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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-10-2006, 08:46 AM   #21
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

When we joined Costco we made a few trips buying >$300 worth of stuff, then I cleared space in the cupboards and laundryroom to store it all. Most of it was store-brand paper products, cleaning supplies, etc, and food items with long shelf lives. So far so good.

For the next few months nearly every time the kids or other relatives came over I'd watch my wife load them up with our surplus supplies! WTF?!?!?

Afterward we'd make Costco runs and she'd grab a second mega-pack of Kirkland paper towels or laundry detergent, explaining that one of the kids had asked her to pick it up on our next run, with the understanding that they'd pay for the items. Uh-huh.

It took a little while (and not a few arguments) to break her of that. Three years later I'm still not quite sure we're in the black on our Costco membership.

Cb
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-10-2006, 09:19 AM   #22
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

That would explain the many glass jars of garbanzo beans I found in my 96 year old grandmother's house................
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-10-2006, 09:32 AM   #23
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

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Originally Posted by Cb
For the next few months nearly every time the kids or other relatives came over I'd watch my wife load them up with our surplus supplies! WTF?!?!?
Been there, done that!!!

I've changed our strategy away from bulk buying to one of just watching the sales for most items. Living in an urban area, it's easy to visit several stores and only put 3 - 4 miles on the car for the entire trip. So, I save the store fliers when they arrive in the mail and shop weekly planning most meals based on what is in season and what is on sale. With only two of us at home now, even small extra quantities purchased on sale usually stretch out over a long time.

Now that we're FIRE'd, it's hard to stop watching the pennies! Sometimes we laugh at the contrasts in decisions. Example: We decide to get the best seats available to see Jimmy Buffet when he was in town, dine at one of our favorite, but pricey, restaurants afterwards and then stop at a bistro for a nightcap and more live music. Cost = almost $200. We could have gotten less expensive tickets and dinned/drank at home and saved close to $100. The very next day, I'm looking at sale fliers and making home meal plans that save $5 or $10 for the week! Being "thrifty" gets in your blood like a hobby and you just can't stop.

I do agree that saving money on small, regularly consumed items reflects an attitude about spending and consumption that could likely be a predictor of getting to FIRE or not.
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-10-2006, 09:39 AM   #24
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

I tend to stock ahead on nonperishables when I have coupons. I have so much free toilet paper and toothpaste that I had to go on haitus and stop buying free stuff for a couple of months.
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-10-2006, 09:42 AM   #25
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

I invest first, so we can spend the rest, occasionally tracking spending throughout the month.

I decided a long time ago that buying in bulk probably saved us very little, and with limited storage space just wasn't practical. I just let Walmart store it all for me.
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-10-2006, 09:50 AM   #26
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

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Originally Posted by yelnad
I have so much free toilet paper and toothpaste that I had to go on haitus and stop buying free stuff for a couple of months.
Maybe it's because I'm not a Penn State graduate, but I don't understand how you 'buy' stuff that's 'free'...

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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-10-2006, 10:02 AM   #27
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

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Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Maybe it's because I'm not a Penn State graduate, but I don't understand how you 'buy' stuff that's 'free'...
Steal it from the hotel room?
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-10-2006, 10:07 AM   #28
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

Hey, I'm not a Penn State grad! Don't insult me like that. I just work here.

You still have to go through the act of "buying." You can't just grab the stuff off the shelf and run. Double coupons, folks. They work.
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-10-2006, 01:09 PM   #29
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
Now that we're FIRE'd, it's hard to stop watching the pennies! Sometimes we laugh at the contrasts in decisions. Being "thrifty" gets in your blood like a hobby and you just can't stop.
Same problem here. I've gradually cut back on the things that don't give me a big thrill for the effort, like mail-in coupon rebates or contest entries. Otherwise I tell myself that I'm setting a good example for our kid. When she's not around, I don't have to set such a rigorous standard of behavior...

Quote:
Originally Posted by yelnad
I tend to stock ahead on nonperishables when I have coupons. I have so much free toilet paper and toothpaste that I had to go on haitus and stop buying free stuff for a couple of months.
I know people who enjoy the challenge of getting "free stuff" and donating all their toiletries & cleaning products to shelters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Maybe it's because I'm not a Penn State graduate
The local joke used to be that you're either a graduate of Penn State or of the state pen... you're either designing those license plates or you're making 'em. They encouraged it, too-- I grew up with a friend who was one of nine siblings on PS's "group tuition" plan.
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-10-2006, 05:16 PM   #30
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

Quote:
I've changed our strategy away from bulk buying to one of just watching the sales for most items. Living in an urban area, it's easy to visit several stores and only put 3 - 4 miles on the car for the entire trip.
yes, but starting and stopping is the real vehicle killer....unless you just hoof it...

I thought there was a thread about this on the Simple Living forums...something about using marker to post when you buy stuff....that way you can tell if you have a problem....
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-10-2006, 08:07 PM   #31
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

Quote:
We always buy stuffs that we always need in bulk, e.g., paper towel, toliet paper, detergent, tissue, tooth paste, shampoo, hand lotion, rice.
My Sweetie has been helping his mother clean out her garage. Turns out she and my FIL (two 85-year olds) had a garage FILLED with the above.

I suppose they saved a few bucks, but in the meantime the cars sat outside and half the stuff was forgotten back there in the darkness. (I helped my mother clean out her pantry once and found Jello packages over a DECADE old. )

Some folks, god bless 'em, have the attention span for this type of shopping. I don't. We also don't have any kids so a lot of things bought in bulk end up going to waste. I buy a few things in bulk (ONE big box of toilet paper, vs three), don't use paper towels at all, and shop for food that's fresh, vs canned / cheap.

Just another data point...
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-10-2006, 08:14 PM   #32
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

Hey, my MIL had 10 year old packages of jello too! Probably still good.

We haven't ever had to buy aluminum foil, still working through rolls from deceased relatives. A real puzzler is the waxed paper. No apparent use for it, but we sure aren't throwing it away. Suggestions?




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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-10-2006, 08:53 PM   #33
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

We use wax paper alot when making our homemade chocolate candies like turtles.
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-10-2006, 08:55 PM   #34
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

The only use for waxed paper is to cover a bowl of soup when you're microwaving it. Martha, do you have any extra freezer paper? Donate it to local quilters.

Nords, that's funny since Rockview (State Pen) is just down the road. I'm pretty sure PSU doesn't have that group tuition discount anymore. When I meet with the parents of prospective students, some of them are out right insulted that I don't have a PSU degree.

Go SUNY!
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-10-2006, 09:04 PM   #35
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

Wax paper = baking

I don't buy in super bulk; no place to store...

I do use store brands for things like tomato sauce, catup, jelly, milk, bread, tuna, frozen vegetables, butter, yogurt, etc. I've tried store-brand cereal, but the imitation Cheerios taste like soda crackers, and the imitation Wheaties resemble the boxboard in which they are sold...

These actions are an indicator of my wealth... :P
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-10-2006, 09:05 PM   #36
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Hey, my MIL had 10 year old packages of jello too! Probably still good.

We haven't ever had to buy aluminum foil, still working through rolls from deceased relatives. A real puzzler is the waxed paper. No apparent use for it, but we sure aren't throwing it away. Suggestions?




Back in the early 60s, Mother used to wrap my lunch sandwiches in waxed paper.
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 02:33 AM   #37
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

Hello,

I believe that there are several levels of wealth:

If you have hardly enough money to live from day to day you will not have a chance to buy in bulk or to plan purchases and thus to save some $$ mid-term by doing it. A journalist who's name I cannot recall wrote a book on the difficulties to get by on minimum wage and mentioned this problem.

Once you have managed to accumulate some $$ you have reached a first level of wealth. This allows you to "invest" by bulk-buying and by planning purchases mid- or long-term.

Of course there are several layers of wealth above that.
One of these (very high up) might be the level where you could use personal shoppers. They also could be regarded as investment: Your own time invested elsewhere might bring a better Return of Investment (ROI) than the cost of a personal shopper.

There is also a level of wealth where you may find that monitoring special occasions or your bulk-purchases for end-of-life does not provide better ROI than your time and attention invested elsewhere.

Financial problems occur if you believe that you are in a higher level than you actually are.

"Stuffed basement" problems occur if you do not realize that your purchases are investments and need to be used in due time to provide sufficient ROI. If you stuff up not for ROI but for sentimental reasons (you feel safer with lots of food in the house) you will loose money on the long run.

Chris
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 05:38 AM   #38
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris2008
A journalist who's name I cannot recall wrote a book on the difficulties to get by on minimum wage and mentioned this problem.
Barbara Ehrenreich
http://www.barbaraehrenreich.com/
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 06:25 AM   #39
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris2008

"Stuffed basement" problems occur if you do not realize that your purchases are investments and need to be used in due time to provide sufficient ROI. If you stuff up not for ROI but for sentimental reasons (you feel safer with lots of food in the house) you will loose money on the long run.

Chris
This is my mother. Although she lived through the Great Depression,
she was never deprived (although many of her friends were).
Anyway, her home is loaded with all kinds of foodstuffs. She doesn't
even know what she has and she still keeps buying even when there
is no room to store it. The fridge is full. Both freezers are full, and in the basement.............well, you can barely walk as the stuff has spilled out all over the
floor. Still, if I call on the phone and mention food, she'll say "Oh, we are
out of that. " Or, "I have to get to the store." I think it's a safety net
thing, either that or she just uses it as an excuse to get out of the
house.

JG
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth
Old 10-11-2006, 06:58 AM   #40
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Re: Attitude towards planning purchases an indicator of wealth

JG.. we have something in common! No second freezer.. but tons of food, yet mom had to run out to the store when I visited, just to get something.. anything.. to make for dinner.

She eats out all the time and what's in the freezer is whoknowshow old and freezer-burned, while the dry goods are home to flour moths. I think it's just the sensation of not having an "empty" larder or fridge despite the reality that in effect there's 'nothing' in there to eat.. (no fresh vegetables.. but there ARE fourteen bottles of salad dressing!!).. She never cooks for herself anymore beyond toast in the am and the odd scrambled egg--heck, she doesn't even LIKE cooking and never did. With what she really uses she could easily have a dorm/minibar-size fridge.

Ah, well.. who knows how I'll be when I'm in my dotage?? and anyway..she can afford to waste it now if it makes her feel safe; the ROI is no longer the point. Every visit I try and clean out but she hates it.
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