My Frugal Life: So Many Ways to Save

I started reading about frugal living about 9 years ago. My main reason was to save us money for my husband and I who were living on our own for the first time. Now we just bought our first house (2 months ago) so I'm trying to learn even more about frugal living. Here are some things that I do to save money.


  • I use the LIBRARY a lot. I rent books, music, and videos from there.

  • I love a garage sell or the thrift stores, they are very useful.

  • I just recently started keeping track of when it rains. Why? So I don't have to water my grass (saving us money).

  • I am a coupon user, and a big fan of sales.

  • I do not use any lights during the daytime (since we're blessed with a window in every room).

  • I converted to using fluorscent light bulbs over 9 years ago and have just recently replaced only 1 light bulb during this whole time. When I can't use a fluorscent, I change the bulbs to low wattage bulbs (40 watts).

  • I recycle almost everything, so it will save me money on trash bags in the long run.

  • I am one of those people who pick up the pennies on the ground. It sure does add up, and that's one less penny my husband didn't have to work for.

  • I use every free sample I can get. I sign up for everything that can save me money.

  • I read all the frugal websites on the internet.

  • I do surveys online for a small amount of money or for free samples. If I make any money, it goes into savings.

  • I save on my phone bill by having only one line with no call waiting or caller ID. We have an answering machine for messages.

  • When I do laundry, it is all done on the same day, saving money on drying time. I cut down on laundry soap by adding baking soda. I also spin the washer twice to get the extra water out (which saves money on the dryer time).

  • I re-use the dryer sheets after they were used in the dryer. I use them to dust with.

There are so many ways to save, you just have to start looking and see what is good for you. There are things I plan to do to save in the future like putting up a clothes line in our yard and planting my first food garden (I hope, I am not a green thumb here). I will learn new ways to help us save more money now that we have our own place. During the years, these ideas have saved us money and I hope this helps someone else!


Tonya from Illinois

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May 23, 20060 found this helpful


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May 24, 20060 found this helpful


So nice you are using such great ideas.. I have another for you..

instead of fabric softener or sheets.. Use plain old foil from your kitchen !! :_) Just place a square in the dryer. When the foil gets really balled up.. toss it and start again., No Static cling !!

use a 1/2 cup of vinegar in rinse cycle too.

Also .. hang clothes when you can.. I only dry small things.. and hang the rest outside or on the backs of chairs .

Keep Up the good work !!


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May 25, 20060 found this helpful

Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!!

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May 25, 20060 found this helpful

those are some really great ideas! I have tried some of them but I'll have to try the others.

I'm not sure if I would want to put foil in with some clothes.....couldn't it snag some delicate fabrics?

Thanks for all the great tips.....Michelle

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May 29, 20060 found this helpful

OK HERES HOW YA LIVE FRUGAL. I shop garage sales and always hit the thrift stores i know where all are virtually across ohio we day trip a lot ok now dont laugh i also curb shop called nighttime garage saling by my lil daughter. i have an old 1800s farmhouse and have so many antiques I found on the lawn. Some i have to do a lil work some I paint and distress but i have furnished all my rooms this way and believe you me i have friends who live in nice new homes and i have nicer stuff than them. i almost never go into the other stores but walmart i do love cheap and practical.

I make my garden lanterns from mason jars and votives and decorative glass beads from dollar store. Way cheaper and nicer then ones in store. Just learn as ya go along. No wrong way and if it is cheap or free ya don't mind spending a lil extra, old chandoliers can be made to look like really nice wrought iron ones with primer and stain. Have fun and learn as ya go along

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June 5, 20060 found this helpful

Hi There,

This is in response to the responder who asked if you really get paid for online surveys... I have never chosen to receive money, but I have chosen prizes, things I can use or barter. The last thing I got in the mail was a rubbermaid container (a 9"x13" rectangular one, perfect for taking a salad to a party) with an insulated carrying case. For free, I'll take it! I can't spend a whole lot of time online (I've got 6 year old twins and a toddler...not a lot of time available!) but when I do sit down, I make a list of the things I have to do...find freebies, take surveys, answer email, barter that I am sure to use my time online wisely, and so I get all the things done that I'd like to accomplish. But, yes, there are reputable online survey companies. Don't get fooled into giving them any personal info. You probably have to give your address, name and email address when you register, but other than that...they don't need anything else...they do ask for demographic info, so they know what surveys to send you...and I don't have time to answer all the surveys I get. I'm the main shopper (grocery, household goods) in our home, I'm a 30 year old female with children and I'm a stay at home parent with a professional husband....with that demographic info...I've hit the survey gold mine. They don't have to know that I am disgusted by the conspicuous consumption of our society and that I'm not buying anything anyone's selling...but again... they don't know that and my survey answers pay just as much as anyone elses! Good stuff.

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July 10, 20060 found this helpful

Crunchy hit it right with the surveys! I also take classes online, so I combine all my survey/email/school duties in one or two times a day (usually nap/quiet time and after bed!) I fit the same demo, and I know the casserole kit you mean, I am saving up for the gas grill ;)

There is also another one that has a pasta press - the same brand/model I drooled over in a kitchen store I worked at! We try to cut down, but my DH loves it homemade (His great grandmother was from Italy!) I agree with your view on it, and I pick store brand or other 95 % of the time....I won't even get into my Wal-mart rant!!!

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September 17, 20080 found this helpful

There are things out there that are hazardous to the environment to recycle, and they have to be properly disposed of in any area. Try researching before you say "everything".

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October 23, 20080 found this helpful

Can anyone give specific reputable sites to do surveys from?


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November 22, 20080 found this helpful is good

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November 22, 20100 found this helpful

I think you could make a foil square into a round one. Just cut it into a circle and turn in the outside so it won't snag. Worth a try on studry things anyway. I'm going to try it on blue jeans and work clothes.

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May 28, 20120 found this helpful

I like your frugal tips and put a lot of them to use myself. Another frugal tip I use is to air dry our clothes. I have a couple of over-the-door clothes hangers and I put an extra shower rod over my tub (I'm very short).

I put clothes on plastic hangers and hang them on these rods to save using the dryer. My husband balked at first, but realized his undershirts did not feel stiff after he put them on. I don't air dry dress shirts. It's too hard to iron out the wrinkles. But tee shirts, nightwear and underwear do just fine being air dried. Sometimes I dry things for 10 minutes and take them out immediately to save drying until fully dried.

Another thing is we use cloth napkins instead of paper and I have a container of inexpensive white washcloths we use instead of paper towels to wipe up in the kitchen.

I also hang a terrycloth dishtowel over the oven door handle for us to dry our hands on. I change it every day. There are only two of us, so this seems to work fine and I can't believe how much we save on paper towels and napkins over a year's time.

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May 29, 20120 found this helpful

Google homemade laundry detergent. I bet you'll like it, it's way cheaper than anything you can buy. Especially is you use your leftover soap slivers instead of buying fels naptha soap. It doesn't foam at all, but don't let that fool you. It cleans really well.

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May 30, 20120 found this helpful

I have been doing online surveys for about ten years now. Every year I make an average of $500. Some years I have made as much as $600. One year when I was very busy and had little time to take surveys I only made $300.

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