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Frugality and Thriftiness is making a comeback


heidiiiii
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Excerpt from newspaper:

Frugality is making a comeback. Fearful that economic conditions could get worse and stay that way, Americans are showing an enthusiasm for thriftiness not seen in decades.

This behavioral shift isn't simply about spending less. The New Frugality emphasizes stretching every dollar. It means bypassing the fashion mall for the discount chain store, buying secondhand clothes and furniture, or trading down to store brands.

There's more business for repairmen and less for salesmen. Consumers are clipping more coupons and swiping their credit cards less.

Have you noticed that you are more frugal then you ever were? Do you shop less or shop differently? If you need an ingredient for a meal do you run to get it or substitute to save the money?

I have been like this for YEARS out of necessity, habit, and the thrill of getting a bargain. My latest aquistion was a handmade crocheted yo-yo throw..for $1. It looks brand new but soft enough that it has been washed. Just right. I go to the used book store, yard sales, flea markets, the reduced rack at stores (almost all stores have them), the seconds produce store..I could go on and on. I bought a wireless router for the computer yesterday..I grabbed one that was $20 off because it was a returned one. Works fine and dandy.

I could give a class I know so much..LOL

My parents were brought up during the Depression and passed on these ways to their children. And I am passing it on to my children.

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My philosophy is if it works, and it's cheaper why not? When i buy mini's for example the main person i buy from has 2-3 brands, all slightly cheaper than the others, sooo, i save about 80 on that order. I needed a winter coat, i got two, brand new with the tags for 5 dollars each. Some things i don't mind buying second hand if it looks new, I might buy clothing if it looks used if i can use the fabric for minis.

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I bought my clothes from the second hand store for years. All I do is ruin them anyway, so why spend a ton of money on them? I like to buy cheap when I can and quality when it counts (like power tools). I have changed my spending habits drastically, as well as my driving habits. Things are still fine for me, but why wait?

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For me it is a bit strange. I hear, and can see, all the bad news about the economy, but it hasn't really affected me much. I have been at uni until the summer, living on nothing and being at least £20,000 in debt from student loans. Since then I've been earning money. First month it all went to cover money we owed for rent, utilities (gas, electricity and water), and on things we needed for our new flat. The next month's cheque was again mostly just to get by, but again, it was money coming in, which I'd not had since about april, so anything was good.

What I'm trying to say is that up until now, more has gone out than has come in, but now more is coming in than going out (cause I'm actually earning regular money now), so I haven't noticed the increase so much.

The debt I don't have to start paying off until I'm earning above £15,000 and in any case not before April 09. So although I'm heavily in debt, it is a student loan from a government related company, and I won't have to suddenly pay it all off. It is a gradual thing over many years, where they take a percentage of my salary each month.

I was brought up with very little money in the family, and so was brought up on thrift store/good will shop clothes, and basic foods, not luxuries. But now I have more money than I've ever had, so it is hard not to spend more! Plus my partner's family had enough money while he was growing up, so he's never really had to be thrifty, and is finding it harder to learn that now. We aren't extravegant and we're saving our pennies, but life hasn't become more difficult in the last few months. I do count ourselves very lucky because of this! Our jobs are pretty secure too, so we don't have to worry about that side fo things either.

So no, my spending habbits haven't become more frugal, but like Heidi I've always had my eye out for a bargain and don't like spending more money on things than I need to.

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We are still doing great but at the same time who wants to throw money out the window? NOt I...we have been doing several things to save some money and also work towards being more green...

1) Cloth diapers and wipes (no garbage generated, no raw sewage in landfill)

2) I make my own cleaning agents

3) I make my own laundry detergent

4) Use/make dryer balls (no dryer sheets and less energy to dry clothes)

5) replacing paper products with cloth wherever possible...napkins, papaertowleing etc)

6) turn thermostat down..house is 59 at night gets a short burst to 67 in am then 65 rest of day

7) plastic the windows...amazing how much difference this makes especially in an older house!

8) we bought a half cow so ALL our meat is only 2.50 a lb!

These are our daily changes, we also plan more upgrades, new furnace, on demand hot water and new windows for the spring.

As for shopping..DH does most of it and he is bad..runs here and there all the time. But he does carpool to and from work atleast. We limit our trips to the city and build lists! I did alot of my xmas shopping online (kids stuff..all of it from TRU for $2 shipping :groupwave:...closest TRU is 1000 km away and half the stuff I could not get anywhere within 500 km of me so GREAT deal there!)

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My philosophy has always been "a penny saved is a penny earned";unfortunately, it's often hard to remember this when it comes to minis and doll housing. I have cut waay back on that, however, because I will NEVER allow my hobby to come before my children, my husband, or my family-- and the way that things are w/ this economy right now, you just never never know when you will NEED every penny of your money and had wished you'd been more frugal; so I say "good for you" for ANY money that you are saving. We should ALL be doing this.

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DH and I are pretty fortunate in that we don't have a high house payment or car payment. In March, our home will be paid off and that will be a great thing! I didn't drive much before the high increase in gas prices and now that they have come down, I still don't drive much. Work is 12 miles round trip and I pass all the stores I may need in between. So, unless it is a 'gotta have' on my day off, that is all the driving I do. Our food budget should get back on track along with hubby's weight as he is on a new medicine and it now sleeping through the night for the first time in YEARS and it not up all night snacking. Minis money is there, should I need it, but with Christmas coming I am not spending on minis. I am designing a foamcore house and since I got the foamcore on sale for half off, this is a cheap project. Just have to see where the ol' mind leads me with it.

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My husband would love it if I were like this, but I'm not. When we first got married and would go grocery shopping together, he'd be seething because I don't buy generic brands. I shop by name recognition, always have...it's how I was brought up. He's completely given up trying to tell me that the generic brands are as good as the store brands...I just can't do it though.

As for our clothes, it's helped that I'm not working anymore. When I did work, I spent quite a bit of money on my clothes. Now, I pretty much live in jogging suits, jeans and sweatshirts. I do spend a lot of money on the kids' clothes though...way more than what I spend on my clothes. We get their stuff from Macy's, Gymboree or the Gap...but I usually try and find things off season that are on sale.

I have been a little more frugal when it comes to the food that I get from the store though. I won't buy generic brands, but I have cut way back on the steaks, lamb chops that we used to enjoy. In the summer, I would usually stock up on rib eyes for the grill because that's hubby's favorite. We didn't have nearly as much steak this summer, so in that way, yeah, we've been cutting back. I feel blessed though because hubby makes a nice salary, and if things ever really got tight, I could just go back to work to supplement his income. Luckily we haven't had to cut out too many of our creature comforts just yet.

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My parents grew up during the Depression and my grandmother was Scottish and the only child of herfamily born in this country to a steel-worker & a seamstress, and I grew up knowing how to pinch pennies until they screamed. Tiffanie, you're like my eldest son's wife. My youngest son furnished his entire house for free and lives on his Social Security check.

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I think if you are accustomed to the lifestyle living of frugality..it comes much easier to you. Do you know that Generic brand food is actually made in the plants that make name brands? That generic can of corn is most likely Green Giant corn but it is packaged special for the stores at a discounted price. Something to think about huh?

Even if you start off small, it makes a big difference in your budget in the long run...plus it is actually fun. I could have paid $3 for a bag of cat litter...there was a bag of higher priced cat litter in the reduced bin because there was a rip in the bag (taped up)..I got that instead for $1.25. You get a lil giddy (not crazy giddy..LOL) when you find stuff like that.

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I don't know about generic. I've bought generic and it never tastes good - it's usually cheap for a reason. Food is the one area I splurge on though, although I'll be cutting waaaaay back in the next couple of months while I'm looking for work again. Ah, well, I need to lose weight anyway.

But when it comes to other stuff - I think I last bought clothes 3 years ago, I know it's been two years since I had my hair cut and a couple of years since I bought shoes. I think I've gone to one movie in the last three years too. Come to think of it, I haven't bought anything but minis and food in years. And I think I've been a bit restrained on the minis too. You guys notice that with all the banks and business closing and going belly-up, the fast food joints are still in business? Now if those all went under, I might save some money! :headhurts:

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I've bought generic and it never tastes good
A lot of that is psychological. My experience was the other way around. 'When DH & I were both working the first time (pre-kids) we splurged and went out and bought "name" brands, and we continue to do so from time to time, to try new products, etc. I still cannot taste any difference between Green Giant niblet corn and the Publix brand of the same identical thing, and I'm really picky about canned veggies, since we tend to eat them chilled & drained, straight from the can in salads & antepasto.
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I don't know about generic. I've bought generic and it never tastes good - it's usually cheap for a reason. Food is the one area I splurge on though, although I'll be cutting waaaaay back in the next couple of months while I'm looking for work again. Ah, well, I need to lose weight anyway.

But when it comes to other stuff - I think I last bought clothes 3 years ago, I know it's been two years since I had my hair cut and a couple of years since I bought shoes. I think I've gone to one movie in the last three years too. Come to think of it, I haven't bought anything but minis and food in years. And I think I've been a bit restrained on the minis too. You guys notice that with all the banks and business closing and going belly-up, the fast food joints are still in business? Now if those all went under, I might save some money! :headhurts:

I agree with you about generics, I don't think they taste the same either. And maybe it is psychological, but I can't get past it.

My husband says that I equate things that cost more with "higher quality" and things that cost less with "low quality", and in many ways, I do. There are just some brands that I identify with, have had good experiences with, and my motto is..."if it ain't broke...don't fix it".

He teases me about even going into places like Wal-Mart or TJ Maxx....says he can almost see me break out in hives if he even suggests that we go there for something. I also can't do flea markets or thrift stores. I did get a pretty good deal on a table at a thrift store for one of my dollhouses, but I can't see buying our clothes from there.

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Maybe because New Englanders have always been known for their frugality and my parents were depression era kids, I've always been told to be thrifty. This has stayed with me, I try never to pay full price if I don't have to, bartering is the way to go. But I do have to admit that I am a spender and have been cuuting back. Good bargains are great unless you go broke while getting them. LOL :headhurts:

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I buy mostly name brand groceries because when I call any "name" manufacturer regarding gluten in their products, I get good information and frequently coupons. When I call a generic company, I get attitude. I'll also gladly pay more for cruelty free products. I'm thrifty and shop for second-hand clothes, but I wish wish wish Stacey & Clinton would show up one day. Man I'd go through that credit card in record time. B)

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I've always lived frugally...I think that was something I learned from my mother and my grandmother.....Judy, I would love to see what you do with foamcore.....I've been thinking about that myself because it's just so much lighter in weight....well, back to my penny counting....

Elicia

living the vida loca in South Carolina

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