Tips for 6 January 2010

Hello and welcome to the new year (and decade!)  I hope everyone has recovered nicely from their holidays and is ready to buckle down and get frugal.

Tip 1-Moving?  Need more space?  As stores clear out old inventory and deal with post-holiday sluggish sales, this is a good time to raid their box bins!  Liquor store have been the traditional go-to of the thrifty packer (and still should be), but you should also consider grocery stores, big box chain stores, and home improvement stores.  All recceived goods to sell over the holidays and all need to stash their trash.  For more permanent storage, consider the holiday-colored plastic bins.  They may not be clear, but I bet they’re on sale!

Tip 2-Need to protect plants?  Instead of using your good towels or sheets, go to a local thrift store and buy a few.  This way, if something gets grubby, you didn’t ruin that set that you got as a wedding gift.  You also have beach blankets and potential Halloween costumes, too!

Tip 3-If, like the Frugal Teacher, you are heading back to school, don’t be afraid to shop for the best book prices.  Amazon does really well and has free shipping over $25.  AddAll.com, a search engine for book sellers, can also point you in the direction of what seller has what books and all the associated costs.  You can also rent the books, scour bulletin boards at your school,  filch them from the school library and pay the fines, or see if you can sweet-talk someone into giving you a copy.

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Published in: on January 6, 2010 at 7:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tips for 22 December 2009

Here’s a few to tide you over until after the holiday festivities!

Tip 1-Squeeze a little more life out of your batteries.  Try storing them in the fridge to lengthen their staying power.  You can also get a few more chanel changes or a little more game time by taking the batteries out of the device and alternating their location.

Tip 2-Save tissue paper from department store packing to use as filler/protection in your gifts.  Use the pretty paper that you paid for on the top.  Use the white filler paper underneath, to make things fluffy.  🙂

Tip 3-I don’t know about anyone else, but I seem to collect a lot of plain paper bags from various little boutiques.  Why not use those as holiday gift bags with funky filler paper instead of spending your hard-earned pennies.  You can also take a hole punch, punch around the top of the bag, run raffia or ribbon through the holes, and voila!  You have a semi-homemade gift bag that you can color-coordinate to the gift!

Published in: on December 23, 2009 at 4:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Tip for 20 December 2009

It’s getting to that time of the year where frugalness just flies right out of one’s head.  Hopefully, these tips will help you save a little money to pay off those holiday excesses.

Tip 1-Reevaluate all memberships.  If it isn’t a membership that you have used in the past three months, discontinue it or do not renew it.  It’s money that could be better spent other places.

Tip 2-Recycle wrapping paper.  I know this one is kind of cheeseparing, but why not?  The paper is just going to be ripped off.  Saving money on bows and paper allows you to spend more on what’s inside the package.  Besides, it saves landfill space and garbage bags.  🙂

Tip 3-Think before you spend at the grocery store.  Use a calculator to figure out how much per serving a meal is going to cost.  There are times when eating in a restaurant can be cheaper.  It’s all about buying power!

Published in: on December 21, 2009 at 3:13 am  Leave a Comment  

Hidden money

It’s the time of year when the Frugal Teacher is going to gift you with a mulitplicty of tips, as a way of apologizing for her delinquency.

Tip 1-It might be too late, but check what other sneaky (but completely legal) ways you can reduce your tax burden.  Charitable donations, whether cash or in kind can help.  A flex spending account not only helps with health care costs, but it lowers your tax burden.  It’s also typically a lump sum available near the 1st of the year which means you have it imediately.  However, you can pay it back over time.  It’s an interest-free loan to yourself!

Tip 2-If it’s still very nice, don’t be afraid to regift or give “gently used” items.  I regularly find steals at consignment and thrift stores.  With a little elbow grease, many of these items look as good as new.   In a pretty box, it’s a fab present!  You can sometimes buy a higher-quality item used for the same money you were going to spend on a lesser-quality new item.

Tip 3-Take the free pen/pencil/sticky notes.  Companies put them out at displays, seminars, information sessions on purpose-to get their name out.  Think of it as being paid a modest fee for your advertising efforts.  Besides everyone can use another pen.  If you can’t, I’m sure there’s a frugal teacher who could….

Tip 4-Don’t forget the goodies in the hotel room.  ‘Nuff said.

Published in: on December 16, 2009 at 6:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Frugal Tip for 1 December 2009

Frugalites-My tip for the day is, hopefully, a commonsense one. 

Beg, borrow, and shamelessly wheedle.  Odds are very good that if you ask your fellow frugal friends, they have things you can use.  For example, I have a membership to a local wholesale club.  I lend it out to people I trust to bring it back.  They save money and usually bring me goodies.  🙂  My mom and I also raided our Christmas stashes and traded gifts that the other one could use.  Thus we cleaned out boxes and saved on shopping time.  Try it!

Published in: on December 2, 2009 at 3:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Frugal Tip for 20 November 2009

Well, Frugalites-Even in Florida, there’s a nip in the air and a coolness coming.  To combat some of those winter bleahs and save some green, I have today’s frugal tip.

Check into a financial planner.  While the initial outlay isn’t cheap, having someone to help you plan your budget and keep you accountable is priceless.  Besides, let someone else worry about the crappy market.  It’s his therapy bill now, not yours!

Published in: on November 20, 2009 at 4:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Frugal tip for 18 November 2009

Sorry, frugal friends, I know it’s been awhile.  I shall try to be more faithful.  However, The Frugal Teacher had to pick up a second job to feed the cat.  🙂  Apparently, politicos don’t read me yet.  Here is your long awaited frugal tip-

Don’t be afraid to ask.  With the economy still in the hopper, business owners need good will as much as cash.  If your rent is substantially higher than the advertised rate, ask the landlord/manager if they can do better.  Call the cable company to check into new packages, or just dump cable.  Sweet talk the latest sales specials out of your favorite department store associate.  They want the comission, no matter what!

Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 11:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tip for 12 March 2009

If, like The Frugal Teacher, you’re single, BOGO deals can be a problem.  I don’t need two bags of Doritos or two boxes of Twinkies.  (My hips aren’t as frugal as I am.)  Don’t be afraid to ask if the manager will give you the single item at half price. 9 times out of 10, they will.  One item sold is an item they’ve made a profit on.  The rare occasions when I’ve been turned down, I’ve left the item in the manager’s hands, to put back on the shelf.  They usually change their mind.  If that doesn’t work, you need to decide whether you need the item or not.

Published in: on March 12, 2009 at 7:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tip for 11 March 2009

The internet is a powerful tool for finding local organizations that offer classes and clinics for next to nothing, if not free outright.  Through a few simple keystrokes, I’ve discovered free music lessons, free gardening clinics, cut-rate cooking demos, and even steeply discounted manicures at the local trade school.  These things were NOT part of a customer loyalty program, so people who don’t care for those can still benefit.  It’s a great way to have some frugal fun, learn something, and maybe meet some new people to share the thrifty goodness.

Published in: on March 11, 2009 at 1:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tip for 10 March 2009

Don’t be afraid of surface damage.  In many cases, especially in this economy, stores will hook you up, even if it means a loss.  For instance, I bought a large decorated terra cotta planter for my porch.  Tag price-$19.99.  However, the upper lip had a big chunk out of it, revealing the naked material.  The damage didn’t affect functionality.  I walked out of the store with the planter for $8.00, just because I asked.

As a caution, I wouldn’t take scratch/dent anything that affected the item’s functionality.  That’s asking for trouble.  Do your homework and who knows?  You can be saving your pennies in that piggy bank with the chipped ear.  🙂

Published in: on March 11, 2009 at 1:30 pm  Leave a Comment