I recently spoke to a caller who lamented that at some point she was going to have to stop being an at-home mom and go back to work to make ends meet. I said that move was not an option, because abandoning children into institutionalized day care is the
desperate move - not the first or an intermediate one.
I told her to "budget, budget, budget," and mentioned that my husband and I were budgeting just like most Americans, and I hadn't bought any new clothes in so many months, I can't even remember, and I had no idea what the current fashions even were. She mentioned that she shopped for clothes at second-hand stores. I stopped her right there and challenged why she was even bothering to do that. What is the female necessity for a constant flow of new clothes? Unless there is a specific
, doing that is a continuous waste of money, although "going shopping" together
a way for females to bond and have entertainment.
Then I found an article in the Economizer section of
, entitled "10 Most Overpriced Products You Should Avoid." It was eye-opening, and should become wallet-closing!
According to a story in the
, outgoing 160-character text messages on a cell phone typically cost users 20 cents, while they only cost the carrier three-tenths of a cent to process. That's a 6000% profit! 600 text messages contain less data than one minute of a phone call. If text data rates are applied, a brief cell phone conversation would cost $120! So CALL....don't text.
Water that is pre-packaged is more expensive than a gallon of gas. Since about 40% of bottled water comes from municipal taps, you're better off refilling that plastic bottle at home and toting it around.
Movie Theatre Popcorn
When you pay $6 for a medium-sized bag of popcorn in theatres, you're paying a markup of $1,275%, compared to the cost of buying three 3.5 oz bags of microwaveable popcorn sold in a box for about $3. Besides, you don't need the calories.
Brand name drugs
Over-the-counter medications were at the top of a recent WalletPop.com list of products to always buy generic. In the past year, the cost of brand name prescriptions has increased nearly 10% while generics have dropped. The recommendation was to check out Costco for lower generic medication prices.
$10 for a bottle of water? $12 for a tube of toothpaste? A 1300% markup on Gummy Bears? Keep that fridge door closed!!
A $3 cup of coffee can be made at home for a quarter. Check out Topdogcoffeebar.com - they roast 'em, and you brew 'em.
Restaurants pay $5 wholesale for a bottle of wine and charge customers $25. A glass of wine can have a higher markup because the bottle can be thrown away if all of it isn't used.
The greeting cards anyone ever keeps are those made by hand. Enough said.
Hotel In-Room Movies
You pay 200% more for "convenience." How about bringing your computer and DVDs, or bring your Netflix movie from home? If the hotel has wi-fi, use Netflix streaming.
Sometimes, you pay as much as 40% more if the grocery pre-cuts them. Go to your local farmer's market and get fresher products at greater deals.
There are a zillion ways to save dollars at almost every turn. We have come to see "conveniences" as necessities, when they're actually very expensive.