Frugal Living 
11
comments

Could You Live Off the Grid?

Solar PanelsOne of the movements growing in popularity, among the environmentally-conscious and the survivalists alike, is the idea of going off the grid. There are different degrees to which you can become independent of the services offered by utility companies and local governments. Some are interested in disconnecting from the electric grid, while others take it even further and disconnect from water and sewer.

However you decided to do it, though, going off grid requires planning and preparation. In some cases, it can even mean an outlay of tens of thousands of dollars. Many of the systems required to make going off the grid work cost a great deal of money up front. You need to weigh the up front costs with the long-term savings, and you also need to consider the value to being self-sufficient, with no need to rely on others to bring you the services you need.
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 Frugal Living, Personal Finance 
18
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Could You Get By Without One of Your Cars?

WalkingOne of the expenses common to many American households is the car. In fact, many households have more than one car. We have two cars, and we’d be hard-pressed to live without both of them, mainly because of the activities that we do, and where we live.

Getting rid of a car would save quite a bit, however. Think of the expenses that come with cars: Payments and interest (if you borrow in order to buy), insurance, maintenance, repairs, and fuel costs. All of these fuel costs add up. Chances are that you could save hundreds of dollars each month — particularly if you have borrowed to purchase your car — by getting rid of a car. But is it something your family can actually do?
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 Personal Finance 
31
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How to Keep Fruits & Vegetables Fresh As Long As Possible

Last year, my lovely wife and I joined an organic CSA (community supported agriculture) farm. Each week, we’d get a bounty of vegetables and fruit that we had trouble finishing. We mistakenly got a full share, thinking we could handle it, but a full share is meant for a family of four. We only had a family of two… and we weren’t vegetarian either! Each week we’d struggle to eat all these vegetables, many of which were new to us.

We didn’t rejoin the CSA this year, not even a half share, because we were a little burned out last year. On the plus side, we ate a ton of vegetables and we learned how best to store our haul to make it last as long as possible. A lot of this information is taken from a variety of sources, some of which we’ve long forgotten, and it’s amazing how much misinformation is out there. Ultimately, the key is to eat things as quickly as possible but through smart storage practices, you can make things last a little bit longer.

We actually joined a CSA with friends and have a half share!

The list below is first grouped by where you should store them, followed by a huge list alphabetized by the fruit or vegetable (that you can download).

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 Frugal Living 
24
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11 Sure-Fire Ways to Save on Shipping

Post Office in Mooresville, ALBack in college, I used to sell all sorts of products on eBay and thus developed keen understanding for how the post office worked. I didn’t do a tremendous amount of selling but as a lazy and poor college student, I did my best to make my shipping as efficient as possible. Many of the tips below come from that experience and are very much USPS centric since my packages were often very light, but many of those tips apply to any shipping service.

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 Frugal Living 
17
comments

Guide to Safe Dumpster Diving

DumpsterI heard about Freeganism about a year ago. I will admit, the idea of dumpster diving for food and home items when you aren’t starving grossed me out. I just don’t think I will ever be comfortable rooting around trash to find treasures. But when I wrote about that on my own site, I was surprised by how many people have been able to find some awesome stuff in other people’s trash. Apparently, you may be surprised about the great things that you can find by dumpster diving. Here are some tips that have been suggested for finding the best stuff.

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 Insurance 
7
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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 
8
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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 
10
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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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