Friday, February 24, 2012

Frugal Fridays - A Little Patience!

This week's "Frugal Friday" tip may seem like yet another common sense tip, but aren't they all?  I mean, being frugal is just a way of life and it's really not rocket science.  Anyway, my tip for today is ... have a little patience.  It seems that today's society is always in a hurry ... too much of a hurry!

When you're in the market for something, do a little research and hold out if you can.  For instance, I've been wanting a hammock for Nirvana for quite some time now and recently decided that I'd like to start actively looking for a hammock for the upcoming summer months.

I surfed the internet a little bit, only to find that most hammocks were a little pricey.  Since we've not yet begun our cruising life, I knew that I didn't need a really expensive hammock ... just something to get us through a few seasons.  So, I decided to hit the Wal-Mart, Target, and Academy stores to see what they had to offer.  It turned out they didn't really have much either.  Then, I decided to go where I should have begun my shopping ... the outlet stores.

As luck would have it, the very first outlet store that I went to had what I was looking for ... woo hoo!  Yep, the local "Ross" store had four hammocks on clearance for just under $10 bucks!  These canvas hammocks came in a variety of colors, and included a matching storage bag.

So, my find is just a reminder to be patient, be flexible, and shop around!  Now, I'm not saying that in every instance you should give up quality for a cheap price.  However, a lot of things do have an inexpensive substitute that will work just fine.

In my life, there have been many times when I knew of something that I wanted and managed to make it fit into my budget.  No, I didn't stretch my budget!  I just took my time (heard of island time .. get used to it!) and looked around for substitutes that would have the same or similar effect.

A great example is when I decorated our home that we moved into a few years ago.  I saw really expensive "looks" in magazines and stores, thought about the effect I was trying to create, then found very similar substitutes.  Now, if you insist on getting things as soon as the desire hits you, then this won't work for you.  But I tell you, I am very pleased with the look and feel of our home.  I don't think I'd feel much different if I'd paid $60 per curtain panel instead of the $8 per panel that I paid.  The savings caused me to go without curtains for a little while, but I've learned not to stress the small stuff.  If that was going to cause me to stress, than I was gonna have a rough road ahead of me .. LOL!

As I mentioned earlier, having patience is also a big factor in living the frugal lifestyle.  After all, the consumer's lack of patience is what the marketers are counting on!  Why do you think they place all those "impulse" products at the checkout counter?

Shop around, look at the sales ads, and if you see something you want that's not on sale .. just wait.  It will eventually go on sale, and if it sells out before then ... well it probably wasn't meant to be.  Recently, Ken and I reluctantly accepted the fact that we needed to buy some new pots and pans.  Our pots were peeling and scuffed up, and were probably a health hazard.   I looked around for about three weeks before finally finding a set that was inexpensive, yet good enough to last a while.  (This was one of those items that we didn't want to buy the cheapest of, only to have to throw it out in a few months).  Anyway, the pot set at Target was $80 bucks, which we just hated to spend on something so "un-fun"!  However, after shopping around I knew this was a reasonable price and that we'd probably just have to suck it up.  But wait, this was a Thursday and a new ad would be out on Sunday.  What if I just waited a couple of days to see if it went on sale?  Sure enough ... it did!  I saved $25 by being patient.  That's a pretty significant savings to us!

Clothes are another thing that can easily be an impulse buy.  How many times have you come across a great dress or shirt that you weren't even looking for, but had to have?  Well, chances are that if you buy it the thrill will be gone in a day or two.  If you don't buy it, the thought will be gone in a day or two.  When I do find myself in this kind of situation, I always wait.  If that dress is still in my head a week or two later, then I'll go back and check it out.  Most of the time my desire goes away, and that dress becomes a distant memory.  Also,  I've learned to avoid the regular racks and only look at the clearance racks.  I've managed to keep clothed and dressed pretty decent.  I've survived and found some pretty great items on the clearance rack!  

Of course, if you sew (unlike me) you can really provide some great substitutes for a lot of the things I've mentioned.  I just can't bring myself to learn ...   Speaking of patience, here's a great song by Guns N' Roses that I love called ... "Patience".   Enjoy!

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!

*For those that missed the first four posts of this series, check them out below:


Sandee said...

Patience is indeed needed for frugal shopping. Some folks just can't wait though. That immediate gratification that so many of the young folks seem to possess.

Have a terrific day and weekend. :)

Leslie Basil Payne said...

I like how you think! Often we find ourselves in situations with people who spend money way differently than we do. I get so many compliments on my diamond necklaces and diamond earrings. I smile graciously and simply say "thank you." However, I wouldn't want to wear the real thing. How could I relax and enjoy it for fear of losing it. Apparently my $15 dollar versions look just as good as the real thing. Good for you on those curtains!!

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