Monday, March 16, 2009
How Frugal Are You?
The economy is in the pits, the publishing business has gone south, and it doesn’t take long to balance my checkbook since there’s not much in there …yadda, yadda, yadda.
I know I’m preaching to the choir.
Like most people, I’m thinking long and hard about every purchase and eliminating many of the extras in our daily lives. My husband is packing his lunch most days. I brew my own rather than indulging in an over-priced cup of coffee from the local Starbucks. We’re borrowing DVDs from the library rather than renting from Blockbuster. In a two-fer, I do most of my errands on foot which saves gas and is actually a healthy move for a sedentary writer. We eat enough chicken that cluck is our second language. I’m still buying books – but there’s a certain self-interest in contributing to the publishing industry.
I’ve also spent way too much time searching the Internet for web sites that will tell me how to be more frugal. To be honest, it’s just a cheap procrastination technique, but I have learned a thing or two. Many sites offer great coupons for discounts on everything from groceries to clothing to auto repairs. I won’t go to a store without checking to see if there is a coupon available.
Most of these sites also have tips on how to cut your living expenses to the bone. Brand loyalty? Pffft – a thing of the past. To be honest, I’m willing to use generics for most products – heck even on pharmaceuticals. But I like Tide Laundry Detergent and Bounty Paper Towels. I feel ashamed to even admit that I’m spending $$$ on these hyper-advertised products. I know I could be making my own laundry detergent with a little washing soda, Borax and Fels Naptha soap. But that’s not going to happen. I know I shouldn’t use paper towels regardless of the brand in order to save the environment. Sigh. It’s hard to be cheap, environmentally conscious, and lazy.
What’s the biggest change you’ve made to save $$$ since the economy imploded? Is there anything you just can’t give up, even if there is a cheaper alternative?