Welcome to Dr. Frugal!
Hello and welcome to DrFrugal.com. If you've ever had the unfortunate experience of trying to find information online that has anything to do with money, you know most sites are worthless because they're trying to pawn something. Not here--there's nothing to buy. I've tried my best to only include pragmatic, realistic informtion to help you lead a simpler life by taking care of your personal finances.
Children and adults can never wait for the summer because they all love to have fun during that time. Examples of fun that people like to have during the summer are going to the movies, dining out, playing sports and visiting various sites, attractions and landmarks. Summertime fun can be expensive if family members do not have the appropriate resources. The following are some tips and ideas for saving money on summertime fun:
Ferry Rides Instead of Cruises
Many people love the idea of taking a cruise and enjoying the beauty of a new area. Cruisers love the way the water feels, and they enjoy their time away from home during the summer. Cruises are quite expensive, however. The average cruise costs almost $1,000. One way that a family can avoid paying so much money for a cruise is to take a ferry. Most ferry rides are free, and they last anywhere from an hour to two hours. The travelers will have the opportunity to observe a new area and relax on the water without emptying their wallets. Interested persons can locate a local ferry ride by conducting an online search.
Zoos and Free Parks
Zoos and free parks are an option for families that love animals. The average price for a ticket to the zoo is $10 to $20 per person. Frugal families can try the alternative method of visiting free parks. Every locale has at least one or two free parks that families can visit. Those free parks may have ducks at them that the children can feed, and they may have benches by a body of water. Residents can find free parks by conducting an online search for such.
Specialty Bowling Events
Families that like sports can enjoy inexpensive bowling games at their local alleys. Many alleys offer cheap bowling days that everyone can enjoy. For example, one alley may have $2 bowling during which games, shoes and foods cost $2. Another alley may offer something called $1 bowling which goes by the same concept as the previously stated deal. Visitors might be able to enjoy an inexpensive two-hour special, as well. For example, they may offer a flat rate of $9 a person for as many games as that person can play in two hours.
Many more inexpensive options are available. Families can have loads of fun if they take the time to conduct research to find what they need.
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The economy has gotten so bad lately that everyone is trying to save money on housing. They are trying to stretch their funds as much as possible so that they can still have a high life quality despite all the challenges. The following are some ways that a home owner or apartment dweller can save on housing expenses:
Roomies and Sublets
Roommates and sublets are the first things that a person will want to consider when he or she is trying to think of a way to save money on housing costs. A good, reliable roommate can assist with the rent and utility bills. Such a person could act as a backup individual for car rides and childcare in some cases, as well. The only downside to roommates is that they can be unpredictable. The homeowner will want to conduct a thorough background check and perhaps ask for security just in case he or she feels the urge to move at the last minute.
Finding All-Inclusive Situations
Another way that some people are trying to cut down housing expenses is by finding living situations that include rent and various utilities such as cable and Internet. Hotel and motel rooms are becoming popular for people who cannot afford security deposits or monthly lump sums. The only problem with all-inclusive situations is that they are sometimes highly overpriced. Residents then get stuck in the cycle of paying almost all of their paychecks for rent. The positive side is that they can enjoy a clean bed, a television with cable services, Wi-Fi, bathtub, telephone and the like.
Shave the Bills
A homeowner can try some alternative methods if the previous methods do not seem appealing to him or her. One way that a person can still save money is by shaving his or her household bills. The consumer can scan all the bills and cut each item slightly. For example, the person can remove one premium channel from the cable bill and one extra feature from the phone bill. The consumer could change the Internet service to a service that has a slower speed and a lower bill. The consumer can think of many small areas to cut. Little savings can add up to huge savings after a while.
The current times are very trying as people are fighting every way they know how to keep everything that they have. A person can still make it in the world with faith, a positive attitude and a crash course in frugality.
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Almost every adult needs dental work at some time or another. Dental work consists of a range of services from simple cleaning to root canals, braces and the like. Without a dental insurance plan, a patient has to pay a fair penny for various dental works. A person can obtain a discount using a few smart methods, however. The following are some tips for saving on dental work:
Discount Dental Plans
A discount dental plan is a special plan that allows a person to obtain discounts from hundreds of thousands of providers. The patient just has to pay a monthly or yearly fee to obtain those discounts. Several companies offer discount dental plans, and they can provide discounts of up to 70 percent off of various dental procedures. For example, a person may receive a 50 percent discount on a root canal with a discount dental plan.
Coupons and Specials
Some dentist's offices have coupons and specials that they provide to their newest patients. An example of such a coupon is a $39 dental exam for a first-time patient or a $59 dental cleaning. Prospective dental patients can walk into various dental offices or they can search online for coupons and discount codes.
Visit a Value Website
A value website resembles a special online club. The 1Dental.com website is an example of such a site. A value website is a website that provides updated information on the latest dental discounts and deals. Such a site would provide links to dentists in the area that provide large discounts, as well. Additionally, the site would display a comparison tool that a visitor can use to compare different dental discount plans.
Visit a Clinic or Non-Profit Organization
Dental clinics and non-profit organizations can provide quick free or inexpensive dental care for people who qualify for the services. The prospective patient may have to bring proof of income or proof of participation in a government assistance program.
Pay the Bill Upfront
Customers who pay their bills upfront may be privy to discounts that are between 5 percent and 10 percent. The interested party will want to contact the dental office and ask about upfront payment discounts to be sure.
Dental discounts can enable a person to obtain crucial dental work that will keep him or her healthy. The previously mentioned tips are just the start as more dental discounts are available through different avenues.
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Fuel expenses are some of the heftiest expenses that affect a household. Family members always have to open their wallets when it comes time to travel back and forth to work or to run errands. With fuel prices constantly on the rise, consumers have to find creative ways to save money on each gallon. The following are some money-saving tips for one's fuel expenses:
Apply for a Gas Credit Card
A gas credit card is a credit card that focuses on fuel expenses. Such a card offers cash back for every visit that a cardholder makes to a specific gas station. For example, the American Express Blue Preferred Card offers the cardholders up to 3 percent cash back for their trips to Mobil, Shell and BP gas stations. Cardholders can earn up to $6,000 in cash back for such purchases.
Use a Comparison Tool
Many consumers make the mistake of visiting the first gas station they see when they need to fill their tanks. The difference between two gas stations can be a whopping $.10 or more per gallon. Cents can add up to dollars, and dollars can add up to hundreds in the course of a month. A gas comparison tool such as the one on gasbuddy.com can help a person to zone in on frugal gas stations. To use the tool, the person will need to type in the zip code of where he or she lives. The tool will return a smorgasbord of results that show nearby gas stations and their per gallon prices. The consumer can then choose a home gas station that offers a low per gallon price.
Use Alternative Traveling Methods
Sometimes the best way to save money on fuel costs is to use alternative traveling methods. Public transportation such as bus and train travel only costs a consumer a few dollars. Another way that a person can save money is to use a bicycle or take a walk for short-distance trips. Alternatively, the consumer can carpool with people who live nearby. Carpoolers only have to contribute a small amount of money when the group is large.
A consumer can save money on gas using a number of tips and tricks. One final tip that the person can remember is to try to purchase a fuel-efficient vehicle. Many inexpensive and fuel-efficient vehicles are on the market. Two examples are the Chevy Sonic and the Ford Focus.
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Modern consumers try to stick to a strict budget as much as possible. They cut every bill they can think of, but the food budget must remain the same. A family must always strive to avoid malnourishment while staying within the confines of the set budget. The following are some tips that one can use to eat comfortably while staying within the monthly budget:
Shop in Bulk
Food is less expensive for a consumer who shops in bulk. Therefore a frugal consumer will want to sign up with wholesale clubs that offer essential items in bulk amounts. Wholesale club membership does require a small fee, but the fee is usually worth the contribution.
Use Coupons and Discount Codes
Coupons and discount codes provide consumers with endless access to cost cutting. A quick Internet search can return discount codes for a shopper's favorite foods. A consumer can also look toward the weekly circular for coupons that he or she can cut and take into the grocery store. Printable coupons are available online, as well.
Take Advantage of Free Meals and Free Foods
An extremely frugal family can take advantage of free food and free meals. Churches often provide free meals to families that are trying to make ends meet. They often have food pantries, as well. A family can contact a local congregation and ask about their pantries and their meals. Most churches serve their free meals once per week, and the consumer can offer a small donation to show appreciation for the church's kindness.
Many restaurants have free meals for children that are a certain age. The parent will have to make a purchase to take advantage of the free meal, but the offer can still cut the overall cost for the family's dining.
Experiment with Smoothies and Shakes
Another good way to stretch the monthly grocery funds is to experiment with smoothies and shakes. A consumer can make a delicious smoothie with very few ingredients. A pound of bananas can go a long way, for example.
Use Credit Card Features and Grocery Cards
Grocery store membership cards offer customers the opportunity to save money. A consumer can obtain a card by requesting one at the front desk of a grocery store that he or she frequents. Taking a few minutes to complete an application can save the consumer hundreds of dollars a month.
A frugal customer can start with the previously mentioned suggestions and then build on them to make the monthly budget work.
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