Living the Fun and Frugal Life

Well, now that I explained who Ollie is, it’s time to talk a bit more about what this blog will actually be about – living the fun and frugal life.  As I mentioned earlier, this blog will be about a little bit of everything – but nearly everything I do involves a degree of fun and frugality.  With the economic downturn over the past few years there is a lot of interest in ways to save money, but I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember.  In the words of Lady Gaga I was born this way – I’ve always had a knack for finding good deals and I enjoy giving others tips on how to save as well.

Now there are already tons of mommy blogs and couponing sites out there, and I have no desire to just rehash what is already available on all those other sites.  But what I can do is point you in the direction of some of the sites that I think are really great.  My friends tease me about being an “extreme couponer” but in reality I hardly ever use coupons and certainly don’t have a stockpile of goods in my closet.  Most of the ways I save money just involve a little bit of common sense, the willingness to do a bit of research, and just a touch of haggling.  When I watch those couponing shows I’m struck by how much work it seems to involve and while I do get a bit of a thrill every time I get a good deal, I don’t want to spend hours preparing for it.  That cuts into the “fun” part of the fun and frugal life.  To me, the benefits of saving money include an increased financial security (most important) and also the ability to spend the extra on the things and people you enjoy.  Whether those include material goods or experiences is up to you, but learning to enjoy the little things in life goes a long way in the fun and frugal life.

My philosophy is simply why pay more than I have to?  If a pair of shoes is $40 at one store, but if I spend a few minutes searching online and can find them for $30, and earn $1.50 cashback on my credit card purchase, why would I waste that $11.50?  Once you start saving money it makes it difficult to overpay for anything, which results in you saving more money.  It’s like a nice snowball effect.

As I get this blog up and running I’m hoping to be able to add some tips from my own life about things such as buying my house, traveling, paying for education, etc., as well as introduce you to some great resources that I use to save/earn money.  It seems like every week I’m finding some new website that helps me to save money or earn money, and I’m happy to pass on those tips to anyone who is willing to listen.  I hope you enjoy it and can learn something!

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A Little Bit of Everything

I’ve been trying to think of a witty way to start my blog all week and have been getting nowhere, so now I’m just going to jump in.

Why is my blog called Ollie’s Best?  Must be all the best stuff written by Ollie, of course!  Well, no, I’m not Ollie and as I’m just starting out I don’t want to put that much pressure on myself to come up with my best (as I mentioned, it took me a week to come up with the first line).  When I first started toying with the idea of a blog I read a few articles with tips, almost all of them mentioning it was best to keep your blog narrowed and focused.  But when I thought about what I most wanted to write about I realized it included a little bit of everything.  As much as I tried to narrow it down, every thing that popped into my head to write about seemed a bit random.  With the advice of successful bloggers floating through my mind I thought maybe I could keep different blogs for different subjects, but realized that was highly unrealistic as it will be difficult enough for me to keep up with one.  So how to make a little bit of everything work?  Then I thought of one of my favorite NYC restaurants – Ollie’s.  It is a chain of tasty, inexpensive Chinese restaurants throughout the city, and I’ve been going there since I was a kid.  They have tons of great options on their menu, but I normally go with the Little Bit of Everything soup because I can’t make up my mind.  This soup lives up to its name – they throw a little bit of everything into it, and the result is tasty, satisfying, and best of all, inexpensive.  If it works for Ollie’s then I’m hoping it could work for me as well.  So ladies and gentlemen, I present to you – Ollie’s Best.  A little bit of everything to live a fun and frugal life.

And in case you’re ever in NYC and stop by Ollie’s, I suggest you try out the Little Bit of Everything soup: