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Old June 23rd, 2008, 12:42 PM   #1
PBS
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Default Midwest Tragedy means food prices will soar.

Ok..so...i have been keeping our heads above water...barely for four years. I don't know how to keep doing this if food and gas prices go up much more.

I have cut corners for the most part.... but i still want to be able to do some fun stuff with the kids...like yesterday...I took Christopher to the Rockies game... the tickets were only $4... and we took our own water and snacks... but the day still ended up costing around $35 with parking and food and tickets.... so, I had to "look" for the money in the budget.

Anyone have any ideas on budget tightening??
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Old June 23rd, 2008, 04:55 PM   #2
DragonsRain
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PBS, first of all major hugs to you for finding a way. With gas going so high and everything else as well, it's hard to find anything "cheap" to do. Maybe going to a park/pond for a picnic? Bring cards or other stuff he likes to do. Sad thing is the thing that will cost the most is the gas most likely. Hugs!!
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Old June 24th, 2008, 06:59 PM   #3
kraftykid
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The only thing I can think of is public transportation. It is a pita but that is what lots of people are doing here. The park and rides free, well the park is free the ride isn't.

Public Transit Authority stated that they will soon be raising their rates because of the increase cost of gas. My husband filled the tank on our van and it cost $100.00, on a good day it gets 18 mpg. Consequently we use the Escort for most of our driving. It gets 25+ mpg. I know it is more than that but don't how much better.

We are going to have to make some changes in our life style because we live on a fixed income and have animals to feed. That is going to be bad, we may have to place the big horse in rescue and just keep the minitures. You can support four minis at the cost that it takes for one big horse.

You can find a way PBS, we all do when we have to.

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Old June 24th, 2008, 10:41 PM   #4
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Yes...we do. It's just that finally, ends were STARTING to almost meet. sigh. I have robbed peter again to pay paul..and I'm hoping Peter doesn't notice till next month! LOL!

I work 30 miles away...and when I take the bus it's a 2 hour one-way commute. I did that for the first year and a half of this job...but then after I tore my ACL and had to have surgery... it was too difficult. Now...with the commute time, if something happened to one of the kids, i wouldn't have a way to get home and no one here to get to them either...sooo... public transport isn't an option for me with this job anyway. I thought about quitting and finding something closer to home, but I can't make what I make now easily. And... the difference would be more than the gas I would save...sooo..that won't work.

I am having a yard sale this next month...all the left over stuff that the "old guy" left here when he left. I sent a certified registered letter telling him he had till june 30 to get it out... that's almost a year!! sooo.... i'm gonna sell it if he doesn't show up in the next week!

that'll help the grocery bill for next month at least.

i will figure it out..but keep the ideas coming!
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Old June 25th, 2008, 09:19 PM   #5
kraftykid
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Another thing that I forgot to mention that has made a big difference in our lives is…. Gulp, we gave up our cell phones. I have to admit that we really miss them. What we switched to was the telephone service our cable company offers. $60 per month difference. Our land lines has been completely cut off but they have some way of using the same phone jacks. We also, and I know this scares most people, got a horrific bill from our cell phone company. My husband called them, they said to ignore that bill that we would be receiving one next month for $35. Much better than the $400+ they wanted. If you are thinking about giving up your cell phone now is the time to do it, all cell phone providers are under investigation because of those high disconnect fees.

We do our major shopping in our small town, on Thursday because that is the day I go to see my T. I go visit and hubby runs errands.

I buy lots of stuff online, I compare prices and shipping fees. No sales tax, and gas isn’t used to run around looking for what I want. You have to be careful of some places because sometimes their prices are higher, even when you figure in the sales tax and shipping. What I really like is when it is a good deal with no sales tax and free shipping.

The only place that we spend more is at the feed store. We can buy a ton of hay and for $25 more they will deliver and stack. Those hauling bales days are over for us, both hubby and I have bad backs. I do remember the days I use to buck hay right out of the field. Now I would have to open the bales and throw it flake by flake into the back of the van.

I agree with PBS that food prices are going to be higher. Not just people food, but pet food as well. If anyone has ideas on how to cut back more please leave your hint here. I would appreciate it.

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Old June 28th, 2008, 05:07 AM   #6
Tammy
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We've been struggling around here for quite some time too, and something has to give pretty soon, that's for sure!

I've been out of work for 19 months, so that's added to our difficulties. The first 3 months weren't so bad, because I was on FMLA and had paid leave until my vacation time ran out, but then my employer terminated me because I used up my FMLA time and couldn't return to work.

Our animal situation is a little different than most "normal" people. We currently have 39 cats that eat a species appropriate raw diet. From a financial standpoint, it's much more economical than any commercial kibble/cans we could buy, and much healthier for them.

We use about 125 pounds of minimally processed, whole chicken per week. The past several weeks, the chicken has become a serious problem for us, because there just doesn't seem to be ANY around. I used to buy enough to make 2-3 weeks worth of food at a time, now I'm lucky if I can buy 1 weeks worth at a single store.

We also have a husky, 2 malamutes, 2 cocker spaniels, and 7 house rabbits, so food costs for our pets don't stop at the chicken.

It's not even just food, though. Our electric company submitted a request to increase rates last week and they want to increase them by 21%!! Why? They cited the increase in gas costs for their trucks to run around, cutting off people who can't pay their bills!! WHAT KINDA SENSE DOES THAT MAKE?! Increase rates so you can afford to cut off the people who obviously can't afford the current rates, which will just create more people who can't afford the new rates, leaving more people to be cut off.. it just goes 'round and 'round!

It's insanity. Pure, unadulterated insanity.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 03:09 PM   #7
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Latest insanity I have heard is the credit card companies are planning cutting the approved level of your card. I have worked very hard over the years to have a very high level and an excellent record of payments. Thanks to hard work and planning we have excellect credit rating. If the companies cut the approved level of credit on your card it is going to effect your credit rating. All that hard work for nothing... Sure am glad we have our forever house and forever cars. Should say our cars are older, but our neighbor keeps them running for us.

Something has to give and I hope is doesn't come to another depression.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 12:27 AM   #8
GreggFrank
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Thumbs up Easy Budget Cuts

Hi All,

I hope that this helps you in your budgetary constraints.
#1: If you smoke, STOP! Not only is it bad for your health, but it is an expensive habit...I stopped A LONG time ago and have been happier, healthier and wealthier because of it.

#2: Take a good look at your overall life and decide what is important in it, giving up your cell phone was an excellent idea, a landline can be had for much cheaper, especially if you go back to a dial up Internet connection, you can have a grand total bill of <$30 for phone and Internet. Think about what truly makes you happy, most of the time, you'll be answering things like my family, my friends, a walk, etc. DO THEM! We're always "too busy" or some other nonsense, but if its something we have to spend money on (like a movie) then we just don't have the money and woe is us. Forget it, spend time with those you Love and do the things that you Love. It will enrich your life far more than any movie or amusement park ride EVER could.

#3: Dump your cable, Satellite, etc. TV. You can get all your news online in a condensed format and you don't have to wonder if you missed something the announcer said. There's also A LOT of entertainment on the Internet, games, low bandwidth shows (you don't have to even have DSL to watch), and there's google for when you're feeling dangerous.

#4: If you can, ride a bike, walk, or at least carpool to your destination.

#5: I mentioned Stop smoking, but what about alcohol...do you have any idea how much that can eat away at your budget. I remember, and I'm not very happy with how much money I used to fritter away at the bars while not being able to pay my bills.

#6: Stop feeling sorry for yourself because you can't do things that cost money. I happen to know 3 fairly well off people (Net worth in excess of $1,000,000) and I'm far happier than they are with my little house, cars that usually work, and most of all, my friends and family who Love and want to spend time with me. If someone offered me $1,000,000 to give it up, I'd tell them where to stick it.

#7: Ok, back to real things you can do....stop spending money on your credit card...I don't mean slow down, I mean STOP entirely. You may also want to utilize some great companies, just google "Credit Card Debt Relief" and cut down what you pay in interest and start making some headway.

#8: Be reasonable and make those heartbreaking decisions. If you can't afford your apartment, car payment, animals, C-H-A-N-G-E it. It is your life and your decision. Nobody got you into any of those except yourself. Now buck up and change it. I have faith in you, I know you can do it!

Well, that's it. I hope that I'm helping out here. If I can help even one person, then this is all worth it!

Take care all, make your day your own, and make it GREAT!
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Old September 29th, 2008, 07:56 PM   #9
kraftykid
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hmmmmmm
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Old September 29th, 2008, 10:54 PM   #10
Tammy
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hmmmmmmm is right
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