October 16, 2009

Frugal Friday: Choose your friends

I haven't participated in Frugal Friday for a while because I came to a point in my life where I was frugal tipped out. I'd heard it all. I'd done it all. I could tell you which tips were full of crap (making your own fabric softener out of vinegar and hair conditioner? Remind me how that's cheaper than a $3 bottle of fabric softener that actually makes your clothes soft?) I could also tell you which tips worked like a dream.

It got to be old hat so I dropped out of the Frugal scene for a while.

Guess who's back with a piece of UNconventional wisdom about how to save money.

It all started with a hot day and a phone in a sports bra.

Picture it - East Tennessee. Early October. A young peasant girl A young runner decides to go for an 8 mile run.  Having no pockets she puts her cell phone in her sports bra.  An hour and a half later when she pulls it out for the obligatory  "dad I didn't get kidnapped call" the display is dead.

After taking it into the cell phone store she discovers that boobie sweat is considered water damage and the company won't replace it.

Sad story isn't it?  So how did I get out of paying full price for a new phone (those prices you see in the store are discounted with contract renewal - I had just renewed my contract a month prior)?

I know people who like to have the latest gadgets.  And aren't afraid to pay for them.  When I was explaining my woes, and how boobie sweat is lethal to phones (who knew?), one friend suggested I get an old phone, or a prepaid phone and just stick my SIM card in the back to activate. 

The problem was that my old phone was 3 years old (I swear they are built to break after 2 years so you have to renew your contract) and wouldn't hold a charge for 24 hours.  Another friend said that she thought she had a phone at home she could give me. 

The only catch - it was a Razr from 2007.  I explained that the one I killed was a 2008 bottom of the line phone, so a 2007 top of the line model would actually be an upgrade for me. 

If they phone worked, why wasn't she using it?  Because she had upgrade to a blackberry to get more features.

I saved $50-$100 by knowing someone who wasn't afraid to spend money.

The catch?  To get these perks you have to be unashamedly frugal.  If they don't know you're cheap, how will they know if you would be offended by their offer?

Also, some friends will mock you.  Particularly the ones with a big screen tv.   It doesn't bother me.  I'd rather have my 5.5 acres paid for than a big tv any way.


  1. Awesome! I shattered my screen (don't ask)once, and luckily one of my roomies had an old phone I could use until I bought one off of ebay. I've heard a lot of people who buy the prepaid phones since they are cheap and that works just fine too. :-)

  2. That's why I am holding onto my old RAZR phone (free with my previous contract)...just in case my new phone dies.

    However, my sister-in-law has a bad habit of dropping her phone in the snow or dropping it and then running over it with her car (on accident, of course) :-). I helped her purchase a refurbished phone from Ebay. The battery was pretty bad, but I was able to pick up a new battery on Ebay for a couple of dollars too. It helped tide her over for about a year until her contract renewal came up and she could get another "free" phone.

  3. Ack! Boobie sweat is considered water damage??? I gotta remember this. I have been known to stuff my phone in my bra when pockets aren't an option.

  4. My hubby goes through phones like you wouldn't believe. He seriously breaks his every other day. Well, not that often, but he does have to get a phone every year or so, so this tip definitely works for me!!

    Although, I have to disagree with you about the fabric softener .. I use the homemade stuff and I love it!

  5. That is just brilliant!!!! I would've never thought to do something like that...I didn't even KNOW you could just simply put your SIM card into another phone and it would work! Awesome!

    Oh and I have been using white vinegar as a fabric softener and I'm not seeing the difference. So glad you found it was a useless tip as well.

  6. Finally we have the cool weather I have been waiting for! 65 for high today and no clouds!!!

  7. I just got a new cell phone today after having mine for so long that someone actually thought it was a pager. Talk about ancient.

  8. That is awesome but the "booby sweat" definately made me giggle - Who would have thought!!

  9. wow! who knew that about the boob sweat! thanks for sharing! when i got sick of my phone because it SUCKED, and i was refusing to pay full price for a new one, I literally called my carrier and stopped into the store until I found someone who gave me the answer i wanted (the whole $400shabang for $50 after rebates). yada yada yada, my rebate check came in today. LOL

  10. Who knew?!

    I actually have a pay-as-you-go Net 10 phone. I used to be a realtor, and on my phone ALL the time (you know how it goes I'm sure) and if you use your phone that much then a contract works in your favor. But if you only use your phone to call home from the grocery store to see if your Hubs needs you to pick up gummy bears then not so much. With my current phone my minutes roll over each month, and I only have to spend $30 every other month to purchase the minimum minutes to keep it going (in my case it's 300 minutes). My phone is crappy bottom of the line quality, but I really don't care. Now that I don't have to be tied to it for work I'd really rather not use it anyway.


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