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 Frugality, Sweeps, Freebies, Ways to Make $
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 What is your best tip for saving money?
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K.Willingham
Star Contributor

Mobile, Alabama
USA
254 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2004 :  3:13:30 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I know each of you save money in your own way. If you had to tell someone one thing to do to save money what would it be? Mine would be that store brands are not all bad.

Kathryn
Silver Certified

Chelle68
Valued Contributor

Saratoga, NY
USA
105 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2004 :  3:39:32 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Bring your lunch to work instead of going out everyday!

Michelle
Shopping the New York Capital Region
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AdAora
Star Contributor

Deep in the heart of, TX
USA
3770 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2004 :  4:37:23 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Cook at home instead of eating out (unless you're a mystery shopper and know you will get reimbursed).

Gold certified in TX
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CathyInMD
Star Contributor

MD
USA
441 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2004 :  5:17:34 PM  Visit CathyInMD's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
When you pay for things, don't give exact change. The change should be put away in a jar, etc. I find the money adds up over a period of time.

MSPA Gold Certified
Shopping In Maryland
xiffkw
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Heather86
Star Contributor

Bourbonnais (S. of Chicago), IL
USA
2015 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2004 :  5:29:59 PM  Visit Heather86's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
STAY HOME!

Everytime I go out I have to buy something. My closets are full, my fridge, freezer, pantry, and everything else is so full of things I do not need.

It's a compulsion, an addiction, that's why it's so hard to say no to MS shops, even the little $5.00 one that I drive past on my way to work.

Be strong... Fight it...all that work isn't worth the measly fee for all that work...If nobody takes them maybe they wil go up again.
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LindaCulp
Star Contributor

Portland, Oregon
USA
2339 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2004 :  03:32:14 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Every time you start thinking about buying something, ask yourself, "Do I really need this, or do I just want this? Is it really worth giving away x amount of my time (the equivalent of your hourly rate) for this? How long will it last? Is the investment worth it? Would I be better off spending a little more money on something more long-lasting? Will this wither up and die long before I've gotten my money's worth? On the flip side, can I honestly say that I would be a fool to NOT buy this?"

I go through this questioning process practically daily on everything I buy. It's probably a good thing I shop alone; I'd drive anyone else nuts. At least I don't think aloud.

Happily shopping the Portland, Oregon metro area!
~MSPA *Gold* Certified, 2003~
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AdAora
Star Contributor

Deep in the heart of, TX
USA
3770 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2004 :  04:13:54 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Comparison shop. Check the "per oz" price to really know what size of peanut butter is the best value. Compare local supermarket prices to warehouse club prices. Bulk buying is not always the best deal, especially when your local store has sales.

Gold certified in TX
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LisaBGoesShopping
Star Contributor

PA
USA
3092 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2004 :  05:41:51 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Here's my favorite tip: Before you leave the store, check your receipts to make sure you weren't overcharged.

Many supermarket chains have a policy of giving you the item for free if it rings up at the wrong price. They'll also do it if the price isn't the same as the one on the shelf or the price sticker. I get something free about every third trip.

Maybe the shelf sign clearly says it was last week's sale price, but if the sign is still up, many stores will still give you the item for free.

Even if your store only refunds the difference, at least you won't be overpaying.

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Mazie
Star Contributor

Forest Grove, OR
USA
468 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2004 :  11:35:22 AM  Visit Mazie's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
My sister and I ask ourselves this question, "Do I twelve dollars like this?", or whatever the price of the item was. It forces us to think of the entire dollar amount for one thing, and how long it takes to make twelve dollars.

Gold Certified shopper, editor, editor trainer.
Shopping the Portland Metro area, willing to travel.
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MarieSpree
Star Contributor

NY
USA
511 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2004 :  11:49:11 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have a system similar to what Mazie does. It started with trying to lose weight. When I would get on the treadmill, I would see how incredibly long it takes to burn calories. That candy bar you gulp down in two minutes takes almost an hour to burn off. So when I'd be tempted to eat junk food, I'd think "Do I want to eat this 40 minutes worth of running?" The answer was usually no.

Similarly, when I want to buy something, I think of my hourly salary and how long it takes to make what the item costs. "Do I want this three and a half hours worth of working?" Again, the answer is usually no!

"Let's shop til we plop!" "You mean shop til we drop?" "Whatever!"
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TheresaMBaker
Valued Contributor

Tulsa, OK
USA
221 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2004 :  3:03:05 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
All of those are great ideas! Mine would be shop the ads. If it's on sale at one store, Wal-Mart will price match. On top of that, Wal-Mart sometimes has lower prices than their sales.

I also shop for my clothes at the thrift stores.
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LisaBGoesShopping
Star Contributor

PA
USA
3092 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2004 :  3:59:33 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
And if you want to shop the ads easily, do it online at:

http://www.sundaysaver.com

It has the circulars for groceries, department stores and so on.

I don't know if I got this from another post on Volition or not. If so, I apologize for repeating it, but it's certainly relevant here.
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Nora
Star Contributor

PA
USA
6341 Posts

Posted - 08/29/2004 :  7:41:02 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I actually started setting aside a little stash of "mad money" that I had intended to make purchases that I wanted, rather than needed. In an odd way, this has kind of backfired, because now I find that I am more interested in making this sum of money grow really large, rather than spend it. Also paying for purchases with cash seems to really make me think and evaluate before I buy.
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KarynPA
Star Contributor

Middletown, PA
USA
382 Posts

Posted - 08/30/2004 :  04:31:16 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
1.Never carry a balance on your credit cards. Only use them for real emergencies. Pay by cash or debit card. If you don't have the money to buy it today.....DON"T BUY IT!
2.Always comparison shop. Don't just assume the Walmart Supercenter or the bulk buying club has the best deal. This also applies to the big stuff like life insurance, car insurance, etc.
3.Use coupons carefully. Sometimes a store brand is still a better value.

MSPA Gold n4fxv4 -Shopping South-Central PA
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AmyA
Member

Wisconsin
USA
42 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2004 :  2:09:51 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Start saving for retirement at an early age.

Consider switching from a 30 year mortgage to a 15 year mortgage.

Buy used cars.

Clip coupons and compare prices.

Stock up on items you need when they are on sale.

Prepare meals that will provide leftovers.

Shop at garage sales and thrift shops.

Freecycle.

Amy
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Carrol.Hwy101.Ca
Inactive

Paso Robles, CA
USA
456 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2004 :  3:47:23 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Want less stuff.

GOLD CERTIFIED
Shopping the beautiful small towns on California's Central Coast.
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GailGibbsYoung
Star Contributor

Salem, OR
USA
1003 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2004 :  1:35:08 PM  Visit GailGibbsYoung's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Pay yourself first!

If you can have a 401K at work, subscribe to the max.

If you can join a credit union at work with an automatic deduction plan, do so even if it is only $10 a paycheck.

This should get you started towards bigger and better savings opportunities like moneymarket and mutual funds where your savings can grow even faster with higher interest rates.

And to learn more about saving and investing listen to Bob Brinker's MoneyTalk. You can find your station on his website:

http://www.bobbrinker.com/

His advice is very conservative and unbiased. He does not tout any investment firms specifically, other than to stress only buying "no load" mutual funds and gives excellent source information on where you can find them.

MSPA GOLD CERTIFIED dejlg4
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KathyRI
Member

North Kingstown, RI
USA
10 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2004 :  07:56:10 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Shop at the end of the season for clothes at the big department store. I've saved thousands on clothes that way, and I still manage to dress nicely. (I recently got a $200 suit for $30)
Kathy
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Kanga
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
250 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2004 :  12:43:09 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The secret for me has been to simply live below my means.

I have no debts.

I paid off my home years ago.

I just plain spend less than I make and I save even more than I thought I could.

I max out my 401K Contributions.

I make my lunch and bring it to work every single day.

I almost never eat out at a restaurant.

Instead of paying $1.25 a day for a fountain coke from the deli at work to enjoy with my lunch, or instead of paying $.50 for a coke from the coke machine, I purchase a 6-pack of diet drinks from a discount grocery on the weekends for $.99 and bring one coke from home to work every day. My one diet cola once a day costs me only $.16 a coke.

I am always looking for new ways to save money.

It really isn't that hard. I just don't spend more money than I have.

MSPA Gold Certified #xixazy
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Yasi
Trainee

Sacramento, CA
USA
5 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2004 :  2:29:59 PM  Send Yasi an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Quit the latte habit.
Buy groceries in bulk (Costco, etc.)
Check out your library.
Check out the BOGOF items when you go shopping and grab the "always needs" like soap, paper towels, toothpaste, etc.
Make sure your tires are properly inflated, otherwise you lose gas mileage.
Light only the room you're in. Spend the extra few cents for the energy-saver, long lasting bulbs. Worth it in the long run.
eBay your junk.
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FredSB
Member

Massachusetts
USA
14 Posts

Posted - 11/16/2004 :  04:05:54 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
When it was time to buy another car I went for gas mileage versus "bells and whistles" and luxury. I also bought my latest car at the end of year sale at a dealership that was further from home, but known for discounting their product.

Costco has been a bonus for me - but I still check the unit price to make sure the price is better than Walmart.
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