Official Monthly Megathread Monthly megathread: Discuss quick frugal ideas, frugal challenges you're starting, and share your hauls with others here!
Welcome to our monthly megathread! Please use this as a space to generate discussion and post your frugal updates, tips/tricks, or anything else!
Full subreddit rules here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Frugal/about/rules/
Official subreddit Discord link here: https://discord.gg/W6a2yvac2h/
Share with us!
· What are some unique thrift store finds you came across this week?
· Did you use couponing tricks to get an amazing haul? How'd you accomplish that?
· Was there something you had that you put to use in a new way?
· What is your philosophy on frugality?
Community Discussion and Updates
January was a record month for r/Frugal. At the time of writing, we have seen over 3.3 million unique visitors this month alone!
The moderation team has implemented several updates and rule changes to the community over the past month. Multiple rule changes have been made including changes to how we manage haul posts, limiting commercial links/products requests, along with a new rule managing political content. You can take some time to review the changes here. These changes will better aid us in keeping r/Frugal a constructive place for conversation and discourse.
We have also launched our beta test of Frugal Finds Friday. We will be spending the next several weeks evaluating this new system and determining how it impacts user engagement and if any systemic changes need to be made.
You are welcome to use this space to provide feedback as well!
Select list of some top posts of the previous month(s):
- Frugal living: Moving into a school converted into apartments! 600/month, all utilities included
- Follow up- my daughter’s costume. We took $1 pumpkins and an old sweater and made them into a Venus Flytrap costume.
- Gas bill going up 17%… I’m going on strike
- I love the library most because it saves money
- We live in Northern Canada, land of runaway food prices. Some of our harvest saved for winter. What started as a hobby has become a necessity.
- 70 lbs of potatoes I grew from seed potatoes from a garden store and an old bag of russets from my grandma’s pantry. Total cost: $10
- Gatorade, Fritos and Kleenex among US companies blasted for 'scamming customers with shrinkflation' as prices rise
- Forty years ago we started a store cupboard of household essentials to save money before our children were born. This is last of our soap stash.
- Noticed this about my life before I committed to a tighter budget.
- Seeds from Dollar Store vs Ace Hardware.
- I was looking online for a product that would safely hold my house key while jogging. Then I remembered I had such a product already.
- Using patterned socks to mend holes in clothes
- My dogs eat raw as I believe it’s best for them but I don’t want to pay the high cost. So after ads requesting leftover, extra, freezer burnt meat. I just made enough grind to feed my dogs for 9 months. Free.
- What are your ‘fuck-it this makes me happy’ non-frugal purchases?
- Where is this so-called 7% inflation everyone's talking about? Where I live (~150k pop. county), half my groceries' prices are up ~30% on average. Anyone else? How are you coping with the increased expenses?
- You are allowed to refill squeeze tubes of jam with regular jam. The government can't stop you.
The mod team has been busy making some updates and changes to improve the content standards of the community and to help keep conversations on-topic. The purpose of this post is to help explain the rule changes we have recently implemented. If you have any questions or concerns, please comment below.
· Modifications to the hauls and finds rule. Hauls and finds will now be allowed in the main feed on Fridays as part of Frugal Finds Fridays.
· Modification to the commercial link rule; restricting fly-by shopping requests. “What is the best/cheapest product?”.
· New political rule to help keep conversations civil and on-topic.
So what’s new?
Hauls and Finds
Our rule involving hauls and finds has been amended to allow hauls or finds to be included in the main feed if they can be easily replicated by readers or if they contain a widely beneficial tip/discussion point. This will help clarify some of the ambiguity we have previously experienced with this rule without limiting certain types of content which create meaningful discussion. For all other hauls and finds, they should either be reserved for the megathread or can be posted in the main feed on Fridays as part of a new program, Frugal Finds Friday.
Full rule text:
To post your haul or find outside the megathread or on a day other than Friday, the content or topic of your haul post must either provide a widely beneficial tip/discussion point or be easy for others to replicate. r/Frugal is an international community that is made up of individuals coming from a wide range of lifestyles, geographic locations, and financial situations. Any hauls posted outside the megathread/Fridays should ideally be relevant to as many people as possible. Singular, one time individual hauls or finds should always be reserved for the megathread/FFF. Posts which should usually be reserved for the megathread include:
- Grocery/food hauls
- Thrift/coupon hauls
- Roadside finds, salvaged goods, or other “one-off” hauls.
- Deals limited to your local area
This rule has been slightly amended to also encompass certain types of low-quality and low effort posts we have observed which seek tips or shopping advice on a specific product to purchase. It is important to note that this change will not restrict posts seeking alternatives, DIY solutions, or other conversations which may be discussing a specific product but are still relevant. We are simply looking to avoid the “I need a product, give me a commercial link” posts.
Full rule text:
r/Frugal is intended as a place for discourse or advice and attempts to be a commercial-free zone. Please refrain from:
- Linking to commercial sites, defined as a site which sells products/services through a cart, subscription, or booking appointments/trips. Talking about a site or product is fine, just don't link to it.
- Requesting product suggestions such as the "cheapest" or "best" product. Posts which generate meaningful discussion are fine but "fly-by" shopping requests will be removed.
Political & Social Issues
Simply put, r/Frugal is meant as a positive, helpful, and inclusive community. However, we understand that political conversations can be necessary given that politics can have a significant impact on a Frugal lifestyle. While the full text of this rule may seem big and scary, it is ultimately broken down into two parts.
- Off-topic political content
- Hostile comments or attacks
We are not restricting any specific topic for discussion under this rule. However, please do not post any political content which would be considered off-topic in a given situation. For example, arguing about COVID-19 vaccines or the president’s latest hairstyle on a post about egg prices would be considered off-topic.
This section is divided into three subsections. Please keep in mind that Rule 1 still applies to political content.
- Attacking, bashing, circle-jerking, or otherwise poop-talking any sort of political figure, opinion, political party, ideology, demographic, protected class, etc. r/Frugal is a diverse community and we are dedicated to keeping this space safe and inclusive. If your comment is disparaging or bashing any particular politician or group, there is a very high chance there are people in the community who fall under that identifying demographic (or support that specific politician). If your comment would be considered a personal attack when the describing noun is replaced with a username, it will be considered a violation and will be treated similar to how civility issues are treated under Rule 1. Please respect other opinions, even if you disagree with them. We ask that you keep political conversations centered on policy, not persons or politics.
- Blaming an issue on one of the groups mentioned above. This does not restrict meaningful conversation about policy, we are simply looking to avoid low-effort partisan circle-jerking. Similarly, broad generalizations would fall under this section of the rule. Examples of this section include comments such as “All of [insert political ideology] are bad” or “You can thank President AutoModerator for dinosaur juice prices”. You are welcome to discuss how a specific policy passed or supported by X politician made an impact on your frugal lifestyle, but tone and content matters. Something like “President AutoModerator caused dinosaur juice prices to skyrocket because they passed a law that required the dinosaurs to receive vacation time and the weekends off” would be considered substantial and tonally civil enough to be allowed.
- Finally, we ask that you refrain from promoting personal or political agendas in an unconstructive or intolerant manner. For example, a post such as “ew gross, no one should eat meat anyways, go vegan” would fall under this rule. A post like “Going vegan is better because tofu is a significantly cheaper source of protein over beef” is fine.
Full rule text:
While meaningful contributions to r/Frugal are encouraged, certain types of political posts are prohibited. Please do not post political content, debates or discussion which are off-topic or not relevant to frugality. Political contributions should be limited to focus on policy, not persons or politics. To keep conversations constructive, postings involving opinions, political affiliations, demographics, protected class, or ethos (character, status, authority) should either be limited to personal, relevant experiences in a given topic and/or tonally civil discussions which are on-topic. Such comments should focus on how the topic being discussed pertains to you, not how you perceive other people’s opinions or motives on the issue. Contributions which disparage or make broad generalizations about the demographics, motives, opinions, political affiliations, or perspectives of other people will be removed (even if not targeted directly towards another user). If a political conversation has reached this point, it is no longer about discussing frugality and is usually off-topic.
Furthermore, all political contributions should be kept civil and compliant with Rules 1 and 11. Please refrain from:
- Attacking or bashing political figures, parties, or ideologies. There are other subreddits to engage in these types of discussions. We want r/Frugal to remain a collaborative and constructive place for all.
- Blaming a specific issue on one of these “classes”. This ties in with the point above. Meaningful, on-topic discussion of how a specific policy or decision has made an impact is fine, but please refrain from making broad generalizations or off-topic comments.
- Attacking other users for their perspectives or opinions. Different people have different opinions. Discussion of relevant issues is fine, personal attacks are not.
- Discussing, debating, or pushing social issues which are off-topic.
- Promoting political or personal agendas unconstructively or intolerantly. Again, constructive criticism or suggestions are fine but incivility and gatekeeping is not.
Advice Needed ✋ Any salvation for this non-stick pan? It has good weight to it, but the non-stick coating is peeling?
Van Leeuwen French icecream. I’ve purchased the Marzipan flavor before and love it. Reminds me of my favorite discontinued Ben and Jerry’s flavor. Has been showing as out of stock on the WM site for a few weeks, so decided to do a price check when I spotted it in store…. $0.50 ….then checked all the other flavors and most of them were also 50 cents. None were marked. I’m guessing it’s 90% off Christmas clearance inventory for some of the “limited edition” flavors. Might be worth a price check if you find yourself in a Walmart. Exp dates are all in 2024.
Advice Needed ✋ My vanity is now ugly, due to my boyfriend continually putting his wet drinks on it. *Even after* being asked not to. It’s stained, raised in some areas due to water leakage. I feel like it’s ruined. How can I fix this? Thank you.
Tip/advice 💁♀️ Has anyone else here tried this mouse trap? I was skeptical at first if it really works when I saw it on Tiktok so I gave it a try. I used peanut butter as bait and it's raining mice inside!! Should I feed them to my chickens or release them?
Maybe a specific food/drink or something relating to a hobby? I used to drink a maybe an off brand diet coke every other day but I can feel that I probably need to give that a rest.
Embarrassed I didn't do some of this sooner:
- Bought my wife an electric blanket, and now I turn the heat down to 60 degrees at night
- Less eating out: I'm learning the recipes and cooking at home the food we used to order in
- No gardener: Doing the yardwork myself
- Reduced our internet plan to match our usage
- Reduced our cell phone plan to match our usage
- Rotating Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Apple TV and Paramount: We only get one per month
- Driving the electric car instead of the gas car for most trips. Changed our electric billing to allow for night-charging of car for lower rate.
- Closing off part of the house from heating at night
- Weatherizing the house to reduce heat leakage
- Replaced the valve in the leaky toilet
It makes hand washing more enjoyable as the foam and lather feel really fancy. On top of that, you can use a 1:10 dilution which saves lots of liquid soap or face wash. 😊 Hope it helps
Last night I(34F) finally made the decision to leave a very toxic relationship. It wasn’t a planned decision, so my life has been entirely upended, including my job. My parents want me to move in with them while I figure out my next steps. I’m located in the Great Lakes Region, and they’re in the SW.
I currently have $700 in my bank account and since I no longer have a job, I need to stretch my money as far as possible. I do have good credit and credit cards, but want to refrain from using them.
That being said does anyone have tips on frugal road tripping? How can I save on lodging, gas, and food? I’ll be driving through some pretty barren states, so I’m hoping to prepare as best as possible.
Also, not sure if it matters, but I’ll have my dog with me too
Thanks in advance for any help!!
Advice Needed ✋ Which program in community college is short and fast to complete in order to get a well paying job?
I can’t afford to go university because my grades weren’t good in high school. Currently enrolled in community college but I’m learning that As degree programs are competitive to get into. I’m still working on pre reqs but I was thinking like what are some other routes to getting successful from a community college education? Is there like acceralated program certification or pursing As or AA idk.
They say radiography program is very competive like nursing too. So idk what the heck to do. I’m just feeling stuck. I don’t know what my options are out there. I just want a good paying job
Needed heartworm prevention medicine for my dog, and wanted to just go ahead and get a year’s supply. It’s a 3in1 so it’s expensive, and I couldn’t find any promos or get any to work (trying common ones like Welcome20 or Welcome2022, etc.). Was gonna place the order, but decided to ask in the live chat for a discount thinking maybe I could get $20 off or something. They ended up giving me $100 off! I’ve done this before with other companies and it almost always works to some degree. Worst case they say no, best case you might just “make” $100 in 2 minutes :)
Discussion 💬 What are your favorite foods that meet ALL of the following criteria: cheap, easy/fast, tasty, and healthy?
It has been my experience that you very often have to sacrifice at least one of these factors when preparing food.
You want easy/fast, tasty, and healthy? Go to a nice grocery store and get one of those prepackaged dinners that you just stick in the oven/microwave. Not going to be cheap though.
You want cheap, tasty, and healthy? Make a chicken gumbo. No one ever said creating a perfect roux is easy/fast though.
You want cheap, easy/fast, and healthy? Open a can of "no salt added" spinach and a can of "no salt added" beans. Not exactly the tastiest food ever though.
You want cheap, easy/fast, and tasty? The fast food dollar menu is right around the corner. Not what most people would consider healthy though.
You see my point. I guess you could potentially argue in favor of a microwave baked potato? Definitely cheap, easy/fast, and healthy, but the tasty factor is still debatable if you're not pairing it with something else.
So I ask you: what are your favorite foods that meet ALL four of these criteria?
ive been looking for a fleece blanket. Today I stopped by a cloth store on the way from the train station home and I saw that they had some fleece fabric on sale 40% off. I bought two yards. The thing is, though, it’s more expensive than a fleece blanket you would buy from Aldi. Although I did save mileage costs by getting on the way home; my nearest Aldi is like 7mi away.
Discussion 💬 Considering turning my electric heat off and just using the fireplace and investing in heated blanket
Has anyone done anything similar and if so - how much money if any did you save?
My electrical bill is a bit higher than it should be I think. I have a gas fireplace but only downstairs. I live alone and I think using a heated blanket upstairs at night I could limit my need for my electric heat all together.
Plus I live in North Carolina.. it was 33 this morning (which is cold for us) but it usually doesn’t get much colder in the winter than that.
This week, kohls has an additional 50% off everything in clearance. (It excludes fine jewelry.) I’ve gotten lots of clothes in the next size up for my kids for next winter and each thing was $4 or less (including a couple of things for myself and two pairs of winter boots for my preschooler). I saw a lot of cheap shoes, clothes, toys, seasonal decorations.
Gardening 🌱 Making your yard eco-friendly will save you big bucks on lawn care. It’s also easier and better for your health.
The typical American grass lawn, especially if it is maintained with gas-powered mowers and blowers, costs a lot to maintain, contributes nothing to the ecosystem, and is a major source of pollution.
Convert turf grass areas to all natives: trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. You won’t have to mow or hire someone to do it.
The pollinators and insect predators your native plants attract will take care of pest control and improve quality and yield for your food garden crops.
Leaves are free mulch. Leave them on the ground where they will close the nutrient loop and help the ground retain moisture.
Gently sweep or rake leaves off the driveway and sidewalks, but otherwise leave them alone.
The eggs for next year’s lightning bugs and butterflies are on the undersides of those leaves. By spring, the leaves will have decomposed, and caterpillars will be in the trees and on the ground.
Caterpillars are the only thing baby birds eat, so if you get your leaves hauled away, there goes next year’s birds.
Put your outdoor lights on motion detectors. Having your outside lights on constantly creates reliable shadows in which thieves can easily hide anyway. Lights on motion detectors are a better deterrent.
Leaving lights on all night wastes expensive electricity and is terrible for the health of people and animals.
Don’t have your yard sprayed or treated for mosquitoes. Despite what Mosquito Joe might tell you, even if the pesticides used are “organic” pyrethrins made from chrysanthemums, they are indiscriminate killers of all insects — good and bad. Plus, the sprays only kill adult mosquitoes.
A better tactic is to police all unintentional sources of standing water, then put a bucket of water with some grass clippings and a mosquito dunk in an inconspicuous place.
The mosquito dunks are a bacteria that is harmless to people, pets, birds, etc.
The bonus you get from these money-saving changes is more birds, pollinators, butterflies, skinks, and dragonflies.
Local native plants gardening enthusiasts will gladly share plants with you, as well as advice. As your plants get established and proliferate, you will have plants to share and trade.
**Editing to add: Native plants are what have been growing where you live for hundreds of thousands of years. Since they’re already adapted to live where you are, you won’t have to spend money on chemicals to maintain them. They aren’t no work — humans all over the world have always maintained and cultivated vegetation for their needs. However, unlike most imported plants, they more than earn their keep.
Tip/advice 💁♀️ ( LPT request )Where to find free and or affordable baby items for moms with little to no support ?
Broken family and no friends.
Zipper of my winter coat finally snapped after approx 20 years of wear and tear. Replaced with a keyring. Feels good to be frugal and wanted to share!
What are your thoughts on this?
Recently, an event sold by Ticketmaster had “platinum pricing” or whatever marketing label they’ve branded it, where specific seat price changed with market demand. When I looked, a lone seat was $79, but a pair in a similar spot was $219 each (these weren’t resale tickets, original markets up “dynamic price” tickets). I went alone because it was a great seat and didn’t find anyone who wanted pay that much to go.
It got me thinking, would I do this with someone? We’d still travel together, chat and get drinks in the lobby, since it’s not GA we could chat right up until curtain, and meet immediately in-theater talk after. Are mid-show glances and commentary worth $280!? I really don’t think so! But I had never considered this before.
Edit: updated prices after looking back at my notes- was an even steeper price hike than I remembered.
Gardening 🌱 For anyone receiving food stamps: you can buy plant seeds and live plants so long as they are edible with food stamps. This absolutely saved me a couple years back as a single mother.
I was living downtown Nashville and managed to gather enough pallets and scrap wood from construction in my area to build planter beds and I turned my own compost. I was able to grow enough food to feed the neighborhood for $150 worth of food stamps.
I know some generic brands are made by the same company and just packaged differently. But what are some that surpass the known brands?
My husband and I live in a state that is increasingly expensive. Rent is one of our biggest expenses and we live in a unit that’s just kinda meh with no heels and whistles but pay $1700mo which isn’t awful and it’s a lot of space. In my head I’ve been having this home sharing fantasy, where we have roommates that are also couples. Like 3 couples under one roof. We could save so much monthly in a 3 bed 3 bath and then just save money for our home down payment. Had anyone heard of this or even just couples having roommates? I looked on YT and couldn’t find anything. I know it’d be a huge lifestyle change but I cant get over how good the savings would be 🥴
I'm going to be taking a trip via FlixBus in about six months. I'm assuming that prices will start to rise as time passes. Does anyone have a guess as to how long I can wait before the prices start going up?
Maybe it's too hard to predict.
Couple living together. No allergies or aversions.
We typically eat chicken. Beans. Rice. Broccoli. Asparagus. Potatoes. Sweet potatoes. Canned tuna. Oatmeal. Nuts. Trail mix. Eggs. Sprinkle in a few items every now and then like fruit. Protein bars. Etc.
I’m sure I’m missing some things. But our groceries usually end up over $100.
And we also usually run out of food by the weeks end.
Is that normal for what I’m getting?
Should I buy more in bulk?
Any pointers or advice is welcome. Thankyou.