October Frugal Friday

Yes friends, it’s October’s first Friday, so time for your favorite feature, Frugal Friday. (Finally!)

We’ll start this month out with some news from the cultural front. Frugal  Duchess brought us news of a survey done by allyou.com/Shortcuts.com. Respondents were asked to choose between four possible improvements to pillstheir lives: more sex, an extra $50 a week, drop one clothing size, or an extra hour a day of free time.

I believe that the combination of the Great Recession and the good work that I and others have been doing to spread the word about frugality must have done some good, because no less than 57% of people picked $50 more a month. In fact, they even rank ordered the other three correctly: drop a size, more sex and then finally an extra hour. (Of course, the question is a no-brainer. With $50 more a month you can buy the other three.)

Frugal Duchess also shared a tip for saving money while lounging poolside at your favorite resort. Order your fruity cocktails with umbrellas "virgin" that is, without booze, and then spike them yourself with that little bottle of rum or vodka you carry with you.

Of course, if it’s a nice resort that you snuck into, you may be mistaken for a non-frugal person. That may not bother you, but it would bother some frugalists. I think it might bother Frugal Dad, who shares his frustration at being taken for a somebody who doesn’t have the money to buy a car that runs, rather than somebody who chooses not to own a car that runs. It’s like when I wear one black sock and one brown one. People assume I am the sort of person who would do that by accident, rather than the sort of person who would do it on purpose.

It’s hard to escape the scorn of the non-frugal. Queercents, which sadly has gone on a semi-permanent "pause" as of October 1, did share a post on the topic of coming out of the closet. In this case, the closet is your forbidden lust for owning land in a rural area where you can grow and/or hunt your own food because "our country’s oil-dependent lifestyle might not be sustainable." The sad truth is that even in this day and age, some people think that sort of thing is weird.

And those non-frugal types probably wouldn’t get what is so exciting about Simple Mom’s instructions for How to Clean Your Hair Without Shampoo. (Use baking soda and vinegar, which, conveniently, is all you need to clean the rest of the bathroom.) And the truly frugal know a good tip when they see one, like Canadian Finance Blog’s admonition to properly dry razor blades after use.

In a more philosophical vein, Bargain Babe and SavingAdvice.com ask if it is okay to keep found money and extra items mistakenly put into your grocery bag. Of course not. Frugalism is a lifestyle that requires effort and sacrifice. Free money upsets the balance and makes it harder for you to be frugal in the future. Remember, the worst thing about lottery tickets is not the money you waste buying them, it is the nightmare scenario that you might win.

Perhaps the highlight of the month in the frugalosphere was a pair of posts on an old way to make money that apparently is coming back in style. Budgets are Sexy had a guest post on How To Pay Rent By Volunteering For Science Experiments and Tight Fisted Miser brought us tips on Participating in Clinical Trials. Admittedly, as part-time jobs go, being a human guinea pig is low on the sacrifice scale. Delivering pizzas scores way higher on the frugal meter than just swallowing a few not-yet-FDA-approved pills. But there is always that chance that you could get lucky and experience a serious side effect. Besides, in many cases you can do both: take the pills while you are delivering the pizzas. Come to think of it, I that explains a lot about the delivery guys in my area.


  • By Chuck, October 2, 2009 @ 6:44 pm

    $50 a week instead of an hour a day???? Holy crap that’s the wrong answer. Do you know what you could do with an extra hour a day? You can’t buy that for the 50 bucks.

  • By Jim, October 2, 2009 @ 7:39 pm

    Is the $50 / week before or after tax?

  • By Atticus, October 2, 2009 @ 9:29 pm

    I’d take the time. Why would I want to spend an extra seven hours a week working for $7/hour?

  • By Guzzo, October 3, 2009 @ 7:45 am

    Hey, I can’t believe “more sex” wasn’t the first choice.

  • By Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog, October 3, 2009 @ 10:11 pm

    Thanks for mentioning my article on how to make household items last longer!

  • By Anonymous Coward, October 5, 2009 @ 4:42 am

    Surely the extra hour is the right choice?

    @Guzzo You’ll find that more sex isn’t really a problem for most middle-aged people – they’d have sex more if they could, they just need that extra hour.

  • By J. Money, October 6, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

    you could also make pretty good money if you SOLD those pills to those delivery drivers! or so I hear…

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