Top February Tips from TTG Thriftsters

You help to make Three Thrifty Guys better when you comment and share your experiences and money-saving tips with us and others. We've been getting some great insights from our Thriftster readers (like you) and thought it would be fun to look back at some we've received this past month. Thanks for contributing


My husband and I use credit cards for everything! We pay them off every month – use a spreadsheet to track every charge – “yes, I’d like my receipt, please”). Each card is used for a different type of expense (1 for utilities/bills/set monthly payments, 1 for dining out/groceries, 1 for kids’ activities, 1 for misc, etc.) making it very easy to monitor and stay on budget. If we have a large expense (trip to Disneyland) that we can’t immediately pay off, we transfer it to a no interest card (just be careful of the transfer fees – we found a Discover card with no transfer fee). We try to maximize the Bonus cash back to use a certain card for certain categories, etc. Last year we made about $1000 in cash back, we prefer straight cash to other rewards. The added bonus is that using your credit and keeping it paid off REALLY helps your credit rating so that, when the time comes, you can get low rates on loans for car, mortgage, etc


I use credit cards as much as I can, but I do not use it at small family owned businesses because I know the business takes a small [hit] due to the transaction fee they incur.


If you don’t want to sell, you can always donate your cell phone to Soldiers Overseas. You can Google “cellphones for soldiers”  I think I would trust them more with my cell phone info than someone buying and re-selling it.


When I was in college and jobless, I used to buy stuff at garage sales and pawn shops and sell them for a profit on eBay, Amazon, and other sites.

I’m in the process of getting rid of plenty of stuff from my apartment. I basically have three piles: “to donate”, “for resale shops”, and “for Craigslist”.


I’m trying to get rid of my car because I simply don’t need it. My town is small enough that I could just get around by bike, eliminating insurance, gas, and maintenance costs.

I’m also working on selling all of my DVDs and CDs. With all the “cloud” or streaming options online, I don’t need them!


I’ve been buying from for years and have never had a problem. I also tend to use Google Shopping to do my initial comparison shopping. Just search for the model number and you can find the best price on anything in seconds.


I also suggest buying whole produce instead of pre-cut. You’re paying 40-percent more for convenience and really, how long does it take to peel and chop carrots? I also avoid buying pre-baked goodies for the same reason. You can buy the boxed version and add oil, eggs, and water for much less than what you’ll buy at the bakery department, plus it will likely taste better, too! Finally, the way supermarkets are merchandised is strategic and even sponsored by name brands. The cereal aisle, for example, will have all the name-brand, sugary cereals within kid’s reach, whereas the healthier and store-brand versions are on the top and bottom shelves.


My wife and took our 3 kids to Maui last summer and once you pay to get there it is not very expensive because there is so much great free stuff to do. Rent a snorkel and some fins for $10 for a week and you have some of the best snorkeling in the world. We snorkeled every day. I highly recommend getting a hotel/condo with a kitchen so you can prepare meals and not eat out 3 times a day. Meals can get REALLY expensive otherwise.


We are in Hawaii right now and have found a few other ways to save money. Yesterday we spent eight hours exploring the Road to Hana by using the Gypsy Guide, a pre-programmed GPS unit that explained many out of the way stops to make. Although not free, it was far less than what we could have spent on a guided tour and we saw many things other people we ran into later in the day had completely missed. All in all, a pretty inexpensive way to spend an entire day. Many stands along the way provided snacks and picnic possibilities. We plan to rent one again when we arrive on Oahu later today. Rental costs are based on the number of days rented, we only used it for one day, so we paid the highest daily rate of about$40. We wish we’d had it for all of our days on Maui.

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