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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can be impulsive at times but I am so much better then before... it was never big things, or even new things.... it was just "stuff"...

I have found a few really good deals in the past and a lot of junk....my favourite trick now is if I find something and I hesitate in the slightest.. I walk away and tell myself that I will come back later if I really want it... most of the time I don't go back...

Another thing that has really helped me not only in spending less but also in wasting less is planning a weekly menu and buying just what I need... it also helps with the question "what are we eating for supper?"

So what do you do?
 

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Stay out of the stores!

24 hour wait on any purchase over $20.

Price compare on the internet for just about anything that I can.

Don't buy new! Gently used is just as good.


Clip, trade, buy coupons for the foods/products that you buy. I have 50+ Organic Valley coupons now from trading and buying.
 

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Re: foodstuffs:
Minimize purchasing prepared things, buy raw materials. I do not include in this wine, cheese, chocolate, or coffee beans.


Re: THINGS:
most things I want to buy b/c I saw it somewhere, magazine, internet, etc. So I cut it out and stick it with the pile of cut out/ripped out things in my bag that I carry around. Periodically I go through the pile, if I still really want it, then it moves to the front burner of my mind to consider a bit more. For me, this exercise helps to weed out impulse buying.

Like PP said, avoid going into stores/mall, and buy only if you pay cash or have the cash to pay it off.
In actual fact, if one is saving first, and if you have the means, and there is something you want and need, then that's what money's for.

But re-reading your post, I wonder, when presented with the tempting opportunity to buy something you WANT, ask yourself, Do we NEED this? and would that help to eliminate many purchases?

With the effects of global warming so apparent (if you believe all that schtuff, and I do), I really kind of feel that impulse buying, or buying not based on need is something I would like to work on. Leaving smaller footprint on the earth and all that.
 

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I know everyone has said this but not going into stores really helps me. We have little to spend so even when I do go to stores I don't buy stuff but I do get very down about having to be so frugal. If I don't see it I don't know i want it which also means i don't need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
p.s : Thanks for mentioning that... I buy most of y food unprepared and make everything from "stratch" that saves money too and cuts out on unneeded and hidden fats, salts and sugars... and there is something so satisfying about making a meal from scratch and baking your own bread etc....

Quote:

Originally Posted by p.s
But re-reading your post, I wonder, when presented with the tempting opportunity to buy something you WANT, ask yourself, Do we NEED this? and would that help to eliminate many purchases?
Great point! I have made that shift over the last year or two and it has really made a difference in my spending habits.... it was hard to do but now I am in a big decluttering stage and I want to get rid of stuff...
 

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For me it is all about having a goal. Dh and I plan on moving back west and buying some land. All of this debt reduces our ability to do that. So, spending money comes down to "Is this item worth more to me than my land?"

And some days I really do need to spend money, we need to eat, we need to wear clothes and have decent shoes. But I find more often than not, that I can reuse what I have or buy something second hand and reduce the amount of money I need to spend.

I used to get very depressed about money, not having enough, having too much debt. Now, I am so excited about money. Every $5 I save, every payment I make means so much to me, because all of those hard earned dollars represent little bits of our dream.
 

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I DON'T watch mindless tv programs.
I DON'T look at catalogs.
I DON'T buy/read magazines (except for National Geographic, Natural Home, Mothering and Yoga Journal. *subscription or special purchase only!)
I DON'T go to Target, Wal-Mart or any store.

I shop for groceries at co-op or local farmers market/grocery stores.
I knit for fun/entertainment and for functional use.
I practice yoga, along with all of its principles that help keep me grounded.
I treasure the things that I have and pass along what we don't.

I try and keep things in perspective, make lists and set goals for the future.
 

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I recycle most of the catalogs and flyers without looking at them. IKEA is the exception, because they have good storage ideas.

The only "new" stores I go to any longer are Target and grocery stores. Otherwise, it's all thrift for us.
 

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I was going to say "stay home," too!

I do most of my impulse buying at the grocery store. The old stand-by trick, of course, is to not go to the store hungry. Also, shopping with a list.

When I want to buy other "stuff," I think about my decluttering projects and other things I've bought that I just don't care about anymore.

Thinking about dh's reaction helps, too.


Also, seeing what many years of managing money can do is a real motivator. We have a nice home and the only debt we have is our mortgage (big, but doable since we don't owe anything else). We wouldn't be able to afford that if we had a history of lots of impulse buying.
 

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I use malls for free exercise in winter and a/c in summer, so the just plain "stay away!" doesn't work for me.

But, I always leave my wallet in the car. Even if I am venturing in for something specific. If its not worth the energy to walk back to the car for the $$, then it isn't something I really want or need.

For groceries, we try to always eat first. If we arrive at the store hungry, we buy a snack of fresh fruit right away to eat as we shop. Saves us from buying quick fix food because we're hungry.
 

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I agree with not watching TV, not going to malls/stores for entertainment and not looking at magazines that rely on adds for their support. I do all of this (except the TV- I watch it once in a while, but always very deliberately) and I think it keeps me from that "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality.

Another trick for spending less is paying attention to how industries work and what actually goes in to making/ promoting all of the junk that we supposedly "need". When I found out that people were being exploited when they made a bunch of the stuff I "needed", it was a lot easier for me to bow out.
 

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don't be afraid to stand at the checkout in target (or the grocery or other like store) and evaluate what's in your cart. If it's not on the list -- hand it to the cashier and tell them you don't want it.
 

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I like and use alot that technique from "Your Money or Your Life" where you figure out your hourly wage (or the hourly wage of the $$ earner in your household) and translate everything into that. If I earn $15/hour and am looking at a $50 pair of pants, I remind myself I'd have to work 3 hours to buy those pants. Suddenly, they're not so "must have." On the flip side, some things I'm willing to invest a few hours in. For me, this technique ties the value of money to something even more precious: the value of time!

Whenever I'm purchasing a large number of things say from the grocery store or Target, I scan my register tape with an eagle eye. So often the reduced price marked on the shelf didn't scan in or I got charged for 3 and only bought 2 or something similar. And I do it before I leave the store because once I'm in the car and headed home, the "is it worth it to go all the way back for $1.95" debate kicks in.
 

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Hi All,

I'm new to MDC, read your posts. We are good about not going to the mall, etc. Where I get into BIG trouble is the health food store. I'm thinking I need to go back to making alot of simple meals with beans and (non-organic) veges (since we just can't afford them anymore
). Is there a frugal health-food cookbook? We eat some meat, no dairy.

We are lucky we have no debt but just bought a more expensive house and I'm so freaked out! We are going to have to make major changes!

On a side note, I am considering a scheme I read about on mdc's WAHM forum- apparantly companies will pay good money to people who fill out surveys on-line and that sort of thing. Not exactly what I got my master's degree for but I'm not proud!

thanks,
Julie
 

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Before we moved I'd get suckered at Whole Foods/local co-op/farmers market because they had such amazing items *gift items* and I'd impulse buy them...
But, since we moved...our local co-op and farmers market only has *functional items so I only buy *functional items.
 

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When DH and I splurge its usually to go out to eat at a great little mexican restauraunt. The food is so good and the bill is always right at $20, probbaly because we always get the same thing. But to eat there is a splurge for us. So when hesitant to buy something I question if I would rather have the item or go out to eat. Usually its to eat so I know I don't want it that bad.

Another thing that really helps me is to shop when its really busy. That way i get so frustrated that all I want to do is grab what I need and get the heck out of the store.

Also scan my cart before I check out to see if there is anything I don't need and try to put at least something back.
 

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You got lots of good suggestions.

Three things we do are:

1. a very strict budget that includes $40 each a month in "fun money". It's money that we aren't accountable to each other for spending, so if you NEED that chocolate bar, you can buy it and feel no financial guilt.

2. we're registered with the 3 Freecycle groups in our area. Sometimes someone will give away something that would cost too much to buy (like more fabric for my collection of fabric that never gets sewn) and then we just evaluate whether the gas money to pick it up is worth the joy we will get out of the item. This is also good for decluttering when you've collected too much stuff.

3. don't leave the house in the car without a purpose. This really saves on both gas money and impulse buys.
 
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