Frugal Living

Upgrading The Everyday: a simple, frugal way to make life more fun!

posted by Andrea | 08/27/2019 | 29 comments

Dave and I both thrive on routine and structure — and for the most part, our children do too. However, there is just something about a special surprise or a fun change in plans that can instantly cheer up even the gloomiest of days.

These special surprises and change in plans are usually very simple, very easy to pull off, and they are almost always free. I call it “Upgrading the Everyday”… and I try to do it at least once every day.

What I Buy At Costco

posted by Andrea | 08/23/2019 | 50 comments

We’ve had a Costco membership for almost 4 years now and although we regularly talk about NOT renewing it, we always decide it’s worth the cost for our family at this point in life. 

One of the requests I get ALLLLLL the time is to share the things I regularly buy at Costco — so that’s what I’m doing today!

My Favorite Dollar Store Buys

posted by Andrea | 07/26/2019 | 48 comments

Not everything at the dollar store is necessarily a great bargain, but there are definitely some amazing deals if you’re willing to browse!

Since we love our local dollar store so much, I thought it might be fun to share some of OUR favorite items to buy on our monthly walks to the dollar store. 

A Simple, Frugal, and Fun Wedding Shower Idea

posted by Andrea | 06/6/2019 | 18 comments

One of my favorite wedding showers was a “Pantry Shower” where everyone brought a recipe and a few of the non-perishable ingredients for that recipe. This shower was a fantastic way to quickly fill up our EMPTY pantry and kitchen cabinets with a huge variety of foods.

If you’re looking for fun, frugal, practical, easy-to-put-together shower ideas for almost any new couple (or new homeowner) THIS is it! 

How Our Finances Have Changed Without a Mortgage

posted by Andrea | 05/29/2019 | 40 comments

After a decade of living ULTRA-frugally in an effort to pay off our mortgage early while also paying out-of-pocket for our many home renovations, Dave and I have basically kept the same frugal lifestyle, despite the fact that we no longer have nearly as many expenses.

So what are we doing with the extra money? This is a question I’ve been asked countless times over the past few years — and one I’m finally answering today! 

My Super Simple, Super Frugal, Quick Fix for Faulty Technology

posted by Andrea | 04/18/2019 | 29 comments

Over the years, I have learned one super simple, super frugal, quick fix for faulty technology that has worked over and over and over again for me…

It might not work for every tech issue you encounter — but considering it’s completely free, super easy to do, and only takes a few seconds, it’s probably worth a shot the next time you experience an issue with your technology!

How We Paid Off Our Mortgage 24 Years Early

posted by Andrea | 04/9/2019 | 42 comments

Many years ago, I shared how Dave and I agreed (before we were married) to live off 50% of our income… which eventually helped us reach our goal of paying off our mortgage in roughly 6 years!

Today (after many requests) I’m sharing a few things that helped us pay off our mortgage faster… and I have a couple fun money jokes, courtesy of Nora’s joke books!

How I Store, Organize, and Track our Gift Cards

posted by Andrea | 04/5/2019 | 44 comments

Dave and I always have several gift cards to various places around town… some of which we buy ourselves during the special holiday gift card sales and promotions!

I have a super simple method to keep track of all our cards, which I’m sharing today. It’s a method I’ve been using for about 15 years and I’ve never ONCE lost or misplaced or forgot about a gift card!

6 Reasons We Buy Used

posted by Andrea | 04/3/2019 | 56 comments

It’s no secret that I frequently buy used and secondhand items for me, for Dave, for our kids, and for our house. I’m not ashamed to borrow something from a friend or relative — and you all know how much I love Craigslist!

Today, I’m sharing 6 reasons I almost always buy used…

How Our Simple Lifestyle Facilitates Frugality

posted by Andrea | 03/26/2019 | 45 comments

I’ve always been a very frugal person — faithfully clipping coupons, shopping thrift stores and Craigslist, cooking from scratch, and more — all in an effort to save more on the things we need and want to buy. 

However, SAVING money on the items we buy is really only half the battle in living a frugal debt-free life… today, I’m sharing the other huge factor in frugal living as it relates to our family’s ability to live well below our means.

Save More: Buy What You Need Versus What You Can Afford

posted by Andrea | 03/7/2019 | 35 comments

We wouldn’t have very full lives if we ONLY allowed ourselves to buy exactly what we needed to survive and nothing more. It’s fun to splurge a little every now and then and it can be a special treat to do or buy something we might not normally do or buy.

But I do think we (myself included) could all save a lot of money if we simply stopped to ask “Do I NEED this?” versus “Can I AFFORD this?”

Non-Book Library Loans: It’s Amazing Everything Libraries Offer!

posted by Andrea | 02/15/2019 | 43 comments

Our family visits the library at least once a week — often checking out 30-50 books at a time! However, we also use our library card for so many other things besides books — and yes, they are all free!

Today, I’m sharing an incomplete list of NON-BOOK items we can check out from our library at no cost!

My Self-Imposed Eat-From-The-Pantry Challenge

posted by Andrea | 01/25/2019 | 52 comments

Back in October, I decided we had WAAAAAAAAY too much food in our pantry and freezer… my solution = a self-imposed Eat-From-The-Pantry (and freezer) Challenge!

Today I’m sharing how this 3-month-long challenge worked for our family, as well as how I’m planning to change my grocery shopping from here on out.

The Questions We Ask When Debating to Save or Splurge

posted by Andrea | 01/21/2019 | 12 comments

Today I’m sharing a list of questions Dave and I ask when we’re contemplating saving or splurging.

Of course, there is no right or wrong way to save or splurge, but I’ve found that my mental checklist of questions helps put my purchase into perspective, resist impulsive spending, and still enjoy regular splurges and special treats for myself and my family (without feeling guilty!)

The One Holiday Deal We Always Capitalize On

posted by Andrea | 12/4/2018 | 20 comments

As many of you know, Dave and I are not the shopping type. We prefer to stay home and would probably rather have some type of operation or even get a tooth pulled versus going shopping the day after Thanksgiving!

That said… there is one deal we ALWAYS capitalize on during the holiday season. I’m sharing the details today!

3 Simple Ways to Stretch Your Meat Budget

posted by Andrea | 11/19/2018 | 42 comments

I’m sure you’ve heard the concept of “Meatless Mondays” as a clever way of encouraging people to eat vegetarian on Mondays — well, my family isn’t big on meatless meals, but I do have 3 really simple tricks to stretch our meat AND add a little more protein and fiber into our diets!

I’ve been using these tricks for years and years and my family has never complained (well, rarely ever!)

How We Grow Our Children’s Savings Accounts

posted by Andrea | 11/7/2018 | 21 comments

At this point in our lives, Dave and I don’t give any type of allowance to our children. However, we DO have an extremely simple method of growing our children’s savings accounts that requires zero effort on our part.

The whole process is automated through our bank… and it’s amazing how quickly the money adds up!

A Simple Way To Think About Saving and Spending

posted by Andrea | 10/30/2018 | 33 comments

If you’re looking for a fairly simple and straightforward way to quickly decide if the cost of something is worth it for you, read this post and follow the 2 steps!

You might think it’s TOO simple… but I promise it works!!