Frugality

Escaping the Mundane

Charlie writes in (this is an excerpt, because the full story is quite long): What I finally realized is that I usually buy stuff because it makes me feel like this is all worth it for a while, that all the work I’m doing isn’t just going to feed Uncle Sam and to keep a …

Categories: Frugality

Summer Meal Series #9: Tuna Melts!?

What’s on the table this summer? Tuna Melts After returning home from two weeks of vacation, my wife and I planned out a very nice summery meal that would have made a great post for the Summer Meal Series. It required one key portion of the meal – either a pork shoulder or a few …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Summer Meal Series #8: Chicken, Broccoli, and Mozzarella Calzones

What’s on the table this summer? Homemade Calzones Homemade pizza is a big hit at our house (here’s a picture-filled post about our homemade pizzas). We all love our every-other-week-or-so homemade pizzas where we often experiment with ingredients and enjoy from-scratch crusts. The problem with pizza, though, is that it’s not very portable. It doesn’t …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Some Thoughts on Inexpensive Vacations

This past weekend, my family and I travelled to Chicago to visit one of my first cousins and her two children. We stayed at their house and enjoyed a few activities in the Chicagoland area. I had originally planned on doing a Chicago-themed follow up to last year’s article, Frugal Vacation Notes: Great Free Things …

Categories: Frugality

How To Do Laundry on the Cheap

We currently have five people living at our home. Let’s say, hypothetically, we all change clothes twice a day (it’s often more than that due to the nonstop accidents, spills, and other things that go on in such a household). That’s ten outfits’ worth of clothes to wash each and every day. We also cloth …

Categories: Frugality

Summer Meal Series #7: Tuna, Vegetable, and Cheese Stuffed Manicotti

What’s on the table this summer? Stuffed Manicotti I love tuna. It’s a wonderfully light fish with a distinctive flavor that works well in summer meals. It’s also a component of a tuna noodle casserole that my mother used to make that remains one of my comfort foods. Sarah and I wanted to build on …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Summer Meal Series #6: Simple Homemade Pasta and Pizza Sauce

What’s on the table this summer? Homemade Pasta Today’s meal looks like a simple pasta… … and it is, except that we do something a little different than most people seem to these days. You see, we’re pretty picky about our sauce. We have found a few store-bought pasta sauces that we like, but they’re …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Making Your Time Less Money-Dense

One of the biggest ways to leak money is to spend your time in money-dense ways. The easiest way to explain it is to just show you a bunch of examples. Spending eight hours at Disney World with the requisite food, drink, and souvenir purchases costs about $200. The cost per hour of this event …

Starting Food Preparation at Home

Connie writes in: I just moved in with my husband-to-be and we’re discovering that we have very different lifestyles in some regards. The biggest challenge has been food. My husband is absolutely convinced that it is actually CHEAPER for us to eat out for every meal than prepare food at home. We have everything we …

Summer Meal Series #5: Chicken-Broccoli Crepes

What’s on the table this summer? Homemade Crepes OK, before we get going, it should be noted that this meal is pretty much as easy to prepare as you want it to be – and at almost every turn, we chose the more difficult route. Actually, to be more specific, Sarah chose the more difficult …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Innovative Energy Saving

Only very rarely do I pass along a guest post, but a reader sent me such a spectacular energy saving do-it-yourself idea (and wonderful writeup about it) that I just had to pass it along. The only change I’ve made to this article is highlighting a few key pieces. This article comes from Allie, a …

Categories: Frugality

Summer Meal Series #4: Grilled Apple Pork Chops, Garlic Baby Potatoes, and Steamed Broccoli

WHat’s on the table this summer? Apple Pork Chops with Garlic Baby Potatoes A few days ago, I was going through the produce section of our grocery store when I noticed a great sale on baby potatoes. They’re delicious and easy to prepare in lots of contexts, so I picked them up. Then I noticed …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Summer Meal Series #3: Skillet Cilantro-Lime Chicken Fajitas and “Poor Man’s” Spanish Rice

What’s on the table this summer? Chicken Fajitas One of my favorite ways to start a great meal is to look at the grocery store flyers. This week, for example, I noticed that one of the grocery stores I regularly shop at had both chicken breasts and small soft tortilla shells on sale. When I …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Review: The New Frugality

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. The title of this book hooked me from the start. What am I writing about at The Simple Dollar if I’m not writing about “the new frugality”? Chris Farrell, the author of the book, is a name I’m familiar with …

Summer Meal Series #2: Grilled Vegetable Kabobs, Barbecued Beans, and Rice

What’s on the table this summer? Summer Cookout: Vegetable Kabobs Our meals are usually pretty heavy on the vegetables and fruits by default. Often, our main course is a meat of some sort – fish, beef, pork, and chicken are all game – but those are almost always paired by at least one vegetable side …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Summer Meal Series #1: Honey Mustard Chicken Strips

What’s on the table this summer? Honey Mustard Chicken Strips I have a four year old and a two year old at home. That means, at meal times, it’s often much easier to eat finger foods than foods covered in sauce because, inevitably, the sauce gets spilled all over the place. Thus, we’re often seeking …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Five Simple Substitutions, One Big Change

It’s amazing how much money can be saved by making one simple change in your life. I ran the numbers on several changes (using the behavior of the average American) and was shocked at the financial savings of a single simple change. Drink water instead of soda. Average annual savings: $152 Facts: Tap water is …

Categories: Frugality

Review: Better Groceries for Less Cash

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. Better Groceries for Less Cash by Randall Putala has a subtitle that pretty clearly describes what you’ll find inside the covers: 101 Tested and Proven Ways to Save on Food. While organized into chapters, this fairly short book’s main purpose …

Coupon Organization: A Survey of How People Do It

My wife and I use coupons for many of our household products, from toothpaste and garbage bags to toilet paper and Tones spices (yes, I had a coupon for this once upon a time). While we don’t use many for actual food products (since most of the advertised food is more or less junk food), …

Categories: Frugality

Become a subscriber of The Simple Dollar and get a free copy of Trent's e-book today plus exclusive updates.