Help Me With a Saving Money Show — 24 Comments

  1. Hi Jack,

    I really enjoy listening to you and your show. Here are a couple things I have been doing to turn save some cash as I transition to my BOL this summer.

    1.) Get a pressure cooker. I cook dry beans in 20-30 minutes for Black Bean Burgers, vegetarian sausage, and Re-fried beans. This also makes far a safe canning option for low acid foods.

    2.) Save your urine. Mix urine 8:1 with water and use liberally on all green leafy vegetables. Pour on the soil not on the leaves. Makes them grow faster (natural source of nitrogen)and keeps the predators away. Use left over urine on the compost bin as it is a natural activator.

    3.) Save and scavenge all of the tempered glass jars you can. These can be used almost forever as caning jars with the addition of Tattler brand re-usable canning lids.

    4.) Craigslist! I just scored 30 free pallets which i will dismantle and use to build a chicken coop and some small raised beds herb gardens!

    Thanks and good luck in Ark.,


  2. @Jeff if you email it as per the post that stuff will make it on the show.

  3. Hi Jack! Here are a few suggestions that I use to save money. Some of them even increase my skills a decent amount as well.

    *Brew your own beer/wine. Yes, there is an initial outlay of money, but you can recoup your costs fairly quickly. Beer and wine ingredient kits cost around $50 and will make 5 gallons. The quality is significantly better than most mass produced brews and the price is cheaper, too!

    *Don’t use the dryer. I have a line up in my basement for drying in the winter and put a line outside when the weather is nice.

    *Make stews. Meat goes a lot farther in stews so you can use less. You can also use a much cheaper and tougher cut because of the long, low cooking method.

    *Learn to do things yourself! Basic repairs, electrical work, plumbing, and such aren’t that difficult. If you don’t know how, ask a friend to show you. You can pay them in beer and learn in the process!

  4. 1. If you’re single, don’t get married! 😉

    2. If your already married, don’t get divorced! 😉

    3. A great site for combining the best sales with the best coupons is

  5. Jack,
    here are a few good ideas that work for me
    1. We buy Whole pork loins for roasts and chops this really saves us alot ($19.00 for 10 lb at Sams club)

    2. An idea we got from your show is we replant all of our green onions.doubles and sometimes tripples the amount of onions we get for the money

    3. downgraded our cable by making use of online sources like Netflix, Hulu. Saves us about $75.00 a month

    4. Fuel your vehicle in the morning and set the pump to the slowest setting. Less evaporation and air bubbles

    Thanks for all you do Jack.

  6. Jack this is a great idea for a show. I am ry excited about it. I am going to try the homemade Laundry detergent to. I will let you know how it goes.

  7. We use to save money when we eat out. And I always ask if I can have a discount; military, AAA ect.

    Try to use cash a cut a deal on major purchases.

    If there is a discount for applying for “the creditcard” then ask to speak to the manager and ask for the same discount because you dont want to go into debt for thier product.

  8. I have started saving a ton of money using coupons. I found a great site called She puts all the deals together for you and lets you see the percentage you are saving under drugstore deals. I’ve become such a coupon snob that I don’t even want to look at an item unless I can save 50% at least. And I get a lot of things for free or 90% off.
    For a long time coupons were pretty overwhelming to me. i just didn’t know how those people did all that. Well, I found out they don’t. Websites such as or put it all together for you. I run off my list on the printer and hightail down to my local Walgreens store and pay almost nothing for health and beauty aids, which leaves a lot of money for groceries. I like to earn Walgreens Register Rewards, I have 23$ in RR’s right this moment.
    I usually concentrate on Walgreens because I just started but I’m slowly branching out to do grocery stores….especially Walmart. Yesterday I went to Target and bought 8 aveeno sunscreen products for under 40$. about 5$ a bottle. Normally this stuff is 10.49$ each.

  9. Oh boy. Now HERE is a subject where I have some serious experience. I’ll put together an e-mail and shoot it your way.

  10. Save your change! I put all my change in a decantor can at the end of the day. When it fills I dump it in an ammo can, then change it for cash at the end of the year (well yearly at vaca time). I also ask for any dollar coins and half dollars. I save aside all Susan B’s, Kennedy’s Ikes, Quarters 1972 and older, dimes 1964 and older any buffalo nickels and wheat backs. I also buy rolls of dollar coins and stash them away. They are harder to spend than a stash of 20’s or other paper denomnations and build up to a nice emergency fund. Heavy but there if you need.

  11. @Tedd why Quarters 1972 and older instead of 1964 and older?

    Good idea about asking for dollar or half dollar coins, I will have to start doing this myself.

  12. I LOVE this topic and hope you find these tips helpfull:

    Dry clothes on clothes racks – saves on gas/electricity and your clothes last longer

    Garage Sales – I buy most of my clothes for $1 each (or less) and books for $0.25

    Eat at home – tons of recipes are online and you can make it fun.

    Make homemade yoghurt – it’s so easy and you control what goes in it

    YouTube – want to learn how to do something? It’s probably on YouTube (yoghurt, wine, canning, building a root cellar, etc.)

    Turn down the heat – program your heater if possible

    Get rid of cable tv – one of the best moves I’ve made. We have Netflix to get our tv fix but read more and research on the internet. We even talk to each other more!

    U-Pick – this summer I plan on getting berries, peaches and apples to freeze, can, or dehydrate.

    Negotiate – people often give you a deal if you ask. The worst they can do is say is No.

    Farmers Market – many booths donate what they don’t sell so go late and ask for a deal

    Craigslist – look in the free section, barter, or negotiate the price on something

    Network – talk to people about what you’re doing to save money and see what ideas they have (like what we’re doing right now)

    Make your own cleaning supplies – Jack just posted some recipes for washing detergent but there are lots more online. These are cheaper, better for the environment and smell better.

    Entertain yourself – instead of going out, have friends over, make fun snacks and play a game.

    Try new stuff – I recently made wine for the first time and it was really fun and delicious!

    Hand-me-downs – my sister just gave me a canning pot because she only used it once

    Learn how to do things instead of hiring someone. I’ve been changing my own oil and saving $$

    Use the toaster oven instead of the oven

    Be aware. The more you look for ways to save, the more ways you find to save

    Listen to the Survival Podcast for more great ideas

  13. hey jack, i make my own clamps for woodworking and hobby uses out of short pieces of pvc pipe with i cut down the side. You can vary the strenghth by how wide you cut them and the idea is scaleable in size. Need a bigger clamp go up in diameter! Anyway thanks jack for all the great work you do.

  14. 1. Shop in tips – In Australia garbage dumps have shops where you cn buy stuff at really cheap prices. I have bought lots of stuff from there

    2. By GOOD QUALITY rechargeable batteries – many rechargeable batteries are actually rubbish. I did some research and found eneloop sanyo battery and charger. These come highly reccomended.

    3. Buy Mulch from tips and also second hand dirt – this is much cheaper than buying it at garden centres

    4. buy one expensive chiefs knife from a kitchen supplier (and a $5 sharpener) and never buy any other kitchen knives again.

    5. Buy a soda stream the C02 refeills are $12 AU for 42 bottles

    6. Use Bicarbeonate of soda as toothpaste

    7. get your shoes re-soled when they wear out

  15. Cut the phone line and get only DSL or broadband internet and buy an Ooma for $200-$250. This will replace your phone and there are no monthly or annual fees. Pays for itself in less than a year.

  16. For the Gardeners out there:

    1) Contact your town or city hall and ask if they have a community compost site. Many areas have a lawn refuse lot where you can pick up unlimited quantities of chipped wood mulch, clean top soil, composted leaves, rocks and old concrete block etc. I’ve gotten enough river rock to build a small retaining wall and edge my garden beds and ponds in stone. I get wood mulch for top dressing my beds literally by the truck full (to the tune of 8-10 trucks a year). Fixing ruts in the lawn or filling holes where you’ve ground out a tree stump gets costly, but they have great top soil for free. I often find great firewood there. If nothing else, it gives you a place to dump unwanted branches instead of being charged extra from your disposal service or waiting for a designated collection day.

    2) Start a compost pile. Potting soil is expensive, and manuring beds every year from garden center bags gets expensive fast. There are millions of ideas surrounding composting, and I’ve tried them all to vastly different effect. In the end, people tend to make it more work than it really is. The basic 4’x4’x4′ pile of leaves, weeds, grass clippings etc works just fine. Use multiple piles, and place them right next to your garden beds. When weeding, you don’t have to carry the weeds across the yard to dispose of them, and when harvesting for use in your beds, you don’t have to make a dozen trips with the wheel barrow to get back to the garden.

    3) expanding on that last comment, planning any task to require minimal work will keep you working at it and saving money. Most people fail at saving money when doing so is inconvenient and time consuming. It’s easy to overburden yourself with good ideas that don’t pan out. Minimize your work right from the beginning with a little planning to make sure any investment in time is realized financially later, rather than becoming an abandoned project.

    4) Grow herbs. Pound for pound, they tend to be the most expensive produce you consume. Take saffron for instance. $30 for one flower stamen (or $10 for a few mock-saffron). They grow from a crocus, which is basically a weed. Buy a couple of bulbs and propagate them. In my house, people go through $7/ounce bottles of packaged “Italian Seasoning”. That’s Oregano, Tyme, Sage, and Marjoram. All easy to grow just about anywhere, and it’s much better fresh. Hops is great for the brewers, and has tripled in price in the stores over the last few years with increased demand and the home-brew trends driving up the number of buyers.

    5) Grow your own firewood. Seriously, heating right now without my firewood is over $4,000 a year in natural gas and electricity. Plant a few trees in a coppice. 20 trees a year is what I’ve been doing, and it seems to meet my needs and the needs of some other households in my family (I’ve recently expanded my coppice for their benefit). After 10 years, cut the first 20 trees and leave the stumps. The following year you cut the second batch of 20, and notice the first trees you cut are coming back from the already established roots. People don’t do this because they fail to realize just how closely you can plant trees. They’re a production crop, not a garden show piece. Close planting will force them top grow tall, fast, with minimal side branches, which make for easy cutting. This can be done on about an eight of an acre with 200 trees. If you have a smaller lot, you likely have a smaller house requiring less heat, so fewer trees are fine. People also complain about the initial 10 years waiting for the first trees to mature. As bad as your energy prices are now, what will they be in 10 years? Besides, you can take a lot of branches with fall pruning, which are fine to burn the next year. That’s a huge savings.

    6) Chickens. This “can” save you money. If you go out and drop a thousand dollars on a per-build coop and $20 a month on feed for a dozen birds, you’ll never your money back. On the other hand, if you can build a coop out of pallet wood, re-purpose a corner of an old shed, barn or garage, and grow things for them to eat, you’re left with essentially free eggs. It’s the cheapest, and one of the best nutritional sources of protein. Growing meat birds is almost always a loser, they need lots of feed and only pay out once. As such, the commercial laces can always sell it cheaper than you can raise them.

    7) Think about your situation and make a plan. There’s lots of good advice out there, but not all of it applies to you. You have to do the math for your self and devise your own plan. Reading on the internet all day is fun, but it can’t compare to 5 minutes of real thought about your own needs. Here’s an example from my own life:
    I have a few acres, 6 of which are pasture. The water table is only a few inches beneath the surface (almost a swamp), so I have to raise the soil level to plant that area. I don’t have the equipment or money at the moment to do it, but I don’t want trees and brush growing up in the pasture while I’m saving for a new tractor. I can mow it or use a brush-hog a few times a year, but that costs money too. I also have 2 acres with a lawn (well, septic, and geothermal underneath the soil, so I won’t let anything grow there but grass).

    To mow the area requires 3 gallons or gas in my lawn tractor. Once a week mowing at $4+/gallon for the 8 months out of the year I need to cut the lawn ends up being around $400. Four hundred dollars a year to cut the grass…

    I can buy sheep at $75 a piece. I can get an 800lb round bail of hay delivered for $80 for winter feed. I already have a barn. It quickly becomes cheaper for me to let them graze the pasture, and even my front lawn than it does to cut it. I also get fresh mutton and lamb every year as they breed and I cull the herd. There’s not a huge wool market for the guy who only owns a few head, but if you spin your own yarn, add that as a benefit. Then there’s all the manure I’ll ever need in my garden. I know it’s a bit unconventional for a guy, even in my remote rural neighborhood (I’ve even seen jokes about the idea as a parody of the gas prices). Still, it makes sense. If nothing else, I get the purchase price of the lamb and the winter feed back in meat. Besides, if your neighbors don’t look at you funny and wonder “What the F*** is wrong with that guy”, then you haven’t gone far enough to accomplish anything meaningful yet.

    I also posted a few shows back on my family co-op project detailing how I grow Christmas trees for my family, and how we exchange services with each other to save money. I want to write up a formal post on that in the forums, but have been too busy. Still, worth a look. I know everyone here has probably considered most of these items I’ve mentioned so far, but they bear repeating for the neophyte listener, and these topics are usually not examined specifically from the point of cost savings, which is a different discussion all together from the usual “what to do, how to do it”. It addresses “Why” from a very specific standpoint.

  17. @Jeff…hummmmm!…Never tried that. I usually use olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 😉

  18. Those commenting suggestions that have NOT sent an email as per the post, please read the post specifically the last tiny paragraph ;>)

    Honestly I was tempted to not permit comments on this post. Not because I don’t want comments but because I knew many would fail to read the instructions.

  19. Shop at Restaurant supply stores. In my state you need a business Tax ID number because alot of their stuff is sold wholesale and I think pre-(state)tax. I have friend that runs their own business and we get small groups together and buy massive amounts of food at great prices.


  20. I drive 600 miles per week. I only use one tank by using a device called a SCAN GUAGE. It plugs in to the diagnostic port found on all 97 and newer cars. With the device you get instant read-out of many engine functions including MPG. You’ll see how you’re consuming gas or diesel and drive much more conservetly. Some tricks I’ve learned while streaching fillup distance are: drafting 5 white lines behind semis +5-10 MPG,no AC +5MPG,use all synthetic oils +5-10%MPG,overinflate your tires from 30-32lbs to 40-50lbs,+2-5MPG,drive 60-65 MPH not 70-75MPH,+5-10MPG. This last tip will save you enough $ to buy your meal on a trip over 300 miles.


    If you live in the South…you ABSOLUTELY have to check this site out. The site is free and tracks the best deals across several grocery stores and drug stores. Stretch your preparedness dollar further by using this site. Couponing may not sound “sexy” but it’s a sure-fire way to get more of what you need to fill your home storage!

  22. *Wean yourself off of named brand processed food. Couponing doesn’t work (except for women’s sanitary products) for us because we almost never buy the name brand stuff.

    *Make your lunch. There is a tiny fridge and a microwave at work. I make more than we need for dinner and freeze non-pasta leftovers in envelopes of saran-wrap. So in the morning I grab a rice envelope and a veggie (bean somethin’) or meat (chicken & tomato/ beef stew, etc) envelope. At lunch throw them in a bowl and microwave for 3 minutes. Pasta does not freeze well, don’t try it with any pasta.

    *No cable tv. Netflix, yes. Reading, yes. Library card, yes, yes.

    *Get the lowest cell phone plan you can get. Do you honestly talk more than 1000 minutes a month? Look at your old bills and former usage. Pick the plan that fits your habits, not future fears.

    *Shop with ethnics. We found for certain fresh fruits and veggies the ethnic markets are cheaper. However you’ll spend some time going ‘what the heck is that?’

    *Buy less, produce more.

  23. By far the biggest money saver I’ve ever found, is to make friends!

    I know that sounds silly but, hear me out.

    I make it a point to help people when ever I can, in return they have helped me more than I could ever have imagined! I take an honest interest in people, in THEIR interests, in THEIR hobbies, and when an opportunity comes along that would help them or benefit them in some way, I do it. They in turn, go out of their way to help me when they can. 80% of the non-consumable items that I have in my home were given to me! big TV’s, bedroom sets, full dining room sets, fancy couches, very nice cars, all given to me! My friends who have seen my home are impressed, and I usually don’t even tell them where it all came from. And about 20% of the other items were bought on craiglist or other online discount places.

    Karma, or call it what you want, but somehow, someway, it comes back around…

    Do something nice for someone, while expecting nothing in return, and you will more often than not, get so much more than you dream of.

    Need you car worked on? When you find a good Tech, give him a 6 pack of his favorite beer, next time I bet you’ll see a discount on your bill. It’s a very small investment, with a huge return!

    Help a friend move, and you might get a great China Cabinet that they don’t have room for. Cost me nothing!

    I have dozens and dozens of stories like these!