Holiday megathread!! Discuss quick frugal ideas, frugal challenges you're starting, and share your hauls with others here!
Welcome to our monthly megathread! Please use this as a space to generate discussion and post your frugal updates, tips/tricks, or anything else!
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Share with us!
- What are some unique thrift store finds you came across this week?
- Did you use couponing tricks to get an amazing haul? How'd you accomplish that?
- Was there something you had that you put to use in a new way?
- What's your philosophy on frugality?
Meta discussion & updates:
Any improvements to the sub you might recommend?
I'm missing a few top posts of a few months. :( Let me know if you have any to recommend to the below list!
Select list of some top posts of the previous month(s):
- Frugal living: Moving into a school converted into apartments! 600/month, all utilities included
- Follow up- my daughter’s costume. We took $1 pumpkins and an old sweater and made them into a Venus Flytrap costume.
- Gas bill going up 17%… I’m going on strike
- I love the library most because it saves money
- We live in Northern Canada, land of runaway food prices. Some of our harvest saved for winter. What started as a hobby has become a necessity.
- 70 lbs of potatoes I grew from seed potatoes from a garden store and an old bag of russets from my grandma’s pantry. Total cost: $10
- Gatorade, Fritos and Kleenex among US companies blasted for 'scamming customers with shrinkflation' as prices rise
- Forty years ago we started a store cupboard of household essentials to save money before our children were born. This is last of our soap stash.
- How to get free scientific papers!
- Noticed this about my life before I committed to a tighter budget.
- Seeds from Dollar Store vs Ace Hardware.
- I was looking online for a product that would safely hold my house key while jogging. Then I remembered I had such a product already.
- Using patterned socks to mend holes in clothes
- My dogs eat raw as I believe it’s best for them but I don’t want to pay the high cost. So after ads requesting leftover, extra, freezer burnt meat. I just made enough grind to feed my dogs for 9 months. Free.
- What are your ‘fuck-it this makes me happy’ non-frugal purchases?
- Where is this so-called 7% inflation everyone's talking about? Where I live (~150k pop. county), half my groceries' prices are up ~30% on average. Anyone else? How are you coping with the increased expenses?
- You are allowed to refill squeeze tubes of jam with regular jam. The government can't stop you.
Chances are if they ask for your birthday they’re going to send a special discount for your birthday. Since most people saving money are unlikely to spend on ourselves, put in a family members you would spend money on or a month you’ll be buying gifts. By doing this I’ve been able to get my kids free meals on their birthdays and I get discounts at many of my favorite stores in November/December which is perfect for holiday shopping.
This year was terrible for my family this year. My wife and I had twin girls last year and we already have a 6 year old girl as well. Hard times fell on us and we were forced to move from our apartment in January. Luckily we were able to move in with my wifes parents and we are able to stay afloat paying our fair share of everything. Due to health problems I have, my wife works and I stay home with the twins and take care of them. I was worried I wouldn't be able to have any gifts for Christmas this year from us to my 6 year old daughter due to us just getting by. I started doing things online to earn a dollar here or there. Mostly surveys. Im proud to say I was able to earn enough to buy my daughter this stuffed unicorn we saw online. She loves Unicorns! It has 4 baby unicorns in its belly too. I ordered it last night and it made me cry because we have never not gotten her something. I am so proud and I just wanted to share (and maybe vent) with people because there is always hope. Hope and love and determination drove me. I hope it can help someone else. Happy Holidays everyone!
edit: spelling errors
I just have to share. Partly because this a great idea but mostly because my nephew and his wife are amazing and I want to brag. The family just moved into a new home and wanted a tall Christmas tree. They found 9' trees that were $600 and just were not willing to pay that amount. They purchased two 7 1/2' trees and after the needed cutting, drilling, etc now have a beautiful 11' tree.
Discussion 💬 Kitchen countertop appliances vs manual/oven. Time and energy savers or just another item that takes up space?
Holiday season is upon us and that means plug in appliances for every use. I'm curious what people who purchased these items think of them after ownership.
Did you use your food processor or were you happier with a knife/cutting board or mortal and pestle?
Was that KitchenAid mixer better than a hand mixer or just using your hands?
Was bread maker bread worth it or were you happier buying from the store or making it in the regular oven?
Is that toaster oven worth the clean up?
Did you like your air fryer and Instapot, but found they broke easily or that better time management and prep eliminated the benefits?
Rice cookers, did you eat enough rice to justify it.
Or, do you think a oven is the biggest waste of space in your kitchen.
Any suggestions for manual replacements?
Restore & refurbish 🚧 Found for $8 at my local thrift store, any ideas on how to repair the chip to keep it from rusting?
Frugal Win 🎉 When I was broke I could only afford clothing from thrift stores. Now that I make alright money I STILL can't justify not shopping at thrift stores
Exceptions are for gifts, underwear, coats, shoes (depending on the shoe), or clothing that has an *extreme discount (usually on a clearance rack in an off season)*
When I was first living out on my own I couldn't afford new new clothing. The new clothes I got were gifted or using a gift card to get them. I realized the other day that now that I'm making alright money (a little over $20/h compared to the little under $9/h i was making when I first moved out of my parents') I'm STILL going to thrift shops when I need some "new" work clothes
At any thrift store I've been to you can always find clothes that still look new, or clothes that might even still have the original tags on them. Sweaters, tshirts, blouses, shorts, dresses, trousers, and jeans. Jeans are probably my favorite thing to find when thrifting because jeans are stupid expensive when new. $30, $40, $50 for new jeans? Jesus. Probably worth it because they do last a long time but when I know i can find a pair of jeans for under $10 at a thrift shop i can't justify paying over $20 for them at a department store
Just the other day at a couple different shops i got two "new" pairs of jeans and new work shirt and sweater for under $20. You can't find prices like that at other stores, or if you do it's through hunting through clearance racks and getting coupons. I remember once at some thrift shop i saw like 8 pairs of trousers that still had the original tags on them, BRAND NEW, probably for $5/piece, sadly they weren't my size so i couldn't get them. You could save even more money by learning how to do simple tailoring if you find something that's too big or small
Recycling & zero-waste ♻️ what I found on the curb around the neighborhood before garbage truck came
here is what I found . nothing was broken or stained and was all used either in my home or cleaned and resold .
5 banana republic men shirts -
small pet crate -
doll house -
2 bar stools -
small coffee table -
hot wheels race track -
3 rugs -
2 luggage pieces -
women’s clothing -
tool box filled with sockets and drill bits-
-trash can with closing lid
Hey guys - just wanted to throw a thought out there and see if it resonates. I feel like the quality of things has gone down drastically in the past 5 years or so. The other day I bought a drugstore concealer I used 3 years ago (which I loved), but realised on first use that it’s a completely different, crappier formula. And it’s a similar experience I’ve had across the board with things. I’m try to buy quality items that will last me years, but I can’t justify the price when no quality is guaranteed i.e. appliances, homewares etc. Now to combat this, I’m getting more into thrifting and FB marketplace, however even trusted brands I loved years ago have cut corners in terms of quality. Sad to see. Is there anything you’re doing to help with this issue?
Advice Needed ✋ My shampoo bar crumbled too early, any way to fuse together the remaining bits? Can I melt it or something?
Tip/advice 💁♀️ Everyone is experiencing inflation at the grocery store. Here is a tip to cut your groceries bill in half. Got to your local Asian/African/Hispanic market.
All these foods are super cheap and delicious. Don't be afraid if you don't know what the item is. Experiment. Ask. I halved my grocery bill by primarily supporting my non-traditional grocery stores.
Discussion 💬 Why are these gummies cheaper through a third party? You would think buying direct (through a subscription no less) would be cheapergallery
I gave our van driver a tip tonight and we said she was really cool the whole drive and as we all got out bags we told her that and she said “you guys, too! Way better than last week when someone from your company made me cry” - He was giving her shit and berated her for following her driver company policy to the point after she dropped him off she pulled into a parking spot and cried. I happen to have a $20 in my pocket and I gave it to her and said ignore the haters, you’re awesome. I never even thought twice about it because I am frugal I could afford to do it. Some people think people are frugal because they are cheap but I’m frugal so that I can do stuff like this at the spur of the moment. I haven’t done anything like that before but the last 6 months I’ve really buckled down saving money and I’m just so happy I could do it
Frugal Win 🎉 We seemed to be out of lotion, but instead of buying a new one i cut the top open and used a bag clip to keep it shut. So much lotion was still in the tube!
Idk how to explain this but I have my driver license yet I haven't been driving for so many yrs now due to car accident. I admit I'm scared to drive again but facing that fear is the only way to overcome it. I guess I'm not feeling ready to drive on the road again right now. But I just want to practice and get the hang of it until I feel ready to go on the road. My question was many people have told me to go empty parking lot in the evening time and some said to learn with a professional driving instructor to tackle your anxiety with driving. I really don't know what to do but I called and asked how much the rate is for few lessons but it's so expensive. 1 hour is $130 and I just feel like is it okay to drive with a friend on empty parking lot. Idk but I want to save money.
DIY 🚧 Needed a personal trash bin so badly but can't afford 10$ so I found some cardboard laying around and got a bulk garbage black bag. Just saved some $! Thanks r/frugal.
Restore & refurbish 🚧 Upcycled my halloween decoration for Christmas. Isnt she just stunning in her new threads?
Hello! Unfortunately it seems like my paycheck is being stretched more and more and I need advice on how to deal with this. At the current moment it's not really possible for me to get a raise or a real job, but groceries sure aren't getting cheaper weekly! Would greatly appreciate any tips
Advice Needed ✋ What can I get my 75-100 coworkers for the holiday season that is not food, cards, or religious, that won't cost a fortune?
My coworkers all have different religious beliefs, some have dietary restrictions, and I suck at writing notes on cards. Something less that $150 if at all possible.
Edit #1: I did not expect this many responses. I thought I'd get 10 at the most. I just got off of a 12 hour shift, so please bear with me as I sort through the comments. I will add more edits as I go along to better answer questions.
Edit #2: Wow that was a lot to read. It is a total budget of $150 all together. The is how much I was able to save up by cutting out other things over the last few months. I am not in any leadership position. The company I work for is a metal processing plant. There are over 2,100 employees, scattered over four shifts at this location. We have one giant break room that is shared with everyone. I do not want to get anything for there because no one cleans up after themselves and the 12 microwaves we have, stay filthy. I saw a new fridge last barely a week before someone knocked the door off the hinges. I did a quick guestimate this morning when I wrote this post, After reading all these comments, I sat down, and wrote out a list of everyone I want to give a gift to, and it comes up to 79 names. I'd like to get a bit extra, just in case I forgot someone. These are people that I talk to daily, that I spend 60-70 hours a week with. That I talk to about things other than work. My love language is gift giving and I want to do something for my coworkers, who I feel are more like friends and family. I am not expecting anything in return.
Ideas I liked in the comments: Lotto tickets (although a few coworkers religions might be against gambling, I'll have to check) Chapstick Pens (I am always giving out pens, so it would be a normal thing) Badge reels (we have to scan our badges at least 100 times a day and this could work)
I was going through the pantry and saw we had some canned tuna and salmon (I think a family member bought it when they did grocery shopping for us). I never had canned fish and never been big on fish (live too far in mainland to trust "fresh" fish). Any tasty and inexpensive recipes that anyone knows using these?
Hi all! Please: anyone have tips / tricks for finding frugal options for counselor and/or psychiatrists?
Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to find either in my geographical area that take new patients or take my insurance (and if I go out of network, my insurance pays very little of the bill).
Any ideas, input, or advice is super helpful!
Thanks all, and I appreciate this community!
So I have celiac disease, which means I cannot absorb gluten properly and get very sick when I eat it. My specialty food, like flour, bread, etc is insanely expensive. $8 for a loaf of bread, $17 for 3lbs of flour. I have a good job, but after taxes and insurance comes out my $48k is $36k take home. My husband just lost his job, so things are ungodly tight. The one area we seem to do so bad in is with food. We spend $800 a month for 3 people. It's killing me honestly.
I did just sign up for a Panera unlimited sips card, which is $11 a month (free this month though) and I can get all the drinks I want, coffee, pop, lemonade, etc. I think that will help a lot. But I'm wondering where else I can cut corners? Especially to bring down my personal food cost. Do you have any recipes? Any tips? I'm really looking for any guidance to nip that grocery bill in the bud. Thanks!
Hey everyone! I thought I'd recommend my go-to source for cheap used books: ThriftBooks.com!
ThriftBooks books are typically between $4-$10, with free shipping on orders over $10 ($1 if under). Every purchase you make on the website gives you points, and after a certain number of points, you get a free book. The website runs regular promotions (there's a 15% off sale right now, for example) and some purchases bring you 2x, 3x, or 4x the normal amount of points.
ThriftBooks is best used to source books that have been out for at least a year or two, so there are lots of used copies floating around. You can buy new books through the website but the prices are comparable to Amazon. I'm generally very happy with the quality of books I receive.
So my job provides uniforms, which are completely optional. Im wondering if I should order some, and if it’ll be worth it.
I work in industrial manufacturing. The job is messy, we’re talking grease, anti-seize lubricant, dust, paint, hydraulic fluid, and the sort. Some of these things are very hard if not impossible to get out of your clothing. I’ve ruined quite a few shirts and pants. Our dress code is very open, any kind of shirt and long pants will do.
The uniforms my job offers cost $16/weekly ($64/month) as they have a company that launders them every week and returns them to our lockers. You pay this whether or not you wash them yourself. This $16/week covers pants and button up shirts, as well as a winter coat. Also, if you need to change sizes for whatever reason, you just fill out a tag and you get your new size the next week.
I’m considering doing this, or going to the thrift store and getting a set of “work clothes” from there.
Is this worth it to prevent killing all of my clothes at work? I’m also concerned with killing my washing machine over time. If not, what’s a good/better alternative to this? Thanks for any advice!