I say we're smart!
I'm not sure when it started, but we have become quite frugal. I think it may have begun around the time I was newly pregnant with my son. A friend of ours was selling all of her baby things and we went to take a look. We got a pack and play, stroller system with car seat and base (disclaimer - be extra cautious when buying used car seats, only buy from people you know so you'll know if the car seat has been in an accident and always check for past recalls), swing, travel swing, johnny jump up, bathtub, papasan vibrating chair, a front carrier, and about 15 pieces of maternity clothing which included a really nice wool coat. Total price - $200. It was all in excellent condition! We definitely got a great deal. The travel system alone is nearly that! Thankfully I didn't feel the need to have all brand new things. Most of the stuff is so temporary that I hated to pay retail for it!
We are huge fans of Dave Ramsey . We've been on his plan since last April and love it. That's another blog though! He talks of bartering and asking for discounts, but the key is being able to walk away. In our society of instant gratification or nothing, that was a hurdle that was difficult to get over. However we've realized that there are very few things that we MUST have. Once we got that into our mindset, it's become much easier to save money and get better deals on things we want because we've learned patience.
Here are some other ways we've saved money by being frugal....and patient!
Moving boxes - free at retail store (actually it was behind the store and they were already flattened so it was so easy to get a ton of them in our car! I refuse to pay money for boxes that are just going to get beat up and taped and re-taped, so we go to the liquor store for the smaller boxes - they are the perfect size for packing small things that may be heavy! But we found some larger boxes that we needed behind a sports shoe store)
Newspaper for packing - recycle bin - don't worry, we will recycle back when we are finished!
Jeans (2 pair) - at Goodwill - $10 total (Retail price for one was $150!!! The other was $20 retail)
Sewing machine - $25 (not sure how much it was retail, but I'm guessing around $150) This is another way for me to be frugal. However, I have NO idea even how to sew a button on, so this will be an interesting challenge. But one I'm certain I can do. Especially for me....I mean, how hard can it be to sew a simple dress or skirt? We'll see :)
Belt - for $0.99 (for my husband -since he's slimmed down from his CrossFit workouts! Normally he'd pay at least $20 for a belt)
Basketball goal for our son - faded, but free (We had just looked at these at Wal-Mart the week before and then a friend told us she had one she was giving away! This retails at WalMart for $45!
Dining table - $85.00, solid wood. I'm very excited about this one! I found this on Craigslist and it was gorgeous. Very simple, but exactly what I wanted. AND it's solid wood. I wouldn't even know how much something like this would cost retail...maybe $150 or $200?. I need chairs to go with it, but I'm not in a hurry because I have some I can use for now. I also know I can get wood chairs at IKEA for $20 each, so if I can't find any, then I'll get those!
Pull behind cart for bike - FREE!!! I saw several of these on Amazon for $85! A man who works with my husband was going to throw it away! We'll take it, thank you very much! Now our son will enjoy going for bike rides with my husband. I, on the other hand, rode my bike right into a bush the last time I went a couple years ago, so I'll stay home!
Coffee grinder - $3 My husband was SO excited to find this at Goodwill. He's been wanting one for almost a year now. I have no idea how much one costs. But I'm sure it's more than $3!
Boots - $3 We've wanted these particular boots for our son for a year now. However, they aren't boots he'll wear often, so we hated to pay even $15 for them at Wal-mart, so we were happy to find them at Goodwill!
Pedestal sink - $20 Brand new off of Craigslist!
Filing cabinet - FREE. Our neighbors behind us in the alley were moving and they were putting things in the alley they didn't want. A little paint and it looked brand new!
Cloth diapers - we cloth diaper our son and we bought about 15 Fuzzi Bunz pocket diapers with inserts for $20! It was from someone we knew and they had potty trained their youngest and was just trying to unload the diapers! Retail is $17.95! Plus I can re-sell these if I choose and probably make the little money back that I spent on them!
There are other ways we are frugal - like the different ways we save on electricity, etc. That can be another post though as this is getting rather lengthy. Basically we are all about deals. We try not to pay retail for most things because there's usually a way to get them discounted or even FREE!