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Fractured Frugal Articles

Ahh, our articles, the core of our existance.  The library of knowledge.  The place that we all go to to find in depth articles about all things frugal.  You'll find the article section updated frequently, with new and exciting ways to bust down your debts, learn how to shop competitively, how to save money here and there, and wonderful seasonal ideas.  Oh, and so much more!  Be sure to check back often, as we'll cover so many things and ideas here!

Want to learn how to possibly cut your long distance charges down to almost half, without having to sign up for one of those "All in one" phone plans offered by your phone company?  What about the best way to frugally do Scrapbooking?  Got a hankering for your own garden?  How about how some people have brought their debts down, thousands and thousands of dollars a year?

Our article section is THE place to visit!  We'll cover those ideas and so much more with every edition we release.  And the best part of all of this is:  If you're a member, you can see ALL the articles, at any time, from our very first article, to one that was done a couple months back, to one that was released yesterday!

You can view a complete list of ALL released articles by clicking here. Please note that you MUST be an active member to view past articles, though we will give you a TEASER of each, if you're not a current member.  If you're a current ACTIVE member, you can view all Member Only articles by clicking here.

We hope that you enjoy our articles.  They really WILL help you bust down your debts, live better for less, teach you how to pay off debts, shop smarter, live wiser and how to have fun doing it!

Frugal Therapy
By: emke, dated Nov 17, 2006
With today's sky rocketing health care costs we are all looking for ways to cut costs in our health care. I live with a medical condition that causes chronic pain on a daily basis. My former PCP felt that a person with chronic pain should not have a stress free life, nor have a good outlook on life. He decided that I needed to see a therapist to "deal" with my chronic pain. I already had a ready made therapist at home. One I see on a daily basis. A therapist that is frugal a
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How To Stick To Your Shopping List At The Market
By: Michelle-Lea, dated Jun 01, 2006
How To Stick To Your Shopping List At The Market

We’ve all done it...gone to the market with our list in hand, only to have our resolve crumble with each step down the aisles. So, how do you stick to your list, Michelle? Well, let me tell you my strategies, and maybe they’ll help you.

Make your list:
Go through your pantry, freezer and refrigerator and see what you have on hand, what you can make meals from. Then make your list of ingredients that you still need to
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How To Stick To Your Shopping List At The Market
By: Michelle-Lea, dated May 31, 2006
How To Stick To Your Shopping List At The Market

We've all done it...gone to the market with our list in hand, only to have our resolve crumble with each step down the aisles. So, how do you stick to your list, Michelle? Well, let me tell you my strategies, and maybe they'll help you.

Make your list:
Go through your pantry, freezer and refrigerator and see what you have on hand, what you can make meals from. Then make your list of ingredients that you still need to finish those
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OAMC - Baking Plan
By: Kim Tilley, dated May 28, 2006
My Strategy: I have been doing "bulk baking" for quite a while, and I really love it! If you're not quite ready to take the big plunge, simply double or triple the recipes you make to go with dinners or for snack (or breakfasts!) and freeze the surplus. Then the next time you have no mess, only the wonderful aroma of baking. I did this a while ago when I had to make cookies for my so
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OAMC - Ham Plan
By: Kim Tilley, dated May 28, 2006
Here is my "Ham Plan." I am finding it easier and more economical to have bulk cooking plans for when meats and veggies are on sale or in season. I do a big cooking that lasts a few months (Hopefully! I am still new at this) so I don't have to cook that particular meat again for a while. I am hoping my chicken will last a while so I can focus on other meats. Here are some of the recipes I made around Easter (next time I will make a big ham or a few medium ones, last time the 20 po
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OAMC - Hamburger Plan
By: Kim Tilley, dated May 28, 2006
The Hamburger Plan

By Kim Tilley
Here is my "Hamburger Plan", probably one of my most used so far. I love having all of my favorite recipes in one place, and I find myself referring back to it often.

Game Plan
Since hamburger is loose and you don't have to cut it up into different sections (such as chicken and turkey), it is much easier to handle in large quantities and very versatile. I make master recipes of some things that can be used in many recipes.

Here a
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OAMC - Chicken Plan
By: Kim Tilley, dated May 28, 2006
Here is the first plan I wrote, out of necessity! I couldn't figure out how to deal with so many different parts of the chickens I was doing unless I had everything written down and the recipes gathered together. This plan is constantly being revised as I find better ways to do things and more recipes. Stay tuned for a turkey plan, which will be even easier than chicken!

My "chicken plan": (I broke it down to 6 at a time)

Out of 18 whole chickens, I used:
6 whole ro
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OAMC - Turkey Plan
By: Kim Tilley, dated May 28, 2006
Turkey is a far more versatile meat than most of us think. Many people relegate it to holidays and "leftovers," but why not make it part of your everyday fare? Turkey is delicious, low in fat (unless drowned in gravy!) and can be substituted for chicken in most dishes. It is a little bit coarser in texture than chicken, but this can be overcome by boiling turkey, which I accidentally discovered after boiling a very meaty carcass and then using the meat for sandwiches. You really can�
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OAMC - Vegetarian Plan
By: Stephanie, dated May 28, 2006
This Veggie Plan was put together by Stephanie and posted to the Friendly Freezer list, a very active, very friendly once-a-month cooking list. The plan originally appeared on Robbyn Snider's website. She is the "list mom" for Friendly Freezer. Check out her site for more great oamc plans.

Vegetarian Meal Plan and recipes
1. Meatless Tamale Pie
2. Popeye Pie
3. Lentil Stew
4. Scalloped Potatoes (served with Mixed veggie dish, no recipe)
5. Crockpot mac and chee
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Building A Wardrobe the Frugal Way
By: Renee, dated May 28, 2006
Editor's note: Catch Renee's appearance in the June 6th edition of Quick & Simple magazine, on newsstands May 31st, 2006 through June 6th, 2006! For more information on where you can pick up this magazine, please click HERE!

In the past year, I've lost 80 pounds. That definitely has its advantages, but one of the disadvantages frugally was needing to buy almost
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A Beginner's Guide to Once a Month Cooking
By: Kim Tilley, dated May 27, 2006
Look for our OAMC Cooking Plans in this edition, go to the Articles link above!

Once a month cooking, or "oamc" is a wonderful tool you can use and modify to suit your needs. It is a simple idea, really, of cooking ahead and then preserving your food using a variety of strategies: freezing, canning, drying, refrigerating. The most important tool in oamc is your freezer, whether you have a large one or just the one on top of your refrigerator. Yes, you can fit a month's w
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Last Year vs. This Year
By: cskies1, dated May 26, 2006
What a difference one year on F3 can make! I hear stories like this every day on our site; I think this one sums up how much of a morale booster (as well as financial booster) our members are to each other. If you ever needed any single reason to look deeper into your own finances, here's 7 GREAT reasons!

Last year I had $20 in my checking account to pay incoming bills. This year I have $2,100.

Last year there was no emergency fund...just plenty of emergencies! Th
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Getting Started: Frugal Strategies to Stretch Your Budget
By: Kim Tilley, dated May 26, 2006
Here are some of my favorite strategies for saving money. Since everyone's situation and resources are different, you need to adapt these strategies to your own lifestyle. Remember, frugality is a tool that you can customize to the way you live. Use them as much or as little as you want, according to your need. You can enjoy living frugally!

Get it for Less - Find a cheaper source for things you already buy. There is always someone selling it cheaper. The challenge is to find new
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The F3 Clothing Resources Guide: Getting the Most for Your Money
By: Kim Tilley, dated May 26, 2006
Here are all of the places I can think of to obtain clothing, rated from cheapest to most expensive. Where do your purchases fall? Of course, no one is expected to have an entirely free wardrobe or a designer one either. This chart is just meant to give you some ideas on where to look for cheaper clothing resources. If I have left any out, please email me and I will be happy to include them.

Free:

Swap with friends, relatives, and neighbors

Hand-me-downs from older siblings

G
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Cutting Your Grocery Bill
By: Kim Tilley, dated May 26, 2006
Here is a collection of strategies and tips for cutting your grocery bill. Some of these ideas I use religiously, others I am working on or struggling with! I have gleaned some of these from books, frugal relatives and my own improvising. By far the best resources are any relatives you have who remember the Great Depression (or check out cookbooks and stories from/about that time period) and The Tightwad Gazette books, my favorites! !

Start with strategies that you can implement without caus
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Frugality: Getting Started
By: Kim Tilley, dated May 26, 2006
Ok, you want to save money and tighten your budget, but where do you begin? Lots of people know they need help, but where do you start? Here are some ideas to get you started:

Set Goals - What is it you want to achieve? It may be something simple, like not living paycheck to paycheck, which would mean you are working towards having money in your savings and checking accounts. In that case, you will need to cut some of your spending and put it in the bank as a cushion. What if you are s
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The Price Book
By: Kim Tilley, dated May 26, 2006
This is my favorite tightwad tool, and so simple! Here is what you need:
One 3-ring binder
Loose-leaf paper
Pen
Some time to do this
Receipts

1. Start by listing all of the groceries you buy on a sheet (or two or three) of paper. Don't list things you occasionally buy, list things you always buy, especially staples, such as bread, milk, eggs, flour, etc.

2. Next, take a whole bunch of paper, and label the top right hand corner of each sheet with the name of one item you bu
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Get in charge of your credit cards
By: Kim Tilley, dated May 26, 2006

(...before they get in "charge" of you)



The majority of Americans carry a credit card balance. These balances can add up fast! Banks are in the credit card business to make money, not give it away, and they will try anything to dig further into your pocket. The entire system is designed to get you in debt and keep you in debt. You could almost consider a credi
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Healthy Living the Frugal Way!
By: Renee, dated Oct 20, 2005
March 1, 2005 was the day I hit rock bottom. At 208 pounds, I finally had to face that I not only had a weight problem, I was obese and was endangering my health. I'd gone from a size 8 to a size 22, and was not happy about it.

I've lost 66 pounds, and am back in a size 12. I have about 7 more pounds to get to my "ideal" body weight. Losing weight wasn't easy. Nor did I always take the frugal way out. However, I look at the money I did spend as savings on futur
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How to extend out and make use of everything in a catasrophic event
By: TammyJo, dated Sep 07, 2005
After a catastrophic hurricane hit our tiny little town, I learned quickly that we had to make use of what we had. We were without electricity for almost two weeks, had a tree in our house, without water for five days and were financially drained.

We didn't have a generator, but our neighbors were gracious enough to share theirs. We took turns keeping our freezers and refrigerators cold, therefore, we shared the expense of gasoline to operate the generator. We built a fire pit in the yar
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Disaster Emergency Preparedness Kit
By: Douglas, dated Sep 04, 2005
While it is highly unlikely that any of us would have to deal with an emergency the magnitude of Katrina, no matter where we live, there is some potential natural disaster. Could be a hurricane, earthquake, tornado, noreaster, volcano, ice storms -- there is something. Or like those of us in New York or Washington, you may live in a place where potential terrorism is a very real possibility.

The point is, no matter where you live, you need to be prepared for emergencies. Have medicines for
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Frugal ways to help those in need
By: Renee, dated Sep 03, 2005
When disaster hits, everyone’s thoughts turn to how to help. The frugal key is finding ways to help while continuing to live within your means. There are many worthy organizations that always need help.

I’ve served on the board of trustees of a local no-kill animal shelter for the past four years, and have been a regular volunteer there for the past six. The two things we always need most, as with most non-profit organizations, are cash and volunteers.

Volunteering
No ma
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Get moving!
By: fropan, dated Sep 03, 2005
I know that everyone is worrying right now about gas prices, the long-term effects on the economy, and what danger that we're in ourselves. We've spent the last week watching the new and yet personally, I believe that best thing for us to right now is to turn off the 24 hour news and get moving!! There are things that all of us can do to help out.

Something that you can do if you don't have the funds available to give is to give your time. You can easily organize a collectio
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Seasonal Decorating
By: joeyperry, dated Jan 06, 2005
I had visions. I was going to be the perfect career woman and still find time to have the cute, comfy little home with every thing in place, every season and social event acknowledged, and a home decorated for every holiday.

And then I woke up.

I love the holidays. And I love walking in my home after a long days work and seeing touches of Christmas, or St. Patrick?s Day, or Halloween in my home to remind me that life is not all about work. But decorating for the season in and off itself
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Give Yourself Some Frugal Luxury
By: moonbug, dated Feb 25, 2004
The pace of life these days is so hectic. You find yourself running here and running there trying not to tear your hair out from the stress of it all. I say it?s time to give ourselves some of the good stuff. A little bit of downtime is in order after a hard days work. Spoiling yourself shouldn?t make you even more stress-out by taking up too much of your money, time or effort, so here are some easy ideas how to take care of the most important person in your life. You! So, let?s take a deep
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Cut-Rate Crafts: Duct Tape
By: moonbug, dated Sep 30, 2003
Yes, you heard me right. I said duct tape! The same stuff you buy at the hardware store to fix everything around the house can also fix your fashion sense. Duct Tape is strong, durable and in some cases heatproof. It is very cheap as a craft material, and it fun and easy for kids to use. (With adult supervision of course!)

Are you afraid that all your projects with end up being that dull shiny gray color that we have come to know and love? Think again. Duct Tape is now offered in so many
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Cut-Rate Crafts: Papier-mâché
By: moonbug, dated Sep 02, 2003
Stop thinking papier-mâché is just for kids. Papier-mâché is becoming increasingly popular to crafters and a medium for those in fine arts. It’s one of oldest art forms in history, and part of the reason we know this for a fact is that papier-mâché is so durable we still have pieces around to remind us.

The ranges of things you can make with papier-mâché seem limitless. Some examples are things such as decorative pieces, jewelry, masks,
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Cut-Rate Crafts: Altered Books
By: moonbug, dated Sep 01, 2003
What if you could breath new life into a hardcover book and save it from being thrown into the trash by turning it into a work of art? Well, you can! It's called the craft of altering books. This incredibly frugal craft recycles any book into your own portable mini gallery.

Altering books is easy because there are no rules, as you create - you learn. Altered books are a way for people to creatively express themselves without the constraints that fine art is known for. Knowing how to
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Bliss From a Suitcase: Advice from a Girl Traveling the World
By: moonbug, dated Aug 31, 2003
Let’s face it, this high-speed world leaves you feeling that you need to run as fast as you can to stay in place, let alone get anything done. We have all heard what stress can do to the body. New research suggests that work-related stress can be as harmful as smoking. We are all tormenting ourselves to fatality. Now more than ever we need to find our bliss.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how I can live a blissful life out of a suitcase. People are curious to how it is I can liv
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Survival Tips while unemployed: Part 1
By: MrsChak, dated Aug 28, 2003
No Income? Tips on How To Survive!

In September 2001, my husband's company closed the doors. We had 3 days notice. Being that I'm a stay at home mom who did some computer work from home, it was a scary time for us. Luckily, my husband was working again by November, and we thought we were over the hump, and could go on with our lives.

Unfortunately for us, his new company cut all of their higher salaried people in order to stay afloat in September 2002. Again, we were caught unaw
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Survival Tips while unemployed: Part 2
By: MrsChak, dated Aug 27, 2003
Part 2: You're Not Working: Making Do With What You've Got

The last paycheque has come and gone. Now, you will be surviving on unemployment cheques, if you qualified, whatever money you had squirreled away, and your wits. How can you make the most of them?

* If you didn't do it before hand, cut down any bills that you can. You don't need call display or call forwarding on your phone right now. Cut your phone down to basic. Even if you don't want to cancel your cabl
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Survival Tips while unemployed: Part 3
By: MrsChak, dated Aug 27, 2003
Part 3: You've Found Work! Back To Normal Spending. Right?

You've found work! Congratulations! It's great to get back to work, and back to your regular life! Now you can go out and buy all those things you didn't buy while you were unemployed, right?

Well, let's breathe, and take a look first. While you were unemployed, you made some cuts from the household budget. Do you really need to add them all back on? Maybe you've found you really don't miss the c
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Why I'm proud to be Frugal!
By: AngieC, dated Dec 28, 2002
"Aren't you good?!" my friends say as they watch me go through the checkout, trolley laden with fruit, vegetables, flour, rice and other staples, and pay with cash. Then they groan as their trolleyload of ready-made, prepacked, over-flavoured and nutritionally worthless goo is totalled, whip out a credit card and announce they've gotta run, they're driving off to Weightwatchers now, then they're stacking shelves in the afternoon to pay for all this; they'd lov
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Taking the Frugal Grocery Challenge on the Road
By: Chloie (formerly 220), dated Dec 27, 2002
(Read to the tune of "The Beverly Hillbillies")

Come listen to a story
about a penny-pinching friend,

On a mountain vacation,
she had to keep her family fed,

In unfamiliar stores,
she hunted for some deals,

Can she stretch her dollars
on vacation meals?

...Taking the Frugal Grocery Challenge
on the Road, that is...


IT'S THE "CLEVERLY-STRETCHING (vacation food) DOLLAR-BILLIES" article!

Come join me as I take the Frugal Grocery Cha
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Frugal Scrapbooking
By: sssweet, dated Dec 26, 2002
Scrapbooking is a fast growing hobby, one that can become quite pricey, if you let it. Here are just a few frugal tips to keep yourself within your budget.

Scrapbooking is constantly growing, and if you try to keep up with every new item, you will definitely go broke! Sit down and come up with a list of items you must have (for example paper, some type of adhesive, etc.) and a list of items that you want to have. Having something concrete to look at might help you to keep focused on whether o
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Name brands vs. Generic Brands, a lesson in Frugality...
By: Douglas, dated Dec 24, 2002
Come say it with me! "We do NOT need that $2.99 box of cereal, that $1.99 box is cheaper and tastes JUST as good!"

The lovely issue of name brands vs. generic brands. The whole shopping experience can be summarized in just a few short words: When you buy a name brand product, you're paying for the name, NOT the product!

Every day, we're faced with making decisions on what products we want to buy. From clothing to food, to computers to office supplies, we&#
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A Frugal Journey is Common Sense
By: MrsChak, dated Dec 23, 2002
I started my "Frugal Journey" just over a year ago now. Some people seem to think that if you are Frugal, you must be depriving your family, or hoarding every penny, or you must not be a giving person. All of this isn’t true. Being Frugal doesn’t mean that you must cut down every expense to the last penny, and stop purchasing anything but the absolute necessities. It means using your common sense. To be Frugal means to spend your money wisely so you have the money to spend on those
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