53 Frugal Tips and Clever Ways to Save Money

Looking for frugal living tips and ways to save money? We have a huge list to show you an easy way or two to save extra money. Whether using gift cards to save money, saving money at the grocery store, at thrift stores, we have creative ways and the best frugal tips.

50 Ways to Save Money this Year - Kids Activities Blog


Would you love to know 50 ways to save money?

Here are some  general tips on how to be frugal, ways to save money in your household, with your kids, and when feeding your family.   Do you have a tip for frugal living?

What does it mean to be frugal?

Frugal living is a lifestyle where you actively learn ways and go out of your way to not spend as much money and save money through the different aspects and areas of their lives. Through budgeting, using less, going without, or changing how you use things and spend money will allow you to live a more frugal lifestyle which will make more comfortable in the long run.

How To Be Frugal

To be frugal means use less money. Whether it’s a good deal or learning to use what you have, like they did in the great depression, a frugal person will avoid spending a lot of money, avoid food waste, and learn basic life skills that will help them buy less.

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Best Frugal Living Tips

1. Goal Chart

Make a goal chart and as you save the amount of money or pay off debts, mark them off and reward yourself. (Ex: we can’t get that camera until our car is paid off). The expense of the camera is minor compared to the interest I’ll save by paying off debts early.

2. Budgeting System

We do the packets budgeting system. All spending money we take out at the beginning of each month. We then pay for everything with that cash, when it is gone there is no more till the next month. This budgeting method works for us, find one that works for you!

3. Wait Before Making Large Purchases

Wait for a minimum of 24 hours before purchasing any pricey item. Oh, and see if you can find something comparable used first!

4. Fix It Before Replacing

If something breaks try to fix it or do without before going out and purchasing a replacement. Try not to hire someone to fix things, rather swap services (see Craig’s list).

5. No More Impulse Buys

To curb impulse buys, create a 30-day list. When you want to buy something, other than a true necessity (medicine or food, for example), put it on this list, with the date you added it to the list. And make it a rule that you can’t buy anything for at least 30 days after you put it on the list. And stick to it. You’ll find that you buy a lot less with this system.

6. Surround Yourself With Frugal Minded Friends

Surround yourself with frugal-minded folk. If you don’t have any friends who are willing to make a frugal journey with you try looking online, maybe get a  great frugal book, or browse the websites One Income Dollar or the Prudent Housewife. Both great inspirational blogs. We found it is easier to save when we’re not surrounded by spend-happy folks.

how to be frugal image with text: 50 Tips to Save - Kids Activities Blog - child looking over table stacking pennies
There are so many ways to save money!


7. Price Sheets Comparing Prices

Use a price sheet so that you can know if a sale is really a bargain or if you can find it cheaper elsewhere.

8. Buy Manager Special Meat and Freeze It

Buy meat that is on Manager Special (expiring that day or shortly after). Cook that day and eat/freeze.

9. Make Meat Go Further

Mix ground beef with an egg and several handfuls of quick oats (makes the meat go farther). Use in meatballs, meat loaf, etc.

10. Bake Your Own Bread

Bake your own bread “ let the yeast sit in sugar water till it smells fermented and use half the yeast (the most expensive ingredient in bread). Artisan bread is the cheapest to make per loaf.

11. Make Your Milk Last Longer

If you are big milk drinkers, buy whole milk and a box of dry milk and make your own mock-2% milk by mixing half whole, half non-fat dry reconstituted milk. You have two gallons for a fraction of the cost.

12. Go Meatless A Couple Nights A Week

Go meatless 1-2 nights a week. You can substitute dry beans. They are VERY cheap and filling.

13. Make A Meal Plan

Meal plan and coordinate so that leftovers can be utilized fully, yet keeping variety. (Ex: Tacos day one, use left over taco meat day 2 for stuffed peppers).

14. Stretch Your Groceries

Try to stretch as much time between shopping trips. The fewer times you go shopping, the fewer chances you have to impulse buy.

15. Make A Shopping List and Stick To It

ONLY shop from a list. If it is not on the list DO NOT BUY IT. It is best to make a check off inventory list of all things you could need and highlight what you’re out or low on.

16. Eat Before You Shop

Eat something small before you go. It is harder to resist the temptation to over buy when you have an empty tummy.

17. Keep Your Change

Keep your change (dollar bills and coins) use this as your fun fund.

18. Buy Generic

Buy generic “ many times this is considerably less than the alternative even if you have coupons.

19. Use Coupons

Use coupons if you prefer something name brand and only if you buy that item regularly. Also, ask if your grocery shop has double days.

20. Ask If You Can Clip The Coupons From Library Newspapers

Rather than buy a newspaper for the coupons, go to your library, usually they do not mind allowing you to clip the coupons you need ¦ and your kids can attend story time at the same time! If you are new to couponing, then this book is a helpful start.

frugal living image with text: Save Together 50 Tips - girl on floor with piggy bank placing coins inside - Kids Activities Blog
There are so many ways to save around the hosue.


21. Do You Dishes By Hand

Wash your dishes by hand. I have a hard time with this one, I know it saves water/energy, but I love the convenience of my dishwasher!

22. Air Dry Your Clothes

Wash clothes in warm water and only if you have a full load to do.  Dry your clothes on the line and if you don’t like the crunchy feel, stick them in the dryer for 5 min with a wet rag after they’ve hung out.

23. Wash Your Clothes Less

Wash your clothes inside out so they will look nicer longer and only wash if something is truly dirty.

24. Save Fabric Softener

If you like fabric softener, put some on a towel and throw it in with the dryer.  A quarter size spill on the towel can do about 3 loads “ a great way to save softener!  Also, to make your detergent go farther, add a tablespoon of baking soda to the load and use half the detergent. Baking soda is a soap booster and is cheaper than Arm & Hammer.

25. Use Your Dryer/Stove To Help Heat Your Home

In the winter, use your dryer and stove during the early evening to help heat your home. In the summer, use them in the very early morning (or not at all) to help keep your home cool.

26. Long Term Meal Prep

Cook all your meals for a 2-week period (esp. in the summer) so that your oven only has to do the work one time for multiple meals.   Keep meals in the freezer and re-heat with the microwave “ uses less energy, and you save time. Also, having home-cooked freezer meals cut down on the tendency to order take-out when you’re having an exceptionally busy day. It is possible to do this with a refrigerator’s freezer.

27. Turning Your A/C Up

In the summer take a cold bath/wash rag to help you feel cool before bed, and keep the thermostat as high as possible or the A/C off if possible (we live in TX “ its not possible). Each degree change can save up to 3% on your energy costs!

28. Lighting A Room With A Mirror

In a room that has a tendency to be dark, put a mirror near the light to refract the light around the room. One light bulb has the power of two with this trick!

29. Unplugging Appliances

Unplug items (toaster, shaver, cell phone charger, TV) when not in use. Small amounts of electricity are still being used even if they are off, but plugged in.

30. Buy From Garage Sales Or Places That Sell Used Items

Use Craig’s List to purchase used items (furniture, etc.) or freecycle or go to garage sales. We’ve even gotten a number of items from the curb on trash day!

31. Buy Paint From The “Oops” Counter At Home Depot Or Lowes

Buy paint from the oops counter at Home Depot or Lowes. Also, if the color of your walls allows, add a faux finish over the existing color. This uses a lot less paint and allows you to spruce up more rooms at a fraction of the cost.

32. Use Cell Phone Or House Phone Not Both

Cut your cell-phone or house phone, you don’t need both. If possible, become a single-phone family. For long distance, calling cards are great! You can usually find cards with under 2 cents a min! Pay-as-you-go cell phone plans are great if you are not a big phone user.

33. DIY Cleaners

Make your own household cleaners. Vinegar, baking soda, Hydrogen peroxide, borax & bleach are all really cheap and you can make any and every household cleaner from laundry detergent to the equivalents of Windex and Comet from mixtures of those ingredients.

34. Shop Around For Insurance

Check your insurance. We were able to save $600 a year when we switched companies, combined our house and auto onto the same plan, and added $500 to our deductible.

35. Get A Programmable Thermostat

Get a programmable thermostat for your household heat and water heater. You can turn the temps down an hour or two after you go to bed, or during the warmer times of the day, or the times when you typically don’t use your hot water. No reason to heat what is not being used!

50 Ways to Save that Add up Fast - Kids Activities Blog


36. Learn To Cut Hair

Get a hair cut kit  and cut your hubby’s hair. I have been cutting my husband’s hair for over 20 years which has saved us conservatively $5000. Cut your kid’s hair! For yourself, if you don’t trust your husband or friend to cut your hair {I don’t}, be aware that longer hairstyles do not need to be maintained as frequently as shorter ones.

37. Buy Used Clothes

Buy clothes for your kids used “ they grow out of them so fast new is not worth it! And used usually look just as good!

38. Buy Less Toys

Limit the number of toys your children are able to have in the house. This will lower the clutter, increase the value of the toys you currently own, increase your children’s creativity as they learn to play with less, and also will decrease spending on toys.

39. Try Home Remedies For Minor Illnesses And Injuries

Try home remedies before Doctor visits. Those co-pays can add up and its amazing how a humidifier, Vitamin C & some good ole ™ rest will make the bugs go away!

40. Make Gifts For Holidays

Make gifts for holidays and birthdays, often these mean more than ones purchased at the store as they show you put time and effort into the recipient.

41. Make Your Own Personal Hygiene Products

Make your own personal hygiene products (or do without). 

42. Use Cloth Diapers 

Cloth diaper your kiddos. If you use this cloth diapering method your whole stash can cost less than a hundred dollars and can potentially be handed down to future kiddos. Cloth diapering also encourages early potty-training!

43. Make Your Own Baby Food

Make your own baby food by pureeing what the rest of the family is eating, or you can use dehydrated and powdered veggies “ if you like the convenience of those pricey jars.

Ways to Save Money - Kids Activities Blog


47. Don’t Eat Out

Eat out rarely if ever!  If you do eat out, only drink water. Also, check your newspapers for discounts and grand openings; you can usually get more for your buck then.

48. Have Get Togethers At Home

Invite people over to your home rather than meeting them at a restaurant. You’ll have more time to chat and if you plan your meal well, will save a bundle too!

49. Watch Movies At Home

Get movies for your Friday night from the library or Netflix. They are free or a small monthly charge much less than cable/satellite.    Amazon has many movies to stream for a dollar.

50. Make Popcorn At Home

Make your own homemade microwave popcorn bags! They taste better and are both cheaper and healthier!

51. Eliminate One Of Your Bills

Either eliminate or see if you can combine any of the following: Internet, Television, Long-Distance, Cell Phones “ We found that a calling card saves us tons on what would have been a long distance phone bill, and we get the TV shows we want through online streaming for free.

52. Baby Sitting Swap

Set-up a baby-sitting swap with a friend who has children. You’ll save money and know that someone experienced is watching your kids.

53. Find Events For Date Nights

Find dates that are more events than just going out to eat. These can sometimes save your budget and are usually more memorable.

54. Skip The Zoo Go To Cabella’s

See if you are near a Bass Pro shop or Cabella’s. We take our kids there instead of the zoo. It’s free to walk around and the stuffed animals don’t move so you actually get to see them! Call ahead of time and be there for the fish feeding.


What are the benefits of frugal living?

  • Less debt
  • More money saved for emergencies
  • Learn to choose experience over stuff
  • Learn to appreciate what you have
  • Waste less
  • Practice life skills
  • Will learn how important a budget is
  • Will have a tendency to be more generous

And there are many other benefits as well!


What is the 50 30 20 saving method?

The 50/30/20 saving method is a budgeting technique that divides after-tax income into three separate spending categories:
1. 50 percent of income should be spent on needs like rent or mortgage payments, groceries and utilities.
2. 30 percent of income can be spent on wants like dining out, entertainment, travel, and clothing.
3. 20 percent of income should be saved for long-term goals like retirement or saving for a down payment on a house.

What is the 30 day rule for saving money?

The 30-day rule helps people avoid impulse purchases. The 30-day rule is a strategy to help you save money by creating a buffer between the purchase decision and your actual payment. Under this method, when you want to make a big purchase, stop and wait at least 30 days before pulling the trigger. The 30 day time frame allows you to assess if they really need or want the item, if there are cheaper alternatives, and if you really can afford to make the purchase.

How can I save money when I am already frugal?

Yes! You actually can save money even if you already are leading a frugal life. Here are some things that might have been overlooked:
-Sticking to your budget.
-Cutting back on luxuries or finding cheaper alternatives.
-Automate your savings with automatic transfers.
-Maximizing your use of discount and loyalty programs.
-Cut out unnecessary recurring expenses like gym memberships, cable subscriptions, etc.
-Barter, negotiate and shop around for things you do want to buy.
-Find extra money with a side hustle or freelance gig.

What kind of behavior makes you frugal?

Frugal behavior involves making informed decisions about spending and managing money.


Looking for more money saving discounts and tips? We have some more! We hope these tips help you and your family save money this year. We have a few more ideas on how to be frugal. Take a look at these additional ideas for frugal living:

What money saving tip do you have? Share it with us in the comments section!


  1. What a great list! I love reading things like this.
    Thanks for all the tips 🙂
    .-= Deborah´s last blog ..Vegetarian Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce =-.

    1. If you have ideas, we can add them to the list with a link to your site! I love learning more ways to be a tightwad – lol.

      1. Don’t use Saran Wrap, etc, to cover leftovers, just place a plate right side up or inverted over them.

      2. A lot of good tips. Here are some to, if they help:
        Cheap, but quality, entertainment can be found at your local libraries. They usually have a lot of activities, especially for the summer. Learn to read – if there’s something new that you want to learn, especially crafts or hobbies, you’ll find it there. And you might be able to put it in your home, or profit from it. Check your local and area newspapers for more. Churches/congregations also have things. Local clubs and organizations. For better health, check your diet. Also find physical activities that you can do as a family. Even if there are health issues, this can be done within reason. And it’ll effectively limit your time in front of t.v. and computers in a positive way. Find reputable blogs and websites for more activities and things done for the home. When traveling, and it is possible on a budget, find ways to cut costs. There are things to do that are free or low cost that are fun. And sometimes photos and experiences are more valuable than dust collector trinkets that just get broken or lost, or a fancy meal that is too expensive and not very satisfying. Save the money for items that will benefit your home, or give your family those memories they’ll relate to later. Ditch that fancy resort, and maybe try an eco-lodge. Whatever works for you. But seriously, would you take another night in a hotel with bad room service and spotty cable over an evening in the park with a live band and ice cream? Something to think about…

  2. LOVE THE NEW LAYOUT! It is so wasy to read. I loved this post. We are in constant need of money saving tips, I enjoyed reading them!

  3. What a great list! Thanks for the tips and for linking up today!

  4. A woman after my own heart! It seems we have a lot in common. The great thing about being frugal is that even though people look at you funny because they think you’re super tight (lol) you end up having sooo much more than the average joe. Love your tips, I can relate.
    .-= Chavah´s last blog ..My Last Blog Post Of The Year =-.

  5. No wonder I’m broke! Thanks for the great tips. I’m sure I’ll use a few of them, like sitting to a shopping list. But I could never buy used clothing for my kids….there’s just something about new clothing that makes u feel so good!

    1. There are many “Thrift Stores” that have nice or name brand clothes. A few “Thrift Stores” around my house even take clothes from the stores that are “last season” with the original tags still on them… I have paid $2 for a pair of jeans that had a name brand tag of $38!!! Even after 6 months they still look brand new.
      Yes new clothes can make you feel good! I’m no stranger to that feeling. But if I can get the same pair of jeans for less…. 😉

      1. Love consignment shops! I give over my daughter’s clothes (the boys destroy it by the time it goes through both of them) & I end up “making” enough to buy them more during end of season sales! We’re talking 2-3 new outfits for 4 of us under $30 out of my pocket! Including shoes!

  6. I wish we had a store like this in Canada!!4478/*
    .-= Tammy´s last blog ..Shhhhhh! =-.

  7. You have some great ideas. Oats with the meat is a new one to me. Our family enjoys a trip to Bass Pro shop. Last time we went they had classes and activities for the kids.

  8. I came across this article (which I think is great) by accident. It is great to know that even thought my family thinks I am crazy there are other people out there doing the same thing. We just started making our own laundry soap and my kids itchy skin has diappered. Saved money on laundry soap and expensive skin lotions. Thanks for even more tips.

  9. Thank you for linking to my site!

    My husband cuts my hair for me. I was nervous at first, but he does a great job! Sometimes he cuts the children’s hair, but usually I do, and I cut his, too!

    We’ve visited the Bass Pro Shop, too! We don’t have a good zoo here. At the Bass Pro shop, you can walk right up to the lions, a giraffe, and some moose (among other animals). It’s really neat! We’ve never made it at the time for the fish feeding, but that would be fun.

  10. If at all possible, have one debit card. My husband and I work off of one. I just never activated mine. It has worked well for us and helps keep my impulse buying in tact. It is a easier to keep up with all the debits if there is just one of us at a time using it. I believe it helps keep our budget in tact and we save more money this way.

  11. “Eat something small before you go. It is harder to resist the temptation to over buy when you have an empty tummy.”

    What a great list! I love the tip I quoted. And if you take your kids with you, be sure they are fed as well There is nothing like a hungry child whining in the grocery store for all the things they want to get/eat. Everyone has to snack before food shopping.

  12. I love these ideas……we use many of these frugal ideas and I even found a few more to try. I don’t know if I could get away with cutting my husbands hair….but the rest look great.

  13. I am with Tammy – “No wonder I’m broke”. Ha-ha.

    Given the current economic environment, these sorts of things are more important than ever. One thing that has really struck me is how I feel about “having to do” some of these things. I felt that I was on top of the world, secure, financially free, and would never have to worry about anything again. What a difference a few years makes. Once I got past the ego deal, I found that many of the things I used to do were really quite wasteful, and I am finding an improved closeness with family and friends over time as I eat at home more often, for instance. Thanks for the list.

  14. What a great go-to about saving money! I am happy to share this with my Twitter followers and would love if you would link up with me for my Follow me Friday’s! You have a great blog!

  15. Love numbers 37, 39 & 48! You have several awesome tips, something most of us need to do is step back & take a look at our finances! Thanks for the reminders!

  16. One Income Dollat says:

    Thanks for the mention of my site-going to start reading through this great list!

  17. love the list…much needed in this economy!!

  18. Great ideas. Already doing many of these- and I save a bundle by cutting my son’s hair (just bought clippers). More ideas: make your lunch (pack lunch for work), if you make spaghetti sauce or chili make a big batch and freeze the extra. Turning the lights off around the house. I did get rid of my gym membership- you can walk for free around the neighborhood or @ the mall (if you live in colder weather). Shop thrift stores- repurpose furniture (a fresh coat of paint does wonders). Make your own coffee @ home, all that gourmet coffee adds up. Cut up old towels- you can use them as washcloths or rags to clean the house. Swap kids clothes with other moms @ school. Wash your own car. Make your own ice cream- cheaper and easy. Grow your own food- if you have a yard, if not you can garden in containers. Canning your harvest. Swap canning with others for differerent assortment of canned food. Buy plain oatmeal instead of flavored packets (more expensive) and healthier. Buy heads of lettuce and clean and cut it yourself and put in large ziplock bag-the pre-packaged bags are more expensive and you get less. Swap books/DVD’s with friends/family. Look for online coupon codes before you place that order. Look for free concerts in the park, picnic, take a hike, go to the beach.
    Some restaurants have kids eat free nights. Clean out your garage/closets and have a garage sale. Go to the matinee show- it’s cheaper and less crowded.

  19. Washing your dishes by hand does not save water or money unless your dishwasher is over 25 years old. Google it.

    1. I second this! Dishwashers save TONS of water compared to doing dished by hand. Counterintuitive but true.

      1. …and, you can put iron skillets in the DW, may come out a bit rusty, just wipe with a drip of oil.

    2. Totally agree! Newer dishwashers are more efficient than hand washing.

    3. Thanks J. Smith for pointing this out! So many people are wrong when it comes to this issue.

      1. Totally…my husband didn’t believe me and started doing them by hand and our bill shot up. I guess the only way would be to use one gallon of water for ALL the dishes…but that is gross! Haha

  20. Fantastic list! Also, not only do cloth diapers save money, so do cloth pads…plus, they save the environment!

  21. heidigolightly says:

    Just found your post on Pinterest. Great tips. We use a lot of these tips, especially the entertaining at home tip. When did people get away from that? It’s homier, more comfortable, slower and probably healthier as well as cheaper. We have young children and invite friends over with children and they play outside if the weather is good, running around the farm, playing with the animals, building forts and generally having a good time.

    I could add to barter for goods and services. It works for us! And gardening. We grow a lot of produce in the summer and freeze what we can. I make huge batches of marinara sauce for the freezer to get us through the winter, as well as when I cook up hamburger for the freezer (I buy from a local farmer for $.99/lb) I use our garden produce to bulk it up and make it tasty. I use the food processor to chop onion and garlic, grate carrots and zuchini and cook it all up together and drain off the fat. I package this in freezer bags and pull it out whenever I need ground beef for pasta sauces, etc. Sometimes I will spit the large batches of this and cook some as taco meat with taco seasoning, some as sloppy joes and some as chili. I put everything in the freezer bags, lay them flat on a baking sheet to freeze them flat and voila – many meals nearly made, just requiring a small amount of assembly and everything fits flat in the freezer. Plus my kids never notice the extra veg in the hamburger mix!

  22. Joan Wyatt says:

    Great tips! Just a comment regarding not wanting to buy used clothing, I call this selective squeamishness. Some won’t wear something that someone has previously worn yet they’ll stay at a hotel where hundreds of people have slept in the sheets. I just think it’s funny. 🙂

  23. Chris Huff says:

    For those of you who don’t have a clothesline outside to dry, try this. Dry clothing long enough to get it nice and steamy then shake it out and place on hanger (I use the shower rod) and allow to dry. Eliminates ironing and your clothes look great and have no static since you don’t dry them completely.

  24. I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this but it’s really important. It DOES NOT save money or water to wash your dishes by hand. The dishwasher is a lot more efficient at cleaning dishes and using water than you. Just make sure to fill it up all the way and only run it when it’s full. Generally services are much more energy efficient than doing them yourself.

  25. One thing: DO NOT BUY BEDDING, MATTRESSES or bedroom furniture from second hand stores or take them off the side of the street. We are having an EPIDEMIC of bed bugs in the US and I promise you, you will not save money if you have to pay an exterminator. It takes weeks of treatments, during which you will be living out of plastic bags, etc. It is horrible. My best friend got a bedroom set off Craig’s list- a very fancy one indeed for $450 which was a bargain. She has spent over ONE THOUSAND dollars in fumigation. You cannot get rid of the little buggers on your own. Bedbugs don’t just live in mattresses, they crawl into the spaces between the wood in the bedframes and bed side stands and lay their eggs. For that matter, they are in many hotels – even good ones, all over the US so check bedbugwatch.com before you go stay anywhere. And put your luggage in the bathroom and check for the bugs before you do anything else.

  26. Love your list, but have something to add. When I buy my kids clothes, I buy new and get better prices than at consignment/thrift. I have gotten everything from dress clothes, tshirts, and pants for my boys to dresses, shoes, and accessories for my daughter by knowing when to shop. I follow clearance sales at retailers and never pay more than $3 for a shirt and $4 for pants (sometimes even less). My kids wear Children’s Place, Crazy 8 and Target clothes. I already have shirts for my 9yo son for next year: all were $3 on clearance at Target. Whenever I’ve gone to consignment/thrift stores, they want $5-6 for shirts from the same retailers. I wouldn’t mind buying used, but with three boys, it’s great to buy new for the oldest and let the next two wear it instead of buying something used (at a higher price) and having it wear out too soon.
    Also, find a friend and do clothing swaps. I haven’t bought a single thing for my daughter in this size: it was all given to me from a friend. Score!

    1. Totally agree…outlets for Children’s Place or Online have way good deals frequently and they look better and are better prices that consignment! I get new shirts for 1-2 dollars frequently!

  27. I’d change #22 to be wash in COLD water as much as possible.

  28. I think you’re spot on about surrounding yourself with like-minded folks. We have a VERY consumer-happy culture, and most of the people I know couldn’t even fathom the idea of not stopping for fast food or $5 coffee drinks daily (or more), and “going out” or “having fun” always involves restaurants, cafes, bars, shopping, etc.

    My family is on a one-person income since in this economy, even my graduate degree isn’t getting me any opportunities that would still earn us money after childcare. It’s just not feasible for us to be spending constantly on all this superfluous “stuff.” I’ve learned to make my own household cleaners, soaps and detergents (WAY cheaper, eco-friendly, and just as effective if not more), significantly reduced our paper goods trash & consumption by using reusable and washable rags, dusters, etc., I bake & cook (and can and freeze) at home, and have learned a plethora of ways to entertain (and mentally stimulate) my 3 year old at home just by recycling common household trash (cardboard cereal boxes, egg cartons, milk jugs, etc) into kid friendly crafting, as well as replaced commercial tempura paints, water colors, clays and play doughs with homemade versions–all safe, non-toxic, and cheap, plus she gets to “help” me cook these up.

    The “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” mantra is useful for more than just being planet-conscious–it was an inherent way of life for our homesteading predecessors– just go ask your grandparents!

  29. #3, waiting for 24 hours before I buy something, is pretty crucial for me. Actually, it’s best for me to wait at least three days. 😉 These are great, doable tips. We do most of the tips from the Entertainment section. This week a friend is watching our children so we can go to my husband’s office party, then I am returning the favor the next night for their office party. It saves big bucks! I think doing half or more of these tips *could* allow someone who wanted to to go from two incomes to one – or pay down debt, if possible.

  30. LOVE all the tips. We don’t eat out anymore, but Im always looking for other ways to save on groceries and other house hold items. I am most definitely going to start making my own cleaners and detergent. That’s a great way to cut back. Also I think that I can start buying in bulk on some items. Great money saver!! Thanks again for the tips!

  31. Didn’t have a chance to read through all of the comments so hopefully this hasn’t already been shared. I make my own laundry detergent and it saves a TON of money. I can make about 320 loads worth of detergent for about $2.00 (a little more than a half cent per load). That is almost a year’s worth of detergent for us; we wash about one load every day. I use the Duggar Family recipe at http://www.duggarfamily.com/content/duggar_recipes/30455/homemade_liquid_laundry_soap_front_or_top_load_machine_best_value

    Only wish that I had tried it earlier 🙂

  32. This is one of the most depressing things I’ve ever read! There are some great ideas in here, but others fill me with dread. Not washing clothes? Taking your kids to see taxidermy? Sketchy meat that’s about to go bad? Count me out… Also, using your dishwasher usually is more efficient than washing dishes by hand.

    1. I agree with Jodi too…some of them are a little too extreme for me…pretty much the ones she mentioned…meat scares me anyway, and questionably meat that will expire any second makes me more freaked out. And I would rather buy a cheap year pass for $80 dollars here that can be used on the zoo, botanical gardens, and aquarium for our entire family then take them to see stuffed animals…but there are still good things mentioned…but a lot of them actually don’t save that much money. We tried all the light, electricity related ones and NOTHING changed in our bills 🙁

      1. I agree with the taxidermy thing! I’m sorry, but stuffed animals that have been hunted and mounted are absolutely not the same as living animals. Take your kids to the zoo and educate them about the environment and other species. Most zoos have free or reduced admission days. I think the list was great, but this particular entry is very odd.

  33. Great post…!
    RE: Cloth Diapering….We use Mother-Ease diapers and love them. They are adjustable from newborn all the way to potty training and are very absorbent.

  34. Paper napkins are often not all used when eating out, I discretely put these in my purse and use them in place of paper towels. Sometimes a pack of wipes dries out, use them to wipe up spills. If using wipes to clean hands in the car, secondly run them over the dash, door handle, steering wheel, etc before disposing. Don’t refuse personal sized condiments when they are offered, someone in your family may want them or add them to a dish you are creating. Teach these frugal tips to your kids and grandkids!

  35. I heard from some friends who did a research project that washing dishes by hand usually uses MORE water than your dishwasher…unless you have an incredibly old one or it’s not working properly. BUT…..Thanks for all the other awesome tips!!! I’m definitely going to be incorporating some of these.

  36. I have to agree but disagree with the cloth diapers a little. Yes, they totally save money but I don’t know how you can diaper you kid for under $100. Maybe if you find everything used…However, I love using cloth diapers and cloth training pants for my kiddos and even if they cost $500 they would still be cheaper than disposable diapers and pull-ups!

  37. Just a comment about going to the library to clip coupons… DON’T! I work in a library and we DO mind when people clip from our newspapers and magazines. In fact we check the magazines before and after each person checks out and if you clip the coupons or recipes etc we often make you pay for the item. So please don’t do that.

  38. Come to St. Louis! Our zoo and museums are free!

  39. I do disagree with #42. I have four children (5, 3, 3 and 1) and I have found that cloth diapering actually cost me more money. When my twins were babies I made my own diapers (I’m a sewist) and the cost that it took to a) raise the temperature of my hot water heater 20 degrees…you must have hot, hot water to get them truly clean) and b) pay for the water to wash them (cold rinse then a hot, hot wash…it’s a lot of water) actually ended up raising my heating/water bill. With amazon mom I can get great deals on disposable diapers and it frees up my time to save money else where in my house that actually pays off.

    1. I agree, Not only did my cloth diapers leak, it was a pain to wash them all the time, buy special detergent, etc. I’ll stick with the disposables!

      1. I disagree, using cloth diapers was the one thing I would recommend to anyone, Using disposible diapers cause severe diaper rashes to one of my children. I found a cloth diaper business that delivers diapers once a week, takes them back dirty washes them and everyweek your never with out clean diapers. I don’t know if they have them any longer but you should check it out. For me cloth was always the way wether i had diaper service or not.

        1. If you weigh out the price versus the convenience of cloth and disposables diapers you will find that in the grand totalwill cost you about the same, but yes it is more inconvenient to use cloth. But on the other hand look at the sanitary difference between the two. I would rather change my child more frequently and wash their diapers than to put the disposables ones on their bottoms and let them set in their own waste for hours at a time because “they stay dry”. Even though the diaper may keep you dry it doesn’t erase the fact that they are still sitting in their own urine or poop. Poor babies. I had two girls and it was never a problem to soak their diapers in borax and then wash them. I always dried them on a clothes line and never used fabric softeners because it made them less absorbent.

          Love the tips and yes anytime your are not using power it will decrease your power bill. If you really want to save money quit watching tv, play outside with the kids, eat simple, quit buying snacks (make your own their healthier), stay at home and save gas, play games with the kids, stay away from fast food (its cheap, but its killing you) go to bed earlier (more energy is used at night when people are wake than any other time of the day (this is why daylight savings was started)) Wash only full loads of clothes.

          I find if you really want to save money think about the way our parents lived and their parents. We have to many things and to many times we have to entertain our kids rather than playing with them and teaching them to be creative. Kids deep down truly just want our time. By the way, the meat thing is a great idea. I owned a butcher shop and by the FDA regulations that meat has to be sold by that date due to regulations not because it is going bad. Meat has a lot longer life that that. Actually aged beef is by far better than fresh. If you go out the an expensive steakhouse, the beef is aged longer than that. I love my family and would never do anything that would hurt them. I am a biologist and have studied bacteria for years. Little do you realize you have a larger chance of getting food poisoning eating out.

          If you want to keep down food poisoning and salmonella poisoning clean wooden utensils and cutting boards with bleach and use a bleach solution to clean all the counter services in your kitchen. I also use a small amount of bleach in my dishwater or washer to kill bacteria. Its cheap and the most effective cleaner there is. Just watch your clothes.

          1. Many great comments posted from everyone. I agree with lisa, especially in regards to cloth diapers. Their benefits far out weigh any inconvenience. ™ It just takes a little planning and organization, but well worth it.

      2. I cloth diaper. I love it. I followed a debate like this with my first baby, and sadly I was convinced cloth diapering wasn’t worth it. Now I make my own natural laundry soap for pennies a load, and I potty train earlier than most (I don’t deal with diapers at all past 18 months).

        Obviously when using hand me downs from baby to baby the savings magnifies.

    2. I agree with you too. I could never stomach the idea of cloth diapers. I am now pregnant with my 4th child and both this baby and my 3rd child, I couponed the heck out of diapers and wipes. I would get packs of diapers for free or at most 2-3$$. I get boxes for $8. You honestly can’t beat that. Some people enjoy cloth diapers, but I would rather search for deals on diapers. I stock up when I find deals, so that when I NEED them, I don’t have to pay full price. I already have 3 floor to ceiling stacks of mostly boxes of pampers diapers and some packs of pampers and huggies for the new baby that won’t be here for 5 months. I typically can get 1-2 boxes each grocery trip and still be well under grocery budget. I used to buy store brand, but got much better deals on the name brand, why not buy those?

      1. Where do you find all the coupons? The best I can find are like 1-2$ off the price!?

        1. Shop local deals.. we always figure the price per diaper. We also signed up at Huggies.com and they send us coupons regularly. Online has some great deals as well… shop around a bit… The lowest we have ever paid is 19 cents per diaper.

      2. But, all those diapers will now sit in a landfill. Floor to ceiling… for one baby. :o( It will be her problem to inherit. It’s not convenient to cloth diaper, but it’s not for me that I do it. Just something to think about. :o)

        1. My husband and I started a debate through one of our local radio stations… Disposable vs. Cloth… Disposable did win… there are now bio-degratable diapers that can be purchased and will have less of an impact on the environment if you are trying to go green… on the other side of green is conservation. I live in a prominent agricultural/farming area and water conservation is HUGE… for me it was a no-brainer.

      3. Why do moms need to buy wipes? What’s wrong with good old fashioned wash cloths?

        1. I’ve babysat for a woman that used wash cloths. It was the nastiest thing I had ever done. I know it’s just their mess, but it’s still horrible.

        2. I also used wash cloths. We did not have baby wipes for my first 2 children. They came out when I had my third. I found I had to use so many to clean one little behind. I used toilet paper first, then a wash rag. As for disposible diapers, those were used for when we went somewhere. While at home we used cloth.

      4. What about how disposable diapers affect the environment? I believe that alone is reason enough not to use them.

    3. Catherine says:

      Cloth diapering IS actually less expensive, better for the environment, better for the child. I used to use a combination of cloth and disposable. My cloth were incredibly cheap and badly made (Gerber), so I recently decided to upgrade to the new and better cloth diapers. For my two youngest children who both will need to be in cloth at the same time, I’ve spent less the $300 on cloth diapers. It seems like a big chunk of money at once, but average it out over the whole time I’ll be diapering and it comes out to so much cheaper (average about two a half years per child comes to). It ended the poop explosions and leaks we got with disposable. If we have leaks, then I know we need to add more to the diaper, not a problem. The detergent isn’t hard to find once you know what your looking for (none of the bad stuff that’s in most detergents). I’m not filling a landfill, or exposing my children’s bottoms to chemicals. Averaging out my extra time and it’s about 15 minutes of work a day (instead of looking for diaper coupons). One more load of laundry every other day does not make for “all that laundry.” So yes, all that together I most certainly do enjoy my cloth diapers. My kids can thank me someday that I’ve taken the time to protect them and our Earth.

      1. I CD and I also love it. For my family, this is our first child and we made the decision to use cloth all in one diapers. We didn’t buy newborn to save money we wouldn’t use and we had gotten lots of free diapers from showers, or people giving them to us that their children outgrew. in the 11 weeks we went through 7 boxes and 3 bags of diapers. Our duaghter does happen to HATE disposable and wants it changed almost a soon as she goes. Once she fit into the CD, she LOVED them, slept all night, didn’t cry at diaper changes, didn’t really fuss regardless of what was in her diaper, and honestly, she LOVES getting her diaper changed. We only have 18 of them, and paid for one 5lb box of detergent, three wet bags in different sizes and one diaper sprayer. We spent about $350 on all of this. After one month and 14 days we had paid for them in using them and not disposables, including the water. Our water only went up $9 for three months, and that’s not even including the extra showers/baths and tons of visitors. We wash every night and move to the dryer and i wake up and fold/restock. We only buy wipes, and that is sometimes and with coupons. No diaper rash, no trouble. Even my husband loves them. I never have a problem with her leaking, and if you do, then you probably didn’t strip them when you first got them, which needs to happen in order for maxium obsorbancy to happen. Plus, we are able to keep our smaller garbage bin compared to the 95 gallon most other families have to have in our area tha use disposable. We love them, and after 7 months of CD’s we are happier and happier each day!!

    4. I love cloth diapering and the money it saves us! We haven’t had to crank up our water heater at all and my diapers always come out clean and smell free, we also have a well so no worries about a water bill. Not only am I not exposing my son to any chemicals through disposables I am helping the environment! They also help me stay up on ALL laundry!

      1. I’m curious, what chemicals are in diapers and what do they do? And, aren’t we supposed to conserve water, too? So what’s worse for the environment? Obviously there are some strong opinions on both sides of this matter and it’s hard to know what to believe. Am I really harming my baby by putting them in diapers? It seems to me like cloth diaper moms seem to think they’re better than disposable diaper using moms… so I don’t know what to believe.

        1. One disposable diaper takes 500 years to biodegrade. If that doesn’t make you change your mind then nothing will.

    5. mother of 3 says:

      for diapers you can also participate in diaper studies and actually get paid to do it.

      1. Yes, disposables are more convenient but all conveniences, as we have come to learn, come at a cost, if not now then later. I love the 7th Generation creed. I love cloth diapering. I don’t understand the hot water, hot water thing. Urine is sterile, washing them as all other clothes is fine. As for the dirtier ones, soak them. There are a lot of ways to clean without using chemicals. Do a little research, they really knew what they were doing in the old days (that are coming back by the way). One of the best things you can do for diapers is hang them in the sun.

    6. I respectfully disagree. I bought cloth diapers for my first little one in generic colors and my next two wore the same diapers. I bought one-size diapers so once they all hit 8 lbs, they could wear them until potty training. I wash them in cold water with homemade detergent which gets them perfectly clean and hang them to dry on a drying rack that sits over the bathtub. Thousands of dollars saved with my three children from this trick, and we use cloth wipes with homemade cloth wipe solution, another saver. Even people who don’t like cloth diapers can get behind cloth wipes, as they can be washed with normal laundry (assuming no solids are left on there.)

    7. I calculated the cost, and it will be about $30-40 a month to wash diapers, while buying disposables would run about $150/month – of course come November we’ll be diapering 4 kids – 2, 1.5 and newborn twins.

      Most of the diapers were gifts and we’ve had them a few years b/c we first used many of them on our 3 yr old. And I made cloth wipes out of old receiving blankets – very cheap.

      1. I know this is an old old thread but … One TON (tonne) of diapers per child over it’s lifetime into the landfill. Math is not my strong point but just knowing that I would be contributing one tonne of waste to the planet is more than enough reason not to do it. Why? There’s so many other options out there. 1 ton of waste, 500 years per diaper to degrade – times millions of children. So disgusting.

  40. Grace fox says:

    Bass pro instead of the zoo? That’s really stupid. Sorry to be blunt but children deserve to see live animals. Our okc zoo has many many free days throughout the year. Take your kids to the zoo, not a store to view stuffed animals that were murdered. That’s just my opinion.

    1. Dido; what kid wants to see dead animals on the wall? I live near a bass pro and it truly is disgusting.

      1. Ugh! That’s what they have at Bass Pro? Yuck! Who wants to see dead animals as a fun family outing? Maybe a hunting family? There are a lot of farms and parks that have animals you can visit for free. At least in NJ we do. There are many free activities if you just do a search in your town.

        1. Lane Baker says:

          I also don’t normally comment but come on! Hunting and mounting is a part of life. The kids can get closer and see a lot of things that they don’t see in the zoo! I simply disagree completely with your point of view, just speaking my mind as well!

          1. are you kidding me?! do you really think young kids are going to enjoy seeing their favorite furry animals dead on a wall!? …as opposed to watching them run and play in a zoo? and hunting and mounting isn’t a part of life…its a part of life to people who don’t respect the lives of other species and need to kill and mount an innocent animal in order to feel big and proud. give me a break.

          2. My grand-daughter introduced me to Bass Pro Shop after she went with family friends. She loves it and loved showing me around to see all the animals. She can really study them up close. They also have live reptiles (snakes) that we watch for long periods of time. We live in Texas & zoos are fun in the Spring & Fall but summer can be really miserable and tiring for the kids and the adults. Bass Pro Shop is a great ADDITIONAL animal observation experience.

        2. Really? What did you think they would have at Bass Pro Shops? It is a hunting and outdoors store

    2. Wow, I normally don’t comment on things, but I have to say I am completely offended by your use of the word “murdered” when you refer to animals who have been harvested by hunters. My husband and both my sons are hunters and we eat everything they bring home. I respect the fact that you may be anti-hunting, but please respect our choice to be hunters. Using terms like that only make you seem ignorant. Please don’t misunderstand, there are hunters who are just out of the kill, but know the majority of them love nature just as much as you.

      1. If we do not hunt the animals, they soon will have not land to live on because there will more of them then the land. Most hunter use the all the parts they can. They do not just go out to kill they kill to feed their family. You are buying killed animals every time you get chicken, pork or beef from the store and those animal are caged. So should we eat only caged animal. I say lets let them all go free and see who lives and who dies. They will win. So do not hate my family because we hunt, because are just are just as much a hunter too.

        1. if we do not breed animals in slaughterhouses for murder then we wouldn’t have any of these problems, not everyone contributes to the murder of innocent animals… many people live a vegan lifestyle. I will agree with you though that it is no better, worse even to eat animals out of a cage. I stopped eating animal products because of the way that it is harvested, but unfortunately I have seen several hunters who hunt for sport. In the case of mounting animal heads and stuffing the animals- they are NOT using all of the animal, clearly, and they are ignorantly showing off a murder that they committed. It’s possible to live without killing animals. As far as who will “win”, what is winning exactly? Animals attack people because their land and their food is being taken. If nature was how it should be there would be a balance, no winning. And right now aren’t we all losers?

          1. Most of the animals put in retail hunting stores were mounted after dieing natural deaths, or were baught from collectors or garage sales, and some are even manufactured. In addition to this, we don’t judge or dump talk your life style choices, and yet at every chance you get you trash talk ours. Some people live off the land, which includes the animals on that land, as was intended. Hunting = organic meat, gardening your own food = organic veggies. If you have never lived this or experienced it, you do not know what you are talking about.

          2. Thank you Scook

          3. Don’t know that it’s true in all parts of the country but I know in Northern Michigan hunting deer is actually helpful to the animals (hear me out before you freak) There is such an enormous population that in the winter there would not be enough food to sustain them all and many of them would simply starve to death…hunting trims back the number of animals trying to make it through the winter on what food is available. There are laws of course that limit the number of doe that can be killed and there are no fawns by hunting season. I actually have a great deal more respect for those that hunt their food than those that just go down to the corner store and buy whatever comes wrapped in plastic. I don’t support hunting for sport but hunting for food – absolutely

      2. Regarding the murdered animals by Hunters here. It sickens and is terribly sad that people on here are teaching their children to murder animals. Hunting is murder. Hurting animals is wrong. Teaching your children to do that sort of senseless murder, is helping them grow up with zero moral fiber and learn to be nothing more then serial killers. I wish your families could go in the forest and be subject to being chashed, tortured and murdered by brutish gouls with weapons. Then you could understand, hunting is murder and if you do not want to be criticized about it, do not advertise it on the internet. What a sick family !

        1. Wow. Just wow. My dad and I both hunt, and we eat everything we kill. In NO way am I a “serial killer with zero moral fiber.” Hunting saves me money throughout the year – we process our venison, and that is what my family eats during the year. It also enables my parents to operate a family farm, growing blueberries, blackberries, apples, etc. without losing product to wildlife eating it. It’s a part of life that just happens – if you don’t like it, fine – don’t hunt and don’t eat any form of meat. But don’t go around calling hunters murders and ASSUMING that they have no moral fiber and are serial killers. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but name calling is uncalled for and childish.

          1. tricking a deer with fake deer piss (which they sell at bass pro shops, conveniently) so they will come close enough to you so you can kill it, is pretty damn immoral if you ask me.

          2. I would want to be on your side if it ever came to survive off the land or die! It sounds like you come from a good family with a good moral upbringing which a lot of people are lacking these days.

        2. Are you kidding me? Hunting is not murder, nor is hurting animals for the benefit of providing your family with something to eat wrong. Where I am from, deer are an animal that litterly needs to be killed off. They are so rampant that they destroy the farmers crops, therefore in turn costing you more $ to buy produce. And another thing, if I have no way to feed my family, you would rather me rob the local store to get food than to use Gods natural resources to provide a bountiful amount of food for my family?

          1. um, no one said anything about robbing stores… i’m pretty sure all you pro-hunters are getting the wrong impression here. i totally believe in small farmers who breed, care for, raise and QUICKLY and HUMANELY slaughter their meat for their families or local community. however, hunting is a terrible way to trick animals into an often slow, petrifying death. also, when an animal is in a fear-filled state of mind immediatly before death, they release certain chemicals and hormones into their body (and meat) which you, incidentally, eat. and that isn’t good for you. or them.

        3. Alexis, if hunting wasn’t allowed then there would be an overwhelming amount of deer in my part of the country, and less meat in my freezer for that matter. You will then no doubt hit a deer with your car which already happens too much with the deer population the way it is. And when YOU hit a deer with your car, I will point at you and call you a murderer. I’m sure you will also enjoy the money it will take to pay for the car repairs…or maybe even the doctor bills.

          1. Haha LOVE IT!!

        4. @ Alexis
          How do you think your great great great grandpartents survived?? By killing animal to eat. same goes for adam and eve all the way down to today. we kill animal to eat. What do you think of your self hen you are eating chicken beef or any meat for that matter. They were killed just the same to put a meal on your damn plate.Geez

        5. Someone who hates Stupidity says:

          I sincerely hope you are a 100% vegan family if you feel this way. If not, you are a sick hypocritical person! Hunting is the REASON animals are here. It is the most natural and humane way to eat the meat provided for us. If you buy meat from the store, you are buying animals that were bred, fed hormones, lived in cages, and died piece by piece. YOU are the sick person. How do you think people prior to 50 years ago ate meat? Stupid, ignorant idiot.

          1. I agree with you on the reason animals are here. Hunting does save money on meat products and the majority of hunters use safe and humane means of hunting. However, I would like to point out, as beef cattle producer, I would like to clear up a few points. Yes, my cattle are bred to be meat animals. Meaning I carefully select bulls to breed to my cows based on a number of factors. I want healthy animals, and breeding allows me to help control things like genetic defects. It also allows me to breed animals that eat less, and are still able to grow. Selective breeding allows for less land to be used to feed my animals. Personally, I do not feed hormones. I am not oblivious to the fact that it is used (and backed by a lot of extensive research). Perhaps talking to a local producer that avoids the use of hormones and buying from him or her may be an option for your family. (Many producers like working this way and may cut you a deal on bulk!) Many animals do live in cages. However, laws are there to protect these animals. Plus, animals in tight conditions do not grow well. All farmers/ranchers want their animals to grow well…so they do know the amount of space needed to maximize growth. This also protects the animal from other harm…like the environment. Finally, animals are humanely harvested. That is to minimize pain. Many many many years of research has been done (and continues to be done) to do this in the most humane way. I do value your opinion, just like I hope you value mine. Here is a suggest for everyone wanting to save money on a family activity: VISIT A LOCAL FARM! Did you know that approximately 98% of American farms are family owned? My family is included. Most farms (mine included!) are happy to open their doors to your family. Plus, they don’t charge. And what better way to let your kids know where the food you buy in the grocery store comes from?

        6. I live in Alaska and we hunt and fish for our food! It’s not murder, it is a way of survival! My husband, myself, and our 3 children all hunt and fish. We don’t have a zoo here, our zoo is our backyard or wherever we decide to walk. We don’t kill for the sport we eat what we shoot! Saves us a lot of money and we don’t let anything go to waste. Love visiting Cabela’s stores because we don’t have one here in Alaska!

        7. So does that mean any carnivorous animal is a murderer? Wolves, lions, tigers, bears, coyotes..? How can you say its murder for is to provide food for our family, but an animal can go do the same thing and it doesn’t matter? We’re not doing anything different, if anything we do more. We don’t pick at what we want, we use it all. So unless your going call the meat eating animals of the world murderers and having no morals..don’t call us it either. And don’t try the whole “well we can choose to not eat meat” you obviously have no clue how unhealthy it is to cut meat out of your diet. And if its so unnecessary for is to eat meat, why don’t they feed all animals in the zoo veggies? It’s what we should do, stop killing and eating meat. So just switch everyone over, oh wait.. its unhealthy! That’s why.

        8. Hunter_Proud! says:

          Oh My! I cannot believe the lack of intelligence and education that people have about hunting. I mean seriously calling it murder! I happen to have studied Wildlife Biology and yes, we are all about conserving nature and part of conservation does include harvesting. In many areas Whitetail deer are so abundant they actually end up eating so much food that they create what is referred to as a browse line. A browse line will literally be a line in the trees that is approximately six feet tall that has no vegetation below it. Think about that, no vegetation or plants for ANY animal to eat all winter! That means any animal that eats plants will starve to death. A slow, painful death. Not to mention the carnivores that feed on the animals. Part of actually keeping animals healthy means that you have to remove some from the population and yes, that means hunting. So I do not really see how you think that allowing animals to starve all winter long is better than hunting. Just seems pretty ignorant. But keep in mind you have to have a license to hunt. So if those of you who are bashing hunting like to go to parks, what do you think helps pay for those parks? Guess what it is hunting and fishing licenses! The majority of revenue generated for parks is from individuals who enjoy hunting and fishing. I can guarantee you will not find better stewards of the land than those who “murder” if you will, animals. Many belong to additional organizations such as The Wild Turkey Federation, which promotes conservation through the wild turkey. They donate money and attend many benefits to raise awareness. Yes, I am a young female and I happen to have one of the “stuffed animals” hanging on my wall and its meat in my freezer and I have dedicated my life to educating others about the necessity of conservation. So before you get on your soap box and tell me how sick and depraved it is maybe you should get all the facts straight. I hate to think how many less animals we would have if we did not allow hunting, yes, I said less! I think you are the one that is sick and depraved. I can guarantee my children will be conservationists, not immoral murderers, because people who actually understand the land, are the ones that care about it the most.

        9. Proud Hunter says:

          Wow! Alexis! What kind of moral fiber, or competent judgement for that matter, are you exhibiting by labeling all hunters as “serial killers” and accusing them of a lack of moral fiber? You would not be here as you are if it were not for hunters throughout history. People all over the world would starve if it were not for hunting. Are those with nearby supermarkets only subject to your assessment of morality? It is a flawed line of thought to think hunting is murder. If you truly knew hunters you would know their respect for nature, their observance of life, and their understanding of how the world works. Hunters are not blood-thirsty, thoughtless, and/or passionless beings.

        10. I wish people would have this same outrage over unborn babies being murdered, but our society is so twisted in its thinking that animals are more important than human life. When a mother murders her unborn baby it is a choice, but when a hunter kills an animal for food it is murder. What is wrong with people?! Animals are not people! Murder applies to people not to animals (“murder – The unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice” freedictionary.com) Animals are food. I’m not for the wholesale slaughter of all the animals in the world for no reason, but I will not condemn someone for eating meat or for killing an animal and processing its meat to feed themselves and their families.

      3. Thanks! We too hunt and eat what we kill. My kids LOVE Cabela’s! Maybe it depends on where you live. To us, that’s normal!

    3. Yeah I also have to disagree with the Bass ProShop. Our local zoos are very inexpensive, we paid $90 for a year pass for a family of 3. We park a few blocks away to save on parking and bring our own food. We go once a month, we don’t feel rushed to do the whole zoo in a day because we can always come back!

      Most zoos are not expensive, and the passes make amazing christmas or birthday presents. Plus this is a great gift idea for grandparents. That’s how we got ours, we asked my parents only for passes to the zoo as a present for all of us, they were thrilled to do it.

      Many of our friends also have them, so it makes for really exciting play dates!

    4. St. Louis Zoo is amazing and FREE! Enjoy it any day of the year.

      1. Live near STL and we Love the zoo! I hope to be able to stay close enough to bring my future kids there some day. Though I must say, when I went to Bass Pro when I was little. I LOVED it.

    5. I thought the same thing. I think we should teach children the value of life – not traumatize them by showing them what someone bigger and tougher can shoot. Thanks but if I’m just gonna get to see dead animals, I’d rather just go to the library and look at pics of live animals.

      1. Sarah… if you want to see dead animals… just drive down our highways in Texas (and many other states)… we counted 27 dead deer on the sides of the road driving back to Austin recently… that is 27 deer that is wasted meat that some family out there could be fed for many days had a hunter taken it down than an automobile who crashed into it and left it on the road, in pain, suffering and dying.

        Our responsible, Texas Hunters do not let the deer suffer. They hunt the deer and use the meat to feed their families.

        And, by the way… how many automobile accidents have happened here in Texas, as in many other states, when that deer stepped out onto the highway, causing an accident, and in some incidents deaths. The deer are rampid here in many areas of Texas. I personally had a big buck step out in front of me on the highway one night. I tried to miss it, but couldn’t – ended up both hitting him, and damaging my car. Thank God I was not injured, but I could have been. Had other vehicles been close to me, this could have been a disaster of a pile up where this happened. I do not hunt, but do support those who do.

        And… another thing, before I get off my soap box, have you ever been to a chicken slotering house where they prepare the chicken that you eat during slottering time? Like I said… Our Texas Hunters are more humane than some of those who “raise the animals for meat”.

      2. Isn’t it clear that to teach the value of life you have to teach the reality of death?

    6. I agree about the zoo…. libraries have free passes that u can check out for the day. they also have some to museums. Also NEVER eating out?! That’s a little crazy, there are so many different types of foods out there and experiencing the different cultures and foods is a great for kids and adults…. being frugal does not mean not living life! I appreciate many of the tips, but i feel that some of these are a little over the top and i feel bad for your kids!

      1. We do not eat out that often. However, I am pretty experienced in cooking and I can cook most anything that I can find a good recipe for. Sometimes we have Chinese food, sometimes Mexican, sometimes Italian, sometimes homemade pizza! We’re able to let our kids experience different types of foods without the high cost of eating out. We don’t feel that skimping on eating out deprives our kids at all.

      2. Not eating out does not equate to not living. Spending money does not equate to “living”. I don’t feel bad for her kids for her showing them how to be satisfied with a life based off of smart money management, living creatively, and being content with less. That is true happiness in life. I feel bad for kids that grow up in a home where they are taught the only way to “live” is to go and splurge on an activity that they will only come to expect and feel entitled to later. Now, that’s not to say it’s not okay to once in awhile go out, but after all, this article is entitled “50 tips to be frugal”, in which not eating out would definitely be an effective solution to saving money, and certainly not harmful for the families involved.

    7. Bass Pro Shop instead of the zoo? What are you thinking?? Clearly you don’t live anywhere near San Diego, or you’d realize that nothing compares to the zoo!! Do your kids a favor, and splurge a little. A trip to the zoo is more than worth it!!

    8. Photomama says:

      I agree with CHart- The zoo is a fabulous place for children. There are so many cool things to see and do and its relatively inexpensive. They allow you to bring in a cooler so you can picnic and there is a wonderful playground! Bass Pro and Cabela’s don’t hold a candle and may upset kids when they figure out those cute animals are DEAD!

    9. I agree with this too. I split an annual pass with a girlfriend, and we can go on our own, don’t have to be together. I can still get in two named guest and all my kids, plus 3 extra, that’s the best deal! 1/2 the price and as many times as we go, it’s worth every penny. Plus my kids all go there on field trips every year, so I can go and don’t have to pay.

    10. mother of 3 says:

      get a membership to the zoo. this not only saves you money at your local zoo, but also saves you money at most other zoos around the US.

    11. Journey's Mom says:

      We take our daughter (who is only 17 months) to Petsmart. She loves the birds and fish. When she is older we will take her to the zoo, but she’s still a little young for that kind of thing.

      1. I take my 2 1/2 year old to the zoo all the time (we have a membership) but he is seriously just as happy going to the pet store or even (and this is ridiculous) looking at the live lobsters at the grocery store! And he seems to think that rainforest cafe is the same as the zoo and is just as happy walking through the gift shop there too. So until they know better the pet shop is a great idea!

    12. I agree with Lane Baker about the kids being able to get a closer look at Bass pro shop, and that’s probably kind of neat for them BUT I don’t think it’s really the same as going to zoo. There is (hopefully) a much greater variety of animals at the zoo and the kids can see how they act not just what they look like. I don’t see anything wrong with taking your kids to the zoo or Bass Pro Shop but I hardly think they are comparable.

    13. Mommaofthree says:

      F.Y.I. Animals cannot be murdered but killed. Anyway I agree it is stupid to take your kids to see stuffed animals instead of live animals. It’s ridiculous! Lol! However on that same not I don’t think it’s stupid if it’s something you go see in addition to the zoo. I do think it’s good to save money and spend wisely but don’t be a cheapo at the same time. You need to weigh out what is important for your children.

    14. The bass pro I used to live by had live animals…I’m pretty sure all of the ones I’ve ever been to had real ones…Not sure why everyone is complaining about the kids just seeing stuffed ones. I used to love going to Bass Pro to see all the animals! Jeez, people.

    15. Some zoos are actually free. Like the Cape May Zoo in NJ, and it’s a really nice zoo. Also, the Philadelphia Zoo offers free summer passes for teachers. Do some internet searches and find a free zoo near you!

    16. It is interesting to me that so many people are against their children seeing stuffed animals on the wall, but you will however take them to see caged animals that were never supposed to be kept in such confined spaces. There are many studies that show the neurological damage of such animals being held in zoos. I for one, am for hunters who use all of what they kill, and I will NEVER visit a zoo or a circus. For being such animal lovers, you are monetarily supporting animal abuse at its worst. Do your research and stop going to zoos and circus’. And all those people against hunting, you had better vegetarians.

    17. St Louis Zoo is free at all times. The train, children’s zoo, and food are not free, but you can still spend the entire day there for free. Thankfully we lived about 15 minutes from the zoo when my kids were young, every week a child could pick two exhibits they wanted to see and we spent maybe and hour or so there. Quick, easy and free. Gave the kids an outing the enjoyed without becoming exhausted and without spending a dime. No need for food if you are there an hour or so.

    18. BassPro Shop is a fun trip for us, too.
      But, I would never sub tha for going to the Zoo.. Good grief.
      If your local zoo doesn’t have family fun days with discounts, you should check with a county library and ask about a rental DVD that’s a walk-through of the zoo. Our Library lets you rent one, one time per year per family and onreturn – you get a coupon for four admission (2 adult, 2 children) that must be used within seven days.
      Our zoo isn’t free ever. And Zoo Atlanta is a little proud of their tickets (and they should be. Our animals rock). And as for food being expensive, pack lunches! I don’t ever remember going to the zoo and paying for a meal. A rolling cooler with fruit, sandwiches and water/juice for four doesn’t have to be huge. For that matter- take a wagon with ya. A good place for kiddo’s to rest if they get too tired.
      I just think it’s a little bit ridiculous that you’re willing to omit a trip to the Zoo. I shop at bass pro shop, and our daughter (3) loves to see the fishies. However, there is nothing that could compare with her face the first time she saw a real, live chimpanzee. And bass, alligator gar, and brim ain’t got nothing on lions, bears, birds, snakes, lizards, crocs, gators, (etc – surely you get it) that you can find at the zoo.
      Honestly woman, I understand bein frugal. Trust me, I get it! And if you don’t want to spend the money on the zoo, that’s your own decision and right as parent. However, don’t reason it by saying to substitue going to the zoo with going to see the over stimulated fish tank at bass pro shop. And you really should think about it before you tell your children- I would definitely resent my mother for that. Period.

  41. Angelia W says:

    I really liked this ….every little bit helps and my son loved Cabella’s the fish are very much alive…

    1. My kids LOVE BPS. they ask to go. It is much closer than the “local” zoo, too. We go any time we can, especially when the weather is bad and other “frugal” ideas aren’t possible.
      Lighten up people.
      BTW, I agree with Emily. We are hunters, too. It is a great “frugal” sport, because we eat what they shoot.

      1. yay! someone i agree with! i love bps and cabelas and always have, their is more to do than people think, it’s not like the animals are bloody and gross. it’s not really a good replacement for a zoo, i guess, but it’s fun. all those other people must be peta freaks. (signed a farmer and a hunter!)

        1. You are damaging your children. Your are teaching them that killing for fun is ok. They will grow up to be serial killers or mentally disturbed. Really sick outlook. Animals are living beings and deserve respect, not to be slaughtered by some uneducated, psycho with a weapon. I hope you become enlightened soon. You need to spend time on the website for PETA.org. We do wonderful work against freaks like you. I urge you to repent and stop teaching your children such twisted values.

          1. I almost do not have the words to respond to this post. This is one of the most offensive things I have ever read. I grew up in a hunting family. I fired a rifle when I was 7 years old. I did it in the guiding arms of my grandfather. I grew to respect the weapons as well as the animals and woods. Hunting in no way turned anyone in my family into an “uneducated psycho with a weapon”. We ate the meat and sold the pelts to be used.
            For many, hunting wild game is a way of life, in some parts of this world, a source of life. Please do not bring yourself to belittle those who have different lifestyle choices or cultures.
            And a response to the topic – What do you think you’re looking at in the Smithsonian? Or Museum of Natural History? Taxidermically preserved animals are wonderful things for children to see. I love to see them now, and I’m almost 30!

          2. Alexis is a trolly trolly trolllllllll … or if she isn’t, she’s a name-calling uneducated freak herself. Ten to one, little princess wears leather. As it turns out, the animals she wants us to respect deserve more of it than she does.

          3. This is ridiculous. I grew up hunting, and I am not “mentally disturbed” or an “uneducated, physco with a weapon.” It’s a way of life. I was raised if we don’t hunt, we don’t eat….it’s that simple. Why is there a need to repent? The Bible says nothing about killing animals….they killed animals to eat and to sacrifice…

          4. Umm… Alexis I’m pretty sure your mentally disturbed. You don’t speak in a way that is going to gain you any respect from anyone, there is a much better way to express your opinion. 1. Recognize that it is just that your opinion and everyone is entitled to have their own and 2. recognize that this is a blog on frugal living and not an appropriate platform for moral debate.

          5. i am 100% for animal rights, and i’ve been a vegetarian for 18 years (i’m 28) but PETA is just about the most awful, ridiculous hypocritical organization ever. do some research, find out just HOW many dogs and cats they kill per year. find out how many families frantically call their local shelters just HOURS after their dog or cat has gone missing, to find out it was destroyed for no reason by PETA. also, anyone who needs celebrities and outlandish tactics to prove their point doesn’t deserve my respect.

          6. Anonymous says:

            Alexis, if it wasn’t for hunting, life wouldn’t prosper. God created animals for the purpose of hunting as a way of nourishing our bodies. Teaching your children to hunt is NOT a bad thing! It is just teaching them to take advantage of the resources God provided for them and to be humbled by learning how people got their food many years ago. Hunting is a way of life that is in no way immoral, it keeps people alive.

          7. Alexis- I dont normally reply to these things but heaven help you because you sure do need it.

            To the one who actually post the list, some of these are neat ideas, and good luck with them! I use some of these, but others I dont, and I am sure that those who stopped at the list and didnt read some of these totally inappropriate comments will get way more out of it then those of us who got sucked in reading, in shock, how utterly idiotic “people on the internet” can be… well, at least it was halfway amusing. but come on people. getting offended on the internet? grow up.

          8. Oh goodness, where to start. I do know where you’re coming from because I used to be an anti animal killing vegan… until I moved to the country & began to learn the circle of life & our part in it… my 3yo daughter & I found a bird dead in our water trough the other day, we took it out looked at its body parts, talked about its family that will miss it & now it’s going to be food for other little bugs. She cried a little & I told her it IS sad when something dies, I WANT her to feel that. But I also want her to understand the necessity of my husband killing opossums that carry dangerous diseases for our horses. It IS sad, but we love our horses & wouldn’t want to have to put one of them down.

            On another note, I’ve never seen a well-raised country boy point a gun (real or not) at any person. My city friends, however, think its “cute” when their boys “play shoot” at each other…. Country boys learn from a very young age the responsibility of handling a gun… just as seriously as we teach our children their vehicle is a “weapon” that can kill.

            There is something very deep in teaching our children to respect all of God’s creations, & that direct consumption is one of the least wasteful ways of nourishing our bodies. This argument could (& will) go on & on… we all really need to respect each other for having a well-thought out opinion & know that we’re never all going to agree on everything, thsts what makes this life interesting!!!

      2. I’m not saying don’t go to the Bass Pro Shop. Go, have fun, enjoy. We visit the Humane Society (even volunteer to walk the dogs and visit with the cats every week) as a way to enjoy and interact with animals. I’m just saying that he Bass Pro Shop isn’t a substitute for the zoo. It’s seriously an apples and oranges thing!!

      3. if its such a great sport, why don’t you participate?

  42. Drop your cable or satellite & go for the over the air for free DTV. After the initial $100 or so set up cost & some time spent online researching it, we have saved upwards of $1,200-$1,500 a year. I was shocked to see you did not mention a great alternative. We get all the major networks, movie channels, kids programming, healthy living channels, music channels, weather channels & it’s all FREE!!!!!

    1. Can you tell me more? What is over the air for free DTV? How do I get it?

      1. I looked it up and seems it’s just a really good antenna to receive all the digital signals that are available.

      2. Resullins says:

        DTV means digital TV. It’s the exact same thing that you used to get with an antenna stuck on the top of your house, only now it uses a digital encoding system, so you have to have a digital tuner. Any TV bought within the last 2-3 years will probably have it. Check the specifications in the back of the manual or online to see if you have a digital tuner.

        It’s not going to get you as many channels as cable, and you’re still going to have black-outs and problems with the weather, just like old antenna TV.

        It’s the modern day version of rabbit-ears.

      3. I would like to know more also

    2. It depends on where you live. We don’t pay for cable or satellite, but stream Netflix via our Wii. We have an antenna, but live in a dead zone as far as tv is concerned. I get the local PBS stations from about 30 miles away and nothing else. Where we lived previously we also got major networks, but none of the extra premium-like channels.

    3. I am so interested in this – how can I find out more? I Googled “Over the air for free DTV” and nothing really came up! Can you please email with this information?

      1. we have a digital converter box that we got at a pawn shop along with an old tv and antenna for about $40 and we just set that up Now we have about 50 channels including all the major networks free (abc, cbs, fox, nbc, cw, pbs ect..) You can get those things new at walmart or best buys something like that. It’s great in our area and cost nothing more then equipment. i heard with newer tv’s you don’t need the converter box or annetna you can just hook the antena cable to the wall outlet.

    4. I would like to know where to go to get kids programmimg for free. We just shut of out Dish and have had it for 5 + years. We now have a little one who loves nick and disney jr. That really is the only thing I miss about dish!

  43. Hand dishwashing is NOT cheaper or more efficient than a dishwasher you can google all kinds of info about this, including a study at Bonn University in Germany, but simply put new (made in the past 10 years) dishwashers with energy star ratings are more efficient with water and energy than handwashing. they also sanitize dishes by using water hotter than possible with handwashing.

    1. I own a dishwasher–but I’ve been handwashing my dishes for more than 3 yrs now because it saves water and electricity and time. (PS. I use a small cap full of bleach to the water to kill the germs!) I can wash a whole sink full of dishes in 10 minutes…a dishwasher uses 45 mins to do the SAME job! I have a well so handwashing is the best option for me–so the well doesn’t dry up!

      1. do you realize that using bleach is bad for you? it gets absorbed into your skin and well as leaving a residue on the dishware that then seeps into your food. even in small amounts, you should never use bleach! there are so many natural alternatives.

    2. I understand from many things I’ve read that the dishwasher does save water. It’s true that you might be able to handwash them yourself in less time, but think what else you could accomplish while your dishwasher is doing them for you!

    3. That is exactly what I noticed first thing. Handwashing does NOT save water & is worse for the environment than a dishwasher for water conserving reasons (but only if a FULL load is being ran).

  44. Thanks for taking the time to put together this list – Most of them were excellent ideas! Thank you!

  45. Some of these are the most horrific, and blatantly incorrect, ideas for saving money. Bass Pro Shop should NEVER be an acceptable alternative for the exotic animals and learning experience you can find at the zoo. I can’t say I’ve ever seen an elephant at BPS, nor have I ever seen live monkeys there. Making your own personal hygiene products, to me, is not an acceptable means of saving money. Hygiene is too important to risk, and the last thing i’d want is to make some shampoo that would destroy the color i have dyed into my hair, and have to end up going back to the stylist to get it done even sooner. For people with colored hair, using a shampoo that is designed for treated hair can help hold your color better, and this may stretch out the time between visits to your stylist. Encouraging people to talk to their local pharmacist to see if there is an over-the-counter treatment (NOT Google searching, but talking to a licensed pharmacist), is a good way to save money in SOME cases. Not all cases can be treated over-the-counter, and sometimes by waiting to go to the doctor too long, a patient can incur a higher cost in the end, because now they have more medications, or stronger ones that may cost more (I work retail pharmacy. I see this problem frequently). Washing dishes by hand will cost more in both soap and water, if you’re washing them with clean water and rinsing them with clean water (my undergraduate work is in microbiology. dishes can be a very gross thing when washed a sink of water that has been used on 10 grimy dishes already). Cloth diapers are the same, too. To maintain the amount of hot water that would be necessary to appropriately kill bacteria that may be in the fibers of the diaper, you’d have to spend more money than usual, not to mention do more laundry than usual. As for long distance, most companies (at least in Ohio) offer free long distance now. Making gifts for holidays and birthdays can actually cost more than if you purchased a gift for the individual (not always, though!). This I know from personal experience. I decided to scrapbook for my boyfriend for his birthday and Christmas, and ended up spending about $75 for each of them (if I was an avid scrapbooker and had lots of items that i’d collected while on sale, etc. it would have been cheaper!). Even better than checking the thermostat for the water heater is switching to the new “on demand” water heaters. They are expensive at first, but will save you a tremendous amount of money, and they may still be giving a tax credit to those who purchase this “green” item. Instead of filling a huge tank full of water and having the gas CONSTANTLY run to keep it a certain temperature, this only turns on the gas when you call for hot water, heats the water as it passes through the pipe, and then turns the gas off when it’s done. SO much more efficient on your bill!

    1. I can’t imagine you’re very good at saving money or going without. Are you?

    2. Depending on the size of your family and how long you run the hot water, an on-demand water heater can wind up costing more in the end. It’s really something you need to do a lot of research on before you buy so you can decide what is right for you.

      Really, all of these tips fall into that category. Before everyone gets their panties in a bunch and starts blasting Rachel, just remember that these are HER ideas that she likes to do. What works for her won’t work for all. Do your research, find out what will and will not work for you, and maybe you can make your own list for you and your family.

      1. Ditto Joe!! These are just suggestions people. If you disagree dont do it.

        Thank you for taking the time to make the list. Some of us do appreciate your efforts 🙂

    3. You should check out http://www.mercola.com. He talks about the hygiene products. The soap actually washes off the special fat from our skin that absorbs the Vitamin D from the sun. Besides, doesn’t it make more sense to make your own natural products that won’t fill your body with chemicals that the body can’t break down?

    4. I am a hair stylist and shampoo is a joke! It’s bad for your scalp, fades your color and empties your bank account. Yes, even the “for color treated hair” ones. Believe me, if you want your color to last STOP shampooing. Everyone is starting to get a clue and going to products like Wen and NoPoo but soon enough they too will realize that these products are just light conditioner.

    5. Thank you so much for these ideas.. we actually use most of them. Cloth diapering saved me alot of money!! we have an energy efficient washer and hung dry. I was blessed in that I used the same diapers for both of my kids..
      To Danielle…. If you are going to a hairstylist to get your hair colored and not doing it yourself at home, you are probably not looking for ways to be frugal…or its not important enough for you to be scrimping and saving to even try some of these ideas.. I make my own shampoo etc with Castile soap which goes really really far and you can use it all over your body, hair, face etc. it is 100% natural and gentle.
      the zoos here are not inexpensive and we regularly go to Cabelas and Petsmart just to get away from the house. Some of the animals may not be alive, but they get a whole lot closer…oh and its air-conditioned. sometimes a 40 minute drive fighting traffic and paying $$ to walk around the zoo at 100 degrees is not realistic with a 5 and 2 yr old…..

    6. I disagree with many of these “ideas”. I’m not knocking the person who wrote it, they make work well enough for them that they’re happy with the result. We’re ordinarily VERY frugal people, we do freezer cooking, coupon weekly, buy our children’s clothes used(and about 90% of ours when they reach rock bottom clearance or used as well!), buy food on sale/markdown(well I basically look for everything that way but still). We don’t run our air/heat unless it’s an absolute necessity….but some of the ideas above are just not money savers. My second child was disposable diapers, I probably spent $120 total in the three years she wore them, if that. I sold my last five packs off, so really less than that. but it cost me so little because I couponed my way into them and every time I came across a common size(3, 4, 5) on a great clearance, I stocked up. Is it the ever popular phrase “environmentally friendly”? No. But we’re not exactly in a place where that could be our concern then, at that point it was doing what we could afford.
      The dishes thing….I will not wash my dishes in filthy water that I’ve cycled 15 other dirty dishes through. my dishwasher is low flow(like the rest of my water components in our home-management got a nice tax cut for setting us up and benefitted us all!), it does a wonderful job and I still hand wash the items that need my attention the most. But for cups, plates, silverware and bowls, there is no reason not to use it and enjoy it’s energy saving abilities(it’s fairly new in that department as well thankfully).

      Oh and BPS or Cabelas……I guess that’s a preference, but both of those are actually twice as far from my house as the zoo. So I would spend $40 driving there instead of $20 to the zoo. I also spent $64 for a year’s pass into our local zoo, which supports the state funded animal shelters with some of that money, as well as the animal rescue program the zoo has.

      For those saying “well I hunt!!”…well good for you. I highly doubt you’ve shot an elephant, zebra, lion, giraffee, or albino alligator that my children can see at the zoo. I applaud you for taking care of your own meat in this way, but what you’re talking about has zero to do with the conversation about viewing and gaining education about animals. The zoo(most zoos, ours at least) has well trained staff, great informatin stations, and education based days that for non-members are free! So while I concede your point that you’re not evil because you hunt, you really don’t have a point in this conversation either.(beyond correcting the disgusting part of the animal displays, I don’t like them, but I don’t object to them either)

      Again, I am not slamming the person who wrote this, I just believe it should be taken with a grain of salt and before trying anything or assuming that a list you found online is right, do your research. She’s got lots of great ideas, and a few I believe are misinformed or simply may not work for all families out there. Either way…have a good one.

      1. While I applaud your bargain hunting abilities, you need to understand that not everyone has your time to hunt for coupons for diapers. I do not have children but I can see where using cloth diapers for some people is more reasonable than taking the time to search for coupons. On the other hand, however, I understand your point in the fact that if you can use disposable diapers and it isn’t costing you and arm and a leg, why not (other than the environmental issue others have stated, to each their own).

        Now, you obviously are ignoring that fact that other people were commenting on the hunting issue before the people who hunt said they were offended by some of the remarks. I understand you didn’t see the point of that discussion, but you dont need to say they had no place to speak when they were obviously being belittled. They were not saying they were hunting zoo animals, just stating that it’s a natural part of life and showing support of BPS having their different kind of animals. They have just as much right to say what they said as you had the right to write this.

        Don’t be such a hater. Not everyone has the same opportunities as you do in your area, unfortunately. While I agree to take this with a grain of salt, do your research and find what will work best for you; it should by implied when reading someone else’s blog or what have you that it isn’t always going to be true to every person. You don’t need to criticize what works for them and what makes them happy.

    7. I agree with Amy, although I would like to add: I can’t imagine making it through graduate school without knowing how to form a paragraph or use proper grammar. These are suggestions; get over yourself!

      “dishes can be a very gross thing when washed a sink of water that has been used on 10 grimy dishes already” Seriously? Do you think your dishwasher washes each dish individually with sparkling water? Sounds like you’ve never had to get your hands dirty.

    8. Well I agree with you, for the most part. Some of these I suppose could potentially cost more. Like the on demand hot water heater. I guess if you had alot of people showering and lots of laundry dishes etc you could end up using more because you wouldn’t have to wait for more hot water. But then I think how nice it would be if I could take a shower while running the dishwasher and a load of clothes : ) Idk about the cloth diapers, I’ve never tried it but I’m about to have three kids in diapers come August and if I switched them all over to cloth diapers I can’t imagine that not atleast doubling my laundry. more soap, more water, more time, more waiting on more hot water. Plus, I’d say (just guessing) that the cloth diapers wouldn’t last as long at night without leaking so add washing sheets more often to the laundry as well. I totally agree with the thing about treating illnesses with OTC instead of going to the doctor. Both of me and my kids are on our second round of antibiotics now, with a return trip to the doctor for each of us because I tried to treat “colds” with otc. Now we all have bronchitis that won’t quit, we’ve spent $240 in copays, plus however much for the meds, plus all the money wasted on the otc stuff that didn’t help. I’m sure a lot of the things on this list are helpful if done right but it’s not as simple as do it or don’t. And for that matter, sometimes saving a little time and sanity is worth an extra $20

    9. I have to totally agree with you! I respect that some of these things may work for some people, and some of them are good and normal, like eating before you go to the store, but some of these suggestions sound insane! Lose your friends if they spend too much money? How about a lil self control instead. Keep a long hairstyle? A comfortable style can be acheived without tons of money. Save money somewhere else. Dont use hygeine products? What the heck? And dont even feed me crap about how normal soap kills cells, etc. I believe in saving money, dont get me wrong, I just didn’t realize being frugal meant doing things that I consider to be ridiculous. It’s one thing to be frugal, another to be too cheap to spend $1. And for most people, the cloth diapers DO take much much more work AND hot water than they even realize. Unless you are super mommy or something. Just because a diaper smells clean doesn’t mean it came out clean. It’s great if you want to cloth diaper, just dont act like it is the ‘only’ way to be green.

  46. Ok, I just have to say that I don’t normally comment, but I have to. First off, THANK YOU for taking the time to compile this list for everyone to read! And to everyone else who had horribly rude comments- BE QUIET!! If you don’t care for what someone has taken the time to post, then stop reading it. Don’t be rude and condescending, there is no need for that. Seriously people, are we in highschool here? No, we are all adults, trying to save money and have fun and help each other out. So THANK YOU for this post and the time you put into it. AND YEY FOR CABELLA’s!!!

    1. I agree with u Mandy. Alot of negativity is so unnecessary.

  47. I appreciate the list of ideas. I was happy to learn that I already do many of these things. To the rude critical individuals who felt compelled to post nasty remarks; no one said you had to agree or to do everything on the list. “IDEAS” mean things to ponder, things to consider. Some of them are better ideas than others, and some work better for some people than others. If they don’t work for you, THEN DONT DO THEM. In the mean time, learn some manners and the old adage, If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. Danielle…I think you should start your own blog since you have so much to say.

  48. What nasty comments. That’s upsetting to me. There are some great tips here! I use(d) cloth & can’t tell you how much money I saved (I could of been more frugal here using only prefolds & covers, but I couldn’t resist some cuteness & ease of others- there are different options available, clearly people need to research)
    I love the tip about the milk! We go through so much & only buy organic so this will def. help!! I love the waiting 24 hours before making a purchase, impulse buying is hard! 😉
    And going meatless is a wonderful tip, coming from a vegetarian!
    Keep sharing what works for you b/c even if it helps one person that’s all that matters!! 😀
    Thanks for the post!

  49. Michelle T says:

    Rachel, I think this list is a fantastic idea! Thank you for the tips and tricks. I’m always appreciative of new ways to save money these days.

  50. why is it that when people have the option to comment on things, they almost always get mean. A little anonymity is a dangerous thing. So sad that this just the human nature of some. What is that saying? If you cant say something nice….

  51. This site is only offering some suggestions to help save costs and it may not fit everyone and their lifestyle. Some people who are “offended” or arguing about stuff are going overboard. Not all things will work for you and your family. If you even gaina couple of ideas from the list it was probably worth reading. I love that people will share their ideas. Some are really great. Does it mean I will use them all? Nope. Still, the internet is a great place to share ideas. It stinks when you have people pick everything apart or trash you over stuff. I hope it doesn’t discourage others from sharing and trying to help.

  52. I also live in Texas and think the BPS idea is a fantastic one for our super hot summer days. You can use their AC instead of trudging through and around the heat, humidity, and other stinky people at the zoo.
    Thank you for your ideas

  53. Wow, some pretty rude comments on here directed at someone who is just trying to help. Thank you for your list and sorry people are being rude to you. Ignore and don’t let them ruin your day.

  54. I followed the link up from 5$ dinners and loved the list. To the person who said buy a family pass to the zoo,well a family pass to the Atlanta zoo would cost us well over 250$ for our family of 4 because we have a older disabled child who counts as a 3rd adult. One thing you didn’t list is breast feed.With the price of formula this is a massive saving measure. I also cut our hot water heater off and turn it on several times over a 24 hour period and that really made our power bill come down.Don’t leave it off so long that it has to completely reheat. We also play board or card games and have since our oldest was about two. Even two year olds can play match up or go fish and matching games help adults with memory retention.We buy a hog from a kid in the FFA every year and have it processed and put it in the freezer.For around 350$ we have enough meat to do us all year.We have friends who hunt but whose families don’t like deer meat so they give them to us and I process them myself.If you don’t know how to do something e how usually has a tutorial or ask a elderly neighbor or relative.They love to teach you how to do things and it makes them feel needed. Before you buy stuff,see if someone you know has one you can borrow.Necessity can make you very inventive with ideas to save money.

    1. First, in general: Yeah, there’s definitely no need to get rude with one another. Hunters, gatherers, omnivores, and all the rest of ya: kindly hush the ol’ pinhole, or start a blog if you know everything. Now, my actual comment…
      MARVELOUS idea about asking elderly neighbors! You can learn a LOT of things from people right in your own neighborhood (or family, for that matter!) and often avoid a lot of mistakes you might make trying to self-teach off YouTube or something. This is an especially great idea for sewing–if you can get one older aunt or neighbor to teach you (or you and a buddy or two!) how to use a sewing machine, you can probably return the favor in light household chores. Make new fashions for yourself, or spruce up kids’ and hubbies’ clothing, all while making another person feel valuable and needed! That’s just such a fantastic win-win. 🙂 Thanks for your great idea!

  55. Thank you for all of the wonderful tips. These days people need all the help they can get with this crazy economy. I hope you don’t pay attention to the inconsiderate posters, who get their sense of self esteem from putting others down. My son has been to zoos before and the first time he went to Cabella’s he was very impressed. People can appreciate things for what they have to offer.

  56. Hey. I used cloth diapers for all 3 of my daughters. I did not turn up the hot water heater. I dried them in the sun. The sun has amazing bleaching powers. Granted this would not work as well in northern cooler climate(I am in Oklahoma). Our diapers were always sweet smelling and pure white. My daughters NEVER had a rash(except when I would use disposables when traveling). MUCH cheaper! Invest in a few pairs of good fitting diaper covers(like Thirsties).

  57. Wow, I agree why do people have to be so cruel. Of course everything on here wont work for your family but there are tons of amazing ideas. So many of you complained about the bass pro shop. There is a ton of stuff to do there. Yes the zoo is terrific. It is just a change of pace that is free. I am sure people will have something to say about this to, But I Take her to the pet store sometimes when we cant make it to the zoo. Also another idea (in addition to all the other amazing stuff.) If you live near a ballpark sometimes they have a get in free for kids day) I love the 24 hours/30 days for impulse buying thing. I will save tons of money implementing this rule. Thanks so much for your time putting this together

  58. My daughter is 3 and LOVES going to Cabela’s, she has been twice in the past few months with her grandparents and had a blast. She loves being able to get close to the animals and seeing the huge fish tanks. Oh, and we still go to the zoo. I sincerely doubt the writer was implying to never take your kids to the zoo, I think it was more of a like, “random Saturday” activity. But realistically, going to the zoo IS expensive, and going to the store is completely free. I live in Michigan and winters suck. It’s not always possible to go to the zoo. And really?? People are getting all crazy and saying the animals were “murdered?!” Sorry, but I bet the cow that just supplied your dinner died a wayyy worse death, and you don’t feel bad about that.

  59. Maybe I missed it, but our BIGGEST way of being frugal is paying off debt and living without interest payments! We have paid off and closed all our credit card accounts one by one, paid off our car in half the time, and soon will eliminate student loans. Amazing how cutting a few interest payments can cut out the next debt! Sorta #1, but we don’t reward with a purchase….

    Also, I have cloth diapered for 3 kids now over 7 years and saved THOUSANDS. I saved enough with just the first CD kid to buy a super nice washer & dryer, which turned around and paid for themselves in energy, water, and detergent savings.

    When I chose an out of hospital birth I saved a ton too. But that is a topic I tell people to research, research, and then research some more.

    Having an emergency fund, at all times… gain interest instead of losing WHEN emergencies happen… NOT if.

  60. Thank you for sharing your ideas on saving money. Most of these comments are very shocking to me! Every person and family is different. Pick the ideas that work for you! You don’t need to bash others for their ideas!

  61. carrie hall says:

    Maybe people who think cloth diapering is a bad idea should think of the environmental savings too. No plastic poop filled diapers filling up the landfill for your children to deal with later. I know that it’s not the easiest thing to do, but it’s worth it.

  62. Wow, what a bunch of haters, lol. I had to comment b/c I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Thank you for taking your time to come up with a list of ideas to help people.
    If you don’t agree, fine. don’t say her ideas are stupid, that’s just plain rude.

  63. About the mirror one – #8 of Household – I’d like to point out that while that’ll light the room better in one fashion (sort of), it actually won’t make it seem much brighter, whereas putting a sheet of paper behind it (or something else white/ painting it white/ etcetera) will brighten the room lots. Basically, the mirror will reflect the light, but it won’t actually light things until it hits something that’s more opaque which’ll cause it to scatter. Here’s a video of the Mythbusters explaining it better than me (plus, it demonstrates): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXzuWxGNN0A . Later on in the same episode, there’s an excellent demonsstration where Jamie stands in front of the beam, letting it hit his white shirt, and suddenly the whole room they’re standing in is visible. Just thought I should mention this as an alternative means to the same end.

    …and, so far as the taxidermy/zoo thing goes – I’d just like to state that there is an actual place which makes their business off of this. Gordon’s Park, on Manitoulin island in Ontario, Canada (also known as Terry’s Taxidermy and Mounted Animal Nature Trail) is a genuine park/trail, with taxidermied animals along it. Seriously. http://www.northernontariobusiness.com/Industry-News/forestry/Gordon-s-Wilderness-Park-leaves-them-howling.aspx .

    So, regardless of what anybody’s ethical views are on it, it’s a viable business strategy, which validates it to some extent at least.

    Personally? When I have kids, I’ll let them do what I did – grab a bucket and head to the nearest ditch or slough, and search for bugs and frogs and such. Loads of fun, costs nothing, and sometimes you get some cool pets out of it! I’ll still take them to zoos occasionally, though – but we don’t have Cabela’s or Bass Pro up here in Canada, leastways not so far as I know. Pet shops, though – I always liked those as a kid. I’d’ve happily spent hours just looking at the lizards and the birds and such.

    Cool list, though! Certainly some interesting food for thought – although some of the items seemed odd to me at first, until I realized that this list was probably from the US, and Canada does a few things differently…still! Certainly an excellent thing to think about – and frankly, even for the people naysaying items, you still accomplished your goal: they’re thinking about, and acting upon, ways to save money, so…kudos, I suppose!

    Thanks for sharing!

  64. Stephanie says:

    90-95% of the energy for running the dishwasher is used during the drying cycle. If you turn of your dry cycle, you still have the convenience of using the machine and getting a bargain at it! Handwashing dishes actually uses more water than most dishwashers also. 🙂 (Hubby was an energy auditor for several years so we eat and breathe this stuff) Thank you for this list! Great ideas!

    1. Thats a really good idea! I am sure all the sanitizing the dishes would need takes place during the water stage, so the heat would only be for drying not sanitizing. That now seems like a big DUH but I would have probably never thought of that. What a good way to ‘meet in the middle’ and still get the benefit of both ends: saving money and using the dishwasher.

  65. Buy yeast at Costco or a restaurant supply store and it won’t be the most expensive item in your bread anymore. I pay just over $5 for 2lbs of yeast. It’s only expensive if you buy the jar or even worse, the packets! I did save a small jar and refill that so I don’t accidentally contaminate the large bag of yeast, and have even split the yeast and cost with a friend.

  66. These are just suggestions and ways to save money. It doesn’t mean that you have to do all of them. There are some really great ideas on how to save money, if tbere is one that you don’t agree with than don’t do it. My main point is if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all.

  67. Re zoo’s: They are very inexpensive and teach children good values like conservation and morality of caring for animals. It would serve these hunting people well on here to take their children to a zoo instead of murdering more animals for their own sick pleasure!

    1. not every zoo is inexpensive, first of all. Second, not all zoos take excellent care for the animals, what does that teach your children? Third, it isn’t a sick pleasure for them to feed their family. At least they let it roam free and love life, give it a quick mostly pain free death, then use all or most of the animal; as compared to buying it from a store where it was most likely caged or tortured until a painful death which is what most animal rights protestors are against. Just because it is not your way of life doesn’t give you the right to belittle another persons.

      You don’t need to be rude to express an opinion and you don’t need to be stubborn or arrogant either.

  68. I don’t thingl Cabella’s is a healthy place to understand animals. A petting zoo is better and they are cheap. animals should be understood first as living creatures and not as stuffed carcasses. Children’s awareness should not be shaped in a retail establishment that glorifies hunting and killing.

  69. I also think otherwise (besides the Cabella suggestion) that this is a great list and I will use many of these suggestions. thank you!

  70. Some of the comments here are highly entertaining! Where’s my popcorn? LOL

    Most of the ideas are good ones. The Bass Pro in lieu of supporting your local Zoo one…NOT SO MUCH.

  71. Stephanie says:

    First of all, thank you to the writer for taking the time to share her ideas with us. Some of them are great and I personally plan to try them. Now for my thoughts… Some of these comments are just plain ridiculous. Hunting is not murder…read the Bible people. God allowed us to eat animals and if we don’t they will over populate your precious Earth and throw the eco-system out of balance. Be vegan or vegetarian if you choose and stop preaching at those who choose to eat meat. And, who cares if you use cloth diapers or not??!! If you want to use them fine, it doesn’t make you any better than the people that don’t so stop acting so high and mighty. No one is better than anyone else so stop with the snooty attitudes and respect each other’s choices. You only have to answer for the choices that you make so who cares what anyone else does or doesn’t do?! It’s none of your business so stop critisizing everyone who is different than you and keep your nose out of it!

    1. Mentioning the Bible to defend killing is a terrible, terrible argument.

      1. How can it be a terrible argument? It makes complete sense, even if you don’t believe in God, at least understand where they are coming from.

        Hunting isn’t murder, it is just a way of life. You don’t see animals becoming vegetarians because some believe killing is wrong do you?? A Lion or a Tiger is still going to eat another animal over grass. That is just life.

        As far as putting it up in a store, that is not that much different than a cat giving you a dead animal “gift” if you think about it. The cat thinks, hey I got you a great gift, thanks for being a great care giver. We think a dead bird needs to go in the trash….TO EACH THEIR OWN PEOPLE!!!

        If you have a problem with something or someones way of life, you are entitled to think what you want. But please do not think you are better than someone because you don’t eat meat. I bet you have or use one thing or another that someone disagrees with you on besides that as well. It is not going to be the end of the world.

      2. Tee Mom 6 says:

        Have you ever READ the Bible??? Please stop belittling people, their ideas, beliefs and suggestions…..I don’t hunt ..but I respect those who do…I have raised 6 kids and used primarily disposable diapers although I tried CDs and they didn’t work for me….We love the zoo and go as often as possible but its not much as its a 2-3 hour drive depending whether we go to St Louis or KC….but the pet stores and BPS are only 40 minutes away and my kids request to go there almost every trip to town !….I’m a single mom on disability with 2 boys still at home who doesn’t receive child support so I’m trying whatever I can to make what little money we have go as far as possible and still create fun and creative experiences with my boy…I’m growing what I can, making my own environmentally safe cleaners…..I rarily buy anything at regular price and love the thrill of thrifting……but the most important thing I do is raise my children to be kind, considerate humans who respect both human and animal life as well as Mother Nature

  72. Reading these comments makes me realize why I only have two female friends!! Some of you ladies are so judgmental and catty! Agree to disagree and move on, no need to put down someones ideas or way of living. Everyone has their own unique way of doing things. 🙂 I loved your list and thanks for posting! It gave me a lot of great ideas!

  73. Are you my clone. I do and did just about every item on your list. I am a hardcore frugalist.

    My kids are grown now but when they were babies I used cloth diapers as much as possible. I only used the disposable kind when traveling, going to church or when my MIL babysat. Disposable diapers did not break down very easily. I hate the thought of disposables lasting hundreds or years before they decompose. Also, the chemicals that are in the diapers that make them absorb moisture are scary.

  74. Life is too short to live this frugal. Geeze!

    1. Too bad living that short life irresponsibly and frivolously will leave your kids to inherit the mounds of debt you will accumulate by refusing to examine wants v. needs every once in awhile…These are just suggestions for those who are concerned with their finances, not a personal attack on you.

  75. Joe Schmeaux says:

    This is just so much ridiculousness.

    Handwashing actually uses more water and energy to heat the water than a dishwasher. At least without an added heat cycle.

    Really? Go to Home Depot and buy some paint color they screwed up on? What’s the paint cost for the typical room? $20? To last some 10-15 years?

    Unplug the toaster? The toaster? C’mon a toaster has no transformer. If it ain’t running, it ain’t drawing power. While we’re at it, let’s unplug all the lights in the house.

    Cook 2 weeks worth of meals, freeze and nuke in the microwave when you’re ready to eat them. Yeah… Right.. We call know a microwave can make food delicious. There’s a reason restaurants don’t use them. They make food taste sucky!

    And my favorite–make your own personal hygiene products. Somehow, I’m picturing someone wrapping a used paper towel around a recycled corndog stick…

    1. LOL at the corndog stick.. I had a very similar image. I dont know what they meant as hygiene products… but that is what first popped into my head, “I am NOT making my own pads!” Yay for someone who does, as long as they do it correctly, but no thank you for me! And I would rather spend 2 bucks on Suave clarifying shampoo than try to make something to wash my hair with. Same goes for soap. Like I said in an above comment, there are a lot of ‘meet in the middle’ areas for lots of this stuff, if you dont want to go completely to one side. This list has some good ideas, some I think are just an unneccessary way to save money, and some that can be tweaked for each person to make it work for them and their family. Why the 49999 comments about bitching about who uses what kind of diaper and calling hunting for food murder, beats me.

  76. If you’re in the CO, WY, MT, and NM areas, go to your local Habitat for Humanity and buy recycled paint for a fraction of the cost. The company to look for is Green Sheen Paint. They’re based out of Denver, CO. Look them up at http://www.greensheenpaint.com
    I’ve been very happy with their colors and quality!

  77. I have done all of these tips. The only change I made was about the money in the envelopes. I put away the money each month but we use credit cards (I know, SHOCK!) to pay all of our bills. We don’t overspend with them and we always pay off every cent of our balances. This racks up FREE rewards. We’re a one income family and have been able to afford to remodel this year, buy a new car, landscape our yard, build a deck & go to Disney World 3 times. I’ve received well over $2,000 in free rewards from just using credit cards and being smart about it. Most people cannot handle having plastic in their pockets but if you can, it can really pay off.

  78. Yeah, to all of the people who left comments on murdering animals: if you are going to say people are cruel for killing animals to eat, then you must also call the animals murderers too. A lot of animals kill and ear each other and it isn’t done with minimal pain to the animal either. People for the most part kill fo food, and they try to do out quickly so the animal does not suffer. So think about all of the murderer animals that are heartless like us humans.I’m all for people having their own beliefs but some of you are seriously crazy.

  79. Guess what says:

    There has been a lot of discussion regarding hunting and going to Cabellas vs a zoo to save money. As others have mentioned, not all of the animals are stuffed at Cabellas and their are displays their describing
    American history and animal evolution that is not available at zoos. In addition, the bear collection they have I have never seen at any zoo due to the varying climates needed for the various species of the bears. Their displays are very educational and serve a very distinct purpose. You can see similar displays at the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, DC describing the evolution of animals through history. Entrance to these museums are also free.

  80. Wow – you had some deep debates going on in your comments over the past months! I hope you have thick skin!!!

    I just wanted to comment to praise your money-saving tips. They are right on! So simple, yet so drastic for some. People wonder how we live the lifestyle that we do on a humble single income. I should direct them to your sight for the answer. We literally do 90% of what you listed, it’s just part of our lifestyle and I forget that some of these things aren’t “normal” for most people. However, we still have a cell and home phone and I didn’t dive into the world of cloth diapering. Thankfully, we’re down to one child who only wears a diaper at night. We’re close! And I’ve never been to Cabella’s. You can bet we’ll be making a trip down there this summer. Thanks for that tip!!! 🙂 I might link back up to your post on my blog in the future…please let me know if that’s not okay. Have a great week!

  81. Let’s all be a little more positive to the mom trying to help give us tips on how to save money!!! Thank you! Of course we all have different opinions, she’s just trying to give ideas. A lot of you need to take a deep breath, relax and enjoy life:)

  82. I used cloth diapers for both of my kids (and for a while they were in cloth diapers at the same time). I saved a ton of money using cloth! I used the same laundry soap and bleach I used for my regular clothes. I only used disposables when we were on a trip and away from the house.

  83. Great suggestions. They may not work for every family but they do give you some ideas that can be incorporated in other ways. Thanks for sharing!

  84. Seriously People?? says:

    THESE ARE JUST SUGGESTIONS! Perhaps you’re having a slow week or month at work and you want to do something with your spouse and 4 children, but money is tight…maybe Bass Pro is a better option THIS time than the zoo. She’s not saying to NEVER allow your children to go to the zoo! Get a grip people!

    This is a great list of things someone might be able to do to cut back on spending!! Thank You!!

  85. Yes, PLEASE don’t take your kids to see dead animals…Save up the money for the zoo occasionally or find something else to do. Also as long as you are running a full load, machine dishwashing uses less water than hand washing (so I assume it’s cheaper). I think it’s important not to just look at things in terms of money but also impact on the environment. Often these two coincide (buying used, not being wasteful, etc.) but when they don’t I think people owe it to the environment to shell out a little more money (in terms of the diaper debate).

  86. But other than that great list btw!

  87. I would caution you if you are putting a lot of faith in Vitamin C. While it is true that it is necessary for your immune system, the average person getting a balanced diet will not gain anything from taking extra. The studies done that “prove” Vitamin C can cure or prevent or lessen colds or other ailments was done by a man who was selling Vitamin C. Every study since then has shown that unless you are taking Vitamin C tablets every day of the year faithfully you will get no additional help. Even then you only get at most a 7% boost. Unfortunately by the time these studies were done it was so widely spread that Vitamin C boosts your immune system that it had become a wives tale and passed down as gospel truth.

  88. Here’s a few of my tips…besides couponing, sign up for the free samples (only the ones you’ll really use) companies are offereing,..if they are offering them why shouldn’t you get them? Sign up for clubs at companies websites, not only will you get news letters with tips, but you can get free items, and even meals. My husband I are only 4days apart in age and each October we get tons of coupons for free meals and this a treat for us. Grow a garden and fruit trees, and learn to put up your own food…I feed my family of 4 on $100/month including personal products, because I can…I can a year supply of green beans, speghitti sauce, pizza sauce, pickles, relish, applesauce, peaches, pears, salsa, and ketchup. I also freeze corn, broccoli, zucchini,blueberries, pumpkin and sqaush. I also make all my own jam. The money you invest in the plants (I pay about $20/year for my garden plants and seeds, fruit trees are a little more costly, but I was able to get 5 blueberry bush for $20, and I split them with my mom) is well worth, for example if I had to pay for the strawberries I used in the jam I made, it would have cost me $50. but I got my strawberry plants for about $15 4 years ago, they’ve paid for themself time and again. I spend roughly $0.25 a can/bag with my supplies (can are reuseable, you just need new lids each year). Plus this is better for my family and the environment. Put up a cothes line, saves enegry and money. We gave up direct tv because we got tired of paying $75/month, now we pay $8.99/ month for Netflix, my sons love the tv shows they have on there and I get most of my shows too, just a season behind. I have a credit card where I earn cash back points so I pay a bill with it, then go online then and there and make a payment on the card for that amount, so I get no interest, but get the cash. I love Kohls’ I use my kohls’ card all the time because I get discounts, and I do as above use and turn around and pay it off then there. I was able to buy my 2 year his summer clothes there for $50 (over 10 outfits and 3 pairs of shoes, plus hats), because of this and other programs they offer. Pack a lunch, I was spending between $5-$8 a day, now when I pack I put $5 in jar toward a special treat for my family. Look for friends that can trade you deals for example, my sister in-law is a cake decorator, she makes my sons’ birthday cakes for his gift from her family. This is a win win as they are tight for money, and this allows my family to save money.

  89. Some of these are pretty good. I use some of these, and they’ve really helped. They also allow me to splurge in other areas.

    I’ve gotten rid of my cable and just get over the air digital channels on my TV, but I live in a city, so I get good reception and a lot of channels. If there is something that is normally on cable that I want to watch, I can usually find it online though sometimes I do have to wait for it to come out on DVD, but that’s not that big of a deal.

    I’ve always read that washing clothes in cold water is cheaper than warm or hot water. I rarely wash anything in warm or hot water (usually just sheets and towels).

    As for the zoo, I have a membership, but I go to the zoo a lot, so a membership is more cost effective for me (it’s an individual one, but I get in a guest free). Same with museums as well. You have to decide how often you go to these places and if it would be cheaper to have a membership (and what that breaks down to per visit) or to just pay for each visit. The nice thing about having a membership too is that I don’t feel the need to pack in as much as I can at the zoo each trip (which can be exhausting for an all day trip). One trip I may focus on one part of the zoo and on another trip, I’ll go to another area (same with the museums). It’s not an all day excursion which can be nice. Even in the Texas heat, I’ll go in the early mornings in the summer when it’s still cool out, and I can leave when it begins to get too hot.

    1. I can attest to washing everything cold being cheaper. Once I got my husband to start washing everything in cold water instead of incredibly hot we very dramatically cut our gas bill down. (gas water heater)
      Also, they say that cold water helps your clothes last longer and take much longer to fade, especially dark colors.

  90. Not Impressed says:

    Anyone else feel like this was a complete waste of time to read?

    1. Me Either says:

      I agree. Some of these tips actually cost more money than save. For example, hand washing dishes uses more water than a dishwasher.

      1. Completely agree. My dw uses a mere 4 gallons! It’s instructions tell you NOT to rinse. It’s best to find a good dw soap and read your manual.

    2. Cheryl Denley says:

      Yes, this is a joke. Turning things on and off, changed temps up and down costs more than keeps a constant teml. It truly is pinching pennies. I am surprised they didn’t put, got to grocery stores and eat samples in place of meals.

      1. Ellen Kotera says:

        I wonder do they do anything with all this money they supposedly save? I’m sorry, but this is one life & I’d like to enjoy it. Everybody has their own way of doing things & I respect that. But MOST of these ideas are a bit much.

    3. Kgreenewald says:

      Yup!!! Part of enjoying life, is not worrying so much about spending the money we earn TO ENJOY AND INDULDGE!!!! This is overboard to say the least!!

      1. If you’re not worried about spending the money you earn, then why are you reading this article in the first place? Some of us are on a very tight budget and tips like these help stretch our dollars so that we can do enjoyable little things. Not all of us have the luxury of being able to indulge and not worry about the money we spend.

        1. Kathy Turner says:

          Amen , Some do not want to think of anybody but self.I want to save & love the hint. Kathy

      2. You just haven’t been “Broke Enough” to understand. Usually people who don’t watch what they spend have the most debt! Just sayin’!!

        1. there is a value to the time you are wasting hand washing dishes…..how can you say your saving money? one person said they save 2 dollars by doing this. i have a hard time believing that this is using your time productivly .. I would go on more but just typing this has lost me like 20 bucks in doing something where i am making money

          1. When my apartment size dishwasher broke, it took several months to replace it. During that time my electric bill went from around 130.00 a month to 75.00 to 80.00. To our family that was a nice savings. Also a great benifit was extra time I had with my daughter that helped. So I think that hand washing dishing was very productive. Not every thing of value can be measured in “making money”

          2. I found this article to be very informative, and you sitting on the internet is wasting you money, not reading this article, but what else are you gonna do? You’ve obviously already weighed the opportunity cost of reading this article and actually going out and making yourself 20 bucks and chosen the option to read this article. You’ll probably go back to watching your overpriced cable instead of “making money.”

    4. Completely! Some of these things were a bit too much!! Some things are good ideas, but others are just ridiculous. Going to a store and looking at stuffed heads of dead animals is not the same thing as going to the zoo…

      1. i think that last one was a bit of a joke

      2. Suzanne M says:

        Have you ever been to Bass Pro Shop? I don’t even like fishing and hunting and we spent nearly 2 hours there. And we did get to see them feed the fish! ( The fish are big ) No, not the same as the zoo but fun on a rainy cold day.
        In our area we have a grocery store named “Jungle Jim’s International Market”. People go there for fun. Again, we spent hours looking at all the stuff. I know, I know. I lead an exciting life!

        1. My kids used to LOVE going to Bass Pro Shop!!! We didn’t go often because it was an hour drive. My grandkids love going to Cabela’s. I learned of Jungle Jim’s when we moved to Ohio, but haven’t been there yet. I think it’s about 1 1/2 hours away. I really need to take the grandkids there next summer when they visit.

        2. Ellen Kotera says:

          I agree it’s fine on a rainy day OR once in a while, but you’re only going to apease the kids a few times, before it’s a bust.

          1. Really? Because despite going every month, my kids still bug me to go to the pet store just to see the fish, birds, bunnies, mice, etc. – the pet store never gets old. I’ve never been to Bass Pro Shop, but the idea is the same.
            And shame on all you people who are saying this article is worthless! You’ve obviously started reading it because you’re interested in saving money, but now you’ve decided that you’re too lazy to put the effort forth. I spend 45 minutes a week going through flyers, making a list, and cutting coupons, and an extra 5 minutes in the check-out having the cashier price-match from other stores. I save $50-$75 per week in groceries. We do almost all of the things on this list, and it has made a world of difference. Doing little things to save a few bucks here and a few bucks there has meant the difference between having to work and send my little ones to daycare while someone else raises them, and staying home with my kids and enjoying the few years with them before they are off to school. So turn your nose up at this article all your want; have fun paying your credit card bills down.

      3. did you read her little bio at the end? she has SIX children. little children under the age of six.
        it would be difficult to parade them all around a zoo and get your money’s worth.
        and i am quite sure very young kids would enjoy the taxidermy animals as much or more than trying to see over the guardrails and walking around getting tired and hungry and cranky at the zoo.

      4. Bass Pro Shop is pretty neat. They also have free activities, where children can shoot bows and arrows, go fishing in the store, etc. You can walk right up to the stuffed lions and giraffe (they’re not far away like they are in the zoo). Plus, not every place has a zoo.

    5. Gay Johnston says:

      no…I thought it was very green!

    6. Joann Blaise says:

      I found it extremely depressing more than anything!
      Maybe an article about how to make extra cash (focus groups, etc) would be more empowering.
      To each their own, though, I guess? This woman seems happy with her system.

    7. Tesha Nicholson says:

      I think this article is great. We have prepaid electricity & I did my own experiment. It cost me $2 in electricity every time I used my dishwasher. Since I started handwashing my dishes I save that $2. The phantom electricity thing, unplugging everything when you aren’t using it, that saved me another $1 a day in electricity. We do all our laundry once a week now & that saves water & electricity, do slow accelerating in our car that has cut our has usage dramatically. You may not think saving $3 a day is a lot, but that’s $90 a month & that can buy groceries for almost 3 Weeks. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’ve decreased our books by about$250 a month just using these tips. Thanks.

      1. You have got to be kidding me

      2. Wow, that’s impressive. I drink more than$250 a month just in alcohol!

      3. $90 for 3 weeks of groceries? Uh, no way unless you eat crap. My milk and eggs alone cost $20 a week.

        Most of these tips are not helpful. Boxed dried milk?! No wonder there is a Health epidemic in this country. That’s crap!

        How does organizing my kids toys save money? It doesn’t. Hanging close out to dry is against our housing regulations. Not to mention that its winter nearly 8 months a year here. We also have a HE dryer that drys clothes fast. And an HE washer.

        Just silliness. Really.

        1. Don’t judge unless you are in the situation where you need to be frugal. It seems a lot of people here don’t understand concept of being frugal. I don’t agree with everything the blogger wrote, but she had some good ideas. And I’m not sure where you live or shop, but I never spend $20 a week on eggs and milk, and I have 7 kids. I only buy milk at Sam’s Club or Aldi for under $3 a gallon and try to find sales for eggs at $1a dozen. I can’t always find them at that price, but I stock up when I do. These tips are not written for people wanting to be green or feel good about themselves but for people trying to make ends meet, people who are being responsible.

        2. Have you not heard of a in-door clothes line. Washing after 7:00pm and weekends really saves on electricity .

        3. Hello! Have you ever heard of a garden? Most families watching their spending get their eggs, fruit and veggies from the back yard. My groceries do cost less than $30 a week. I plan smart, don’t buy ‘crap’ which is expensive anyway, and use tons of coupons. I don’t have a garden at my house, but I did go to a local market and get fruit and veggies for two weeks for less than $40. Some of this boils down to simply getting the right education. By taking the time to find out what locally grown foods are nearby and how organic they are can save a lot of money and time at the doctors. I also wash dishes by hand and make my own household cleaners, because in the end I have money needed for what’s most important. We have taken it a step further than listed. We buy in cash or debit card only. This is another great way to avoid over spending. If I didn’t bring it, I can’t spend it. I have been able to go on vacations with 4 people for 4 nights for under $100 total for hotel rooms in a nice hotel. I have went to 5 star restaurants on a date with my husband and walked out with full tummies for under $30. I have another vacation planned this year that will cost me $35 for a 2 night full service stay (includes all meals) in a lakeside resort with a view. There are discounts, bagins, etc if you are willing to be educated on where to find it, however if you decide that you know everything and don’t need any advice then you can live happy in the debt trap you enjoy.

    8. I already use some of these tips, well apart from the one you are complaining about i just use blankets to avoid using too much gas heating the house, so this didnt help me, but the things apart from switching on and off do help to save money so for the people who don’t already do these things it will help them.

  91. This is an amazing post! I want to repost this on my blog for some to read! Let me know how you like my blog.
    Enjoy the day!

    1. I love your blog….every day you have such creative and wonderful ideas to share…thank you!….Will forward “Pinch those Pennies” to my daughter! Have a great and rewarding day! Hope to see you soon!

  92. yeah, my sister was researching dishwashers for a kitchen remodel and found that hand washing wastes the most water, even compared to older dishwashers.

    1. If you wash and rinse the dishes under running water, then a dishwasher probably uses less water. I generally handwash my dishes because it’s just me and my husband. My pots and pans don’t go in the dishwasher anyway, so that’s just a couple of plates, silverware, and glasses. It takes a week to fill the dishwasher!

  93. I actually read once that they did a study on whether washing dishes by hand was really cheaper than by dishwasher and it wasn’t, especially if you have an efficient dishwasher. just fyi.

    1. I wonder I’d that study included the cost of the expensive dishwasher detergents.

      1. There are receipes online for dishwasher detergent. It’s not hard to make.

  94. Luvz2$ewMom says:

    AWESOME TIPS!! I need to print out & refer to..esp when im tempted to eat out when I really dont need to..plus I really cannot afford it! Dont listen to those nay sayers either..they dont need ur tips OBVIOUSLY!!

    1. Or they REALLY need them, but can’t see the truth yet…let them keep lying to themselves.

    2. If you use entertainment.com or restaurant.com coupons, you can afford to eat out on special occasions without breaking the bank. My husband and I run away once a month for a nice dinner and rarely spend more than $25. It is an expense that is easily managed with the right coupons.

  95. Claude Edwards says:

    Thanks for the tips. I make a decent wage and years of steak and shrimp, and driving gas hogs has had me living right on the edge only saving twenty five dollars a week. Now at 49 years of age I find my health issues catching up with me and I now no longer have the twenty five bucks to put into savings but over the last ten years, layoffs and illness have eaten away at my savings as well as major losses in the markets, now I am broke and facing bankruptcy if I dont do something now. I greatly appreciate the tips and will be implementing them into my life as quickly as I can.

  96. I really didn’t learn much new that I don’t already do! A lot of common sense to me and my husband.

    1. Yours was a totally useless and arrogant comment. Evidently some folks find these tips useful. But congratulations on your abundant common sense, anyway.

      1. what does that make your comment??

  97. Well although not all these are possible for everyone, for those of us that are barely surviving,
    every single penny. counts. Any time I can get more ideas on how to save anything, I’ll take it. I am not looking to save more for more entertainment. I do these things and others to keep me going.

    1. Have you tried cutting your family’s hair at home? Lowering your utility bills by using less? Making your own bread? Buying foods in bulk, such as 25 pound of oats for $9.50 or 35 pounds of beans for $17? Eating more soups, beans, and meatless meals? Being a one-car family? Not eating out? Getting rid of your cell phone?

      1. Hey, how about save money by canceling the Internet you’re using to read this???

        1. She could be at the library using the free internet that is available to the public.

  98. It does not save water to use your dishwasher at all. A dishwasher uses way less and the dishes are sanitized way better than we could do it.

  99. I for one had all the money we needed. Ate out alot, bought on a whim and bought a new car every year or two.
    But some things have happened in the last year and if I would have lived like I was broke I would have been able to make it another year just on my savings..Only had enough for 9 months and some do not have that.
    Every single Penny really counts now to be able to keep our home and car and try not to file bankruptcy..that wont help anyway. Money no matter how small adds up you have no IDEA till you are there.
    So my advice is live like this ..like you have no choice you never know when you might be next.
    And my son has learned so much from this experience as well as my husband and I.

  100. Some of these are good tips but a lot are pretty unreasonable. For those of us who live in MN and not Texas there are few months of the year where we can dry our clothes outside, they majority of the year they will just freeze on the line. I think it makes more sense to buy an energy efficient gas drier after all these appliances were invented to save us time that we can then spend on what’s more important. However suggesting you should avoid seeking medical care to same money is a very dangerous assertion. Medical care is a necessity if you kid has a fever or you have a mole you’re worried about our a long term cough go get the attention you need, it could cost you much more than a copay in the long run.

    1. I agree that there are times you definitely need to go to the dr. But there are times where if it’s not necessary. I think that’s the point she is trying to make. For a cold you don’t need to go to the dr right away. Try some home remedies first. If the symptoms get worse or there is another underlying issue by all means get medical help. Antibiotics can cause problems when used too much. There have been times my kids complained about an earache and I put peroxide in their ears and leave it in for several minutes then let it drain out. I do it 3 to 4 times a day. If it doesn’t clear up in a couple of days or gets a lot worse then I’ll take them to the dr. Just use common sense.

  101. YES.
    never ever buy soda at a restaurant. it’s bad for your body.
    but if you must, just go to the store and get a two liter to share with your family.
    i work at Burger King. our large size soda is 32 ounces, which is bigger than some places’ cups, but it costs like more than two dollars. for that price, you could get TWO two liters and have the soda for a few days, rather than just one meal.
    undoubtedly, soda has the highest profit margin of any item in a restaurant. it’s just sugar, syrup, and fizzed water and they gouge you for it!

    1. Once when we went through the drive-thru, then went home, we got one large drink (with a coupon, as we don’t normally but drinks at restaurants) and poured it into 4 smaller glasses. It’s amazing how much was in that cup. Sticking to water definitely saves you money when you eat out.

  102. instand of criticizing what this woman is doing …maybe you should take the time and find out about different ways to save..I for one safe more and more on my electricity..by unplugging things that I am not using…because when u leave stuff plug in it still uses the electricity…like hair blowers ,curling irons..toasters coffee pots…it does not stop just because u turn it off…and has far has washing dishes by hand ..I am sorry but it does save money if you wash the dishes in one sink and put 5 0r 6 dishes in the next sink and then rinse them off..but if your going to let the water run while your doing the dishes then no ..you are not going to save money…and it does not matter how many kids someone has ..Has long has they are taking care of the kids and not on welfare..and they have a Mother and father that loves them..who cares..I also find that if you make stuff yourself like laundry soap ..softener ..and other stuff that I have find on Pinterest..you can save a lot of money….so the ones that are criticizing this lady for what she is doing get off your high horse and come back to earth…

    1. I totally agree! If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all! I have five kids, all grown now, and a loving home is the best thing you can give them.

    2. Some great tips I don’t think anyone is going to agree with any article on any website you take what you need from it and if it doesn’t apply to you then well you see that little x up there in the upper far right corner you click that and all your worries are over about the article some people are more hard core then others when it comes to saving she is trying to let you know to think outside oft he box about spending money I don’t have any children and am underemployed have been for about 4 years now I have a bf that makes a LOT more money then I do he has a 401k and benefits to build his future some of us don’t have that and the simple things like eating out or going to the zoo can set you back from the main things that we need to do to maintain our lives like eating so great article think outside the box gang and don’t be so quick to down someone that you have never met because it so easy to do online

  103. Dan Banks says:

    I only turn on my water heater for 15-30 minutes each day, usually between 6 and 7 p.m. When I take my shower at 5 or 6 the next morning the water is still scalding hot. If washing dishes I will wait until 15 minutes after the load is finished to power down. My current power billin my apt is under $35 and in the house I own in another city the bill is less than $80. It actually does work.

    1. You can get a Gray Box at Home Depot that attaches to the water heater. Program it as to the time of day you want hot water, and there is no heating water all night or all day when you are at work — great savings.
      Also, cold water washes most clothes just fine.
      The dryer is expensive to run, but lowering the heat level to “low” dries most clothes just fine. It is the high heat of the dryer that shrinks clothes and wears them out. A lower heat in the dryer makes clothes last longer and look good longer — more savings.

  104. Wanna stay home mom says:

    This is great. My 2-year old loves going to Pet Smart to see the turtles, etc. The zoo is a 45 minute drive through ridiculous Houston traffic. And once at the zoo, it’s over 100 degrees outside. My little boy will take the pet store or a outdoor store any day of the week! And, not only do i save admission money, but also gas, frustration, and I don’t have to pack a million things like snacks, lunch, additional extra diapers, cloths, etc.
    I think most of the people making negative comments haven’t ever had to live so frugally. Our budget is $150 a month away from me being able to quit my job and be a stay-at-home mom. I will do any “weird” thing it takes to be with my children. I’m not above any of these.

  105. Wanna stay home mom says:

    Oh and as for the dishwasher, maybe like some of us it’s an older model which uses a ton of water, etc. and I usually have to rerun half my dishes anyway.

    1. Or we actullally hate to deal with loading and unloading the dishwasher, but find it relaxing to do the dishes by hand.

  106. There were a lot of great tips. I can’t believe how many rude comments there were. Enjoying life has NOTHING to do with spending tons of money. We are tight with our cash because we don’t want any debt and we would like to be able to retire one day and not be stressed about money at that time. Living with tight budget is also a great way to teach your kids the value of money. My kids can spend an hour in a toy store without asking me to buy a single thing. They understand the value our time over our money. Also, I feel like our family is closer because of our frugality. My kids are also VERY easily entertained. We love going down to Cabelas or Sheals on a Sunday afternoon. There is so much to look at and no one in our family hunts. I also loved the babysitter trade. Thanks for putting the list together. Ignore the haters, they’ll learn the value of budgeting once they hit age 65.

  107. Thanks for the tips says:

    I know that not all readers are 100% convinced that these tips are helpful, but I have actually tried most of them. Here is my savings experiences.

    -Couponing/Buying store brands have saved me at least 60% on my grocery bill. $250 saved per month.
    -Hand washing my dishes/ Only washing clothes one day per week only in cold water saves $15 per month on my water bill.
    -Hanging my clothes up to dry has saved $12 per month (I live in an apartment and have no outside area to hang my clothes so I hang them on my shower rod. )
    -Eating in as much as possible has helped save around $100 a month.

    Just by doing these 4 things I’m saving my boyfriend and I close to $400. And this is no exaggeration.

    (Note: To determine what amount I would actually save on my utility bills I began hanging my clothes up to dry, hand washing my dishes, and washing clothes once a week when the billing cycle began.

    1. Now if you just put that $400 into your ROTH IRA each month, you will have no problem retiring when you are 65. Great job.

  108. While I appreciate your creativity, most of these would not work for my family. One suggestion we do take advantage of that you might find near you is what is called “first tuesday”, the local museum, art gallery, children’s museum offers free admission the first tuesday of every month so we plan a family outing on that day.

  109. We live on a budget Dave Ramsey style and I find a lot of these suggestions ridiculous. Don’t go to the doctor and use home remedies? ???? As a person with a doctorate the medical field I promise you you end up spending more money this way and potentially hurt your health. I also refuse to cloth diaper when I can buy pampers at 7 cents a diaper. That is much cheaper than the soap and water and my time to wash the diapers.

    1. She never said don’t go to the dr. She said to try home remedies first. As with anything else though, it is a matter of using common sense. I have 7 children and we don’t go to the dr very often. But I do when they need it, especially for my 2 with asthma. If someone comes in with a common cold what can you give them besides antibiotics, which don’t even work for a viral infection like a cold.

    2. I actually found cloth diapers were better for my children’s skin health when they were babies and heard this from other people also.

  110. Most of these are just common sense that seems to have been lost on some people. Besides saving you money if you use several of them they are also earth friendly. I reuse, recycle and conserve where ever I can.

  111. I actually quite enjoyed this post. There were a few things that I wouldn’t do necessarily, but for the most part it made sense. I have 3 kids under 3 so her thinking makes sense to me on some of them. We take our kids to the animal shelter or the pet store instead of the zoo.

  112. To the people who have made negative comments…are all your vehicles paid for? My husband and I have paid cash for all of our vehicles since we were 25 years old. How about your house? We make extra payments each month. Look it up even if you were careful and only paid $100 extra on your home payment you can really reduce interest over time. Anyhow, I am a firm believer in those who are careful with their money will be blessed with more. I am a stay at home, homeschool mom. My husband makes good money, but we want to buy land. I will save money. I will cut my spending because it only improves my lifestyle quicker. Be snotty. Look down your nose at those who are frugall. We just smile to ourselves. My sister-in-law always acted like it was stupid to shop at garage sales for my little ones (last year I spent $175 to put clothing on my three children. They look as good as anybody in our upperclass neighborhood. I got a brand new Lands End Jacket, snow pants, and gloves for $25. Still had the tags on…the girls grandma was a spender and didn’t know her granddaughter hated purple. As for my sister-in-law their home is in forecloser….sad. But hey, the kids have brand new $100 jeans. If you can’t use the information fine, but why put it down? Is it because deep down you know you should be more frugal but it takes work to be smart with your money?

  113. There are some wonderful ideas here. Times are tough for a lot of people now, and for some of us, tips on saving are always welcome, and if the tips are green on top of being frugal, well…that’s definitely a big bonus. My kids are grown and out on their own now, but as for the toy thing I can tell you this…when my kids were little I used to put some of their toys away and every month or so switch off, and it was kinda like Christmas when I brought out the “new” ones. As for saving on electricity, gas and and water, well shouldn’t we all be doing that anyway, as much as we can? If you save a dollar here and a dollar there, it really adds up. I actually enjoy looking for solutions for waste. It can be a challenge for sure, and I sometimes get a little obsessed lol. My husband and I both enjoy cooking and try to cook ahead and freeze and it’s really working for us. But I was noticing how much trash we accumulate on our cooking days, LOTS of paper towels, napkins, etc. So when I found floursack dishcloths on sale I bought a few packages, cut them into fourths, gave them a little hem, and they are now napkins. Cheap dollar store washcloths rolled up and put in a basket on my counter are now paper towels. We will still use paper towels for some things, but I won’t miss the expense of buying so many napkins and paper towels! And the cloth napkins and paper towels don’t take up enough room in the laundry to worry about. It has always been my opinion that we use far too many disposable products and they are expensive and wasteful when used all the time. I search the internet for ways to save and for DIY projects that recycle and save money, and I really enjoyed reading this blog…thank you 🙂

  114. There are some wonderful ideas here. Times are tough for a lot of people now, and for some of us, tips on saving are always welcome, and if the tips are green on top of being frugal, well…that’s definitely a big bonus. My kids are grown and out on their own now, but as for the toy thing I can tell you this…when my kids were little I used to put some of their toys away and every month or so switch off, and it was kinda like Christmas when I brought out the “new” ones. As for saving on electricity, gas and and water, well shouldn’t we all be doing that anyway, as much as we can? If you save a dollar here and a dollar there, it really adds up. I actually enjoy looking for solutions for waste. It can be a challenge for sure, and I sometimes get a little obsessed lol. My husband and I both enjoy cooking and try to cook ahead and freeze and it’s really working for us. But I was noticing how much trash we accumulate on our cooking days, LOTS of paper towels, napkins, etc. So when I found floursack dishcloths on sale I bought a few packages, cut them into fourths, gave them a little hem, and they are now napkins. Cheap dollar store washcloths rolled up and put in a basket on my counter are now paper towels. We will still use paper towels for some things, but I won’t miss the expense of buying so many napkins and paper towels! And the cloth napkins and paper towels don’t take up enough room in the laundry to worry about. It has always been my opinion that we use far too many disposable products and they are expensive and wasteful when used all the time. I search the internet for ways to save and for DIY projects that recycle and save money, and I really enjoyed reading this blog…thank you 🙂

  115. here’s an idea for being frugal… don’t have six kids. seriously. why do you need six? you’re really not helping the overpopulation problem (unless they’re all adopted?), and you’re more than likely unable to give them all the attention they deserve. if you only had 2 you wouldn’t even have all these supposed money problems. maybe then you could afford to give them normal childhood experiences like going to the zoo. sorry, but i find having way too many kids to be a really immature and irresponsible thing to do. it doesn’t just effect your life, it effects theirs’ and the rest of the world.

    1. That’s a really harsh comment! The blog author isn’t attacking anyone’s lifestyle choices, but merely giving individuals advice on ways to save money. Not all of her suggestions will work for every person, obviously, but why be so mean to someone who is obviously trying to help others? If they want to have six or more children, and they can afford it, who are you to question their rights? There are so many children born to parents who don’t want, neglect, and/or abuse them, and here is a couple who is trying to provide for their children. Shame on you for your ugly comment!

      To the author: I found several of your ideas very helpful. We live around the St. Louis area and our zoo offers free admission so we take advantage of this for our children. Our family also clips coupons, shops garage sales and craigslist, and keeps hand-me-downs for our children. I plant a garden every summer and keep herbs indoors all year. We make right at a six-figure income, but it took losing our home to forclosure, and being in over our head in credit card debt to make us change our ways. Keep posting your ideas because a lot of people appreciate it!

    2. Krista, you’re nasty and in the new year should keep your judgmental, rude comments to yourself.

  116. Take your family fishing. It’s a way to entertain the kids, make memories that’ll last a lifetime and if you’re lucky feed the family, too.

  117. LiveUrLife says:

    Obviously not all of these ideas will work for everyone. It is a nice and well thought out list. I do think a lot of these tips are great for the environment as well which is a nice bonus. For us time is money. I make a lot of money and I spend a little more on a few time savers like the dishwasher 🙂 . By saving time I can make more money. Also I pay for every thing on credit cards, but I never carry a balance. My airline miles allow me to see a little more of the planet. We eat out a lot but when we do cook at home it is from scratch and we are vegetarians. So maybe there are these little balances for us all. I need to remember the thermostat idea, I like that one. Thank you for the article , it was great!

  118. Reading through this blog did make me chuckle, but reading through the comments afterwards made me laugh even more.

    You guys over in the USA really don’t know how good you have it sometimes. Over in England, we don’t get the shopping coupons like you get over there. Occasionally they will be in the local papers, but you are always limited to one coupon per customer. Washing dishes by hand? I would loove to have a kitchen big enough to put a dishwasher in it. Air conditioning? What’s that? Oh yes, that’s right. Its that thing that guzzles the expensive fuel in the car. A/C in a house of here is almost unheard of, or needed for that matter. We just don’t have your climate. (Unfortunately!)

    Washing clothes in cold water. Yep. Machines over here are rarely plumber in to the hot water supply. Normally they are cold fill, then the machine heats the water. But yes, it is obvious that the lower the temperature, the quicker it heats and saves on energy bills.

    We are lucky in the UK to have free healthcare, so that is one thing we do not have to worry about. I am by no means putting down the writer of this post, or anyone else. But a lot of these money saving tips are things that are just not available to us in the UK, meaning that I for one, have spent the last 7 years struggling to make ends meet and going without. My husband has just started work for the first time in 4 years last month, and I will be starting a new slightly higher paid job next week, going from part time to full time. Things are finally looking up for us. We can get those debts paid off, and bring our rent fully up to date (thankfully, I have a landlord who has been very understanding at times when things had gone from bad to worse!)
    I just have the logistical nightmare of sorting after school childcare to worry about for a bit.

    I feel lucky with my lot, and am glad to be able to report that there is light at the end of the tunnel. But being as frugal as I can will be something that will stay firmly on my list!

    1. Claire,
      You are right. Some people should be glad to have so much to complain about.
      Congratulations on the new jobs for you and your hubby. Happy new year!

  119. Thank you for the great long list of ideas! Lots of things to be mindful of, many of your suggestions are pretty doable. 🙂

  120. Everything is very open with a very clear explanation of the
    challenges. It was truly informative. Your site is very useful.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  121. Some of this isn’t working for me since I live in Germany but there’s three things that saved me SO much money in the past:
    1. Stop using tampons or other feminine hygiene products, get a mooncup instead. It’s 30€ and one package of tampons is around 4-5€ over here. I would never want to go back.
    2. Stop taking contraceptives, invest in a “baby” computer. Healthier and cheaper. It measures your temperature and tells you when have to use protection and when it’s safe. Love it. Never failed me.
    3. Stop eating meat or limit your meat consumption to 1x a week. Meat is either extremely expensive OR very unhealthy. (Please google factory farming if you don’t believe me). Food like beans, soy or lentils are a great substitute for meat. And this way you get to eat all the soy directly and not through cows, chickens and pigs. The soy that is needed to produce 2lbs of meat to feed two people could feed 16 people if consumed directly.

  122. The only thing I really have to say I disagree with is to buy generic. Clipping coupons can save a ton of money. Went to the store last week and Herbal Essence conditioner was on closeout price for $1.90 – used a $1 off coupon and was able to purchase them for $0.90 each (stockpiled). With coupons, I don’t have pay for toothpaste, toothbrushes, dish soap … just to name a few.

  123. Thanks for the great tips. I have some info you might find interesting.
    My in-laws did an experiment before they purchased a dishwasher. They washed dishes by hand, saving all the water that was used, and measuring the results. Then they compared water usage to usage information advertised on various brands of dishwashers. They ended up purchasing a dishwasher because it used less water. Because they purchased a portable appliance, they were able to do the same experiment after they owned a dishwasher and found it still used less water than washing by hand. Despite the added expense of the electricity involved, but taking into account other factors, I no longer shun the use of my dishwasher for frugality’s sake.

  124. Boy, if being JUDGMENTAL would save money, a lot of the posters wouldn’t EVER have to be on sites like this!

    If it is important, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.

    How many times have people said to me (when I get 50% or more off my initial grocery til bill), “How do you do it? I just can’t find the time. You don’t really save all that much with 25 cents off here and there anyway.” UMMMM – YES YOU DO. You just have to do it correctly. As far as finding time, I do it during television time. It’s not like you need your entire concentration to match up sales and coupons!

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  126. Love these tips. We do a lot to save money. I’ve managed to buy all groceries and household items for a family of 4 with 2 dogs, a cat and a ferret for under 250 per month. We aren’t big on processed foods. We make our own laundry detergent. 1T of organic honey with 1/4 tsp of cinnamon clears up coughs and colds better than other meds and its safe for kids! Stores near us like Once Upon a Child will buy back old clothes and baby/children items. We also stock up on clothes at the outlet mall when The Children’s Place has their clearance sales 2.99 and below for clothes plus email coupons they send out!!
    You can write to companies of items you like (even Dole for bananas!) and request coupons. Most of the time they will send them to you! I’ve even gotten Walmart to send me coupons for their brand items.
    I love seeing other families using and sharing money saving tips!

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  128. If you have a SCHEELS AllSports, it’s just as good as a Cabela’s or BassPro’s. They’ll typically have a playplace for kids, a ferris wheel you can ride for $1.00 as well as NASCAR Simulator, 5 Sport Simulator, Big Hunter arcade games, old time shooting gallery, free fudge samples and $.99 ice cream cones! If you don’t have one near you, see if there’s one nearby whenever you go on a vacation. http://www.scheels.com

    1. Oh and of course…they have fish tanks, and taxidermy animals in their hunting section. SO many things to do there!

  129. Terri Moore says:

    Thank you for the inspiration.! One of my New years resolutions was to finally make a menu plan and shop the sales and really use my crock pot and freezer.

  130. Thanks for these … I have a couple to add that have saved me money here (in the UK).

    1. I realised that I was wasting a lot of cooked rice and pasta because I was making too much. So I’ve gotten into the habit of freezing it in a ziploc bag, even if it is just a little. It freezes well and is easy to quickly microwave, especially for a kid-sized or small portion, when you don’t want to make a whole pot of rice.

    2. I also noticed how easy it is to waste vegetables, so I have gotten in the habit of freezing fresh veg before it goes off … for example, with peppers I slice them, freeze them in a ziploc and then cook from frozen. I also have put fresh ginger in the blender with a bit of water and frozen them in an ice cube tray. Some of these are blended with green chilis too. Otherwise I end up buying ginger and chilis and don’t use them all before they go off.

    3. Also, i don’t know if this is a UK thing … but my city has a fresh fruit and veg market (run by wholesalers but open to the public). The produce is very good but is sold in large quantities with a shorter shelf life than the supermarket — but it is EXTREMELY inexpensive. I go about once a week, but for some items using the freezer is a necessity.

    Hope that helps someone!

  131. Well… Thanks for such great tips. Making little changes in your today’s life can help you to minimize you expenses and hence save money. Here are some more tips : Save on fuel cost. Walk a bit more for healthier body and some extra bank balance. Save on mortgage : if you are applying for a loan look for the best and cost effective one. Save on food : Instead of eating out more often try to get habitual of home made food. Book airline tickets in advance to get the best prices and saving. Get more tips at : http://www.financeandbusinessoutlook.com/10-money-saving-tips/

  132. Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?
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  134. Tony Renner says:

    I loved all the tips on how to save money! Thanks dear

    1. Kristen Yard says:

      Hi, Tony! I am so glad that this was helpful!

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