Two-for-ones and one for twos are a frugal fans best friend. Any time you can get a two-for-one or a one for two and not pay double as it were, it’s a win for us frugal types. Some ideas for getting that two-for-one and one for twos:
Clothing: This is where we frugal types really shine. From spreading your wardrobe across multiple seasons, to multiple use items, two-for-one is the way to go for clothing. For example, several days a week I wear black business pants to work. They look like business pants, they feel like business pants, they are business pants only…
they are really yoga pants. Incredibly comfortable, these babies go from the boardroom to the gym in a snap. They are completely washable too. I wear them on days I am going to the gym after work so all I have to do is swap tops, lace up my sneaks and voila, two-for-one. And on yes, they only cost about $22 which is a far cry from business slacks that used to cost me upwards of a $100 a pair. I wear oversized shirts open and closed, depending on the look which extends their wearability.
Meals: Never make one meal when you can do the same amount of work and get a two-for-one is my motto. Anything you can make and freeze is ideal for this. Lasgana, chili, casseroles of your choice, always make two. Uncooked, I always make huge batches of Scarlett’s meatballs, meatloaves and shaped patties which I keep in the freezer for quick meals. I also like to cook up several pounds of ground beef which I use in stir fries, sloppy Joes, casseroles and other meals. The best way to get into this habit is to cook nothing that you cannot duplicate or cook again for an entire week. Every single thing you prepare should be a two for one. This way you get into the habit of always approaching meal prep with the idea that you are getting a two for one.
Snack Attacks: No reason why you shouldn’t make extra hardboiled eggs, rice, waffles, whatever you fancy for the week’s upcoming snacks. Or lunch. Or whatever. Point is, make more and get a two for one.
Shopping: Beware. If you know the regular prices of items being offer as a ‘two for one’ then you are fine. You can do the math and know instantly if you are getting a deal. If you don’t know the regular price then assume the store has jacked up the price to cover the cost of the second item. Lesson here is to always know the regular prices of things you buy. I recently saw butter, something I bake with often, on sale for $8, two for one. I know that the price of butter, per pound, is usually $3.99 so this was no bargain. However, when the same offer came up but was $6, I knew I had a bargain on my hands and snapped up extra butter (which freezes nicely). Know your regular prices.
Deals. Think before you go for restaurant so-called deals. A lot of them offer two entrees for the price of one or two appetizers, etc. Know the usual cost of what the restaurant offers before buying. In fact, most restaurants serve such large portions that you can flip the script on this by buying one appetizer, desert, etc., for the two of you. My partner and I do this often for appetizers in particular. Neither of us eats desert very often and I prefer to drink alcohol at home where the cost is much more palatable to my budget but when we dine out, my partner likes an appetizer. We sometimes have to negotiate because I don’t eat much of what he likes, but we often find something that we both like. I can’t think the last time we bought two appetizers actually. We have this restaurant strategy down pat.
Holiday décor: Must you? Well, yes, if you must, then find ways to reuse your holiday décor. If you have tiny Christmas lights they can be used in your garden to decorate year round or at least during parties. Halloween pumpkins should always be recycled into pumpkin mash and used in baked goods. Find secondary uses for one-use holiday décor whenever and wherever you can.
Recyclables. I never met a tin can I didn’t like. I mean the metal e that contains canned food. I try to never throw them out or even give them away to the recycle folks. Cleaned and spray painted, they are great catchalls. With a few snips or punches for holes, they make terrific holiday light containers. We’ve used the same cans, painted black and with holes punched through, as lights that line our walk way for Halloween for years now. Dollar store fake candles go inside and the spooky effect never fails to delight. Once in a blue moon I end up with a really large can and I never throw those out. Taking out the tops and bottoms, I’ve sunk those in my garden to contain mint and other spreading plants. I’ve used them as planters (just needs a few holes poked in the bottom for drainage). I even use coffee cans to corral electrical cords, small garden tools, crafts, etc. Metal cans are the best, use them twice and get your two for one. I know there are pricy organizational boxes and bins you can buy but if you are frugal, why would you?