Welcome to the 107th Edition of the Festival of Frugality! What is frugality? According to Wikipedia, frugality is the same as thrift or thriftiness. But frugality is not being cheap or miserly. Being frugal is all about saving money, time, energy, effort, and resources. I like to do these every day, and the good news is, sometimes all you need to do is a few little things to save time and money. I hope you enjoy this week’s Festival of Frugality and learn a few money saving tips along the way!
This week’s Editor’s Choice selections represent the articles I felt best represented the spirit of frugality and are something many people can apply to their own lives. Cars, personal finance, internet service, energy usage, shopping, and staying on top of bills – little things everyone can save money with!
- The Frugal Trader from Million Dollar Journey shares some awesome info about how to save money when buying a car. Great article!
- Frugal Guy at A Frugal Living Blog developed a Financial Risk Advisory System in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security… Well, not exactly. But he developed a color coded warning system that looks at home right next to the DoHS advisory!
- Hustler Money Blog tells us how to bring down our internet bill. This is a timely article for me because Time Warner just decided to raise my rates by $30 per month! Thanks for the solid info, Hustler!
- Moolanomy. Christmas has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean you are stuck with the prices you paid before Christmas! Pinyo shares some great information about checking price protection policies to guarantee you don’t pay more than you should! Editor runs off to go check receipts…
- Funny About Money warns us about those dastardly magazine publishers trying to get unsuspecting subscribers to resubscribe before the impending end date of said subscription. If you can say that 10 times fast, I’ll be impressed! While you’re trying, check out his article – Stay on Top of Magazine Renewals.
Around the Home
There are always a lot of ways to save money around the house. My wife and I save money by setting our thermostat to reasonable, seasonable temperatures. I almost always wash the dishes by hand as well. When you only have dishes for two, it is just as easy and saves electricity and water!
- Dorian from the Personal Financier says that doing it yourself doesn’t always pay. It’s true – sometimes it is well worth your time to just pay a professional, saving you time, heartache, and quite possibly a lot of money.
- Meg from All About Appearances shares how she stays warm for less. Although, she does live in Florida and said that Novemeber was the first time they turned off their air conditioner all year. I guess in Florida there are cold nights as well.
- David from My Two Dollars says that sometimes, the frugal option is to rent an apartment, rather than buy a home. If a two bedroom home in my neighborhood costs $1 million, I would have to agree!
- Mom Advice shares frugal tips from her kitchen makeover. The photos look nice! Who says you have to spend a lot of money to look good?
- Alison from This Wasn’t in The Plan tells us she Got paid for winterizing her home. I love it when utility companies offer rebates for doing little things to improve your home’s energy efficiency!
- Jacob from Early Retirement Extreme recommends using a push lawn mower to save money. His quote – “A rotating mayhem of cutting blades that doesn’t cost any gas, what’s not to love about push mowers?” Not only will it save you money, but it is better for the environment and great for your health!
- Bean Sprouts shares a dresser she made for 3 Pounds, (that is about $6). Great job on the dresser, and an even better job saving money!
- Savvy Frugality asks, if free TV is coming to an end? The US will be going to digital broadcasting in 2009, and your regular TV will need a converter to work.
- Chief Family Officer found a simple and inexpensive solution to her problem. I bet all of us have a few things hiding in drawers or boxes that would save us some money. Now, if I could just remember where I left it…
Cars are a necessity where I live. Public transportation just doesn’t cut it, and there are too many highways to safely ride a bike. I try to save money by accelerating smoothly and coasting to a stop instead of starting and stopping hard. It saves money on gas and break repairs. Here are some more great articles about cars and transportation:
- Penny Nickel from Money and Values wonders if you pay the tolls or go the long way ’round? I go whichever way is the quickest and easiest. In many states, buying the EZ Pass (or equivalent) is cheaper and faster!
- Moneywise from The Real Returns gives us the cost of owning a car. Moneywise says, “The total car expense over the 10 year period is too much.” When you look at the final numbers, I would almost agree. However, in many US locations, it is very difficult, and very inconvenient, to live without a car.
- However, Samuel Bryson from Total Wellbeing agrees with Moneywise and recommends cycling to save money. Like the pushmower, this is cheaper, better for the environment, and great exercise!
Exercise and Healthcare
My wife and I love to take hikes at our nearby nature reserve when the weather is nice enough. Now that winter has come, we go down to our basement where we have an elliptical machine. It wasn’t cheap to purchase, but we use it often enough that it was worth the expense. We also don’t pay for a gym membership – that saves us plenty!
- One Snarky Chica With Issues wants you to get fit in 2008 and save money doing it.
- Aparna from Beauty and Grooming shares her frugal tips for winter skin and hair care. She uses only all natural ingredients that are inexpensive and probably already in your home.
- Laura from Opinion Mom uses Fridays as her Fugal Fitness day. She says you can get fit for less and save money while keeping your New Year’s resolutions. Sounds good to me!
I love food! Thankfully, my wife and I both enjoy eating healthy meals. We also try to make our menu according to what we can find on sale. These tips will definitely help us the next time we go to the grocery store!
- Silicon Valley Blogger from The Digerati life has some great tips that will help you save money when grocery shopping! I love the picture at the top of the article. And the tips are great too!
- Kyle from Rather Be Shopping Blog wants you to save money by making your food last longer. With a little creativity, you can make some great meals with random food from your fridge and pantry – or just eat leftovers!
- Free From Broke changed his breakfast eating habits and found out it saves him money. It is true when they say breakfast is the most important meal – especially when you can save money on it!
- The Frugal Duchess shares how to save some green by eating green. I love a nice healthy salad!
One of the best ways to save money is to put it into your budget. If you don’t allow yourself the temptation to spend it, you often won’t! Make your plan to save money, and instead of learning through trial and error, shorten the learning curve and learn from these great articles!
- Money Ning analyzed his 2007 Budget, to help maximize savings and frugality. He does this once a year, so this is your only chance this year to see how he does it!
- Prime Time Money tells us we can save hundreds of dollars by paying your own property taxes every year.
- FIRE Finance tracked all their expenditures in 2007 and realized $1000s in Savings! Way to go!
- Saving Freak tells us to stabilize our finances by planning for big events such as Christmas.
- Karen from A Bankruptcy Lawyer’s Blog shares how to get over a bankruptcy. I’ll give you a hint. Learning to live a frugal existence is a good start!
Shopping is a necessary evil. You can’t live without it (unless you choose to live off the grid; but if you did, would you really be reading this? Didn’t think so…). To save time and money, I like to shop on-line. One way I save money is by using Ebates, which gives you rebates based on qualified purchases. You get $5 $10 for signing up too!
- paidtwice shares tips on how to save money using rewards cards, buying generic items and more. I think some generic items are great, but others hit or miss.
- Free Money Finance recommends using employee discounts to save a boatload of money! Great advice. I use my employee discounts as often as possible. It was even better when I was in the military because a lot of places offer military discounts. 10% savings here and there really adds up!
- Sisterly Savings saves a lot of money at On line Consignment Shops.
- Wenchypoo from Wisdom From Wenchypoo’s Mental Wastebasket says now is a good time to plan ahead for next Christmas. Post-Christmas sales are a great place to stock up on all kinds of seasonal decorations!
- New Baby Savings Guide shares some humorous and money saving information on saving money on cloth diapers and wipes. I don’t have children yet, but one day I will need to use these tips. I also like the idea of cloth diapers because they save money and are great for the environment. Let’s just see if convenience wins out in the long run!
- Super Saver from Wealth Builder has a goal for 2008: “Not Buying Things I Don’t Need.” Great advice!
The Frugal Way of Life – Musings and More
Saving money can almost be a state of mind. If you practice the art long enough, it becomes second nature and you don’t even have to think about doing it. Zen and the Art of Saving Money, anyone? Read these tips to expand your frugal horizons!
- Stephanie from Unclaimed Money is teaching her children how to be frugal at an early age in her article, Not Keeping Up With the Jones Jr’s. I love how her children appreciate what they have and do not need the latest gaming system to be happy. I hope I can raise my children the same way when my wife and I have them. Way to go Stephanie!
- Mrs. Micah says you don’t have to spend money to have a good time. I agree 100%.
- Stephanie at Stop the Ride! has thirteen ways to use dryer lint! I am officially impressed at this hard core frugality!
- The Happy Rock had a great time and didn’t spend much on vacation. I think I could use one of those right about now!
- Amanda from Me Vs. Debt asks “Is Online Tutoring a Worthy Investment?” I’ve taken on-line college courses, but never done on-line tutoring. Amanda states that “purchasing this service directly is expensive, but many libraries offer it for free.” She knows – she does tutoring.
- Rocket Finance says you don’t have to pay for your child’s college education. RocketC paid his own way through school and he shares his tips on how you or your children can do it to. This is great advice and an even bigger accomplishment! Way to go, RocketC!
Thank you for joining me for this week’s Festival of Frugality! I hope you found a few of these little things to be entertaining and educational. Remember, it doesn’t take a lot to save money, and those little things add up!
If you would like to join in next week’s Festival of Frugality, submit your blog article to the next edition using the carnival submission form. Next week’s FoF will be hosted by the Queen of Frugality herself, Frugal For Life! Here is a list of past posts and future hosts.