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What I’ve Learned From Reading The Frugal Girl | A Guest Post

Today’s guest post is from Melissa, a reader who blogs over at Mom’s Plans. I say no to a lot of guest posts because they’re something I could write myself, but when Melissa suggested this topic, I thought it would be perfect because it’s definitely something I couldn’t write myself (though I could certainly do a post on what I’ve learned from writing The Frugal Girl!).


I have several blogs that I read every day, and one of them is The Frugal Girl. I have learned so much from this blog that I asked Kristen if she would let me share.

1.) It is just fine to shop at Goodwill for clothes, gifts, etc. Kristen regularly highlights her Goodwill purchases and even shares that some of her kids’ Christmas presents come from there. I do my share of Goodwill shopping, but only recently have I come to shop there more frequently. When the snows came this winter, I realized my son had outgrown his boots. We made a trip to Goodwill and lucked out by finding boots in the size he needed and a style he didn’t mind. We got them for $2.99. Considering he will only wear them for one winter, it was a great buy!

2.) Consider the environmental impact of throw away items such as wrapping paper. Each year that I have read her blog, Kristen highlights her homemade gift bags. I thought they were cute and considered making them myself. They are definitely on my list of things to do next Christmas since I just read on the Washington that 4 million TONS of wrapping paper go in the landfill each year after Christmas. Yikes!

3.) Reduce food waste to lower your budget and be environmentally friendly. Thanks to Kristen’s influence, I regularly post my food waste. I must admit, I have fallen off the bandwagon lately, but I was close to $100 of food wasted from February to October of this year. As ridiculous and embarrassing as that is, I was no where near the estimated typical American family’s food waste of $590 per year. I plan to begin documenting my food waste again, and more importantly explaining how I avoided food waste.

4.) It is okay to have date night at home and make it special. Kristen regularly blogs about having date night at home and enjoying take out together. I love this idea! My husband and I can’t afford a babysitter for our 3 kids, but since they are still little and go to bed by 7 p.m., it is feasible to order take out for the two of us to make our date night more like date night, even if we are home.

5.) Aldi is a great place to save money! We only had one Aldi near us, and it was dirty and run down. However, as I read about Kristen successfully feeding her family of 6 on about $100 a week largely by shopping at Aldi, I decided to check it out again. I found a newer, cleaner Aldi, and was impressed with the savings. I don’t go there every week, but it is back on my rotation of stores again.

6.) I can stay home, take care of my kids, and contribute to the family financially. I am continually impressed with how Kristen homeschools her children and contributes financially from home by teaching piano lessons, photographing weddings and blogging.

7.) The East is a beautiful place to live. I live in the Midwest and have only been out to New York. Kristen’s beautiful pictures of her surroundings make me long to visit the rest of the East Coast.

Thanks, Kristen!

Melissa blogs about her family’s attempts to live a fulfilling life on less at Mom’s Plans. She has recently quit her job to stay home with her children (6, 2 and 9 months) and is working to contribute to the family finances through writing at home. She also blogs about her family’s practice of not spending more than $100 eating out in a month at Dining Out Challenge.
Today’s 365 post: Would this make you nervous?

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Sara G

Tuesday 1st of February 2011

Thank you for the post Melissa! I have also learned a lot from reading the Frugal Girl! My favorite part is knowing that I can learn from someone whose life is different from mine. I work outside of the home full time and have one little boy, but it is still important to my family to find ways to be frugal.


Monday 31st of January 2011

I've learned a lot from Kristen's website, and Katy's, too. There are other blogs I read as well. It's good to have reminders of what we already know (but don't always do), and to find new ideas to live better. I'm much more conscious of my food waste (it always bothered me) and have also been getting rid of excess stuff. I moved 3 times in 3 years, so I don't have a lot of excess, but I'm still finding some here and there.

I have a problem with gift wrap, also. I wrapped gifts for my sister and best friend in new, cute kitchen towels, and they were thrilled! For my older sister and brother-in-law, I wrapped their gift in used but still nice paper, and put it all into a cute basket. It takes a little more thought and time, but I don't give that many gifts that it was a real hardship.


Sunday 30th of January 2011

What a nice post -- I am always sharing the good ideas that Kristen writes on her blog, but I've never contemplated the broader lessons of the frugal lifestyle that Kristen practices and advocates. Thanks, Melissa!


Sunday 30th of January 2011

I live in the South now, but my home is in the Northeast. Yes, it is beautiful! My son just returned from England; he told me that England reminds him of the rolling hills of Pennsylvania. But each part of the United States country has its unique charm.


Sunday 30th of January 2011

Thanks Kristen for allowing this guest post; I have found another great blog to follow now!

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