Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Frugal Files: No More Wasting Away

Hey frugal folks!!

Sorry so late today, but I’m here!! I was contemplating what to write about all week when inspiration struck (as usual), from conversations with others and they are usually about my frugaliciousness. I’ve already told you that I’ll defend my frugal living until the end, but what many want to know is if it’s really frugal. I do and will always say “YES”. It works and even though we tweak some things for our on benefit, it still works.

I have to say, in my frugal journeys, I’ve learned what’s best for me and my family, which is the same way we can all look at it. If we’re not truly getting the benefit, then what’s the point? I can honestly say I’ve done my fair share of wasting effort, money and time. Still do, on occasion, but such is life and we can’t win them all. Clichés aside, wasting has indeed hurt me, but it’s also helped my mindset. Seeing my mistakes showed me if I can waste money, then I can afford to save it, donate it and invest it. It’s about maturity and when you’ve been burned enough times, you’ll learn.

There’s at least three ways I’ve seen myself and others squander our ends and I’ll share them, not to judge but to give us all something to ponder. It’s one thing to whittle away money, but spending more time to save more money is completely fine in my book. What else would you have been doing in that timeframe? Being online? Watching tv? Sleeping? Chatting on the phone? Using a little more of your entertainment time is the perfect way to spend on saving moolah, as you’re keeping it in your purse to spend on items that truly matter to you.

First, buying things you don’t need. This comes up regularly for the extreme couponer. Sometimes we get so caught up in getting something for cheap or free that we don’t realize the little bit of change we’re spending is adding up. If we honestly looked at those receipts, we probably could add more to gas tank, especially since we’re driving around to get deals on things we don’t even need.

Speaking of couponing, sometimes people get so caught up in the fact that they have a coupon, they spend more money, just to use it. That is not frugal. I personally struggle with letting some coupons go to waste. I don’t like the feeling, so in response, I regularly do coupon giveaways. It’s my way of helping others and getting that monkey (who wants me to spend more money) off my back.

Second, is buying generic. There are pros and cons to this. If you simply buy generic because it’s cheaper, then I hope you are doing your research. Make sure it’s the same quality or better than the name brand. If it’s the same go for it, but if you have a coupon for the name brand that will make it cheaper than the generic, then you need to make another choice.

It is simply about comparison shopping, so your goal is to get the quality item you need, will use and that will cost you the least amount for that quality product. Sometimes cheaper, is not cheaper in the long run if you have to buy twice as much as the name brand. Let’s do the math and save our pennies

Lastly, blind shopping. Sometimes it’s necessary to run into a store and pick up a last minute item. Consider that a splurge or the extra you pay as a convenience charge. You know how carry out marts mark up their price? It’s the cost of them being at your convenience, simply because you didn’t plan. Take the time to plan your grocery and other shopping trips. Write a list, clip and organize your coupons and stick to it. This will keep you on task, allowing you to leave out of the store spending just what you wanted to spend.

In addition to having a list and doing your comparison shopping, understand the marketing of a store, especially a grocer. The items at the register aren’t there because they ran out of space in the aisles, it’s because they want you to grab one last thing. If you’re hungry when you shop, that candy or drink that’s sitting there will be your one last thing. The store counts on you to impulse buy at the register, so ignore the goodies while you pull out your shopper’s card.

While we won’t always get the best deal, we can combat the idea that we’ll always waste money. Once we see and understand that we do these things, we can change them anytime. If we take the time to write down all that we’re spending, even if it’s just a little here and there, we will see the cost of everything. Then we can cut it where necessary. Thanks for stopping by today and go out there and save!!

Frugalicious Diva
Follow me on Twitter at @FrugaliciousDva

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