Frugal Friday, April 3

Four Pillars, writer of the blog of the same name, was disappointed in yesterday’s post.  Since he has also expressed an appreciation for the Frugal Friday series, and since I did not want to disappoint my biggest only Canadian fan, I thought it was time for another update on goings on in theIowa Bathtub Crop frugalosphere.

I start with a follow-up.  Obviously ignoring this post on how to make your own maple syrup, which was repeated as guest post on Not Made of Money and mentioned here in Frugal Friday twice, Frugal Upstate provided an alternate method (with pictures!) that involves getting stuff out of trees and boiling it.  Yuck.

Also somewhat unpleasant was Free Money Finance’s revisiting of his crackpot idea that you can save money by living in a cheaper city.  He actually openly refers to this as his “most hated piece of money saving advice.”  Why won’t he get a clue?  Moving someplace cheaper is not in keeping with the frugal lifestyle.  If you move, you might save a lot of money each month, but you will soon get used to living in the new town.  You will not get to act frugally as you save the money, you will merely save it.  And that’s not frugal.

Our old friend Kelly at Almost Frugal posted a list of 7 Crazy Money Saving Ideas (That Aren’t Really So Crazy After All).  The two highlights are to use the bathroom before leaving work in the afternoon, which saves you money on both toilet paper and water, and to turn off your car’s engine at stoplights.  I’m sure the guy behind you won’t mind.

Saving Advice had a somewhat controversial post about the thin line between being frugal and being a packrat.  I guess it’s all a question about where you draw the line.  The author agrees that storing “that perfectly functional lawnmower you found on the curb” in case the one you already have breaks down makes sense. And she yet frowns on saving old newspapers, butter tubs and loose screws.  Perhaps she would feel better if she read this post about how to use contact paper and wallpaper samples to dress up the cardboard storage boxes that inevitably fill the frugal home.

The group blog Queercents had two posts worth highlighting here.  First, Tamara, who previously clued us into the joys of dating yourself, now lets us in on the hip frugal place to go on a date: to church.

And Nina tells us how to make gift bags from recycled newspaper.  She cites ReuseableBags.com to tell us that “a staggering $5 billion worth of gift wrap is tossed in the trash each year.”  I know I am staggered.  I went over to ReusableBags and read that “each year a staggering $5 billion worth of gift wrap is tossed in the trash.”  So it must be true.  That’s only about $50 per household every year.

But the most useful tip of this edition of Frugal Friday comes from Home Life Weekly, which provides us with another money saving recipe for a household essential that even the most frugal house could not do without.  This time it is bath salts.  Key active ingredient? Something called “Epsom Bath Salts.”

[Photo: US Navy.  It is of the bathtub on the battleship USS Iowa, which is the only bathtub on a US Navy warship.]

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