The 3 hottest trends in frugality…my Studio 5 TV segment

Welcome to anyone new to my site who happened to see me on Studio 5 today. What a fun segment! Since TV spots are always so short, I thought I'd give you all an in-depth rundown of the points we touched on today.

While you're here, feel free to check out my other popular posts, feel free to drop me a line, and be sure to sign up for our giveaway currently running with Deals-to-Meals! Enjoy 🙂

Watch the segment video below, or click HERE to watch it on Studio 5's website.

To see more photos from the day, click HERE

Here's a more in-depth rundown of what I covered today:

3 Trends Of Frugality, and How to Make Them Work For YOU

Let’s get it out there…frugality is hot! Years ago to be frugal meant you were cheap, and cheap had a negative connotation. Today frugal means you are hip, empowered, assertive, innovatie, creative, and even humble; that you don’t have to spend a lot to feel great and have fun in life.

There are great trends in frugality right now that can really save you hundreds. However, frugality trends are like fashion trends: just because an outfit is fashionable doesn’t mean it’s right for your body type or personal sense of style. Trends in frugality are the same way; you might need to adapt them to fit YOU and your lifestyle to get them to “fit” right for you.

Here are the latest and greatest frugality trends, and how you can adapt them to be the right fit for your lifestyle:

 1. Couponing

Couponing is everywhere. Books, blogs, and even TV shows highlight the thrills of extreme couponing.

   Why it's a trend:

   It works! You can get entire carts of groceries for cheap or even free.

   It’s a great way to create a stockpile for your family, especially for emergency preparation.

   It's a fun hobby for many; people enjoy getting the coupon “rush” at the checkout line.

But let’s be honest…couponing is NOT for everyone.

I like to compare couponing to trying to lose weight by training for a marathon. It’s effective, but takes a lot of dedication and time. But hey…some people simply love to run!  The problem is, many  of us say “couponing just isn’t for me” then will turn around and spend full-price for groceries…which, for most of us, makes up the majority of our monthly budget!

Just keep in mind that extreme couponing isn’t the only way to get groceries for less.

   Make it work for you: 

       Heavy or extreme couponing: Check out She is the pioneer of extreme couponing in my opinion. Her site helps you become a couponing pro and is full of great resources.

       Moderate couponing: Check out This site matches coupons with good deals for the week so you can choose which deals you want to take advantage of. It’s a much more flexible way of couponing.

       No couponing:  This is my personal method of shopping, I like to call it “deal-shopping and price-matching”. I use the resources from and price-match all the best deals at Walmart. I only make one stop, but get to take advantage of all the best prices from ANY store! Walmart’s policy is that they will price-match advertised prices at any local store…and they mean it! It works great for me and many of my readers.

Here's an example of some of the great deals going on this week.

At Deals-to-Meals she lists the best deals for the week at every grocery store near you. You can create your shopping list directly from her site (she even flags the best deals for you!), print it out, and go. She even gives you meal plans and recipes to use up all your items, and rotate out those that you’ve stocked up on in the past. D2M is giving away a free 6 month membership to 2 lucky winners, be sure to sign up HERE!

For a full tutorial and lots of tricks and tips on how to make the deal-shopping and price-matching method easy and effective for you, check out my “how I grocery shop” page at the top of the site (or simply click HERE).

The next hot trend right now…
2.    DIY projects

(See many of my recent DIY projects and tutorials HERE)
This is anything from refinishing furniture, to sewing and crafting, etc.

   Why it's a trend:  

   It used to be that if you were crafty, that meant you knew how to quilt, crochet, or cross-stitch. Now it’s much more than that! It’s a hip and innovative way to re-create something you saw in a store for cheaper, or make something from scratch that is unique and custom.

   DIY projects are more approachable and accessible than ever thanks to crafting blogs and sites like Pinterest.

   Oh yeah…and it's fun! 

However, many of us look at a tutorial for a homemade baby dress and think “never in a million years could I make that…” or see a refinished dresser at your neighbor’s house and think, “that would take forever; I’d rather just buy it from a store…”

We all have our different skill and interest levels when it comes to DIY. So how do you know when a project is truly worth doing yourself in terms of it actually saving you money?

   Make it work for you:

First step, you need to separate hobby vs. trying to save money. Are you doing it because it’s your hobby? Or mostly because you think it will save your family some major cash, and possibly enjoy it at the same time? Once you figure that out, the next few steps will become easier.

Once you’ve decided that you want to do a particular project mainly for frugality purposes, ask yourself the following questions to find out if it’s the right project for you:

1.    Can I buy it cheaper somewhere?

Be sure to shop around – looking at both new and used – before you commit to a project. You might just be surprised at how many great deals are out there if you look hard enough.

2.    How much will materials cost?

Price things out before you start. If you have to buy tools, determine whether those tools will get enough use again to make it worthwhile.

3.    How much time will it take me?

Don’t feel guilty about being stingy with your time! This is hard for so many, especially stay-at-home moms. If it helps, put a dollar amount on your time. If your family income is $50,000/yr, your time is “worth” $24/hr. Try to keep that in mind when factoring the cost of a project. If it takes you 3 weeks to complete a project that saves you $35, it may or may not be worth it…that’s what you need to decide. Not sure how much time a project will take? Ask around. Example: If you see a darling project on Pinterest, click back to the original website and send an email to the author asking how long it took them and if they’d do it again.

There are THOUSANDS of projects that, when you DIY, will save you unbelieveable amounts of money. However, there are projects occasionally that might actually cost you more when you DIY. Just be sure to do the research to make sure it fits YOU!

For example: I made my own baby bedding because I got gorgeous fabric on sale and found a crib bumper to cover for $4 at a yard sale (get the tutorial HERE). I don’t love sewing, but it was a simple enough project that it was worth my time. 

However, I bought our king bedding set because it only cost $22 from Ross Dress For Less…and it would have cost much more in time and materials to make our own.

(Sorry about the horrible picture, by the way…our room has NOT been decorated yet. Hey, we just moved in, ok!)

A few other small tips with DIY projects:

   Start with small projects so you can find where your interest and skill levels lie.

   Sign up for sites like Pinterest and crafting blogs to get great DIY ideas. Don’t feel like you have to come up with them on your own.

*NOTE: for the rug binding example I mentioned on TV, check back on Saturday. I will have a full tutorial and explanation for that one!

The third hot trend right now:

3.     Thrifting and Deal-Shopping
Thrifting: Turning “one man’s trash into another man’s treasure” by finding deals at yard sales, thrifts stores, classifieds, ebay, etc.

Deal-shopping: Finding great deals on new items by utilizing clearance racks, discount stores, wholesale stores, outlets, floor samples, off-season items, and close-out sales.
(Check out some of my recent awesome deals HERE!)

   Why it's a trend:

   It works! You should never pay full-price for anything, and this is a great way to get great deals. (Ps…that’s the “F” in my F.A.C.T’s of saving that will save you money on anything in life for as long as you live. Check it out!)

   Great way to get unique items for your wardrobe and home.

   It’s more accessible than ever thanks to apps and the web.

   It’s fun to shop!

   Make it work for you: 

Going to a massive flea market or shopping at TJ Maxx can be overwhelming to some. But shopping there can really save you money! Here’s how to make it easier for you:

1.  Make a plan.

   Make a list or draw a blueprint of what you need for your home and carry it with you.

   Make a list of upcoming needs like school clothes, birthday gifts, etc. so you can be focused on what you really need.

   Have an outfit in mind before you go shopping.

   Have a budget in mind and don’t go over.

Having a plan will help you avoid unnecessary expenses. If you don’t need it, you’re wasting money!…even if it’s an unbeatable deal.

Here were some of  my great yard sale finds from the summer

2.  Be mindful of prices.

   Take note of prices of things so you know when you see a genuine deal. Just because it has a sale sticker, or just because it’s used, doesn’t necessariy mean it’s a good deal! I carry a little notebook around with me and jot down when I see a good price on something so I can refer back to it later if needed.

   Keep an open mind. Just because an item is at a thrift store doesn't mean it's old and unwanted,

   Likewise, keep in mind that many times you can find an equally good or even better deal on something that's new rather than used. Check out clearance, floor samples and returns, shop off-season, etc.

These frugality trends will save you hundreds if you know how to make them work for you. Now, get out there and save some money!

There you have it. Thanks for reading, and happy Tuesday 🙂

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