Do you sometimes wonder about ways to save on needed purchases, or how, to borrow the colloquial saying, “drive a Ferrari on the price of a chevy”? This is the essence of the column, Mr Fru’ (or Mr Frugality if you insist on my full name). Every time I come around, I will discuss some practical tips that will help both individuals and families see ways of saving money, without compromising on lifestyle. I will also include real conversations from people like you, that I talk to about tips in their lives that have been helping.
Take for example, grocery shopping. We all know that we always end up spending more when we go grocery with an empty stomach. If you haven’t realized this, put it to the test and let me know. Next, cable TV! You certainly realize that the average cable bill is over $800 a year but, do you know you can reduce this to less than $100 per annum (considering that high speed internet is common place in most homes) by subscribing to Huluplus, Netflix or similar that provide unlimited streaming of TV shows for under $8 per month? Besides have you asked yourself why you keep paying for those other 150 channels you never watch? For those who don’t care about reality TV (which Mr Fru’ despises by the way), you can easily receive several public channels on a one-time purchase of a good antenna, which typically runs between $45-$90.
What are others doing?
Take Jeremy and Carine that I talked to, and I quote: “We don’t carry any balance on our credit cards even though we buy almost everything during the month using these cards. At the end of the month, we pay balance in full but get the cash back that our card gives. Sometimes it is up to 5% in savings every month. Then those purchases. If we have to buy most things costing a little more than regular stuff, we go online and buy gift cards at a discount to use in stores. Some good sites we use are plasticjungle.com and junkcard.com. We typically save up to 8% on these purchases but could be up to 25% sometimes”.
Then on a lighter note they mentioned: “Some small practices save you on electric bill. For example, we never place hot food in the refrigerator – and you know why. You waste energy to bring the food to room temperature before cooling to preserve. I am not sure how much this practice has saved us this far but by the time we are old, it sure will be a truck load of money…..hahahaha”