Frugal Living


lock the money up
Frugal Living is not just a way of life, it’s also a state of mind.

We can aim to generate as much income as possible, but we can’t accumulate wealth without wise spending habits. Frugality is about stopping the money leaks while still living a fulfilling life and it requires a mindset adjustment in order to succeed. Here are a few articles to start you off on the right path.

Frugal Living Tips
And here are a few practical tips so you can live frugally and happily. Enjoy.

Example and Experiments and Practical Advice
Need more tips? These are some of my own experiences and fun experiments that I’ve tried in order to save some money.

This is actually the beginning. MoneyNing (the site you are on) is all about discussing money matters and I highly encourage you to stick around as we will have new material for you on a daily basis. All you have to do is go to the home page where there is an interesting article waiting for you.

Wait, Here’s The Best Part

You can also sign up for the free frugal newsletter, and for a limited time, I’m giving away a free 7-part mini course on how to live simpler, more frugal and be happy. All you have to do is sign up below to have it delivered to you, and I will even throw in a free ebook where you can learn how to save money on just about everything.

Money Saving Tip: An incredibly effective way to save more is to reduce your monthly Internet and TV costs. Click here for the current AT&T DSL and U-VERSE promotion codes and promos and see if you can save more money every month from now on.

{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Mary says:

    Realize too that a frugal choice can often be a better choice. For example, my kids always preferred time playing with us over a new toy. When my husband and I cut out restaurants/movies for date nights, we started taking long walks together and talking more. Way better in so many ways!! That may not be your thing, but you’ll be surprised how many frugal choices are better ones.

  • TheEngineer says:

    Financial Independence is the detachment from other people money – their money can no longer enslave you.

    Financial Freedom is the freedom from money itself – money have very little or no role in the true meaning of your life.

    On the average, Financial Independence will take 10, 15, 20 to 30 years of planning and execution – it is the first financial mile marker.

    The problem for many is the lack of the life framework!

    Every ten years, each and everyone of us physically and biological changed so much that we are a different person – birth, 10 years old, 20 years old, 30 years old, 40 years old and forward.

    Every ten years we see ourselves and the world around us with a different perspective.

    The question is – do we have the right framework to grow us along the way for the new you and the new world.

  • Goat Finja says:

    I agree it takes state of mind and discipline to be frugal. The savings are great and it’s worth it!

  • Andrew says:

    hello my name is Andrew im 47 years old. I’m struggling financially because I have 5 kids, can you please help me to figure out the best ways to save some money? thank you

    • Peter says:

      Hello Andrew, thank you for leaving your comment. First of all, you need to put priorities in your life.

    • Mary says:

      I think you’re making a great start by hanging out online in places like this one. I love to play games and am not very disciplined, so I made up a game that has helped me save $36,500 in the last 3 year. At first, I didn’t think being frugal was worth it. Now I know I’m not just saving money here and there. I have a place to put the money I save and it’s been a blast!

  • Linda Gross says:

    When you pay for prescriptions ask the pharmacy if they are using your insurance card and not some other one they have. I was told my medicine
    was 25.60 When I asked her to rerun my insurance card it was 1.60. This
    is the third time this pharmacy has done this to me.

    So many banks want to take your house payment out of your checking. I have this done as they told me I could save interest. Well, are they applying the money they take out of your account the day it is taking out?
    I happen to check this month. Dec – and Jan payments were fine but February was posted with the January balance. I called and after 5 calls, one of which was a supervisor, they could not explain, They told me they
    had my phone number but two days later it was corrected and they didn’t
    even contact me. Where was the money? Makes you wonder.

  • Avni says:

    Amazing posts n idea….I loved most of them..
    I was always a working mom and I never thought about saving money or minimizing my expenses but now finally when I’m planning to quit my job I’m realizing.. I should learn n practice frugal life style.

  • Jason says:

    I just came across your website and I love it. I have been working on becoming frugal for quite some time. I have done very well, cutting my electric bill from 120 to 60 in the past, my grocery bill cut to 250-300 conservatively, and my driving gas at about 120 per month. Sometimes I can get a little greedy and look to cut more costs. It drives me nuts constantly thinking of ways I can cut costs. I have become obsessed with it. My question is, I want to eventually go off grid but I’m not sure how to approach it. I’ve thought about going as far as creating a filtration system that collects rain water to use for showers and laundry. I have no idea how to even begin to do this. I’m not very handy, I just need some direction. Thank you.

    • JJ says:

      Excellent idea, going off-grid! Wish I could, but I’m not in a position where it would work out. I hope to be sometime soon, though.

    • JJ says:

      I just had a thought; could you try this? There’s a barrel-shaped hand-cranked washer for your clothes that works fairly well. It’s just big enough to wash one pair of jeans or slacks or 2 shirts at a time. It comes with instructions, of course. You can even run your clothes through it a second time for liquid fabric softener. Then you can get a drying rack for your clothes. It works well, and you can find one in the size you need. You get the washer online, but you can find the drying rack at Walmart. I wish you well!

    • mildred lane says:

      o to YOU TUBE and check out their videos on “going off grid”

  • says:

    Being frugal can be overdone sometimes, thereby limiting one to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Its important to have the mindset of saving and reinvesting one’s savings for retirement. But to consistently avoid spending your money for things you will enjoy, where when looking at the big scheme of things those expenditures will not hurt you at the end of the day, is overdoing it. Keep in mind, when we pass away, we cannot take our earnings with us.

    • Jason says:

      I totally agree with you. When I started being frugal, I got so obsessed with cutting costs that I would take away from the grocery bill to pay down debt. Let’s just say I lost some weight..not very healthy. The good thing is that I recognized it and made slight adjustments to my approach.

  • ban trang diem says:

    I like to look at it as a game instead of a struggle. I started with a budget of course and keep track of everything I spend. And I also have a list of priorities for my life that helps me know that I don’t really need (fill in the blank) to be happy and share with my friend

  • Nate from LendEDU says:

    I am frugal, but I always I make sure if it is a high dollar item that I am getting the most for my money. I would rather buy the nice item that will last longer, than having to replace it over and over again, which in the end would cost me more money. Agreed, it is a state of mind.

  • Copa America 2015 says:

    I’m a working mom always looking for places to cut back. It’s a daily struggle and you are right, a state of mind. Worth it though!

  • Robert says:

    Always live within your means. If using a credit card to get rewards, make sure the amount you spend is the amount you pay off each month. You get the rewards and avoid paying interest.

    Also, be diligent with grocery shopping as this tends to be one of the largest monthly expenses. We tend to waste tons of perishable foods, so try freezing them if you overbought one week.

  • Linda says:

    Mildred you are doing the same as me. I use my credit card for all expenses and pay off in full every month. I shopped at Safeway and save on their website for u save coupons, use store coupons, and get gas points for 10 cents off a gallon. When I applied for the card got 200 dollars and get 1-5 persent back on my groceries.
    Bill pay save stamps. Live on 8 acres plant organic garden and have chickens. Put in orchard and planted berries and grapes. I can, freeze dehydrate the food from the garden. When I go on vacation I rent one night at a hotel and am able to leave my car their for up to 3 weeks. They take me to the airport and pick me up. I shop thrift stores only for things I need.

  • Ben van den Berg says:

    I think your absolutely right! The fun thing is living frugal doesn’t have to mean you live without luxury. It’s just about the way you look at live and what’s important. We can do without a lot of stuff that’s way to expensive just because companies had to spend a huge marketing budget to sell it to us. And when looking at bargains and deals in normal live there is a load of cash to save!

  • Anne says:

    To David, Owl and all; Wishing all a Merry Merry and a Happy Happy!

    I’d like to add, don’t forget the poor. NO ONE asks to be poor or destitute. You will be blessed for any little thing you do or give to them. We are guided and told to give to the poor, the widow, the orphaned; to turn no one away. You are promised that whatever you give, you will be recompensed and blessed 10 Xs’ over. THAT’S TEN TIMES MORE THAN WHAT YOU GIVE! What kind of investment could ever be better than that! Similarly, do not rob, cheat or scam anyone else. For this you will pay dearly, TEN TIMES OVER. Put your sacrifice of giving into action for yourself and watch your rewards return!

    I might add, that Target is now getting their just deserts. It was approximately eight years ago that Target announced they would no longer allow the Salvation Army Kettles to ring their bells or solicit donations outside their doors or in their parking lots. These collections solicited over the holidays were made by volunteers of The Salvation Army and all donations were made by us contributors at no cost or inconvenience to Target. What a nasty blow right at the hardest time of the year to The Salvation Army and to those who admire and gladly give to them.

    A Target Exec announced that they donate to the arts, (whereupon they reap vast tax deductions and benefits). Well, Whoop T Do; we all love the arts, but what does this have to do with feeding the poor while allowing the generosity of others to help feed and clothe them? How does Targets’ artsy contributions affect us customers who willingly give to the Salvation Army at NO tax deduction when we drop money into their kettles, and whose donations do not affect shopping at Target one way or the other?

    Okay I contacted Target at the time, which led to me telling them I hoped they go broke. They robbed the poor and caused others to slight them. Of how much over an eight years period? My guess would be well over a million $+ in contributions they would have collected outside the doors of Target. Now, eight years later I might be watching Target suffer the consequences of their nasty high level actions.

    Already they have had their stocks drop more than $2B in the last week and have dropped all their prices by at least 10% while trying to lure their lost customers back into their doors. Fact is, in the end they even robbed their customers by not notifying them that their credit/debit cards had been scammed three weeks earlier, beginning the day of Black Friday shopping. Willfully, they knowingly allowed scammers to continue scamming without notifying their customers for three whole weeks!

    Too bad they turned their back on The Salvation Army, who was doing them no harm and who I know FOR A FACT turns no one away. Anyone I have ever sent to them were given too and treated very kindly, without question, entitlement or harassment. Yeah for you, Target, you are finally getting your payback now! The point is, DON’T ignore or turn your back on the poor, OR rob or allow them to be robbed, or anyone else. You will get your payback too, one way or the other. Good or bad. God bless in the coming New Year!

  • Money Bags says:

    spend less than you make and bank the rest.

  • Louise says:

    Thank you for all you do.

  • Liz Riley says:

    To save money, I do the following:
    1. Ask for “cuttings” of plants, use “saved” soil and “used” flower pots to replant each Spring/Summer. Place outside in summer, spray and bring inside each Fall.
    2. I stopped delivery of two newspapers as the prices were going up and the “news” was less.
    3. I reuse plastic bags (from shopping) for trash, to line trashcans and store garbage.
    4. I only purchase clothing on sale–never pay original retail costs. I comparison shop and purchase “gently used” expensive items (from ebay and other online stores).
    5. I’ve recently purchased a property and (when able) pay additional amounts toward the Principal to gain additional credit. The same goes for my Home Equity Line of Credit. Plus, both are tax deductible!

  • tk says:

    I am pretty new to the frugal life but it is amazing what a little planning can do just for lunches. I could not believe how much it added up eating out every day. I have the crock-pot going now for dinner and lunch every other day and grilling tonight to suit the other times.

    Great article.

  • Johnny says:

    You don’t have to be a cheapo to be rich. Just don’t show-off. Be humble.

    Don’t just work a job. Do more than a 40 hour job. Find what you like to do even if you weren’t getting paid for it and start a business in that subject and do get paid for it.

    Never give uncle Sam more than you need to. Start a business and take expenses against it and then pay taxes.

    When you work a job, the employer takes your taxes and gives you the remaining cheese. When you have a business, you take expenses against your revenue and then pay taxes on the profit.

    Learn how to invest. The market crashes at least once every 5 years. Whatever money you have saved can safely be invested in the stock market after every crash. Load up as much as you can on stock market indexes such as SPY, etc. Learn to read the charts and you will know when the indexes are at oversold levels and then load up.

    Let your money work for you and not the other way around. Otherwise, you will be a fool like most of the world working without saving a dime and complaining about every little expense that hits your way. Oh…my car is in the shop…oh, I have to get my computer repaired, etc.. Live smart and you will be able to buy whatever you want…whenever you want with no stress.

    • mildred lane says:

      I am able to take my computer to the vocational school to get repaired for $5 plus any new parts if needed. This is a great savings for me.

  • Susan says:

    Take Control of Your Money. Tip to look at your finances in a clear light:

    1) Deal in Cash. Dedicate a particular amount for each weeks spending. Setting up a separate account provides structure, if easier for you. Or as easy as using a weekly envelope. When the money is gone, you must wait for the next week. This amount should include weekly expenses such as food, gasoline, gifts, entertainment, eating out, babysitters, housekeeping, school lunches.

    2) Pay Rent/Mortgage first from income. If not, you will damage your credit rating, which will be an uphill battle to correct. And stand the chance of losing the roof over your head. Meanwhile you will increase your equity in your home.

    3) Identify annual costs like Term Life Insurance (a must for families with children), Auto, Medical, Home Owners/Renters and Disability Insurances. These may be covered by one or both heads of household’s Employer(s). Calculate monthly cost and establish an account or envelope for these expenses.

    Bottom line, if you don’t know where every cent of your money is going, you don’t have control of your future.

    • mildred lane says:

      I put every thing on my visa charge card. Why? I have a record, use to auto pay all my bills-power,phone,food,gas,etc.,-because this card has a cash back ,it pays 3% back on gas, 2% back on food, 1% back on everything else. I call this making money back for me. No yearly charge for the card either.

  • Elaine says:

    I just recieved my natural gas bill. It will be under $200.00 per year. I did that by buying a heat exchanger on my new air conditioner. The air conditioner was not cheap but figured out over a number of years it will pay off. When I heard that food prices will raise by as much as 10% I took a hard look at what I was buying. I am now more careful of waste and saving money every week. I had been overbuying and wasting food. Apparently alot of the food supply end up in land fills such a waste. I have a ways to go, but will work on it!

  • mary says:

    Frugality equals time, but it also equals sustainability. I have work at times in my life. I have also been a stay at home mom. This was always my job and it looks good on me. We are reaching retarment, but frugality never grows old

  • Elle says:

    The essence and purpose of frugality was summed up in this comment:

    Skaye January 11, 2012 at 10:31 am SAID: ” Living Frugally is actually fun! You’re only going to make “so much” money in your lifetime, how much of it do you really want to line other people’s pockets vs. your own? ”

    We only have a lifetime, that’s right. I want to add that TIME IS MONEY. Say I can earn $50 to $300 an hour, and have to prioristise my time. I also need time to relax, take care of my health, take care of my loved ones and stay sane. So my time is not worth saving pennies. It is worth paying people to do jobs that would take time from you which could be better spent.

    • IrishGreenEyes says:

      Elle, You are very fortunate to make $50-$300 an hour. Many people around you are lucky to have a job and make minimum wage. There are great suggestions here for everyone to save their pennies! “A penny saved is a penny earned”! Have a blessed day.

    • mildred lane says:

      I, too, had a high paying job but for me it was worth, on my day off, to make bulk meals in individual containers,water bottle,small cooler in my car as I traveled from patient to patient. Each night I washed out my dark uniform in the tub after I showered w/ soap , rinsed, hung there to drip dry and was ready for the next day. I was able to reinvest the money in real estate and retire at age 56, now am 75 and still being frugal. lol

  • Jonathan says:

    I definitely think that frugal living is a lifestyle. I’ve worked hard at it for many years, but I’m now happy with the outcome. It’s not just about saving money here and there it’s about saving money across a whole range of day to day things we do, including spending patterns and habits. Small changes lead to massive gains.

  • Elaine says:

    I have recently moved from a northern climate to a much warmer one. There are fruit trees everywhere here and lots of people not using there fruit. I’m so busy canning and making jam and pickles etc. I enjoy doing it and share it with my daughter and her kids, still living up north. I price out items like a one litre of dill pickles figure out what its costing me and how much I save. Its quite alot and the products are mostly organic and free of any additives! Next spring I’m building a garden, and planting a grape vine. I planted a dwarf cherry tree already. Even though I live on a small lot I think I can grow quite alot of stuff.

    • MissKat says:

      I have a very small garden and built raised beds to garden. We also use containers. Beans and peas grow well up walls and trellises, as do grapes and – planted effectively – can lower your cooling bills in summer by providing shade. Dwarf fruit trees in containers add great citru optionss. We are in Northern CA and still have Meyer lemons – which we trade with farmers at the farmer’s market for specialty items (get this: we trade excess lemons for chocolate truffles!). Think about trading your cans and jams for other things you need!

  • Jerry says:

    Having a frugal state of mind is insurance for your budget and also for your future. Living beyond your means is living a lie and always leads to problems.

  • Paulo says:

    To those that mention cooking as a way of saving money – I supose it will be dificult to find a portuguese cookbook in USA (or elsewhere than in Portugal) but portuguese cuisine is a master piece on eating cheap. You just have to like olive oil and often garlic 🙂 An example – chop as much oignon you like (can add carrots too, cuted in fine slices) and fry all in olive oil (it may work with other kind of oil but I never tried) and with small pieces of pork meat (it will work with other kinds of meat but the traditional way is pork) when it´s fried put a good quantity of green peas and cover it with hot water and lots of coriander, let it boil and when the green peas are cooked turnoff the source of heat and break in the amount of eggs you want to eat, cover the container and wait 5 min. I hope my english is not too bad and olive oil is not very expensive in USA 🙂

  • deeba says:

    It always excites me to cut back on spending and live more frugally.

    • mary says:

      I am with you sister. I am an intelligent woman that requires mental stimulatation. I am unemployed at the moment and will not officially retire until may. Our income was cut in half so I brought out the skills. There were some . Lol. I was a stay at home mom when my children were young. Things gave changed, thank god for the internet. Lots of info to be had. I have always considered this, being frugal my job, when I worked the past 8years I retired it. Well I an back at it and frugality looks good on me.

      • mildred says:

        I too love the game of being frugal. My adopted son drew social security off my check until he was 19 this year. So I had to find ways to cut back to make up for losing his check. I canceled cable which neither of us watched and have not missed. Took Netflex. Called my homeowners insurance that had my home appraised for 3 x what it is worth and had 1/3 cut off to lower the premiums.Found Wholesale Food Store that u can fill a banana box for $10,,(gave these food boxes for Christmas presents for family out of work etc.)Use gas card that lets me have $,10/gal off. Use visa w/ Bank of Am that pays cash back on food,gas and other saving me $186.00 this past year. Got Roke and tv antenna an can get 11 channels free. Started washing whites and darks together to make a full load once /week and it has worked out better. Hang clothes on wooden rack in home to dry. Make my own laundry detergent. And I am still learning from ea of u. Next I want to try the bubble wrap on my windows to insulate them,

  • Cash Genie says:

    For me, leftover foods are never wasted. Cooking them into another menu is a way of saving some pennies for the next meal. It’s fun especially when you discover something new, something delicious. Plus, don’t shop with empty stomach. It will urge you to buy more than what you need.

  • Curley says:

    Buy what you need, less on what you want.

  • abraham a. bautista says:

    Frugality is a habit that we must keep in our everday living. Living beyond our means is the creed of modern capitalism to induce people to buy things which they really don’t need. Frugality is acquiring things you really need.

  • Shopping Girl says:

    Another great way to save money is to subscribe to online deal newsletters to be aware of online clearance sales, coupons and discounts.

    • Jenise says:

      Shopping Girl,
      I agree with you 100%. When I go out shopping, I always take with me a binder that has the weekly store sales, list what I wanted to buy at that store and my bundle of coupons (online and from news papers). If the store don’t have the item, I ask them where I might find them and such.

      Also, when it comes to food, I go to the website called All you have to do is just type in what you have in your kitchen and will just bring up recipes that you have. Also, member will either post picture of the food or give some feed back. I love that website.

  • Architect says:

    In the past few years I learned how to be frugal without sacrificing health, safety, morals, or compliance with the law. Most of it has to do with doing away spending that isn’t really required for daily life.

    For example, I cut out our phones and used magic jack. Along with a cheap prepaid cell phone, I was able to cut nearly a thousand dollars per year.

    I also shopped for cheaper insurance for healthcare, auto, and home. Getting a bundled deal on insurance through my alumni association, and by increasing my deductibles, I was able to save nearly two grand per year.

    • mary says:

      This is just a heads up. My son was in a motorcycle wreck. A kid hit him. When we talked to the attorney about insurance, he said that some medical insurance require you to pay them back on large items. So be careful. His did not. Thank goodness. He always wanted to ride in a helicopter. He did but did not remember a minute of it. Lol.

  • aiko says:

    I used to be a crazy spender but I learned from my husband how to be frugal. We always have a list and a budget when we go shopping. Anything beyond our budget will be tossed back. If we go over the budget, even for 5 cents, we toss back one item. Now I am happy that we are able to buy a house, in cash, and are not worried of any debts. Being frugal is fun!!!

  • Jay says:

    Frugality is a constant learning curve for me. especially when spending money to set up a business because you have to constantly weigh up whether or not the item(s) you’re buying are actually going to give you a good rate of return.

  • Skaye says:

    Living Frugally is actually fun! You’re only going to make “so much” money in your lifetime, how much of it do you really want to line other people’s pockets vs. your own?

    I make home laundry soap with left over bathing bars when they are too small to lather up my wash rags. Not only is this soap good for laundry, it’s also good for cleaning my oven (I think the Borax makes it a good degreaser) and it cleans my toilet to a sparkling clean!

    Our Church has a “borrow” program – where people put their name on a list and an item(s) they are willing to allow other church members to “borrow” for free. I’ve been able to borrow a baby crib when my sister visited with her new born, a set of crutches after knee surgery, and an electric oven when I had to roast a turkey for Christmas! This is a valuable service and I highly recommend that if you’re involved in a group / club / church – to maybe try and implement this “Borrow” program.

    • Mgusto says:

      That is a wonderful idea!! Never thought of that.

    • Georgia says:

      That’s very interesting about how you’ve been making your own laundry soap. My family doesn’t use bar soap.

      Also its very cool that your church set up a “borrow” program between members. I might mention your idea to my church’s leaders to see if it is something that might be helpful.

  • james says:

    While shopping frugally can be good…I would suggest that your readers avoid dumpster diving or curb side shopping. Oh and avoid firstly all upholstered furnishings from unknown sources. The problem is the proliferation of nasty pests such as bed bugs. They are out there in abundance now…and once in the house will be most uncomfortable both physically and emotionally, as well as being very expensive to be rid of. The reality of the matter is that they are terrible touch little bugs that have tremendous resilience…And you thought cockroaches were bad!
    I have been lucky and have never gotten these bed bugs, but unfortunately others have been less so. Be careful.

  • Ilokano says:

    Frugality is a way of life and having to accept it at a very young age will be a natural character as one grows up. Coming from a northern province in the Philippines where we are known for being frugal, a lot of countrymen were surprised when we are migrant workers in the biggest oil company in Saudi Arabia for we were the most visible people who took odd-jobs to augment our salaries. After long years of hard work, we are now far better-off than most of our compatriots, financially speaking.

  • olwen zarlengo says:

    Here are a few of my saving tips, many are also good for your health and the environment.
    * Eliminate paper towels, and dish sponges, I cut up old t shirts and re use.
    * Quit the dishwasher and save on electricity, hand wash.
    * Eliminate most cleansers -Ajax, dish wash liquid and glass cleaner work for
    everything anyway.
    * Wait and wash full loads of washing.
    * If you have a pool, over the winter, clean yourself or empty save even more.
    * Teach your kids the joy of thrift shopping – its like hunting for treasure.

    • kathy says:

      It actually uses more water to hand wash than to use dishwasher.

      • Harvey says:

        Well, Kathy, it all depends on the method of hand washing, doesn’t it? – Not to mention the probability that some folks run the dishwasher only partly full.

        • Val says:

          Unless you entertain tons of people every day or leave the water running the whole time, washing the dishes by hand couldn’t possibly take more water than using a dishwasher. The only electricity it uses is what it took to heat the water, and if you have a well the bit that would be used running the pump for a few seconds. We are a family of eight and we use very little water to wash and rinse a day’s dishes. Also using dish soap is far less expensive that dishwasher soap. Dishwashers have always seemed a bit redundant to me. Washing dishes is part of the ritual of a meal and a great time to have a conversation with a loved one – perhaps about how they can grow up to live a frugal, successful life.

          • Lynn says:

            Besides, a dishwasher doesn’t put the leftovers away, wipe down table, countertops, stove and put the dishes back into the cupboard, sweep the floor, etc.

          • Janet says:

            We hand wash put a splash of rubbing alcohol in the water place in dish washer and Ron quick rinse our family of nine found third to be the best compromise for health and clean frugal dishes

    • mary says:

      I buy this reusable dish clothes from dollar tree. I wash them with the whites and reuse. When they are worn out I will use them at the bottom of my garden containers for a filter.

      • Paula says:

        I live in an apt with a lousy, low end quality dishwasher. We also have a lot of calcium and lime in our water. If you don’t wash the dishes–all of it– with a scruby, load the dishwasher and immediately run it then everything comes out looking awful. Is this a time saving, labor saving appliance?

        • angela says:

          My repairman told me that if you let the dishwasher fill up with really hot water then add a 1/2 cup of CLR and let it run it’s cycle then run another cycle as normal it should be good as new. You may have to do it a couple of times. If anyone tells you to use vinegar instead don’t listen, I tried a hundred times and it didn’t work. I had to do the CLR three times (calcium) then it worked fine. Maybe do it once a month. Good luck. ,

  • Shelley says:

    We furnished a college apartment from Craig’s List. Almost 98% was either free after the seller found out it was for a college student or price cut to peanuts. The furniture was in good condition and was free or below $25. Once she graduates we will donate it to Goodwill or Salvation Army and start over in another community furnishing the grad school apartment from Craig’s List.

    • I'mJustSayin' says:

      Shelly, we did the same thing… twice, for our two daughters when they graduated college and moved into apartments in other towns. It is amazing what you can get at goodwill, salvation army, church sales, fundraiser auctions, yard sales, estate sales, craig’s list etc.

      Another source is your local “Freecycle” group. They are nationwide and people give away items free of cost if you pick it up at their location.

    • lisette says:

      One more to add to that: Google Tumbleweed Houses, or Tiny House Blog. Don’t be put off by the high cost of building one that they quote: I used salvaged/recycled materials and built my Tumbleweed for around the cost of one semester’s apartment rent. Now I own my home outright – no rent or utility payments! Look into it – paying rent for something you will never own is NOT a frugal habit. If you don’t want to build from scratch, a used camper can be found on Craigslist for around 4-5K US, and then, again, you own your dwelling outright, no rent. Get a couple solar panels from a farm supply company (check out Farm Tec) and a rain barrel, you’re all set – Very low or no utility costs. Frugality, in the end, is intertwined with self-sufficiency.

      • RW-in-DC says:

        Just don’t do this in Tornado Alley *unless* you have a storm cellar below. Mobile homes are the leading cause of deaths in tornados and I would extrapolate that to include (unfortunately) your “Tumbleweed”.

    • mildred lane says:

      When u donate be sure to get a donation slip to use when filling out your long form income taxes.

  • Household Budgeting says:

    Frugal living is an attitude and mindset. Either I want to live on less than I earn or I do not. And if I do, then I will cut back wherever possible. And when I cannot possibly cut back any more, I will look for ways to increase my income, even if it is just a few dollars each month.

    • Katie K. says:

      Simply said. But brilliant. I agree 100%. It really is just that simple. People tend to overcomplicate the process of saving and earning, which causes undue stress and anxiety, making people averse to addressing the topic any longer. If you keep it plain and simple, and in the forefront of your mind, it will become a way of life rather than a chore worth avoiding.

  • Libby says:

    I like to look at it as a game instead of a struggle. I started with a budget of course and keep track of everything I spend. And I also have a list of priorities for my life that helps me know that I don’t really need (fill in the blank) to be happy.

  • Mary says:

    I love it when I try to be frugal and it results in something even better. This happened the other night when I made lasagna. I usually use a whole box of noodles but wondered how the same recipe would turn out if I only used half a box? It was the best lasagna I ever made. It turned out to have a higher ratio of cheese and sauce which made it taste better. It was also lower carb which was good for us.

    • I'mJustSayin' says:

      At one time groceries were my family’s largest espenses. Not anymore. We budget $50 a person per week (inclusive of eating out!).

      When I have a “failed” attempt at a new meal, I try to use that meal as an ingredient in another instead of throwing it out.

      For example, the other night I baked boneless chicken and coated it in taco seasoning, added hot jar salsa & jalapeno pepper jack cheese. I served over mixed stir fry of onions, peppers, chilies and zucchini. The result was great …in theory, just way too Spicy for me to eat. So for lunch the next day I diced the same chicken, added two pkgs ramon noodles w/ season packet and water, and the stir fry veggies, to make an awesome tortilla-style southwest soup. It was excellent!

      I try to avoid throwing food away. We buy what we need and use fresh items before they spoil. We splurge and eat out maybe once a week, but use a coupon, split meals or take in early bird specials. Nobody goes home hungry.

    • Gregory says:

      In the summer I have a friend who grows too many zucchini. I heard about zucchini lasagna and I tried it. It was not only fabulous, but got an extra serving of veggies into my kids. Slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/4 slices and layers them in place of the noodles. All the other ingredients and layers are the same. Enjoy!

  • joanne says:

    What I am making now, one of my friends calls “garbage” but I love it because I don’t need anymore. I live frugally.

    For example, whenever I peel apples, carrots, pears, or oranges, I make great “tea”. I just put the peels in a big microwave bowl, and fill it up with water. I set the microwave for 5 minutes, take the bowl out, and let it cool. Then I strain and put it in the refrigerator to get cold. This flavored water can be used for many things. I have boiled potato in it, and used it to replace water in stew. Try it, it’s free.

    • Mervyn E Cloe says:


      You have a great idea, except for using the microwave. Everything that we do in a microwave, we can do on a stove or in its oven and that is much healthier.
      There is no real life left in food that is prepared in a microwave.

      Eat healthy and drink abundantly of life giving water! There is not much sense in being frugal if you shorten your lifespan!

      • Erik says:

        I’m sorry, but the claim that “There is no real life left in food that is prepared in a microwave” is total nonsense. In fact, vegetables that are steamed in a microwave preserve far more of their vitamins (because they stay in the food) than those that are boiled in water.

        • marcyg says:

          I would advise you to do some reading on the effects of microwaves on food molecules. It does alter them and can actually kill them. Even steaming them leaches much of the nutrients into the water. I prefer roasting veggies to retain nutrients and enhance flavor.

          • Erik says:

            All cooking modifies the structure of the molecules in food — that’s rather the point, isn’t it? All cooking methods ‘kill the food molecules’, whatever you mean by that.

            I disagree that steaming (by microwaves or otherwise) significantly leaches nutrients into the water. Individual nutrients are affected differently by different cooking methods: see for info about the effects of microwaving. Roasting food chars it on the outside, producing compounds that are somewhat carcinogenic (especially with meat). No one cooking method is superior to any other in every respect; it all depends on what is being cooked, how long for, and so on.

        • Diane says:

          You are so right!

    • Anne says:

      I’m almost two years late in responding to this comment, but since I feel so strongly about it, here goes. With no disrespect Joanne, re your post of 8/26/11; I feel that you and other readers should know that what you are doing is not safe for your overall well being, and that you have been misled. It’s not the microwave vs stove cooking method that I’m referring too, it’s the filth you are using to make tea and/or other broths with.

      My father was a farmer and taught us never to eat or drink from the peelings of any fruit or vegetable. For instance; our tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes and the like were always washed and peeled, and the discard was fed to the hogs. After peeling, the fruit & veggie was then rinsed under running water to remove any residue that might have gotten onto the freshly peeled fruit or veggie from the peeling process. He taught that the outer peel was God’s way of protecting the meat of the fruit & vegetable. And he was right.

      Consider this: For example, you are boiling and drinking the outer filth of carrots that grew in the dirt where insects and worms live; ditto for your potatoes. This is pure dirt clinging too and embedded in these foods. Insects & worms come into contact with those potatoes and carrots, etc., and lay their excrement and eggs into the little folds of the potato and carrots and other underground growing foods such as root foods, etc.

      You can boil these peelings all you want but you are literally eating the wash off of bug & worm do-do, dirt and filth. The same goes for fruits & veggies that grow above the ground, such as tomatoes & cucumbers, etc. Bugs & worms light on them and do their business, as well as the hardened residue of insecticides on the surfaces of these peelings.

      Leafy greens such as turnips, collards, cauliflower, brussle sprouts and the like, should be washed repeatedly several times over, cooked to boiled and the water drained off, then recooked again. Do NOT eat or drink this boiled wash off. It contains fly and insect larvae as well as insecticides. You think ‘steamed’ is the way to go? It isn’t, not unless these foods have been thoroughly washed and boiled FIRST.

      I want you to try a little experiment like I did; wash your potatoes with the peelings still on them, using a scrub brush, then put them in a pot and boil them . Just look at the filth and dirt that is in the boiled water! I did this three times using the same potatoes, each time starting over with clean water. At the end of the third wash, still trying to clean the unpeeled potatoes, the water was STILL dirty and filthy. Is THIS what you want to drink and eat? Smoking is not the only thing that causes cancer, so does a host of other things, such as what we put into our mouth and digestive tract.

      Forget what restaurants and nutritionists are telling you about all the nutrition that is hypothetically in the peelings; yes, it is, but it is for the hogs and insects. By cooking potatoes still in the filthy peeling and eating your salad with the cucumber and tomato peel still on the slice, you are eating/drinking sewer filth. Good lord woman, STOP eating or drinking this filth. Peel your fruits & veggies and discard the filth. Clean eating is actually more important to your health than spotlessly clean living. Thank you all for hearing me out.

      • laughing diva says:

        …thank you , I too, have boiled veggies, and the water in the pan is crummy…I like your dad’s idea of GOD’s way of protecting what’s inside the veggies and fruits we eat…PEEL OFF THOSE OUTER SKINS ! HOWEVER, I sure do like the taste of a warm baby-cuke right out of the garden ! THERE’s nothing like the taste !

    • laughing diva says:

      …thank you for your ‘ tea’ idea..I shall try it…I did try growing melon fruit but plenty of green viney leaves !!! CONGRATS to the common worker for downsizing…wealthy folks would have a coronary if they had to do what we do each day ! ONWARD PPL !!

    • Anne says:

      This practice is not safe. My father was a farmer and was avidly against our eating or drinking anything that was derived from the outer peelings of fruits and vegetables. Those that grow above the ground are covered in fertilizer and insect bowel residue. The reason God gave us these outer peelings is to protect us from eating unhealthy and unclean outer skins of the fruits and veggies inside them, including tomatoes and cucumbers, etc.

      Ditto for those that grow underground such as radishes, carrots and potatoes. Drop a few in a pot of boiling water and watch the dirt and filth that boils out. See how many MORE times you have to boil them before they come out clean. Duh… they never do. Do you eat banana peels and raw peanut shells? Of course you don’t; the thick and hard shell is to protect the meat of the peanuts and the banana. The same goes for all other fruits and veggies. PEEL AND WASH THEM!

      One would think that God gave you the good sense to know when to keep filth out of your digestive system, which is your sewer/plumbing system that provides nourishment (and or nasty toxins) throughout your body. You’re using this nasty filth to make TEA and drinking it? Take a look at your hair, your nails, your skin… What do you see? Not good. My final conclusion? God forbid. Keep this nasty crap OUT of your mouth!

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m a working mom always looking for places to cut back. It’s a daily struggle and you are right, a state of mind. Worth it though!

  • Frank Paul says:

    I am 81 years old and on a minimal income. I don’t know what else I can cut back on.

    • I'mJustSayin' says:

      My father is 85 yrs old and does a lot of things that save $ or are little cost.
      He socializes a few times a week with his core group of friends. His appetite is relatively small compared to portion size, so he splits a restaurant meal and the cost with a friend. He enjoys going on “senior discount days” too. [McDonald’s bottomless cup of Coffee is always $.50 for seniors!] If he uses a coupon from the newspaper for buy-1/get 1-free deals, he will split the cost of the single meal and take the extra portion home.

      Our local senior center has discounted on-site lunches weekdays daily and it’s a great way to socialize. He plays bridge twice a week at $4 cost, but if he helps set up/clean up, or agrees to take a walk-in visitor partner that is without a partner on a given night… than his play is free.

      The list of events for next to nothing is long for seniors in our area. The local library has free movie nights, speakers and art shows and the local book store has book signings. Seniors get discount tickets at the local little theater, movie theater, etc. Our senior center has a huge 20′ bulletin board in the lobby with local happenings & services for and about seniors.

      I highly suggest you look into your local senior center and get on their mailing list. They are a goldmine of information on cost saving suggestions and shared expenses.

      Best of luck!

      • Elsa says:

        Hopefully, there is a senior center near his home.

      • Anne says:

        To I’m just sayin’; since Frank Paul already said he is 81 yrs old and living on a minimal income, but can’t see where he can cut back any further; I doubt he can afford all these nice little econo-senior citizen niceties you refer too that collectively add up to a nice tidy little bundle for an elder gent who already can’t make it.

        Mr. Frank, if you do not already use them, contact Meals On Wheels near your area. You will answer some questions, but you do not have to ‘prove’ yourself to these people. They are there to help you. They will deliver to you a nice hot lunch 5 or six days a week. Also, call your county senior services. They will be able to furnish you info for receiving frozen meals every week that will provide your evening meals weekly. You will need to improvise a little, but overall these services will cut back drastically on your food costs. If you need to economize on travel, contact “Fish” in your area. They will provide free rides to and from your appointments and shopping, with only a one day notice for setting up your ride. All of these services are fee, provided by volunteers and will save you a tidy sum of money. God bless.

        • Debbie says:

          Some places have local energy government assistance programs that help you with your heat bill and commodity food assistance programs that provide food give-away regularly. Many churches also have weekly or monthly food give-away and some also give away clothing and furniture. Also, some places have transportation for senior citizens/disabled persons for low cost. The local senior citizen center or the local human services dept may have information on other assistance.

    • Carol Dijkhuyzen says:

      Bless you Sir,…I agree it’s not much.I wish you a long healthy life though…

    • Janet says:

      Frank you need a roommate like jenifer the comment above yours when two work together there is more

Leave a Comment