Frugal Living

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!!

How I Save BIG On Prescriptions and Blood Work

posted by Andrea | 10/23/2018 | 25 comments

Over the course of our married life, Dave and I have been blessed with very good health. We’ve hardly ever been sick, we usually only visit the doctor for routine checkups, and we’ve hardly had to fill any prescriptions or pay for any medically-related expenses.

This past summer, however, we had several medical expenses… and after talking with my doctor, I found a brilliant and extremely simple way to save BIG on both prescriptions and blood work!

5 Questions to Ask Before You Buy Anything

posted by Andrea | 10/5/2018 | 3 comments

If you love deal-shopping, the next 8-12 weeks could be pretty rough on your budget AND home (all that stuff needs to be stored somewhere!)

As a gentle reminder before you get too wrapped up (pun intended) in all the “great holiday deals”, I’d encourage you to read through these 5 questions… think about them for a few minutes right now… and then ask yourself these questions BEFORE you buy anything!

Saving, Splurging, and Sticking With YOUR Financial Goals

posted by Andrea | 09/24/2018 | 22 comments

Have you ever felt guilty after reading an article or talking with a friend about how frugal they are in various areas of their life (an amazing deal shopper, someone who never goes out to eat or on vacation, people who buy everything from thrift stores, etc.)?

Well, what you might not be considering is the fact that those frugal people most likely have other areas of their budget where they splurge quite a bit more. I know that’s the case for Dave and myself… which is what I’m sharing more about today!

One Way I Save With Almost Zero Effort (+ a $500 giveaway!)

posted by Andrea | 09/5/2018 | 105 comments

Over the past 10 years, the internet has been a wonderful tool for me as it has allowed me to buy the things I need for myself, my home, and my family without leaving my house, AND get some pretty fantastic deals on top of it.

RetailMeNot.com has been a constant source of deals, promo codes, and cashback over the past several years. If you’re looking for a relatively effortless way to save even more, read today’s posts (and enter to win one of 5 Visa gift cards!)

One Simple, Fool-Proof Way to Save MORE!

posted by Andrea | 08/16/2018 | 16 comments

There are hundreds of ways to save money on virtually every in-store and online shopping trip, and then there are ALLLL the ways you can save on second-hand items!

I use many of these tips and tricks in my own life, and I save thousands of dollars every year as a result! However, today I’m sharing an even simpler, completely fool-proof way to save EVEN MORE!

Time + Money Management: We Have a Choice

posted by Andrea | 06/7/2018 | 60 comments

Over the years, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say “I can’t afford that” or “I don’t have time for that”… and I guess it just bothers me that so many people seem to have such a “defeatist” attitude towards their lack of time and money.

The reason it bothers me is because I personally feel that in almost every situation, we have a choice as to how we will spend our time and our money… I’d love to know if you agree with me or not (and why!)

How Food Prep Positively Impacts Almost Every Aspect Of My Life

posted by Andrea | 05/29/2018 | 21 comments

I’ve always known food prep was an important piece of the puzzle for my simplified, organized lifestyle; however, it really hasn’t been until the last 9 months of my life that I truly started to realize just how much my entire life “falls apart” when I slack on food prep. 

This knowledge is more than enough for me to continue my not-so-loved task of food prep… as you’ll read in today’s post, it really does positively impact almost every area of my life!

Frugal Summer Fun For Younger Children

posted by Andrea | 05/22/2018 | 20 comments

Summer break sort of snuck up on me this year… and while I’m excited to have everyone home all day again, I also realize our schedule and routine will look very different.

I’m trying to prepare by having lots of different fun activities for us to do as a family — many of which are completely free (or very frugal). I’m sharing so many of our favorite frugal summer fun ideas in today’s post!

Our Mini No-Spending Challenge

posted by Andrea | 03/30/2018 | 14 comments

Five years ago, I shared the self-inflicted no-spending challenge Dave and I did during the month of May. It was a great experience for us, and we learned a lot!

Since our first no-spending challenge back in 2013, Dave and I have done several smaller no-spending challenges — most recently, a no-spending challenge for fast food and restaurants (which is what I’m sharing more about today!)

Reader Question: How Do You Handle Kids and Money?

posted by Andrea | 03/15/2018 | 38 comments

Kids + money has been a hot topic in the Dekker house these past few weeks, so I thought it would be the perfect time to share a recent Reader Question I got regarding how we handle kids and money!

Since our children are still so young, I definitely don’t feel like I have all the answers — so I’d love it if those of you with more experience in this area of parenting would enlighten us all in the comments!

My Crazy ‘Should I Buy This?’ Decision Process

posted by Andrea | 03/13/2018 | 10 comments

As many of you know, I try to be mindful about what I bring into my home — thankfully, I’m not a big shopper, so it’s relatively easy for me to resist impulse purchases!

However, when I DO purchase something, I mentally think through several questions before bringing the item home. Today I’m sharing those questions, and how they help me resist extra clutter in my home!