Frugality

Cheap and Social: 15 Inexpensive and Very Fun Things to Do With Friends

One question I get over and over again from readers is the simple question of “what can I do with my friends that doesn’t cost money?” This kind of question usually arises when a person is beginning to be aware that they’re in financially worse shape than they ought to be and the first thing …

Categories: Frugality

Some Thoughts on the Parable of the Fisherman and the Banker

Over the last week, several people have sent me this story from a bunch of different websites. I’m not sure where it originated, but the first place I saw it was on Financial Mentor. Here’s the parable: The Parable of the Fisherman and the Banker An American investment banker was taking a much-needed vacation in …

This One Move Can Save You $1,000 a Year

It lets you shop endlessly on eBay. It keeps you tuned into the latest water-cooler gossip on Facebook. It allows you to follow photo stories of people — some you know, some you don’t — on Instagram. You can watch endless videos while waiting for the train. Access your email everywhere you go, and an entire music library right …

12 Money-Saving Food Strategies My Family Uses

Over the years, our family has steadily built up a number of little “food hacks” that we use to save money and time when buying food and preparing meals at home. Often, we don’t even really think about them, but sometimes, when we step back and look at our meal patterns, we see lots of …

Here’s Why Being Frugal Gets Easier Over Time

Becoming frugal is a difficult change to make, especially if you’re trying to cut down on deep-rooted spending habits. Some people are born into frugal families and grow up learning about money management, delayed gratification, and investing wisely. Other people have to learn frugality on their own, whether they became inspired by a financial expert …

Categories: Frugality

Four Tricks to Keep Your Food Spending at $50 a Week

My New Year’s resolution wasn’t very glamorous. I didn’t decide to learn French or perfect certain yoga poses or save the world one good deed at a time. Instead, my one and only resolution was to keep food spending at $50 a week. In January, the first month I tried this, I was armed and …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Everything You Need to Know About Listening to Podcasts, My Favorite Free Form of Entertainment

I spend the equivalent of a full-time job working at my computer or laptop, and that’s usually with audio turned on. On top of that, I have my cell phone almost everywhere with me and when I’m in the car; I usually plug it in and listen to the audio through my car’s speaker system. What …

Thrifty Thursday: Frugality Foils Anniversary Plans

Welcome to our new reader-inspired series, Thrifty Thursdays. We want to hear your most ingenious buck-stretching strategies, stories about your famously frugal family and friends, or embarrassing tales of taking thrifty too far. Send your stories to thrifty@thesimpledollar.com, and we may mention you in an upcoming Thrifty Thursday post. Each week, we’ll select our favorite entry, and the winner will …

Categories: Frugality

12 Wildly Romantic Gestures in Movies

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is frugal, too. Sure, splurging on a diamond necklace, an exotic getaway, a cherished memento, or a fancy dinner out are lovely ways to show your partner how much you care. But sometimes the most powerful romantic gestures don’t cost a thing — just some time, thought, and …

10 Frugal Ways to Say ‘I Love You’

With Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s prime time for the usual onslaught of carefully crafted radio and television ads aimed at parting you and your hard-earned dollars. Turn on the tube and you’ll see jewelry stores explaining why your spouse deserves a diamond necklace, watch, or locket. Meanwhile, big-box retailers are bringing out their flowers, chocolates, and holiday …

63 Quick Tips to Save Money in College

We know college is expensive, and every little bit you can save helps. That’s why we’ve put together a list of quick tips to save money in school: Tuition & College Costs 1. Meet with your advisor regularly to plan your class schedule. This will help ensure that you’re taking the right classes at the right time …

Categories: Education, Frugality

Thrifty Thursday: No Hot Water, No Problem

Last week, we introduced a new reader-inspired series called Thrifty Thursdays. We want to hear your most ingenious buck-stretching strategies, stories about your famously frugal family and friends, or embarrassing tales of taking thrifty too far. Send your stories to thrifty@thesimpledollar.com, and we may mention you in an upcoming Thrifty Thursday post. Each week, we’ll select our favorite entry, and the winner …

15 Strategies for Saving Money at a Restaurant

I am a huge advocate for preparing and eating meals at home. It’s almost always drastically cheaper than eating out. You have fine control over the quality and quantity of the ingredients. You can make whatever you want and you’re not restricted by a menu. You don’t have to wait to get seated. Eating at home …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Introducing Thrifty Thursdays

One of my favorite things about The Simple Dollar is all of the tips, tricks, hacks, and analysis Trent has written over the years on how to save a buck. From how to make your own beer or pizza dough to how to make your own soap or laundry detergent, each of these nuggets of wisdom offers us …

Categories: Frugality

Why Your Budget Needs a Buffer

When my husband and I discovered zero-sum budgeting several years ago, we knew we were onto something. Because of the way zero-sum budgeting works, it required us to account for every dollar we made on paper – to give each dollar a job. For us, that meant scrutinizing every cent of our spending and figuring …

The Big Impact of Your Little Financial Choices

When a person starts looking at their personal finances and seeking to make changes to improve things, most personal finance books and websites encourage people to look at making big changes right off the bat. Sell off all the stuff in your closet to earn a big pile of money in a weekend. Sell your …

Our Family’s Seven Favorite Make-Ahead Meals

One of our favorite frugal routines around here is the “make ahead meal.” It often fills our Saturday afternoons. A make ahead meal is a simple concept, really – you just prepare most of a meal in advance, freeze it just prior to the point where you would put it in the oven, and then …

Categories: Frugality

Can You Save Money by Becoming Vegetarian?

Beef prices hit record highs last summer and prices for beef, pork, and eggs are expected to climb throughout 2015. Meanwhile, a growing body of research indicates that eating meat and animal products can contribute to a host of health issues, including diabetes and cancer. A recent study published in the journal Cell Metabolism revealed that middle-aged people who …

What Do New Parents Really Need?

If you ask baby boomers how parenting has changed over the years, many can name a host of once-safe practices that have since been outlawed. People from my mother’s generation talk about how, as babies, they rode in the front seat of their family car without a car seat. And my mother often jokes about shrouding us in …

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