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My Frugal Life: Tightwad Gazette Fan

I have done thrifty things for years; this has enabled me to have nice things and recycle at the same time. My favorite stores are garage sales. If high priced, I leave. If reasonable, I negotiate to get my prices. Today I got a large tote sized bag full of like new clothes for "back to school" and a 25 cent new book bag. I cannot seem to go to the full price places anymore, but, go to the second hand ones in the winter if there is something needed.

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I only stock up on things we use often and does not spoil. I find very nice things, decorations for home, items for around home, like garden tools, etc. at these sales. I also have picked up furniture and appliances people throw out. Rule of my thumb, if there are a pair of washer and dryer, likely they replaced for looks. I have 5 rental properties that I have appliances in, they bring more rent, so, I store extra appliances in the garage side of my barn.

I have gardened, canned, made deals with the people at the local cheap grocery chain for things that they can't keep at the end of season, like 25 lbs. of frozen strawberries ($5.00). A regular knife will cut into small sized pieces for future use.

Where there is a will, there is always a way. If any of you are not familiar with the tightwad gazette books, I suggest checking them out at the library or buying at thriftbooks.com or half.com, you can get a set for around $3, I have seen. I happened to get mine about 20 years ago at a garage sale and got tons of ideas from them.

I make my own laundry soap and some other things. I do not believe in car payments, if it breaks down, then you have to make a payment plus pay for fixing it. That's unnecessary stress for me. Everybody can figure out how to save $100 a month and save up for a decent used vehicle for around $1000 and it's clear. The cost of insurance is less, and unfortunately they all still eat gas, so why make payments on something that depreciates rapidly, no matter what the economy. Yes, I have debt on mortgages that I am working on, but I do what I can to save money for the whole picture which makes it so much easier to deal with big things when they happen. Good luck with being thrifty, the "new cool" thing to be!

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By Suedobbins from Davenport, IA

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