Author Topic: What's your most proud frugal behavior?  (Read 8957 times)

KittyWrestler

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What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« on: May 23, 2012, 03:21:23 PM »
Just curious to see what is your frugal behavior that you are most proud of.. We might be able to learn a few tricks from each other..

I don't have a really good one... Maybe this one will count.. I spent  $150 on clothing last year. .. My husband told me, "if this piece of clothe is older than our history, it has to go.. " I am having hard time to throw out perfectly fine clothe even though it was from 1998.

MrSaturday

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2012, 03:34:31 PM »
I like to see jaws drop when I tell people I'm paying under $10 per month for my cell phone service.

KittyWrestler

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2012, 03:51:05 PM »
I like to see jaws drop when I tell people I'm paying under $10 per month for my cell phone service.
My jaw is dropping right now!!

catalana

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2012, 03:54:22 PM »
Walking to work.

Okay, it's not every day, but I always feel energised and a bit proud of myself when I've done it.

skyrefuge

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 04:00:00 PM »
I've never paid for a single haircut in my entire 35-year life.

I don't know if that's exactly my "proudest", but a lot of other things I'm proud of aren't particularly unique, while I think this one puts me in some pretty rarefied (and utterly inconsequential) air.  It's not all due to intentional frugality on my part, though indirectly, maybe it is.  My dad cut my hair from birth through high school, and then when I was home one weekend during my first year of college, for some reason I decided to use a Universal Men's Grooming Device to shave all my hair off myself, discovered thankfully that I don't have too freakishly-shaped of a head, and so have continued to do it every few weeks ever since.

Oh, and to put a cherry of frugality on top of that, the UMGD that I use was handed down from my grandfather to my dad and now to me, so it's at least 50 years old.  Louder than a frickin' airplane taking off when it's next to my ear, but it still does the job just fine! 

velocistar237

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2012, 06:11:34 PM »
Not owning a car for seven years, including three years with children. (We just bought one because our third is on the way.)

smedleyb

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2012, 06:39:23 PM »
We rarely eat out unless we are travelling.

strider3700

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2012, 07:26:21 PM »
No cell phone,  no cable tv, no debt except the mortgage...

dorothyc

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2012, 07:45:45 PM »
Most weekdays I accomplish an 18 mile, one way commute by riding my bike to the bus stop, then riding two busses with my company subsidized bus pass. I rent a bike locker at the bus stop for 24 dollars for six months, and I pay 18 dollars a month for the bus pass. The commute this way takes me around one hour and forty minutes, as opposed to driving which takes about 35 minutes, so I get up at 5 am to be at work by 7 am. I would move nearer to work, but my kids attend the community college near our house.

grantmeaname

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2012, 07:49:19 PM »
I feed myself and my household of four other teenage guys (three athletically active) and a girl or two (depends on the week) on like $175 a week total. I guess it could be cheaper, but I still think it's pretty damn cheap for how well we eat.

Also, college with no loans. That's pretty cool.

FI@2022Jem

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2012, 07:56:16 PM »
I pack my lunch for work and over the past three years have slowly converted my coworkers to joining me for packed lunch one day a week at first, then more.  Now on any given day I can enjoy my lunch with any number of coworkers and no longer have to be a frugal hermit!  I am most proud that I have simultaneously influenced others to begin their own frugal habits and also made my lunch break more enjoyable/interesting for myself.

kolorado

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2012, 08:47:07 PM »
Too many to list. Frugal is who I am and since I like me I tend to be proud of all the ways I save money. :P
Just off the top of my head though, I love how sweet and sheltered my kids are because of our simple, frugal lifestyle. For example, my 7 year old was in heaven on our 5 day roadtrip from NJ to CO because when we ate in hotels they had sweetened kiddie type cold cereals. Because I got such a kick out of her enjoying it so much and because it's so convenient to eat when you're unpacking from a move, I got a couple boxes of Cap'n Crunch and plain Corn Flakes. Never having seen commercials for cereals or even being aware that the boxes had splashy cartoon characters and actual cereal names, she sweetly asked for "Peanut butter cereal" or "Crunch Cereal". And when the boxes were gone there was no asking for more. That just warms my heart and affirms to me that we are doing the right stuff.

D-T

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2012, 09:01:43 PM »
I pack my lunch for work and over the past three years have slowly converted my coworkers to joining me for packed lunch one day a week at first, then more.

I also pack my lunch everyday for work.  I've gone out maybe 3x this past year with coworkers.  Mostly for the social aspect and for the chance to get out of the office.

It amazes my coworkers that I bring a lunch everyday. But I'm more amazed people are okay with spending 8-$15 everyday for lackluster chain food for lunch everyday and think nothing of it.

erwannabe

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2012, 10:29:06 PM »
The thing that we fail on the most is eating out, I realised it was due to lack of planning (tiredness) and nothing more so I have made a huge effort to make sure it is easy for hubby to take lunches, and make sure we have yummy food at home to stop the temptation to eat out.  (I also menu plan some of the time)

I bake muffins (or a cake cut into slices) each week, wrap and put them in a big plastic container in the freezer.  I make sure there is at least 3 varieties at any given time so he doesn't get bored.  He takes one out every morning for work and it is defrosted ready to eat by lunch.  He takes a packed lunch everyday which has leftovers/wrap/sandwich, his muffin some fruit and a drink of water (his work has a really nice free coffee machine he gets good use out of as well).



Mirwen

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2012, 10:59:58 PM »
I have a few little ones I'm proud of. 

- My husband and I share a single cell phone at a cost of $10/mo.  Along with this we use Google voice, an Obi100, and a regular cordless phone for free.

- I make homemade fruit pops and sorbet for treats with just pureed fruit and they taste great.

- After learning from the master, I now make some kick-ass homemade pizza. 

The third one I mentioned to a colleague and he looked at me very strangely -- like the thought had never occurred to him that you could actually make your own pizza.  How bizarre!

gooki

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2012, 01:12:35 AM »
I had to pick two:

When we had to borrow money (buying a home), purchasing within our means has helped out a lot. This has been a boon in reducing life's stresses. When my wife didn't want to return to work after having our first child, there was no debate.

Cycling to work for the last 12 years. Saves money and improves my health.

gestalt162

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2012, 07:50:12 AM »
Easily my best: Building a Home Theater PC and cutting cable. It's better than cable in many ways, we can watch 90% of the stuff we used to, and it paid for itself within 6 months. That, combined with changing jobs, has moved us from living paycheck-to-paycheck to having plenty of money left over from each paycheck.

Dicey

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2012, 09:39:30 AM »
I call it the ability to spend a dime and make it look like a dollar. I don't have a lot of wants, and I have a knack for finding frugal ways of filling them.

Zoot Allures

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2012, 11:10:32 AM »
I'm most proud of bringing my lunch to work every day, because it's the frugal behavior I do most consistently. On the rare occasion when I don't pack lunch, I'll reluctantly spend about $5 on a healthy bowl from Laughing Planet (great local chain). I don't mind the occasional outing with coworkers--I try to leave a little room in my budget for that.

KittyWrestler

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2012, 11:18:38 AM »
I'm most proud of bringing my lunch to work every day, because it's the frugal behavior I do most consistently. On the rare occasion when I don't pack lunch, I'll reluctantly spend about $5 on a healthy bowl from Laughing Planet (great local chain). I don't mind the occasional outing with coworkers--I try to leave a little room in my budget for that.

I hear ya. It's not wise to turn down an occasional coworkers outing just to save a few dollars. I see it as an important time to bond and connect with your working fellows if you intend to be in the office for a few more years and you truly enjoy their company..

I don't have lunch packed today, I normally do.. so I am thinking about the $5 foot long from subway, and leave another half for another meal..

darkelenchus

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2012, 12:09:43 PM »
I'm gonna go ahead and say there's four that are tied for first place, since the thought of picking just one of these is agonizing:

1) Biking and/or walking everywhere within a 25 mile radius. My wife and I have been doing this for five years, after our car was stolen and we decided not to replace it. Cash in the bank and a great cardio workout. What's not to like?

2) Turning pallets and other people's "wood waste" into useful and badass things, e.g. furniture, fences, shelving units, hat/clothing racks, workbenches, cabinets, a bike trailer (used conduit piping for this one, too) et alia. If we were to buy new or used all the stuff I've made, it would've cost us at least a grand. This will be a major money saver going into the future, especially as my skills refine with further experience.

3) Cooking simple homemade really tasty vegetarian meals. The simplicity keeps our grocery costs quite low and the tastiness strongly inclines us to prefer homemade meals to ordering out.

4) Keeping a regular fitness regimen that doesn't require a gym/service fee. It's hard to calculate exact savings, here (excepting the annual $400-600 gym fees), but considering counter-factual scenarios in which we didn't exercise, it's clear that we've avoided (and very probably will prevent) facing many health-related ailments & the high costs that come with.

Parizade

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2012, 07:35:58 AM »
I'm most proud of my ability to sew high quality clothing for a fraction of what it would cost in a store

  • Made a heavy weight WindPro fleece half-zip pullover to fit my big&tall frame for about $12 (retail cost would be $100-$200). I have worn this pullover in the boreal forests on the US/Canada border in January during a snowstorm (with no other jacket) and stayed comfortably warm and dry
  • made 4 sleeveless wicking shells for under $20, might be able to purchase one such top retail for this price -- and only if it was on clearance
  • currently working on my future DILs wedding dress, a medieval fantasy gown that would cost $2000-$5000 to have tailor made. I purchased the materials for under $50.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 07:40:12 AM by Parizade »

skyrefuge

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2012, 08:22:06 AM »
I'm most proud of my ability to sew high quality clothing for a fraction of what it would cost in a store

Hmm, I started sewing a couple years ago, and one of the first things it taught me is how ridiculously cheap retail clothing actually is.  I can buy a halfway-decent button-down shirt on sale for $10, while just the buttons alone for making my own shirt cost $2 when I buy them at retail.  I quickly determined that this was a hobby done for fun, and to make great-looking clothes that fit me perfectly, and not something particularly frugal.

But then I saw your examples, and it makes a lot more sense how you can be frugal there.  When trying to dream up a way to make money off this hobby, outdoor gear is the one area where I thought it might be possible, since the margins there are still pretty enormous.  It looks like you're still a better bargain-shopper for materials than I am though...I bought some Gore WindStopper fleece for a jacket (yet to be started) and was happy to pay $25/yd!

And now that you mention it, I suppose the margins on wedding dresses exceed even the margins on outdoor gear.  Unfortunately, as a guy, it'll take me a lot more time and practice before I feel comfortable operating in that domain.  :-)

Parizade

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2012, 10:06:31 AM »
It looks like you're still a better bargain-shopper for materials than I am though...I bought some Gore WindStopper fleece for a jacket (yet to be started) and was happy to pay $25/yd!

I did find a bargain! I bought 6 yards of windpro fleece on closeout at $5 yard from a website that sells cloth diaper fabrics. Apparently windpro is prized for diaper covers because of it's water repelling qualities, but the olive green color was not popular for babies so I got a great deal. Only used 2 yd for the pullover so I plan to make ski pants too, and possibly a full zip jacket.

Right now I have a stash of good fabric that I bought cheap, so I have plenty of projects I can complete before I need to buy more. Lots of websites offer free patterns you can download and print, so that can be cheap too.

Re: buttons. Ugly button-down shirt that doesn't fit you can be picked up at a garage sale for a nickel - toss the shirt but keep the buttons!

Dee

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2012, 10:58:51 AM »
I would say investing $8 on a coffeemaker for at work and using it to brew a cup everyday rather than spend $2 or so at the coffee shop is perhaps the small gesture I'm proudest of. The savings will add up, I don`t miss the trip downstairs to the coffee shop or the coffee itself and I'm not tossing a cup in the garbage every day. I just have to remember to buy some soy milk and bring it to work on Monday if I don't want to skip a day.

dancedancekj

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2012, 12:12:49 PM »
I'll have to echo cutting my own hair and saving myself $20 every three weeks.
However, my most proud Mustachian behavior is my mad gardening skillz. Most of the splendid looking perennials in my yard I grew from seed or cuttings. Plants that cause $10, $15 in the big box store ($20 or $30 at the locally owned plant nursery) cost me pennies to grow (although they took a couple years to get to size). The perennials are a lot lower maintenance than my lawn (I hate mowing) look better, and utilize a lot less resources to grow (I never water them aside from the initial planting). I've learned a lot about plant propagation and horticulture in the meantime, and it's a lot of fun for me.

Rich M

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2012, 05:35:53 PM »
I want mine to be biking to work.  I have a 16 mile round trip and if at worst case, I had to pay $.50/ mile (the average cost to drive). that is $8 per day.  Now of course I own a car and pay insurance (cheap though) but lets just make it $020/ day, that is still $3.20 per day saved and plus, I didn't pollute.

But that is really a small number.  If I take that $3.20 and multiply it by the 200 work days, it's a whopping $640 dollars.

I save  more than that a year on having a small house and nearly no mortgage.

In fact, It's hard to add up all my cheap savings habits and out perform not paying $14000 a year in mortgage interest that a lot of people do.






R62

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Re: What's your most proud frugal behavior?
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2012, 07:40:55 PM »
The frugal action of which Im most proud is probably a subset of learning how to manage the kitchen and to cook, and that would be brown bagging it.  DH and I have religiously brown-bagged both breakfast and lunch for the last 8 years or so.  According to the AARP lunch calculator, at a conservative expected rate of return of 3.5%, weve saved over $26K (after taxes).  Im proud of this one primarily because its a relatively small thing and the result of my own initiative and labor (and talent in the kitchen, if I may add ...).

This thread also made me think of some of the odder things I do, such as not wearing my good work shoes on the bus it scuffs them up, and since they're uni-taskers, I want them fit for office duty as long as possible.  I have other shoes for going back and forth to work (shoes which work equally well for walking or riding), and I leave my office shoes at my office.  FYI my bus-pass is free (came with my job), but I still often walk.

Just in case it is of interest, the lunch calculator:   http://www.aarp.org/money/budgeting-saving/lunch_savings_calculator/