Frugal Friday Special Sunday Edition

There was just so much exciting frugal material in July that it took me an extra two days to sort through it all.

Christmas Tree Many of the posts in the best frugal blogs are seasonal, so it should be no surprise that July brought a wave of excellent tips on Christmas shopping. (For example, here, here, here, here, and here.) Being Frugal (the fourth link) suggested getting your family photo taken now when studios are not so busy. I think that’s better than paying more in November, but if you were really being frugal you’d just use the same picture every year.

Speaking of Being Frugal, its author has decided to go on a "change fast" for August. The plan is to not spend coins received in change and to save them instead. How could that not increase wealth? My plan is to visit the ATM every morning, withdraw $100, not spend it during the day, and deposit it back in the bank each evening. By the end of the month I will be rich.

Automatic Finances shared a tip on How to Save 70% Off Your Next Car’s MSRP. You wait until it is ten years old and then buy it. I think that getting the dealer to set it aside for you would be the hard part.

Funny About Money had a very unfunny assault on growing your own vegetables, basically insinuating that toiling your own tiny patch of land might not be cost-effective relative to buying produce grown on large scale and efficient farms run by professionals. That’s just ridiculous. It’s like saying I shouldn’t make my own paper.

Another example of homemade stuff that must be frugal is sunscreen. This set of posts tells you all you need to know to make it yourself with ordinary household items, such as micronized titanium dioxide. Don’t forget to wear your safety mask and gloves when mixing.

If you’re trying to find cheap summer date ideas, Bargaineering listed ten of them for you. First on the list are Renaissance faires, and the post is illustrated by a photo of a couple at a faire whose budgets are obviously unthreatened by excessive dating costs.

The Clever Dude shared a quick tip last month about CFL bulbs. To really save money, you still have to turn them off each time you leave the room. Good to know.

And finally, many of us have been frustrated by the many offers of free tampons we see all around. Sure, this is a great frugal benefit for pre-menopausal women, but what about the majority of us that cannot use tampons as intended by the manufacturer? Finally, Drugstore Divas rides to the rescue with a list and links to other uses for tampons. All are from the blog TamponCrafts, which I am 100% totally sure is not meant as a joke. My favorite is the seasonally appropriate tampon Chanukah Menorah.

9 Comments

  • By Dasha, August 9, 2009 @ 3:40 pm

    This is the only blog feature ever that I find laugh out loud funny. Thank you. I’m going to get to work on my tampon menorah immediately.

  • By Kevin, August 9, 2009 @ 4:04 pm

    This blog is hilarious. Well done.

  • By Lisa, August 9, 2009 @ 10:01 pm

    Love the post! We at Drugstore Divas are super excited to have made the list! And, my fave is the tampon ghost, in case you wanted to know =] Thanks for the laughs [[at the other blogs' expenses]].

  • By bex, August 9, 2009 @ 10:37 pm

    To add insult to injury, CFLs really don’t save that much energy. Yes, they save energy when it comes to LIGHTING… the gotcha is when it comes to HEATING.

    Incandescent bulbs are not efficient at lighting, but they are very very efficient heaters. And since they heat surfaces instead of the air, they are actually more efficient than many other kinds of heaters.

    Every been skiing when its 20 degrees, but you feel warm because the sun in shining brightly? Its a bit like that…

    CFLs are fine in the summer… but in the winter replace them with incandescent bulbs to reduce overall electricity consumption.

  • By Neil, August 10, 2009 @ 1:50 am

    Estimates on the value of home gardening ignore the increased quality of the produce. But really, the best way to get free, top quality, food is to mooch off relatives who put the labour into their gardens and produce more than they can consume before it spoils.

    Re: bex – too lazy to do much research now, but I’m having a hard time believing that an incandescent light bulb is more efficient at heating my house than a purpose-designed heating system. Let’s go with best case scenario and say that incandescent lights and my furnace, they’re equally efficient at transforming energy into heat. The furnace still wins because of the third law of thermodynamics (changing forms of energy is never 100% efficient…some is wasted). My furnace only has one exchange (fossil fuel->heat). The lightbulb has more (fossil fuel->heat->electricity->heat). But you’ve given me an idea for my next blog post.

  • By Rob Bennett, August 10, 2009 @ 8:04 am

    There’s a reason why some people recommend saving change and there’s a reason why many people find that such practices help them. The reasons are not the pure-logic reasons that some others favor, but they are reasons all the same and such practices work for real live people all the same.

    I see more of a good purpose served by digging to identify the reasons both why these ideas are put forward and why they help people than by ridiculing either the ideas or the people who make use of them.

    Rob

  • By Funny about Money, August 10, 2009 @ 11:23 am

    Huh! To tell th’truth, my plan was to mince the remains of the frazzled squash plant with a kitchen knife, toss it into my biggest stock pot, boil it down into slurry, and convert it to toilet paper.

    ;-)

    Thanks for the mention!

  • By Frank Curmudgeon, August 10, 2009 @ 6:26 pm

    Funny about Money: Are you mad? Don’t you realize that if you made your own toilet paper you wouldn’t have toilet paper rolls with which to make such frugal necessities as dryer lint fire starters.

  • By Funny about Money, August 12, 2009 @ 7:08 am

    OMG! Now you’ve given me another frugal idea! I could collect the dryer lint and turn that into toilet paper!

    This has the makings of another side business, every bit as profitable as blogging. Untold wealth awaits.

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