Lots of good tips from the frugalosphere this week.
But first, I need to mention that I have just this morning read the 166th edition of the Festival of Frugality, which came out February 24th. Of the five “Editors Choice” links featured at the top, three were featured here in previous editions of Frugal Friday. My first thought was, of course, that I was a victim of plagiarism, until I realized that the festival came out first. I then realized that this is just the inevitable result of thoughtful people searching for the best and most practical frugal hints.
As a follow-up to last week, Heather at The Greenest Dollar continued her series on transport-themed alternative housing, this time discussing living in railroad cars rather than shipping containers. But once again, she loses me when she discusses buying rather than finding the cars. That’s just not in keeping with the latest trend in frugal-land, the Substance Abuser Lifestyle, or SAL.
Speaking of which, Queercents brings us news of the latest SAL development, gold parties. It’s like a Tupperware party, only instead of the participants buying plastic containers, they all bring gold items they “own” to sell for cash. This is especially important in suburban areas that often lack access to services city dwellers take for granted, like pawnshops and fences.
Queercents also had a post this week that may be a little too alternative lifestyle for some of you, but certainly makes frugal sense. Dating on a Budget: The Cheapest Date Ever-You! starts with the insightful comment that “There is this huge misconception that you have to have another person in order to go on dates.” It turns out that a date with only one person is not only much easier to plan, but can be as much as 50% cheaper than a two person date. Best of all “Dating yourself gives you the chance to get to know yourself a little better.”
If your lifestyle is slightly more mainstream, and a wedding is in order, Free Money Finance this week pointed us to a post on, of all places, Bankrate.com, that discusses saving money with a last minute wedding. One of the key advantages: “Shorter notice typically means fewer guests attend.” And why not take advantage of another new trend, fake wedding cakes as discussed on Miss Thrifty. Apparently, you can rent them for relatively little and show them off to your guests at the reception. When dessert time comes, the polystyrene cake is whisked off to the kitchen to be “sliced” and you serve your guests a cheap substitute. Brilliant.
There were several other food related frugal tips this week worth mentioning. The New York Times had an article arguing that Americans should reduce the amount of water they use to cook pasta to save on energy bills. The author estimates that this could save $20 Million every year nationwide, which is nearly $0.19 per household. And who can’t use that?
And finally, Frugal Girls caps off this week with a fabulous recipe for Easy Homemade Maple Syrup. Ingredients are water, sugar, and either maple extract or something called “Mapleine Imitation Flavoring.” The Frugal Girl does admit that she started making her own maple syrup because she wanted to eat healthier by avoiding corn syrup, but this is economical too. I think it is great, but I should tell my readers that here in New England there are persistent rumors of an even less expensive recipe used by the Yankee old-timers. If I get any more details I will pass them along.