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 …

Personal Finance 101: Grocery Store Math

Simple Math to Help You Save Recently, I received a lengthy email from a reader who had a ton of basic personal finance questions contained within. I thought it might be interesting to start an irregular “personal finance 101″ series to answer and explain some of her questions. This question isn’t from the long email, …

How Department Stores Trick You Into Spending More

Ever noticed how you go to the store to just pick up one thing, then by the time you get back to the checkout aisle, you have five or six things in your cart and a bigger bill than you could have possibly anticipated? This happens over and over again because department stores (and let’s …

Categories: Shopping

Buy In Bulk & Earn Incredible Returns

I’m a big believer of buying in bulk simply because of the savings you can earn on a bulk purchase. For example, let’s say that I like to buy a $10 bottle of wine each Saturday for drinking with dinner with my wife. However, I find out that if I buy it by the case …

Five Minute Finances #3: Make A Grocery List

Five Minute Finances is a series of tips on how you can save significant money or reorganize your financial life in just five minutes. These tips appear Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on The Simple Dollar. Ever had to face down a $150 grocery bill? I have, and the reason was usually that I entered the …

Categories: Meals, Money, Shopping

When Frugal Ideas Clash: Quality Consumer Goods Are Worth The Price

Every regular reader of this site knows I can be one cheap person. Just earlier today, for instance, I advocated making your own shampoo and Tabasco sauce to save a few bucks. However, there are limits to the cheapness, as one reader of mine so astutely brought out with a single question: Is it ever …

Categories: Frugality, Shopping

Penny-Pinching In The Toiletries Aisle: The Simple Dollar Looks At Toilet Paper

For those of you unaware, I am a big fan of buying in bulk, even though I live in a relatively small space (hint: don’t look in my closet). Why? If I buy in bulk, the cost per unit is often so much cheaper than buying “normal” packages that I end up saving a boatload. …