Living frugally does not mean choosing a life of poverty. Frugality is simply the act of avoiding waste. It means finding the most economical way to accomplish a task or project. Frugality doesn't mean giving up, it means living better because when you have all that you need plus money in the bank, life becomes much easier.
Frugality is a state of mind, an attitude you choose for a way of life that is rewarding. Every day my mailbox fills with frugal tips from my loyal readers. Some make me laugh; others leave me wondering why I didn't think of that. Still others have become such a common way of life for me, I'm grateful to have been reminded of what a great frugal idea it is. Enjoy this recent sampling:
Cheaper air. Last summer, it got so hot where we live, many nights it was nearly impossible to sleep. We have central air in our home, but to make the room comfortable for sleep would require cooling the entire house -- and that gets very expensive. We decided to buy an Energy Star window unit for our bedroom that we run just long enough to cool the room before we go to bed. Our electric bill increased by only a few dollars.
-- Marielle, Florida
Down memory lane. To celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary, my siblings and family members took them on a scavenger hunt. We split up into two groups and took them out separately. The hunt included places and events from their marriage. We took digital cameras for each team and an empty
-- Jenny, Arizona
Tender meatballs. To make the lightest and fluffiest meatballs, I use club soda in place of the milk or water called for in the recipe. The difference is remarkable.
-- Rose, New Jersey
Bacon flat out. When I make BLT sandwiches, I like my bacon to be flat. Here's how I manage that: I lay the bacon strips out on a cookie sheet (with sides) and cover the bacon with foil. Then I lay a second cookie sheet on top to keep the bacon strips from curling while they bake for 30 minutes in a 350-degree oven. This simple trick produces perfectly cooked, flat bacon every time.
-- David, Minnesota
Condition your legs. I use inexpensive generic conditioner to shave my legs. My skin is silky soft, and I rarely need to use additional moisturizer.
-- Sharon, Texas
Facial care on the go. When I travel, I don't like to pack all of my regular-size toiletries. Instead of my tube of facial cleanser, I make my own cleansing cloths. For each day I'm away, I take squares of quality paper towels, dampen them with water and put a dollop of cleanser on each towel. I fold the towels and place them in small, sandwich-size zip-type bags.
-- Carrie, Nebraska
Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org or Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630. Include your first and last name and state.