(Closed) calling all cheap bees, frugal bees, need advice/opinions NEED MONEY

posted 5 years ago in Money
Post # 2
2647 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California

For starters, Dollar Tree isn’t always cheaper, although I don’t think shopping elsewhere would help much considering it’s usually just cents per dollar sometimes.  Aside from one or both of you getting a job, could you guys baby-sit or dog sit for a while until your jobs/SSI assistance situation gets better?  Is public transportation cheaper than driving?

Post # 3
3718 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I am so sorry. This isn’t exactly what you are asking, but have you looked into local job programs? Your husband may find something he can do while disabled. If not, can he take any part time work?

For food, the big thing is to cook simple and from scratch. In grad school I ate off of $45 a week– lots of beans (dried, rehydrated, then made in a crock pot), rice, tortillas, and frozen veggies. I also found that ordering from Amazon saved me money (in cost and gas), so almost everything I needed was shipped to me.

I honestly cannot thing of anywhere else to cut.

Post # 5
2638 posts
Sugar bee

brokeninnj: I am so sorry. Everyone goes through rough times – i will be praying for you guys!

how old are your older kids? Old enough to mow lawns? walk dogs? clean cars? Either you or the kids can put an ad out on craigslist or just ask around your neighborhood!

Is your husband handy? You could also put out an ad for a handyman or cleaning houses. Check for going rates in your area but its a great way to make some extra cash on a weekly basis. 

I am not too sure what your husband is able to do with his health issues – can he hold a sign for a few hours? 

Stop by little stores like liquor stores or 7-11 and ask if they need any help stocking/cleaning etc.



Post # 6
680 posts
Busy bee

i second couponing. If you can do it, you can get a lot of stuff cheap as hell.

Post # 7
1772 posts
Buzzing bee

It seems you’re doing all the commonly suggested things to cut back.  I don’t know what you’re doing regarding food/cooking but I second the suggestion to the cooking from scratch. 

I cook what’s on sale.  This week it’s corned beef points for 1.97/lb.  Last week it was chuck roast (2.99/lb) slow roasted with veggies to make pot roast.  Buy a whole pork loin on sale (<3.00/lb) and then cut it into roasts or chops on your own.  Costco has pork sirloin 4 packs for 1.50/lb.  I just bought a large pork shoulder @1.49/lb to slow cook some pulled pork (will freeze in quart bags).

Other standbys:  Beans/rice or cornbread.  lentils.  Eggs.  Bulk Oatmeal (no cereals in boxes). Semi cooking from scratch – the roasted chickens in the store go a long way, Hot meal one night.  Chicken salad with leftovers, and then simmer the bones to get homemade chicken broth for chicken/noodles, dumplings, or to use as a soup base.  Homemade soups stretch meat.    


Post # 8
1797 posts
Buzzing bee

Sorry, your situation really sucks, and it’s something I worry about having to face everyday! I second babysitting and couponing since you both have more freetime now to do so. It seems like you are cutting out everything that you possibly can at the moment, so I don’t really have much advice for you. Have you looked into temp agencies for you or your husband? My SO recently signed up for one, so he can be placed at a job for short or long term which could lead to a full time job if the position stays open. I’m not sure where you’re from, so I wouldn’t know a particular temp agency to suggest! Good luck!

Post # 10
173 posts
Blushing bee

If he can sign up to be a driver for a service lik Uber or Lyft (depending on where you are in NJ) especially when the weather is bad outside, he can make a few extra bucks and driving hopefully isn’t too strenous.

Post # 11
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

brokeninnj:  Other than cutting your grocery bill I don’t see where you can cut.  Beans and rice go a long way and supply your required amino acids.  Do not buy juice or soda; drink water from the tap only.  Make soups/curries which also go a long way with few ingredients.  we clean everything with bleach because it’s cheaper than buying other cleaning products.  Look into whether public transit is cheaper than gas and car insurance.  It takes more time out of your day but it should cost less.

You are in a bind and may not be able to save right now, don’t feel bad about that.  Just try to break even or not drain your savings too fast.

Post # 12
1999 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

brokeninnj:  I’m sorry you’re going through such a rough time! My financial situation is no picnic either but it’s easier when you don’t have kids. We’re not in the same country so I can’t suggest cheap stores but I second PP’s suggestion, cooking from scratch saves money. Meat is expensive so go vegetarian when you can – you can also stretch it by cutting it into little cubes and making a sauce to go over your pasta or make a risotto with pieces of chicken instead of serving one steak per person. 

Drink herbal tea and regular water. Fruit juices and soft drinks are both expensive and bad for you! 

I’ve recently bought a 24-hour facial cream so now I only have one bottle instead of a day cream and night cream. It saves space in the bathroom and quite money. A good option to save money is also using a BB cream instead of facial cream and foundation. Hard soaps last ages longer than liquid ones and are way better for your skin too. 

Washing your laundry at a lower temperature will help you save power – unless it’s really dirty, turn down the temperature button. Your clothes will also last longer. 

That’s all I’ve got for now. I really hope things get better for you soon. Fingers crossed!

Post # 13
9548 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Do you have any stuff you could sell on ebay? Or could you or your husband pick up jobs cleaning houses or babysitting or dog walking? Shop grocery sales and buy ingredients instead of processed food. Do you have any local hospitals or universities that are looking for research subjects? I did that in college and earned money for being a normal control for studies.

Post # 14
5189 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

brokeninnj:  I’m so sorry about your situation. It sounds like you’re doing the best with what you have though. Can either you or your husband take on a job at the supermarket or something? Those stores are always hiring. The pay isn’t great but it’s easy work and every dollar adds up. Up until less than a year ago I was “broke in nj” as well. Keep your head up, I promise things will get better. 

Post # 15
2156 posts
Buzzing bee

brokeninnj:  My Fiance and I were having some hard times not too long ago. I don’t know if you have one of these stores in your area, but Aldi is a great place to shop for groceries. Some things are equal priced to those at Walmart or other big stores. But you can get double the amount of shredded cheeses for less, coffee is very cheap, and their store brand paper towels and toilet paper are equivalent in durability to those  reallly expensive brands for half the price. 

Buy a whole chicken and cook it in a crock pot or in the oven. Remove all of the meat from the bones. You can freeze it and use it in casseroles, etc. You can also make a homemade chicken broth from the leftover carcass. I do this not only because it is cheaper than buying precut chicken breasts, but because I get some yummy chicken stock, too. The stock can also be frozen.

Make your own spaghetti sauce by the batch. freeze leftovers.

Buy frozen vegetables rather than fresh, especially when on sale- thinks like broccoli, green beans, mixed veggies, etc. They typically have just as much nutrient as fresh, if not more, and are a lot cheaper. 

Cheap cuts of pork and beef can be made into excellent dishes, you just have to know how to cook them. Get some pork and beef roasts onsale and you’ll have a cheap meal for the whole family. 

Buy beans and rice by the bag/in bulk/dry, not the “instant” type. 

Good luck!

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