Ask the Readers: I used to __, but now I __ to save money.

By Greg Go on 26 May 2009 (Updated 30 June 2009) 146 comments

Congrats to the Winners!

Winner 1: Comment #130 from Paul (Fiscal Geek)

I used to just let our overdraft credit line pick up any checking account overages now I use You Need a Budget almost every day to track my expenses.

I used to check my email every 3 seconds from my phone now I enjoy a quiet moment without a data plan.

Winner 2: Tweet from @mattbramanti

@wisebread I used to just renew my insurance, but now I shop around to save money.

We'll be asking all of you a new question next Tuesday.  Stay tuned!

 


 

Fill in the blanks to this statement to win one of two $10 Amazon gift cards we're giving away:

I used to ___, but now I ___ to save money.

Some of the things I've done:

  • I used to eat out all the time, but now I use my crockpot at home more often.
  • I used to have a lot of junk in my car, but now I've emptied it out to save money on gas.
  • I used to go out for drinks, but now I stay in for board games with friends.

By the way, check out this interesting TIME magazine article on how people's buying habits change in a recession.  (Our own Linsey Knerl is featured in the article too.)

To cut expenses, consumers are going out less, a phenomenon retail analysts call cocooning. Among couples, cocooning can lead to canoodling, which can lead to ... recreation.

Win 1 of 2 $10 Amazon gift cards

2 Ways to Enter

  1. Post a comment below.
  2. Tweet your response to @wisebread.

You may enter both ways.  

If you're inspired to write a full blog post, go for it!  Post the link in the comments and/or tweet it to us to qualify for the drawing.

Rules and Deadline

  1. Contest ends tomorrow -- Wednesday, May 27 at 5:59 pm PDT.
  2. 1 commenter and 1 twitterer will each win a $10 Amazon gift card.
  3. Winners are selected by random draw.
  4. Winners will be announced on the Living Large on a Small Budget radio show.  We'll also talk about some of the more interesting responses.
  5. Contacted winners have 7 days to respond before we choose another winner.

 

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Guest's picture
Lenora

I stopped boiling the tea. Now I just add water and the bags, let it sit on the counter for a few hours and viola, tea. I never have to worry about breaking the glass and no energy is used to cook it.

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Y

I used to eat lunch out every workday now I brown bag it.

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Tara

I used to smoke, now I run to save money.

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nodwink

I used to pay for cable television...... now I just download everything I want to watch.

I used to not buy groceries and eat out every night, now I clip coupons like a mad woman, and buy groceries instead.

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Zuzka

I used to go for expensive lunches when I wanted to socialize and spend time with my colleagues but now we go for a walk together every day and then eat brown bag lunch back in the office. It became our tradition and more people are joining us :)

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Guest

I used to only have a vague idea how my family spent its $$$, now I know how/where every dime is spent.

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Holly Marie

I used to go shopping without a list, but now I always use a list -- whether it's grocery shopping, hardware shopping or clothes shopping -- to stay on track and to save money.

I used to buy too much food per grocery shopping trip, but now I only buy what our family can really consume in order to save money. The most expensive food is wasted food! It was amazing when I evaluated how much we were really throwing out -- particularly with produce. Shameful. Really, really shameful.
(And everyone is still getting their five-plus servings at house even with the change.)

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Lisa B.

My husband and I used to have two cars but now we share one to save money.

I used to have satellite TV but now I use a digital converter and antenna to save money.

We used to have expensive birthday parties for our son but now we just have a small family gathering to save money.

We used to buy lots of Christmas presents but now we make presents to save money. Hopefully I will get better at it.

I used to throw out our uneaten veggies but now I feed them to my bunny to save money on his food.

Guest's picture

I used to eat out a lot with coworkers, now I (we!) brown-bag to save money.

I used to lust after shiny new electronics, now I have a dedicated savings account to save up for them.

I used to get a daily e-mail with "deals" on things, now I avoid such sites so I'm not tempted to buy things I don't need.

I used to just save in my 401k, now I automate my savings as well.

Guest's picture

I used to do nothing during free time, but now I research all the savings for common purchases to save money.

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Guest

I used to buy iced coffee, now I make my own at home.

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Guest

I used to buy 2 combo meals when my Mom and I would eat out, but now I buy one combo meal, upsize the drink and we split the meal and drink. That saves us money and cuts our calorie intake in half.

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Olivia

When I was young, single, and making money, I used to eat out or take in for practically every meal. Part of it was the dreaded "cooking for one" hump. Part of it was the enjoyment of hanging out with other people at meal time. Now I garden, can, freeze, use coupons, shop the bump and dent store, scan flyers for loss leaders, pick wild stuff, explore dollar stores, stock the pantry, and cook at home. There's no looking back. Sitting at the table around a homemade pizza and organic homegrown salad with friends or family beats it all.

Guest's picture
Guest

I used to shop retail, but now I shop for clothing and household items at consignment and thrift shops to save money.

Guest's picture
Beth

Among couples, cocooning can lead to canoodling, which can lead to ... recreation--which leads to kids, who cost lots of money!

Guest's picture

I used to spend liberally at the grocery store (rationalizing that cooking with expensive ingredients was cheaper than eating out), but now I keep a few laying hens and grow most of my own produce to save money.

The kicker is that the quality of my ingredients are so high that this food is not available for *any* amount of money. And with quality this high, I hardly have to do anything to it in the kitchen to end up with a fabulous meal.

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Aaditi

I used to eat fast food, but now I bake my own to save money.

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Guest

I used to eat out for lunch when at work, but now I pack my lunch, save huge money and eat more healthily to boot. I've even begun to influence my office-mates to do the same.

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Diana

I used to subscribe to all the movie channels (HBO, Cinemax), but now I cancelled my subscription to save money.

I used to spend frivolously, but now I track every penny via Mint.com to save money.

I used to go out to lunch 3x a week, but now I pack my own to save money.

I used to eat whatever my emotion, but now I actually use my gym membership to save money (on food).

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Lulu

I used to laugh at the coupon freaks...now I happily cut my own every Sunday.

I used to cry about my debt and wonder how I would ever get out from under it....now I take steps to make sure I control my financial destiny and no longer live paycheck to paycheck.

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Laura

I used to just buy everything at one store, but now I shop at multiple stores and price match what I can at Wal-Mart. That often saves me from most of the running around!

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Kelly

I used to rent movies every weekend, now I put my name on a waiting list and get the current titles from the library for free!!!!

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Guest

I used to go grocery shopping every week but now I go every other week and spend about the same amount.

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Matt Jabs

I used to eat more meats but now I eat more beans and save around $150/month on groceries.

Two additional benefits:

1. My wife & I have both lost weight
2. We are both healthier

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Mike S

I used to go to Supercuts for $15 a visit, but know I cut my own hair (with a one time $25 investment in a trimmer) to save money.

Guest's picture

I used to let my impulses control my mind, but now my mind controls my impulses.

or

I used to drink a Venti Caramel Doche Latte and 5-8 Mountain Dews a day, but now I only drink water both at home and when we dine out to save money, fat, and sanity.

Guest's picture

I used to go out to eat five nights a week but now I eat almost every meal at home. This easily saves $50 a week for me alone, let alone my other family members.

Guest's picture

I used to struggle to gain control of my finances, but now I read Wisebread to save money!! ;)

I used to complain about never having any money, but now I work two jobs to increase our income. (at least during the summer)

Guest's picture

I used to just let our overdraft credit line pick up any checking account overages now I use You Need a Budget almost every day to track my expenses.

I used to check my email every 3 seconds from my phone now I enjoy a quiet moment without a data plan.

Guest's picture
Jeff Rose

I used to make fun of my wife for having a coupon for everything (seriously everything), but now I go online to look for coupons for every purchase to save money.

"I'm a Believer!"
-The Monkees (written by Neal Diamond)

Guest's picture
Lesa

I used to buy books but now I use PaperBackSwap.com and get them for free.

I used to use Netflix but now I use Redbox and get many movies with free code offers.

Guest's picture
J. Money

I used to blow $40 on bottles of Bling water, but now I drink from the tap to save money. (no joke)

Guest's picture

I used to buy fabric and crafting supplies, but now I'm using up leftover fabric to save money.

(Eventually, I'll have to buy more, but then I'll have more space free anyway!)

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Matt B

I used to constantly buy new DVD's but now I have sold most of them and rent or watch at a friends to save money.

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Diane

I use to go to the gym but now I go for a run outside.

I use to buy new books all the time, now I use bookmooch.com.

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David

I used to be married, but I live on my own to save money.

(Seriously!)

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JinIA

I used to drink sodas but now I drink water to save money.

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Eggie

I used to buy organic eggs, but now I keep hens and collect fresh eggs every day--with enough extra to give away or sell.

Guest's picture

I used to eat meat, but now I...

don't.

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Dawn/FFL

I used to waste electricty, but now I unplug most everything to save money (and drop my utility bill down).

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Guest

I used to think cutting coupons and shopping discount stores wasn't worth my time and hassle, but now I cut coupons and shop at Costco and (ugh) Walmart instead of my old favorite grocery store to save money... BIG money.

Greg Go's picture
Greg Go

Winner 1: Comment #130 from Paul (Fiscal Geek)

I used to just let our overdraft credit line pick up any checking account overages now I use You Need a Budget almost every day to track my expenses.

I used to check my email every 3 seconds from my phone now I enjoy a quiet moment without a data plan.

Winner 2: Tweet from @mattbramanti

@wisebread I used to just renew my insurance, but now I shop around to save money.

Congrats to both!  

We'll be asking all of you a new question next Tuesday.  Stay tuned!

 

Guest's picture
Guest

I used to use credit cards, but now I use cash to save money! Cash really helps with the disciplined budget.

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NCN

I used to use credit cards (and pay interest), but now I'm debt free (and pay cash).

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Tessa

I use to use throw away diapers but now I use cloth diapers!

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LSaldana

I used to buy coffee in the morning but now I make my own at home.