Monday, July 18, 2011

DIY - The Path to Happiness

Want to be happier? Try making your life a little harder... Use a push mower.  Bake your own bread.  Knit a new scarf.  Do things by hand and your brain will thank you.

So proclaims an article in Ladies Home Journal this month.  The gist of the piece is that doing things yourself, rather than relying on the latest technology or just buying something, gives our lives more meaning and satisfaction.  But as Tightwad Tip fans know, it also saves money.  Here are more ideas for exerting some extra effort that will pay off in terms of your finances and your happiness:
  1. Bike or walk to work (and save money on gas, your gym membership, your health care costs) and enjoy the journey.
  2. Take a tip from the LHJ article and grow your own herbs.
  3. Make your summer time dates more active than passive -- don't just go out for a fancy dinner and see a movie, but instead kayak, make a picnic, paint a coffee mug.
  4. Make your own fabulous fashions, including be-ribboned bracelets and bedazzled heels.
  5. Save on a summer pedicure by skipping the spa.
  6. Use items you probably already have in your kitchen and create a fantastic facial mask.
  7. Got kids?  Make your own play dough.
  8. Make a "Starbucks" cafe mocha at home.
  9. Harvest your own produce (at "pick your own" places) and save.
  10. Take care of your possessions and you'll have to replace them less often.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Money-Saving Ideas for Your Summer Vacation

You don't need to plan your vacation months in advance to take advantage of great travel deals.  Here are three time-tested ways you can save, even if you are just scheduling your summer trip now:
  • Consider your destination carefully.  You'll save lots of money -- and avoid the crowds -- if you look for alternatives to places like Disneyworld (and other theme-parks), the major capitals in Europe, etc.  Think instead about visiting ski resorts for hiking and water sports.
  • Use online coupons from sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, TravelZoo, and Zozi to save big (often as much as 90%) on right-now deals at restaurants, spas, theaters, activities and events, and so forth.
  • Fill unsold space at a fraction of the usual price by making reservations via sites like and which match you to airlines that have unsold seats and hotels that have unsold rooms. 
Want more tightwad travel tips?  Check out these posts:

Top Tightwad Travel Tips

More Tightwad Travel Tips

Top Tightwad Tips for a Splendid Staycation

Travel Freebies

Enjoy a Free Summer Vacation

Avoiding Checked-Baggage Fees

Frugal Flying

Top Tourist Attractions at Tightwad Prices

Escape Hotel Surcharges

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Top Tightwad Tips for a Splendid Staycation

Just because the economy is still in the tank and you are staying home for vacation (again!) this summer, doesn't mean that your time off can't be relaxing, refreshing and fun -- just like a trip away from home would be.  Here is a round-up of ideas to make sure your time off is as wonderful as you want it to be: