New Items - not necessarily good for your budget

Stay away from new items. I know it sounds like I'm contradicting myself when I tell you to try something different, but it's not the same thing.

When I advise against new things, I'm talking about new things to get your interest, just because they're new, and they don't necessarily add value.

Once I was shopping in the grocery store, and someone helped me shop by putting something in the cart. I asked what it was and why they put it in my cart.

They replied, "It's something new." That just didn't sit well with me. I don't buy and try stuff just because it's new.

You can fill several shopping carts with new items if you search for them in the store, but that doesn't mean you have to try them all.

Here are examples of new things that you might be able to do without:

  • Peanut butter mixed with grape jelly - you can do this at home with one jar of peanut butter and one jar of jelly. You don't need the food manufacturer to charge you more for doing this for you. If you do buy the product, then you won't be able to use your jar of peanut butter without the jelly.

    So, now the manufacturer has you buying a jar of peanut butter mixed with grape jelly, and a separate jar of peanut butter and a separate jar of jelly. Trust me, this is exactly what they discussed while sitting around the conference table at Sell-More Foods, headquartered in Gobbletown, Oklahoma.

  • New ergonomic containers with snap spouts that are supposed to be easier to handle and easier to seal. Check again, they are probably also smaller in size and asking the same price. Only you don't notice this because you are so enamored with the sexy new shape of the plastic bottle.

    Stop looking at that sexy new shape and stay focused on your task at hand, and you'll save money on groceries.

  • Great new and improved drip-less pouring spouts. If you don't like the wine in the box, then who cares about the new spout? I'm not going to buy your wine because it doesn't drip. I'm going to buy your wine because it tastes good and helps me save money on groceries. Focus on improving the wine and lowering the cost, and let me worry about the spout and how I'm going to keep it from dripping on my carpet.

  • Beer in the 6 pack, 12 pack and 24 pack now comes in the 18 pack and 30 pack. Isn't it the same beer? If I didn't like it in the 12 and 24 pack, I won't like it any more now that I get 6 more bottles or cans.
I'm often reminded of the comment so many years ago that "Meathead" made on the TV show All in the Family. He looked at all of the boxes and containers that advertised they were "new and improved" and asked out loud whether what they had been buying all along was "old and lousy".

It's a valid observation that points to the attempt by product manufacturers to get us to try "new items" just because they are new, modified, packaged differently and so on. Try the item if it might hold promise to save money on groceries, otherwise view it as hype.

Done with New Items, back to Frugal Shopping

There certainly is a broad scope of topics here at Frugal Living Freedom. When you think about it, money permeates so very many activities in our lives, therefore, being frugal encompasses a wide range of interests, from being employed to taking a vacation, and just about everything in between. Enjoy the variety, pick up some new ideas, and start making frugality a part of your signature.

I'm a big proponent of being debt-free, and I mean entirely debt-free - no mortgage payment. It's not essential for financial freedom, but you'll love the feeling once you get there. If you didn't have a rent or mortgage payment, how much more could you do for yourself with your current level of income? I suspect plenty.

If you ever hope to see an abundance of wealth, you need to plug the hole in your boat. The wealthy don't necessarily make lots of money, instead, they know how to hang onto what they make, and make it work for them.