Generous frugality

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by slobake, Jan 2, 2013.


  1. slobake

    slobake Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Location:
    San Franciscco, CA
    Some of the conversations here made me think about the ways I survive in a very expensive urban enviroment. I don't mind lettting go of my money but I like to have more choice about who I give it to. Here are some ways I save money. Do you have things that you do?
    I hate paying interest to banks and/or credit card companies so I never carry a balance on my credit card unless it is absoulely necessary.

    I like paying cash for low mileage used cars. I try and drive them for at least ten years while I save my dough for another care. Currently I have a 99 Honda CRV that is still going strong.

    I bring my lunch to work with me. A conservitive estimate would be $5 a day for lunch. There are 250 work days a year so if we work each day so that works out to be $1,250 a year more or less. Subract from that what it costs to bring your lunch and you can see it is a savings.

    We buy all our movie tickets at a dicount at our local Costco. If you don't know about Costco, it is a membership store here in the U.S. where you buy things in bulk at a discount. Nothing more fun than buyind three gallons of Hershey's chocolate sauce. :p

    Then there is the usual things, sales, coupons etc.

    There are other things too, but I think other people probably have some great ways to do this too.
  2. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Location:
    Below Ground, Detroit area
    We do some of this same stuff as a family 'cause kids just eat stuff by the boxcar.

    Sometimes though, you just want something & you go buy it.

    I have to learn to lean on my cable company harder when they want to hike our rates. It's TV (and internet) and they get ad fees so, they're getting ancillary income.

    Too bad upright decent basses are so expensive. It's the next desire on my GAS list.
  3. Oneirogenic

    Oneirogenic

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    I discovered accidentally that cable companys are very quick to negotiate when it comes to pricing. Our internet rate went up pretty significantly because I forgot we were on some sort of 12 month lower rate deal. I call to cancel cause we can't afford it and the CS Rep says they'll let us keep the lower rate if we stay on. I always thought newer customers were more important than retention for a lot of companies. Cell phone companies seem like they could care less about retention.
  4. michael_atw

    michael_atw Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Location:
    Jamestown, NY
    I run rackets on credit card rewards.

    On Mapquest I use shortest distance when applicable over faster times. If the distance shortened is significant without adding too much time, I go that route.

    When I buy from grocery stores, I buy almost exclusively what is on sale (except for things that are never on sale or that I prefer over other brands). 2 liter bottle of pop out here can be $1-$1.25; 20 oz is sometimes $2 by itself. lol. If something is on sale, buy two to cover you for the week(s) it isn't.

    Don't shop at convenience stores. It hurts them but helps you - let everyone else do it.
  5. iamlowsound

    iamlowsound

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Listowel/KW Ontario
    Huge +1 on the credit card thing. My wife has to buy thousands of dollars worth of stuff for work that she gets reimbursed for. All that goes on a credit card that gives us points. We bought a ton of stuff for our wedding with the points and have never paid for groceries since we have been married because of it.

    Another thing that I have thought of, but never done, is have two credit cards that give you points/cash back and pay off one with the other, then actually pay it off, so you get double the points.

    Another thing that we do is buy cheap cars for cash, but the last time my wife needed a car, we bought a new one because she was driving enough for work that it was almost covering the payment. Free brand new car? Yes, please!

    lowsound
  6. slobake

    slobake Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Location:
    San Franciscco, CA
    Yes, we get air miles with our Credit card. So far we have been to Costa Rica, Turks and Caicos and Israel with our air miles. Plus we used to be able to give them away I don't think you can to it anymore. My niece and her family came from Las Vegas to San Francisco several times on our air miles.
  7. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    I take my lunch to work . I get by for under three dollars while all the other guys spend around $10. I do go out about once every two weeks . Its also a lot healthier than fat and salt that you get from most processed foods at restaurants.

    When I find a good sale on an item I use a lot of I buy a lot of it . For instance I found margerine a couple a weeks ago for a dollar . It was Fleishman's olive oil in the double pack ,small tubs . Normally about $3. I bought ten and saved $20.

    There is something I saw recently for all you online shoppers. If you have third party cookies enabled sites are able to track your shopping and set a price just for you ,which may be higher than my price . They said to disable third party cookies when shopping around for an item . I'm sure with a search one could find a news story on this.

    I actually eat or freeze leftovers.

    I run all the errands I can on my way home or during the day when in my company vehicle . I'm GPS'd and they know about it . The rule is don't go to far out of the way and its accepted. I put less than 6000 miles on my personal car this last year. That's a lot of $$$ saved.
  8. lowfreq33

    lowfreq33

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Nashville
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    I used to spend $5 a week on lunch at work. 10 pack of burritos was $4.99, I'd eat two a day.

    Of course my ex wife was going out to lunch and spending $10-$15 A DAY.
  9. michael_atw

    michael_atw Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Location:
    Jamestown, NY
    The key to credit card rewards is paying off most or all of the balance before incurring interest. Then you get real, absolutely free rewards.
  10. duff beer

    duff beer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Other than the "usual" ways to save such as not carrying a credit card debt and making my own lunches, the place I have saved the most was with my house...literally 10's of thousands saved over the years.

    I bought a fixer and did all my own home renos. I have built a double garage, built a sunroom, shingled the roof, built 2 decks, gutted and reno'd both the kitchen and basement, installed hardwood floors and carpeting, replaced the hot water tank, insulated, hung drywall, done mudding and painting..the list is endless, and 95% of it was done for the cost of materials alone (and my time).
  11. BawanaRik

    BawanaRik Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Right now it's cheaper to own a house than rent. Check Zillow for local bargains. I bought a smaller house and when I hear people talking about rent I cringe. It seems that $1500 a month is realistic rent. That's a lot of money.

  12. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2001
    Location:
    New York
    I drive beaters. Cheaper to buy, maintain and insure. Plus being a mechanic I fix my own junk for the cost of parts.... honestly I don't know how people afford to pay a pro to fix their cars.

    I buy things in quantity. A 200 foot roll of aluminum foil is cheaper in the long run than a 25 foot roll is. Same thing for Saran Wrap, paper towels, milk etc.... If you can use things like milk, and meats quickly enough (read: before they spoil) then buying quantity is the way to go.

    I barter with friends. My guitar player is a professional painter, my neighbor is a licensed electrician. I need work done on my house, they need their trucks fixed.... win-win for everyone.
  13. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Location:
    Reims, Champagne, France
    Every time I am about to buy something, I ask myself 3 questions.
    -Will this item really make my life more enjoyable?
    -What will it replace that I can sell?
    -Do I already own something that offers similar functions?
  14. pocketgroove

    pocketgroove

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Location:
    Detroit
    We pay extra on the mortgage every month, which ultimately lowers the payment and takes years off, as well. We don't have cable, which actually saves quite a bit.
  15. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    I do the followings:
    never carry a balance on my credit card.
    keep an eye out for sales, I rarely buy stuff full-price.
    don't have cable.
    live with a roommate.
    don't have a bus-pass nor a car.
    eat mostly at home and usually when I eat out it's with a groupon or something.
    stopped buying music related stuff.

    But then again I'm a student...

    On the things *I should* cut or watch out: Grocery, I spend too much but I like the way I eat. Alcohol... it's expensive.
  16. michael_atw

    michael_atw Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Location:
    Jamestown, NY
    Out here the average is about $600 for a nice 1-2 BR. It depends where you are. Although, houses here are about 1/6 of the price of a similar one downstate though.
  17. michael_atw

    michael_atw Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Location:
    Jamestown, NY
    I abstain from all substance, including caffeine for the most part. Went to Tim Horton's today and found out capps are $3. Geezus. Anyone who goes there regularly has no reason to whine about being broke. I hadn't gone in a year.

    Coffee, beer, cigarettes, eating out...I bet the person who does all 4 regularly wastes $500-$600 a month on those habits and the gas it takes to acquire them via transportation.

    Alcohol/bars alone directly and indirectly probably drain $50-$75 a week out of an average college student's account.
  18. Richland123

    Richland123

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    I have become quite a master at living on a very meager income (way below the poverty level). Gas, auto repairs, and heating oil tend to take up a lot of money but I have so many ways of saving on things that other people ask me how I do it and want tips on things. Sales, coupons, rewards programs, clearance items, discount stores, etc. are standard fare for me when shopping. Once it becomes standard practice, it does not take any more time shopping than anyone else does. I also frequently shop at Aldi, Big Lots, Dollar Tree, and other similar stores as well.
  19. michael_atw

    michael_atw Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Location:
    Jamestown, NY
    Eh, I try to shop local or USA. Dollar Tree is not my cup of tea. The Big Lots in my hometown is where all the criminals hang out.
  20. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2000
    I do these two things as well. I didn't have my first credit card until I was 27, and it was for work-related purposes. I paid off the balance each and every month. I'm 30 and I've never had a car payment. I have a free checking account as well - no fees regardless of how much money is my account.

    I usually shower when I'm in a hurry, but I prefer to bathe. I could have paid an extra $25 and got an apartment with a bath tub, but my apartment is temporary until I finish grad school. I figured I could live without the luxury of bathing for a while and just shower.

    About a year ago, I switched to shaving with a safety razor. I'm generally a daily shaver, and my facial hair is tough. A Mach 3 cart is toast after about two shaves for me. The initial investment to start traditional shaving is more than cart shaving - about $75 for a quality razor and brush - but I can get a 100 pack of Astra DE blades for $10, as opposed to three M3 carts for a little over that. I can get a puck of shave soap at Wally World for like $1.50. It's pretty easy to see that I'm s(h)aving money in the long-run. ;)

    Finding parking on campus where I go to school is almost impossible between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. I work for my university and my day usually starts around 9:00 a.m. There are pay-for-spot parking spaces on campus and meters in close proximity. Instead, I park on a street that's about a 12 minute walk away that doesn't have any meters or a maximum parking time limit so as long as you're off the street by 2:00 a.m. I hate that walk in the middle of winter, but it's worth it.

    I used to never really use my cell phone for anything more than telling someone I would be running a little late or if I had an emergency. Therefore, a Tracfone and a $20 card every two months or so worked for me. However, I have to use my phone a lot more now, so I'm thinking about going with a cheap Straight Talk plan. I use my cell phone for two main purposes: Talking/texting and an alarm clock. I don't need it to be a fully functioning digital multi-media center that can make latte.

    All of the rooms in my apartment have separate themostats. Therefore, I keep the heat down in any room that I'm not spending time in. Also, I try to wait to do any high energy activities until after peak hours. That's not always possible, but I have a weird schedule and can make it happen.

    I love clothes, but I very rarely buy any clothing that is not on sale.

    And of course, thanks to TB, I often soak my strings in denatured alcohol.

    I should coupon shop more.

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