Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Forget About Frittering Away Your Funds, Be Frugal Instead!

Above: One way to save money on shoes – have your friend who works at Nine West buy you a pair for Christmas. Thank you, Zan! Aren’t they PRETTY? Isn't she a good friend?

Tip Of The Day: Thrifty tips from frugal folks. So you can quit wasting your money on stuff you don’t need, and save it for the stuff you love.

Tip For Tomorrow: I’m in love! And the feeling is mutual! Granted, it’s with a facial cleanser, but still! It’s the best relationship I’ve had in a long time.

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: Today’s post is dedicated to Amy The Mom (see her blog over there? On the right? Be sure to check it out – but not until after you read my post. Thank you.).

Amy writes about strange and exotic things like BAKING and RAISING CHILDREN, stuff the Cheap Chick has no experience with. And she is trying to be more frugal, which I wholeheartedly support and DO have experience with. I know, I know, I shouldn’t end sentences with ‘with.’ Sue me.

In yesterday’s post, Amy talked about scaling back to save money. And one of the things she’s cutting out is school lunch, aka a COMPLETE WASTE OF MONEY. She decided she would no longer squander her funds on what amounts to fast food. Good for you, Amy! So in keeping with your frugal spirit, here are some Dos and Don’ts for saving money.

1. To reiterate, DON’T throw money away on school lunch. Instead, pack your kids’ lunches, or, provide them with the necessary food stuffs and let them pack their own. When I was a wee Chicklette, I packed my lunch every day. And it always tasted better than the crap the school was shoveling out.

2. DON’T waste your money on over-priced shiny objects. Right now, as I type, HOFF Jewelers is going out of business. Thus, they are having a huge going-out-of-business sale. Thus, their sparklies are up to 70% off retail. Thanks, Dan, for the tip!
Also, do as HaC’s husband, The Blonde One, does and buy estate jewelry at You can find amazing, one-of-a-kind pieces for under $20, so you can buy MORE.

3. DO check your kitchen cabinets before you hit the beauty product aisle at Target. My trainer, Shayne, recommends using plain ole olive oil (and if you call it EVOO, I WILL KILL YOU) instead of expensive hot oil treatments. Just pour a bit of oil in a dish, nuke it for a minute, and apply it your split ends. Leave it on for about 30 minutes, then shampoo out.
DON’T fall for the old wives’ tale about using mayonnaise to soften your hair. You’ll end up with nasty, oily, smelly hair for days. Blech.

4. DO make your drawers and closets smell pretty, without spending a ton on scented sachets. Take a few cotton balls, douse them with your favorite scent, and place them in strategic areas. Replace them every few weeks when the scent fades.
Tip: use a strong-smelling perfume, or else the scent won’t permeate the area. Which defeats the entire purpose of the sachet.

5. DON’T waste your money on library late fees. After you finish reading the book, listening to the CD, or watching the movie, put the item in your car. That way, when you drive by the library (mine is right next to my gym), you can make a pit stop and return it – before it becomes overdue.
Tip: be careful in the summertime with your DVDs and CDs. If you leave them in the car too long, they will melt. And buying a whole new one for the library is WAY more expensive than the late fee.
Tip, Too: this tip also works for video rental returns.

6. DON’T throw away extra coupons, because you think you can only use one coupon per item. Not true! At least at Walgreens it isn’t true. You can use the Walgreens Easysaver coupon AND the manufacturer’s coupon on the same item – thus doubling your savings. Thank you, Tami, for the tip!

7. DON’T spend a ton of money on all-natural beauty products. Whole Foods carries their store-brand, all-natural shampoos and conditioners, for $1.99 per bottle. They come in yummy scents like grapefruit, or fragrance-free if you like to smell like nothing.
You can also go organic with Physician’s Formula 100% Natural Origin Makeup – all of which cost under $20. Plus, Al Gore will love you and think you look pretty.
Thank you, Eating Normally and Bionic Beauty, for the tips. Yes, you may check out their blogs, too (over there, on the right), but ONLY after you finish reading mine.

8. DO same money and the environment with these reminders. Turn off the lights when you leave a room; don’t run the water while you brush your teeth or wash your face; air-dry more of your laundry; don’t turn on the oven just to bake one small thing, use a toaster oven or microwave instead; turn your thermostat down when you leave the house (although, not so low that your pipes freeze, right Ma?); and accelerate slowly to increase your gas mileage.

Those are my tips, and tips from our fearless readers, for the day. So, what are your great ways to save? If you have a money-saving idea that we SIMPLY MUST TRY, please post in the comments below.

And remember, with the money you save, you can spend it on worthwhile stuff like paying off a credit card, or paying down your mortgage principal. Or, on shoes. Because I love shoes. As evidenced above.


Amy the Mom said...

Thanks for the shoutout! I'm cracking up over the threat to kill anyone who uses the Rachel Ray olive oil acronym. That drives me nuts, too!

LARUE said...

Or you could just get rid of your children and save money right there! Except you lose the dependent status on your taxes. Hmm. I'll get back to you on that one.

Also - make sure you stock your lunch supplies with food your children still like. I liked cheese sandwiches in 1st grade. And then I got a cheese sandwich everyday till high school. I threw out a lot of cheese sandwiches. I told my Mom I didn't like them anymore. I still received them. Please - listen to your children when they tell you that they hate cheese sandwiches.

If you have a friend who is highly allergic to scented things, please don't wear perfume in her presence, and for God's sakes, don't spray your hairspray on while you are both trapped in a car together. (Disclaimer: The Cheap Chick would never do this.)

If you are horrible at returning library books, do get a B&N discount card, as you will spend less $ in the long run buying the book, versus getting it from the library. You can then bring it to Half-Price books when you are done. Not that this is a personal story, or anything.

Michelle said...

I love the shoes! So cute. :) I agree with Amy on the saving money by packing a lunch. It works for adults, too.

Lou said...

My 2 cents...I've decided to stop spending so much on house cleaners. Welcome to vinegar and hot water people. My favorite cheap/clean thing is to use a shower squeegee and get all the water off the walls and doors after my shower. This cuts down on mildew and rust build-up and it saves me from purchasing a daily shower spray - come on people I know you use those!

Anonymous said...

I. Luuurrrrvvvvveee. Those. Shoes. A '70s hit comes to mind: "you sexy thing."