Episode-662- Modern Survival Ways to Save Money Part One — 45 Comments

  1. I looked at some of those coupon sites. Most of that stuff is chemical products that I would never use. Redplum has an organic section but no coupons! The whole industry seems to revolve around pushing chemicals. If you want organic foods and non-toxic products, you have to pay full price.

  2. Annestacy wrote: “If you want organic foods and non-toxic products, you have to pay full price.”

    There’s another option that’s true for a lot of the foods, and at least some of the products: make (or grow) them yourself. It’s not easy, and not all of us (myself included) have the time to do as much as we would like, but it is very possible to avoid at least a portion of the petrochemical industry through practicing true home economics.

    Even for the food items I don’t grow myself (meats especially), I purchase them directly from farmers I trust — and I compensate paying more for the products with buying lower cuts of meat (we only eat steak at home a couple of times a year), eating less meat as part of our diet, and stretching our meats into several meals (a roaster chicken provides a chicken dinner, chicken and black bean quesadillas and chicken rice soup). Additionally, the farmers often throw in stuff for free or undercharge us since we’re regular customers.

  3. Good morning Annestacey, we have been using the food from the company for some time. It is very good, but with your reply about chemicals we question what is in this food. It has a shelf life of 25 years. Would you check out this web site and view what the ingredients are and give us your thoughts. We ask for other opinions also. Thanks

  4. Hi Rick. A quick look at some of the items on that site show that they use MSG and possibly some GMO ingredients. Download the non-GMO shopping guide:( Things like soybean, cottonseed, canola oils are all GMO (unless specified as USDA certified organic). You can find a list of the hidden sources of MSG here:
    Tons of ingredients on labels are actually MSG. They don’t like to use the real term anymore because people try to avoid MSG. I don’t think there are very many sources for organic food storage (at least not the last time I searched). You can contact me for more discussion at “annestacey” on hotmail.

  5. Hi Chris. Growing food is difficult in a 1-BR apartment with no outdoor space. I can do a search for some local farms or maybe they can give me a list of them at Whole Foods. They usually advertise their food sources anyway so it should be easy to get that. Thanks for the info.

  6. Annestacy — try That’s the best way to find local providers in your area for everything from veggies to meats to exotic fare. Plus, you can deal directly with the farmer and skip Whole Foods completely.

  7. Ally Bank is supposedly in talks to buy ING Direct. Ally Bank used to be called GMAC, aka the lending arm of General Motors. I’m not saying don’t use ING and their better online rates, but I am saying the risks of investing/saving with them could change significantly soon.

  8. Loved this show. I too don’t use coupons that often the things I buy most often are cheaper way cheaper 25# bag of steal cut oats and the like. I spent 10 hours one day looking for coupons on the web and found 2 that I could use. Not worth it for me. My niece shops and eats differently and can get $70 of stuff for $4-$5. The bottom line is you can’t make/save dollars if you don’t save pennies first. But you must be able to use a calculator and look at the whole picture to figure out if there really is a savings. One of the biggest things I ever have done to save money is quit my job. For me at that time it worked out. It was costing me $150. per month to work.

    Every tip that came in today had one thing in common Being CONSISTENTLY aware of your money flow in and out. You can take one month off and so easily find yourself ass over tea kettle in debit ok maybe even just one day not be vigilant & oops there it is debit.

    Also I found some recipes for homemade laundry soap & dish washer detergent sounded good. However if there are any ingredients that are antibacterial like asorbic acid possibly vinegar you could be saving $$ on soap but spending on repairing your septic tank. I’m not a chemist so not 100% sure but I’m not willing to take that chance.

  9. Bigbear thank you for reminding me. If you live in washington state you can get a 6% interest rate on savings and checking accounts at Boeings Employee Credit union ( Yes you read that right six percent. No fees that is only on the first $500. you have in each account 6% on a 1000.00 YES!. There are some guide lines to follow for us well worth it.

  10. Hi roundabouts… I just checked into the BECU savings and it looks like the 6.17% interest rate you are referring to is only available on their “Early Saver Savings” accounts for people UNDER the age of 18. Also, any account that has over $500 in it only earns 0.25%. All other savings accounts earn 0.25% (which is still better than the average savings account but no where near Amex Savings, ING, or Smarty Pig interest rates).

    BECU would be great for teaching a young person how savings accounts and interest works as 6.17% on a few hundred bucks isn’t anything to scoff at. Those of us who are over 18 and don’t have children would do better sticking the money in an interest bearing savings account somewhere else.

    Hope this helps 🙂

  11. roundabouts, my apologies, I just did a search on BECU’s site and found a different section that shows “Member Advantage Checking” at 6.17% on the first $500 as well (this is open to members of all ages, not just under 18). On $500 that’s $30 a year in interest. All balances beyond $500 earn the 0.25% rate.

  12. Regarding the 911 service reason for keeping regular phone service… In most areas even when a phone line is ‘disconnected’ the phone company is required to keep the line live and support the 911 service. This means that you can still use your Skype or other service and leave a couple of hard-wired phones plugged into your normal phone lines for backup 911 service and you don’t have to pay for it.

  13. Janelle no worries we have been using becu for several years and love the higher interest rate. We also have their credit card @ 6% and a mortgage at 4.75fixed and one @ 3%. Couldn’t have done better since we have a manufactured home. The customer service is pretty good to no complaints. It may not be for all but we like it. At first my son wasn’t so sure now he is telling his friend about it. I think it is their Advantage Checking Advantage Savings & Home Advantage Not sure it’s been a few years since we signed up.

  14. I will second the ING Direct suggestion.
    The rate is usually very good compared with other options and the website is fantastic. It’s one of the few services that lives up to its advertising.

  15. I use Excel to track my spending. I struggled to get a budget to work. I list all my bills and income sources for the next month by due date with a running balance and sort by date. That tells me how my cash will flow in the next 30 days and I can see when my available funds are going to dip and how low they will get. That really helps me to limit my spending since I can see how much I can spend without getting in trouble and plan ahead for shortages. I then add all purchases to it and re-sort so I have a record or my spending and keep the running balance accurate. It really works well.

  16. dakotaslim I think using a program to track spending is very helpful I like using quick books. When I show my husband the pie graph he can really see how the spending goes. Also on any given day open a profit and loss report and it tells you the bottom line. A few years ago I showed my husband in black and white -$1200.00 for the year. As he looked with a blank stare I explained that means you worked your ass off all year long and you would have had to make $1200.00 more just to be @ $0. Of course he had a fit when it finally hit. Where did the money go? So an itemized report and graph. So long starbucks. Now with two button pushes he tracks it every week. It is so great to have him on board. I don’t have to be such a big B$%@%.

  17. Ditto on freecycle, it is esp great when moving and want stuff picked up quickly. Not knowing if anyone would want them, I posted a link for a couple broken lawnmowers, and rusty broken bikes. Picked up and out of yard within a couple of hours. Metal scavengers I think.
    I can get rid of stuff quicker on freecycle than craig’s list. We were given tickets to a Texas Ranger game, day before the game. No use to us, not baseball fans, and other things already planned for the day, not driving 3 hours to DFW. After calling a few fans I knew locally, I posted on both Craig’s list and freecycle. Freecycle won. Tickets went to a lady who loved the Rangers and the game was on her birthday.
    I’ve seen many bulky items for free to whomever picks them up first. Old pool tables, piano’s etc. Also dogs, cats, rabbits, a horse.
    Much better than throwing out stuff. I was sick a few years back when I saw neighbors finishing chopping up an almost new crib so it’d fit in their garbage can. So many could have used the crib, it they’d just known who to give it to.

  18. Jack,

    Regarding the listener’s comments about saving fat. I’m big on pemmican, and discovered that most butchers just throw trimmings away. I expected that this fantastic resource would be sold for all it’s worth, but it generally ends up in the dumpster. I was shocked when I started asking for it at the store and found people ahead of me who had done the same! I figured the butchers would make me for a loony, but they get these requests all the time. I walk out the door with 5 pounds of freshly cut and absolutely free tallow (not gristle) on a regular basis and use it for pemmican, soap, candles, and sometimes cooking. It only takes an hour or two on low heat to render and keeps for decades if rendered properly.

  19. I Save beef fat that I trim from meat during the year in the freezer,Then in late fall I buy a few pounds of mixed bird seed,mix it and have my own suet for the birds.I put this in chicken wire pieces Ive saved and hang in the area close to the garden.It keeps the birds in the area and then in the spring/summer I dont feed them so they go to work in the garden! It has really helped with bugs!You also have to have water for them,bird water heaters are cheap,but we have running water on the property.This suet costs pennies,at the store they sell it for $4.99 lb.I make about 20lbs a year.

  20. I’ve had the same results as most with coupons – I cook virtually everything from scratch and they’re rarely for stuff I would use.

    RE: the bundled terry towels from Costco, they’re great! The only time I use paper towels is for nasty stuff like when the cat hurls on the floor. Jack mentioned keeping them white with bleach – if you’re on a septic system, throw that bleach water on your weeds or driveway, but NOT down the drain, it’ll croak the good bacteria necessary for the system to work properly.

  21. Really wish we could get rid of our landline but the security system made us have one. Bummer. We lived for years without a landline before. Worth it if you can do it.

  22. I make fermented cabbage just exactly like that recipe has it, but add lots of garlic and cilantro and use it instead of shredded lettuce in our tacos and burritos. I can eat the stuff straight from the jar, but that’s a good way to get the huz and kids to eat it as well 😉

  23. Outstanding show Jack! Love the ideas and hope this becomes a regular feature on TSP!

    Buy private label! Esp OTC medications, its easy to compare active ingredients. Sure, somethings don’t work as well as or taste as good. But many things like dairy, meds, cleaners are the same stuff just w/out the fancy packaging. Even with coupons, the PL equivalent is usually significantly cheaper. Also retailers are really stepping up their quality of store brand because it means much better margins to their bottom line.

    Love ya, man!

  24. Has anybody been watching the new TV show “Extreme Couponing”? It is interesting, but as Annestacy says, most of the coupons are for garbage chemical ridden food/cleaners. I have noticed recently that stores are starting to have sales on organic things – Raley’s is doing a big one now. So while it does seem true that there aren’t many organic coupons out there, you should keep an eye out for sales & pounce on them when they appear.

  25. Forgot to mention, just checked the labels on some non-organic soups – tomato soup, both store brand and Campbell’s, 2nd incredient: high fructose corn syrup. Want some tomato with your corn soup? 😉

    Checked store & name brand non-organic chicken noodle soup: MSG.

    Shelves truly full of poison! Sigh…

  26. Minor correction on the misconception of kimchi. I lived in Korea for 3 1/2 years and make the stuff. The cabbage is not at all fermented–if it were, it would be considered spoiled and be tossed. The cabbage is first soaked in rock salt and water for an hour in order to cause wilting/softening. Other ingredients are then added and the kimchi is kept cold from then until the time it goes bad–usually about a month, unless frozen. The famous Korean clay kimchi pots will extend its life through the winter, if buried, because they cut off the air supply. No different than vacuum packing.

  27. @Jack…I picked up 60 pounds of 1-1/2″ roofing nails tonight from Habitat Restore for $10. That would have cost me about $120 at Homedepot. I have shopped at Habitat for years.

  28. Thanks for featuring Gateway to Saving! We have tips to save on everything from using coupons for groceries (processed food and NON-processed) to the marketing traps put in place by the stores to drain your wallet to the best resources to save on every other type of purchase you can imagine.

    There so many tips and tricks to save on everything you purchase that you should never pay full price for anything!

    It’s all about taking control, learning pricing strategies, and understanding that marketing is nothing but a big, vicious cycle that you can beat if you learn the correct patterns.

  29. I give up. I just went to to check it out. There were NINE pages of printable coupons offered and exactly ONE item that I would use – 55¢ off Challenge butter, which is usually way more expensive than the Kirkland brand I get at Costco. Not worth the electricity and ink to print out, even if it was a saving and it probably isn’t. Total waste of my time.

  30. Ref: Using 911 from inactive phone line

    Comment 13 above is correct… MOST of the time. There are certain situations where the phone company will disconnect the line from the house. Its not common but can happen. I am a supervisor in a 911 Dispatch center and suggest if you are connecting a land line phone or expecting to use the line with Skype… TEST IT. Hook up whatever you plan on using in am emergency and make a test call to 911. Let the dispatcher know you are making a test call to ensure you can reach 911 if needed. You may end up with an officer at your house to check on you but that is one minor inconvenience that could save a life at a later point.

    Great show. Can’t wait to listen to part 2.

  31. I am also looking for the recipe for the Lite Brown Ale or grain bill, hops, and yeast in beer brew speak.

  32. For VoIP for free (not counting the high speed internet and small upfront cost):

    Google Voice account + Obi100 ($44 on amazon, a VoIP box so you don’t have to leave your computer on)

    Cell phone:
    T-mobile ~$15 to $20 to purchase a phone, pre pay plan, $100 first year (1000 minutes), if you don’t use it very much $15 every year after (since you’re using your free VoIP phone).

    Emergency calls. You can use any cell phone that is out of service for emergency calls (911).

  33. Great show! Just want to add a couple thoughts.

    ING has a lot of competition now and they don’t offer the best rates currently. It might be wise to shop around for alternative online banking options.

    Also, try to find local and organic food sources.

  34. I think in this show one of the contributors said he has an android phone on a prepaid plan.
    X number of minutes plus unlimited text and data for $25/mo!
    Even jack was surprised.
    Anyone know more info on this? None was provided.

  35. @Mike, I was wondering the same thing… the closest I could find was boost mobile’s unlimited plan for android phones which is unlimited nationwide talk, text, 411, im and email for $50/month. It has what they call “shrink” so after 6 months the bill goes down to $45/month, after 12 months down to $40/month, and after 18 months down to $35 but I couldn’t find anything as low as $25/month. I haven’t looked that hard as I am locked into a contract with Verizon but even at $50 a month this plan would save me a lot. Hope this helps!

  36. Pingback:Proven Savings – “Self Foaming” Hand Soap Dispenser Refill Alternative | The Patriot Garden

  37. I have a tip to get DirecTV for basically free. I called them and told them that due to job losses that we were canceling our TV service. I let them know that I was happy with the service, but we are making “tough cuts” and TV was on the list to go. We are going to see how well we can get by with just Internet (This scares the crap out of them). This next step is the key. I actually cancel my account, get a termination date, and they tell me about shipping my receiver back to them. Later that day or the next day I get a call from them. They offer me a credit for about $250 which works out to 4 months of service with my plan. I have done this twice and have gotten free DirecTV for the last 8 months. This works for us because our threat is not hollow, We did lose jobs and we will go to just Internet service and get by just fine. But it cost them nothing to give us free service and keep us as a customer.