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Old 09-07-2009, 08:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bette View Post
I started on Weight Watchers and am getting used to the smaller portions. I noticed a box of Special K now lasts me over a week; it used to last me 4 days so that's my small savings.
Ahh, but WW meetings are expensive so maybe it's cancelling out that savings?
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Old 09-08-2009, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
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My Dh and I have started ordering one meal at a restaurant and splitting it between the two of us. It has worked into being more or less normal now.

We've quit buying a lot of things entirely. Paper towels and soda are among the list. I now make hot tea and put it in the refrigerator when it is cool for iced tea later. Peppermint tea is sweet enough by itself that it doesn't even need sugar added. The stuff grows real easy, too, so we don't even have to buy it. We now routinely make a lot of stuff we used to buy. Mayonnaise is really easy to make, bread is fun to make (and really cheap if you buy yeast and flour in bulk otherwise it is expensive), soup is much tastier if it is home made than store bought. Pretty much our attitude has become "eewe, that is store bought!"

We have sort of gotten into the habit of trying to make as much of our stuff as we can. Last year I took up making yarn which is kinda of fun. Brush the fur off the two new pet angora rabbits and twirl it around on a drop spindle made of a bit of wood and a chop stick. It knits up into wonderfully soft stuff. This week I'm making a picnic table from some wood we bought at a yard sale two weeks ago. At this particular moment I'm waiting for the bread to bake, then I'll go out and work on the table some more.
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Old 09-08-2009, 02:23 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
4,085 posts, read 7,449,901 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHB View Post
Most habits take a while to learn (3 weeks I believe I read), I have found that being frugal an on going process, I'm not sure if we ever "get there" (whatever that may mean)

I was in a conversation about grocery bills.
It surprised me that people purchase trash bags. I use the ones they put my groceries in (and I still have quite a surplus.) I don't remember the last time I bought trash bags.
I was surprised how many trips people make to the grocery store. I go shopping once a month/6 weeks.

I don't think about the two things I've listed above, so I guess they are a habit now.

Are there things you have changed, that you don't think about anymore?
I'm with you, RHB. I never buy trash bags anymore. Where I shop they put my groceries in a paper bag which is in a plastic bag. I use those as my garbage bag and have a surplus. I put it in a regular rubbermaid step-on-the-pedal-to-open-the-lid plastic garbage can. It is lined with a regular trash bag, which I still have a box of from well over a year ago. The grocery bag is smaller, but I'm careful to throw garbage only in the grocery bag without getting it between the grocery bag and the "liner" (the regular trash bag). Any leaks are contained by the plastic grocery bag. If for some reason the liner bag gets raunchy, I throw it out - usually about 4 times a year.

On the same note, I notice that while friends of mine go through a couple full-sized trash bags every few days, I often go through only one grocery bag full of garbage a week. We get garbage pickup twice a week, and many times I put NOTHING on the curb for the first pickup, and for the second pickup I tie up my grocery bag and set it on the curb, with no need for lugging out the big outdoor garbage can.

So I see my frugal efforts in other areas - reducing waste in cooking garbage, etc. - paying off at the garbage can. I put less into the landfills than most people. Ironically, one of my most wasteful friends lives in a town that makes him by THEIR trash bags as it pays for the trash disposal. Essentially, he has to pay per bag to have his garbage hauled. I would love that setup if it reduced my taxes, because I would go through about 1/4 of the bags he goes through (probably even less).

How do I go through less garbage??? I wipe up small spills with a small portion of a paper towel, whereas he rips off one or two full paper towels for any spill. I reuse ziploc bags so I go through a box in 4 or 5 months, he goes through them at the rate of a box every week or two. I rarely throw away food, whereas he and his wife "don't believe in leftovers", so whatever he doesn't finish on his plate (and the same with his wife and kids) goes right into the garbage, along with whatever food is in the pot that they didn't finish. I use natural remedies as much as possible for my ailments (and I'm rarely sick, and my allergies don't linger) whereas he and his family go through expensive drugs every week (and, oddly enough, they are always sick with colds and allergies).

I think to be frugal one HAS to look at his or her garbage can, because it is one of the best ways to measure the waste in one's life. Not every solution is the same for every person - I don't think that EVERYONE has to use grocery bags for garbage bags, for example. But, I think there are probably a lot of people who could make that switch but just dismiss the idea of it out of hand, with no serious consideration. Looking at what goes INTO the garbage can is important also. What's filling it up? What else can be done with some of that stuff??? These are things people need to look at and ask themselves if they truly want to be frugal.
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:41 PM
 
23,917 posts, read 17,588,567 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BergenCountyJohnny View Post
I think to be frugal one HAS to look at his or her garbage can, because it is one of the best ways to measure the waste in one's life. Not every solution is the same for every person - I don't think that EVERYONE has to use grocery bags for garbage bags, for example. But, I think there are probably a lot of people who could make that switch but just dismiss the idea of it out of hand, with no serious consideration. Looking at what goes INTO the garbage can is important also. What's filling it up? What else can be done with some of that stuff??? These are things people need to look at and ask themselves if they truly want to be frugal.
agreed, but if you're a pack-rat like i tend to be, it can cause problems in the opposite direction. i have an especially hard time getting rid of containers that 'might be useful in the future'
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:58 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,527 posts, read 29,246,638 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHB View Post
Most habits take a while to learn (3 weeks I believe I read), I have found that being frugal an on going process, I'm not sure if we ever "get there" (whatever that may mean)

I was in a conversation about grocery bills.
It surprised me that people purchase trash bags. I use the ones they put my groceries in (and I still have quite a surplus.) I don't remember the last time I bought trash bags.
I was surprised how many trips people make to the grocery store. I go shopping once a month/6 weeks.

I don't think about the two things I've listed above, so I guess they are a habit now.

Are there things you have changed, that you don't think about anymore?
I am constantly and endlessly shocked at how much money people spend on clothing. In the past 10 years I doubt if I have spent $20 on new clothing since 99 percent of my clothes come from thrift shops.

Recently, I read somewhere that the average money spent on clothing per year is $627, which is to me, patently unbelieveable. I have gotten so used to being frugal with my shopping (not just clothes), that I cannot even begin to fathom spending that kind of money on things.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:59 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
4,085 posts, read 7,449,901 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
I am constantly and endlessly shocked at how much money people spend on clothing. In the past 10 years I doubt if I have spent $20 on new clothing since 99 percent of my clothes come from thrift shops.

Recently, I read somewhere that the average money spent on clothing per year is $627, which is to me, patently unbelieveable. I have gotten so used to being frugal with my shopping (not just clothes), that I cannot even begin to fathom spending that kind of money on things.

20yrsinBranson
I do think people spend too much on clothing all too often, but I don't think I could get by on $20. For my work, I need to look sharp, and I often need to wear a nice suit, which can easily run $300+, even on sale. I've tried less expensive options, including "cheap suits" and thrift store suits, but to no avail; seems even the good stuff in those places commands a high enough price, if any good stuff is even to be found.

But aside from my work clothes, I do pretty well with shopping at TJ Maxx and Marshalls, and similar stores. My favorite is Burlington Coat Factory, they have great deals on clothes that are very much in style. From Burlington, I can put together a decent outfit for $20 to $40, which is very reasonable, I think. And it will be in style and may even have a designer label.
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Old 09-12-2009, 12:39 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,221 posts, read 4,652,783 times
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1. Curbing the munchies. Before leaving the house for the library, store etc, I always have a small snack. A simple bologna sandwich or a couple pieces of fruit will tide me over and allow me to pass by Burger King with impunity.

2. In many cases, buying medications in a larger dose and then cutting the pills down can be much cheaper. Not all kinds of pills are suitable, but my blood pressure meds in a 20mg tab are nearly the same price as the 10mg ones, and come pre-scored to cut them in half. Instant 50% savings.

3. On the trash bag issue, a smaller trash receptacle will accomodate plastic grocery bags well, and allows us to get the stinky stuff (i.e. chicken skins) out without the waste of taking out big bags half-filled.

4. Simple local trip planning. For example, DW now hits the grocery store on the way to/from church, eliminating two trips halfway across town every week. When I need something from the hardware store, I defer the work if I can and put it on a list, and try to consolidate trips to the store to no more than one a week. We average a combined total of less than 250 miles a month on our two cars this way, and still get everything done. Our 7-year-old VW still has the original tires and brakes on it, and a tank of diesel lasts for months.

5. We inspect our clothes in detail regularly before putting them in the wash, and DW does sewing repairs while defects are small, greatly extending the life of clothing. Also, cold wash and careful attention to cool dryer temps makes an amazing difference on the longevity of clothes.
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:21 AM
 
3,460 posts, read 4,792,436 times
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For snacks I usually take a walk over to Bob's house while he's combining his trips to the store, church, etc. The bologna is pretty good, and his wife can't figure out why he keeps eating so much cheese...
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Old 09-12-2009, 03:38 AM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,476 posts, read 16,974,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHB View Post
I was surprised how many trips people make to the grocery store. I go shopping once a month/6 weeks.
Some people like to eat fresh foods.
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:13 PM
 
Location: where the moss is taking over the villages
2,178 posts, read 4,712,127 times
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We've recycled all of our old washclothes into "paper towels". I haven't bought a roll in over a year. My boyfriend asked me to reconsider & I told him I wouldn't have anything to do with them.

I can cover food in the microwave, oil a pan, sop up oil from frying. Anything a paper towel can do, my rag can do & it's shaped just right. Washing is not a chore cuz they don't take much space with the regular laundry.

We found buying beer at Rite Aid could save money. Wine as well. Something is always on sale there. But now we don't drink either. Beer is the first choice since it seems cheaper but the waistline was suffering. And ultimately the pocket book. Funny how good water tastes when it's saving money to drink it.

I get all my books usually at the thrift store: the selection is amazing. They have magazines also. I love getting my slacks & blouses with department store labels at the thrift shops.

My big splurge is probably going to be ski bibs to keep warm this winter, indoors.

Kate
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