Who Wants to Exercise, the Frugal Way!


Who says you have to exercise at an expensive gym? I say that is crazy talk, for us frugal types exercise does not have to occur at an expensive gym. It can be done at home, out in nature or wherever you see fit. There are many ways to exercise on the cheap. You don’t have to join a gym and pay $50 a month to work out. Look for ways around your home and neighborhood to exercise.

This time of year most people are starting to break their New Year’s resolution to exercise. I think we should all be spending more time exercising instead. If you want to have that bikini body ready for Spring Break or even summer, now is the time to start getting into shape!

In most parts of the country winter still has a firm grip on us. I for one am ready for that grip to loosen up. But don’t let a little cold weather stop you from going for a brisk walk or maybe even a run. Below I have compiled a list of a few ways to exercise frugally.

Go for a Run around the neighborhood

Running is one of the best exercises period. Most people hate to run, I used to but now I know of it many benefits, from losing weight to gaining energy and feeling better.

Buy an Exercise DVD

Yoga poseI have used the same Yoga DVD for almost 10 years now. Yes it gets old after using it for extended periods of time. But, then I switch it up and hit the treadmill or go for a walk. The ideas are endless, just use your imagination and see what you can come up with.

Find the community pool or lake to swim in.

Towns around the country have a lake or community pool close by. Get out and go for a swim, believe me, it works out every part of your body. Still don’t believe me, just look at Michael Phelps. Granted he is a world-class athlete but, you get my point!


You can find cheap or sometimes even free exercise equipment on Craigslist. People all over the globe use Craigslist every day to sell things, even exercise equipment. In my area there were treadmills and stair climbers for sale for less than $100. Take a chance, research Craigslist and give it a try.

Church, some churches have gyms.

Now I am not telling you to join a church just to exercise. That is between you and the big man! I have gone to a few churches that have huge gyms, with exercise equipment and basketball courts. Basketball is a great way to exercise and get into shape.

Go for a walk, find a city park and walk.

Most towns of size will have at least 1 city park to walk around. The city I work in, a town of around 85,000 has at least 7 parks and a few in the works. City parks have walking tracks; some have swimming pools, basketball courts, etc. So there really is no excuse not exercise.

Stairs are a perfect way to exercise.

I work on the 3rd floor and never take the elevator. I take 2 stairs at a time, this gets the ole heart a pumping early in the morning. I believe that stairs are a great way to exercise if you work on the 3rd floor or 30th floor, I recommend the stairs. Skip the elevator at work and take the stairs. Stair climbing really works at your leg muscles and elevates your heart rate, both are great for exercise and health in general.

Exercise can be found anywhere you just have to keep your eyes open. Even the frugal minded person can find places to exercise for little to nothing. I hope this article has opened your mind to all the possible ways to exercise.

What ways do you like to exercise and where? I want to hear from you!


Do You Want to Lose Weight, Don’t Go on a Diet!

I’m nutty for nutrition. I’ve become one of those people who can’t stop talking about the connection between food and health. Now that I know how much changing what you eat can transform your life, I can’t stop proselytizing.   –Robin Quivers

The word diet spelled out in vegetables on a wooden board.

Dieting is a $20 billion a year business! Just think about that for a second, $20 billion dollars is a lot of money. That equals the GDP of the Dominican Republic. Yes, Americans spend roughly the equivalency of the Dominican Republic’s GDP on diet aids and fads. That is still hard for me to wrap my head around.

Diets are dumb!

In life most people go on a 30-day diet, lose a few pounds and get excited and celebrate with a donut or whatever your guilty pleasure might be, on a side note I LOVE donuts, but I know not to eat half a dozen. Then think they can eat like they did before the diet and poof all the weight comes back and then some. Which in turn leads to more dieting and then more celebrating and anguish. The term for this type of dieting is called Yo-yo dieting.

Fresh & Colorful Fruits and Vegetables

This is one of the biggest reasons why I think diets are dumb! Just think about this for a second, what kind of food did you grow up eating? Was it healthy with plenty of fruits, veggies and lean meats or did you eat red meat, processed foods, soda and candy. Do you really think going on a 30-day diet will work? Sure you will lose around 10 to 15 pounds, but studies have shown the first 10 pounds is mainly water weight, you are basically losing the water that diets and diet pills suck out of you. That is not healthy at all!

How can I change?

I believe the only real way to lose weight and to keep it off is a lifestyle change. You must WANT to change and stick with it or it will not work. Eating healthy is a mindset and in order to succeed you have to change your life. I for one used to eat a less than healthy diet. But, over time I realized eating processed foods and drinking soda really made me sluggish and irritable, I needed a change. So I started researching what might cause these conditions and voilà it’s bad food, especially processed foods, you know what I am talking about chips, cookies, ice cream, packaged meals etc., all the stuff that tastes so good. After researching this and coming to the conclusion that my diet was the root cause I changed my diet and started eating a healthier. Now I feel great and look good too.

This of course did not happen overnight, it does take time to switch to a healthy diet, it’s not a quick fix or at least it was not for me. Some of the things I cut back on or quit all together were soda (I quit), sugar, processed foods, red meat, alcohol and I started eating many more veggies and fruits, nuts, lean cuts of meat sparingly throughout the week, and more fish. I try to cook every night and only eat what I can grow or the local farmer can grow. Granted Farmer John cannot grow tortillas, cheese, chips (yes they are processed foods, it’s my one guilty pleasure) for me, I wish he could that would be great and probably much healthier too.

Speaking of eating healthy, if everyone would take the $20 billion we spend on diets that fail and instead invest it in good healthy organic foods from a local farmer’s market, we could all live healthier and cut the cost of medical care in half if not more. No more weekly visits to the doctor, no more spending hundreds of dollars a month on meds. Because we all know the pharmaceutical business is out to make money; they need you as a guinea pig. They do not want to cure your illness, they want to treat it and have you as a customer for life. Not just for a one-time fix!

What do I eat?

You might wonder what does the Semi Frugal dude eat to stay healthy. Well I am glad you asked, there are so many foods to choose from and with Facebook, Pinterest, All Recipes, the ideas are endless. I have a few favorites I have made over and over again, I mainly try variations of them. My most favorite dish of which I had tonight would have to be veggie fajitas, I cook up a pan of red, orange and yellow peppers throw in a jalapeño for an added kick with some onions, my mouth is watering now just thinking about that, they are delicious! Or if you are feeling adventurous and want to try another variation on the delicious veggie fajitas recipe try these Smoky Vegetarian fajitas by The Picky Eater, you will not be disappointed. Another favorite I got from another great blog over at The Comfort of Cooking is made with a sweet potato stuffed with bbq chicken I also love to add some sauteed onions and a little shredded cheese thrown on top for good measure. Most days though I usually just stick with anything I can cook with onions and peppers, I can eat those delicious vegetables by the bushel.

I hope this article has opened your eyes to the dangers of diets. Diets are a waste of time, if you really want to change your life you must change the way you eat and exercise daily. Eating healthy is a mindset not a quick fix. I guarantee you, your life will be much richer and more fulfilling with a healthy diet.


Who Wants to Gain 25 lbs, Drink 1 Can of Soda Each Day for a Year!

NYC sign


Over the past few years across the blogosphere and internet in general one of the most talked about health issues has been drinking soda and the effects this has on your body. As one can probably imagine, I am not a fan of soda and have not drank them on a regular basis for over 2 years now. I can happily say that life is much better off without them. As with most people who stop drinking soda there are plenty of benefits that come from not indulging in a soda among them are weight loss, you feel better, you are more active and not sluggish and more money in your wallet. Which is a big benefit for us frugal types!

One of the main issues I don’t understand about quitting soda is, how people quit and then relapse have a soda or 2, feel guilty and quit again and this cycle continues until they either quit for good or just go back to drinking soda. This never really happened to me, thank goodness. Although I am not perfect either, on rare occasions I have consumed a few sodas, but the last time I had one, it tasted too sweet. After finishing the soda I reached for the water and drank enough to fill an Olympic size swimming pool!

Are you convinced yet that soda is no good? Not yet, OK well here are my highly anticipated Top 5 reasons for quitting soda:

  1. Each can of soda on average contains 12 spoonfuls of sugar! To put this into perspective the average adult male should only consume 9 teaspoons per day, not 12 tablespoons, the average adult female 6 teaspoons per day.
  2. Soda is bad for your teeth. Soda is full of phosphoric acid that causes your teeth to erode and rot over time. Or as medicaldaily.com states “In some extreme cases, drinking a lot of soda can leave your mouth as corroded as that of a meth abuser, according to a 2013 study.” Wonderful, so what you are saying is not only will I gain weight, but I also get to look like a meth addict. Why is this not an advertisement for a major soda brand yet, ha-ha. Are you rubbing your tongue across your teeth?
  3. Soda is full of chemicals some of which are used to make flame retardants. Some sodas are made with a chemical called brominated vegetable oil (BVO) which treehugger.com explains it this way “What brominated vegetable oil (BVO) does to soda is, Coca-Cola explains, “prevent the citrus flavoring oils from floating to the surface in beverages.”  Mmm nothing better than a big ole glass of flame retardant after a long days works!
  4. Soda can cause migraines. I don’t know about you but, I need all the brain power I can muster each day, without having to worry about getting a migraine.
  5. Soda is known to leach calcium from your bones, which in turn makes your bones brittle, so they could break with ease.

Next time you reach for a can of soda think about this for a second, soda could possibly cause your teeth to erode, while your belly bulges out all while you deal with a migraine and to top it off your bones become brittle. I don’t know about you, but I am glad I stopped drinking soda before my body fell apart!

This is just a small sample of what soda can do to your body. There are plenty more examples all over the internet or in medical journals, magazines etc. For me, drinking soda of any sort is a bad idea and don’t even get me started on diet soda, they are even worse. But, we can save this highly anticipated article for another time. I hope this article has opened your eyes a little more to how bad soda is for your body.


Photo credit for NYC sign


About the SFD

In this wonderful experiment we call LIFE there are plenty of people around the world who want to live semi frugal and retire early, but not at the expense of cutting out all the fun!

Semi Frugal Dude is a single guy in his early 40’s who works in the Tech industry and lives his life the semi frugal way! What is semi frugal you might ask? To me living life semi frugally means, you can live life below your means and still enjoy life all while saving money for retirement.

In everyday life I see people spending money on what I think are frivolous expenses, such as foo foo coffees, expensive lunches every day and subscribing to the mega 500 channel satellite TV package. Then they complain because they have no money socked away for retirement or for vacations. I believe we should all enjoy life and on special occasions buy a foo foo coffee, but don’t make it an everyday habit.

Before I became the Semi Frugal Dude, I lived life like most Americans, spend spend spend and worry about debt later in life. But, I’ve always had a voice in the back of my head, telling me this is wrong and I need to change. Somewhere in my early 40’s the voice used a hammer to knock some sense into me and now I have changed my ways, paid off most of my debt and can see a light at the end of the debt tunnel.

If you enjoy reading about frugal finance, personal finance, healthy eating, living frugally and changing your life for the betterment of the world? Then, read on my frugal friends, this blogs for you!

Check out my blog, feel free to comment, subscribe below, gripe or give me money, haha!








What’s the Buzz? Honey Bee Disappearance!

What’s the Buzz? Honey Bee Disappearance!

Santa Barbara, California, USA --- Honey bee hovering near blue-eyed grass flower --- Image by © Ralph Clevenger/Corbis

The only reason for making a buzzing-noise that I know of is because you’re a bee…The only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey….and the only reason for making honey is so I can eat it.
~ Winnie the Pooh in A.A. Milne’s ‘The House at Pooh Corner’

Honey bees are dying at an alarming rate across North America and Europe, courtesy of the “Colony Collapse Disorder”. This disorder is described as a phenomenon in which worker bees from a hive or colony suddenly disappear. Scientists are working hard to find out why the honey bee is dying off so quickly.

Today I would like to focus on an insect that is so vital to our food supply, that if it disappeared our lives would never be the same again.

Honeybees are perhaps one of the least recognized workers in the agricultural industry. They contribute $15 billion in annual agriculture revenue to the U.S. economy alone; a full one-third of the U.S. food supply depends on them pollinating cropsMercola

Could you imagine losing $15 billion in annual income? That is hard for me to fathom. Especially since the lost revenue, comes in the form of lost fruits and vegetables, of which yours truly loves to eat. Actually a large part of my diet comes from fruits and veggies. Below is a short list of some of the plants that bees pollinate:

  • Almonds         Asparagus
  • Apples             Broccoli
  • Apples             Broccoli
  • Blueberries    Onions
  • Grapes            Squash
  • Nectarines      Carrots
  • Peaches           Watermelons

As you can see there are many plants these lively little creatures pollinate. And this is only a fraction of the list. One of the most important crops honey bees pollinate is almonds. Did you know that California produces 80% of the world’s supply of almonds? If honey bees die off so will the almonds. That is a scary scenario to me!

Their pollination of plants is responsible for the existence of nearly a third of the food we eat and has a similar impact on wildlife food supplies. National Geographic

To me these are staggering numbers. I mean nearly a third of what we eat, honey bees pollinate. Could you imagine if that was taken away? That is why we need to take a stand now and make sure the little honey bee survives or we may not like life without them. I don’t want to imagine a life without honey bees or all the delicious foods they pollinate.

The honey bee has intrigued me and I hope this post opens your eyes to the fight the honey bee is going through for survival. I am going to start a weekly series on the honey bee.

I hope you enjoyed this article. I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to comment on any post!

Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara, California, USA — Honey bee hovering near blue-eyed grass flower — Image by © Ralph Clevenger/Corbis


PowerBall Hysteria, Why I Do Not Play the Lottery!

You have a better chance of being struck by lightning underwater than winning the PowerBall jackpot!

With those sort of odds we should all flock to the store to buy a handful of tickets, do you feel lucky! Shockingly I am not one of the millions who play the good ole lottery. I would rather earn my money the old-fashioned way. Yes I know this may sound dull to some folks, but it’s just the way I am. My goal in life is early retirement not instant wealth!

photo credit: Bumper Sticker via photopin (license)Whoever wins the lottery often finds “family and friends” they never knew existed. And everyone wants a handout! Have you ever watched any of the documentaries on lottery winners, most say that winning the lottery ruined their lives. Over half the winners are broke within 5 years of winning it and have to go back to work to support themselves and their families. An excerpt from an article on Eyes on the Dollar, explains it this way:

I recently read an article recently on the Business Week website about a guy name Jack Whittaker who in 2002 won the $314 million dollar PowerBall lottery and opted for the one time lump payment of $93 million. Pretty lucky guy, right? Absolutely ruined him. Everyone wanted money from him. He lost his so-called friends. He couldn’t trust anyone. His wife left him. He hung out at strip clubs. Drank like a fish. Ugly stuff.”

If this is your idea of fun, then by all means go ahead and buy a ticket or 10. But, to me I have better ways to spend my money.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I do enjoy winning money and would not turn it away. But, if I had a choice, I prefer to win a smaller jackpot or scratch off ticket, just enough to pay off my bills and have enough to retire on and travel the world. Of course my chances of winning are infinitely tougher since I rarely ever buy a ticket. 🙂

Over the years I have read a few books on wealth and how to create it. One of the most common factors in all those books on self-made millionaires is they don’t play the lottery. They earn what they make, to me this is far more impressive than winning the mega jackpot. Self-made millionaires understand money and the hardship it took to get to where they are in life. This sort of success is what I strive for daily.

Do you play the lottery? What do you plan to do with the money if you win? If you need help or ideas, for a small fee I will be glad to show you!  🙂

photo credit: Bumper Sticker via photopin (license)


New Years Resolutions are a Waste of Time!

New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. – Mark Twain

Photo by iStock

New Year’s resolutions are the topic of the day and apparently the blogosphere as well. Everyone wants to add their 2 cents to the mix and I am no different.

First off let me clear the air here. I am not trying to sound negative, although it may seem this way. I just believe that NY resolutions are a waste of time. If you want to change your life for the better, why wait until Jan 1 to take action. Start when the mood strikes, not when the calendar flips over to a new year. If you have not guessed yet, I do not keep or make resolutions. I do make changes throughout the year to better myself.

One of the biggest resolutions and one that usually gets dropped first is going to the gym, this time of year gym memberships spike and gyms are filled with excited new members who are going to change their lives and exercise daily. A quote from US News-Health sums it up perfectly “By the second week of February, some 80 percent of those resolution-ers are back home with a new kind of remorse staring back at them in the mirror – the remorse of disappointment.” By mid-February most people have had enough time to come up with a few good excuses as to why they can’t go to the gym anymore. Most revolve around time constraints or lack of motivation.

Another side to this famed resolution is the cost. Most gyms require a monthly membership fee and most make you sign a year’s contract, which locks you in for an entire year at around $50-80 per month. If you only use the gym once or twice a week for a few months, then this becomes a very expensive, broken resolution. The typical person will have spent between $600 to almost $1000 for a VERY expensive workout. Why not take that money and invest it in a good dividend paying stock or boost up your 401K or if you really want to dump the money, give it to me. I know what to do with it!

Photo by Jamie Hamel-Smith

Another of the resolutions that doesn’t last long is eating healthy/dieting. Of all the resolutions made, this should be one of the easiest to keep, it just requires the proper motivation and self-control. I can hear the whining now, it’s too hard or too expensive; I don’t have time and a million other excuses. I say hogwash to this!

Most grocery stores these days have caught on to the healthy eating idea and they stock their Produce department with delicious treats. In my research, it is cheaper to shop the outer isles and stock up on fruits, veggies and other healthy snacks, than it is to buy junk food and processed foods. We were not built to eat processed foods, excess sugars and drink sodas all the time. This is why the average American is blowing up like a hot air balloon. I believe eating healthy should be a regular part of life. There is no need to make it a resolution, make it a lifestyle change. Make it an everyday habit. I promise you, you will start to lose weight and feel better than ever before, plus you’ll have more energy and the mental fogginess and mid-day slumber will go away. As the old saying goes you will feel like a million bucks!

The 2 resolutions above are a few of the more popular choices and 2 that are broken the quickest. With that being said, there are ways to try and keep those resolutions or ideas fresh in your head throughout the year. How, you might ask? One word…Technology or more specifically the popular saying from years past, “There’s an App for that”.

A few of the more popular weight loss/dieting and exercise apps I found are:

MyNetDiary: This app lets you track the food you eat and the various exercises you do all while keeping you motivated and on track for your goals.

FitStar Personal Trainer: FitStar puts convenience, control, and the change you want to see in yourself back in your hands. Want to get flexible, strong, lean, or just want to get moving? Our yoga or personal trainer apps—with more on the way—will craft your perfect routine and challenge you when you’ve hit a plateau.

These are just a couple of the thousands of apps you can choose from. Anyone today can search the web and find the next greatest app. It just takes a few minutes of work.

To sum up this post, I believe New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time. In order to really change your life you need to make these ideas into real heart-felt lifestyle changes. They should become an everyday habit in your life. Stop spending thousands of dollars on gym memberships and unhealthy eating. Instead focus more on what is important in life, you can exercise at home for free or next to free, when grocery shopping shop the outer isles of the grocery store where the real foods are, fruits, veggies and the least processed foods. Enjoy life, explore this great country we live in and be thankful for what you’ve got!