Frugality

Six Free Games to Dig Into Over the Holidays

One of my biggest time management weaknesses is gaming. I love taking breaks to try out a new free computer game. Most of the time, though, the game’s not engrossing enough to hold my interest. This list is filled with the exceptions. Here are six free computer games that are so filled with incredibly enjoyable …

Frugality and Your Sense of Value

Earlier this week, I offered up a post detailing how I wrap Christmas gifts, utilizing brown paper and yarn. The response was mixed – some people didn’t like the aesthetics of the packaging, while others did (obviously, I’m in the latter camp, as I love the aesthetics of brown packages and yarn). Guess what? We’re …

Categories: Frugality

15 Uses for Incredibly Inexpensive White Vinegar

One of the best bargains in your local grocery store is plain old white vinegar. You can get a 32 ounce jug of it (half a gallon) for about $1.50 and it has a multitude of uses beyond the edible ones (like pickles and salad dressings). Here are fifteen uses for white vinegar, most of …

Categories: Frugality

How I Wrap Gifts, Christmas and Otherwise

Melanie writes in: Between the wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, tags, and other things, I’ve often spent $20-25 on just wrapping the gifts at Christmastime. This seems silly. How do you wrap presents? I’m sure you’ve got a less expensive way. To me, the purpose of wrapping paper is simply to disguise gifts from the receiver …

Why Frugality Works

Marco writes in: Most of your “money tips” are stupid. Why would I waste my time doing this stuff to save fifty cents? I want to learn how to make money not how to save a nickel. Whether or not you take advantage of the huge benefits of frugality is all a matter of perspective. …

Social Supply-Side Economics

Almost immediately after my article yesterday about the costs of preparing for additional children, Eileen wrote to me with a very worthwhile comment: In that article you barely mentioned the value of family and friends who will give you lots of hand-me-downs and other items. Since you talk about the social value of things, I …

Why Are Oranges Always on Sale in December? Seasonal Food Sales and How to Take Advantage of Them

When I was a kid, each year my Christmas stocking had a large orange in the toe. I always thought of this as a bit strange, so when I was a bit older, I asked my parents about the orange. It turns out that oranges were pretty hard to get ahold of when my father …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Preparing for Additional Children

Megan writes in: Congratulations on your third child! My husband and I are expecting our second child in February. I hope you’ll write an article about how to save money when another child comes along. Your wish is my command, Megan. Here are some of the ways we’re preparing for our third child. Strategies for …

Categories: Family, Frugality

Simple Ways to Save Money on Salads

Lately, my wife and I have been studying ways to reduce our weekly grocery bill. We’ve been using several tactics to do this, which I will discuss one at a time over a series of articles. Salads before dinner are a common staple at our house. For a long time, we would buy lots of …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

How to Start a Meal Exchange

Recently, several couples in our community started a frozen meal exchange. It’s a really simple idea. On a certain day, everyone in the exchange meets for coffee and brings along a laundry basket full of frozen meals, one for each family, along with any needed instructions taped to the lid. The members of the club …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

“So, What Do You Want for Christmas?”

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard this question several times from various people who find me on their Christmas gift list this year. I’m guessing they’re all thinking more or less the same thing: what do you get for a guy who doesn’t really want anything? So they ask me, and then I’m left …

Categories: Frugality, Shopping

10 Tactics for a Frugal Thanksgiving Dinner

By this time next week, most Americans will have gathered with friends and family and eaten the traditional Thanksgiving meal. I’ll be gathering for three separate Thanksgiving dinners during this holiday weekend. Quite often, I’ll see people spend exorbitant amounts of money on lavish Thanksgiving spreads. While I completely understand the reason for doing this …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Should I Save for Something or Not Buy It At All?

Andre writes in: I’m interested in replacing a piece of home audio equipment that is experiencing occasional malfunctions, but works OK most of the time. The receiver I’m looking at costs $500 on Amazon. I’m a little conflicted. The more frugal side of me says to not even buy it. Make do with the broken …

My Garage Sale and Thrifting Toolkit

I really enjoy visiting garage sales, yard sales, and thrift stores. I almost always find an item or two that I’m either looking for myself or I’m sure I can sell on eBay for a small profit. Plus, I’m always amazed at the things other people have largely decided to throw out. Whenever I head …

Categories: Frugality

The Second Life of Food

This morning, I was doing a bit of advance planning for our dinner this evening. It’s Friday, which is traditionally homemade pizza night at our house, but tonight we were intending to use some left-over beef stew and transform it into a beef pot pie using a pie crust and some corn starch for thickening. …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Give Experiences This Holiday Season

The holiday gift-giving season is upon us once again. For many of us, that means stress. What gift can we give to the people we care about that actually means something? Why do the holidays have to be so expensive after we buy gifts for everyone on our Christmas list? Then, on Christmas Day, we …

Is the Dollar Store Really a Bargain?

Before he passed away a few years ago, my uncle Ken (who I still miss greatly) was a fanatic shopper at dollar stores. He did most of his shopping at a pair of local dollar stores, where he would buy virtually all of his household supplies and quite a bit of his food. He was …

Categories: Frugality

Tips for Getting Started in the Kitchen

I love cooking at home. I used to hate cooking at home, though. I was awful at it. I burnt things. I messed up scrambled eggs beyond all recognition. But over time, I got better at it. I started figuring out lots of little things that made the entire process smoother and made my results …

24 Ways to Save Money Today

A big part of successful frugality is the routine with which you live your day-to-day life. Here are twenty four little things that you can incorporate into your daily routines that just trim a little money away from your spending – and puts it into something more important to you. 1. Brush your teeth. An …

Categories: Frugality

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