Meet the Frugal Diva

Susan Facebook

Always on the hunt for frugal tips, we chatted with Susan who blogs at The Frugal Diva.

She started her blog as a way to voice her suggestions and financial tips. Susan says, "I was always annoying my friends with suggestions about saving money by remarking, 'You should have bought the gift cards at the supermarket and gotten loyalty points,' or, 'Why didn't you check on the internet to see if the price was lower.'  It was obvious that in order to keep my friends,  I needed another outlet for my thrifty ideas.  That's how The Frugal Diva was born!"

Her ideas and blog post inspiration flows from the internet, friends, newspapers, and insider knowledge by asking stores if they are going to have sales or will be issuing coupons.  Susan advises: "If you like a store or brand, sign up for their email newsletter so you can be ahead of the game when it comes to discounts. Restaurants and fast food chains regularly send along coupons and exclusive offers to their customers.  Sometimes I just want to alert readers to shopping patterns or freebies. If you regularly buy office supplies at Staples, wait for a 20% off coupon, take a quick survey of your needs and decide about purchases before you run out. Also, Lululemon stores nationwide give a free yoga class on Sunday mornings."

She shares her top tips with us:

Stop and think before you spend. 

Do you really need this? Is there something you already own that can serve the same purpose? While it is tempting to buy all sorts of pretty containers and desk accessories, most of us already have jars that can easily be re-purposed for holding pens, paper clips, and craft accessories. You aren't just saving money, you are also helping the planet. One of my friends bought fancy buttons and updated an old cardigan sweater into a new fashion statement.

Instead of buying on impulse, check the internet for the same item and remember to factor in shipping costs. For shelf stable items, peruse sites like Vitacost.com that feature deals on organic and non-organic nuts, flours, and honey. Usually a minimum purchase will eliminate shipping charges.

Timing is everything. The AMC Movie Theaters in Santa Monica are $7 before noon on the weekends. Here in Los Angeles, that means a savings of $5 off the afternoon and evening price of $12.

What's she up to this summer? Saving money, of course! Susan says:

"Summertime is a wonderful time to take advantage of the many outdoor free concerts, movies, and festivals. If you haven't been to a local farmers market, take the time to wander among the peaches, strawberries, and homemade jams. Think about a fun day trip to a local area you always wanted to explore.
There is a place where they have free books, DVDs, magazines, and interesting events - it's called the library. Introduce your children or grandchildren to one of the best things Benjamin Franklin ever invented. During the summer, they have many free family programs and classes. This is a great way to start them on life-long good reading habits."

 

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