Finances > Finances

What are some of your frugal tips?

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I'll probably get a lot of 'flak' from others about what I'm about to say, but I've got a thick skin.  ;D

As we all know, gasoline prices are increasing rapidly, where we may soon have to ride bicycles or motor scooters instead of driving cars. :'(   For a good while now
I've only been going to the grocery store every two
weeks instead of a couple of times a week. We have a freezer and we make good use of it. I buy my bread from the 'day-old' bread store about 8 loaves at a time and freeze it. I know that 'enriched' white bread does NOT freeze well, so I buy the REAL whole wheat bread, which DOES freeze well. I know what canned goods and other non-perishables I'm going to need for the next two weeks
so I buy them as well as the meat, which I also freeze.   ;)

Many will ask what I do about fresh vegetables. Well,  we
just don't buy them. At least not in large quanapplesies. I can
hear some of you now..."I want the very best for my family
and the very freshest, and etc."  Well, if you can afford the
gasoline, keep right on doing what you've been doing.
Many farmers can their vegetables for home use and I see
no difference in buying canned from the store. All of our
tastes are different so there's no need to bring that argument up now.
Combine trips! Do NOT make several trips in the car when
one will do. Here's an example: One of my daughters lives
in a suburban area and the stores are roughly 5 miles
from her home. She makes trips to the grocery store DAILY
for food and then makes ANOTHER TRIP to get her kids from school. Do you see how much gas she is wasting?
I've tried to point this out to her. If she has to pick the kids
up anyway, why not do her shopping at the same time?   :o  She could go right before school if she doesn't want to drag them through the store. Also, I've been there to dinner and she'll say that she has to go to the store to get some milk. I told her to get it the next day...why not?
Another thing, I told her to MAKE A GROCERY LIST. She says she does, but she leaves it hanging on the refrigerator when she goes to the store!  ??? It's NOT doing anybody any good there! She's always saying she forgot to get this or that   :-/

Great tips!

* I used to think that buying large lots of things was cheaper. But since I have a small family, I realized that putting the $5 I would "save" in the bank to earn interest for 6 months was wiser than investing in 40 rolls of toilet paper.

* Don't be afraid to return things if they aren't right, no matter how much (or how little!) they cost. Many stores will take back items even if they've been tried and you just don't like them.

* Keep very good financial records. We project our spending per line item out to year-end, so we can see if, at the current rate of spending for, say, groceries, we will exceed our budget. Then we can adjust our spending before it's too late!

* Buy good quality things, including some indulgences, so you don't splurge out of a sense of deprivation.

Here are some fun and frugal tips: (I think saving money is fun :))

1.  Save money on your manicure or pedicure by going to a cosmetology school, or better it yourself!

2.  Ask if your salon has a training night.  Hairdressers in training often cut your hair just as well as your regular hairdresser would, but for a fraction of the usual cost.  

3.  If you ever wind up with shampoo that you really don't like, don't just throw it away! Most shampoos make good liquid hand soaps and are great for washing pantyhouse and delicates.  

4.  Avoid shopping as entertainment, take a walk instead.

5.  Eat before you go to the movies to avoid concessions.  

Renee writes:
Put all my change in a change jar

At first glance, this sounds like a great idea. But, a friend of mine saved change for a year or more in a commercial mayo jar and then someone took the whole thing! I guess it's too much temptation.

What do I do? I bought a change purse, fairly large and put my change in there. I spend my change as I go. When I check out at the supermarket I'll hold a handful of
change ready, so that when the cashier tells me how much, I'll have the change(or pennies) ready. Things I buy on a regular basis, such as the Sunday paper, which is $1.50, I have the correct amount for the cashier as I check out. On a regular basis I have been known to give her 50 pennies! She's pleased to get them.

Before someone comments that they hate to be behind someone who does this, let me say that if I have a line
behind me I do NOTHING to hold up the line. I can pay with change a lot faster than some of you can write a  check!

Melissa Tosetti:
I dry my clothes for just ten minutes - to get the majority of wrinkles out - then I place then on hangers to finish drying.  This greatly extends the life of my clothes and reduces my electric bill significantly.


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