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      Well, I have always tried to live with a tightened belt. Currently, hubby is laid off. I make all of our meals, lunches for work, etc.

      at home. I use the slow cooker a lot. It makes a large amount of food, which I can then serve for a meal or two, freeze the rest and bring it back out in a few days.

      I am about to fire up the bread machine. A loaf of bread is $2-3 here at our local grocery stores. Those sandwiches for hubby to take to work for lunches add up.

      Any tips on inexpensive sandwich fillers? Even Peanut Butter is pricey here. We combine trips.

      We cut cable to the bone, just enough to keep our high speed internet service. I work from home when I can and take the bus when I have to go into the office. That helps with gas.

      My hubby has been out job hunting since the layoff happened. He has a few
      promising leads. Please pray for his success.

      Thanks! Laundry goes on the clothesline – esp. his jeans.

      All sweaters get laid out. Most can’t be dried anyhow. We do the towels in the dryer, along with the baby’s underclothes.

      I like his t-shirts to be nice and soft for him. Fill a thermos with hot chocolate or coffee and take it with you when you go out (and when you go to work). Take a water cooler filled with ice water and take a few tumblers out of the cabinet.

      Keeps you from running into the quickie mart places for a bottle of water when you are out. Spend time on the weekends baking snacks for lunches. My hubby likes chocolate chip cookies and brownies, so I just whip up a batch every few days and send him on his way with a few each lunch.

      I got chips on sale during the holidays and right after when they were
      marked WAY down. Popped them into the freezer so they don’t go rancid. Looked up a few recipes in my Bisquick cookbook yesterday.

      Will be making a quiche type thing this week. It has ham & eggs in it. I have a piece of ham in the freezer that will fit the bill.

      Always shop with a grocery list and coupons. Before you buy 3 for $1, ask if the price is just $0.33 for one and get just the one you need. Big batches of homemade soups, chili are great for meals.

      Make pancakes & eggs for meals. Breakfast, lunch, dinner – all work…and quite inexpensive. Boil a dozen eggs and eat a couple for breakfast or lunch each day.

      Easy to transport, high in protein, filling and less expensive than hitting the fast food places for them. Take toast to work, or just the bread, if you have access
      to a toaster. Open up your boiled egg, put it on top and breakfast is done.

      Fill up a set of salt & pepper shakers and leave them in your desk drawer. I fill mine from the bulk size salt & pepper I got at the grocery store months ago. Herlean

      sportsalibi wrote: With gas prices hovering at $3.50 a gallon in our area things are
      getting really bad. I am extremely lucky to be in a profession
      where there is something of a shortage but most people in Michigan
      are not so lucky. Even though I am working, my adult, married kids
      are in financial trouble and I am helping them out as much as
      possible.

      I don’t want to get flamed because I chose to help out my
      adult children and would not go to the extremes I do
      except they are
      out looking for jobs continously.

      My daughter and her husband both have jobs that have cut back so no
      health insurance is paid. They both work 36 hours a week and
      recently my daughter had an allergic reaction that put her in the
      hospital for 3 days. They both make $9 per hour.

      They do not drive
      new cars, have computers or internet or cable tv. They are doing ok
      at this point but have no extras when things break or cars need to
      be fixed.

      My son and his wife have a 3 year old. He makes $8 and she was laid
      off. She cannot get unemployment because in Mich you have to work
      18 consective months to qualify and she only worked 17 1/2.

      They
      cannot get on WIC because their daughter is healthy and she is
      number 478 on the waiting list. The state says they earn too much
      for any other type of assistance. Of course his business also only
      works him 36 hours a week so no health insurance. They need the

      most help. His take home pay is under $230 a week and their very
      basic living expenses for housing is $790. The rest goes for gas
      for him to get to work.

      I help buy them food and extra gas money.
      Things need to get better in this state because a whole lot of
      people are really hurting!

      Here are some things all of us do to save money…

      Hang all clothes to dry. I hang in the basement and the kids put
      everything on hangers and hang them on the shower rod and in the
      closet leaving the door open. This includes underclothes, pants,
      shirts etc.

      The only thing any of us dry is towels because they
      tend to get a foul odor.

      My husband and I are the only ones with cable TV and internet
      access. If things get any worse these things will go as well. A
      couple days a week all the family gets together for dinner and to
      watch movies…this allows the other access to the computer to
      search for jobs.

      We got the
      family plan for phones and each have a phone. We all
      live in different homes but it works for us and costs much less than
      if we all had seperate accounts. No land lines for any of us.

      We shop very carefully and make up pre-packaged meals once a week
      and all take our share home. We drink mostly water or tea, no pop.
      The granddaughter gets 2 glasses of milk a day to grow properly. We
      NEVER eat out.

      Absolutely no food goes to waste. Peelings from
      vegetables to in the freezer to make stock from. Bones from food go
      in the freezer as well to later make soup.

      I bought seeds on sale at 10/$1 and we will have a family garden…I
      am a gardener but now this will be a family project. No store
      bought seed starting equipment. I made growing pots from newspaper
      and filled with compost from the pile.

      Sunday is trash night and we get the weekly newspaper at that time
      from the neighbor (with his permission). We then read it
      over the
      next few days. I then shred and use as animal bedding for my
      granddaughter’s guinea pig.

      When the cage is cleaned the litter
      goes in the compost bin.

      Of course, we all drive the minimum to save gas. As soon as it
      stays above 50 degrees my son will take a bike to work as will I.
      He is 6 miles from work and I am 4.

      Anyone else care to share how you have tightened your belts?


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