Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Frugal Missus Shares Some Tips

I've stared compiling a list of things I do to live frugally and thought I'd share it with you! I've added a tag for "Frugal Tips" because I am sure this list will grow, out of necessity, as we continue on our financial journey. Take what you want, leave what you don't. Enjoy!

Menu Plan!
Check out my Menu Monday post for details!

Live by the "One In, One Out" rule
No more quarter bottles of shampoo sitting next to the bottle you just bought at Target. I keep a list of Household Purchases we need (toiletries, paper products, cleaning supplies, etc.) and wait until the very last minute to buy them. If the price is INSANELY good, go ahead and buy two of them! But make sure you have
1) a place to store the stocked up products
2) the money in your budget to stock up
3) the ability to remember that you had an extra tube of toothpaste in the closet before going out and buying another one.

Always, ALWAYS, shop with a list!!
If you are anything like me, Target (my happy place), is a void where paychecks go to die. The less often I go for a "quick run", the less likely I am to spend. If I go with a longer list, I feel less need to aimlessly wander the aisle (you know you've done it too!).

Not All Dollar Stores Are Created Equal
Call them The $.99 Store, The Dollar Tree, or The Dollar Store, you know the establishments I am referring to! In a 3 mile radius of my house, I have all of them, and a "Dollar" Store where everything is $1.25 (What a racket!). I buy party decorations, favors, gift wrap, sand toys, and even some toiletries (they have Kid's Colgate Toothpaste! It's $2.89 at Safeway!) at The Dollar Tree by my house, but have had NO luck at The $.99 Store, which incidentally is walking distance from my humble abode! What I'm trying to say is that just because you've been in one Bargain Store like the ones noted above, you have NOT been in them all!! Give 'em another shot.

Buy in Bulk
Gotta love those big warehouses that have all the stuff you never thought you'd need but could never live without! I have been a longtime member of Costco, and find it's worth the renewal fee each and every year (I believe it's $40 for our business membership that we have through my Dad's biz). It's almost always cheaper to buy in bulk, but the scary part is when you buy more than you can afford and more than you can store! I have my list of 10 or so items that I buy everytime because I know they are so much cheaper than my local Safeway (then again, what isn't??). Again, I only shop with a list because the deals are just so awesome that I could spend an entire paycheck there if I'm not careful! Plus, the list helps me get in and out of the chaos with my sanity intact (for the most part... I still usually have to take The Princess, who, at 3 years old, is not as helpful as she may think she is!)

Pool Your Resources
Frugal Missus has a Sister and a Mom who like a good deal as much as she does! SO, when it comes time to buy trash bags, Ziplocs, or dishwashing liquid, I turn to them! As I stated above, buying in bulk is the way to go, but do you always want/need to purchase a years worth of Dawn? No!! So, find a couple of frugal friends and share the big stuff! You get the great deal, plenty of product, and your friends reap the benefits too! I just start making a list of all the household items I need to buy and run the list by my sister and mom. They put their initials next to whatever they want and I go shopping! If you can afford it in your budget, you can just pay for all the goods up front and they can pay you back, or, if you know how much each item costs, you can get paid beforehand. I find it easier to just pay the whole tab and get reimbursed since I know they are good for it.

Love Your Library
Frugal Mister is anything but frugal in the mind. That man absorbs books like cotton and water! His Barnes and Nobel addiction could very well put us in the poor house! In the time it takes me to read 1 book, he's finished 4. Do you get the gist?? He reads. A lot. In the past year, we've become very familiar with our local library. Not all books are available immediately upon release, but for the can't-beat-it-price, we deal with the wait. We are able to hop online, put a hold on the books, and get a phonecall or an email letting us know when the books are available to be picked up (usually 2-3 days if it's not checked out). I love going to the library with The Princess because she gets to pick a few new books out and learns all about how the library works! A bonus is that if I don't particullarly like a book's message it's sending to her, I can just take it back! There is no money lost!


  1. I love all your comments and recommendations! An aside to the can borrow CDs and download them onto your iPod and not have to pay the 99 cent charge iTunes charges. Yay!!

  2. We have a long standing rule at Costco: If there is no list, there is no cart! If there's no cart, you cannot possibly carry that big screen to the check out stand with the arm load of diapers, soy milk and laundry detergent that you just ran in to get. An empty cart finds a way to be full. Much like we've conditioned ourselves to eat every last crumb from our plates, we are also compelled to not leave our carts barron.
    By the way, portioning your meals on smaller plates cuts down on over eating & making too much food for one little family, also not leaving too many leftovers to spoil. A problem I run into all too often on all fronts.