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Frugal Ethics: Where Do You Draw Your Lines?

19 Sep

As someone with a frugal mindset, I’m always on the lookout for freebies or out to save a buck for an expenditure.  So, where does your moral code come into play when it comes to cutting costs?

Here are some examples:

My workplace supplies free coffee, tea, soft drinks, juice, and the occasional lunch.  I’ve seen several of my co-workers (some who have been there for decades) taking drinks home at the end of the day so they don’t have to buy them.  The same goes for office supplies.

When I go to the movies, I usually put a bottle of water in my purse, and sometimes a granola or protein bar in case I get hungry.  I try not to drink soda, and I find that pretty much everything at the concession stands is overpriced and unhealthy.  Perhaps I first learned this from my mother, who would bring popcorn in baggies when she took us to the movies when we were little.  Yes, I will cave and buy the occasional popcorn, but that’s an exception and not the rule.

Photo credit: heavyhand_2007.

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Cutting Costs When Dining Out (and It Includes Wine!)

14 Aug

I do believe that one of the easiest ways to save money is to not dine out, but as I said before, I also try not to deprive myself.  Everyone has to enjoy life sometimes.  I try to limit myself to eating out once a week.  And it is difficult, because more often than not, socializing seems to revolve around food.  But when I do, I do my best not to pay full price.  This is how my friends and I cut corners when we went out for dinner last week.

There is a free service called Blackboard Eats that has 30% off deals in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and San Francisco.  Subscribing is free, and if they list a deal for a restaurant that you want to frequent, you sign up for a unique passcode that you give to your server and usually have about 2 months to use.  Couldn’t be simpler.  I’m sure they get some kind of commission from the restaurant.  Last year, they tried charging $1 per passcode, many frugal people like me just stopped signing up for them, and they quickly went back to their free system.

I had a BBE 30% passcode for a Mexican place I’d been wanting to try called Tinga.  This was the damage for 3 people:

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