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My Favorite Frugal Breadmaker Recipe

bread made in bread making machine

My Favorite Breadmaker Recipe, by Nikki Willhite

A half wheat flour and half white flour recipe for the breadmaker machine.

Bread making machines are not expensive. They are frugal, as it doesn't take long for them to pay for themselves.  One of my favorite frugal dinners is soup and hot bread. The taste of fresh bread is surpassed only by the smell of bread baking in the bread machine.  It is frugal, and it is fabulous... more



                Frugal   Living     Thrift     Saving Money    Penny Pinching





Welcome to Frugal Happy Families

frugal squirrel waving hello

Welcome to Frugal Happy Families. On this site you will find: thousands of frugal articles on a variety of subjects.  Click on the subject links to the left to find detailed indexes.  Find the index for frugal money saving tips lower on this page.

  Search Frugal Happy Families by Keyword Below


From the Editor

Editor's Corner

Frugal Christmas

Christmas is for the Frugal, by Nikki Willhite   How you can become clouded in the materialism of Christmas and forget the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas...such a wonderful time of year.  From the smell of gingerbread baking in the oven, to the festive decorations in our homes, it is a time to enjoy.  However, none of these things would mean a thing without our families, and to some of us, our faith and religious beliefs.  However, there are many people who would make Christmas nothing but financial profit and bills to the consumer... more


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Frugal Wisdom Thru the Ages


"A penny saved is a penny earned. Benjamin Franklin

"Industry, thrift and self-control are not sought because they create wealth, but because they create character."  Calvin Coolidge

"I believe that thrift is essential to well-ordered living." John D. Rockefeller

"Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship."  Benjamin Franklin






Cash for Surveys

free tag

Annoyed with survey calls at dinnertime?

Ask them why they don't pay you for your time?

Join SurveySavvy and be paid for taking surveys. 




Frugal Recycling

recycle symbol for thrift

Frugal Creativity


"Use it up,
wear it out,
make it do,
or do without"

Frugal can be creative fun.  Learn to reuse, recycle, repurpose, reinvent, re-imagine... and save money. 



Free and Frugal Clip art and Greeting Card Messages and Quotes

free clipart with heart and bear frame Like to make your own greeting cards? Free clipart for greeting cards and scrapbooks at

All Things


Frugal Weight Loss

scale with tape measure

Everyone is always trying to lose weight.  Unfortunately losing weight is hard, and people spend enormous amounts of money to try and do it.

If you want to lose weight in an easy, frugal way, without resorting to pills, surgery or changing your diet, just think HALF.  Cut the food you are already eating in half, and take a walk each day.

It doesn't get any more frugal or simple than that.


Making Money vs. Spending Money

money stack

If you want to improve your finances, you will find it a lot easier to be frugal than to work more hours.  Let's say you work an extra 4 hours at $10 per hour.  You have made $40.  How much of that $40 do you think will reach your pocket?  Deduct taxes and all the other fees that come out of your paycheck, and you may only see a little more than a half of it.

On the other hand, if you have been going out to eat, miss a meal at your favorite restaurant and you have saved the $40.00.  Making a sandwich for dinner is very easy, and probably better for you than rich, heavily spiced food.  It has taken you very little effort to save that $40.00

There is a reason Benjamin Franklin said "A penny saved is a penny earned." 


New and Featured Frugal Living  Articles on the Site

Frugal Christmas

Christmas Snowman10 Free and Low-Cost Ways to Give Kids the Best Holiday Season Ever, by Norma Schmidt.  How to have a family fun, low cost Christmas.

Yes, you CAN tame commercialism and give your kids a fantastic holiday season at the same time. Kids naturally look forward to getting Christmas presents. But presents donít need to be the all-consuming focus. The more we enrich the holidays with simple, homespun pleasures and gifts of time and attention, the more kidsí wish-lists stay in the background... more


Frugal Recipes

Christmas Spice Cookies or Pepparkakor - Homemade Swedish Spice Cookie Pepparkakor recipe.

Christmas cookies

8 ounces (2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
. .. more

Frugal Christmas

Christmas presentsGift Basket Ideas, by Nikki Willhite.  Ideas to make themed gift baskets for friends and family.

Dessert Baskets

Choose a dessert, and include the ingredients.  Choose from cookies and cakes, to ice cream sundaes.  Add items needed to make or serve the item, such as ice cream scoops or cookie cutters... more


Frugal Christmas

Christmas Candy CaneFrugal Christmas Decorating, by Nikki Willhite.   How to save money decorating your home for Christmas.

We like our homes to look festive at Christmas, yet it can be costly to decorate them. It can also be hard to compete with the three foot moving carolers or the full-size reindeers and giant Santas.  Sometimes I wonder where people store these things the rest of the year... more


Frugal Recipes

Christmas Spice Cookies or Pepparkakor - Homemade Swedish Spice Cookie Pepparkakor recipe.

Christmas cookies

8 ounces  butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
. .. more

Frugal Christmas

Christmas TreeChoosing a Christmas Tree, by Nikki Willhite.  Things to consider when choosing a tree for Christmas.

There are all kinds of Christmas trees. There are big trees, small trees, live trees and artificial trees. On these different trees, some of the branches point up, some point down. Some artificial trees come with the lights already attached. Some are easy to assemble, as they pop up like an umbrella! On other trees you have to put each branch up individually, shaping it as you go... more


Frugal Christmas

Christmas BellsChristmas Traditions:  25 Meaningful Ideas for Families, by Susie Cortright. Lots of ideas for things to do with your family on Christmas to set family traditions.

The holidays are a time to revel in the gratitude and love we feel for one another. Here are 25 meaningful ways to celebrate your togetherness this season.

1. Go for a family nature walk near your home to collect seasonal items that you can use in your holiday decor. If you live near a forest, the obvious choices are pine boughs and pinecones, but... more


Frugal Christmas

Christmas ReindeerLast Minute Gift Ideas - Ideas for gifts everyone can use and you can keep in reserve in your home.

No present, yet?  Running out of time?  Have you procrastinated and are now in a bind?  Pulse rate up and heart beating fast?  Geez... scrambling to find gifts at the very last minute can be stressful and downright pathetic.  Relax.  Don't lose your cool.  Here are a variety of quick gift ideas that are guaranteed to please...Gift certificates are the ultimate life saver. They're quick and easy to buy and come in any denomination.  . more


Frugal Christmas

Christmas StockingStocking Stuffers, by Nikki Willhite.  Gift ideas for stocking stuffer that are frugal.

What is a stocking stuffer? To many people it is a gold pendant. To others, it is a comic book. While it would be nice if our stocking stuffers could be made of gold, (and money grew on trees), we need to come up with some acceptable, modest items to put in the stockings decorating our mantels and fireplaces, and for our families... more


Frugal Christmas

Homemade Snickerdoodle Recipe - How to make homemade Snickerdoodle cookies.


1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 c shortening
2 eggs
... more

Frugal Christmas

Christmas bulbs10 Great Holiday Decorating Ideas On a Budget, by Kathleen Wilson.   Frugal ways to decorate the inside of your home for the holidays.

1.First things first. Set a plan or a theme for your Christmas decorating. It doesn't cost a thing to have a good plan, and when you are working with budget ideas, this is what pulls your ideas together... more


Frugal Christmas

cookiesGiving Homemade Mixes in a Jar, by Monica Resinger.   How to give food far mix gifts, and a recipe for a mix for peanut butter chocolate cookies.

Mixes in a jar are thoughtful and inexpensive gifts to give to anyone for any occasion. The idea is to layer dry ingredients of a cookie, cake, biscuit, muffin, beverage or other recipe decoratively in a jar and add directions of how to complete the recipe.  more

SantaChristmas Movies, by Jayne Waldorf - A review of Christmas movies the whole family will enjoy.

Movies related to Christmas help to create a fun atmosphere and can also teach moral lessons related to Christmas. While everyone will have different Christmas movies that are most enjoyable, there are some that remain favorites... more

Christmas reindeerHow to Tackle Outdoor Christmas Decorations, by Vickie Lexom - Tips on how to decorating the outside of your home for the holidays.

No longer does dad have to stand on that rickety old ladder to try and put up outdoor Christmas decorations with mom at the bottom holding on so he won't fall off and hurt himself. Now, it can be fun and easy for the whole family.. more


Frugal Recipes

Cranberry Salad - Ingredients include canned cranberry sauce, raspberry jello, crushed pineapple and pecans.


1 small package raspberry jello
3/4 cup boiling water
1 can cranberry sauce (whole berry). .. more

Frugal Decorating

quilt blockDecorating with Quilts: Not Just for Beds, by Nikki Willhite - How to decorate with quilts and add country charm to your home.

Nothing warms up a room, or gives it more character than a quilt. Most of us cannot afford high quality quilts, but there is no lack of beautiful, hand stitched imported ones at economical prices.

What can you do with a quilt besides put in on a bed?... more

Frugal Christmas

Christmas HearthHow to Really Enjoy Christmas, by Susan Dunn. Ideas to get into the holiday spirit and have an enjoyable Christmas season.

I'm known in my family as the original Christmas Elf. I've always loved Christmas and thought it was created just for me. And this even when for many years I held jobs that escalated dramatically during December... more


Frugal Christmas

Christmas Candy CaneEasy Does It Christmas Food, by Monica Resinger.  Snacks include clam dip, toffee treats, Irish Cream, and Peanut Butter Bon Bons.

I usually make a snack buffet table for the Christmas Eve celebration at our house. It is very simple and helps keep my stress level down. I can make all of it ahead of time and just set the table up later... more


Frugal Recipes

Easy Pistachio Fruit Recipe   Easy recipe for a pistachio fruit salad using a pistachio pudding mix and pineapple chunks.

2 packages pistachio pudding
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks
1 medium Cool Whip. .. more

Frugal Recipes

Butter Cookies   A frugal recipe for homemade Butter Cookies


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar. .. more


           frugal piggybank

Frugal Money Saving Tips

Help with Thrift and Frugal Living




 Money Mistakes


dollars and coinsIf you work at a job with a 401K or other Savings Plan, and your employer matches some of your contribution, make that a priority.  You cannot afford to throw away "free" money.  No matter what else is going on in your life, put the full amount of money that is matched by your employer into that plan, and don't touch it.


life insuranceDo not mix life insurance with investing.  Buy only term insurance. It costs less.  Save your money elsewhere.  Term insurance should be enough money to protect your family until your youngest child is around 26 years old, and you have accumulated savings.


red carDo not lease a car.  Buy a low mileage car, take good care of it, pay it off, and run it until it drops!

Money and Happiness

books and eye glassesThe Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered "Man.  Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.  Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.  And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies never really having lived."


Resources for Frugal Living


Like Frugal Living?  Visit these Sites...

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Be warm, be safe;  save time and money.  Be frugal and be happy.


Frugal Basics - Some Favorite Frugal Articles

Think Cash!

dollars and coins

Reduce Your Spending Using Cash

Want an easy way to reduce your spending. Use CASH!

Plastic isn't money. It doesn't look like money, and it doesn't feel like money. It is very easy to hand over a plastic card to pay for a purchase. Hand someone a couple of $20 bills, and it is a different feeling. Cash is a frugal living tool.

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Frugal Decorating

Frugal Shopping

Frugal Clothing

Decorating with Texture
Fixing Up Old Cupboards
Pattern Perfect
A Step Too Far  
Shopping and the "Rule of 3"
Wants vs. Needs
Frugal Clothing Alterations
Frugal Clothing Choices
Judging the Price of Clothing
Saving Money in the Kitchen Frugal Recipes Frugal Crafts
Economical Stir Fry Cooking
Eggless Cake Recipe
The Economical Egg
Homemade Granola
Homemade Gravy
Homemade Ketchup
Using Your Fabric Scraps
Decorating with Quilts
How to Save Money Sewing

Frugal Money

Frugal Simple Living

Frugal Organization

Frugal Investing
Piggy Bank Savings
The Ideology of Being Frugal
Tightwad Treasures
Finding Storage Space
How to Organize Your Home

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