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Old 08-27-2016, 09:50 PM   #41
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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.


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.



And if you apply that logic to cheap toilet paper, they are all roughly the same!

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While text message pricing is a scam, it's WAY cheaper than divorce attorney fees.

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Old 08-27-2016, 10:01 PM   #42
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Since I do all the grocery shopping, I know the prices of what we buy, so it really bugs me if I'm in 1 grocery store to return a redbox movie, and we are out of milk. Because I know the milk here is MORE than the milk at Aldi's..

Yes I compare sq footage per dollar of toilet paper, but at least I don't cheap out on the single layer stuff, and insist on a minimum of 2-ply

As for the thought of just buy quick, to save my time, as my life is invaluable, it doesn't really work, as there is no place you can store it up. At the end of the day 24 hours is gone, whether you spent 10 extra minutes in the grocery store, or watching tv, or watching the grass.
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Old 08-28-2016, 05:25 AM   #43
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When you lived and shopped your entire life this way, it's pretty hard to stop! I believe this also means we have a mindset that forces us to do the same when making big purchases (do I really need heated rearview mirrors?). Then it really can have impact on your finances.

Wow, the Kirkland (Costco) prunes are wonderful!
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Old 08-28-2016, 05:32 AM   #44
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Wow, the Kirkland (Costco) prunes are wonderful!
+1
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Old 08-28-2016, 06:49 AM   #45
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It's only "irrational", IMO, if it leads you to bad purchasing decisions (buying something slightly cheaper of massively inferior quality, for example) or if it starts damaging your health and valued personal relationships.
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:02 AM   #46
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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.
Agree and have been saying this for years. My motto. "Spend and let spend". People can get very judgemental about other people spending both the specific items and the overall levels. I try not to do this.
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:24 AM   #47
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I was shopping for paper towels and was trying to decide between the generic store brand and the fancier “more absorbent” name brand. The store brand cost $2.99 and the fancier brand cost $3.99 for roughly the same square footage of paper towels.
$2.99 is outrageous!

Like most, I compare prices and have a few quirks in my buying habits. But I let it fly on other things w/o worrying about the cost. BTW, yesterday I bought a dozen lg eggs for 75 cents. I can't remember the last time I found eggs that cheap. But the store more than made up for it in other areas.....
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:49 AM   #48
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I find in many cases that the only thing that separates the name brands from the lesser known brands is the size of their marketing budget. It often has nothing to do with being better quality.

As others have pointed out, the Kirkland brand is generally better than the equivalent name brand, but always cheaper because they spend no money advertising their brand. I see nothing irrational about being frugal and buying the Kirkland brand. What I find irrational is spending more money to buy a brand that is no better than the Kirkland brand simply because the company has spent millions of dollars to advertise their brand and convince you there is something better about it when there really is not.
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:55 AM   #49
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The only irrationally frugal thing that I can remember that I've done recently is when I split a 50 cent foam paint brush into 3 brushes. 2 didn't have handles, but still worked fine.
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:58 AM   #50
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Back in the 70's there was a guy--I think his name was Harry Browne-- who had a book out on finance.

His take was "anything under $40 (or pick your own dollar amount), don't worry about it".

His premise was that you end up spending more time thinking, analyzing and worrying about it than the dollar amount is worth.

Maybe you're getting ripped off, maybe not but for short/small money it's not worth the time and effort.
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:33 AM   #51
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To the OP I think the most of us on this board do this. Heck I use 1 ply store brand TP.
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:53 AM   #52
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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.


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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.

I could never go that far. I'm a staunch proponent of "trust but verify".
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:58 AM   #53
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Wow, the Kirkland (Costco) prunes are wonderful!
So are their sun-dried tomatoes. They put them in a different place by the time we need another but they always have them!
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Old 08-28-2016, 11:04 AM   #54
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I suppose the "irrational frugality" breaks out in me the most is my cable. Unwilling to ever give it up, but unwilling to accept they give the best deals to new subscribers and try to screw me over. So I run the gauntlet every year ( this time it took 75 minutes on the phone) to make them throw me a bone. Oddly enough this month when I finally reached the end of the rainbow they gave me 2 choices and let me decide. $50 off a month for a year, or $30 off a month for 2 years... Surprisingly out of my mouth I took the worse deal of a $30 discount. I wanted to take a year off from this annual PIA.


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Old 08-28-2016, 11:45 AM   #55
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The way I look at it, if I am frugal in some areas, then I can splurge in others. We recently "cut the cord" from our cable provider (got sick and tired of haggling every single year for a better rate) and are now saving well over $100 and the funny thing is, we are not missing anything by not having 7000 channels to pick from.

Also, with my cell phone, I dumped Ting and went with Republic Wireless for the $10 month unlimited talk/text/wi-fi (still have the refund plan where I am initially billed $15 for 1G of data but it's prorated and refunded) and so far, I have yet to have a bill more than $18. Back in the day, we had a Sprint plan that ran us $160/mo for 2 phones...so ridiculous.

I have a lot of other examples, but since I save in some "bigger" categories, then I don't sweat buying some high-end groceries or buying craft beer at a social gathering.

As far as paper products, I am all about the Costco Kirkland TP and paper towels. The TP rolls are so big, they won't even fit on the dispenser for the first few days and I think it's the softest out there. I know that the cost per sheet will often be higher than the name brand they will have a coupon for, but that is somewhere I will splurge.
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Old 08-28-2016, 11:57 AM   #56
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I just mailed a letter, and since the post office dropped the price of a stamp to 47 cents, I realized I should not be using my forever stamps.
I had bought my forever stamps at about 46 cents, so the sudden devalue means I must rebalance my stamps
I use the regular stamps as they will always be worth the face value and have no inflation protection.
I might save 5 cents a year doing this, but it feels right and only takes a minute longer (worth $3.00/hr)
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Old 08-28-2016, 12:07 PM   #57
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Old 08-28-2016, 12:23 PM   #58
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While it may not have a direct effect on a person's bottom line, the discussion that it is not worth your time seems false. If you have other options for your time that do have monetary value, then it can be argued taking more time to decide and get the best value may not be the best overall. However, if you are not getting anything monetary for your time, why not use some of it to help save some money? Sure your $/hr equivalent may be a lot less than min wage, but something is more than nothing.
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Old 08-28-2016, 12:31 PM   #59
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While it may not have a direct effect on a person's bottom line, the discussion that it is not worth your time seems false. If you have other options for your time that do have monetary value, then it can be argued taking more time to decide and get the best value may not be the best overall. However, if you are not getting anything monetary for your time, why not use some of it to help save some money? Sure your $/hr equivalent may be a lot less than min wage, but something is more than nothing.


When I ever say "Its not worth my time" it is really a code word for I am either too lazy, or just do not want to mess with it. And that happens often since I value my time as $0.0 per hour.


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Old 08-28-2016, 12:54 PM   #60
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Yep, I'm like you, looking at the "cents per sq ft", etc. (Same with TP, but only between a few "acceptable" brands).
Sure, on one level I could forego all of that and probably save the same amount with more careful tax loss harvesting, playing the credit card "special offer" game, etc. But on another level it doesn't >bother< me to look at the shelf tags, and I feel a mild satisfaction with each thrifty purchase. It's habit now, and not an excessively burdensome one to indulge.
Agree 100%
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