just my life

Our little grill is just fine

April 29, 2014

I hope all my northern hemisphere readers are having a great spring!  Summer is trying its best to get here, and that makes us think about grilling.  So I have to tell you about our grill: Here she is on the inside: You can see how big she is in relation to the little propane […]

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Our New Washing Machine

April 6, 2014

Five years ago, when we bought our house, we got a great deal on a second hand washing machine.  That machine served us well ever since, but it started to fritz out a couple months ago.  It wasn’t spinning the clothes out, and would sometimes just stop in the middle of a cycle.  We live […]

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Life… It doesn’t have to be as expensive as people think it is

March 23, 2014

Hello friends!  I know it’s been a long time, but work and family keep me busy constantly.  I’m still here though!  We’re just finishing up spring break – it certainly flew by.  We spent the first few days visiting my in-laws in Arizona, and then we’ve spent the last few days recovering from our vacation […]

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You Can Avoid The News And Still Be A Good Citizen Of The World

October 2, 2013

Last December, I stopped reading the news.  (I did the same thing a few years ago, but ended up going back to reading the news after a few months – this time, I’ve been much better at sticking to it).  For the last ten months, I’ve focused on news that’s related to healthcare reform (my […]

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Easy DIY Mouse-Proofing

September 26, 2013

Don’t you love it when you open your silverware drawer and a mouse jumps off the forks and scurries to the back of the drawer?  Yeah, me neither. And the next two hours spent cleaning everything in the kitchen drawers and under the sink aren’t much fun either.  Seriously, mice, why do you have to […]

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Updates From Our Frugal Abode

September 23, 2013

Good morning!  Long time, no blog – I know.  It’s been a bit of a whirlwind around here for the past several weeks, but I haven’t forgotten my little corner of the internet here. Our son has been in kindergarten for a month now, and he loves it.  I don’t love the 6:40am wake-up, but […]

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Every Day Can Be An Awesome Day, Plus A Tightwad Gazette Winner

June 24, 2013

Happy Monday!  I hope you’ve all had a good weekend.  I just used Random.org to pick a winner for the Tightwad Gazette give-away, and Lara is the lucky one (comment number 6).  Congratulations Lara!  I’ve emailed you to get your address, and I’ll get your book in the mail to you right away. I wanted […]

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Thrifted LEGO Storage And An Update On Our Cell Phone Plan

March 13, 2013

When we moved our boys’ toys downstairs to our new playroom, we tried to make sure that everything was organized, easy to find, and easy to put away.  Our older son loves LEGO, and can spend hours building all sort of stuff with it.  His collection is a combination of gifts from Grandma and stuff […]

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Our New Ten Dollar Cell Phone Plan

February 1, 2013

About a month ago, we lowered our cell phone bill from $50/month to $10/month, ended up with a much better phone, and still get the same amount of phone service that we’ve always had.  I’m thrilled with the new plan, and want to share the story with you all in case any of you are […]

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Refinancing Our Mortgage

January 21, 2013

About a year after we bought our house, we considered refinancing.  At the time, we were being offered a rate of 3.75%, and we owed about $152k on our house.  After doing the math, we decided that it didn’t make sense to refinance, and we kept our 4.625% loan.  But now, two and a half […]

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Ten Bucks For A New Carpet Cleaner

January 10, 2013

The main level of our house has a lot of oatmeal-colored carpet.  It’s in our bedrooms, hallway and living room.  It wouldn’t be my first choice – I prefer hard floors that can be mopped – but it’s what was there when we bought the house, and it’s only five years old, so it’s not […]

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Curbing Impulse Spending When You’re In Debt

November 8, 2012

I wanted to expand a bit more on the post I wrote recently about curbing impulse spending.  An out-of-sight, out-of-mind tactic has always worked well for us.  We move our money into various savings accounts as soon as we get paid, so that we never miss it and never feel like we have “extra” money […]

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Healthy Living eBook Sale – The Best I’ve Ever Seen!

October 29, 2012

I haven’t been this excited about an ebook bundle in a very long time.  This one is so awesome, and it’s a perfect fit for my blog.  It’s all about healthy living, which is one of my favorite topics.  You get 34 healthy living ebooks for $29! (valued at over $300 if you bought them all […]

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A Good Enough House For A Great Life

October 23, 2012

Last spring I published a post that was inspired by an email I got from a reader named Kate. She wrote about how being able to pay for something isn’t the same thing as being able to afford it, and I loved her perspective. We had some back and forth emails, and then at the […]

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My DIY Wall-Mounted Jewelry Box

July 8, 2012

A couple weeks ago, I saw this post on Organizing Made Fun, and I really liked the wall mounted jewelry box.  My jewelry was in a regular box on a shelf in the back of our closet.  It was hard to get to, hard to see what was in it, and I realized that I […]

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My Simple Cleaning Schedule

July 2, 2012

I love getting rid of clutter.  I love the look of flat surfaces with nothing on them.  I even sort of enjoy cleaning.  I’ve never enjoyed cleaning bathrooms, but the rest of it isn’t bad at all.  I love the productive feeling I get when things are nice and clean – even though it lasts […]

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Smart Phones Are A Luxury, Not A Necessity

June 1, 2012

I’ve been selling some stuff on Craigslist lately, and yesterday I got a sob story email from a guy who was telling me how much he needed the stuff because he’d recently had to sell his car in order to “keep a roof over his family.”  And at the bottom of the email was one […]

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Simple Investing, Goodwill Finds, Workouts, Facebook – Lots Of Wanderings!

May 30, 2012

Good morning beautiful people!  I have a few links I’ve found lately that I want to share with you.  Today’s post has a bit of everything. First, I’ve recently discovered Jim Collins’ blog, and it’s quite inspiring.  He’s just retired at age 61, but he’s been financially independent since 1989.  That is pretty awesome.  He […]

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Our New Car

May 7, 2012

We have car news!  We bought a new – to us – car.  Actually, we bought it a year ago, but we now have the title in hand, so it’s truly ours now.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I was a fan of my Honda Civic.  But at 20 […]

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Simple Parenting

April 27, 2012

A few days ago, I got an email from a reader named Katie who had this to say: I was wondering if you would be interested in a post for us with kids or soon to be kids as in my case.  I am currently 32 weeks pregnant and agree with a lot of things […]

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Being Able To Pay For Something Isn’t The Same As Being Able To Afford It

April 20, 2012

A few days ago, I got an email from a reader named Kate who shared how her attitude towards money has changed over the years.  She mentioned that in the past, she would have spent a lot more money than she does now, simply because she would have considered so many more things to be […]

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One Man’s Trash…

April 11, 2012

When my husband and I got our first apartment together in 2001, we combined two very small “sets” of mis-matched dishes.  We used those for several years until one of my friends upgraded her dishes and offered me her old ones.  They were well-used discount store dishes, but we liked them better than our hodge […]

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A DIY Bike Cargo Area

March 29, 2012

My husband recently spruced up his bike to make it easier to carry stuff, and I thought I’d share his cool DIY design.  In the past, he always used a backpack to haul stuff on his bike, or he put stuff in next to our son if he was hauling the kid-trailer.  But now he […]

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A New Look And Some Great Links

March 9, 2012

My little blog got a facelift today, thanks to my awesome husband.  It was time for a change, and I love the clean new look.  Both the boys are in bed and my husband is down in his basement office working late tonight, so I’ve had some time to just browse around online.  Well, and […]

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My Recycled Kitchen Scrubbie

March 1, 2012

The scrubbie I use at the kitchen sink has been dead for quite a while.  Today it fell apart and I could no longer ignore the fact that I probably should have replaced it about a month ago.  My next shopping trip is scheduled for March 12th.  That’s a long time from now.  And I […]

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Bringing Our Grocery Bill Under Control – At Least A Little Bit

February 16, 2012

I recently came across Mr. Money Mustache in my internet wanderings.  If you haven’t already discovered his site, I highly recommend it.  He reminds me a lot of myself – he’s like a guy version of me with a few more rants and some colorful words sprinkled here and there.  Oh, and he’s retired too […]

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Milk Donation – A Unique (And Frugal!) Volunteer Opportunity For New Moms

February 12, 2012

Tomorrow morning when I go into town to run errands with the boys, we’ll be stopping at the local hospital to drop of 17 bags of breast milk that I’m donating.  It will be pasteurized and combined with milk from other donors, and then distributed to sick infants in NICUs across the country.  I’m going […]

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Netflix And Movies – Is The Library A Better Option?

February 8, 2012

I wanted to share a couple of good links with you today.  Minimalist Mom is always a great source of info, and her most recent post included a link to a free e-book to help you cut down on your “digital overwhelm”.  If you feel like you spend too much time online or using digital devices, […]

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More Improvised Exercise Equipment

January 22, 2012

Remember when I told you about the walker I started using as a dip station for my Bodyrock workouts?  Well, I have another inexpensive, DIY piece of workout equipment to share with you. They use sandbags as weights on Bodyrock all the time.  The one they use sells for about $100.  Of course there was […]

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Too Much Inspiration

January 18, 2012

EDIT – just discovered the fitness and food sections on Pinterest.  I might have to up my time limit from five minutes to fifteen. I have been purposely avoiding Pinterest for quite some time.  From what I had heard, I knew that it could be the sort of site that could suck me in and […]

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Give New Life To Empty Glass Jars

January 16, 2012

Several years ago, I got rid of nearly all of my plastic food storage containers.  I have several pyrex dishes with lids and lidded casserole dishes that I use to store large quantities of leftovers.  But most of the time, I use empty glass jars.  My freezer is full of repurposed glass jars holding things […]

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Saying No – So That You Can Say Yes To What Matters

January 10, 2012

I’m a people pleaser.  Always have been, probably always will be.  I want to make people around me happy, and that means that saying no is not my strong suit.  If people ask me to do something or go somewhere or help them with something, I usually say yes.  That’s fine most of the time, […]

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Our Frugal Home Version Of A Montessori-Style Preschool

November 14, 2011

Over the last few months, several of our son’s friends have enrolled in Montessori-style preschool and daycare centers.  The parents have had nothing but good things to say about the switch, and my curiosity was piqued.  Our boys are home with us all day, and we have no plans to change that.  But I was […]

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Focus On What Matters And You’ll Be Supermom

November 3, 2011

Over the last several years – ever since my husband and I decided to have children – I’ve read lots of books and articles about the idea of giving up the supermom ideal and getting over the fact that we can’t “do it all” if we want to do any of it well.   The […]

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The ABCs of Me

September 9, 2011

One of my favorite bloggers – Gena from Choosing Raw – recently posted an “ABCs of Me” post.  Those are always fun and a good way to share a little bit more with my  readers in a concise way.  So here are the ABCs of Frugal Babe. A – Age.  I’m 33 B – Bed […]

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Fitting Children Into A Life We Love

September 7, 2011

I got the following email from Connie in response to my post asking you what you wanted me to write about: It feels like many of the decisions you have made came about as a result of both your values and preparing yourselves and your home for children. How might your decisions have changed if […]

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Living Without A Dryer

August 29, 2011

When I asked recently for reader feedback in terms of what you wanted me to write about, one reader asked for a post about drying laundry in the winter without a dryer.  We’ve been in our current house (sans dryer) for more than two years now, and the last year we lived in our old […]

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How We Established Our Own Business

August 22, 2011

In my post asking what you’d like to see me write about, two readers asked me to address the specifics of how my husband and I set up our home-based business, and I’ve also had numerous emails about this subject over the years.  So I’m going to lay out the basics of what we did, […]

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Downsizing My Craft Supplies

August 11, 2011

Ten years ago, my sister-in-law got me hooked on scrapbooking.  I started out with a scrapbook full of my pictures from the time I spent living in Africa, and then moved on to scrapping our daily lives.  I did several albums over the years, and always enjoyed working on them.  Then we had our son, […]

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Children And Money – Does It All Even Out?

May 10, 2011

We’ve all heard how expensive children are.  And there are definitely some expenses that are tough to avoid.  We’re paying about $270/month for health insurance for our two boys, and there’s not really a way around that expense (we have a high deductible health insurance policy already, so that cost is on the low end […]

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