With what items are you the most frugal?

By Stew

I think we all have weak spots when it comes to spending money.

Mrs. Stew really, really likes bargains – she just cannot turn down a 30% off clearance item – even when the kids do not need that new shirt. Mrs. Stew is also a coffee lover, unfortunately, coffee aficionado is not a cheap hobby. Don’t get me wrong, overall, Mrs. Stew is a good money manager, but we all have an Achilles heel, don’t we?

My biggest weak spot is fast food. For me, the pull of the fast food lane is as strong as the next cigarette break for a nicotine fiend. I know it is wrong, for so many reasons, but  . . . but . . .  just . . . can’t . . . stop. I also have a weakness for electronics. Thankfully, I am not a Macophile or an Applehead, there is no way that I could afford that level of technology. iPods and iPhones and iPads are not my thing. However, I was the first person in my family to have a cell phone and now I cannot imagine life without my Blackberry. I am glad that both my day job and my night job require a “crackberry”. I am not always cutting edge with the computers that I buy, but I pour longingly over marketing e-mails from TigerDirect every day. There have been many times when I have gone all through the site, made my selections and even entered my credit card information and only pulled out and canceled the purchase at the last minute. If you try to sell me a hamburger or a flip video player, there is a strong possibility that you will be successful.

I am fighting my addictions. I find it easy to list my frugal weaknesses and I could probably come up with a few more if I tried.

Today, I am trying to think of areas where I am the most frugal. Here is my list:

  • Alcohol: Mrs. Stew and I spend next to nothing on beer or wine.
  • Soap and shampoo: You really do not need as much as you might think. I am not unsanitary, but I experiment with doing the job with as little soap as possible.
  • Underwear: Mrs. Stew is always on me to buy a few new pair. I could say more, but I will stop here.
  • Coffee: I am more than satisfied with cheap coffee. The only time I buy expensive stuff is when I am under the influence of Mrs. Stew.
  • Shoes: I spend a little on my shoes, but I make them last a long time. Last weekend I wore a pair of sneakers that I purchased in 2001. I also have a pair of Nike running shoes that I have worn for two years after buying them for $6 at a second-hand store.

What areas are you the most frugal?

Article by Stew

Photo by TheTruthAbout

5 Responses (including trackbacks) to “With what items are you the most frugal?”

  1. Abigail Says:

    Well, neither my husband nor I drink coffee. I don’t drink soda — and finally got Tim to kick the habit, which was a huge money suck. (We’d stock up on sales but he was literally drinking more than 2 liters a day of Mt Dew. That’s more than $30 a month with the absolute best sales prices.)

    We also only buy underwear as ours deteriorates into individual atoms. Okay, not that bad, but you get the idea.

    Since we’re in AZ, tap water isn’t really an option, and even water filters don’t quite cut it. So the first week we were here, I found a $55 cooler on Craigslist. That means we spend a quarter a gallon. Even filling up our five-gallon jug three times a week, that’s $15 a month, compared to $40 for a water delivery service (which also charges you a cooler rental fee).

    We don’t pay extra to get HD. I won’t pay $40 a month for a data plan, since our phone lines are $10-each offshoots of my mom’s cell plan.

    I think the biggest danger areas for us are prepared food — we both have health issues, so cooking can be difficult sometimes — and clothes. We’re both a bit of clothes horses. We’re keeping it in check until we’re out of debt, but I do indulge Tim from time to time. After Christmas, for example, I got him two really cool Ecko shirts he’d been wanting for under $15 each.

    We’d both love all sorts of new, shiny gadgets, too. But that’s relatively easy to keep in check when they’re so expensive. Though Tim loves his iPod Touch that we got through a rewards program! And it’s so cool, I think I may save up to get one for myself. (Save up rewards, that is.)

  2. Rachel Says:

    That’s a great question!

    I find I’m the most frugal with clothing (Goodwill works for me the one time a year I buy cloths), books now that we’ve discovered the library and groceries by only buying from a list and using only off brands.

    Fast food/eating out is our least frugal and most budget busting area. So yummy to try new foods!!!

  3. Liane Says:

    I think we’re most frugal with groceries. I have always bought store brand over name brand whenever possible. I try to keep our weekly budget to $150, including non-food items, for a family of four that includes two teens. I rarely use coupons, as the store brand is still always cheaper. We rarely eat out, and when we do, it’s usually take-out pizza or Chinese.

  4. Stew Says:

    Abigail, I sometimes wonder if eating prepared, health, balanced food might be cheaper in the long run . . .

  5. Daddy Paul Says:

    I am cheap with gasoline. I rode 7 miles round trip on my bike to get a head of cabbage. I combine my trips like crazy.
    I am cheep with beer too. I had my first beer in two months yesterday. I walked down to the party store and bought a 24 oz. PBR for a buck. I had it drank by the time I was half way home so I went and bought another one.