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Old 08-27-2016, 04:08 PM   #21
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I'm doing the "is it worth extra hours or even minutes of my remaining life?" calculations all the time.

Just a few examples:

It's worth the extra minute/clicks to buy online through a "rebate" site, but it is not worth the hours involved to squawk successfully if the $2 or $4 rebate doesn't show up in my account. The site demands documentation, makes me wait, then usually comes back and says it's my fault anyway. Not worth it. I did squawk about a $124 rebate on a piece of jewelry once, but lost anyway and wasted at least 2 hours in total. Definitely not worth it!

It's usually worth it to pack up a defective item and return it by mail for a refund; but not always, since we have no local post office.

Cheap clothes wear out fast and are not worth the savings. They would have to cost 1/4 as much as high-quality clothes to be worth it. And they cost more than that.

Expensive wine is probably not worth it, as I doubt my palate can tell the difference between a good $10 bottle and a $100 bottle. (Also, I do not want my palate to find out. I let it find out about expensive chocolate, and now it never lets up).
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Old 08-27-2016, 04:14 PM   #22
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I have released myself from the guilt of...

1. Not washing and reusing plastic bags
2. Not effectively managing every leftover or unused food item before spoilage
3. Running the dishwasher even if it's not quite full

All justified by saving in the big bucks categories of...

1. Buying used vehicles
2. Being married to an expert "fixer"

But I still...

1. Cut dryer sheets in half
2. Rinse out the last of the cream in the carton with some of the water heated for tea
3. Use sour cream way past its expiration date
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Old 08-27-2016, 04:17 PM   #23
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Sometimes you can have it both ways.
The Kirkland brands at Costco are frequently superior to the national brands, and cheaper as well.
+1

This is me for sure. But still wait for them to be on sale and buy a bunch. I enjoyed Andrew Tobias' discussion benefits of this behaviour in 'The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need'. In the end, it is why I was able to retire early. LBYM.
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Old 08-27-2016, 04:35 PM   #24
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Ms G was on the phone with United getting our Costa Rica trip tickets. She was sure that she was entitled to a free upgrade with her United CC. So as she is on hold she whispers to me, we can get business class on our leg out of Panama for $400. I am already doing the math $200 @ for a 4 hour flight that's $50 bucks an hour. And I say sure why not, I'm learning.
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Old 08-27-2016, 04:41 PM   #25
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Here's the deal: The OP should never have to waste time comparing power towels again. They should just buy the cheaper one without a second thought.

I have a pretty simple set of food items that I buy all year long. I don't ever have to think about comparing things because I know exactly what I want.

I know a good price when I see it and stock up. Otherwise, I either don't buy it or if I really need the item, I buy just one, since I can wait to buy more when on sale. Of course, I know if an item is on sale that even if I haven't run out of at home and I may buy it then if I know that the sale is special and will not happen again in a while, but most items go to sale prices at least once every couple of weeks.

I don't even bother going down aisles that I have never bought anything on. I don't go into stores that I don't need anything from.

So grocery shopping is a chore, so I really don't waste time doing it.

Also I eat leftovers pretty quickly, so that the fridge doesn't have all those plastic containers of moldy food in them. I like leftovers because I do not cook food I don't like nor do I order food in restaurants that I don't like.

And I don't even use dryer sheets. They are completely unnecessary.
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Irrational frugality
Old 08-27-2016, 05:10 PM   #26
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Irrational frugality

I have Ting service for my phone. Thanks to those here who recommended them! I use my phone mostly on Wi-Fi so typically the bill is $18/month. It would be $3 less if I got zero text messages; the first 100 are $3. I get really annoyed at the first incoming text on the billing cycle. Darn, there goes another $3!
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Old 08-27-2016, 05:26 PM   #27
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I have Ting service for my phone. Thanks to those here who recommended them! I use my phone mostly on Wi-Fi so typically the bill is $18/month. It would be $3 less if I got zero text messages; the first 100 are $3. I get really annoyed at the first incoming text on the billing cycle. Darn, there goes another $3!
I have text messaging disabled on Ting for that exact reason. I also have voice calling disabled. I use a Google Voice phone number with Hangouts for all voice and text communication. All I need from Ting is the data connection when I'm not in a WiFi area, which is pretty rare. Ting just dropped their data pricing, so I'm a very happy Ting customer as well. I don't consider it irrational frugality, just being an informed consumer.
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Old 08-27-2016, 05:35 PM   #28
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Expensive wine is probably not worth it, as I doubt my palate can tell the difference between a good $10 bottle and a $100 bottle. (Also, I do not want my palate to find out. I let it find out about expensive chocolate, and now it never lets up).
Hahahaha... I know what you mean. I'm a bit of an oenophile, but in my day-to-day life I stick to the $10-$15 bottles. Occasionally, though, I'll go to a wine tasting and find that my favorite one sells for $40 or $50 per bottle. I'd almost rather not know about it than to realize I'm too frugal to go buy a bottle and enjoy it!
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Old 08-27-2016, 06:59 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
I have Ting service for my phone. Thanks to those here who recommended them! I use my phone mostly on Wi-Fi so typically the bill is $18/month. It would be $3 less if I got zero text messages; the first 100 are $3. I get really annoyed at the first incoming text on the billing cycle. Darn, there goes another $3!

I got Ting for DW a few months back. Previously, she had a smartphone, but no data plan, and mainly just used it on wifi, and some texting.

Anyhow, I find myself doing the same thing - I see she is near 100 texts, and I want to tell her that if she is just careful to not exceed 100 in the next few days, we will save $2.

And then I think again, and decide it just isn't worth it to make her feel constrained over an occasional $2 monthly bill.
As a side note, Ting seems to be working out pretty well, and one reason I was interested in trying it is that if I decide to move to a smartphone and data, it is just $6 extra, and our combined usage probably wouldn't exceed the next thresholds very often anyhow.
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This sounds like something I also would do, but the problem with the "Can we not afford the $X item?" approach is that my answer would quite often have to be "Sure, I can afford it." So if I used that line of reasoning too frequently I would end up always buying the more expensive stuff. I suppose it just comes down to splurging on a limited number of things that really make a difference or that matter to you. ...
Agreed. You need to pick your battles, but there is something to be said about maintaining the mindset of choosing value. So yes, maybe $X/year on paper towels isn't a big deal, but multiply that times maybe dozens of purchases and it does add up. But I've been trying to not worry so much on a one-time purchase, it isn't worth the effort. But for recurring purchases, it can make sense even if small.

Quote:
When choosing paper towels, I don't splurge since they all seem roughly the same.
And if you apply that logic to cheap toilet paper, they are all roughly the same!

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Old 08-27-2016, 07:12 PM   #30
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I have bidet seats on all my toilets. A nice warm stream of water caresses my rosebud after use and all I do is blot it dry.

The seat is also heated so my posterior never hits a cold surface even in winter.

Life is good -
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Old 08-27-2016, 07:22 PM   #31
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I've been known to walk in the gas station and pay cash to save $.10/gallon.
I've had my DW drive out of the way a few blocks to save 2 or 3 cents/gal on gas. I figued that if we averaged 15 gallons a fill up it wasn't worth 45 cents to go the extra few blocks.
Now I would walk into the gas station to save $1.50 that I would promptly spend on a candy bar. It's like I got the candy bar for free
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Old 08-27-2016, 07:22 PM   #32
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I have bidet seats on all my toilets. A nice warm stream of water caresses my rosebud after use and all I do is blot it dry.

The seat is also heated so my posterior never hits a cold surface even in winter.

Life is good -
I thought Rosebud was a sled
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Old 08-27-2016, 07:23 PM   #33
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You have to realize your time cost money , too.
Yep, that is true. When shopping at the store for lower-priced, fairly routine items, I will make a rough price comparison in my head before making a choice, but I usually don't spend too much time thinking about it. When I am considering making a larger purchase, though, and especially when buying things online, I'll take much longer, and look for any available coupons, promo codes, rebates, etc. before making a final decision. I bought a new laptop online a while back, and I looked around at various deals for a couple weeks before settling on the one I ultimately bought (which was a great deal). So if you put a monetary value on all the time I spent researching that purchase before I made a decision, the deal might not look quite as good.........but I was still pleased with it
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Old 08-27-2016, 07:26 PM   #34
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As part of my efforts to eat a healthier diet, I have been buying more organic produce. Sometimes. Logically, I can afford it and know that it is better for my health.
But it isn't better for your health. The organic industry tries hard to make you think it is, but numerous rigorous studies have shown no significant difference, other than that a lot of organic produce is higher in pesticide residue than "conventional" produce. (Yes, organic methods can use pesticides, just "natural" ones that can be as or more poisonous to humans than the synthetic pesticides used otherwise.)

I will buy the cheapest version of a product that meets my personal quality standards. Sometimes that means the store brand (especially if that's Costco), sometimes the name brand if I find I don't like the cheaper version.
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Old 08-27-2016, 07:28 PM   #35
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I've been known to walk in the gas station and pay cash to save $.10/gallon.

One of my parsimonious habits relative to gas...I have avoided buying cars that take plus or premium gas. I've never felt like I've missed out by driving cars that take regular but, if I run the numbers, there's no real reason to think that way. If I average 20 mpg, if the difference between regular and plus is .20/gal and if I drive 10K miles per year, we're talking a hundred bucks a year. Double that for 2 cars and it's still peanuts. But, that's the way I am.



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Old 08-27-2016, 08:21 PM   #36
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Try Magic Jack on the phone @ $3.00 a month.

Wife has a Tracphone pay by the month. I cut off my cell phone and am really enjoying not being found. I hate seeing the One Armed Generation pecking away in public--oblivious of everyone and everything around them.

I do all the grocery shopping--sticking with Aldi's. We fill in at the local groceries buying the sale items and day old steaks.

We stay out of Walmart and Target as there's too much temptation to buy things that are really not needed.

We also never go into a drive in market for any reason, and pay at the pump. I pay close attention to the price of gasoline and diesel prices.

The malls are never frequented unless we have something specific to purchase. We're buyers, not shoppers. And when we do buy at department stores, it's at 65%+ discounts from list price.
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Old 08-27-2016, 08:28 PM   #37
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]

But I still...

1. Cut dryer sheets in half
They're pretty thin & flimsy after that. Hard to handle.
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Old 08-27-2016, 08:29 PM   #38
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It's difficult to break old habits - habits which got me to FIRE ahead of schedule. Now, I occasionally have a talk with myself about how much money I may leave on the table when I croak. My frugal self arguing with my practical self is not a pretty picture. YMMV
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Old 08-27-2016, 08:35 PM   #39
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Irrational frugality

Well, I think my spending habits make a lot of sense.

There are expenditures that mean nothing to me and I don't spend much if anything on those things. Others are horrified and cannot deal with the fact that I don't buy "xyz" or that my "xyz" (if I even buy it) is so low in quality. I ignore that.

There are other things that mean a lot to me, and having the nicest "abc" enhances my life. Others are aghast that I would spend so much on "abc". I ignore that, too.

So, should you label the lack of "xyz" in my life as irrational frugality? Of course not. Just don't expect me (or my spending) to be a true clone of you (or your spending), and you won't see it that way either.

My overall level of spending is not irrational either.
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:26 PM   #40
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I have bidet seats on all my toilets. A nice warm stream of water caresses my rosebud after use and all I do is blot it dry.

What? You didn't get the one with the built-in dryer? One guy on HGTV who had that said he didn't have to use toilet paper. Think of the money you'd save!
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