Pieces of Wisdom Wednesdays. Because who loves herself and her big ideas?

I have a brillllllliant idea. Brilllllliant. And yes I AM trilling my Ls in my head when I say that, like I'm Julia Child or something. Am I the most annoying person you have ever met?

Okay, wait. I just have to bust in and tell you that every morning this poor hunched-over woman power-walks by and today she just hunched by WITH A SPOTTY PUPPY! I know this because Tallulah is over here snarling and turning her head 360 degrees and melting crucifixes and so forth so it make me look outside. I do not know how anyone can be so hostile to a sweet sweet puppy.

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It kind of looked like this. Now imagine a really hunched-over woman trying to get fit while walking it. Actually it walked better than OLD DEVIL TALLULAH, in there. Barking at a sweet puppy.

But I digress.

So, here is my idea. See, I was gonna show you how mean Talu is getting new collars in the mail:

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They had a sale where she gets her collars. If you sent in a picture on Facebook of your dog with some kind of spot, you got a buy-one-get-one free deal. So I sent in the photo of Talu with her mulberry stain on her eye. As opposed to the 666 on the back of her head.

Spot
Fortunately, they did not report me to the SPCA for punching my dog.

THEN I was gonna show you photos of the collars I similarly got for Henry and Winston. Francis does not need a collar because he is old and crochety and never leaves his chair. He needs ID for his chair?

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Unfortunately, since I bought these on Etsy, I bought the last two collars of their kind, so the photos above are not accurate. The one on top has the colors of Winnie's collar, but the design is more vertical stripes. Henry has the Archie Andrews argyle, but in copper and butterscotch colors. Because these colors would so not look good with his creamsicle self.

Anyway, the point is, you may be thinking, "That June sure is buying stuff all the time lately, with her boyfriend jeans and her iPhone and her cat collars and her hair straightening chemical treatment."

And you would be right. The only reason I am able to do so, however, is because I just started this full-time job in June and had 14924784923 freelance assignments still pending that I had committed to do, so basically I am working two jobs right now and it is KILLING ME and forgive me if I spend $14 on a cat collar.

However, as of this weekend, I will turn in the last of my freelance work, and we will be back to being normal people with one job apiece. Well. I am keeping the statistics textbook company, but that's only about $10,000 extra bones a year and maybe every other month of work.

My POINT is, I thought, "I have a whole community right here. I should ask everyone for tips on how they save money." Because God forbid I could have saved the scads of cash I just made these last two months. Like a grownup. No. I had to throw my extra dollars to the wind. So now we're back to the king's ransom of a teacher/copy editor's combined income. Wooo! Where's my private jet?

So FIRST I was thinking I could have you all write in with money-saving tips, like "I bring leftovers for lunch" or "I eat from the Dumpster out behind the 7-Eleven" or "I marry old dying men" or whatever, and THEN I thought even bigger.

What if we have Pieces of Wisdom Wednesdays? See how we are sticking with my pie theme? PIECES? Get it? Do you?

On Tuesdays, I will ask y'all a question, such as today's how do you save money, and you write in your answers, and on Wednesday, I will put in my blog some of the best answers.

Which means I have just created a lot of work for myself, but I think it'll be fun! We could have all sorts of topics. How do you stay fit. What are your best tips for keeping on top of depression and not living under the bed. Or maybe that's just my issue. What is your favorite cake recipe. How did you learn to decorate. What are the best dog-raising tips you ever got, or I guess we could even do kid-raising since everyone in the world has kids but me.

Let me know other questions you want me to address on Tuesdays for Pieces of Wisdom Wednesdays.

Don't you think this is a good idea? Have I mentioned I heart me? Maybe I should buy myself something.

Okay, so today's question:

What sorts of tips and techniques do you have for living frugally?

Best answers will appear tomorrow.

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Author: June

At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

90 thoughts on “Pieces of Wisdom Wednesdays. Because who loves herself and her big ideas?”

  1. My stalker wife used to read this blog about not spending money. Perhaps you should give it a look. I think it was called Bye Bye Buy.
    Or, maybe you should not buy stuff on the internet. It is too easy. By the time you put on underwear, go to the store, shop, and then whip out CASH for your purchase, you may decide you don’t really need it anymore. Except at Target. Please keep spending countless dollars there.
    Plus, if you don’t bring your bifocals, you won’t be able to read the price tag.
    And, you could cut Marvin’s allowance. He seems to have plenty of jeans and flannel shirts already.

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  2. My frugality tips don’t so much as *save* me money as they help ensure we make rent every month. ๐Ÿ™‚ But basically, I have a weekly grocery budget ($75 for two people – food’s more expensive in Canada) that I usually stick to. I will go over budget if there’s a good sale and we can stock up on meat or cheese or whatever. I also try to make and bring a lunch 4 out of 5 days a week.
    As for actually saving money, I have a certain amount transferred automatically into both a retirement fund and a savings account the day after every payday. That way, I don’t even have to think about it. And I when I get extra money (tax return, etc.), I try to put 75% into savings, leaving me 25% to spend however I want.
    Generally, I try to be mindful of spending money on crap I don’t really need. That works sometimes.
    Geez – with all these great tips, I should be rolling in it! Where’s my yacht!?

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  3. p.s. A cool thing I just found out about: one of the banks here in Canada (yes, we have more than one thankyouverymuch!) has a new system you can set up where a small amount of your money ($0.50 to $5) is transferred to your savings account every time you purchase something with your debit card. So you save as you spend.

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  4. Gra, We had computer problems at home so I've missed you guys lately - have a lot of readingn to catch up on :) says:

    Oh I love this idea June – Go you with your Pieces of Wisdom Wednesdays! ๐Ÿ˜€
    Some other questions for Wisdom Wednesdays could be:
    Where is the nicest place you have ever visited?
    Looking back, what fashion advice do you wish you’d had as a teenager?
    How do you de-clutter your life?
    What are the little things in life that make you smile?
    Hmm…I’m the first to admit that I wouldn’t be an expert on living frugally but I have been trying to save lots lately so here is what I’ve found out:
    1) If you’re anything like me and tend to wander around the cookie aisles you can save a lot of money by doing grocary shopping online. Many of the supermarkets will remember your shopping list from last time so just stick to this list. In the grocery store I always end up buying bread coz it smells so good, then also will have a look around the new cosmetics pick up some bits and pieces…it all adds up.
    iv) Write down everything you spend for a month. EVERYTHING. You would be surprised how much money you spend.

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  5. Gra, We had computer problems at home so I've missed you guys lately - have a lot of reading to catch up on :) says:

    readingn..oops!

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  6. Gra, We had computer problems at home so I've missed you guys lately - have a lot of reading to catch up on :) says:

    Wow Michelle -love your idea “when I get extra money (tax return, etc.), I try to put 75% into savings, leaving me 25% to spend however I want.” …I want to be more like you. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Also, too I agree about bring a packed lunch – it’s healthier and saves money.

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  7. You know what? Saving money tips are pretty serious. Saving isn’t funny.
    We were very poor when we first got married. I learned to not go shopping except when absolutely necessary. No window shopping at all. If you don’t know it’s there, you can’t want it and you won’t buy it. Since we never got rich, I still don’t go – furthermore, I don’t like shopping if it takes more than 15 minutes now. In and out.

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  8. Dumpster diving, Craigslist, Goodwill, re-purposing and buying off season is how I attempt to live frugallly. I’m so bad that I scour the neighborhood on trash day to see who has placed a potential treasure out at the curb side. However, I have to be able to haul it home myself because Mr. I Love What You Do, Just Not How You Do It wouldn’t be caught dead assisting me.
    Where I am not frugal is with my toilet paper. Oh baby, I go for the cushy on my tush three-ply and don’t even consider rolling it onto three separate rollers. My arse is just too sensitive to be that frugal.
    I have a little blog where you can see how I have attempted to be frugal with a few projects. (Once again you are warned that I am NOT a writer.) http://willoughbywhimsy.wordpress.com/
    My latest example was how instead of spending $39.00-59.00 I only spent $2.00-12.00.

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  9. My best tip for living frugally would be this: Don’t have any kids. They are money-sucking little twits. But since you already don’t have kids, that’s not very helpful, is it?
    I do the coupon/sale/stockup thing at the store. And can I tell you that I am sick to death of clipping coupons and organizing them? But once you start, it’s hard to pay full price for stuff. And the nice part is, you don’t run out of things, because you stockpile when things are on sale/with coupon, so you’re never out of laundry detergent, you just grab another one from your stockpile that you bought when it was 88 cents. How’s that for a lovely run-on sentence?
    You could also cancel your cable, not have a cellphone, use some $10-a-month dial-up internet service and ditch the land line…none of which I am willing to do. Which is probably why I’m poor. I cannot imagine life without Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Hoarders, or Intervention.
    Ok, really seriously, I use Microsoft Money and I keep track of every single penny we spend. That way when some smart ass from a credit card company asks me if we have a “budget”, I can scream at them, “YES! I know where every single penny goes! I just don’t have enough pennies! Jackass!”

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  10. If you’re sticking with the pie theme, wouldn’t it be Slices of Wisdom Wednesdays? Huh?
    I’ve got no money saving advice, June Dacyczyn.

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  11. Oh, I love this idea!
    How do I save money? Huh. By not doing ANYTHING fun. Seriously. This recession, my husband’s 50% cut in salary – they SUCK! *Sigh* But, I guess I would have to say that I just try not to buy anything unnecessary – my biggest splurge is on books (usually) and we have an amazing used book store here which I love. Craigslist is great too.

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  12. Same old, same old – pay yourself first. If your job (and Marvin’s) has an option to automatically deposit some of your check into a savings account, do it. And forget about that savings account as a source of cash. You’ll never miss the money you don’t see from your check.

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  13. The best advice I ever got was to use ING (online bank) for their automatic savings plan. You can set it up so that ING automatically takes money from your checking account when you get paid and saves it for you. You control the amount and how often, plus you can set up multiple “folders” for yourself within ING to save for various things. If I didn’t do that, I would definitely spend way more than I ought to, but if the money’s already gone, I can’t spend it. Also, when I know that I’m saving, I don’t feel quite so bad when I do spend here and there.

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  14. I bought a Foodsaver vacuum sealer several years ago and it’s my favorite money-saving device. I love buying the big packages of meat on sale and freezing them in portions for the two of us. I can thaw the thinner pieces on my Miracle Thaw tray in a very short time. I love my kitchen gadgets!
    Shelley is right though. Kids are the gift that keeps on taking! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  15. I avoid using my credit cards at all costs (ha! financial humor). They are too much like free money in the moment and then come back to bite you in the butt later.

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  16. I’ve got no tips. I came here looking for some Pieces of Wisdom.
    Well, I do use the cheapest dry cleaner in town. And I wait until I have at least 10 garments, since they punch my card every time I spend $20 and once I do that 5 times I get $10 off. I dry clean A LOT.
    And I usually do color my own hair. I use a semi-permanent darker color and then pull it through a cap with that Frost & Tip kit to get blonde highlights. I think it looks ok…
    I live on pimento cheese sandwiches too.
    Well look at that. I’m more frugal than I realized!

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  17. Caroline, sounds like the Miracle Thaw tray is something I need to check out. I too purchase large packages of meat, but use Press’n Seal sealing wrap.The Foodsaver vacuum is on my someday to have list. Recently just froze some blueberries and peaches for the winter months enjoyment.

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  18. What a great idea! We give you all that dang unsolicited advice anyway! We love us!
    My best advice is to see where you’re spending. Write it down. Then pay yourself first. Put some money in the savings account just like you would your rent to the mortgage company.
    And the other, you TWO need to cook at home more. There are several great blogs out there to juice you up : http://www.pithyandcleaver.com , http://www.tastespotting.com and http://www.lastnightsdinner.com are some of my faves. We only eat out twice a week.

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  19. What a great idea! We give you all that dang unsolicited advice anyway! We love us!
    My best advice is to see where you’re spending. Write it down. Then pay yourself first. Put some money in the savings account just like you would your rent to the mortgage company.
    And the other, you TWO need to cook at home more. There are several great blogs out there to juice you up : http://www.pithyandcleaver.com , http://www.tastespotting.com and http://www.lastnightsdinner.com are some of my faves. We only eat out twice a week.

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  20. What a great idea! We give you all that dang unsolicited advice anyway! We love us!
    My best advice is to see where you’re spending. Write it down. Then pay yourself first. Put some money in the savings account just like you would your rent to the mortgage company.
    And the other, you TWO need to cook at home more. There are several great blogs out there to juice you up : http://www.pithyandcleaver.com , http://www.tastespotting.com and http://www.lastnightsdinner.com are some of my faves. We only eat out twice a week.

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  21. An earlier commenter has mentioned my method, but it really works for me. I had my cable turned off. I still get most of the shows on the main channels and the shows I watched on cable are usually free on Hulu. I just watch them there. I did keep my cell phone and internet, obviously.
    I like the idea of the bank account where you save as you spend. For instance, if you spend $1.50 on your debit card the remaining $.50 is put into savings. This way, all of your purchases are even and it makes keeping up with your checkbook (which I do) very easy.
    If you like shopping online, you can use ebates.com to help you save.

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  22. Everyone once in a while I go the entire month eating solely what’s in my freezer and pantry and making grocery store trips only for milk, bread, eggs, and fruit.
    I have a large-ish family, so it easily saves me $400 – $500.

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  23. Furry always says to make sure you understand the difference between the wants and the needs. You want a new sweater; you need a tourniquet when you are bleeding profusely. Sometimes the difference is not so clear cut.
    Long ago I heard a financial advisor tell me that I young Terra needed to save money to take care of old Terra. I am sure glad that I did that, because it would be impossible to live like we do on what I make from my real job these days.
    BTW, I have missed all y’all for the past two weeks as I labored to produce an Annual Report here at work, and that’s a first for me. This is a job for June.

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  24. I clip coupons and print them out online, then I go through the sales flyers and match what’s on sale with whatever coupons I have. There are some websites that will do the matching for you – the one I use is specific to my area.
    Since I have kids, I do a lot of clothes shopping for them at Goodwill and consignment shops. I find a lot of new (tags still on them) clothes and like-new clothes for them. Saves me a TON o’bucks.
    I also give them a weekly allowance – they are a lot more thrifty when it’s THEIR money they are spending!!

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  25. For us, it is really about questioning what is a need. We have no cable TV, and the cheapest cell phones possible (no iPhone here, no unlimited minute plans).
    Most people I know are flabbergasted that we don’t have such things, but really no one ever died from not watching Real Housewives on cable or not having a luxurious phone plan. We don’t even know what we’re missing.
    Also, we keep eating out to a minimum. I don’t have a gym membership, I just take my dog on a walk and sometimes do the 30 Day Shrek. Stuff like that. Basically, if it is a recurring bill, I want nothing to do with it (except water, lights, etc.).

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  26. I put books on hold through the library instead of ordering through Amazon. That has saved a TON of money. Luckily we live in a place with a really great library system.
    We use cloth diapers, cloth napkins, and never use paper plates or plastic cups. Saves a ton of money and helps keep garbage out of the landfills.

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  27. I have $12 cable. I went for several years without it, but I missed watching Ravens football. So I got the very cheapest option. I also bring my lunch every day. I make my own frozen meals by individually portioning out chili, casseroles, etc when I make them for dinner. I don’t really cook that often since it’s just me, but when I do cook I get a ton of lunches put away in the freezer.
    And on a completely different note, I am asking for opinions on my blog today, so if you are feeling opinionated, please stop by and put in your two cents, just not about my run on sentence problem.
    Also too, it irks me that there is no longer a cents sign on the keyboard. The penny gets no respect. Ben Franklin is probably rolling in his grave somewhere.

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  28. When I was in college, I lived with two sisters. One day we were having a conversation about how we saved money and Sister A said “I save money by using just a little bit less toothpaste every day”. Sister B said “I save money by using your toothpaste”.
    Great tip: Use other people’s stuff.

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  29. I used to be a coupon clipper. Saved tons too, it was like a game for me to see how much I saved. I’ve gotten lazy as I got older and should get back to it. I hardly ever pay full price for stuff like clothes or home stuff. I shop the perimeter of Target and stock up on stuff that I use regularly. Those little red tags make me a happy camper. I also find that some food stuff at Target, like cereal, is a LOT cheaper then the grocery store. And thrift stores are my friend now.
    And why did you not show up in my reader Miss June? Love the snazzy collars. Mine has an argyle one and my kids think it makes him look sort of girly. I do not. Maybe a little preppy. I could get him a a sweater to throw over his shoulders.

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  30. We also use ING for automatic savings each month. Since it’s a whole different site than our ususal banking it’s like we forget it’s there. This keeps us from spending willy-nilly and having to transfer money.
    Also, I only grocery shop once a week. I make out the menu, write up a list of what we need and then stick to the list at the store. I’m not a coupon person, but I’m sure I’d save even more that way. I’m just too lazy to do it.
    Also, love those cat collars. I got our cats fun camo collars and they promptly lost them. Try finding camo in the woods behind our house. Not easy.

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  31. Become super eco-conscious, or get some friends that are. Thinking about your carbon footprint or fair trade ethics is guaranteed to suck the joy right out of shopping. For reals.

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  32. Disclosure: My job is to write about financial matters, so this will sound more like an ad and less like helpful advice. However, it’s still the truth, and you can take that to the bank.
    1.) Look into credit unions in your area. Because they are not-for-profit (unlike all banks), they return the profits they make to the people who have credit union accounts. Loan rates are generally lower and investment rates are generally higher. I currently earn 4.01% APY on balances up to $25K in a FREE checking account. Most CDs and money market accounts can’t even match that, and I still have access to my money.
    2.) Use Skype for long-distance calling. As long as you have an internet connection (hello, Panera), it’s free to talk to other Skype-using friends.
    3.) If you do have a fancy phone, take advantage of the price comparison apps. Did you know you can take a picture of item bar codes in the store, then use Bing to find that item and cost compare before you buy? Bing will tell you where the item is cheapest, so you won’t have to worry about spending too much.
    4.) Don’t buy bottled water. It’s cheaper to a. get a filter for your sink and b. refill a non-toxic, reusable water bottle.
    5.) When you’re shopping for credit cards, loans, investments or any other financial need, you can go to http://www.bankrate.com to look up the best financial deals in your zip code.
    6.) Library books, cds and movies are free, so why buy them elsewhere when you can borrow?
    7.) If you’re in a major metropolitan area, take advantage of sites like Groupon or Restaurant.com. Eating at your favorite restaurant is less guilt-tastic when you have a $35 gift certificate that only cost you $10. (June, I recently thought of you when I got a Brazillian blow-out coupon for just $99!)
    8.) If you need budgeting advice, check out free sites like http://www.mint.com. Though it’s scary to give out your account numbers and bank information, this free service (which has been around for a while and is trusted and secure) will examine your spending patterns to help you manage your funds. Finding out that you spent 40% of your income on shopping/eating out in a month can be rather sobering. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hopefully, this is helpful to someone!

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  33. Shop at the dollar store. Toothpaste, shaving cream, loofahs, wrapping paper, canned goods, paper products, seasonings and such are THE SAME from dollar tree as from target, but less spendy.
    When possible, I buy single ingredients (at the dollar store!) rather than processed, packaged convenience foods. A bag of flour, a bag of sugar, a box of butter, and chocolate chips cost the same as a few rolls of cookie dough but make way more cookies. Canned tomatoes and seasonings make healthier, cheaper pasta sauce than the jarred stuff. Single-serving convenience foods and drinks always drain my grocery budget. I use southern savers to determine which grocery store has the most things on sale that I need each week.
    Also, buy clothing basics (undies, bras, tanks, tees, sweats) from hanes.com or wal-mart. Good quality and I’d rather spend more on the things that don’t have to be replaced as often anyway.
    Order restaurant food for carryout to avoid paying for drinks and a tip; see matinees and bring your own candy and drinks to the movies; sign up for birthday and e-mail clubs and use different birth and anniversary dates to get coupons throughout the year rather than them all arriving around the same week; use a mix of white vinegar and water as an all-purpose cleaner (waaaay cheaper and non-toxic for kids, pets, dishes, etc!)
    Most of mine are smaller, but they add up!

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  34. Hey, Juice, try this:
    hold down alt key, type 155 on the number keypad (the number keypad on the side, not above the qwerty).
    As for money saving tips, we rarely eat out and always shop sales. I think someone’s idea about online grocery shopping is a good one, because even shopping sales I rarely get out of the grocery store with only what is on my list. My kids are young enough that they don’t mind shopping the clearance racks at Target and Kohl’s.
    I’m loving reading other people’s ideas. And I like the Tuesday/Wednesday blog idea, although if it gets too hard for you on Wednesday to pick your favorite ideas, just asking the question on Tuesday is a great idea, because we all like to talk about ourselves. (run on sentence much?)

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  35. Two more things I just thought of…I use a pay-by-the-minute cell phone and use our local libraries a lot. Libraries are great because if you check out a book you don’t like, you don’t feel bound to read it because you just spent good money on it.

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  36. OMG I WANT THAT PUPPY!!!!!
    There, now that that’s out of the way, my money-saving tip…
    I live near my parents, so I try to mooch as many meals from them as possible. Plus, I make sure to always bring a big purse so I can grab stuff from their pantry on my way out. It really cuts down on my grocery bill.

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  37. My hubby and I have lived frugal all of our marriage (soon to be 44 years). As a result we have been debt free for the last 24 years and in retirement we are comfortable.
    You have a budget on paper before the month begins.
    We have always tithed to our church first. We have always saved with direct deposit going to our savings and maxed out our 401(K) plans as long as they have been available. We don’t eat out often, we don’t use credit cards, we buy store brands at the grocery store, we buy in season fruits and vegetables, we cook from scratch a lot, we have a garden, we keep our cars forever and maintain them well (we still have a 91 mini van with 251,000, but I only trust it to Lowe’s and back 3 mi. R/T), we keep our lights cut off unless we are in the room, we keep the A/C at 78 and the heat at 70, we don’t have cable TV, we have basic phone service but do have DSL, we only have basic cell phones with 500 minutes/mo between us, I use a clothesline except for our towels in warm weather, we do most of the maintenance to our house, unless it’s up high (hiring someone to do the high stuff is cheaper than medical bills if you fall), we have had a good water filter for years and drink out of glasses, we use cloth napkins and eat on china and not paper plates, we make all our driving count, I have a list when I shop, we stay out of Wal-Mart, I never go to the grocery store hungry, I don’t have fake fingernails, I do my own pedicures, my husband shops for real bargains on Craigs List, we find new clothes at the Goodwill, I wash full loads of clothes, when making any purchase we always ask ourselves, “do we REALLY need this”, we keep our bank/credit union accounts balanced… and I could go on and on.
    Years ago I found Amy Dacyczyn’s “The Complete Tightwade Gazette” and have read it for years. Some of the material is outdated, but so much of it is not and full of useful ideas that tell you how to save money. We also facilitate Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace classes that will teach you how to get out of debt, built wealth and give. Check him out http://www.daveramsey.com

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  38. Oh wow, what a great bunch of advice going on up here.
    My daughter and I shop for clothes at the mall, but buy them on Ebay. She buys Abercrombie jeans for $12 on Ebay, which saves so much money, which she can then use for undies and such on sale.
    We order up movies on cable instead of going to the movies. $4 instead of $10 each for a movie is worth keeping basic cable around.
    Lastly, I have recently located a web site called 100 thing challenge. http://www.guynameddave.com/100-thing-challenge.html.
    The premise is to eliminate all but 100 things from your life’s items. Save time, money, and space. We have decided that on over Labor Day we are going to start clearing things out, selling them on Ebay or craigslist and bank the proceeds. I am very excited about this since A.) I won’t have to dust this crap any longer, B.) I won’t have to move it in a few years when I am ready to go, and C.) I will have the money in the bank to do something else with. Yay us!

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  39. Well, first I get in car accidents that are my fault. That way we can buy a new car and spend $50 more a month on the payment before seeing how much my insurance is going to go up.
    Oh, wait Katie. Too soon.
    But I got a VW Beetle last night!
    All that to say I don’t have any tips to give you. To be honest, we live like 20 year old guys, except for the fact that we don’t like having any roommates but ourselves. But we don’t have cable, Netflix, go out to nice restaurants very often (“nice” meaning not McDonalds), have good internet, or take many trips. And I only get my hair cut like 3 times a year and I buy the cheapest makeup I can find. And I like Totinos pizza, so I’m a cheap date. But my husband is also a student right now and when he gets a job and is making lots of bones I will let you know. Not how to live frugaly, of course, but how to spend all of your husband’s money. He owes me, right?
    Right?

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  40. I’m with Furry and Terra on the needs vs wants. If we all examine ourselves, there is very little we NEED, and then it all boils down to wants. And I for one don’t WANT to be a hoarder. Don’t want my kids to curse me after I die because of all the “things” I have left them. And also too, I will not send mystery boxes to my children when I’m old as my mother currently does to me. Seriously, if she doesn’t want/wear it why in the sam hell does she think I will…

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  41. I’m a fan of ING as well. It’s there but you can’t get at it without a few days of processing. Which means you really have to need it.
    Other than that all I can say is turn your finances over to tight fisted husband.

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  42. When we were first married, we were very poor, indeed. We got by on one car, we lived in a modest home and we only bought necessities and we have always, always, always paid ourselves first and paid off our credit cards every single month. Or mindset, if we can’t afford to pay the whole thing off, we won’t incur that kind of debt.
    Nowadays, because of our frugal years and my husband’s hard working life, we can afford a little more than necessities, which is a good thing since I don’t like to cook that much. I’ve put eating out on the necessity list. I don’t think my husband would agree, though.
    And I LOVE the idea, June. It’s going to be so much fun.

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  43. Ok. First, invite a bunch of friends over every Saturday to watch the games. Make sure they bring their own beer. Then, after they leave, take the cans back to the store.
    Voila!
    And quit buying so many collars.

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  44. Like Jenmar10 said, I use mint.com. It helps me to see where I’ve been spending money, and how little I have left. Plus it’s easy to setup and easy to use. And since food takes up a large portion of our budget, one week a month I have a “no spending” policy on all food. No dining out, no groceries, and even no stopping for a candy bar and pop at the convenience store. (Well except for milk, since my husband goes through two gallons a week himself and I swear I think he would die if I didn’t buy him milk. But I only buy milk on Wednesday, because it’s two punch day, and after 12 punches, you get a free gallon!) It’s not a lot, but it helps me get rid of the crap that sits in the back of the freezer.

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  45. Lots of advice already! Saving money isn’t funny..that is true. And I hate reading the saving money tips and finding out I’m doing 99% of the suggestions and STILL don’t have enough moolah.
    I use MS Money to track all our spending. We eat out no more than once a week, and are trying to cut back further. Don’t buy lottery tickets, magazine subscriptions, or alcohol. Don’t pay for a gym membership when you can exercise for free at home. Don’t have a social life unless you have friends who always offer to pay and if you have friends like that, tell me where to find them!
    And if you’re me, don’t visit scrapbooking stores or the craft aisle at Walmart.

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  46. Blech, twelve. How’s that nasty bruise you got in the accident? Have you named it yet? But congrats on the new bug!
    Ohhhhhh and Lynn Bryant! eBay is super for clothing! I get NIB (new in box) shoes for practically nothing ($100 Nike running shoes for $30.)and Terra gets his suits from there. He’s constantly buying Hickey Freeman $1500 (!) blazers for $25! Ten or fifteen dollars or so of tailoring and no one would ever know.

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  47. Blech, twelve. How’s that nasty bruise you got in the accident? Have you named it yet? But congrats on the new bug!
    Ohhhhhh and Lynn Bryant! eBay is super for clothing! I get NIB (new in box) shoes for practically nothing ($100 Nike running shoes for $30.)and Terra gets his suits from there. He’s constantly buying Hickey Freeman $1500 (!) blazers for $25! Ten or fifteen dollars or so of tailoring and no one would ever know.

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  48. Blech, twelve. How’s that nasty bruise you got in the accident? Have you named it yet? But congrats on the new bug!
    Ohhhhhh and Lynn Bryant! eBay is super for clothing! I get NIB (new in box) shoes for practically nothing ($100 Nike running shoes for $30.)and Terra gets his suits from there. He’s constantly buying Hickey Freeman $1500 (!) blazers for $25! Ten or fifteen dollars or so of tailoring and no one would ever know.

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  49. Oooohhhh, I forgot about Groupon. I bought full day rafting trips off there a few weeks ago for $49 each (more than 50% off). Groupon is awesome.
    Also, take advantage of free/cheap activities in your town – concerts & movies in the park, half price museum admission days, etc. My friends and I just put together a list of all the free/cheap options Portland offers so we can all save money.

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  50. There are lots of good ideas already, many of which I already use. Considering wants and needs is central, I think.
    My tip: I save by taking items on a walk through the store. When I’m just browsing around and find something to buy, I carry it around while I look for other items. After that I consider the item I’ve taken for a walk. Usually it goes back on the shelf or rack and I go home with the cash.

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  51. never, ever, visit Amazon.com. ever.
    Never ever go to the mall. There is no reason to go to the mall. No reason!
    Make your own collars out of Marvin’s holy socks (holey?).It could be a craft project for you, you crafty thing you.
    When you feel hungry, drink milk. When you run out of milk, drink water. When you run out of water…
    That’s all I got.

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  52. Oh yes, love Groupon!
    Furry, the bruise looks much better. I’ll post a new photo sometime this week. And Jesse got to name this car. He decided to name it Suki because we got her the day she left us.

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  53. Okay, I’m in.
    Two grown-ups. Three kids. One income (an educator’s salary.) So yeah, we have to be pretty frugal. Don’t hate me but…I use coupons. Not every trip but once or twice a month I spend a couple of hours on southernsavers.com and then round up / print off my coupons for all of the stuff that’s already on sale (usually buy one get one free stuff) at Publix. I do the same for CVS.
    I was skeptical at first, not to mention that those coupon ladies on the news are OCD about getting all of their groceries for free. I didn’t want to turn into one of them. But, I’ve been doing this for a year and it saves us a whole lot of money just doing it in moderation.
    I also buy a lot of things used. Thrift stores, my friend. If you can only see the junk, take a friend who has a good eye for treasure. I also buy most of my books used or I get them from the library.
    Oh and I don’t do this every month like I should but the cash system has seriously worked well for me. I get out my cash for the month (groceries, eating out, miscl, etc.) and when it’s gone, it’s gone.
    I’m not perfect at staying within my budget or even making one every month but I think I spend way less than the average person in my demographic, mostly out of necessity.

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  54. Here’s a new savings strategy we’re trying out (if we make it through the interview and the quiz!)…volunteer to usher at local arts events and you can see them for FREE! We have a gold plated old timey theatre (pretty cool place, actually) that hosts all kinds of concerts, plays, and shows. We USED TO subscribe, but that got pricey. So now we’re volunteering. Win-win. Or win-break even.

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  55. One word: Peapod. I do my grocery shopping online and easily save HALF of what I spend if I go to the store. Even with the delivery charge and tip, it’s still a bargain. Not to mention the time saver. I click click click, shopping’s done, it shows up when I want it and SOMEONE ELSE schleps it right into my kitchen.
    Oh, I love it.
    I do a lot of shopping online and always google for coupon codes. There are ALWAYS codes for every shopping site.

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  56. One word: Peapod. I do my grocery shopping online and easily save HALF of what I spend if I go to the store. Even with the delivery charge and tip, it’s still a bargain. Not to mention the time saver. I click click click, shopping’s done, it shows up when I want it and SOMEONE ELSE schleps it right into my kitchen.
    Oh, I love it.
    I do a lot of shopping online and always google for coupon codes. There are ALWAYS codes for every shopping site.

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  57. One word: Peapod. I do my grocery shopping online and easily save HALF of what I spend if I go to the store. Even with the delivery charge and tip, it’s still a bargain. Not to mention the time saver. I click click click, shopping’s done, it shows up when I want it and SOMEONE ELSE schleps it right into my kitchen.
    Oh, I love it.
    I do a lot of shopping online and always google for coupon codes. There are ALWAYS codes for every shopping site.

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  58. My favourite way to live frugally, is to go to the local pub every Friday night, when they have a meat raffle. Buy tickets and drink beer. Sometimes, you win a meat tray! It’s like eating for free! (Except for the money it cost to buy the beer, and the tickets, but let’s not mention that.)

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  59. We have money automatically transferred to our savings account twice a month.
    I only buy clothes if they’re on sale. Amazon and Craigslist are also good for finding things for so much cheaper.
    When I go grocery shopping, I stick to my list, and only buy food we need (no impulse purchases). This also helps us eat healthier.
    We have a set, monthly budget for spending money (like seeing a movie) and for groceries, and those are cash-only purchases. When the cash is gone, it’s gone, and we have to wait until the next month begins to get more cash.

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  60. What great ideas – I”m going to jot these down tomorrow when I’m feeling more alert. Tell me though, the coupons I find are mostly for processed, boxed food that is making me fat(ter). I need coupons for healthy stuff – any suggestions? I comment so late that by now you’re on to the next topic.

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  61. Don’t go out to your local Mexican restaurant every Friday night and consume 4-5 margaritas (per couple) at $5 per in addition to generous amounts of vittles and a 20% tip. That would be our family’s biggest money saver, I fear.
    I do take leftovers for lunch when possible but still throw out too much food. I do drive my car until it won’t drive anymore, saving several years of car payments. I do live in squalor so as to save $$$ on a cleaning lady. My dh does his own lawn work. I only shop the clearance racks.
    Oh, my newest – I DO check my receipt from the grocery, scored almost $10 in free groceries due to overcharges at Kroger yesterday. They will soon tremble in fear at my approach.

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  62. I’m still working on this area of my life.
    I try to use Dave Ramsey’s cash only system (but usually forget to get cash and just use the debit “free money” card), and I am seriously intrigued by The Grocery Shrink lady that The Nester talked about not too long ago. (She shops the bottom bargin sales to stock her pantry, which I’m totally down with, but I had to draw the line at cloth toilet wipes–well, after I considered it for a while, because I can’t stand scratchy tp but have always hated having to spend more money on the good stuff…literally flushing my money down the drain!–but Sugar Daddy was having none of that cloth wipe business, so I’m flushing!)
    I do not use coupons, mainly because I never remember to take them with me to the store. Also it is a job in and of itself to find them (we don’t get the newspaper either, so that’s another trip), clip them, sort them, and store them. Not worth it to use my time in that way.
    We are taking some baby steps in different areas to save our pennies. I don’t do anything that is an overwhelming, multi-stepped task, or anything that takes up my valuable time (see above).
    In general, we shop for paper goods, coffee, soaps, and a few other non-perishables at Sam’s Club once every 3 months.
    We cook from scratch and eat at home. I make my own waffles, pancakes, muffins, and granola bars in bulk, freeze them, and just pull out what we need in the mornings for breakfast.
    I make my own chicken broth whenever I roast chicken, and then freeze it. I also make my own yogurt (in the crock pot!), and little things like pumpkin puree to freeze, or Ranch dressing from the mix.
    We don’t dry our sheets in the dryer. I take them straight out of the washer, put them on the bed, and smooth them out with my hands (I don’t tuck the top sheet in yet and lay the flat pillow cases on top). They dry just like that in a few hours and when we get in bed that night, the sheets are so crisp and cool and clean! It’s as if they had been starched and ironed!
    I don’t buy plastic storage bowls (usually…sometimes I need a bigger container). I just use empty containers from food that we’ve bought (sour cream, butter, spaghetti sauce, etc). Why pay extra for empty containers??
    And just today I made my own laundry soap for the first time. I used the Duggar family’s recipe. It ends up making 10 gallons and cost literally PENNIES!!!
    I will use it for the first time tomorrow, so I’ll let you know how it works.
    I’m sure there is more, but I’m tired and can’t think of more right now.
    So, in summary, no big system, just a lot of little things that add up.

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  63. Money saving tips: I make a weekly menu – that way I don’t have a bunch of produce growing arms in my fridge.
    I buy all the kids clothes, and most of mine, at the second-hand store. You have to go often, but you can find some wonderful things. I am ALL about quantity, so this helps me out alot.
    Wisdom I’d like to hear about? How to dress not so frumpy … but I really like to be comfortable. I’m starting to look like my grandmother.

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  64. So the first thing I’ll tell you if you’re gonna go with the pie theme, is it should be “WEDGES of Wisdom Wednesday”, don’cha think?
    (Although I never say “‘don’cha think’ anymore because I had a really annoying acquaintance who used to answer, ‘Well of course I think! How insulting.’ Oy.)
    And next I’ll tell you to shop at Food4Less because although you have to bag your own groceries, you still pay almost half what you’d pay at the regularly mopped stores.

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  65. If I’m cooking something that can be frozen, I make more than I need and freeze meals. It IS actually cheaper than making the same meal twice, and if you have an easily thaw-able meal in the freezer and you are in a rush or can’t be bothered cooking, it saves you being tempted into buying fast food!

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  66. Furry!! I love Overstock.com, too, and also forgot them.
    Also Netflix, another vote for.
    Also I used to use half.com until I got my Kindle.

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  67. Furry!! I love Overstock.com, too, and also forgot them.
    Also Netflix, another vote for.
    Also I used to use half.com until I got my Kindle.

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  68. Furry!! I love Overstock.com, too, and also forgot them.
    Also Netflix, another vote for.
    Also I used to use half.com until I got my Kindle.

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  69. My favorite tips for living frugally:
    1. Budget and track ALL expenditures.
    2. Use the public library instead of buying books and videos. Use internet to get on the waiting lists for popular books.
    3. Bring your lunch to work
    4. Attend estate sales in high end neighborhoods for great deals on top quality items.
    5. Sell clothes you no longer wear at consignment stores.
    Where I won’t compromise:
    1. Hairdresser: I get my hair cut and dyed every eight weeks.
    2. Car Maintenance: I always follow the recommended maintenance for my car. I had my last car for 16 1/2 years! I think it pays for itself in the long run.

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  70. I know that Americans pay a way lower percentage of their incomes for food than do most other people, but I think food is still where our family saves the most money compared with other people in our neighborhood. (If my husband did the shopping, that would be a completely different story. He has no idea how to compare prices. In fact, my number one frugality tip is to not let my husband do any grocery shopping… everything else pales in comparison.)
    If I had my druthers, I would NEVER buy food cooked by somebody else. It’s just not that hard to do it at home (I’m a pretty plain cook with pretty plain preferences; this wouldn’t work for a gourmet-type person with a busy schedule), and it saves a TON of money. Sometimes on road trips with the kids we go to McDonald’s, but other than that we eat out maybe four times a year. Or we get the $5 carry-out pizzas at Dominos when the kids have friends over–I figure I couldn’t make a pizza at home for less than that.
    By the same token, it’s *really* not that hard to make coffee at home. And even a $1 can of Coke from a machine can be an expensive habit; it costs three times less if you stock up at home.
    Can you tell I have a thing about spending money on things to eat and drink from any place other than the grocery store? A silly hangup but it saves us a ton of money. So does cooking from scratch rather than buying prepared foods from the freezer section. I rarely spend more than half an hour making dinner. (We don’t eat all that fancy, but we eat healthy.)
    Oh, and a shopping list was kind of a radical notion for me until recently. I would be overly influenced by what was on sale, but I’d always forget a key ingredient and all the sale stuff would go to waste. A list makes a huge difference.
    Costco for some things and Trader Joe’s and the local discount grocery store for food. (Trader Joe’s is a godsend if you want cheap pre-made sauces and stuff. They are the exception to my rule about buying stuff prepared.)
    The library, of course, and *used* books on Amazon when the library doesn’t have something I need. Storing new books in the cart for weeks until I have $25 worth, to save on shipping.
    Eleven-year-old cars. They get you there, just not in style.
    eBay. This is sort of a mixed blessing. Bargains are a weakness of mine… and there are SO MANY of them there.
    Giving the kids a clothing allowance so I don’t get whined into buying more than they need.
    Netflix.
    Realizing that impressing the Joneses is not worth the money it costs.
    Thanks to everybody for their excellent ideas! This is a great list!

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