What frugal idea is your favorite?
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    Default What frugal idea is your favorite?

    Cooking from scratch has been the best frugal idea I've used. It does take a little more time but saves a ton of money. The food not only taste better but are healthier because they don't have all those chemicals like the pre-boxed items.

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    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    I have to say that cooking from scratch is the top of my list too. I eat cheaper and better than most people I know. I am also less tempted to eat out since my family's home cooking is as good or better than most places I would go out to eat.

    Putting extra money toward paying off credit card debt is pretty high on the list too. Every bit extra I put down saves me money in high interest rates. Of course the more frugal thing to do would be not to acquire the credit card debt in the first place. My husband and I were not always as good at money management as we are now.
    KathyB

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Online shopping. I can do price comparisons, look up reviews of the product, choose colors that may not be in stores, and often get it delivered free to my door. This is especially good for stuff you buy all the time, like pet food and prescription meds. For me being frugal isn't only about money, it's also about using your time and energy wisely
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Welcome, Rhonda!

    Anything DIY is my #1 favorite frugal idea. That covers a very broad spectrum. I think it's important to know when to hire someone to do something, but a lot of stuff is not very difficult to do myself. I've saved tens of thousands of dollars over the years by being willing to learn to do things for myself and willing to try new things and sometimes fail, but mostly succeed.

    I'm with you on scratch cooking. It does make a big difference.

    One favorite frugal idea is repurposing. I'm always using something for a purpose for which it was never intended. Along with repurposing comes salvaging. We're allowed to salvage from our local solid waste transfer station, and we've picked up an amazing amount of truly great stuff. Last year we really hit the mother lode, starting with enough composite decking to cover 2/3 of the floor in our greenhouse. Last summer we worked diligently to reorganize our garage and we salvaged a lot of lumber to build shelving, make table bases for assorted purposes, build workbenches, and other garage- and greenhouse-related projects. I also salvaged several cabinets to use in the garage for storage and other uses. I can't even remember what all we were able to salvage. I salvaged several dryer drums and washer tubs to use for large planters in the garden area we're developing. I salvaged wire baskets and plastic and metal drawers from fridges and freezers to use for sorting and storage. We salvaged a beautiful knotty pine bed frame, an antique treadle sewing machine base which I married to an antique oak tabletop I already had, an antique double washtub to use for mixing soil in the greenhouse, and many, many other useful and needed items.

    Thrift stores and garage sales are also favorite ways to be frugal, although we try to avoid those these days for the most part, because they can so easily lead to clutter and wasting money on unneeded items. Mostly we've learned to be more selective at thrift stores and to avoid garage sales most of the time.

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    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    I should add that crafting with recycled materials and scraps is my most enjoyable frugal activity. Wait, maybe not, I really enjoy good home cooking.

    However, I feel like that probably only saves me $20-50 a year.
    KathyB

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    Paying cash for both big (houses, cars) and small (clothes,shoes) items. Paying cash makes me :
    1.) Wait to save for items which curbs impulse spending
    2.) Stay out of debt
    3.) Make comparisons as I have to do something with the time between when I want something and when I actually purchase it.
    Blessed and Highly Favored!!!!
    From $78K in debt to debt free and purchased a house and used car with 100% cash...God is sooo Good!!!

    Goals:
    New to me vehicle

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    Moderator aka AmyBob AmyBoz's Avatar
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    Using the library is my favorite frugal thing to do.
    With four kids, and two movie loving adults, in this house, we could spend a lot of money renting movies or watching on demand.
    Instead, we hit the library once a week and the kids take out movies, as do the adults, and we get books for the kids, and save ourselves a bunch of money.
    If our library doesn't have it, we can drive to the next town over's library, or if it's only available further away, we can have it sent to our library.
    My Grandmother was a librarian, so i like to think she'd approve.

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    Registered User FrugalWAHM's Avatar
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    Cooking from scratch and utilizing our local library are both at the top of my list. Others for me would be line drying (or using a drying rack) my clothes and meal planning. Both of these can save money. The first can also help clothing last a little longer (at least in my experience) and the second can help reduce the amount of wasted food.

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    Registered User FrugalWAHM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmyBoz View Post
    Using the library is my favorite frugal thing to do.
    With four kids, and two movie loving adults, in this house, we could spend a lot of money renting movies or watching on demand.
    Instead, we hit the library once a week and the kids take out movies, as do the adults, and we get books for the kids, and save ourselves a bunch of money.
    If our library doesn't have it, we can drive to the next town over's library, or if it's only available further away, we can have it sent to our library.
    My Grandmother was a librarian, so i like to think she'd approve.
    I use the Interlibrary Loan services fairly frequently as well! It is worth the wait and helps reduce the temptation of going out to buy the book!

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    I like to round robin.
    Spend for groc,drugs at the groc and earn both gas points and CC points, Buy gas w/ the CC and save up to $1. a gallon w/ points,earning more CC points. Take the points and collect them back and use as a credit to buy more gas,groc. and drugs. YOU must pay off the CC each time because paying interest defeats the game. Plus use your store card,hit the sales,use coupons and keep going. Use online to upload coupons for up to 5x, Combine all as much as possible. Then there are the buy gift cards and earn 4x the amt weekends!

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    Registered User MaggieTrudeau's Avatar
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    I love what you've all listed and do most of them. I also try to "go shopping" in my pantry and closet or storage bins before I buy something new. I do "pantry challenges" pretty frequently to try to eat up the stock before it goes bad rather than always grocery shopping.
    I've been keeping a daily budget log by hand off and on for a while and that helps me as well. I can SEE where the money goes vs where I thought/planned it would go. Keeps me on track for the long term goals...most of the time.

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