frugal

Lessons in You Get What You Pay For

June 4, 2014
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Lessons in You Get What You Pay For

Recently we were reminded of the phrase you get what you pay for and why price doesn't always matter.

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Go Green This Summer 2014

May 13, 2014
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Go Green This Summer 2014

Today I provide tips on how you can go green this summer 2014, including products that can help you do that. These products include Life is Good coffee, Santa Cruz Organic, and R.W. Knudsen Just Juice.

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Do You Live in the Most Frugal City?

April 11, 2014
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Do You Live in the Most Frugal City?

Do you live in one of America's most frugal cities? Find out who is in the Top 25, based on a survey from Coupons.com, one of my favorite places online to go to get coupons before I go grocery shopping.

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Taking Frugal Living Too Far

June 18, 2013
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Taking Frugal Living Too Far

How would you describe taking frugal living too far? A new CouponCabin.com survey says dumpster diving and extreme couponing fit the bill, along with other extreme frugal living behaviors.

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5 Ways to Make the Most of Kitchen Scraps

June 12, 2013
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5 Ways to Make the Most of Kitchen Scraps

Discover 5 ways you can turn kitchen scraps into gardening gold.

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Food as Free Cleaning Tools

June 8, 2013
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Food as Free Cleaning Tools

Find out how leftover food can become your free cleaning tools. I first heard about one of these tricks from the Rachael Ray Show!

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Stop Puppy Mills

June 4, 2013
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Stop Puppy Mills

Find out about The Humane Society's new campaign to stop puppy mills.

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Frugal Recipes: Mac ‘N Cheese to the Rescue

April 25, 2013
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Frugal Recipes: Mac ‘N Cheese to the Rescue

I am forever trying to come up with frugal recipes when it comes to serving my family dinner. That's why when I heard about this new book Mac 'N Cheese to the Rescue and its author Kristen Kuchar offered to share recipes in a blog post, I jumped at the chance.

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Free Way to Support Schools

April 2, 2013
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Free Way to Support Schools

The Box Tops for Education program is a free way you can support schools. Now there's a new way online shopping can support schools too when you shop at stores ranging from Adobe to Zulily.

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11 Ways You Know You Were Raised By a Frugal Parent

August 22, 2012
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Recently, the Wisebread blog had a post called “30 Signs That You Were Raised By Frugal Parents.” While I read that post and found myself nodding my head in agreement with many of the “signs,” after I was done reading, I thought, “Hey, there’s more!” So I came up with 11 more ways that you know you were raised by a frugal parent. You purchased dinnerware, cutlery, pots and pans through frequent buyer points at the supermarket. You had to save every label and UPC code for refunding. You had at least one article of clothing in your closet,...

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DIY Treadmill Desk

January 26, 2012
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DIY Treadmill Desk

Like many Americans I have a New Year’s resolution to get more exercise. While I’m pretty good about walking my dog for an hour every day–free exercise, to be sure–as a writer I spend the rest of my day sitting at a desk. I know that this sitting isn’t good for my health, especially since studies have shown that people who sit a lot tend to die younger. Um, that’s not my plan. While these New Year’s resolutions to get more exercise and eat better were swirling in my head, some people I know–also freelance writers–started talking about building...

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New Year’s Resolution: Extreme Cheapskate?

December 27, 2011
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New Year’s Resolution: Extreme Cheapskate?

There are a number of New Year’s resolutions that you can expect many Americans to make each year–lose weight, quit smoking, eat better, save money. As far as that last resolution goes, I expect that in 2012 we’re going to start hearing more about a new kind of saving money–becoming an extreme cheapskate. Yes, first there was extreme couponing–the practice and the show on TLC. Now TLC has upped the “extreme” ante with its new show called “Extreme Cheapskates.” Some of the antics of these extreme cheapskates include reusable toilet paper and asking strangers at a restaurant if you...

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Double-Dip Recession? How to Get Your Frugal On

August 4, 2011
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I just read a news alert from the New York Times about how the stock market had another terrible day, with a global sell off, and that the three major American financial markets had lost all of the gains they’d achieved in 2011. Now the warning for the days, weeks, and months ahead was this: prepare for the coming of a possible double-dip recession. Double dip. Sound lovely, like an ice cream cone with two different flavors, right? Well, when it comes to the economy, double dip is nothing delicious. It means that a country (USA), having started to...

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It Really Is the Economy, Stupid!

July 18, 2011
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Americans say they expect the economy to get worse in the next year, and their recent behavior shows a buckling-down and cutting-back mentality, possibly in preparation for hard times ahead–at least according to a recent Harris Poll. This may signal that the economy will have to get worse before it gets better. That’s never great news to hear. Here are some of the findings of that Harris Poll–some of which may be old news to us frugal folks but definitely worth mentioning as money-saving ways: More than 75% of Americans have begun purchasing more generic brands to save money...

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Frugal Visits to New York City

May 11, 2011
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OK, frugal travelers, answer me this: what kind of frugal tips would you like for taking a trip to New York City? Here’s why I’m asking. I’m going to be shooting some original video for my updated television reel in the next few weeks, and I’ll be spending three days shooting “organic” video in New York City. I have some ideas on what I’m interested in, as far as frugal visits to New York City. I mean I did live there for 10 years. But what would you like to know about being frugal while in New York City–possibly...

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Guest Post: Why Frugal and Happy Go Together

April 8, 2011
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Guest Post: Why Frugal and Happy Go Together

(Today’s guest post comes courtesy of Meagan Francis, a writer and mother of five, at left, with her brood, who also happens to be a blogger, writer, and author. I’ve known Meagan for years! Her articles and essays appear regularly in publications like Parenting, Parents, American Baby, and Pregnancy and on websites like Babble.com and iVillage. She is the author of four books, including the brand new tittle The Happiest Mom (Parenting Magazine): 10 Secrets to Enjoying Motherhood. Meagan is sharing 3 reasons how frugal and happy can go together. FYI, Meagan was kind enough to let me guest post...

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Are You Spending Too Much Time Being Frugal?

March 9, 2011
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I know. That seems like a crazy question, right? But last week I read an MSN article called “17 Signs that Frugality Has Gone Too Far” and it got me thinking: it’s one thing to want to do right by your family by living frugally. It’s another to suffer for your frugality. Here’s a quick recap 5 points that story makes–and my take on them. You spend more time trying to be frugal than on anything else. According to Coupon Mom Stephanie Nelson, you should spend an hour at most cutting coupons for grocery shopping. I’m sure there are...

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Frugal Dinner Challenge

February 14, 2011
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We’ve done a pretty good job these last few years of planning meals, cooking at home, and stocking up on food when it’s on sale at the grocery store. But tonight I feel like we’ve hit a tipping point. Here’s why. Tonight my husband did the grocery shopping. When he got home, and I was finishing unloading and putting away the groceries, I realized we had no more room in the freezer. Literally. I had to squish the last few things in there. And we have two freezers that we use. From the free Thanksgiving turkey we got using...

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10 Off-Beat Ways to Be Frugal

January 24, 2011
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WalletPop quotes me in a recent story “10 Off-Beat Ways to Be Frugal.” This is the second time in as many months that WalletPop has featured my advice! Once again my recipe for DIY laundry detergent is getting some play, and why not? It’s a great deal and works just as well as the commercial stuff. I’m still on my mission to figure out DIY dishwasher detergent. Stay tuned on that front. In case you haven’t had the chance to click over to that WalletPop story, here is quick recap of the 10 different ways that the 10 frugal...

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Suddenly Frugal on the Radio

September 22, 2010
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Suddenly Frugal on the Radio

I did an hour-long radio segment on Tuesday night with “Breaking Through with Georgiann.” Most of the interview focused on my new book Toss, Keep, Sell!: The Suddenly Frugal Guide to Cleaning Out the Clutter and Cashing In. If you’ve  got some time today, click here to listen to the show. Enjoy! You might also enjoy (Note: Some offers may have expired)Why Millennials Have Become Suddenly FrugalAnnouncing Suddenly Frugal The AudiobookTaking Frugal Living Too Far

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Frugal on a First Date?

September 13, 2010
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Frugal on a First Date?

Would you act frugally on a first date? According to a new survey from RedPlum, the folks that bring you deals and coupons, 78 percent of Americans would–even going as far as using a coupon to pay for movie tickets on that first date. Seventy-seven percent would use a coupon to pay for dinner at a restaurant. (Thank goodness I’m married and don’t have to worry about dating at all!) And while there was an option to do so “discreetly,” a majority of those who responded “yes” didn’t feel the need to conceal the fact that they were using...

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Guest Post: Getting a Massage on a Budget

September 12, 2010
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Guest Post: Getting a Massage on a Budget

One of the perks my mother enjoys in her retired life is a weekly massage. I wish I had the budget for such indulgences, but guess what? It turns out that getting a massage doesn’t have to be an expensive ordeal, as today’s guest blogger, Debbie Abrams Kaplan, explains. Debbie covers family travel, events and deals for Frisco Kids and Jersey Kids, so she knows a lot about how to have fun and save money. She happens to be the person who gave me the heads up that tomorrow, Tuesday, September 14th, is when you can find one-day deals...

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New Use for Old Watermelon

August 16, 2010
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New Use for Old Watermelon

We love watermelon. I mean during summer, our refrigerator is never without at least one seedless watermelon in it, waiting to be eaten. It is our favorite summer fruit and one we enjoy in chunks or cut in half moons, which my younger daughter calls “smiley faces.” The best way, in my opinion, to eat watermelon is when it is as fresh as possible, when the fruit is crisp and not as, my older daughter say, “texture-y.” If you have food texture issues like we do in our family–rice pudding or tapioca? I’d rather poke my eyes out!–then you...

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Guest Post: 5 Easy Steps for Making Jams and Jellies

August 15, 2010
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Guest Post: 5 Easy Steps for Making Jams and Jellies

(This is a guest post from Deborah Adams, founder of the Notes from Dry Creek Farm blog. She is also a freelance writer, and currently a resident writer for Online Schools, which researches areas of higher learning, how to pick an online school and education. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening and yoga. It’s a beginner’s guide to canning your own jams and jellies. Take it away, Deborah!) These days we’re all looking for ways to save money, and preserving our own food is one of the easiest and most satisfying ways to do that. Even if you...

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4 Cheapskate Tips for Getting Fit

June 27, 2010
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4 Cheapskate Tips for Getting Fit

While we’re full into bathing suit season, chances are someone you know is considering how to lose weight or get more exercise. Or maybe you are. If you’re on a budget, good news: you can be a cheapskate and a fit person. Here are four tips for doing that. Skip the gym and head outdoors. In my gym rat days, I used to spend hours on the treadmill. These days I do my walking for free outside. If the exercise you like to do is something you can do on your own without paying for a gym membership, why...

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5 Ways to Garden on the Cheap

June 23, 2010
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By taking care of my own lawn and garden, I’m saving thousands of dollars of year by not having to hire a landscaper. Even with these savings, I like to save even more, which is why a recent “Gardening on a Shoestring” article by Mary Hunt caught my eye. It included some clever ways to have a great garden without spending extra cash. Combining Hunt’s advice and mine, here are 5 ways to garden on the cheap. Find natural and inexpensive ways to get rid of bugs. Hunt likes to use the vampire trick to get rid of aphids–she...

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5 Frugal Deals You Can Find in March

February 25, 2010
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(Here is the text version of the tips I offered earlier this week on the 10! Show.) The best way to live frugally is to stock up on stuff when it’s one sale. And in March you’ll find deals on lots of things worth buying, if not stocking up on. Here are the five frugal deals you can find next month. 1. Winter gear like skis Regular stores will be marking down the winter sports gear but if you head to a shop like Play It Again Sports, where I got my cross-country skis, you’ll pay even less. Even...

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5 Frugal Super Bowl Party Ideas

February 2, 2010
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5 Frugal Super Bowl Party Ideas

Even if your favorite team isn’t playing in the Super Bowl this year, chances are you are either going to be attending or hosting a Super Bowl party on Sunday, February 7th, when the Indianapolis Colts meet the New Orleans Saints in Miami. A recent VISA survey showed that six out of 10 Americans will be at a party on this date. That same survey determined that the average American spends about $175 on a Super Bowl party. Think you can’t have a Super Bowl party on the cheap? Think again. Here are my five frugal Super Bowl party...

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Cooking Without a Kitchen: Favorite Snack

January 7, 2010
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Cooking Without a Kitchen: Favorite Snack

OK, so this isn’t something that you make that requires a stove, but it’s my new favorite frugal snack and I had to share. It’s DIY trail mix, and I could eat it as my three squares a day. I’ve always loved trail mix, especially the ones with M&Ms in them, but I’ve found it to be expensive. In some places where you can buy it in bulk, they charge $9.99 per pound. No thanks. I’ll make my own and save the money. No measurements are necessary when making DIY trail mix; you can just eyeball the amounts. Here’s...

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5 Frugal New Year’s Resolutions

January 6, 2010
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Earlier today I did a guest segment on the “10! Show” in Philadelphia to talk about frugal New Year’s resolutions. Since the video of that segment isn’t available yet (though I will post it here on the blog once it’s online), I thought I’d recap my advice and include tips and links for the products/services I’d mentioned. Discover ways to get something for nothing. A recent survey right here on this blog uncovered that six out of 10 readers–savvy frugal people–had either never heard of or never used Freecycle. Freecycle, where one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, is...

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Frugal Living During a Kitchen Renovation

December 30, 2009
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A wall of cabinets came down in my kitchen today, as we finally got our kitchen renovation started. We’re keeping this project affordable by doing all the heavy lifting ourselves. But by doing it ourselves, it also means that our kitchen is going to be out of commission for a bit longer than if we’d brought in a contractor. I know that this decision will pay off (quite literally) in the long run. That’s because when we ordered our kitchen cabinets, the store automatically included the cost for installation–even though we were opting out of it. Let me tell...

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What Kind of Frugal Consumer Are You?

November 16, 2009
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One of the outcomes of this recession–beyond the obvious–is that consumers now fall into four different categories, so says a new study entitled “Marketing to the Post-Recession Consumers,” by the marketing strategy and research firm Decitica. Those categories are: Steadfast Frugalists Involuntary Penny-Pinchers Pragmatic Spenders Apathetic Materialists Here’s a little more about what makes someone adopt one of these four monikers. Steadfast Frugalists Steadfast Frugalists are committed to self-restraint, engaging in prudence with unequivocal enthusiasm. They make up about one-fifth of the American consumers, representing all income and age groups. Researchers found that these folks were the least brand...

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Grandma's Greener Than You Are

October 21, 2009
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Your grandmother–or my mother–is/was likely greener and more frugal than you/I could ever be. And that was the topic of Laura Vanderkam’s op-ed in yesterday’s USA Today, which happens to quote me and mentions the frugality with which I was brought up. Hey, ma, how you like them apples?

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4 Uses for Epsom Salt

September 14, 2009
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4 Uses for Epsom Salt

When I was growing up, Epsom Salts were the go-to treatment for sore muscles. (I envied the kids who got Ben-Gay.) I guess growing up with a Yankee mom, I should have expected she would choose the most frugal–and effective–soak for sore muscles. I still keep a box of Epsom Salts underneath my bathroom sink, just in case. These days, with people looking to cut costs across the board, it seems Epsom Salt is hot. That’s because you can use Epsom Salt in all kinds of ways, including as part of your at-home spa treatments. Here are four uses...

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9 Things Great Depression Grandparents Knew About Saving

September 10, 2009
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President Obama started last night’s televised speech with a mention of our current economic situation and how our country hasn’t faced a financial crisis like this since the Great Depression. Turns out we could learn a few lessons from our Great Depression grandparents about how to save money, so says Bills.com president Ethan Ewing. Here are 9 such notions we should take to heart. 1. Live below your income. Simply put: Do not spend more than you earn. Those who are hooked on plastic can withdraw enough cash each week to cover necessities — even groceries and gasoline —...

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Self Employed or Sucker?

July 23, 2009
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I’m always looking for new work. It’s not that I don’t earn a good enough living. It’s that I know that in order to keep on earning a good living, I’ve always got to be marketing myself. That’s why I subscribe to and regular read a number of writing-related resources that provide leads on new jobs. I know that many people these days are also looking for new work, too. Maybe it’s because their old work closed up shop. Or maybe it’s because their partner or spouse is facing a layoff and they’re worried about their income. More and...

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These Are a Few of My Favorite (Frugal) Things

July 20, 2009
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Acting frugally can be a drag for some. For me, it’s fun. Every once and awhile something reminds me how much I enjoy finding ways to earn more money, save some money, or eke more value out of something I already own. Here are a few of my favorite (frugal) things from the past few weeks. The thrill of rolling change. About twice a year I’ll do a loose-change scavenger hunt around my house, and scrape together enough coins to make the coin-collecting worth my time. I’ll usually roll those coins and bring them to the bank to either...

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Frugal in New England

July 16, 2009
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Thanks to Boston.com for including Suddenly Frugal, in the lede no less, of a story on Mainers and frugal living. Given that my mom is a Mainer, much of that story resonates with the frugal lessons she passed along to me. And welcome to all of the new Suddenly Frugal readers who have helped my blog stats shoot through the roof this morning. I hope you’ll stick around! You might also enjoy (Note: Some offers may have expired)Taking Frugal Living Too FarDo You Live in the Most Frugal City?Why Millennials Have Become Suddenly Frugal

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Stores, Brands Tap Into the Power of Frugal Bloggers

June 3, 2009
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However, this Associated Press piece on the power frugal bloggers have these days to win deals and influence people did not include my advice. Wish it did. Nonetheless, it did mention some of the sites I frequent and mention in my new book. These include CouponMom. Here’s what I found very interesting about the piece–the retailers mentioned in the story include The Gap, KMart and Wal-Mart but not Target. Wouldn’t you think that Target would want to reach out to frugal folks, too? Maybe I need to go pitch myself to Target… You might also enjoy (Note: Some offers...

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3 Ways to Save on Phone Bills

March 26, 2009
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Last summer I wrote a blog posting about how I was cutting my landline–that is, the second line in our home that I used for my business. My reasoning was simple: I tended to use my cell phone primarily for business calls, because I always had it with me and because I’d programmed the voice mail on the landline to call me whenever anyone left a message. Nine times out of 10, I returned those message by dialing on my cell phone. There was another reason I decided to let this second line go: it was costing me more...

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