How to Waste Less Money

The old saying goes: fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Today, I want to talk about how this relates to money wasters. We are all fooled into wasting money from time to time, but how can we minimize that waste? Let’s find out.

If you don't know me, I'm Bonita, I'm from Kansas, I am an early retiree at the end of October. I'm a daughter of Depression Era parents. I was raised very frugally.

Right now I am wintering in South Texas, and enjoying the fruits of my frugality. As a frugal person you can pick and choose whatever is important to you and direct your money that way, and for me that is travel.

When it comes to money wasters, sometimes we can only realize the waste of money in retrospect.

Once it happens, my philosophy is to always try to use up what I bought that was a money waster in some way, so that I don't waste more money by tossing it. This way, they will not fool me twice, and of course I will not buy that item again.

Falling for the marketing of cheap products can be a huge money waster. This last week, I went to Dollar Tree and I bought those crunchy cheese curls. Imagine my disappointment once I get home, open the package, and they are neither crunchy nor very cheesy.

If you just wanted to sit down and eat some crunchy cheese curls, you would just throw those out right away. They have a stale texture, they are not cheesy, and you will not enjoy eating them.

Cheese crunch curls

However, I do not like to waste my money even if I buy something that is not great. So I thought, what can I do to use these up? I definitely will not buy them again. So I made some sandwiches and ate them with the sandwiches.

Once I was having those chewy non-cheese curls alongside sandwiches, their poor quality was less noticeable, so I was able to eat the package with my sandwiches throughout the week. I got through it.

A lot of people might have just tossed that, but it was bearable with a sandwich. It was not something I would want to sit down and eat the whole bag of or snack on, as I originally intended, but I found a solution that allowed me to use them up in spite of them not being what I imagined and expected.

I get very excited about finding original ways to reuse or finish products, whatever they may be. I have recently made egg salad sandwiches, and I used every last drop of the leftovers. I revamped them by chopping up some chicken breast I had baked, throwing it in, adding some dried craisins, and it was so good that I was sorry to see it finally gone.

Another great example is this story I had recently. I had just bought arch support $60 flip flops, and I drove to the beach with all of my stuff. When I was done there, I put all the stuff back in the car and drove home, wearing some cheap flat swimming shoes.

Once I got home and got out of the car, I immediately wanted to change into my wonderful flip flops, so I pulled one out of my trunk, got off the sand, started searching for the other, and it just was not there.

I realized that one of them had most likely bounced off the door and out when I was tossing them in. I got so upset since they were brand new and expensive shoes, and I really need arch support because of my fallen arches.

So when I talked to my husband that night, I shared the disappointment with him. I said I had lost my flip flop and I know exactly where I lost it, but it is a 90 minute drive.

So he said, go back tomorrow. The worst thing that can happen is you do not find your flip flop but you get another day at the beach.

Flip flops

And he was so right! So the next day I got up and I drove all the way to the beach. On the way there, I decided to try manifesting that my flip flop is going to be there, and then at some point I started praying, that is how badly I needed it for my foot, which was already hurting from the night before.

Once I pulled up my flip flop was not there. I had been sure that it would be, but it wasn’t. However, I decided not to panic and to look around instead. And of course, some kind soul had taken my flip flop off of the street where I had parked and tossed it up on somebody's grass next to their privacy fence.

I am so grateful that someone recognized that a therapeutic arch support flip flop was very expensive and a big deal and guessed that I would be back for it.

On the way back, I went into Dollar Tree and saw an entire wall full of those cheap completely flat $1.25 flip flops. America did not have flip flops introduced until the 1950s. They came back after the Vietnam War, and children like me born in the late 60s and 70s were the test dummies for them.

We had always only had one or two pairs of shoes, so another pair was very exciting. However, the joke is on us. Those cheap things are never reliable and break when you least expect it, and they are so bad for your feet, especially as you get older. So why are people still buying them? Those are such a waste of money, so fool me once. Those are things I will never buy again.

Wasting money

What are some of the things that you have bought in the past and will never buy again? And what creative uses have you found for products that you bought but that were not good enough or did not serve their intended purpose well? Let me know in the comments!

Next, check out my 8 Easy Ways to Save Money & Build Your Savings.

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