Birch and a Beech Tree JokeIt is hard to find a joke today without a dirty word or two in it, but, here is one:
Rescan TV Setup To Get Digital ChannelsBefore we had the switch to digital TV on June 12, I was able to receive both analog and digital on the same TV with no problem. After the switch, all of a sudden, I could no longer receive digital ABC nor CBS TV.
What Religion is Your Bra? - A JokeA man walked into the ladies department of a Macy 's and shyly walked up to the woman behind the counter.
Coldwater JokeA man went to visit his 90 year old grandfather and while eating the breakfast of eggs and bacon prepared for him, he noticed a film-like substance on his plate. So he says, "Grandfather, are these plates clean?"
Link: Play Online Games That Donate To CharitiesSimply enjoying playing some online games at these two links will help generate donations for women in need of mammograms or help for animal rescue shelters! The sponsors will donate up to 10 cents per each minute of play.
Saving Your Place in a Board GameMy family and I started a game of Monopoly the other night, but it was getting too late to finish it. We used little baggies with our names on them to save our money and property cards.
Carrom Game Board for Puzzle MatThis old Carrom Game board, which has been stored in the attic for probably 40 years, sure did come in handy for putting this puzzle together. We needed a solid background so I took 6 pieces of computer printing paper and taped it to the board.
TV: The Thief of TimeA few months ago, our cable TV stopped working. We had to wait a few weeks for an appointment, as we work full-time and weekend appointments book quickly. My husband loves TV, and was pretty upset. I didn't care too much, since I hardly watch TV, or so I thought.
Free Movie PopcornWhen we go to the movies, we always upgrade the popcorn to the one with the free refill. On those times we don't use the refill, I empty the bag and save it for next time or give it to my kids to save them money on their movie date. On the next visit, the concession stand marks the bag and refills it for you. A free bag of popcorn!
Protecting a Puzzle on a TableRecently, I was able to get a nice card table and four chairs for a steal! I decided to put a puzzle on the table. But I knew that the lace curtain I am using for a tablecloth would catch on it and disturb the pieces. So, remembering that puzzle savers are basically just big pieces of heavy felt, I improvised.
Stream Free ChannelsThere was a day that I woke to realize less was best for me. That was about 5 years ago. I have since come to learn about free channels on the Roku streaming device. There can't be anything better than that for me right now.
Take Advantage of Library ProgramsMy library always had terrific programs for children and adults, and now they added a summer reading program for adults. You win prizes for reading a certain number of books, and they have a wonderful end-of-summer party. They have an author speak, serve refreshments and give out prizes.
Rotate Through Streaming ServicesI cancelled my cable television subscription some years ago in favor of using streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. However, it is easy to spend just as much on streaming services as you pay on cable television!
How to Work Jigsaw PuzzlesMany people would like to work jigsaw puzzles but are not sure what to do once the pieces are all in a pile in front of them. The key is to sort out the straight-edged pieces, which form the border first. I like to keep these straight pieces apart from the others.
Scotch Magic Tape for Jigsaw PuzzlesI like to work jigsaw puzzles while sitting on a bed, with my children. In order to avoid frustration, we use Scotch Magic tape to tape each piece together. This ensures that we will always be able to put it away unfinished and yet start on it again the next time, right where we left off.
Hulu Plus ReviewI absolutely love Hulu Plus, it's well worth the $11.99 a month for no commercials. I'm able to watch many of my favorite shows that I loved growing up.
Joining a Wine ClubThis tip is for people who enjoy wine and have access to nearby wineries or tasting rooms. I live in Oregon, close to many Willamette Valley vineyards. Many of my friends have joined local wine clubs and take advantage of their membership with frequent tasting tours. I recently went along on one of these trips and I was impressed with the value of the benefits my friends received.
Word Search Puzzle TipsI have some ideas for how to make the most of your word hunt puzzle book. These quick tips make it easy to find the words. By using a check mark the first time you work the puzzle, you can use the book a second frugal time!
Binder for Crossword PuzzlesI love crosswords and save the ones from the newspaper. Rather than have a pile of old newspapers lying about, I glue them to a piece of 3 ring paper with the answers on the back and keep them in a binder.
Library for Free EntertainmentDo you like to go to concerts and poetry readings or other exhibits? Do you like bringing a new stack of CDs home and hearing new music? Me too!
Do you like paying for these things? Me neither! The answer? The library.
Play Games Without Batteries This SummerTeach all children to play games without batteries! They will always remember the fun!
Taking Kids to the Farmer's MarketThe farmer's market is a great place to find both produce and unique crafts. It is also a wonderful place to take children and let them try new veggies and fruit.
Find your TV Entertainment in Free SnippetsSeriously, take back all that time wasted on TV. Most reality TV can be summed up in fun and even more entertaining ways on webshows that show the choicest highlights.
Family Fun NightWe have dedicated one night a week to be our family fun night. On this night, we set up a themed dinner. The possibilities are endless and we have so much fun deciding what to do.
Finding Christmas ActivitiesEvery year, just after Thanksgiving, the zoo is open after hours for their Zoolights exhibit. Much of the zoo is decorated in beautiful lights. And at certain times, you can see Santa dive with the sharks. We go to this event every year.
Maximize Your Popcorn Butter at the MoviesIf your movie has a do-it-yourself butter dispenser, you probably hate all the butter soaking the top of the popcorn, while the rest remains dry. Poke one of the theater's straws into the bag, then hold it under the butter spigot.
Science Museum Memberships are Worth itWhen we signed up for a family membership at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, it seemed like a lot of money, about $120 for free admission and some other perks. Looking back over the last 12 months, we have really gotten our money's worth from it.
Blowing up a Balloon with Baking Soda and...This is an easy science experiment that is fun for all ages. The bubbling that happens when you mix baking soda and vinegar together can be used for lots of things, like blowing up a balloon.
Save Money When Dining Out, But Don't Go Home Without DessertA frugal lifestyle involves eating more meals at home since dining out is usually an expensive adventure. Whenever you do decide to splurge on a restaurant meal, you can do so more frugally by choosing to drink water...
Family Pizza NightCombine frugality and fun by starting family fun night in the kitchen. Get all of the family together and make pizzas from the leftovers in the refrigerator and a few of the family's favorite toppings.
Share Music With Each OtherFor family fun, we all go down to the basement and the kids bring their iPods. They each take turns picking their favorite music, and we crank up the volume while we play pool or ping pong.
Board Games On Family NightI raised 3 sons, and Tuesday night was Fun Night. They could choose one board or other game. They took turns for 3 weeks. The fourth week, we played Charades.
Joke: Have You Ever Seen One Of These?My son and I were in the thrift shop looking at movies. My son tapped on my shoulder to get my attention. When I turned to look at him, he was holding a record. He said to me "Have you ever seen one of these things before!"
Joke: Cooks Are CruelWhy are cooks so cruel?
Frugal Refurbished EreaderYou may not consider the purchase of an ereader as frugal but in my case, it is. Our "local" library is 60 mile round trip. Then the books have to be returned. Consequently I've not been able to enjoy reading a book in several years.
Line Cup Holders With Napkins for Movie PopcornWhen I take my 3 grand babies to the movies, I line the cup holders with napkins and fill them with popcorn. They work like individual small bowls for the kids. We don't have to keep passing the bucket back and forth between us.
Refill Your Popcorn At End Of MovieWhen seeing a movie at the theater, I usually end up buying a large popcorn for an additional 75 cents more to get a free refill, but I never really refill it. So, you not only paid big bucks for a movie, but you just lost an additional 75 cents.
Capt. Mel Anderson's Alaskan Whale StewIf you make this, please let me know how it is!
Quiz Lovers ParadiseThe standard online Merriam-Webster dictionary has oodles of assorted free fun knowledge quizzes you can take. The categories include quizzes such as Visual Vocabulary, Memory, Attention, Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical and Encyclopedia.
Joke: Barbecued Alaska Polar Bear GruntsGrunts must be genuine Alaskan polar bear grunts. Do not mistake a growl for a grunt. That could be fatal. Grunts should be taken only by an experienced grunt hunter who can tell a grunt from a growl.
Fast Food Milk Bottle GameI washed and saved up bottles from fast food milk and made a few children's games:
Have A Movie NightYou would be surprised at how many movies/DVDs are available. You can get rid of old movies you really don't want anymore, and get new ones for the cost of postage.
Playing Scrabble with a ThemeRegular Scrabble, although great, can be made more fun with a theme. Give bonus points when someone comes up with a word directly relating to the theme.
Shop Around For HDMI CablesMeritline.com has loads of goodies at really great prices. They have a daily sale. You might like LocoBuy.com too. In addition, Google or Bing the cable you want and see what comes up.
Take a Short Car RideYou have all heard about "the good old days". Well, they were. We never have had enough money to throw away. We traveled once every year or two to see family.
Scrabble - Cooking EditionIf you like word games and you like food and/or cooking then you're really going to love Scrabble Cooking Edition! I am asking for one for Christmas. Oh, and if you know other word loving foodies your Christmas gift is solved for them too :-)
Sign Up for Library AlertsMany libraries have a "pre-minder" service. You sign up to receive an email, text message, or automated phone call a few days before your materials are due. At that point you can go online and renew your items.
Have It Your Way PizzaThe other evening, after a long and very unsuccessful garage sale, my husband and I were craving a quick and easy meal, pizza. However, because we had taken in so little cash, we were loathe to spend the $22.00 our local pizzeria charges for our favourite "loaded" veggie pizza.
Saving Money At The Movie TheaterCall your theater or check online. There are two theaters in our town and one in a town about 40 miles away that all have a super deal on movies between 4:00 and 5:30. The tickets are only $5 for any movie playing during that time.
Volunteer In Exchange For TicketsVolunteer to serve as a docent for whatever type of performance you like such as a theater/museum. An 85 year old friend served as an usher for the local community theater. As such she got to see all the plays produced.
Free Food and Coupons on Your ReceiptsBe sure to check your receipts - particularly from regular restaurants and fast-food places. A lot of times there is a free food item on your next visit. For example, Arby's will have a free regular roast beef sandwich in exchange for a simple survey you can do.
Outdoor Movie NightWe have weekly movie night outside. We set up a DVD projector to show the movie on the garage door. Every week someone else picks the movie and the snacks. Everyone has a great time.
Frugal Summer Fun At The BeachWe are very lucky, we live near the beach. The sad part is that almost NONE of our gorgeous beaches in New Jersey are free. So in order to get in some wonderful beach time, we have learned the tricks and tips that will get us the most " bang for our buck".
Unplug For a WhileI stopped watching broadcast and cable television about a year ago, and it has been an interesting experience. I paid for both Internet access and television over cable and my bill has been cut in half since I cancelled the television side.
Thrifty EntertainmentI like to note all the restaurants in my area that have "Kids Eat Free" nights and capitalize on those. I also arrange play dates around the summertime "Free Summertime Movies" at our local theatres.
Basic History from Historical MoviesI grew up watching old classic movies - the sort now on TCM. So many of them had historical or bigraphical themes, that I am sure that I filled in holes in my historical knowledge just by watching them - Painless!
Request Take Out Drinks Without IceWhen you go to the take out, ask for no ice in your drinks. This way, your drinks won't get diluted, and they will taste just as good if you don't drink it all right away.
Joke: Man in GymAn old guy (not in the best of shape) was working out in the gym when he spotted a sweet young thing.
Save Condiment PacketsWe have college students who meet here several times a week. They often stop by and pick up their dinner at some fast-food restaurant. Their bags often contain packets of ketchup, salt and pepper, Parmesan cheese, sweet and sour, etc.
Save Money on Books, CDs, and DVDsUnless you HAVE to have everything new and must see the latest and greatest, you can go to Amazon.com and purchase a used movie, CD, or book and enjoy it for much less than buying new or paying admission charges.
Saving Money on MoviesGoing to a movie can cost up to $20 for tickets for two and $15 to $25 for the popcorn and drinks. One good option is to buy the DVD for $15 or less and you can watch it over and over.
Game Rules: Hands In Texas Holdem PokerTraditionally full 52 card deck is used in Texas Holdem. Players need to get the best combination of 5 cards from 7 available (2 hole cards and 5 showed on the table).
Keep Channels on Back of RemoteWhile I am watching cable/satellite TV, I can never remember which channel is which (AMC, TBS, MTV, etc). Now I cut and tape the channels (from provider's website) on the back of every remote. No more guessing.
Joke: Fancy PaintingMrs. Flanders decided to have her portrait painted. She told the artist, "Paint me with diamond earrings, a diamond necklace, emerald bracelets, and a ruby pendant."
Joke: Big TroubleThere were two young brothers, 8 and 10 years old, who were exceedingly mischievous. Whatever went wrong in the neighborhood, it turned out they had a hand in it.
Joke: String Walks Into A BarA String walks into a bar and asks the bartender for a beer. Bartender says "We don't serve strings here." and throws him out.
Joke: Driving?Two old friends, each well into their eighties, were heading out for dinner on a Tuesday evening. After Blanche drove straight through a stop sign, Elizabeth became concerned, but didn't want to embarrass Blanche so she held her tongue.
Joke: PirateA pirate got captured. The sailor said to him, "How did you get that wooden leg?"
Dining Out For Recipes IdeasWhen we eat in new restaurants and try different kinds of food, we take a photo of particularly delicious dishes (and the menu entry for it if it is something we never had before) with our camera phone. Then I try to find a recipe for it so we can enjoy it at home.
Joke: A Real ManA real man is a woman's best friend.He will never stand her up and never let her down.He will reassure her when she feels insecure and comfort her after a bad day.He will inspire her to do things she never thought she could do; to live without fear and forget regret.
Joke: Dee O GeeThis is a true story I think is really funny. It happen several years ago and I still remember it like it was yesterday and chuckle every time I think about it. I was sitting in a doctor office reading a magazine when I overheard two ladies talking about their dogs.
Joke: StripteaseA good friend just sent me this. It's too cute not to pass on.
Joke: LeftoversIt's a little too little to save, and a little too much to dump . . .
Joke: Bachelors CookingTwo confirmed bachelors sat talking, their conversation drifted from politics to cooking. "I got a cookbook once," said one, "but I could never do anything with it."
Bring Baggies for Taking Home LeftoversAs I live alone and am on a restricted budget, I have to be frugal. Now when eating out I carry three different sized baggies to bring leftovers home in. I bring the bread, individual butters, honey, jellies, etc and any veggies or meat.
Dice Game: Frackel or GreedOur seniors group plays a dice game called Frackel or Greed. It goes like this. You start with 6 dice. Someone keeps score of all the players. To start, you roll all the dice. The points go as follows.
Joke: GirlfriendsA group of 15 year-old girlfriends discussed where they should meet for dinner. Finally, it was agreed upon that they should meet at the Dairy Queen next to the Ocean View restaurant.
Re-read The Books You HaveHow many of us see a movie a second, third, or even more times and always find something we missed? Well, it's no different when reading a book. Our brains cannot absorb all the information the first, second, or even third time around.
Fast Food Happy HoursWe save money and have fun during the summer by taking advantage of happy hours at the local restaurants (DQ and Steak 'n Shake, etc.) Between 2:00 and 4:00pm you can order any milk shake or beverage for half price.
Take Tupperware for Leftovers When Dining OutIt is common knowledge that styrofoam equals sustainability's nemesis. When I am forced to take home an entirely too large take-home box after a meal out, I cringe. To solve this, I take a tough, non leaking, Tupperware with me when I eat out now.
Kitchen PoemA dear friend gave me this poem. She has gone to her reward now, but I think of her often. I hope when you read it you'll copy it and stick it on your fridge. Then smile every day.
Stretch Fast Food Iced Tea With IceWhen you get iced tea from a fast food place, it is often too strong. If you are at the take out window, ask for an extra cup of ice water or just a cup of ice - then you can use it to dilute the iced tea to make it more tasty.
Joke: American In The Bathroom?Question: If you're American when you go in the bathroom, and you're American when you come out of the bathroom, what are you while you're in the bathroom?
Amazing Number GameThe following is an amazing number game: Pick a number from 0 to 9 . . .
Joke: Turning CatholicSister Mary Ann, who worked for a home health agency, was out making her rounds visiting homebound patients when she ran out of gas. As luck would have it, a Texaco Gasoline station was just a block away.
Netflix Instant Movies on Your WiiI haven't really been able to take advantage of Netflix streaming Instant Movies. But now, anyone with a Wii that is connected to the internet can stream movies!
Joke: Woman are AngelsWomen are angels. When we break a wing, we fly on our broom. We are flexible that way!
Rising Costs of 3D MoviesDue to a recent a raise in the price of 3D movies you now are paying nearly $15 to see a movie in 3D in most areas. That's $5 more than seeing the non-3D version of the same movies. A family of four can save $20 by opting for the non-3D alternative.
Tips For Eating Out LessWe also were finding ourselves eating out, and not happy about the quality of the food we were eating. My solution for the days when I don't want to cook are:
Product Review: Settlers Of Catan Board GameMy brother got this board game last summer. My husband loved it so much that he ran out and bought it the very next day. People who like strategy games like Civilization, Risk or Age Of Empires would enjoy this.
Joke: Beer AdvertisementMy husband's friend Harvey told me this joke and, after hearing it, I realized one more reason why Harvey is still single. It goes:
Get A Free Burger At Carl's Jr. With Your Gift CardFirst I'll admit to stopping by fast food, not that you aren't going to know in a minute anyway! When at Carl's Jr. I noticed if you purchase a $20.00 gift card, you receive a coupon for a $6.00 burger at no charge.
Trivia At DinnertimeWe all have unused games laying around. Some have educational information cards, like Trivia. Take the cards and put a few on the table, next to salt and pepper.
Pack a Thermos for Family OutingsTake a thermos with you on family outings to avoid eating in expensive restaurants. You can fill them with hot dogs, sloppy Joe, BBQ beef, tuna salad, etc. You can serve it on fancy rolls or pita bread when you're ready to eat.
Store Unfinished Jigsaw Puzzles in a Pizza BoxEmpty cardboard pizza boxes make great storage for a jigsaw puzzle in progress. They can easily save a long evenings work without taking up table space. Can be slid under a couch or bed until there is time to again tackle the puzzle.
Digital TV Transition ReminderDo not forget that when the digital TV transition occurs on June 12, 2009, you will need to re-set your TV stations.
Save Extra Fast Food NapkinsWhen eating out at fast food restaurants, we are usually given too many napkins that end up in the trash. Now we fold them up and take them with us.
Save on New Movies With Pay Per ViewYou can save money on new(er) movies by seeing them on pay-per-view on your cable. I saw a new one on the IFC pay-for-view that I just saw reviewed in the paper, as you can get it on cable at the same time as its independent release.
Joke: On the Island of TridSomewhere, there's an island named Trid. On this island, the Trids were mostly very happy. But on one end of the island, was a very tall mountain. If a Trid ever dared to climb the mountain, he didn't get very far because a giant lived on the mountain and would kick the Trid off his mountain.
Joke: Husband Remembers AnniversaryMy husband was bragging one day about remembering birthdates of all the family. I said "If you're so smart, when is our anniversary?" He hesitated and looked unsure. Then turned to me and said "I know, once a year!"
Make Your Own Board GameA great family bonding activity, is for each family member (or pairs) to make a board game. I taught school for over 30 years and had my students, (grades: 2, 3, 4, and 9) make their own board games, complete with cards.
No Mess Doggie Bag!Since I have difficulty finishing a meal at a restaurant, I often take food home in a doggie bag. But doggie bags can get messy. So in order to get my leftovers home in tact, I carry one-gallon freezer bags in the car to secure the doggie bag and to prevent leakage.