That Frugal Thing You Do

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities

Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby Go Blue 99 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:33 pm

- Go on Slickdeals.com to find deals on items you normally buy. Just this morning I received 50% off an Amazon gift card and an iTunes gift card. You can set up deal alerts to email you if you don’t have time to surf the site.

- For cable/satellite/phone/internet, call their Retentions department and ask for a discount for staying with the company. Easy to get $10-$30 off a month just by asking.

- Sell old clothing on eBay. You’ll never know how much you can get without listing. I just sold a pair of jeans from 2004 for $45 on eBay.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby abmitch01 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:06 pm

My Bank of America card has a free Museums On Us program the first Saturday of the month. I also get free museum passes at my local library.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby ilmartello » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:38 pm

Who eats lunch at Costco?
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby BearShark » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:44 pm

ilmartello wrote:Who eats lunch at Costco?


Ha. It's funny you mention this. My girlfriend and I actually went to Costco this past Sunday on what we deemed a "Costco pizza and frozen yogurt lunch date." Our sole purpose of going was the food; didn't go inside to shop at all.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby Bongleur » Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:19 am

It takes one bucket of water for the shower to get hot. Used to dump it in the washer, but got a high efficiency front loader so now it gets put in the sink to rinse dishes. Got a bucket with one flat side, fits against the vertical wall of the sink nicely.
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Re:

Postby gerntz » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:29 am

Specialized wrote:(1) Buy lowest octane gas available for my Ferrari

(2) Order house vodka at my club instead of Grey Goose

(3) Cut my personal chef back to five days a week

(4) Don't tip bell boy when I stay at the Waldorf-Astoria


Well we fly coach to Europe but do splurge on extra leg room.

And we keep all of our three bottles of wine a week under $50 each. Unless we have special guests of course.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby travellight » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:15 am

I get the WSJ ($2) for free by picking up a WSJ that was left on the train.


I always leave my newspapers and magazines in airplanes and at the airport so someone else can use them.

I get magazine subscriptions for $5 per year on Amazon or with some small amount of expiring miles and stack them up to take for trips.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby ryuns » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:46 am

gerntz wrote:
Specialized wrote:(1) Buy lowest octane gas available for my Ferrari

(2) Order house vodka at my club instead of Grey Goose

(3) Cut my personal chef back to five days a week

(4) Don't tip bell boy when I stay at the Waldorf-Astoria


Well we fly coach to Europe but do splurge on extra leg room.

And we keep all of our three bottles of wine a week under $50 each. Unless we have special guests of course.


I love the sentiment because I'm sure it's how a lot of Bogleheads feel. I like that the bar of soap I pilfered from the hotel will last me several weeks, or that I've had the same crystal deodorant for a few years now. And then we promptly spend a couple hundred on a weekend of wine tasting in Sonoma Valley when we could have stayed at home and biked to Bogle Winery for a free tasting. That difference amounts to about a lifetime supply of soap.
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby mike143 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:42 pm

All these WSJ deals, here's a deal: http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-dea ... 5/?start=0

Just started getting mine last week.
Nothing is free, someone pays.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby gofigure » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:01 pm

For medical reasons we feed one of the cats fresh meats, usually ground turkey and beef. We buy it on sale in bulk and package it small zip lock bags and freeze it. When I empty a bag of meat I wash the bag and re-use it.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby rdmayo21 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:19 pm

I purchase grass fed beef by the quarter cow directly from the farmer. You would not believe how much money this saves. I live in a one-bedroom apartment, so the chest freezer's in my bedroom :D
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby ruralavalon » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:16 pm

Have never bought a new car.

Have a Kindle, and primarily read or reread free or almost free (e.g. $0.99 price) books. These are older works, classics, with expired copyrights.

Regular gym membership dropped, in favor of "free" membership which came with Medicare supp. insurance policy. This limits times for use to weekdays, and specified times of day.

Now retired, so eat lunch at home a lot more often.

Got a subscription to WSJ for home delivery, to avoid newsstand price.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby Saphomd » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:52 pm

I sow my socks when they have holes instead of buying new ones :(
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby ryuns » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:58 pm

Saphomd wrote:I sow my socks when they have holes instead of buying new ones :(


Sowing your socks, a little regular watering, and then harvesting your own can save a lot. (sorry, had to).
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby covertfantom » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:17 pm

I bought a 27" 2560 x 1440 monitor from Microcenter for $440 after tax. Not only do I get more desktop real estate to get more work done, but I get a great screen for movies that sucks down less power than my HDTV.

Note - they sell cheaper $300 27" varieties on ebay, but since those are shipped straight from South Korea, you can't return them. My first two 27" monitors came with some defects which Microcenter happily exchanged!
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby reggiesimpson » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:42 pm

I have been reading "How to be Frugal" books for decades. I repair just about everything myself. I do all the maintenance on the house and lawn. Buy used cars only. I drive my cars until they die in front of me. Grab coupons. Finally............. Told the kids to cremate me!
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby Bongleur » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:30 pm

Don't forget to have them sprinkle you in the garden wherever some bone meal is needed.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby Saphomd » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:37 pm

I also sneak booze into the ballpark. I refuse to pay 9 bucks for a beer. :sharebeer
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby reggiesimpson » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:25 pm

Bongleur wrote:Don't forget to have them sprinkle you in the garden wherever some bone meal is needed.

My wife prefers "kitty litter". Thats why the ashes are going to the kids!
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby investor1 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:09 pm

Saphomd wrote:I also sneak booze into the ballpark. I refuse to pay 9 bucks for a beer. :sharebeer

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to- ... by-or-a-c/
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby nolabogle » Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:40 pm

Last year I stopped subscribing to the local newspaper since I was no longer finding the time to read it on a daily basis. My wife noticed and bought me a subscription for my birthday so she could see all the 'sales.' End result - a little more money out of pocket for the paper again and a lot more money out of pocket for 'sales.'
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby Boglenaut » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:23 am

nolabogle wrote:Last year I stopped subscribing to the local newspaper since I was no longer finding the time to read it on a daily basis. My wife noticed and bought me a subscription for my birthday so she could see all the 'sales.' End result - a little more money out of pocket for the paper again and a lot more money out of pocket for 'sales.'


I use airline miles for WSJ 6 days a week. I read the local paper at a local fast food place. $1 unlimmited pop and free local paper. I eat early so am the first to read it normally.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby VictoriaF » Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:21 am

I am buying a lot of books through Amazon.com and frequently select used books in "like new" or "very good" condition. So far, this is nothing new. But here is a little extra.

At the end of May-early June many college students are selling their books, and private sellers and bookstores drop prices on these books. For example, today I bought "Information Science" by David G. Luenberger (2006). Its normal price is about $100, with Amazon.com discount it is $90 -- whereas I paid $24+$4 for the "like new" condition.

When I am interested in a book, I put it on my Wish List and periodically check the List for price changes. I write (and update) the lowest previous price in the "Notes" part of the Wish List, and over time I have developed a pretty good intuition for how far down the price of a given book may go and what is a bargain.

Victoria
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby papito23 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:57 am

I drive slower, (http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=97814&newpost=1412833) though sometimes I wonder if it's worth it financially. Once you add up environmental benefits, fewer accidents, and an overall sense of more calm driving, it makes more sense.
A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. -Aldo Leopold's Golden Rule of Ecology
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby binkding » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:12 pm

Don't get sick, such as cold, fever, headaches. This is different than simply staying healthy (does this mean you don't get sick?).

If you constantly get sick, reassess from top down what is going on. There is a fix for everything.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby Fallible » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:07 pm

VictoriaF wrote:I am buying a lot of books through Amazon.com and frequently select used books in "like new" or "very good" condition. ...

When I am interested in a book, I put it on my Wish List and periodically check the List for price changes. I write (and update) the lowest previous price in the "Notes" part of the Wish List, and over time I have developed a pretty good intuition for how far down the price of a given book may go and what is a bargain. ...


So far I've held back ordering these slightly used books from Amazon, thinking they might be really worn or stained like some older library books. But if you've had no trouble with them I'll go ahead and try it out and save a few bucks.

Re the intuition you've developed, this I think is what our friend Daniel Kahneman meant about System 1 often working quite well. :)
"Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing." -William James
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby Pajamas » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:27 pm

Fallible wrote:
So far I've held back ordering these slightly used books from Amazon, thinking they might be really worn or stained like some older library books. But if you've had no trouble with them I'll go ahead and try it out and save a few bucks.



Here are Amazon's Condition Guidelines for used books. If you buy a book that doesn't meet the advertised condition, notify the seller and they will make it right. If they don't, notify Amazon. I order books in very good condition or higher because I don't like books with other people's notes and especially highlights.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/ ... =200143590

* New: Just like it sounds. A brand-new, unused, unread copy in perfect condition.
* Like New: An apparently unread copy in perfect condition. Dust cover is intact, with no nicks or tears. Spine has no signs of creasing. Pages are clean and are not marred by notes or folds of any kind. Book may contain a remainder mark on an outside edge but this should be noted in listing comments.
* Very Good: A copy that has been read, but remains in excellent condition. Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
* Good: A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact (including dust cover, if applicable). The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include "From the library of" labels.
* Acceptable: A readable copy. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact (the dust cover may be missing). Pages can include considerable notes--in pen or highlighter--but the notes cannot obscure the text.
* Unacceptable: Moldy, badly stained, or unclean copies are not acceptable, nor are copies with missing pages or obscured text. Books that are distributed for promotional use only are prohibited. This includes advance reading copies (ARCs) and uncorrected proof copies.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby Fallible » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:05 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Fallible wrote:
So far I've held back ordering these slightly used books from Amazon, thinking they might be really worn or stained like some older library books. But if you've had no trouble with them I'll go ahead and try it out and save a few bucks.



Here are Amazon's Condition Guidelines for used books. If you buy a book that doesn't meet the advertised condition, notify the seller and they will make it right. If they don't, notify Amazon. I order books in very good condition or higher because I don't like books with other people's notes and especially highlights.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/ ... =200143590

* New: Just like it sounds. A brand-new, unused, unread copy in perfect condition.
* Like New: An apparently unread copy in perfect condition. Dust cover is intact, with no nicks or tears. Spine has no signs of creasing. Pages are clean and are not marred by notes or folds of any kind. Book may contain a remainder mark on an outside edge but this should be noted in listing comments.
* Very Good: A copy that has been read, but remains in excellent condition. Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
* Good: A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact (including dust cover, if applicable). The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include "From the library of" labels.
* Acceptable: A readable copy. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact (the dust cover may be missing). Pages can include considerable notes--in pen or highlighter--but the notes cannot obscure the text.
* Unacceptable: Moldy, badly stained, or unclean copies are not acceptable, nor are copies with missing pages or obscured text. Books that are distributed for promotional use only are prohibited. This includes advance reading copies (ARCs) and uncorrected proof copies.


I wasn't aware of this and thanks!
"Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing." -William James
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby DriftingDudeSC » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:10 am

I've ordered used books from Amazon and never had a problem.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby ilmartello » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:30 am

i go to the free amazon store, called a library and check out books
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby magicmom » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:41 am

I go to the library book sale on bag day and get a whole bag of books for $5.00!
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby mediahound » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:25 am

Lately (a couple times a week), I've been going to Ikea for their .99 cent breakfast.

I have one about 5 exits away from where I live. It's not worth going there for a special trip, but if I'm in the area or can plan my errands around it, it's a no brainer.

They make you walk through the marketplace to get out but if you don't buy anything, it's no big deal.

Even if you get something else to eat there or also buy a coffee (.75 cents), it's still a good bargain.

I don't really like their furniture though, as in my experience, it falls apart within 10 years.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby Boglenaut » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:53 pm

Here is a site I saw advertised on a PSA:

http://www.feedthepig.org/


Of course, this is beginner stuff compared to Bogleheads'.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby likegarden » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:51 pm

I got rid of this cellphone menace, luckily we are not big talkers, so we have Tracphones for emergencies at $100/year.
Once every few years I go to two supermarkets to buy our groceries over one month and then compare prices for same quality and brands via a spreadsheet. Two years ago I noticed that going to Walmart would save us 18% on our grocery bill, go there now always.
I do everything in house repairs and maintenance myself as far as I can do. I always mow my lawn and do all the landscaping, except climbing on high trees. We keep our good quality cars for 10-12 years each.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby lexie2000 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:38 pm

1. Shop the major drug chains to get a lot of free products by combining sales, coupons, rewards, and rebates. Get my coupons for free from the unsold Sunday newspapers at a nearby liquor store.

2. Use coupons at the grocery store and stock up when a sale and coupon make a product we use free or really cheap. Also look for meat markdowns (last day of sale) and bring home and cook or freeze.

3. Go to the library instead of buying books.

4. Get my news on-line instead of subscribing to the newspaper.

5. Charge everything I can, pay the bill in full every month, and earn cash rewards.

6. Borrowed money at 0% (cash advance, balance transfer offers with no fees) and earned 4.5% on the money.

7. We've never paid interest on anything but a mortgage and paid those down when it was prudent to do so.

8. We don't buy a Cadillac if all we need is a Volkswagon, but buy quality when warranted.

9. Buy well-maintained, used cars and drive them for 10-15 years.

10. Buy energy-saving appliances. Wash laundry in cold water (except sheets and towels). Run dishwasher on econo-cycle.

11. Buy clothes at the end of the season when they're on clearance and use coupons, when possible, to reduce the cost further.

12. Brown bag lunch

13. Thermostat is always set in the "off" position. Air condition like grandma did. Use heat to take the chill off until comfortable and then turn it back off.

13. Walk for exercise instead of joining a gym.

14. When decorating, I wait to buy until I find what I REALLY love and keep it for years. Redecorating is expensive.

15. Carry high deductibles for insurance.

16. Buy our glasses/contacts/gas at Costco; the savings more than covers the membership.

17. We're never in a hurry to buy anything. We always research and then look for/wait to get what we want/need at the best price possible.

This doesn't mean that we're frugal in EVERY aspect of our lives. When we cruise, we ALWAYS get a balcony. :happy
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby travellight » Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:08 pm

hmmm..... I didn't buy the Maserati Quattroporte because I could get away with the Cadillac STS.

I agree with the rest of your list though, Lexie.... although, I never get the balcony on a cruise, always an inside cabin. We are frugal in different ways.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby Spades » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:02 pm

Have we covered consciously looking for loose change in parking lots and then using this exact change for my cash purchases of beer and pepsi? I love those 24 oz cans of MGD and wild cherry pepsi.

:sharebeer
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby Vize » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:06 pm

Brown bag your lunches.

Use the library.

Keep car for 10+ years.

Use an over-the-air antenna (which still provides HD).

Use straighttalk for cell phone at ~$33/month.

Ride bike or use public transport to work.

Share dinners at restaurant with wife (and stick with water). It's funny how health and frugality often go together.

Base meals at home around quinoa, beans, rice, lentils, and frozen chicken breasts (from Costco).
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby Littlefinger » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:15 pm

Coastalcontacts.com for glasses. Wait until they give a pair away for free. Wear my 7 dollar ray bans :)
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby FRANK2009 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:12 am

My frugal (OK, downright cheap) list:

-Never pay for services that one could do for themselves; e.g.. car maintenance, lawn care, and of course investing.
-turn down boiler temperature to 120 degrees in summer
-eat at restaurants only a few times a month. A local restaurant has $10 monday dinners and that is fine for me.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby Boglenaut » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:52 am

Boglenaut wrote:
For us, it's having only one car -- a 2004 Civic. We almost bought a second family car in 2006, but realized we just didn't need it. We live in the suburbs and have two kids, but I work from home and my wife takes care of the kids. So as long as we coordinate for my lunch break, we get by fine with one reliable car. Even when my wife worked for 7 months, we were fine as long as I was willing to eat lunch at home.

I love having a lot of space in the garage, one car to maintain, one to insure, etc. We only drive 7K miles a year, so gas isn't even much.


By the way, almost four years since this post and we're still doing fine with one car. The Civic had some very minor problems but overall has been reliable at 7K miles a year.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby Spades » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:39 pm

Boglenaut wrote:
By the way, almost four years since this post and we're still doing fine with one car. The Civic had some very minor problems but overall has been reliable at 7K miles a year.



Fantastic, keep it up! Fraid my family needs two vehicles with my wife and I working in separate locations.

Addition for list: Finding a great nanny so both parents can work while ankle biters train for kindergarten.

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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby crowd79 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:51 pm

Fun things to do that are FREE (in most cases). The best fun things in life don't always cost lots of money to do:

-Library. Read books, magazines, surf the internet, and meet local people.

-Beach. Sunbathe, swim, play volleyball, and look at hot babes.

-Bike.

-Hike.

-Picnic.

-Camping. Not free, but low-cost way to traveling and getting back to nature.

-Play board games and playing cards like cribbage, 7UP and hearts.

None of this costs much to do and is fun.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby reggiesimpson » Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:05 pm

Put 2 inch clear bubble wrap for insulation on the windows. Cheap, quick and efficient.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby moneyfornothing » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:34 pm

I do many of the frugal activities already described. I've also learned some new tricks after reading this thread. How does one reuse sandwich baggies? Do you wash them? If so, how to dry them?

Here are my frugal contributions, which are things that I did not see already discussed:

-The coffee maker I have (which was a display model, got a great deal) has a "strength" setting. So I set it to "Strong" and use less coffee grounds.
-When buying wine from my liquor store, I by it by the case to get a 10% discount
-Adding water to our liquid soap dispensers to dilute them a little and so that the soap lasts longer. They are too concentrated at first in my opinion.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby FrugalInvestor » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:05 am

Saphomd wrote:I sow my socks when they have holes instead of buying new ones :(


Darn it! I was going to say that. :oops:
"Some men worship rank, some worship heroes, some worship power, some worship God, and over these ideals they dispute and cannot unite, but they all worship money. - Mark Twain
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby Mrs.Feeley » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:48 am

moneyfornothing wrote:I do many of the frugal activities already described. I've also learned some new tricks after reading this thread. How does one reuse sandwich baggies? Do you wash them? If so, how to dry them?


You can drape wet sandwich bags over the plastic spikes in the dishwasher to dry, assuming the dishwasher will remain empty and unused for a while.

Personally, I use waxed paper instead of sandwich bags, and that's easy to reuse as well as biodegradable.

I do buy quart and gallon-sized plastic bags to freeze veggies in the summer. Those I wash and turn upside down tent-style on the counter to dry.

My mom used to hang wet Baggies on the clothesline outside with a clothespin but I would never go that far. :D
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby BHCadet » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:00 am

We ran out of aluminum foil during Thanksgiving.
That is when we found out non-stick heavy duty aluminum foil can be washed and reused.
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby dewey » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:23 am

We make our own popcorn for the movies--which are matinees only, and only a few times a year. Big savings and much healthier. Wife sneaks it in her large purse.

I eliminated XM/Sirrius radio for our cars. Nice savings. Great feeling.

Most of our wine I buy by the case which carries a 10% discount. When it's on sale plus 10% discount, that's some very good wine pricing. I buy most of the wine on sale.

We're very good about eating left overs. We plan our weekly menu with leftovers in mind.

I wash our cars by hand thus doing a better job and avoiding car wash prices.

We buy our gasoline using our supermarket points card which gives us a 10 cents savings per gallon.

We use our 'points generating credit card' (balance always paid each month) to reduce costs of air travel.

Heat is off at night during winter. Air conditioning is off at night during summer (windows open).

Wife is a very smart shopper. A real eye for bargains/sales. :moneybag
“The only freedom that is of enduring importance is freedom of intelligence…”
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Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Postby VictoriaF » Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:24 am

Save on chewing gum by collecting it from underneath park benches.

Victoria
Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
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