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gondwanalon's avatar

Are you a thrifty/frugal bargaining hound like me?

Asked by gondwanalon (11698 points ) January 3rd, 2011

In these days of economic recession it is important to utilize money wisely and same for an unknown and perhaps unforgiving future. Here is just a few things that my wife and I are doing to same money:

My wife does all the shopping and she won’t buy anything unless it is on sale or she has a coupon. She also asks for discounts for AAA, military, senior etc.

I do my part by cutting my own hair. I haven’t had a professional hair cut in over 30 years. I figure why pay someone to make me look bad, I can do that myself. HA! I do a lot of other things to save money as well. I always chang our cars oil and maintain our house inside and out myself. Also I scrounge wood pallets from work to burn in our wood stove for free winter heat. I also used cardboard boxes which burn hot fast. I bring my own lunch to work everyday made of leftovers. I’m the king of leftovers. If it is leftover, I eat it.

Are you like me? What are you doing to save money?

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20 Answers

Prosb's avatar

I try to get certain things on sale days, if we’re going to order pizza, do it on the two days it costs a bit less for a pie. For certain appliances, I use rechargeable batteries almost always, they last long, and are VERY convenient.

marinelife's avatar

We buy our clothes from thrift stores or discount stores.
We use coupons, but only for products that we normally buy.

Coloma's avatar

I’m middle of the road.
If I can afford something I purcahse it without guilt, if I can’t I don’t.

I love thrift stores and try to shop at the better priced stores, but, I also do not believe in being OCD about anything.

Obsessive thriftiness is every bit as unhealthy as being a shopaholic.

I do not believe in hoarding anything.

Drink the wine today, you might be dead tomorrow. :-)

JLeslie's avatar

I am cheap about some things, but not about others. I tend to look or the value of something, if I think it is worth what I am paying. I do use coupons, not very organized about it, but maybe I save about $500 a year using them.

I don’t like to go too far out of my way, or shop in a disorgnaized environment. I guess I look for the best deal at the places I like to shop. I don’t generally go shop in a different place to get a great deal.

In the last few years my husband cuts my hair many times, not always, and I dye my hair with a color from the drug store. So, I save a lot there. But, when I travel I’ll pay $50 more a night for the better hotel, and I will spend $100 on jeans, but I don’t do those things often. I am not a shopaholic, we many times stay with family or friends on vacation. I think it all balances out.

My husband and I always say being stingy in one place, let’s us buy the things we want to splurge on in another.

Supacase's avatar

I search sale racks or consignment stores for clothes and can usually find what I need. (There is nothing better than a great find at a bargain price!) If not, I will then go to regular price options, but still look for the best value.

A friend (she is a stylist) does my family’s hair for free in return for me watching her baby one day a week.

Our “pizza night” is Wednesday because the local place we like has $5 carryouts that night. We used to go there on weekends, but that costs closer to $30 so we changed our routine.

On the other hand, I waste a good bit of money on getting a drink while I’m out running errands or paying library fines and stuff like that. I rarely use coupons and I buy too many convenience foods.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I bargain hunt for most things, but I will spend more on quality where it matters. I don’t mind spending my money, but I do mind wasting it.

Taciturnu's avatar

I’m a bargain hunter. I research all of my most commonly used goods as well as large purchases to get the best deals. (I love Black Friday. This year the deals weren’t great, so I’m looking forward to some better deals next year.)

I’ll say, there are somethings I still will not back down on if I can’t find it on sale or with a coupon. Like toilet paper. But I do make an attempt to find such items at a discount.

faye's avatar

I cut my oun hair, cook from scratch, shop at thrift stores and eat leftovers. Thinking of turning my meatloaf into some kind of pasta dish right now.

JLeslie's avatar

@faye I love meatloaf with pasta, red sauce, and melted mozerella. I did not think of eating leftovers as being thrifty. Interesting.

Blueroses's avatar

I completely cut restaurants and convenience foods from the budget/diet a year ago and just for myself, it saves over $300 a month that I used to spend. I cook all my own meals from fresh ingredients and even though I don’t like leftovers, my cooking is natural and light enough to share with the dogs. Hey! I’m also saving on dog food. Bonus.

JLeslie's avatar

My husband and I eat out only 1 or 2 times a week. But that feels normal to us, we both grew up like that, so it does not feel like I am being frugal. It has more to do with wanting to be healthy. When I work full-time, I do eat lunch out a few times a week, but I am not working full-time now.

I know we save a ton compared to friends because we don’t drink alcohol, or very very rarely. I am stunned at how much people spend drinking with every restaurant meal, or even drinking at home. You can take a few nice trips a year if you don’t drink.

Kardamom's avatar

Absolutely. I love the 99 Cent Only Store and Big Lots. I pretty much do most of my clothes shopping (except undergarments and socks) at thrift stores. I also buy most of my books at thrift stores or trade amonsgst friends and relatives. I already bought all of my Xmas gift wrap for next Xmas at Big Lots (on the day or days following Xmas).

I try to plan ahead and decide what meals I am going to make so that I can make multiple meals out of the same staple ingredients.

JLeslie's avatar

This thread makes me realize how everything is relative. I was just talking to someone about how wealth is relative, and now I realize how people view being frugal is relative also.

YARNLADY's avatar

I hate spending money. I wear my clothes until they literally fall off. I regularly use Freecycle.org to receive and give away items. I repurpose or recycle 80 – 90% of everything that comes into the house. I used to be a trash picker/recycler but I finally gave that up.

I buy only used or discounted furniture and clothing. I only eat at restaurants 3 or four times a year. Even on vacation, we stay in a rented condo and cook our own meals unless we are treating the family, then we eat at Buffet style restaurants, or order pizza delivery.

We use our credit card for everything we buy, including paying bills, and pay it off in full at the end of every month. We earn points toward free hotel rooms, and stay free between 4 – 6 days out of every year.

I Goodsearch.com instead of Google or Yahoo to donate to my favorite charity at no cost to myself, and also use Freerice.com and Thehungersite.com to make charitable donation at no cost to myself.

perspicacious's avatar

The name says it all.

Coloma's avatar

@Kardamom

Big Lots is great, I can get into trouble there. Bought a great patio set last year. I try to stay away in summer the most! haha

Kardamom's avatar

@YARNLADY One of my best friends is the best trashpicker (or alley shopper as she calls it) of all time. She regularly brings in stuff, or friends and relatives give her stuff, and she has a yard sale at least once a month and she knows a bunch of different people that collect an/or sell all sorts of different things from vintage clothes to furniture to jewelry and artwork. And she trades with the thrift store up the street. And she has a great time doing it. I love going trashpicking with her. Her neighbors always put stuff out on the curb with “for free” signs on it. She sews and re-finishes furniture so she can always fix stuff that other people think aren’t worth saving.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Kardamom That use to be my hobby. My brother made his living for years doing that. He sold his wares on the street, and kept dozens of street people in shoes, jackets and blankets.

selfe's avatar

I dry the laundry on the line, save plant seeds, and I don’t change my vehicle till I really have to (I think I’m at that point just about now: any suggestion for a 4X4 that won’t rust too soon in New England, USA?)

JLeslie's avatar

I do section off my house with those styrofoam sheating pieces and heavy plastic in the winter to save on heat. I separate the three zones in my house, so I only heat where I am. I didn’t use the foam for the hallway that leads to the bedrooms, because it seemed odd to me to not be able to see through to the main living area, so it is basically a heavy plastic curtain.

I have figured out it saves me probably $200 per month during Dec, Jan, Feb, and March. My neighbors house is 1,000 sq ft smaller, and my bill is at least $100 less each of those months. Another neighbor of mine has the same size house as me, and her bill runs about $300 more per month, but she also has three kids, so they use more energy anyway.

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