Read me — and hear me — someplace else.

I’m on my way to the airport, dragging two suitcases on and off the bus and then on and off the train. Wish me luck on my house-sitting/visiting trip to Anchorage, Alaska.

In the meantime, here are a couple of ways to catch up with me:

Save $10,000 — go car-free” is the topic of my latest column at MSN Money. The wheel-less life isn’t for everybody, but it might be more do-able than you think. I’d be interested in your feedback.

My current contribution to the Get Rich Slowly PF blog is “Breakfast on the fly — and on the cheap.” In it, I suggest ways to get away from the habit of coffee carts and the drive-through window. The readers chimed in with a lot of suggestions of their own, so check the comments section for more ideas.

And I recently did my second interview for the Consumerism Commentary Podcast series. The subject was extreme couponing and the conversation was a lot of fun. I managed to introduce the word “condoms,” but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t. While you’re on the site, check out the “Giveaway May” promotion — Flexo is giving away a lot of stuff this month.

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  1. Harry Martin

    LOL on introducing “condoms” on a coupon interview. Well done. :-) Have a wonderful trip.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Harry Martin: I could make some kind of pun about “talking about the first thing that popped up.” But I won’t.

  2. Maree


    Have you ever tried to travel with just carry on luggage? I often fly this way (even international) it is so much easier. It’s amazing what you can do without, especially when you can wash while your away. Not sure how you’d go in Alaska though. I have a good friend who together with 2 of her adult children traveled Europe for 6 weeks this way…and survived!!! There is a web site worth checking out to help with ideas. onebagtravel.com i think it’s called.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Maree: I almost always travel carry-on only; in fact, I spent three weeks in the U.K. earlier this year with a single bag.
      The reason I take two bags to Alaska is that I am bringing up a number of birthday and Christmas presents. It’s cheaper to check one bag than to package and mail all those gifts.

  3. jestjack

    I can only imagine how the topic of “condoms” came up in an interview about “coupons”. Have fun in Alaska….it would appear you will be getting there just in time for “skeeter season”…..

    • Donna Freedman

      @Jestjack: The mosquito being Alaska’s state bird… 😉

  4. karla

    Thanks for the links to your other writings. It’s hard to keep up with you, but very worth it! karla

  5. karla

    Have you seen the “Rodeo Drive sunglasses” giveaway at Funny about Money? You guys are taking this breezy summer thing seriously.

  6. Lenes

    Enjoyed the articles and the interview with Flexo. Have a safe trip.

  7. Wow, that sounds like fun! Have a great time in Alaska. Thanks for the links…I needed to catch up on what you’ve been up to ;).

  8. Good for you, Donna . . . . Alaska and its wild beauty moved me more deeply than any other place I’ve ever been. And house-sitting (when expectations are mutually clear) can be a SWEET gig for all concerned. Another option to keep in mind for us thrifty, outside-the-box types is working for rent. My report on my experiences in doing this surprised me by becoming my most-read blog post:

  9. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you, Donna! Thanks for joining me and Bryan on the podcast! Let’s do it again soon.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Flexo: Let’s do the next one live from a Jersey diner. :-)

  10. Donna you have a few rules to follow.
    Don’t hurt your foot!
    Don’t sleep by people with machetes
    Don’t flirt with young guys

    Did I forget anything?

    • Donna Freedman

      @SonyaAnn: How about, “Don’t hurt your foot by sleeping with a young guy with a machete”?

  11. Donna, you are a hoot! I’m sitting here laughing all by myself.

  12. I don’t have (or want) an msn account, so I can’t comment at msn about the car-free article, so I’ll do it here :)

    I had no car when I first moved to Phoenix and was car-free for almost two years. I biked just about everywhere, but when I needed to buy something larger than groceries, I bummed a ride from a friend. Wouldn’t need to do that now — I’m married and I don’t think we’d ditch both cars.

    That said, it is nothing short of miserable running errands here in the summer on a bike. (It’s not all that fabulous in a car, for that matter.) I am a fan of hot weather, but I have limits 😉 It was also difficult to transport frozen food; the nearest grocery store was a mile or so away.

    At this point, it’s not practical for us to have one car. I work part time in a school and part time out of my house. It would take me an hour and a half to take public transportation to work; it’s 18 miles with several transfers. My husband is also a teacher, but he’s a traveling teacher, so he’s in two or three different schools each day. No car = calling in sick.

    Neither of us have car payments, and both of our cars get 30+ MPG, so we’re not doing too badly…

    FWIW, when I finally bought a car, I paid a huge surcharge in insurance for previously being an uninsured driver, even though I didn’t own a car. Not cool.

    And I wonder if the commenter who made the remark about living off the government was referring to public transportation. I know a few people around here who are irate that the government would subsidize the bus system. (Not saying it makes sense, just that the mindset exists.)

  13. Hootieman

    Tsk tsk To think that you pretended to be shocked when I posted on your message board when msn had them. :)
    I knew you were naughty too.
    I recently saw a coupon in the paper for the extra large condoms. Now, they know they are not going to be swamped with coupon users. 😉

    • Donna Freedman

      @Hootieman: I think it was the comedian Elayne Boosler who said that a good slogan for those extra-large condoms would be “you’ll grow into them.”
      (That’s funny only if you (like me!) had parents who bought your shoes a size too large and took too-big hand-me-downs from relatives.)

  14. Hootieman

    If they could work that magic, I’d buy the company stock, and get super rich. 😀

  15. I came over from Get Rich Slowly. Nice to find your blog. Look forward to checking out your content. But housesitting in Anchorage?! Sweet! I lived in Fairbanks for 4 years. Still trying to find a way to go back!

    • Donna Freedman

      @Cathy: House-sitting, maybe?
      Thanks for reading, and for leaving a comment.

  16. I know somewhere, sometime, you must have explained things I wonder. These questions are not an attack or accusation, just my thoughts and queries as to how the house-sitting in Alaska and other places works for you.

    Couldn’t these people find a cheaper and trust-worthy house-sitter closer? Is this an excuse for you to vacation? (okay by me) Do you actually make any money after travel expenses, no matter how frugal you are? Are these people, friends or friends of friends, I presume, so well-heeled and generous that you actually make money? You know all these people or they know your friends, right? Do you actually not break even and so spend a little bit of your own money for the chance to reconnect or visit the locale? I have been mulling this over in my mind and decided to ask. If any of this is too personal, just say so. How do I get a gig like that…lol…and can I bring my hens along….lol? Curious or nosy Linda

    • Donna Freedman

      @Practical Parsimony: Of course it’s an excuse to vacation!!! Since I’m a freelancer, I can work anywhere as long as there’s a phone and an Internet connection. And yes, I usually house-sit for friends (although a fellow blogger recently asked if I were available).
      This particular trip is free in that I used a frequent-flier ticket and am not renting a car. I’ll spend time with my niece and her boys, and my old friends and co-workers. I lived up here for 17 years so I still have those connections.
      Some people house-sit instead of having homes of their own. I wrote about some of them for MSN Money:
      Thanks for reading, and for leaving a comment.

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