I added a tab with my New Years resolutions on it if you're interested. They aren't a great read or anything, I just felt that I'd be more likely to follow through if I made them public. Thanks for indulging.
Also, Suddora sent me a running headband a couple weeks back and I'm giving them a shout out to say thanks. You can get 10% off using "fasterbunny" in the code field if you see anything you like. Here's what I got. It's reflective and pink and I'm liking it so far!
In honor of all this fiscal cliff stuff and going back home for the holidays I decided I'd write a post about stuff being cheap. Or "frugal" if you want to sound fancy.
Also, that Thrift Shop song is really popular now so it's really hip, right?
I grew up in a family that tried to save as much money as possible, often to the point of absurdity. Most of the time, I hated it and rolled my eyes every time my mom went up to customer service to point out that we were overcharged by 30 cents. But...she found everything!
In order to get some more ideas on absolute cheapness, I enlisted the help of my friend Anisa who somehow seems to get everything free or discounted. She is the master. Numbers 12-14 on this list are directly from her.
I don't know if I'd actually recommend doing all of these things, but I thought it would be funny to write about them. Anyone grow up doing any of this stuff or do it now?
1) Trash Bags: You know those bags that people give you your groceries in? Those are kitchen trash bags. Yeah sure, they are a little smaller but that just means you'll be a little more on top of taking out the trash. Paper bags are the best ones.
2) Speaking of Trash: (I've actually never done this one): You know that 10 dollar a month fee for trash pickup? Yeah, you don't have to pay that. Get your lazy butt in gear, get your trash bags together and drive them over to the local landfill.
3) Shampoo: You're all out? Are you sure? Put some water in the bottle and use a few more times. There's always a bunch of shampoo that doesn't come out at the bottom!
4) Milk: You're buying the stuff in the jugs? Aw hell no. Powdered milk is nutritionally the same and lots cheaper. Sure, it tastes a little funny but that's ok. Update: Apparently the prices of powdered milk have gone up since 1989! It's not all that much cheaper than regular milk anymore! Sad.
5) The Heat: If you have that above 60, put on another sweater and turn it down. Gloves maybe too. Also, no one really needs the heat on at night unless your pipes are going to freeze. Just put the covers over your head and go to sleep.
6) Paper Towels: If you just dried your hands off with it, don't throw it away. It's still good!
7) Price Adjustments: Many stores offer price adjustments but I'm not here to tell you about that. I'm here to tell you about how to adjust the price if you're not in that time window anymore. You need two people: One to return the item, and one to hang out by the area where they put the returns, grab it up, and buy again. Done. Potentially dishonest. Depends on where your retail morals lie.
8) Thrift Store: Even thrift stores have 20% off days and stuff like that. Go then. Just don't buy underwear from the thrift shore. I don't care how cheap you are, that's nasty.
9) You Can Bargain on Anything: I once bargained with the tire center at Wal-Mart and got a discount. This was right out of business school when I was flat broke and really needed a tire. Desperate times, desperate measures.
10) Check Receipt: Guaranteed your cashier made mistakes on your checkout sometime recently. Read the receipt before you leave. Then find customer service when it's wrong. Although they probably already know you if you've been doing this a while.
You might even get the item for free!
12) Coffee: "Post any holiday shopping is a good time to get stuff. Patience. Find things you don't immediately think about. Everyone knows wrapping paper goes like 75% off (btw hallmark stores have the best quality) but Starbucks holiday blend coffee goes 50% off. Stock up."
SarahOual has also suggested double brewing coffee. Is double the coffee better if it tastes worse? Jury still out.
13) Walgreens: "Best store ever: Walgreens. They have free items each week. I try and get them every week whether I need them or not. If I don't need them I can donate them to a shelter. I have not paid for toothpaste in years."
14) Travel: "We have also been using some cheaper methods of travel. Look up the mega bus. $3 from San Antonio to Houston. I have no idea how they make money. I have used Greyhound to get to austin. Buses and trains are often overlooked."
What things have you or your family have done to save money? Any great stories? No shame.