Vote on Best Frugal Idea

Among the contenders: feeling grateful and cutting cable

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It's time to vote for the best idea for frugal living from the great ideas submitted last week. The winner gets a copy of David Blankenhorn's Thrift: A Cyclopedia.

Which idea do you like best? (Responses have been slightly edited.)

 Cultivate a sense of gratitude, from Single Mom in Colorado:

Here's what I TRY to live by:

1. Stop trying to impress other people with our belongings. We'll save big bucks on everything from the type of car we drive to whether we pay 0 or for a pair of shoes.

2. Develop an attitude of gratitude and contentment. When we are grateful for what we have and content with what we have, we won't be tempted by what people are trying to sell us or convince us we need.

When I focus on these two steps, I find I do much better with my money. I don't go to malls, because I'm content with what I have. I choose practical, stylish clothes that are reasonably priced, instead of designer items. I don't remodel my house every few years. These attitudes carry down to everything I spend.

I know these may not have been the "practical" frugality ideas you were searching for, but for me, if I get my attitude right, my actions follow.

Consider the trade-offs, from Aryn of California:

Rather than figure I'll find a way to pay for something later, I ask myself if I need this pair of shoes or HBO more than I need to pay off debt or buy a condo. The answer is usually no, which means that I probably actually need something if I buy it or have decided it has value to me. I don't completely deprive myself, but I try to stay clear on the bigger picture.

Cut the cable, from Flibbitygibbit of Delaware:

Here's a great suggestion that saved me 0 last year: Cancel your cable TV and do some Netflix. Not only will the quality of what you're watching go sky-high (I finally watched some great HBO series), but you might be inclined to broaden your horizons and pick up a book.

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