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Blog: Pam's Pennypinching With STYLE

All-over Frugality? A list -

Friday, June 06, 2008

The trouble I find that I am having in putting down my frugal thought on paper for the frugal book I am writing, is that I am so frugal throughout my life, that it is hard to circle in on what information would be the most useful to someone who has a hard time of it - or who is just starting out, whom I assume would be the audience - Or is that wrong thinking?  Would beginners at frugality want an upgrade of skills?

As I see in my comments here at - I have opinions on LOTS of ways to save on things!  Beauty, hair care, wardrobe, entertainment, computer software - I could go on & on. (We just bought 2 used bikes at the beach at a yard sale for $35.) I rarely shop in regular stores anymore - just at discount places and thrift shops and so on - and actually prefer them.

I send off for freebies on a regular basis and do word of mouth marketing for companies like (Just got some yummy natural nuts/trail mix from Back to Nature which I will duly plug as part of my duties!  You can become a bzzagent, too!)

OK - Let me count my frugal ways, and see what happens. I have gotten:

  • Frugal dentistry at the USC dental clinic.
  • Medications from drug company programs
  • Therapy from the Hollywood/Sunset Free Clinic (plus psych drugs) and also clinic care.
  • Free classes - An assertiveness workshop at Cal State LA years ago. My Santa Monica Emeritus acting class now.
  • Attended free workshops on PR and marketing when I had the theatre.
  • Went to a free workshop at Beyond Baroque.  
  • I have:
  • Gotten free exercise classes by volunteering to be in exercise infomercials
  • Got free product also from infomercial participation
  • Filled out surveys on buying habits and got cookware. (Nice Pyrex, still have it.)
  • Sent off for countless freebies through freebie sites on the net. (You know that.)
  • Gotten practically free (except for handling charge) tix to hear Peter Frampton
  • Learned computers on the job (just paid for manuals)
  • Gone to to free workshops on grantwriting (not that I ever got any $)
  • Done my own taxes (with the help of a guidebook)
  • Helped paint my own apartment
  • Put down tile on the floor(s)
  • Collected art and collectibles (I have a vintage costume jewelry collection)
  • Taken office supplies from offices who were going to throw them out (paper, old letterhead - filing racks - whatever)
  • Entered into and won contests - a new TV a few years ago - and a shopping spree at a department store - and cups and books and jewelry
  • Cut and colored my own hair (coloring really successful)
  • Been paid as a hair model and gotten free haircuts
  • Saved up extra samples from my promo work to give to family & friends (still have some Swiffer cloths).
  • Had yard sales, participated in others' sales
  • Traded old books for cash or credit
  • Sold off extra costume jewelry (rhinestones)
  • Taken things from my grandmother's old apartment - I still have her tools - and have cookware from my mother and godmother.
  • Use free computer programs like to make my own reel
  • Used other free software
  • Get free samples from on a regular basis
  • Especially like cosmetic and health samples - pick some up at the health food store
  • Use coupons, like the restaurant ones.
  • Park for free whenever possible
  • Fix, re-use and recycle and what I can't I give away -
  • Sell off used stuff - even junk autos, etc.
  • Exchange labor with friends
  • Make my own greeting cards/postcards
  • Find free sheet music and music instruction on the net
  • Find free music downloads on the net
  • Get useful promotional items like pocket calendars, pens and pencils and notepads
  • Used to just watch free TV - now it's movies on cable
  • Only get cell phones through the cell plan
  • Keep old big computer monitor
  • Buy used furniture at Salvation Army, office stores and elsewhere.
  • Review music and get free CDs
  • Gone to free lectures and audited classes
  • Taught myself Spanish using bargain language CDs
  • Recorded my music myself
  • Made my own music CD
  • Taught myself a bit of editing for my reel, etc.
  • Done my own marketing, even viral
  • Worked on my own legal issues and consumer complaints
  • Tried to do my own teeth cleaning
  • Had teeth cleaned at hygienist's clinic
  • Picked up good stuff, like an old glass display case - from the street
  • Found good stuff in the trash - like lawn furniture
  • Always took care of old cars adding additives and so on
  • Mended/repaired as much as I could myself - from shoes to small appliances to lamps (easy to rewire)

WHEW! There is even more, but I am tired just thinking about it - Now you - dear reader(s) out there - what sparks YOUR  fancy?  Do TELL. And thanks.

(Oh, and P.S. spellchecked this using a free spellcheck for the net!)

2 Comments | Post Feedback

Putting Our Heads Together about Frugality.


How am I frugal? Counting the Ways.


You're beginning has began
Thursday, June 12, 2008 | By sbb1

hi, I think you should start your book off by saying exactly what you have said in this post. It sounds great and makes an interesting beginning. I like your sense of humor and you stick to the point and speak "reality-talk". I enjoy reading your post. Another suggestion I have is for you to use each one of the posts as a warmover at the beginning of each chapter. Much success!

Thursday, June 12, 2008 | By pamphyila

Appreciate your comment!

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