Welcome to the 102nd edition of the Festival of Frugality. For those unfamiliar with the festival, I review a lot of submissions from around the personal finance blogosphere and beyond. Rather than have a fancy theme, I thought I'd give my thoughts on almost all of those submissions. As my regular readers know, sometimes I'm not all that smart :-). Keep that in mind as you read the comments.
- How I Will Be Rich details a number of money saving gifts. I have the Brita Filter on my wish list. I'm also a huge fan of FoodSaver. We have lettuce in our fridge that is 6 weeks old - and it looks like we bought it yesterday.
- AskDong breaks down the cost of toilet paper. The result is that it's not something you skimp on. It's good to have confirmation of that I was doing the right thing all along.
- Cheap Health Good gives roughly a thousand ways to find quality kitchen equipment on the cheap. If you can find it via one of these methods, it simply doesn't exist.
- The Digerati Life shows us many different kinds of piggy banks. It's just an amazing collection of many piggy banks that I've never seen before.
- Million Dollar Journey has some tips to save money during Christmas. My tip?... buy all the Christmas items after Christmas. It's not going to help you this year, but you'll have a cheap fake tree, decorations, and wrapping paper for next year.
- My Money Thinks has some ideas for hard to shop for people. I'm one of those people.
- Free Money Finance remixes his money saving tips to create the top 10 most hated money saving tips. It's hard to deny that these won't save you money, but many require great quality of life trade-offs.
- A Penny Closer says that the good feeling doesn't last when you make a purchase. I've found this is true with some things, but as was mentioned in the article, some people just love a good set of knives. I realize the joy each time I use them.
- My Two Dollars has a list of free online radio stations. My favorite is Pandora.com
And here are some from the rest of the submissions:
- Cheaper than Cheap gives some grocery shopping trips from the holiday month. I didn't realize that food is more expensive in December, but the idea to have meals all planned in advance may just save the holiday.
- Living Almost Large gives some frugal brown bag lunch tips. My favorite tip is the reusable cooler and "Tupperware" one. It has the bonus of being good for the environment.
- My Dollar Plan is looking for American Express to grant her wishes. 25% off of Amazon.com would have been huge. I wish I knew about that last year.
- My Wealth Builder has some good frugal living philosophies
- Free From Broke writes don't go back in debt over the holidays. I see too many people get wrapped up in buying expensive gifts and going into debt each year. My mother-in-law is a great example. Alas, I can't seem reason with her.
- Novel Experiences bakes her own bread
- Dividend Money writes about some lessons he learned from his dog. I realize some of the questions he asks are rhetorical, but my answer would be that we aren't like dogs. We have a drive to excel that has benefited the species time and time again.
- OpinionMom gives some ideas for some homemade gifts.
- Frugal for Life learns a few new words for frugal people. Something about Parsimonious for Life just doesn't have the same ring to it.
- Like a few other people in this round up, This Wasn't In the Plan has some ideas for a frugal Christmas
- Gather Little by Little has a time tested money-saver, buy generics. I do this, preferring this to spending time to clip coupons.
- On a similar topic Bag Lady asks, how much do you value name brand things?". My wife almost bought a brand name pair of shoes the other day, but realized she liked the no-name brand just as much at a savings of a few dollars.
- Saving Freak has some ideas on how to save money on mattresses. We bought our mattress at Costco at a great discount.
- Money Blue Book writes about drinking bottled water. I'm all for convenience. After all, I'm Lazy. However, I would just refill the bottles from tap water that has been filtered.
- Mrs. Micah says that she's actually saving money with cable TV. The problem is that the Internet is double the cost without TV. My thought is: Perhaps DSL is an option?
- Juice Fairy has a rules for dining while traveling. I found myself nodding and agreeing with each rule.
- Savvy Frugality tells us why they chose a life of frugality.
- CompGifts gives tips on how to create a frugal budget. Sometimes I wish I wasn't too Lazy to budget. No, wait, I'm happy with not budgeting and just asking myself if I NEED something (usually I don't).
- One Snarky Chica with Issues gives some ways to frugally furnish your home. Good suggestions on Freecycle and Craigslist. I wish I had done this myself and used the money saved to pay off more on my condo.
- MoneyNing asks how you decide to spend money for Christmas. For me, it's the only time that I actually use a budget. I have a dollar amount in mind for each person on my list.
- My Money and My Life also has fun and inexpensive Christmas gifts.
- PaidTwice is really stretching a turkey. I really need to learn how to cook a turkey since we got a huge pan as a wedding gift. It sounds like a cheap way to eat for a long, long time.
- The Good Life on a Budget learned a valuable lesson when utilizing leftovers. You'll have to click through to learn it. My only comment is "mashed potato on pizza?" Really?!?!
- Plonkee Money gives some good tips to saving money in DC. I'm probably the only person from New England who hasn't been down to DC. And yes, I'm a little bitter. I'll need to go at some point.
- Economics Help has a list of ten tips for saving money at Christmas.
- Chief Family Officer found a way to save some banking fees. I didn't realize that online transactions can save banking fees.
- QueerCents has some ideas on how to save on baby expenses
- Millionaire Money Habits says that millionaires are smart shoppers. I couldn't agree more and that's a huge point of this carnival.
- The Wastrel Show has come up with some ways to survive an economic slowdown
- Me, My Kid, and My Life saves some money on theatre tickets in France. Just to prove that I read these articles, I'll note that the conversion she mentioned for King Lear seems a bit off - 15.50 Euro's shouldn't be $15.37 US. Anyway, read for the lesson, not the details.
- Money Moose adds a little humor with a way to save money on teeth. I don't mean to take it too seriously, but when you have to go the doctor/dentist with a mouth infection, it won't seem cheap.
- Bean Sprouts gives 9 books about self sufficiency. I haven't read any of these books. In fact, I've only heard of a few of them.
Lastly, the articles below I found to be at best only tangentially related to frugality. That doesn't mean they aren't worth reading or great writing, but that I had to think about how they apply to frugality.
- Millionaire Mommy has an article about investing as a beginner
- KCLau gives a run down of 21 financial applications - many of which I've never heard of.
- Monevator writes an excellent general personal finance article, but I didn't see a huge focus on frugality.
- Language Book World has a timeshare that keeps sucking money from him. We have a timeshare and found that we've always found a way to use it. $700 for two weeks doesn't seem bad at all.
- Green Deals profiles a Home Club Soda Machine. It would have been nice to read costs of such a system.
- Credit Cards That Pay says to watch out for credit card fees.
- Dsilkotch's Ramblings suggests buying a living tree and using it multiple years. I'm not sure how this works, but my family bought a fake tree after Christmas one year and proceded to use it for the next 20 years. The final cost of the tree was about a $1/yr.
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