Saturday, January 10, 2015

Meticulously Thrifty Cheap Frugal Living

Making changes to a lifestyle isn't hard, keeping on the course is the challenge. When you diet, the trick to it's success is taking baby steps and make short term goals. No one's perfect and we all fall off the wagon at one time or another. I was taught from a very young age that nothing in this world is free but I also learned that not everything in this world has to be out of reach either. So many people spend their lives spending money on items that are so well marketed that they don't realize they are overpaying and could be getting exactly what and pay 25% on up to 90% less if they did research on the products they buy. I'm a compulsive shopper, I have been since I was a kid. I recent years, I have tried to substantially curb my money spending habits and reserve my purchases to needs rather than wants. Occasionally I'll grab a wanted item but not until I ponder over the purchase.
I am a fan of store branded or generic items, for the most part. Many of the items do come from the same place. For example, Lou Ana cooking oil and Wal-Mart's Great Value version comes from a refinery in Opelousas, Louisiana as well as Aldi's Ranch Dressing comes from the exact same production line as Hidden Valley Ranch. I picked up these tid bits of info while working for a trucking company many years ago. As thrifty and frugal as I am, I'm not a fan of coupons. I find the act of coupon clipping as enjoyable as clipping a cat's nails. I will use coupons if I have them under two circumstances, I don't like the store or cheaper brand OR the coupon brings the cost below the store branded version. I don't actively seek out coupons though. The art of extreme couponing baffles me, I would love to go to a store and pick up a truck load of items and pay $4.00 but I don't feel the need to stockpile items that will sit and collect dust or never be used...Plus I just can't figure out the formula of how people actually do it.

There are many blogs on the internet that feature DIY and "how to's" on living cheap, I've read them for years. Many blogs are ran by thrifty ladies and targeted towards other ladies with families who live on a budget. Some feature valid household tips while others offer creative advice on feeding families or entertaining children.  I realize that not everyone's standards are the same. I have no family or children, it's just me and my partner. My partner, Terry, loves a good deal also but nothing like me. When we go to a restaurant, I focus mainly on specials whereas his choices are from the main menu. Our trips to Zaxby's are always the same, I get the $5.99 chicken finger sandwich combo, complete with fries and a drink, Terry gets the Zaxby's club with fries and adds on a drink and our total is always $17.00. We both leave full and happy but it sums up our differences.

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