What Do You Scrimp On

Since I already started a splurge thread, I thought we should have this one, too. What are the things that you try and spend the least possible amount of money for. The first place you’ll cut when the budget is tight.

I, for one, never ever buy name brand OTC meds. The generic is just as good and you save so much! Personally I think people who pay full price for acetominophen are cracked in the head (which would explain the headache they need Tynenol for).

It pains me to spend money on clothes for myself. One, because I’m always thinking I’m going to lose this extra forty pounds and get back to my high school weight. Two, because I just know that if I’m patient I can get it for 50-75% off, somewhere, somehow. Three, I’d rather go around naked and spend the money on books and kitchen knives.

I’m also not one to buy lots of fancy electronics. Frankly, I can’t really hear the difference between a good enough boom box and a full stereo system. I’m sure others can, but not me. My husband bought a DVD player this weekend (99 bucks!), and although it was super cheap, it bothered me a little because we still have a perfectly good VCR. And just like with the clothes, I know that one day it will be a lot cheaper.


I always buy the cheapest I can get. I wait for my local supermarket to downgrade the meat so it’s cheaper. I buy in bulk wherever possible. I buy hot-dogs at the 99 cent store.

Food, and anything for myself. I hate spending money on myself.

I’m with the OP on meds… I never buy name brand medication. I also never buy brand name clotes, because: 1) I dislike most clothing with logos. I will not make my body a billboard, and thus 2) If you can’t tell who made the clothes, why does it matter?

Other than that, I’m not very good at saving money, so perhaps I’m a bad person to ask…

Food. Without question.

We have three kids so we go through cereal, bread, milk, etc. like nobody’s business. We also only have one income, and not a huge one at that, and food is the one area where you can really save money. I buy generic of almost everything (except coffee and beer…there must be some luxuries, after all :)).

Make-up. i don’t wear much of it in the first place, and when i do buy some, it’s nothing name brand or designer…it’s just not worth it…to me, anyways.

OTC medicines. tater’s right…the generics are JUST as good, and cheap. Especially if you buy them at Costco in bulk. :slight_smile:

Hair & bath crap. I’m sorry…shampoo is shampoo. I buy whatever is cheapest. Same for my mousse and hairspray. Hair still looks fine to me.

Clothes, within reason. I shop a LOT at outlets. And a discount store called Gabriel’s that gets leftovers from department stores. And rejects too…bought a silk blouse with a small, easily patchable hole for $12. Saw it a week later in Nordstroms: $85. However, since I’m in larger sizes, a lot of times I take what I can get.

Food…except for meat. Only when money is tight. Treats for the kids, ice cream and so on as well.
Always seem to have enough money for smokes though…

Yep, on the medicines! I can’t figure out why anyone would pay double the price for the exact same thing! And, with few exceptions, I always buy the store brand of most food and other grocery products. Sometimes I don’t like the quality and those go back on my brand-name list. Hint to moms: store-brand diapers are BETTER than name brands.

I also agree about clothes that advertise products or the designer! Maybe I’m an old fart (yep, already posted in that thread) but I’d rather wear a sack than a T-shirt calling myself a Tommy Girl. It’s my life’s mission never to allow a single Tommy Hefflelumpslinger article of clothing to touch my body. OK, so I wore Calvin Kleins in high school. But then I grew up.

Clothes. I either accept other people’s hand me
downs, or get them at the Salvation Army. And
I’ve gotten really nice things there, so stop

I despise buying shoes. I buy one pair and wear
them till they are falling apart. One of the
coolest things I own, though, is a pair of
lavendar suede work shoes I got at the aforementioned
store for $7! Total strangers compliment me on them.

gas, I went from 89 to 87 octane

It just isn’t worth the extra money, I’ve seen no mileage changes. If I’m off somewhere else and notice cheap gas I’ll stop and fill up.

I confess, I am an unrepentant Costco girl! Hubby calls Costco “big game hunting for women.” Not only can I get big, cheap food and household supplies, but they’ve also got great overruns on clothes that are first quality.

Target & Ross (discounters) are my favorite places to shop for cheap clothes, but if I need something special (or I want it to last) I will hit the department store.

There is no “first place” to cut. The best idea is to make sure the budget never gets “tight” in the first place. So that means shopping the sales, coupons, non-name brand items, etc. Use ALL of these ideas, and use them ALL of the time, not just as a reaction to a low wallet.

I’m pretty bad at spending my money… but the things I try to scrimp on…

Not all food, but some foods… any ol’ peanut butter/jelly/ketcup/mustard. But only best foods mayonaisse. Wierd stuff like that. I generally look for cheapest item that will still be quality beyond that. (Malt O’ Meal Cereals… Is the perfect example. Cheap, but quality). But some stuff I just have to get the real stuff… (i can hear my g/f telling me its all the same right now… but she’s WRONG! :slight_smile: )

I agree on the medecine… I compare ingredients, and see if there are any differences… and generally buy the store brand pain killer/flu reliever/whatever.

I generally don’t buy clothes for myself… although I need to right now… :-P. When I do, its usually Outlet Mall type places.

I try never to buy things I can get for free… (bottled water comes to mind, pop at McD’s when I have some at home… )

Thats all I can think of for now… by the way… $99 for a DVD player? He got a pretty sweet deal… The money I save from above generally goes into that kinda stuff. :-S


I stopped buying chocolate for my parrot.

Internet Service Providers and Cable TV. I really hated paying the cable company and ISPs upfront for their services.

Ditto on the cable thing. I used to have the full cable package with HBO and Cinemax, but it just wasn’t worth 40 bucks a month for 50 channels of crap. I dumped cable and I don’t miss it at all.

I refuse to buy a new car. It’s the ultimate rip-off. A good used car (and an auto-knowledgeable husband) go a long way. He, on the other hand, loves new cars and has to drive something flashy. I’m perfectly content with my little pick-up truck that I paid $8K for. It goes and goes and goes. And I don’t have to act all neurotic in parking lots being all afraid to park near other cars.

Food, clothes for myself, and makeup. I’ve never been comfortable wearing makeup so I only do so for very special occasions (I think my wedding last years was the last time I wore any) I figure I save at least $40 a month if my friends are a good example of makeup buying habits.

Just about everything everyone else has mentioned. (Well, except for the chocolate parrot thing.)

I also scrimp on clothes for the kids. I really don’t see the point in dressing them to the teeth at this age. Some kids I see at our church have more expensive clothes than I do. T-shirts and shorts in the summer, t-shirts and pants in the winter. Two pairs of shoes each. That’s all they need. (Actually, the baby doesn’t get any shoes until he starts really walking. This drives my babysitter crazy. She’s from the old country where they strapped kids into heavy leather boots as soon as they got their first tooth.)