Black Friday crowd swarming store entrance

Best Black Friday Deals for 2014

Love it or hate it, Black Friday ain’t what it used to be. Time was, you’d gather with friends and family on Thanksgiving to over-indulge in food

Thanksgiving dinner

Cost-Cutting Tips for Thanksgiving Dinner

You may have recently mastered the art of budget-conscious grocery shopping, but preparing for Thanksgiving dinner is a whole other ballgame. Carving off some savings

Dallas Farmers Market

12 Surprising Ways to Save on Groceries

If you’ve been trying to cut costs to stop living from paycheck to paycheck, the food category was probably one of the first to take


Balancing Spending, Saving, and Social Situations

Each year, I go to Gencon (a convention in Indianapolis held every August) with a fairy large and ever-shifting group of guys ranging in age


Wine, Blind Taste Tests, and Your Money

You’re standing at the grocery store looking at a large selection of wines. You know you want a red wine to go well with your

Ten Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Purchase

There are few things that leave me feeling worse than an impulsive purchase that wound up being a piece of junk or wound up sitting

Yard sale sign

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Free Kid’s Clothes

In 2009, I had my first child, a girl I named Lydia Rose. She was beautiful and dainty just like a baby doll, and I


Buying It for Life Versus Buying Ultra-Cheap

I’m a big believer in a “buy it for life” philosophy. If you can buy a single item and it will last you for a

hot chocolate mix in penguin mug

30 Great Gifts for $5 (or Less!)

Gift-giving can be an expensive proposition. Most of the ideas that tend to pop into people’s minds when it comes to exchanging gifts are expensive

Christmas in July

The average American family spends $749.51 on Christmas gifts. That’s a painful amount – it’s approximately 2% of the annual take-home income of an American


Shop Smart Using The “Shopping Hierarchy” Method

Last month, I wrote a popular article for U.S. News and World Report about “shopping hierarchies.” Here’s how I defined “shopping hierarchy” in that article:

Simplify Your Life: Stop Collecting and Start Experiencing

In the old apartment Sarah and I used to live in, I had one whole wall filled with books. The bookshelf stretched from the floor


6 Tactics for Saving Big on Your Next Major Appliance Purchase

This article first appeared at U.S. News and World Report Money. It’s a big expense that everyone dreads. Your washing machine gives out. Your refrigerator

The Little Perks You Pay Big For (That New Car Smell, For Example)

Several years ago, Car and Driver had an excellent article about how car companies put in a lot of extra effort to engineer the right


Creating a Problem Where None Exists

Recently, I was in a doctor’s office waiting for an appointment with my youngest son (who had a strange rash that he apparently contracted during

Shopping and Tunnel Vision

One feature that Sarah and I have decided to add to our dream home is a “den” of sorts. This den would serve as a


When to Skimp and When to Spend More for Quality

Two of the biggest principles of frugality often seem to point people in opposite directions. On one side, we have the idea of minimizing the


Why “Buy One Get One” Sales Often Don’t Work

On the surface, a “buy one get one” sale sounds like a good deal. “I really want two shirts and if I buy one shirt,

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