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Old 08-28-2016, 01:05 PM   #61
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Many times when we buy a cheaper product, we are getting a product which will not perform as well. Such as decision may save money, but it does not generate value in the same way as a cheaper product the performs comparably.

I think if you can get a comparable product at a better price, then you are saving money without realizing it. That is the essence of "value".

In our marketing-driven society we receive many messages which are designed to defeat the inherent eye for value that many of us possess. good to tune those out and trust our own eye for value.

However as has been pointed out, at some point you know which products are a value and which are just cheap, and you can buy accordingly, with reduced need for comparison shopping.

Good Living!
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:19 PM   #62
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Maybe a better idea would be to work an additional year, and when you retire from the job also retire from this boring time wasting. It is what Joseph Schumpeter called shadow work.

Ha
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:51 PM   #63
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Maybe a better idea would be to work an additional year, and when you retire from the job also retire from this boring time wasting. It is what Joseph Schumpeter called shadow work.
It's a public good. Those who search for value in their consumer purchases help to keep prices (at least somewhat) linked to expected utility of the products. That way, those who choose to "index" (just pick up a random roll of paper towels off the shelf) get better value for their money. If nobody looked at prices, we'd all be getting a worse deal.

Thanks to all the price shoppers! Now, >please< pull your cart to the side so I can get past you and out of this infernal supermarket ASAP.
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Old 08-28-2016, 03:07 PM   #64
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I was unemployed for a wonderful summer and used the time to try to learn how to save some real money on groceries, which are about our third or fourth highest monthly budget category. All summer I kept rigorous track of receipts from Aldi, Costco, and Kroger. What I learned is that it is hard to move that category's needle very much, maybe 10 - 15% tops, and only with a lot of time and effort spent. I'm also not sure the $55 Costco membership really saves enough to warrant it, though I still go there about every 4 months to load up on staples. In general, I shop at Super Target, where I have a Red (debit) Card that knocks off 5% of every purchase and call it good. There's a lot of savings baked in to those choices. Someday when I'm FIRED, knowing me, I'll have time to avidly shop for bargains. By the way, how great to go shop on a weekday morning.


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Old 08-28-2016, 03:22 PM   #65
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Irrational frugality is whenever I buy something that sucks.

If I don't like it it's going in the trash - fini.

A total waste of dough, just threw my dough in the trash can, not to mention having to go back and buy something better. Now a waste of time and money, not to mention not having any fun either.
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Old 08-28-2016, 03:33 PM   #66
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Irrational frugality is whenever I am wasting an hour on buying a few dollar item.
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Old 08-28-2016, 03:56 PM   #67
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Let's draw a distinction between "irrational" and "obsessive" frugality here.

Irrational frugality isn't necessarily obsessive -- it just fails to consider total "bang for the buck" and always seeks the cheapest, even if it isn't the cheapest in the long run.

Also -- if I spend hours researching the differences between a $12 item and a $14 item.....

Obsessive frugality may be better about bang for the buck -- they may pay $60 for a much better built widget than $50 for a crappily built thing that will break in a month. But everything they do is obsessed with paying as little as possible even if it may damage personal relationships and even their health.

Now IMO "frugality" or "thrifty" in general is a different thing. To me that connotes being a good steward of your money, simply never paying more than you need to. Sometimes that means paying more for quality, if the value proposition is there. But if it's obsessive or irrational, it may come at long-term financial detriment or damage personal relationships in the process.

In the general case there is NOTHING wrong wit4h thrift or frugality. Only if it becomes an obsession that impacts health and/or personal relationships should we worry. I know folks for whom being "cheap" is a pleasurable hobby. Godspeed to them, I say.
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Old 08-28-2016, 04:03 PM   #68
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Irrational frugality is also if you work till 65 but you can retire at 50

Early retirement is ultimate luxury item because you give up years of income. For high income earner it is like throwing million plus into the trash.

So in the picture of the above what is a point in wasting time on paper towels?
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Old 08-28-2016, 05:15 PM   #69
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Stamps? You use stamps?

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Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
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, 05:26 PM   #70
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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.
I agree on the no premium gas vehicle in principle but the other option is to get the best deal on the car you want and if it calls for premium just put regular in it. My current ride is 'premium only' and is doing very well after 150k miles running on regular. Most cars don't care although if it happens to be something red and Italian then I would likely spring for the premium!
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:02 PM   #71
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I agree on the no premium gas vehicle in principle but the other option is to get the best deal on the car you want and if it calls for premium just put regular in it. My current ride is 'premium only' and is doing very well after 150k miles running on regular. Most cars don't care although if it happens to be something red and Italian then I would likely spring for the premium!
Gotta be careful with this one. Ask at the dealership and do your research online. Just upgraded our 2008 Lexus RX 350 with a 2015 model. Both call for premium only, but both run fine on regular unleaded. The 2016 model does not.
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:22 PM   #72
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I agree on the no premium gas vehicle in principle but the other option is to get the best deal on the car you want and if it calls for premium just put regular in it. My current ride is 'premium only' and is doing very well after 150k miles running on regular.
Have you tried running it on premium for a few tanks in typical conditions and checking the gas mileage compared to regular fuel? Modern cars built for "premium" fuel can run on "regular" without damage to the vehicle, but they do it by retarding the engine timing in response to signals from electronic knock sensors. This reduces the max available HP (e.g if you need to get out of the way of that careening cement truck--well, too bad), but it can also reduce fuel economy under more moderate operating conditions. Paying the extra for premium fuel might be worth it if your mileage increases considerably.
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:32 PM   #73
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We do the COSTCO thing also but only go there once a month so I'm probably not getting my membership fee back in savings; however, their paper products are the best and I won't use anything else. Our local supermarket is Publix. Best grocery chain around. They are into the BOGO mode for sales. Most sale items are OK with BOGO but when they start with the soft drinks, they confuse my wife. Like "buy three-get two free". It changes all the time and it's got to the point you need a calculator. I just take the total price and divide it by the quantity you are really getting. Thought I'd mention the "BOGO" sales pitch because it wasn't mentioned in the other posts.
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:44 PM   #74
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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.
but to me my time has value even if I don't do some thing bring monetary value. case in point, I cannot sit through a bad movie, I just can't. I figured I already blew 20 bucks no sense in me "wasting" more valuable time. even if all I do is go home and walk the dog,

Being a city gal once thing I hated about living in the burbs was you had to drive literally everywhere. some thing as simple as getting a gallon of milk required getting in the car so I would buy milk at the convenience store, pay 3.00 bucks more a gallon simply not to waste my time by having to get in the car, drive 5 miles to shoprite, waste time parking etc etc and then drive back.

Now I've always been an comparison shopping I don't find that "irrational" at all. one thing I thought was sort of weird were folks that go to 3 different supermarkets to shop because different items are on sale. I have a girlfriend that does it.
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Old 08-28-2016, 10:11 PM   #75
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I pick up loose change on the ground.
Just 2 days ago, as DW and I were walking around the neighborhood, she spotted a penny on the sidewalk, then she said let's leave it there.

Talk about a Rich attitude (yes we left it for some small child to find).
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Old 08-28-2016, 10:13 PM   #76
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Stamps? You use stamps?
Mostly only because of Menards rebates, they don't do them over the internet (yet), which I think is part of the plan.

Make it annoying and folks will miss/skip doing it and end up with their overpriced widget.
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Old 08-28-2016, 10:27 PM   #77
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I agree on the no premium gas vehicle in principle but the other option is to get the best deal on the car you want and if it calls for premium just put regular in it. My current ride is 'premium only' and is doing very well after 150k miles running on regular. Most cars don't care although if it happens to be something red and Italian then I would likely spring for the premium!

To me you need to check.... there are some cars that premium is recommended... but not required...

But, there are some cars where it is required...

I just checked on a Hellcat... premium recommended... so a 700 HP engine can run on regular if you want...

But, the new Corvette it is required.... I would not put in regular...
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Old 08-28-2016, 10:40 PM   #78
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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.
Because my time is worth more to me than money!

Now that I am retired, my time is no longer measured by what I could get paid for it.

It is measured by how much enjoyment I get out of it.

And I see my time as a limited resource. I'm older now. I don't know how many good years I have left.

If there is a time consuming task, there had better be some significant benefit and not just in terms of saving money, but more in terms of streamlining my life or increasing enjoyment, removing hassle, etc.

Because I could have been spending that precious time on something much more enjoyable than just figuring out how to save money....
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Old 08-29-2016, 03:16 AM   #79
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Generally I don't sweat this small stuff, but one thing that bugs me is an extra charge for buying concert/sports tickets online. I will walk to the box office to save a few bucks.
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Old 08-29-2016, 05:29 AM   #80
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For me, it's more about the irritation I feel whenever I've paid too much. I dislike being ripped off in principle more than I feel the loss of a few dollars here and there.

There's also the feeling that I should be setting a good example for my children.
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