Smart SpendingSmart Spending

25 frugal things I do

Plus 4 secret spendthrift confessions.

By Karen Datko Nov 18, 2009 12:53PM

This post comes from Frugal Duchess at partner blog Wise Bread.


From time to time, I take inventory of my frugal habits. This review helps fine-tune my money-saving strategies.

Here is my latest list of 25 frugal things I do, plus a few spendthrift habits. It's a tradition I've picked up from my friend Dawn at Frugal for Life.

  • Use mascara, coffee and tea to color my hair.
  • Use organic apple cider vinegar as a natural conditioner; clean my kitchen with white vinegar.
  • Avoid ordering drinks or beverages in restaurants.
  • Bring my own snacks, water and food to theme parks.
  • Installed a filter on the kitchen faucet. Filtered water costs pennies per gallon in my home.
  • Use the free gym at work and canceled my membership at a chic gym in South Beach.
  • Walk to stores, the post office and other nearby errand stops.
  • Purchased a discounted monthly transit pass for the bus and train.
  • Read receipts to find store errors or free coupons on the receipt.
  • Use olive oil, oranges and tomatoes to condition my skin and hair instead of traditional personal-care products.
  • Style, braid and cut my own hair.
  • Often stay with friends and relatives while on vacation.
  • My shopping lists are based on weekly sale promotions and coupons.
  • Rejoined an organic food co-op to get super cheap prices for organic, in-season produce.
  • Make clothing and shoe repairs and other wardrobe fixes with magic markers, staples and tape.
  • Stock up on generic or private-label products, especially when those items are on sale.
  • Recycle cards, gift bags and wrapping paper.
  • Use diluted dish soap to wash off fruit.
  • Watch Internet television after cutting the cable TV cord.
  • Cut back on makeup and skincare products (fewer chemicals, lower expenses).
  • Purchase 99% of my shoes, clothing and accessories at end-of-season sales.
  • Borrow books, magazines and movies from friends.
  • Save the bits of soap and small conditioner containers we use in hotel rooms.
  • Drink the free coffee at work.
  • Try to avoid shops and malls as much as possible.

4 secret spendthrift confessions

  • I love to eat out.
  • Disorganization costs: Late fees -- for videos and bills -- occasionally eat into my budget.
  • A local company offers discounted massage therapy services, and I take advantage of this perk as much as possible.
  • I don’t know how many pairs of shoes are in my closet.

Related reading at Wise Bread:

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