Mrs. Frugal Parsimonious

Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

If you haven’t guessed yet, this post will be about finding great deals and saving — a notion near and dear to my penny-pinching heart.

As my Grandma used to say, “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a ship.”

Okay . . . So my Grandma didn’t say that; Benjamin Franklin did, but still, wise words, don’t you agree? Another great quote: “Without frugality none can be rich, and with it very few would be poor.”

Something that never fails to get my heart racing? Finding a treasure for the pauper’s price! I have this little game I like to play with my friends called: “Guess what I paid for this?” Picture a grown woman squealing, jumping up and down, unable to contain herself, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what this looks like. Am I ashamed? No way! I love, love, LOVE a good deal, and though it does require a keen eye to spot them, and a bit of patience and perseverance, it really does pay off! I frequent thrift-stores weekly, garage sales when I can, and comb the clipper magazine when it arrives (or else I’ll forget) Short on extra time? Have daily Groupons/Amazon alerts sent directly to your inbox!

Favorite deal this week: a one year magazine subscription for $5 found here: http://www.groupon.com.  This might not be celebration worthy to you, but I love sifting through a magazine in my downtime; however, they run almost $4 a piece! This deal was absolutely a Cara-crave 🙂

If you have not stumbled upon Groupon yet, stop whatever you’re doing and go now! They have deals for nearly every city and state. Living Social is another great site that personalizes deals to fit your needs and lifestyle.

Another site for the thrifty mom, wife, or frugal individual: http://www.coupons.com/ They provide printable coupons and a search engine where you can enter your zip code to receive coupons valid in your specific area.

Below are a few other facts for the frugal, many of which are common-sense and certainly not novel, but in the event you hadn’t espoused these budget-friendly concepts, I wanted to pass them along. I know I always appreciate hearing about how others save, and sometimes the simplicity is so simple that I never would have considered it.

1) Two things I won’t compromise on: organic meats and skin/hair care. While you’ll usually end up having to shell out a bit for more your organic meats without receiving any sort lagniappe (Lagniappe: a small giftgiven with a purchase to a customer, by way of complimentor for good measure; bonus.) I have a great system I use for “Sticking it to the man” in the skin/hair care area. Ask for samples!! Yes, you WILL have to initially spend the big bucks for your Keils, Dr. Dennis Gross, Dermalogica, Pureology, etc… but most of the places where you purchase these products are more than happy to supply you with ample samples. Ha! That rhymes! So when you pick up your $32 face wash (I use this one — AH-mazing! http://www.dgskincare.com/products.cfm?cid=20) have them toss in a few eye-creams, a moisturizer, a serum. Something! I do this every single time (don’t be afraid to ask for more if they’re getting skimpy with you; you’ve spent your hard earned money!) I buy something, and subsequently I have a drawer full of ready-to-be-enjoyed samples, at a value I would estimate to be somewhere in the $75 range. Oh, yea! *fist pump*

2) Don’t let large quantities scare you. You want to always check the price per ounce. This can be tricky sometimes, but usually there’s a little tag just beneath the item that will say .79 per ounce or .96 per ounce. Much of the time you will usually end up saving by purchasing the larger item. And if you use it regularly, even better!

3) Buy generic! It is almost always the exact same product! This especially goes for most over-the-counter medicines, toiletries, and cleaning products. Look for an identical active ingredient, and if it’s the same, well then keep the extra couple of dollars and go get yourself a smoothie from Juice it up!

4) Grab a frequent visitor card! Food and beverage chains are notorious for having these money-saving little babies! 5 punches and the 6th is free!

One of my favorite ways to spend a fun — but inexpensive — night with the Hubs is dinner and a movie. Now depending on where you live and what you like to eat, this can cost anywhere from $45-100. After a full week of writing, usually I am desperate by Friday night to slip into something that doesn’t have a draw-string sewn into the waist, and sit down somewhere with stellar ambiance; however, I don’t want to have to hand over a child and an organ to be able to afford it. So I cheat. The solution: happy hour and a movie from Redbox.

Scroll down and then . . .

*cue the angels singing*

While their most expensive rental tops out at $2, Redbox frequently puts out codes for $1 off any rental. (If you just get the regular DVDs and not the Blue Ray, that means it’s free!) It is valid anytime Friday through Sunday at midnight.

They have sent out coupon codes the last 3 or 4 weekends through their e-mail!  If you’re not already on their mailing list, you may want to sign up! (You get a free code for signing up as well.)

Here are some additional codes that are always valid if you have not already used them (once per debit/credit card).

DVDONME
DVDKROG
BREAKROOM
DVDATWAG

Fabulous Happy Hours: 

Obviously not all of these restaurants will be available in the area you live, but many are in fact chains, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to list them.

Taco Rosa: http://www.tacorosa.com

RA: http://www.rasushi.com (Their rockin’ shrimp is scrumptious!!)

Cheesecake Factory: www.thecheesecakefactory.com/

Yard House: http://www.yardhouse.com

I know much of this seems terribly obvious — and it is. Consistency is going to be your greatest asset when saving is the goal. Making lunches and brewing coffee at home instead of buying out, saying no to the easy purchases and taking the time to dig around for a deal.  As much as it pains me,  there are some expenses — many of them activities — that even with a frugal mind and determined attitude, savvy won’t be of much benefit. It is for these reasons we save. You pinch where you can, and then you have the ability step aboard something like this . . .

Rent this for a few days . . .

Cabin

or this

cabin

And with your very own eyes, see something like this . . .

mountain, waterfall

Worth it? Definitely.

** If you have any suggestions/recommendations, or simple ways in which you’ve discovered how to cut costs, please feel free to leave them in the comment section!

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28 thoughts on “Mrs. Frugal Parsimonious

  1. You are a woman after my own heart! It is a game every time I shop, to see just how low the price will go. My usual rule is if it is $10 or less and I like it, I will buy it. Most items in my wardrobe have been found following that rule. 🙂 Plus, as a mom of ever-growing twin boys, it pays to be frugal… Happy treasure finding!

  2. I loves saving me some money…just not as much as I love eating sushi 😦
    I love your range Cara. This is really a nice article for any mens or womens publication and I bet you would get enormous feedback were it to be published in one of the big ones 🙂

  3. I buy bulk whenever possible. Bulk oil paints, bulk paint for frames, bulk framing materials, bulk panels and etc.

    I don’t buy any clothes that are not on sale. I buy boots from Sheplers.

    I turn scrap wood from frames into wall sculptures.

      • Well, the text that accompanies the offers. Like the descriptions of the products, and so forth. It’s usually really funny stuff, or at least it is in the South East Asian version of Groupon.

      • Ah! Got it now, thank you! I’m a tad obtuse when it comes to computer vernacular/jargon. And yes, I would agree that the little blurps accompanying the products are hilarious. There’s a South East Asian version of Groupon?!? How freakin’ cool. I would love to see that!

  4. I’ve heard of Groupon, but didn’t know what it was. I will be checking it out!

    For fun, we will have a game night with homemade appetizers. I know thats not a new idea, but its a lot of fun. My two teens, 15 and 17, kind of groan a bit, but seriously, they enjoy it as much as my husband and I.

    Thanks for the great post, Cara!

    • Really?! Oh, I am so stinkin’ excited that I was able to bring even just one person into the Awesomeness that is Groupon. You are going to fall in love, Kelly. Oh, ho, ho, just you wait. I was on there for hours the first couple of days, looking up every deal and waging war in my mind to decide whether or not I HAD to have it or not. LOL. Very cool site.
      Game night with apps sounds awesome, and you are smart to see right through the facade of less than enthusiastic teens. You can bet they want to spend time with you and one another — they just forget.
      You’re welcome!

  5. I must be Frugal Parsimonious’s sister, Spartan. I, too, get giddy, when I find a good deal on something great. I’ve been an Extreme Couponer ever since my third child was born and I went to working half time instead of full time. (I’ve since returned to full time but I try to continue using coupons) One of the money saving and time saving sites I joined was The Grocery Game. It was so worth it and my friends and I shared the cost of the subscription which saved even more money.
    Great article. Thanks for sharing!
    Beth

  6. Many people celebrate 4th of July by going to carnivals, parades,
    barbecues and picnics and enjoying great fireworks at dusk.
    Do you need mail order or do you prefer to
    see and touch your materials before purchasing.

    G0 homemade.

    • If the project is in my realm of possibility, then yes, homemade all the way! But I have seen many DIY nightmares, enough to be careful about reaching outside my skill-set!

      Nice to meet you, Timothy!

      ~ Cara

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