Short backstory: We launched a No-Spend Summer to boost our efforts to save for a down payment on a home. The first post in this series is here: No Spend Challenge. This is an update of my super-frugal efforts.
My beloved carton of OxyClean ran out. Instead of buying a new one right away, I decided to simply hang clean, wet stained clothing in the hot sun (that didn’t respond to pre-treating and washing). It’s blazing hot out, and the sun on my deck is so bright it’s blinding. Sure enough, the white laundry I hung out came back in my house looking great.
When buying things like dishwashing liquid, I’m learning to pay no attention to the price, which can be confusing because of the sizes of the containers. Instead, pay attention to the unit price. Searching for the best deal at the store, I discovered that one brand was $.06 an ounce, but others were as high as $.25 an ounce! Does the latter work *4 times as well* as the former?
You know the answer.
My Tightwad Gazette III, procured free from PaperBackSwap, arrived in the mail. The very first article dealt with the myth that modern parents have it worse than previous generation, called “Drowning in Rising Expectations”. Didn’t I just say this here: shame of the middle class, or why teach kids about money?
“… politicians get lots of mileage from convincing people that they are hurting, and that a particular political plan will bring back opportunity. And news stores thrive on finding villains and victims. Stories built along these lines are more interesting…”
It goes on to poke holes in some of the statistics published on the topic that seem to back up the idea that modern families are worse off than their predecessors, pointing to the fact that, among other things, modern families are smaller (and the data assumed they weren’t), meaning the resources are spread across fewer people.
And yes, “rising expectations” explain much hand-wringing over finances. People desire and buy houses that are FAR larger than their parents, drive more cars, eat in restaurants more, get more higher education, travel (especially internationally), and enjoy many other types of lifestyle bloat.
I just love Amy D.!
I started a Price Book. I’m trying to learn what is considered a “stock up” price on groceries that I buy weekly. Since I don’t really know what a deal is on these items, how do I know when buying in bulk might save money? Enter the Price Book.
If I know that I am currently paying $1.50 a pound for brown rice, then procuring it at the nearby farmer’s market at .50/lb means that I can safely buy a 20 pound bag (since we cook brown rice three times a week). By the way, did you know you can cook brown rice in half the time? ’tis true.
I’m going about creating my Price Book the lazy way. Instead of going to the stores and writing down the price of everything, I’m just saving all my receipts and entering prices on a page in my Bullet Journal as I buy things.
It’s amazing how you can save money by making a phone call. I called our car insurance company and asked, “What can I do to lower my premium?” A small adjustment was made to my policy. The call took less than 10 minutes, and I am now saving $120 a year. (I did the same thing for our internet service recently, leading to a $60 credit.)
My 13-year-old needed a new book bag. I noticed her old one had split at the seams, and she uses it a few times a week. I headed to the consignment shop (where I had previously dropped off a box of stuff). The bag she chose (it looks new) was $6, but it was free because I had credit there!
Let’s talk toilet paper. When it was time to restock our stash, I checked ibotta and Checkout51 for coupons but nary a one could be found. Then, I realized that I didn’t actually know what a good deal on toilet paper even is.
So I did a little digging online. It turns out that around $.25 a roll is considered a stock up price, but that one really should pay no attention the the price-per-roll. Why? Because the bed-pillows-for-tissue brands have far fewer sheets per roll. These super-cushy styles also clog up my toilets so I never buy them anyway.
The figure to calculate for toilet tissue is the price per *square foot*. It should be less than a penny.
ALDI to the rescue. Their 12-pack of “compare to Scott tissue” house brand is $5.79 and has over 1,200 sq. feet. That works out to $.004 a sq. foot! Quite a deal, and those large rolls last a very long time.
This brings me to a point about frugality. Now that I’ve learned this tidbit about toilet tissue, I never have to look it up again. It will always be in my head, which means that 5 minutes of online research will lead me to savings for the rest of my tissue-using life.
Surely, a worthwhile investment, no matter what the current financial situation.