Why Are You Thrifty?

Posted on April 28th, 2015 by Discount Debbie

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When asked, most people would probably say it’s good to be thrifty. Sure, their frugal great-grandmother might have done slightly weird things like cut paper towels into smaller squares or wrapped school day sandwiches in repurposed empty plastic cereal bags, but, you know, being thrifty is good, right?

Well…why?

I know, you are probably thinking, “Well, being thrifty saves money, and I like saving money,” but that’s a really vague reason. Perhaps you’ve decided to cut out your morning latte to save $4 a day. Assuming you used to buy 5 lattes a week, now that you have an extra $20 per week… what will you do with it?

For some families, the answer is immediately obvious: they need the grocery money or have bills to pay. For other families, the answer is less certain. Put it in savings? Put it in a kid’s college fund? Why ARE you thrifty? It’s easy to slide back into old, money-spending habits if you don’t have a clear idea on why saving that $20 a week is a good idea. Perhaps after a month you’ve added $80 into your savings account, but then you see a crazy expensive $80 bottle of wine at the store you’ve been dying to try and your birthday is in a few days. It is easy to justify buying yourself that bottle of wine now that you have an “extra” $80 stashed away, and if your savings goal is “to be able to buy nice wine on my birthday,” that’s fine. But if your personal savings goal is more specific, such as “to eventually have $1000 in emergency savings,” or “to save up enough for a down payment on a car by this time next year,” you’ll be far more hesitant to drop $80 on wine. Having a specific savings goal in mind can inspire thriftier behaviors and keep you on track.


Advantages of Pre-Purchasing Gifts

Posted on April 27th, 2015 by Discount Debbie

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How do you beat the holiday rush when it comes to gifts? Buy as much as you can ahead of time! It might sound kind of stupid—I mean, isn’t the holiday season when all the sales are? But it can be worth it to plan for birthdays and holidays way ahead of time, if possible. If you have a 3 year old who is super into Dora the Explorer and after Christmas, a bunch of Dora stuff is 70% off, you may NOT want to go nuts buying stuff because in a year who knows what he or she will like? But gender neutral, basic things are almost always appreciated.

Naturally, after Christmas is when the biggest clearance sales, toy-wise, are. Many things hit 30-50% off the day after, but if you wait until after January 1st, many things hit 75% or more off. Of course, it’s kind of a gamble what you will find, but if anything looks even vaguely like someone on your gift list might like, buy it!

I found a huge art set on clearance at Target for $5. I picked up it and stashed it in my closet, knowing that my nephew’s 4th birthday was in a few months. About a week before his birthday I saw the exact same art set at a different store for the full price of $18! I was pretty happy with my find, and my nephew was happy with his gift (and naturally I’d peeled off the clearance sticker before wrapping it so his parents had no idea I’d bought it so cheaply).

This strategy works if you’re more of the do-it-yourself gifter, as well. Scrapbooking and other craft supplies often hit low sale prices after the holidays and after the beginning of the school year as well. Scoop ‘em up on sale, spend a couple of weeks making your gifts in your spare time, and voila! You’re done for the year! Isn’t that awesome?


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