Blog: Frugal Tips and News

Money saving ideas and news you can use. Formerly A blog about trying to lose weight frugally.

Coupons Making a Comeback
Thursday, October 09, 2008

CNN Reports: "The rising price of consumer goods is driving shoppers from all walks of life to use coupons for food, beauty aids and pharmacy products at an increasing rate, according to some of the country's largest purveyors of manufacturers' coupons.

Consumers from several economic backgrounds are clipping coupons.

The once-popular act of coupon cutting -- introduced by the inventor of Coca-Cola syrup more than 100 years ago -- is again becoming a household chore.

While people may be looking to spend less, they aren't necessarily cutting back on necessities or luxuries. Instead, consumers are hunting for deals on where to dry-clean their clothes, get their oil changed or take the family out to dinner, said MaryAnn Rivers, CEO of Entertainment Publications, which publishes community-based coupon books and Web sites." Read More...

0 Comments | Post Feedback

Saving Money
Thursday, October 09, 2008

Here's a nice post on ThriftyFun today.  I thought this was a great strategy for saving money as you successfully pay off bills.

"Once I come to the end of paying off a bill, I still continue to take out of my paycheck the same amount for that particular bill. I put half on another bill and the other half in a savings account or CD. Now each time I pay a bill off, I do the same thing to the next bill. That money was already earmarked, so I am not missing any extras.

By Georgetta from Waterloo, IA"

Seems like a great way to make sure that you turn some of the extra money into savings as bills get paid off.

Here's another great tip that was posted a while back about recognizing the benefit of saving, even a small amount, each month.  Use this approach and you can save for large purchases rather than charging them and paying up to double for items, once finance charges are incurred.

"I just talked to a friend who was complaining that she has to come up with $1000 every October and she has nothing saved up. I asked her if she could save $19.25 on a weekly basis. She said she could, if she cut out her morning coffee and took her own to work, and if she also skipped eating lunch out one day a week. I told her if she did that each week for a year, she would have her $1000. Actually if she put it in the bank, she would have a little more with interest. So, tomorrow she is going to schedule $19.25 to come directly out of each paycheck and go to her Credit Union Account.

This would be a great way to save for Christmas, property tax, propane bills, vacation or other recurring yearly expenses.

By April from NW Missouri"

Saving money requires thinking ahead, April illustrates that point well.

1 Comments | Post Feedback

Recession Proof Your Family
Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Suze Orman was on Oprah recently and had some advice for families on how to make good decisions during our tough economic times.  She hammers home the point that many households have built their budgets on lies and it's time for people to start being honest with themselves about what they actually can afford.  You can read the full article about her appearance here, she offers some good advice.

0 Comments | Post Feedback

$20 Off Using Google Checkout
Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Save at stores like by using Google Checkout.

It's a nice way to get saving on items that are normally tough to find sales on.  For example, $20 off the latest video game is a great deal as video games for consoles usually don't see significant discounts until they older.  Also, the $20 Off is offered by Google, so it's on top of any discounts offered by the merchant.

The key here is you have to sign up for and use google checkout to complete your order.  It's free to sign up for and use Google Checkout.  Just like with PayPal, it's free to send money. 

0 Comments | Post Feedback

Free Windshield Repair
Tuesday, November 21, 2006

At the urging of a friend, I just called my insurance company to see if they covered repairing dings on your windshield.  Sure enough, they cover it and wave the deductible.  They repair up to 3 dings for free.  They even are sending someone ot the house to perform the repair.  I have comprehensive coverage from USAA but I have heard that other insurance companies offer this as well.  Doesn't hurt to call.

0 Comments | Post Feedback

Weight Loss Benefit: New (Old) Clothing
Thursday, November 16, 2006

One fringe benefit of losing weight is it saves you money on clothing.  I now can fit into a lot of clothing that I purchased when I was a couple sizes smaller.

Which reminds me of a tip I read somewhere.  Don't get to fixated on the scale.  Your weight goes up and down, and muscle weighs more than fat.   How your clothing fits can be a better sign of progress.  Especially when you are working hard to lose weight but it's not showing up on the scale.

Current Weight: 189

1 Comments | Post Feedback

Weight Loss Stalled
Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Weeks went by and I barely lost a pound, despite sticking to my exersize routine.  The good news is I am still slimming down, and am now at 190 pounds.  Just 10 pounds from my 180 target. 

1 Comments | Post Feedback

Can we afford to lose CRT TVs?
Monday, October 23, 2006

I came across this story reading CNN this morning:

Flat-planels rule, old boob tube all but dead

REDWOOD CITY, California (AP) -- The lone conventional television set at Anderson's TV store sat along a side wall like a castoff. Its screen was dark as dozens of other gleaming flat-panel and big-screen models flashed nearby with vivid color images.

The staff at the Redwood City store hadn't even bothered to turn on the cathode-ray tube TV until a reporter asked to see it on a recent afternoon. ..Read More

Considering the cost of flat panel TVs, that's a bit of a scary thought.  I am sure the prices will come down, but it sure is nice being able to buy a good TV for $200 to $300.  With flat panels, you are looking at $700 to $900 for low-end, resonably sized TVs.   Hopefully the CRTs stick around for a while to provide a cheaper alternative because I have my doubts that the flat panels will be any more durable, possibly less.

1 Comments | Post Feedback

Watch Out For Mortgage Fraud
Friday, October 13, 2006

Here's an article on CNN Money that is worth reading:

CNN Money: "Mortgage fraud is one of the fastest growing white collar crimes, according to the FBI, with reports more than quadrupling since 2001.

Mortgage fraud refers to a whole host of scams, but the bottom line is that most cases involve inflating the value of a property for more than its worth, with the scammer pocketing the difference.

In today's tips we'll tell you how you can avoid these schemes."

Read More

0 Comments | Post Feedback

Going To Jail Until Social Security Kicks In?
Thursday, October 12, 2006

Here's a completely bizarre story.  He couldn't find a job to get him to his social security age so he breaks the law to get jail time for a couple years.  Pretty depressing story...


From CNN:

"A man who couldn't find steady work came up with a plan to make it through the next few years until he could collect Social Security: He robbed a bank, then handed the money to a guard and waited for police.

On Wednesday, Timothy J. Bowers told a judge a three-year prison sentence would suit him, and the judge obliged.

"At my age, the jobs available to me are minimum-wage jobs. There is age discrimination out there," Bowers, who turns 63 in a few weeks, told Judge Angela White.

The judge told him: "It's unfortunate you feel this is the only way to deal with the situation."

Bowers said he had been able to find only odd jobs after the drug wholesaler he made deliveries for closed in 2003. He walked to a bank and handed a teller a note demanding cash in an envelope. The teller gave him four $20 bills and pushed a silent alarm.

Bowers handed the money to a security guard standing in the lobby and told him it was his day to be a hero.

He pleaded guilty to robbery, and a court-ordered psychological exam found him competent."

Read More: CNN

0 Comments | Post Feedback

Bank of America: Keep The Change
Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Bank of America has extended their Keep The Change saving program to my neck of the wood (Washington Stat) so I have signed up for it. I will let you know how it goes. 

Here's a description of the program from their website...

"Spend with your check card. Add to your savings. Only at Bank of America.

Every time you buy something with a Bank of America Visa® Check Card, we'll round up your purchase to the nearest dollar amount and transfer the difference from your checking to your savings account1 free of charge. Because every bag of groceries, every coffee and every tank of gas adds up to more savings for you.

We'll even match your savings.

For the first three months, we'll match your Keep the Change™ savings at 100%. That means for every Keep the Change transfer, we'll contribute the same amount to your Bank of America savings account. And when the three months are over, to make it even easier to save, we'll continue matching 5% a year, every year."

I set up a page for people to post reviews about the Keep The Change program on ThriftyFun.  If you have used it, post your review at the link below.


0 Comments | Post Feedback

A Treat and a Craft
Monday, October 09, 2006

Stella posted a great craft on ThriftyFun that should delight trick-or-treaters.  Just pick up a big bundle of pipe cleaners or chenel sticks at your local craft store and hand out these easy to make spiders. 

Here's the link to the directions!
Tootsie Pop Spiders!


0 Comments | Post Feedback

Changing Focus
Monday, October 09, 2006

While I am still working on losing weight, now at 193.  I am changing the focus of this blog a bit.  I'll still share my Frugal Weight loss experiences but will also post tips, new stories and anything else I come accross that I think might save people money.

0 Comments | Post Feedback

Week 4: Eating Out
Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I exercised every day this week for 30 minutes or more and lost two pounds.  Not earth shattering, but it's still progress.  At one point I weighted myself and I was down to 195, but Sunday night it was up to 197.

Current Weight: 197

Here are some tips I use for eating out:

1. Don't eat out!  It's tough to control portions and unless it's a major chain, you can't easily get nutrition information.  I used to eat out fairly regularly but have scaled it back quite a bit. There is no question I could save money and lose weight if I stopped altogether.

2. Eat Less.  At sit down restaurants, plan on only eating half of whatever you order.  Portions are huge, especially at Mexican and Italian restaurants.  I always plan on having leftovers and I get two meals out of it and don't go home without a stomach ache.

3. Drink Water.  Avoid sugary pops, just opt for water.  Less calories and less sugar.

4. Fast Food.  Pass on the fries or anything fried.  Just get the sandwich.  I also don't get a soft drink.  You save money by buying larger sizes but the food is lousy in the first place, less is more.  Just get a cheap sandwich and try to avoid eating there altogether.

4 Comments | Post Feedback

Week Three: 3 Pounds Down
Monday, August 28, 2006

Not really what I hoped for after exercising 6 days last week, but on Sunday night I was 3 pounds lighter.  Moving in the right direction but I probably need to eat better this week to lose more weight.  I have been very good about exercising every night but I have eaten out a few more times than I should of.  It was nice to see the scale dip below the 200 mark...

Current Weight: 199

0 Comments | Post Feedback

Small Steps Towards Weight Loss
Monday, August 21, 2006

I found this list on a US Health and Human Services website.

Take Small Steps Today!

1. Walk to work.
2. Use fat free milk over whole milk.
3. Do sit-ups in front of the TV.
4. Walk during lunch hour.
5. Drink water before a meal.
6. Eat leaner red meat & poultry.
7. Eat half your dessert.
8. Walk instead of driving whenever you can.
9. Take family walk after dinner.
10. Skate to work instead of driving.
11. Avoid food portions larger than your fist.
12. Mow lawn with push mower.
13. Increase the fiber in your diet.
14. Walk to your place of worship instead of driving.
15. Walk kids to school.
16. Get a dog and walk it.
17. Join an exercise group.
18. Drink diet soda.
19. Replace Sunday drive with Sunday walk.
20. Do yard work.
21. Eat off smaller plates.
22. Get off a stop early & walk.
23. Don't eat late at night.
24. Skip seconds.
25. Work around the house.
26. Skip buffets.
27. Grill, steam or bake instead of frying.
28. Bicycle to the store instead of driving.
29. Take dog to the park.
30. Ask your doctor about taking a multi-vitamin.
31. Go for a half-hour walk instead of watching TV.
32. Use vegetable oils over solid fats.
33. More carrots, less cake.
34. Fetch the newspaper yourself.
35. Sit up straight at work.
36. Wash the car by hand.
37. Don't skip meals.
38. Eat more celery sticks.
39. Run when running errands.
40. Pace the sidelines at kids' athletic games.
41. Take wheels off luggage.
42. Choose an activity that fits into your daily life.
43. Try your burger with just lettuce, tomato, and onion.
44. Ask a friend to exercise with you.
45. Make time in your day for physical activity.
46. Exercise with a video if the weather is bad.
47. Bike to the barbershop or beauty salon instead of driving.
48. Keep to a regular eating schedule.
49. If you find it difficult to be active after work, try it before work.
50. Take a walk or do desk exercises instead of a cigarette or coffee break.
51. Perform gardening or home repair activities.
52. Avoid laborsaving devices.
53. Take small trips on foot to get your body moving.
54. Play with your kids 30 minutes a day.
55. Dance to music.
56. Keep a pair of comfortable walking or running shoes in your car and office.
57. Make a Saturday morning walk a group habit.
58. Walk briskly in the mall.
59. Choose activities you enjoy & you'll be more likely to stick with them.
60. Stretch before bed to give you more energy when you wake.
61. Take the long way to the water cooler.
62. Explore new physical activities.
63. Vary your activities, for interest and to broaden the range of benefits.
64. Reward and acknowledge your efforts.
65. Choose fruit for dessert.
66. Consume alcoholic beverages in moderation, if at all.
67. Take stairs instead of the escalator.
68. Conduct an inventory of your meal/snack and physical activity patterns.
69. Share an entree with a friend.
70. Grill fruits or vegetables.
71. Eat before grocery shopping.
72. Choose a checkout line without a candy display.
73. Make a grocery list before you shop.
74. Buy 100% fruit juices over soda and sugary drinks.
75. Stay active in winter.  Play with your kids.
76. Flavor foods with herbs, spices, and other low fat seasonings.
77. Remove skin from poultry before cooking to lower fat content.
78. Eat before you get too hungry.
79. Don't skip breakfast.
80. Stop eating when you are full.
81. Snack on fruits and vegetables.
82. Top your favorite cereal with apples or bananas.
83. Try brown rice or whole-wheat pasta.
84. Include several servings of whole grain food daily.
85. When eating out, choose a small or medium portion.
86. If main dishes are too big, choose an appetizer or a side dish instead.
87. Ask for salad dressing "on the side".
88. Don't take seconds.
89. Park farther from destination and walk.
90. Try a green salad instead of fries.
91. Bake or broil fish.
92. Walk instead of sitting around.
93. Eat sweet foods in small amounts.
94. Take your dog on longer walks.
95. Drink lots of water.
96. Cut back on added fats or oils in cooking or spreads.
97. Walk the beach instead of sunbathing.
98. Walk to a co-worker's desk instead of emailing or calling them.
99. Carry your groceries instead of pushing a cart.
100. Use a snow shovel instead of a snow blower.
101. Cut high-calorie foods like cheese and chocolate into smaller pieces and only eat a few pieces.
102. Use nonfat or low-fat sour cream, mayo, sauces, dressings, and other condiments.
103. Replace sugar sweetened beverages with water and add a twist of lemon or lime.
104. Replace high-saturated fat/high calorie seasonings with herbs grown in a small herb garden in your kitchen window.
105. Refrigerate prepared soups before you eat them. As the soup cools, the fat will rise to the top.  Skim it off the surface for reduced fat content.
106. When eating out, ask your server to put half your entrée in a to-go bag.
107. Substitute vegetables for other ingredients in your sandwich.
108. Every time you eat a meal, sit down, chew slowly, and pay attention to flavors and textures.
109. Try a new fruit or vegetable (ever had jicama, plantain, bok choy, starfruit or papaya?)
110. Make up a batch of brownies with applesauce instead of oil or shortening.
111. Instead of eating out, bring a healthy, low calorie lunch to work.
112. Ask your sweetie to bring you fruit or flowers instead of chocolate.
113. Speak up for the salad bar when your coworkers are picking a restaurant for lunch, and remember calories count, so pay attention to how much and what you eat.
114. When walking, go up the hills instead of around them.
115. Walk briskly through the mall and shop 'til you drop ... pounds.
116. Clean your closet and donate clothes that are too big.
117. Take your body measurements to gauge progress.
118. Buy a set of hand weights and play a round of Simon Says with your kids - you do it with the weights, they do without.
119.  Swim with your kids.


0 Comments | Post Feedback

Week Three: More Progress
Sunday, August 20, 2006

I stuck with my program and exersized (eliptical trainer) every night this weed for 30 minutes.  Stretching before and after has helped a lot.  I watched my diet pretty well.   My strategy for diet has been to cut out snacks, desserts, pop (and other sugary beverages) and avoiding eating out so much.  I have also tried to eat better when i do eat out.  I'll put together another post about that.  I already eat pretty well, so I am not drastically changing my diet yet, just trying to eliminate some bad habits.  By the end of this week when I weighed myself I had lost 6 more pounds.  Hopefully I'll weight less than 200 by the end of this week.  The blog seems to help motivate me to exersize everyday.

Current Weight:

2 Comments | Post Feedback

Candy Bar Calories
Thursday, August 17, 2006

30 minutes on my elliptical trainer burns between 350 to 400 calories.  When you consider that there are candy bars that contain nearly that many calories it really makes me think twice before eating calorie heavy snacks.  Fred Meyer regularly has 4 for $1 deals on candy bars, they are easier to pass up when you consider how long you have to spend exercising to burn it off.

2 Comments | Post Feedback

Week Two: Finally Losing Weight
Sunday, August 13, 2006

At the end of week two I finally have some weight loss to report.  I exercised 30 minutes 5 days last week and lost 5 pounds.  My weight still fluctuates throughout the day but I am reporting my weight after I exercise, which was 208, on the 14th day of my weight loss program.  Not really a huge payoff for all the hard work, but I am committed to this for 3 months.  So theoretically, I could reach my target of 180 fairly easy at that pace. Next week I hope to exercise 6 days, instead of 5.

Current Weight: 208

4 Comments | Post Feedback

Bananas and Water
Friday, August 11, 2006


One thing that has really helped my muscles recover, other than stretching, is eating a banana (or two) a day.  I noticed that I am much less sore when I start advertising in the evening when I eat atleast one banana a day.

Drinking Water

When I started, I was drinking water while exercising.  I have stopped doing this, it just seems to be a distraction.  I am not going to die of thirst from 30 minutes of exercise, I drink some water before and as much as I feel I need after.

0 Comments | Post Feedback

Exercising and Music
Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Listen to good music when you exercise.  For me, it doesn't need to be high energy but it does need to have a beat.  What works for me is alternating high energy music with calmer music.  I also change the songs on my iPod every couple days so the music is fresh.  When I am really enjoying a song, I hardly notice I am riding the elliptical and time flies.   I have heard that talk radio and books on tape also work for some people.  Talk radio would drive me nuts but I may try a book on tape (mp3).

0 Comments | Post Feedback

Reading Nutrition Labels - Avoiding High Fructose Corn Syrup
Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I don't know how bad High Fructose Corn Syrup is for you, I am not a nutrition expert, but I heard a discussion on a radio show one day about how widely it was used and how it might be contributing to weight gain in a America. So, whether it's bad for me or not, I got into the habit of looking at product labels to see they had high fructose corn syrup in it.  I  discovered that almost everything I ate contained it.  Just for kicks, and maybe for good health, I now try to avoid eating high fructose corn syrup and it has helped me eat better. 

The positive byproduct of avoiding eating high fructose corn syrup is I now I also look at every product's nutrition label before I buy it.  I note the fat and calorie content and end up avoiding a lot of products that I used to buy. 


0 Comments | Post Feedback

Tip: An Apple Before Eating
Monday, August 07, 2006

Another great tip I discover was eating an apple before eating.  If you shop around you can find school boy apples for $1 a pound or less.  They are great for between meal snacks and if I eat one before a meal, I do find I can eat less to get full.  I now combine this tip with drinking a glass of water before eating.

0 Comments | Post Feedback

Tip: Drink a Full Glass of Water Before Eating Dinner
Monday, August 07, 2006

One difficulty with dieting is still feeling hungry or not feeling full after eating a meal, especially dinner.  I have had some success with drinking a full glass of water right before eating.  The water is good for you don't have that empty feeling in your stomach after eating a "smaller than normal" meal.

0 Comments | Post Feedback

Exercising Routine: Week One
Sunday, August 06, 2006

Day 1: I started my exercise routine on my elliptical trainer.  It was pretty hard on my legs. I started with 15 minutes.   My hope was to add 5 minutes a day and to eventually do 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week.  My legs were very sore after only 15 minutes!  I really was not used to exercising.

Day 2: The next day I did 20 minutes but did a different program that had lower resistance for most of the workout but spiked occasionally.  It was difficult but I made it through 20 minutes.

Day 3: The next day my legs were extremely sore! I didn't ride the Elliptical.

Day 4: On the 4th day my legs were still sore, but I got the bright idea of stretching before I got on the elliptical.  It made a big difference.  I noticed that once I get to 15 minutes, I get a second wind and can pretty easily go for another 10 minutes.  I was able to do 25 minutes and then stretched afterwards. 

Day 5: On the 5th day I was able to do my target time of 30 minutes on the elliptical.  It really didn't seem much harder than 25 minutes.

Day 6: 30 minutes again.

Day 7: I was sore and tired, so I didn't exercise.

The Bad News

I haven't lost much weight.  I have tried to eat better in addition to the exercise above and so far I have maybe lost 2 pounds.  The good news is that even in just one week, I have developed more stamina on the elliptical and have developed a nice routine of stretching and exersize.


What works for me, may not work for you.  I am a relatively healthy 30 year old male who in the past has been pretty athletic.  So ramping up to 30 minutes of exercise seemed reasonable to me.  But I have since researched this a bit more and many sites and books recommend easing into a routine slower than I did and consulting a doctor before starting.

Current Weight: 212

1 Comments | Post Feedback

My Weight Loss Program - Getting Started
Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I currently weigh around 215 pounds.  I work in a job that basically requires that I sit down for 8 hours a day.  This has caused me to gain weight every year that I have been working this job.  At 30 years, I have decided to try to stop the yearly weight and gain and reverse it.  I have decided that my best target weight is 180 for my height which is 5'9". 


When I did research for what my best target weight would be I was surprised to find out that even at 180 pounds, I would be borderline overweight according to the commonly used BMI (Body Mass Index).  My ideal weight for my height according to BMI is 128 to 176 pounds.  When I was a skinny athlete in college I didn't weigh 164 pounds, probably closer to 175, so I am not sure what to make of the BMI for choosing a target weight.  You can check your BMI at the link below.

Frankly, I think it's just an index to make everyone feel lousy about themselves. :-)  I'll stick with a target weight of 180 pounds.

My Plan

Here's my plan for losing the weight.

1. Exercise: I have a Horizon Elliptical Trainer that has been gathering dust.  My goal is to ride it 6 days a week for at least 30 minutes.  I won't start out at 30 minutes a night, I work my way up to it.

2. Diet: I'll watch what I eat.  Easier said than done, but I am going to be a label watcher and will try to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my diet.

3. No Gimmicks: I want long term weight loss, so I am going to try to change my behavior and routines.  I won't spend money to lose weight, other than buying better food.

4. Daily Progress:  I am going to track my progress daily by weighing myself daily after exercising. 

5. Realistic Expectations: I am going to work on this for three months.  I have read that losing weight is a slow process, so I am not expecting anything dramatic early on.  I have also read that muscle weighs more than fat, so I don't expect my exercise to result in a lot of weight loss until I have built up some muscle.

Starting Weight: 213 pounds

0 Comments | Post Feedback

My Weight Loss Blog
Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hey folks,

In this blog I will share tips for weight loss that has worked for me.  I work in the computer industry and have gained weight over the past 5 years.  Now I am starting to work it off.  I have only been at it for a few weeks so I lot to learn but I also have already found some strategies that work.  If anyone else has some tips to share, feel free to send them to and I will probably post them and try them out!

Thanks for stopping by,

0 Comments | Post Feedback

Port Orchard, WA 98366
Blog Home
RSS Feed
Photo Album


Budget and Finance
Food Tips and Info
Health and Body


October 2008
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
© 2020 - A website!
Disclaimer: cannot accept any responsibility for any injury or damage that you may cause to yourself, others, or property when following any advice given on this site. has no control of how you may use information you get from this site and does not attest to the validity of any information found within. Much of this information comes from third parties (newsletter readers and other contributers). Use advice found in our newsletters and on our site with common sense and at your own risk. If you see something in our newsletters or on our site that you disagree with, please let us know. Our goal is print only valuable information and advice.