Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I watched Oprah's saving money show yesterday and enjoyed it. Again, I'm loving how these money saving tips have become such a hot topic in these hard economic times. They're everywhere! And they've always been a hot topic with me, personally, since Day One of my marriage 30 years ago. Mrs. Penny Pincher, that's me.

So I thought that today I'd zip over to Oprah's message boards to read what people are writing about yesterday's show.

Oh. My. Goodness. Half of the folks sound so bitter, so pessimistic about the hints which were shared. "Grumble, murmur, whine, grumble, murmur, whine" it seemed to go for pages, with only an interspersing of kudos and gratitude.

I continued reading down the list and got a bit more than perturbed at comments rather like these:

"Coupons?! I can't find any. I looked online and there are none. My Sunday paper has none. They are only for junk food. No one in my area accepts Internet coupons. I tried. I give up."

"Saving money?! I'm already doing that and nothing helps. My family is doomed."

"Yeah, it's easy for those people on the show to talk. I make less money than they do. It's impossible for me to spend less money than I already do."

Big sighhhhhhh............................

And then I came upon the following note and I smiled. Ah, here was a kindred spirit! Here was someone who viewed saving money as a great adventure, a challenge to be overcome. I would like this woman, I know. She's a real trooper, a light in dark times. I wish she was my neighbor:

48. My top 10 money saving tips Oct 8, 2008 8:31 PM In response to: harpobear
I am a public school KG teacher and by no means wealthy. However, here is how I save and support my three kids.
1. ALWAYS use coupons. I do follow the sales in the store by buying what is on sale. And I let my KG kids practice their cutting skills by clipping all of the coupons. (I sort them later).
2. I go to clearance sections in every single store. For example, CVS has a clearance section. In July, I walked by it and saw Avent Isis breast pumps 90% off. So, instead of $40, I bought them for $4 each. Then, I took them home and put them on Ebay and sold them for $30 each. I also bought some sanitary products at 90% off and baby formula for 90% off. They were 90% off because the manufacturer was changing the label....not the product.....just the label.
3. I never buy clothes brand new. My clothes come from the Goodwill. (Think about it, the clothes you donate to the Goodwill may be clothes in great condition, just outgrown by your kids or yourself). In my area, kids tops are $1 and bottoms are $2. ( can even get name brands!!!)
4. I use these websites for buying things that I need craigslist, ebay and amazon. I also sell on these sites. My kids have plenty of DVD's, books, toys, etc. they no longer use or want. So, I sell them. I am not taking a loss because I more than likely bought these items at a yard sale. I also take some of my kids clothes that no one in my family can use to a resale shop and get money.
5. I buy off season. If I am in the mall and go to the department store as i did last week, JCPenney had a huge clearance. So, I was able to get my kids summer clothes for next year very cheap.
6. My family and I pass around our baby items. If one has a baby this year, someone will have one next year and we just keep passing the things around (swings, playpens, cribs).
7. I so use the library ALL OF THE TIME! My kids probably don't even know the store sells DVD's. They think DVD's come fromthe library. We go every weekend to check out DVD's. The best thing is they never get tired of the DVD's because we are constantly refreshing them to play on the DVD player I got at the yard sale. I also get books for me.....audiobooks. I don't have time to read, and since I drive a good distance to work, I listen to the audiobooks in my car. It makes for interesting rides. I also get my teacher books and CD's from the library. I was so tired of buying CD's and only one or two good songs. So, I rent them and download the ones I love to my mp3 player. Now, I have great music and I am not paying for it. I also have no qualms anymore when I buy a book and didn't like it at all. I just return it to the library.
8. I attend almost every free activity in the area. I look in the newspaper or internet to find free things going on like food festivals, fall festivals, etc. that my kids will enjoy. I guarantee if you live w/in a 30 mile radius of a big city, someone is offering something free. I just googled my city and free things and signed up for a newsletter that will email me free things going on in the area and I take my kids. Also, just going to the park is great for kids. I take some PBJ sandwiches, fruit and chips and let them have a ball.
9. Make my own cleaners. Sounds crazy, but I realized as a child, my great great grandmother had us cleaning her house with homemade cleaners. So, my glass cleaner is vinegar and water. I make generic bathroom cleaner. I just went online and searched "homemade house cleaning products".
10. MY ALL TIME FAVORITE!!! Yard sales. Every Christmas gift, birthday gift for my children and their cousins have probably come from a yard sale. I buy toys, books, and clothes from yard sales. Two weeks ago I went to a yard sale in a very affluent neighborhood. I got a DKNY sweatsuit for my niece for $2. Doc Martens, new condition, for $1. Snowsuit for my baby and coats for my older 2 for $2 each.
I started doing these things out of necessity because my husband had lost his job. We are still climbing our way out of debt, but I guarantee you when we get out of debt, you will still find me at yard sales getting my kids clothes!


Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Hooray for Danielle, whoever and where ever she may be! I wish she lived close to me, too. :-)

Mmmmmmm, does she have a blog????

I got to the Oprah Community site, by clicking on the "harpobear," in Danielle's answer in your post. But there's no click-able link to Danielle, in your post. Just wondering. Does she blog?

Aunt Amelia

Debra said...

Hi again, Aunt Amelia... I don't know if Danielle has a blog. I believe her comment was on page 3 or 4 of that message board and below her name there was an email address which she added. When I pasted the address into my blog, it changed, instead, into the message board's address. But you could email her if you like if you can find it on the board. Wasn't she great? :) Blessings, Debra

Nancy said...

It is sad that some of the people who need the information most, are too negative to accept it. They are the ones who will spend money they can't afford to spend and then complain about how "helpless" their situation is.
It was refreshing reading Danielle's post. She is one smart lady.
I do many of the things she does and it is not drudgery, it is fun.

Tracy said...

Oh, I missed Oprah's show yesterday! Loved the money-saving tips the reader shared. :)

Saija said...

i LOVE buying things at reduced prices ... or when someone gives me clothing that they don't like anymore ... or finding dinnerware with pastoral scenes on it (that's what i collect) at the thrift store ... fun!

tho' i haven't made any homemade cleaners yet ... maybe that will be next ...

blessings on ya!

Jammie J. said...

*happy sigh*

There's something that makes me so happy when I find something I really need for the best price around. :)

for my company's newsletter this month, we're doing a companywide survey asking our employees to contribute how they're saving money in this economy. The responses are very interesting. :)

Little Miss Know it All said...

I blog on being frugal and am featured in the local news alot. I'm always astounded by the negativity that comes my way afterwards. I can't tell you how many times people have made judgements on me as a parent simply b/c I use coupons. They leave comments like "Your kids must be obese if you feed them with coupons" or "You must be in debt up to your eyeballs" neither of which are true, and they don't make ANY sense!

My personal favorite is when I'm in a store shopping, minding my own business and someone comes up to me and starts ARGUING with me as to why coupons won't work for them. I'm like--um, okay, but I didn't say anything to you! Especially when they're arguing why they eat so healthy and there are never q's for those, yet they could look down at any time and see my cart filled with unprocessed, healthy foods! I'm learning that some people just don't want to be happy!

And way to go for Danielle!!

Anonymous said...

I'm soooo with you. I love all this frugal talk because the fact is money or no money - recession or no recession - I ALWAYS live frugal and a frugal girl is always up for new tips.