Living the Frugal Life or Memoirs of a Dumpster Diver

 ( OR LIVING  ABUNDANTLY ON A VERY LOW INCOME) by soulight



DIY 

RE-USING  

COUPONS   

 BARTERING  

   RE-GIFTING    

 FREEBIE SITES  

FRUGAL SITES 

  LOW INCOME  LIVING 

     GARAGE SALE SHOPPING

THRIFT STORE SHOPPING       

FREE ASSISTANCE FOR LOW INCOME CHALLENGES

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Living with very little money , yet in much  abundance

FREE  and BARGAIN

STUFF OF ALL KINDS :

AND

Any other free , low cost or

great deals to share !

 

This site has suggestions about how to live with a very low income. We may not have much money  but we can still live a life of abundance !

FREE STUFF !!!

Why not start with the best stuff .               My favorite :  FREE ! ! ! 


THIS SOURCE HAS HELPED SO MANY PEOPLE  I AM PUTTING IT AT THE TOP !

The Freecycle Network™

is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns.Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people).Membership is free.

To sign up, find your community by clicking on the region on the left. You may then go directly to your local group by clicking on "Go To" or you may immediately joining by clicking on "Join." It will generate an automatic e-mail which, when sent, will sign you up for the local group and send you a response with instructions on how it works.

Have fun!

FREECYCLE 


Here is another site similar to Freecycle , but more global . It is nice , but I like the local part of Freecycle.

THROW PLACE LINK PAGE

This is another free stuff to share site.

Help the Environment and your Neighbors!
Recycle your Useful but Unused Items
by 'Passing It On'. FreeSharing.org
The Next Generation of
Free Recycling Don't throw it out!
We can use it all over again!
Free Recycle It!

FREE SHARING DOT ORG

This is a cool site that has links to other groups in the 'freesharing' movement . And I thought Freecycle was the only one !  There are many more .

FREE SHARING DOT ORG SITE LINKS

Another similar site . This site is about altruism (Altruistic: adj : showing unselfish concern for the welfare of others)

ALTRUISTS DOT ORG PROJECTS PAGE

 

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 Here is a free story . It is about a market in Ecuador. Enjoy !

HELP OTHERS STORY


More free stories can be found on the Help Others site. On this site there is much abundance , not a wealth of money , but a wealth of kindness and love shown to others.These stories are priceless.

MORE HELP OTHERS STORIES

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 More "Get Things for Free" links :

Make sure you read these carefully . Some have requirements ,such as a disability , or being a teen  for getting free stuff. Most are for everybody though.

Places where I regularly get free samples with no strings attached (no postage or handling and no buying requirements)

A blog discussing THE LATEST FREEBIES

AS USUAL , ABOUT .COM has been the KING OF FREEBIES

LOT'S OF GOOD FREESTUFF -look towards the top of page for topic listings

FAT WALLET - FREE STUFF and MORE !



FREE STUFF FOR TEENS -but many offers don't require you to reveal your age

 

Free TOP BEAUTY STUFF -read the real expensive stuff - This is for fun  more than for getting stuff for  free.  You have until noon on  the day they offer it to sign up .Did you know that some top dermatologists say to use solid vegetable shortening(such as Crisco) for a good all-around moisture cream?

TWISTED BRANCHES This site often has freebies that are not listed on the other freebie sites that I use . I am not sure what their name means , but they have great freebies !

 

Would you like to get your kids clothing free ? How about CD's ? You can get both for free and tons more . Here is more information about how to do it !

At Kizoodle, the free site for parents, you can swap nationwide, hookup with other parents in your area, share family photos and ideas, and make great new friends.
Let's face it – having a family is expensive these days! Kizoodle is doing it's part to help by creating an environment were parents can save money by swapping stuff and ideas nationally with anyone with its unique system.

As a member and rule abiding participate, you can enjoy great cost savings by shipping out what your kids don't need anymore and shopping, from the convenience of your home, for the items like clothes, shoes, toys, baby gear, books, CD's, DVD's, and every other essential for your child... and get these items for FREE 

KIZOODLE

 

Free printable' s sites are easy to find. This one is special ! In addition to thousands of free printable' s , they will notify you when they add new ones !

FREE PRINTABLES 

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THE ART OF DUMPSTER DIVING - NOT FOR THE WEAK  !

My daughter and I have what many frugal people call "dumpster dived" This is not for the weak at heart or muscle !

My daughter totes all the stuff,God bless her ! We live near a college campus ,and we have gotten a futon sofa , a table and chair set with 2  inserts , several bookcases , arts and craft supplies , a couple of full length mirrors , books , magazines , office chairs , desks , and a graphing calculator , among many other things. The best times are when the students move in or out (check local colleges for when the semesters start and end) and also when the students go on break. If you look in the dumpsters the day after they leave for Christmas break , you can get free Christmas trees. Sometimes already decorated and with lights ! When you go , just bring a dumpster diving safety kit with gloves, disenfectant ,  a screw driver to take things apart so they are easier to transport , a garbage bag to put things in , and a big muscle-y person (or more , but you will have to share the loot !)

Also , be smart and don't touch really bad looking stuff. Most of the things we got were left next to the dumpster.

Here is a page about how to dumpster dive and do it in a clean and safe way !

DUMPSTER DIVING , AN INTRODUCTION


 SOME  GENERAL SITES TO CHECK OUT

 

This site used to be called " Hillbilly Housewife" and  it is now called "Frugal Abundance" . Here is the link . It is about being frugal , living a healthy life , and having Faith. A great site !

FRUGAL ABUNDANCE 

The "old" site :

HILLBILLY HOUSEWIFE 

 

 

The Thrifty Fun site has very creative ideas as well as some infomation about living the low income life that I have not found on other frugal living sites.

THRIFTY FUN

This site has great advice and information . Scam alerts , saving money , spending less on consumer items , freebies , and tons more. There is a also a radio show that has the same theme . The site tells when and how to listen to the show.

Check it out !  CLARK HOWARD

 

Here is a site that is kind of quirky , but fun !It has tons of information about living on a low or moderate income.You have to do some digging , but that is part of the fun !

BE AWARE OF FONT-SIZE SHOCK WHEN YOU FIRST GO HERE !  : )

BETTER TIMES

Here is the Better Times links page . These links lead you to all sorts of interesting , and some 'radical' ways of saving and living low on the budget scale :

BETTER TIMES ALL LINKS PAGE

 This is a page has an alphabetical listing of TONS ! of topics dealing with saving money  !

THE DOLLAR STRETCHER

This is a store with a mission quite like freecycle. It is the Baltimore FreeStore !

It would be so nice if people were to give what they don't need ,and take what they do , without greedy attitudes about always needing the best new version of this or that. There is a small start here.

BALTIMORE FREE STORE : TAKE WHAT YOU WANT , GIVE WHAT YOU CAN.

This site isn't as visually nice as some of the others , but it has great advice and links.        

FRUGAL LIVING BY BELLA ONLINE.

"You can afford to stay home with your children - work fromhome and practice frugal living! " Information on work at home jobs , being a stay at home mom , finances , and frugal living ideas.

FRUGAL MOM

This is a back to basics site. Scroll down and look in the left side bar to find topics of interest. Also , they have an active forum that looks like fun !

THE FRUGAL VILLAGE.

There are tons of ideas here . It is a LONG list of re-use and recycle tips .

MONEY SAVING TIPS

 

This site has many articles about budgeting and finances . It isn't stuffy though , but very readable. Lot's of frugal tips too. 

"Dedicated to Helping Families Live a Better Life,
Not by Spending More Money, but Less!"

LIVING A BETTER LIFE - THE MONEY SAVING TIPS E-ZINE

 

"Home of the Penny Pincher E-zine and Tightwad TidbitsDaily" A great site with lots of resouces , but be cautious if you follow any links to free offers or deals ,and READ ALL THE FINE PRINT .

ALL THINGS FRUGAL

 

Here is a blog that talks about simple and frugal living. This particular page has 100 things that you can make yourself to save money . I am putting my own disclaimer on this list : It is frugal if you have all the equipment or can find it ( freecycle for instance ) for free. It is not frugal on time to make your own stuff , but you do gain satisfaction and sometimes a good workout !

SIMPLY THRIFTY

 

Here is a lady that has an inspiring way of looking at things. Her web site is called COUNTING THE COST. This is her page covering how to be creatively frugal . The listing of topics ranges over a big area of frugal living about almost anything.

COUNTING THE COST FRUGALITY

 

This site is called "Mrs. Fixit". It is a how-to and fix it yourself site , and if you go in the right side bar , there is a great page for alternative uses for things .

MRS. FIXIT

 

Here is a site that has tons of frugal tips and ideas . They also review other sites and have many 'sites of the day ' Some sites are about being frugal , and some are on saving money and finances . Others are ideas about where to shop on the net for the cheapest price on goods and services.

GARDEN AND HEARTH DOT COM

 

Here is a great site for getting debt free by low cost living , and then staying that way !

DEBT FREE LIVING

 

And here is the list of money saving tips  from the debt free living page:

MONEY SAVING TIPS DIRECTORY

 

Here is another list of money saving tips :

FREEWEBS SAVING LIST

 

This is a great blog . It has money saving ideas for saving on all areas of your life . Plus , it is a good "read".

MONEY RULES DEBT STINKS

 

Here is a tip site from the publishers of Readers Digest. There are thousands of great money saving tips !

GET DOLLAR SAVVY !

 

 

JUST FOR FUN

22 THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW YOU COULD GET FOR FREE

 

 

FREE HELP FOR FIXING UP YOUR HOME APPLIANCES

This site offers free help in repairing your fridge , stove , washer , and other home appliances. They also offer parts , of course. But at fairly reasonable prices ,and their service is much cheaper than calling the repair man !

REPAIR CLINIC

 

 

HOW TO LOWER YOUR BILLS

Here is a site that I have used in the past for finding the cheapest car,phone, and other companies . Look under "Choose a bill to Lower " slightly down on the left.

LOWER MY BILLS DOT COM

Another way to save money , especially if you have to buy a big ticket item , is to use a price comparison site. Here is a good one courtesy of my friend Elaine of TSA.

PRICE GRABBER

After you find the best price , if you want to save even more , look for a coupon code . This is a series of numbers or letters that you enter at the end of your shopping before you check out (online) . You usually save even more money , or you might get a free gift.Here is more information about coupon codes and how to find the one you want:

COUPON CODES

 

This is a site for saving money with shopping as well as TONS of money-saving tips of all kinds !

TIP HERO MONEY SAVING TIPS

 

 

DIY ( Do It Yourself) 

 There are lots of great DIY sites. I wasn't sure whether to put this on this page , or my  Re !  page , so it will go on both !

Here is the site description :

"What is Threadbanger?

Threadbanger is a network for people who love to DIY, recreate, refashion and craft. Forget about corporate stores, we’re here to help you create and find your own style! From our episodes, forum and blog to our newsletter and contests, there is something for everyone. Our goal is to bring together people who can share their ideas, tips and advice with others and help make the world more fashionable – Threadbanger style!"

THREADBANGER 

 

 

It is an unfortunate fact that low income people have a higher incidence of cancer. Why ? Lack of good nutrition ? Lack of health care? Stress? Probably all of these plus more.  Here are some free publications that we can get to try and help ourselves. It is a start. Health care reform is really what we need !

FREE CANCER INFORMATION 



More ways to live a frugally abundant life  page 2 :


*NEW*

 

6/25/09

I am picky about my hair. Maybe you are too and you are looking for some ways to save money with hair care. Here are at least 23 ideas that will help !

SAVE MONEY ON HAIR CARE 

 

It is Spring and garage sales have started popping up all over the country. Here is a really cool tool to use to find and map out sales in your area of the country. It is called the Yard ( 0r garage or tag sale depending on your area of the country ) Sale Treasure Map

YARD SALE TREASURE MAP -map out garage sales in your area

 

MORE  PAGES ABOUT BEING CREATIVELY AND ABUNDANTLY FRUGAL  :

Re !  -( as in re-cycling,re-doing,re-creating etc.) - A site with more celebration of abundance in life !

THE PLASTIC BAG PAGE

THE VINEGAR PAGE

***THE BAKING SODA PAGE***

THE DUCT TAPE PAGE

 

Here is a link page that lists all of my sites on the net.

 There is free and low cost help for almost any situation in life that you can think of such as :

 HOW TO SURVIVE AS A SINGLE

MOM OR DAD -

 BEING A YOUNG PARENT AND NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO NEXT -

 HOW TO SURVIVE A CRISIS

-DISABILITY AND SOCIAL SECURTIY

-ELDER CARE AND BEING A SENIOR -

HOW TO PAY FOR MEDICAL CARE-

PAYING FOR PET CARE-

HELP FINDING FOOD , HOUSING,CLOTHING,

 AND MUCH MUCH MORE.

SOULIGHT'S PAGES and  how  they  can be  of  value   to you-fixed link 02/18/08

 

 

 

 

 

A page by Good Housekeeping full of tips for low budget living :


SURVIVING THE RECESSION






"THE SIMPLE DOLLAR"

"Financial Talk for the Rest of Us "

So many of us are not looking into buying major stocks . We are just trying to live day to day and maybe put some money away for future needs. This site is for us :

"The Simple Dollar is for those of us who need both cents and sense: people fighting debt and bad spending habits while building a financially secure future and still affording a latte or two. Our busy lives are crazy enough without having to compare five hundred mutual funds - we just want simple ways to manage our finances and save a little money."

THE SIMPLE DOLLAR

Health is so important . I speak from personal experience. You never know what you had until you've lost it.  Here is a way to get vitamins and supplements for your health and earn points for free stuff ! A win-win !

Nature Made Rewards

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Here is a cool idea ! Earn points just by searching the net like you usually do , and get gift cards for the points you earn . Nothing hidden here , just use their search engine. I tried the search engine and got results similar to what I get on any other search engine. Nothing to lose ! Just stuff to gain . I love this kind of deal ; )

MySearch

If you want to live frugally , the best thing you can do is to re-purpose your credit card and NEVER use it for it's intended purpose !

Here are some ideas :

15 WAYS TO RE-PURPOSE YOUR CREDIT CARD

Cleaning thrift store clothing. Sometimes we find a really nice outfit at a thrift store or a garage sale , but it is stained . Here are some links to pages that tell us how to

 clean almost anything:

STAIN REMOVAL IDEAS FROM ABOUT DOT COM


This site has many tips including how to make your own cleaning solutions :

CLEANING TIPS DOT NET

(The cleaning tips site listed directly above has tons more tips for living  a frugal but abundant life Here is the home page link :TIPS DOT NET)








UTILITIES


Getting help with paying for utility bills can mean the difference between life and death ; literally. If you have a chronic illness , a small child , if you are a senior .....

There are tons of reasons for this first resource :


Getting a free mobile phone :

How to Qualify

The process to qualify for Lifeline Service depends on the State you live in. In general, you may qualify if...

  1. You already participate in other State or Federal assistance program such as Federal Public Housing Assistance, Food Stamps and Medicaid.

    OR

  2. Your total household income is at or below 135% of the poverty guidelines set by your State and/or the Federal Government.

    AND

  3. No one in your household currently receives Lifeline Service through another phone carrier.
  4. You have a valid United States Postal Address. In order for us to ship you your free phone you must live at a residence that can receive mail from the US Post Office. Sorry, but P.O. Boxes cannot be accepted.

In addition to meeting the guidelines above you will also be required to provide proof of your participation in an assistance program, or proof of your income level.

The info. above is directly from the website . Go here for more information:

NOTE : THIS SERVICE IS ONLY AVAILABLE IN LIMITED AREAS . PLEASE CHECK TO SEE IF IT IS YOUR AREA . THEY ARE ALSO TRYING TO EXPAND TO MORE CITIES/STATES , SO KEEP CHECKING.

SAFE LINK WIRELESS




BUYING THE BEST

Being frugal doesn't mean being cheap . Always get the best that you can . On the other hand , the most expensive products are not always the best. So if you have to buy a big ticket item (if you couldn't get it through freecycle or any other thrifty source ) , make sure you research the best . Here are some places to compare quality and price  of all sorts of items :

CONSUMER RESEARCH

WISE DOT COM comparing items that you can buy on the NET

 SAVING AT THE STORE

Walgreens is a store where you can really save if you do your homework. Be aware , though , Walgreens has a policy in their pharmacy that requires the pharmacists to make you wait at least 15 minutes for your meds. It has been proven that people spend about $40.00 while waiting for their meds if it takes this long to fill them.

Anyway , Walgreens does have some great bargains. Their coupons in the Sunday paper insert are usually really good deals. They have a cool rebate program too .

Here is a lady who knows how to maximize savings at Walgreens :

SAVE EVEN MORE AT WALGREENS

 An online store that has great savings is Blair. Every Monday they reduce already reduced items by 10% . Then the items are reduced even more everyday until they are all gone. It is a great way to get a good deal ! And fun to "gamble" on getting the best deal . But don't wait too long if you really want the item . Also look in their 70% and 80% off sections that you can find in the left side bar.I found nice clothes listed for under $3.00 !

BLAIR

Need glasses but you can't afford them ? Think again ! Here is a place where you can get them for $8.00 ! From what I have seen , they go up in price all the way to a whopping( not) $39.00 !

ZENNIO OPTICAL

SALVAGE STORES

 What are salvage stores and is it safe to buy things at a salvage store ?

Following are links to listings of salvage grocery stores. They sell overstocks from major chain stores , dented things , things that are not manufactured anymore  and some out of date items. Salvage groceries are safe , except for any baby foods or formulas ( that are out of date ) .These are regulated by the Food Administration . Still , make sure you don't buy cans that are bulging out , any food that has been opened before , and anything that smells or looks wrong.

Prepare to find so many bargains that you might want to rent a truck !

STATE BY STATE LIST OF INDEPENDANT SALVAGE STORES

GROCERY OUTLETS , SALVAGE STORES IN WESTERN STATES

11 STORES IN SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA

4 STORES IN PENN. 2 IN VIRG.

ANOTHER GREAT STATE BY STATE LISTING OF SALVAGE STORES(some of the stores listed are bulk food stores that can have bargains , however it is important to know prices of the same items at other stores for comparison )