Insurance 
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When To Be Frugal

I am not an extremely frugal person, but I am not a spendthrift either. I love squirreling away my money just as much as I love my home, health, and hobbies. In short, my husband and I save more than a third of our income on a regular basis, but we do not cheap out on certain things. Specifically, I will spend whatever is necessary to live healthily and sleep well. Frugality has its place in the world of personal finance, but there are some things that you just cannot afford to be cheap about and things you can.

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 Family 
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Cheap Fun for the Kids

With the kids out of school, I know there are a ton of parents out there trying to think of ways to keep them entertained without draining the family’s coffers.  I know I remember my mother having the same problem with the three of us.  At the beginning of every summer, we’d get bored and slowly tear up the house looking for stuff to do.  After a few days of driving her nuts, we got used to playing on our own outside and she took us on a few frugal trips every summer as well.  Here are some ideas for cheap fun for the kids.

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 The Home 
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Frugal Methods on Dealing with Garden Critters

My husband and I started a raised garden in April and our tomatoes are looking pretty good.  They are plump but are still very green and hard.  I was getting excited last week until I woke up one morning and something had taken big bites out of my best looking tomato!  It looked like gnaw marks, so our best bet is that a squirrel has been in our garden.  Here are a few frugal methods I have found to deal with garden thieves.

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 Frugal Living 
11
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Garage Sale Tips for Finding Hidden Gems

Garage Sale TodayA close friend, Tonia, has been trying to get me interested in garage sales for a couple of years now.  She swears that it is a ton of fun to spend her early Saturday mornings browsing through the sales around town.  I personally don’t want anything enough to wake up at 6am on a weekend to go after it, but her garage sale plans were detailed enough that I knew I should share.  Here are Tonia’s tips for finding exactly what you are looking for at garage sales.

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 Frugal Living 
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Five Tips to Save Money on Your Laundry

Holiday Coin LaundromatMy husband and I don’t usually embrace ultra-frugality for the sake of saving a buck or two.  But we will change our habits if the changes are easy or we can save a significant amount of money over time.  When we realized we were doing more than 5 loads of laundry a week for two people, we decided to try out a few things (homemade laundry detergent did not make the cut).  Some suggestions worked very well but others were complete flops.  Here are a few tips we have come up with to save some money and time on laundry.

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 Frugal Living 
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Extreme Couponing: Classic Time vs. Money Dilemma

Coupon AccordianReality television shows are getting more and more “extreme.” Whether it’s families with enough kids to field a football team or people who tip the scales at several hundred pounds, it seems like the television watching public is obsessed with any extreme. The “first” reality show was basically extreme living on a remote island – remember the first season of Survivor? (surprisingly, I’ve never watched a full episode of Survivor, not sure how I avoided it)

Well, the latest “craze” seems to be a show called Extreme Couponing. If you haven’t seen the show, it basically follows people who buy a ton of stuff without paying a lot of money. There’s a lot of fake drama, as they talk about how they only budgeting $300 for groceries this month but the tally, before coupons, is up in the several hundreds of dollars. There’s some fake “worry” as the cashier starts scanning coupons and then shots of the manager and other people standing around watching.

Extreme is not the right name for this show, it should be called Excessive Couponing. Deadliest Catch is appropriately named – people die up there. It’s not extreme, it’s excessive.
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 Frugal Living 
47
comments

Five Gas Saving Myths

Gas StationWith global turmoil continuing to threaten higher gas prices — especially with the summer driving season just around the corner — it is little surprise that many people are looking for ways to save money on gas.

Indeed, as gas moves toward the $4.00 per gallon level that many think is inevitable, increasing fuel economy becomes even more important. We want to be able get the most for our gas station dollar. It is tempting to believe that you can do a few simple things and then find yourself raking in the savings. The truth, though, is that some “conventional” wisdom about saving money on gas is outdated. Or even downright false. Here are five gas saving tips that probably won’t do much in terms of saving you money at the pump:

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 Frugal Living 
30
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Are Social Deal Sites (Groupon) Worth It?

“Social shopping” is gaining in popularity right now. Through web sites like Living Social and Groupon, it is possible to get discounts on different products and services in your local area. Social deal web sites send you tips about which deals are available, and then you can go spend money, getting up to half off — or more — on different items.

One of the questions you have to ask yourself as you sign up for Living Social, Groupon or any other social deal site is this: Am I really saving money? Or are you just looking for a reason to spend it?

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