Twenty-Five More Frugal Things I Do

by Kelly · 24 comments

in Living Frugally,Series

I wrote a post called 25 Things I Do shortly after starting this blog. Nine months later I thought I would return to the subject with twenty-five more frugal things I do.

  1. I pay cash for big purchases like my new laptop. At least I’m trying to.
  2. I use a laptop rather than a desktop computer; it uses less energy.
  3. I obey the 100 per day rule.
  4. I have an emergency fund.
  5. I use MyPoints.
  6. I don’t go out to movies.
  7. I don’t rent movies.
  8. Potlucks are my preferred party option.
  9. My children use the blank side of documents for all their artwork.
  10. I bring coffee to school in a thermos, so I don’t buy from the vending machine.
  11. I pack my lunch, instead of buying from a local sandwich shop.
  12. I think long and hard before replacing things that break.
  13. I cut my kids’ and husband’s hair.
  14. I do clothing alterations myself, saving myself รขโ€šยฌ7 to 10 for each pair of pants hemmed.
  15. I contribute to an emergency fund. It may not be much, but I save a little, every month.
  16. I canceled my last outstanding membership… to the gym.
  17. I claim all possible childcare reimbursements- about half the costs are reimbursed.
  18. I take public transportation to school, saving wear and tear on the car, as well as gas.
  19. My phone line package includes internet and free, unlimited international calls. No feeling guilty about talking for hours to the United States.
  20. I network. Not only have I met a lot of great people, I have made invaluable contacts which gives me access to good deals and opportunities.
  21. I make a lot of the presents I give to my friends and family.
  22. I don’t give my children excessive gifts.
  23. I don’t buy excessive gifts for my cats either. Equal opportunity deprivation in my family.
  24. I accept hand-me-downs from others… and pass them on when we’re finished.
  25. I clean frugally– as I go, with a minimum of fuss and expensive, (and chemical laden) cleaning products.

What frugal things do you do? How many more frugal tips can we find?


1 Frank Costello October 13, 2008

Great post. respectfully, I’d like to ad some additional items….

I re-cycle all my metal cans……
I’ve created a secret “spare change jar” (that my children can not dip into) for guilty pleasure such as a cup of coffee at Starbucks)
Make a list of things that I already have in my cupboard, before shopping
Reduce my cable TV subscription and eliminate offering that are not necessary
Stop eating junk food


Frank Costello´s last blog post..Caught In The Digital Divide

2 Frugal Trenches October 13, 2008

What a wonderful post!
I certainly do many of those things and I’m working on another area – making sure I have downshifting/frugal/simple life friends ๐Ÿ™‚

3 lulugal11 October 13, 2008

I use MyPoints as well…I love getting those gift cards back. I also line dry my clothes so I do not have to spend money on the dryer.

lulugal11´s last blog post..Credit Score Went Down A Bit

4 Amal October 13, 2008

I totally agree with using your points. My parents decided to give me and my husband a night at a hotel as a gift for our anniversary (they took the baby). I insisted they use my American Express card to pay for it. I was not only able to take advantage of the points, but also a new promo they are running–free room upgrade, spa and dining credit. Just to let everyone know, you can go to:

Also, when you shop online, ALWAYS google the product you’re buying (or the company you’re buying it from) and the word “coupon”. Hello? You might be eligible for free shipping, or a percent or $ off. It’s fabulous. ๐Ÿ™‚

5 Meegan October 14, 2008

What a great post Kelly!
Thanks for all the tips and tricks.
I especially love the $100 a day rule. This is a great one for my husband, who although he doesn’t buy many things, when he does buy, it’s always something big ๐Ÿ™‚

Meegan´s last blog post..Bathurst – on your own

6 Vintage Mommy October 14, 2008

Good list Kelly! Some of mine:
I plan meals for each week, avoiding last-minute takeout or prepared foods.
I enjoy wines that cost $10 or less.
I consign clothing and housewares that are in good shape.
I pack lunches for all of us every day.
I have a Safeway card.
We use the library.

Vintage Mommy´s last blog post..Our Adoption Story, Part 1

7 Neva October 14, 2008

Great list! I do many of those things!

I also:
-Borrow books and DVDs from the library.
-When I buy books, music, or DVDs, I buy used via
-Eating at home makes a huge difference!
-I have most electrical items set up on a series of power strips. For example, my TV, DVD player, and antenna are set up on one power strip that gets shut off when I’m not watching TV. My computer and monitor are on one power strip and my printers, CD/DVD burner, and paper shredder are on another one that’s only turned on when I need to use these items.
-Shop in bulk and at liquidation stores.

I’m not an advocate of credit cards, but I do have a good rate with Chase for a Southwest Airlines Visa that earns reward points. I use it for 90% of purchases and bills, then pay it off every month. For a $60 a year fee, I get at least one free round-trip airline ticket, drink coupons, etc!

Neva´s last blog weekend entertainment

8 Amy @ My Daily Dollars October 14, 2008

My new frugal rule is “no new clothes until I lose a little weight.” Rather than buying in the next size up, I’ve got to get back to the low end of my current size. ๐Ÿ™‚

Amy @ My Daily Dollars´s last blog post..Three Simple Meals from the Pantry

9 Neva October 14, 2008

I do that too, Amy! It’s extra motivation to stick to my diet!

Neva´s last blog weekend entertainment

10 Zhu October 15, 2008

Great rules, it,s very inspiring!

So far, I’m bringing my own lunch (thermos not an option since I take the bus and move around a lot during the day)

And I pay cash for big purchase as well.

Zhu´s last blog post..The Pink Lake

11 niki October 16, 2008

Respectfully, I have a question.

How does your set of friends/family receive these hand-made gifts at holidays? I always wonder this when I consider doing it myself. I am afraid my own would be less than thrilled.

niki´s last blog post..Freebie Frenzy…Hair Care

12 Kelly October 16, 2008

It depends on the person and the gift. My stepmother lost her beloved cat a few months before Christmas a few years ago, so I needlepointed her a picture of the cat. She liked it quite a lot, and appreciated the effort. On the other hand, my gifts to my mother in law seem to disappear after a month or two, so I don’t waste my time anymore.

13 Frank October 16, 2008

I would give handmade gifts o those the your are close with and appreciate your creativity. Handmade gifts equire thought and effort. It is also a sign of a well rounded person who values thought and effort over “gadgets”

Niki, I’d go for it!

Frank´s last blog post..Internet Telephone Service Will Expand to 30 Million Households

14 rjleaman October 16, 2008

I’m a huge fan of homemade gifts, myself — and secondbest would be something made by hand by a local craftsperson, or a fair-trade product that’s interesting, unusual, and helps people in developing countries (especially women and families) when you buy it. But it really is the thought that counts, and homemade or “different” gifts will never go down all that well with people who think of price tags as a measure of affection. You can’t change them, 99.9% of the time, so it will only stress you to try – and hurt your feelings if your carefully crafted gift soon “disappears” as Niki mentions about her gifts to her mother-in-law. All we can do is pay close attention to the “giftee” and make the best match-up we can between the gift we can realistically live with, financially and philosophically, and what the person might really want. At least, that’s the best answer I’ve been able to come up with! ๐Ÿ™‚

And in other areas of frugality…

We buy food in bulk when it’s on sale, cook up large batches of stuff and freezing the leftovers, and almost never dine out or get take-out meals.
Like some of the others, I love the public library (and also trade books with friends).
I help out at a dog-obedience school in exchange for free training.
We rent older movies (or borrow from the library) instead of going out to the cinema.
We take advantage of free public events like concerts and craft fairs and book talks and nature walks…
And we have “rabbit ears” antenna on a 20-year-old television set, instead of cable or satellite – because 3 channels really is plenty, when you have the internet!

rjleaman´s last blog post..A New Old Dog

15 Eric October 17, 2008

Canceling your gym membership might not be a good idea. Regular exercise is important to your health, and if you don’t take care of yourself you could get sick and end up in the hospital and owe lots of money, depending on how much your insurance covers, if you have insurance.

16 Kelly October 17, 2008

Hi Eric,
Actually I live in France, that haven of socialized medicine. If I end up in the hospital it will cost me a lot less than รขโ€šยฌ28 a month! I agree with you however; taking good care of yourself can be one of the most frugal tips of all- even if it means that you’re paying for a gym membership!

17 Heidi October 19, 2008

Great tips – I always found that I work out more at home than at the gym anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

Heidi´s last blog post..October Week 3 Update

18 JEANNE October 23, 2008

Awesome post – thank you for the ideas & inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚ My latest focus has been turning off lights and unplugging things that are not in use. I'm finding it's made a difference on our hydro and gas bills.

<abbr>JEANNE´s last blog post..Saving Money On Hydro</abbr>

19 NCN October 25, 2008

Hey, thanks for the link-love. I stumbled the post! Rock on…

NCN´s last blog post..Top 10 Ways To Save Money – Number 8 – Buy Fresh Produce

20 FFB October 25, 2008

Nice list! We’ll have to go through these. We’ve been on one income now for a couple of months so any tips and ideas help. Thanks!

FFB´s last blog post..What Are Your Kids Gift Expectations?

21 Angee October 26, 2008

I Love your blog and the frugal-ness of it all. I have added you to my links to share with everyone. Keep up the great work.

Angee´s last blog post..How Frugal Are You?

22 Mary Rex November 5, 2008

I especially relate to the one about presents for kitty. My little Rascal loves to play fetch with a spongy ball. It is so cute that I have kept buying balls when they disappeared under the furniture. At 99 cents a piece, this is not frugal. I will look under the furniture now.

23 J December 30, 2008

Found your blog from How’s House. Just wanted to add a few things:

1) If you are in the US, check out PeerFlix. You exchange DVDs for $1. And like Netflix, there are no due dates. I love it and it helps me stay frugal. Oops … looks like my favorite service shut down (I only use them in the summers so missed this) but this site seems to be taking up the slack.

2) Kittys love balled up aluminum foil. Upcycle a cat toy.

24 Lawrence October 2, 2009

I cut my own hair too. It's an easy way to save money. I only say that because I shave my head. I probably wouldn't try cutting my hair but shaving it is very easy!

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