Friday, July 22, 2011

Little Expense, Big Savings: What's Your Favorite Frugal Buy?

We purchased this toothpaste squeezer doohickey for $0.99 cents about four months ago: 


Since then, we're buying way less toothpaste. It should save us quite a few bucks in the long-term, too, provided we don't lose it / the cat doesn't eat it / it doesn't get sucked into the sweltering pit of despair we call "outside right now."

Which leads us to this softball question for a fiery Friday:

Sweet readers, what's your favorite frugal buy?

Do tell! Pass it on!

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30 comments:

Mols said...

I would have to say my best frugal buy is 2 $3 woven baskets. They're the perfect size to fit under the coffee table and hold the majority of the toddler toys. Keeping my living room looking uncluttered for $6 = priceless!

Cam said...

The $2 salad spinner I bought from Goodwill a couple years ago. Getting all the water out of the greens we get from the CSA lets me prep allllll of them as soon as we get them. I just never come home from work and say, "Gee, I want to chop greens for dinner!" Now, I don't have to be in the mood, and I'm wasting so much less food.

alexis said...

20lb bags of brown rice (and jasmine rice). In the supermarket, rice is often 1$ per lb, and thats for crappy rice. At the Korean market, if u scale up, it makes a huge difference, I can get really good jasmine rice for $12-15 for a 20 lb bag, and great brown rices for 15-18$ for a 20lb bag. Since I live with a brazilian who biologically needs rice and beans at least 5 days a week, we eat a lot of rice, and those bags LAST (not to mention way less packaging, less trips to the store, etc)

Bianca Tamburello said...

Wow 99 cents I saw a metal toothpaste squeezer for $27 at a specialty store in Harvard square. This is a steal and it will save you money in the long run. Great find!

Jessica R said...

My favorite "I can't believe it really works" trick was a sweater shaver from CVS. It has spruced up so many of my old sweaters, which I couldn't replace for the $10 price of the gadget.

cassie-b said...

we bought a pack of 2 from a dollar store a couple of years ago. They are terrific.

denise said...

I have that squeeze and LOVE it. One of my favorite small buys.

Anonymous said...

I bought a little connection from the container store that lets you connect two bottles to get the last remains out of one into the other. Instead of propping up an old lotion bottle on a new one, hoping it stays, wiping up the spillage, I just connect and go. For 2 bucks, great deal.

Suzanne with Laughing Wallet said...

I got these great soda can bottle-cap lids as a stocking stuffer one Christmas, so they don't really count as a frugal purchase by me, but I'm sure they were pretty frugal for my family member who purchased them and they're great! They're these plastic doohickeys with a bottle-cap top - they fit over the top of an open soda can. When you attach one, it not only preserves the carbonation, which keeps you from wasting soda if you can't drink the whole can as soon as you open it, but it keeps the can from spilling in the car. Genius!

Yosefa said...

Those things are great for diaper cream, too. But you can also use any hard flat surface to squeeze more out of tubes, like the side of a stapler.

I use a melon baller to remove the middle of apples and pears instead of cutting the pulp off the core. If you cut it straight through and scoop out the seeds, you save a lot of fruit.

Tanya said...

I bought a scarf hanger recently. It's a hanger that has holes in it that you put your scarves through, and then you hang the whole thing in your closet. Although I think the hanger cost about $8, it's great for me because I am very visual. Having scarves organized, but where I can see them all easily, means I am actually wearing the scarves I have a lot more and getting use out of them, instead of letting them sit unused "somewhere" in the closet.

Anonymous said...

A spray bottle that I fill with dish washing detergent---instead of squeezing too much on a plate or surface, this sprays a very tiny bit. We are buying 1/3rd the detergent we used to buy.

Anonymous said...

Misto's are a great way to coat a cooking surface without excess, especially expensive olive oil. Mine broke and I didn't want to replace it for $10, I re-purposed a water spray bottle. Perfect!!!

Growing Raw said...

Something very simple... I bought one of those tea strainers that sits on the edge of your cup for about $4. Buying tea leaves is much cheaper than tea bags and saves on rubbish too. Plus I can easily make teas from my own herb garden more easily.

Cheap Social Worker said...

Great blog!

My favorite frugal buy has to be those $1.50 lint removers from Daiso Japan. They are awesome for removing fuzz from my pants! Daiso Japan has a lot of cute and useful things, and most of it is only $1.50!

Wendy B. said...

I've been using that same toothpaste tube squeezer for several years and it works great. It also works for small lotion tubes such a face cream. I have two of them that are in constant use! Cheers.

Green Mountain Realty said...

My best frugal buy would have to be a $1 pair of cool reading glasses at the dollar store, great find.

CareShare said...

Thanks for this, it is actually very good to come across a website that genuinely offers great information instead of posting junk.

Jessica said...

My favorite way to save is by skipping the cleaning aisle and mixing my own cleaning supplies. I use vinegar and water on EVERYTHING! It works great and I personally love the smell. For tougher spots and bathroom cleaning I use a little bleach water with a splash of lemon juice. Buying the huge Bulk bottles lasts me a bout a year and a half!

Denny A. said...

One of my favorite tools is a tool called Open It. It's a scissor like tool with offset blades for cutting open those pesky clear bubble and blister packages. I paid 10 dollars for them which doesn't sound like a bargain but worth the savings in time and frustration and ease of opening very frustrating packages.

John said...

The best deal I ever got was probably at a dollar store. $1 for a huge bag of snacks? Haha

Anonymous said...

You guys go through more than a tube of toothpaste in 4 months?
Another way of saving toothpaste for less than 99c is to use scissors to cut open the tube when you're "done" with the tube. There's always a bunch of toothpaste left.

How To Relieve Stress said...

Definitely a tea bag squeezer for £1! Best thing I've ever brought as me and my boyfriend drink so much tea and teaspoons are never long enough to scoop and rinse the tea bags! Also I suppose a tea bag mini plate in the shape of a tea pot which was £1.50 for putting used tea bags on, nice to see the massive pile of used tea bags at the end of the day!

Anonymous said...

As far as the toothpaste thingy - I just use the non-brush end of my toothbrush to smoosh all the toothpaste to the end

Sam said...

You can do without the squeezer thingy. Take the bottom of the tube, and while holding the tube at the edge of the counter, pull the bottom off the edge and down tight against the counter(if that makes sense). It squeezes everything up. Then I just fold/roll the tube up on itself.

Anonymous said...

Isn't regular Colgate cheaper that Total? In any case I would not buy Colgate Total as it contains triclosan.

seanohe said...

Colgate Total is bad... has Triclosan which is a persistant pesticide and shouldn't be supported in any products :) Was my toothpaste of choice until my friend pointed it out and I had to move on. Live and Learn.

My favorite frugal buy? Blublockers from Walgreens or online. Best sunglasses ever and you can find them as low as $5 if your lucky.

Unknown said...

Buy one of those those hand soap dispensers that makes the soap all frothy, then when it runs out use 10% of any liquid hand soap and 90% water to refill it. It's plenty to get hands clean and you'll forget the last time you had to buy hand soap. Just make sure it's the type of bottle where you can unscrew the cap because some wont let you.

Rekha said...

My best frugal buy is small snippet bottle of the smallest ever possible size.. just thinking i will get something at some point of time to put in.. they are all empty, smiling at me from the kitchen cupboard

LW said...

My best frugal buy is a soap saver dish - a plastic pad with spikes that you place under your soap to keep it from melting. I've used the same bar for almost four times as long as it would normally last!