Cultural Lessons on the Cost of Child Rearing

Heeled sneakers are all the rage with hip moms in France right now. While I will happily pass on the Sneakletto craze; I’m not opposed to employing practical techniques parents in Paris and other parts of the world have mastered in order save cash while raising young children. Less is more:  Surveys show the average American household spends $200 per child for birthday parties and gifts.  That means forking over nearly $1,000 per year if you have three or four kids.  Compare that to most French parents who typically celebrate their children’s birthdays with a simple home-cooked meal.  In Japan, … Continue reading

Cheap Appliances: An Ice Cream Maker for $5

Someone who is looking for small appliances to replace old ones or to stock a new home is in luck. Right now, there are many different ways that you can pick up small appliances for really cheap prices. What is the average cost of a small appliance? Of course, it depends on the appliance, but if you take a quick look at all of the must-have-it appliances advertised on television, you know the ones that are available for three or four payments of $19.99, plus the average cost of appliances bought in the store, you are looking at somewhere between … Continue reading

The Basics of Horse Care, Pt. 1

With the Christmas season approaching many of us might be considering giving pets as gifts. I’ve always been clear on my stance: don’t give any animal as a surprise present. Make sure the giftee knows what he or she is receiving and is ready and willing for the responsibilities which come with that particular animal. Maybe some of you are actually thinking about purchasing a particular pet that was always my special holidays dream: a horse. Sure I wanted a dog, but I always thought that might be within the realm of possibility. A horse is what I always wanted … Continue reading

Christmas Shopping at the Mall

Have you ever thought about Christmas shopping in July? It seems a little funny to be thinking about gifts under the tree when we are all wearing shorts and summer clothing. (The air conditioning in some stores does seem to add a little bit of a chill to things.) Still, there are certain strategies that you can use right now to get some great deals on your holiday gifts. Christmas will be here before you know it, and having some things crossed off of your list will make the festivities more merry and less hectic. Okay, on to the tips. … Continue reading

Frighteningly Not Frugal

I just read an article about some halloween festivities that happened yesterday. A local town sponsored a pumpkin walk, where kids could visit downtown and trick or treat safely. The reporter’s angle on the story was that families were spending less money on Halloween this year than they had in years past. Statistics that were quoted put Halloween spending projected at $56 per person. Um, with a family of five, that means that I would be spending $280 total for costumes, decorations and treats. Gulp. Does that seem frugal to you. Perhaps the statistic meant per household? That $280 figure … Continue reading

Save Money on Hair Styles

If you get your hair cut and styled every six weeks at a cost of $40 (the average) each time, that can add up to about $360 a year. And this does not even include special services, such as coloring. Cut this bill down to only $60 a year and use that extra $300 to pay down debt. Here are some different ways that will help you save money on hair styles. Choose a style that will grow out well. This way you can lengthen the time between your visits. Instead of going every four or six weeks for a … Continue reading

Frugal Guest at the Wedding

Wedding season is upon us, and you may be looking forward to attending several weddings in the next few months. Did you know that the average wedding guest spends somewhere between $200 and $500 just to attend a wedding let alone be part of the wedding party? Here are some ways to cut your spending without being cheap. Travel and lodging can be a big expense when it comes to attending weddings. There are several ways to cut costs. The bride and groom may have already made arrangements for lodging and transportation, but if they haven’t there are still some … Continue reading

Shop at Home to Save: The Sources 2

If you were wondering where I get many of my products frugally, read on. This is a continuation of Shop at Home to Save: The Sources. Shower gel, body wash and soap Things to get people clean seem to be a main staple of holiday gifts. My main source of these products is from gifts (hmm, are people trying to tell me something)? Also, holiday gift baskets and packages abound at up to 90 percent off after Christmas. Free samples are also another source of these products. With the body wash, I was able to stock up on Dove and … Continue reading

Frugal Christmas Tree Ornaments

Christmas tree ornaments can certainly be expensive. A single ordinary ornament can cost on average $5! Many fancier ornaments cost up to $25! At these prices, you may have to chose between decorating your tree and paying your mortgage for the month. There are ways, of course, that you can decorate your Christmas tree without spending a lot of money. Try some of the following ideas. I’ve included generally ornaments and even some that would be great for a theme. Just think, you could have a designer tree without the designer prices. For no-fuss tree decorating, just hit your local … Continue reading

Practical Gifts for a Frugal Family

Giving great gifts is always a good feeling. If you are wondering what gifts might be most appreciated by a frugal family (or if you can think of ideas for your own wish list) you might want to take a look at the following ideas. Yes, they are all very practical gifts, although that doesn’t mean that a little pampering couldn’t be thrown in. For example, a gift of service could mean anything from a gift of lawn service done by the giver to a a series of hair cuts and styles done in a high-end spa. Take a look … Continue reading