Top Five Frugal Tips?

@jands1 (835)
United States
November 3, 2008 8:26am CST
I am always curious as to the importance others put on frugality. For me it is just part of me: A way of life. I don't think of it as "saving money" but more of "reallocation of money". Still the same money coming in, but I am in control of where it goes. Honestly, I would prefer more of it go to trips and various savings than to my food, heating, etc. bills. My top five frugal tips are: 1. Recycling doesn't mean you are making a clean landfill for the next generations. It means, use it again. 2. Sometimes our grandmothers were right. Sometimes they weren't. It's up to me to figure out what old adages hold true in modern times. 3. Brand labels just mean more out of my pocketbook in 90% of instances. 4. Don't use change to pay for things. Put the change in a jar and assign that money to a certain project/savings account. Just because it is saved doesn't mean it's working for me. 5. I have learned to say, "Oh yes, I would love (insert item/food here)" and not think of it as "charity" but instead as a gift. What are you top five frugal tips?
7 people like this
13 responses
@cher913 (25862)
• Canada
3 Nov 08
oh # 5 is a HUGE one! we often get hand me downs from a variety of people (whether they be shoes or clothes or what have you) and we NEVER say no. if we dont like it or cant use it, we pass them along to someone else! i also only shop at sales and thrift stores. i am a big fan of those, so much so that my daughters tell me that SALE and FREE are my favourite words!
2 people like this
@jands1 (835)
• United States
3 Nov 08
LOL cher913. I am with you there. My friends refer to me as "The Empress of Free". Thanks for your thoughts and opinions on this. :)
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Nov 08
Impressive. I like thrift stores too. I'm not much with the SALE sign though coz sometimes it's just publicity and customers easily get lured by the word. When you see the sign, you should think of the time too. Is it clearance sale? Are they on sale for what reason? Maybe their pricing is too high so they didn't hit the targeted figures. Sometimes it pays to read on business columns to. I like the word BUY 1 TAKE 1 too but you really have to look at the expiry date, damages or you should be really aware of the individual price. Hehehe! I love shopping. Garage sales also are fine plus you can get a "bargain" from the real owner.
@jands1 (835)
• United States
4 Nov 08
With my professional background in Sales and Retail, I can tell you that the sale price is sometimes the actual price. Places may bring prices up, then a week or two later have a big sale that brings the price back down to the original price. Sneaky sneaky!
@peavey (16960)
• United States
3 Nov 08
Top five: 1. Just because it's on sale doesn't mean you need it. 2. Never trust a salesman to give you the best deal, whether it's a used car, insurance or a pound of butter. Find out for yourself. 3. Learn to mend and repair anything you own. 4. When you feel a desire to buy something on impulse coming on, stop and take a shower or a walk instead. Chances are, the desire will subside after awhile. 5. Always listen and read everyone else's tips. You will never learn it all on your own!
1 person likes this
@jands1 (835)
• United States
3 Nov 08
These are so great peavey. Thank you. I really love the fifth tip. At work I taught a couple of people how to "stitch and mend" because I was tired of being "Mum". Brought in my little stitching kit. Guess what the "kids" are getting for Yule? hehe I do the fourth one, but I have a seven day wait on sale items. A one month wait on items under $100 and a six month wait on everything else. If I still need/want the item after the appropriate time has passed, I figure it into my budget. Thanks peavey!
1 person likes this
@peavey (16960)
• United States
3 Nov 08
"A one month wait on items under $100 and a six month wait on everything else. If I still need/want the item after the appropriate time has passed, I figure it into my budget." That's great. I was thinking of only smaller things. Tiny leaks can sink a huge ship! I have to talk myself into buying anything over a hundred dollars just because I'm a tightwad.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Nov 08
I like that stitch and mend thing huh. At home, our pot holders are from old clothes, we recycle and uhm, in response to that "don't trust a salesman..." then, sell your stuff too. If there's anything in the closet that has not been used for six months, maybe you could sort those stuff and sell it? What do you think?
• Lubbock, Texas
3 Nov 08
I think my main thing is a sale isn't a sale if you buy stuff you don't need. My youngest daughter used to help me unload the groceries and put them away. She'd invariably say "well I guess I know what was on sale this week!" in a sort of derisive way. (you know how teenagers can be) Now I'm learning tips on frugality from her. I'm like you I like to think of saving money on certain items as a reallocation of the money. I don't have to have name brand foods, clothing etc. if the generic are just as good.
@jands1 (835)
• United States
3 Nov 08
LOL What a cute story. Thank you for sharing thebeaddoodler! I haven't ever been the type of person to buy something just because it is on sale or a coupon. Guess I have always had those blinders on. LOL
1 person likes this
• Philippines
4 Nov 08
That's right. And to add, if you know how to do food preservation, you can make your own preserves when fruits and vegetables are in season. My grand mother taught that simple supply and demand strategy.
@jands1 (835)
• United States
4 Nov 08
When I lived in the country, I used to do this. But here in the city, fruit doesn't go on sale. Well, not here in the French Quarter. So...it's redundant for me. Miss preserving. I managed to get the sugar levels down on most of my preserves.
@Marie5656 (336)
• United States
7 Nov 08
Good ideas there. Here are some I use: Find an "off brand" I like, and buy it often. Some times the name brands end up being a better deal. Check it out. If something is on sale..like the 10 for $10 sales, I stock right up. And use double coupons. A sale is ONLY a bargain if it is something I use regularly. Bigger is not always better..check unit pricing.
1 person likes this
@jands1 (835)
• United States
7 Nov 08
Thank you Marie5656 for your tips. Great ideas. The one that always catches me is that the bulk sales. Seems they hit when I literally don't have the money to stock up. I need to go back to my money envelopes. I wish my silly grocery store let me double coupons. That is really annoying.
1 person likes this
@jfeets726 (775)
• United States
5 Nov 08
1 – Coupons can be your best friend, but they don’t always result in the best deal. Always check and compare store brand products first. 2 – Free samples are a great way to save money, as they let you try a new product before buying them. I love trying new products, but I am disappointed if I don’t like them and wasted my money. 3 – Keep your cupboards organized to prevent wasting food. I like to stock up on food, but that means that some stuff gets pushed to the back. I have started checking more, but in the past by the time something was discovered, it was well past its expiration date. 4 – Save all change to deposit at the bank (this was one of your tips that I really agree with). I took $15 worth of change to add to my savings account and that wasn’t half of it. I just needed coin rolls. 5 – Always compare prices first. This is easiest when shopping online. For Christmas gifts, I have been comparing prices online and only buying items on sale. But, for grocery shopping, I compare store sales fliers to make sure I am getting the best deal.
@jands1 (835)
• United States
5 Nov 08
I wish I had more than one grocery store to compare with. But, we only have a tiny, price gouging Rouses now. Bleh. With me not driving, it simply isn't worth it to take public transportation and try to make groceries that way. :( With the change, I found an even easier way of dealing with it. Though I now do it weekly. My local corner shop is always in need of change. I found this out when I went to pay for something with bills and my change fell out of my wallet. This struck up a conversation that resulted with being told, "Any time, bring your change and we will give you paper money for it." I get a 1:1 for my change. And I don't have to count it. While he is counting it in front of me, we chat about everything. So, I get 1) my change converted to bills to be deposited in bank with no money taken out. 2) Great conversation!
1 person likes this
@dvschic (1795)
• United States
4 Nov 08
Top five: 1. Just because it's on sale doesn't mean its the lowest price. ask for a discount, find a coupon online, open a store credit card to get the add'l 20% off and then pay it off on the spot. 2. Never spend more than you make, cut up the credit cards, dont borrow money, etc. only buy what you can pay for on the spot. 3. Don't spend your change! I save mine up every quarter i take it to the bank and its typically close to $300 4. If you haven't used it in 6 months, give it away, chances are someone else will put it to better use and u'll learn better. 5. Say No. Dont take everything just because its free. You really don't need 40 copies of blah blah. you just think u want it. you DONT. If its two for $3.00, its one for $1.50. do you really need two?
1 person likes this
@jands1 (835)
• United States
5 Nov 08
I really agree with, and have said for many many years your number 2. I haven't lived outside my means of income for many years and am super happy with it. I also like number 5 dvschic. Great one. I have only made myself learn to say "no" to certain freebies these last few years. Seriously, what am I going to do with diapers? No one I know even has a baby. LOL
1 person likes this
@applefreak (3131)
• Singapore
4 Nov 08
well i won't consider myself a frugal person. i believe the money is earned to be spent. that said, i'm not a spendthrift either. it's just that i don't believe in saving money with no goal at all. i put aside enough for my retirement fund, my travel fund and my emergency fund. the rest i'll use it for my daily expenses and purchases. so i'll call these my money-saving tips: 1. always go for 2nd hand first. most people sell their as-good-as-new stuff for a fraction of the price. i got a F&P refrigerator in perfect condition for as little as $30. 2. buy quality, not quantity. i believe in using something for a very long time. i don't mind paying more for quality, but i mind paying a little for things that don't last. 3. check for the best deal around before committing. 4. hold big ticket item purchases until a sale comes around cheers
@jands1 (835)
• United States
4 Nov 08
I really love your tips applefreak. Especially numbers 2 and 3. I really believe that on many things, you get what you pay for. Outside of food that is. I would much rather spend a fraction more on an item I know will stand the test of time. Great tips applefreak thank you.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (123975)
• Boise, Idaho
4 Nov 08
You have some very good ideas listed. One I try to utilize is to read a book and then take it and another one to the book store I use and get another book. Two books for a new (new to me) one. Saves on buying new books.
@jands1 (835)
• United States
5 Nov 08
Great idea celticeagle. Thank you. :) I have this great bookshop right down the street from me. It has boxes and boxes of books for $1 per book. When I am not able to get to the library for a free book to read, I hit that place up. I find the coolest little books there.
@nadooa247 (1096)
• United States
5 Nov 08
Thrift stores have a lot of books at times... especially if you are looking to fill up some holes in your book collections for a really old book series... i got 4 for a dollar! (paperback) and 2 (hard cover) for a dollar...
@jands1 (835)
• United States
5 Nov 08
I agree completely. Thrift stores are great for that. The local library was missing a book in a series I was reading and I found it at a thrift store. :D
@saundyl (9683)
• Canada
12 Nov 08
1) Homemade is cheaper - it may be more time consuming but it is cheaper. - foods, cleaning, clothing etc 2) Recycle, Reuse and Reduce - if you use less and reuse things....or recycle them to be reused again its better for you, the world and your pocket book. this includes garage saling, value villae, thrift stores 3) Coupons! 4) buy on sale or only if its necessary Those are the only three i can think of that arent really really similar to your top 5 Donate what you arent using/will never use to charity. Dont store it Change adds up
@jands1 (835)
• United States
13 Nov 08
Thanks saundyl! I really agree with the number 2 - Recycle, Reuse and Reduce. I really think we could do with that more as a species. :)
@nadooa247 (1096)
• United States
4 Nov 08
Here are a few of my own... 1) when planning to buy a big ticket item (computer, camera, etc) set a MAXIMUM amount of money you are willing to spend... including extras (memory, cables, warranty and so on). 2) The net is your friend. Save gas and time by visiting the sites of the stores you would go to. (In this manner i saved 200 dollars on my camera best buy was having a sale - online only.. ordered online picked up from the store - saved on shipping!) 3) Coupons are NOT always your friend - they usually are for brand name products when you could get a different label for less. 4) Aldi, Cubsfood, Costco.... are not shameful you could save a lot by shopping for your groceries at these places 5) Before you go out shopping (for clothes in particular) set how much you will be willing to spend. Sometimes we charge things to our debit card so happy about what we found forgetting that hellooo budget! So i tend to tell myself i don't need more shoes, or pants, i need/want a shirt and will spend no more than 20 or something like that... Well that was my input in that department. My husband is more like... if he likes it he'll get it and doesnt pay much attention to trying to spend wisely so we balance eachother out in the long run lol...
@jands1 (835)
• United States
4 Nov 08
Love these tips nadooa247! Awesome. I agree completely with number 3. I have never used a coupon unless it was for free shipping online. I just save more money with my day to day needs buy being "shop savvy". I also love your idea of setting price limits on what you are going to buy. Great idea. I am going to definately use that one! Thanks nadooa247!
@xParanoiax (6997)
• United States
4 Nov 08
Here's mine: #1. Convenience isn't usually convenient in the long run. Never spend money on something you can do yourself. #2. Go where the bargains are. Local stuff tends to be cheaper than the big stores. #3. Forget recycling, reusing's where it's at! #4. It's not about what you don't have, or what you can get, it's realizing how awesome the things you already have are. #5. Think about what you can do to make your life more efficient (this usually means simpler" but doesn't always.) Frugality, to me, is the only kind of living that really makes sense. I mean...everyone's allowed to live however they please, but this is the kind of living I understand the most. I'd...have...problems...living differently, even if money somehow wasn't tight.
@jands1 (835)
• United States
4 Nov 08
I really agree with you xParanoiax regarding, "Frugality, to me, is the only kind of living that really makes sense." I love tip number 4. I really don't need a ton of stuff taking up valuable space. Thanks for these great tips xParanoiax!
@subha12 (18450)
• India
4 Nov 08
these are very nice tips. most of them are needed in this hour of need. plus there are many things taht we know from others.
@jands1 (835)
• United States
4 Nov 08
Every hour is, in my opinion, an hour of need. I always need to eat, have shelter, etc. What is great is the way people come together to share knowledge. Thanks subha12 for your thoughts. :)
@yangshuai (136)
• China
4 Nov 08
frugality is critical to a country,let alone a person.earning money is hard,but consuming it is easier.i often ask my friends to consume to a certain extend.but too much.the importance of saving we cant neglect.just in case of emergency.so enjoy life,saving are equal to me.
@jands1 (835)
• United States
4 Nov 08
Exactly yangshuai. Emergancy funds aka rainy day funds are sooo important for each and every person. And I would love to find a single country that has managed to have a rainy day fund. Funny how everyone tells us to be frugal. Live within our means. All those things. Yet no country does. Governments are supposed to set an example. Glad I don't follow it. Thanks for this great thought yangshuai!