Everywhere we looks there are deals. We have sales on food products, decoration products, and any other type of product we can think of. There are coupons that will get you two products for the price of one or at least fifteen cents off. That doesn’t mean that we should cash in on every bargain that comes our way.
You Use It
The truth of the matter is that an item is only worth any type of money if we can use it. It’s easy to decide not to buy cat food when you don’t have a cat (and all of us have the common sense not to make that purchase), but what about when the product is something else. When you buy an article of clothing you can determine if you will use it by thinking of a working outfit to go around it based on your current wardrobe. When you can’t think of anything you own to go with your potential purchase it’s time to accept, no matter how cute the shoes are, you can’t make them fit into your current wardrobe.
You Have Room For It
This may come as a shock to the Thrifty Diva, but many people own a whole bunch of stuff they don’t even live with. That’s why the storage unit business is doing as well as it does. When you own more stuff than can fit in your living space, two things can happen. Either you spend to keep your stuff somewhere else, or you need to get rid of stuff you already have. There is a third option of living in a hoarder’s paradise, but few of us can handle that kind of hoarder environment.
You Actually Need A Replacement
There is always a newer model of the same old product on store shelves. This is true of everything from cars to waffle irons. Many of us feel the need to replace things we have with better looking counterparts with more features. That within itself is not a bad thing, but make sure you really need to update what you have. It’s also important to once again ask yourself if you will use, not just the product, but the new features you are paying to get.
The opportunity to give is everywhere. People can make accounts on various websites to raise money for anything from animal shelters to medical procedures. It’s a great sight to see so many giving people on social sites helping their fellow man. Unfortunately for some people it’s inspiring in all the wrong ways. So how do you discern between those that truly need help and those that just want your money?
Who Do You Know?
There are some instances that we know the person asking for help and we can be sure that they need the money they are trying to raise. Other times they are a friend of a friend. They can be vouched for by somebody that you know and trust. Sometimes these people are well known in media and both the media and the public will hold them to the promise they made to whatever charity they are raising money for. In all of these cases there is a very good chance that your donation will make it to a person in need rather than a person in greed.
Sometimes what you want to give in charitable donations is not so much to a person as it is to a organization. You may have had a close and personal scrape with a certain disease and want to contribute to helping find a cure or treatment for it. Look for an official organization to give to. Many pay to search or pay to click sites give you the option to donate the monetary value of your points towards these official organizations.
Last, but certainly not least, are community charities. These charities are often done through church organizations or through official organizations, such as your local branch of the Red Cross. These organizations don’t just need money. They also need time and effort. They can educate and train volunteers for free or small fees. They can also directly help those that are in need.
Bank of America customers get free admission to many museums on the first weekend of each month. Check it out HERE!
What is the right price for a casual game? For a thrifty diva the right price is zero dollars and zero cents. Blizzard, the company that make Diablo games and Starcraft, knows this and is creating games to meet the casual gamer’s needs. They make money off their in-game stores from those that choose to buy gaming items. In the mean time the thrifty gaming diva is earning and saving up in-game gold. We know that with a little patience and planning we can play these games without spending real money.
Hearthstone is an online card game. You start with a main character that has their own special ability. You also have a deck of cards that you can create to compliment your playing style. Each card represents a minion or an ability that you can play based on its mana crystal cost. You begin with one mana crystal and gain a crystal each turn and try to play your cards strategically within the amount of mana you have. You can earn in-game gold to buy new packs of cards.
There are also solo adventures. The two adventures out at the moment can be bought by in-game gold wing by wing. They each have five wings. As you progress through the adventure you beat game bosses and earn new cards. On top of that, after each wing is finished there are class challenges that reward victory with class specific cards.
The best part of Hearthstone is that it’s flexible. You can play it on a iPhone or Kindle. The games last between five to ten minutes. You can also cancel a game if you need to run and change your toddler.
Heroes Of The Storm
Heroes Of The Storm is currently in Beta. It’s a real time game where you can pick a Blizzard character to fight with. From what I understand you can also earn in-game gold in order to buy certain characters. Otherwise you are working with a character randomly chosen each week that is free to play. Heroes Of The Storm enters open Beta on May 19th and is released June 2nd.
Take From The Back
When buying frozen goods take your item from the back of the freezer. First of all, it will have the latest expiration date because all the sooner expiration dates are pushed to the front so that they will sell sooner. Secondly, it is less likely you will pick up an item put back in the freezer after it has been out and about in the store for who knows how long of a ride in someone else’s shopping cart.
This rule also applies to refrigerated goods and carbonated beverages. In the case of carbonated beverages, it may have been replaced after being dropped and is now good as new …except flat.
Some weeks we drink milk like it’s the last drink on the planet. Other weeks my family avoids milk like the plague. I can never tell what type of milk drinking week it’s going to be. That’s why I buy a minimum amount and then keep powdered milk on hand. I also keep Gatorade mix, hot chocolate mix, and Emergence C mix on hand. To round it out I also keep herbal teas on hand to give me variety in my drinking life. It keeps my family happily hydrated with enough choices without breaking the bank. Powdered drinks often cost less than their liquid counterparts.
Look up recipes ahead of your shipping trip. Choose easy fast recipes that share many of the same ingredients. This does a couple things for you. First, it’s less for you to hunt for in the store. The less time you spend there, the less likely it is you will wander around and end up impulse buying. The second thing it does is ensure you will be able to cook different meals for your family quickly, but with the same basic ingredients.
A friend and I were were watching Star Trek once and she commented on how after all those pretend centuries people were still using the zipper in the space exploring age. I responded that if it wasn’t broke, you shouldn’t fix it. That’s how I feel about many things and it has saves me a ton of money.
Take Potty Chairs For Example
It seems like a simple thing. Any parent knows how to use a potty chair and is trying to teach their child how to use it. Then comes a different version. We now have a miniature toilet and a potty seat that latches on to the regular toilet. You are given the choice as a parent to empty your toddlers waste in the toilet and cleaning out the chamber or risk wetting yourself as you try to pry the other design off the toilet so you can use the facilities yourself.
Next comes designs. They now have a holder for the ipad, lights that light up when your child pees, and one that make music in bowel movement celebration. Heck, they even make one that looks like frog face eating your child’s backside (as if my skittish toddler will want to risk that). They are all very creative ideas that have nothing to do with actually going potty. Not only that, but there is no actual proof that they work better than the old fashioned potty chair which costs a third (at the very least) than the potties that can now fly to the moon and play an in flight movie.
Real Progress Promotes Frugality
While the same concept can be applied to many, many fluffed up newer models of old products, there is such thing as useful progress. The fun thing about progressive progress is that it save money, reduces waste, and promotes frugality. For example, I was reading an article about a new type of shoe that can grow with a child. It will save a parent money, reduce the amount of shoes that need to be used and eventually discarded, and was made specifically for countries and families that would otherwise have a difficult time keeping their kids in shoes. That’s a type of fix to a product I can get behind.
In the mean time you and I can help by rejecting puffed up versions that do the same thing as the less expensive model from last year.
My brother used to always tell me that when at first you don’t succeed, sky diving is not for you. While I firmly believe he was right about sky diving, that doesn’t make it true about money saving methods. In fact in spite of these ideas may not work out for you the first time, in the long run they can still save you money using them.
Let’s take the money saving idea of cooking your own meals from scratch rather than buying fast food, meals in a bag, and bagged bread. Cooking is a skill and like all skills, has a learning curve. Your first loaf of bread may not turn out the way you hoped. If it makes you feel any better, mine didn’t even look like a loaf. You may discover you only skimmed the recipe and you have tried to stick two loafs worth of bread dough into one pan. It happens. It’s just a learning experience to help you avoid future mistakes.
Time In Life
Clipping coupons may not be something you would pursue while living single with the belief you can live off of cup of noodle soups and peanut butter sandwiches. You don’t have the storage space to build a coupon fueled food storage. You don’t have the gas to go to six different stores and the time to hunt down the smallest product size in each. Besides, the generic brand is usually less expensive even with a coupon.
When you become a married parent trying to fuel that formula and diaper bill with no expanded income to make ends meet (and they were barely touching to begin with) you may want to revisit that whole coupon thing, or cloth diaper idea. Where it wasn’t helpful before, it can be vital now.