What's on your frugal 'needs improvement' list? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 02-11-2005, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
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We go through lots of paper towels. We use cloth napkins and I have a whole assortment of 'dishtowels' we use as paper towels, but with 2 little kids, we're always needing to clean up something. We're getting better though.

Using non-network ATMs that charge fees to withdraw money (DH is terrible about this and is not getting better).

I buy too much food. I LOVE to grocery shop. I do have a price book (ala Tightwad Gazette) and coop/warehouse buy when the price is right, but still, I spend too much money I think and I keep too much food on hand.

What are your frugal downfalls?
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#2 of 15 Old 02-11-2005, 03:09 PM
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A suggestion on you paper towl dilema, when the run out, just don't replace them I had a birthday party here the other day and a load of frosting dropped on the floor. I came in the kitchen to find three women frantically looking for the paper towles and had a good chuckle :LOL I grabbed a cloth napkin, scooped up the frosting, and tossed the napkin in the laundry room. The looks I got were priceless

I need to improve on our junk food consuption We'll go to the warehouse store and I'll get pretzles and granola bars (full of choco chips ) cause they are a fast and easy snack. I need to find a cheap and healthy replacement for junk food.
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#3 of 15 Old 02-11-2005, 03:34 PM
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eating out, micro beer (dh), magazines, gas (i.e organizing trips better, walking more, driving the most fuel effecient vehicle)
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#4 of 15 Old 02-11-2005, 09:37 PM
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I really have to stop spending so much time and money browsing ebay and buying used dresses for dd! Ok, not tons of money, but $30 *is* a lot (even if it did buy several outfits) when you don't have it. In my defense, she is outgrowing all her stuff and the boxes of hand-me-downs are scanty and most of it pretty nasty looking. Also, she came to us after years of secondary infertility and subsequent fertility treatments and I so love to just look, look, look at her and dress her in girly things!

Ok, I'll go creep back under my rock now...

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#5 of 15 Old 02-11-2005, 11:08 PM
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Now that I am preggers I am eating sooo much more and my cravings change daily (literally), so I buy food that doesn't get eaten up and don't eat perfectly healthy food that we already have. It really bugs me because 'grocery frugality' is my responsibility in our family and I feel sooooo guilty. Anyway, I am telling myself this will pass, but I would really like to (and need to) get back to our budget.
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#6 of 15 Old 02-12-2005, 01:04 AM
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Eating out

And diapers and Gymboree clothes on the TP
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#7 of 15 Old 02-13-2005, 12:20 AM
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Even if we have a lot of from-scratch ingredients in the house, I have a tendency to keep buying quick, easy meals and snacks. I'm getting better, though, mostly from joining The Pantry Challenge.
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#8 of 15 Old 02-13-2005, 01:47 AM
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Decaf soy caramel machiatto from Starbucks! Ohhhh....I have no self control. Magazines are a huge downfall too. I LOVE them. I've started to subscribe to the ones I love because it's so much cheaper than buying individually. I'm working on "scheduling" my indulgences. If I know that I can go buy a fancy coffee on Friday, then I am less likely to buy one earlier in the week.

Sara ::: Mama to Bella Grace & Lucy Mae Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. 1 Peter 3:4
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#9 of 15 Old 02-13-2005, 03:23 PM
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I like the idea about just not buying more paper towels..
That is my plan.
I will buy one pack for the whole month- and then when they are gone- they are gone. Which will help me to think more about how many and what I am using them for- as well as starting to use more cloth towels.
We very much need to cut down on our eating out. Big time. One meal would pay for at least 10 meals here at home! It is a thing that we do together- so that is hard- but I am trying to get dh to cook with us at home- and that should help!
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#10 of 15 Old 02-14-2005, 01:23 AM
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My downfall is grocery shopping too...even when I have food in the pantry I am like "we have nothing to eatttt"...which is crap! I haven't joined the pantry challenge but I lurk which has helped a lot!

Another thing is thoughtless, impulse buying arghhhhhhhhh I am so bad at that. For instance, I will go into whatever store with a list and all, but I am always picking up a few other things we "need"...and trick myself into the fact that they are only a couple bucks, but when you are buying 10 items at "a couple bucks"...it adds up!

We are getting better though...we used to be in the grocery store 2, 3 times a week for "a few things", spending like $100 for 2 people...but now it has become a challenge for me to see how long we can go without going to the grocery store...we got the billdown to $85 last week and I am NOT stepping foot in the store until the cabinets echo lol

I am pretty good though for the most part but there is always room for improvement!
My hubby always says "it's not what you make, it's what you keep" and that is true....it seems like the more money people make, the more they spend and we are guilty of that too...I remember when we first moved in together almost 7 years ago, we were P O O R...I mean, $20 for the whole week for groceries kind of thing, and we survived and were creative....okay, I won't go that far again, but for 2 people, I think about $50-75 a week, even with healthy mostly organic food shouldn't be a stretch if we are creative ya know?

Anyway, those are my challenges! We are pretty frugal in almost every other area....
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#11 of 15 Old 02-14-2005, 03:14 AM
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Starbucks :
Working on the "we have nothing to eat in this house" thing, too.
We did pretty well last night with a pantry challenge-type meal. We had some hamburger in the fridge, chopped up onion and bell pepper, bbq sauce and tomato paste, left over hamburger buns from who knows when, and voila! Sloppy Joes! That is a major accomplishment in this house. I'm going to try some fritatas this week with tonight's leftover potato/veggie medley.
Grocery bill is going down dramatically. I've been spending about $50-$60 per week instead of $100-$120.
Anyway, Starbucks is definitely our weakness.
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#12 of 15 Old 02-14-2005, 01:55 PM
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impulse buying. i'm always going to the store and seeing a few (ok, a lot of,)things that we "need" that aren't on the list. yesterday, i went to the store with a list. it should have cost me about $15. i ended up spending $46 . i mean it was stuff we'll use, but still, that's a pretty huge difference...

re: magazines...dh and i are big magazine people too. one thing that i did was buy some magazine subscriptions off ebay. a subscription that normally costs $12 or $15 dollars is about $2 on ebay. it depends somewhat on what kind of magazines you like...ovbiously the more mainstream mags are more readily available. i was able to get hubby some golf and photography mags, and myself some home and fashion mags pretty cheaply. people always say you should just go to the lirary to read magazines for free, but i guess it depends on your library. ours never seems to carry anything i like.
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#13 of 15 Old 02-14-2005, 04:41 PM
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cheese. Seriously, we are pathetic. There is 7 kinds of cheese in our fridge right now, and very little of it is the cheap kind. Mmmm, we put it on pasta, blowing any attempt at a frugal meal out of the water.

I know there is more. Oh, we also just has a vacation. To be sure, it was an inexpensive one, as far as vacations go, but I asm sure that $650 wcould have been used more effectively elewhere.
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#14 of 15 Old 02-15-2005, 01:04 AM
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then scrapbooking stuff.

stamps. why i buy stamping stuff i am not sure.

if i actually used the scrapbooking stuff it wouldn't be a waste.... gotta get off my duff...
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#15 of 15 Old 02-15-2005, 01:59 AM
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Magazines, imported cheese (even for grilled cheese!), anything for the house, you know, like a broom holder, dustbuster, Gerber diapers for cleanup, new window shade, those were just this week LOL! Amazon is a big weakness for me. I love getting packages, and our UPS guy is pretty cute. I've been out of control for too long, and now we are suffering. All my years of being flat broke sent me over the edge when I married dh, who used to have a well-paying job and a hefty savings account. Anyhow, I've been working on it. I just need to work a little harder.
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