5 Frugal Practices That May Be Costing You Money

frugalSometimes even the best intentions to save money fail. Are you losing money while trying to be frugal? Here are five frugal practices that may be costing you money.

• Stockpiling

Do you still have cans of vegetables from 2001? Have the breadcrumbs gone stale? Stockpiling is a great way to save money and to be prepared for rising prices, but when you have half a pantry full of expired food then stockpiling is costing you money.

To solve this problem, don’t give up on the stockpiling, just get a little more organized. Rotate your pantry items and keep track of the rotation of sales and looming price increases.

• Buying the Least Expensive Option

Sometimes buying the least expensive option will wind up costing you more money, if the cheaper price has to do with quality rather than features. Small appliances, for example, may have to be replaced frequently, costing you more in the long run. Inexpensive large appliances may not be as energy-efficient.

Many times it just pays to get the best you can afford, on products that you use frequently. Keep in mind that still doesn’t mean paying full price. There are many ways to get a discount, from buying second-hand to haggling.

• Shopping at Multiple Grocery Stores or Shopping Every Week

It is great when you can get a good deal at a grocery store, but if you find yourself driving around to multiple stores, you might be losing dollars just to gain cents. That is because with the cost of gas these days, it makes sense to limit the number of stores that you visit and the distance that you travel each time.

Likewise, unless your favorite grocery store is only a mile or two away, cutting down your grocery shopping to once every other week can save you money.

• Stretching Out Maintenance

Whether it is your shampoo or your meat, stretching out items and making them last longer is generally a good idea with a significant exception, and that is necessary maintenance and prevention. Whether it is your car, your home or your own body, getting things checked and maintained on a regular basis now can save you big bucks later.

There is no point in skipping the cost of a professional cleaning of your furnace, for example, if it leads to having to replace it for lack of maintenance.

• Buying Extra Supplies to Save Money

There are many practices you can do to save money, such as cooking from scratch, making your own clothing, on embarking on a do it yourself project. However, if the activity will cause you to have to buy a lot of supplies, think twice. You could be spending more than you save.

There is a difference in investing in something that will pay off versus spending money on supplies that cost more than you’ll save. For example, purchasing some good basic cookware to prepare your own food at home makes sense, as you will use it frequently and it can last practically a lifetime. Buying a kitchen full of canning supplies when you’ve never canned before might not pay off (Hint, before you start a new practice, see if you can borrow supplies or buy them dirt cheap used.)