Friday, March 7, 2008

Frugal Friday--Frugal Shockers

We all have different areas we are frugal in. And I don't think we can judge other's choices either. Having said this, I've compiled a list of things that shock ME regarding frugality. You are free to disagree on these things, but these are just some things that I find to be wasteful. In the comments section I'd love for you to share some of your own "Frugal Shockers."

Things That Shock Me:

1. When people mail a letter to someone in town that they see several times a week (someone in my family, who shall be nameless, does this!)

2. Not washing out ziploc bags and re-using them.

3. When people pay $20 to have their hair trimmed straight across, or bangs cut. A layered or styled cut is worth every penny (take it from someone who tried to do their own and regretted it for over a year!) However, any husband or friend or mom can do a simple trim on long hair!

4. Buying a brand new car off the lot. Unless you have loads of money and feel God leading you to do this, I just don't understand this. The only way it makes sense is when business men (like my Dad) buy new trucks for their work because they can't be sure how used trucks have been treated and they can write a new truck off as a business expense.

5. People who don't look at sale ads at all and just buy everything top dollar. There are lots of people like this. I used to be a cashier at a grocery store!

6. Throwing leftovers away at a restuarant when they will keep perfectly well for lunch the following day if you took them home in a doggy bag.

7. Trying to motivate yourself and in the process wasting money. Some people are motivated by the expense of a gym membership, but all too often people join clubs and gyms and other things and never go, never follow through, and just waste money.

8. People who actually buy cereal at the price our local grocery stores charge. A lot of the name brand boxes are about $5 a box!

9. Buying the highest priced toliet paper, diapers, or garbage bags. Why pay top dollar for things you throw away? An exception would be if your child was allergic to the cheaper diapers or you had to have the cushy t.p. for some medical problem.

10. When people don't tighten their belts and they NEED to. I have known folks who have been in financial hardship and yet they continue to eat out, pay for luxuries, and buy fancy Christmas presents even though they barely have the money for groceries and have to live off of the credit card. This absolutely shocks me more than anything on this list! If times are bad, I believe you should live like it; rice and beans, no extras, etc.

My hubby adds:

11. When men buy big toys.

12. Eating out every day.

13. Paying money to service your car if you have the ability to do simple maintenance yourself.

For more frugal tips than you can handle, check out Frugal Friday at today!


Karen said...

Good list! However, I am guilty of not washing Ziplocs. I guess you could call that my indulgence because I've tried it, I don't like it, and I won't do it any more. Instead we just try to cut down on our plastic bag use.

Mrs. Taft said...

I am trying to cut back on ziplocs altogether, partly because of the bisephenol-a concerns, but I find that having a dishwasher makes this far less unpleasant. Easy peasy!

As for the sending a letter to someone you see several times a week, some people have a genuine ministry of encouragement. Who doesn't like to get personal mail? I love it when I get mail, even if it's from my mom who I just saw. It's special to know someone took the time and expense to let you know you are loved and prayed for. So yes, it might be more frugal to just tell someone in person or hand them the note personally, but it's more special to get that little surprise in your mail box. :) If one needs to tighten the belt, and still feels called to this ministry, perhaps they could limit it or find creative ways to do it (postcard postage costs less, for instance).

Mom2fur said...

After 27 years of marriage, last year was the first time we bought a used car. You have to understand, though, that we had our two previous cars for more than 10 years each, and we did a lot of finagling and trading to buy new. But at this point in my life (I'm 52, and my husband is retiring in about 3 years), used is just fine. I have a used Ford Escape and I love it!
I try to reuse zipper bags, but I'm not always great about it. My best trick is to use the same bag for the same type of things--for instance, I'll reuse the bags in which I measure flour for bread baking, but only for flour!
Anyone who pays full price for cereal, toothpaste or shampoo is a fool and needs to be visited by the CVS fairy, LOL!

Sonshine said...

Good list! I am also guilty of not washing out ziplocs, however, I don't think it is wise to wash them out when they have had raw meat in them.

the momma said...

sorry to shock ya, but I don't wash zip bags either - I buy my bags from Aldi's for 2 - 7 cents each, depending on the size/type.
I used to feel bad about it - like I wasn't truly frugal, 'til I realized it would take far more than 2, 5 or 7 cents worth of my time (not to mention the soap and water) to wash, dry & store bags. It would also be sacrificing my sanity to have a bunch of bags drying all over my kitchen ~ my sanity is in question as it is :-)

Mrs. Jo said...

I realize not everyone can do the Ziploc baggie thing, but I was raised to do this, don't find it to be an inconvenience (I don't have a dishwasher and have always made a little mini Ziploc drying area in my apartments) and because I was raised this way it shocks ME to throw one away unless it has held raw meat or is getting holes. I don't hold it against anyone who throws their bags away, but it makes me cringe to do it because I was raised by a very environmentally-conscious mom. Some of my best friends have admitted the don't do this and they tease me about washing my ziplocs!

I'm sorry if this post sounded judgemental, but if it did, then perhaps you didn't read the beginning where I said that this is a list of things that shocks ME, based on how I was raised and the way that I have found to save money. People who were raised differently will obviously not be shocked by these things, but perhaps by reading the list of things that shock ME, you will find ideas for cutting down your budget in ways you hadn't thought of before.
As to the thought that who cares what one does with their money if they have it, I have to say that I think if one is a Christian, they will still attempt to be a wise steward of their money so they can bless others and give to the needy even more. We all splurge in various areas and there is a time and place to enjoy wealth if you have it, but I personally wouldn't feel comfortable buying everything top dollar while kids in the world are starving, even if my husband was a millionare.

Mrs. Taft,
I haven't heard of the stuff you mentioned regarding the safety of Ziplocs, but my goal is to pare them down and use other re-usable containers even more than I do as much as possible.
When I referred to people sending mail it wasn't an encouragement card. I was referring to bulk mailings, Christmas newsletters, or thank-you cards that say a basic, "Thanks for the birthday gift." I guess as someone who sends out around 80 letters a month due to my newsletter I have always tried to cut corners in this area because buying that many stamps each month is very expensive, so I've always tried to hand-deliver mail to people in town unless I rarely see them.

Josh & Laura Helweg said...

Yeah, my mom always washed our Ziploc bags and then went to use them again for freezing something (usually meat) and it always leaked!!! Talk about yuck!!! I've never saved mine, unless they are the larger ones, I reuse for holding pancakes, bread, etc... with as much as I freeze, I NEED to know that the bags are still in pristine, perfect condition. To me, that is worth the extra money.
Ha! I used to buy everything top dollar too.. never thought couponing was worth all the extra time.. boy was I wrong!
Thanks for these fun tips! I laughed reading some of them...

Mrs. Taft said...

Your post didn't sound judgmental to me! :) I reuse ziplocs when I can, and I'm slowly building up a store of 'healthy' reusable containers that I hope will someday replace my need for ziplocs altogether, that's what I meant. :D

Oh I see what you're saying. I think Christmas cards are nice to get in the mail, but I HAVE also handed them out to people at church. :)

And I think you made it clear that this list was what shocked YOU, and not a list of terrible offenses. :) I'm sorry if I gave that impression!

S.B. said...

I'm guilty of mailing things to my mom who lives ten minutes away - I sent her an invitation for my daughter's party. Haha, I never realized how silly that was. I could have walked over and dropped it off.

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