Go Little or Go Home

August 18, 2009 · 18 comments

Did ya read my blog post on Friday? It was about going big or going home. I listed off five items I refuse to cheap out on. There were some interesting comments left so I encourage you to check it out. I figure we should mix things up on this lovely Tuesday morning. It’s time to let the true frugal ninja shine and share some items that I will almost always cheap out on. Don’t judge me.

1) Toothbrush. I envy the owners of the Sonicare toothbrushes. They are the Porsches of the oral hygiene world. I however, am way to cheap to fork out the cash for one of those suckers. In fact I totally cheap out on my toothbrush and only buy one new one a year…just kidding (were you grossed out?). I replace my brush regularly, but when I do I always go for the cheapest one on the rack. Two days ago I picked up a sweet Target toothbrush for $0.99.

2) Spices. I guess this is where my OCD frugalness comes in to play. I love spices and enjoy cooking with them, but I barely own any because they are just so darn expensive. Every time I go to the grocery store, I put some cayenne pepper or montreal steak seasoning in the cart, but then I freak out and think “Holy crap, I can’t pay $8 for some seasoning.” It’s definitely a psychological disorder and leaves my meals a little more bland than I prefer.

3) Batteries. These little suckers are freakin’ expensive. When I go battery shopping, I’m not looking for a specific brand, I’m looking for a specific price. And that price my friends, is cheap.

4) Dress pants. Nordstrom rack is the bomb dot com for picking up some sweet slacks for dirt cheap. Last time I was there I picked up three pairs of very nice looking slacks for $90. The difference between a $30 pair of pants and a $300 pair of pants is not significant enough in my book to justify the bigger purchase.

5) My blog. That right suckers. I am totally cheapin’ out on ya. I keep telling myself I need to fork out the dough for some private hosting or to join up on some networks to get my name out there. It’s almost been six months and I’m just as lame as ever. Still rockin’ the blogger hosting and trying to establish myself through ghetto stick figure art and terrible grammar. I told myself once I received my first adsense check I would use that money to reinvest in to my blog. I probably wont though :)

So there ya have it. These are just some of the categories that I’m willing to sacrifice quality for if it means I’m saving some coin. As always, it’s time to solicit you for input. Where do you cut corners? Try and be honest and try to not let them all revolve around food. Enjoy your Tuesday and thanks for stopping by.

1 HighClassLowIncome

Haha! I did get a little grossed out by the toothbrush thing. I love Nordstrom Rack.. just gotta have a little patience sometimes to dig for cool stuff

2 Forest

I kind of want a Sonicare toothbrush, but since I'd never buy it for myself, I decided to put it on my wedding registry! Not sure if I'll get it though. Time will tell.

3 skeeter319902

I got the Sonicare toothbrush because of dentist orders and I found a rebate online for the replacement heads. Sweet!
You can get rechargeable batteries and a recharger for a pretty good deal now if the batteries are going to be used over and over such as the case with a digital camera.

4 calquist

I'm not sure how I feel about the toothbrush. My dentist keeps pushing the electric ones, but I haven't done it yet. We will see….

Anyway, I always go cheap on paper towels (I don't want to buy them at all, we use cloth napkins and towels) but the BF insists. I also go cheap on wrapping paper. I wrap everything in brown paper bags and then use a nice super colorful bow on the top (bows are usually reusable and I think the look is kinda nifty). In college, I used to grab the free football or basketball posters and wrap in those (they were nice and glossy). I will agree on the dress pants, I have bought nice pairs, but I still consistently wear the same pair I have had since sophomore year of high school. They are from Kohl's, but they have held up the best. They are starting to get a little big, so I think I might need to invest in a belt or head over to Kohl's for another pair.

5 Ginger

Ninja! There is no need to be bland, my friend!

The grocery store is one of the most expensive places to buy spices. Check out your local bulk food store and you'll find every kind of spice for mere pennies!

Most of us don't need a giant container of cumin or nutmeg or whatever. If you just buy a small pinch of what you need then it is insanely cheap and will spice up your home cooking–therefore encouraging you to eat at home more!

As for where I cut corners? I buy generic brands of almost everything I can, and I also use the cheapest toilet paper–I'm only going to use it once, right??

6 Kunsthure

There's no reason to shell out big cash for a toothbrush! The $0.99 Target ones (or the free ones from the dentist) clean teeth just as well as the expensive manual ones. Check out ethnic markets for spices–same stuff just way cheaper. And if you become a stay-at-home-ninja like me, you don't need to buy clothes at all–PJs will suffice every day, all day.

7 Jesse

I buy generics in every possible situation. Wal-Marts Great Value brand is taking over the world, and now make frozen pizza, frozen burritos, Doritos, and everything else you could ever need, at a fraction of the cost. Every time I go to Wal-Mart (yea yea shame on me, whatever ;) I see a new product they have taken over.

As for the toothbrush, my wife bought me the CyberSonic (possible as seen on TV, I forget) and it has been my toothbrush for going on 5 years now. It is rechargeable, comes with a base and heads cost pennies and are shipped to me on a schedule. It even has a lifetime, no questions asked, warranty. http://www.sonictoothbrush.com/ I highly recommend, you can get one on ebay for 20$, and thats a one time cost.

I also agree about spices, 8$ for 2 ounces? Where are these grown, the moon? I do find cheap spices at ethnic markets and yet again, Great Value brand makes spices far cheaper. For certain spices that I cant find cheap, I look up substitutions for them because I wont pay that much but I want to make the recipe. Some things I just leave out and the recipe turns out great anyways.

And to make this comment even longer, I decided if I was using a free blog service I wouldnt be motivated to continue blogging, so I dropped the 100$ a year on hosting and have made it back many times over in freelance work, advertising and products sent to me for review.I would say its way worth it for the control and security.

Things I go cheap on are toothpaste and shoes (the most expensive shoes I have cost 13$ and cheapest were 3$ (discount rack at payless woot), before that I would take my dads old pairs when he bought new ones, I would estimate my total spending on shoes, for my entire life to be approximately $25)

8 Jennifer

Whoa. $30 for pants?? I don't buy anything more than $20, and even that pains me. I know, it's bad. Really, really bad.

And right on about the spices in a bulk food/health food store – CHEAPO! And you can buy just the tiniest smidge. That way they are always fresh when you need them, too.

The batteries, though, I'm not sure about. It really does seem that brand names last longer. It's one of the few things I will not buy generic. Great post. :)

9 S

You can also find spices at Ross and Marshalls. They have a food type section. Also the bulk stores are a great place to find spices. You can get cheap spice container at $1 store and then put the spices you buy @ bulk store in the containers. Just maybe put a piece of masking tape on the bottle to put a name to the spice and the date you loaded up the bottle.

Right now I'm cheap on decorating my casa. I don't have any curtains up (but I do have blinds). Most of my furniture is adopted. Eventually I will upgrade, but for now, it works.

10 Ajae

I go cheap on greeting cards, Dollar Tree 2 for $1.00. I personally don't keep them for long periods of time so I don't want to pay 3-4 dollars if someone is going to throw them away.

11 Kristine

My favorite place to buy batteries is IKEA! $2-3 for a 10-pack for AA or AAA batts can't be beat. They also sell some of the other sizes. And don't forget to check out the Dollar Spot at Target. Some locations carry name brand batteries too depending on the season.

For spices, I hit up CVS during their $0.88 cent sales. These happen like once a month so stock up when you can because they carry a lot of different types of spices.

As for an electric toothbrush, keep an eye out for rebates. (You can also randomly Google for rebates from time to time.) I got mine at CVS last fall. It retailed for $80, offered $20 back in CVS-only care bucks, qualified for a $30 rebate (found in my coupon circular in the local paper) and had a $10 VISA gift card offer inside if I filled out a survey. It came out to $20. Although, I still pay retail for my toothbrush heads =(

12 Revanche

I've conquered 1, 3, and 5.
1. Dental school friend had one LEFT OVER. How do you have leftover brand new Sonicares? Who cares! Now I have no idea how I'm goin to forage new replacements but that's a worry for another time. I used to get free-after-rebate (FAR) toothbrushes from Walgreens and Rite-Aid. I'd go back to that if I had to.
3. Rechargeables! Picked up a FAR charger at Walgreens 8 months ago, it's awesome.
5. Yeah, ok, same here. Still cheap. :)

I also think it's weird to pay too much for toilet paper, coffee and/or juice drinks, and movies. I stocked up on AMC movie tickets from the box office at $5.75/each and I may never be able to attend a full-price viewing again.

13 Jake Stichler

Ninja, I have an assload of extra space and bandwidth on my hosting account, and would be more than happy to help you move your blog over to a nice Wordpress installation.

I could seriously host like 10 more blogs on my account. And you seriously need to get off of Blogger. I hate it I hate it I hate it! :-D

Give me a holler, and we can set up a trial run on a wordpress installation to see how it goes.

14 SS4BC

1) If you get your teeth cleaned twice a year (like you should) then you'll get a FREE toothbrush every year.

2) If you don't cook with spices a lot I'd recommend getting them at Trader Joe's where you can buy just as much as you need for the recipe you are using. I usually will end up spending just 2-3 cents per recipe because it is based on weight – and if the weight is low enough they'll usually just give you the spices for free.

3) Start using rechargables. I haven't bought batteries in YEARS. The earth will thank you. =)

4) My limit is $40 for dress pants and $20 for jeans, so I can sympathize with you. I just look for sales at Express or Limited – they are the only places I've found that make jeans/dress pants that look good on me. And even then, some of their cuts look horrid.

5) Nothing wrong with going with blogger. I think you'd doing just fine. I switched to wordpress, but still prefer the flexibility of blogger.

15 Punch Debt In The Face

Well thank you very much. It seems as most of you, instead of providing areas you cheap out on, decided to provide me with advice on how to improve my frugality. Thanks! I will definitely have to look in to some of those options.

16 Money Maus

Buy your spices in bulk from Henry's grocery stores! So cheap and they have a whole wall of different types of spices :)

I buy almost all household items as generics, mostly from Target and Costco… tp, paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc.

Um. That's all I can think of right now. Hah. Great post!

17 CCCG

I do the same thing as you when trying to buy expensive spices. Just can't bring my frugal self to do it!

18 Foxie | CarsxGirl

*Porsche, sorry, felt the need to correct that for ya. ;) (I'm too much of a Porsche lover to let it slide!!)

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