frugality, budgeting, minimalism and saving money

silver and gold coins

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There is a simple, no bells or whistles website, THE FRUGAL SOURCE,  that lists links to  publications, blogs and websites, all having to do with saving, investing, retirement, budgeting, minimalism, do-it-yourself and using money wisely.

In my attempt to stretch our budget a bit tighter, I have found many of these sites to be helpful.  May you find something that can bless you too.

I have written a book, under the pen name Charlie, Frugal Seeds 101 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar.  I would be honored if you would take a moment to check it out.

Charities that will pick up your donations

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Sometimes we are just not able to personally remove all of the unwanted stuff out of our home.  It is either too heavy, too big, or there is just too much to physically put in a vehicle.  So, during my last decluttering session, I went on a quest and searched for places that would be willing to come and pick up all of my discarded treasures.

The quickest pick-up date was given by Goodwill and they were willing to come to my house and take all my stuff as long as it was on the first floor and was near an exit.  Done!  I set up an appointment via computer and they showed up on time and away my stuff went.  In fact, it was so easy I had them come back for more!  It felt so invigorating and freeing to let stuff go.  Less stuff = less cleaning = more energy for other activities.  Woohoo!

The organizations below are not available for pick-up in all locations, but I have provided links below for further information.  These are not posted in any particular order and is it not an all inclusive list.   Happy Spring Cleaning!

 

General household donations:

American Kidney Fund

Goodwill

The Salvation Army

Big Brothers Big Sisters

AmVets

Vietnam Veterans of America

Disabled American Veterans – DAV

Volunteers of American

Military Order of the Purple Heart

The Arc

St. Vincent De Paul

Lupus American Household Goods Donation Program

 

Cell phone/Smart phone/Tablet

Cell Phones for Soldiers

Secure the Call

Medic Mobile

1 Million Project

 

Boat donations:

Boat Angel

Orange Coast College School of Sailing and Seamanship

Chapman School of Seamanship

Angel for Hope

 

Motor vehicles:

American Children’s Cancer Foundation

American Kidney Fund

Wheels for Wishes

Kars 4 Kids

Volunteers of America

The Arc

 

Building Materials/Cabinets/Appliances:

Habitat for Humanity

 

Don’t forget to get a receipt for tax deduction purposes.  All of the stuff you move out of your house to make it more comfortable and enjoyable is going to help others also live a better life.  A BIG win-win situation!

 

wendi, under the pen name Charlie, is the author of Frugal Seeds:  501 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar

 

Until next time…….

The Complete Tightwad Gazette: my favorite book for money saving tips

pink and white ceramic pig coin bank

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If you are anything like me, you need to watch your pennies.  My chronic illnesses have put an enormous of strain on our budget requiring me manage it closely.  As with de-cluttering books, I have read many (and I mean many) books on how to save money, budgeting and frugality.  Some of the books were a total waste of time, others have been very helpful, but the one that changed my life more than any other money saving book is, The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn.

The Complete Tightwad Gazette is not a typical book that reads like a story, instead it is based on the subscription newsletters that Ms. Dacyczyn published from 1990 – 1996.  Therefore, the book is divided up into smaller articles ranging from………..should you let a bar of soap dry out before using it, how to make a volleyball net with plastic rings from a 6-pack, to a basic muffin recipe, and everything in between.  Because the newsletters were published in the 1990s many of the money saving tips are now outdated and no longer relevant.  Despite the book having some out dated money saving tips, I found it extremely useful.  I did read the entire book cover to cover, all 959 pages, and it was the only book I have read that encouraged me to start thinking of as many ways as possible I could save us money, how to creatively use up what we already have, and make the most out of every single penny.   No other book has pushed me past my comfort zone, to think creatively and encourage me to search for even the smallest ways to save…………hey, it all adds up!

Because this book has been so wildly popular you should be able to check it out from your local library.  If you cannot find the Complete Tightwad Gazette, you maybe able to find one of the first three volumes:  one, two and three………the later ones would probably be more beneficial.  I have seen copies of her books at Half Price Books and Goodwill.  In my very humble opinion, it is worth the time and effort to find a copy of her book.

 

~ wendi, under the pen name Charlie, is the author of Frugal Seeds:  501 Ways to Save, Make or Stretch a Dollar

 

 

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favorite de-cluttering & cleaning book

books in black wooden book shelf

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I have read many, many books on decluttering.  For a while, I would say it almost became a hobby of mine to search out and find books on the topic.  I would search shelf after shelf in used books stores, Goodwill stores, libraries, and occasionally websites of full-price retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Despite the numerous books that I have read, many fell very short in their benefits.  In fact, many books I read were down right disappointing.  In my very humble opinion, there was one book that stood out among the rest for readability, practicality, and relatability.

My all-time favorite decluttering book is, Clutter’s Last Stand by Don Aslett.  This book is the only decluttering book that kept me interested from beginning to the end, I didn’t want to put it down.  Mr. Aslett drew me in with his humor and casual writing style, putting me at ease with the fact that I did not have my clutter under control.  If you would be interested in checking it out, you should be able to get it through your local library in order to save money.  If your local library does not carry it, many libraries will try to find a book for you through an inter-library loan at no cost to you.  Otherwise, you may be able to find it at a used bookstore.

Until next time……happy reading.

 

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one in the freezer

supermarket refrigerators

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I usually don’t post two days in a row but I wanted to add on to what I posted yesterday regarding putting meals in the freezer for later use.

This afternoon I taught my youngest daughter how to make meatloaf.  I already had ground beef thawing in the fridge and knew I had to do something with it soon.  So, I used this meat as a wonderful opportunity to teach my daughter and to put an extra “meal” in our freezer.  I had my daughter prepare all the meat which fit into two loaf pans, with some left over.  One loaf was for tonight’s dinner and the other went into the freezer for a later date!

Since there was still meat left over from the meatloaf, we made meatballs and those also went into the freezer.  Although it took a little more time to prepare the extra meat for the second meatloaf and to make and bake the meatballs, it was much faster then if I had to start the process from scratch.

I have to admit, I am super tired tonight after spending 3 hours in the kitchen teaching my daughter to cook an entire meal which consisted of baked potatoes and green beans and she just had to make cupcakes…..but…..we were able to get goodies in the freezer (including cupcakes) and enjoy a healthy dinner.

So, I am encouraging you, if/when you are able, to plan ahead while grocery shopping and purchase extra ingredients so you too can put some food away in the freezer for your less than decent days!