Shopping

Getting Over The “Taboo” Of Generics And Store Brands

Many Americans (including many of my friends) are conditioned by many years of marketing to select name brand products at the store. They’ll skip right by the generic rice puffs and buy the identical Rice Krispies for a dollar more per box. They’ll skip by the 100% store brand juice and pick up Juicy Juice, …

Categories: Frugality, Meals, Shopping

The Simple Dollar Gets A New Cell Phone – And Saves Significant Money In The Process

Over the last week, my cell phone has slowly been dying. The screen goes black randomly and it ceases to accept button input until I remove the battery and re-insert it. This phenomenon has happened with more and more frequency as of late, reaching the point where it’s killed phone calls in the middle of …

Categories: Saving Money, Shopping

Visiting Williams-Sonoma: How To Avoid Overspending On Something That Stirs Your Passions

As regular readers of The Simple Dollar know, I’m a food junkie. I enjoy preparing food from scratch, presenting it well on the plate, and using sturdy, quality kitchen implements to prepare the food. I have a library of cookbooks (even though I really stick with just a few of them for everyday use) and …

Categories: Shopping

How I Build And Use A Price Book

About a week ago, I made an offhand mention of a price book in my detailed review of The Complete Tightwad Gazette. I compressed several ideas down into a single paragraph, mostly commenting on Amy Dacyczyn’s suggestion on how to do it from the book itself. Several readers wrote in and asked how I do …

Categories: Meals, Shopping

Review: The Overspent American

The vast majority of Americans are trapped in a cycle of “work and spend” and simply don’t know how to escape. We’re surrounded by an enormous abundance of incredible material goods, but these goods don’t really mean anything – they leave us with a hole that’s only partially filled by this stuff and we have …

The Grocery Store Grand Slam

Most food purchases at the grocery store boil down to one of four factors: Is it healthy? Is the food low in fat and provide good nutritional quality? Is it devoid of chemicals of mysterious origin? I also include ethical issues here, such as buying from local traders and such – healthy in a different …

Categories: Meals, Shopping

Is It Worth Higher Prices For A Quality Shopping Experience?

I confess that I do not shop at the grocery store with the lowest prices on my staple goods. Yes, that’s right – I intentionally go to a different store that, if I buy all of my staples, will actually cost me a few dollars more than the cheapest place. If you’re interested, here’s a …

Categories: Shopping

The True Monthly Cost Of An Appliance

I felt compelled to write about this topic after reading a comment by Garvey on Is A Deep Freezer Worth It?: There is no way a freezer costs $10-15/month … to run. It’s more like $3-4. This was in response to my statement that the cost of owning and maintaining the deep freeze is about …

The Gray Area Between Want And Need

You’re a student and you need to buy some pens for class. You visit an office supply store, see a box of cheap black pens for $4, but then you spy a few high-quality pens for $20. Do you buy the more expensive but not quite necessary pens? You’re a parent who is new to …

Categories: Shopping

A Personal Finance Lesson From The Gap

About a week ago, I had a fairly interesting experience at The Gap. I stopped there on a spur of the moment as I was looking for gift ideas, and I was about to leave when I realized that there was only one noticeable employee in the store. That employee was running the only checkout, …

Categories: Frugality, Money, Shopping

The Bulk Buying Debate

As long-time readers of the site know, I’m a big advocate of buying in bulk for many reasons (which I’ll get into below). Yesterday, however, a reader named Terry M. left the following comment on my post about saving money in the bathroom: Not sure how much I like the idea of stockpiling anything. What …

Categories: Frugality, Shopping

Comparison Shopping: Comparing The Internet To What’s On Your Store Shelf

For about the last year, my wife and I have purchased several household items in bulk from Amazon. Not only is the shipping free, but we don’t pay sales tax and we rack up lots of bonus points on our Amazon card by doing this. Our philosophy is that if Amazon has the same or …

Categories: Meals, Shopping

Eight Frugal Father’s Day Gift Ideas

For me, Father’s Day has always been much easier to understand than Mother’s Day, perhaps because I saw my father as a role model growing up and now I have become a father myself. I also find that most fathers I know like “open-ended” gifts – ones that they can continually get enjoyment out of …

Categories: Family, Shopping

Seven Reasons Why I Chose Sam’s Club Over Costco

In the recent past, I mentioned that our new home’s location has a Sam’s Club and a Costco almost the same distance apart, and now that we will finally have storage space, the opportunity to really take advantage of warehouse shopping became clear. To decide which one we would go with (a significant decision, because …

Categories: Meals, Shopping

Five Ways To Break A Shopping Addiction – And Five Ways To Help Someone Else With Their Addiction

One of my wife’s closest friends is completely addicted to shopping, and unsurprisingly she spends a lot of time juggling credit card bills and dumping huge amounts of cash into finance charges just to gain enough breathing room to shop some more. Recently, she’s begun to see that things are going to have to change …

Categories: Shopping

The Frugal Wedding Registry

When we got married, we received a ton of gifts from family members of all kinds, ranging from towels to a weird statue of a hobbit to a knife set to towels to a handmade quilt to towels. Needless to say, we still have plenty of towels. Today, though, there are only a few that …

Categories: Family, Shopping

The Four Web Sites That Directly Save Me The Most Money … And Some Thoughts On Other Online Shopping Sites

Who says web surfing can’t directly save you money? First of all, here are five websites I use on a very frequent basis that have directly saved me significant money. Remember The Milk http://www.rememberthemilk.com I wrote ecstatically about this site before, but the same still holds true: I use it to manage my grocery list, …

How To Pick Out A Grocery Store After Moving – Or If You’re Looking To Save A Few Dollars

Where I live, there are no large grocery stores in a twenty mile radius (there are two small “town” groceries that are fine for incidentals, but their prices are rather high and their selection is limited). However, right outside of that radius are several different options for grocery shopping. When I first moved to the …

Categories: Meals, Shopping

Talking Yourself Out Of Unnecessary Spending: How I’m Doing It With Five Things I Really Want

Many people (myself included) often want items that they can afford, but by buying it they are really hurting their potential savings for the future. I know personally that Item I Want: A Nintendo Wii Tactic I’m Using: Realizing I’ll rarely use it Whenever I think about buying a Wii, I picture playing it with …