The Frugal Shopper's Favorite Frugal Tips
by Sandy Shields
The following are my favorite frugal tips that I use on a
regular basis. I hope that they will help you as much as
they have helped me and my family.
• Keep a positive attitude.
When you succeed at saving money you are helping yourself.
Pat yourself on the back for meeting your goals. Remember
that just because you have determined to live by a budget,
does not mean that you are "cheap".
• Be content with what you have.
Remember that you have so much more than most people in this
world. Do not view budgeting as doing without; but as being
an intelligent consumer, and consistent manager of your
• "Stretch" everything as much as you possibly can.
For example, you can dilute these products with water, or
cut them in half and they will work just as well:
toothpaste, shampoo, hair conditioner, dish detergent,
dishwasher soap, and laundry soap.
• Drink lots of water.
It is better for you, and much easier on your pocketbook. At
home, the cheapest of course, is your tap water. However, if
you do not like tap water or desire filtered water, you can
still save money on bottled water by using these tips: Buy
the store brand - do not pay extra for name brands. When
your bottles are empty, look for the bottled water machines
at your grocery store. In my area, I can fill a gallon for
only .25 cents. Compare that to .75 cents (or more) per
gallon that you are paying in the store. Stock up on small
bottles when they are on sale, and reuse them for lunches.
At work and when dining out, always order water. It is
usually free. If you take a bag lunch, take along a bottle
of water or a thermos.
• Always stockpile sale items whenever your budget allows
This is a huge money saver, and my all-time favorite tip.
Stockpiling means buying enough of the item while it is on
sale to last you until the next sale. Spend as much of your
budgeted money as you possibly can on sale items. "Loss
Leaders" are the low-priced sale items that the grocery
stores advertise to get you into their stores. They are
hoping that as you stop by for the sale items, that you will
do all of your shopping in their store. Don't. Get the sale
items and leave. Shop around. Compare prices. No one store
ever has the lowest prices on everything.
• Never pay retail prices unless absolutely necessary.
Use coupons, send for rebates, and shop the sales. If you
use the previous tip, you will always have on hand the
things you need. You will not have to make special trips to
purchase items at full price. Don't be caught by surprise -
plan ahead. You will feel more secure knowing that you have
a full pantry as well.
• Make it yourself.
Make what you need instead of buying it.
My favorite thing
to make is Laundry Soap. Click
here for my recipes.
There are many things that I make instead of buying. One is
Pickle Relish. Instead of paying $1.29 for a 10 oz.
jar of pickle relish at the store, I buy the 46 oz. jar of
whole pickles on sale for $1.50-$2.00. Then I chop the
pickles in my blender or food processor. I save $3.00-$4.00
by doing this.
I refuse to buy processed cheese slices. I buy store brand
bricks of cheese on sale. The typical price is $1.20 for an
8 ounce brick. Then I process the cheese in the blender/food
processor and add a little mayonnaise. This makes a great
cheese spread that you can put on sandwiches, and it is much
• Shop the discounted bread stores.
Did you know that most of the time the bread stores carry
fresh breads? You can get baked goods for a much lower
price. Most bread stores also offer promotions such as
"frequent buyer cards" Our local bread store
gives discount cards. For each $5.00 purchase, they will
stamp the card one time. When your card has 7 stamps, you
turn in the card and receive a free $5.00 credit. These
bread stores also carry snacks, spices, and mixes.
• Pay your debts.
Pay them off as soon as you possibly can, and do not charge
anything else until they are paid for. You may want to cut
up your credit cards, but be sure to leave yourself a low
interest card so that you can take advantage of great deals
online. You also may want to keep it for emergencies.
However, when you buy online, make sure that you pay for
your purchase as soon as the bill comes. If you let interest
add up on your great deal, it is no longer a great deal.
• Don't buy it unless you need it.
Notice I said, NEED it - not WANT it. There is
a big difference. Curb your desires, and learn to discipline
your spending habits. Trust me, it can be done.
• Before you buy something, ask yourself the following
Is this something I can live without?
Do I already have something that I can use instead?
Can I borrow it from a friend or family member?
How long will I have to work to pay for this?
Do I really need this, or do I only want it?
• Always use the Five R's:
Repair, Restore, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - these alone will
save you a bundle.
If you will incorporate these tips into your daily life,
you will save money - guaranteed.
Sandy is a freelance writer and webmaster of
She enjoys living the frugal life, saving money, and helping
others to do the same. Subscribe to her newsletter to
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