It is not Always a Bargain

October 17, 2011 | Peggy Martin

It is not Always a Bargain

Situations change and we change.  What once saved you money a year ago might not be a good technique today.  That is the theme of Trent Hamm’s The Simple Dollar, October 9th blog, When Deals Become Less of a Bargain.  I agree with Trent and have some examples from my life that show this is true.

My daughter and her husband are staying with me for a few weeks until they can move into their house.   Along with their clothes, cat, computer, etc. came food from their refrigerator and cupboards.   We are creating meals using what we have…there is a little friendly competition to see how many cans, boxes or bottles we can use at each meal.

This weekend my attempt was to use a 2 pound bag of pinto beans and bacon ends and pieces.  It took quite a bit of time and cost $5.00.  I wish I would have just given the beans away.  Here is the sad story.   In August I bought a 5 pound box of what I thought was bacon for super deal of $8.00.  This was the same time our garden tomatoes were coming on and I thought BLT sandwiches would be great for a family meal with sweet corn.  Turns out the box had bacon ends and pieces (I should have read the label more closely).  No way could I use it on a BLT sandwich.  When I found the 2 pound bag of pinto beans on the shelf, I decided to cook them in a soup with the bacon.  To make a long story short, I added chopped onions, went to the store for chicken broth and canned tomatoes, and made a soup out of the beans and bacon.  Unfortunately, I did not like the soup when it was finished.

Another frugal idea I have tried to unsuccessfully incorporate into my life is, couponing.  I have saved the Sunday coupon inserts for several months.  I am just not organized or committed to working this money-saving idea.  I never have the coupons when I need them or they expire before I have the chance to use them.

For me, what works the best is shopping at stores where the prices of items I buy are lower than other stores, making a list and a menu plan, and making enough food ahead of time, so I have food I can thaw or assemble in a few minutes instead of going out to eat.


What frugal ideas work best for you?

Peggy Martin

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