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Are You Changing the Way You Spend Money?

Your Two Cents: Are You Changing the Way You Spend?

There are two Gs that have been hitting a sore spot among Americans these days: gas and groceries. The rising prices of food and gasoline have caused many people to cut spending corners in many areas of their daily consumer lives, and the New York Times explored the various ways that people across the country are stretching their budgets in response to these higher prices. Have you adopted any of these practices in order to make up for the cost of gas and groceries?


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discocactus discocactus 9 years
How could you consider yourself "savvy" and not do these things? This seems like pretty basic stuff if you're trying to save money, regardless of the economy.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
Wow, sounds like a pretty smart group here! I'm generally pretty frugal. I do watch sales more closely, now. If I think an item is too expensive, like steak, I just don't buy it. Starbucks is an occasional treat, like a quick run after work if I have a late meeting. I still don't color my own hair, and I get my mani/pedi every two weeks. Both are at reasonably-priced shops, though. My son has a once-a-week uniform which I still take to the cleaner's. (I don't iron--life is too short--and it's a special "military" press.) I get cheaper shampoo and body wash for my husband and son--because they really don't care--and better stuff for my daughter and me. (Generally bought on sale.) Other tricks: I love my local Oroweat/Entemann's thrift store! Now that's it's getting warmer, we don't go out for ice cream, I keep a couple of flavors in the freezer. (Bought on sale.) I batch my errands to save excess driving. I pay bills online to save postage (and tracking outstanding checks, and speed the process). I am paid twice per month, so I pay my credit cards twice per month. I try to pay at least the monthly minimum each time. I'm carrying balances (for several reasons) and my goal is to pay them off as soon as feasible. I only carry one major credit card in my wallet. I set up an overdraft protection savings account with my bank, just in case.... I plan to look into switching over to a credit union. Anyone else want to share their tactics?
amanda02215 amanda02215 9 years
I usually do most of these things normally... I take the bus to work and always buy the Shaw's brand when it is available (or acceptable... because it isn't always an ok substitute). I think the biggest change, though, is they way I buy clothes. I used to always hit the GAP or JCrew or other stores first when I wanted to shop or needed new clothes, but I haven't step foot anywhere other than Filene's Basement, Marshall's, and TJ Maxx in months. And, actually, I've switched from drinking wine or mixed drinks when I go out to beer, since it is so much cheaper.
killertomato killertomato 9 years
I have been cutting down on how much I drive, even though I drive a hybrid. I've always shopped sales and cut coupons when it comes to food. It's frustrating because I'm just getting to a point where I am realizing how important it is to eat sustainable and local meats, dairy and produce, not just for me, but for the environment, and suddenly what was already expensive is twice as expensive. I'm basically going to have to relearn an eating strategy where I eat beef or chicken once per week and lean on non animal protein sources the rest of the time.
Schaianne Schaianne 9 years
Some of the above - AND I stay at home more. Driving's too expensive!! Especially when you live 45 minutes away from any shopping center!! And I agree - clothing prices are ridiculous, Bella!!
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
A couple more things since looking at the picture for this post. I NEVER go in to the 'fridge section of my grocery wearing a halter top (a little nippley, no?) and I don't buy bottled water. ;)
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I cut down on coffee at Dunkin Donuts. I don't go out unless I need to to cut down on gas. I just try to keep as much money in my pocket as possible.
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
About three years ago, I met some of my gal pals at a moderately priced Mexican restaurant. I hadn't ordered a margarita since college (several moons ago) and didn't hesitate to check the price when I saw a raspberry and lime version. The SMALL drink was more than my entree! I don't go to bars, and from that point on, have never ordered anything but water with lemon while having rare meals away from home. I love to cook, so this isn't a huge issue. I know that I can make bang-up meals at home. I'm more frugal than ever with the cost of gas. Coupons? You bet. Store brands? For sure. Most are the same or better than big brands. Starbucks? Who? What? Huh?
Meike Meike 9 years
Nope, I already live practically and frugally as is. Only thing I don't cop myself out of is good, quality food.
Linny Linny 9 years
i buy less of the things i normally buy. i go without starbucks rather than change the order. i like what i like so it's all or nothing for me.
Angelica Angelica 9 years
I just trying to NOT buy things I don't need and cut back on waste. It's not easy, but I honestly don't finish a gallon of something before it goes bad or need a coffee every morning.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
None of the above. I ALWAYS live frugally. So I'm just being even more budget conscious.
mjane79 mjane79 9 years
I only buy coffee out a few times a year, I make my own every morning. I'm a bit of a coffee snob. I grind my beans fresh everyday and I like my coffee black so I don't see the point in paying someone to do that for me. I don't go out to places to drink because I have a fully stocked bar at home. Why should I pay $6 for a drink I can make at home much cheaper? I could just have people over and make them drinks, much easier to have a conversation then. I think food is an area where I haven't cut back, yet. I haven't bought clothes lately. I have too many of those so I'd rather cut back there than stop buying good food. I love to cook and love things like expensive cheese and good chocolate. Good thing I'm only cooking for myself, it's a little cheaper that way and I have plenty of leftovers to take to work for lunch, which saves money.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i've definitely been making an effort to be more money conscious. i was just on vacation w/ my mom and i tried to sway her to do less expensive things, although our options were limited. with food and stuff like that - i try to buy generic or 'lower quality' seeming things, even though you know that you're usually going to get the same quality even if it's not the BRAND name.
emalove emalove 9 years
Well, I am definitely not going shopping as much or "treating" myself to things as often as I usually would. And I'm trying to stay home more often and not drive if I don't NEED to...gas is just crazy expensive these days! My husband and I used to go out to eat every weekend too, but we've been trying to cut back on that as well to save some pennies. My grocery habits haven't changed much though...I like what I like and I'm going to continue to buy the brands that I like.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
syako same here, these are things I've always done.
kwikwit kwikwit 9 years
I've been doing all of these things more often lately. I don't think it's because of the economy though - my New Year's resolution was to start saving more $$ and I've been cutting back in some areas. It's weird though, once I got into the cost-saving mindset I started to realize what a spendthrift I was before. So wasteful!
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
I am a little more frugal in terms of buying generic brands (e.g. cereal). Also, I think I would buy less extraneous food items like snacks and things considered luxuries beyond the normal need.
karisaamy karisaamy 9 years
Most of these I've been doing for quite a while
linb linb 9 years
I've been going all of these things for years.
heineken67 heineken67 9 years
I've been doing most of these anyway, so it's not really a change.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
Since I bought a home I have had to be more frugal, but lately I've started buying off brands and using lots of coupons. the off brands really are just as good! also I try to see how long I can do without some things, or I tell myself I can get a certain food next time I go to the store, and try to hold out. Usually I forget my craving for frozen pizza or whatever it is, and I'm healthier in the long run.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
All. Some of these I've always done, some of these I've recently implemented. Basically, I knew I was poor when I canceled my cable and landline, hadn't had a professional mani/pedi in over a year, and started buying SUAVE shampoo and conditioners. Uh yeah, I think its time to ask for a raise...
Beauty Beauty 9 years
I already do most of these things, but lately when I go window-shopping, I never buy anything. I'm sorry but I don't think $45 for a T-shirt is reasonable. Why do clothes cost so much lately?!
hkdkat hkdkat 9 years
Unfortunately I've been on a bit of a spending spree lately. I think I'll need to calm it down soon, and probably will. The only big purchase I'm planning on is the next version of the iPhone in June/July, but I already have $ saved for that.
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