Frugal Victories & Frugal Flops - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 07-07-2008, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A long time ago I went to another forum who had this thread all the time on their Frugal Living board. Anyone interested in starting one up here?

I'll start...

Victory:
Discovered that you can take advantage of the B1G1 or B1G2 sales at our local grocery with our WIC checks. We got 4 free lbs of cheese!

Flop:
Our one running vehicle has started making a funny noise whenver you accelerate up hill. Great. :
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#2 of 23 Old 07-07-2008, 12:53 PM
 
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Fun idea!

Victory: making muffins with blueberries from the neighbor's bushes, and pantry items

Flop: having to pay $675 to replace the utility sink pump because *someone* (ahem, DH) unplugged it and it flooded, destroying the motor
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#3 of 23 Old 07-07-2008, 12:56 PM
 
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Finding an apartment for super cheap, triumph.

Picking an awful color paint and having to get new stuff- flop.
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#4 of 23 Old 07-07-2008, 02:17 PM
 
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Victory: going against conventional wisdom twice and getting 3-year ARMs on home purchases and doing very well.

Flop: "fixing" the washing machine myself and ending up with a flooded basement, then a moldy basement, and removing $900-worth of 2-year old carpeting we'd paid to have laid, then another $500 needed for cleanup and putting in laminate flooring.

All to save a $95 service call.
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#5 of 23 Old 07-07-2008, 02:28 PM
 
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Victory: Super-low mortgage payment on 4.9% 30-year fixed rate on centrally located fixer-upper...

Failure: Thousands owed on Home Depot card..

...which led to

Victory: Kitchen rehab done mostly by recycled, donated items (cabinets/floors/sink/oak counters/woodstove)

...and

Failure: ...still carrying THOUSANDS on Home Depot card...
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#6 of 23 Old 07-07-2008, 03:28 PM
 
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Er... wouldn't a frugal "flop" be something you did in an attempt to be frugal, which happened to backfire; as opposed to something that sucks because it costs money? Not to be a naysayer, just sayin'

Victory: Paying even more attention to my driving, and improving my mileage by a few miles per gallon (I've always taken starts and stops gently, but doing so more extremely now, and letting myself coast more on hills or when there's no one behind me.)

Flop: Getting a new timing belt in DH's car because we thought the $600 cost would more than pay for itself in resale value of the car in the near future; only to have the mechanic do a crappy job and now the car makes so much noise that we fear it's value has plummeted.
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#7 of 23 Old 07-07-2008, 04:47 PM
 
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Victory: Not purchasing a home a few years ago when everyone was telling us we were being irresponsible and throwing our money away by renting because you could make "so much" money with rising home costs. We ended up needing to move right during the housing slump and would have been SOL had we bought.

Flop: Planning all extremely low cost, low meat meals, making DH want take-out, steak from the steakhouse, and ice cream. If I had budgeted more tasty treats into my cooking it would have saved money in the long run.
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#8 of 23 Old 07-07-2008, 05:03 PM
 
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Victory: Friday night pizza night. Homeade pizza each week, everyone gets to "Decorate" with their own toppings. Also, leftover pizza dough covered in a little butter and garlic seasoning for bread sticks that rock!

Flop: Buying fabric softener so that I can line-dry laundry and therefore save $$. I broke out with horrendous chin acne (that's clear now) from the Fabric softener. Had to strip fs and detergent from all towels, sheets and clothing. So now:

Victory: Charlies Soap in the laundry with vinegar rinse in a new downy ball. Cheaper and I can still line-dry with great results.
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#9 of 23 Old 07-07-2008, 05:24 PM
 
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Victory--buying 1/4 lb of dried TVP from the bulk bin for .27 just to try it out in my chili. I only used half of what I bought (13.5 cents!) it was delicious and it least $3 less than buying soy crumbles in the frozen aisle. I will never buy those packaged crumbles again!!!!!!

Flop--buying a cheap pair of bronze ballerina flats at Target on sale for 3.99. They are uncomfortable and I haven't worn them since. 3.99 would buy pounds of TVP!!!!!
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#10 of 23 Old 07-07-2008, 06:18 PM
 
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Victory - finding out which days Aldi has produce delivery. I have purchased blueberries for $1.29/pint, oranges for $1.99/5lb bag, and whole watermelons for $2.99. Always having cut-up, ready to eat fruit in the house has saved me tons with my hungry teens - they eat much more fruit and much less cookies, chips, etc.

Flop - buying a large quantity of something before we tried it because it was cheap, and then finding out no one would eat it.
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#11 of 23 Old 07-07-2008, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by enkmom View Post
Victory - finding out which days Aldi has produce delivery. .
Okay, how did you find this out, and I wonder if my Aldi's is the same? (Though, I get VERY good deals on high quality produce at Super Tony's....)
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#12 of 23 Old 07-07-2008, 08:25 PM
 
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Victory: Finally got DH on board with line drying clothes. He even custom made me my own line drying system.

Flop: Tried making a ton of different make ahead meals to feed the freezer and save $. I spent a ton of time and a decent amount of money on recipes we hadn't had before. We hated 75% of them. So much for saved time and money!

Victory: In the last year, I've paid off all my student loans, my only credit card, and my car. :

Flop: DH had to get a newer truck because his current truck that was paid off wasn't meeting his needs. Granted he got a smoking good deal on the newer one and it's much better considering we have another baby on the way but I'm still less than enchanted about another car payment. :
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#13 of 23 Old 07-07-2008, 08:37 PM
 
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Victory: Getting an amazing deal on a wonderful fixer upper house in a great area.

Flop: Spending 50k on renovations in 2006.


It WAS a great deal 'till the market went to crap. We're still ahead of the game because of when and how we bought, but damn, can a girl ever get a break!


Victory: Stockpiling!

Flop: All the crap I bought because it was a great deal and then the family ended up not liking it.
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#14 of 23 Old 07-07-2008, 09:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papschmitty View Post
Flop: Tried making a ton of different make ahead meals to feed the freezer and save $. I spent a ton of time and a decent amount of money on recipes we hadn't had before. We hated 75% of them. So much for saved time and money!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pancakes View Post
Flop: All the crap I bought because it was a great deal and then the family ended up not liking it.
Ugh, that is such a point of contention around here. It's worst when it's a food that they all previously liked, but suddenly they don't want to touch.
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#15 of 23 Old 07-07-2008, 10:44 PM
 
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llamalluv, I asked one of the workers who was stacking the produce. We get ours on Tuesdays, which makes sense as they usually have a smallish ad on Wednesdays. If I cruise in on Tuesday afternoons, the produce is fresh and not too picked over yet.
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#16 of 23 Old 07-08-2008, 12:54 AM
 
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Victory: Did my first ever coupon/sales shopping. I really thought I couldn't stock up on much, being in an apartment and that coupons wouldn't do all that much on the stuff we usually buy. So I started with just my local drug store's sales and piddly coupons. I saved $20 and spent $30 on sale stuff I'd need to buy anyway! (I know, small potatoes to real couponers, but better than I expected!) Tomorrow I'm going to Walgreens. I think we'll be set on most stuff like disposable diapers (only use them for plane trips/camping, about 4 packs a year I'd guess), shampoo, deoderant, etc. for a year after this!

Flop: Also bought razor blades per DHs request, which seemed $$ but they always do. Discovered them MUCH cheaper on drugstore.com but he's already opened them bc he needs to shave tomorrow morning. Undid about 1/4 the savings I made today.

Oh well, I'm stocking up on them at a good price now so it doesn't happen again.

Happy with my DH, 2 kids, dog, fish, and frogs
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#17 of 23 Old 07-08-2008, 09:11 AM
 
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victory: Made grocery list according to where its the cheapest and organized w/ coupons and ready to go

flop: got DD's school supplies list in the mail yesterday...whoa!

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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#18 of 23 Old 07-08-2008, 09:41 AM
 
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Victory- Figuring out how to always manage to buy things on sale

Flop- Started buying things I don't need b/c they are on sale and I think I'm winning b/c of that. But really I'm still losing if I just keep spending!

Mindful Spirit Expo is on April 21 and 22nd. Raise your consciousness!

Intuitive Encounters business merger means discounts for a limited time.

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#19 of 23 Old 07-08-2008, 04:38 PM
 
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Victory : Went from spending $500 a month on groceries (including Sams Club) to spending closer to $300 and sometimes less. Just by really checking out my grocery list.

And I have the same "flop" as someone else:
Quote:
Flop: Planning all extremely low cost, low meat meals, making DH want take-out, steak from the steakhouse, and ice cream. If I had budgeted more tasty treats into my cooking it would have saved money in the long run.
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#20 of 23 Old 07-08-2008, 04:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrettyBird View Post
Flop: Planning all extremely low cost, low meat meals, making DH want take-out, steak from the steakhouse, and ice cream. If I had budgeted more tasty treats into my cooking it would have saved money in the long run.
Same here!

Having a hard time thinking of special victories lately, aside from discovering the magic of TVP and making my own seitan (yummm....seitan fried steak!)

Holly

So...I'm 43 and pregnant with #3 - how'd that happen?  

 

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#21 of 23 Old 07-09-2008, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK so I must be having really good karma the past couple days...

I went shopping at Sam's with my Mom who bought us 4 lbs of strawberries, 4 lb bag nectarines, 4 lb bananas, 1 pineapple, 3 lb bag broccoli florets, 3 lb bag avocados, 1 loaf semolina sourdough bread, 1 5 lb container of potato salad, huge case of Bounty, 2 1/2 gallons organic 2%, 2 lb blueberries, 2 outfits for DD2 & 1 outfit for DD1. I have *no* idea what got into her, but WOW.

Our budget for EVERYTHING each month at the moment is $200. Groceries, household items, diapers, clothing, toiletries, stamps, copays, pet items, etc. This was a HUGE help! :

Oh, and over the weekend my MIL gave us 3 good size sterlite containers that she was going to get rid of because they were empty! (Yes, she was literally going to give them to the Salvation Army...) The IL's also got us one of those 13x15 screen houses to "put over the kids toys so they don't get bitten by the bugs". We live in the middle of the woods. While I don't think we'll be putting their toys under cover anytime soon, we'll find a good use for it I'm sure. And they got DD1 2 outfits (one for next fall/winter) and DD2 1 outfit.

My flop: I had to spend an extra $3 to buy a tube of Jason Vit E lotion at the co-op here in town because I forgot to order it in my last Frontier shipment. I'm doing another one in a few weeks, but DH really needs it because he has eczema so I couldn't wait that long. Oh, and I forgot to pack DD2 a snack while we were doing the errands, so I ended up getting her a $4.50 box of oatmeal/berry cookies while I was at the co-op. OTOH avoiding a screaming 17 mo is probably worth $4.50 to me!
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#22 of 23 Old 07-09-2008, 12:55 AM
 
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Hmmm....victories: I've pretty much stopped all "retail therapy". I haven't done it much at all the past couple of years, due to being on a major decluttering binge, but I've really cut back and only shopped for/bought food and household items. Stayed out of Target entirely the last two months.

flops: man, there's gotta be something. let me think on it!

Mom to DD1 (11/1999),  DD2 (07/2003), and DS (11/2012), all born at home and cloth diapered. 

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#23 of 23 Old 07-09-2008, 08:52 AM
 
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Victory: I won 50% off at M&M's with a scratch card (a frozen food specialty shop) and with my $25 gift card, I managed to get over a $100 of product for $10!!! (10lbs of meatballs, a huge box of chicken breasts, 2 big boxes of 100% ground beef/no filler hamburgers and a great bag of curly fries). I spent the day wishing I had bought more stuff, lol!

Oh another one is we got 5 brand new Wii games for less than $25! Whoo hoo! Talk about being in the right place at the right time! It costs $9 to rent and we have been wanting some new games, so we're so excited!

Flop: I just found out I have to be gluten free and can't eat much of the food we have in storage, boo hoo!! Once again I'll have to feed the family things I can't have while I eat differently so the food doesn't go to waste.
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