A Miscellany of Frugal Tips, Ideas, and Links
"I need to write another post on frugality," I said to my most frugal daughter (her husband recently lost his job, so they are frugal by deep necessity, and are most grateful for Dave Ramsey's emergency fund teaching).
I whined, "I don't know what to say. I think all of us who post at Frugal Hacks have shared everything there is to say about it."
She nodded. "Really, it's mostly about principles, and there aren't a lot of them, and once you've covered them, what's left is application, and you can't do that for somebody else."
My son brought in the mail, which included a magazine to which one of my other daughters (we have six daughters) subscribes. I was excited when I read the cover, which said in bold letters, "Spend less on everything! Groceries! Toiletries! Back to School!" "Your Guide to SAVINGS This Month!!"
"How timely!" I told her. "There should be something useful here!" and I eagerly looked for the savings.
The first article was about saving money on jewelry- it included pretty pictures of costume jewelry that I did like, and information on where to get it for 20 dollars each.
For real savings (in order):
Don't wear jewelry
Admire your mother's and grandmother's best pieces and smile sweetly and say thank-you when they give it to you.
Keep an eye out for interesting pieces at thrift stores, yard sales, or even pawn shops.
Look for *components* of interesting pieces at those places above, take them home, cannibalize the jewelry for pieces and parts and make your own. If you're good, maybe you can either sell your work at local shops, to friends, or on Etsy.
Beauty Values was next- and essentially this was a seven page spread on make-up, lotions, and potions to buy, an unlabeled advertisement.
For real savings:
Don't wear make-up. I mostly don't. I realize that's not really doable for some of us who might work in environments where a lack of make-up can hinder perceptions of you among your clients, co-workers, or higher-ups. When I did or do wear make-up, I prefer lighter coverage, so I diluted my foundation with a drop or two of water when I was young, now with a drop of lotion.
I use a dab of my lip color (which is usually only Alba Botanica Terratints Mineral Tinted Lip Balm as blush.
When I was a teen, I often used a red type-writer correction pencil as lip liner and filler- I licked it first to soften it up. It lasted a lot longer than regular lip liner.
I know some girls who use a dab of vaseline on their eye lashes to make them look fuller and darker- they put a tiny dab on a pinky finger and then stroke the eyelashes from bottom to top.
I clean my face with water, most of the time. Since I don't wear make-up except on special occasions, water and a wash cloth work just fine. About once a month, or when I do wear make-up, I use castor oil.
I stretch my shampoo by adding a few grains of baking soda to it each time I wash my hair, or I just use baking soda (we do have very soft water).
There was a section on grocery savings, and that was useful, especially for beginners. I've blogged some of the same information before, here (did you know dollar stores carry food, too? I have been stunned at how many people struggling to make ends meet did not know that).
This information on shopping at Costco is absolutely must reading if you have access to a Costco. Really.
The magazine also had a list of their coupons and deals offered in this issue, telling the reader that they had a total savings of 39.00 in this issue alone. However, a break-down of the savings indicates that in order to take advantage of that 39 dollar savings, I'd be spending over a hundred dollars on products I never buy anyway. That's not 'savings,' that's 'spendings.'
Frugal shoppers know the difference.
Here's how to tell- are you paying them or are they paying you?
I know this an be a difficult concept, so let me put it a different way. If you're the one paying out the money, you're spending. You may be spending less than you would have if you hadn't found the item on sale. You may be able to afford to spend that money, in which case, there is nothing wrong with spending it. Retail organizations and purveyors of junk have to pay their employees and eat just like the rest of us. But don't confuse spending with saving.
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No, my friendly spendthrift, living within my means does not mean I can't have fun and enjoy life.
Free Kindle Books:
The vast majority of the money saving books on the market today are focus on one area: saving money at the grocery store. Although there are big savings to be found at the grocery store, through smarter shopping strategies, even more money can be trimmed off of our household budgets by taking another look at the rest of our budget.
Put Your Budget on a Diet focuses not just on saving money at the grocery store, but features money saving tips for the rest of the budget too. This latest book by Kimberly Eddy, author of Joyful Momma's Guide to Shopping and Cooking Frugally, will help you consider potential savings beyond your grocery budget.
One of the fourteen reviews:
I love books on saving money and personal finance and have an entire bookcase filled with my collection (books are my biggest spending problem!). This was a great addition to the growing collection on my Kindle. It's very well written with relatively few typos which is not always the case among the PF Kindle books. The author shares her story about how she's managed to save money in all sorts of ways - she really hits on all the opportunities to pare down, spend less, and live frugally while raising a family and not living a life of deprivation. It was a pleasure to read and filled with nuggets to put into practice and advice that inspires. Five stars for sure!
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