Remember the days when your kitchen was an investment? Yeah, those days are over. Now you need a reasonably priced kitchen where you can actually cook!
According to a new ING Direct study, the word that most comes to mind when a hypothetical blind date partner is described as frugal is “smart.” Sadly, “sexy” only came to mind about 3.7% of the time, but at least you’ll have more chances: an eHarmony review commissioned by Ron Lieber at the New York Times “found that both men and women were 25 percent more likely to have a potential mate reach out to them if they identified themselves as a saver rather than a spender.”
Kyle just emailed us a recap of his successful haggling adventure at Target this past weekend. If you’re afraid to try haggling at a big chain store, check out his story for an example of how to make it pleasant for all parties involved; the goal is to approach it as a negotiation where everyone wins, not as a zero-sum competition.
Sure, the exploits of the coupon ninjas are interesting, but we live, shop, and eat in the real world. Who has time to make a job–or at least a time-consuming hobby–out of couponing? Jeffrey doesn’t. Yet he began a challenge to feed himself on $1 per day in April…and is still at it. Using sales, coupons, and (ugh) rebates, he’s managed to survive, without a huge time investment in couponing. What are his secrets?
According to a new report from coupon marketing company NCH, the volume of coupons redeemed rose about 8% from a year ago, and marked the seventh consecutive quarter of growth. The report also indicates that manufacturers are increasing the value of coupons but moving up the expiration dates.
Jeff Yeager, Wise Bread blogger and author, has just published a new book titled The Cheapskate Next Door, where he interviews over 300 self-described cheapskates to find out what makes them tick. In an interview over at Daily Finance, he says that for most of his subjects, the choice to live frugal lifestyles wasn’t primarily about money.
Last week, a United Airlines flight from Burlington to Washington, D.C. was deemed too heavy to fly, so the company had to decide who to boot off. In a moment of what was almost certainly accidental honesty, they targeted the 20 least profitable customers. We know this was their criteria because they announced it to the rest of the passengers, so those who remained were able to rest easy knowing that all the cheapskates, budget travelers and poor people were gone.
Cameron Huddleston, an editor at Kiplinger and a mom, has some advice on how to make the most of your new baby budget. The money you save on things like play mats, changing tables, and fancy first-year clothes can be used to pay for less pleasant but more important safety-net things, like life and disability insurance, health insurance, and a will.
Personally I can’t imagine a haircut costing much money, so MainStreet’s list of 18 ways to get a cheap haircut seems like frugal overkill to me. But then again I’m a guy and I’m going bald, so I just use clippers to avoid the sadness of listening to scissors snip away at nothing, and consequently I don’t really know much about the world of hair salons. Apparently a good haircut for a woman can cost a lot of money, unless you know how to find a bargain.
You never know when an opportunity to haggle might present itself when you’re out shopping, as our reader Marty demonstrates. He was able to get a 10% discount on a blazer at Macy’s just by asking the clerk at the register.
There are several apps on the Apple app store that help consumers track sales and free offers from developers, but you have to launch them and check in regularly. The website App Spy offers an automated price tracker for games (just games, unfortunately) that will send you an email whenever a price threshhold is reached. If you tend to be an app junkie, it can help save you money by letting you get your fix on the cheap good stuff.
What items do you keep around your house, but don’t use very often? A shovel? A laundry drying rack? A food processor? What if you could rent these items out to people in your area, and in turn rent seldom-used items from them for a few dollars? Rentalic.com is trying to make these exchanges happen nationwide.
A new study says that 26% of US consumers “have no plans to return to their free-spending ways,” which probably doesn’t sound like good news to retailers. Even worse (for retailers), about a third say they’ve become less loyal.
The personal finance blog Moolanomy posted a list of 25 cheap Halloween costumes, including ones that make no sense (see “Soup and crackers”) and ones that sound borderline dirty (see “Facebook wall”). The list made us realize that our readers probably have a lot of equally cheap, and equally-or-more creative, costume ideas of their own.
If you want to learn how to be insanely efficient with coupon clipping and watching for sales, follow Kathy Spencer and learn from the master. WCVB TV in Boston notes that Spencer manages to spend only $4 on average each week to feed her husband, four kids, and four pets. We carefully re-read the pets line to make sure there was no past tense involved, as this would suggest cheating on where the food comes from. But nope, they’re still around, so it looks like she really is good with coupons and sales.
We’ve never looked at a hotel’s bathroom counter and thought, “I could probably roll out some dough right there.” We’ve also never tried to use an iron for a hot plate, or shoved uncooked spinach into the coffee maker. But now that we’ve watched this proof of concept video from George Egg, we may consider going grocery shopping the next time we’re stuck in a hotel with an overpriced room service menu.