10 Best Frugal Living Blogs

Frugal living blogs keep us happily on a budget!

Frugal blogs are some of my very favourite blogs to read. While browsing through them, I am inspired, determined, and ready to take action to make an keep my budget! I love reading all of the creative ways that people around the world are finding to stay on budget, and still have a pretty amazing and fun life!

Many of my favourite blogs are from the UK – typical, since I’m a bit obsessed with that entire region! But, on my favourites list there are also a few favourites from Canada, and the US, too. So, here we go – here are some of the best budgeting/frugal living blogs online:

  1. The Non Consumer Advocate – This quirky blog has been a favourite of mine for years. Katy is a married registered nurse with a great income, and yet she lives life simply and fully. And is conscious of every penny! She’s currently funding her two college-aged children through university. While you’re there check out her 5 Frugal Things posts, which are the ones I always check for! (She came up with the popular concept first – kudos to her!) And, also take time to read through the comments section – her readers are true blue frugalites and I love reading their tips, too! Bonus points for: using beans so often! I need to up my bean game.
  2. Mean Queen – Life After Money – This British blog features Ilona, another quirky character that is a true inspiration to those of us who are trying to live a frugal life. Her frugality may at times seem extreme – such as how her meal plan may feature almost entirely marked down groceries! (In reality, I sort of respect that! HA!) And, she’s been blogging regularly for over 10 years! Quite a feat. Bonus points for: her artistic flair and downright individualistic attitude. (Oh, and even more bonus points for the fact that she loves cats so dearly. So do I!)
  3. SimplyFrugal.ca is a Canadian website/blog that features Canadian focused deals and bargains. Taya’s beautifully laid out website features all sorts of practical tips that are organized in such a way that makes finding the information you need a breeze! This includes budgeting tips, household tips such as organizing ideas, and much more. There are also sections that help you find Canadian coupons, and special deals. She even has exclusive Canadian coupon codes, so definitely worth your while to visit.
  4. Shoestring Cottage – is another British money saving blog. Oops, I guess my obsession with all things British is really showing itself here! This is another comforting blog that eases you in to your frugal lifestyle – especially if being money conscious is a relatively new idea to you. Jane posts frugal recipes, tips on saving on secondhand clothes, and is another one who posts Five Frugal Things posts that are awesome fun to read.
  5. Costco East Fan Blog and Costco West Fan Blog are two new blogs I recently discovered, and am amazed by! Each Monday, the writers go on a shopping trip to Costco locations in Canada to find all the secret sales and deals for that week! This is an incredible resource for Costco members who like to plan ahead, and budget for their shopping trip. These tips help you know when it’s time to stock up on a truly great deal on your favourite Costco items! (Whether that is toilet paper, spices, or OTC medicines.) And, I LOVE that they have two separate blogs- one for Eastern Canada, and one for Western Canada – because Costco sales can definitely be dependent upon region.
  6. Notes from the Frugal Trenches – is what I call a ‘comfort blog.’ Just as we sometimes reach for a piece of (ahem! I usually reach for a BAR of) chocolate or a bag of potato chips, there are some blogs that bestow upon us the same feeling of comfort as a portion of our favourite comfort foods. FT is a Mom of 3 living in Toronto, and has what may seem like overwhelming challenges in her life. And yet, she carries on like such a trooper, and makes life sweet on a very limited income. Her kindness emanates from her every word. Bonus points for: Her humanity. AND, how she squeezes delicious meals for herself and her children on a very VERY tight budget. Inspirational indeed. (This one hasn’t been updated in a while, but I love going through her old posts.)
  7. The Frugal Girl – is an incredibly popular American blog that features recipes, reviews, “What I Spent, What We Ate” posts about grocery spending, and much more. A very easy-to-read blog.
  8. The Frugal Canadian – is a site with all sorts of freebies and contests for Canadians, and other money saving ideas. All Canadian content, which is super helpful!
  9. Nana Pinches Her Pennies – is an American blog that is lovingly low-tech, and very raw in its realness. The writer shares her tips on how to live on a very low income. When you read her writing she sort of feels like your own Grandma, too. Bonus points for: wanting to hug the brave writer!
  10. Our New Life in the Country – is a beautifully written blog about a woman named Sue, who with the love of her life switched from a busy town life to one settled in the Welsh countryside. This blog is actually retired now, but Sue has created a new blog about even simpler living in a trailer (caravan) that she writes at A Smaller Life Living Simply. Bonus points for: the adorable pug named Suky!

This list of 10 favourite frugal blogs is, of course, just scratching the surface! The Internet is awash with beautifully written blogs that really help us frugalites try to stay on budget. Please leave a comment if one of the above frugal blogs is your favourite too, OR let us know about one we didn’t include. Happy frugal living, all!

5 Tips to keep Cut Flowers Fresh Longer – Frugal tips and hints

A beautiful bouquet of flowers is a real treat! It brightens your home, and adds a lovely splash of the outdoors into your indoor space. You don’t need a special occasion to splurge on flowers, since they are a real pick-me-up any time of year. And those beautiful blooms are especially appreciated once the garden is finished for the year – which here in Canada comes quite quickly! So, how do you make beautiful fresh cut flowers last even longer? You know that here at BargainBlog we’re about making every Canadian nickel stretch further…so here are our best tips for flowers! And look at the end of the article for our favourite tip on finding cut flowers for 50% off!

1. Spray them lightly with water

Mist them – That’s right! Simply use a spray bottle set on a fine mist setting, and spray the flowers with water morning and night. We were recently watching an old episode of Escape to the Country (Find it for free on YouTube – it is one of our favourite shows!) and a flower arranging expert said that this was his best tip! Just be sure to use a bottle that hasn’t had any chemicals in it before, or if it did, be sure to wash it out very thoroughly with hot water and dish soap. Fill with cool tap water (filtered water would be even better) and spray those blossoms and blooms every morning and night. The floral expert said it could help make your floral bouquets last up to five days longer! Wow!

2. Cut flower stems properly

I think most people who love flowers will have learned this a long time ago. But, if you’re new to buying flower bouquets, you might not know. Trimming the stems of flowers and other greenery that comes with the flowers will help it to stay fresh and beautiful a lot longer! Use a sharp pair of kitchen shears or scissors. Cut off an inch or two from the bottom of the stem, and cut at a 45 degree angle. Rather than cutting straight across (a 90 degree angle), the 45 degree angle allows exposes more surface area of the bottom of the stem. Exposed to what? The water of course! And if your flowers are able to drink in more water, they’ll simply last longer.

3. Use the flower food enclosed in the bouquet

If you bought your bunch of flowers from a florist, then it’ll often have a little packet of flower food enclosed within the folds of wrapping paper. Use it! People sometimes ask: ‘Does that flower food really work?’ Yes, it does! Simply sprinkle the packet of flower food into the water in the vase before adding your flowers.

Do you wonder what’s actually IN that flower food? Interestingly, the packets usually contain a combination of sugar, an acidic component, and bleach in a powdered form – all ingredients that will help your flowers look their best.

4. Add Fresh Water – AKA Change the water

People often forget that – just like our pets – flowers really enjoy a slurp of fresh water, rather than a stale, days-old drink! With that in mind, you can change the water your flowers are sitting in. (Also be sure to pluck off any greenery, such as leaves, that are below the water level. It can cause mold to grow!) Cool tap water or filtered water is ideal. You can change the water daily, if possible, or at least every couple of days.

5. Refrigerate your flowers

Florists use this tip constantly – that’s why their beautiful creations and luxurious bouquets are stored behind glass in a refrigerator. You can do the same at home! Granted, you’ll need a rather large fridge to pull this off. (We do not have this! haha Our fridge would be swamped if we put a bouquet of flowers in it.) If you have a monster sized fridge, then simply pop your bouquet of cut flowers in the fridge at night. It’ll keep the flowers fresh and lovely a lot longer. Then when you wake up in the morning, display them as you had them before. Voila!

We hope these fun tips have helped inspire you to keep those lovely blossoms fresh and beautiful for longer. When you spend the money on a nice bouquet of flowers, then you really do want them to last! If you have other tips on extending the life of cut flowers, please let us know.

Find Cut Flowers and Bouquets at 50% off

P.S. Bargain Finders Tip: I’ve often found stunning flowers at the supermarket marked down at 50% or more! So, if you want to treat yourself to some flowers around your home, check the floral department at your favourite grocery store. You could even ask when the flowers are reduced, and time your grocery shopping trips to match the markdowns. Yes! Floral beauty at a much cheaper cost.

Blog Hopping and Bargain Hunting: Mini Pies, PSL Packets and Spiders that Don’t Scare Me

This new feature of ours will show off some lovely articles we’ve discovered online AND some of the best bargains and deals to start your week off right…And all hopefully enjoyed while you have your hands wrapped around a delicious cuppa – whether that’s tea or coffee, it’s up to you!

Monday Morning blog hopping & bargain finding

Spiders that don’t scare me…I am no green thumb whatsoever. But, I’m determined to try spider plants, because they clean the air and look so beautiful. I’m reading this care guide to try to avoid killing the poor plants before I even get them! (Have any other tips for cat-safe houseplants that are easy to care for? And even where to buy them online?)

Almost Oreos – A little treat of gluten-free Oreo-ish cookies was on my shopping list this week. Verdict? A wee bit crumblier than their wheat-filled counterpart. BUT…they were so nom nom delicious that I made my husband hide the box! (Where, oh where has my self control gone…where oh where can it beeeee!?)

Mini apple pies in a cupcake tin. Mini food is adorable, and when safely contained in one’s hand, it feels even more comforting. Perfect for baking up fall apples, and then freezing the wee pies for a little treat whenever you feel like one. This simple recipe yields mini pies that look photo-ready…and a rating of 5 stars by everyone who has ventured forth and made the recipe. And if you choose to use a tiny ice cream scoop and top these with mini blobs of vanilla ice cream – then all the better!!!

Pumpkin spice latte packets – To say my Starbucks consumption has greatly reduced is a ridiculous understatement. I like that these little packets of PSL mix lets you whip up a foamy pumpkin spice latte at home with just boiling water. Ahhh…fall bliss. Makes me want to grab my latte and go jump in a…pile of crunchy and colourful fall leaves.

Book Outlet bargain books that caught my eye: (And they have an extra 20% off all their titles right now!) Daniel Loves Fall (cute children’s book); a healthy cookbook with less than 6 ingredients per recipe; and how to make astonishingly pretty flowers with crepe paper. Who knew? Those would be a pretty, long-lasting bundle of flowers to give to a friend.

And finally…Homemade Blueberry Syrup. A simple recipe, made extra scrumptious because it contains maple syrup. Ahhh…nothing better. Top off your French toast, waffles or pancakes with this for a special treat. (Thanks to the One Hundred Dollars a Month blog for the recipe link.)

Have a beautiful Monday, everyone. Please pop back next Monday to see what other goodies I’ve found and just need to share with you.

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McDonald’s Dollar Drink Days are Back for the Summer

Icy cold drinks – for $1, $2 or $3

Hi all – our favourite cheap drink days are back at McDonalds! For $1, $2 or $3 you can treat yourself to something icy cold and perfectly refreshing.

Here’s what McDonald’s is offering on this, their 10th Anniversary of Dollar Drink Days!

  • $1 gets you any size fountain drink OR McCafe iced coffee
  • $2 gets you a real fruit smoothie in fantastic fruit flavours like the New Banana Mango Pineapple or old favourites like Strawberry Banana
  • $3 is all it takes to treat yourself to a small Oreo frappe topped with whipped cream – it looks fairly irresistible! (A Vanilla chai tea or Coffee iced frappe are only $2!)

McDonald’s summer drink days will cool you off as the temps go higher. And all while sticking to your budget. Enjoy, bargaineers!