Frugal Tip: My Dad Was Right

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This is another one of those weeks when I have to give my dad a little more credit for a great money saving idea. My dad was uber-frugal when I was growing up. Back then I thought he was just cheap. But now that I have six children of my own, I’m seeing the wisdom of his ways.

Grampa Jack and 5 FishKids, Summer 2008

So, in honor of my dad and the fact that both his birthday and Father’s Day are this weekend, I thought I would present

5 Money Saving Tips I Learned from My Father:

1. Avoid ordering sodas when eating out. Water with lemon is just as refreshing and it’s free.

2. Make lunch at home. To this day, Dad is a little resistant to eating out. Instead, he buys a bunch of deli meats, cheeses, and sliced breads. Oh! And he throws in several bags of chips, too. We eat like kings for a fraction of the price take-out or fast food would cost.

3. Cut the kids’ hair yourself. Dad gave us our first set of clippers. After much trial and error (starting when my boys were small), I’ve taught myself how to give them a decent haircut. At $10/kid every 2 months I figure this saves us $240 per year – if I were going to Supercuts. I also cut FishPapa’s hair, so that brings the total to $330/year in haircuts.

4. Buy mistint paints. My dad has many years experience in house painting. He has always encouraged us to check out the reject paints when selecting a new color. There’s nothing wrong with these paints, they were just mixed wrong, not to the client’s specifications. You can buy these for as low as $2/gallon at Sherwin-Williams. High quality paint for a super price.

5. Buy a used car. Knowing that a car loses such a big percentage of its value the minute you buy it, we’ve made the decision to buy used. We’ve never been disappointed. And it relieves me from the pressure and shame of putting the first ding in it from car doors, etc.

Got a great money saving tip? Share it with us! In the interest of exchanging good ideas, please do not post affiliate links, giveaways or deal posts.

Instead tell us what you do to stretch your dollars a little farther. Share concepts and ideas that have helped you grow in saving money.

Write about your money saving tip on your blog and bring the permalink to that post here. If you don’t have a blog, tell us your bright idea in the comments. Can’t wait to learn some more tricks!

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  1. What a great picture! And great tips too!
    Thanks for hosting!

  2. I too under-appreciated my dad's frugal ways! Now I am so thankful for the wisdom he imparted to me. Thanks for sharing – it brought a smile to my face!

  3. My dad was frugal, too. I'm so glad that he instilled those things in me. 😀

  4. great post idea…i could write the same for my husband!

  5. The not buying soda thing is so true. If only I could convince the rest of my family to get on board with that, lol!

  6. I have to laugh. My dad is a retired financial director so he was always "crunching the numbers". I also thought he was being super cheap (or crazy), but now I catch myself doing some of the same things. He was adjusting the thermostat and tilting blinds long before that was "cool". We would have to turn every single receipt in to him so he could mark it on his balance sheet. I wish I would have inherited some more of his money discipline! Two of the things that I still think are pretty extreme include: leaving the bathwater in the tub until it cools off because it is "free heat" and emptying the water from the dehumidifier into the washer because it is "free water"!!! 🙂

  7. I hope that our kids share our frugal living tips when they are grown. LOVe THIS. Mr. Linky isn't playing nice anymore. Went to link up but he's gone.

  8. This is my first time visiting over here! I am enjoying reading through your archives, and love the frugal Friday tips. Keep it up, girl! 🙂

  9. I am so happy that I found the Frugal Friday carnival! I have been hunting for you!
    What a sweet list. Your Father created a wonderful legacy for you.

  10. My dad never let us order anything but water when we ate out. And no kids meals! We had five kids in our family, and he once explained to us that we could eat out a little more often if we shared fries and drank water, or we could eat out way less and order drinks or kids meals. We all voted to do it his way. 🙂

  11. Great post. And really useful ideas,too. I haven't gotten brave enough to cut my daughter's hair yet but my husband shaves his own head so I guess that evens things out. 🙂 Father Does Know Best!

  12. I love the picture of your dad with the kids! And it is awesome that he taught you some great frugal tips growing up! My parent's always ordered water when we went out, which wasn't very often, but it has stuck with me all these years!

  13. My dad was super frugal too!

    I've learned many things from him through the years but I think my favorite one is when I brag about how much I save on something he will always respond with:

    And think how much more money you saved in taxes!

  14. Fun post! I was blessed with frugal parents too. I can relate to most of them and we use them now too. The paint tip was a new one however. I will have to try that some time.

  15. I agree with the OOPS paint tip! In fact, you may be able to tint them to a color you actually want, or close to it anyway.