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Thrifty Tips – Creating Habits of Frugality

May 11, 2010
By
Creating Habits of Frugality

This post is in connection with Jamie’s, I am a Money Magnet’s Thrifty Tip Tuesday post.

Have you ever sat back and wondered about all the areas that you could save money but then it got so overwhelming that you just didn’t do anything?

Well, that is where I was a few years ago, overwhelmed by all the possibilities and not knowing where to begin.

What I do know is that you need to start somewhere, so why not make it an easy place to start. That is what I did; I found one thing that I could focus on for one month. It takes 30 days of doing something everyday to make it a habit. The first thing I did was set up our Chicken Account (petty cash fund). We were not very diligent about throwing our extra change everyday into the Chicken Account so for one month I challenged both Bear and I to do just that – when we get home in the evening we empty our wallet and pockets of all loose change. It didn’t take 30 days to make that a habit, just shy of two weeks and we were both contributing to the Chicken Account.

We use this “account” for small purchases instead of using our ATM/Credit cards. Once the Chicken Account is “full” we deposit all but $10.00 in change into our Animals Savings Account. About every three months we are depositing close to $150.00 into the Animals savings account (they can usually blow threw it pretty quickly for vaccines, meds, and such).

Once you have created that “habit of frugality” move on to your next 30 days. You may even want to start this sooner. It’s okay if you do or you don’t; only you know when you are ready.

I began to coupon in earnest. I clipped in the past but had not done the coupon match-ups to sales and stockpiling. Now with this, break it into baby steps. Find your system for keeping coupons and be consistent about staying on top of it. Each week only designate a certain amount of time to this and it’s okay if you don’t finish; you will get better and faster with time. Now find some blogs that do coupon match-ups. I am a Money Magnet will post links to the blogs she uses or find ones that you like. My theory is; why reinvent the wheel if it’s already rolling! This may or may not take 30 days and that is okay because you are working on saving money! It took me about 45 days to figure out my process and my system for keeping coupons. I keep a notebook with baseball card pages that I use to keep my coupons. I have these divided into sections that work for me.

Once you are fluent in Coupon match-ups to sales it’s time to look at stockpiling. This is where you will buy more at rock bottom prices to get you to the next sale – it’s cyclical at about every 3-6 weeks. You will get to where you know when it is about time for that particular item to go on sale. Also, be on the look out for “high” dollar coupons that will get you items for free or next to free with little out of pocket expense. These items may or may not have to be on sale. For example, the recent Mighty Dog coupon $3.00 off when you buy 5 cans. Well, if you have a PetsMart Card (if you have pets and you don’t have one – get one if you have a PetsMart in your area) then the cans individually will cost you $.55 each – buy 5 and your cost is $2.75. Use your coupon and you will have an overage of $.25. Now you will have to buy what we call a “filler” item for the overage. Get another can of the Mighty Dog for $.30 after the overage. I purchased more of these coupons through a coupon clipping service. I will have 200 cans of Mighty Dog for less than $.05 per can after you figure in the cost for the coupons.

Another thing you can do that doesn’t take much time is to sign-up for rewards programs online. Here are just a few that we belong to:
Khols
JC Penney
Red Robin
Smokey Bones
Famous Footwear
PetsMart
Q’dobas
CVS
Walgreens

You will receive AWESOME savings in the mail, and through e-mail from these companies.

These are just a few things that you can do to kick start yourself into creating “habits of frugality” and trust me, once you master a couple of areas the others are easy to master!

Good Luck and let me know if you have any frugal tips – we are all here to help each other out!

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2 Responses to Thrifty Tips – Creating Habits of Frugality

  1. Jamie @ I Am A Money Magnet on May 12, 2010 at 2:20 am

    It all starts with baby steps! 🙂 When I first started to really pay attention to our finances I kept up with a weekly budget… now the budget is just second nature and I don't have to work so hard to make sure I'm not going over it!

  2. Jennifer on May 13, 2010 at 1:16 am

    What great tips. Once a habit is created it is so easy to keep going, it is just getting to the point that it is a habit.

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