It’s the first Friday of the month, so it’s time to review all the exciting recent developments in the frugalosphere.
May was a month of themes, some old, some new. In the old category there was the ongoing frugal controversy over toilet paper. We were cheered to read that a California county stopped buying four-ply tissue. Much of California’s current budgetary troubles are no doubt traceable to this luxury. And the Frugal Duchess shared a related tip: flatten the roll "a bit" so it doesn’t roll so easily and waste paper.
But then One Caveman’s Financial Journey had a long and well researched post making the case that, in the long run, more expensive toilet paper is actually cheaper. Apparently, his research shows that a person uses less of the good stuff, resulting in a net savings of $0.002 (a fifth of a penny) per bathroom visit. We will have to wait for other frugal scientists to reproduce these results before we accept his findings.
Another foundation of the frugal lifestyle was threatened by One Frugal Girl, who touted a sinister product that replaces both laundry detergent and dryer sheets. The product, Wonder Balls, from the stolidly named Mystic Wonders Incorporated, replaces detergent with a reusable yellow ball that "works through physics. The frequency enhanced mineral blend within the ball creates an energy field when agitated in the machine." And there is a pair of similar balls for the dryer that replaces dryer sheets.
Magic this may be, but for the frugalosphere it is clearly black magic. Obviating the need for homemade laundry detergent and dryer sheets is just wrong.
Other themes were more seasonal. With summer vacation approaching, it’s time to worry about how to entertain the little ones frugally. Almost Frugal brought us a list of 20 Frugal Kid Toys. Most were inexpensive rather than free, but #4, mud, and #6, a bucket of water, would fit in almost any budget.
And in case your kids are the kind that appreciate the fun and adventure of comic books, Frugal Plus provided a link to free comic books available from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Titles include "The Story of the Federal Reserve System" and "The Story of Checks and Electronic Payments."
The final theme noticed here at Frugal Friday was bacon. Frugal Upstate shared a recipe for pecan and brown sugar covered bacon. And the Coupon Queens of Laurel Run shared news of an entire line of bacon flavored products now available including salt, mayonnaise, and, of course, lip balm. That last one is destined to be a national sensation. As the Queen gushed "I might as well have had two strips of bacon sitting on my lips."
Speaking of exciting new products, Clever Dude told us about a frugal way of keeping up with your neighbors. Instead of going to the expense of owning, for example, a ’72 Corvette, now you can get a large photograph of one to put over your garage door.
And if more substantial home improvements are on your mind, Wise Bread shared a tip. It seems that you can get cheap and/or free construction materials from nearby failed housing developments that are being demolished.
But don’t pick up any used air conditioners. Those use up a lot of expensive electricity. Pecuniarities had a post describing a brilliant and money saving substitute. Take ice from the automatic ice maker in your freezer, place it in a bowl, and run an electric fan over it. When the ice melts, toss out the water and start over. Think of the savings!
[Photo: Brandon Blinkenburg]