Hurrah! It's time for the 237th Festival of Frugality! With the Fourth of July just past, we're going with an Independence Day theme.Americans are good at beating the odds. Our country was founded 235 years ago with a war in which the colonists were outmatched by the greatest naval force on the planet. Young men who had never been away from home came up against seasoned British troops and German mercenaries under career officers.Today many of us feel the odds against America are pretty high again. With the official unemployment rate stuck at almost 10 percent and the real under- and unemployment rate closer to 20 percent, our country engaged in a war we are unlikely to win (if the situation even allows such a thing as "winning"), widespread debt among our citizens, state economies on the verge of collapse, the federal deficit soaring, and one in every 400 homes going into foreclosure just last month, Americans face daunting challenges. But individuals, families, and communities around the country are rising to those challenges, as they did 1776. In this festival, bloggers report on developments in the revolution against debt, waste, and economic oppression.Editor's choices are flagged with little red hearts: ♥Getting fired up at the Boston Tea Party
Recruiting the Troops
Cash Money Life
How to Find and Hire Reliable Contractors
Here’s a nice set of tips on dealing with repairmen and small contractors. As a bonus, Ryan includes a promo code for 15% off an Angie’s List membership.
Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge
Living off the Land: Frugal Survival in the Field
Sun’s Financial Diary
Know When to Buy What
Do you save by stocking up on produce in season? Here’s a guide to the seasons of sales.
The Protein Myth
Discussion of the various sources of dietary protein and their quality.
Healthy Cooking on a Budget
Three frugal approaches to dining in
June Tree, Guest post author
The Digerati Life
How to Buy Organic Food and Eat Well for Less Money
Several useful tips for shifting your buying toward organic and still staying on budget
10 Places to Get WiFi for Free
PT reports that all Starbucks are now offering free WiFi and then adds another nine connections for the peripatetic computerist.
True Adventures in Money Hacking
Money-saving Laundry Tips: Quick Tips for Saving Your Cash and Your Clothes
Wren points out that several frugal laundry strategies actually save wear and tear on clothing as well as on water, energy, and laundry supplies.
Common Sense, by Thomas Paine
Keeping Up Morale
Surviving and Thriving
14 Insanely Cheap Ways to Have Fun This Summer
A pile of ideas for frugal summer recreation—add yours in the comments!
The Boredom Buster: Using Variety to Break Up the Monotony
Know what a dorodango ball is? Neither did I, till I came across it here and had to look it up. Paul suggests a nifty collaborative strategy for breaking out of the rut.
Bucksome Boomer’s Journey to Retirement
The Old Days Weren’t Frugal by Choice
A look back at the realities our parents and grandparents knew
Battle of Yorktown
Battle Plans: Strategizing to Win Fiscal Freedom
♥ Neal Frankle
How Much Can I Afford for a House? A Checklist
This unprepossessing title disguises some very savvy advice. If you’re thinking about buying a house—or even vaguely daydreaming of one—don’t miss this article.
Live Real, Now
Be Prepared or Be Me
Take the benefit of advice from Jason’s experience!
Free Money Finance
Saving Money on Groceries by Keeping Track of Prices
FMF describes the habit of keeping a price book, and ponders its uses.
Budgets Are Sexy
Increase Your Savings with Every Raise You Get
A plan for fighting lifestyle inflation
The GREAT Coupon Experiment: Week 5—The End
Reasonable decides to test the hypothesis that couponing saves cash with hard science.
Budgeting in the Fun Stuff
The Cost of the First Year of Homeownership
Largely by dint of luck and the generosity of friends and relatives, BFS keeps a grip on the potentially amazing cost of the first year in a house.
Washington at the Battle of Princeton
On the Frugal Battlefield: Going Hand-to-hand with Spending and Debt
♥ Christian Treitler
How to Really Save Money When You Spend It
Christian sets himself a goal to actually put money saved by purchasing goods on sale into a real-world savings account.
Checked Baggage Fees List
If you travel by air, bookmark this post! Jim first clues us to airlines that give you one checked bag free; then provides a list of baggage fees by airline.
Can’t No-Poo? Try Alterna-poo: Aloe Vera
Now this is an interesting discovery!
♥ Donna Freedman
Surviving and Thriving
Don’t Hate the Payer, Hate the Game
Donna hits readers’ hot button with some observations about the way grocery checkout works.
Leave Debt Behind
Want to Erase Credit Card Debts? Pay More Often
Recommends a strategy of frequent micropayments to clear debt off your books.
Home Tool Review
How to Frugally Stock Your Home Toolbox
Wise suggestions for new homeowners and young people just starting out in their first apartment
Frugal for Life
Home Remedies for Stinky Feet and Shoes
Dawn gets her readers talking when she posts a slew of strategies for de-stinking musty feet and shoes!
Go Banking Rates, guest post author
Guilty Financial Pleasure: Keep Your Hobby on a Budget and Make Money from It
Managing a hobby in hard times
My Insurance Nightmare
In search of an insurance quote for a new car, Kristina gets asked some amazingly personal questions.
Take a Bite Out of Your Food Expenses
How much, really, do you save by eating in instead of out? The answer may surprise even confirmed home cooks.
Chipped Cup or Mug? Don’t Throw It Away!
An attractive way to get some more mileage from damaged dinnerware
Funny about Money
Happy Hoarder’s Handyman Hint: Frugal Junk Use
A nifty handmade paper-towel holder grows from squirreled-away junk.
Vern, Guest post author
Canadian Finance Blog
Eco-friendly Tips for Summer Cleaning on a Budget
Vern has a house-cleaning strategy!
The Sun’s Financial Diary
Great Green Convenient Ways to Clean
Sun discovers the sterling qualities of a common household product.
Cash Money Life
Cheap Phone Calls with Magic Jack
Cheaper even than Skype!
Washington Crossing the Delaware
“We Have Met the Enemy, and He Is Us”*
Why Is Debt Really Decreasing?
Interesting rumination on the apparent drop in US household indebtedness.
Ace of Wealth
Do You Fall for These Pricing Tricks?
What’s “anchoring”? If you don’t know, better read this post for another insight into marketing psychology.
5 Reasons to Avoid AMEX Blue Cash
This review of the AMEX Blue Cash card actually gives some fairly strong pro’s as well as the five cons mentioned in the post title.
Fireworks over New York City's East Village
* The immortal words of Pogo
Fireworks over Washington Monument. Public domain.
Boston Tea Party. National Archives and Records Administration. Public domain.
Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge. John Ward Dunsmore, 1907. Public domain.
Scan of the cover of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense. 1776. Public domain.
Plan of the Battle of Yorktown. Goodrich, S. G. (1875). A Pictorial History of the United States. Philadelphia: J. H. Butler & Co., 277.
George Washington Rallies His Troops at the Battle of Princeton. Artist unknown. Public domain.
Washington Crossing the Delaware. Emanuel Leutze. 1851. Public domain.
East Village Fireworks. David Shankbone. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.