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Frugality is an approach to managing personal finances that focuses on saving money through smart choices. To be frugal, you need not always opt for the lowest cost, but the best quality for the price. Consumerism Commentary offers many frugal living tips.

Frugal Living Tips

Frugality is an approach to managing personal finances that focuses on saving money through smart choices. To be frugal, you need not always opt for the lowest cost, but the best quality for the price. Consumerism Commentary offers many frugal living tips.

In-Home Photography Studio and Hiring a Maid Service

by Luke Landes

I’ve rearranged my dining room to function as a small photography studio. I haven’t had much time, but this metamorphosis should give me more opportunities to practice photography. Since this might involve people visiting my home, I finally stopped procrastinating and called a maid service. Upon some recommendations, I found a local office of Maids.com. ... Continue reading this article…

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The Power of the Coupon Compels You

by Luke Landes
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My birthdate is public knowledge. I’ve entered it on credit card applications, brand loyalty program forms, and websites like Facebook. Computers all over the world know when my birthday is coming, and companies use this information to help fake a personal relationship. It’s not a bad approach, but it certainly is fake. No individual marketing ... Continue reading this article…

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Life After Salary: Changes in My Expenses

by Luke Landes

In December 2010, I quit my day job. Leaving behind a salary and benefits was a tough decision to make, and I wasn’t under the illusion that I’d be able to make up for the lost income solely by saving money. Predicting my future expenses wasn’t difficult. Some expenses would automatically decrease, like travel expenses, ... Continue reading this article…

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Is Frugality Still Here?

by Luke Landes
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Yesterday, American Express reported its fourth quarter income, and the company had much to cheer about. The company’s net income during the last three months of 2010 was an impressive $1.1 billion, up 48 percent over the fourth quarter of 2009. It gets better than that. If you isolate just American Express’s card business in ... Continue reading this article…

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Frugality is Bad For the Economy

by Luke Landes
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The concept of frugality has permeated mainstream personal finance in the past few years. That’s understandable, given the state of the economy. For many who have been personally affected, following the loss of income or a job, this frugality is a forced approach. People are looking for ways to save money because they have less ... Continue reading this article…

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The Perfect Wedding Doesn’t Cost Much

by Financial Samurai

This is a guest article by Sam, the author of the blog Financial Samurai and the founder of the Yakezie Challenge and Network. He writes a column for Consumerism Commentary every other Tuesday. This past summer I went to my friends Peter and Stephanie’s wedding in Hawaii. Peter is 35, but looks 25, and works ... Continue reading this article…

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Electronic Cigarettes Might Just Be Ideal

by Smithee

This is an article by Consumerism Commentary staff writer, Smithee. This article assumes that some people smoke and some people don’t. It won’t address the notion that smokers shouldn’t smoke, and I hope you will also avoid that controversial viewpoint in the comments below. People are vaporizing all over town, but don’t worry, they’re doing ... Continue reading this article…

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How Much Money You Should Spend on Hobbies

by Luke Landes

A Consumerism Commentary reader wrote in with a simple question which should have a simple answer: What percentage of income should a person spend on hobbies? I enjoy talking about hobbies. I have a wide variety of interests, and many of these have little prospect of making money for me for the time being. This ... Continue reading this article…

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Stretching a Dollar During Unemployment

by Luke Landes

The recession may be officially over, but that doesn’t mean everyone has seen a personal financial recovery. The rate of unemployment, always the last piece of the economy to improve after a recession, is still high. A friend of mine who was laid off during the financial upheaval finally reached his 99th week of unemployment ... Continue reading this article…

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Turn Off Your Air Conditioner and Save Summer Money

by Luke Landes

Last week, the New York metropolitan area experiences a heat wave with temperatures above 100°F for several days. The hazy, hot, and humid weather kept people in the air-conditioned indoors as much as possible. Con Edison, the power company that provides electricity to New York City, called customers asking them to preserve energy by turning ... Continue reading this article…

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Eco-ergonomics: Reducing Strain on Your Budget

by Donna Freedman

This is a guest article by Donna Freedman. Donna writes the Living With Less personal finance column for MSN Money, posts weekly at MSN Smart Spending and blogs at Surviving and Thriving. Is your budget hurting? It could be overuse syndrome. Ergonomically speaking, a body part that is forced to work at a greater level ... Continue reading this article…

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Save Money By Driving With Your Toe

by Smithee

“Hypermiling” is a word we use for doing everything you can to squeeze the best mileage possible from your car, including hardware modifications which may or may not void your warranty and certain driving techniques which may be both dangerous and illegal. You may have seen some of these tested on Mythbusters, such as driving ... Continue reading this article…

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Live Sports: One More Reason to Get Rid of Cable

by Smithee

Among the more popular reasons for not ditching cable is the desire to watch live sports. ESPN is coming to the rescue of many future cable-less households by introducing live, streaming sports in HD through the Xbox. In order to benefit, you’ll need to be an Xbox Live Gold member, which is about $50 a ... Continue reading this article…

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Local or Online Stores: Pay More for the Personal Touch?

by Luke Landes

About a month ago, I spoke with Tom Dziubek about frugal photography for the Consumerism Commentary Podcast. The frugal philosophy is simple: always pay the least for the level of quality you want. In a field like photography where electronic equipment is the focus, your best friends are Amazon.com, eBay, Craigslist, and specialty stores like ... Continue reading this article…

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Getting a Better and Cheaper Shave

by Luke Landes

One successful retail business model is the concept in which a company sells a main device at a discounted price while the necessary, refillable or replaceable supplies for that device are sold at a premium. One example is the ink-jet or laser printer; the printers are generally priced to be bargains, occasionally included for free ... Continue reading this article…

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Everlasting Fun Ball: a Toy for Dogs

by Smithee

As you might know, I live alongside three ridiculous dogs. We take turns being in charge, but most of the time I end up feeling like their servant with titles like “Emergency Backup Food Giver” or “Guy With the Food That Smells Better Than Mine.” The eldest of our three dogs has a friendly relationship ... Continue reading this article…

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Shaving: Neither Electric Nor Expensive

by Smithee

I have trouble shaving, and it seemed to be getting worse with age. It seemed that no matter what I did, I’d end up with a red bumpy neck and hairy spots I had missed. In the last eighteen years, I’ve tried every normal razor and electric razor I could find, and none of them ... Continue reading this article…

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Twilight: New Moon: The LOL Edition

by Smithee

I’ve written before about how “alternate commentaries” can make old movies seem new again, mostly as a way of saving money vs. buying more DVDs. In that article I made a few recommendations from Rifftrax, among them the teen “vampire” “love” story “Twilight”. (Without resorting to any more snark, I’ll just say that there’s a ... Continue reading this article…

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Use Less Soap and Detergent in the Washing Machine

by Luke Landes

Doing laundry is one of those chores that’s rather easy, but I find myself avoiding it as much as possible. As a result, I end up doing large loads every seven to ten days. Even for these full loads of clothing, I usually only fill the detergent cup about half way. Even at that point, ... Continue reading this article…

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Saving Money on Soundtracks

by Smithee

I really dig movie soundtracks, by which I mean real albums of music written for the movie, not the fake soundtracks that are just collections of pop songs. Ever since I first heard the music from E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial while not watching the movie, I’ve been fascinated by the effect of feeling the movie’s ... Continue reading this article…

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