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Frugal Doesn't Mean Cheap

By: Joshua Unseth-- 2010-08-26 6:00 am --

Our current economy seems to be forcing us to be frugal. Save money where you can and try to curb your impulse buying. A good exercise is to write down every penny you spend for an entire week, you'll be amazed where you can cut back a little.

So how we can cut back on our current expenses?

Take a look at car pooling to work whenever possible. Some companies actually pay you to use alternative transportation or car pools. This can really cut back on fuel costs plus put a little extra in your pocket.

Some banks have an automatic savings plan where they take your 'change' and put it in a savings account. Others will give you one dollar every time you use your bank card for a transaction. This is a great, painless way to set a little aside and it adds up pretty quickly. Although you aren't spending less, you do have a little stash 'just in case'. And if you don't bank at one of these institutions, throw your change in a coffee can and leave it until it's full. You will be amazed how much money a coffee can holds!

How about all those errands you run? If you make a trip every day or two, think about waiting and doing all of your driving around on one day of the week. Map out your trip so you are not backtracking. Start at the farthest destination and work your way back home. Try to make appointments for same day too. Haircuts, doctors, servicing the car. These all add up to extra cash!

Now let's look at freebies, deep discounts and some retailer secrets!

For example, January and July are the best times to buy furniture and prices will be rock bottom. If you can plan around those times of year for your purchase, you will save a considerable amount of money. Buy furniture in packages if you can. You will get more for your money. Sometimes retailers will 'throw in' an additional matching piece.

If you are planning to replace your stove and can hold off purchasing it right away, try to plan around annual sales. Major appliances are often a good deal in September and October. You can get last year's models at a bargain price so stores can make space for the new model year. Look for rebates on these items as well.

Don't be afraid to buy floor samples or scratch and dent items. Most times there is very little visible damage to any of the pieces. If the damage is visible, there are ways to hide or camouflage it. In any case, you may save up to 50% on a refrigerator or washing machine.

If you do your homework and plan ahead you can really save a bundle.