Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cheapskate 101: How this mom penny pinches with the best of them!

I was raised by a frugal father and a conservative mother. I once figured I'd leave the nest and go crazy spending my own money. I soon learned I was NOT a big spender after all. I could very well spend our hard earned money, I just don't!

I am a cheapskate at heart. I'm one of those people that loves thrift shops, buying half-off meat items that will expire the next day for that night's dinner and I wait until all major retailers are having their best annual sales before I spend a dollar there.

I'm not a coupon-clipper, but I do love Walmart prices hence my need to do all grocery shopping in their new neighborhood markets. I'm all about two-for-one deals and I don't mind a great hand-me-down. In fact, my children and I are usually wearing hand-me-downs. 

I'm cheap. Doesn't mean I'm not generous or that I don't enjoy nice things and the sporadic indulgence. It means I'm cheap.

Some tricks to my cheapskate trade...
  • Shop at discount stores: Big Lots, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx are pretty standard. It's hard to spend a dollar at Nordstorms when there's a Nordstrom's Rack with an amazing red tag sale. This is where being cheap doesn't mean compromising on quality. I enjoy designer brands, just not the prices that go along with them, hence, I love thrift shops. I often find slightly used designer gems for my kiddos in secondhand stores or I scour the discount stores to get to the same result.
  • Buy what's on sale. That means cooking veggies and fruits that are in season. That also means basing the week's dinner options on the best deals in the grocery aisle. I tend to buy clothing that's not in season. So I stockpile sweaters in the summer and bathing suits in the winter. Sure we can't quite wear our new buys yet, but we are getting a bargain.
  • Shop around. This can get tricky, because it isn't always convenient. For instance, I browsed back-to-school sections at countless stories, but didn't buy until well after the school year was underway. The added plus here is that if you shop a little late you often find items additionally discounted. But be careful, I tried holding out on those typical back-to-school shoe sales thinking there'd be better deals after the back-to-school craze tapered down. Turns out most sales went away, the inventory was dismal and I didn't get the best deals by waiting. 
  • Be a Groupon junkie. I know I've said this before.  But these group deals really can be the best. In fact, I've found some amazing hotel/getaway deals that can usually be replicated without a Groupon. There's a simple, but nice resort in Palm Desert I once found on Groupon that continues to offer reasonable deals without a Groupon through Hotels.com. Make sure to earmark those great Groupon finds and check back in on hotels, restaurants and retailers even if Groupons aren't available.
  • Ask for a discount. All thrifty folks know to ask for discounts. What's the worse that can happen? Ask any and every where. Often folks are open to at least giving a 10% discount or throwing in a coupon you didn't have to begin with. Don't be afraid to ASK. I learned this tip from my hubby who just last night asked for a discount while buying an already discounted book at Barnes and Noble. This happened after a shopping spree by him for ME at Marshall's! Needless today, I went bonkers in their clearance racks.

Are you also a cheapskate at heart, too? 
Share your money saving tips with other HerMamas.com readers!


  1. I wish I was like that. With 2 kids and a husband I want to learn how to cut back. Sometimes I blame my mother for teaching me this bad habit. "Lo mejor es lo bueno" and "lo barato sale caro"

    1. I love that saying "lo barato sale caro." Sometimes that's very, very true. The idea here is to save while hopefully NOT sacrificing on quality items or experiences. I love spending more on trips and vacations! Now there's a place I don't create cheapskate limits.


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