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A Walkthrough of Our Weekly Meal Planning Routine

A couple of years ago, I wrote a very popular post called Meal Planning for Busy Families, in which I outlined the exact strategy that

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The ‘Guilt’ of Buying Something Fun

A friend of mine recently told me that my “guilt” from spending money was completely backwards. Let’s say I’m going to a coffee shop, for

young man holding piggy bank

The Strategic Splurge: Saving for the Stuff You Really Want

While some people are frugal by necessity, others are frugal by choice. Instead of making careful financial decisions and living within a tight budget just to get

family on a bike ride in a park

My Ultimate Guide to Free Things That I Love to Do

Dana writes in: What exactly is all of this “free stuff” you talk about doing all the time with your family and your friends? I’d

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The Moment Versus the Big Picture

Recently, a reader who I’ll call Jenny sent me a very long and thoughtful message, of which one part has left me thinking for quite

frugal and spendthrift

Can Money Buy You Happiness?

Yesterday, as I was sifting through my bookmarks for future Simple Dollar articles, I came across this wonderful article by David Short: Happiness Revisited: A Household


How to Cut the Cable (or Satellite) Cord and Save a Lot of Money Each Month

Here’s the reality: the average American cable bill is $100 per month. That’s the average, mind you: many people pay more than that, and some

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‘Phantom Savings’ and Other White Lies We Tell Ourselves

When my husband and I decided to remodel our entryway, living room, and family room earlier this year, we found ourselves falling into some ugly,

money stacked up

Balancing the Value of Frugality and the Value of Time

About a year ago, I wrote an article called Balancing Spending and Time: How ‘Time Frugality’ Can Save You Lots of Cash. The argument behind that

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Make the Most of Your ‘Stay-Cation’

Right about the time you are reading this, I’m waving good bye to my family as they travel a bit during spring break. They’re going

ramen noodles

Frugal Out of Necessity, Frugal Out of Choice

When I was in college, I was frugal out of necessity. I had very little income coming in – just the money from a part-time


Managing Expensive Hobbies So They Don’t Destroy You Financially

Ken writes: Golf really isn’t that expensive of a hobby if you do it smartly. My friends jokingly call me the “cheap golfer.” I mostly

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The Frugal Spectrum

When people think of the word “frugal” or define in their head what a “frugal person” is, they usually think of someone that is at


The Basic Toolbox Everyone Needs to Handle Simple DIY Tasks at Home

When we first moved into our house, the only tool I owned was a Leatherman Wave multitool that I kept in my pocket. Honestly, it

friends in a circle

Why You Should Stop Spending Money to Impress People

When you’re a teenager with little life experience, it’s easy to build your entire life around what other people think. It can feel normal to

Changing Flat Tire

The Financial Trap of Buying Your Way Out of Life’s Little Challenges

A few weeks ago, someone close to me was driving home from work when suddenly one of their tires blew out. At that point, this

Costco detergent

30 Store-Brand and Generic Items I Use… and Five I Don’t

When I go to the grocery store, most of the items that I put into my cart are generic or store-brand items. I continually walk

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Simple Preparation, Big Savings: 14 Ways to Spend a Bit of Time and Money Now to Save More Money and Time Later

On the back page of my pocket notebook for the last several months, I’ve been jotting down the little things that I’ve noticed or done

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