Thursday, January 17, 2008

Am I frugal?

Lately it seems that I am surrounded by people that are talking about coupons, saving money and being frugal. There are numerous blogs on the subject.

I've looked at some of the tips, and I was shocked that I already do many of the suggested things. I guess I am frugal and did not know it.

Some things that I do that are frugal or have been sited as tips on frugal type blogs:
1. I coupon. I've always used coupons. However, I do NOT coupon like the really serious couponers. I have been told that it does not take much time to clip all the coupons and organize them in a binder, but I truly do not have time to spare. Thus, I try to be really targeted. I clip coupons that are for products I know I will use and keep them until the item is on sale or the coupon can be doubled or tripled. Many friends poke fun at me because I love to use coupons.
2. I shop sales. I LOVE Kohls and Target. I generally try to get a 30% off coupon at Kohls and then I shop the clearance racks. I do the same for Target - I try to buy my exercise cloths and kids cloths at Target. I also shop for cloths out of season (I buy winter cloths in the summer and buy summer cloths in the winter).
3. I frequent consignment sales, thrift stores and consignment stores. I sometimes go to Goodwill, but I have more luck at consignment stores - I can generally get better quality stuff when it is 50% off there than I can trying to sort through all the items at Goodwill.
4. I try to recycle and reuse items (I reuse paper by letting the kids color and paint on the back of used paper), I use magazines for the kids to practice cutting, etc.
5. I sell old items or donate them. This is hard for me because I love to keep things (I either think I may need it one day or I want it for sentimental reasons). However, I now try to donate things that I no longer use or sell items at consignment sales, on ebay, etc.
6. We did not have any cable channels until a few months ago. Many people thought we were crazy, but we have some debt that we would like to pay. I do not watch much tv, and the kids can see educational programs on PBS. It is only in the last month or so that I broke down and agreed that we could get a few more cable channels.
7. We try to eat at home most nights, and when we eat out, we try to go on nights that kids eat free or kids eat for a small price.
8. I exercise and try to take care of myself. In this way, I save money on healthcare!

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