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Author Topic: What are some of your frugal tips?  (Read 120586 times)

blackeyedsusan

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Re: What are some of your frugal tips?
« Reply #43 on: August 08, 2009, 12:34:56 PM »
Another thing I do to save money is shop at the dollar stores.  Instead of buying the Swiffer brand dusting cloths, I buy the kind from the dollar store.  They run out of them, so whenever they have a lot, I stock up.  I love them for dusting and using on the swiffer mop to clean the blinds and floors.  I also use them to dust the bathroom counters before I clean them and to dust the ceiling fans. 
Another product from the dollar store I like is the skin salt scrub. I use it on my face.  It cleans your pores and also has a softening ingredient.
I found a lavender and thyme hand soap at Big Lots- 16 oz pump bottle  for $2.00.  I love the scent.  I like it even more than the expensive kitchen hand soaps from Anthropologie for $18.00.  Big Lots doesn't always have the same brands, so when I found it there again I bought 15 bottles!

blackeyedsusan

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Re: What are some of your frugal tips?
« Reply #42 on: August 08, 2009, 12:18:35 PM »
My husband and I have always tried to save money on our food bill.  He does most of the grocery shopping and always checks those prices underneath the item that tell you how much it costs per oz.  Most of the time its cheaper to buy the larger amounts if you figure the cost per ounce.  What he points out, though, is that it isn't cheaper to buy in bulk if you aren't going to USE  the extra!  I tended to overlook this obvious fact.   The big rule at our house is don't WASTE  food!
 When the kids were at home we would eat plain nutritious meals during the week and cook more expensive dishes on the weekend.  We like to cook gourmet on the weekends, so its not like we do without good food, but we try to keep costs down.  If we make a recipe that calls for an expensive ingredient, we buy only the amt. we need.  If you get some expensive cheese from the deli, they will actually sell  you 5 pieces or whatever you need for the recipe. A lot of people are embarrassed to buy less than  a half pound or whatever the standard amount is.  If we have to buy more of something than we need, we try to find another recipe that uses that ingredient before it goes bad and has to be thrown out.
   We almost never throw food out, but eat the leftovers. We also try to figure the right amounts to cook when entertaining.  I know people who will make enough for an army to feed 8 people and then throw the leftover food in the garbage disposal (just to prove they aren't cheap?)
My husband loves turkey and dressing so on Thansksgiving he packages up some for the freezer and pulls some out ever so often for months.
We only buy our favorite cereal or cookies if the store has them on sale.  
A typical week night dinner for the kids was something like broiled chicken, fresh broccoli (which they all love-yuck!) a starch and a piece of fresh fruit and milk.  None of them have grown up to be big sweets eaters, they are not overweight and when they went away to college they could figure out how to throw together a decent meal with whatever ingredients they have around ( we always have lots of herbs and spices to flavor things- they can be bought cheaper in the bulk dept of the grocery).
We even save the paper grocery bags to put inside the large wastebaskets and the plastic ones for other uses.
My husband brown bagged his lunch 4 days a week for years and only went out on Friday.
Another money saving tip-  my husband is an accountant and he figured out that if you eat lunch out five days a week (which we do now) you can save a thousand dollars a year by not ordering a beverage and just asking for a glass of water.  Who knew???
« Last Edit: August 11, 2009, 06:50:18 PM by blackeyedsusan »

Old_Knitter

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Re: What are some of your frugal tips?
« Reply #41 on: February 07, 2008, 07:22:07 AM »
My friends and family have always laughed at what I have done to save $....but, with the cost of everything skyrocketing they are just smiling at me now.

I sew a lot and always have scraps of pretty cooton left over.  If the piece is at least 13x13 I make a hankie.  I have a drawer full of them and never have to use tissue.  

I have spray bottles filled with 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar in each bathroom and the kitchen.  I have found this mixture cleans everything and does a wonderful job on mirrors and windows.

I put 1/2 cup of vinegar in a gallon of hot water to wash my floors.

I divide snacks in individual serving jars.  I get such a kick out of seeing my grandchildren  grab a jar of yogurt or a jar with a few cubes of cheese from the fridge.  If they go to the cupboard they'll find jars containing peanuts, raisins or crackers in sizes just for them.  I have found you can pre-pack almost anything your family snacks on...try frozen grapes...yum.  Doing this manages portions, allows you to buy in bulk, keeps sticky little hands out of cracker boxes and fills your kitchen with healthy, well proportioned food.

I have tons of cleaning rags and don't use paper towels.

And....now....even though my head is filled with other things to say....I am embarassed to have gone on this long.

boogles5

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Re: What are some of your frugal tips?
« Reply #40 on: January 01, 2008, 04:05:16 PM »
I am 31 and moved into my first home 3 months ago.  Always being a penny-pincher (although not a tightwad), I discovered a few things that I consider to be both easy on  the environment and the pocketbook.
Look for the "shower-cap" type bowl/plate covers for leftovers at Wal-Mart or dollar stores; they save on plastic wrap.  When I brought a plate of food up to my sister's house covered with one of those, she actually thought it was a real shower cap, so we got a laugh out of that.  Also, I'm sure a lot of people have known about these for years, but you can buy 6-packs of washable cleaning cloths for just $1.  I guess I always give my old t-shirts to Goodwill, so these are great (and much easier to wring out than cotton) for cleaning ceramic stovetops, bathroom and kitchen sinks, etc.  Although I do recommend  using paper towels when cleaning the toilet, if you're not using a disposable wipe.  
The best product I've found are Evert-Fresh produce bags, which keep produce fresh for up to three weeks longer than usual.  They are designed to absorb the natural gases which would cause the vegetables to rot if left out in the open.  It's great if you have good intentions for your diet and tend to over-buy veggies, like myself.
Also, I think it is ridiculous to worry about buying expensive clothing.  Fortunately, I moved to a rather 'hippie-ish' town in NC, so I just wear jeans and a long-sleeved T every day.  I have a huge aversion to shopping (for clothes) at Salvation Army and Goodwill.  I go to a place like Kohls and find just one pair of jeans that fits perfectly, and I really do go on seasonal quests for just the right one or two pairs of shoes that are ON SALE. (I can't figure out how the smileys work!).
Finally, I have narrowed down the most important cosmetics that you should spend a little more on, so that you're not piling more and more stuff on your face to cover up imperfections.  I do love the Clinique 3-step system -- the bar alone will last over a year, at a cost of $11.  If you have under-eye circles, which I always do because I am always sleepy from medication, you can swear by a $15 tube of Aveda tinted moisturizer (it turns out to be a huge amount of 'concealer,' since it is meant to be put on your face).  I don't put any on my face; just around the eyes- it also acts as an eyeshadow base. With eyeshadow, I think a mix of cheap drugstore shades and a few nice compacts of, say, Clinique, are good for everyday occasions and then more special occasions.  I received a six-shade Clinique compact for Christmas, and I do feel like a princess when I open it up and brush on the shadow.  
And, as someone mentioned before, your skin should look healthy and glowing enough from your diet and exercise habits so that you don't need to buy foundation or expensive serums, etc.  I do use a dusting of Rimmel powder since I have oily skin.

longingforsimple

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Re: What are some of your frugal tips?
« Reply #39 on: January 01, 2008, 01:54:14 PM »
Any of you awesome People still out there. I just read this entire thread and see it stopped about 6 months ago. I want to be Frugal so bad and I am starting now. Gee, I just figured I spend 120.00 dollars a month on Coffee and a Paper!! That is my start , no more coffee at the general store. One thing I have done for years and is a good tip for you all, I have purchased all my furniture,rugs,decor from Estate Auctions or Yard Sales. I do not buy new as they don't hold any value and it is not made anywhere near as good as the old stuff. My bedroom set is solid Cherry and is timeless. The set new if I could find one as nice would cost me 5K or more. My set only cost 250.00 and it is awesome. I do buy new beds and bedding however, I do have my limits there. I cannot give up drying my clothes in the dryer as I love soft dry clothes and I did the clothesline method for many years and did not care for outdoor smell and stiff clothes. I am a NEWBIE and I cannot thank you all enough for all the great posts. Happy New Year!!

Dusk2003

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Re: What are some of your frugal tips?
« Reply #38 on: June 27, 2007, 05:41:49 AM »
My tip follows on the heels of the tip in this months newsletter. The woman in the newsletter transfers money into her savings account whenever her husband goes out to lunch or for a drink after work.
My husband just loves those scratch off lottery tickets, and most of the time he has good success so he can play off the winnings; but not always. So whenever he uses fresh cash to buy those tickets, I get ten dollars and transfer it into a vacation kitty. Along with the money I put into the fund out of my paycheck this allows us to go on a cruise ever year. I also get 10 over when I go to the grocery store and put that into the vacation fund.

BillR

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Re: What are some of your frugal tips?
« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2007, 03:02:34 PM »
The post office is where you can save a LOT of money,if
you're careful. First,in buying stamps...be sure you buy
the stamps that do NOT have 39˘ printed on them. Why?
Because several months from now the first-class postal
                         rates are going up, BUT any stamps you have on hand can
still be used! That's right, no more going down and buying
1˘,2˘ and 3˘ stamps. When you're mailing books, be sure to
specify BOOK RATE. When mailing videos, DVDs or CDs,
specify MEDIA MAIL. Most other things can be sent FIRST
CLASS MAIL, unless they're quite heavy. Don't automatically
send everything PRIORITY MAIL ! It's NOT NECESSARY
and you're paying the USPS more than you need to. You may
need to make a point to tell the clerk you do NOT want it sent
priority mail. I believe the USPS has been pushing their clerks
to try to send more things priority mail. If you can,
send heavier packages by UPS(United Parcel Service).There
are more and more places that will accept UPS packages, like
grocery stores, etc. Why? UPS gives you $100 INSURANCE Free.

boogles5

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Re: What are some of your frugal tips?
« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2007, 08:49:20 PM »
If you are shipping anything to someone in a shoebox, check to make sure that the top is not constructed with 'double flaps' that fold over.  You can cut off this extra cardboard.  And if it is a flip-open box, you can cut off the sides and just tape the front flap.  This might save a quarter on postage, but I guess it's worth it!

BillR

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Re: What are some of your frugal tips?
« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2007, 06:47:01 PM »
Yes, I believe that ING is offering a good rate too.
Several banks and financial insapplesutions are 'jumping on
the bandwagon' with good rates. Check in your Sunday paper
Financial/Money section. Many newspapers have charts
showing rates being paid. Don't feel you must limit
yourself to local banks, unless you're putting ALL your
savings in there. Out-Of-Town banks usually offer much
better rates on CDs. They are 100% SAFE, as they are all
FEDERALLY INSURED. Some will not give good rates on CDs in
amounts under $5000 or $10,000. If there is any doubt in
your mind, ask them! The post prior to yours....seemed to
cast doubt on putting money in HSBC Bank. That's what
FEDERALLY INSURED means. Your money is safe! I don't care
how many 'bad mortgages' a bank has. They are insured.
PayPal? I use PayPal all the time when I buy things on
eBay. It would be too easy for me to spend my savings!
Also, I notice many NEWER BANKS are offering much better
rates. Don't feel you have to use the bank down the street.
It's too easy to run over there and withdraw your money.
You're trying to SAVE your money, not draw it out every
time you see something pretty at the store!

Momto3inMilo

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Re: What are some of your frugal tips?
« Reply #34 on: April 07, 2007, 03:46:52 PM »
I have a small savings account with ING.  Not sure of the rates right now,  but I do believe they are better than my credit union.  

BrandonBoston

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Re: What are some of your frugal tips?
« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2007, 07:19:07 PM »
HSBC makes me a little nervous.....  They are going through a really bad time now having taking a HUGE hit with all the bad subprime mortgage debts they offered.  

My friend says PayPal also offers about the same rate.

« Last Edit: March 07, 2007, 07:19:40 PM by BrandonBoston »

BillR

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Re: What are some of your frugal tips? A
« Reply #32 on: March 07, 2007, 06:54:01 PM »
Ah yes, depositing money into an interest bearing account. A
GREAT idea. But, how much interest? Your local bank and credit union pay VERY LOW INTEREST. Yes, you say, but I don't want to tie my money up in a CD. I might have to access it in case of an emergency, and then they will PENALIZE me for early withdrawal. Perhaps I should just leave several thousand dollars in my savings or in my interest bearing checking account....just in case. Haven't you heard? There's a NEW PLAYER now! HSBC Bank pays 5.05% APY on savings accounts! No, it's NOT APR, it's APY. That's Annual Percentage Yield, and it's a little higher than APR. Isn't 5.05% better than the 0.5% or 1.4% you're getting now? Check it out here:
http://hsbcdirect.com/
Your money is FEDERALLY INSURED. If you decide to open an account, they'll make it easy for you by withdrawing the
money from your checking account, so you don't have to
mail them the money. You say it sounds scary? Well it's
not. I've already done it. It was easy. I put in $3,000
that was only getting 1.4% interest in my credit union
and it's amazing how fast the interest is accumulating.
No, I don't work for them and I do NOT have any stock in
their company.

BrandonBoston

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Re: What are some of your frugal tips?
« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2007, 11:46:17 AM »
Oh Yeah, one more thing I am doing:

Besides actually cutting back my costs (see above post, I am actually trying to SAVE money....

As I am paid weekly, I am now putting an entire paycheque (or as much as humanly possible) away during those 4 months a year where we have FIVE Friday's.  Based on my weekly take-home salary, I am actually putting away a couple of thousand dollars a year- just based on the nature of the calendar...  who would have thought?  LOL  

Now that I have quit smoking, I am now paying myself a MINIMUM of $5 per day into a jar, which I can not see the contents of.   Any extra cash I find myself in possession of also gets deposited into this jar.  After even a short time, I am not really sure how much is in there.  It will make a nice surprise over the course of time, when I can deposit it into an interest-bearing account, or to pay off more debt.  Sounds weird, but out of sight, out of mind and therefore, out of my spending hands!  LOL

I am very interested in hearing from other's who also found ways of paying themselves....  

BrandonBoston

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Re: What are some of your frugal tips?
« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2007, 03:05:59 PM »
Hi there....  my first post on this Forum.

I am quite new to the "frugal lifestyle" and find myself feeling pretty darn good about myself!

In the course of 2 months, I have saved several thousand dollars by the following:

1. Reviewing and downsizing my car and home insurance to more standard levels (saved about $1500 per year now!)

2. Gave up smoking (as of Valentine's Day!) in one year's time, I will have saved about $3000

3. Will be selling my expensive sports car (I also have a daily-driver, a Toyota) and pay off my mortgage with that money.

4.  Will save $2000 a year on garaging the sports car.

5.  Dropped down my monthly cable bill by $100 - going from the platinum package ($120) to the basic cable rate ($15)as I watch more DVD's than regular TV anyway!

6.  I do not rent DVD's at all....  I usually borrow them from my local library (about 2 blocks from my house) and those that I KNOW I will watch often, are those that I buy - on sale only.

7.  I take the commuter train into work each day, rather than driving.  Saves gas, mileage, and a lot of stress.  My employer subsidizes a portion of the monthly train ticket/pass.

8.  I dropped my fast DSL internet connection to a slower version of the same DSL - I same more than 50% and barely notice any real difference in speed.  

9.  I now brew my own coffee each morning and bring to work in a thermos.  I save a LOT of money doing this - instead of going to a coffee shop which charges $3 for a small capuccino.  

OK, those are the main highlights....  Considering just how short a time I have been thinking about being more frugal and saving myself a lot of stress, I am completely shocked at how much I have saved - both in immediate terms as well as over the course of a year.  I have not really "lost" anything at all, and have gained so much more....

I am very grateful for this site and all of you who have shared some wonderful tips and ideas.   Thanks!

Lesley

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Re: What are some of your frugal tips?
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2007, 06:59:27 PM »
Living in a smaller home has really worked for us. 14 years ago my husband and I built a 24'x 24'cabin (670 sq.ft.)that I designed for us.There is an upstairs loft under the eaves of the (8:12 pitch) roof that is the "Master Suite"-sleeping area (9'x10'6"), small full bath, closet, sitting area on small balcony (7'x 4')overlooking the main floor.
The main floor consists of 9'x 8' bunkroom (formerly for our children, now for grandchildren) and full bath, both placed at the back of the house. The left front is an 11'x 14' Living Room with built-in book shelves/media storage, while on the right is 8'x 8'6" dining area separated from the kitchen (10'x 8') only by a work counter with 4 counter height stools.
When people think about small homes they think cramped quarters with no room to turn around and feeling closed in. This is not true of our home nor of the many other homes I have designed since. I typically utilize a fairly open floor plan to visually expand sense of space.
Over time I have figured out ways to cut even more square footage without losing functionality or sense of spaciousness. Little houses use modest amounts of Earth's precious resources, and can still live very large despite their small footprints.
Our home is cozy and comfortable, well insulated, easy to heat and cool, easy to clean, attractive with enough room for the people, things and activties we enjoy. Doing much of the work ourselves and helping the professionals we did hire (electrician, plumber), we were able to build our home for less than $20,000 and paid off the loan in 4 years.We recently added a sunroom onto the back of the house because we now have 6 grandchildren under the age of 8 who need more room to play than our 2 kids did. We and our friends did all of the work ourselves and our only cost for 24'x12' addition was materials, recycled or bought at the cheapest sources.
We unplug the water heater when not in use, turn off lights when not in use, use compact flourescent bulbs, and an EdenPure heating unit. This is our first winter with the EdenPure unit and are hoping it lives up to its reputation as propane gas is getting more and more expensive. In summer, we keep the house cool with a small air conditioner placed in the upstairs window in sleeping area and have ceiling fans to circulate the cool air which is naturally going to go downward to the main floor.
I hope more people will try living in smaller spaces. It can be done very comfortably and affordably. We have had great fun all of our years here and intend to spend the rest of our years here.
You might want to give it a try!
Blessings
« Last Edit: February 09, 2007, 11:10:58 PM by Lesley »

 

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