A Random Crumb #3: Thrift Store Scores

Random Crumb-Thrift StoreEvery once in a while, the Crumb Saver household shares a snapshot of a recent crumb-saving (or wasting!) incident on A Random Crumb. This column is proof that, hey, we’re people just like you! Prepare for a little randomness, a little embarrassment, but hopefully mostly encouragement.  You’ll get a sneak peek at what we actually do to save (or NOT save) in real life, which is motivation to us to stay crumby (in the good way) and (hopefully) inspiration for you join in the crumb-saving action too!

Shopping for clothes isn’t one of my favorite activities. I’m just not into fashion or haberdashery generally. This is not to say that I don’t like looking sharp and dapper, but I just don’t relish the thought of spending lots of money on new clothes that pretty much goes to $0 in resale value once the tag comes off. It’s about the quickest depreciating asset I can imagine buying. Nevertheless, clothing is a necessity (unless you’re like my 95 year-old grandfather who spends his days gardening in nothing more than a pair of shorts back in balmy Southeast Asia), so we Crumb Savers view this as an essential element of our lifestyle to keep trim. [Read more...]

Chinese Money-Saving Tips

Chinese Money TipsChinese are often accused of being cheapskates.

I admit it. Oftentimes, it’s true! (This admission does come with a tinge of pride, I must confess.)

Needless to say, we witnessed a lot of thrifty attributes modeled by our parents and other family members growing up. While some of them used to make us cringe in embarrassment or secretly wish that we could have it easy like all the white kids at school, we’ve grown to appreciate some of the wise ways of the East when it comes to financial management. So today, we’d like to expose 10 tenets of the secret way of the Chinese cheapskate that we picked up from our families growing up. [Read more...]

Sweet Potato Bonanza

Sweet PotatoWhen Al and I purchased and moved into our first home a year ago, there were many things that were a bit unsightly around our new house. The tall skinny cypress tree by the garage was noticeably crooked, one of the blue decorative window shutters was missing a panel, and there was this annoying little patch of grass in front of our garage surrounded by sidewalk. Al extremely disliked all of them, but especially that little patch of grass which required extra time and attention when mowing. In frustration one day, he decided he had had enough. And within an afternoon, we had covered the patch with cardboard and and a layer of compost to thoroughly smother any green life threatening to poke through.

Although it worked well for a while, soon the brown compost itself seemed a bit unsightly, and the water from the gutter washed dirt all over the sidewalk. So we decided to look for an inexpensive ground cover. In our search, we found the perfect solution in one unpretentious plant: Enter the lowly sweet potato. [Read more...]

Credit Cards: Friend or Foe?

Credit Cards: Friend of Foe?Credit cards are a way of life nowadays in our modern society, but should they be? We get flashed with credit card ads everywhere we turn, and we’re told we just can’t get through life without one (or many). Then we hear guys like Dave Ramsey who give the impression that credit cards are an invention straight from the devil. What are we to make of all this? Are credit cards friend or foe to the thrifty Crumb Saver?

Let’s hit some fast facts on the two sides of this divide, shall we? [Read more...]

A Special Anniversary Weekend – Crumb Saver Style

Anniversary WeekendMr. Crumb Saver and I recently celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary. Wow, what a milestone that an analytical numbers nerd and a penny-pinching frugal girl survived 4 years of marriage! Not that we couldn’t get along, mind you. Analytical nerdiness and penny pinchiness go together like hand in glove. The miracle is that this couple didn’t starve to death as many thought they would on their $60/month rations or melt into a puddle of sweat as others thought was inevitable when not using AC 24/7 in the middle of summer. We’re still alive! And we’re here to tell you how we celebrated 4 years of survival. [Read more...]

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