Taking an Ingredients-First Approach to Cooking at Home

Most of the time, my process for acquiring food and cooking at home looks something like this: I recognize that we’re at the end of our planned meals, so it’s time to go to the grocery store. I download a grocery store flyer from the website and then start to assemble a meal plan based on that flyer, choosing recipes that incorporate a lot of that on-sale stuff. […]

Ask the Readers: How Do You Save On Summer Gear?

It might not feel like it in some areas of the country, but we summer has started! Most families will want to have sunscreen, hats, beach towels, swimwear, and other summer gear on hand, but they definitely won't want to spend a fortune on these necessities. How do you save on summer gear? Where... […]

Questions About Libra, Campfire Cooking, Investment Books, David Bach, and More!

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Using rewards card for everything 2. Thoughts on Monat 3. Work, motivation, and retirement 4. Campfire cooking advice 5. Using 403(b) loan for debt 6. Uses for old spices 7. Easy beginning investment book 8. […]

“The Simple Dollar” Is Not “The Easy Dollar”

Most of the strategies I write about on The Simple Dollar are quite simple for most adults to understand. They’re not complex ideas. They’re not difficult to understand. They’re not challenging to visualize. They are things that almost all of us can do – some might require us to have a little bit of money in hand first and use that to grow more, but most don’t. […]

Some Simple Advice for Estate Sales and Auctions

One of my favorite things to do on a lazy Saturday is check out an estate sale or estate auction. These types of sales occur when someone passes away, the family removes personal effects and neatens up a house, and then it’s partially opened so that people can go in and buy or bid on the items. Estate sales exist in a wide variety of formats. […]

How to Get Better at Anticipating Your Financial Needs

One of the most valuable tools for keeping your financial life as stable as possible is to improve your ability to anticipate your future expenses and financial needs. This enables you to take some steps to prepare now for those expenses and thus reduce their impact in the future. For people who aren’t naturally familiar with planning ahead, this can feel like a major shift in thinking. […]

Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 6/20, 12pm Pacific for a Chance to Win Prizes

Join our Tweetchat this Thursday at 12:00 pm Pacific for lively conversation and a chance to win one of two $10 Amazon GCs! Use #WBChat to participate. This week's topic: Having a Frugal Staycation! Learn about saving on staycation food, frugal activities around your city, making your home... […]

How We Go Camping – And Some Suggestions for New (and Experienced) Campers

Joel writes in: First, what is your car camping set-up. I’m thinking of getting a canopy tent for hanging out — something like a 10×10 foot bug protection for placing over the picnic table. […]

The 7 Best Ways to Earn Travel Points and Miles Without a Credit Card

Points and miles make it possible to see the world at a much lower cost, but that doesn't mean everyone is in the best position to earn them. For starters, travel rewards credit cards offer the easiest way to earn rewards on your regular spending, but some of us don't have the 740+ credit scores... […]

6 Tips to Grow Your Savings on an Irregular Income

For the past seven years, the vast majority of my income has come from freelance work. While I enjoy the entrepreneurial aspect of my career and the notion that through hard work I can significantly increase my income in a way a standard salaried job would not necessarily allow me to do, there are still drawbacks to this lifestyle. […]

Mortgage Rates Have Dropped Sharply — Should You Refinance?

Mortgage rates have dropped sharply over the past few months, giving millions of homeowners an opportunity to refinance into a more affordable loan. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.04% on June 12, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders. […]

The Frugal Snowball

One of my favorite articles from the early days of The Simple Dollar was The Snowball Effect. […]

Ask the Readers: Do You Have a Garden?

Gardening is popular hobby, and for good reason! It can be a lot of time and work, sure, but it's incredibly fulfilling to watch your plants grow from your efforts. Even better if you can eat it! Do you have a garden? What sorts of plants do you grow? How do you maintain a healthy garden on a... […]

Questions About Auto Insurance, Electric Kettles, Electric Cars, Allergy Medicine, and More!

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Prioritizing college or retirement? 2. Types of auto insurance 3. Possibly illegal behaviors of boss 4. Kettle efficiency for tea 5. Buy low, sell high? 6. Generic allergy medications on Amazon 7. […]

Shop Your Way to Better Credit? Amazon Introduces a Credit Builder Card

Amazon, the online retailer that wants to be all things to all people, has just rolled out what may be the retail industry’s first secured credit card. Aimed at consumers with subprime credit scores or those who have no credit history at all, the card is a smart move for Amazon on many levels. The Amazon Credit Builder Card is a closed-loop card, meaning it can be used only for purchases on Amazon […]

Millennials Should Look at Retirement in a New Way

The following is a guest post from Riley at Young and the Invested. Everywhere you look, Millennials seem to be killing something.  Whether it’s traditional products, definitions of convenience, working demands, or some other societal convention -- we constantly receive a bad rap.  Despite this, we manage to get by. […]

An Appreciation of My Father

I’m pretty sure that my father will read this sometime today or tomorrow, or else my mother will read it aloud to him. In either case, I’ll start off with the most important thing: thank you, dad, for everything I’ve written about below and so much more. My father is in his mid seventies now, and simply typing that is almost unbelievable to me. […]

Summer Vacation!

Well, apparently I need a vacation after my European vacation! I've come home to a Real Life in which I have too much to do and not enough time to do it. […]

Buyer’s Remorse and Forgotten Things

Open up your closet door, dig past the first things you see, and look at ten things you happen to find in the back (or everything, if you want). Out of those ten things, how many of them fill you with buyer’s remorse? How many of them had you completely forgotten? Look at the last ten purchases on your Amazon account (or all of them, if you want). […]

Why Cruises Are the Best Option for a Cheap Family Vacation

Planning a family vacation is often part fun and part stress. After all, you ultimately need to settle on a vacation idea most of your family will enjoy — without going over your predetermined budget, of course. While camping or renting a condo at the beach can be both frugal and fun, many... […]