Monday, April 30, 2012

Freezer Report: Putting Away Rhubarb

The farmers' market selections this past weekend were a little light.  Asparagus was on sale in abundance, but I maxed out our winter needs last weekend, not knowing if we'd see it again.  So, I picked up a large bunch of rhubarb.  Cleaned, chopped, and stored in freezer bags of 1 cup servings, it is this weeks offering to the chest freezer.  Combined with strawberries, it will make a lovely cobbler this fall and winter.  If anyone has suggestions for turning it into a jam or relish, please share!

And thanks to a loyal reader who recommended writing on the top of the chest freezer with a dry erase marker; a very easy way to control inventory.  I might give it a try, and hope that I'll keep myself (and spouse) for piling items on the top. Flat surfaces attract clutter so easily.

How about you -- have you started storing nature's bounty for the winter season?

Friday, April 27, 2012

What I've Been Reading: Lost and Found by Geneen Roth

Lost and Found by Geneen Roth is a memoir about the author's experience with loosing her life's savings to Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme.  Previously Roth has written about women and food issues; her recent book Women Food and God spent weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

I highly recommend Lost and Found if you are attempting to examine the psychological issues related to overspending and or extreme saving followed by binge buying.  Roth's thoughts on food issues make complete and total sense to me; it is as though she is reading my mind.  However, unlike Roth, the emotions behind eating do not carry over into my financial life.  At times I wanted to put the book down because I could not believe how self-destructive she or her friends were being.  Towards the end of the book she writes about going to Costco, post Madoff, and assuming that her husband had brought his wallet because her money was only for "fun" things in life -- clothes, shoes, eating out, etc.  Childlike is the best paraphrase I can come up with to describe her mindset.

Roth delves into issues from her childhood that have manifested in her adult financial life.  Through recognition she aims to overcome the self-destructive habits, primarily ignoring financial issues and sticking her head in the sand.  The belief that money was too complicated and lowly led her to put everything, yes everything, into Madoff's hands.  Diversification was something she had heard about, but choose not to explore.  Shocking is how I felt when reading this.

I'm glad I've taken the time to read her book.  I have more understanding and compassion for people who do not have their financial life under control.  And I'm thankful that my weakness is limited to food, and does not also flow into the money aspect of life.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Frugal Lady Gaga

If asked to name one song of Lady Gaga's, I would be unable to answer.  My life is consumed by raising two small children, maintaining a marriage, handling the legal needs of my clients, and working in a work out when I have the time and energy.  Pop music doesn't make the cut.  In ten years when my kids are older I am certain I'll be more informed.

Thanks to Google alerts on frugality I recently learned that Lady Gaga and I have something in common; people call us "stingy".  This is a very short article, and I find it shocking.  A 26 year old women spends the bulk of her money on making her performances (a.k.a business) better.  She avoids spending lavishly on herself, even living in the same London flat she bought prior to hitting the big time.  Yet, the tone of the article is that she is crazy.  To the contrary, this is one smart Lady.  And I would bet money that she'll make even more in the years ahead.   Why?  The money she does spend is on making her performances better, from which more money will follow.  Something tells me that one day she will have quite a nice nest egg from which to splurge or give back.

Stingy?  Maybe, but I think the world can take more of that than the bankrupt star that once was.  Hats off to Lady Gaga!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Inspired by Washed Ashore

Recently I learned about an effort called Washed Ashore, which aims to educate people marine debris through art.  The art is made from items washed ashore.  The pieces are amazing, the debris shocking.  The web site inspires me to 1) reduce my use of throw away plastics, 2) increase my efforts to reuse those plastics that do find their way into my life, and 3) try my own Midwestern version with my kids.

If you are looking to keep plastics out of marine life, consider these steps:

  • carry cloth bags in your car -- use them instead of plastic bags from stores;
  • find a recycling center for plastic bags (here in Madison they can be included with curb pick up, elsewhere you can find collection containers in many stores);
  • eat home cooked food instead of take-out;
  • buy in bulk;
  • if you have take-out, clean and save the containers for brown bag lunch or sending leftovers home with dinner guests (that way your "good" containers don't migrate from your stash);
  • pass along old plastic containers to families with kids or organizations that serve kids -- they are great for dumping, collecting, molding, etc.; and
  • find ways to incorporate old plastic into sun catchers, bird feeders, holiday ornaments, etc.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rebates in a Material World

A few weeks ago I broke down and bought a new phone, a really nice one!  The purchase price was a bit hefty, but it promised a rebate.  I love a rebate, and quickly sent in the form.  Last week the "rebate" arrived.  Gone was the familiar check I am used to seeing. In its place was a VISA card; it is "worth" $100.  Sadly, I cannot deposit it into my savings account, which is what I normally do with rebates. No, it has no cash value.  It designed to be spent.

This really irks me.  And is another annoyance I have with US Cellular.  Now that they've gone to a no-contract plan, I am going to be looking around for other options.  Until then, I have to figure out how to spent this $100.  I made the purchase through my legal practice, and most of my expenses are for fixed items: rent, salary for an assistant, bar dues.  None of which can be paid with the rebate card.  It also expires in October, so I don't want to let it slip my mind.

Beware readers.  Rebates are no longer what they used to be. They are designed to get you to spend.  We are living in a Material World!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Freezing Farmers' Market Finds

It's back....the local farmers' market 2012 growing and selling season has arrived in Madison!  Looking ahead to this market season, I have turned to my ultra Type A habits.  Can you say spreadsheet?  Yes, I've used Google Docs to create an inventory of what I have set aside.  My hope is that it will make using our frozen stash more efficient next winter.  Here is a glimpse of my form:

Further proof that the author is off the charts Type-A

For those outside of the Madison area, we had an abnormally warm March.  As a result the growing season arrived early.  Apparently the asparagus is nearing the end of the growing season even though the market just opened.  So, when I saw vendors with it on display I bought 4 pounds worth.  I also opted to stock up on spinach.  Both are easy to steam and freeze.

Author's photo: bounty from 1st market of the season

Author's image: steaming the spinach

This past winter I used frozen asparagus, but found it hard to work with because it was not blended.  This weekend I steam the stem, and then pureed them in my food processor.  I added a drizzle of olive oil and some of the water left from steaming.  I can already smell the steak and cream of asparagus dinners I'll make next New Years Eve.  Note: if you follow my suit, mark the freezer bags; once the snow flies it can be hard to distinguish between pureed asparagus and pureed broccoli.

Author's image: pureed asparagus

Friday, April 20, 2012

Free Seminar on Estate Planning

Today's post is a blend of my work life and my affection for frugality.  If you are in the Madison, Wisconsin area and are interested in learning more about wills, powers of attorney, probate, trusts, etc., please consider attending a FREE discussion next week.

As part of the national Money Smart Week initiative, I will be speaking at the UW Extension office on the east side of town.  The event is free, open to the public, and focuses on learning the basics about estate planning and probate.  Click here to learn more.

If you are not local, I encourage you to learn more about Money Smart Week, sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Events will be held across the country, with an emphasis on gathering basics information related to financial matters.

Image Credit: - free image

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Half-Pint Resale 2012

Monday's local paper had a story on the local Half-Pint Resale event, which is scheduled for this coming weekend.  This year the sale moves to McFarland, where it will be in a larger venue.  A change in thinking from "used is for the poor" to "used is a great way to recycle" is a driving force behind the increased number of shoppers.

Reuse is great!  Ninety-eight percent of my kids clothes and toys are used.  Why spend money on things they'll outgrow?  And we've translated the savings into well funded college accounts for both kids.  But I fear we are the exception.  Resale is great, but beware.  Low prices should not give way to spending without thought.  Or worse, it was so cheap I just couldn't pass it up.  My experience is less is more with kids.  Fewer clothes and toys means less clutter, and more enjoyment and value experienced by the child.  Save money, but don't go nuts.

Saving is not fun.  Friends and family will not oohhh and ahhh over balance sheets the same way they will over cute clothes and toys.  But savings can be powerful.  Here are a few ways to make saved dollars from resale events (this could be profits from those selling) go farther:

  • pay down debt;
  • build an emergency fund to cover 6 to 9 months of living expenses;
  • save money for retirement (Roth's are great if you think you'll be at a higher tax level later in life)
  • save money for college/higher education; or
  • save money for a large now instead of paying it off over several years.
Happy shopping, and I hope you find some nice bargains. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Freedom Thanks to Frugal Living

Typical media coverage of frugal people tends to focus on families that are experts at extreme couponing.  Case in point, the Wisconsin State Journal featured a local mom with a grocery bill of $300 - $500 a month for a family of 6.  The cover photo showed her along with her 4 children, three of which appear to be wearing homemade aprons.  A meal schedule set 6 weeks in advance is a key to the family's frugal grocery bill.  Six weeks?  Where is the room for spontaneous living?  After reading the article I put the paper down and thought, I am so lucky that I'm frugal by choice rather than necessity.

Growing up in a home that hovered at the federal poverty level, I learned to work at an early age.  I learned to save while very young, and I set my sights on higher education, knowing it would allow me to work reasonable hours and yet earn a comfortable salary.  For many years I was frugal because I had no other choice if I wanted to fund an education.

Now my education is complete. My student loans are paid off.  A legal practice is strongly established.  Yet, I'm still frugal.  Mainly because I cannot stand to see things wasted.  I also had the wisdom, or good fortune, to marry a like minded man.  Our brand of frugality does not fall into extreme, but it is sustainable for decades.

My blog does not talk about how to get a cart full of groceries for $1.52.  I tend not to do a lot of do-it-yourself projects. What I do share is the thought process behind financial decisions, being mindful about spending and use of items.  And a lot about cooking.  I like to cook.  Home cooking saves money for the most part. It reduces our footprint on the earth too.  But I also take pleasure in an impulse meal.

This past Friday my 3.5 year old son was suffering from an extreme muscle pull in his neck as the result of a dental exam earlier in the day.  After a healthy dose of Ibuprofen he finally felt well enough to sit up and eat.  Without thinking I ordered his favorite food, sausage pizza from Rocky Rocco's.  I used a coupon from the kitchen drawer, but spent the $20 for one meal and didn't blink an eye.  It was not planned, but it was fun.  And he promised that when he is grown and living in Seattle designing planes for Boeing (his current career aspiration), that he will fly back home every now and then to share a Rocky's pizza with Mama.  The meal cost $20, the bonding time was priceless.  Frugality does not always mean living without, but frugal thinking can give you the freedom to live.

The author's son, and a future Boeing engineer?  Please note he is wearing a Wisconsin Supreme Court sweatshirt.  He is intent on being an engineer, but should really give law school some thought.....the boy can debate like nobody's business.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Frugal Thoughts On Tax Day

Happy Income Tax Day America! April 17th, not the 15th, is the official day for 2011 income tax returns to be filed in America.  Why not the 15th, well the 15th fell on a Sunday and the 16th was some sort of holiday in the District of Columbia.  And that brings us to the 17th of April.

Image Credit: - free image

The following are some random thoughts that bounced around in my frugal mind on the topic of taxes.

  • reduce your income taxes by maximizing deductions that reward you for saving.  Think Health Savings Accounts, IRAs (not Roths, those are after tax dollars), and 529 college savings plans;
  • stop and pause before spending money because someone tells you the purchase will generate a tax break.  This is most commonly associated with home and car purchases.  Remember, the person is selling you something.  They are thinking about their bottom line, not what is wise for your future.  I am stunned by the numbers of people who think they are writing off mortgage interest and property taxes, when in some cases the amount "written off" is equal to or just above the standard deduction everyone gets  - they would have gotten that amount without going into debt;
  • file your taxes on time.  Avoid penalties.  This is the IRS, then can and will get the money owed.  Why pay more, don't delay, get organized; and
  • use windfalls, such as a refund or inheritance, to pay off debit.  You will automatically save the interest that you would have been charged. Also, this type of transaction does not generate income and will not show up on your income taxes.  For example, if $10,000 comes into your life and you pay off a student loan you will have saved on interest payments.  Instead, had you parked the $10,000 in a CD the little bit of interest you would have earned would be considered income for tax purposes.
Any one else have frugal thoughts on tax day?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday's Freezer Report

The clock is ticking down, the next farmers' market season starts this coming Saturday.  My goal of using up the stash I put away last year is basically met.  The chest freezer in the garage is empty, waiting for another season to be stored away.  Many of the remaining veggies have found their way into dishes we've enjoyed or will enjoy.  The rest are waiting in my fridge freezer.  I have several bags of pumpkins, one cherry, one cranberry and a few eggplant waiting to be used in the weeks ahead.  Even though the market starts in April, pie pumpkins won't be available for several months.  Here is a list of the creations that came out of my kitchen in an effort to clear the freezer this week:
  • curried cauliflower, squash and eggplant;
  • zucchini bread;
  • asparagus, bean, and ham soup (used the last of the Easter ham);
  • Lamb stew (used the last of the cabbage); 
  • vegetable soup; and 
  • whole wheat blue berry jelly muffins.
The last item was a huge surprise, absolutely lovely.  Inspired by the container of homemade blueberry jam I found in the freezer.  The recipe is below, and I highly recommend it!

And that is that.  Next week I'll turn to reporting on putting away items for next winter.  Time flies!

Whole Wheat Muffins with Jam (The Tassajara Bread Book)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup oil or melted butter
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup honey or molasses
  • 1.5 cups milk
Blend together.  Fill mini muffin pan cups half way.  Drop in about 1/2 teaspoon jam or jelly.  Put a spoonful of batter on top.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Get ready to enjoy pure goodness!  The jam I made used 6 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons lemon, and pectin.  I failed to write down the amount of berries, but it was probably a quart.  A bit runny, but it works well in the muffins as well as on oatmeal.

Sorry, no images today.  My normal internet connection is down and I am using the "hot spot" on my phone.  Not wanting to go over my limit, I am avoiding unnecessary downloads of images.  Frugal, but that shouldn't surprise you my dear reader!

Friday, April 13, 2012

What To Do With Easter Ham Leftovers....

Last weekend our family celebrated Easter with family.  As Unitarian Universalists we don't really celebrate Easter, but it was a great reason to have my mom and grandparents over for a meal.  Giving my children time with their nearly 70 year old grandmother and 90 year old grandparents was a great experience, and at their age they really don't understand "not celebrating Easter".  So I went all out, 10 pound ham and all.

This was the first time I've ever made a ham, and it may be my last.  As a meat I find it far too salty, and am amazed to see the older generation actually adding salt to the meat on their plate.   And yes, you read that correctly.  I baked a 10 pound ham for 7 people, of whom 2 are toddlers and 3 are seniors with health issues.  In word, leftovers!  What to do with all those leftovers!  Some were sent home with the guests, but I still had a vast amount of ham to use.  And this is how we made the most, down to the bone!

  1. Omelettes for breakfast -- chopped ham with onions, peppers and cheese;
  2. Scalloped potatoes and ham -- 1 cup chopped ham, 4 baking potatoes (peeled and diced), 1/2 cup milk, and 1/4 flour.  Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour on 350 degrees; and
  3. Split Pea Soup --1 package yellow split peas, ham bone and pieces of ham, bring to a boil in about 8 cups water, simmer until peas are mushy.  Add chopped veggies (carrots, celery, onions).  
How about you -- what did you do with the Easter leftovers?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Frugal Ways to Celebrate Earth Day 2012

Earth Day 2012 is April 22nd -- how will you embrace this Green Holiday?  Okay, so maybe it is not a holiday, but assuming it were, how would you spend it?  Here are five frugal ways that come to my mind:

  1. Get people together.....and clean up a park or water shore.  My little family is organizing a park clean up through our church neighborhood group;
  2. Use your feet....avoid driving on Earth Day.  Let your feet take you where you need to go.  If it is too far try a bike, bus, or carpool;
  3. Shop!  Make a list of holiday and gift items you need over the next few months (even year if you are ambitious) and hit your favorite thrift store(s).  Give items a second life, and reduce all that shopping down to one trip;
  4. Spend an hour removing yourself from junk mail lists.  Click here for specifics; and
  5. Cook a feast....of vegetables.  Spend a few hours making soups, breads, and other meals that are full of vegetables.  Avoid meat for a few days, a week, maybe a month.  
You've got 10 days to get ready....what will you do to celebrate the Earth on April 22nd?

Image credit: - free image

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Frugal Toddler Bed

Earlier this year our son, who was 3, declared it time to say good-bye to his crib.  But a regular bed was not an option...simply too high.  While we gave him time to adjust to not sleeping in a crib, we've found a frugal interim.  We put his crib mattress on the floor.  The nights he rolls out of bed, he has 1 inch to hit the floor.  Any higher and we would have needed to buy some sort of bed rail.  No my son is short, so the crib mattress is getting more longevity for kids who will one day top 6 feet.  A "toddler bed" is not in his future.  Instead we are considering a basic futon.  It will still be low to the ground, but offer more room and better support for his back.  And, I doubt that sheets and bedding for futons will be dominated by Disney products.  Finally, once he is ready for a regular bed, the futon can be incorporated into his room or passed on to his little sister.

Here is a photo of exactly what I have in mind to purchase for him....except it will be purple, his favorite color.
Image Credit: - free imagea

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Upside of Frugal Is Not Always Being Frugal

After nearly four years of parenting, I am taking some time off.  Self-care is not easy for me.  If you are a child, a spouse, a friend, family member, or a client you go to the top of my to-do list.  I am aware of the statement that you need to take care of yourself before you take care of others, but knowing something is far different than executing it.  But, here I am.  Having not taken more than 12 hours off at a stretch from mom to Ian and Maeve, I am making plans for a weekend away.

Later this summer I am meeting up with a dear college friend, the sister I never had.  We are headed to St. Paul for three days and two nights.  She is flying in from DC, I'll drive up from Madison.  Since she is paying for air fare, I am covering the lodging.  While brainstorming ideas for my trip I posted a query on Facebook and everyone wrote back about frugal ideas.  To which I clarified, I am taking time off from hands on parenting as well as from frugality.  Enjoyment is more important than saving money, if just for this one weekend.  Now please don't stop reading, it is not as though I've booked a suite at the Ritz (do they have a Ritz in St. Paul?).  I am too frugal to simply go nuts, but am wise enough to know that saving some money is not as important as saving my sanity.

And that is the upside of being frugal. If you spend 362 days of the year being frugal, you can take a few off.  Get what you want.  Indulge.  Make life a tad bit easier.  And that is one of the reasons why I love living frugally.

Oh, and if you have suggestions for St. Paul this summer, please leave a comment!

Image  Credit: - free image

Monday, April 9, 2012

Freezer Report - Cauliflower and Broccoli Soup

We are in April and it is a final push to use up as much of the winter store I created last summer and fall from the local farmers' markets.  The eggplant is still in the freezer, we just have not had enough time to try the tasty new recipes that we've found.  Maybe this coming week we'll have time.  Either way, I'll make a note to myself, next summer don't buy so much eggplant.  And I'll add kale to that list.  My husband and kids won't touch it....too chewy is the complaint.

I did make a tasty soup out of frozen broccoli and cauliflower.  I sauted a drop of garlic in olive oil, added the cauliflower and broccoli and continued to cook for about 5 minutes, adding 1 cup of vegetable broth.  In a separate pot I melted 1/4 cup butter, added 1/4 cup flour, stirred. Then poured in 2.5 cups vegetable broth.  This was added to the stock pot with the veggies.  It simmered on low for 30 minutes.  I added some leftover brown rice and 1/2 cup whole milk along with some salt and pepper.  Just before serving I used my immersion blender.  Simple, tasty, and one more package used from the freezer stash!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Frugal Easter Dinner

Image Credit: - free image

Hippity hippity hop....this weekend many people will be celebrating Easter or at least the arrival of Spring.  If you host a dinner, as we will be doing, your monthly grocery bill can bump up quite a bit because of one meal.  Here are a few ideas on how to keep the bill low, but still enjoy dinner.

  1. Go pot luck.  Ask guests to bring something to contribute to the meal.  Buns, jello (considered a side dish in the Midwest), sliced cheese, fresh fruit, or a vegetable side dish are all easy to transport.  It will save you time and money in the kitchen.
  2. Avoid having meat as the main course.  The Easter table at my home when I was growing up always had a ham at the center.  If you would like meat available, but not the focus, consider quiche with diced ham or scalloped potatoes and ham.
  3. Emphasize veggies.  Asparagus, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, spinach pie.  Served with a portion of eggs, cheese, and bread will fill up many guests.
  4. Make your own dessert.  Cupcakes, muffins and quick breads are all easy.  You can even take whipping cream and whip it for a long time for an inexpensive and festive topping.  Serve along side fresh fruit and coffee.
  5. Avoid pricey beverages.  Skip offering sodas, juices or other processed beverages.  Offer ice water that is spiked with lemon wedge or a cucumber slice.  Fancy and inexpensive.  Beyond that you can offer herbal teas and coffee.
As I type I think this all sounds lovely.  We are doing most of these ideas.  However, our guests will be my 90 year old grandparents as well as my mother who has is not in the best of health.  My guests want and expect to see a ham on the table. And not knowing how many Easters they have left with us, a ham they shall receive.  Watch next week for my tips on how to get the most out of that ham.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Frugal Funerals Via the Chinese

Interested in a frugal and environmentally sound funeral?  Take a look of government policies coming out of China.  Traditional funerals are quite elaborate; monks praying around the clock, banquets, fireworks, and more.  Many families apparently go into debt honoring the dead, and the Chinese government wants to put a stop to it.

Image Credit: - free image

I am frugal, but I certainly would prefer frugality to be a choice rather than a government mandate!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How To Handle Burned Sauce in a Crock Pot

If you read my blog regularly, you will know that weekly I use my crock pot for simple frugal meals.  Last weekend was no exception.  In went some leftover pot roast with some BBQ sauce.  It was supposed to be a simple dinner.  So simple that I forgot it was on until hours later and discovered the sauce had burned, really, really burned.

Amazingly I was able to salvage most of the meat.  The burning had occurred on the side of the pot.  Afterwards I tossed in a few used dryer sheets and let it set overnight.  The next day my jaw dropped as it became apparent my usual trick wasn't making a dent in the destruction.  Hmmmm, what to do.  Using the suggestion of a friend (who is also an amazing cook) I filled the pot with 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water and let it simmer for 12 hours, on low.  A little elbow grease was required, but the burned sauce gave way.

My slow cooker is back in use.  Unplanned expenditure averted.  And I didn't have to make a trip to a store to replace it.  Working that in would have been more painful than the cost of a new crock pot.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Water Down the Drain?

April showers bring May flowers! That is the phrase I planned to write, and then Spring arrived in Wisconsin in March.  Go figure!  I'm happy to be out in the yard, doing things that I hope will bring about a nice garden.  But I'm also eager to stay frugal.

Late last summer I read a wonderful book, Suddenly Frugal by Leah Ingram, and noted a great source for free water for the garden....the dehumidifier! Up until now we've been putting water down the drain, literally. We have a hose connected to the basement humidifier that drains into the basement floor. Leah encourages you to stop the drain, let the water collect, and use it to water plants. Take the water from your air, nurture a vegetable garden, and save resources. What a great way to welcome Spring.

I love this idea, but in practice it probably won't work for me.  Our dehumidifier fills up quickly.  So quickly that it will make it hard for me to monitor it and empty it.  Once my children are older, I might follow this method.  For now I am setting my sights on a rain barrel installation.  Set up next to the future location of my potted garden.  That is my dream for this garden season.  What is yours?

Image credit: - free image

Monday, April 2, 2012

Freezer Report

Spring has officially arrived, and my winter bounty is slowly dwindling.  One pack of frozen eggplant baked with chicken (covered with vegetable broth) and then served with whole wheat pasta and shredded cheese.  I have a lot more eggplant to go, it will be back next week.  Frozen kale was chopped and added to a veggie chili, which was served with a side of green beans that were frozen last fall.

Each week as I pull items out of the chest freezer I make a mental note to have a freezer plan in place before I start shopping at farmers' markets.  Shopping with a plan, freezing with a plan, that will allow me to be more frugal.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

1st Frugal Anniversary

It is April 1, 2012 -- which marks one year of Frugal Upside posts.  Thanks to all those who read, comment, inspire and share my work.  As I march into a second year of blogging, I would love to hear from my readers even more.  Interested in a guest post?  Just let me know your idea.  Is there a book I should review?  Send me a link!  Know of a good blog that parallels mine?  Fill me in!

Frugality does not need to be a four letter word, it can be liberation from debit, stress, worry, and a large carbon footprint.

Happy Frugalversary!

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