The 157th Festival of Frugality: The Queen’s Speech Edition

Miss Thrifty35 December 23, 2008

Welcome to The 157th Festival of Frugality: The Queen’s Speech Edition!  And a special welcome to all first-time visitors to the Miss Thrifty blog. If you would like to stick around, please feel free to put your feet up: some of the most popular posts include thrifty household tips, my beloved Thriftymobile and a hotlist of Frugal Twitter Users. For regular updates in your RSS reader, whack the big orange button to your right.

With the Festival on the other side of the pond this week and Christmas looming, I thought I’d go for a quintessentially British theme. As you may know, we take the seasonal festivities very, very seriously over here; Christmas Day is centred upon a vast lunchtime banquet at which we all wear paper crowns, eat until we pop and try to keep the flaming Christmas pudding from setting the curtains ablaze. After that it’s copious quantities of sherry and telly until bedtime. The day after Christmas Day is a public holiday, to give everyone time to recover.   

So there is plenty to choose from when it comes to selecting a theme. I was going to go with The 157th Festival of Frugality: The Alka-Seltzer Edition, but on reflection felt that this would provide an unfortunate impression of the scenes of carnage Dickensian delights for which the British Christmas is renowned.

Instead, I have plumped for another fine British Christmas tradition. On Christmas Day, Her Majesty the Queen flickers into life on our television screens and delivers the Royal Christmas Message to us, her loyal subjects.  A Royal Christmas Message has been broadcast on the BBC every year since 1932.

Fifteen years ago, another TV station decided that one annual Christmas Message was not enough. So every year, on Christmas Day, Channel 4 broadcasts the Alternative Christmas Message for people who can’t be bothered to watch the Queen. The Alternative Christmas Message has a different, often controversial presenter every year, but the message is always delivered in the Royal style.

So sound the bugles: here, without further ado, is the Christmas 2008 Festival of Frugality.



 AC Gaughen presents 10 Useful Secrets the Cell Phone Carriers Don’t Want You To Know posted at Cell Phones. Some interesting tips and insights here.

Jim presents The Mythical Thin Wallet posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity. I have my own views on this subject and I think Jim’s right: the thinner the better.

Jennifer Derrick presents Frugal People Will Suffer Least posted at Saving Advice. Jennifer argues that if the “green economy” takes hold, prices will rise – but frugal people will be the least affected. Sounds good to me!

FruGal presents Top 5 Ultimate Money Saving Tips posted at FruGal. And DR presents 97 New Ways to Save Money (from DR Readers) posted at DR’s Money Management Blog. I picked out these two posts because they approach the same subject from opposite directions – and both pull it off with aplomb. DR has a deliciously lengthy list of money saving ideas; just about everything is there! FruGal has a list too, but she has boiled hers down to the top five essential tips. Both lists make for great reading.

Madoline Hatter presents Using Nature’s Gift Wrap: The Eggshell posted at Pecuniarities. A brilliantly offbeat – and frugal! – idea for giftwrapping small items such as rings and necklaces.



Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver was chosen to deliver the Alternative Christmas Message following his successful campaign for better quality school dinners. He argued that although the meals cost next to nothing to produce, schoolchildren deserved better than junk food. Yes: it’s the classic Frugal v Cheap argument!

HappyCampers presents Don’t Buy Caramels Anymore…Make Your Own! posted at The Adventures Of The Williams Family. They’re a cute family, and their caramels look yummy!

The Happy Rock presents Eating on $1 a day posted at The Happy Rock.

Penny Copperwyre presents Crisis Averted: Last Minute Meals posted at Penny Copperwyre.

pfincome presents Frugal Pitfalls of Purchasing Health Foods posted at Passive Family Income.



The MTV matriarch addressed the nation and described her family’s “roller coaster year”. I have chosen her to head the money section of this Festival of Frugality because whatever you think of her, this woman is a financial whiz. She rescued her husband’s career from the doldrums, relaunched him as a highly successful solo artist and created the hugely lucrative Ozzfest summer touring festivals. Megabucks deals with MTV and other media organisations followed. Not bad, eh?

LAL presents More Frugal = More Income? posted at LivingAlmostLarge.

Mr. CC presents A Credit Free Christmas posted at Ask Mr Credit Card’s Blog.

Catherine presents Frugal Homemaker Plus: This just in: I’m a selfish, miserable miser who is ruining the economy! posted at Frugal Homemaker Plus.

FMF presents Free Money Finance: An Easy Way to Save When Shopping? posted at Free Money Finance. A short but sweet idea.

Bill Spohnholtz presents Best Tax Savings Tip For A Down Market posted at Learn The Stock Market And How to Trade.

Thursday presents Two Options To Budgeting posted at Wealth Junkies. Thursday notes: “Budgeting is touted as some kind of cure all for many money problems. But for some, budgets don’t really work. There are alternatives to budgets, that allow us just as much control over our money and where it goes. There are two in particular that I would like to focus on today. The Spending Plan and The Balanced Money Formula.”

Curt presents All Debt Is Bad Debt posted at

Money Saver presents How to Save Money during the Economic Downturn posted at Save Money Tips.

KCLau presents Christmas On A Budget posted at KCLau’s Money Tips.

FFB presents Use Gift Cards Wisely And Maximize Their Value posted at Free From Broke.

Debt Free Destiny presents New Year’s Resolution: Get Out of Debt For Good posted at Debt Free Destiny.

Todd presents Evaluate Advice Using a Framework of Questions, Part 1 posted at HarvestingDollars.

Nicki presents What Gives When The Budget Breaks? posted at Domestic Cents.

Sandy Naidu presents Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme posted at FutureNestEgg

Michael Haltman presents Bernie Madoff: Who Could (Should) Have Known? posted at The Political and Financial Markets Commentator.

MoneyNing presents Bargaining to Advantage: Lowering your Bills in a Recession posted at Personal Finance Blog by Money Ning.

Destroy Debt presents Make Your Own Debt Reduction Plan posted at Destroy Debt.

PabloPabla presents How To Use Internet Banking Safely posted at Financial & Legal Matters.

Scott Crawford presents 10 Big-Ticket Clutter Items to Sell for Instant Cash posted at DebtGoal.



Marge: In world events, the friendship between America and Britain is stronger than ever. You’re like Mini-Me to our Doctor Evil, helping out in all our zany schemes to take over the world! (imitates Austin Powers) Haha, yeah baby! (Full transcript here.)

The following posts are especially for you, American friends: lots of financial tips, tax and savings advice and details of retail deals. But no Dr Evils…

Silicon Valley Blogger presents Ebates Review: Online Rewards, Double Cash Back When You Shop! posted at The Digerati Life.

Credit Shout presents Tax Benefits for the Middle Class: What You Should Know posted at CreditShout.

Sun presents Checking out Kiplinger’s 2008 Best Financial Service Picks posted at Earn More and Invest Wisely at The Sun’s Financial Diary.

Super Saver presents Retailers Offering Great Deals to Attract Holiday Shoppers posted at My Wealth Builder.

PFR presents Time To Lock In CDs After Fed Lowered Interest Rate Again posted at Personal Finance Reviews.

Patrick @ Cash Money Life presents MoneyAisle – Banks Bid for Your Money posted at Cash Money Life.

Sam presents More Ways to Save on Auto, Home and Health Insurance posted at Fix My Personal Finance.

The Smarter Wallet presents Find Bargain Gift Cards, Don’t Pay Full Price! posted at The Smarter Wallet.

Howard Ditkoff presents Recognizing the Shameful Ostracism of Ecological Economics During America’s Economic Crisis posted at Blog.




The writer, raconteur and gay icon was chosen to deliver by Channel 4 to deliver the first alternative Christmas address. Throughout his life, Quentin Crisp was an eccentric who refused to conform to expectations; instead, he was happy because he did “his own thing”. The following posts display similarly quirky or free-thinking attitudes to modern living.

Carole DeJarnatt presents Gifts for the Backyard Chicken Keeper or Birding Lover in Your Family posted at Fowl Visions. Quirky in my book! I’d love to have some backyard chickens though.

Frugal Babe presents Frugal Because We Want To Be posted at FrugalBabe.

Fiona Lohrenz presents Why You Should Start A Day Care In A Recession posted at Child Care Only. It seems like a strange time to be thinking about a daycare business – but Fiona has other ideas.

financefanatic presents The Definition of Success posted at Planning Financials | Personal Finance For You.

Brooke presents Homemade Lamborghini posted at Dollar Frugal. It reminds me of that Johnny Cash song about the guy who worked at the automobile plant – but with slightly more spectacular results!

ChristianPF presents Secret Santas giving out cash posted at Christian Personal Finance. Feel free to send one of them my way…

Middle Way presents Everyday Frugality posted at Early Retirement the Middle Way.

Money Beagle presents I’m A (Somewhat) Reformed Techie posted at Money Beagle.



Michelle: Even if he just went to the shops and bought me a chocolate bar or a penny chew I’d like it because it’s come from him and he’s bought it. He’s never bought me a Christmas present though, not once in all the years I’ve been with him, and I’ve been with him for 17 years.

Barry (a “professional gambler”) and Michelle Seabourn were a couple who appeared on the first series of UK Wife Swap. The duo captured the nation’s attention: mostly, we goggled at Barry’s laziness, stinginess and expectation that his wife would wait upon him hand and foot at all times. Who better to beam above the home and relationships section of this carnival, than the hapless Michelle? 

FIRE Finance presents 12 Tips To Lower Your Heating Bill posted at FIRE Finance.

vh presents Clutter as mental illness posted at Funny about Money.

Jeff Rose presents Five Steps To Be a Stay at Home Mom posted at Good Financial Cents.

Emma presents Childproofing – locks that do work posted at Baby-Log.

J. Money presents How we’re putting the Mrs. through grad school! (so far so sexy) posted at Budgets are Sexy..

Kelly from Almost Frugal presents Four Guilt Free Pleasures posted at Almost Frugal.

Chris presents Household survival tips – 8 proven ideas to save on fuel posted at Home I Own.

Andy presents Am I a Cheapskate or Just Frugal? posted at Saving to Invest. This post was a shoo-in for this particular category, as it kicks off with a heated domestic debate!




Ah, Brigitte! Your Christmas address focused upon animal rights and veal exports, but there aren’t any related entries in this week’s Festival of Frugality. So I have lumbered you with the gorgeous posts instead.

Aryn presents Clean Out Your Closet and Donate Old Clothes to Charity posted at Sound Money Matters.

Richard Taylor presents Save Money on Prescription Eyeglasses for Only $8.00 posted at Fun With Living Blog.

Jacob looks at ways to save money on clothing with Day 6: Clothes posted at Early Retirement Extreme.

Ryan Suenaga presents Prepaid Phones: Frugal for Some posted at Uncommon Cents.



Last but not least is this year’s Alternative Christmas Message, to be delivered by the nation’s favourite knitted toy. I suspect that many of those outside the UK may be bemused by the love and affection lavished upon Monkey, who was catapulted to fame after appearing in advertisements for a digital TV station and PG Tips teabags. But it just goes to show: the homemade ones are the best ones!

Madison presents 37 Homemade Frugal Gift Ideas Under $20 posted at My Dollar Plan.

Broke Grad Student presents 25 Tips, Ideas, Resources for Frugal Holiday Gifts and Decorations posted at Broke Grad Student.

GP presents Gifts that Keep on Giving « Manely Montana posted at Manely Montana.

nickel presents Homemade Christmas Gifts: 18 Do-it Yourself Ideas posted at

Polly Poorhouse presents Economic Crunch: Wrapping for Less posted at Economic Crunch.

Stephanie Bryant presents Stuff a Stocking for under $25 posted at Mortaine’s hubpages.


Merry Christmas!

With love from Miss Thrifty.



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35 Responses to “The 157th Festival of Frugality: The Queen’s Speech Edition

FFB says:

Great Festival! Thanks for hosting and including my article. Have a great holiday!

December 23, 2008 at 4:53 pm

Thanks for hosting and for choosing my sister’s post for Editor’s Pick (Using Nature’s Gift Wrap: The Eggshell).

Happy Holidays!


December 23, 2008 at 5:25 pm

Mr. CC says:

Wow! What a wonderful festival, I love the theme!

Thanks for including my article on a credit free Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Mr. CC

December 23, 2008 at 5:27 pm

Thanks for hosting, very interesting theme.

December 23, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Bill says:

What a well done festival. All of us hosting our own should take as much care.

Thanks and Merry Christmas!


December 23, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Patrick says:

Thanks for hosting! 🙂

December 23, 2008 at 10:36 pm

andy says:

LOL. Great theme and the monkey was #1 for me. Thanks for including my post on the debate between frugality and cheapskate-dness. Also you are now on my Twitter list!

December 24, 2008 at 2:52 am

Middle Way says:

Thanks Miss Thrifty for including my article! Great theme!

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

December 24, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Money Beagle says:

Thanks for including my article! Great job on hosting the carnival this week!

December 24, 2008 at 10:14 pm

J. Money says:

THANKS for hosting, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!

December 26, 2008 at 3:20 am

pfincome says:

Thanks for hosting and including my article!

December 26, 2008 at 4:17 am

J. Money says:

Thanks so much for hosting!! Happy Holidays 🙂

December 28, 2008 at 6:42 am

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