Rehashing Frugal Living After a DeathI mainly lurk these days but I had to become super frugal since the death of my husband in May. I am trying to get my widow benefits (we were both on SSDI), so I am living on less than half of what we were bringing in. I paid $500 up front for the cremation, but because SS is taking so long on my widows' benefits, the funeral home wrote off the rest of the bill. I do have his ashes with me now.
Frugal Camping TipsMany plans for vacation travel and events have been cancelled this summer, causing a renewed interest in camping trips. Camping is seen as a cheap way to vacation but the costs can really add up if you are not careful and wind up buying forgotten items. Here are some tips to keep your camping trip affordable and enjoyable for all.
Silence Is GoldenWhen I was a child, I would take long walks down unpaved, winding country roads. Much of the land was undeveloped and sometimes there was two, three miles distance between houses. Often, I would hear a cow mooing in a pasture to my right or left, tiny birds chirping happily, even the occasional buzzard or chicken hawk overhead.
Frugality And A Question Of MoralsI recently voiced my opinion, maybe too loudly, on a post about asking for extra condiments when dining out. I felt keeping extra condiments automatically given to you was OK, while asking for extras to increase your at home stockpile was not.
Choosing a Healthy Cooking OilThere are so many different choices for cooking oils. In a large natural foods store, there might be an entire aisle full of bottles and tins from all across the world. With nutritional studies emerging all the time that seemingly contradict each other, it can be hard to know exactly which oil is the best choice for your family. I decided it was time to find out for sure. I'm not an expert, but I thought I would share what I found out.
Coping Skills with Depression and AnxietyA few years ago, I needed help with coping with depression and anxiety. I went to classes to learn. I don't usually tell people this, but it helped me learn so much. It helped me then and it is helping me greatly now! A lot!
Another Day in Quarantine: The Best Day of AllMy day started out about the same. I have to say, I am looking at life a lot more positive these days! That is important for everyone to know. I think we (people) are just adjusting to this way of living. We are so conscientious of the possibility of catching the virus, we have given into the new way of life living in our homes We are at an accepting stage.
My Life Since Being "Quarantined"I'm not complaining at all here! One thing I want to focus on is my attitude. That is, my attitude now. Oh, I was not very happy with all of this in the beginning! Oh no!
Using Up A Surplus of FoodI had an interesting problem recently in regards to food. In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Oregon closed all bars and restaurants in mid March. They could still provide take-out or delivery but many places shut down for the duration. Because this was relatively unexpected, the businesses had a great deal of produce and refrigerated food to get rid of before it went bad.
RepurposeAn artist at heart, my brother loved doing home renovations. He also loved teaching me the basics, like how to use a power drill. This skill has played an essential role in my frugal living. Many of my frugal habits center around repurposing. It is finding another meaning in something, whether it retains its current form or not, and whether it is carefully preserved or eventually discarded.
A Green Frugal LifeI've always been a frugal person, following in my Grandma's footsteps. She survived the Depression yet fed her family well. Even a teaspoon of leftover corn at dinner was put in a homemade soup. Pastry scraps were made into the most delicious treats, spread with either cinnamon sugar or jam, then rolled, baked and sprinkled with powdered sugar. From her, we learned how to make delicious meals cheaply.
Living on a BudgetMy boyfriend and I live in Southeastern KY. We are both disabled and living on disability. We have to budget everything, from electricity to groceries, every month. We are members of several store loyalty programs that automatically apply coupons to your purchase, which helps a lot. You can also use clip coupons along with that to add extra savings.
Living in the BoondocksWe live in the country and it is 45 miles away from any grocery store. The first thing we do is to make a shopping list and only go shopping once a month. Our doctors are 180 miles from our home so, when we have a doctor's appointment, we check the shopping ads for the stores in that town and buy what we know we will use and stock up on those items at those stores.
Cancer: Health Isn't The Only Price You PayHearing a doctor tell you the hard truth, that you have cancer, takes your breath away. After a little while it becomes abundantly clear that the initial shock is compounded by the overwhelming costs involved. It's an added stress to you and your loved ones.
Jeannie Rollins ~ Frugality Without ChoiceMost of us have hard times now and then. Some of us have not just hard times but hard lives. Sometimes we all need something to jolt us back to reality. To a perspective from which we can see ' things really aren't as bad as they seem'. Some have it much worse than you.
The Most Frugal Of All, Free MemoriesWhat is your earliest memory? I will tell you three of mine as I don't know which is earliest. When I was little, the house was not heated past bed time. If the temperature was 10 degrees outside, it was 10 degrees inside, not long after we all went to bed.
13 Items That Almost Always SellThere was an internet meme going around recently that read: "See that clutter in your home? It used to be money." That simple statement was a wow moment for me. OUCH!
Getting the Most of WarrantiesNearly everything that is manufactured has some sort of warranty, although the length can vary greatly. Sellers can also offer extended warranties and credit card purchases may have additional protection as well. But these do you no good if you cannot utilize them before they expire. Here are some tips for making sure you get your money's worth from new purchases.
Be Content With a LittleIn my older years, my situation changed. I was not able to buy the things I thought I wanted or needed. Or thought I needed. Although I can't buy grass fed beef, the ground beef on sale for $2.99 a pound hasn't killed me. The fresh vegetables that grow next door to the organic are $2-$3 cheaper a pound.
Thrift Stores Are Not Created EqualI love thrift stores. My mom took my 5 sisters and me to the same store every time we went to the beach. That store is still there and I still shop there. Almost any thrift store has something I need. But they're not equal.
Living With Less Is MoreI have always been a bit of a cheapskate and as I get older I have grown to realize that I am not a "cheapskate", I am Frugal! And might I say I am proud of it! It started in my 20s.
Learning to Love My SeasonAs a child, I used to flip through a picture-book of Aesop's fables. One story I liked was of a dog who gazed into a lake long enough to see another dog. This dog, in lake world, stared back. He had a bone in his mouth. The real dog, with envy gnawing at his mind, snapped at his reflection in the water, dropping the bone he already had.
Saving Money in Different CategoriesSome of the best ways I've personally saved some money has been through these things:
Go-Go BootsWhen I was in the sixth grade, short white leather boots, called go-go boots, were all the rage. All the cool girls got them immediately. Not-so-cool girls got them in rapid succession. In a short period of time, anybody who was anybody had a pair, except for me.
How to Save Money on a Wedding VenueIt is no surprise that the actual venue for your wedding is one of the biggest expenses, the average cost being upwards of $12,000 for a short block of time. There are many ways to help chip off a big chunk of that total. Here are some ideas.
Saving on Destination WeddingsWe all know that the typical wedding can be one of the most expensive events in a lifetime, and even more so if you decide to have a destination wedding. But there are many ways to have a beautiful wedding on a budget. Yes, even those beautiful fairytale destination ones. Here are some tips to get you there while saving you big bucks.
Inner Roadblocks to Financial WellbeingI am not a fan of money in any shape or form. I pretty much have come to hate everything about it. Especially the way it interferes with what I'd rather do in life which means basically not having to care about who has it or who doesn't or how to get it or how not to - in other words, the way the cancer of money destroys everything in its wake.
Celebrating Your Wedding AnniversaryCommemorating the day you and your other half tied the knot does not have to be a big ticket item. In fact, finding ways to celebrate each other on the day of the big event, and for years to come, can be even more sweet when you really get creative together. Coming up with ways to enjoy your anniversary is enjoyable and saves quite a bit of money, especially as itis an annual event!
Free Education for SeniorsMy husband had already retired. I thought it would be a good time for us to spend time doing things that we've always loved so I retired early. Lucky for me, nature and the environment has always been my passion so I checked with all the local colleges and ended up finding a wonderful college certification program for Conservation and Natural Resources.
Creative Substitutions on Theme WeddingsTheme weddings are all the rage and notoriously expensive. With a few creative substitutions, you can have a theme wedding that wows without the pow of the post-wedding credit card blues.
First Comes Love, Then Comes Budget"To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part." These words are often part of a traditional wedding vow. So, what do you do if the poorer is now and you would love to have and to hold, from this day forward but you dont have the cash to do so?
A Hundred Dollar For A Family of FourGrowing up wasn't that easy for a simple girl who is shy and almost doesn't talk in public. My family has had a lack of resources since I was a kid, as my parents were just starting a small family. I remember one time my parents told me and my older brother to hide during snack time because we only have water and fried bananas on our lunchbox.
Finally Starting Out Being ThriftyMy partner and I are on SSDI with SNAP and I am enforcing a budget for 4 people in this household. We consume a lot of tea so we get the gallon bags on our main shopping trip. My partner brews it up in a large Dutch oven like pot and makes 2 gallons out of that, one for him and one for the rest of us.
Our Frugal Sustainable WeddingMy husband and I had a very fun, silly, and laid back picnic wedding. We had a very short planning period and a small budget. I met my husband while living and working in Vietnam. After moving back to the States, I quickly realized I didn't like living without him. So, I packed my bags and moved back to Vietnam and married him in Vietnam. We started the K-1 Fiancé visa process so that he could immigrate to the United States.
Having a Potluck WeddingWhen you think of a potluck get-together, your mind may take you back to a church event or picnic outing where tables were shielded with red checked tablecloths, covered in huge bowls of elbow macaroni, baked beans, and ambrosia salad. When you think of bringing that scene to a wedding, it might put you off. But don't allow that visual in particular to meld with your wedding. Having a potluck wedding can actually be a memorable, fun, and delicious way to save you thousands of dollars!
Ways to Save Money on Wedding FlowersFlowers can be a pretty costly item on the list of necessities for your wedding. There are many ways to cut the costs and still keep everything looking beautiful, from the bridal flower bouquets to the reception setting decorations.
Thankful for a Turkey's LifeMy dear friends, Michael and Lori, decided to raise a turkey for Thanksgiving this year. They have raised chickens for the last few years and have a large backyard. Although I'm sure they will never raise a turkey again, the last 8 months have been quite an adventure.
Eloping Can Save You MoneyBack in the day, eloping generally meant a couple running away together, without parental consent, with the intent of getting married. These days, eloping includes having a super small unannounced wedding, perhaps with the parents and a couple best friends present. Obviously, the smaller the party, the cheaper the wedding. This includes knocking out some really huge expenses. Read on to find out which cuts you can make by choosing to elope.
Frugality Ain't What It Used To BeGoogle just added a silly slide out panel to the new Gmail. It serves no purpose, gets in my way, and I find it very annoying. I think most businesses of today feel they won't be considered progressive unless they're constantly making changes, whether needed or not, whether good or not.
Friendsgiving Party PlanIf you are going to do a Friendsgiving, don't do it the way we did the first year! Here are the tricks we've learned:
Saving Money on Wedding FavorsWedding favors can be a rather large added expense. The more guests you have, the more the price goes up. There are many ways to cut costs on the gifts that you give out on your most memorable day. However, if you make cuts in the wrong places, like giving out really cheap favors, you're doing yourself a disservice. You can still have gorgeous favors at your wedding that represent you quite well as a couple and not break the bank.
The Thief In Your Closet and On Your ShelvesIs your stuff stealing your time and money? You know those doodads on your shelves, your clothing, the flotsam and the jetsam piled up in the nooks and crannies of your house. For most of us, the answer is a resounding YES! Your stuff is making you poor and you probably don't even realize it.
10 Gallon HeartIn traveling with my children, I noticed everything always was easier and better if Grandpa was going. It was like bringing a living breathing toy along. He always had 3x5 index cards in his pocket and an extra pen so when the children got fidgety, he would say "Draw grampa a picture and I'll give you a piece of candy" which he had stored in his pocket.
A Better Today and TomorrowRecently I asked someone if I was being a 'bitch'. The person I asked the question of drew my attention to the word I used. I was quite embarrassed; it made me stop and think. In my defense, such that it is and it's no good excuse I know, the word slipped out of my mouth without thinking and I didn't even consider that I was using a harsh or vulgar one.
Living Within Your MeansNow on a very small fixed income, I kept finding myself running out of money before the end of the month to pay my monthly bills and living expenses. So I wound up drawing money out of my savings account every month to pay bills until my next monthly check came in. I realized that my savings account was shrinking at an alarming rate. In looking at my lifestyle, I realized I had to change some of my habits.
Simple Memories of Simple MomentsMy father shaved every Saturday night after his bath. The smell of the week's sweat was washed away, replaced by the clean light fresh smell of the Sweetheart soap he used.
Being Frugal Around My HomeGrowing up in Kentucky wasn't that easy as a child. However, as an adult, life was easier and wonderful until I ended up sick and my life changed. I am a single mom raising 2 teenage children and had to stop working and go on disability. How in the world could I make ends meet on the small checks that came in the mail once a month?
Monologue Of A Killer WaspThe Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp, Sphecius speciosus, is said to be a solitary animal. That may be, but they sure don't mind close neighbors. My lawn is becoming riddled with their nests. They are considered beneficial in that they help keep the cicada population in check, thereby greatly reducing damage done to deciduous trees.
Thoughtful ThriftMy family had many frugal sayings but my favorite was "No money leaves this house!" The house was paid for, my parents had good jobs, yet they still embraced a very frugal lifestyle to ensure they didn't worry about bills, didn't acquire a lot of stuff, and used everything they had. It enabled them to live their dream of traveling.
The KeepsakersToday as I was deciding which never worn clothing to give away, which clutter should be part of my clutter no more, which school things to finally part with after six years in retirement, which vacation pictures I should sort and keep or toss, which art should find a new home, all of these things, then I realized once again that I have that Chitwood gene, the keepsaker gene.
Have a Frugal MindsetI enjoy reading the articles on ThriftyFun and have picked up many, many tips to help make my life easier and less expensive. I'm amazed sometimes at the ideas that are shared and are so easy to do.
No Need for a TVDue to a divorce that left me with no retirement at age 60 I do not pay for cable TV or any other TV service. I have to watch every penny and try to create some kind of retirement plan. I love to read and my garden and yard keep me busy except in the winter and then I catch up on home repairs. I don't miss TV.
Struggling with my Small BudgetI have been working hard on my credit score. I had bad vision up until yesterday when I got my glasses. I was able to read the fine print on some bills. I went to read the billing statements and found the interest rates horrible.
Using Up Leftovers from a PartyI hate wasting food. I just cleaned out my refrigerator last weekend and made sure that every bit of holiday food was used up or tossed. It can be a fun challenge to use everything up in creative new ways. Here are some of ideas I've heard about over the years.
Happy Frugal New YearSome people dread resolutions but not me! I look forward to them because mine aren't all just negative. Instead, they are dreams and new goals to improve my life and my family's life!
Didn't Have Much At ChristmasChristmas means a lot of different things to different people. One Christmas, my husband and I were really down on our luck, but I am a firm believer in things happen for a reason. I also believe that Christmas isn't about charge cards and buying and material things.
Using Smartphone and Tablets To Save MoneyRecently I've been researching ways to save money shopping online, in stores, and how to find the best rebate offers available. One of the best ways that I love to earn a little extra cash is with my smartphone and tablet. Here are some great tips for you to save money, find rebates, and get cash back when you shop for food.
The Christmas Tree GrinchMy father bought our Christmas tree every year on Christmas Eve. My father, well, he was a bit of a Grinch when it came to purchasing a tree. He didn't want to spend money for a tree that was only going to be up for one week. It was his money; after all, we were spending.
How NOT to Move!I recently had 15 days to move from Sutherlin, OR to Stayton, OR. Trust me, it was not enough time. Being 62 and having no help, it was a comedy of errors to be sure. So here are some things I learned that I want to share with you.
The Changing Of The SeasonsAutumn is a wonderful time for most. There is the harvesting and the feasting, the storing up for the bleak days to come. There will be lots of shopping, too. Some people love Autumn simply because it's a time to renew their wardrobe. Who doesn't like to have a couple of fashionable cardigans to add to their already bulging supply of clothing?
Ways to be Frugal During the HolidaysStaying on a budget during the holidays is important. Therefore, to make it through this season of giving, there are several ways to shop for the best prices. One way to help your budget is to start your holiday shopping now and spread your spending over several weeks or months.
Argiope ~ The Writing SpiderWe, and most of our neighbors, had gardens. They were always home to several writing spiders. With this spider being very active during the day, it was not uncommon to encounter a few during any visit to the garden.
My Personal Guide to Frugal LivingEvery person has his/her own way of living. There are different types of people and each one's lifestyle is unique but for sure, we all wanted our lives to be easier to fulfill our desires, to fully enjoy the things we possess and live a better life.
Country Meets CityWhen I was five, we would travel from Hamilton to Roebuck to see my dad's parents. We loved it there, even though there was no running water or any thing fancy. There was a built in toilet, like an outside outhouse. I remember my aunt carrying the pail to dump, she hated it.
Beat the HeatI live near Portland, Oregon and we are in the midst of a heat wave. We usually have temperatures in the 80s at this time of year, but today it is forecasted to be 105! Many people, including myself, don't have built in air conditioning. Here is what my family is doing to keep cool.
Keeping Rats And Mice Away - Part 2Utopia would a place where everyone had a reverence for life. In Utopia, we Humans would co exist with the mountain lion, the black widow spider and the deadly black mamba, because in this paradise, we would have learned how to live along side these creatures in such a manner, they posed no threat to us.
Days of Old (1950s)My late father was an avid stock car fan and a car salesman in the local area. He was well known for being a handsome man, well dressed, full of wit and humor and he "never met a stranger". He became the pace car driver for a local stock car driver Hooked Hood of West memphis, Arkansas.
I Hope You Dance to HeavenMy sister was diagnosed with cancer in the year 2000. She was not expected to live over one year, but God gave us seven years to watch her journey through this cancer and her spiritual journey to Heaven. The last Thanksgiving that my sister was on this Earth, she was wheelchair-bound and I was asked by her to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for her and her family.
Resourcefully ThoughtfulOnce we had neighbors whose son looked a lot like my younger brother. He tried to help his parents by going door to door and offers cleaning services for a dollar. Our relatives noticed the resemblance too, and so we call him John Number 2. It melted the hearts of everybody, especially seeing the poorer version of my brother.
Have a Crumb PartyI did part of my student teaching in a nursery school. Most teachers just discarded leftover and broken snacks, except the teacher who mentored me. She saved all the broken snacks until she had enough for a Crumb Party. I always admired that teacher, not just for her frugality, but for her creativity and ability to turn a negative into a positive.
Reusing Disposable Hair NetsMy mama always wore a hair net while she cooked. I admit, I am sometimes lax about that, but if I am preparing food which will be eaten by others, I always wear a net. I got an excellent deal on disposable hair nets from eBay.
Product Review: The Ringer Cast Iron CleanerI bought The Ringer, a stainless steel chainmail cast iron cleaner a few months ago and so far I love it. I have been using cast iron most of my adult life but I didn't have a great method of taking care of them. The Ringer quickly removes any cooked on food without scraping or ruining the seasoning of the pan.
Finding Your Own Frugal BusinessI learned when I was very young that toys and new clothes did not take a priority in our family. My mom bought me the least expensive little cotton dresses and then she would purchase and applique of a sheep or a bear that I liked and put it on the pocket, and I felt pretty special. It wasn't her fault, at all. I grew much faster than my older step siblings. It's the truth that if she bought me some Sunday shoes on Monday, they would be too small by church time. She also grew up in the Depression, and she was extremely creative. Some nights, I would hear the sewing machine going all night while she created the outfit of my silly dreams, complete with hidden pockets everywhere.
Leave Pets at Home When TravelingRecently, we had a family emergency and had to travel out of state on a moment's notice. We didn't know how long we would need to be gone so we brought our dog, Honey. This turned out to be a mistake.
Taking Photos to Publish on ThriftyFunPhotos are highly recommended for all posts on ThriftyFun and some are also eligible for photo rewards. Sometimes we receive images that are unusable for one reason or another. To ensure success, consider these guidelines when taking photos with your smartphone or camera.
Dealing With GnatsSadly, I've had to admit that gnats are attracted to me. I assure you, it is a one sided affair.
Easy Ways to Live a Frugal LifeYes! I do believe in frugal living. I think it does not matter whether you earn more or less, but keep an economical approach towards our expenses helps us in reducing financial stress. Definitely, living a frugal life requires certain lifestyle changes and a conscious awareness about how we are spending and saving money? My idea of thrifty living comprises basic three principles: Smart shopping, use appropriately to waste less and save in advance.
New to YouMost people have to stay within a budget. This may be very difficult, especially if the budget is really tight. Sometimes the urge to have something new is really hard to ignore. Here are some tips to make do, when you can't have new.
Single Senior on a Limited BudgetI'm a single "senior" so grocery shopping is a challenge at times, especially when it comes to milk, bread and other staples that will spoil before I can use them up.
Natural Remedies for Head LiceMy husband and I discovered head lice in our teenagers' long hair. It has been a few years since our last outbreak so I did some quick research online to make sure I was treating the infestation correctly.
7 Tips for Making Thrift Shopping a BreezeThrift shopping is one of my favorite ways to save money. As the old saying goes, one person's trash is another person's treasure. The following are some tips to not only make thrift shopping easier and more pleasant, but also help get the most for the least amount of money.
Walk to Lower Blood PressureI downloaded a free pedometer app to my smartphone. I also have audio books on my phone. The pedometer tracks my steps and plots them showing my progress. Today, I walked two miles or 6,089 steps according to the pedometer while finishing a book. My blood pressure went from 140 to 107 in that two mile walk.
My Retired Tea TowelsWe all have them, the old tea towels that are worn out, faded or stained, that we don't care to use anymore and that we would never put out when company is coming over.
Re-Dyeing Your HairTake a look down any aisle devoted to hair care products. More than likely, you will find a section displaying hair coloring products. You may see a myriad of different brands, colors,and degrees of permanence. What you won't see, is the word 'dye'.
Seventh Birthday Memories (July 1958)Today is my birthday and I'm so, so excited. I'm seven years old now. I don't know why being seven is better than being six. It just is. Maybe it's because whenever I really want something, Mum always says when you're older. So now I'm older and maybe we can get the baby kitty I want.
When is Enough Enough?A friend of mine, for as long as I can remember, would say, "A loaf of bread costs what it costs, and you can eat only so much bread. Why would you buy more bread then you could ever use?". In my younger years I would chuckle to myself.
Dealing with A Broken ShoulderFour months ago, my feet went out from under me when I walked on a glazed concrete garage floor that had become wet from rain. I landed on my shoulder and knew from the crack I heard that I'd broken it. X-ray confirmed that I had a fractured proximal humerus bone.
Affording Real FoodRecently, I was talking with a friend about the difficulty of feeding our growing families affordably but also in a healthy way. She was talking about the extra cost of buying and preparing "real food", meaning not processed and mostly from scratch. I started wondering if it is really more expensive?
Eat Leftovers And Be GratefulI've made reference in other posts to the fact that, when I was a child, we were quite poor. We didn't have a car. Few families in my neighborhood, did. I think we were the last to get a television.
Pinch Those Pennies When You're YoungMy great aunt and uncle were very frugal. They made their own furniture out of pressed wood. They had a schematic of the property, where every wire was buried outside, location of all piping, cable etc. They ordered kitchen cabinets to put together themselves and bought parts for repairs in bulk; plumbing, sprinkler, electricity, basically anything that could break and need repaired. They bought the best quality gloss enamel paint so everything was easy to maintain with washing.
Shopping on a Low-Income BudgetIt gets harder each month, when the prices of food keep climbing up, and your money coming in does not! Well, that is why I have to shop frugally. I make 3 lists.
How To Handle Late PaymentsThere are times that we may fall short with our finances. When it happens, you must remember that it's not going to help if you will hide or run away from it. Financial difficulties is the type of problem that will not just go away. You need to do something about it.
A Fortnight's Lost IncomeThis is a story from my past, which taught me that when you have to you can do it! It was the day after payday and I had the cash on the table, working out where it would be going. There was a knock at the door so I hid the cash. It was an hour or so before I got back to my budgeting task. Unfortunately, I had forgotten where I'd put the money!
Take Time To Enjoy Your WorldIt has been said that only boring people ever get bored. I think there's a lot of truth in that saying. People who are easily bored lack a healthy curiosity about the world around them. Some people go all their lives without awareness of things that make other people's lives more enjoyable.
Look Like a Million for $2.50Whenever I shop, be it retail or thrift, I always have my eyes open for a great deal on formal wear. If you wait until you get an invitation, you have limited time to shop and will likely spend top-dollar.
Using My Clothing Budget WiselyI am often asked where I bought one thing or another. The answer is almost never as simple as just a department store.