From the “why do my own hard work when I can rip on someone else’s file,” it’s yet another post where I make fun of The Simple Dollar.
For those of you blissfully unaware, Trent decided he was going to recycle a book he wrote back in 2008 as actual blog content, taking 365 frugal tips and spreading them out over the course of a year. These tips range from the laughingly obvious to ridiculously bad, which is pretty much what we’ve come to expect from Mr. Hamm. I’ve already made fun of these tips, (check out part 1 and part 2) but, like Jell-o, there’s always room for more. Let’s do it up.
The internet can be a powerful and convenient place for finding additional coupons, particularly if you don’t have regular access to a coupon flyer from a Sunday newspaper.
WHOA! Did you guys know that you could find coupons on the internet? I know this is the first I’m hearing of it.
Do you guys think Trent knows that he can find porn on the internet too? Alas, I looked, and it appears nobody has bothered to make “pizza guy accepts 2 for 1 coupon” porn. Too bad, we all know Trent would bust a nut over that.
In fact, I actually collect the vast majority of my coupons from the Internet these days. I still use other tactics in conjunction with this, such as the “one month” rule where I’ll wait a while before using the coupons I print.
Trent’s internal monologue when printing out coupons:
“Say, 2 for 1 on Hamburger Helper, that’s a good deal. Good couponing, Trentster. I think I’ll go pick some up tonight.”
“Wait a second, buddy boy. Have you forgotten our one month rule? You gotta think about something for a month before you buy it. Even for Hamburger Helper at $1.88 per box.”
“You’re right brain. Let’s go check the toilet paper square counting logbook.”
But wait. How are you supposed to be able to print these coupons? Does Trent have a frugal way of doing so? OF COURSE HE DOES.
There are a lot of pieces of equipment that are useful to have around, but that you don’t use very often…
Another great example is our home printer/scanner. We use it once every few weeks on average. Most of the time, it sits in the guest bedroom gathering dust. When we need those things, we’re glad to have them. Most of the time, they just sit there.
The same phenomenon is true of almost everyone. We all have tools and equipment in our home that we don’t use very often, but we really need it when the right time comes around. During the time when you’re not using it, why not share it with friends and neighbors?
“Oh hey Trent, what’s up?”
“Would you like to go halfzies on buying a printer with me?”
“It’s a really powerful savings tool.”
“But how do we decide who uses it?”
“I’ll simply come over and disconnect it from your computer when I need to print something.”
“Uh huh. And who pays for ink?”
“We’ll split it, 50/50.”
“Even though we don’t know how much ink the other guy is using?”
“Yep! What a great frugal idea, huh?”
(Slams door in Trent’s face)
Trent doesn’t just think you should split tools and printers with your friends. You should split everything with them.
The only problem is that in order to get those discounts, you have to walk out the door with a pack of 36 rolls of paper towels or several hundred trash bags or a six-pack of air fresheners. The cost per item in these big packs can be much lower than what you would buy elsewhere, but you have to deal with the sheer bulk of it.
Right now, we live in an adequately large house with some nice storage space for this stuff. We actually have shelves out in our garage where we store lots of extra rolls of toilet paper and other such things.
Not too long ago, though, we lived in an apartment with almost no storage space at all. It was hard to really take advantage of the lower prices of bulk buying.
If you have friends, though, you can take care of that problem pretty easily.
IF you have friends. Aw man, and here I thought the internet was the sanctuary for the friendless.
In North America, this is an imaginary problem. We all have adequate enough storage space to handle a few extra rolls of toilet paper or a big-ass thing of garbage bags. And if we don’t, wouldn’t that mean that your housing must be ridiculously cheap? You’re living in pretty tight quarters if you don’t have an extra 2 cubic feet of storage.
Trent’s friends, assuming they exist, are totally laughing behind his back.
When we have several items on the list, one of us heads to the local warehouse store and picks up those items. In virtually every case, we save money per unit on those things we buy in bulk. Sometimes, we save significant amounts per unit.
When you’re buying in bulk, savings “per unit” adds up to a lot of money.
Remember guys, buying stuff in bulk saves money.
And finally, Trent’s advice on love. Aww, it’s just so romantic.
One of the most effective ways to cement our relationship and keep it strong is something incredibly simple that costs almost nothing and is something people have been doing for hundreds of years.
I just write a little note for Sarah and stick it somewhere where she will find it later.
I have acquired one of these notes, because I’m like the Hardy Boys of crap. Here it is:
I saw you water down the children’s chocolate milk with regular milk. That sends shivers into my nether regions. Meet me upstairs after the kids go to bed.
P.S. Wear the lingerie you got from the $3 bin at Target. It gets my motor running.