Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Let's Hear it For Tightwaddery!

When did it become a bad thing to be tight or mean with your money?  Being careful with your dollars when spending them is as important as being careful when you earn it.
Tightwaddery should not have a stigma attached to it.

Now being a miser, that's another whole level.
Some folks  who are considered tightwads have an unhealthy attachment to money and some don't.  It's just a way of dealing with a budget and still being able to do pleasurable things without going broke.
Misers don't enjoy their money(except when they are hoarding it).  Tightwads just have priorities on where to spend their money and where not to spend it.

What have you done that would fall under the tightwad category?
I'll go first---
* I often will empty a vacuum cleaner bag and reuse it.  Have you seen the price of those things??! lolz
* I save and reuse bacon grease for cooking, much like my mother and her mother before her, etc. did.  My sister in-law does me one better as she has a "grease pot".....a dedicated container with a built in strainer for keeping your used bacon grease.  I am jealous of it and her! ;-)
* I have a sign on my dryer-Only for use on rainy days between the hours of 5pm and 7am and weekends(as that is when the rates are lower).
* I reuse plastic bags(Ziploc types), always!  Unless raw meat was in it the first go 'round.
* When my kids were little and their clothing sizes/growth from season to season was predictable I would buy deeply discounted clothing at the end of each season in sizes they would be wearing that season the next year and store them away until needed.  One Spring I bought 3 years of sweatpants and shirts for each of them at Walmart for .50¢ a piece.(And some of them got handed down to the younger ones and used twice or thrice.) 
*When traveling and the motel I am staying at offers a free breakfast(well not free really, the price is built into what they charge for the room)I will take extra items I don't eat for breakfast then on the road with me to consume later.  Sometimes these items are eaten at lunch or dinner time so I don't have to shell out even more $ for another "one never knows if it will be a good or a bad meal" on the road.  My "go to" take alongs are whole fruits(like a banana or an apple), a yogurt or two(if I have a cooler with me to keep this chilled until use), or bread and little containers of peanut butter.  A pb sandwich isn't the most elegant dinner but it's semi-healthy and filling and having one that is free helps stretch the travel budget.

I see Tightwaddery as a lifestyle choice.  Habits that just throw good money away/that are wasteful  get under my skin.  But I can part with my money for a good reason or for something I see as a good value or that gives me a benefit.
Frugality is the cousin of Tightwaddery but not as severe.

So what tips or habits do you have that the "normal" person/consumer would find strange, odd or questionable?



  1. I do some of those things too, like washing out Ziploc bags. Still got my three volumes of the Tightwad Gazette, just loved Amy, do you remember her? Wonder what they are up too now?

    Do you know my email address begins with "frugal........"

    One thing I do all the time with liquid soap, shampoo, conditioner and dish soap, is always turn them upside down to get the last drop out. Wish I could convert dh to do the same!!

  2. I think I do everything you listed. We had a "grease" metal container on the counter at all times, filled with bacon grease. (How else are you going to make fried chicken?) Dryer- well, I use that "whenever." I hate using it, though, as I picture a money meter running the whole time. I also like to load up on the $1 clothing when it's available. Good job getting all those sweats basically for free! By the time they're handed down and used again, I think they are, for all intents and purposes, free.

  3. I use 1/2 as much detergent in the washing machine as they say to use - and have the container marked exactly with a line to show how much. That I got from a washing machine repairman who said that people should us half as much. I make it a game with myself to use only what is in the fridge and pantry for dinner without running out to the store. I try and master all the points programs to get the most out of them - we get approximately 6 free trips a year to Alberta where our kids are to fly them and us back and forth. I shop five grocery stores (all within a 5km radius) to only buy what is on sale that week taking advantage of loss leaders. I only buy meat if on sale. This usually means one week I buy chicken, one week I buy beef etc. I buy lots so my freezer is always full. I try and zero out food waste as much as possible. We don't eat out much, it costs too much and never tastes as good. I do a lot of research when we are buying things - it pays off rather than having to buy things over and over but I will spend more if a good item. Probably the biggest way I save money is on my wardrobe. Approximately $150 a year including shoes and accessories by shopping 95% at thrift stores. The other 5% is undergarments and socks which I buy new. Even socks, I buy many of the exact same kind then if you get a hole in one that is irrepairable - you can match the good one with one of the other ones.

  4. i do all those things, I see them as frugal.

  5. Ditto ditto ditto; except for the bacon grease as we eat chicken bacon and it has no grease. But there is rarely any food waste around here - I'll eat just about anything to avoid throwing it out. I also take any free food from my hotel stays and eat it for lunch. And buy as much 2nd hand as I can. Mostly I try to save money on gas for the truck by running all errands on the same day and riding my bike when it's feasible. Not in the winter though :(

  6. I save bacon fat, reuse baggies, use cloth rather than paper whenever I can, keep clothes forever and buy very little yearly. When the kids were young I shopped off season all the time and passed clothes down from kid to kid. I buy in bulk when the prices are good, preserve foods either by freezing, dehydrating or canning. I do use my dryer regularly, but I have hanging rods in my laundry room for drying many clothes on hangers.
    I don't think that as being a tightwad but merely frugal or thrifty.

    I think they whole issue with the term tightwad is that it is sometimes used interchangeably with miserly. I don't ever want money to control me, either by over or under using it. It has a purpose and an intent, but finding balance is the key.

    I think the difference between being frugal and miserly is what I see every time I go out to eat with one relative. She asks for water so she won't have to pay or tip for a drink (That's fine) but then she asks for extra lemon, squeezes it into her water, grabs 2 packs of sugar and makes lemonade. To me that crosses over into miser territory when you make a decision to exclude something based on cost, but then get what you wanted all the time in an unethical manner. (Leaving you, me and everyone else who eats there to absorb the loss)

  7. If you ever need an example of the opposite of tightwad, look me up! HAHAHAHA

    Peace <3

  8. I will not reuse vacuum cleaner bags because of the danger of virus collected and grown there. Besides that, The fine dust would give me an asthma attack. I do sweep first and pick up small piece of paper instead of clogging the bag with those.

    My grandmother had a grease pot. They sell them at WM and say "grease." Now that you are going to be in the South, I am sure you can find one. If not, I can send you one.

    Unfortunately, my allergies dictate when I can dry clothes on the line. Right now, I am wearing a gown dried when the privit bloomed. I am going to put it in the laundry and find one dried in the dryer or by hanging in the house.

    The most shocking thing I do is use washcloths instead of tp. I do not bring any paper into the house, using dishcloths and dish towels and homemade pretty napkins in the kitchen instead paper towels and napkins.

    I decant chocolate chips into a pint jar to eat instead of Hershey Bars. I just cannot carry the jar to the den to eat.

  9. 1)I refuse to buy my kids school lunches. I can purchase supplies for home packed lunches for a year for all 3 for less than what a year of school lunches cost 1 kid. 2) I buy bulk things I use, (like flour) when it is at rock bottom price, even if I have a pantry full. 3) I always shop thrift shops first for any clothing/ household need. 4) Kids got thrift shop gifs for Xmas for years. 5) Kids are allowed to ask for one item for Christmas/birthday 6)I refuse to buy takeout....ever. If I need a break, they fend for themselves, and hubs and I eat out. 7)We have one., yes ONE cellphone. Kids are to be where they say when they say, and know how to use a pay phone....but don't need to if they are where they say when they say. 8) We have two cars, but only use the second in rare cases. No car payment EVER in my life. 9) Thermostat is 68 during day in winter, 62 at night. 10) Kids get one non school activity/year.

  10. I can't hang my clothes out to dry because #1 The humidity is so high here that nothing will ever really dry and #2 Bugs! We have a bagless vacuum so no bags to save. I tear my dryer sheets in half though. They work perfectly fine that way. I don't subscribe to any magazines or newspapers. I reheat leftover coffee. I buy shirts at Goodwill when they are $1 and I usually find good brands like Liz and Chicos.

  11. Here's what we do to save money:
    1) Do all the errands at once. We live rurally, and must go to town for most things, like cat supplies, craft supplies, Target needs, etc. but we can do our grocery and pharmacy shopping close to home.

    2) We are eating down the pantry — something you suggested not long ago. We are trying to eat down the freezer, but aren't having as much success. Our freezer lacks variety.

    3) We eat at home most days, but we do eat out occasionally — not too expensive, but things we really enjoy, like Chipotle and The Greeks — things we can't make at home.

    4) Due to our sizes, shopping at the thrift stores doesn't work, but our needs are few. T-shirts and jeans are the usual, but very expensive when purchased at Casual Male Big and Tall. They last for a long time, though. My wife purchases her shorts at Junonia (usually very expensive, but nothing else will do! Last time, the price was fantastic!) My wife, luckily, doesn't have to dress up for her job as an adjunct professor at a couple of community colleges. We aren't extremely fashion oriented either. We buy all of our underthings and socks in bulk less than once a year.

    5) We use cloth napkins, for the most part. We buy paper towel, but a 6-pack can last a very long time. We use paper plates, usually more than once. We buy TP in bulk, and we are brand loyal. I find it on sale. This time, I got free delivery for purchasing over $60, $10 off for purchasing over 4 packages and a $10 ecoupon for a later purchase. I hate to buy TP!

    6) My wife uses a cell phone that is a dumb as a box of rocks. It is a pay-as-you-go plan to the tune of probably averaging less than $9/month. It's basically for emergencies and traveling. I have a cell phone. I don't know the number. I have never used it. It was for traveling when we were between houses. I don't know how many minutes are left on it.

    7) We got basic cable services, just to get the regular channels. Somehow, we are getting a very large line-up. We watch it, but probably won't miss it when they find out and it's gone. We'd probably be much better off. We have cable internet access, and we can't do with less than what we have. We have a land line with free access to N and S Carolina. We were told that services 10 miles away might be considered to be long distance, so we got the least amount needed. Our families live far away, but we don't call often. The internet helps us to keep in touch. We can't compare prices, because there is no other company that serves our area.

    8) Healthcare: people - I have Medicare, and my wife uses the county health department. She doesn't make enough money to use the national healthcare coverage plans. She also doesn't need services very often, and the medication she uses isn't expensive. We're lucky. We pay the penalty, because we apparently don't qualify for her to be exempt. We received incorrect information when we talked to those people, too. Cats - We have 5 that belong to us and 3 basically outdoor kitties that belong to the neighbor. They come in to visit frequently. Each of our cats visit the vet about once a year for a well-kittie check-up. They go if they're experiencing a problem. We need to treat everyone for fleas year around, because the winters are not cold enough to kill the fleas off. Add food and litter for ours AND the outdoor kitties on occasion, and you'll see that cats are expensive and worth every bit of it.

    9) My wife is looking for a full-time teaching position where she will make more money and get benefits. Also, it would put us in a position to buy a house, which will be less expensive than renting. We would keep our expenses low and save much more than we can now.

    10) We are essentially debt free. We pay our credit card off each month, while gaining points toward cash or gift cards. Our cars are paid for, but they are old and we will need a new-to-us car soon.

    Thanks, Sluggy, for the encouragement.

  12. I agree thrifty and frugal and prudent are more positive words.

  13. Ever since getting into pinterest and frugal blogs, I make my own laundry detergent now as well as liquid hand soap and dishwasher tabs. I refuse to spend money on that sort of thing anymore! I need to be more tightwaddery about a few things tho...


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