I'm a coffee drinker so when I go to Starbucks, it's often to get a drip coffee. I ordered this one day and the man behind me in line turned to his wife and said, "See, you can just order coffee." Black coffee drinkers definitely save money at Starbucks but there are some strategies that can make your Lattes and Frappuccinos less expensive too.
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.
Giving Household Items Within Your CommunityI am active in my local Buy Nothing group, where members gift furniture, clothing and other useful items to people in their local area. It is run on a Facebook page for my neighborhood, an area is a mile or so wide, bounded by the major streets. There are several different Buy Nothing neighborhoods in my city. This allows the members to be sure they are giving and receiving to their own neighbors, making pickups easy and bringing local communities together.
Bag Holder for Picking Up LitterThere is a great need for volunteers to help clean up our roads these days. I have found that the winter months are the best time for me as the grass is short and the litter is so accessible and there are no biting insects to bother me.
Reusing an Upright Tissue HolderI know I have submitted a tip before about using a flat holder and a plastic canvas holder for other things, but this one is cool, too.
Toothbrush Holder for Desk SuppliesWe had a few of these toothbrush holders laying around. I was planning on donating them to Goodwill, but in my hunt for something to hold desk supplies I realized that these would be perfect. I am able to separate different items, making it easy to grab just what I want.
Tame TurtleMy 3 yr. old son and I saw this turtle that didn't 'run' or should we say walk away, when we approached it on our morning walk. It seemed to enjoy the attention. Very cute little fella!
Polyphemus MothBeautiful female polyphemus moth. 04/13/20
DIY Paper Towel Sheet Saver Using a Tissue BoxThis is a way to make your paper towel rolls last longer. Simply cut each sheet in half and place them into an empty tissue box.
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.
Folding Plastic Grocery BagsIn 1987, when I first started picking up roadside litter, I asked my friend to save me her Wal-mart bags. She brought them to me in a Wal-Mart bag and all of them were neatly folded. This is where I got the idea of folding my bags. Using these bags, I would stuff my pockets with over 20 bags and walk a mile and pick up the litter, filling the bags as I walked. I never ran out of bags.
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.
Snow White Squirrel (UK)I saw this snow white squirrel in a country park next to my house.
Iced Feeder for the HummingbirdsA few years ago when I was changing one of the feeders, I emptied it out to put in fresh sugar water/nectar, and the sugar water was *scalding hot* from the triple digit summer's heat.
Gratitude Not AttitudeGratitude, not attitude. Last week Lowes was giving away gift cards in denominations from $5 to $1500. As to be expected, most cards were $5, which is what I got. I saw some posts from people saying they "only" got $5. I felt it was $5 that I did not have before.
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.
Baking LessonsA hearth is timeless. In days past, of the likes of Little Women, warm flickering light from the stove used to brighten up evenings for families coming together over a meal. What would they talk about? Maybe the ships coming in from sea, slow telegraphs from a father far away, the newspaper picked up for a dime from the little boy at the market? After the dishes were put away, a child like Beth might play hymns on her old upright, several decades before the radio was ever invented.
Make a Difference By Picking Up TrashIf you want something done, sometimes you just have to do it yourself.
It's Roadside Litter Cleaning TimeIt's spring and people are getting in the cleaning mood. We want our houses and yards to look nice. But have you ever considered helping to keep our roads clean? I'm an old littergitter and I look at it as great exercise that produces quick results.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Repurpose Spent Water Filter CartridgesWater filters contain activated charcoal and after mine expire I cut open the cartridge (CAREFULLY with a steak knife) and pour the contents into my cats' litter box to reduce odor. I could also use it in my chicken coop for the same reason.
Using Toy Catalog Pages as Gift WrapWhen it comes to wrapping presents/gifts, I try to recycle what I have before purchasing anything unnecessary. Don't throw away all those holiday toy catalogs you receive in the mail. I was able to recycle and wrap a couple of gifts with the Target catalog!
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.
Holiday Assistance for Struggling FamiliesA lot of people look for assistance at the holidays. Traditional holiday meals can be expensive and you may be hosting friends or family. Children's gifts can seriously stretch the budget as well.
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.
The Frugal Lady Is At It AgainI have found when a friend or neighbor helps me in some kind way, it's nice to pack up a care bag for two household items. They are often in need of them. I have had wonderful feedback from that. The bags I order free by playing a game, about 50 shopping bags in each.
Mother Bat and Her PupJuly 1st was a hot/humid day in Wisconsin. I noticed this mother and her pup slept out of the bat house very low to the ground where it was cooler. The pup is tucked behind her body, near her legs, close to the cedar. We have 34 moms in the bat house, it's a maternity colony.
Hummingbird SilhouetteI make my own hummingbird food and every year they come back. We love to sit and watch them feed. They fly right over our heads to get to the feeder. I am amazed how aggressive they can be with each other. They are amazing little birds.
Re-label Vitamin ContainersI purchase vitamins in bulk because you save a lot more money and can spilt them among family members or friends (who use the same vitamins). Temporarily I placed my vitamins in a Ziploc. Now, that I have an empty vitamin container - it is extremely simple and easy to re-label any vitamin container or container with adhesive.
Why Do We Keep Keepsakes?We all have memories, some of them good, some bad. Our keepsakes are most likely associated with the good memories. And they're sort of like Christmas. Every day Christmas would be no joy. It's the year long anticipation that makes it so special. And so it is with keepsakes.
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.
Picking Up Roadside LitterHelping to keep the roadsides free of litter in your neighborhood can be quite satisfying. You will want to have a good pair of gloves, a reach extender, and bags to put it in. Often your Department of Transportation will give you the bags and arrange to pick them up once filled. This is a page about picking up roadside litter.
Battery Basics - Reduce, Recharge and Recycle!Batteries are used in electronic products we use every day. Being a responsible battery user can help maximize usage, as well as, reduce waste and pollution. This is a page about battery basics!
Shopping with Less MoneyHello again, I would like to share my frugal story. I am living with fibromyalgia so I am in a lot of pain. It took a while to get this done but it is done. I am paying off my credit report for this year. I am living on $780 but my check is paid out.
Being Frugal Can Be Hard WorkBeing frugal can be hard work for some people. I find it very satisfying and fun. Doing things to save money is better than doing nothing. You must be realistic. You have to have an open mind to accept new ideas. If you do nothing, you will accomplish nothing.
Our Throwaway SocietyThis is a page about living frugally in a throwaway society. There are many ways to live a meaningful life with less things, and reuse items that many just throw away.
Lessons About Frugal Living from My MotherThis page contains frugal living advice. Growing up during or just after the Great Depression, meant that life was tough for many people. One of our users wrote about the lessons her mom shared with her from growing up in a time where it was important to be frugal, waste nothing, and appreciate what you had.
Donating to Food PantriesDonating to food pantries is a great way to help others in need. It is a good idea to check with the organization to find out just what they need most. Food pantries also accept toiletries and other household items. This is a page about donating to food pantries.
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!
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.
Stretching the Value of a DollarGrowing up, I was taught to use money wisely in scenarios where I could save. Now being engaged to my fiancé - we are slowly getting in the rhythm of joining our bills, budgeting and making compromises.
Use Wallpaper for Shelf and Drawer LinersWhen you find discounted wallpaper ends, you can use the pieces to line drawers and shelves. This is a page about use wallpaper for shelf and drawer liners.
Goodness Still ExistsWhen I was eleven or twelve, I did something I'll never do again; probably couldn't do again. I walked twenty-two miles in a single day. Just on a lark. At that age, I was often besieged with fits of 'larkism'.
Enjoying Being FrugalLife is always subject to change. Learning to live within your means can be a challenge and very satisfying. This is a page about enjoying being frugal.
Rubber Band as Car Cellphone HolderIt is illegal to use a cellphone, without using it hands-free, in many states. Save yourself an expensive ticket with a simple rubber band. Using a rubber band as car cellphone holder is a great frugal hands-free device.
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.
Gardening With GrandpaTime spent with one's grandparents often creates treasured memories that drift though our minds later in life. Life lessons are also often learned at the side of these experienced elders. This page contains two award winning essays from one of our Thriftyfun members, reminiscing about gardening with her grandfather when she was a child.
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.
Please, Share Your MemoriesYes, it was wash day, again. The clothes were boiled in water heated in a cast iron wash pot above a roaring fire. Then they were scrubbed on a scrub board, using lots of home made lye soap. Or, if you could afford it, store bought Octagon Soap.
Developing a Frugal LifestyleI used to think that frugal living centered around clipping coupons and buying items on sale. I have come to realize that frugal living is a lifestyle that can be developed by adopting specific money-saving habits. Getting and staying organized can be the foundation upon which the many other frugal living habits such as simplifying, scheduling and budgeting, can be successfully implemented.
The Non-Vacation VacationSometimes a staycation is exactly what you need to relax with out traveling far away. This is a page about the non-vacation vacation.
Challenging Yourself to SaveSaving money is an important skill to learn. This is a page about challenging yourself to save.
Use Rags Instead of Paper TowelsWhile incredibly handy, paper towels are wasteful. Pretty much every task that a paper towel can be used for, a cloth rag can do the same job without having to be thrown away. This is a page about use rags instead of paper towels.
Homemade Adult WipesAdult wipes can get expensive to purchase regularly. You can save some money on these items by making them yourself. This is a page about homemade adult wipes.
Change from a Spendthrift into a SaverLiving within your means makes life less stressful and you still are able to get what you need. This page is about change from a spendthrift into a saver.
Start Your Own Frugal ClubWhether it's at a school, church, or local community center; starting a frugal club to help your friends and neighbors save money is a great idea. This is a page about start your own frugal club.
Rain Barrels for Practically FreeBy asking around at various businesses you may be able to find suitable plastic barrels to make your own rain barrels for little or no cost. This is a page about rain barrels for practically free.
Why Doing Things Yourself is More than FrugalMost people I know have someone else to clean their homes and wash their cars. They bring in food a lot and go out to eat often. They tell me that since I work full-time, I am wasting my precious free time. They also think I'm cheap.
Watering WiselyWater is a limited resource and should be conserved whenever possible. This is a page about watering wisely.
Being Frugal From NecessityFrugality is a way of life that isn't always a choice. This is a page about being frugal from necessity.
Being Frugal and GreenOften, being frugal and taking good care of the environment can be accomplished simultaneously. This is a page about being frugal and green.
The Bracelet Legacy to a Florence NightingaleMy oldest daughter Angela lost her home in a horrific fire and was downsized to unemployment in her job. She made the decision to return to college and pursued a nursing career. I presented her my high school graduation charm bracelet at graduation.
Uses for Used Canning LidsOnce used for canning, lids can not be used again, but they have lots of alternative uses. This is a page about uses for used canning lids.
The Northern CardinalThe northern cardinal, also know as a redbird or common cardinal is easily recognizable. The male sports a distinctive crest along with its brilliant red plumage. This is a page about the northern cardinal.
Living on Very Little MoneyIf you are low on money living frugally is an imperative. Use these thrifty ideas to help get you through times when money is short. This is a page about living with very little money.
Using Tablecloths for FabricYou can often get tablecloths at yard sales and thrift stores inexpensively. Even if they are worn or stained there is often some salvageable fabric to be gotten from them for other projects. This is a page about using tablecloths for fabric.
Learning FrugalityHowever and whenever you learn to be frugal, it will be helpful for your life. This is a page about learning frugality.
7 Tips for Making Thrift Shopping a BreezeThrift store shopping can be a fun and very successful way to shop for clothing and many other items. This is a page about 7 tips for making thrift shopping a breeze.
Surviving on Social SecurityTrying to live on your Social Security income alone can be very challenging. It requires planning and creativity, along with obvious frugality. This is a page about surviving on Social Security.
Recycling Metal, Paper, Plastics and GlassHaving a good system to clean, organize and store your recyclables will help keep them out of the landfill. This is a page about recycling metal, paper, plastics and glass.
Reviving Dried Up MarkersSometimes there is plenty of ink left, but the marker tip has dried out. This is a page about reviving dried up markers.
Using Lemon Juice Containers as an Ice PackThe small lemon shaped plastic juice containers can be reused for a small ice pack. This is a page about using lemon juice containers as an ice pack.
Our Little Trailer on the PrairieIn the early days of our marriage, Jim and I had six teenagers and a weekly food budget of $35.00. I am grateful that Jim is such a fine gardener, and that he thoughtfully included the children in that hobby; however, those who have fed a growing teenager, especially a boy, know how very much they can eat!
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.
Never Too Late to Continue Your EducationI spent a good part of my life working a job I did not enjoy. I did enjoy it when I was hired, but the duty I did was phased out to contractors. By that time, I had 20 years in and needed 30 to retire, so I did another 10 years and stuck it out.
Where Do You Get Senior Discounts?Many stores and restaurants offer senior discounts. Finding out which merchants do, can require a bit of investigation. This is a page about, "Where do you get senior discounts?".
Cheap and Free Retro ActivitiesLisa shares ideas for having fun without spending a lot of money. This page has ideas for cheap and free retro activities.
Thrifty Love StoriesBeing thrifty doesn't prevent a person from being romantic. This page features thrifty love stories. Feel free to share you own!
Surviving an Economic CrisisLiving a frugal lifestyle can help you live comfortably during tough economic times. This page is about surviving an economic crisis.
Memories of a Thrifty Love StoryHere are tiny packs of chocolate my cousin sent all the way from Pennsylvania. Those are the kinds of chocolates that most Filipinos love to have on their so called "balikbayan package". Last night, I received mine. The sight of the chocolate made me go back to seven years ago when hubby and I were young lovers.
When Frugal is Not!After watching some TV shows tout frugality that aren't really in our best interest, I wanted to express what I think is not frugal.
My Very First DIY FondantBefore my son's birthday celebration, he came to me and said he wanted a themed fondant cake. I was planning to bake a cake for him but to make a fondant, I wasn't sure if I could do it. What disheartened me most was when I went out to canvass prices in cake shops, the prices were really out of my budget.
Reusing Refrigerator Baking SodaThis is a page about reusing refrigerator baking soda. Once a box of soda has been used to absorb odors in the fridge, it can be useful for a variety of other things.
Toilet Paper Tube Seedling PotsA great way to recycle toilet paper tubes is to use them as containers to start vegetable and flower seeds for garden plants. This is a page about toilet paper tube seedling pots.
Frugal Uses for VinegarThis common fermented liquid can be an inexpensive product for many household uses. This page is about frugal uses for vinegar.
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.
Living a Simple LifestyleThis is a page about living a simple lifestyle. Modern life can be stressful and living with less things can often be a positive change.
When Are You Being Too Frugal?We all need to be thrifty to avoid waste and reuse whenever possible, but not be penny wise and pound foolish. This is a page about when are you being too frugal?
Using Less Toilet TissueHere are 2 tricks to encourage other members of your household to use less toilet tissue.
No-Car DayThis summer, I decided to do an experiment. I decided to see what would happen if I didn't use my car one day a week. I have discovered that this is a really good idea for many reasons.
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.
Growing Up with Little MoneyI grew up in a family of four and my mom was on a fixed income. I thank her for making me understand how important it is to know that not being able to buy all the name brand clothes because, even though we got those things, we were still not happy.