Budget101 Discussion List Archives Frugal Savings has living frugally ever ended up costing you money?

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    • #270482

      Has being frugal ever ended up costing you money? You may be wondering how this can be when living frugally is all about saving money. Well it is possible if you are dealing with a company that couldn’t find a way to save if they tried.:021:

      This week our electric company held a meeting to discuss raising the electric rates this would include (electric, gas, water, trash pickup etc). Why? According to the article because people are conserving so much they can’t meet their goals!!!!!!!!!!

      How much sense does this make? Wouldn’t it be safe to say if they are conserving now if you raise the cost they will conserve even more????

      So, I thought it would be interesting to know if anyone else has ever found times when living frugally ended up costing you more.

      © Can Stock Photo Inc. / CandyBoxImages

    • #414527

      Wow, that’s interesting!

      I would have to say learning to use my coupons cost me money in the beginning. I’m still learning and it’s hard to resist buying something just because I have a coupon. It takes time to figure out how it all works.

    • #414646

      Your electric company reminds me of a local thrift store. They apparently were not getting enough sales to cover expenses so they decided to raise prices. If not enough people were buying at the lower prices, why do they think they will sell more at the higher prices?

      Being thrifty now costs more at this store.

    • #414653

      Yes I’m hearing the same thing in my area! Because everyone is cutting back we have to raise prices! Ours go up 14% in May!

      Learning about solar panels and wind turbines is starting to look much better! Maybe I can be like my friend in California who built a house and was told sorry charlie no electric in your area! After investing and getting enough solar power going, they changed their minds and said they could have electric after all but she told them to go fly a kite!

      I’d love to go tell mine to go fly a kite too!

    • #414660

      they raise prices
      Because the stock holders aren’t getting mega bucks ..

      Because their costs have increased .. everything from the paper the bill comes on, to employee costs, to transportation – the same issues everyone else has but it gets passed on to the consumer

      Only slightly because the amount used is down – (I haven’t been able to significantly cut my electric since I have been cutting it for years) ..

      Ria

    • #416056

      I agree with the thrift store problem; our local Goodwill charges more than our local Wal-mart for a lot of used items. I went looking for jeans for my oldest boy thinking that it would be about 2 -4 dollars each; NOPE 9 to 10 dollars each for USED jeans. The only reasonably priced pair I found was 4 dollars but had a HUGE hole in the crotch. When I complained I was told that they were not a thrift store, they were a training store for people who couldnt get jobs elsewhere.

      Whatever.

    • #416075

      @Reesie271 109654 wrote:

      I agree with the thrift store problem; our local Goodwill charges more than our local Wal-mart for a lot of used items. I went looking for jeans for my oldest boy thinking that it would be about 2 -4 dollars each; NOPE 9 to 10 dollars each for USED jeans. The only reasonably priced pair I found was 4 dollars but had a huge hole in the crotch. when i complained i was told that they were not a thrift store, they were a training store for people who couldnt get jobs elsewhere.

      whatever.

      lol yeah our goodwill is like that too. true they train,but they are supposed to be a thrift store. they need to thnk about it, why would people buy used clothes for the same price they can get new clothes.

      makes no sense to me

    • #416098

      With food prices going up people would be better off learning to cook more things from scratch. I think many are afraid to try.

    • #416106

      @Janice Terrell 109719 wrote:

      With food prices going up people would be better off learning to cook more things from scratch. I think many are afraid to try.

      i’ve been shocked over the years on how no one knows how to cook anymore. home ec in most schools teaches how to make a cake from a mix! duh…

      read the box, follow the directions. main dish is hamburger helper! if they can’t teach them to cook from scratch then why bother having the class at all??

      keep the music or pe classes! the us army asked me to teach basic cooking skills to military dependents to help them live on army pay. they asked me to start simple with biscuits.

      out of the 37 attending only one had items more than salt at home. When they don’t even have flour or oil than you know they are eating out all meals and clueless how to cook. My nephew cooks all their meals once a month and freezes them because his wife can’t cook and doesn’t care to do so.

      He had a hard time getting her to grab food from the freezer and heat it up and stop doing fast food all the time.

      Be brave! go check out a simple cookbook at the library and give it a shot! You’ll learn from experience.

      You’ll have much healthier meals and much cheaper ones! Trust me if you don’t have someone who can teach you, you really can learn on your own with a good cookbook.

    • #416110

      Most schools do not have a “Home Ec” class anymore. They are too busy focusing on the what the kids need to pass so they meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. That act needs to be adjusted so that kids have basic skills to survive.

      It is also the reason most schools have no recess for the kids-more study time, thus increasing health risks.

    • #416118

      You know I never really thought about frugal living cost me more. But your right prices are on the rise and people aren’t going to pay it. I work so hard to be frugal with everything that I do.

      I don’t use coupons if I can get an off brand cheaper. It just dosn’t make since to do that. And cooking from scratch, that’ the only way to go.

      I cook every night, we eat out maybe once every two months. It’s just to costly to go out and eat these day. I’m searching the internet for MYO seasoning packets.

      I think that I could save some money there too. Making things like taco seasoning, chili seasoning, or anything else that I can find. I can get spices for a dollar a jar at the local Dollar Discount Store.

      I know that they are off brands, but to me they work just as good for us. It doesn’t alway have to be McCormick brand. I figure if I make my own packets, then they are ready to grab and use.

    • #416238

      I agree with you tsgal -I do not use coupons because most of the time you buy either things you do not normal buy or it still not cheaper than the generic brand -I also buy spices at the dollar tree or at sams club . Some things I buy gallons of things-and split and freeze . I also cook almost every meal from scatch -we eat out sometimes , but alot of times for sporting events I pack sandwiches.

      I try and cut corners every way possiable -food is a large part of my daycare business -so I have learned to make alot from scatch and subitute alot -like ground turkey for ground beef -much cheaper Bobbi -ne

    • #416379

      If you go to Goodwill’s website, their mission statement has not a thing to do with helping people afford clothing and household items. It’s all about helping employ people who are nigh on unemployable. For kids’ clothing, I go to church consignment sales–THOSE are some serious deals. For my clothes, well, I have 5 pairs of pants.

      =D

      To answer the op, i think coupons are one of those things that costs me more when i try it than when i don’t. i haven’t gotten the hang of that yet. cooking from scratch probably will because i’m sure i’ll mess it up a lot at first. how about buying in bulk from bjs or sam’s club?

      is the savings worth the $30/year membership fee?

    • #416387

      @Z0607 110121 wrote:

      If you go to Goodwill’s website, their mission statement has not a thing to do with helping people afford clothing and household items. It’s all about helping employ people who are nigh on unemployable. For kids’ clothing, I go to church consignment sales–THOSE are some serious deals. For my clothes, well, I have 5 pairs of pants.

      =D

      To answer the op, i think coupons are one of those things that costs me more when i try it than when i don’t. i haven’t gotten the hang of that yet. cooking from scratch probably will because i’m sure i’ll mess it up a lot at first. how about buying in bulk from bjs or sam’s club?

      is the savings worth the $30/year membership fee?

      I think it depends on what you buy if Sam’s Club is worth the membership fee. Personally for me I do save enough to justify the membership fee. if you think about it, the 30.00 membership fee divides up to be 2.50 a month and you definitely save more than 2.50 a month so yeah it would be worth it.

      I have also heard people say it was not worth it to them so again in my opinion it is all in what you buy. this is what I did to determine before I went to Sams if the price was worth it. Go to the website and search for things you buy all the time.

      Check the prices and see if it is cheaper than what you usually pay for the same amount. If you would save at least the amount per month for the membership fee you are covered. If not you would be better off to not pay the fee and shop at your regular store.

    • #416529

      I am astounded at my girls – who can cook but won’t. They would rather stop and bring home take out…or eat out….I refuse to buy pre packaged stuff who knows what’s in it!!!

    • #416564

      Aerie,

      Are they eating lunch? If not then by the time they head home they are starving and want to eat now

      do they live home? if so, have them start using the crockpot – this way it’s done when they get home. double cook lasagna etc and freeze extras ..

      consider packaging into lunch or dinner size.

      learning to schedule time to cook is the hardest thing ..

      a few years back we did the eat out too .. bert never wanted what i cooked – he’s more flexible now .. some things i still want from outside (fried chicken – or use banquet)

      being tired can mess with schedule of eating too .. dh & i worked opposite shifts with one car so i had to go in with him and sleep in car and vice versa .. we ate lousy

      ria

    • #416578

      Kim, I agree. The schools are made to focus on what their requirements. I think this makes them lacking in survival skills.

      To the question, I think that being frugal costs you money only when you do not do so wisely…for example canning only one jar of jam would cost more in time (time is money) and utilities then to buy a jar. Or buying something that you will not use because you have a coupon.

    • #416803

      Well, I just got a bill from signing up for a discount card with Ulta before Christmas. She said the membership came with a free In Style magazine and since I used my debit card for the purchase in the store, they just billed me for a one year subscription to that magazine.

      Hubby is calling to try to get them to take it off. Really makes me angry.

    • #417228

      Our electric company charges a minimum amount whether you use their service or not–just to have the hook up. The thing is this amount has tripled in the last year, they say it is because it costs them more. I do not understand how they figure it.

      So, yes, sometimes conserving or being frugal will end up costing you money in the long run. Thanks; Virginia

    • #417232

      @Virginia 111418 wrote:

      Our electric company charges a minimum amount whether you use their service or not–just to have the hook up. The thing is this amount has tripled in the last year, they say it is because it costs them more. I do not understand how they figure it.

      So, yes, sometimes conserving or being frugal will end up costing you money in the long run. Thanks; Virginia

      My problem with our electirc company is we are already one of the highest charged cities in Va, we also have one of the highest unemployment rates at the moment and businesses closing every time we turn around. The jobs we do have pay nothing, how they expect people to keep paying this stuff is beyond me. Our electric bill also contains our water, they are now not only charging us for the water we use, but the water that goes out as well.

      With our electric, gas, water and refuse our bill during the winter months is almost 500.00. They leave you no room for mistakes either, you pay a penny short (I am not exagerrating here) they will cut you off and then charge you 30.00 for cutting you back on. Everytime we turn around they are raising for something.

      They have us everyway you turn.

    • #417236

      @mdowdy 111422 wrote:

      Everytime we turn around they are raising for something. They have us everyway you turn.

      Yes! they do! More and more of us are cutting back and conserving and now we get another price increase in May because we aren’t using as much as before so it’s costing them more!

      More and more of us are trying to make our own solar panels and wind turbines and produce our own power and then we’ll go off the grid and kiss them good by! But our electric coop is begging us to stay on the grid and they’ll put in the equipment free of charge so they can buy our power at wholesale rates and give us the option to turn them off when we want to do so. It’s a big thing in our area right now as we have enough folks who can make the equipment locally without charging an arm and a leg and are also willing to teach others.

      But boy I was fuming when I found out we’d be paying more because we conserved just like they told us to do!

      they get you coming and going!

    • #417247

      my electic company is the same .My budget bill is 382.00 every month . We are all electric -so Unless we go solor -I’m pretty well stuck & living in NE it get pretty cold. My electric bill is due on the 10 th if late they charge you 30.oo extra – and I will do anything not to pay extra -so this bill is never late Bobbi -ne

    • #423518

      My first post – ta dah!. anyway, yep, being frugal, but not smart. we acquired so much stuff by me being frugal (well, it was on sale and she’ll need a size 14 tshirt in about 10 years, so I’ll buy it now, because it’s on sale.) Result is a home stuffed to the rafters of stuff we really didn’t need (because it was cheap) or because I couldn’t find the other 3 nail clippers I bought.

      Or the food got stale, or weevily. You got the picture. Frugality can’t be willy-nilly, it has to be thoughtful or it’s just chaos.

    • #423528

      Amen Kim! And just to add I agree with everyone about the Goodwill price hike, I am now only hitting yard sales for back to school items.

    • #423531

      I got several friends who go shopping at salvage places, gargage sales, auctions, ect and snarf up all the “great bargains” they can find. To me it isn’t a bargain if it’s something I have no use for! One friend had a special garden project this year and her eyes lite up and she had just what she needed to complete the project; some weird junk she thought might come in handy one day that she’d gotten at a railroad salvage place over 15 years ago!

      They got a large city lot and it’s piled higher and deeper with junk “they” might need some day and got at a bargain price! To me that’s not being frugal; that’s being extremely weird! Glad they aren’t my neighbor!

    • #423738
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    • #424211

      Thanks for this wonderful information!!

    • #446768

      @Janice Terrell 109719 wrote:

      With food prices going up people would be better off learning to cook more things from scratch. I think many are afraid to try.

      I agree, cooking from scratch would definitely help people save money on their food bills. Every time I go shopping I see higher prices.

    • #446780

      I see this is an older post, but never has this been more true than now. I have cut back so much on utilities, and initially saw a huge savings… but I am now seeing rates rising to keep up with our diminished usage!!!

      not fair… i cry foul! with ever increasing costs at check out counters, everything we do to cut back everywhere else is actually not keeping up with the rising costs of consumer goods.

      it’s depressing actually.

    • #446834

      I used to play the coupon game, but found it is less expensive to send dear hubby to the store to do our grocery shopping. There are still things I purchase that I’m picky about, but for general stuff, he’s the man!

    • #446922

      Ah yes! Making the list and sending another. I’m doing that more and more often!

      My kids need out of the house but I’m at that stage I just assume never leaving home so they fly with my list and card in hand and come back with just what I asked for and nothing extra.

    • #448236

      Well said 7 find the same problem now I wait for sale at kmart or walmart but i do like
      Kmart the have that free membership card and if you watch the coupons for double points I was able to buy a pair of $30. Shoes free and a $14.blanket for free with points after buying xmas gift there about $150.00 worth I would have spent anyways
      So check it out

    • #448250

      I have noticed that sometimes sales aren’t really sales, just prices marked up to be marked down to the normal price. We are also finding that we need to organize our trips to town better because we are forgetting to buy an important purchase or short changing ourselves on food items. That causes us to spend more funds on gas along with the costs of the missing items. I am also learning how to shop with coupons and keep my weekly costs down.

    • #448278

      @Ketsyc 405469 wrote:

      I have noticed that sometimes sales aren’t really sales, just prices marked up to be marked down to the normal price.

      Yes stores love to do this! Especially close out items or going out of business sales.

      They go through and mark the prices way up and then tell you you are getting 30 to 50 % off when you really aren’t. You have to really be on your toes!

    • #448298

      I love how we get charts about normal energy use, our neighbor’s and then ours which seems like twice the amount. Makes me wonder what the neighbor’s look like.

    • #457556

      @Dianne1999 107336 wrote:

      Your electric company reminds me of a local thrift store. They apparently were not getting enough sales to cover expenses so they decided to raise prices. If not enough people were buying at the lower prices, why do they think they will sell more at the higher prices?

      Being thrifty now costs more at this store.

      Because it is almost impossible to live without electricity these days. While it can be done, I don’t think my landlord would appreciate me starting a wood fire in the house, no matter how cold it was outside.

    • #457587

      Tried making my own beauty and cleaning products, and bought a bunch of ingredients.. Some worked. Some didn’t.

      Now I have a whole bag of citric acid I spent $15 on that I have no use for. hah. Don’t regret trying, and I’m finding new purposes for some of the items as I go, but definitely spent at least as much money as I intended on saving.

      My mother thought coupons were a great way to go. Turns out, thirfty shopping online in bulk + a discount farmer’s market + gardening saved way more time and money than those coupons ever did. Couponing is great–if you happen to use that particular brand, or spend the time to double or triple coupons.

      They ended up just luring my mother into buying a bunch of name brand products though.

      Speaking of farmer’s markets.. a lot of them are not what they used to be. used to be a cheap way to buy straight from the source crops.

      now it’s all fancy soaps, overpriced jams, and tons of fluff. i’m glad we found the one we found; it is hard to find the non-foodie-infested farmer’s markets that i remember.

      some things are worth the extra cost. if it’s $3 for a crappy, flimsy plastic bin or $5 for the same price of a sturdy thick one, spend the money. We’ve had so many situations like that where laundry baskets, plastic tupperware, bins, etc. just collapsed and broke and were useless after less than 3 months because we tried to buy ‘the cheap ones’.

      It’s a learning curve deciding what you can skip money on and what you should spend money on.

      Bought a bread machine once because it was a great price on a nice machine that made amazing bread. i thought, “artisan bread costs $3-5 at Whole foods! I can make my own for less than a dollar even if I don’t know how to cook bread!”

      Promptly allowed it to collect dust afterwards. Bread machines are a learning curve, finicky, and none of them do 100% of the things you wish for them to do. And you can’t keep swapping machines out over and over finding the perfect one…

      by the time you hit the learning curve, return periods are over. And honestly, I don’t actually eat artisan bread that frequently.. I learned I could instead trade with a girl that works at Panera Bread and she gives me loaves and loaves of bread they usually just throw in the trash (!!

      What a waste!) that I get to freeze and pull out at will.

    • #457638

      I agree coupons were not the way for me to go . I ended up buying stuff I didn’t really need just because I had a coupon for it. Then I had to find a space to put it in my small place.

      Poor planing on my part.

    • #463484

      Once we only used coupons at the grocery store instead of buying the store brand of the same items and it cost us twice as much money. We found that buying the store brand compared to the name brand even with a coupon cost more. We don’t exclusively store brand items but the name brand items we do buy we like to buy them on sale or with a coupon.

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Budget101 Discussion List Archives Frugal Savings has living frugally ever ended up costing you money?