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What can I say? I'm cheap.

July 13th, 2010 at 07:55 pm

So I was browsing a forum I visit sometimes and there was a thread dedicated to frugality. Since I'm a cheapo at heart, I wanted to jot some of these down so I can learn some things as well as share some of my own frugal tips with you all...

I rarely eat at fast food places (although my parents have been treating me to some fast food now that I live with them) but I sometimes take extra ketchup and other sauce packets home with me. I don't use a lot of mustard but it's always good to have some on hand when I make hot dogs. And it's free!

I used to have a subcription to Netflix. I did the 2 at a time unlimited deal. I believe it was around $15 a month. What I DIDN'T like is the turn around time. I would get a movie in the mail and watch it that day. Then I would put the movie in the mailbox the next morning. The mailman would collect the movie but it wouldn't be sent out until the next day. Then, once Netflix received the movie, they would send another movie to me but it would take about 2 days for me to get it. Yes, Netflix saves more money than going to an actual theater to watch a movie. HOWEVER, there are even cheaper ways to watch movies. First, there are Blockbuster and Red Box rental machines all over the city I live in. They are $1 per day per movie. Super cheap! Even better, there are sometimes codes that allow you to rent the movie for free. I like to do this when I have a bunch of friends coming over because the quality is great and it's inexpensive. However, when I'm at home and want to watch a movie by myself, I just watch them for free on my computer. There are many websites that host streaming movies for free. The quality isn't 100% but you can't beat free.

I like to keep things as cheap as possible when it comes to food. I love food but I don't like spending money on it. To me, food is what I need to live. There is no way I'm going to spend $20 on a steak when I'm perfectly content eating a $5 salad. For example, I remember one year for New Year's Eve, my parents wanted to make an excellent dinner with prime rib and lobster. Yes, it tasted good. However, it wasn't THAT great considering the prices. I notice my coworkers spending $10-15 on their breaks. And there I am, munching on a couple of granola bars, snack mix, and some cherry flavored water. Mind you, I bought all of these things on sale and I used coupons so it literally cost me a few cents for everything.

Let me give another example of eating frugally when it comes to going out to eat. Recently, I spent the day in Tampa with a few friends. It was dinner time so we went out to a popular restaurant. I ordered water and some chicken and fries. My friends ordered sodas, appetizers, and burgers. My bill came out to $8.xx including tip. Their's came out to $20. And I just want to point out that we ate at Hooters, not some amazing Italian restaurant or something like that. So they each spent roughly $12 more than I did and I was perfectly content with what I ate. I've also been to Disney a handful of times and everyone complains about the price of the food. This last time I went, I bought a box of cereal and milk for breakfast. This alone saved me quite a few dollars. Then, for lunch, we went outside of the parks to get food at the grocery store or at a cheap restaurant. The one time we did have dinner inside Disney, I ordered the cheapest thing on the menu. It was around $15 and it wasn't even that good.

Chicken breasts-"Butterfly" each breast to make 2 pieces of meat.

Freeze pretty much everything-When I was still living with my roommates, I would buy an onion or sour cream and it would go bad before I could use the rest of it. Now, whenever I don't completely use a vegetable or something perishable, I just put the item in a freezer bag, label it, and it still tastes as good the next time I use it.

Anyone have some frugal tips to share?

1 Responses to “What can I say? I'm cheap.”

  1. Nika Says:

    Wow, we are the opposite when it comes to food. We would cut other places first, but not on quality of the food.

    And generally, the fresher and less processed food is, the more expensive it is.

    There is no comparison shopping either when it comes to food - when you see something really fresh, you just consider yourself lucky that you found it, even in high-end specialty food stores.

    Finding truly fresh never frozen fish is a challenge, so is finding fruit and veggies that actually smell like fruits and veggies - that you don't have to put to your nose to confirm, but those you can smell more than a foot away(how fruit/veggies are supposed to be).

    We try to make most of our everyday meals gourmet and made from fresh ingredients (I normally don't use anything from a can or a package in a cooking process).

    A meal like fresh salmon baked just right so it is so soft, moist and juicy with all that fish fat(good for you), with baby potatoes and fresh herbs just can't stand up to trailmix. Yes, it takes a lot more money and effort, but we try to enjoy life every day, and fantastic fresh food is a huge part of that enjoyment (and healthier too).

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