More Frugal Things I Do Now

by Kelly · 6 comments

in Living Frugally,Series

Monday’s post, The Frugal Things I Do Now, revisited one of the first posts I wrote on Almost Frugal, called 25 Frugal Things I Do. Today I’m looking back at the follow up I wrote to that post, called 25 More Frugal Things I Do. As with Monday’s post, I’ve bolded the things I still do and crossed out what I no longer do.

  1. I pay cash for big purchases like my new laptop. At least I’m trying to. Still do. I don’t actually withdraw the cash from the ATM, but it comes straight out of my bank account, and not via a credit card.
  2. I use a laptop rather than a desktop computer; it uses less energy. We have a desktop, but most of my work is on the laptop. We also have a very new desktop computer, so it uses a lot less energy than the behemoth we had before.
  3. I obey the 100 per day rule. This is a great rule, and I don’t even think about it anymore.
  4. I have an emergency fund. It varies in amount, but I still have an emergency fund.
  5. I use MyPoints. No! Since first writing this post I had several very bad customer service experiences with MyPoints and no longer recommend the company. It’s a shame, because it’s a good service, but they need to overhaul their customer service department. It is no longer a luxury to put the customer first.
  6. I don’t go out to movies. Still true. With three kids, who has time! I have bought some discounted movie tickets through my company, however, and I’m just waiting for the right movie to come out so I can splurge…at €5 a pop!
  7. I don’t rent movies. Again, true. I will sometimes buy DVDs, but usually of TV shows that I know I want to watch again, like West Wing and Mad Men. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched West Wing…
  8. Potlucks are my preferred party option. I love potlucks- especially because all my friends are great cooks!
  9. My children use the blank side of documents for all their artwork. Still true. And then I send the pictures off to Grandma and Grandpa’s Art Archival Service so that I don’t have to torture myself about throwing the pictures away.
  10. I bring coffee to school in a thermos, so I don’t buy from the vending machine. I’m not in school anymore and my work has free coffee.
  11. I pack my lunch, instead of buying from a local sandwich shop. Still true. What else do people do with leftovers?
  12. I think long and hard before replacing things that break. True. But when the dishwasher stopped working we got another one almost immediately!
  13. I cut my kids’ and husband’s hair. Mostly just my husband’s hair now, as my boys have decided to grow their hair long (and look so cute, if I say so myself!).
  14. I do clothing alterations myself, saving myself approximately €7 to €10 for each pair of pants hemmed. Not only do I still mend our clothes, but I’ve made a commitment to myself to only have clothes I love, that are useful, that I wear and that look good on me in my closet.
  15. I contribute to an emergency fund. It may not be much, but I save a little, every month. And some months I save more than others! Of course, other months I have to take some out, but that’s what emergency funds are for, non?
  16. I canceled my last outstanding membership… to the gym. And haven’t renewed it. All our sports activities this year will be paid for in cash, over the next month as things get started.
  17. I claim all possible childcare reimbursements- about half the costs are reimbursed. Our contract with our nanny ended last month, after eight years. Luckily she’s a good friend so we’ll still see her!
  18. I take public transportation to school, saving wear and tear on the car, as well as gas. I can’t take public transportation to work, but I’m trying to find a used bike so that I can bike back and forth once or twice a week.
  19. My phone line package includes internet and free, unlimited international calls. No feeling guilty about talking for hours to the United States. Still true, and we use Skype, which I love. Often times we’ll sit the laptop on the dinner table, and my mom will have breakfast with us as we eat dinner. Or she reads the kids their bedtime stories- Skype is great.
  20. I network. Not only have I met a lot of great people, I have made invaluable contacts which gives me access to good deals and opportunities. I’m a firm believer in the power of networking.
  21. I make a lot of the presents I give to my friends and family. It’s the plan for this year too! I also try to give experiences as gifts, rather than stuff which they might not want or use.
  22. I don’t give my children excessive gifts. I do buy for my children more than anyone else, but I try to really limit the gifts to things they’ll use or love- bonus points for things which are both at once.
  23. I don’t buy excessive gifts for my cats either. Equal opportunity deprivation in my family. Again, true. I just recently replaced the cat brush after about 10 years.
  24. I accept hand-me-downs from others… and pass them on when we’re finished. I love hand-me-downs, and I always pass them on to others.
  25. I clean frugally– as I go, with a minimum of fuss and expensive, (and chemical laden) cleaning products. Yes and no. We do have a cleaning person now, because it turns out that I can’t do it all (who knew?), but she uses only the products I provide, which are the green and frugal basics like lemon and vinegar.

How have your frugal habits changed throughout the years?


1 Jenny September 9, 2010

For your cats, one of the most frugal toys you can make is a ball of their own hair. Just save up their hair when you brush it, then when you have a good sized wad, roll it between your palms like you would play dough until you have a nice tight ball, then toss on the floor for them to play with. It may take several days/weeks worth of brushings to get enough hair, depending on how often you brush them. You want to be sure you end up with a ball that is tight enough not to come apart and large enough that they won’t swallow it.

I have two cats and a kitten, and they all love these. They will bat them around on the floor, chase them, and carry them around in their mouths.

Other frugal favorites are a feather taped to the end of a stick, especially when played with under a plastic bag on the floor, the small rattly mice that cost about .25-.50 at pet stores, empty cardboard boxes, and my laundry hampers (although I’m not such a fan of this last one).

2 Beth September 9, 2010

I just saw a notice about a non-profit organization in Fontaine that sells used bikes. I believe Barbara Barrett is the contact person…might be worth looking into? Or there’s always metro velo.

3 Lindsey September 9, 2010

What is the 100 per day rule (That you now do without thinking?)

4 Kelly September 9, 2010

The $100 a day rule says that for every $100 that something costs, you must take a day to consider the purchase. So if I want to buy a laptop for $600, I wan’t buy it from the store right away. I have to consider the purchase for a week first.

5 Andrew September 10, 2010

Favorite one here is the potlucks. I think it’s a great idea for a party, saves an immense amount of money, helps with the clean up (especially if you use disposable plates and because they aren’t all in your dishes), and it’s a great subject for everyone to interact over at the party.

6 FrugalGuy September 12, 2010

In the past, we had a phone line only instead of a cell phone due to cost. Now, we don’t have a phone line because we switched to cellphones only. I’ve found that if you negotiate with your provider they have some decent plans available to keep costs reasonable.

We do have a VoIP from our cable company, but barely use it. The only reason we kept it is that deleting it from our cable/internet package would actually raise the bill. Yikes!

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