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December 03, 2008


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- eating out less often
- bringing lunch to work
- using coupons at the grocery store

I've gone "Amish" altogether....or, at least Mennonite.

I haven't made many adjustments on the WSJ list. I think if I had it would be a good reminder that I was overspending all along. Like you, I am holding off on any bigger purchases and investments to keep more cash free though. Times like these require a little bigger emergency fund.

It's one problem with being frugal, nowhere to cut back! We're being a bit more cost conscious but other than that it's business as usual.

Same here - business as usual. The budget I put together was already pretty frugal, leaving us a decent amount of disposable income. We are also holding off on a few purchases waiting for the "bottom" in prices to maximize our purchasing power :)

*go shopping less
*meal planning and grocery shopping once a week only
*drive less
*eating out less
*all meals from scratch
*homemade cleaning products
*shutting off power strips and unplugging small appliances when not in use

We still eat out a good 2-3 times a week but I did buy some liquid bulk soap and started making my own foaming soap dispensers so at least I'm being somewhat frugal.

I never know what to think about these surveys asking people what they are doing. The surveys done when gas was rising in price showed similarly high numbers of people saying they were carpooling, combining trips, using public transportantion, etc, But whenever someone would report on the actual consumption of gas, it was always rising (not just overall spending because of the prices, but in actual gallons). I think above the $4 point, we finally saw a decrease in gas consumption by 1%, not exactly the kind of eye popping numbers as these surveys suggest.

You also see this every Christmas during economic downturns - large percentages of people say they are drastically cutting back on their spending, but in 2002, the last time we had a "horrible" shopping season, we "only" saw an increase of 2%. OK, because of inflation this may have been be a slight decrease in inflation adjusted numbers, but not much of one (does anyone even notice if they spend 2% less than last year?)

The data shows that real consumption of gas did decrease as the price hit $4. However, there is a lag time between the realization that gas is expensive and what I can do about it. Thus we saw a gradual decline in gas usage, ie demand destruction. It takes time to readjust our life-styles. I believe it was a benefit because we started to plan more which increased our efficiency at getting things done.
I have been frugal for many years, thus cutting back was more on the fun things in life. So we have fun cooking gourmet meals (instead of eating out), and renting DVDs for a dollar at the grocery store. When we do go out to eat it is for a special event, ie good grades, anniversary, birthdays etc.

Like most of the rest of you, we already live frugually, so there wasn't really much to change. We rarely eat out, don't use many convenience foods, etc. We are self-employed, and I'm not really sure where we will cut expenses if needed in the future, but for the time being we haven't had to make many adjustments.

We're the same. We've been on the frugal end for a while now so we aren't doing anything all that different.

I started shopping at a different, less expensive grocery store. It has less variety, so I alternate weeks, going to the cheaper store every two weeks and the regular store every two weeks so I can get the things that aren't available at the other place. This week I will go to the cheaper store.

I'm using coupons more.

We'll also spend less at Christmas this year.

We're putting more money in our Vanguard Money Market account and when we get to an extra $1000.00 (about every 8 weeks, we move the money from Vanguard to a CD at the credit union to get a better interest rate.

We usually take two extended vacation trips per year. Next year we plan only one trip, our annual Colorado ski trip in March. The best we'll do next summer is a long weekend camping within a couple hundred miles of home.

1. Make a menu for the week and only buy what's needed for the menu.

2. Home-made Christmas (spent $16 TOTAL!)

3. Add a can of beans to hamburger meals.

4. Store brand diapers (I've been afraid to try them until desperation hit).

5. Cancelled LAN line phone, cell phone only.

These are the cutbacks we have made to get ready for my maternity leave which starts in two weeks. We're already more frugal than other people we know and they ask us all the time for suggestions on more cutbacks. The only thing I refuse to cut back on is cable internet. My husband swears too much when we have dial-up.

Well, you were going to buy a house not that long ago...hopefully you can now see what a mistake that would have been. Pretty soon the government will be paying any warm body (that has a decent credit score) to buy something--anything. In my part of California (Eureka), prices are still insane, about 7.3X median household income, so they have a long ways to fall (this ratio was between 3 and 4 up until 2003). House sellers are still unrealistic with pricing and expect 2005 valuations. This thing still has a long ways to go!

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