How far would you go to be frugal?

@newtondak (3950)
United States
July 29, 2008 11:29am CST
I have read a great number of books, newsletters and websites sharing information about living a frugal lifestyle, and to me, some of the measures they use are somewhat extreme. What do you consider to be your most extreme frugal practice? Where would you draw the line before you considered a practice to be too much or just plain being a tightwad or scrouge?
4 people like this
12 responses
@GardenGerty (95546)
• Marion, Kansas
29 Jul 08
My first mother in law used to wash every plastic bag that came in her house and reuse it. I wash some but not all. I also do not wash aluminum foil to reuse. I will scrunch it into a ball if I remember, and scrub the grill with it. I will also not dry and reuse paper towels, or wash plastic disposable plates. I do recycle plastic containers from meat and frozen dinners and use in art supplies, though.
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
29 Jul 08
I reuse some plastic bags and containers, but not foil or disposable plates. I use some paper towels, but I also recycle older worn towels as cleaning rags that can be washed and reused.
• United States
30 Sep 08
My aunt does this. She saves plastic plates, cups and foil and rewashes them over and over again. I do save my plastic bags (ziplocs) and rewash them and reuse them. I recycle the aluminum foil. I only use paper towels when I clean mirrors, glass etc so I do not reuse them. I do reuse plastic containers from the lunch meats I buy. Anything else I try to recycle in some sort or fashion. I have used plastic containers as plant starters and such. Drill some holes in them and they are good to go!
@sunshinecup (7881)
29 Jul 08
What do you consider to be your most extreme frugal practice? Well with the way our economy is going, I can't think of being too frugal, LOL. But everything has to planed out to the detail anymore to be sure to cover all costs before we do it. To me that is extreme, but necessary if we don't want to be broke afterward. Where would you draw the line before you considered a practice to be too much or just plain being a tightwad or scrouge? If I have the funds and choose not to use them because I just like seeing that money set there, that's when I feel I'm going too far and have become a tightwad. For instance, I have the money to by a birthday gift for a friend, but I choose not to, so I can have more money. If I ever did that, that's the point where I think I would seek help, LOL.
2 people like this
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
29 Jul 08
One thing in particular that I read that I thought was a little extreme was someone who made their own sanitary napkins out of old cloth and washed and reused them instead of purchasing disposable ones in the store.
• United States
30 Jul 08
Yeah, Newtondak, that is a bit extreme. But then isn't that what was used many years ago before sanitary napkins were made?
• Canada
30 Jul 08
Yes it is true, I remember sanitary napkins my mother sewed together when I was a young girl.
@ebsharer (5518)
• United States
29 Jul 08
I seen on the news last week about a woman that said she was diging threw the garabge to be "frugal" worst part was she was at a grocery store. She said that they some times throw away cans and other things that are "just" fine! I don't agree to me that is just GROSS! Canned or not GROSS! She was asked why she did it - her answer - She said yes but if I can get it for free - why not? I'm sorry but that is taking it to the EXTREAM!!! I'm not saying there is any thing wrong with picking up that really nice end table sitting in the garbage BUT food come on, it can't be THAT bad! And if it is there are food banks and Aldes! I guess I would have to say my cheapest thing I do is just what I said about the furniture. If I see some thing on the side of the road end table or shelf I'll pick it up - why not!?!?
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
29 Jul 08
If the grocery store was throwing it away, I don't think I would have wanted it. Most stores that I know of will even discount dented cans and sell them, so I would think if they're throwing it away, it probably isn't safe to eat or they'd be selling it.
2 people like this
@schulzie (4066)
• United States
30 Jul 08
I always pick up desks or tables, etc. when I see them at the curb. Like you said - why not? It's free and I can use it! I don't think I would go through the dumpster for food either unless I were homeless or something. I shop at the second hand store for clothing but I will draw the line at buying used underwear. That is too private of an area. I always buy brand new underwear.[b] [i] Have a great day and happy myLotting![/b][/i]
@ebsharer (5518)
• United States
30 Jul 08
I shop at thrift stores too. I get a lot of clothing on clearance. I mean really you can go any where and find clearance its just a matter of really looking. I have found shirts at JC Penny, Macy's, Target, Walmart for 1 or 2 bucks!
• United States
29 Jul 08
I had this converstaion with a friend recently. He seemed to think that if you are tight on money you should cut out everything that is a "luxury". He seems to think that because I am low on money I need to cut of my cable and internet, not go anywhere or do anything and live off top ramen. And I should consider getting rig of my dog and cat so I don't have to "waste" money on pet food. I thought this was ridiculous.
1 person likes this
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
29 Jul 08
If it was a difference in being able to pay my bills or have those things, I would do away with something like cable or internet, and if was the difference between feeding myself and my children and feeding my pet, then I guess the pet would have to go, but I tend to feel that I took on the responsibility of my pets and I owe it to them to make sure that they're taken care of.
1 person likes this
@ebsharer (5518)
• United States
30 Jul 08
I have to say I agree with you Lisaradgirl! Cable and internet for instance is not really a "luxury" these days its EXPECTED. For most internet is a MUST. I have cable internet and have heard people say why spend so much - go to dial up. My issue with that is I pay 99 a month for cable, internet, and phone (unlimited long distance) if I were to switch I would pay 58 just for the cable and 42 for the phone you can find dial up for what 10? So in essence I would be spending 110! I don't know about you but I NEED my internet. My internet makes me money. (the internet at least makes me enough to pay my comcast bill) I NEED cable as I have a youngster in the house and if I don't have it I would go INSANE and that wouldn't help any one. And the phone I could do with out BUT I would need a better cell phone plan! So I totaly understand where you are coming from. You work hard for your money and although things may be tight you need some thing for you. Not just work to pay required bills like electric and water.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jul 08
yes, that is exactly it. Why should I suffer and make myself even more miserable than I am. Sure I don't have money to go out to eat or go to the movies or buy new clothes or anything like that but is getting rid of TV and not being able to be on the internet going to make things any better? I think it would make it worse, I really do. As for pets, we have had our dog since my daughter was 3 and now that i am a little short on money I should just get rid of him like he is just nothing? I would never even consider breaking my daughters heart like that ever. I thought he gave the worst advice I have ever gotten, lol.
1 person likes this
@markrobb (76)
• United States
30 Jul 08
long-ago I was a hard-core frugal fanatic. Every one of my bills was very low. Even my electric bill was only $27 a month (it normally runs 100). I had instituted a policy within my family that went something like this: "if it's brown flush it down. If it's yellow, leave it Mello. it drove my wife nuts. Not only that it stunk. Thankfully, I'm not nearly as hard core today
1 person likes this
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
30 Jul 08
Maybe we should revive the "outhouse" - no water required!
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jul 08
When I was a kid, I remember I had a friend who had that rule at her house too. gross. lol
@anex08 (868)
• Philippines
30 Jul 08
I reuse plastic bags and containers and even save melted candles to use it in my recycled projects. I also save boxes to use as card board whenever my siblings has project in school. Bottle cork and bottle crowns are also part of my recycling projects which I design into colorful circles and objects inside a recycled box.
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
30 Jul 08
One of my sons used to make some of the most creative things from cardboard boxes - of course his room might have been considered a fire hazard - but he had a lot of fun with them.
1 person likes this
@tina2696 (127)
• United States
30 Jul 08
In the last month or so I have not bought any meat other than burger or chicken leg quarters. They were the cheapest. A couple of days ago the family revolted!!! I cant blame them...I was having a hard time coming up with decent or new recipes. Last night we had pork chops, the family loves me again. lol I guess its good to splurge every once in a while.
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
30 Jul 08
Do you have freezer storage where you could store at least a small bulk amount of meat? Often you can buy bulk packages from a meat market, or meat processing locker at a lower cost and it is usually better quality meat than what you buy in the grocery store. We work on a cattle ranch and the owner has an arrangement with the local meat processor to provide them beef for processing - they then sell it in various sized bundles to their customers. He also has individuals that he deals with directly and sells them a beef and then takes it to the processor for them. They call the processor and tell them how they want it cut up and then pick it up from the processor themselves. We get a fourth of a beef at a time, and it really doesn't take up all that much freezer space.
@tina2696 (127)
• United States
30 Jul 08
We have done that in the past. We usually get a quarter cow and half a pig...tons of freezer room. Lately we just don't have enough money at one time to buy in bulk. I do love the fresh meat!!! lol
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
30 Jul 08
We live down the road from a Hutterite colony where they raise hogs, turkeys and chickens. They operate their own meat market where can go to buy those at a very reasonable price. Our beef is provided as part of our employment with the ranch, so we're very fortunate to have that.
@sweetdesign (5151)
• United States
30 Jul 08
Both sets of my grandparents went through the great depression. My grandmother on my mother's side was 18 at the start of the great depression, black Tuesday, and it had a profound effect on her. She became a world class hoarder. She saved everything, paper towels, butter dishes, kleenex. She would stash stuff away in every nook and cranny. She went so far beyond frugal it was unbelievable. I am a very frugal person but not to that extreme.
@saundyl (9693)
• Canada
29 Jun 09
My grandma was a hoarder however I dont think she was born yet during the depression. Needless to say after my grandma passed on It took us months to sort through what was keepable what was just well "trash" and what would be sellable. I remember going into her basement and there was a path from the stairs to the washer/dryer and to the furnace and one to the cold room...the rest was piled roof high with boxes and bags of things she refused to throw away because it might be fixable or we might needs to use it again someday. From having to clean out that basement I'm not a hoarder (i think i would have been) I live in the same house and if the basement starts to look remotely piled i have to "sort and get rid" of the "have to keep in cases"
@Barb42 (4225)
• United States
2 Aug 08
I don't know that I could say I have any extreme frugal practices. I always know what I can spend and I stay within that limit. If we are running low on funds, the bills get paid, we eat and, if anything is left over, we may eat out or I may buy something I need or want. I don't buy lots of junk food and we do eat leftovers. I guess I learned from my Mother. They were married during the depression and they bartered lots back then. What they couldn't get they done without. And what they had they took care of. My Mother has always been very frugal. I may not be as frugal in some ways as she is, but I try my best to practice being frugal. I don't pay any attention to books, newsletters, or especially web sites that talk about the frugal lifestyle. I know some do take it to the extreme. Being too extreme would be having to do without my satellite or my computer/DSL. We have a telephone and DSL through them. And our satellite is the only way we can receive TV. Without it, we would only get two local channels, although there are about 6 or more. That's why we had to get satellite since we don't have cable in our area. I know it wouldn't kill me to do without either of those, but I don't want to have to do without. We may one day have to lower the amount of channels we get, but hopefully never have to completely cut it off.
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
2 Aug 08
We have the same situation with our TV - no cable is available so we have to have the satellite to get anything at all. We also have pretty severe winters here, so when cold weather hits, we're pretty much inside a lot until spring.
@raydene (9875)
• United States
30 Jul 08
I will not reuse a coffee filter! lol I don't know what is my extremest frugal practice. I do try to use things up before buying new. xoxoxoxoxo
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
2 Aug 08
Not everyone gets extreme with their frugal practices. I have, however, read some on some of the frugal websites and in frugal newsletters. I won't skimp on the food that I feed my dogs. One of them is an older dog and in order for her to stay healthy, she needs to have good food. I have also found that if I feed them the "good stuff" they don't shed as much.
@thedaddym (1737)
• United States
30 Jul 08
I am not really good about those things, but my wife tries to be. I have seen her washing out and re-using plastic sandwich bags. She has also bought the really cheap toilet paper, which I thought was aweful, I told her to spend the extra quarter and get the good stuff.
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
30 Jul 08
I have to agree with you - I won't buy the cheap stuff because it ends up taking twice as much to do the same job and you haven't saved anything. I do try to catch the good stuff when it's on sale to save a little.
@lingli_78 (12846)
• Australia
30 Jul 08
well, i try to live frugally but try not to be too over... i don't think i have any extreme frugal practice... everything that i do to save money and cut the cost is ordinary things that other people are also doing... life is too short to live in that way... take care and have a nice day...
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
30 Jul 08
We have to also acknowledge that our time is worth something, and if you're already working full time outside the home, your time to spend on these efforts is limited.
1 person likes this