Stories from people inspired to change their life through frugal living.

I come from a waste not want not home. Have been learning a lot from you.  I especially like the vegetable broth made from fresh scraps. My daughter wondered why I kept garbage in my freezer, she thought it was strange until she tasted the vegetable broth I made from it. I’m 72, have been married for 54 years and enjoy learning more. Sincerely, Antoinette J.

My 84 year old Grandmother, Jannetta Belle Metz, cut out and sent me your article that was  published in her local paper. The article was called, “Creative uses for old  jeans,” and she wanted you to know that she’s a reader after your own heart. Here is a picture of Grandma holding an example of her handiwork. She recycles jeans to make clothespin holders and shares them with folks all around Myerstown (near Lancaster, in real PA  Dutch Country!) She’d get a real kick out if it if you’d send her a message, but mostly she just wanted you to know that you have a faithful reader who believes in your cause. Sincerely, Megan Janelle Metz Rye (daughter of Jannetta)


Just want you to know how much I appreciated your article that appeared in our local paper. Now that our three sons are raised and living away from home, I don’t have the same obligations. I thought I had just become lazy  because I was thinking, “Do we really need all these things-three cars, four-bedroom home, etc.?’ We could do with less and also decrease the stress that goes with a six-figure income. You made sense of what I have been feeling, but couldn’t explain. Thank you.”–Phil

Thank you seems like such a crappy way of saying what needs to be said! But I hate to think where I would be. I know thanks seem so over used  at times, but Sara has truly changed peoples lives. How do you thank someone for that? It’s an awesome feeling to know we are all fighting to find the answers and our questions won’t be looked down on! –Patty,  Utah

The other day, I went into my spreadsheet and updated my household budget. I hadn’t touched it for about a year. So, I took a deep breath, wrote down the beginning outstanding balance and plugged in the number. SURPRISE! We paid down $20K last year! Both my husband and I were very, very surprised. We are still in the muck up to our wazoos, but the outstanding balance is actually coming down! We have yes, YOU, for  keeping me on track. Give yourself a big round of applause and a pat on the back. THANK YOU! –C.H.

I try to work as hard at making ends meet as my husband does. And we do OK. No massive debt, no credit card bills, etc. Not going under water, not getting sucked under by the tides. But we were essentially treading water. Not going anywhere. Which was fine with us because we rather liked where we were, especially compared to everyone else we knew and their mountains of debt. It was pretty pleasant. And then came the recession and it scared us to death! Then came you with a lot of practical and useful advice on what to  actually buckle down and DO! Half a year later

  • We’ve tripled our savings
  • Paid off an extra year of the mortgage
  • Started a savings jar for short term, small dollar needs
  • Cut our energy bills nearly in half
  • Stocked enough food and household stuff for several months
  • Put in a tiny garden
  • Upgraded our electronics (stereo, TV, DVD, game systems, computers) all for about $700
  • And became more involved in our neighborhood and local charities
  • And more money back on our taxes! Thanks! –Vail, Washington

Before: Mounds of debt! Upset stomach and headaches due to the amount  of debt. Lack of people to bounce off ideas related to this problem because all of my family members are spendthrifts and think my frugality is crazy.

After: Plan of action and lots of tips to combat debt. DECREASED DEBT!!! Thanks so much Sara!– Larabelle, Texas

About 4 months ago, I decided that I was in a horrible place financially. I was in danger of losing my house, all my utilities were on the verge of being shut off, and I had some awful debts at very high interest rates. Luckily for me, a new lifestyle was born.

Now four months does not sound like a terribly long time, but it has certainly been enough to make some major changes. I have refinanced my debts, paid off a lot of small bills, and made changes to make my existing expenses more manageable. I have downsized cable, internet and phone and gotten rid of many other unnecessary expenses. I finally know how much money I    need to survive every month, something I had never had any real concept of before. My bills are in a pretty good place right now, nothing on the verge of being shut off, and life is easier.

I lost my job last week. Had this happened 6 months ago I would have been totally lost. Everything would have been lost. Now, I know that I can live for nearly 3 months on my severance package alone, without the help of Unemployment Insurance. I know exactly what I must make to make a new job worthwhile for me in terms of childcare and expenses. I am feeling very little financial stress at all over this, and it is because I know I can get by on less and live BENEATH my means now. I can have no spend days, and cheap grocery weeks, I know how to prioritize my bills, and I will be just fine. –Daisy, Ontario

Money would absolutely “burn a hole” in my pocket. If I had it, I wanted to spend it. I would have very few no spend days too. Now, I have lots of no spend days. I am very cautious about waste and rethink every penny I spend. I am learning what my necessities are versus what my wants are. –Lori, Florida