Frugality

Light Bulb Showdown: LED vs. CFL vs. Incandescent

Just a couple decades ago, light bulbs were light bulbs. No matter your budget, you really had only one choice when it came to interior lighting options for your home: Head to the hardware store and pick up some incandescent bulbs, choosing a wattage based on how bright you needed the light to be. But …

19 Things a New Homeowner Should Do Immediately to Save Money

So you’ve just moved into your nice new home. You’ve unloaded the boxes and started to unpack your life. Right now is the perfect time to walk through a checklist of ways to save money on your home for years to come. Starting on these things as early as possible will allow you to start …

A Basic Guide to an Inexpensive and Incredibly Fun Family Camping Vacation

This summer, my family and I are going to be camping in northern Wisconsin for several days. We plan on camping at two different locations during the trip so that we get a chance to see and enjoy two completely different areas. Small camping trips are a staple of our summer – we usually camp …

102 Things to Do on a Money-Free Weekend

Some time ago, I offered up the idea of the money-free weekend: For the last few months, my wife and I have been doing something every other weekend or so that we call a “money-free” weekend, in an effort to live more frugally. It’s actually quite fun – here’s how we do it. We’re not allowed to …

13 Ways to Save Money and Protect the Planet at the Same Time

With Earth Day 2015 almost upon us, it’s a good time to think about how our actions impact the planet and, more importantly, what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint and improve our environment. Because, let’s face it, this is our home. And right now, it’s the only place we’ve got. 13 Ways …

Some Thoughts About Living on $29 a Week for Food

Recently, I heard a news story about the Food Bank NYC Challenge, which challenges people to live on $1.38 per person per meal, or $29 per person per week, for food. Although the politics of this challenge are interesting (it’s always compelling when people have a chance to understand, at least a little bit, how …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Seven Hidden Benefits of Frugal Living

In a world where rampant consumerism is the norm, choosing a frugal lifestyle can sometimes mean living as an outcast. Your friends may shake their heads when you opt out of expensive restaurant dinners, and your neighbors might get a good laugh out of your penchant for amazing garage sale finds. Maybe your family members …

Categories: Frugality

A Frugal Spring Cleaning Checklist

The snow has melted, the daffodils are pushing up, and the birds are busy chirping away. You know what that means; spring is almost here, and with it, a whole bunch of unpleasant household chores. That’s right — it’s time to clear out the cobwebs, sweep up those dust bunnies, and get your yard and …

Does SodaStream Save Money?

Apparently, quite a few people either received SodaStream machines for Christmas or else have family members that received one, because I’ve received a ton of questions regarding SodaStream machines in the past few weeks. Most of them are pretty similar to this one from David: My wife and I received a SodaStream machine for Christmas. …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Five Reasons to Love a Clothing Swap (and How to Host Your Own)

I’ve always loved to shop. And I’ve always really loved to shop for anything wearable. Cowboy boots and maxi dresses. Cozy sweaters and dangly earrings. Button-downs and scarves. If it goes on my body, I’m hooked. But however you feel about shopping, I imagine you understand the excitement of having a new-to-you jacket (or statement …

Some Thoughts on Water Consumption

One thing all of us consume all of the time is water, whether it comes from the tap, flows out of the shower head, gets flushed straight down the toilet, or is cycled through our washing machine or dishwasher. That water has a real cost. In my town, for example, there is a charge of …

How Much Are Your Habits Costing You?

Making a Starbucks run on your way to work probably doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. Your soy caramel latte costs, what, $4? That isn’t enough money to make or break your budget, so you probably didn’t give it a second thought. But what happens when it becomes a habit? What happens when …

10 More Daily Habits of Frugal People

The other day, I came across a really good article at Eat Local Grown entitled “Ten Daily Habits of Frugal People.” Here’s that list: 1. Frugal people use everything right to the last drop. 2. Frugal people like to stay home. 3. Frugal people don’t spoil their children. 4. Frugal people have productive hobbies. 5. …

Frugality and Trust

It may be surprising, but I’ve found over and over again during the last several years that one of the most important elements of frugality in my life is trust. The simple act of building up trusting relationships with people in my life, then relying on those trusting relationships, has made a tremendous difference. Yes, …

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

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