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O/T Tightwads Unite--What do you Do to be FRUGAL?

thinkthrice's picture

I'll share some of mine:

I cut my automatic dishwasher tablets in half. Chef put in a water softener soon after we moved in so unless your water is soft, it might not work that well.

I use my foodsaver to seal dry goods packages. In fact I have a "broken" foodsaver (vacuum died after a month) and I have a high end sealer that won't seal crackers, chips, cereal, flour bags. But the Foodsaver will on "seal."

I have a Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner (always on a quest to automate the household chores as much as possible) and instead of filling it with expensive SB refills, I have carefully cut open the top, leaving a flap that I can pour in "Clean Shower" refills which are MUCH less costly.

Care to share your tips?


AllySkoo's picture

I tear my dryer sheets in half.

Buy stuff on sale or in bulk if I can save or freeze it (paper goods, laundry detergents, butter, meats, etc). The same stuff goes on sale about every 12 weeks (stores usually just have a cycle and stick to it), so I stock up on that thing and only buy it every 12 weeks.

I save the plastic grocery bags and use them as trash bags. (Especially useful when cleaning the cat litter box!)

Willow2010's picture

I make my own laundry soap and dish soap. Oh...and I just made some homemade deodorant. It works and it is cheap and it does not have all the harmful chemicals.

I never by meat unless it is on sale. Then I freeze it.

AND...I use ebates. Can't believe it took me so long to join.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I also make my own laundry soap and softener. It's very easy to do, and you can add whichever scent you like. Check out YouTube for an easy tutorial.

AllySkoo's picture

Y'know, I looked into that. I got a list of all the ingredients, and I priced them out, then figure out how much it actually cost me to make laundry soap. It was literally about a penny less per gallon. Since my time costs more than a penny, I opted to keep buying soap! Lol If you could get the supplies cheaper it'd be worth it maybe, but I couldn't find anywhere that sold them cheaply enough!

PokaDotty's picture

I have a steam cleaner that I LOVE. No need for a bunch of products and chemicals and it's super easy.

Sweet T's picture

I color my own hair and trim my own bangs. Three times a year I get and amazing expensive haircut :). I replaced most of my wardrobe when I lost weight from the consignment store... and am sporting an amazing coach bag that cost hardly anything. All of BS's clothing comes from once upon a child or Target.

thinkthrice's picture

I also cut my own hair (with a crea clip) and colour my own hair (with naturtint)

My wardrobe almost exclusively comes from consignment/thrift stores or craigslist.

thinkthrice's picture

Kind of. I got the hang of it. I use the little one (older thinning hair) and hold a mirror in my mouth trying not to fog it up so I can see the level! Biggrin

thinkthrice's picture

Kind of. I got the hang of it. I use the little one (older thinning hair) and hold a mirror in my mouth trying not to fog it up so I can see the level! Biggrin

thinkthrice's picture

Love line drying the laundry!!! I think I'll look into those hedgehog balls because I'm tired of sheets balling up in the dryer!

godess-clueless's picture

Salvation Army is my favorite hang out on Friday and Saturday. There are a several in the area where I live and on these 2 days whatever the color tag is for the week can be bought on 5 items for $ 5.00. I am always amazed at how often I find clothing with the original tags still attatched or clothing that is like new.

We live on 2 acres that is surrounded with wooded area thee city owns. Our fireplace heats the house all winter, thanks to dh cutting all the trees that come down on their own.

Never completely dry clothes in the dryer. Clothes go in only long enough to soften and get the wrinkles out of tbe material, then finish drying on hangers. I also use the dryer sheets several times and add afresh one to the used ones when needed.

Aldis food store for most foods. When I cook I make enough to freeze for 2 additional meals that can be reheated later. My favorite summertime hobby is flowers, flowers and more flowers. I replant each year from the bulbs I dug up, all other plants are started from seed. Standing in line behind people that are spending hundreds of dollars for plants that will be dead in 3 months just about puts me into sticker shock.

No longer having children at home has been a huge money saver. Furniture, tv's appliances, carpeting, even the walls in the house manage to stay in like new condition without the children.

thinkthrice's picture

On plants, I too divide my bulbs and save seed. I also go to the clearance rack at the Big Box hardware stores and look for almost dying plants, then it becomes a challenge to revive them. 90% of the time I can make them thrive.

thinkthrice's picture

"I only use my wood stove to heat my house. I use my generator fill holding tanks for water for drinking water and showers. My house is set up on a gray water system, the only thing that goes into the septic tank is from the toilets."

Same thing here! I also have a standby generator that Chef put in to keep the sump pump running. It runs on LP.

thinkthrice's picture

Shop around! I switched LP companies and now have one with NO rental free and reasonable prices!! Bye Bye Suburban Propane, you gouger you!!!

Gabriels Mom's picture

I coupon a LOT those cashiers hate to see me coming. They are building an Aldi's Food Market so I'm super excited. I make my own laundry soap though I'm totally interested in making my own deodorant. I buy stuff from the dollar store whenever I can. I bought a programmable thermostat and I have a ridiculous schedule set to prevent a lot of heating or cooling when no one is home. I buy meat in bulk and separate and freeze there is a store here that does BOGO on large meat packs every other month and I clean them out.

Stepped in what momma's picture

I save used dryer sheets and use them for cleaning things like the oven, picking up piles I have swept up and they will scrub the stove top really well too.

Cover1W's picture

* Coupons here too! Only for things we regularly use, not to entice me to buy different stuff.
* Bulk pasta, rice, beans, cereal. I'm going to move to bulk dish soap and olive oil soon since our grocery has a great section for all this stuff.
* Don't buy too much food at one time.
* Cut back on more expensive shampoos/conditioners and found some cheaper ones I like just as much. Same thing went for face wash - and using coconut oil for moisturizer.
* I cut SD9's hair myself.
* I shop for most all my clothes on sale or at Marshall's/Nordstrom rack.
* I would kill for a full size freezer in a garage/basement.
* I don't go out to eat very often, and it's usually for happy hour if I do.
* Do not buy special coffees but for one time a week.

What I feel ok spending on: shoes, haircut and makeup.

Just_a_BM's picture

Dryer balls are so easy to make. You can even go out & buy some wool (I just made some using lion brand fishermans wool). Make 4 or 5 baseballish sized balls & tie them up in some old pantyhose & run them in a load of something you wash on hot. They'll felt together as you wash & dry them. They take them out of the pantyhose & just throw them in your dryer when you dry.

blueorblackink's picture

We used to be on the "BUDGET" (just so you know this is a cuss word)

This was an envelope system. We had a gas envelope, a food envelope, a sundries envelope and even a spending money envelope. If we ran out of money in one envelope and still needed some we had to get it from another envelope. All other money went into savings and paid bills.

At 41 years old I can say 1. My house is paid in full, 2. Student loans- gone, 3. Credit card debt-none 4 Both cars (ones a hybrid) paid in full.

My bills are about $400 a month excluding food, sundries and gas. I over spend now on eating out and clothes, and shoes, I have a ridiculous amount of shoes.

I think that the best money saving tip I have is to budget. I need to do that again... LOL

furkidsforme's picture

I just bought myself a $3,000 custom saddle because my horse would look better in it, so I will excuse myself from this blog now.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Tack is a necessity, not an extravagance. I cut back in other areas so I can afford that new blanket, cinch, etc. Right now I'm shopping for a new gaited saddle.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I live twelve mile outside of town, so lists are my friend. And if I don't need it, I don't buy it!

Meals are planned in advance. I usually do one big monthly food shop, with maybe two additional trips to the market for perishables. I have an upright freezer in the garage for bulk meats and so forth. I've found restaurant supply stores often have good deals, & like notasm shop at ethnic supermarkets.

I color my own hair with professional products provided at cost by my hair stylist friend, and I keep a style that doesn't need frequent cutting.

I buy winter clothes in spring and summer clothes in fall, and I'm trying to pare down my wardrobe. Like Jesus, eBay is just all right with me. I buy and sell there.

Love the dollar stores! And home improvement outlets.

I'm currently on a mission to divest DH & I of unnecessary clutter. We started frequenting fb's local yard sale pages, and have sold some unwanted items to nice folks in our own neighborhood.

HotMess's picture

I do extreme couponing in spurts. Most coupons in the weekend paper are for non-food items. I'll buy at least six copies of the weekend paper, and then look up sales at different stores in the region. Find out your stores' coupon policies. Do they double coupons up to a certain amount? Are you limited to the number of doubled coupons per transaction? Can you do multiple transactions?

Then buy up as much as you can, matching coupons to sale items. Sometimes you can use a store coupon on top of those. It's not unusual to get soap, toothpaste, shampoo, pasta, even pens for free this way. Don't buy all of your groceries at once. Buy as much as you can at rock bottom so that you have it when you need it. Then after a couple months, take a break. I'm set for a year on a lot of consumables. I can (and do!) also fill grocery bags from my own stockpile to give to people in need or to food pantries and women's shelters.

You can even use coupons at the dollar store. Make sure you read the fine print, especially when it comes to package size. In any store, the way to get the most out of your coupon is to buy the smallest size allowed. I know, it's counterintuitive, but it's true.

If I'm watchful, I can usually save 30% at the checkout, but I have saved as high as 60%. I coul could more if I did more research, but I have to put a price tag on my time and aggravation. If you watch the show Extreme Couponing, you will see people pay a penny for six carts full of groceries. Just remember that it's television. It's not real.

Most of my food I buy at Aldi now, which of course doesn't accept coupons. But like I said, I do this in spurts. Besides, food coupons are good usually good for condiments, yogurt, cereal, or other processed foods. We cannot live on pudding cups alone.

moeilijk's picture

I'm in the Netherlands, where food costs are already low and coupons don't exist. I do look through what's on sale and base my meal planning off of that. A lot of frugal grocery habits I had in Canada have fallen by the wayside because, with very frugal shopping and visiting 3 different stores, I couldn't save more than a couple of euros. Not worth the effort.

For other things, I have a sturdy smartphone and will not be upgrading - too flimsy as I have been known to drop mine while riding my bike. I do have a phone contract which is inexpensive and more than meets my current needs. Same for my DH.

Mostly, the best way we've found to save money is to find ways to not spend money. We don't have a tv, we have people over or go to theirs rather than restaurants or clubs, and we avoid clutter.

Aniki's picture

I add water to my body lotion and put it in a spray bottle, add water to body spray, and cut my own hair. My biggest money saver is that I quit buying things for the skids. No candy on the holidays, no ingredients for homemade treats, no spontaneously buying books/games they would like. I have turned into a Scrooge as far as the skids are concerned.