6 Rich and Famous People You Didn’t Know Were Thrifty

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You may think of penny-pinchers as people that are that scrapping by out of necessity, but it turns out there are many famous and wealthy people that despite their extravagant earnings, choose to live modestly.

Here are six of those people.

Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence

Image Source: By Gage Skidmore (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

What’s not to love about everyone’s favorite Hunger Games star? Her down-to-earth demeanor has made her one of Hollywood’s most likable celebrities, but it turns out this extends to her money-spending habits as well. She likes to hunt for bargains with coupons, drives a modest car, and once ordered a $1.99 Happy Meal as a pre-Oscars snack. As she said in a Fabulous (U.K.) magazine interview, “I was raised to have value for money, to have respect for money, even though you have a lot of it. My family is not the kind of family that would ever let me turn into an a**hole or anything like that, so I am fortunate to have them.”

Hillary Swank

Hilary Swank 2009

Image Source: Georges Biard [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

She may be an Academy Award winning-actress, but Ms. Swank is also an avid coupon-clipper. As she said in a 2010 interview with Regis and Kelly, “When you open up the paper and you see those coupons it’s like dollar bills staring you in the face!” When asked if she ever feels embarrassed to use coupons she said she was not, adding, “Why not? It’s how I grew up. It’s in my bones.”

Warren Buffet

Warren Buffett at the 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

 

This legendary investor is reportedly worth more than 76 billion dollars, according to Forbes magazine. That hasn’t stopped him from staying frugal, however. He lives in the same Omaha, Nebraska home that he’s lived in since 1958 that he originally purchased for $31,500. He also doesn’t keep a cell phone on him or a computer at his desk, enjoys cheap fast food meals, and once had a license plate that said “THRIFTY.” A great thing about Mr. Buffet is that his frugality seemingly isn’t motivated by greed as he has pledged to give more than 99% of his wealth to charity.

Mark Zuckerberg 

Mark Zuckerberg TechCrunch 2012

Image Source: By TechCrunch [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

The founder and CEO of Facebook is infamous for wearing the exact same thing to work every day– a simple T-shirt, hoodie, and jeans. According to him, always wearing the same outfit helps simplify his life by helping to minimize basic daily decisions. Rather than going for an expensive Tesla or Ferrari, as of 2014, he was driving a manual-transmission, four-door hatchback Volkswagon car that cost less than $31,000.

Jay Leno

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Source: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain photo)

 

It might be hard to believe, but the entire time Jay Leno hosted “The Tonight Show,” he never spent a penny of his salary from NBC, instead putting it ENTIRELY in savings. For his expenditures, he relied on his earnings from stand-up comedy shows (which he continued to do on the weekends in addition to his hosting duties). As he told Jerry Seinfeld on “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” “You know, when I was a kid I always had two jobs. And I would bank one and I’d spend the other. Then when I got ‘The Tonight Show’ I just continued that.”

Kristen Bell

Kristen Bell by Gage Skidmore

Image Source: Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Frozen was one of the most successful films of all time, and Ms. Bell most certainly earned a pretty penny as a leading voice actress in the beloved Disney movie. Despite that, she still is an avid coupon queen. As she told Conan O’Brien, “I almost exclusively shop with coupons. The best coupon you can get, possibly in the world, is the Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon. And you know it’s the best one! Because it’s like 20 percent off, and if you buy a duvet or an air conditioner, you could be saving upwards of $80!” Amen, sister.

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10 Free Things to do in While Traveling in Chicago

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Chicago is an awesome city with a distinct culture, tasty hometown food, and friendly people who manage to bring a Midwestern hospitality to a busy metropolis. From their famous comedy clubs like Second City, to the legendary sports teams like the Chicago Cubs, all the way to the big city glam of the shops on Michigan Avenue you’ll find something that anyone can enjoy in the Windy City.

Like any travel destination, though, it can be easy to get sucked in to expensive and sometimes unnecessary purchases and attractions. To help you travel in a thrifty way, I’ve assembled this list of things to do for FREE while traveling in Chicago.

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Millennium Park

Yup, this would be the park the infamous “bean” (technically called Cloud Gate) that has become an icon of Chicago in just a little over a decade. That’s not the only free thing to do here, though. Throughout the year, particularly in the warmer months, there are events and music festivals housed under the Jay Pritzker Pavilon from the country’s only free outdoor classical music series of its size  to the Chicago Blues FestivalChicago Gospel Music FestivalJazz FestivalWorld Music Festival, and the Chicago Air and Water Show that are all completely FREE! If it’s the winter time, don’t fret! They also offer a free ice skating rink.

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Chicago Cultural Center

The Chicago Cultural Center, which just so happens to be in walking distance of Millennium Park, can be something of a best kept secret for travelers to Chicago. It’s a large, historic municipal building that is not only beautiful to look at but filled with a number of arts and cultural events that are completely FREE. If you like art exhibits, there are a number of exhibits from many renowned artists at the Center, in addition to free film screenings, kid’s events, and music performances. You can  also catch a free daily tour of the building (great if you are an architecture buff) and check out the world’s largest Tiffany-stained glass dome that is quite the sight to see!

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Lincoln Park Zoo

A trip to the zoo can be a great outing for families (or a group of scrappy 20-somethings!), but what can make it even better is if its free. The Lincoln Park Zoo happens to be free 365 days a year for each and every visitor. There are exhibits that are open in both the warmer months and colder seasons. During the holiday season, make sure to check out ZooLights- a fun Christmas light display.

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Navy Pier

Navy Pier is a famous shopping and entertainment district with beautiful views of Lake Michigan. Now this one comes with a bit of a disclaimer- technically it is free to walk around it but this heavily visited attraction has all of the typical markings of a tourist trap. The parking is expensive, the food and souvenirs are pricey, and if you aren’t careful you can end up spending quite a bit of money on things like boats tours and riding the ferris wheel (which costs $12 a person). I’d recommend taking public transit to Navy Pier rather than parking directly near it and maybe even packing a sack lunch to save money on food. If you walk far enough down the pier you can also normally find some cheaper priced boat tours. Plus twice a week during the summers they do a free fireworks show.

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Get a Free Guided Tour

There are a number of tours in Chicago that charge money but there are still PLENTY of options if you want a free tour run by volunteers. Tours by Foot offers walking tours of Chicago for a range of themes from a movie and television filming location tour (if you want to see places where famous movies were shot) to a ghost tour of allegedly haunted places in Chicago if you want to get your ghostbusting on. In addition you can get an individual tour from Chicago Guide, but make sure to reserve a spot at least 10 business day in advance.

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Free Museums

There a number of free museums in Chicago ranging from the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago, and the Hyde Park Art Center. There’s also the Money Museum, which happens to also be free (go figure!). Plus you can take a free tour of a brewery.

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Check out the Beach!

A great thing about a lakeside city is that there are a number of beaches to visit for free. If it’s the summer, go ahead and pack a swim suit so you can soak up the sun! And if it’s the winter, seeing a snowy beach with a frozen lake makes for a very surreal Instagram-worthy photo-op.

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Watch a Free Improv Show

There are a number of improv theaters to see in Chicago, but most cost money (side note- at Second City you can tickets that have a view “partially obstructed” by a pole at a discount FYI). There is one improv troupe that offers shows completely free of charge, though. The aptly named “Free for All” show is every Sunday at 7:30PM at The Playground Theater.

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Watch Some Free Theater Shows

The Free Street Theater was one of the first racially integrated theater companies in Chicago when it was founded in the 1960’s and aims to create theatrical productions that highlight a diverse range of experiences. True to their name, they offer free shows!

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Take a Stroll Through the Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden offers free admission and is open year-round (yes, including winter). Whether you are looking for a pleasant stroll or a tram tour, this can be a great place to check out if you’re looking to unwind and enjoy the scenery in this 385-acre destination. There’s also the Lurie Garden in Millennium Park or  for something indoors, there’s the Lincoln Park Conservatory.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to follow my blog for more updates on frugal living. Plus be sure to connect with me on YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

Do-it-Yourself Thrifty Mouthwash

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For my YouTube video on this topic, click here!

Buying toiletries can be expensive! I know when I first was living on my own it was always a rather annoying and often unaccounted for expense. There are many things, however, that you can make at home using simple ingredients. Follow these instructions to make one such thing- your very own homemade, natural mouthwash!

You’ll Need

A small container (I used a recycle glass milk jar)

1 cup of distilled or filtered water

4 tsps. of baking soda (get it on Amazon here)

4 drops tea tree essential oil (get it on Amazon here)

4 drops peppermint essential oil (get it on Amazon here)

Funnel (optional, but recommended)

To Make it

Pour the water into the container then add the baking soda. Finally add the essentials oils, cover and shake, and you’re good to go. Use it like any regular mouthwash to clean your mouth.

Additional Notes

Baking soda has antibacterial properties and is a great (and cheap!)  item to have at home for a variety of frugal needs- from cooking to cleaning to personal grooming. The essential oils can be a little pricey, so you may need to shop around. They can typically be found at stores that sell organic and natural foods. I found some well-reviewed oils on Amazon that are $6.99 for peppermint oil and $5.99 for tea tree oil.

The oils add a minty flavor to the mouthwash and have additional antibacterial properties. It isn’t recommended that you make any more than one batch at a time because the oils can settle and change flavor over time. To save even more money, skip the oils all together and just use baking soda and water! This form of mouthwash isn’t medicated like the store-bought variety, so if your dentist has recommended other types of wash for specific dental needs, follow their directions.

If you enjoyed this blog post, make sure to check out my YouTube Channel for additional thrifty living tips and follow The Thrifty Man on Pinterest and Twitter for updates!