Frugality

Dorm Room Clutter: What Do You Actually Need for College

A few days ago, I stumbled across a handful of pictures from my college dorm room (I considered posting them, but there are several people depicted and I don’t post pictures of people without asking them permission and I’m not sure how to contact them). As I looked them over (and enjoyed some memories), I …

Categories: Education, Frugality

How Low Can You Go? Vegetarian Burrito Bowls

In April and May, National Public Radio featured a series on inexpensive gourmet dishes entitled “How Low Can You Go?” Although many of the dishes looked quite tasty, most of the dishes weren’t actually all that inexpensive, often narrowly getting below $10 to feed a family of four, and many involved arduous cooking processes. I …

The Source of Frugal Misery

Kevin writes in: Your examples of how to live frugally make it sound like your life [is terrible]. Why are you sacrificing all happiness to save a buck? If I had your life, I’d be miserable. Live a little, dude. Most of the frugal advice I give usually revolves around some clever substitutions or the …

Freezer and Fridge Hacks: Seven Ways to Maximize the Value of Your Refrigerator and Freezer

Your refrigerator/freezer combo is the biggest energy consumer among all of your appliances – seriously. It gobbles down around $100 in energy each year. Even worse, it’s often home to lots of wasted food – leftovers forgotten and allowed to spoil and so on. To put it simply, your refrigerator and freezer are money sinks. …

How Low Can You Go? Potato-Peanut Curry

In April and May, National Public Radio featured a series on inexpensive gourmet dishes entitled “How Low Can You Go?” Although many of the dishes looked quite tasty, most of the dishes weren’t actually all that inexpensive, often narrowly getting below $10 to feed a family of four, and many involved arduous cooking processes. I …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Thoughts on a Low Grocery Bill

Whenever I post a recipe or another food post, I usually hear from a reader or two who tout cooking everything from scratch. They’ll tell me about their very low food bill and encourage me to post recipes that start from even more staple-oriented food. A great example comes from my recent recipe for lemony …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

How Low Can You Go? Chicken-and-Corn Fried Rice with Lemon Spinach

In April and May, National Public Radio featured a series on inexpensive gourmet dishes entitled “How Low Can You Go?” Although many of the dishes looked quite tasty, most of the dishes weren’t actually all that inexpensive, often narrowly getting below $10 to feed a family of four, and many involved arduous cooking processes. I …

Passion by the Hour

On our DVD shelf, which is admittedly quite thinner than it used to be, there are quite a few DVDs that we’ve watched once and are simply accumulating dust. Assuming a cost of $15 per DVD and a two hour movie, our hourly cost is about $7.50. On the other hand, we have our Pixar …

Categories: Frugality

Does Earning More Trump Frugality?

Milton writes in with a good question, worthy of discussion: I don’t see why I should spend fifteen minutes making a batch of homemade laundry detergent just to save a few bucks when I could spend that fifteen minutes building my career. Most “frugality tips” seem like a waste of time. Let’s say you have …

Categories: Careers, Frugality

How Low Can You Go? Cheesy Corkscrews with Crunchy Bacon Topping

In April and May, National Public Radio featured a series on inexpensive gourmet dishes entitled “How Low Can You Go?” Although many of the dishes looked quite tasty, most of the dishes weren’t actually all that inexpensive, often narrowly getting below $10 to feed a family of four, and many involved arduous cooking processes. I …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Frugality’s Sacred Cows

I define frugality as getting the maximum value for your dollar while living squarely within your means, which is a pretty reasonable definition. I wouldn’t expect someone making $15,000 a year that doesn’t sweat what they eat to make the same food choices as someone making $50,000 a year who highly values the quality of …

Categories: Frugality

Review: 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. If you’ve been reading The Simple Dollar for a while, you’ll know that I’m a fan of WiseBread. It’s a “group” personal finance blog with a small pack of contributing writers, some of which I quite like (like Philip Brewer). 10,001 Ways to Live …

How Low Can You Go? Dal, Chilean Style

In April and May, National Public Radio featured a series on inexpensive gourmet dishes entitled How Low Can You Go?” Although many of the dishes looked quite tasty, most of the dishes weren’t actually all that inexpensive, often narrowly getting below $10 to feed a family of four, and many involved arduous cooking processes. I …

How Low Can You Go? Coriander Meatballs with Yogurt-Mint Sauce

In April and May, National Public Radio featured a series on inexpensive gourmet dishes entitled “How Low Can You Go?” Although many of the dishes looked quite tasty, most of the dishes weren’t actually all that inexpensive, often narrowly getting below $10 to feed a family of four, and many involved arduous cooking processes. I …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

The Cheap Garbage Bag Dilemma

The things that stick in your head after reading a book are often interesting. For example, just yesterday I posted a detailed review of Miserly Moms that outlined a ton of useful tips for cutting domestic spending. Yet, the thing that stuck in my head for days after reading the book was an offhand comment …

Categories: Frugality

Review: Miserly Moms

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy wears its target audience right on its cover – stay-at-home moms (or at least moms who devote a significant amount of time to domestic management) that are trying to maximize every penny. It’s a good read with lots of …

How Low Can You Go? Moorish-Style Chickpea And Spinach Stew

In April and May, National Public Radio featured a series on inexpensive gourmet dishes entitled “How Low Can You Go?” Although many of the dishes looked quite tasty, most of the dishes weren’t actually all that inexpensive, often narrowly getting below $10 to feed a family of four, and many involved arduous cooking processes. I …

Frugal Vacation Notes: Dallas/Fortworth

Over the past week, my wife, my children, my parents and I all went on vacation to the Dallas/Fort Worth area (we had planned a longer road trip, but we made an on-the-fly decision to just stick around DFW). While there, we visited family and saw a large number of sights and events in the …

Personal Finance and The Black Swan

Recently, I’ve been reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book The Black Swan. Most of the book has to do with economics and mathematics and is not very relevant to personal finance at all, so I won’t bother doing a detailed review here. However, there are two pieces of the book that I think are worth talking …