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Old 02-06-2014, 05:49 PM
 
5,917 posts, read 4,060,433 times
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Related, but slightly off topic...

After college I roadtripped x-country with four friends in a minivan for 5.5 weeks. We did 7000ish miles

Nobody had a ton of $$.

We agreed ahead of time to a set of semi-rules which included the following frugality-related one: when we were in the 'in-between' areas we ate 2 (sometimes 3) meals out of our cooler stocked with groceries. And we stayed in the cheapest chain hotel available.

But when we would arrive in a destination, we'd do at least one or two things iconic to the area. Like when we hit Chicago we'd get deep dish at one of the famous places. Even in those cases it wasn't like we were choosing Michelin 3 star joints.

We had one friend who would protest that, and wanted to eat peanut butter no matter what. She had $$, but just didn't want to spend it. It happened everywhere and was a damper on the trip.

There was no way we were going to visit Indy and not tour the Speedway, or San Fran and not have seafood on the wharf.

My point is sometimes just don't go if you can't go in an appropriate way.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
8,011 posts, read 22,519,793 times
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I agree. If I need something, or want it bad enough to spend anything on it at all, I buy good quality of that something, be it food, clothes or even a car or house.

Maybe if I could see my money dwindling away every month, I would feel differently, but probably not. Instead, I would cut cable tv, get rid of cell phones, definitely stop eating out, start cutting coupons, start riding my bike instead of driving, etc, to cut back on big things instead of pennies here and there.

If you are trying to decide between $6 for a bad lunch or $9 for an ok lunch, you are starting out with the wrong question. Spend $2-3, make your good, healthy lunch at home and brown bag it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferraris
For years I used to only order water at restaurants. But it seems kind of
silly to sacrifice my enjoyment of the meal to save around $2. Especially since
eating out is already a "luxury" activity anyway. If ordering a coffee or
sprite puts me over my spending limit, then I shouldn't be in the restaurant in
the first place.
I always order water in a restaurant. It isn't because I'm cheap. I really do like water best. I only drink 2-3 sodas a month, no tea, no coffee, no alcohol. I drink a lot of milk too, but water is my beverage of choice. Now you've got me worried that the waiter probably thinks I'm a cheapskate. I'll even order water to go with my filet mignon. My family is mostly the same way. The last time we went to Texas Roadhouse, there were 7 of us. The total bill was somewhere around $150 (mom & dad were treating us all, so I didn't see the actual bill), but 6 of the 7 of us had only water to drink.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
18,885 posts, read 12,490,390 times
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When you decide how you want to buy things, you don't have to redecide every time you make a purchase. If you decide to buy certain things at cheap places all the time, you are automatically saving money and you don't have to think twice about it.

If you are out of work, it might be best to eat lunch at home, thus saving the $9-15 per meal. Or if out and about, plan on not buying lunch until you get home. On the tissues, I'd buy the ones that work best, assuming I could afford them. It seems to me that buying lunch is a more expensive decision that buying better tissue.

There are several blogs online that deal with living frugally. You might google to find them. There would some good ideas about how to do it.

Good luck searching for a job. I hope you are not unemployed very much longer.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
4,682 posts, read 4,587,757 times
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Really all you need to do is go on your local Buy Nothing Project facebook group (if you have one in your area), freecycle, craig's list or any other community platform that allows you to ask for things and request a flannel sheet or pillow case. You can cut your own. I did this with a old top sheet that and I prefer it to any brand of tissue. I have plenty of money too, but I did this because it's wasteful to spend money on them, they are wasteful for the planet and resources and they're not as good as flannel.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:36 PM
 
5,611 posts, read 6,483,674 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lacerta View Post
I always order water in a restaurant. It isn't because I'm cheap. I really do like water best. I only drink 2-3 sodas a month, no tea, no coffee, no alcohol. I drink a lot of milk too, but water is my beverage of choice. Now you've got me worried that the waiter probably thinks I'm a cheapskate. I'll even order water to go with my filet mignon. My family is mostly the same way. The last time we went to Texas Roadhouse, there were 7 of us. The total bill was somewhere around $150 (mom & dad were treating us all, so I didn't see the actual bill), but 6 of the 7 of us had only water to drink.
I'll still order water if that's all I want; I just don't do it for the purpose of saving money.

If drinks are $2 at Texas Roadhouse then that's $12 less on the bill for the 6 of you, which translates to a couple of dollars in tip. Some servers might judge you on it; others might just think you made their job easy because "6 waters" is a heck of a lot easier to remember and serve than 6 different drinks.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:53 AM
 
8,402 posts, read 19,542,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomparent View Post
Go to Walmart and buy yourself a set of 10 cloth diapers for about $12. Use them instead of paper towels. Much more cost-effective. While you're at it buy some cloth handkerchiefs. Alternatively, use toilet paper to blow your nose.
Paper towels are much more convenient in many cases. And I use them efficiently. I know it's common, but carrying around a snotty handkerchief seems gross to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ferraris View Post

For years I used to only order water at restaurants. But it seems kind of silly to sacrifice my enjoyment of the meal to save around $2. Especially since eating out is already a "luxury" activity anyway. If ordering a coffee or sprite puts me over my spending limit, then I shouldn't be in the restaurant in the first place.
At one time I was eating lunch out every day. I realized that switching from soda or tea to water with lemon for 4 days paid for Friday's lunch. I certainly don't need any additional sugar or caffeine, so it became habit. I still do it most of the time when I eat out. Last weekend I had a craving for iced tea and ordered it with breakfast. It was excellent, and I enjoyed it, but it was an uncommon expenditure for me.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:02 AM
 
Location: The analog world
15,639 posts, read 8,758,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vmaxnc View Post
Paper towels are much more convenient in many cases. And I use them efficiently. I know it's common, but carrying around a snotty handkerchief seems gross to me.
I understand the aversion to handkerchiefs, but if someone is struggling to make ends meet, I can't imagine why he wouldn't dump the paper towels. If a package of cloth diapers are too expensive, go to Goodwill and buy a handful of cotton shirts, the rattler the better, and cut them up for rags. Paper towels are a giant waste of money.

Here's a tip for those who think they need paper towels for draining bacon. Use two baking sheets and a cooling rack. Place the rack inside one of the baking sheets and lay the bacon strips on the rack. Place the other baking sheet on top to act as a press. Bake for 30 or so minutes at 350 degrees. (Thin bacon may take less time, thick a bit longer.) The grease drips through the rack onto the lower baking sheet. Pour it into a reserved glass jam jar. Let cool on the counter and store in the fridge. Use it instead of butter to scramble eggs. Yum! The bonus of cooking bacon this way is that it contains the grease to the oven so it doesn't become aerosolized and coat everything in the kitchen.

Last edited by randomparent; 02-07-2014 at 10:23 AM..
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
4,682 posts, read 4,587,757 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vmaxnc View Post
Paper towels are much more convenient in many cases. And I use them efficiently. I know it's common, but carrying around a snotty handkerchief seems gross to me.
From experience (I started in September) it's not nearly as gross as you think it is. I have probably 60 of them so I happily use them like klenex (basically once before grabbing another) except instead of the trash they go into the laundry. No big deal. Get a patterned sheet and you won't notice anything.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:21 AM
 
Location: The analog world
15,639 posts, read 8,758,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingsaucermom View Post
From experience (I started in September) it's not nearly as gross as you think it is. I have probably 60 of them so I happily use them like klenex (basically once before grabbing another) except instead of the trash they go into the laundry. No big deal. Get a patterned sheet and you won't notice anything.
Good point. I don't often have a runny nose, so it's not really an issue for me, but I like your idea and will file it for future reference.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
4,682 posts, read 4,587,757 times
Reputation: 5369
Quote:
Originally Posted by randomparent View Post
Good point. I don't often have a runny nose, so it's not really an issue for me, but I like your idea and will file it for future reference.
I'm allergic to cats and dust... and I have cats and dust. Cleaning day is hell for me.
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