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Old 05-24-2013, 06:51 AM   #21
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Thanks for the nice reply, Alex. And I will admit that I do enjoy being frugal enough that I will even try to beat the grocery stores at their own game. I stock up when things are on sale and if I happen to notice their online extra sale, I will happily take advantage. I don't like the hoops I have to go through to get the "real" prices, but I do figure the per-unit costs and gleefully buy 10 boxes of the small size instead of 2 boxes of the large size when the sales make the total cost cheaper in smaller packages. Which I think is further evidence of the irrationality of most pricing, but I'm happy to take advantage of in the odd case where it works out in my favor.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:32 AM   #22
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Just like I enjoy playing poker, I enjoy playing the frugal game. I'm glad I now have the time to do it right. It only makes sense to stock up on items like meat when they are on sale. (I think those discounted prices are really the "right" prices.)

When there are deals or coupons, I definately think its a game. For example, every so often Kohl's sends me a coupon for $10 off. I think Kohl's is betting I'll go in and spend $50 to buy stuff I probably don't need. It's tough to do, but I've managed to find items that cost just over $10 and so I've bought a set of socks and a good knife for about 50 cents each.

My bank offered me an incentive of $25 if I used my debit card 5 times. The $25 doesn't show up for 90 days and I think most people just forget about it, but I'm glad that I "remembered" to follow up and got my bank to finally give me that credit.

I feel REALLY good about reducing my gas, electric and water since that's good for me financially and good for the planet. Lately I've been focusing on not wasting water and my decreasing bill shows I'm winning.

I recycle, but I feel REALLY good about re-using and elminating waste. Again good for me financially and for the planet.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:48 AM   #23
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Being retired really helps tilt the playing field. For example I'm setting up a visit cross country in which my grandson and step daughter will also fly. I saved about $180 per ticket by checking the prices several times a day over several weeks. It is amazing how much those prices jump around by significant amounts, even over a few hours.

When I was w*rking, I'd sit down on a weekend like everyone else and just book and pay the price.

I've also found that I can buy nearly anything on eBay or Amazon for less than a brick and mortar store nearby. Being retired, I can take time to look hard under the wrong categories, using misspelled words, etc.

Plus, I actually enjoy the hunt as an intellectual challenge. Others play golf.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:58 AM   #24
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I enjoy the frugal game too....sometimes, its just reading the fine print. Our rewards VISA card offers airline tickets or cash for the points we earn. 30,000 points gets you a "free" $300 ticket, or you can redeem those 30,000 points for $450 cash. No brainer to get the cash, pay for your own ticket and put the remaining $150 in your pocket. In reviewing the new redemtion chart, this option (ticket vs cash) is valid for anything above 30,000 points. Effectively, the credit union where we have this card pays us over $100/month to use their card! Well worth the annual $49 card fee.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:36 AM   #25
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I buy used golf balls from lostgolfballs.com. Does that count?
We have donated hundred of golf balls....
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:37 AM   #26
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We have donated hundred of golf balls....
+1000
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:06 AM   #27
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... Don't HAVE to, but thought we'd give frugality a try as we enter into retirement, to see what happens.

I predict you're going to be amazed at what can happen, Seraphim -- and thanks for the nice reply to my post.

I went through the same mental process you are going through now just as I was getting ready to go FI.

(WAIT! That's a lie. What really happened was that I did a systematic review of my regular expenses looking to see if I could reduce them enough to go FI and... the Frugal Game got me there!)

Make a long story short, playing the Frugal Game on "big ticket" stuff over a period of 2 or 3 months (I took my time) reduced my basic living expenses by 25% and propelled me into a much "fatter" and faster FI.

You could do the same! (And THAT is way fun!)

Alex in Virginia
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:14 AM   #28
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Alex in Virginia, This was a fun post to read!
Mulligan, we have more in common than Anthem. I like your thermostat settings!
rbmrtn, I have the same problem with coupons. They are typically for things I don't need or use. And if they are, I'll clip them but then loose them. Need to get more organized!
I will have to agree with you and rb both on the coupons, though I have good intentions, something always happens. I had a $5 off rest. coupon, but 6 miles down the road I realized I forgot it. My daughter says turn around and get it we have time. I said, never mind, I would spend $5 in gas just going back and getting it.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:44 AM   #29
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I feel I've been playing the Frugal or LBYM game since I started receiving/earning money.

I look for sales, online promo codes, clearance, liquidation, etc. I get a little tense (inside) for those last minute unexpected gifts. While our budget is generally the same, I feel better when we buy something bigger and better for that same targeted budget, so I like it when I spend $50 on a gift while on sale with a retail value of say $100 vs paying full price of a $50 gift.

I do draw the line and make a conscious decision... do you shop at 4 stores which consumes time (still working) and gas to save $5? So for me, the Frugal game is at times, depends on the situation.

I know this might be a sensitive topic for some, but it looks very doable to semi-RE or RE in my late 40's with 2 younger kids. With solid taxable savings and rental income, I will have to determine a good approach to keeping AGI/MAGI to the right amount to leverage "programs" i.e. healthcare, school lunches/programs for the kids, financial aid for kid's college, etc. To me, this could be the next step of the Frugal game ;-)
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:49 AM   #30
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... Oil changes would be another example of a time when I'm happy to lose the frugal game. I know I could save some money by climbing under there and doing it myself, but that's something I'm happy to pay someone else to do.

Hi, ER Eddie...

Thanks for the reply to my post. But, hey, playing the Frugal Game doesn't mean you actually have to do WORK! (That's Frugal Game Extreme !)

I won't crawl under my truck either. (More power to those who do.) But when I take my vehicle to Jiffy Lube I always have at least a $5 off coupon that I can use in my glove compartment. So even though I'm paying for something I theoretically (very theoretically) could do myself, I still feel that little win feeling from saving the 5 bucks.

Cheers!

Alex in Virginia
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:11 PM   #31
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But you rbmrtn are way more of a man than I am... Thermostat set at 85? Although when outside my range of comfort can be anywhere from 40-100 degrees my indoor comfort has gotten extremely narrow. When it gets above 73 inside during the summer I am hot and when it is below 70 in the winter I am cold. If my utility rates doubled I would be furious, but still wouldn't adjust the thermostat.
+1 mostly ! if my bill doubled I'd probably adjust the thermostat by a degree or two but there is no way I'm going to be warm inside my home when its hotter than hades outside. Probably added 2 years to my FI calculations but we have to prioritze
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:13 PM   #32
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I change my own oil, but only because I take pleasure in making sure it is done right. Being retired is all about doing stuff that you enjoy and avoiding what you don't enjoy.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:19 PM   #33
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I will have to agree with you and rb both on the coupons, though I have good intentions, something always happens. I had a $5 off rest. coupon, but 6 miles down the road I realized I forgot it. My daughter says turn around and get it we have time. I said, never mind, I would spend $5 in gas just going back and getting it.
BTDT ! I've learned to store these items in my handbag or in my car. Sometimes I have to dig to find them, but I know they are with me.
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:04 PM   #34
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...When there are deals or coupons, I definately think its a game. For example, every so often Kohl's sends me a coupon for $10 off. I think Kohl's is betting I'll go in and spend $50 to buy stuff I probably don't need. It's tough to do, but I've managed to find items that cost just over $10 and so I've bought a set of socks and a good knife for about 50 cents each.

Hi, Delaney...

Thanks for replying to my post.

I do a similar thing with Bed Bath & Beyond. Every month or so they send me a 20% off one item -- or a $5 off a $15 purchase -- coupon. I always use their coupons to stock up on Keurig single-cup coffee thingies. The price of the box and the coupon discount are very well aligned!

The poor store is still waiting for me to buy something else over and above the coupon purchase.

Alex in Virginia

P.S. -- Those Kohl $10 off coupons you get are much better though!
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:16 PM   #35
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I do NOT mean to promote gambling, but some of the casinos have great food deals- particularly for new members of their "clubs". While on recent Midwest road trip, DW & I stopped at one for late lunch buffet. Although lunch was full price (still reasonable @ ~$10ea for some very tasty food, soft drink,& coffee), we got coupons for few bucks of free slot play. After running that 'coupon stake' through the 1-armed bandits we netted more than enough to pay for the lunches. Ended up getting back on the road with full bellies & a few extra quarters in our pockets
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:17 PM   #36
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Great post, Alex!

While I have naturally played the Frugal Game throughout my life (thanks to my late father, who was a master of it), I now give myself permission to use the proceeds of my frugality on some of the nicer things - for example, our grocery store gives 10% off when you buy 6 bottles of wine. My normal limit for non-special-occasion wine is $10, but I have changed that to $11 shelf price (= $9.90 after discount). So I can buy a few wines we really like that are over the $10 threshold and still pay less than $10.

I'm still in the process of the lightbulb swap - we have a lot of CFLs but quite a few fixtures where they aren't appropriate (chandelier base pendants that need 60-watt dimmable equivalents) so I'm trying out LEDs as well (with mixed success, need to look for another brand).
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:54 PM   #37
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I like to buy groceries on sale that I have a coupon for. I not only look for things I use, but do it for things I don't use and then put that food in the donation barrel on my way out of the store. Makes me feel good and hopefully helps someone else.
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:16 PM   #38
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I don't clip manufacturers coupons as the amounts are usually not worth the time it takes for me. But I do go through the weekly specials and get the loyalty cards for the local grocery stores. Many give you personalized loss leader coupons just to get you in the store. If you go and stock up on only the loss leaders you can really save money that way.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:48 AM   #39
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Great post! When I was w*rking, we didn't have a lot of time so we just paid whatever because it was convenient and expedient.

After RE, I had the time to do stuff on my own and/or look for bargains and realized how much we were getting ripped off! Who knew you could get decent (not the best, but pretty darn good) golf shirts and shorts at Costco for $18 ea? A few years ago, I'd of paid $90 for (almost) the same pants...and I'd of wrecked them just as quickly.
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:06 AM   #40
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DW has always been frugal: I'd tease her about spending $10 in gas looking for a $5 savings lol. Not me so much. An impulse buyer.

We've always been good about the thermostat in winter: easier to toss on a sweater. DWs allergies require AC in the summer though.

Our worst habit is eating out. A lot. Nice restaurants. Thinking about taking cooking lessons.
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