When I was writing my dad's obituary I kept reading what I had so far and asking for feedback from family. I wanted to make sure everyone was pleased with the final product. I said that he was thrifty but my niece said it wasn't enough and she fondly recalled tales of him showing up with ten cans of soup and four bottles of laundry detergent and giving it to a family member and saying, "I bought this for a quarter." She said he gave care packages to everyone in the family and friends and neighbors as well. He did this for me and for my brother but I didn't know he was the rebate king in Delaware as well. One of the neighbors who helped care for my dad towards the end said he went shopping with him a few times and he was very precise and organized ahead of time. While the neighbor would meander through the store my dad would go select what he planned to purchase and not look at anything else.
When my kids moved to their apartments recently I sent each one with a box of cleaning supplies and a box of food and a box of soaps and shampoos. They were happy not to have to spend as much on household stuff all at once.
My husband said I am carrying on the tradition. He really noticed it on my last shopping trip. It would have cost $95.00 but everything was on sale and I had coupons. It would have cost $45.00 but I also had a rebate. I ended up paying $19.73 for $95.00 worth of groceries and household items. It isn't always that extreme, but I never shop at full price. My average savings are at least 50% of the bill and often more than that.
In my younger (and less bright) days I thought this much effort was a waste of valuable time. I wish I would have learned this lesson earlier in life. Paying attention to the small details has enabled me to make a huge dent in my debt, to the point that I can see within a year possibly being 100% debt free. I can soon make some changes I've been contemplating. What would you do differently if you were 100% debt free?