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How to save $ during rising cost of living

by AMY QUINLIVAN
Mineral Independent | December 8, 2021 12:00 AM

Economists said this Thanksgiving would be the most expensive in more than three decades.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the United States annual inflation rate surged to 6.2 percent in October, the highest since November of 1990. Energy costs are up 30 percent, gasoline nearly 50 percent. Inflation also shot up for housing at 3.5 percent; food 5.3 percent, new vehicles 9.8 percent; used cars and trucks 26.4 percent; transportation services 4.5 percent; apparel 4.3 percent; and medical care services 1.7 percent.

The Labor Department reported earlier this month that average hourly earnings increased 0.4 percent in October. From Taco Bell to Toyota, new employees are seeing wages like they’ve never seen before, which some say is a good thing.

However, the department also noted that top-line inflation for the month of October also increased 0.9 percent, far more than what had been expected. So, in reality, real average hourly earnings when accounting for inflation, actually decreased 0.5 percent last month.

Despite a rise in salaries, the soaring costs of daily living has many Americans feeling the pinch. But this isn’t the first time in our country's history where society has had to dig deep, show up at work, pay the bills, and get resourceful financially.

The Greatest Generation would know best. Commonly referred to those Americans who were born in the 1900s through the 1920s. These Greatest Generation members all lived through the Great Depression and many of them fought in World War II. It was this group that perfected frugality, and ushered in a lifestyle of waste not, want not.

To some frugality may be a dying lifestyle. Or perhaps you already put into practice many of the following frugal ideas. Necessity meant that our grandparents, or great-grandparents, or parents, depending on your age, had to be frugal. And they had to stretch every penny as far as possible. In today’s consumer driven world, we rarely have to go to such lengths. But much can be learned from our older generations about saving money. These frugal tips from our friends and neighbors are even more relevant than ever.

Food Costs and Cooking

When dining out

Drink water and split the entrée, most restaurants serve such large portions you’ll both be full and still able to enjoy a night off from cooking.

Sharon Patterson

Cook from scratch not out of a box. Amazing the savings and you always have left overs for the meal or for your lunch. Pack a lunch if you work instead of eating in a restaurant or buying food at the deli.

Holly Blaylock

Homemade soups go a long way and so good for us. Try beans, and lentils as a base.

Kailey Austin Hood

Keep a gallon zip lock bag in your freezer, add your onion pieces, celery ends, carrot ends/peels, potato peels etc....until full. Then cook in a crock pot over night with bay leaves, salt, pepper. Strain pieces and you have Homemade vegetable stock. Add in beef or chicken bones for stock.

Amy Mckinney

I grow all my herbs and vegetables.

Around Town and Recreation

Holly Blaylock

Driving slower saves a lot of gas. Drop to 65 and see the difference in mileage.

Marcy Parsons

I enjoy checking in thrift shops if I need something. Buy Sell Groups. Sharing with friends is important to me. If I have something I no longer need I try to offer it to friends. The lost art of Bartering! It can be fun and a great to save and can result in a win-win for both parties!

Use the local library

The local library has so much more than just books. Watch DVDs, use the computers, borrow puzzles and board games, listen to music. And most importantly, use the books to learn new skills.

Free entertainment

Instead of spending time at the shops, cafes, theme parks or even in front of the TV or Xbox, frugal entertainment includes hanging with friends, picnics at the park, a day at the beach, playing board games, reading, or hiking.

Amy Quinlivan

Find a penny and pick it up, or a nickel, or a quarter. Everywhere I go, I look on the ground for money, I can’t even keep track of how many dollar bills, and loose change I’ve acquired over the years.

Cleaning and Personal Care

Lorie Phelps

Put a rubber band on the soap or hand sanitizer pump so it doesn't go down all the way and you use less. Or if you have an old foam hand dispenser mix soap with water to make your own foam soap.

Alta Boyes

My grandmother saved all the little hand soap slivers & stitched them into an old washcloth.

Niesje Humphrey

I add water to both my shampoo and conditioner so they will last longer. Doesn't seem to change anything.

Lorie Phelps

If you put Dawn dish soap in a spray bottle you can use it like the power wash that costs much more and even spray a little on stains before you wash your clothes.

Amy Quinlivan

I make my own liquid laundry detergent. It's amazing how much cheaper it is. Only three ingredients, Borax powder, washing soda, and dish soap.

Use grocery bags for the trash can, adding water to the dish soap, still works and lasts twice as long. Cutting the sponges in half.

Lorie Phelps

If you're like me I always have way more conditioner left over. Use it for shaving cream also.

Kait Baker

I made my own laundry soap and use dryer balls and I’ve saved a ton of money. You can also add scent beads if you like your laundry smelling fresh.

Nicole LaBelle

Adding vinegar to our liquid laundry detergent.

Household

Marcy Parsons

Use reusable plastic containers instead of zip-lock bags when possible. Not only saves money but can help the environment.

Toni Collier

Use cloth napkins instead of paper towels.

Corey Marks

Since the cold weather is moving, cook off the wood stove.

Marlene Affeld

Our community is blessed with wonderful drinking water. Stop buying bottled water and adding to the landfill with all that plastic.

Emily Taapken

Hang dry cloths. Use plastic and tape around windows to keep the warmth in. Put a gallon jug (filled with something) in the toilet tank, helps slow water use.

Marcy Parsons

When you are cleaning try to organize like items together. This helps prevent buying more of something you already had in stock.

Mary Wollaston

We are saving comics paper and brown paper from packages for gift wrapping.

Kailey Austin Hood

My grandma would wash and reuse zip-lock bags and tin foil.

Rebekah Kay McGuffey

If you have more than one kid, buy good quality clothes and boots and pass them down. Trade clothes back and forth between friends or family members.

Lozeau Lodge Montana

Stay warm inside by adding a sweater rather than cranking up the heat.

Darlene Kuprienko Jasper

My Dad used to go get the free Nickels Worth Newspapers and that’s what our Christmas gifts were wrapped in.

Marcy Parsons

Write out a budget. Write it down. When I map out annual, quarterly and monthly spends it provide more control. Helps to prioritize spending and identify wants versus needs. I periodically check and make sure I have canceled any subscriptions that might be set to auto renewal.

Clothing

Wear clothes more than once, if the clothes aren’t dirty, wear them again before washing and reduce the number of washes you do. Also, mend clothing, and make them last as long as possible.

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