Friday, January 30, 2009

FRUGAL FRIDAY #4

I wanted to mention that very soon I will be moving to my dot com website. I have had this site for 6 months but have not been able to do what I wanted with it. I ran into Lex at Indelible Creations and she is fixing me up. Once I launch my new site I will have giveaways to celebrate. So check back and watch for it.

Here is her link. Go check her out.




When I was a single parent of two that did not receive any child support times were very hard for us. It wasn't a matter of being frugal because there wasn't much to go around. Every dime I earned had to go a long long way. There were no frivolous purchases. Our "eating out" consisted of going to Taco Bell's drive thru and purchasing the least expensive items on the menu. We did not buy drinks. The three of us could get what we wanted and spend under $3.00 with taxes. Of course prices have increased now and that would not be possible.

With growing children and my need for a professional looking wardrobe buying clothes was a big challenge. I was fortunate to live in a small town on the Eastern Shore across the bay from Mobile. There were many wealthy people in my area that often donated items to Goodwill. I could get a new to me dress for $2.99. Clothes for the kids were inexpensive as well.

While working on a temporary assignment I met a wonderful woman named Kathleen who was from New York. She took me under her wing and taught me all about shopping at yard sales. Most Saturdays we went "shopping". It was a lot of fun and I was able to purchase items I needed for my home, for the children and my self.

One of my most favorite purchases was a long sleeved, cowl neck sweater made from chenille. I paid 25 cents for that sweater and wore it for years until it started getting threadbare. I also purchased a blender for $1.00 and I used it for probably 8 years.

I also learned to shop clearance racks. It may take longer to find the right items you need but if you shop well you can end up with clothing of good quality. I found that if I shopped stores such as Dillards, Macys and other higher end department stores I could get quality clothing for less than I could buy them at low end stores such as WalMart and KMart. During this time there weren't any Ross or TJ Max around.

I don't know if it is the Scottish in me or my wanting to get the most for my money, I suspect it is both, but I can't stand the thought of paying full price for anything. If you are patient and watch for sales you can generally purchase your needed items for much less than full price.

Recently I needed a cord to upload my video from the camcorder to my computer. I told my daughter what I needed and she went to Radio Shack and purchased it. When she told me how much it was I almost fainted. I had her take it back. It cost $40.00. I went online and purchased the same item for $3.99 with shipping. It still blows my mind at the difference.

I purchase my husband's cologne online as well. It cost me less, including shipping, than going to Dillards to purchase it. I don't purchase mine online. I wait until the holidays and get the bonuses which stretch my purchase even more. Yes they are still expensive but with my sensitive nose I cannot tolerate cheap perfumes. They send my sinuses into orbit. And I do love to smell good.

When grocery shopping I like to get to the store early. This allows me to take advantage of marked down meats that are reaching their "use by" date in the next couple of days. You get a substantial savings when purchasing this way. You need to cook the meat right away or freeze them for later use. When I get home with the meat I immediately break it into the portions I want to cook and freeze them.

During different holidays and special events the stores usually will feature specific items at a discounted price. This is when you can really save. Sometimes if you wait until just after, such as Thanksgiving, you can get an even better value. Turkey doesn't have to be just for thanksgiving. Seasonal specific items really get marked low, usually 50-75 %, after the holidays. After Halloween, Valentines, Easter and Christmas you will find great deals on candies. Some people purchase the candy and freeze them and use them later for cookies and other deserts.

There are many ways to shop and save. I tend to purchase items that I know I will need later and buy in multiples if they are a good purchase. My hubby says that I am not saving money by doing this. What I can't make him understand is that when I do need these items, and I know I will, they will not be on sale. He has grumped and griped about many of my purchases but when he breaks down and uses them he is appreciative. Especially if I got a great deal on them.

I can never get out of the bargain hunter mode. Even when shopping home improvement stores I always find the marked down items aisles and look at the discounted paint that someone didn't like the color of. I purchased a gallon of tinted Venetian Plaster for $5.00. I wanted to paint a small chest of drawers I got at Goodwill and found a color I liked for 50 cents. If I hadn't purchased a reject that same can would have cost me over $8.00.

So ..... Happy Shopping... and eat more Chocolate.

3 comments:

Kathy said...

great advice! you KNOW I agree :) I love to by in bulk. It saves so much money.

Linda Crispell said...

I can't remember the last time I paid full price for something. I always imagine winning the lottery and still bargain shopping for everything. It is awe inspiring that you were able to survive with your kids on such a small amount of money. You have my full respect.
Your Pal,
Linda

kizuki said...

Being my usually stingy self, I haven't purchased anything in full price in quite a while know(expect for manga and anime merchandise XD). I salute you on being able to get by through bargain shopping.
*is now off to eat some chocolate ^_~*


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