The Dutch are renown for being frugal. They do more window shopping than actual shopping! But they are not without wants. So how do the Dutch save money? There are many factors but I’ve put together a list of the ones that seem most common (in my experience).
Don’t buy until it’s necessary
The Dutch save money because they have a huge habit of window shopping. There are so many things to buy but most are unnecessary. This is how they can keep from overspending. They only what they need, when it’s needed. I once saw a man riding a bike. He stopped and checked his tire. It was flat so what does he do? He goes to the basket on his bike and pulls out an air pump! Right then and there he filled his tire with air. Instead of spending the money on a new tire, he spend it on an air pump. I’m not sure how long this will help him but I guess it fixed his problem even if it was only for a little while.
The Dutch bring meaning to “perfect timing” with their coupons and deals. Recently my tutor told me a story on how she waited several years before she bought a pair of rainboots. She waited for the perfect time, when many discounts overlapped so she got huge slash in the final price. It took a long time but it was worth it to see such a big savings!
Deals, deals, deals
Another way the Dutch save money, comes in the form of de aanbieding (advertisements). Each week something new is on sale. Most of the time we buy from that list and skip on what’s not. We get excited when the more expensive items come with a discount. We tend to stock up a little when they do. By stock up, I mean we buy 2 instead of 1. I have yet to see a Dutchie who can relate to the people on the TV show Extreme Couponing.
Compare all the options
The Dutch save a ton of money by shopping around. There were times where we left a store because we had found the same item cheaper in a different location. While this is bad for business, not all Dutch are like this. When it comes down to it, you need to also take a look at gas prices and the time it will take you to go somewhere else. More than half of the time we find what we need online. While I feel guilty doing this, Sander’s comfortable with the choice to buy an item cheaper off the net.
Buying off brand
I can’t even begin to tell you how many off brand items we’ve bought. What’s scary is that they’re actually good. My favorite ice cream tastes better in the grocery brand than it does from the name brand. We also buy laundry detergent and many foods from off brand or grocery labels. Only when the name brand items are on sale do we buy them. We most recently bought 2 packets of M&Ms because they were on sale. I can’t even remember the last time we bought them! I’m always up for trying new things so buying off brand doesn’t bother me. It might be a little too frugal for some, but we’re talking about the Dutch here!