1 min read

Frugal Here? Umm No

I love when my friends pass along blogs to me about saving money.  I'm all over saving money — to a degree.  One blog was about how a family lives on $1000 a month.  That alone makes me laugh.  Why?  I live in Chicago.  You can't get a house here with a mortgage that low.  I couldn't live in a shack in Chicago in a drug infested neighborhood and get a mortgage that low.  Heck, our car payments are almost that!  I refuse to wash my clothes in a bucket in the shower to save a couple of bucks.  I don't have grocery stores here that double or triple coupons.  Heck, I don't even have too much of choice where to shop.  The stores I do have — they pretty much have the same prices. I have to buy namebrand diapers, because the others leak.  They do.  We've tried.

I'd love to be more frugal.  I'd love to save money.  However, I need realistic ways to do this.  I cut out coupons from the Sunday paper and I try to buy things on sale.  However, I will not give up my Kraft Mac & Cheese.  Generic just doesn't cut it for that.

I'm interested in how you all are frugal.  How do you save your money?

6 thoughts on “Frugal Here? Umm No

  1. I'm a weird mix. We save where it makes sense, but we also splurge when we can.

    I rarely use coupons, because they don't triple or double here either. Life's too short to spend my Sundays clipping, though I'll grab a coupon if it's starting in my face at the commissary. On the other hand, mostly because of food allergies, I rarely buy manufactured foods. I'm not convinced that on balance, though, that's a money-saver by the time I account for my labor in making everything from scratch.

    I also buy the biggest quantity of staples that I can find – flour in 10-pound bags, huge bricks of cheese, for example. I'd buy bigger except the closets warehouse store is about 70 miles away. We're great at optimizing leftovers. A roasted chicken one night turns into chicken soup the next. I just throw it in the slow cooker all day and I'm good to go. Seal-A-Meal was a great investment for me, too, because it lets me accumulate small amounts of leftovers that ultimately can become a casserole. I don't buy individual servings, and I'm slowly weaning the guys from string cheese now that I've convinced them that it's the same as mozzarella.

    Mainly where we save is on entertainment. We seldom go to movies and we eat out only once a week. HOWEVER, we do go on the big-bucks trips several times a year – NASCAR and baseball games – so I'm sure that's a wash in the end, too.

    I also give my kids allowance, and any "extras" they want – candy, the cheap check-out counter toys that are going to break 3.6 seconds after they get home, video games – has to come out of their wallets. It's amazing to see how quickly they change their minds about things they "have" to have when it comes down to spending their money.

    1. We are a lot alike. We have cable TV because we can afford it. We eat leftovers. And we also splurge on stuff too.

      You do allowances already? Wow. Then again, my kids don't really ask for anything. Yet. Key word there. LOL

      1. I've done allowance since my oldest – now 6 – turned 4, because these two ask for EVERYTHING. Which reminds me of my biggest frugality tip – never, ever, ever go grocery shopping with the husband or kids. 😛 Even my mom, who's the queen of cheap, found that her grocery bill climbed after my step-dad retired.

        My 6yo actually does pretty well at saving toward a goal, especially if we make a fever chart and he can "see" his money climb toward the top. He swore this week that he's not spending any money until he has $100 saved. He gets $4 a week, so it's going to be interesting to see how far he makes it. Probably as far as the next time a video game catches his eye. At least he's discovered that the used ones usually cost about half as much.

  2. Here in Portugal usually there are no coupons in newspapers or magazines. If there are it's for Spa's treatments, hotels, etc. things I don't use with my budget.

    Usually I use the hypermarket client card that gives me discount in several products.

    If there is a promotion I get for instance 4 items instead of just one.

    Bills: Electricity, gas, water those are difficult to manage but we try to keep our showers short and use the "zero" hour to use the washer machine, dryer and dish washer (some hours of the day are cheaper than others when it comes to electricity).

    Well, I do my best but sometimes the kids want to play in the bath tub and…the heck with water and gas bill. 😳

  3. I've found a pretty good way not to spend so much money. Cook at home, don't waste anything, and go shopping rarely as you had said. Thanks for the blog. It's really good.

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