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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How it all started, part II

As promised in the first part of this mini series, I will share what I learned along my journey to "frugalness".

One of the first things I learned was that you can save money by using coupons. Coupons alone are nice, but when you combine them with a sale they become really good, and if you find a store that doubles coupons, they become awesome!! It does take a little while to become really good at it, or it did for me, but it is totally worth it. You would not believe how much stuff you can get for free, by doing this.

Look for bargains in unexpected places. By this I mean, you can find great deals on groceries at the drug store sometimes. You should also check your local farmers market for great deals on produce.

Ask yourself if you really have to have that new car, or will the old do for a while longer? I know that many people may feel that a new car is a necessity, but if the old one runs fine, save the money.

Create a budget and stick to it. Once you start this process, you may be surprised to see how much further your money goes, when you know exactly where it is going.

Learn to love thrift stores. I have not always been a fan, but they have become a great resource for me. You can find all sorts of things in great condition, at a great price. How many people are actually going to know that my Abercrombie shirt only cost $1.00, while their Abercrombie shirt cost $30!!

Stock up on things when you find a good sale. This helps to keep you from paying full price for anything later on.

Cut up the plastic!! I have gotten so much negative feed back on this one in the past, but trust me, it works. Our family is a little extreme, I guess you could say. We do not even have a checking account, and this is by choice. We have a savings account, and pay cash for everything. This makes you think twice about a purchase, especially when you have to actually hand over cash instead of a plastic card.

Learn to eat from your pantry, and the items that are on sale for the week. Many times when people make out their menu, they make choices based on what they want rather than what is on sale. If you plan by what is on sale, your grocery budget will go a lot further.

Stay tuned for part III of the series, to learn some other secrets I have learned along the way.

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