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Old 12-26-2014, 09:42 PM   #181
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Great idea - I always skip the guacamole at Chipotle due to the price
I always skip Chipotle due to the price. Can make way better stuff at home and customize it to my tastes.

And $0.69 avocados = dirt cheap guacamole in any quantity I want.
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Old 12-27-2014, 01:51 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by photoguy View Post
...Recently I was annoyed that my socks had developed holes in the bottom (socks were not that old). I was going to throw them out but discovered they were just as comfortable if I flipped hem upside down even though they had a heel. Now my plan is to flip my socks before they develop the hole and apply a "wear leveling algorithm".

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Now THAT'S frugal in my book.
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Old 12-27-2014, 02:05 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
...I wonder if washing ziploc bags or whatever really makes sense by the time one considers the cost of hot water, soap, time, etc. to save 8 cents or less. Radical!
An excellent point which I have occasionally mentioned to DH--not sure it's really all that 'green' or cost effective. However, we continue to wash out the non-greasy, better-shape ones for now.
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Old 12-27-2014, 04:20 AM   #184
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Save junk mail envelopes for messages and grocery lists.
That is my mother! When DB and I cleaned out her house (when she had to move into assisted living), we found reams of these rubber-banded together for future use, PLUS the back sides of old mailings/church bulletins, etc. that she was using as scratch paper.

She also had kitchen and bedroom drawers (plus hall closets) crammed with hundreds of plastic bags. She had been washing out bread bags for re-use and stashing them with every Target, Walmart, pharmacy and grocery bag she brought home for (we don't know how many) years.

What's so odd is that Mom never seemed to be any kind of hoarder. But, yes, she continues a lot of those depression-era economies (saving gift wrap and ribbon, recycling Xmas cards as gift tags, etc.)

Some of the habits I picked up early on, which added to an LBYM lifestyle over the years. Now I feel like I'm living with a silver spoon in my mouth when I toss such things after only 1 or 2 uses.

Ah, the joys of living large!

(Though dear DIL was impressed on Christmas Eve with what she called "What beautiful gift tags!" she found on her packages. I fessed up that they were the fronts of recycled Christmas cards. In her new efforts at frugality, she was quite impressed........so maybe this will continue into a new generation?!)

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Old 12-27-2014, 04:26 AM   #185
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I bring home soaps and lotions from hotel rooms. I have a basket of them in the guest bathroom. I haven't bought a bar of soap in years.
These are also great to package up in Zip-locks (and new ones, at that!) when we contribute to a toiletry table of stuff given to the needy who come to our church's soup kitchen. I put the hotel shampoo, conditioner, lotion, mouthwash, in a bag with some soaps--- that way I can donate some short-term help to more people.

(But-- selfish me-- I also keep plenty of those soaps for DH and me....)

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Old 12-27-2014, 08:30 AM   #186
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I am not a hoarder, but I think there's one buried deep inside me. For that reason, I don't employ some of the techniques mentioned here. I have a fear of clutter, so don't save those used dry Ziploc bags, etc. But I love the idea of cutting paper towels in half!
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Old 12-28-2014, 12:54 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by photoguy View Post
Recently I was annoyed that my socks had developed holes in the bottom (socks were not that old). I was going to throw them out but discovered they were just as comfortable if I flipped hem upside down even though they had a heel. Now my plan is to flip my socks before they develop the hole and apply a "wear leveling algorithm".
As a retiree, it's OK for you to take such a measure. Else, you may have embarrassing moments like the one a President of the World Bank had when he had to take off his shoes when entering a mosque in Turkey. The photos of his holey socks taken in 2007 are still circulating on the Web.



I also hate to throw away a good pair of socks with holes in the heel, but turning it around causes an uncomfortable bump at the inner ankle joint. Yes, I had the same idea as yours, but it did not work.

If you are going to do the preemptive "wear leveling" method to prevent a hole from developing in the 1st place, I wonder if the following is going to work. Why rotate the socks 180 degrees, when 90 degrees would also work? You just remember to wear the sock heel the right way during weekends, but with the heel pointing to right on Mon/Tue, pointing up on Wed/Thu, and pointing to left on Fri. After a couple of weeks, it would become automatic whenever you put on a sock.

The above does not work for me because the sock heel at the wrong location bothers me with its bump. And then, no longer working, I have problems remembering what day of the week it is. Still, I suggested it because it might work for somebody.

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I think I'm going to be less frugal to make up for the rest of y'all!
No way you can! Even though these frugal ER's only save a penny or two with toothpaste squeezing, they outnumber you so vastly that a couple of tins of caviar you are going to buy would not make a dent. Nor would an extra European vacation or two. You would have to be as rich as Buffett.

PS. I linked in the photo of Paul Wolfowitz's feet from the following Web page. It also has a good article about frugal habits of truly rich people.

See: Rich People's Toes | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com.

An excerpt:
Rich people are perfectly comfortable wearing bummy clothes. Back when the first President Bush was in office someone wrote an article about life at the Bush’s Maine estate. The whole family wears ratty old junk. No, they don’t appear in glamorous vacation attire. They schlep around in faded, raggedy stuff they’ve had forever. Asked why this is so, President Bush answered, “But it still fits.” Poor people would be ashamed to look like that. Rich people don’t give a hoot what everyone else thinks.
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Old 12-28-2014, 01:21 PM   #188
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1
I think I'm going to be less frugal to make up for the rest of y'all!
No way you can! Even though these frugal ER's only save a penny or two with toothpaste squeezing, they outnumber you so vastly that a couple of tins of caviar you are going to buy would not make a dent. Nor would an extra European vacation or two. You would have to be as rich as Buffett.
just wait til we all stick together--we'll keep those ziploc and toothpaste factories in business!
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Old 12-28-2014, 02:43 PM   #189
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Will all the ultra-frugal souls hang together in heaven? Probably not: one does not waste as many matches in hell.
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Old 12-28-2014, 02:58 PM   #190
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I follow this advice:

"Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship." - Benjamin Franklin or the old backpacking saying, if you watch the ounces, the pounds will take care of themselves. I think it is the same with pennies.

I watched a wilderness competition on TV once where the winning team cut the tags out of their clothes to save on ounces collectively and the losing team brought a cheese board in their backpacks.

I wash out baggies these days partly from a zero waste perspective and not just to save money. I like shopping at thrift shops and upcycling for the same reason. The money saving is a nice benefit, too. But by shopping at local charity thrift shops I'm keeping stuff out of landfills, saving money and the money I do spend goes to support local charities like animal shelters and hospices.
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Old 12-28-2014, 04:01 PM   #191
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I resemble some of these approaches. I definitely

* flatten and save aluminum foil (provided it's not 'foody')
* rinse, dry, and reuse 'freezer' quality zip-locks (the expensive ones)
* darn my socks
* wear t-shirts (for the same reason I use bed sheets) because it's much cheaper and easier to wash a t-shirt, and thus I can wear the over-shirt 3 or 4 times. I could likely wear them more, as they don't get sweaty, they just stop feeling 'laundry fresh'.
* tear up old clothes to use as rags rather than tossing them
* make rag-rugs from the above occasionally (it's not very hard really to make a rag rug for the kitchen or bathroom).
* freeze and actually use leftovers such as lasagna (as opposed to my mom who freezes and never uses anything til it is needs to be thrown out).
* tell the teens to put on a sweater, socks, and sweats of course, when they complain of being cold in December, and I see they are dressed like they are going to the beach in the summer.
* sigh, when I see all the savings disappear, when my wife comes back from costco with enough pre-packaged food to have the family hike across the state.

Oh well.
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Old 12-28-2014, 05:04 PM   #192
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Or maybe a breathalyzer for posters...
What is the pass number, I may have failed.
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Old 12-28-2014, 05:10 PM   #193
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A friend of mine is so frugal he takes an individually wrapped cheese in his pocket to put on his McDonald's burger. Saves maybe 10 or 15 cents. True story. Any humorous examples of extreme frugality? Must be true.
One of the biggest disagreements FW had with her dad. He was buying lunch at Burger King. Her whopper with cheese was 20 cents extra. He insisted since he was paying his choice was final. Oh my he didn't know his DD very well, no cheese is not an option! I'm glad I wasn't there.

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Old 12-28-2014, 06:41 PM   #194
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I do these things routinely:
* plagiarize and adapt lists like sdawson's
* flatten and save aluminum foil
* rinse, dry, and reuse plastic freezer bags
* darn my holey socks
* wear t-shirts (for the same reason I use bed sheets) because it's much cheaper and easier to wash a t-shirt
* tear up old clothes, sheets and towels to use as rags
* freeze and use leftovers
* make "clear out the fridge" soups and stews
* wash and reuse selected plastic containers
* put on a sweater, socks, and sweats when it feels cold
* batch errands with social events to minimize fuel consumption
* not have cable TV (cancelled almost 3 years ago)
* use the library
* make use of coupons, but only if they are for stuff I need
* not colour my hair (stopped 7 months ago)
* use the blank side of paper for lists and notes
* keep stuff until it breaks or wears out
* regift unwanted gifts after a suitable interval, and only to someone who I believe would like the gift and is not known to the giver
* reuse wrapping paper and gift bags
* comparison shop for major items
* negotiate large purchases
* use airline points when it makes sense to do so
* bring home toiletries that I like from hotel rooms

Things I do not do:
* dumpster dive
* shop at thrift stores
* shop on Black Friday, Boxing Day or any other Sale day
* eat mouldy food
* hoard
* buy coupon books
* do activities, visit restaurants and buy stuff that I do not like, just because there is a discount
* stay in hostels

OTOH, these are things I like to do that cost money:
* have an occasional massage
* attend arts events
* dine out with friends
* entertain friends
* cook and eat high quality and organic foods
* travel in relative comfort (e.g. I paid for a seat upgrade and valet parking at the airport on my most recent trip)
* insist on having my own room, except in rare cases where there is no other option
* leverage the vacation property I bought a decade ago to book luxurious accommodation in nice places (and invite friends along)
* plan tax-efficient charitable giving

To me this is just common sense. I am simply directing my spending to areas that have value to me. If it means I am labelled a Scrooge, so be it!

Incidentally, when I calculate my December and year-end expenses, I already know that my lifestyle expenses for 2014 will add up to less than $50K. That includes eight weeks of travel, during which I visited seven countries and had a wonderful time.
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Old 12-28-2014, 07:03 PM   #195
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I don't wash and reuse ziplocks. I pay 2 cents for the sandwich ziplocks and 4-6 cents for quart or gallon freezer bags (thanks, Aldi!). At my house, water is a penny a gallon cold, and definitely more than that hot (and I probably run a gallon to draw up the hot water). It doesn't take much water before I've spent more cleaning the bag than just tossing it and using a brand new one.

I just use a washable container for most things. That way I can pop it in the dishwasher and let it do the work (and probably use less water than hand-washing it).
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Old 12-28-2014, 07:45 PM   #196
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I resemble some of these approaches. I definitely

* flatten and save aluminum foil (provided it's not 'foody')
* rinse, dry, and reuse 'freezer' quality zip-locks (the expensive ones)
* darn my socks
* wear t-shirts (for the same reason I use bed sheets) because it's much cheaper and easier to wash a t-shirt, and thus I can wear the over-shirt 3 or 4 times. I could likely wear them more, as they don't get sweaty, they just stop feeling 'laundry fresh'.
* tear up old clothes to use as rags rather than tossing them
* make rag-rugs from the above occasionally (it's not very hard really to make a rag rug for the kitchen or bathroom).
* freeze and actually use leftovers such as lasagna (as opposed to my mom who freezes and never uses anything til it is needs to be thrown out).
* tell the teens to put on a sweater, socks, and sweats of course, when they complain of being cold in December, and I see they are dressed like they are going to the beach in the summer.
* sigh, when I see all the savings disappear, when my wife comes back from costco with enough pre-packaged food to have the family hike across the state.

Oh well.
We do a lot of similar things. Freeze and use later: When I do some labor intensive cooking, like my aunt's herb laden pasta sauce, or Indian cooking, that takes hours and hours, I make a larger amount and deliberately freeze two serving portions for later use. (I freeze them in a pot, then remove and use a vacuum sealer and put the portion back in the freezer. DH. This works for certain foods that freeze well and come out with the flavors blended when reheated. My end of the fall harvest of jalapeños gets washed then frozen. They work very well in sauces. Label what I freeze with the date made/frozen.

I also have shopped at BJs, like Costco, bought larger packages of fresh chicken and stuff like that, then froze smaller portions when I came home.

Grow my own herbs, they're ridiculously easy to grow.Sage winters over nicely and has beautiful flowers in the spring. Rosemary and thyme sometimes gets through the winter. Cilantro and basil. When they go to seed I grab the seeds and replant them, or in the case of cilantro, use the seeds (coriander).

Last, when I shop by myself, like your DW, I sometimes overbuy. But if I take DH along, I stick to the list. So maybe if you go with DW to Costco, you might both get free lunch from the samples and talk her out of buying too much--a double win in the frugality department. It also is quicker when we go together.
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Old 12-28-2014, 09:49 PM   #197
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just wait til we all stick together--we'll keep those ziploc and toothpaste factories in business!
Oh, you want to help specifically the ziploc bag and toothpaste makers? This is going to be even harder!

Are you going to brush your teeth down to a stump? Double and triple bagging? I do not think that would help enough.

What you and Audrey need to do is to spend tens of thousand of dollars of your own money to buy ziploc bags and toothpaste, then to hand them out at the entrance of a grocery store, standing next to a placard declaring "We want to support Ziploc, Colgate, and Crest. Have some on us".
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Old 12-29-2014, 01:12 AM   #198
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I live in the tropics, so cold showers are welcome most of the time. But in the morning when it's a chilly 26C (79F) and the sun hasn't warmed the rooftop water tank, I turn on the on-demand heater, wet limbs and head until it's warm enough to not shock the torso, get fully under the water stream and immediately turn the heater off.

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Old 12-29-2014, 09:03 AM   #199
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It sounds like "ultra frugal", but it's not a conscious effort to save money, just a lifestyle that we've gotten used to, and it's too late to change now.

The list does not include materials for things we do ourselves, such as car repair, painting, repairing, cleaning, or other materials used.

Fortunately, it looks as though the pennies saved over the years are working out to our advantage today.
Through the past 25 years of retirement, we've done everything we wished for, lived everywhere we wanted, and loved every minute of it.

Not a "do as I do", but a simple list of the items that, for us, weren't necessary for happiness, and we would never trade them for the joy of years of retirement.

Controllable Annual Expense Items:
Life Insurance
New Clothing $28
Haircuts
Hair styling
Pedicures/manicures
Beauty products
Movies
Concerts
Sporting events
Restaurants (more than $8 meal) $100
Books
Music
"New" Computers
Software...
Car maintenance
Brand vs. Generic foods
Premium meat or fish
Financial Advisor
Lawyer
Chiro/Massage/Tan etc.
Tatoos...
Home Decor.. (all resale)
Cars.. since 1998...
Car Wash and wax
Premium TV channels
New Bikes or Exercise equipment
Sporting goods
Cruises
Group trips
Flying (Airlines)
Bus, Train, Taxi
Lodging (more than 3 star)
Premium Gasoline
Tools $58
Housekeeper
Carpet Cleaning
Window/Gutter/Furnace etc. Cleaning
Premium booze/wine...
Jewelry
Organic foods
Brand sodas
Painting, remodeling
Weapons
Subscriptions magazine,newspaper $72
Gambling
Banking or Credit Card Fees
Appliance or Electonics insurance
Eye Glasses...$74
Pets... (except bird feed)
Healthcare maint.... ouside of home
Pest control
Membership fees $12

Total $344
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Old 12-29-2014, 10:13 AM   #200
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I also hate to throw away a good pair of socks with holes in the heel, but turning it around causes an uncomfortable bump at the inner ankle joint. Yes, I had the same idea as yours, but it did not work.
I'm glad to see i'm not the only one with this idea

Quote:
If you are going to do the preemptive "wear leveling" method to prevent a hole from developing in the 1st place, I wonder if the following is going to work. Why rotate the socks 180 degrees, when 90 degrees would also work?
I thought about this too! My socks tend to wear out on the ball of the foot so a partial rotation might not have enough clearance.

Quote:
The above does not work for me because the sock heel at the wrong location bothers me with its bump.
There's always tube socks.

Quote:
Rich people are perfectly comfortable wearing bummy clothes. Back when the first President Bush was in office someone wrote an article about life at the Bush’s Maine estate. The whole family wears ratty old junk. No, they don’t appear in glamorous vacation attire. They schlep around in faded, raggedy stuff they’ve had forever. Asked why this is so, President Bush answered, “But it still fits.” Poor people would be ashamed to look like that. Rich people don’t give a hoot what everyone else thinks.
Awesome quote.

My mother-in-law thinks that I dress like a bum but I keep reminding her that where we used to live in california people showed up to the office in flip-flops and short-shorts. Dressing up is putting on newer jeans.
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