Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Frugal Workshop Podcast #4: Part 2 on Saving Money on Food

Good morning and welcome to the fourth podcast of the Frugal Workshop blog. I'm your host, Belinda Richardson and I want to welcome you and all of my readers from Frugal Workshop. I'm so glad you decided to join us.

Last week we talked about saving money on food, but because there is so much information out there on this topic, I decided to split it into two different podcasts, so let’s get started on part two.

Last week we spoke about how spending on food can add up quickly and how cooking at home would be easier on your budget.

Foods that Save Extra Money

Another way to save money on food is by cooking some foods from scratch. For example cooking beans from dry is less expensive than buying canned beans.
Eggs, depending on the price, can be a great money saver. Egg salad sandwiches have saved me a lot of money over the years. There are so many things you can do with eggs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’ve been having a craving for quiche, which I will be fixing soon.

Oatmeal is another inexpensive food that will fill an empty stomach. I like to doctor mine up with butter, milk, brown sugar, walnuts, and fruit like blueberries and bananas.

I can recall reading once that the purpose of eating is not to stuff yourself, but rather to feed yourself to the point of not being hungry anymore. There is a subtle difference in the two. You’ll save more money by using the later model than the first one.

Another inexpensive source of food are potatoes. I can purchase a 20 pound bag of them for less than $5 at one of our local grocery stores. My favorite way to make them is to bake one for dinner and then serve it with steamed broccoli. This will serve as one of my meatless meals for the week.

Just last week my daughter picked up a five pound bag of potatoes in the produce section for 99¢. I took the entire bag and made a huge batch of potato salad that lasted us the entire week as a side dish.

Have you ever priced ready made potato salad in the store? I think it’s expensive for the little amount you get. I would much rather make it at home and save my money. It’s easy enough to do. Simply boil your potatoes until they are done. Let them cool a little and dice them up. Chop up an onion and add it to a bowl with ½ cup of mayo and ½ cup of sour cream. Squirt a tablespoon or two of mustard in there with some salt, pepper, paprika, and dill. Stir it well and pour over the potatoes.

You can add more or less mayo and sour cream if you wish and even add in a boiled egg or two. Then let it sit in your fridge and chill unless of course you like it warm, which I do sometimes.

Fried Rice is another frugal meal idea especially if you use leftover rice from another dinner. Simply stir fry some vegetables like onions, cabbage, peas & carrots. Add the rice and stir fry it with the vegetables. Add a chopped up egg for protein if you like eggs. Add a little soy sauce or toasted sesame oil and you will have a great inexpensive meal on the table.

Use Store Discount Cards

According to the WSJ, they found that most shoppers who use a discount card are not saving any money at all. In fact, they state that you may be spending more money at a store using a card, than if you shopped at one that doesn't have a discount card.

They must not be frugal over at the Wall Street Journal because most frugal shoppers comparison shop. They are not going to buy the more expensive foods. They will just shop somewhere else to get them cheaper.

Another way you can save money on food is by using grocery rebate apps like Ibotta, Paribus, Checkout 51, Dosh, and Coupons.com. Just Google the grocery store app and read about them and do your research first.

Another way to save money on food is by growing some of your own food in a garden. Amy Dacyczyn was known for her big gardens that saved her a lot of money.

My grandparents had huge gardens when I was growing up and they preserved food during the summer to have when times were lean.

Repurpose Food Scraps

Bread Crumbs - Save the heals and make your own.

Vegetable Broth - Save your scraps and make your own.

Regrow Celery & Romaine Lettuce, Green Onions

Leftover Wizardry

Another way to save money in the kitchen is by using leftovers. You can reheat them the next day for lunch or you can make another meal out of them.

We eat tacos every Saturday night. If there is any ground beef left over from the tacos, I make Beefy Baked Beans with it. They are delicious, nutritious and my whole family loves it. And it saves me money.

If you have chicken for dinner and have leftovers, the ideas on using it are endless. You can put it in your crockpot and make soup, roll it into tortillas for chicken enchiladas, make chicken salad.

Use your imagination and see what if you can create leftover wizardry at your house tonight!

Organize Your Kitchen

Having your Kitchen organized will go a long way in helping you to be able to cook at home. Keep a list of what is in your pantry and freezer, date items and use the oldest items first to keep things fresh. I have the pantry here organized so I can find things easily.

I have all the corn in one area, all the peas in another, you get the idea. I keep my spices all in one area and in alphabetical order but that is not necessary, it just helps me because I have so many.

By being organized, I can go into the kitchen and find things that I need to make a meal easily and this helps motivate me to want to go in there and cook. If I can’t find what I need I would get discouraged very easily. So organization is a good rule to go by for me.

Many people could benefit from Amy Dacyczyn's "Use It or Lose It" calendar. She inventoried her pantry and then created a calendar based on how much time she had left until her next harvest, and then divided the food equally among the months left. This system insured that she would use everything in her pantry and not lose anything.

Mr. Money Mustache has an interesting concept about saving money on food. He tends to think of food as a little algorithm:

– if a food is overpriced, buy zero or the minimum possible amount you can live with.

– if a food is regular price, buy an amount to last until your next grocery trip (minimum 1 week supply)

– if a food is under priced, buy at least enough to last until the next expected sale at this level (4 weeks?)

– if a food is drastically under priced, buy a near-infinite amount, limited only by shelf life of food and available stock on shelves. If Bananas go to 1 cent per pound, you can’t really benefit. But if rolled oats dropped to an all-time low, I’d probably buy at least a year’s supply (100 pounds).

In Conclusion

I hope that I have given you plenty of ideas to save money on your grocery budget. There are many more ideas that I have not even mentioned here and as you begin your journey of saving money in the kitchen, I hope you find some new ideas that can help you save a bunch of money. I hope that my article has been helpful to you and thank you for taking the time to read it.


Wall Street Journal

Mr. Money Mustache

Monday, July 29, 2019

Podcast #4 is Live! Part 2 on Saving Money on Food

Good Monday morning to all my readers. 

I just wanted to give you a heads up that podcast #4 is live right now and you can listen to it right here. 


Tomorrow I'll post a transcript of the podcast for those who enjoy that format instead. 

I hope you have a great day!

~ Living within our Means ~
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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Frugal Friday on Sunday ~ July 28, 2019

Last Saturday we ventured out to yard sale, but the rain started soon afterwards, so it turned out to be a dud. We did go to Starbucks and got some work done via their free WiFi and had free refills on my iced green tea. 

Yesterday we ventured out to yard sale again and it turned out to be a great day. We actually took both cars because I wanted to go to a clothing closet ministry and Miss B wanted to go to a church yard sale. We met up afterwards and got into one car to continue our yard sale day.

The clothing ministry is run by a local church and once a month you can get free clothes. I went for my Mom who has been having nose bleeds due to her blood thinner and wanted some new shirts. 

I picked out several shirts and even some pants for free. She was so tickled with them. This is such a great ministry and such a good thing for our community. 

The church yard sale Miss B went to was selling clothes by the bag since it was the last day. She ended up with three large garbage bags for $10 each and got a lot of great pieces. 

While we were out and about I found an advertisement on my news feed for inexpensive produce, so we decided to go and investigate. 

 The store is called Root to Fruit and is on Ringgold Road in East Ridge for those who live locally. 

They had red pears pried at 4 for $1.00, so I definitely got those. I like pears but hardly ever buy them due to the price but this was a great price for them. 

We also bought cucumbers, tomatoes, and bananas, which were perfectly ripe enough to make banana pancakes for breakfast this morning. I made a few blueberry pancakes and even some chocolate chip pancakes this morning too. 

Afterwards we wanted to use up some $5/$7 vouchers we had from UberEats. (Google: Uber Eats $7 voucher) So we went to The Purple Daisy Cafe and both got a baked potato with the works for 65¢ each after our vouchers. 

Other frugal things we did this week include:

I received a survey in the mail from Consumer Opinion and also received $5 in advance from them for completing the survey. 

This week I repaired the hem on a pair of pants. These were pants we bought to resell. The hem had fallen out and had been walked on, but ironing and repairing the hem made them usable again. 

For meals this week we had pulled pork sandwiches, cheesy potatoes, chicken tenders,  tacos, grilled chicken, and loaded baked potatoes. Most of those were served with potato salad on the side. 

Just last week my daughter picked up a five pound bag of potatoes in the produce section for 99¢. I took the entire bag and made a huge batch of potato salad that lasted us the entire week as a side dish.

How was your week?

~ Living within our Means ~
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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Frugal Workshop Podcast #3: Part 1 Saving Money on Food

Another podcast went live on Monday, but I didn't get the opportunity to post it yesterday, so here it is today. I hope you enjoy it.

Good morning and welcome to the third podcast of the Frugal Workshop blog. I'm your host, Belinda Richardson and I want to welcome you and all of my readers from Frugal Workshop. I'm so glad you decided to join us.

Today we’re going to be talking about saving money on food, so let’s get started. 

Sometimes people find managing the kitchen and meal planning to be a big challenge. Coming home after a long day of work and going into the kitchen to prepare the family dinner is not something people always have the time or energy to accomplish. 

Because of this many people have come to depend on fast food, restaurants, and convenience foods to deal with this challenge in order to feed their families. Convenience foods like inexpensive $5 pizzas help to make mealtimes easier, but oftentimes those convenience foods cost more money than food prepared at home.

Families who rely on these foods too often find themselves with financial problems as a result of eating out too much.

Do you find that you are spending a lot of money every week or each month by eating out or getting food and bringing it home? The average American household in the U.S. spends about $3,365 per year eating outside of the home according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

There are all sorts of reasons why people enjoy eating out at restaurants and I enjoy eating out as much as the next person. However, if you are eating out for convenience's sake the majority of the time, you would definitely save money by cooking at home. 

Grocery shopping is one area of the family budget where you can save a tremendous amount of money. In this podcast, I will examine several areas that can save you money and restore some savings to your family budget.

Using resources wisely (time, money, food) is one area of my life that is important to me. Keeping a well-stocked pantry and meal planning are important tools towards this goal. Having meals planned out has always made my life so much easier during the times I’ve utilized this tool. 

Now, I do have days where I forget to take something out of the freezer or times when it seems like I am only able to plan meals on the spur of the moment. But the times when I have been organized in my meal planning have been the times when I felt the most at peace with myself, which in turn makes my household run smoother.

Planning is the key to saving money on your grocery budget. And you need to prepare yourself before you go shopping. 

Take inventory of what you already have on hand and then make a list of as many meals you can make with that food.  It could be that you have enough food at home to where you might not even have to go grocery shopping. Wouldn’t that be great?

Having an inventory of what I have in my pantry helps me a great deal by knowing what foods I actually have on hand and then using that knowledge in planning meals using those foods, which stretches my resources further. 

By inventorying what I have on hand, I can see several different meals I can make that I hadn't thought of making before I inventoried my supplies. That will help me save money by using up our inventory. 

I continue this practice all month long, creating meals from my inventory, scouring cookbooks and Internet resources, to find ways to create meals out of what I have on hand.

Amy Dacyczyn describes The Pantry Principle in her book, The Complete Tightwad Gazette, which she said she first learned about in a book written by Barbara Salsbury and Cheri Loveless called Cut Your Food Bill in Half.

 Amy states that the idea of planning meals thirty days in advance is not the most frugal way to go about planning menus for your family. She thinks that planning meals in advance is backward and that stick-to-your-list thinking does not allow an individual to take advantage of unadvertised deals.

The basic idea behind The Pantry Principle is to stockpile your pantry with food that you are able to purchase at the lowest possible price. The purpose of grocery shopping then becomes a trip to replenish your pantry, and not a trip to purchase specific ingredients for specific meals, which usually ends up costing you more money. 

Amy claims that many families do not take the concept far enough to save the maximum amount of their money.

Barbara Salsbury, who invented the Pantry Principle, has a new book titled ,”Beating The High Cost of Eating”. If you’re interested in learning more about her ideas and concepts this book is much more affordable than her older book. 

The next step you need to do is to utilize the grocery store ads and see what they have on sale this week. 

Wednesday is the day our newspaper has the grocery store sales flyers in them, so that’s the day I can go online and peruse the sale ads and make a note of what is on sale and if I need anything I add it to my list. 

Nowadays Walmart along with some other stores have their prices posted online, so it is easier than ever to compare prices between stores. 

One way we save money on food is by shopping at discount grocers such as Save-A-Lot, Aldi, and The Dollar Tree. These will definitely save you money over big name grocery stores. Just the other day I found Secret deodorant at The Dollar Tree for $1.00 whereas I normally pay $1.96 for my favorite brand. These types of stores can definitely save you money. 

Another place people can save money is by shopping at warehouse clubs. Several people I know shop at warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club in order to save money. My friend Anna pays for her membership just with the savings they receive on medicine. 

Another place to shop and save money are salvage stores. If you are fortunate to have a salvage grocery store in your area be sure to shop there for inexpensive sources of food. We are fortunate enough to have United Grocery Outlets or UGO in our area. 

Salvage stores are not like regular grocery stores that get new inventory each week, but rather sell items that traditional grocery stores won't sell any longer. They can be hit or miss, but we have found some great deals at our local one. 

Another way to save money on food is by looking for sources of free food. We have a friend who gives us free food from time to time. And we’ve had many gardening friends who share fresh produce with us.  Some people volunteer at an event and are able to take some free food home afterwards. Free food sometimes shows up at work events as well. I know last school year I received a free lunch from Chick-Fil-A while subbing. 

Check out the website Falling Fruit.org (https://fallingfruit.org) to find areas in your part of the world that have free food for forging. It’s a wonderful concept to rescue this food and use it to feed people. 

Let’s not forget the Crash & Burn section of your grocery store. Do you check out the dented can section of the grocery stores where you shop? There are usually good deals to be found there. I always visit these areas in our local grocery stores. I have found some of my best bargains in the Crash & Burn section. 

Avoiding Food Waste ~When food reaches the use by or sell by date it doesn't mean it needs to be thrown away. The dates found on food items are suggestions made by food companies to ensure peak quality and do not indicate food safety. 

Food manufacturers make more money when consumers  toss food they think has gone bad. Some people discard food when it's reached this date, but the truth is many foods can be safely consumed after these dates. For example, I don’t toss out buttermilk as it is good long after the use by date has passed.

We’ve already mentioned that meal planning, using your inventory of food, will be an important tool to help you to save money. If you have trouble coming up with meal ideas there are plenty of websites to help you get meal ideas on the food you have at home.

Websites such as Supercook (https://www.supercook.com/#/recipes) and My Fridge Food.com (https://myfridgefood.com/) allow you to enter the ingredients you have on hand and will give you meal ideas for that food. 

Don’t forget to include a meatless meal or two in your menus as they will save you money as well. 

Using Coupons

We are unable to get home delivery of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, so our use of coupons is practically non-existent at this time, which was not always the case.  Your mileage may vary on this method of savings. 

Name Brands versus Store Brand

Try not to be name brand loyal. Many times, the companies who make the name brand foods also manufacture the store brand foods. And the store brand products cost a lot less than name brand, although that may not always be the case, so check your prices. 

If you are brand name loyal, just buy one or two store brand products a week and try them on your family. If your family likes them, you will save money by buying that item. If your family ends up not liking the store brand product, switch back and when a sale comes up on that product, stock up! 

Price Book

Have you ever been shopping and happen across a sale and think, is this really a good price? This is where a price book comes in handy. It’s a small notebook that you use to keep track of the lowest prices on items that you buy.

You will find that as time goes by and you familiarize yourself with prices that a price book is not necessary, but it can be a very useful tool for those who are just beginning to learn how to save money on food.

Stocking Up

When I find an item on sale at a price that I cannot beat, I usually stock up. Sales tend to run in cycles, and that helps me to determine how much to buy. But this is not always the case and it helps to know your stuff. When you find a good sale on a product that you use, stock up on it.

Using the Freezer

Our freezer has been a great asset to us in saving money. We stock up on meats, sugar, flour, and vegetables when they go on sale, and freeze them for later use. For example, when we find markdowns on meat we will buy as much of it as we can afford and store in our freezer. If it comes in large packages I’ll bring it home and package it into smaller packs and stack it into the freezer to be used later. Consider buying a separate freezer when you can find it on sale, It is a very good investment.

Clean the Kitchen Every Evening

It will be much easier for you to go into your kitchen and make dinner for your family if the kitchen is already clean. It is harder for me to motivate myself to get in there and cook dinner if the kitchen is a mess. I would rather go out and eat if the kitchen is messy and so that defeats the purpose of saving money by cooking at home. It is a little known fact that a person will save more money and eat healthier when they cook meals at home.

In Conclusion

I hope that I have given you plenty of ideas to save money on food. There are many more ideas that I have not even mentioned here and as you begin your journey of saving money in the kitchen, I hope you find some new ideas that can help you save a bunch of money. I hope that my article has been helpful to you and thank you for taking the time to read it.

Next week we will have Part 2 of this podcast as I found this topic to long to discuss in one week. 

Beating the High Cost of Eating: The Essential Guide to Supermarket Survival by Barbara Salsbury

If you would like to discuss something I've spoken about on this podcast please feel free to DM me on Instagram. My handle is @frugalworkshop. Or you can always comment on the Frugal Workshop blog or email me at Bar2969@gmail.com.


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Beating the High Cost of Eating: The Essential Guide to Supermarket Survival by Barbara Salsbury

~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, July 21, 2019

My Frugal Kitchen: What We Ate This Week

Here is a list of what I planned on making for dinner this past week:  

1. Pork Roast with Vegetables
2. Ham Pot Pie
3. Cheesy Potatoes
4. Baked Potatoes & Broccoli
5. Korean Pork
6. Hot Italian Sandwiches & Homemade Fries
7. Tacos

Sides This Week:
1. Pasta Salad
2. Cranberry Salad
3. Cucumber Salad

And here is what we actually made this week:

Sunday: My daughter picked up a pork roast on markdown for $3.99 this week, which included potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions. So that's what we are having for Sunday dinner. I also made some gravy, steamed some yellow squash, and made a gallon of fresh iced tea and go with this.
Monday: We definitely had pork roast leftover from Sunday, and I made sure to keep the gravy I'd made from the pan drippings. So on Monday I mixed the roast and with a bit of gravy. I also made mashed potatoes to go with this and had gravy for those as well. Sides were mixed vegetables, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, and as always fresh iced tea. 

Tuesday: We like to make Tuesdays in our home family movie night. We want to see Toy Story 4 soon, so we re-watched the original Toy Story movie on this night.We had homemade pizza and I made individual salads to go with the pizza. 

Wednesday: One of my friends gave us some pork taco meat she had made recently. We have plenty of tortillas shells in our freezer and had all the ingredients needed for tacos. Lettuce, tomato, onion, sour cream, cheese, jalapenos, taco sauce. Her taco meat was delicious. 

Thursday: This was the day my daughter found some marked down Cheddar Bacon Burgers at Ingle's, so she bought lettuce, onions, and tomatoes to go with them. She also bought some onion buns and I had bought a new jar of pickles on Tuesday, so we had all the fixings with these hamburgers. 

Friday: We thought a Ham Pot Pie would be really good to try. I substituted ham for chicken and used the recipe I normally use and it turned out really good. We will definitely be making this again. 

Saturday: My daughter found these large packages of larger sized pepperoni on markdown this week, so that went along well with our Hot Italian Sandwiches this week. I made some homemade french fries to go along with them. 

We didn't make the Korean Pork or the Cheesy Potatoes, but I still have all those ingredients on hand in the freezer, so I will make them another time.

What was on the menu in your home this week?

~ Living within our Means ~
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Friday, July 19, 2019

Frugal Friday ~ July 19, 2019

Welcome to another Frugal Friday edition. I hope you've had a good and frugal week. 

Last Friday my daughter and I attended a Kevin O'Leary (of Shark Tank fame) event in Chattanooga. We thought it was going to be a motivational seminar, but it turns out they were just trying to sell us something.  We did come away with a free dinner though. 

Inside was a very nice chicken sandwich, chips, pasta salad, and a moon pie. We both received one of these along with a can of soda pop. The event was free, and these were free too, and we did enjoy getting out of the house and socializing with several people at the event. 

This week we both got in on a deal for a free $5.00 Dominos gift card from Bitmo. The Carma Project website wants you to check and see if your family car is in danger and to check for any recalls. You will need your VIN number or license plate number to do this. Once you check they send you the gift card instantly. 

We sold a crockpot that we rarely used on the Facebook Marketplace for $20 and we sold another appliance for $40.00. We are thinking we might need to forget selling clothes and sell appliances. LOL 

My car needed a new headlight, so my BIL bought and put one in for me and only charged me $10. 

This week I stayed home six days. Staying home not spending money and saving the gas in my car is a win-win situation for me. Plus as I've gotten older I have become more of a homebody. 

On Tuesday I ran some errands in town and stopped in Walmart for a few items. They had Cheez-its, in the family size box, on sale for $4.00, so I bought two boxes. Then I submitted a photo of my receipt to Kellogg's Family Rewards and earned 300 points. 

I know it might seem like a hassle to do that, but it does save me money. 

First off, I printed a coupon from the website to save $1.00 off the crackers at Walmart, which made them $3.00. 

Secondly, I printed a coupon for $1.00 off Keebler club crackers, which are on sale at Food Lion this week. 

$1.88 times two minus $1.00 divided by two makes the crackers $1.38, which is a great price for Keebler club crackers. 

So even though it takes a few steps to do Kellogg's Family Rewards it does save us money. 

I made sure to fill out my last receipt from McDonald's, so that we can get another free drink from there. 

My daughter stopped in at Ingle's on Thursday to check out the marked down items. 

She picked up two roasts and several packages of the larger size pepperoni, which will be used as sandwich meat on yard sale day. 

She also picked up several containers of marked down yogurt in the small size for 36¢ and four of the 32 ounce containers for 96¢. Needless to say our fridge and freezer are both stocked up right now. 

She also stopped in at Kroger to use some coupons they sent us in the mail. 

We were able to get two free items, which were one can of cream of potato soup and one dozen eggs. 

We also had a neighbor give us two dozen eggs this week because she had so many. We are definitely stocked up on eggs right now. 

That's all there is to report from here this week. How was your week? We'd love to read about it in the comment section. :)

~ Living within our Means ~
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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Frugal Workshop Podcast #2: Shopping the Second Hand Market

Good morning and welcome to the second podcast of the Frugal Workshop blog. I'm your host, Belinda Richardson and I want to welcome you and all of my readers from Frugal Workshop. I'm so glad you decided to join us.

Today we are going to be talking about saving money by shopping the second hand market. And what I mean by second hand market is buying already used items at places such as yard sales, flea markets, thrift stores, etc. 

What I love about the second hand market of course is that I can get the things we need inexpensively. Last week I described the system I used to buy my daughter's clothes the first two years of her life. I stocked up on each size at yard sales and tucked them away in my attic.

Something else that I did during that summer when I was pregnant was I bought my ex a Nintendo game system for Christmas. I bought the game system new, but I scoured pawn shops to buy the games inexpensively. 

Now you might think that pawn shops are a little bit undesirable, but you can find good deals there. I was able to buy him twice as many games as I would have if I had bought them new. 

If you need to have a relatively inexpensive Christmas the second hand market can give you a lot of options and many times you can even find new items to purchase. 

Now I don't know about you, but sometimes when I buy something brand new I experience buyers remorse over the money that I spent, but I don't feel that way when I buy something second hand. If I have remorse over something I've bought second hand I can always turn around and resell it at my own yard sale and recoup the money I spent. 

In fact, I often do this with my home as it's an inexpensive way to decorate. You can scour the market and find all sorts of things you like. You can then decorate your home with these items and when you grow tired of them, resell them at your own yard sale and start all over again. It can be a fun and cheap way to decorate your home.

Oftentimes new items promise more than they deliver. Of the few times I have purchased clothing retail, I have found that most of them have fallen apart after the first wash. As someone who does not pay retail prices often or easily, this is especially disappointing. When you buy something on the second hand market, you are purchasing an item that has stood the test of time. You know that this item has most likely survived being worn and washed and you are purchasing a quality piece for a bargain price.

Whether you buy from yard sales, thrift stores, or flea markets there are so many benefits to buying second hand. 

The first and most obvious benefit is that you are going to save money. It is no secret that you can find items on the second hand market anywhere from 50-90% off retail. I can't tell you how many items I have found at yard sales for a quarter that I know cost more than $10 new!

Saving money is not the only benefit of shopping the second hand market. For example, did you know that new clothing often has a chemical coating to keep it looking new in the store? When you are purchasing items second hand, you are not being exposed to these chemicals as much as you would be in a retail store.

Speaking of chemicals, when you shop the second hand market you are doing a great service to the environment. Phenomenons such as rapid consumerism and fast fashion have been a drain on our planet, filling our landfills, increasing our carbon footprint, and maximizing the amount of water used in production.

When you shop the second hand market, you are giving new life to an item that may have otherwise ended up in a landfill. It has been said that buying a pre-owned garment extends its life by over two years and reduces carbon, waste, and water footprints by 73%. That is huge! 


Do you remember when Amy Dacyczyn wrote about buying her twins brand new bunk beds? She said after a few months they looked as rough as the second hand ones she had seen while she was shopping for the new one she bought. 

The moral of the story here isn't to never buy anything new, but rather try the second hand market first. You can always buy something new later if you feel like you can't find what you need on the second hand market. But if you're wanting to save money try the second hand market first. 

Also rather than buying new stuff try to reduce what you need. Make one kitchen tool do the work of three. Carol over at CT on a Budget was just writing about using a pastry blender to make egg salad rather than using one of those egg slicers. 

Reuse items, recycle, repair, make it over, make do, and do without those things you think you need. 

Another topic I wanted to discuss today is where to look for yard sales. We find them on Craigslist, Facebook, local newspapers, community bulletin boards, signs posted around town, The Yard Sale Treasure app, which is great because it maps out the location of the yard sale on your choice of google or apple maps and even lets you mark each yard sale you’ve already visited. 

We keep our eyes and ears open at all times when it comes to yard sales. One church yard sale that takes place here every year advertises about one month in advance, so when I see their sign I make sure to mark it on my calendar as soon as possible.  


Places where you can find second hand goods include...

Flea Markets - My Mom and I always did the flea markets on the weekends when I was growing up. My Dad was a custom knife maker and we sold his knives for income back then. 

Flea markets can be a treasure trove of good and useful items. And you can always haggle the price down if you want to, which can be great fun. 

Thrift Stores - People donate good usable items to thrift stores everyday and it is to our benefit to take advantage of this opportunity. I have found items at a deep discount that I was both able to use personally and to resell for more money. 

Now the thing about thrift stores is they are there to make money for many of their charities. So while you will be able to find items cheaper than you would at retail prices, you won't be able to get the best prices there. 

Yard Sales - Why do I love yard sales so much? Because it has saved me so much money over the years. The reason we save so much money is because we go to numerous yard sales over the course of the summer. We will probably go to over 250 yard sales every summer. 

Last week I told you about how I saved money on baby clothes for the first two years of my daughter's life. Amy Dacyczyn wrote that over 50% of her children's clothes came from yard sales and she only spent $50 annually to clothe her family. 

People who hold yard sales do so for several reasons such as to make money, to declutter their house, and to get rid of stuff. If you're lucky enough you'll be at one of those yard sales because oftentimes items sell inexpensively. 

Pawn Shops - as I said earlier these may be less desirable to some people, but you can find good deals here. People who need money sell items here inexpensively and you can save money by picking them up. Tools, musical instruments, dvds, etc. 

Facebook Marketplace - We've both bought and sold items on the Facebook Marketplace inexpensively. I bought a Vitamix mixer on there one time for about $300 less than the retail price. I had wanted one of them for years and my patience finally paid off. 

What sort of things can you buy second hand? Turns out there are all sorts of things like clothes, tools, appliances, textbooks, toys, dvds and cds (although my daughter tells me cds are dead), jewelry, shoes, musical instruments, furniture, and the list goes on. 

If you're looking for name brand kitchen items like Pampered Chef and Tupperware you can find them just about everywhere. Just a few weeks ago I was able to find a Breville juicer for 75% off the retail price. Also, I found my Kitchenaid stand mixer years ago for $50 at a close out store and it was brand new in the box. 

In fact while I was standing there with the mixer in my hand, the cashier was on the phone with another customer who was asking if they still had the mixer. So, that was a case of being in the right place at the right time. 

Buying second hand is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, I think it's something to be proud of. By shopping second hand, you are reducing your carbon footprint, saving money, and purchasing unique quality items. The second hand market is rapidly growing. Sites such as eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, Offer Up, and more are making it easier to find items second hand. Stats tell us that 1 in 3 women are purchasing second hand clothing and that number is growing every day. 

As clothing stores such as Dressbarn and Cache continue to close their doors, their loyal followers are searching the second hand market for their brand. Shopping second hand and vintage is becoming trendy. You can often see thrifters brag about how little they paid for their outfit on Instagram, and I think this is great to aid against the stigma against pre-owned items and clothing. 

In order to save the most money you would be better off buying only those things you truly need. But if you are in the market for something, definitely try the second hand market first and save yourself some money. 

If you would like to discuss something I've spoken about on this podcast please feel free to DM me on Instagram. My handle is @frugalworkshop. Or you can always comment on the Frugal Workshop blog or email me at Bar2969@gmail.com.

~ Living within our Means ~
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