Welcome to the 71st edition of the Festival of Frugality. Before we start with the festival submissions, here are some thoughts. Sometimes, when we are engrossed in squeezing out every ounce of worth from a penny, it is easy to lose sight of reason and rationality. Hence, every once in a while, to put our actions into perspective, it is beneficial to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. In this spirit, let’s first review *frugality* before we jump to the articles.
What is Being Frugal? by Dawn @ Frugal for Life.
Because I live frugally, doesn’t mean I don’t spend money and don’t find enjoyment. I become more thoughtful about my decisions and how it will impact me in the future. I decide if this item is something I need or can use multiple times. Frugality is about restraint, discipline, finding the best value and using the item up till it can’t be used anymore.
Frugality as defined by Wikipedia.
Frugality (also known as thrift or thriftiness), often confused with cheapness or miserliness, is a traditional value, life style, or belief system, in which individuals practice both restraint in the acquiring of and resourceful use of economic goods and services in order to achieve lasting and more fulfilling goals. In a money-based economy, frugality emphasizes economical use of money in meeting long term personal, familial, and communal desires.
What is frugal living? @ eSSORTMENT.com
Frugal living isnâ€™t about giving up the good life; itâ€™s cutting out unnecessary expenditures. Most families who practice frugal living do so, not because theyâ€™re in a financial bind, but because theyâ€™ve made a conscious decision to take control of their spending and that means not keeping up with the Joneses or maxing out credit cards.
Now, let’s head over to the festival’s entries. 29 articles were accepted for publications.
Frugality Food for Thought
Frugal vs. Cheap by Andy @ Money Walks. In this post, Andy expresses his thoughts on defining frugality. This blends in very well with the theme of this edition. Here is one of his thoughts: “Living well for less money is frugality. Leeching off of people to get by is cheap.”
Sometimes, You Should Indulge by ISPF @ Grad Money Matters. ISPF thinks outside the conventional frugality box and recommends indulgence once in a while. If you are truly frugal, you could probably find frugal ways of indulging
Being A Big Kid - Frugal Entertainment by Super Saver @ My Wealth Builder. This is frugal entertainment plus quality time with the kids in one package. Seriously, kids don’t distinguish between “expensive” and “cheap” entertainment…all they care is about getting *entertained*.
Fifteen Free Things To Do During A Money-Free Weekend by Trent @ The Simple Dollar. Got a lot of free time on weekends and not in a mood to spend a dime? Trent has the perfect solutions for you. Here is one of them:
Blow bubbles. This is a great one if you have kids. Get a gallon of water, then slowly stir in some liquid dishwashing detergent (a cup or two), slow enough not to make suds. Bend an old coat hanger into loops, dip it into the stuff, and blow through the loops. Experiment with different quantities to get the kind of bubbles you want - there is no â€œperfectâ€ recipe.
I want to quickly mention here that by adding sugar to the soap solution (and after some practice) you could actually make larger bubbles. Try it out and see if that works.
Vacation: Need or Want @ Living Almost Large. How do you discern whether a vacation is a need or a want? Do you feel that sometimes people have this overrated sense of *entitlement* for vacations or certain indulgences? It’s one thing to take a frugal break to vacate your mind of daily routines, and it’s other thing to go on unaffordable trips to justify a *break*.
Do You Really Know How Much It Costs To Own Your Car? by Silicon Valley Blogger @ The Digerati Life. Always think in future terms when you look for a car. Cars that seem cheap now may turn out to be expensive in the long run due to horrible repair and maintainance costs. SVB explains this with a neat breakdown of numbers and types of costs.
What You Should Know About Your Local Auto Body Shops by David @ My Two Dollars. A commentary on a Kiplinger’s article about things to consider before visit an auto body shop.
Last Minute Spring Cleaning? Don?t Forget the Cupboards by John @ Queercents. John characterizes his cooking as a race against expiration dates and shelf lives. Throwing out food is one of the most painful money wasters out there, so he dishes out some frugal advice to make the best of such situations.
How I Decorated My Son’s Room for Under $60 Tricia @ Blogging Away Debt. Tricia tells us how she decorated her son’s room for $59.96 (yeah!…not $60) This post is a fine example of frugality in practice.
Instead of buying expensive border, I used some printable sticker paper to print out construction trucks to cut out and stick on the wall for a border. I also used some stickers to decorate the light switch plate and his bed. Total cost: Probably around $2.00.
What to Do When You Forgot to Read Directions by Frugal Babe @ Frugal Babe. The author had a minor bummer situation that turned into a great example of a creative and a frugal solution to a problem. A $1.50 remedy to hold a storm door glass steady is not bad at all.
Groceries and Shopping Frugality
How To Pick Perfect Fruit by Baselle @ Baselle’s Financial Diary. Must read tips on choosing good produce…must read because Baselle is a PhD in Botany. I am sure there are things in this article that you have never heard about before.
The recalls of pet food and peanut butter showed that the same manufacturers were making both the store brands and the higher-priced brands. Often the only difference between a store brand and a name brand is the label. In that case when you buy the name brand you are paying for advertising and packaging, not for higher quality.
How To Save Money On Shipping When Shopping Online by Ben @ Money Smart Life. Ben shares some useful tips on lowering your shipping costs when shopping online. Ah…those love-hate feelings about items worth about $2 that require about $8 of shipping.
Free Money â€“ Small Money Adds Up Big by Steve Faber @ Debt Free. Steve pulls up some numerical examples, again along the “latte-factor” approach, to show how small things can turn in big piles of cash in future. He also considers a couple of big ticket items like HDTV and cruise vacations.
I used wildflowers for the flowers, and the florist was a friendâ€™s mom, so for her labor and the trimmings it was $35. We got married in a little church, and our friend took the photos. Our reception was potluck and Dad provided the bar on his own dime. Another friend played ukelele and sang vaudeville songs on the porch for entertainment.
…like all families, weâ€™re always looking for a way to save a few bucks. In the past year, weâ€™ve decided to eat out less, shop sales more, and try not to spend money just for the sake of spending money. Sometimes, itâ€™s easier said than done.
Recycling Batteries by Phil @ Phil for Humanity. Did you know that non-rechargeable batteries are not recyclable? Phil encourages us to use rechargeable batteries and do our bit towards the environment.
Remember, the thrill is in the hunt of finding the â€œperfectâ€ thing. Once you buy it, the thrill is gone.
Implied Financial Frugality
Irregular Income And Unplanned For Expenses by NCN @ No Credit Needed. NCN describes how he accounts for unplanned expenses. I have a somewhat similar system in place, except that I don’t budget to the penny.
How to Make Your Finances Automagical by Leo @ Zen Habits. Leo has a few tips on putting our financial management on an auto-pilot. Suggestions include automatic fund transfers to an online savings account and automatic bill payment.
Image sources: Think: ed-thelen.org; Soap bubbles: www.lunararchives.com; Vacations: www.ontariosailing.com; Automotive: www.supershuttle.com; Groceries: www.dorsetforyou.com; Bread-jelly: spacebar.blogsome.com; Money: www.bloggingblog.net; Art: www.britishcouncil.org; Creative: www.thehypnosiscds.com; Saving Money: www.mandlers.com