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Friday, April 20, 2012

Frugal Tips

As I searched around the internet this morning, with my cup of fake coffee in hand, I came across some tips on being frugal from

Use what you already have. Not buying something is always cheaper than buying something. Look around your house. Do you have another item that will accomplish the same purpose? Can you engineer a solution out of materials you already own?

Borrow items from friends and neighbors. In many situations, you do not need to own an item, you simply need to use it occasionally. If you have a reputation as a good borrower (i.e. returning items on time and in good repair), you will be able to borrow many items from your less frugal neighbors and friends. For example, unless you are an avid camper, you will only use a tent a few times a year. Don't buy one, borrow one from the boy scout leader in your Church.

Use public transportation. You will save gasoline and wear on your vehicle. If it is possible, eliminating your vehicle entirely is an excellent cost saving measure. Or, if you live in Podunk like I do, car pool.

Cook your own food. Restaurants are expensive because you pay for service, ambiance, and space to eat. Cooking your own food also allows you to customize recipes for maximum savings. If you have the space, gardening provides even greater cost savings when combined with cooking your own food.

Avoid name brands. Famous brands are usually more expensive. There are often cheaper, store-brand alternatives that may be of the same or superior quality.

Fix broken items. Often repairs are as simple as a paperclip or some glue or a coat of paint. Even if repairs require tools, it may be cheaper to invest in the tools for future repairs.

Replace only what you need to replace. You can buy a kit to refill your ink cartridge instead of buying a new ink cartridge every time yours runs out. You can buy a new wheel instead of replacing your stroller.

Buy items that are reusable. In the long run, throwing something away and repurchasing it many times will usually be more expensive than buying one durable item. A good example is disposable vs. cloth diapers.

Comparison shop. Compare different brands and packaging sizes of the same product. Sometimes a larger container will be cheaper per ounce. Compare prices between stores. Rarely will one supermarket have the best price on everything. With large purchases such as cars, savings can be even more substantial by comparison shopping.

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