10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget

No, this is not a huge list post. My friends at Wise Bread have written a book by this title! They sent me a copy for review, and I have to say I love the book! And I have one to give away, too, so keep reading!

10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget is a comprehensive resource of money saving ideas. The authors split their tips into two sections: Frugal Living and Personal Finance.

The Frugal Living section covers topics like:

  • 10 Frugal Ways to Care for Your Allergies
  • 10 Ways to Go Green and Save Money at the Same Time
  • 55 Ways I Saved Time and Money Planning My Wedding
  • 5 Ways to Trim Haircut Costs for Kids
  • 13 Free Ways to Wrap Your Gifts With Style

The Personal Finance section includes topics such as:

  • What Credit Counselors Do and How to Pick One
  • 10 Easy Ways to Find Money for Charity
  • 6 Tips for Following a Budget Without Breaking Down in Tears
  • 6 Horrible Financial Products You Should Avoid
  • 10 Dirty Secrets Credit Card Companies Don’t Want You to Know

And the list goes on…and on and on! (But that’s a good thing!)

At the end of the book, there’s a list of 142 resources that will save you cash. (There’s a list on the Wise Bread website, as well.) Each resource has a short description, so you know what it is, before you expend the energy to look up the website. BeingFrugal.net is even listed in the resource section under the Elevenmoms! It’s a small thing, but it’s pretty exciting to be listed among the other great resources.

And I have to mention the authors of 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget. There are too many to list them all, but the authors include many familiar names in the personal finance blogosphere: Leo Babauta, J.D. Roth, Trent Hamm, Silicon Valley Blogger, Xin Lu, Linsey Knerl, and many more. I’ve had the opportunity to work with several of the authors on various projects, and I have a great deal of respect for the amount of knowledge they have on frugal living and personal finance.

I love the way 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget is laid out! If you wanted to, you could read it straight through. But if you’re looking for specific information, it’s easy to find. I have a feeling 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget will become a staple on the frugal bookshelf.

The Giveaway

If you’d like a copy of 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget, you have a chance to win one right here! Just leave a comment with a frugal tip. I’ll close comments next Wednesday, May 27 at noon PST and draw a winner, using a random number generator.

Please only one comment per person, as duplicate comments will be deleted. The winner will have one week from the time I contact them to get back to me with their mailing info. If no contact information is received, I’ll draw a new winner. The book will be shipped directly from the Wise Bread people, so I will have to pass your contact information on to them for shipping.

I think that about covers it! I can’t wait to hear your tips!


By , on May 20, 2009
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.


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  1. Grace:

    I use coupons ALWAYS, and I put any “found money” directly into savings – tax returns, money from surveys, money from mystery shopping, money from ebaying, money from garage sales etc. It adds up quick!

  2. I just now became a SAHM w/ two children (ages 2 & 3 1/2) so I am gathering as much frugal info as possible! My latest finds are Walgreens coupons and register rewards. I am working on buying ONLY what my family NEEDS and uses on a regular basis and as our green (but rather pricey) cleaning suppplies run out, I am making green, but frugal ones from baking soda, salt, lemon, etc.

  3. Couponing, as several people have mentioned, saves me tons. I got a kitchen mill grinder for my home. I am able to grind wheat flour and bean flour for a fraction of the cost. I figured if my little family (3 year old son and 8 month old baby) didn’t grow at all and we only used as much flour as we are now, we will break even in about four years. I save that much by buying wheat berries and grinding my own flour. I know I’ll break even before that with a growing boy and being able to grind other flours now too. LOVE my grinder!

  4. Meghan:

    Make a weekly meal plan for every meal, including snacks. Then make the weekly grocery list. Do not purchase anything not on the list. Our wasted food is down to almost nothing now because we only have a little more then a week of food at any one time so nothing has time to go bad. “Just in case” food is kept with the hurricane supplies and is non-perishable.

  5. rbee:

    We use the small chips of bar soap with boiling water and then place the solution in a plastic bottle with a pump spray dispenser, uses all the soap and spend less on hand soap refills.

  6. Carolyn:

    Don’t throw out stale bread. Make bread pudding, strata, croutons, french toast, just to name a few.

  7. Marj:

    Mentioned earlier was freezing your bread crusts for stuffing. I buzz em in the blender and have bread crumbs for homemade chicken parmigiano or other such meals. Yummy.
    Tip # 2: A great cleanser for sinks, tubs and etc. is equal parts of salt, baking soda and Borax. I love that stuff.

  8. Storm:

    My tip: say goodbye to Windows.. Use free, reliable, secure software such as Ubuntu, or Open Office.. Open Office is a fully functioning, better than Word or Windows Office, Office suite available free of charge from OpenOffice.org! This is available for Widows and linux both.. Why spend $200 for Windows office, when you can get better for free!

  9. Jan:

    My little mum would always say, “When in need, improvise”. That little ditty has worked for me countless numbers of times. It also has caused me to be very creative!

  10. Melissa:

    My frugal tip is to eliminate paper towels in your house. It is amazing how much money goes down the drain using paper towels when you could use a cloth towel instead.

  11. Marla T:

    Each week buy only those items which are on sale at a good price and you have coupons for to get items for free or as cheap as possible. This works for pretty much anything, except maybe meat. Buy only meat that is on sale at the lowest price possible and stock up until it goes on sale for that cheap again. Plan your meals for the week with what you already have in your pantry and freezer. I try not to buy anything that is not on sale as cheap as I can get it, unless it’s an absolute necessity. Thank you for the entry.


  12. Bryce Neckels:

    Thank you for your website…You have made me more aware of my money. My frugal tip is : Keeping your bread more fresh so it wont mold fast, is to dubble bag with 2 zip lock bags and just keep refrigerated…also instead of using baggies for everything…just buy at the dollar store plasticware for things like nuts, chips, fruit, sandwiches. It will keep them more fresh and your items wont get crushed. Thank you…Bryce Neckels

  13. Jen:

    Surf the internet for free offers on fatwallet.com or similar sites. There are so many offers for free samples or companys (such as Friendly’s on June 6) that are giving away free ice cream.

  14. Lynn:

    After raising 4 kids on one income, I have lived most of the frugal tips here…and loved every minute of my colorful life. Now, 30 years later, I am sending my 4th child off to college with a full scholarship, (including housing) which he earned on his own; and now it’s time for me. So, I’m starting my new adventure, housesitting, next month. It’s a bit scary not having a permanent place to live, but what I’ll gain in cost savings and life experience, will be plentiful. My goal is to save as much money as humanly possible and travel to all those places I’ve only dreamed of. I want to see it all AND still have money left over to visit all my kids (and future grandkids) wherever they live. So adventure here I come!!

  15. Lisa:

    My frugal tip is to stay home more. If you don’t go to the mall or store you won’t be as tempted to spend.

  16. Nichole:

    Wow! This book looks great! My frugal tip would have to be making ahead freezer meals. I work full time outside the home and it is so nice to be able to pull something out of the freezer to cook rather than resorting to drive thru or delivery food. And, by making batches ahead, I can take advantage of sale items like meat and then cook up a bunch of things using the sale item. I do not always find time to devote an entire day to make ahead cooking, but often will make 2 or three of whatever entree I make on Sunday and freeze the remaining batches.
    Would love to win this book! Love your site!

  17. Brenda:

    Years ago I used to just eyeball the amount of laundry detergent and bleach I added to the wash. Then I read this tip: if you’re not measuring your laundry soap, you’re using too much! Since then I’ve carefully measured out the amount I use, and also slowly started reducing the amount I use to be below the recommended measurement — and my clothes still get clean without using so much detergent.

  18. Mallory:

    Invest in quality tupperware ( I love Lock & Lock) in all different sizes and stop buying ziploc bags!!!! It creates less waste and it is so much easier to run a dishwasher full of tupperware than to hand-wash and dry a zillion plastic baggies like I used to do! I hope I can save money buy winning the copy of this book!

  19. We turn off our water heater when gone for at least two days. We also keep the water temperature at around 110 degrees. This will save a LOT of money if you have a water heater with a tank.

  20. C:

    Hello- my tip is to make a meal plan every week and make the meals from scratch… I have saved a lot of money by cooking from scratch and by looking for ingredients on sale. Thanks

  21. Hello! Replace all paper products in your house.
    First, paper towels, use dish towels instead. They work great. Save at least $125 a year.
    Second, paper napkins, cloth ones or washclothes work great and feel so much better on your face. Save about $25 a year.
    Third, toilet paper, it may sound weird, but it’s not. Cut up old t-shirts, sweats, and fleece. I throw the used ones in a bucket in my shower and wash everyother day. Save about $125 a year.
    Four, disposable diapers and wipes. Use cloth. Over three years you will save about $1,000 (if you buy all in one cloth diapers, you can cloth diaper much cheaper.)-Bonus most kids who use cloth potty train sooner!!!
    Five, tampons and disposable pads. Ditch the tampons, they are bad for you (organic or not), and use cloth pads. They work great and feel great. Over three years you will save about $500 (after buying a set, they will last 3-5 years.)
    Six, tissues, use a hankie or a washcloth, then toss in laundry. Save about $25 a year.

    Also reuse everything you can. Before you toss something, think “what I can I do with this?” Cardboard egg cartons, become seed starters or caterpillars for the kids (paint & add eyes.) Junk mail can be used for scrap paper. Food boxes can be used as kids blocks. Let them paint, tape the ends, and enjoy. Empty dish soap bottles & ketchup bottles make great water squirters. Yougurt containers make great ice pop holders, fill with juice, add a popsicle stick and freeze (you may need to use wax paper or something to hold stick in place.) Baby food jars has so many uses, store nails and screws, make snowglobes as gifts, make homemade butter with cream and a marble. Online you can find many more ideas.

    Thanks for your blog!

  22. Donna:

    Mix in one scoop of a flavored ground coffee when making a pot with your regular cheaper brand. It tastes like it came from the coffee shop and costs much less.

  23. Les:

    My upstairs neighbor warned me about/complained about how hot the southwest bedroom would get in the summer so I bought some cheap quilted black fabric from Walmart and made curtain liners. I used tension rods to hold them up and curtain hooks to attach the fabric to the rods then I covered them with my regular curtains. I also keep the miniblinds closed all summer. The bedroom stays cool all day this way. Those cheap solar curtains you can buy from Harriot Carter or in other online catalogs also work great in the summer and winter as long as you keep them reversed correctly.

  24. Kyra:

    Use cloth napkins and rags instead of paper towels – haven’t bought or used those in a couple of years now.

  25. shannon hoffman:

    My tip is just stay out of stores. You won’t be tempted to spend. When you need something, make a list. Only shop from the list. You will save tons!

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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.

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