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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.

Thanksgiving on a Budget

by Ray

Over the past couple of weeks, six finalists have been auditioning for the opening of “staff writer” at Consumerism Commentary. Each is providing two guest articles to share with readers. After the six writers have shared their guest articles, readers will have an opportunity to provide feedback before we select the staff writer. This article ... Continue reading this article…

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Couponing Makes Cents

by FruGal

Over the next couple of weeks, six finalists will be auditioning for the opening of “staff writer” at Consumerism Commentary. Each will be providing two guest articles to share with readers. After the six writers have shared their guest articles, readers will have an opportunity to provide feedback before we select the staff writer. This ... Continue reading this article…

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Smart Power Meters

by Smithee

We all have power meters attached to the buildings in which we live, and the little needle keeps spinning around and around, ad nauseum, at least until solar panels become affordable. I recently read a story of a family who managed to install solar panels, and while that would normally have cost over $20,000, with ... Continue reading this article…

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The Real Cost of a Sandwich

by Smithee

The staff of cockeyed.com (it might just be this one guy named Rob, and sometimes his friends), has a series called “How Much is Inside?” which attempts to figure out how much mundane items should cost. Recently, they tackled the sandwich. He weighed and measured and inspected every ingredient in your average turkey & cheese, ... Continue reading this article…

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Iced Coffee Savings

by Smithee

This is a cliché, but I need my coffee in the mornings. I prefer it iced, except in the very brief winters we have here in Texas, and for a long time, I was a loyal customer of the Starbucks Iced Coffee in a Can. I’d have one every morning at least four times a ... Continue reading this article…

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How Much You Can Save By Using a Free Library

by Luke Landes

I am a typical American consumer. I buy books, music, and movies for my own entertainment, and the objects spend more time on my shelves than they do in their respective playback devices. I make an exception for music as everything I buy is almost immediately transcoded digitally and transfered to a portable media device. ... Continue reading this article…

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Movies Are New Again With Fan-Made Commentaries

by Smithee

When DVDs (and before them, Laserdiscs) were new, I really used to enjoy listening to the commentary tracks. Granted, some were better than others, but I couldn’t seem to get enough of the “behind the scenes” talk, and to hear the cast and crew telling funny stories about each other. Those don’t interest me as ... Continue reading this article…

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Free Roadside Assistance

by Smithee

There’s a toll-free number on the back of my driver’s license labeled “Roadside Assistance.” I’d never noticed it before today, when a co-worker was telling me how she used the number to get her tire changed on the dangerously-busy Tollway. “For free?” I asked. “Of course,” she said. So I started to wonder if I’d ... Continue reading this article…

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7 Tips for a Frugal Valentine’s Day

by Luke Landes
Love

It’s a February tradition on Consumerism Commentary to look at Valentine’s Day from a perspective of moderation. Each year, I consider how a couple for whom frugality is important can still feel involved in the holiday of love. If you have some thoughts to add, please leave your comments at the bottom of this article. ... Continue reading this article…

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Local Libraries Still Innovating

by Smithee

During previous economic downturns, publications have offered done stories about saving money by borrowing books, music and movies from the library. This is true not only in recessions, but every time you want to save some money. Libraries aren’t just for research; they have plenty of entertaining material as well. But of course, they suffered ... Continue reading this article…

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Wal-Mart: Consumers Have Shifted Fundamentally To Frugality

by Luke Landes

When Wal-Mart announced that it will be lowering its expectations for the year, the CEO believes that this country is experiencing a “fundamental shift in spending,” in which consumers have adopted frugality as a way of life. There is no fundamental shift. Any widespread frugality we are currently experiencing in the United States is temporary. ... Continue reading this article…

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3 Major Ways to Scrimp and Save in an Economic Recession

by Luke Landes

When the economy is growing and consumer confidence is high, it is common not to think twice about saving money and reducing expenses. If you are saving money every paycheck, investing in a 401(k) or other accounts for retirement, and spending less than you are earning there isn’t much motivation to reduce your expenses further. ... Continue reading this article…

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How I Could Find $10,000 Per Year if Necessary

by Luke Landes

Recently, JLP discovered that if he needed to, he could “find” an extra $13,000 per year by cutting back some of his discretionary expenses. By eliminating beer, soda, and a number of other unnecessary but nice expenditures, the savings can add up quickly. (I’m a bit surprised that JLP spends $50 per month on beer. ... Continue reading this article…

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Why I Still Have No Money

by Smithee

I recently explained my history of having no money and as promised, will now come clean with the mistakes I’m still making: I’m driving the wrong car I’ve never owned a car long enough to get it inspected. The first Jeep Cherokee was a lease, and I foolishly let them talk me into not converting ... Continue reading this article…

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The Frugal Lifestyle: Are We Missing Out on Life?

by Luke Landes

Life is short, and I believe it’s important to do and accomplish the things that make us happy while we can enjoy it as much as possible, healthily and with full wits. Is this philosophy at odds with the idea of frugality? A reader recently wrote in with this question for other Consumerism Commentary readers: ... Continue reading this article…

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Living Paycheck to Paycheck On Purpose

by Guest Author

This is a guest post, written for Consumerism Commentary by Single Ma. Single Ma is the author of Fabulous Financials, a blog presenting a chronicle of a 30-something single mother’s pursuit of financial independence. I’m paid bi-weekly, which is typically twice per month. Every now and then, there’s a month or two sprinkled throughout the ... Continue reading this article…

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My Favorite Source for Movies? The Library

by Sasha

I’ve never been a big movie buyer, and I own a whopping three DVDs. If I can’t guarantee I’m going to watch it at least five times, I don’t want it cluttering my abode. But I do like movies, and so I opt for rentals. And there are more rental options out there now than ... Continue reading this article…

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Case Study: Retire a Multi-Millionaire With a $11 per Hour Job

by Luke Landes

When it comes to getting rich slowly, I’m generally a skeptic. The typical path to getting rich slowly prescribes investing $1,000 a month for thirty years into the stock market, earning 8 percent each year. At the end of thirty years in this example, you will find yourself with $1.5 million, but there are major assumptions ... Continue reading this article…

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Britney Spears: Doing Nothing With a Six-Figure Monthly Income

by Luke Landes

Here’s a hypothetical situation. Let’s say you’re a single mother with two children to support. Let’s also say, for the sake of argument, that thanks to royalties and such you earn $737,000. That is $737,000 a month. Even if you’re a big spender, surely close to $9,000,000 a year, and the income generated from investments ... Continue reading this article…

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Five Couples Living on $46k, Number 2: The Thibaults

by Luke Landes

Here is the second couple featured by CNN Money in their series about five couples living on an income of $46,000 a year. Michael Thibault is an insurance claims adjuster and Lisa Thibault works part-time. Together, they may earn about $60,000 this year in Indianapolis, Indiana. That seems to put them at an income significantly ... Continue reading this article…

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