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View Full Version : Who is good at being frugal or thrifty.....need advice.


chrismiss56
09-04-2005, 04:15 PM
Hi to all!!

Hope you are enjoying your Labor Day weekend!! DH and I are in the process of finding financial peace. :cool1: :cool1:

I have been reading about various authors that are "experts" in being frugal. There are many books out there such as Tightwad Gazette and The Cheapskate something (not sure what it is called).

Who offers the best advice?

Any help in becoming more frugal in my lifestyle is welcomed!!

Have a Magical Disney Day!!

travelbug
09-04-2005, 05:14 PM
Hi, chrismiss56! Kinda hard to say who gives the "best" advice, because there are a number of good authors out there IMHO. I read all kinds of stuff about personal finance; it's kind of a hobby. Sounds like you're more interested in books on living a frugal lifestyle, as opposed to Dave Ramsey or David Bach type books (which I also enjoy).

I really like anything by Mary Hunt, who writes the Cheapskate Monthly. One of her books is called "Debt Proof Living", but I know I've read other good books by her too. The titles escape me at the moment.

I also recently discovered an author named Ellie Kay, and I really liked her book called "Shop, Save, and Share." She's nicknamed "The Coupon Queen", and I can see why after reading her book! :goodvibes Great stuff! I also read another book by her (forgot that title too), but liked "Shop, Save, and Share" better. She has a brand new one out called "The Debt Diet." My library is getting that for me thru an inter-library loan.

I've read the Tightwad Gazette books, and got a few ideas from those. But they seemed a little outdated to me in places.

One more suggestion - I really like the book "Spend Well, Live Rich" by Michelle Singletary. Good, practical stuff.

Hope that helps! Half the battle is staying motivated to be frugal, right? Best wishes! :flower:

J&D
09-04-2005, 05:16 PM
Any help in becoming more frugal in my lifestyle is welcomed!! Always spend less than you can afford to spend and use coupons.

canwegosoon
09-04-2005, 05:19 PM
Everyone's opinion of frugal and thrifty is different...I really liked the Millionaire Next Door, and Smart Women Retire Rich. I also have read the TG and many other frugal sites.
It is all a matter of comfort level. Like I know I could save hundred's a year by cancelling our cable, and HS internet, but since we never go out I think the trade off is ok, and DH needs the HS internet for work.
Good Luck to you in your quest.

chrismiss56
09-04-2005, 05:25 PM
Who is the Millionaire Next Door and Smart Women Retire Rich by?

Yes, I understand that living beneath my means will give us financial peace and we have been working on it. I thought asking on this board would maybe give us some hints that we had not thought of.

In our area there is no coupon doubling - any other hints for reducing grocery costs. Alot of our budget gets eaten there :):)

Thanks for all

Have a Magical Disney Day!!

DiznEeyore
09-04-2005, 05:34 PM
In our area there is no coupon doubling - any other hints for reducing grocery costs. Alot of our budget gets eaten there :):)

Some tips I've heard over and over are always shop with a list, shop alone if at all possible (kids and hubbies always seem to add more to the basket than you plan!), never shop when you're hungry, and stick to the outside aisles of the grocery stores. Most of the healthier and basic stuff is along the edges -- produce, meat, dairy -- and the unhealthy processed and packaged (and expensive!) stuff is up and down the center aisles. ;)

ClarabelleCowFan
09-04-2005, 05:41 PM
always shop with a list, shop alone if at all possible (kids and hubbies always seem to add more to the basket than you plan!), never shop when you're hungry, and stick to the outside aisles of the grocery stores.

YES, very good advice. The kids can add SO MUCH to the grocery bill. I sit down with the weekly sale papers from the grocery store and my stack of coupons and make my list based on how many meals we are going to fix at home (most!) and what is on sale really cheap that we use all the time anyway. I only save the coupons that are for things that I already buy unless it is something new that we want to try.

bearzabout
09-04-2005, 06:16 PM
Do you have a weekend market in town?

We just paid $5 for a bushel of tomatoes and spent the day making a six month supply of thick vegetable soup, chili, stewed tomatoes, etc.

I drive a 13 year old car and use the money I would have paid for car payments on my trips to Disney. I spend around $5000 for 50 days per year, less than some people spend in one trip.

bunny213
09-04-2005, 08:28 PM
You have my sincere admiration....how ever do you do it? Give us some pointers......you are amazing!!! Barb in Texas.

mrsbornkuntry
09-04-2005, 08:45 PM
Cooking from scratch is usually cheaper than processed foods. Also there are some foods that you can stretch out and make a couple meals from like making bbq sandwiches with leftover roast, adding different toppings to baked potatoes and also using them for sides. Breakfast for dinner is cheap, too, especially eggs. Try having one or two meatless dinners a week (pasta for example).

barkley
09-05-2005, 04:21 AM
i've read a couple of the books-the tightwad and cheapscape ones, the problem i encountered were the average prices they quoted were in no way in line with my area. also, a lot of them were very labor intensive-to the extent that if you were a 2 parent household with both parents full time employed-you would never get to see your family!!!

here are a few tips i can pass on (on the big end and on the small end)-

If you a considering changing cars-first call your insurance company and find out what the change in model will do to your premiums (premiums vary greatly model to model). same thing goes if you have a second or third car you are thinking of selling-you may be getting a multi-car discount that you could lose via the sale (and it may be more than you are putting out to just register the extra car and keep it parked in the driveway).

Consider paying a little more to save a lot-we opted to add rental car insurance to our auto coverage (pays for 20 days of a rental car or $500.00 which usualy covers more than 20 days)-costs us only $5.00 more per month/roadside service was $30.00 per year which was a large savings over 3-A.
We also raised our homeowner's deductable to $1000.00-it reduced the premium by over 50% which we used a small portion of to buy a security system. the security system further reduced the premium plus-if we are robbed and the system fails (when it is tripped the service auto calls the local police), the security company will pay the $1000.00 deductable.

grocery shopping-

#1 TOP TIP (yes this works-i do it on a very regular basis): before you pay an outrageous price for ground beef or stew/soup meat. CHECK THE PRICES ON EVERY CUT OF BEEF IN THE STORE! often london broil steaks or beautiful rolled roasts are on sale at as much a few dollars less per pound. have the butcher grind or cut it for you (stores do this free of charge). i have had a butcher look at me and ask "Mam-do you realy want me to grind this beautiful roast up?"-i always say "yes, it's x number of dollars per pound less than your ground beef and it has a lower fat content". then they say-you know you're right :teeth: now my local grocery store's butchers just smile and ask me how many packages i want it broken down into :goodvibes i also will buy large racks of pork ribs when the are on sale and have the butcher saw them down the middle into babyback style (a savings of about 2.00 per pound recently).

stock up on items after the big foodie holidays-we eat cranberry sauce all year long with chicken, so i get it when they are clearing it out for 10 cents per can after thanksgiving. i bought vanilla canned frosting for 19 cents each (because it was a week after july 4th and the little container on the top had red, white and blue sprinkles), right now you will start to see big sales on condiments-we use mayo, mustard, catsup and relish all year long (bbq sauce as well) i buy a few smaller sized turkeys right after christmas (4.99 each) to put in the freezer and cook on the weekends. if something is on a very good sale that i use on a regular basis-i stock up on it (but only if it is non perishable).

you have to find what works best for you and your lifestyle.

happytraveller
09-05-2005, 06:53 AM
Hi, i also find the dollar stretcher website very good.I always buy items that have been reduced that i use, in bulk and freeze them.For gifts,when they are on sale i will buy and store till a suitable celebration, usually christmas/birthdays come up.As mentioned after big celebrations is the best time to stock up, as things go for silly prices.Many people laugh at me,but since i have more time than money, i will go the extra money to be careful-not mean with my money.This enables me to be able to give my kids trips each year which we thouroughly enjoy :banana:

my3kids
09-05-2005, 07:49 AM
barkley: I would NEVER have thought to look at various cuts and have them ground. I considered myself a good shopper, but clearly I have room for improvement! Great tip! :flower:

ceecee
09-05-2005, 08:18 AM
Read a lot of different books and take whatever you can use out of each of them.
The insurance is true, I had a 10 yr old Oldsmobile that I sold and we bought a new van, the insurance went down $200.00 a yr, I called to make sure it was right and he said older cars cost more to fix. I don't know, but it was a surprise. Also when we put both cars and house with the same company we got a nice discount as well.

PRaffen
09-05-2005, 10:03 AM
Do you have a weekend market in town?

We just paid $5 for a bushel of tomatoes and spent the day making a six month supply of thick vegetable soup, chili, stewed tomatoes, etc.


Just wanted to say what a deal you got! We paid $15/bushel. Bought six bushels and spent the day canning 132 quarts.

Buzzsgramma
09-05-2005, 10:25 AM
I just bought the Millionaire Next Door..by T.J.Stanley and W.D. Danko..$15.00 at Borders....bascially it is this 'live below your income' dont laugh i know you are going to say you already do..just because you can afford to spend $250.00 a day for a hotel at WDW why do that? wait for a code or by an AP.....wait till that lawn mower is on sale or clearane at the end of summer (if u can ) I was a SAHM but my 'job' was finding the bargains I love it.....also contribute to your companies matching 401K if they have any....I am not thur with this book...I could bearly get on my computer i was enjoying it...DH retires next yr...but its never to let to start or learn .more...right???

LoriKutchey
09-05-2005, 04:24 PM
I agree, the millionaire next door is an excellent read! Also the "richest man in babylon" is great my library carries both of these. Other great books are
Smart Couples Retire Rich & Automatic Millionaire. Check the libraries before buying :)

Lori

Disneefun
09-05-2005, 05:33 PM
I really like a book called "Choosing Simplicity." The author's name escapes me at the moment. It's not a "how to book" that teaches tips on how to save or invest, etc. but it is a reflection on the rewards of living a simpler, less hectic and expensive life. It's not a book about living in the woods or other super drastic living styles; it's stories of real people with real jobs who have found ways to scale back and find peace (financial and personal) in a world that is constantly pushing "stuff" and "hurry" on us. Lovely read that I go back to often when I need to remember that I am on the right track by choosing to live differently than most.

canwegosoon
09-05-2005, 07:37 PM
Who is the Millionaire Next Door and Smart Women Retire Rich by?

Yes, I understand that living beneath my means will give us financial peace and we have been working on it. I thought asking on this board would maybe give us some hints that we had not thought of.

In our area there is no coupon doubling - any other hints for reducing grocery costs. Alot of our budget gets eaten there :):)

Thanks for all

Have a Magical Disney Day!!
David Bach wrote Smart women finish rich

disneymom3
09-05-2005, 09:33 PM
Millionaire Next door is by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. Good book--really opens your eyes to the cultural concepts of wealth vs real wealth.

tlbwriter
09-05-2005, 10:23 PM
I was not that impressed with The Tightwad Gazette. Some of her ideas are just beyond what I'm willing to do. Use an old clothes hanger as a toilet paper dispenser? Is it really worth living like the Beverly Hillbillies (before they struck oil, that is :teeth: ) to save $10 once? :confused3

disneymom3
09-05-2005, 10:37 PM
I was not that impressed with The Tightwad Gazette. Some of her ideas are just beyond what I'm willing to do. Use an old clothes hanger as a toilet paper dispenser? Is it really worth living like the Beverly Hillbillies (before they struck oil, that is :teeth: ) to save $10 once? :confused3


Well, and I don't know about you but every house I have ever owned already had a TP holder. I didn't find the TG very useful either.

DiznEeyore
09-05-2005, 10:55 PM
I was not that impressed with The Tightwad Gazette. Some of her ideas are just beyond what I'm willing to do. Use an old clothes hanger as a toilet paper dispenser? Is it really worth living like the Beverly Hillbillies (before they struck oil, that is :teeth: ) to save $10 once? :confused3

:rotfl:
I agree ... a lot of her tips are way out there! I did get one useful idea from the TWG, though -- to use Breck shampoo as a laundry stain remover. It was a tip from one of her readers, and I really wanted to try it, but Breck had been discontinued for a long time. A while back, I heard they were making it again, and I found it in bottles at Big Lots for 99 cents. I bought one and tried it -- that stuff is like magic!!!! :wizard: I went back and bought several more bottles in case it disappears again. ;)

solgent
09-08-2005, 01:02 PM
I want to speak up in favor of the Tightwad Gazette books. Over and over again she says that not every idea is right for everyone. She presents a range so readers can take what works for them. You can always point to specific things in the books that don't apply to you or that you would never do, but overall the books are full of tips, encouragement, recipes, strategies, inspiration and humor. I can't believe that a person wanting to live frugally would find NOTHING useful in the books. Check them out!

LauraR
09-08-2005, 10:49 PM
I'm another one who liked the Tightwad Gazette books. They do inspire you to look for areas to trim the fat from your budget, and overall I think her message is to try and come up with cheaper creative solutions that meet your needs rather than expensive quick fixes. I like her philosophy on a lot of things also. For instance I agree that giving your kids "treats" all the time weakens the impact of the "treat". Sometimes I don't think her tips are worth the time trade-off for the money saved, but it does get you thinking about finding cheaper alternatives to what you're spending your money on now.

I referred to her a lot when our family income was $30,000. It helped me retire $19,000 of debt over three years on that income.

cteddiesgirl
09-08-2005, 11:24 PM
One thing to do on many items, buy used.

That includes books, videos/dvds, games, clothes, etc.
I have tons of movies that I bought used at either the local video store or online. The same goes for cds. Never buy at Borders. They're higher than they need to be. The Millionaire Next Door could have been bought at Amazon.com for only $7.72 for a Like New copy including the shipping cost. I will rarely buy that type of stuff at full price. I did for years and am still in debt because of it (among other reasons).

Also, if you buy bottled water, buy gallon jugs instead of small bottles. If you like smaller bottles, keep a couple empty ones and just refill them from the jugs.

For food, if you have someplace like an Aldi's (http://www.aldifoods.com) around, that's a great place to shop.

Always hit the end of season sales at the malls, too. I once bought a shirt that was originally $75 for only $15. And there was nothing wrong with it. I still get many compliments on it today years after I purchased it.

deadhedjen
09-08-2005, 11:43 PM
In our area there is no coupon doubling - any other hints for reducing grocery costs. Alot of our budget gets eaten there :):)


I've been finding very good deals at Super Walmart lately. They do not double coupons, but for some things, their prices with a coupon are great.
I was going to post a few examples, but some people do not share the love for couponing and start flaming because of the time it takes to do the clipping versus the amount you save. If you really want some great grocery shopping tips, I will share my best secret. Go to mycoupons.com. Towards the mid/bottom right side of the home page you will see a grey link in tiny letters that reads "shopping boards". Click on that and then go to the "TOT" tips of the trade board. You will find valuable tips here on how to save money at the grocer and at the drug store. THere is also a coupon swap board called "CRS" coupon and rebate swap. Post that you are looking for a "potluck" of coupons and make a sample shopping list. People will offer to send you an envelope full of coupons for items on your list for a small fee (around $1) to clip and send these to you. Also, some very serious couponers have web sites where you can pay them a fee (usually .03 to .05 a coupon) for any coupon you want. Check out the site, you won't be disappointed.
OH...I almost forgot...check out the "LWIF B&M" board (look what I found Brick and Mortar) which lists all sorts of wonderful store bargains...there are daily Target store lists, when retailers are marking their stuff down on clearance, etc. I've saved a TON of money thanks to those boards.

People might think I'm nuts for being this passionate about saving money, but I don't care, LOL!
Take care, and LMK if I can help you with any other money saving tips.
Jennifer. :cool1:

disney longhorn
09-09-2005, 01:14 AM
[QUOTE=deadhedjen]
OH...I almost forgot...check out the "LWIF B&M" board (look what I found Brick and Mortar) which lists all sorts of wonderful store bargains...there are daily Target store lists, when retailers are marking their stuff down on clearance, etc. I've saved a TON of money thanks to those boards.QUOTE]


Jennifer,

Where can you find this LWIF B&M board? Very interested. Thanks for the tips. :wave2:

deadhedjen
09-09-2005, 07:27 AM
The LWIF board is just off the main shopping boards page. There is also a LWIF board for online bargains as well. Have fun!

Jennifer. :sunny:

mickeyfan2
09-09-2005, 07:43 AM
I also recommend Rich Dad Poor Dad (don't have the book here, but title is close).

funnygarcia
09-09-2005, 09:35 AM
Another vote for Mycoupons.com!

With all the posts on the site I have :

Cut my grocery bill (typically 35% off, sometimes as much as 75% off ..With no doubling!)

Bought 4 skirts, one pr pants and one fancy blouse for $27 shipped

Found a new bike for my children at 75% off ( Orange County Choppers style).

Bought $100 worth of Kleenex, toilet paper ,and wipes for $10 after rebate($50) and $40 worth of Amazon cash that I earned for free by doing surveys.. survey company found thru mycoupons.

Earned Starbucks GC for writing reviews-- tip posted on Mycoupons.

Joined various paid to read/paid to click programs and earned GCs that help pay for meals on my Disneyland trips.

Joined ING and had referrals done to make $$ and save $$.

*** I live on a very limited income-- DH is disabled and a college student, I work 30 hrs a week in preschool education. We pay all our bills, save for vacations, and enjoy the things we love like high speed internet and video games.**