Frugality Blogging => Enriched Day-to-Day Life

I didn’t start blogging for any reason other than to sort through my feelings and habits regarding all things financial – but wow, have I ever gotten so much more out of it than I could have possibly predicted!

1) Coupons! Shocker, right? But seriously, think about all the money you shell out on a regular basis for toothpaste, cold & cough meds, hair care, soap, deodorant, razors, aspirin/ibu/tylenol, body wash/lotion, skincare, fem hygiene, laundry & dish detergents, cleaning products, cosmetics, vitamins, cereal, snack foods. Now imagine getting all those products for no more than sales tax. Buy all that stuff on various store loyalty programs, and you can also manage to get things like coffee, milk, eggs, juice, tomato sauce, mayonnaise, peanut butter, ice cream and candy for free too. As a result, I am using better quality personal care products than before I started couponing, and I’m preparing more meals at home because my cupboards are full of tasty ingredients. And my food budget has been halved 🙂

2)  Freebies! Getting my mail is now fun because odd little “gifts”that I requested online arrive every now and then. Last week I received a Uniball pen, a coupon for a free bottle of Excedrin (my #1 headache cure of choice), an insulated shopping tote (much-needed!), and my first issue of a free subscription to Health magazine.

3)  A social outlet! Totally wasn’t expecting that. The PF blogger community is fairly small, smart, and packed with very entertaining writers. They inspired me to start Twittering, which is thankfully not the time-suck that other social media outlets are (took one look each at Facebook and MySpace and ran the other way). Anyway, for someone who works from home and lives alone, Twitterland and Blogosphere help keep me sane on quiet days.

4) Alleviating my misanthropy! First off, I’ve met a few blogotweeple – they’re so normal! And then someone sent me a sweet, sweet care package 2 weeks ago when I was dealing with a tiny spot of skin cancer. Those of you who helped with Christmas for that enormous family – wow. And then there’s a bunch more who’ve thoughtfully stepped up to supply coupons. Sorry, I haven’t linked to all of you, but I’d never finish this post if I kept at it! But I am very appreciative for the daily reminders that there are bright, big-hearted people all over the place…so easy to lose track of that when you’re in a city and a profession where everyone is trying to bleed more out of you than originally bargained for.

5)  Significant $avings!  I cut my only utility bill by over 50%. I became more consistent at looking for online discount codes and reminding my mother to do the same (easily $200+ saved there!). I signed up for eBates and Swagbucks to make the most of my online purchases. Oh — a special shout-out to all of you who signed up through my referral links – I used some of the rewards to do things like buy socks and Christmas presents for Mom-of-10’s kids.

6) Giving!  I may have had my worst financial year since becoming self-employed, but I have been able to give so much because I’ve learned so much about “freetailing” (get it? Free + Retail … got that one from Debbie). Heck, given how much cereal and oatmeal I got for free or nearly free last year, I supplied indigent New Yorkers (working poor, unemployed, welfare families, youth shelters) with 1000 breakfasts!

Who’d have thought becoming a better penny-pincher would be so enriching?

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8 Responses

  1. Isn’t it amazing? You’ve had an incredible year under the circumstances. It’s been great getting to know you. 🙂

  2. And you’ve inspired me to play the cvs game. I’m doing great so far!

  3. I started blogging out of boredom and got many of the same benefits as you did.

    I have not met any bloggers in real life but I have learned a lot from online conversations and I think those are wonderful people.

    I think one of the most exciting things is that I learned to CVS (yes it is a verb now) and make better use of my coupons!!!!

  4. Glad you liked the care package!

  5. I started blogging back in the day to get out some frustration. But lately it seems I’m just not that angry anymore so it has slowed my blogging significantly.

  6. So glad I got to “know” you!

  7. I totally agree! I also have found accountability…if I commit to something on my blog, it makes me feel like I have to stick to it. 🙂

    And yes, reading other PF blogs makes me feel normal among friends who aren’t so frugal.

    Also, I am linking you on my blog, I’d love to be linked on your blog roll! 🙂

  8. […] interesting recent posts include Will Healthcare Reform Go the Same Route as Credit Card Reform? Frugality Blogging–Enriched Day-to-Day Life, and Penny Experiment 2: $204 for […]

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