The Frugallery

A Gallery of Frugal & Fun Ideas!

Archive for the category “Budget Saver’s”

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Working Out on a Budget

You have probably begun thinking about what your new year’s resolutions will be. Lose weight, save money, have more free time. These are all noble ventures, but can they be done at the same time? Joining a gym and signing up for classes are excellent ways to lose weight. But how does that fit in with saving money and having more free time? Believe it or not, it is very feasible to lose weight without spending a mass amount of time or money. Here are a few ideas how:

1) Walk. Walking is an excellent (and free) way to work your entire body. Whether you make an effort to park at the back of the parking lot, go for a walk during your lunch break, or a stroll around your neighborhood after work, walking is an excellent way to lose weight.

2) Purchase a multi-purpose workout kit. There are many kits on the market that include rubber bands for resistance training, numerous grips for various exercises, and a jump rope for cardio. Inexpensive kits allow you to do dozens of different exercises to tone your entire body.

3) Use workout DVD’s. Workout DVD’s are a good way to get some variety in your workout. You can check out DVD’s at your local library, or purchase them inexpensively online. My personal favorites is The Biggest Loser’s Boot Camp. It offers different levels for beginners and advanced. It takes less than a half hour and you can feel it in every part of your body!

4) Visit the playground. Child playgrounds are a great place to get your workout in. Pick a playground that is at least half a mile from home (so you get a mile walk in just by getting to & from!). Once you are there, the playground equipment can be used for stepping stairs, doing pull ups, and quick sprints. Use the equipment as your own obstacle course and get a full body workout!

5) Look for used equipment. If you can afford to purchase equipment for your home, this is a great way to take the hassle out of working out. Check Craigslist or local used sports stores. You may be able to get a great treadmill, free weights, or weight machines at a discounted price. Once you have made the purchase, put them in a “in the way” place where you will see the equipment everyday. If they are hidden in the corner of the basement, you will feel less guilt for not using them.

Whatever you decide to do as part of your exercise regiment, just remember to keep moving!

Great Dollar Store Finds

Your local dollar store can be a great resource for budget-friendly purchases.  Keep in mind that even though each item is only $1, not every item is a good deal!  Many items come in smaller containers so the per unit price is actually higher than at a typical store.
Here are some items that can be purchased at dollar stores that are truly a great value.
1) Greeting Cards.  Many dollar stores often have 2/$1 deals on greeting cards, and they offer quite an assortment too!
2) Toothpaste.  Make sure you are getting a full-size container or the per ounce price is probably higher than a traditional store.  You may have to go to a less popular brand (AIM) to get a full size tube.  Many of the popular brands are available at dollar stores, albeit in a smaller tube.
3) Toothbrushes.  If you want name-brand, you can easily find an individual toothbrush for $1.  Often times you can get double-packs of the name-brand as well.  If you’re willing to go with an off-brand, don’t be surprised if you can get 3 or 4 for a buck!  Avoid the “8 packs” as they will be so cheaply made it will not be worth it in the long-run.
4) Mailing Supplies.  Many dollar stores sell bubblepack envelopes 2/$1.  This is less than half of what you would pay at a big-box store.
5) Coloring Books.  You may be surprised at the selection of popular character coloring books at your local dollar store.  The price will easily be half of what you would pay at most traditional stores.
What great dollar store finds have you found?

Good News for Lipitor Users

For 8.7 million Americans, today is a good day.  That is precisely how many people take Lipitor, a cholesterol reducing drug.  Today the profitable drugs patent expires, allowing it to be marketed as a generic for the first time ever.  Last year alone, Lipitor earned its maker Pfizer over $5 billion dollars.


For users, a generic version will cost up to half as much as the brand name version.  Considering its popularity amongst elderly users who are more likely to be on fixed incomes, this is welcome news.


To find out more, visit

How to Make Your Own Applesauce

Applesauce is a delicious snack that is also very nutritious.  But so many store bought types contain added sugar and preservatives.  Here is a recipe for home made applesauce that is easy to make, inexpensive, and delicious!

Peel and core a three pound bag of apples (between 8 & 9 apples).

Chop into small pieces and put into a crock pot.

Add 1/2 cups sugar.

Add 2 cups water.

Sprinkle in cinnamon (if you would like).

It will look like this:

Cook in the crock pot for 4-6 hours.  It will look similar to this:

Mash the apples with a potato masher or meat tenderizer.

Scoop out any excess water to create the consistency you like.

Add sugar or cinnamon to taste.

Put the final product in a jar and refrigerate!

Please share your experience if you try this recipe!

Space & Time Saving Tip for Freezing Meat

Do you like to stock up on meat when it’s on sale but don’t have the space in your freezer?  Or run out of time to defrost it?  Try this quick tip:

Put the meat into a baggie and flatten it down until it is no more than an inch thick.  You can also use non-freezer safe baggies and put numerous ones into one freezer safe bag.  (cheaper than using freezer bags for each serving)
This is a great way to freeze meat because it defrosts very quickly (because it is so thin).  Put the baggie into the sink with hot water and this will defrost in just a few minutes.  These take up much less room in the freezer than “bricks” of meat.  They can stack easily on top of each other and between boxes.
Give it a try!

Budget Buster: Sneaky Bank Fees!

Switching banks can really be a pain, but it can be worth it if your bank is charging you crazy fees!  Check out this article to see who the culprits are.

Then visit BankRate and watch a short video on how to avoid these fees.  I switched to an online bank a year ago (ING Direct) and haven’t looked back!


Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for years.  I’ll share with you the recipe.  Give it a try, it’s amazingly simple & one batch lasts a long time!

What you need:  Borax, Washing Soda, bar soap, a cheese grater, a storage container, and a spare scoop.  I’ve been able to find these products easily in stores.  Smaller grocery stores may not have the washing soda-it tends to be the more difficult to find.








Use the cheese grater to grate the bar soap.  My grater does not have a “fine” option, although I’ve never had a problem with larger slivers of soap.  Add in two parts soap, one part borax, and one part washing soda.  Use two tablespoons per  load.

This is what the final product looks like:








I found all of the ingredients at Wal-Mart.  But here are some links to where the items can be purchased online.

Borax: Found at Wal-Mart for $2.98 for a 76 oz. box ($.32 per cup)

Washing Soda: Found at Wal-Mart for $2.98 for a 55 oz. box ($.43 per cup).  Below is a link to the least expensive online option I could find.

Bar Soap: I prefer Dial which can be found at Wal-Mart for $3.98 for 8 bars. ($.50 per cup)


How do the costs stack up?

The above recipe costs FIVE AND A HALF CENTS per load (assuming you use two tablespoons).

I found a large box of Tide Powder on for $33 including shipping.  This was enough detergent for 80 loads of laundry.  This equates to $.41 per load.

If you do ten loads a week, your savings is $3.55 per week! 

I especially like this detergent because besides cleaning well, it does not contain any dyes or perfumes (unless you add in scented soap).  The only downside I have found is the box of Borax is larger than the box of Washing Soda so I run out of them at different times.  I’ve also added a little OxyClean to a load if I’m concerned about colors.

Give it a try–I’d love to hear your opinions!


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