps salt
4 cups flour
1 Tbs yeast
Once you have your bread and punched it down you are ready to make a loaf. Let it rise again and bake it at 350F(180C) until it starts to brown on top. If you make a funky loaf at first, try again, as you will develop a feel for the consistency of a dough after a few tries. Ground whole wheat flour or sourdough leavening take more time to soften and rise especially in a cold place, you should mix your dough wet and sticky in the morning and let it rise covered in a bowl all day maybe even longer in winter, it will be much softer and lighter than if you use the quick recipes we mention.
Bread rolled into long sticks is a quicker way to cook your bread, they are also easier if you want to dip into a sauce or spread.

Another easy recipe for very fast but real tasty bread contains only three ingredients, at least two of which you're likely to have around:
3 c. self rising flour
3 tbsp. sugar
12 fluid ounces beer (which provides the yeast flavor)
Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl, pour into a greased bread pan or casserole dish, and bake for 30-40 minutes in a preheated 350F oven. Darker beers, such as a stout like Guinness, give the bread a richer flavor; but any kind of beer will do. (Don't worry about getting drunk from this. As the beer bakes, the alcohol evaporates.

Mix 1/2 cup of room temperature water and 1/2 cup flour in a jar, use half of the starter in pancakes or something every day during startup so you don't waste and add back 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup flour mix, try to keep the starter between 80F and 100F (30-38C) too cold and it will take forever, too hot and it will die. After two to five days it will be bubbly and beer or yeasty smelling, you have a starter. You can jump start a sourdough culture by begging a pinch of yeast from a bakery and adding it to the flour paste or adding a few unwashed organic grape skins or using organic wheat flour which are higher in natural yeast. Now keep it alive warm, damp, and covered with a cloth, mix once or twice a day, just keep using and feeding it flour and water. It is OK to refrigerate it once it is running, you can use the cloth held on with a rubber band or punch a hole in the lid to allow ventilation.
To make sourdough bread, mix one cup of water and one cup of water and 1/2 cup starter and let proof (bio-populate) overnight, this is called the proof sponge. Now you can use the proof sponge instead of yeast substituting out one cup of flour and water from the bread recipe. Be sure to add some of the proof sponge and some flour and water back into your starter every time you bake bread to replace what came out for proofing. If possible keep some sourdough starter in a cold place like a refrigerator or outside in winter so you don't have to feed it every day, just once a week or so, you can pour off the clear or dark liquid on top if you want to, it is high in alcohol but disgusting. It will take much longer for this bread to rise than hyperactive store yeast but it will have a soft rich tasty sourdough flavor.

For dim-sum buns, make your dough by adding 1/4 cup sugar and 2 Tbs oil to the basic bread recipe. Roll and flatten dough into discs six inches wide, add a filling using 1Tbs of sweet stir fry per bun, twist the buns shut and make that side the bottom. Let the buns rise for about half an hour, steam for 10-20 min on wax paper or baking sheet squares. Wrap in cling plastic and freeze for storage, to reheat microwave or steam the wrapped bun.
Steam is also a way to bake whole loafs but it will have a different consistency then regular bread softer with a delicate white crust. If you find dry stale bread you can revive it by steaming for ten minutes and then a quick run in a hot oven.

A nice loaf of store-bought bread can also make a rather nutritious, albeit boring meal. If you pay attention to what you buy, you can get a loaf that, if you eat enough slices, will fulfill the overwhelming majority of your nutritional needs. Most chain supermarkets will place loaves of day-old bread or pastries from the bakery section on sale. Be sure to check this area if your local store has one.
If you come across a large stash of day old bread while dumpster diving and are unable to give away or eat all of the wealth put the loaves or buns out in the hot sun and let them dry hard while keeping the birds away. Dry bread can last up to a few weeks and can be steamed back to softness, eaten dipped in soup, or used to make french toast. Hang your bag of bread to prevent mice from getting at your stash.

As Marie Antoinette is reputed to have said to the poor French lower classes who were without bread and revolting against the crown; "Let them eat cake". Our cake is quicker than bread to prepare, and can be baked in many ways even if you are without an oven or gas. The recipe below is based on one from the 1930's often called "Depression Cake" (Originally it was made without butter, eggs or milk, since those were hardest to come by at that time). It can be modified using less sugar and adding vegetable chunks and soft corn if you like to eat it with a regular meal. You can remove the baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and vinegar and use baking powder (2 tsp) but remember that baking powder is very moisture sensitive and can go flat. No rising agents lead to a cake that is heavy and tough. Shaved chocolate bar can be used like cocoa but is not as strong flavored. The other flavors and spices can be added if they are available. Cut and wrap a sheet cake for a days food on the move.
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil, shortening, unsalted margarine, or butter
2 Tbsp. vinegar
2 cup cold water, or cold brewed coffee, or fruit juice (juice can substitute for some or all sugar)
You can mix an egg or two into the second cup of water (in the measuring cup) for a softer cake.
Any or a mix of - vanilla, almond or lemon extract; sweet spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice); unsweetened cocoa; chocolate chips, chunks, or shavings; dry or chunk fruits and berries; ground or chopped nuts; citrus peel shavings; freeze dried coffee; peanut butter; raisins, prunes.
Rub oil on your frying pan, folded aluminum foil or clean paper tray, or 9-by-13 inch baking pan and evenly sprinkle down some flour to coat the bottom (to prevent sticking). Preheat oven to 350F or prepare coals. Mix dry ingredients together first and then quickly add all of the liquid ingredients, mix only as long as it takes to get a smooth mixture. Pour batter into your pan and immediately begin cooking. Bake, steam, or place your pan above a fire or coals or a hot plate on a low setting with a lid or cover until a toothpick or fork comes out clean when poked into the middle of the cake, between 20 min to an hour depending on thickness and ingredients. Wait 20 min to cool then serve, cut up and wrap, or frost. Good sweet spices include cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and some also use anise and fennel seed. Adding freeze dried coffee to chocolate cake is great for waking up before midnight actions.
With the alternative cooking methods practice is required and don't be surprised if you get a hard bottom crust if you cook over a fire. You could also try putting the batter into folded foil pockets or leaf wraps and put at the edge of the red hot coals, oil the inside of the foil if possible and fill less than half full since the cake will rise when cooking.
An easy glaze frosting, like what is on a donut, is made by simmering water or orange juice, starch, and sugar for a minute or two. Frosting is made with butter or oil and powdered sugar. You can add cocoa if you like. Frosting keeps the cake fresh longer by making a barrier for escaping moisture.

Hardtack is little more than a large cracker that, if kept dry, could stay edible for months, perhaps years. It's broken and mixed with some liquid (hot water, broth, etc.) to make a porridge, or to thicken soups or stews. If you make enough in advance, it can be eaten on the march or at camp. Hardtack has been known as "sheet metal" or "molar breakers" because it is very hard and dense, so don't try to eat it like a regular saltine. A recipe from the WikiMedia Cookbook follows:
2 cups of flour
1/2 to 1/4 cup water
6 pinches of salt
1 tablespoon of shortening (optional, feels more filling and adds calories)
Mix all the ingredients into a batter and press onto a cookie sheet to a thickness of 1/2 inch.
Bake in a preheated oven at 400°F (205°C) for one hour.
Remove from oven, cut dough into 3-inch squares, and punch four rows of holes, four holes per row into the dough (a fork works nicely).
Flip the crackers and return to the oven for another half hour.

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#39
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I've saved almost every recipe you've posted today haha. Thank you!

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#40
Donnie
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Food is pretty cheap. Focus on cheap and filling things like beans and rice as a base for meals. Absolute cheapest can be $80 a month with a price range at $.50 a meal or so.

Housing at least in socal for a 1 room apartment in any sort of decent neighborhood prepare to pay over $700 a month

Entertainment can be cheaper. Tv doesnt need any service, if you have one an xbox + friends netflix account is all you need. A computer if you have one only costs electricty, id advise not paying for internet and leeching it off a computer illiterate nextdoor in an apartment situation. This has risks so keep it in mind. Electricty cost for entertainment $20 - 50 a month. Other upkeep can go down to 0. In reality though if you have any sort of social life the costs here can be significantly higher.

A cheap cell phone service can be >$50 a month. No land line needed.

Water and electricty should never exceed 100 a month.

Cars are expensive. Assuming no maintenance its still registration, insurance and gas. In california a car is practically a necessity though so factor in another 200 (but realistically $400) a month.


So for $1.3k or so you can afford to live on your own working full time minimum wage. As far as living goes it might be cheaper to have a roommate if you split the cost 50/50. I half wonder if I should do this myself and spend my freetime programming as spending money income/skill building. Because comp sci degrees are vastly becoming a joke for the most part among software companies looking for new developers. I feel more and more that the college path is a waste of time and money when I work for a software company as QA atm and most of the developers werent college grads they were people interested in learning programming.




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