ADVENTURES OF THE FRU-GAL – Tips to get much more for much less

Heidi Stenquist

Heidi Stenquist
City Times

By now you’re cutting coupons, checking advertised specials and starting to see the value of shopping at thrift stores. You’re beginning to know how far your dollar can go. Good.

There are several ways to cut corners and survive even the hardest of times. Many times I have lived on a bag of potatoes or top ramen. There were times I ate plain pasta or beans for a week.

Sacrificing sometimes is necessary. Making the decision to shop smart is up to you. Understanding when to buy and where to buy can mean the world of difference and add up to hundreds of dollars gained just by making sound judgments.

I want you to know you CAN live in abundance. But you’ve got to be smart and you’ve got to think smart and most of all you have to incorporate good sense in your choices.

For instance, take a little thing like laundry. Do you wear your clothes only once, or do you wear them a few times? Lessening the load come laundry time cuts down on time, detergent, money and wear on your clothes.

Growing up, my mom made us use our towel for a week. After our shower we would have to hang it up to dry and that would be our towel for the week. I still practice this today. Try it.

When we got home we hung up our school clothes and put on our play clothes. It seems reasonable to wash your clothes when they’re dirty, and that takes at least a couple wears.

So don’t just throw your clothes on the floor for them to wrinkle, lay them out. I do two loads of laundry every two weeks. I know you can do it. Don’t you hate doing laundry anyway?

Besides food in your belly and clothes and your back, let’s look at the roof over your head.

A home can be made anywhere. Paying an exorbitant amount for rent can bog down your resources. Keep your eyes open for cheaper apartments.

Having roommates cuts the costs of student living at least while you complete your education, and can financially save you in the long run. Sure you might even have to share a room but it’s a small price to pay for the comfort of knowing your bills are getting paid.

Never live above your means, living in a smaller, less desirable area might not be your preference but will keep your funds in order for that great place when the time is right.

Don’t ever forget things could be worse, and is for many who continue to make poor judgments when it comes to impulse buying. Stop it!

Girls, put a end to overspending on beauty products and make-up. Many times we don’t use up what we have before we buy more. That’s fine if it’s a great deal and you’re stocking up, but typically that’s not the case.

Guys, think about your spending too. Buying video games or sports equipment new is unnecessary when you can buy them used. Why not save your self over half by Googlling local resale stores in your area?

Don’t buy new DVD’s or CD’s either, you can buy them used and is a smart way to get what you want without paying full retail price. Never pay full price.

Saving money doesn’t mean you’ll never get anything, it means you’ll get more. By watching the little things you spend money on and cutting down on the extras you will keep yourself ahead of the game.

Count your blessings and appreciate what you do have. Frequently remind yourself that you are working toward the goal of saving money. You never know when something will come up and deplete your pocketbook.