Frugal

Are Pets Frugal: Annual Pet Costs

In the next in my series of ponderings about what constitutes frugality, I tackle pets. Many people would argue that pet ownership isn’t frugal because it’s a 100% optional expense. Pets are more than a mouth to feed, though; they also provide numerous benefits to their owners. Although it depends on the type of pet you choose, pet costs also aren’t as high as you might think. Cat Care…
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How to Host a Spa Party for (Almost) Free

A day at the spa can get pricey. Once you decide to have a day at the spa with your girlfriends, it gets a lot more expensive. Instead, you can host a spa party at home to relax, hang out, and not worry about how many people you have to tip. If you all chip in, you can have a spa day at home almost for free. Keep…
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How to Be a Bad Customer

I’ve seen several blogs encouraging people to haggle over prices and push for discounts, but there comes a point when you’ve gone too far. It’s one thing to ask for a discount. It’s another to try to cheat the person you’re dealing with. The “it’s a big company” argument doesn’t work – they still have employees and vendors to pay, and can’t do that if everyone demands a…
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What’s Your Financial IQ?

I recently discovered this cool new tool – the Financial IQ test at Bills.com. I love quizzes, so this was perfect for me. It also reminded me that I need to move certain financial moves up my to do list. About the Financial IQ Test The test asks questions in five categories: Credit, Debt, Budget, Wealth, and Life Plan. Each section has five to seven questions. As you…
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When to Jump on a Good Deal and When to Pass

This weekend I snagged on a good deal on a roasting pan. It was on sale at Bed Bath & Beyond for $20 with a $10 mail-in rebate. In addition, I was able to use one of their $5 of $15 coupons on the purchase. That will bring my total cost down to $6.46 (including tax) for an 18” roasting pan with rack. If you want one, the rebate goes…
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13 More Cheap Ways to Celebrate Summer

Summer is here again! Time to break out the flip flops, shorts, and suntan lotion. Oh, and the fruit. All the fruit you can eat! Ripe cherries, sweet strawberries, juicy peaches. My mouth is watering over here. In keeping with my quarterly tradition, here are 13 more frugal ways to celebrate summer, one for each week. Bake a Cherry Clafoutis Basically, clafoutis is a sort of custardy pie with cherries baked…
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Long-Term Money Saver: Learn to Sew

My mom first taught me to sew when I was a pre-teen. I made one or two outfits and then promptly stopped sewing. But it was still a lesson that stuck with me and already it’s saved me money. Although a sewing machine costs up to a few hundred dollars, it’s well worth the investment if you learn to use it. Fixing Clothes This is the most basic…
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Frugal Product Recommendation: Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

I don’t recommend products often. In fact, other than books or free software, I don’t think I’ve recommended you buy anything. Today, all of that changes. If you’ve decided that you’re going to start cooking more as part of a new frugality kick, then you may be realizing that you need some extra pieces of cookware. If you’ve been cooking a while, you may be lusting for a…
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To iPhone or Not to iPhone

I’ve got the ultimate conundrum for a dedicated frugalist: the broken cell phone. First the story, then the conundrum. The Cheap Phone Plan As soon as my husband and I got married, we merged our cell phone plans into a family plan. About a year after the first two-year agreement expired, the hinge on his phone cracked and we decided it was time to upgrade. We both went…
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Save Money on Books – Personal

I read year-round, but my reading has definitely increased since the writer’s strike commenced. I’ve read four or five books already this year and read another three to four at the end of last year. Summer also leaves me a lot of time to read. In addition, I was recently a grad student, which meant I had to devise method to save money on research books. Today I’ll…
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