Frugality

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

Stay Warm This Winter Without Huge Energy Bills

November is here. Winter is sneaking up on us, and with winter comes winter heating bills for most of the United States. I live in northern Iowa, where temperatures can get quite cold in the heart of the winter months and, since I work from home, I have to utilize lots of different tricks to …

Ethical Frugality Week: Regifting

This is the final entry in a weeklong series of articles on the ethics of frugality. How far can you take things without crossing an ethical line or diving into seriously socially unacceptable waters? I’ll be recounting some of my own stories – and some stories from readers – along the way. “Mindy” writes in: …

Categories: Frugality

Ethical Frugality Week: Serving Leftovers

Throughout this week, I’m posting a series of articles on the ethics of frugality. How far can you take things without crossing an ethical line or diving into seriously socially unacceptable waters? I’ll be recounting some of my own stories – and some stories from readers – along the way. “Jim” writes in: A married …

Categories: Frugality

Ethical Frugality Week: Lifetime Guarantees

Over the upcoming week, I’ll be posting a series of articles on the ethics of frugality. How far can you take things without crossing an ethical line or diving into seriously socially unacceptable waters? I’ll be recounting some of my own stories – and some stories from readers – along the way. “Megan” writes in: …

Categories: Frugality

Ethical Frugality Week: Sampling Content

Over the upcoming week, I’ll be posting a series of articles on the ethics of frugality. How far can you take things without crossing an ethical line or diving into seriously socially unacceptable waters? I’ll be recounting some of my own stories – and some stories from readers – along the way. A long while …

Categories: Frugality

Ethical Frugality Week: Free Samples

Over the upcoming week, I’ll be posting a series of articles on the ethics of frugality. How far can you take things without crossing an ethical line or diving into seriously socially unacceptable waters? I’ll be recounting some of my own stories – and some stories from readers – along the way. A few weeks …

Categories: Frugality

Ethical Frugality Week: Haggling

Over the upcoming week, I’ll be posting a series of articles on the ethics of frugality. How far can you take things without crossing an ethical line or diving into seriously socially unacceptable waters? I’ll be recounting some of my own stories – and some stories from readers – along the way. A little over …

Categories: Frugality

Ethical Frugality Week: Hotel Visits

Over the upcoming week, I’ll be posting a series of articles on the ethics of frugality. How far can you take things without crossing an ethical line or diving into seriously socially unacceptable waters? I’ll be recounting some of my own stories – and some stories from readers – along the way. “Maddie” writes in: …

Categories: Frugality

Ethical Frugality Week: Hidden Replacements

Over the upcoming week, I’ll be posting a series of articles on the ethics of frugality. How far can you take things without crossing an ethical line or diving into seriously socially unacceptable waters? I’ll be recounting some of my own stories – and some stories from readers – along the way. “Jane” (we must …

Categories: Frugality

Hidden Treasures from Thrift Shops

One of my favorite parts of being frugal is that I often go shopping at thrift stores. Thrift stores are unusual places. They’re often just collections of the stuff that well-off people no longer want to have or to deal with, so they just drop it off at Goodwill. That means there’s usually a lot …

The Challenge – and the Advantage – of Going Minimal

A few days ago, an article about minimalist money appeared at Get Rich Slowly, in which the guest author (Leo) advocated going strongly minimal with your spending – opting out of consumerism as much as humanly possible, cutting every optional service, and essentially starting again from a blank slate. Some of the readers unsurprisingly reacted …

Frugal Soups and Stews on Busy Weekends

Many weekends – like this upcoming one, for instance – our family is quite busy. We have guests over. We go on family excursions to places like the Science Center of Iowa. We shop for groceries. We go to club meetings. We go to church. We play for hours with the kids. We get caught …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

A Weekend at Our House

This past weekend was a typical one at our house – lots of time spent together as a family and surprisingly little money spent. There were activities that cost very little, bartering, home improvement projects, and time spent together as a family. During the weekend, I kept a notebook, jotting down the things that we …