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
User avatar
aj76er
Posts: 592
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:34 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Post by aj76er » Sat May 12, 2018 1:32 am

1. Buy oatmeal in bulk and make it for breakfast most days
2. Pack a lunch for work every day
3. Learned to cook some basic dishes and make dinner at home every week day
4. Own a Prius
5. Use Google FI for mobile plan
6. Get most clothes at thrift stores
7. Do my own taxes (started this year!)
8. Live in a small, affordable condo; but in a good location that I can walk to to everything I need (grocery stores, thrift stores, library, bars, restaurants, etc..)
9. Get books and movies from library
"Buy-and-hold, long-term, all-market-index strategies, implemented at rock-bottom cost, are the surest of all routes to the accumulation of wealth" - John C. Bogle

aerosurfer
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:10 am

Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Post by aerosurfer » Sat May 12, 2018 2:47 am

When we know we can use a gift card somewhere... Amazon, eating out, Upcoming Disney trip, we buy gift cards at Kroger. 2-5% cash back on the CC, plus 2-4x fuel points.... We try to plan out fuel purchases to also hit the 35 gallon max between 2 of our cars too when we max out fuel points....

$250 Amazon card x 5% back
Plus 4 times fuel points = $1.00off/gallon
35 gallons plus 3% saving on fuel....

12.50+35+ (3% of the cost of gas, just over $2 usually)= about $50 savings for fuel I needed and whatever I was going to buy

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 18743
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Post by dm200 » Sat May 12, 2018 12:11 pm

aj76er wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 1:32 am
1. Buy oatmeal in bulk and make it for breakfast most days
2. Pack a lunch for work every day
3. Learned to cook some basic dishes and make dinner at home every week day
4. Own a Prius
5. Use Google FI for mobile plan
6. Get most clothes at thrift stores
7. Do my own taxes (started this year!)
8. Live in a small, affordable condo; but in a good location that I can walk to to everything I need (grocery stores, thrift stores, library, bars, restaurants, etc..)
9. Get books and movies from library
Yes .. Regular oatmeal at Costco - about 80 cents a pound :)

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18597
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Post by VictoriaF » Mon May 14, 2018 3:43 pm

Doroghazi wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 8:16 am
My grandmother's favorite saying (in Hungarian) was "If somebody wants to give you something take it, if they want to hit you, run". i know it in 5 languages. You can't be any more frugal than getting something for free. If somebody wants to give you something, take it!!
There is a Hungarian family to whom I am eternally grateful for helping me during a critical period when I was stuck in Vienna alone and pregnant. Nevertheless, I'd like to challenge this particular Hungarian wisdom. "Free" is not just money, it also carries space, time, effort, and opportunity cost.

"Free" is at the root of many irrational decisions. See, for example, Dan Ariely's 10-minute video "The Price of FREE," https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrHJMfysrlk .

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 18743
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Post by dm200 » Mon May 14, 2018 4:04 pm

My parents and grandparents were greatly influenced by the 1930's depression - and some remnants of this continued into the 1950's (my recollections). They made "homemade" soap with lye and grease collected from cooking, never wasting even a small amount of food - and making "sheets" from bleached sacks. Since we and they were farmers, they churned butter, made cottage cheese and used milk in all kinds of food items.

Yellowjacket1
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:54 pm

Money saving ideas?

Post by Yellowjacket1 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:09 pm

[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek]

There seem to be a lot of younger bogleheads looking for advice on funds, homes, mortgages, etc. Perhaps they would benefit from some of the money saving ideas of us older members?

I will give some of our money saving ideas:

1. Take your lunch to work instead of eating out.

2. Get your coffee at work instead of that $3 latte each morning. Typically, workplace coffee is free or $0.25/cup.

3. Pay off your credit card every month. Don’t pay those high credit card interest rates.

4. Get a freezer and stock it with deals from the grocery store (I.e., buy in bulk)

5. Coupons, coupons, coupons whether for groceries, meals, or other. Don’t be ashamed of using them.

6. Understand fees on your bank account, ATM, credit card, Netflix, etc. and avoid them.

7. Tear up that debit card and use a credit card instead. The debit card has no protection against fraud, the credit card does.

8. Pay off your bills on time and get your credit score to an excellent level. Helps when you need credit for a mortgage, car loan, etc.

9. Only buy dependable cars and drive them at least 12 years before getting a new one. Same goes for cellphones, use your cellphone at least 6 years before getting a new one.

10. At least once per year reassess your internet provider, cellphone provider, insurance, etc. (I.e., anything on a recurring charge) to see if there are cheaper options.

11. Seek out the gas station with the lowest price. Don’t settle for the closest gas station.

12. Find a good tax/financial adviser and listen to what they advise. Then, go research and either validate what they said or if they were wrong, find another advisor.

13. Talk to friends and neighbors Re what they do to save money.

14. When given the opportunity to earn extra income (I.e., overtime at work, small second job), take advantage of those opportunities.

15. Minimize the number of times you go out to a movie. Take advantage of Netflix or Redbox.


So, bogleheads, what ideas can you add?

sport
Posts: 7387
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Money saving ideas?

Post by sport » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:19 pm

Shop at Costco. While you are there, look for the unadvertised specials (the ones priced $x.97)
Last edited by sport on Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bloom2708
Posts: 4899
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Money saving ideas?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:20 pm

Pretty good list.

#12 seems to not fit in as this place exists so people don't have to pay an advisor. Just 1%. Learning to do it yourself (Bogleheads) is invaluable.

I would add to not under-value their pre-tax 401k/403b in combination with a Roth IRA. Saving in these in your early 20s will go so far later on.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"We are not here to please, but to provoke thoughtfulness." --Unknown Boglehead

KlangFool
Posts: 10385
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Money saving ideas?

Post by KlangFool » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:25 pm

OP,

1) IMHO, the biggest one is "Do not be House Poor". It overrules everything else. And, it affects everything else.

A) It is the biggest expense for almost everyone. If a person overspends on this, it won't matter he/she saves money on anything else. The person still could not save money.

B) The house places a person in a neighborhood where he/she need to overspend to keep up with the Jones.

I buy less house than my income peers. I save 1 year of expense every year. But, I do not save money on everything else. I eat out regularly. I buy a new car and so on.

Meanwhile, my income peers buy a bigger house. They save money on everything else. But, they could not save money and contribute to their retirement accounts.

2) The second biggest one is "do not overspend on college education". This applies to the person's own college education and his/her children college education.

Focus on the big expenses. Do "Pay Yourself First" saving method. Then, you do not need to worry about the details.

KlangFool

User avatar
GoldStar
Posts: 592
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 10:59 am

Re: Money saving ideas?

Post by GoldStar » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:29 pm

I would negate #12 - learn to do it yourself versus relying on someone else.
I agree with Klangs excellent points. If you do everything on the OP list but buy more house than you really need or can afford nothing else you do will make up the difference.

User avatar
willthrill81
Posts: 6069
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Location: USA

Re: Money saving ideas?

Post by willthrill81 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:31 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:25 pm
OP,

1) IMHO, the biggest one is "Do not be House Poor". It overrules everything else. And, it affects everything else.
:thumbsup

About two-thirds of Americans' spending is, in order of magnitude, on housing, transportation, and food. If you can cut those significantly, you won't have to bother skipping your coffee or negotiating for lower Internet fees if you don't want to. I'm not saying that we should ignore the relatively small expenses, but it's the big bugaboos that make a big impact.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

Mom 2 Groms
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:57 pm

Re: Money saving ideas?

Post by Mom 2 Groms » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:34 pm

I teach Financial Peace University with my DH at our church. This is a list of ideas that we put together to help our classes cut their budgets to achieve their goals.

1. Make your own cleaning supplies
2. Cut your family’s hair
3. Use cloth napkins and kitchen rags
4. Meal plan, and utilize the leftovers
5. Sell Cars with payments, and buy cheap cars with cash
6. Work overtime if available
7. Use rice as a filler in meals
8. Don’t buy water in bottles
9. Look for a better paying job / negotiate a raise
10. Limit gift giving
a. Use the 4 gifts rule – Something you Want, Need, Wear, Read
11. Make your own birthday cakes
12. Shop at Aldi
13. Cut or downgrade cable / phone packages
14. Don’t buy new appliances (includes phones and ipads)
15. Car Pool to work
16. Shop Sales for clothing items
17. Cut your eating out
18. Pick up pizza, instead of delivery (or buy frozen!)
19. Do your own yard work
20. Clean your own house
21. Adjust your thermostat
22. Use cloth diapers
23. Make your own baby food
24. Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or do without!

terran
Posts: 756
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:50 pm

Re: Money saving ideas?

Post by terran » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:37 pm

Good list, but I'd change a few of them.
Yellowjacket1 wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:09 pm
11. Seek out the gas station with the lowest price. Don’t settle for the closest gas station.
11. Buy gas at the cheapest station you pass during your regular routine. Going out of your way to buy gas rarely makes sense as you'll burn more gas to get their. Also drive less as never burning the gas in the first place is the best way to save money on gas.
Yellowjacket1 wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:09 pm
12. Find a good tax/financial adviser and listen to what they advise. Then, go research and either validate what they said or if they were wrong, find another advisor.
12. Learn to do taxes and invest on your own. Unless you have extremely complicated finances, taxes aren't that hard. Once you know enough to select a high quality financial advisor you know enough to do it yourself.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 48533
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:41 pm

Yellowjacket1, Welcome! I moved your thread into the on-going discussion. The combined thread is in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (how you spend your money and your time).
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

User avatar
Edie
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri May 06, 2016 4:03 pm

Re: Money saving ideas?

Post by Edie » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:43 pm

Yellowjacket1 wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:09 pm
[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek]

There seem to be a lot of younger bogleheads looking for advice on funds, homes, mortgages, etc. Perhaps they would benefit from some of the money saving ideas of us older members?

I will give some of our money saving ideas:

1. Take your lunch to work instead of eating out.

2. Get your coffee at work instead of that $3 latte each morning. Typically, workplace coffee is free or $0.25/cup.

3. Pay off your credit card every month. Don’t pay those high credit card interest rates.

4. Get a freezer and stock it with deals from the grocery store (I.e., buy in bulk)

5. Coupons, coupons, coupons whether for groceries, meals, or other. Don’t be ashamed of using them.

6. Understand fees on your bank account, ATM, credit card, Netflix, etc. and avoid them.

7. Tear up that debit card and use a credit card instead. The debit card has no protection against fraud, the credit card does.

8. Pay off your bills on time and get your credit score to an excellent level. Helps when you need credit for a mortgage, car loan, etc.

9. Only buy dependable cars and drive them at least 12 years before getting a new one. Same goes for cellphones, use your cellphone at least 6 years before getting a new one.

10. At least once per year reassess your internet provider, cellphone provider, insurance, etc. (I.e., anything on a recurring charge) to see if there are cheaper options.

11. Seek out the gas station with the lowest price. Don’t settle for the closest gas station.

12. Find a good tax/financial adviser and listen to what they advise. Then, go research and either validate what they said or if they were wrong, find another advisor.

13. Talk to friends and neighbors Re what they do to save money.

14. When given the opportunity to earn extra income (I.e., overtime at work, small second job), take advantage of those opportunities.

15. Minimize the number of times you go out to a movie. Take advantage of Netflix or Redbox.


So, bogleheads, what ideas can you add?
I disagree with your #11. I don't know if we're allowed to link to external websites, but you can google xkcd gas prices for why.

The basic gist is if you drive 10 minutes out of your way to save a dollar (5 cents per gallon and a 20 gallon tank), you're working for less than minimum wage. Secondarily, for the average car, depending on the price differential, you will spend more in gas getting to and from the cheaper gas station than you save money wise.

If the cheaper gas station is on your way, great. It's perfectly sensible to fill up at the cheaper gas station then, but driving out of your way there and back isn't saving money. The gasbuddy app is helpful for finding where to buy gas while running errands as long as getting gas isn't the errand :)

Though, with my new to me Leaf, I no longer have a dog in this hunt (maybe half a dog, since my spouse still drives an ICE).

I see I was ninja'd though while typing this up by terran. :oops:

Yellowjacket1
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:54 pm

Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Post by Yellowjacket1 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:26 pm

aerosurfer wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 2:47 am
When we know we can use a gift card somewhere... Amazon, eating out, Upcoming Disney trip, we buy gift cards at Kroger. 2-5% cash back on the CC, plus 2-4x fuel points.... We try to plan out fuel purchases to also hit the 35 gallon max between 2 of our cars too when we max out fuel points....

$250 Amazon card x 5% back
Plus 4 times fuel points = $1.00off/gallon
35 gallons plus 3% saving on fuel....

12.50+35+ (3% of the cost of gas, just over $2 usually)= about $50 savings for fuel I needed and whatever I was going to buy
Yes, this is what we do too. Good addition.

Yellowjacket1
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:54 pm

Re: Money saving ideas?

Post by Yellowjacket1 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:30 pm

Edie wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:43 pm
Yellowjacket1 wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:09 pm
[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek]

There seem to be a lot of younger bogleheads looking for advice on funds, homes, mortgages, etc. Perhaps they would benefit from some of the money saving ideas of us older members?

I will give some of our money saving ideas:

1. Take your lunch to work instead of eating out.

2. Get your coffee at work instead of that $3 latte each morning. Typically, workplace coffee is free or $0.25/cup.

3. Pay off your credit card every month. Don’t pay those high credit card interest rates.

4. Get a freezer and stock it with deals from the grocery store (I.e., buy in bulk)

5. Coupons, coupons, coupons whether for groceries, meals, or other. Don’t be ashamed of using them.

6. Understand fees on your bank account, ATM, credit card, Netflix, etc. and avoid them.

7. Tear up that debit card and use a credit card instead. The debit card has no protection against fraud, the credit card does.

8. Pay off your bills on time and get your credit score to an excellent level. Helps when you need credit for a mortgage, car loan, etc.

9. Only buy dependable cars and drive them at least 12 years before getting a new one. Same goes for cellphones, use your cellphone at least 6 years before getting a new one.

10. At least once per year reassess your internet provider, cellphone provider, insurance, etc. (I.e., anything on a recurring charge) to see if there are cheaper options.

11. Seek out the gas station with the lowest price. Don’t settle for the closest gas station.

12. Find a good tax/financial adviser and listen to what they advise. Then, go research and either validate what they said or if they were wrong, find another advisor.

13. Talk to friends and neighbors Re what they do to save money.

14. When given the opportunity to earn extra income (I.e., overtime at work, small second job), take advantage of those opportunities.

15. Minimize the number of times you go out to a movie. Take advantage of Netflix or Redbox.


So, bogleheads, what ideas can you add?
I disagree with your #11. I don't know if we're allowed to link to external websites, but you can google xkcd gas prices for why.

The basic gist is if you drive 10 minutes out of your way to save a dollar (5 cents per gallon and a 20 gallon tank), you're working for less than minimum wage. Secondarily, for the average car, depending on the price differential, you will spend more in gas getting to and from the cheaper gas station than you save money wise.

If the cheaper gas station is on your way, great. It's perfectly sensible to fill up at the cheaper gas station then, but driving out of your way there and back isn't saving money. The gasbuddy app is helpful for finding where to buy gas while running errands as long as getting gas isn't the errand :)

Though, with my new to me Leaf, I no longer have a dog in this hunt (maybe half a dog, since my spouse still drives an ICE).

I see I was ninja'd though while typing this up by terran. :oops:
I agree you shouldn’t drive 10 minutes out of your way. I was talking about when you have several choices nearby there is usually one that is consistently cheaper. However, it may not be the closest.

Yellowjacket1
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:54 pm

Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Post by Yellowjacket1 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:36 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 4:04 pm
My parents and grandparents were greatly influenced by the 1930's depression - and some remnants of this continued into the 1950's (my recollections). They made "homemade" soap with lye and grease collected from cooking, never wasting even a small amount of food - and making "sheets" from bleached sacks. Since we and they were farmers, they churned butter, made cottage cheese and used milk in all kinds of food items.
My grandparents were similarly influenced by the Great Depression. My grandmother saved everything: rubber bands, the bags your bread comes in, she used to buy jelly in little jars that doubled as drinking glasses, twist ties, mustard/ketchup packets from restaurants, etc.

Thanks for the memory of my grandmother. :D

RollTide31457
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:06 pm

Re: That Frugal Thing You Do

Post by RollTide31457 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:37 pm

Use plastic bags from Walmart, etc. as disposable lunch bags.

Yellowjacket1
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:54 pm

Re: Money saving ideas?

Post by Yellowjacket1 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:55 pm

terran wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:37 pm
Good list, but I'd change a few of them.
Yellowjacket1 wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:09 pm
11. Seek out the gas station with the lowest price. Don’t settle for the closest gas station.
11. Buy gas at the cheapest station you pass during your regular routine. Going out of your way to buy gas rarely makes sense as you'll burn more gas to get their. Also drive less as never burning the gas in the first place is the best way to save money on gas.
Yellowjacket1 wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:09 pm
12. Find a good tax/financial adviser and listen to what they advise. Then, go research and either validate what they said or if they were wrong, find another advisor.
12. Learn to do taxes and invest on your own. Unless you have extremely complicated finances, taxes aren't that hard. Once you know enough to select a high quality financial advisor you know enough to do it yourself.
I guess we’ve been lucky wrt our tax/financial advisor. We have used him for 38 years and the money he has saved me has been at least 10 times his fees over that period. He was a local tax accounting professor who did taxes as a side business until it became his primary business and eventually a 50+ person firm. The tax nuances he brought to our attention were invaluable. As for financial advice, again he has created financial opportunities for his clients that otherwise we would have never known about nor profited from. So, I guess if you don’t have an adviser up to his standards, it may be better to do it yourself.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 48533
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Money saving ideas?

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:17 pm

Edie wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:43 pm
I disagree with your #11. I don't know if we're allowed to link to external websites, but you can google xkcd gas prices for why.
As long as copyright is not violated, that's fine. A simple link does not (normally) violate copyright: xkcd: Working

A direct link to an image with proper attribution is within copyright guidelines (inline link) and is also OK. (Uploading to an image hosting site may not be OK.)

Code: Select all

[img]https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/working.png[/img]
Produces:
Image
Source: xkcd: Working

Check the site's copyright terms of use before posting. XKCD uses a non-commercial license - free to copy and inline link to images.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

User avatar
Edie
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri May 06, 2016 4:03 pm

Re: Money saving ideas?

Post by Edie » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:30 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:17 pm
Edie wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:43 pm
I disagree with your #11. I don't know if we're allowed to link to external websites, but you can google xkcd gas prices for why.
As long as copyright is not violated, that's fine. A simple link does not (normally) violate copyright: xkcd: Working

A direct link to an image with proper attribution is within copyright guidelines (inline link) and is also OK. (Uploading to an image hosting site may not be OK.)

Code: Select all

[img]https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/working.png[/img]
Produces:
Image
Source: xkcd: Working

Check the site's copyright terms of use before posting. XKCD uses a non-commercial license - free to copy and inline link to images.
Thank you for the information! I will avoid doing the inline links for xkcd images because the creator has alt-text with additional information on all his comics, which doesn't show up that way, but it's good to know I can link directly to the individual page.

Post Reply