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Old 02-28-2009, 09:55 AM   #1
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Tips for surviving a recession

With the US currently in the midst of a recession that seems to be getting worse with each passing day, I thought I would start a thread where we could all share our tips for surviving a recession.

I'll go first. I grew up with depression-era parents so I have an arsenal of small "tips" that I use every day like shutting off lights when you leave a room or putting on an extra sweater so that I can lower the thermostat in the winter or closing the curtains in the summer to keep out the heat to lower AC costs. I am also worried about my job so I am currently training for a new career.
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:07 AM   #2
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Kill two birds with one stone - stop buying junk food and eat healthier - it's actually cheaper. Grow your own too - veggies from your garden taste WAY better than cans, frozen or store bought - especially TOMATOES!
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:11 AM   #3
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Save money on expensive vacations - choose camping instead of cruises and resorts

Bake your own cookies, cakes and bread.
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:14 AM   #4
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Kill two birds with one stone - stop buying junk food and eat healthier - it's actually cheaper. Grow your own too - veggies from your garden taste WAY better than cans, frozen or store bought - especially TOMATOES!
Not really cheaper...that is a fallacy. One of the major networks did a special on it a while back. Process and packaged food is usually less expensive per serving than the fresh stuff. As well as being full of unhealthy amounts of sugar and salt. But in the long run fresh stuff should save you money, in that you are healthier so you should need less medicine and medical care.

I always tell people that it may be fine for lab rats...but I am not a lab rat!

Aaron
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:15 AM   #5
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Which is the cheaper way of heating the Airstream, propane and the forced air heater or a portable creamic heater? This is of course if electricity is not a free commodity. And if regional area is a consideration we are in Michigan. Actually, wintering in the South West seems the most cost effective.
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:38 AM   #6
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Raise a few chickens. You won't save money raising your own eggs, but there's no comparison to store bought if their feed is supplemented with greens and kitchen scraps. Their eggs will be healthier. Let them roam the backyard during the day if possible.
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:12 AM   #7
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- Turn the thermostat up or down a degree or two depending on season

- Change your air filters on everything (car, furnace, etc)

- Use compact florescent light bulbs in area that have lights on for extended periods (lights you use the most)

- Take your Netflix from 3 to 1 or drop it totally and use things like Hulu

- Drop some cable channels

- Revisit your spending on Internet, cable and phone, see if packages are avail that will reduce cost

- Keep your tires inflated to the proper pressures

- When camping, heat water by putting a jug (or one of those shower totes) of water in the sun for showering, washing hands/dishes

- If in full hookups, if some heat is needed (above 55 degrees) use the heat strip or heat pump instead of the LP burning furnace

- For short trip (and not terribly hot outside), pre-cool your fridge in the RV with electric and don't keep it cool in transit using LP (newer fridges do a great job of turning on and off, but the old ones.....)

- In winter open blinds that let sun in, it can add heat to the inside of the house. In summer, close them and use a fan to circulate the air in the house even if the A/C is on

- Grow your own (enter your favorite things here)

- Walk more, ride bike more, drive less

- Take savings and make sure you are getting good returns, particularly in insured area like savings, CDs and money markets-- rates can vary widely

- Make sure parasitic power draws around the house are terminated. For example, computers set to sleep when not in use, Wii disconnected and other parasitic draw electronics from the wall when not in use (you'd be shocked how much power these use, even when not on)

- Wash and dry full loads of launry, don't do small loads-- hang clothes outside when possible

- Turn your water heater down a few degrees and make sure it's insulated..if not add and insulating blanket

- Get economy type shower heads...less water, same pressure..you don't even have to turn the faucet knobs up very much for enough pressure

- For those who bag grass clippings and have to dispose of them (it costs around here to dispose of yard waste), build a compost pile and/or mulch the trimmings back to the lawn (not bagging it) and use outdoor fireplaces for fallen tree limbs and branches

- Depending on climate you are in, pets on heartguard may not benefit from year round dosing. In Chicago, it does not get above 40 degrees for 6 months. The old days they said only summer months, then to boost profits, they said year round. A good rule of thumb that has served me for over 18 years is only start heartguard after it's under 38 regularly and don't start until it's going to get over 38 regularly or when you see it's not just a fluke 50 degree day here or there toward the end of winter

- Shop for pet needs. Going to a PetSmart or other retailer (even your vet) can cost in most cases several times more than shopping on-line. For example, my vet wants $65 for 12 months of Heartguard. I found the exact same meds, and I mean exact same brand and type for $24 on line

- Wash your own car and other vehicles instead of going to a car wash or pull in manual car wash

- Brown bag it/eat out less

- Jack rabbit starts from a stop light, not a good idea

- Watch the road and see stale green and red lights and adjust your foot on the accelerator accordingly

- When towing, the slower you go, the better MPG you get. I towed at 54 mph duing my Burbs break in period, I got about 16mpg towing! Going faster (60-65), the numbers fall to 10 or 11. This is for gassers...diesel is a whole 'nuther beast

I am sure there are more, but I follow most of these and have seen expenses drop noticably.
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:48 AM   #8
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In addition...

Stockpile food, meds, water, paper products, toiletries, fuel...

Pay off debt.

Stock up on books you want to read in case you get to the point of having to "cancel cable" or having to "barricade yourself in the basement."

Pay off debt.

Get really good camping gear including zero degree sleeping bags, a wind up lantern and little propane stove, etc...

Prepare to be totally independant.

Help others who are less fortunate.

"When you are struggling, and everything seems totally hopeless... that's the time to find somebody else who maybe needs a helping hand even more than you, and give it to them, without expecting a doggone thing in return. That's where the best "dividends" are in farming sometimes." ~ Quote from an unknown farmer
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:12 PM   #9
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All the above advice/comments are great. I have incorporated many into our life and do see a difference. Every little bit helps. I keep all my change at the end of the day, have for many years. Just took a small amount the other day, counted it and presto $246.00 I have alot of change left.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixty3TW4US View Post
All the above advice/comments are great. I have incorporated many into our life and do see a difference. Every little bit helps. I keep all my change at the end of the day, have for many years. Just took a small amount the other day, counted it and presto $246.00 I have alot of change left.
I do the same thing. Throw it in an old 2 qt. iron pot. separate the quarters for the laundrymat and when the pot gets 2/3 to 3/4 full I take it to the bank. I let them do the counting.
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:08 PM   #11
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Get rid of your Airstream, forget about camping, and prepare to enter a deep depression.
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:08 PM   #12
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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

We compost and recycle.

It's amazing-most weeks we only have one small plastic grocery bag's worth of garbage. We pay the least amount our garbage company charges for weekly garbage collection. We compost our fruit and vegetable scraps and paper towels into our compost bin, and recycle our newspapers, glass bottles, tin cans, milk cartons, styrofoam trays and containers.

We separate our aluminum cans and plastic bottles and save them to bring to our local recycling center and donate the proceeds to a worthy charity. It's not unusual for us to recycle enough cans and bottles to donate over $100 to a charity each time we stop by the center. We've even been known to pick up cans and bottles off the side of the road-not only does it help clean up the community/environment but a worthy cause also benefits.

We also trade the bounty of our garden with others. Too many lemons? We'll trade our tomatoes that benefitted from our home made compost!

Last but not least, we volunteer. It really puts things in perspective and instills a sense of gratitude when we help others who are less fortunate.
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:17 PM   #13
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Get rid of your Airstream, forget about camping, and prepare to enter a deep depression.
I am keeping mine...might need it to downsize too (it won't be much considering my house is only 980sf

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Old 02-28-2009, 02:19 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the great tips above. We talk about this stuff often and try to be responsible.

Buy local & keep your neighbors working and producing food. We don't want to depend on Walmart to feed us.

Rethink wood heat, it saves us hundreds of dollars a year and gives us excercise. I would love to have a small piece of woodland, and will buy one if I get the opportunity.

We also hang our clothes on racks beside the woodstove in the winter, and outside or on racks by the window in the summer. Our clothes last longer, and so does our $$$.

Build facing the south. Why face the road? On sunny days, because we are passive solar and built our home with Insulated Concrete, we don't light the woodstove at all. Insulate you attic, caulk your windows.

Get to know your neighbors. You have talents and so do they. Start rebuilding your community. Turn off the TV. Get off the internet and visit.

Don't count on the government to save you. It is not your Savior.

Plant a garden and consider saving your seeds, as hundreds of varieties are being controlled and genetically modified by large corporations and may not be available to us, or will produce plants that don't give seeds.

and, (to my husband's displeasure), spend money on the Airstream while you can.
Be thankful for the blessings that you have.
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