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What are some of your frugal tips?

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blackeyedsusan:
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:
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???

Old_Knitter:
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:
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:
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!!

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