This week's Festival takes its theme from the "Being Prepared" post at Coffee, Tea, Books and Me. Planning ahead is a good and often frugal thing, whether for disasters or celebrations. It's when we fly without any plan at all that we end up spending extra because we have to take what we can find, or pay for repairs that could have been avoided, or get hit with extra interest because we didn't have enough cash put by.
Ironically, the Festival could have been a bit of a disaster too, since the submissions form or something else in the process isn't working and only six submissions came through the mail. If you did submit something by mail and it's not here, it wasn't because we didn't want it, it's because we didn't get it. Happily, we were able to round up some of the regular Festival contributors, and a few other friends (welcome!), to provide you with this week's frugal reading.
Prepared for the Worst
Coffee, Tea, Books and Me presents Living the Pantry Lifestyle: The Mental Aspect of Being Prepared. "I have found through the years there are a couple reasons people do not have even minimum emergency preps in their home. The first... that belief that it can never happen to me, us, here, at this time, in America , etc. The second... that strange reasoning that if we do not prepare for any emergencies then they automatically will not happen to us."
Funny About Money writes about getting socked with a bill for four pairs of eyeglasses.
The Frugal Toad presents How to Save Money on Your Legal Matters. "When individuals understand their legal obligations with regard to financial matters, they are in a better position to avoid fines, penalties and unnecessary fees."
Budgeting in the Fun Stuff presents Writing a Will. "I truly hope we’ll never have to use this. I sincerely doubt that we will. But it is a good idea to have a little plan in place just in case."
Prairie Eco Thrifter presents Save Money and Time with Once a Month Cooking. Melissa writes, "We used to love eating out, but as our family grew, so did the expense of eating out....One strategy I used to make dinner time more bearable was to being making freezer meals."
The FireStarter presents a useful list of money-saving cooking strategies (such as using a slow cooker). (Some non-family-friendly language on that blog.)
Stephanie, the slow-cooker expert at A Year of Slow Cooking, presents a Cold Weather Meal Plan, including a grocery list. "If I could send everybody heating blankets and fluffy slippers, I would. Most definitely. Instead, I've got a cold-weather meal plan for you that is easy on the wallet (I'm in denial over my credit card bill from Christmas) and is filling without being heavy and bogged down with cheese and grease in case you (like me) are trying to figure out why the super cute corduroy pants that fit in October no longer fit."
Prepared to Work
Prepared to Play
Dollygirl's Treasures presents a Thrift Store Makeover on a 1980's doll. "This is Blair. Her hair is a tangled mess, she's missing her shoes, and she looks like she just hopped out of the 80s." (Proud Parent note: Dollygirl is our daughter, and possibly the youngest contributor ever to a Festival of Frugality.)
The mother-of-the-bride-to-be at The Common Room says My Head is Full of Wedding Plans. "Last night I half jokingly told the bride I was taking all further planning out of her hands and we would plan it all ourselves and she could show up and just be thankful, we weren’t going to consult her any more. She said that would be awesome. I said I meant it. She said outstanding. I said I was going to have her sign a contract to that effect. She said fine, except don’t touch her music plans..."
Evolving Personal Finance presents Our Best (Pain-Free) Money Saving Moves. "Don't sell yourself short! We had trepidations about every item on this list before we actually tried them out and they've all worked out swimmingly."
The Frugal Shrink shares her personal 2014 financial goals. "Setting and completing goals is admittedly one of my strengths, and I tend to flounder and waste time without having clear, defined goals. I completely bungled my 2013 goals, however- forgot I even made any as my main focus was adjusting and surviving in my new job. I did manage to "accidentally" accomplish 2/8 goals. Yikes!! Normally I do a much better job at this." (If you've never read The Frugal Shrink's blog before, you may not know that she did a series of interviews with the three Dacyczyn daughters--some of the now-adult Tightwad Gazette offspring. Check it out!)
A Final Thought
That's the end of this week's Festival of Frugality. Next week's host will be Save and Conquer. General information on the Festival is available at the main site, FestivalofFrugality.com