The tools and resources I use and recommend!
I created this page to share the cool resources that are helping us remain sane on our journey towards complete financial and location independence. This list is by no means a complete list, as we are adding the new resources that we have personally liked, used, and benefited from.
Disclosure: This page contains some links to the products and services I highly recommend. It means I will earn a small commission that helps me run this website (at no cost to you) if you decide to purchase any of the products. I have and will always include only those resources which hold the test of times and have been beneficial for us. With any digital product, make sure that it fits your needs and goals before purchasing anything. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used for myself and my family. Please read my disclosure for more information.
Download our basic money-saving checklist below and sign up for our newsletter to receive updates to these resources.Download Simple Money Saving Checklist
Once you start tracking your needs and wants, you will soon realize that budgeting is really not that difficult. The money principles and habits are little hard to practice if you never tracked your spending before. But once you have the basics understanding and simple money management tools, it will get easier.
Check out the Ultimate Financial Planner I made for our family. It goes above and beyond just the budget and net-worth tracking. It helps you balance your personal, financial and social life with good money principles. This planner provides you an easy-to-follow structure to take charge of your income, expenses and debt.
Ultimate Financial Planner for your Household and Small Business
You’ll get 100 pages in PDF format.
This ultimate financial planner covers blank templates ready to be printed for all your money needs for 2021. It includes-
- 2021 Resolutions, Vision Board, and Big Picture
- Financial Goals and Important Information. This information comes in handy at all times.
- Monthly Money Goals, Budget, Trackers, Reflections
- Weekly Money Goals and Reflections
- Daily Money Goals
- Monthly Goals, Progress, and Reflections, Next Month Planner
- Quarterly Reflections and Next Quarter Money Tasks
- Annual Reflections and 2022 Year at a Glance Calendar
Frugal Home Essentials
- You know how much clutter an average size American household gather once they invest in the house? All this stuff costs us money to store, clean, and just keep up with. Check out a FREE Home Inventory Checklist here. It will help you keep track of only the essentials you and your family need and use on a regular basis.
- Food expenses are the most important category in every family’s household budget. In 2021, food prices are expected to increase between 1.0 and 2.0 percent according to USDA
Economic Research Service. But if you plan your food and grocery shopping smartly with seasonal produce harvesting and grocery sales, you can save a huge amount of money every month. Check out this FREE Annual Sales Cycle for Grocery Planning. Download it, print it, and carry it with you to the grocery shop.
- Stock up on essential foods, plan your meals, and avoid food waste all year long! Check out this Food Planning Printables Bundle. It includes a Spending Freeze Checklist and Menu Plan (for Frugal meals and Intermittent Fasting)
Online Shopping Saving Tool
- For Online Shopping on a budget with coupons check out Honey here. This Tool Applies Every Promo Code On The Internet To Your Cart. Download the Honey Browser Extension for Free at JoinHoney.com!
- For getting cash back from online purchases, check out Rakuten here. Sign up and receive $10 to shop. Over the years we have saved 100s on the online shopping during the Black-Friday and Cyber Monday Sales. Check out our recent Black Friday Wish list.
- To order essential food and non-food items from your local grocery store, check out Instacart here
- Cashback apps
- This App called Ibotta helps you get money back when you upload your shopping receipts. They cover most grocery stores nationally and some local stores. Recently, they included the online stores like Vita-cost as well.
- Similar to Ibotta, Checkout51 (Click here) also gives you cash back when you upload your shopping receipts on their app. I like when they include cash backs for organic foods and allow multiple times to claim the benefit. Use my referral code “raqiyb” at the registration and earn a $20 joining bonus.
- There is another app that helps you earn cash back. Its called Receipt Hog. Check it out here.Use my referral code “dind1540” to earn 5 spins.I will be very thankful.
BULK Wholesale Shopping Favorites (All Natural, Gluten Free and Organic Food)
Healthy Buyer’s Club- A great wholesale club for bulk food shopping. Healthy traditions is perfect as they offer a bulk club membership called Healthy Buyer’s club which is so much cheaper and better than Costco membership. The Healthy Buyer’s Club provides online retail purchasing for all Tropical Traditions, Grass-Fed Traditions, and Household Traditions products. They have one month to a whole year options for their membership. If you want to try them out, start with one monthly membership ( preferably during sale days) and get their deepest discount on healthy non-GMO food products- both fresh and shelf-stable products. Note- A paid membership is NOT required to purchase these retail products.
Check out the current sale on-
Tropical Traditions Pure Coconut Oil
The Glass Jar Pints (16 oz.) is currently on 65% making it $4.99 each! (Retail $15). Try them out before buying bulk food from this co-op.
We usually get the 1lb pail of the the coconut oil that lasts us for good 6 months. But when I started our healthy whole food journey almost 10 years back, I used to buy their smaller 32oz glass jars.
TIP- Reuse these food grade jars and plastic tubs for storing your bulk foods. No need to purchase the separate food storage containers and waste your hard earned money. Check out my article on top Frugal Pantry Essentials.
Also, check their Raw Whole Grain Rolled Oats – 10 lb. bag
I buy these in bulk when they go on 50% sale and freeze them in a small freezer we bought for real cheap. They last us for 6 months to a year. Do you know that the groat is the only way to consume oats as whole food?
What is Groat?
Groat is the term used to describe an oat kernel that has the inedible hull removed, but no further processing has been done. Now,l I like the sound of that- ” no further processing”.
Oats are naturally high in protein and have the most complete amino acid profile of any grain. They are also very high in fiber, which will keep you feeling full longer. Read more about it here.
Mountain Rose Herbs is a great source for these items becasue their ingredients last long and I do not have to worry about any nasty additives in our personal care items. Note- The ingredients are for external applications only and we do not make any claims that they are safe for you. If you are in doubt about the suggested use of any product, please review each ingredient’s product profile on www.mountainroseherbs.com, or contact Mountain Rose Herbs.
Frugal Life Essentials
- Download this Gratitude List Printable to jot down one happy thing or experience in your day. Carrying an attitude of gratitude helps when there are so many shiny objects waiting for you to spend your hard earned money.
- Frugal life is a lifestyle, one that requires us to make healthy and economical choices to remain debt-free. It does take discipline and patience to continue practicing frugal money saving habits. This New Year Resolutions Journal will help you stick to those habits and help you work on your goals every single day. Download it here.
- Speaking of sticking with new year resolutions, if you have a goal to get out of debt in 2021 or to start another source of income, this simple one page Money-Saving Habit Printable will help you practice on your goals daily. Note- Start with only a handful habits, not more than 3 at a time and follow them at least for 30 days. Otherwise, it will be hard to stick with those habits for more than 21 days.Download it here.
- Do you know your clutter costs you money when you do not need or use it. Why not Make Money From Your Clutter by selling good quality gently used household items and help others who can not pay retail for those items? Download “De-clutter to Dollar Printable” here and start earning money from your garage sale.
Frugal Kitchen Essential Tools
Disclaimer– I am linking to ebay links below for the tools. You will find many good quality new or refurbished kitchen tools and gadgets on eBay for way cheaper than Amazon. Seriously, no need to pay extra on Amazon. Just wash the tools you find on eBay thoroughly and start saving money. If you click on any of these links and decide to purchase any of the tools, I get a small commission, without costing you anything extra.
If you have been a regular reader of this website, you know kitchen tools are my weakness. It is very hard for me to de-clutter kitchen stuff. So when we moved from a big house big L-shaped kitchen to a tiny apartment and one simple kitchen platform, I had to take a good hard look at all the kitchen stuff. This book helped me choose what I need the most and let go of items I rarely used to make all our meals at home. Get this book in the library if your library has one or get it from Kindle or Audible for free and put it to good use.
This mega powerhouse saves me time, money, and energy to cook healthy wholesome meals at home in a jiffy!
This is the best housewarming gift I got years ago. Easy to use, clean, and store. A must for every kitchen- Small and Big! I do a lot of cooking from scratch. And I have a carpal tunnel issue in my hands.
So, these arthritis-friendly good grips utensils save my hands every day.
These tools are excellent to work with non-stick pots and pans. I also use them for handing fermented foods like kefir, kimchi, and yogurt. You can make homemade yogurt in that Instant Pot!
You can make homemade yogurt easily at home with the yogurt starter for a lot less. You don’t need special tools for it. Just stainless steel pan, yogurt starter ( which is nothing but a yogurt that you either saved up earlier or buy from a store), and wooden utensil to stir and scoop out the yogurt at the time of serving. Never pay more for small-size yogurt containers again.
This is one appliance I consider the biggest tool in our medicine cabinet. Fruits, fiber, and nutrients are the biggest immune boosters to defend against any illness. You can get any juicer in the market to start with if you are on a tight budget. Once you save enough, look into the cold press slow-moving juicer as it retains maximum fibers in your veggies and fruits.
With the Cuisinart bread machine, make simple 3 ingredients bread at home in 1-2-3 steps. Never buy bread in a plastic cover at the store again! The earth will thank you and your tummy will smile every time you eat home-baked bread. Always look for a good bread machine at thrift stores. I once found a very good bread machine- barely used for under $20. I gave it to my friend when we moved to a state and then found a great bread machine on eBay. Do not forget to negotiate by sending offers on eBay. Too many people buy the gadgets that they intend to use but never do.
I got Cuisinart Pots and Pans from Costco years ago when we first married. I remember that time when we were going back and forth on this high ticket purchase. That time we did not even own any furniture except a full-size bed, a secon d hand sofa, and a small dining table. My family kept on saying to invest in good furniture but we decided to invest in these pots and pans instead. Look for them on Black Friday Sale in Costco or eBay is great to find the refurbished ones. Many times, you will see unopened boxes on eBay for more than 50% discount.
Smart Money Books
Money Fundamentals- Rich Dad Pood Dad
Understand how to use smart money principles that work for you and your family. The principles are never taught at colleges because if they teach you these principles you will stop working for others and become rich working for yourself! Just get the book, pen, and paper, and do not buy anything else in the promotion. Best $10 education that will set you apart from Ivy league graduates.
Get out of debt quickly- These 3 books are best.
Dave knows how to attack debt and he has taught thousands to eliminate their debt. You do not need to follow all his principles all your life but follow them until you say final bbye to your annoying debt. And then follow money management principles by Robert Kiyosaki. Using your money wisely by Larry Burkett will help you manage your day-to-day money decisions.
This book will NOT teach you to budget or cut your coffee spending. But it will teach you to get your financial life in order in under 6 weeks. Best for fresh graduates from college but also great for people in their 30s who tend to make repeated money mistakes since their 20s.
Choose to be on the right side of cash-flow quadrant to get financially independent. Make systems, and hire people to make complete passive income.
Simple Life Encouragement and Resources
It’s the best start if you want to get out of debt and remain debt-free. Start decluttering your stuff slowly and focus on doing one thing.
Resources For Side-Hustle, and Passive Income
The best Way to Earn a Full-Time Income is by creating your own website and selling your digital products or promoting affiliates that you love and trust to use yourself.
Anyone can start an online business legally with the help of a few tools and guidance from reputed teachers who have been successful in their own online businesses. Over the period of last few years, we have learnt quite a few skills in online marketing and design. Below are our favorite tools.
Note- All these resources will help you create your online platform. But you need to put a well thought efforts and consistent performance to earn a decent full time income or side income. None of these resources will teach you to get rich quickly and if anyone tells you otherwise, run away from them faster than you’ve ever.
- Start a Blog or your own website for Less than $3/per month and earn passive income
Now you can start your own blog or website in less than $3/per month using Bluehost website hosting. It is simple, user-friendly, and comes with 24-7*7 customer care to help you set up your website in a jiffy. Here is a simple tutorial on how to set up your blog.
2. When you are comfortable blogging for some time, increase your side income to full-time passive income by making niche websites under $10/ per month
When you start with one website and see the income potential from it, you can grow your side income to full-time income with dedicated work on a few more niche websites promoting trusted affiliates with good reputation. SiteGround is an excellent hosting company that allows unlimited websites, cashing, a faster network under $10/per month for all your sites. Over a period of time and consistently good quality content helps your website readers get a good solution for their problems. Always remember to give more value first. Never use spammy dirty marketing tricks to earn quick bucks. You will hurt others and yourself if you do not commit to providing valuable information to your readers.
3. Supplement your online income by making your own digital products and sell them on your website like this with woo-commerce functionality.
You can sell digital planners, printables, journals, activity books, and meal plans from your website.
I also do custom printable designs for reselling rights. You can order them from me and sell them for a profit with all the rights.
If you want to start with education niche, another favorite teacher of mine Amy Harrop is teaching how to make Easy learning printables for teacher pay teacher, Etsy, KDP, amazon ignite platforms. This course is recently launched at $20.
4. Earn passive income by promoting Ultimate bundles products.
No matter if you are a beginner or experienced in affiliate promotion, Ultimate Bundle is for everyone including homemakers, crafters, students, business owners, people doing a full-time or part-time jobs (s). I love that they believe in educating their readers on the varied fields of interest from money-saving, making money with your crafts, blogging, homemaking, homeschooling, health and wellness, homeschooling, and many more. I personally have been using Ultimate Bundles resources since 2012 and have been their great fan. Our whole family has switched to a greener, slower, and productive lifestyle using their ebooks and courses. I also learned how to start blogging and making digital products to earn a good side income from their bundles. Only recently, I thought of becoming their affiliate partner because I believe everyone can help from their educational resources at more than 90% discounts.
Sign up to become their affiliate and earn passive income by promoting the education bundles you love and use.
5. For those of you who cringe with the thought of marketing and your own business, learn How to Run a Business as an Introvert– FREE audio of The EXPERT SECRETS Book! I am an introvert and rather hide behind my computer than face the world. But this book taught me how I can use my ninja tech skills and educational background to start my own business. Give it a read or listen ( make sure you take a ton of notes while listening to the audio book. And add an action item for each note you take).
6.Are you scared of all technical stuff and have design challenges, you can hire someone to make a website for you quickly. Once the website is up and running, you can start putting your own content on it to earn side income.
7. Offer your skills for earning a side income. Do not want to start a blog or an online business? That is OK. Would you rather develop websites for others but do not know where to start? Check Free Web Development Course by W3 Schools. E.g I make websites like this for my clients. If you are good at designing, make money from it.
Now you can learn web development for free and build your own blog or website from scratch. It is simple, straightforward learning. Tutorials on W3 schools start from the basic level and move all the way up to professional references. It is always FREE to study and practice. But if you or your child wants to get certified in web development technology, they also have certificate programs at cheaper prices.
8. Do you want other technical, design, or virtual assistance for your existing small business without hiring a full-time employee, check out Fiverr. It is a small business owner’s survival secret- Fiverr.
It is the most affordable and easy-to-use digital marketplace where busy professionals can choose from thousands of talented freelancers from 116 different service categories including Logo, digital marketing, ebooks, social media design, business consulting, and many more. Make sure you select the Pro freelancers as they are vetted by Fiverr for their great skills, reviews, service, and overall satisfaction rating.
Free E-Books, Education and Entertainment.
- Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.
- BetterWorldBooks -for cheaper, New, Used, Rare Books & Textbooks and affordable physical hard copy books.
- CampusBookRentals- For renting costly textbooks.
- Blinkist – for book summary under 20 minutes
- Grammarly – for perfecting written English. It checks for more than 400 types of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, enhances vocabulary usage, and suggests citations.