Frugal failures- do you have any to share?
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  1. #1

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    Default Frugal failures- do you have any to share?

    I thought it might be not only entertaining, but also perhaps helpful to share our frugal failures with each other. We might get a chuckle and learn what NOT to do in the process.

    Here is my most recent one:

    Yesterday I had this great idea about pasta. I make couscous frequntly, and it doesn't actually need to be cooked- to take it to work, I just add water and seasonings, close the container, and pop it in my bag. By the time I eat dinner, it is ready (of course, I do still warm it.)

    So, I though, hey, let me try that with other pasta. I took some shells from the cupboard (to make stuffed shells) and put them in a big pot of water. I covered them, and put them outside (figuring the hot weather would speed the process along.

    A couple hours later, I peeked into the container, and found a big soggy mess. Not only did my plan to keep it cool indoors and save electricity not work, I ruined the shells. They were so soggy and waterlogged (and pasty) that I had to dump them in the compost.

    From now on, I will either cook them the nomal way (in boiling water,) boil them for a minutes then cover and turn off, or not boil at all and add a little extra sauce when baking the stuffed shells.


    Do you have a frugal failure to share?

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    Registered User dolphin's Avatar
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    I put a pound of hamburger in the fridge to thaw then dh and I decided we would be frugal and eat all of the leftovers in the fridge for the next two days. I forgot all about the hamburger and by the 3rd day when I found it in the fridge it was all brown. Didn't save much on trying to do the frugal thing that week.

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    Our worst frugal mistake was buying an 12 year old used car because we were almost broke but didn't want to go into debt. The thing was a money pit and we ended up putting so much money into it in the following two years tat it doubled the cost of the origional. In retrpspect it would have been more cost effect to take out a loan for a newer used car which we did and now it is paid off and we still have a great 2001 toyota echo.

    Another frugal mistake was not getting our licences early in life. I'm 27 and have a completely great driving record but I've only had my licence for 3 years which equals $1500 in insurance per year. That goes down considerably after you have your license for 6 years and over. .....URGH!!!

    Melina

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  5. #4

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    Newbie that has to chime in here!!!

    I have to say that learning how to use garage sales (which has been an ongoing, slowly-being-refined process for me) is my frugal-intentions/ frugal failure "thing".

    I love garage sales for the money they have saved me on untold quantities of items for my family and home. However, they have also been my downfall along the way as I have made the occasional errors in judgment and purchased items I didn't need and/or ended up not using.

    My most recent garage-sale mistake was the purchase of two brand-new plastic colanders. I DID need to replace our colander - the plastic was peeling and angel hair pasta always slipped through the colander openings when it was drained. The colanders I found were perfect for angel hair pasta, they were new, and they were only .25 each. However, I only needed ONE colander and I bought both. Now, they don't fit in the space alloted to colander storage! One is destined for our own garage sale...

    I have made this mistake of not being really tough on myself about whether or not I really NEED an item before making the purchase and I have made it many, many times. ( I do have to say though, that wasting .25 is much better than my 10.00- plus mistakes, LOL!)

    Other mistakes have included:

    Old windows (freebie) that I wanted to use for crafts/gifts that ended up getting toted to the dump, because we really didn't have the storage room. (This was pre-Freecycle.) Dump fee - 10.00.

    Quilting fabrics purchased long ago when my color sense *wasn't*. Approximatecost - 30.00; garage sale price - 3.00.

    Clothing items purchased one or two years ahead of time for DD(9), who decided she didn't like them, once they finally would fit. (These were nice clothes, too! Grrr.) Cost - who knows? Probably 20.00 - 50.00 over the last two to three years. They have been/ are being garage-saled again...

    I know there were other items, but can't remember them all. Most of my mistakes I have at least broken even, but a few have cost me. But I guess everything evens out when I take into account all of the garage-sale purchases that have saved us tons of money. We are still ahead over buying retail.

    Is anybody else here learning how to use really good judgment when caught in garage-sale fever?

    Blessings,

    Michelle

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    Registered User pita1213's Avatar
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    melinda, have to compared insurance preimiums of other companies? i've had my license less than 2 years and ti doesn't cost that much to insure my dh and myself. i know being in different states does make a difference in the cost, but check around with other companies if you haven't already.

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    Registered User favesis37's Avatar
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    my worse frugal mistake is totally falling off the frugal wagon. for a couple of years, we got credit cards and maxed them out, i wasn't paying the bills on time which means late charges, living way out of our means. now hopefully i am back on track.

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    Registered User Mamaw's Avatar
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    I too am a garage sale junkie! I find myself spending way too much on items I dont really need but that just catch my eye! And the books are a killer too. I have at least 100 sitting here to read so I sure dont need anymore but I buy them anyway. Another issue is buying my DGD clothes and they dont fit her. Still better than retail but still a waste....

    Another failure is just my lack of motivation to cook from scratch and to plan meals better. Food bought on sale and stockpiled does no good if I dont use it! LOL

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    Okay, here is my frugal failure number two, and this is probably the worst offender in ou house:

    way, way, WAY too much produce gets tossed into the compost pile. I buy DD lots of strawberries, bananas, etc, and too much of it is wasted. I buy it on sale, so I buy extra. DH doesn't eat a lot of fruit, and I am allergic to a lot of it. I know I should take half of whatever I buy and prep and freeze it to make DD frozen fruit bars or some cooked thing (and she eats some fruits frozen, anyway) but I hardly ever get around to doing it before the sutff needs to be composted.

    I really need to challenge myself not to do this anymore. I bought some strawberries last night that ae on the verge of going bad. I bought them because they were cheap and I knew I was going to freeze them into fruit bars for DD today before they turn. So I am going to do it RIGHT NOW!!

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    A frugal mistake that I have made many times...including yesterday...I keep forgetting to take my bottled water from home on long trips! Yesterday we ended up buy three bottled waters when ours was sitting home, ice cold in the fridge! I usually remember to bring it, but when we forget it's a costly mistake!

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    DH trying to fix our leaking shower! It leaks somewhere below and drips onto the dining room ceiling. He has cut a hole in the ceiling twice now and tried to fis it 3 times! We are all taking showers in the spare bathroom, which is a pain. We could have had a pumber in by now for all he has spent and I wouldn't be looking at the hideous hole in my dining room ceiling! I need to take pictures and call In a Fix!

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    I'm with Melinda - and yes, living in MA the insurance rates are pretty much set by the state, so you will pay almost the same with any insurer. And many insurance companies DON'T offer coverage in MA for that reason (no Geico, no All-State, no Progressive...the list goes on). I am 27 and didn't get my license until I was 21. Next year I will finally be a step 9 (the lowest in the MA system), but when I got my first car I paid $2700 for the first year (clean record, it was a 3 year old sedan, in a rural neighborhood). So when we have kids, they are getting their license at 16 or 17, whether they want to or not!

    Other big frugal mistakes:

    1. Buying clothing online that I can't try on. A lot of stuff doesn't fit me, and while I do return it I have gotten hit with shipping and restocking fees.

    2. Being disorganized with my rebates. I have many good intentions and I can't tell you how many times I miss things because they expire. This is also true of coupons.

    3. Not planning meals at least a day ahead. We come home and there is nothing ready to cook, so we go out to eat. We've eaten out at least 5 times this month already.

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    Well, not my worst frugal mistake, but definitely the most recently irksome one... I wanted to make pajama bottoms for ds so I bought the pattern and the cute little bug material. Then I cut out the pants the wrong side out. Completely ruined and now have to make something else out of them. I find that I buy far, far too many crafting items because "it might be cool to make silver seashell Christmas ornaments". Stupid idea and still half completed. Must learn to finish projects all the way through. I bought a glue gun 4 years ago for crafts and have still NEVER OPENED IT. Errr.

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    Registered User YankeeMom's Avatar
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    Yesterday my fruit leather didn't turn out
    Three cups of strawberries & 8 hrs of the stove on (in 90*+ heat) gone to waste.

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    Oh, YankeeMom and dndylfe, what a disappoinment. Can you do anything else with your items?

    I make fruit leathers in my dehydrator, but I usually mix whatever fruit I use with applesauce. I've not had any problems doing them this way.

    As for the material, I would probably use it to make bean bags or a little doll quilt or something of that sort. How frustrating!

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    Trying to make my own liquid soap with soap scraps. I soaked them in hot water for several hours then put them into my old spare blender to make into liquid soap. Only problem is it turned into a real mess, the soap was too thick, I tried to add more hot water getting myself and everything else covered in soap sludge and into the bargain broke my blender!
    Not one of my better ideas!
    Julia

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