Monday, December 19, 2011

Frugal Column December 18, 2011

One of my favorite holiday shows is A Charlie Brown’s Christmas. What a great message of simplicity by looking at his small tree and how it was transformed into something beautiful. What does it take to live simply? At the end of the month having money left over when you pay all your bills will accomplish one phase of this task. You and your family do have to give up on some luxuries but not on everything. Let’s start by using the envelope system. Lots of families use cash for all of their purchases. Write on several envelopes “Groceries”, “Entertainment”, “Clothing” “Gas” and “Miscellaneous” then put in the amount of cash that you have budgeted for the month. When the cash runs out you will have to get creative with what you already have. Instead of going to the movies check out the free DVD’s available at the library. If you look in your pantry I am sure you will find plenty of ingredients to make a nice dinner. Clothing is one item that we have plenty of resources to get high end products for low prices between Goodwill, Salvation Army plus many consignment stores you can get an inexpensive outfit for any occasion. It is hard to find gas deals but do sign up for any reward programs that gas stations offer to give you at least 3 cents off a gallon. Doesn’t seem like much but it does add up. Taking this baby step will allow you to see where your money actually is going. The next step is deciding what you can go without. Living a life of necessity can range from going without that Coach bag to growing your own food. I tell people that all of this can’t happen fast but slowly moving towards a goal can be rewarding in your pockets along with giving you a sense of accomplishment. This summer grow a little container garden if you don’t want to start big. The University of Kentucky Arboretum teaches classes on the basics of gardening. Check out their free or low cost classes available every month at or call (859) 257-9339 for more information. Living simply can just be taking one item you are not using any more and repurposing it to be used for something else. Last year I took my used plastic coffee cans and wrapped the Christmas tree lights around the can making it a snap to put lights on the tree this year. Imagine how much you save by washing out your plastic containers and using them to store other items. One of my favorite websites to visit is every city seems to have a chapter to get stuff for free. I have received beautiful garden decorations from a women moving to Florida to giving away barn boards that I removed to the Wolf Run Wildlife Refuge Camp. Don’t ever think what would someone want with this remember you were the one to have it first. I want everyone to know that there is no right way to live out the simple lifestyle but taking that first step will start building lasting habits. As you take that first taste of the simple life it maybe a little sour but eventually ends up being a fulfilling feast.

Read to Succeed is a free educational program sponsored by Six Flags to engage children in grades K through 6 to read. Students who complete six hours of recreational, non-school-related reading are eligible to earn a free admission ticket to a participating Six Flags theme park.

Many of the products you purchase everyday have a label on the box or can that says Box Top 4 Education. Many schools use this program to purchase school supplies. Sign up online to find a participating school in your area. Call the school to ask them for information on their collection procedures.

ThredUp is a new website that will send you free boxes or bags so you can de-clutter your house of your child’s outgrown items and receive money for doing so.

Text FUN to 727272 each day for a rental discount at REDBOX and a chance to win a gift. Good until December 24. If you haven’t used promotional code DVDONME use it to get a free rental.

Get a free Stella Artois Chalice when you call 1-800-MY-CHALICE. Visit to learn the rules and responsibilities that come with Chalice ownership.

Get your own personalized Christmas Song when you register at

Free Going in Circle Portrait College from Pictureme studios located in Walmart.

Print out $3 coupon for Yes to Carrot purchase at Walmart. You should be able to get some free lip balm.

Urban Boundaries Women’s Acrylic Patterned Scarf at Amazon was $24.00 now $3.24

Like Coke Zero on their facebook page to receive a coupon for a free bottle

Crayola Color Me A Song at Walmart for $5 send in $3 rebate making final price just $2

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