Oregonian, new here

New here and just hoping to connect with others, and share ideas and learn how others get the most out of their budgets. We currently rent a smaller duplex, we do have a yard, not large, but have made some garden beds, taken advantage of some free space in an open area one yard away for growing

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  1. #1
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    Smile Oregonian, new here

    New here and just hoping to connect with others, and share ideas and learn how others get the most out of their budgets.

    We currently rent a smaller duplex, we do have a yard, not large, but have made some garden beds, taken advantage of some free space in an open area one yard away for growing more (it is an area where power lines run and we made sure our other garden did not impede any potential crews access). We also have built two smallish hen houses, and raised some chicks, which are now pullets and will produce some eggs for us in the early fall, eight hens to be exact, which will give us plenty eggs for ourselves, and some for family and friends too.

    Our patio is average sized, and we had some cinder blocks sitting around, which just happen to fit along one side where we have a small plant bed, so we lined that side and will be planting herbs in the pockets of the blocks. This will be 12 "pocket" spots for herbs, very exciting and huge money saver.

    We have three kids, one adult, who is 26 and a mother and student (I watch my grandson while she attends classes and her fiancee, soon to be husband works full time). The other two are almost 16 year old son, and an 11 year old girl.

    We are currently building a shed to house all of our garden tools and the chicken feed and straw. The shed was from plans I drew out, and made with pallets as our base and dimensions I worked from (using OSB for the siding and slanted roof, but stressing that it must be sealed with layers of paint, and an elastic roofing product to withstand moisture, OSB is cheaper, but usually used for under siding).

    Our biggest problem with our budget has been keeping our electric down. It has been awful. We have a two bedroom place, not large, and a slightly converted garage as extra space, and our bills have been overtly huge (let's say over $300.00 at one point in winter) for this size. We have cut them down by some changes, a low flow shower head, kitchen sink aerator, keeping the dishwasher on "low energy" button, as well as turning off the heater breaker switch since about mid April. However, I'd LOVE to see it go down more.

    My husband works for a company which handles wholesale fabric (mainly quilting cottons), and I have had access to a lot of discarded sample cards, full of pretty coordinated fabric bits, for an exceptional price, but did not want to buy it without knowing what to use them for. I do not quilt (my lines, no matter how well I start, always go askew), but do sew. I had hoped to use these otherwise discarded samples to generate some extra money to put into savings, but need some ideas.

    I have to admit, I use coupons very little, as I have always shopped the basics (meat, potatoes,vegetables and very little to no pre-packaged or frozen products), at a store that offers some incredible deals. I am not brand loyal, and some products might be store brands. I find using some store brand products to be not as good so do stick to labels on such things as canned soups. In Oregon, there are few stores that use double coupons anymore, and the few that do, have the absolute highest prices, making the use of coupons a moot point. I would love to learn how people use coupons to get their groceries for nearly nothing (you've seen those articles on TV and in magazines...where someone has this system and they get so much for so little?).

    I hope to hear from people about how they have saved big and were able to convert those savings into money back into the bank.

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  3. #2
    Deal GURU
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    Default Re: Oregonian, new here

    Hello and welcome from Canada!
    My Mom has been using her extra fabric to make econo shopping bags to sell and can't make enough for the demand.

  4. #3
    Deal GURU
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    Default Re: Oregonian, new here

    Hello and Welcome, I'm sure you'll find alot of good ideas on savings here. A very friendly group here. Looking forward to your future postings.
    Cutting your fabic to ready made squares for quilts is a big seller here.
    Enjoy!!
    JoAnn
    "Joy is not in things. It is within us"

  5. #4
    Budget101 Done Digging
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    Default Re: Oregonian, new here

    Welcome to a great forum. Sounds like you're well on your way to saving some money with all your plantings. Nice going!
    Had a small garden last year and enjoyed it so much, but gone a lot this summer and in the high 90 degree weather we get it would be a lot of trouble to get neighbors to water and pick or set up timers.
    I do the couponing for groceries but it takes a lot of time and you do need the stores that double to do well at it. I do best when they have buy one get one free and I have coupons that double on each item. (3 stores close by do that) Have been doing mostly that kind of shopping for the past 6 months and am noticing a drop in my monthly grocery bill as well as a full freezer and pantry.

    Looking forward to your future postings
    Niddi

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Oregonian, new here

    Welcome to the site, you sound like you are having a great time with the gardening! Hope you enjoy your time on the site.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Oregonian, new here

    The shopping bag idea, thank you! That is something that just did not come to mind. Should have since within the Portland city limits (which we are outside of) is now having a tax on plastic bags, and encouraging people to use reusable bags (that cost is on the customers, .20 cents a bag). However, out here where we are it could be a good thing too.

 

 

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