I had good intentions when I drove across town for the cheaper gas and filled up my cart at big box retailer. Finally, my common sense prevailed over my desire to save a few cents. According to a recent Motley Fool article, being cheap doesn’t pay off in many instances. I know it’s good to be frugal, but it’s also good to get ahead. I found ways to save more money while avoiding the common pitfalls that cheapskates succumb to with the best of intentions. Reviewing the points outlined by Motley Fool reminded me of ways I save money without compromising value, quality and my health.
Buying in bulk
I still buy in bulk, but I’m more careful about what I purchase. I save about $50 a year by buying toilet paper, paper towels and napkins in bulk. The key is to store them in a dry place and keep them in the plastic wrapping until needed. I make sure to freeze items that can be frozen such as loaves of bread. I avoid the giant jars of peanut butter because it often spoils. Moreover, it seems unsanitary to keep digging into the same jar for a year.
Eating cheap food
I save money by visiting fast casual restaurants that do not have servers. I don’t mind getting up to pick up my own order because it saves me money on tips. I can also choose healthful soups or salads that are made quickly as opposed to fried food served as fast-food restaurants. It doesn’t pay to save money on junk foods because I end up paying the doctor more when I become ill.
Going clothes shopping
To save money, I simply avoid the department stores. I do occasionally pick up a new outfit at the outlet stores. Being a homebody saves me the most money because I’m not trying to buy new outfits to impress friends or colleagues. According to the Motley Fool, it’s better to invest in quality clothing pieces rather than garments that break or fade after a few washes. As I grow older, I’m amazed by how many outfits I can find by just shopping my own closet.
Avoiding the DIY projects
I recently wanted to spend $150 on a new faucet to improve the look of my kitchen. When we began to install the new faucet, we found out the plumbing had not been properly installed. We would have needed to buy a new sink for about $350 as well as hire a plumber to complete what was supposed to be a free DIY project. Fortunately, my father-in-law was able to inspect the plumbing before we spent the money on a new faucet that would have cost us six times as much as originally expected.
Although I agree with many of the points made by the Motley Fool writer, I disagreed about some instances when it doesn’t pay to be too frugal. The author warned against using coupons or trying to save money when dating. The fact that my husband was frugal added to my attraction. Like most people, I didn’t want to marry a person with a lot of debt and a spending habit. Maybe it’s not romantic to pull out a coupon on the first date, but I rather see coupons than a wallet full of credit cards.
More from this contributor:
Using my Roth to Pay off House
Recession Over, but Frugal Habits Remain
I Pay Myself Last