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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm just wondering in what ways are you frugal?

(This is mostly for ideas which may help both myself and others who post. As well as maybe make for some discussion about ways to be more frugal.)

For starters, my wife works at a local health food store, which we get an 18% discount (because she works there). She also works in the produce section (best place for a vegan, ehh?), so she gets alot of culled fruits and veggies for free. Stuff which can't be sold because some of it is bad or has spots, etc. We've been getting quite a bit of food this way. During the last summer she volunteered at a local organic farm, which again, she got alot of free food from.

Even though I don't pay for electricity here, at home I have almost every electrical device on powerstrips or I just unplug when not in use, save the fridge. (We do have a computer, but no TV, vcr)

I buy compact fluorescent bulbs when I have the money.

I hand wash and hang dry laundry.

I try to avoid paper waste products like paper towels (I opt for cloth napkins), and tissue for the nose (again I opt for cloth). I'm not yet up to trying the "family cloth" as already mentioned on this site.

I cook most food at home and try to use as much as I can from scratch. We have a large shelf with all of our bulk food items, like dried beans, lentils, rice, grains, dried fruits, nuts, herbs, etc. Buy bulk food as much as possible

I live in a small 1 bedroom place with my wife. Most things we want/need go on a list. If we still need/want it after some finite amount of time (on the order of months) then we will try to get one, free of course, then second hand, and finally new).

Not much for furniture. We have a low table and sit on cushions on the floor.

I build all my own shelving and storage in the place.

We walk or ride the bikes as much as possible. We use the vehicle to visit family (they live far away (2.5 or 3.5 hours away) and there is no public transportation to take us).

We take out money for food every month, and try to make that amount last (any left over money goes into a container for backup emergency money).

We try to make gifts out of what we have around. For example my wife has alot of cloth/clothing/scraps around so we've made a number of quilts as gifts. For the holidays I made a tea shelf for a family member out of left over flooring wood (maybe sounds odd, but it turned out great) we did buy some tea, but used some nice jam jars we bought some time ago (they had jam in them originally, but rather than recycle them we reused them).

We used to use the back of old food reciepts for shopping lists.

I'm sure I'll be able to add more, but I can't think of any more right now.
 

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People who make photocopier mistakes throw the paper in the recycle bin. At the end of the school day, I just take all the paper home and use it for grocery lists and letters. Everyone thinks I am mad, but if the paper is blank on the other side I just write on it. My mum does the same so I send her British worksheets on the back of my letters and she sends me american worksheets on the back of hers. Every letter I ever got from my dad was on the back of a testpaper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, that's a great idea.

I used to work in an office like setting at a university. There was so much paper in the recycle bins. There I tried to re-use what I could.

At home, we also save any paper we can and try to reuse it whether for scratch or notes, etc.
 

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-i always buy discounted food..especially fruits/veggies that are marked down because of spots, etc

-i reuse aluminum foil, plastic sandwich baggies, water bottles, plastic silverware, straws,even disposable coffee cups

-i buy alot of used/secondhand items (love going to thriftstores)

-i shop at the dollarstore

-whenever there is free samples of anything i grab as much as i can

-instead of buying all my food at one store i will go to four different ones until i find what i need on sale

-i always head for the clearance isles in stores

-always buy off brands

-rarely eat out (unless someone else is treating me)

i'm sure there are more that i cant think of at the moment. i always get teased about being so 'cheap" when it comes to buying things but when money is tight every penny counts!
 

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I Love Coupons...Always use them..I am the Coupon Princess..Too Young to be Queen...Love a Bargain/Sale and add a Coupon and its awesome!!...Yes I am the one always holding up the line with a fistful of Coupons..hehe..love it!!

Love the Dollar Tree and shopping Dollar Stores.

Shop sales and Clearence Racks..Only buy when on Sale..unless I really need

it.

Shop in bulk...Costco is a fave...and they have alot of veggie items.
 

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To make your lettuce stay crisp longer, turn the bag you bought it in inside out and wrap napkins around head of lettuce. To make celery stay crisp longer wrap in aluminum foil. It really works! I also do little things like cut my SOS pads in halfs or quarters, plus I don't have a car so use public trans. or walk whenever possible. so much less of a financial hassle! By the way Nogardsram, love that Avatar!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great ideas.

I too try to reuse plastic sandwich bags and the plastic produce bags as much as possible (usually until they're full of holes).

I try to cut my sponges and scour pads in smaller pieces too.

I wish I could say I didn't have a car. I feel pretty guilty about it. I'm not sure where everyone here lives, but I live in a rural area with just about no public transportation (there is a bus around town, but I walk or ride a bike here). But for any other city, there's one bus line and it is super limited.


I've gone to the local dollar stores and other stores, but I don't tend to find what I'm looking for. I'm not saying they're bad places. I'm interested in organic food and clothing and interested in sustainability. I find that in the local dollar store the items are cheap cost wise and built wise... But that is here where I live.

Which brings me to another question on the topic of frugality. I know being frugal usually entails monetary value, but what about resource and environmental value. My question is does the environmental value or animal suffering value come into play with your frugal purchases? For example do you spend a little more for an organic local product than a cheaper non-ogranic item made in some far away place?

Or like in my case, I don't pay for electricity, but when I can I buy CFLs rather than incandescent bulbs (I know in the long run they should save money too, but it costs more upfront to buy them and some people focus on the cost at the store). I also put all my stuff on power strips and generally try to conserve the amount of power I consume.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonnbeth7 View Post

To make your lettuce stay crisp longer, turn the bag you bought it in inside out and wrap napkins around head of lettuce.
I don't think I would do that with the bag. Once it goes in your cart, there is a chance that there are germs on the outside of the bag. I just wrap it in paper towels and put it back in the bag the way I bought it. Or, you could always bring an extra bag home from the store.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hnybny91 View Post

I don't think I would do that with the bag. Once it goes in your cart, there is a chance that there are germs on the outside of the bag. I just wrap it in paper towels and put it back in the bag the way I bought it. Or, you could always bring an extra bag home from the store.
Thanks hnybny91. I never thought of that! The reason I turn the bag inside out is because the inside of the bag is wet and the lettuce stays crisp longer because of the lack of moisture, but using a different bag is definitely a good idea! Who knows what kind of germs are in those carts!
 

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bonbeth - do you have a salad spinner? My grandmother got one recently and she loves it. After the scare with the bagged spinach she stopped using bagged salads altogether and started buying lettuce heads. She said that the lettuce stays fresh much longer since she started storing it in the salad spinner after washing it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lillym View Post

bonbeth - do you have a salad spinner? My grandmother got one recently and she loves it. After the scare with the bagged spinach she stopped using bagged salads altogether and started buying lettuce heads. She said that the lettuce stays fresh much longer since she started storing it in the salad spinner after washing it.
Lillym! Yes, I got one about a year ago and love it!!!! :
Same with the food processor!
 
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