November 22nd, 2011

Be Frugal Like a Muppet

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I’m so excited this week is finally here, and it’s not because of the large quantities of turkey and pumpkin pie I’ll be consuming on Thursday. No, this week is the best week of the year because my childhood friends are back.

That’s right—“The Muppets” is premiering this week!

The whole gang will be there, from Kermit and Miss Piggy to Sweetums and Crazy Harry, and you know you can’t wait to spend two glorious hours reminiscing with all of them.

The Muppets’ comeback also has me reminiscing about their other great big-screen moments. And I realized (being a personal finance blogger and Muppet fan, of course), that these Muppets sure are frugal. Here are a few particularly frugal Muppet moments, and how you can make them work in your life, too.

Frugal Vacationing

In “The Muppet Movie,” Kermit and the gang drive cross-country to pursue their dreams in Hollywood and pick up a new Muppet or two at each stop. They know how to pinch a dime along the way. (Muppets are notoriously broke.) Instead of staying at a swanky hotel, Kermit, Fozzie, Rowlf, Gonzo and Camilla camp on the side of the road.

Save a few bucks on your own vacation by following the Muppet code and “roughing it.” Check out or Go Camping America to find a campsite near your destination. Just make sure to bring along the harmonica for the inevitable sing-along.

Frugal Flying

The Muppets take to the skies in “The Great Muppet Caper,” but instead of flying first-class—or even economy—they choose to travel in style in the cargo hold. They even avoid expensive cab rides from the airport by parachuting out of the plane and directly to their destination.

Since the TSA will likely refuse your requests for cargo hold travel, search for the cheapest flights by using sites like Kayak, which compares prices on hundreds of travel sites, or Airfare Watchdog, where you can set up fare alerts to be delivered directly to your email inbox.

Frugal Living

In “Muppets from Space,” the entire gang bunks together in a large, Victorian-style home. True, weird things happen there. Gonzo sees messages in his cereal, penguins use the tub for their own personal waterpark, and mounted moose heads dance. But I’ll bet each Muppet saves hundreds of dollars each month by rooming with 20 or so of his closest friends.

While you might not consider sharing your bathroom with a waddle of penguins, do consider renting out a spare bedroom or even getting a roommate if you find yourself struggling to make rent or mortgage payments. Check out, if you don’t mind offering your place as a vacation destination.

Frugal Celebrating

When it comes to celebrating the holidays, no one does it better than the Muppets. The whole gang gathers to celebrate in “The Muppet Christmas Carol.” Not only do the Muppets tell a tale that’s in the public domain (which means you can read the entire text of Dickens’ tale for free), but they also invite neighbors, friends and former enemies together for a traditional holiday feast. Everyone brings a dish and shares the cost.

Take this holiday season to come together with others and share what you have. Nine times out of ten, they’ll share what they have, too. Now that’s frugal and festive!

Have a fun and frugal Thanksgiving!

Bethy Hardeman, Social Media Maven

Harmony Gerber /

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