Mighty Life List
Nov 15 2010

Travel Backpack Pack List and Windows Phone 7 Giveaway

This is the super fancy Windows Phone 7. Behold!

Ooo. Shiny.

The idea behind the phone is that you can do all kinds of stuff with it, so you don’t have to carry so many gadgets around to stay on top of your life. As you know from the Packing Light series, I’m all about doing more with less, specifically only what you can fit in a carry-on and a backpack

Lots of you have asked me what I pack in my backpack while I’m on the road. All of my electronics go in there, so here’s my list of what’s in my “personal item” bag when I’m boarding a plane.

Digital SLR with 50mm 1:1:4 lens
Camera battery charger
Phone charger
Earbuds
Laptop charger
Laptop
Magazine
Moleskine journal
Pens that won’t explode in flight
A hard case for my glasses
A small purse that contains:
-my wallet
-keys
-phone
-and a mesh zip bag with:
+Waleda hand cream
+Burt’s Bees lip balm
+Lipstick
+Eye drops
Comfort kit with
-snacks
-teabags
-a sleeping mask
-earplugs
-an inflatable neck pillow with knit cover

How about you? What’s your bare minimum of what you need to be comfortable when you’re traveling, or working, or just getting ready in the morning? What are your tricks for doing more with less in your life?

I’m giving away one Windows Phone 7, which is worth about $500, plus all this good stuff:

-A one year XBOX Live Gold membership
-A three month unlimited Zune Pass — which lets you download and stream unlimited music and keep 30 songs forever and ever.
- A T-Mobile SIM, active until November 30. (If you’re already a T-Mobile subscriber, you can also use your existing SIM.)

To enter, all you have to do is leave a tip in comments about how you’re doing more with less. You can enter once a day, but you’ll need to cough up a new and improved tip every time you comment. I assume this helps ensure that you are not a robot. Not that I have anything against robots.

Now for the fine print. The contest is open until November 29, and as usual I’ll pick a winner using random.org. I’ll email the winner, and once he or she emails me back, I’ll announce who it was on Mighty Girl. Sound good? Great. The crazy detailed details are here, as are the bazillion (or so) other sites where you can go to enter for another chance to win the phone. I encourage you to do so.

This giveaway was brought to you by the new Windows Phone 7. Less MIA. More PTA: Learn about Windows Phone online and see it in person at local T-Mobile stores today.

456 Responses to “Travel Backpack Pack List and Windows Phone 7 Giveaway”

  • Amanda Says:

    This is something I am really trying to work on, so I will be reading each and every one of these comments. I usually travel with a gaggle of crap so I love your list. I used to fly with at least one book and a minimum of 3 magazines…so I just purchased a kindle to try and reduce that crap.

  • Laura B. Says:

    To travel: I need a pair of warm fuzzy socks (my feet run very cold!), trashy celebrity magazine (which I only allow myself to read when on airplanes), and a book.

  • sarah Says:

    My carry on always has a book, bag of nuts and dried fruit, my cell phone and phone charger, a change of clothes, and my toothbrush. That’s it baby.

  • Stephanie Says:

    I recently tried to make all my toiletries and cosmetics as healthy for me as possible. Unfortunately, event the organic/herbal/hippy-dippy/whole-paycheck stuff has chemical products you don’t really want around you, so I am definitely doing more with less now. One face wash, sunscreen, lotion, shampoo and condition. The only hair product that had previously for my fine hair was mousse, but it’s really hard to find a propellant that is chemical free, so now when it comes to my hair routine I really am doing more with nothing. I have an extra fifteen minutes in the morning to pack a lunch and cuddle with the cat, and my hair looks petty much the same.

  • Cora D Says:

    I was laid off in May, so my hubby and I have cut back on our expenses. The biggest difference is we traded in our newer, fancier cars (with big car payments) for two older, cheaper cars with one smallish car payment. We don’t miss the fancier cars and we certainly don’t miss the car payments.

    Also, I’ve been shopping almost exclusively at consignment shops and second hand stores and have made out like a bandit! Plus, when I get tired of the clothes after a couple of months – no guilt!

  • Alexis Says:

    Specifically when traveling, I’ve been a chronic overpacker. So recently I’ve been challenging myself to bring less by choosing smaller bags. I only get to bring one book with me, and have to be a lot more careful picking clothes. But I haven’t ever felt underprepared, just less weighed down!

  • janeray1940 Says:

    Moving to a 250-square-foot apartment was a fantastic lesson for me in doing more with less. It’s really, truly amazing how much crap we accumulate because we think we “need” it, when really we don’t!

  • Sadie Says:

    My boyfriend and I are doing without a car thanks to the a combo of bikes and Zipcar we are accomplishing it. This means when we pay for a zipcar we make the outings count. We plan ahead with a list and a route. Without instant access to a car we never go on random shopping outings which means we don’t waste time and money.

  • janet brashear Says:

    I am getting a jump on my NY resolution and getting rid of ‘stuff’ that I don’t need or use anymore, hence truly valuing the things that mean the most to me.

  • Amy Says:

    These comments are so helpful! I love simplifying! My husband and I are strict budget-ers but we seem to always be going over just a little bit in one area each month, which starts to add up! So, we switched to using cash, and let me tell you it really makes me stop and think before picking up a pack of gum or a magazine. Not that I don’t ever get treats every now and then, but not every single time like I once did. It’s been surprisingly stress relieving.

    Stephanie ~ try 100percentpure cosmetics. I recently went on a chemical free cosmetic quest and this line is almost edible it seems! I use all their products: make-up and body. They are amazing!

  • Helen Says:

    We are doing a toy exchange this year with our church for Christmas for the children. Clean out closets of forgotten (new) gifts of years past and trade with other families!

  • nelking Says:

    Travel: Wet wipes. Usually unscented make up remover kind because they work for everything including your face.

    Simplifying: Do not buy a car if you have to get a loan. With two new drivers in the family, we’ve added one more used car this past year. And, experiences over things for our random spending.

  • Miriam Wallace Says:

    As a retired Flight Attendant, I had to fly a lot and would stock up on awesome magazines and only read them during a flight. They are disappearing, those wonderful magazines, but many are still being published and are sanity savers!!

  • Liesel Says:

    I research any new purchase within an inch of its life until I am sure, sure, sure it is the best choice for me and what will give me the most bang for my buck. That way, I’m not replacing gadgets or electronics all the time. I’m looking at you PC…whoops! Did I just say that on a windows giveaway?

  • Martha Says:

    I’m using my slow cooker to cook dried beans rather than buying them from a can. They taste better, are a heck of a lot cheaper, and really don’t take that much work! I don’t even soak them before hand. I freeze them in 2 cup increments and they defrost quickly in warm water.

  • Susanne Says:

    My organization has been having layoffs so lately I’ve been watching every penny. Cooking at home is my biggest tip for doing more with less, especially soups, which can last multiple days.

  • GB Says:

    We moved this year and suddenly had a lot more space to decorate and an abbreviated budget to do so with….one word–goodwill. I’ve got so used to finding cool stuff, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to paying retail. Plus, it’s unique–I’ve found handcrafted stuff, vintage stuff….I just bring it back, lysol it and we’re good to go.

  • Stephanie Says:

    A longer, flowy wrap cardigan or a brightly colored pashmina is my necessary item… you can never tell how warm or cold you’ll be while traveling (especially on a plane). Either of these can be worn over your shoulders, like a blanket, or balled up like a pillow. After the commuting part of your travels is over, it’s a versatile accessory.

    Plus they’re way more chic than a travel pillow.

  • Corin Boyko Says:

    Before I walk out the door every morning, I make sure my bag has:
    1) My computer
    2) My 2 small moleskines (one for notes, one is a planner)
    3) Pens
    4) My makeup/mini emergency kit (which has lip gloss, makeup, advil, tummy meds, hand creme)
    5) Wallet
    6) Keys
    7) Phone
    8) Cigarettes (because I’m a bad person)
    9) A folder with my notes on all my current projects.

    On a good day I’ve managed to leave these all within reach of the bag they go into, and then I return them to their places right inside my front door upon arriving home. Do I feel a bit like Mr. Rogers for having a fixed routine upon entering my place? Yes. Do I lose my keys and phone as often as I used to? No.

  • Joanna Says:

    I’ve recently decided to learn how to make more food from scratch because I’m making do with a decreased income. Last night I made cranberry almond and maple pecan scones–before that it was homemade ravioli and before that was bread, all sorts. I’ve noticed that if I put in the time and energy into making a certain food, it not only tastes better but I’m also more motivated to eat it all rather than forgetting it’s in the back of the fridge until it begins to stink.

  • Kristen Says:

    My carry-on has to have my DSLR, laptop, sunglasses and hard case, lotion, phone and earbuds, something to read, wallet with ID, credit card and money, separate wallet with lipbalms and pens, and, assuming I plan ahead, a toothbrush. I do love to brush my teeth upon landing. Oh, and also snacks. I get cranky when I get hungry.

  • Jennifer Says:

    We downsized to one car. It’s been totally worth it – we save a ton on insurance and maintenance costs and we spend more time together running errands!

  • Ashley Says:

    With a new baby, school and a part time job, I have less time for me than ever before. I love to read, but it’s hard to get a moment with a book these days. To compromise, I’ve been listening to stories on CD in the car, when I take my daughter to daycare or on my way to campus. She and I are both being read to and we get a lot out of our time together. Though she’s young, I like to think that she’s enjoying the story as much as I am. We recently listened to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Hopefully I’m not scaring her to death. :)

  • Aine Says:

    My carryon includes
    1 book,
    1 diary,
    my phone,
    passport,
    wallet,
    ipod shuffle,
    2 pens,
    2-3 facewipes in a small plastic baggie,
    an eyeliner,
    an eyemask,
    a small deodorant &
    spare underpants (most of my flying is NY to Dublin, Ireland, and you feel pretty gross afterwards).

  • Geno Endicott Says:

    my iphone has replaced having to carry phone, ipod, book, point and shoot camera, etc. And I always keep a couple tubes of lip balm.

  • Lauren Says:

    After a year of dealing with a small case of bat bugs (think ‘bed bug’s less evil twin brother’), I am all about living with less. I have pared my clothes down to the bare minimum, and am getting rid of things left and right.

    My favorite is how I cleared out all the many lotions, ointments and junk that had been accumulating in my bathroom cupboard, and now have everything I use in one little plastic tub. Lotion, deodorant, eye pencil, hairspray, toothbrush, toothpaste – done. It’s bliss.

    (I could go on and on about this, and I just might. One comment a day, eh?)

  • Sheila Says:

    I refuse to check a bag and have done 10 day cruise (including dressy clothes) in a carryon. Crossword puzzle book and pen in that bag and you are good for entertainment…except for dark sunglasses so you don’t get caught when your entertainment is people watching!

  • janie Says:

    My travel list always must include something to add to water to make it taste better. I am a freak about water taste but I like having to buy bottled water EVERYWHERE.

    I have switched to cheap shampoo and face cleanser as a way to do more with less money. It all goes down the drain anyway right?

  • Jane Noir Says:

    I do more with less when I travel to Europe by bringing two or three pairs of travel undies (underwear made of lightweight, easy wash, quick dry material) and wash in the sink rather than pack a pair for every day.

  • Sharon Says:

    I am moving to New York in two days and in the past two months I’ve managed to downsize everything I owned a 1300+ square foot home to fit my 400 square foot apartment. Reminding myself that it’s just stuff helped. Once I got into that mindset, getting rid of the majority of my stuff was not at all difficult.

  • Courtney Says:

    To do more with less, I am using all the thousands of travel shampoos I have collected over the past few years. I will use them all before I buy a new bottle of shampoo!

  • Olive Says:

    To do more for less I’ve been bringing a bagged lunch to work 3 – 4 times a week. This not only saves me a minimum of $30 a week — it also helps my waistline — since I tend to eat healthier when I’m not grabbing lunch at a restaurant or fast food through a drive-thru.

  • Lorrie Says:

    due to several personal mistakes, as well as circumstances beyond my control, about 95% of my belongings have been in storage for 4 years now. In the past two years, I’ve culled about 50% of that – selling some things when I’ve needed cash, but mostly realizing that with the exception of sentimental items (to be differentiated from “junk I’ve always had”), artwork and a few household items, everything is replaceable and most likely unneeded. I’m looking forward to unpacking at my next destination, and getting rid of boxes – and more stuff! It’s really liberating to not have so much STUFF weighing me down.

  • Lisa B. Says:

    I am a total maximalist. It is horrifying. However, I am trying to do more with less by using my public library, and the public library is genius. The best thing about it is that I can renew my books online and also I can reserve books (I know! it’s awesome!). Then, the library’s robot sends me an e-mail to say my book is waiting for me. Also, that robot gives me a heads up about my almost-overdue items. So I can renew them. ONLINE!

  • Kelly Says:

    Nuts! Really, I always carry almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts. It cuts down on snacking on much less healthy options, even if I’m just traveling across town.

  • Teresa Says:

    Trying to live more simply, but it’s hard with 2 little ones. When I travel, it’s with them so there is nothing simple about my carry on!

  • Cassie Says:

    I lived in an apartment for a year that is smaller than most hotel rooms I stay in. That is doing more with less I’d say.

  • heather Says:

    I was laid off late last year and went into panic mode right away, thinking of all of the things I’d need to cut out of my life. Instead, it’s been sort of amazing to figure what I “need” to be content and balanced. I go to the library for my books, I, um, “borrow” my music online, I shop at thrift stores more regularly than I ever have and I’m cooking more whole foods, more often. Talk about a blessing in disguise…

  • Samantha S Says:

    Since the TSA apparently can’t scan liquids through anything but a ziplock bag, I’ve ditched my cutesy toiletry bags altogether. Not that I’m happy about it, but it does somewhat reduce packing weight and bulk.

  • Christine Says:

    I used to drag all my camera equipment with me to capture everything about my kids but then I realized that I was too laden with stuff to actually stop and enjoy time with them. Now my new rule is I go completely hands free. Well, not completely hands free: instead of camera and lens, now I’m holding dolls and baseballs and water guns and it feels a world lighter.

  • Jenn Bo Says:

    For my toiletry bag, I purchased one ounce squeeze bottles from REI. I can put whatever I want in them (shampoo, conditioner, face moisturizer, hair creme, etc.) and more “getting ready things” fit inside my liquids only bag for carry on.

  • Susanlee Says:

    I travel to San Francisco about 5 times a year, and I’ve adopted your everything in a carryon tactic. It’s been hard, because sometimes I’m there for two weeks at a time, but I’m saving tons of money on checked bags. Because I always stay with the same friends, I’ve just started storing a set of toiletries/makeup under the sink at their house so I don’t have to pack any of that stuff, and I recently purchased a Kindle, so that I can stop carrying 3 or 4 books with me.

  • Devon Says:

    As a college student I have about 3 million different purses and backpacks that I use depending on where I’m going and for what purpose (i.e. going to class to sleep, going to class to actually take notes, going to the bars with my friends, etc). So I keep little make-up bag with the following:
    -a card holder with my ID, CC and $10 cash
    -2 pens (the kind that I really like)
    -earbuds
    -chapstick
    -a spare house key
    Whenever I pick up a bag, I just grab that little makeup bag and my phone and I’m ready to go (even if I forget my keys!) (Which happens a lot!)

  • Lindsey @ I Run in Heels Says:

    For going out: I love to use websites that offer discounts for local restaurants, shows, etc.

    Rewards points: This month, I cashed in points for a $35 Target gift card & a $10 grocery store gift card. Yay!

    Downsizing: I moved from a 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath condo to sharing a very small room with a roommate to having my own very small room in a back house. The only furniture I still own is a twin-sized bed, a television, & some shelving units from Taret & IKEA. I love the idea that if I want to pick up and go, I have very little holding me back from doing just that.

  • John LeJeune Says:

    I previously carried around a Palm Pilot, a GPS for car rental, an Archos music player for my music library and a cell phone. I’ve reduced this all down to one device, an iPhone G4 that I can charge by connecting to my laptop.

  • Gennie Says:

    I’m learning to sew! It’s helping me fill my desire for new shiny things without the budget. I kind of suck, but I do enjoy it.

  • Courtney Donati Says:

    Dry Shampoo (make the most of my hair washing). I’d be lost without it!

  • Curlystraight Says:

    Donate, donate, donate!

    I have been throwing at least 10 things into a trash bag every weekend and bringing it to Sal Army to help other people. Toys, clothes, kitchen stuff, clutter to me may be a treasure to someone else.

    Once you start with 10, it’s easy to keep on going.

  • Shannon Says:

    I donated or gave away over half my wardrobe in the last month and haven’t noticed a thing except the wonderful roominess of my closet.

  • Miss K Says:

    I loved all these comments, especially Courtney’s about the hotel shampoos.

    I live in a TINY apartment in Seoul which helps me to not buy new things. To decorate the apartment, I took cuttings of a plant I had and grow them hydroponically in cute jars.

  • Victoria Says:

    I took a job in a remote fly-in community that has no grocery store. Which means I have to pack everything I truly need for the five-day work-week. Subsequently, I’ve reevaluated what constitutes junk food and junk belongings.

  • Kathleen Says:

    In my carry on I always have a pair of warm socks, a sleep mask & candy (the stuff I usually don’t let myself have) It makes flying seem like a treat.

  • Sarah F Says:

    My husband has been out of work for a while so money is tight. Instead of eating out everyday for lunch like I used to, I try to pack a lunch instead and for every day I bring my lunch, I put $10 in my savings account. Its great!

  • Tara Says:

    I try to pack as light as possible – I HATE going to baggage claim! My must-haves are a light sweater, good book, snacks like granola, a candy bar, and some gum, hand lotion and lip balm.

  • Tiffany R Says:

    I recently flew to TX for 6 days, and bit the bullet and took only a carry-on plus a personal bag — my first time ever not checking in any luggage! (And once I got there, I realized I’d packed far too many clothes!)

    This year, I can’t afford to give gifts, nor am I much of a baker/crafter. Instead I’m writing postcard-sized stories and “I love/appreciate this about you” notes on some lovely handmade postcards I got for super cheap. I’ll be mailing them out once a week in Dec to friends; I’m hoping to do something similar via email for the folks who live further away/routinely have mail lost on the way to them. It’s also making me improve my penmanship before I begin this project (via practice, so I can be sure all the stories fit without losing legibility) – something I always wanted to do.

  • Rachel (Hounds in the Kitchen) Says:

    I buy food in bulk and store it/preserve it to save money.

  • Erin Says:

    I know this is hardly a revolutionary idea, but I finally see the wisdom in freezing a couple of pre-portioned meals.

  • Judy R Says:

    I just bought a small Sherpani XO backpack to use as my everyday diaper bag/purse. The smaller bag forced me to reduce from purse and diaper bag to one small bag. Inside the must haves include a sherpani zipper wallet that I can just grab on it’s own. My not-very-smart plain old cell phone, burts bees lip balm, Keihls lip gloss, upcycled hankies for toddler, stocked diaper clutch, extra pants and big boy underpants (ugh, potty training needs to end before the baby gets here in Feb! That will reduce a lot of stuff!) Water bottle and/or milk. Snacks. Moleskines.

    For travel, I go with a camera backpack by Lowepro that protects my Nikon DSLR, computer,all the accompanying cords, potentially my son’s PeeWee PC (we haven’t traveled since getting it), moleskines, empty water bottle to fill past security, son’s medical info (he has a pacemaker).

    With a fancy phone, I would skip the computer and save my back and time at security. Plus, the phone could take over for one or two books I often have to entertain the little man. He travels heavy.

  • Patsy Says:

    My husband and I operate with one car. It is fantastic and for those times we both need a vehicle, we have a membership to zip car.

  • Pam Says:

    About a year ago I realized how much money I was wasting on books … I would buy them, read them and then add them to stacks in my house. (no used bookstore in my town) Then I re-discovered one of my favorite places as a child – the public library! I can even check out books online plus I’ve saved so much!!!

  • helmetnona Says:

    My carry-on for planes is ear plugs, eye mask, toothbrush, deodorant, hair elastic, mascara and a book.
    Everything else can be borrowed or bought when I arrive. It won’t kill you to use a different shampoo for a few days–or week. I use the travel time to wash my face with water only + give my skin a rest.

  • beyond Says:

    less is more for me in terms of make-up. i learned the hard way that moisturizer, mascara and lip-gloss (or chapstick!) can be enough for everyday…

  • amandaC Says:

    We live in a small apartment–when we moved here we sold our dining room table, as this apartment doesn’t have a dining room. We did, however, keep our table runner (from Ecuador!), so it is now hanging on the wall as decoration. :)

  • Nicole Says:

    I third the library. I use goodreads.com to track what books I want to read and check them out online. I can pick them up and be back in the car in 5 minutes flat. If I check out a digital book, I don’t even have to go to the library.
    I just got back from a 3 week European trip with only a carry on backpack but I can’t travel without a blow up travel pillow, eye mask, earplugs and a reusable water bottle. If I need anything, I can always buy it (and I usually don’t because I don’t want to carry it around).

  • Court Says:

    My husband and I just practiced doing a whole lot more with less by throwing a fun, beautiful, and practical wedding (shout out to APW!) that represented US! My advice to married-couples-to-be – focus on whatever YOU think is important, no matter how different that may be, and it will be less expensive and more fun than you ever thought possible!

  • stacy Says:

    I have been cleaning out the house donating as much as possible, hopefully someone else can use it. I also am making sure santa gets the memo that I don’t need tons more toys in my house.

  • Debbie M Says:

    My boys have lots of toys. For the twins birthday this year, we had the first friend party and we said no gifts. It actually made the party less stressful. Usually the gift opening is chaotic and then I have to find a place for all of the new toys. I got them a few lego sets and some practical items which was manageable. I am vowing to scale back at christmas also for all 4 kids.

  • Sara Says:

    I am canceling all of the catalogs that come in the mail.

  • Caitlin Says:

    We have this ugly candle holder with a bunch of wires sticking out of it. I have repurposed for washing and drying ziploc bags. Probably should have been doing that anyway…

  • amanda Says:

    How I’m doing more with less: I’m saving money by driving a hand-me-down “grandma car” to save on a new car payment. I’m a recent grad so it’s a big help!

  • Anna Says:

    Mascara! Then I can do it all!

  • Abbe Says:

    Travel must-haves: pashmina, slipper socks and gum.

  • Alison Says:

    Half my life ago, I got my driver’s license (and a really, really, really, really old car). Since then, I’ve always had a car and been paying car insurance and gas and the whole thing. Where I came from, a car was a necessity.

    In June, I gave my car to my dad and didn’t replace mine. I’ve been living in NYC for the past 5 years, so it’s fairly easy to get around, but I still kind of can’t believe that I’m one of those people who doesn’t own a car! And not having to worry about the car parked out on the street (or alternate side parking days) is an added bonus! Less stress!

    Honestly, I’ve missed it exactly once. And I was able to get where I was going on the commuter rail anyway.

  • Allison Says:

    traveling: I bring a small vial of jojoba oil to use as make-up remover and hair styling.

  • Jessi Says:

    I decided that fancy diaper bags are WAY overrated. I bought a backpack at Target, on clearance, for $3 and it holds everything I need for the kiddo in all of the multiple pockets.

  • Amber Says:

    I do more with less by re-purposing and recycling household goods, such as reupholstering a chair or using fabric to make curtains. Thanks! This phone looks great!

  • Lynne Says:

    I’ve been eating all my canned goods and frozen items, which makes for some strange combos sometimes, but there’s no cash outlay!

  • Amy Says:

    I visited a friend the day before she moved from Phoenix to NYC and I was shocked by the chaos. She had so much and was frantically trying to sort through and pack it. It made me think about the things I have and what I really need in my life. Less!

  • Maestro Says:

    When I travel I wear baggy sweat pants with at least a little bit of elastic at the bottom so they can be pushed up around the knees or calves if you get hot and their baggy so they don’t stick to you and make you feel uncomfortable. But they can also be worn with the legs pulled down to stay warm and cozy and because they’re baggy they’re not costricting so you can get comfy in any position while staying warm. They are the perfect fit and you can wear them with almost anything.

  • Sania Says:

    Here is a list of things that I need for my travel backpack! Simple or useless to others but just perfect for me!

    1) A novel
    2) Word Search or Sudoku (any one of those)
    3) My Blackberry
    4) A pen
    5) Chewing Gum
    6) My Wallet
    7) Lip pencil & a lipstick
    8) Mini hair brush
    9) Hand cream
    10)Travelling wipes
    11)A small purse which contains, my passport, my ticket & foreign money for where I am going to!!)

    Have a safe & enjoyable flight!!

  • juliloquy Says:

    I just wrote a blog post with an example of doing more with less. Rather than spend money on hair detangler for my daughter, I use watered-down conditioner from a nearly-used-up bottle. Thanks for the contest!

  • Emily Says:

    My carry-on travel essentials: more reading material than I’d be able to get through in a month; shea butter (used as chapstick, cuticle cream, and hand lotion); argan oil (makeup remover/facial moisturizer); huge bottle of water; snacks (baby carrots, nuts, crackers, non-mushable fruit); iPhone; earbuds; charger; sunglasses; and a big sweater (doubling as pillow and blanket).

  • Heidi Devereaux Says:

    I know it sounds silly, but I am really just trying to use up everything I already have…hotel shampoos, food in my freezer, canned goods. it is amazing how much stuff I have stockpiled!

  • Valerie Says:

    I make my own lattes at home now, and only very rarely go to a coffee shop as a special treat. Makes a big difference, and makes me really appreciate the times I do go out instead of being impatient at the line. Win, win.

  • Sophia Says:

    I love traveling with a sarong. Folds up small and has tons of uses on the road: picnic blanket, after shower wrap, beach towel, swimsuit coverup, impromptu skirt, carry dirty laundry, nap blanket … the list goes on.

  • Robyn P. Says:

    I find that when we de-clutter there is more peace in our home. When we have too much stuff in our space it’s like we can’t breathe. Clearing it out restores peace.

  • Ms. Jen Says:

    When I travel I carry my PacSafe 100 purse (black) and my laptop bag on the plane and I do check one bag with clothes and the like.

    In my carry-on travel purse, I have:
    My Nokia N8 12 MP camera phone (camera seriously rocks)
    a couple of pens
    a small bag of lipstick (1 mac, 3 besame mucho)
    a small flashlight
    wallet
    passport
    a vintage handkerchief
    a power monkey charger with solar charger option
    a packet of soap leaves
    a packet of rice paper blotters
    toothpicks & a micromesh lens cleaner
    a 4G USB key (comes in handy at odd times)
    handcreme
    carmex lip balm

    In the laptop bag, I carry:
    The computer type object
    A plastic 1 gallon ziplock bag with power adapters & power cords, as well as usb
    a 6′ ethernet cord in case the hotel’s wifi sucks
    packets of wet wipes
    Notebook
    reading book
    change of undies, socks, & shirt in case airlines loses checked bag

  • Barb @ getupandplay Says:

    You really inspire me to learn to pack light. It’s not one of my fortes. One of the smartest things I ever did, however, was waiting to start my breastfeeding infant on solid food until after our trip to Chicago last year. He didn’t know the difference (it was only about two or three weeks later) and it saved me from having to bring baby food, spoons, bibs, a high chair, etc. And I learned I could breastfeed standing up while walking through a Frank Lloyd Wright home! (Supermom!)

  • elizabeth Says:

    I used to waste money on travel size toiletries, but realized that buying standard 3 oz containers from the Container Store would save me money and not force me to buy a certain brand of product just because it was in the tiny size

  • Heather Says:

    I stopped trying to keep up with the family’s schedule on a paper calendar and got us all on combined Google calendars instead. Much easier!

  • Sherri Says:

    We have been trying to give away things that we don’t need (turns out there’s a lot!) and cooking more simply. We’ve stopped buying pre-made spaghetti sauce and started making our own out of canned tomatoes, soooo much cheaper! And, I just recently discovered the joys of homemade whipped cream. Sweet, sweet heaven.

  • Amber H. Says:

    My stays-with-me travel bag includes:
    camera + charger
    phone + charger
    noise-canceling headphones (not small, but earbuds really bother my ears)
    laptop + charger
    magazine
    crossword puzzles (keeps me distracted from my horrible fear of flying) + pen
    xanax (really keeps me distracted from flying fear)
    glasses + sunglasses + case
    earplugs and eye mask
    cashmere wrap/scarf/plane blanket/awesome multi-use warmth-ensurer
    fuzzy socks for cold feet
    wallet + passport if needed

    see-through plastic bag with:
    Aveeno fragrance-free hand lotion
    Burt’s Bees lip balm
    saline nasal spray (for dry plane air)
    clinique moisturizer (again, dry plane air)
    eye drops (did I mention the plane dries me out?)
    mini-tube of toothpaste + fold-able brush

    snacks (usually dried fruit, almonds, cereal)
    big bottle of water
    gum

  • Danni Says:

    Travel must have – large scarf/pashmina. Pillow/blanket/scarf/towel (in a pinch!) – I also use it to dress up a boring travel outfit!
    I have also recently been gifted a Kindle reader, and I LOVE it. Usually I carry at least 2 books with me, and this lets me carry that many (or more!) and is small and compact. I can download work files onto it as well for reading on places without having to pull out my laptop, and the battery lasts forever. The newest kindle also has a web platform that lets you check email or quickly surf the web with its free 3G network or wi-fi.

  • Jennifer Says:

    We downsized to one car and it has been great! No regrets — we save so much money! We spend more time together since we now run weekend errands together!

  • MacKensie Says:

    One thing I’ve done is to stop hanging out in shopping areas for fun. Instead, I bring a book from home to a cafe, to the park, or just to my balcony.

  • Samantha Says:

    I try to minimize what I keep in my car. Only my cell phone charger, my phone and a bottle of water. No need for more distractions :)

  • Coley Says:

    I’ve been working on making more of my own food, and spending less at the grocery store. I’m a little of a crunchy granola type, so baking my own bread, making my own baby food, and making darn near everything from scratch takes a minor time investment but is saving time, and honestly is probably better for us all. Kind of on topic.

  • Sarah Says:

    My family is spending the year on sabbatical abroad. We are making do with less by fitting everything we needed for the entire year into 6 suitcases (except for kitchen stuff, which came with our apt., although the kitchen is also less well-equipped than ours at home). It is so satisfying to pare down your life to the bare essentials. I’m also looking forward to leaving much of my son’s clothes here when we return because he will have outgrown most of it. We can use the space in his suitcases for souvenirs & mementos (which isn’t really doing more with less, is it?).

  • Annie Says:

    Until May 2011, I live in two cities–New York and DC–half a week for each. And I’m saving for my MFA thesis film, producing a friend’s thesis, working 20 hours a week, and taking class. So my life is complex and challenging and stripped down, generally fitting in one backpack.

    Things that make my life a little better and lighter and easier to carry: water bottle (pre-loaded with water by my sweetie), a trashy novel (now is not the time for great literature), my five year old red boots, red lipstick, clothing that makes me feel pretty, a scarf (doubles as a pillow), and my 500 gig external hard drive. With two pairs of pants, I’m usually good for one city.

  • Mahlookma Says:

    I know this might seem like it would lead to overpacking, but about three days before I’m set to go anywhere, I open a text file to start listing things I’ll need for a trip. With that in hand, I pare it down to my necessities and actually end up packing less. I realized a while back that my biggest overpacking issues were a result of last minute panic.

  • Cara Says:

    Packing light with kids in tow is more than a challenge, but I invested in a stylish diaper bag and a mini Kate Spade to put my purse items in. I just grab the mini bag when alone, but the diaper bag is ready for any adventure: )

  • Cati Basmati Says:

    I used to carry tons of lipsticks, lip balm, small mirror and such in the bottomless dark of my purse, thinking that the world may drown if I did not carry it around. Then I was given a cute, little bag as a present and started using it for all the makeup leftovers and now, I often leave it at home, realizing how heavy all that stuff really is. And – behold – I don’t miss a thing!

  • sueteg Says:

    After constantly getting stuck in airports and overspending at the concourse stores, we have a folder of crossword puzzles (saved from the newspapers), crayons and coloring books that travels with us whenever we head out of town.

  • Kate Says:

    I’m doing more with a lot less by swapping out my car for a moped whenever possible. In addition to looking badass, do you know about miles per gallon those things get?!?

  • margie stroman Says:

    I love the little travel sizes and won’t travel without my lip balm! Also, I have tried to cut down on early morning trips to get a nice hot cup of tea, now I make mine at home and use a travel mug.

  • rebecca Says:

    i think i am usually pretty good at doing more with less. it helps that i hate shopping and so often i have to get pretty creative and use what i already have in the house.

  • molly Says:

    We had to go into hardcore budget belt cinching mode last year and I learned a ton! Food and booze…the better your plan your meals (and shopping lists), the more $ you save. If you stick to your plans you can save a lot! And I learned if we have lots of booze around we tend to entertain and drink more (which on one hand is awesome), but again.. if you plan ahead you can save money here as well. I also realized that if I don’t go to target, or estate sales, or the outlets, I won’t spend any money. The first step for me is to not be places where my money likes to go. We also started to use real napkins, real plates, no plastic water bottles, and I know we are saving more, and being better about our carbon foot print all at the same time.

  • Tawny Says:

    I recently took a trip to FL and used some of your packing light tips. I enjoyed being resourceful and realized I have a lot of great outfit options I had never thought of.

    : )

  • guinevere Says:

    Eating at home = losing weight = fit into old winter clothes = less money on stupid stuff.

  • Jessie Says:

    I’m currently learning to do more with less when it comes to my maternity wardrobe. Since I was mostly pregnant during the warm months of the year, I had a lot of tank tops and short sleeve shirts. I didn’t want to buy a whole new set of shirts for only about 6 weeks, so I went out and bought a few cardigans, and voila: my wardrobe is extended to last through these last few weeks of my pregnancy. Plus the cardigans are non-maternity so I will be able to wear them all winter long.

  • Heather Says:

    I’ve been saving containers at the store and reusing them like crazy. I found somewhere where I can refill on things like body wash, olive oil, hand soap, honey etc. so I don’t have to keep using the store’s packaging!

  • Mimi Says:

    I’m trying to live with fewer clothes. I haven’t shopped for clothes in at least 6 months, and I’m giving away everything that I haven’t worn in over a year. Going to try my best to look somewhat classy and put together with fewer clothes!

  • Heather Says:

    I also bought an adorable little black, over the shoulder purse at H&M which is just big enough for my wallet, my point and shoot, my keys, phone and envirosac. It’s made life SO MUCH EASIER. No more rooting through a giant bag, or shoulder pain!

  • Nicole Says:

    I am using credit card points to buy Xmas presents. I rack up enough points for, say, a $100 Amazon gift card, and then I try to buy all of my presents on Amazon for under $100. No hijacking the budget come holiday time, though it does make it harder to buy local. I wish my cc rewards program included a gift card to Etsy!

  • tasha Says:

    Since we live in Brooklyn and don’t own a car, my husband and I bought bikes so that we can get where we are going and also work out at the same time (those brooklyn hills are no joke on a bike– you feel the burn). We stick our two-year-old in bike seat and away we go!

  • Ris Says:

    I always have to have a ziploc baggie with a travel toothbrush, travel toothpaste, and tiny little box of floss. If I get stranded somewhere, I can sleep in my clothes no problem but I MUST be able to brush my teeth.

  • Tambryn Says:

    I’m using the internet for as much as possible. I use Google spreadsheets instead of excel because it means I can log on anywhere and update a list of spreadsheet and then I don’t have to carry notebooks or even a laptop. I can log on at any cafe computer or via my iPod touch (with music, games, etc also on it) and update my notes and lists!

  • Sarahd Says:

    Now that my boys are bigger (no diapers! or booster seat! or port-a-crib!) I always feel like I’m packing light. One duffle for all our clothes and their toys, movies, etc. can get up through a weekend with family!

  • houpley Says:

    I hated having to carry a diaper bag around. So I’ve narrowed it down to a package of antibacterial wet wipes. They are prefect for surfaces, hands, face, etc. At least until I can get home.

  • AppleTree Says:

    Doing more with less for me has most recently involved a reversion back to college days. When I go out, maybe for dinner with friends or a quick drink with my husband, I quick carrying everything. I don’t even carry a purse, just an ID and cash or a card. That’s more than enough, and most days the ID is even overkill.

  • Meredith Says:

    When my husband and I relocated to San Francisco, we moved from a 2 bedroom house (granted it was a tiny 2 bedroom but still. . . ) to a studio! We are definitely learning to do more with less. . . we downsized our CD and DVD collections, donated books, clothes and kitchen items to the Goodwill, and poor Matthew had to downsize his beloved record collection! Now that we’re actually in “The City”, we eat at home more often and take epic urban walks on the weekends for fun and exercise. We’ve become healthier, happier and more connected with less!

  • Beverly Says:

    It all started with the Great Purge of 2009….drastically paring down all the “stuff” in my house that didn’t serve a purpose or have a special place in my heart. It was like losing 50 pounds! Recently, my husband & are making do with what we have to spruce up our family room. Sure, do we want a big screen TV & a $2,500 sectional?! You bet…but right now we’re making do with an old TV & a futon. :)

  • Liz Says:

    Minimum that will fit in my gold clutch for a party: debit card, drivers license, key, lip gloss, cell phone, and camera.

  • Claire Says:

    I like to carry huge purses, which tends to lead to huge amounts of stuff, but I’ve been trying to cut back. The bare minimum to leave the house is a book, lip gloss, cell phone, sunglasses, and a pen. I like to be a person who has a pen.

  • Joelle Says:

    More with less: Now TWO people, two cats and a dog living in 600 sq feet. Half the utilities, help on the mortgage.

    Though, the improvements my “tenant” (he’s family) demands are *absurd.* Heat above 66F? ::scoff::

  • Jess Says:

    We got rid of our iphones to save money and do more with less, now we just use our old phones on the wireless and use pay as you go phones for calls, but this would be a much nicer way to save on our phone bill!

  • Laura B. Says:

    For day to day commuting I carry a book, wallet, sunglasses, cell phone and keys. Nothing more to weigh me down!

  • Emily Says:

    Good luggage is key! I have a carry-on size rolling suitcase with a built in garment bag. I can usually fit up to a weeks worth of clothes in the garment bag (carefully curated, obviously, haha) and then rest of the suitcase is free for shoes, electronics, books, souvenirs, whatever! After traveling with this bag for about 7 years, I just recently bought a matching small carry-on toe, where I stash my makeup and such so I can pull it out at security as needed. Both are by Briggs and Riley and both are ridiculously functional. And they last forever, which is what really makes it doing more with less: I’ve had the suitcase for over 10 years and it’s got decades left in it.

  • Keri Mac Says:

    I find that I typically over pack when going on trips. So lately I have been trying to be really realistic about the amount of clothes that I will actually wear while I am gone. I may not have as many options to suit my ever changing mood about what to wear each day, but I find that that is much more convenient than lugging around a gigantor suitcase every time I leave my apartment to go on a trip of any kind.

  • Momo Says:

    I make steel cut Irish oatmeal on Sunday night, and reheat all week in the mornings- it means that I only spend one minute fixing a healthy breakfast, and makes the times I do buy a danish and coffee out more special.

    {I have also never had to check a bag; I always pack a bag that fits even smaller than the carryon-size check box, and since I roll my clothes, I can pack for a week with one carryon!}

  • Megan Says:

    I used to travel a lot for work. For three-four days all you need are 2 blazers, 2 black shirts and two black bottoms (pants/skirts) and one pair of shoes that can be worn with pants/a skirt. Then mix up the bottoms/tops combos so that things look different. Since you are wearing most of this to travel, the bag only contains pjs, underwear, one blazer, top and bottom. I’d fit it all in a backpack with my laptop. Now I travel with kids, the bags of stuff are ridiculous. Strollers for transporting stuff through airports and slings for carrying kids (up to age 4) are absolutely essential.

  • Commuter Chan Says:

    My husband and I are working really hard to pay off debt so that we can move to the tropics and start our next great adventure. We don’t want to become hermits and miss out on all the fun though, so one of the ways we do more with less is by inviting friends over to have a shared cooking night once a week. Instead of going out to a restaurant, we make meals together for a fraction of the price and get to enjoy the cooking and the eating (and the tequila!) with friends. Looking forward to Fajita night this week. :-)

  • Jen C. Says:

    Financially speaking, we’ve cut back on going out to dinner opting to stay home. Or grabbing a $20 bottle of wine and staying in on the weekend. I buy furnishings at vintage or thrift shops.

  • Heather Says:

    I got all my maternity clothes at the Goodwill. I really couldn’t stand spending $30 on a pair of jeans I’d only wear for a while, at Goodwill I’ve found nearly new jeans for $4.99-6.99, and when I’m done I’ll sell the whole lot on ebay and probably recoup what I paid :)

  • elizabeth Says:

    My husband makes a big batch of healthy bean soup and freezes it for lunch. It costs less than $5 to make and can feed us both for a couple of weeks.

  • Shannon Says:

    I’m knitting only from stash yarn throught the end of the year. Surprising benefits is that my new hats already match my socks.

  • Sarah Says:

    I moved to a smallish (200,000) town in Washington 2 years ago, where shopping is…limited. Because I can’t drive the 5 hours to Seattle every time I catch a whim for a new shirt, I have instead begun buying cheap accessories from the local mall. They give my old outfits whole new looks!

  • Dele O Says:

    I take wedding pics part-time, and we do more with less by taking our own family pics. Saves a lot of money.

  • Lisa S. Says:

    I am doing more meal planning which results in less time trying to decide what to do for dinner when it is 6pm and everyone is hungry! It is also helping spend less money because I am not making that “I just need two things” stop-offs at the market on my way home from work that always ends up turning into 20+ things!

  • TraceyCK Says:

    2 months before i travel, i save all of the magazines i subscribe to and bring them for the trip – half in my carry on, half in my checked suitcase. That way, i can enjoy them and pass them on guilt-free!

  • Sarah Says:

    I’ve gotten rid of a couple of beauty routines that weren’t doing me any favors (toxic nail polish routine…and um…waxing). It’s been so freeing and allowing me to ditch a lot of bathroom stuffs.

  • Rahul Says:

    We’ve been stockpiling friends’ old baby clothes so that when our little one comes in February, we’ll hopefully not have to buy anything new!

  • kate Says:

    We live in Southern CA and travel to PA/NJ for Thanksgiving… and then do it all over again for Christmas 3 weeks later. I can now pack me and the three kids in one 26″ suitcase. And I leave it back east and bring it home after Christmas instead of lugging it back and forth. Every little bit helps!

  • Natalie Says:

    My smartphone is great…all of these things in one (small) place: calendar, phone book, music player, scrabble game, camera, video camera, computer/internet.

  • Sarah Says:

    One book, I just can’t commit to more than reading one book at a time, otherwise it would be like cheating. Also, any airplane travel requires gummy coke bottles.

  • Stacey Ball Says:

    With the new baby the hubby and I are trying to eat out less and cook at home more.

  • Jesse B. Says:

    I just got a full size freezer and have been stocking it during sales. Less trips to the grocery store!!

  • Erin Says:

    It doesn’t take much to entertain me on an airplane. My “personal item” usually contains a camera, cell phone, book or magazine, wallet, iPod and lip balm.

  • Jeanne Says:

    I bought a suitcase that meets carry-on requirements, and I pack it well (I’m an Army Brat so I know a thing or two about packing!). I make the most of it by only loading it up with these things:

    1) a toiletries case I keep stocked at all times with all my daily use items.
    2) a universal diffuser that fits any hairdryer.
    3) a set of pjs that can double as work-out wear, two pairs of pants & 3 t-shirts that can be dressed up or down/layered, and one pair of ballet flats.

    I wear tennis shoes on the plane and always, always carry a pashmina that can be a blanket or used to dress up an outfit.

  • Megan Says:

    When I travel, I make my laptop bag (which isn’t a real laptop bag) my “purse” – and put a small mini purse inside that I can use once I reach my destination. That way, I walk on the plane with one carry on, and not one carry on and a “personal item”.

  • Liz Says:

    We don’t have a lot of storage in the bathroom, which is super helpful when it comes to keeping toiletries pared down. Everything that goes into our medicine cabinet is stuff we use on a daily basis. In the morning, everything I need is right in front of me in its own special place–no digging in drawers through twelve tubes of half-used mascara. :)

  • sarah Says:

    I could hug the person who said to start with 10 things to donate. I can do that! The people at the thrift store are going to be my new bufddies!

  • Jessica Says:

    We’re working on using the things we already have stocked in our pantry and freezer to make meals, rather than constantly buying new things.

  • Martha Says:

    I’m learning to sew. I’ve made pillow covers, several gifts for friends and family, a robe for my 3 year old son, and all sorts of things that have cost way less than buying them from a retail store. I feel more self-sufficient and I’ve saved money. Thank goodness for all the crafty ladies that post their ideas and tutorials online for me to try!

  • Tara Says:

    I live with 2 people and 2 cats in a 600sf 1-bedroom apartment in New York City. It is also my office. Since we can’t afford a bigger place, we reorganized the space we do have to make it feel larger.

  • monkeyinabox Says:

    The wife and myself have started eating more meals at home, rather than going out. Being a steak lover, this hasn’t been a big deal since we learned how to make the best steaks ever using a cast iron pan. Best ever.

    Maybe this isn’t the most frugal tip, but Top Ramen only goes so far.

  • Priscilla Says:

    I am always sure to travel with a bottle water. The best.

  • Diana Says:

    I’ve been trying to cut down on the amount of cleaning supplies I buy by using vinegar! It has many cleaning uses, and I even use it in place of fabric softner. It works great

  • Kristen Says:

    We cook more at home, and save the leftovers for future meals. The kind of fun thing is that this has made us get really creative with the leftovers.

  • birdgal Says:

    Having two kids in day care is expensive, ya’ll! So, I found a consignment sale where I can make some money on the clothes my kids have outgrown every season, get some good deals at the sale itself, AND donate to charity at the same time (the sale is run by a church which gives its share of the proceeds to local charities).

  • Elis Says:

    I’m learning to make my own stuff – crocheting tote bags, making stock. I guess it’s doing more with the same stuff amount since the materials don’t decrease in amounts, but it definitely feels like simplifying.

  • JenB Says:

    I find that if I can force myself to carry around less stuff, I’ll be happier all day long. I rarely used all the stuff I used to carry, anyway. I’ve pared down to one lipgloss, a couple of pens, my Moleskine, Blackberry, wallet, pressed powder, sunglasses, keys, and mini sunscreen for everyday carry, and it works great!

  • Michelle Says:

    my do more with less strategies are:

    Don’t buy a new car, the old one works just fine and the mechanic seems to lust after it – so it’s probably ok for a few more years.

    Buy things I love on eBay, bright, shiny, happy things – so that I don’t look in my wardrobe in darkest January and gloom that everything is dark and grey and feel the need to buy more.

  • cheryl Says:

    it isn’t quite a rule for traveling light, but my key thought when packing (too avoid panic) is that i have medicine, contacts/glasses, ID, and my credit/debit cards…those are essential, anything else i can get if i forget it

  • Sarah Says:

    I’m giving most of my books away, either as gifts (if they are nice hardbacks without any evidence of being read–I’m really good at reading w/o cracking the spine), or freecycle, or the library in my building’s laundry room. If I do buy a new book, it’s only on Kindle or I buy used or swap with someone.

    Reasoning? I cut down on personal clutter, save energy/paper/resources, and give back what I don’t need.

  • Joanne Says:

    While I LOVE books — the feel and smell of them — I ADORE my Kindle for commuting and travelling. I no longer carry a paperback and a magazine everywhere. As long as I have my kindle, I have unlimited access to books.

  • cj coppola Says:

    I was laid off from my job of 23 years in March. My whole life and the life of my 13 year old is now about doing more with less.

  • Michelle Arbogast Says:

    I just had a wedding and I tried to do lots of DIY projects to accommodate my “more for less” motto. I think the personal touches received the most compliments!

  • Sherri Says:

    Add my Sony Reader and a knitting project to your list and I’m ready to go!

  • Eleanor Blackford Says:

    You inspired me to pack light for a 10 day trip to England last year in winter – I managed to pack everything into a carry-on suitcase (with extra room) and a large handbag! I was tickled pink with myself for doing it – and now play a game every time I pack to see how little I can bring with me. I wish I’d been this way back in college when I studied abroad – I literally brought my entire closet with me!

  • Mandy Says:

    On mornings that I’m in a rush, I cut my makeup routine down to 4 products–concealer, foundation, eyeliner, and mascara. Lets just say that most of my mornings turn into a less-is-more morning.

  • Elise Says:

    I love books but have nine month old triplets and very little time or money left over after we pay for childcare. Recently, I rediscovered the public library and have been reserving and checking out books like a madwoman. Somehow I manage to eek out a few minutes here and there for my library books and am actually reading more than before they were born.

  • Emily Says:

    For travel: baby wipes are absolutely key. I’ll skip hand sanitizer, face cream, Cetaphil, etc, as long as I have baby wipes. It’s shocking how much cleaner and more refreshed you feel!

  • Nina Says:

    I don’t have a cell phone or a computer at home. I do all of my internet stuff at work.

  • Meg B Says:

    I always, always pack a spare pair of underwear in my carryon. Also if I’m going someplace warm I bring my bathing suit in my carryon. That way if my luggage gets lost I’ve got a backup pair of underpants and i can still go swimming!

  • Heidi C. Says:

    I really need to take some tips from you on packing light. When I travel I usually have in my carry on: at least one book, travel cribbage, at least one small crochet project (usually a doilie or a scarf depending on where we’re traveling), all the do dads that go with crocheting (hooks, scissors, stitch markers, etc.), MP3 player, eye glasses, spare contacts, contact cleaner, some kind of snack, and my purse with all my regular day to day junk. Let me tell you, this bag can weigh a ton sometimes.

  • Trinity Says:

    I finally found myself a good list of basic wardrobe staples that will – hopefully – keep me from throwing away money at big box stores in the future.

    Less money has, for the past few years, meant less stuff. I’m trying to use my money, time and energy more effectively, not just so I’ll have better STUFF, but so I’ll have a better LIFE.

  • Jessica Says:

    Doing more with less? I just bought a smaller car and I’m hoping that it does lots more with much less gas!

  • Amy Says:

    I’m currently digging through my closet getting rid of clothes, and scheming ways to get creative with what I keep. If it works out the way I hope it will, I’ll end up with more outfits because less choice will mean I explore different pairings, whereas now I pull out a sweater and immediately reach for the usual pants and shoes.

  • Becky Says:

    For the past four or five Christmases, we’ve exchanged small, simple, or handmade gifts for family and pooled our gift money to support missions, ministries, and children all over the world who can make better use of our excess. Everyone wins.

  • Erica Lucci Says:

    Making more with less – I started a garden! Now I have fresh basil anytime I want it and the initial investment was only $1.25!

  • Amy Says:

    My kids go to a school that has a lot of social functions. Instead of each class or school-wide celebration using tons of paper plates, napkins, and plastic utensils, the school invested in melamine plates, sliverware, drinking glasses, and wine glasses. Every time there is a function, the organizers can reserve enough table service for their function. After the function, the dirty dishes are packed back in their tubs and volunteers take home the forks, or the spoons, or the plates to wash in their dishwashers and it is all returned to the school. The school has prevented tons of trash from going into landfills, but just as importantly, has saved tremendous resources that would otherwise go into the creation, packaging, and transporting paper and plastic products. It’s a great program.

  • Wendy Says:

    My husband is retiring and we are downsizing. Giving away clothes and household stuff every time “we’ll have a truck in your neighborhood.”
    Need a phone, Thanks Maggie.

  • Em D Says:

    Aquaphor is my go-to travel companion. It does so much for my lips and skin in one tiny tube.

  • Nancy R Says:

    I’ve got my eye on this thing I saw in a recent catalog from The Container store…let’s see if I can score a link because it will be easier than explaining…this http://www.containerstore.com/shop/giftWrapWonderland/stockingStuffers?productId=10028954&N=62523
    in on my idea list for two people in my life – what a great way to keep all kinds of stuff contained and save some space in a laptop bag! All that stuff strapped down in one central location just warms my organizing heart!

    I’m kind of delighted to see that most of the suggestions here are things we’re already doing – we became a one income family almost 13 years ago and we’ve adopted most of these tips over the years.

    We’re planning a trip to Hawaii in 2012, and my goal is to have each of us only have one carry-on and maybe one personal bag.

  • Neena Says:

    I’ve started going crazy and minimizing…giving away most of my kitchen stuff, clothing, etc.- actually trying to cut back 50% first go-round- it’s liberating. As far as traveling? I always have to have a book and stuff for my lips that’s about it. :)

  • Andrea Says:

    I recently reduced the amount of clothes in my closet by half. I find myself being more brave and creative with my outfits now.

  • Belle Says:

    Unlike many people we know, we have always placed experience over stuff. Our best memories and times include trips to Hawaii, Maine, and London – as a family. Sure I love my iPhone…but now that it has a crack in it and is a bit slow to power up, I’m loathe to go straight to the latest model. Instead, I enjoy a little extra time to remember the family, together, in sand, surf, on top of mountains, and staring in awe at Stonehenge.

  • Lisa Says:

    I love winter because I can ditch the purse and fill my coat pockets with the essentials:
    wallet, keys, chapstick, phone.

  • Cindy Says:

    I have similar things in my backpack. I used to also carry my water bottle. Now I purchase a bottle of water when I get through security.

  • Teresa Tebbe Says:

    Doing more with less??? I just recently finished a few volunteer projects. They took a lot of time….a little money. Now that they’re over, it takes no money at all to spend more time with my family! Re-watching favorite movies, visiting the library to share new books, homemade dinners, hiking with the dog. All of these have helped me de-stress with no money at all!!! (unless you count the food we’d buy anyway and the power bill) :)

  • Allison Says:

    just ONE credit card = fewer bills to pay! why do you need more than one card, anyway?

  • Laura Says:

    I cut my own hair! It’s free (minus the cost of sharp scissors) and it means I can trim it as often as I’d like! Honestly, this works better for curly hair, but if you visit a fancy salon every couple of months, you’re spending way WAY too much money!

  • Quin Says:

    I make all of our bread by hand, from scratch. This was a big hairy deal at first; it took a while to learn the proper proportions of ingredients and how and how much to alter them depending on the weather and what’s on hand in the pantry. After a few months, though, I had it down to a science, and now I can even go “off-recipe” and improvise from week to week by adding different seeds, flours, and sweeteners to my loaves. I know we’re saving money this way, but also, we don’t have to worry about all of the nasty additives found in store-bought breads, and we get plenty of nutrition from the whole grains and natural ingredients I use in our homemade bread. And our house smells lovely!

  • wen Says:

    When you’re traveling, try this: bring a fold away small grocery type tote (Whole foods has one that’s tiny and inexpensive although it doesn’t have a zipper. There’s a cool German brand that sells one with a zip but it’s more.) Put your snacks and any other consumables in there. Add your comfort items (fuzzy socks, ipod, book) and it’s a great little carry on that will arrive at your destination mostly empty so you can use it as a tote for the beach, shopping etc. during your trip.

  • Amanda T Says:

    When I travel, I always go with more, instead of less. But, I’m trying to pack up to go home for the Thanksgiving Holiday, and for every three things I put into my suitcase, I take out one. It might take me the next four days to finish packing, but I hope that the end result is a lighter suitcase.

  • Jamie S Says:

    We are downsizing Christmas this year…not out of financial necessity, but because I have finally come to realize we don’t need all this STUFF! Kids and parents are actually much happier with less.

  • melissa Says:

    I have recently ended a 12 year relationship, lost my job and given up my house. I have had to make some huge decisions about “less”. Fewer clothes, fewer pieces of furniture, fewer dollars. my head, it spins. I have found that I am stronger than I thought I was and that grieving for a Kitchen Aid mixer is OK. People understand. In general, though, I have found that I get far more joy out of the things I decided were important enough to hang onto than I ever did when I had “everything”.

  • katie Says:

    to make more with less ($), i’ve been teaching myself to cook, it’s way more cost effective, healthier, and often tastes better than takeout

  • Rachel Says:

    More with Less? I’ve made a list of must have accessories for this year. Instead of purchasing larger clothing items which can be expensive, I’ve just been getting new belts, pins, necklaces, scarfs and jewerly to repurpose my “old” clothes. I have to say it’s way more fun figuring out new ways to wear my old clothes.

  • Tracey Says:

    I have been trying to cut down on food waste. Omelets, pasta, stir fries, and salad are all great for getting rid of leftover veggies (and cheese and meat) and make for easy dinners. I also recently made my own salad dressing for the first time – once you do it once, you will feel foolish for ever having bought a bottle of salad dressing. Takes two minutes and tastes great.

  • Dawn Says:

    We traded in our big house and our big mortgage for a little tiny house on a little tiny road with a little tiny mortgage. Easy to clean, heat, decorate and live. We spend most of our time outdoors (doing free stuff like hiking and mountain biking and skiing) so this house seems like luxury camping.

  • Sassafras Mama Says:

    I have a bag that I only use for carry-on purposes. It has snacks (gum, chocolate, and salty nuts), laptop, cell, ipod, camera, and attendant chargers. Hand lotion (Bliss), lip balm (Rosebud salve), tissues, inclusive wallet, glasses, a book and the most recent NY Times magazine. Add some ibuprofen and I’m in business and ready to roll. Or role. As needed.

  • Beth Bach Says:

    I always try to find a way to do something with less steps and challege the norm. I love using Remote Desktop on my mac to I can also be using my Work PC from home! Pick me!

  • DiaryofWhy Says:

    I do more with less by making regular trips to Goodwill. I’m almost fanatical about it. Goodbye, old stuff!

  • Catriona Says:

    I try to keep it pretty simple – ideally, I can pack necessities for a week-long trip into a backpack and a (small) gym bag. Most importantly, though, I always bring my own food when I travel. I get *cranky* when I haven’t eaten, and aeroport food is horridly expensive or icky or both.

  • Rachel Says:

    I just got back from a 2 week trip, and I kept it as simple as possible. Knits, knits, knits, I say! I have a fabulous black knit skirt from Eileen Fisher that is so damn versatile, I wore it most of the time I was on vacation, only altering it with the 2 pairs of jeans. The skirt is great with sandals or flats for day, boots or heels for night. A grey t-shirt works well for both looks, and can be dressed up with an easy boyfriend jacket.

  • Maestro Says:

    When I travel I try to use less by not stuffing my bag with things to entertain myself but by simply bringing a book a note pad and pen to entertain me in the event that plan A, which is talking to the stranger sitting beside me, doesn’t work.

  • Kelly Hall Says:

    My husband “doesn’t believe” in checking bags, so carry-ons are the only way for us. I’ve actually taken some of your tips – like clothes that double as sleepwear to save on space. You’ve been quite helpful!

  • Miss K Says:

    I always bring a backpack instead of a purse when I travel. I love going hands free!

  • janie Says:

    I do more with less by cutting the end off of all “squishy” bottles and using the odd bits of product that stay stuck in the corners before disposing of the package.

    For traveling one of my most bring items is something I have to check-cutlery set, knife, and opener all wrapped in a quick dry towel-for the impromptu picnic, fruit stand or late night snack.It always looks ridiculous in my luggage and I almost always am glad I packed it.

  • Meg Says:

    Now that I travel with babies I don’t get to bring anything for myself. My must-haves are all items to keep the kids quiet.

  • Earl C Says:

    Hmmm…don’t travel as often as some folks, but when I do, the light version is (all contained in a largish messenger bag):

    -Laptop
    -Notepad
    -Pens
    -Business cards
    -Small case of useful OTC meds (headaches and stomach issues are covered)
    -Current reading material (usually a paperback)
    -Supplemental reading material (usually one or more magazines).
    -Charger for cell phone.

  • Samantha Says:

    for the plane ride a really comfy jacket that can double as a blanket, some soft candy to chew and for a sugar rush, and a really good novel

  • Tanya Says:

    I am trying to leave my purse at home at least once a week and go out into the world with nothing more than fits into my pockets. It’s awful and liberating at the same time.

  • Tracy Says:

    I’ve found I don’t need much more in a day than wallet, phone, keys and ipod touch with podcasts.
    Maybe someday I can combine the two of them.

    But I’m pretty low maintenance.

  • Bellacantare Says:

    I am notorious for packing too much and having big purses, stuffed with stuff, all the time. BUT, I do have SOME ways of paring things down. Like everytime I buy a new piece or clothing (or a few pieces…ahem), I always go through my closet/dresser and get rid of at least a couple of items that are worn out, ill-fitting or that I haven’t worn in ages. I’m bruttal about it – if it’s not being worn, it’s gone. Having stuff in your closets that you don’t wear not only takes up valuable space, but it’s depressing to open up the door and not see anything you REALLY like. This also helps me be very selective about the news things I’m buying.

  • Mahlookma Says:

    I like to choose multi-use clothing items that mix and match, and then wear my main “warmth item” on the plane (a jacket, coat, sweater, etc).

  • Quinn Says:

    I insist on only using a carry-on. Lost luggage has ruined one too many vacations for me. I usually wear my bulkiest items on the plane and plan out what I will wear each day. It stops me from throwing in a bunch of clothes that I love but don’t work with anything else in the bag.

  • Desiree Says:

    I always travel with a creepy/alienating book in case I end up sitting next to someone who badgers me. I fell into this trick on a flight to visit colleges when I was in high school–reading a book about Jack the Ripper quieted the guy my Dad’s age who hit on me for the first half of the flight.

  • birdgal Says:

    I try to keep my purse as uncluttered as possible–to keep me honest, I bought a smaller, less expensive purse that will only fit my wallet and cell phone!

  • Erica Lucci Says:

    Riding my bicycle instead of always driving the car. Especially for trips in the neighborhood which are less than a few miles round trip. My husband recently made me a bicycle which carries a large load so I take it for groceries.

  • Joelle Says:

    I haven’t been on a plane in months, and only for work. Doing more with less has meant that instead of going on vacation someplace exotic (or just far away), I take my vacation at the same time as my parents and stay at their house. They get some time away, I don’t feel I have to do chores at my house, they don’t pay for a petsitter, I don’t pay for a hotel or flight.

    It helps they live in a nice place in the woods.

  • Karen Says:

    I’ve recently replaced my shoulder bag from a very slim crossbody ( with barely enough room for my wallet, phone and some lip balm) to a more tote-like bag that still slings across my shoulder. When I traveled last week, I happily found room in there for a paperback, one magazine and my little moleskine journal, not to mention a bag of pumpkins seeds and a dark chocolate bar for sustenance. ‘Twas perfect, just what I needed!

  • Sarah Says:

    I’ve decided to keep my hair a lot shorter than in the past and to let it do what it wants to do naturally. This resulted in my getting rid of all my hairbrushes, ties, barrettes, clips, bobby pins, most styling products and the damned blow dryer (which I never learned how to use properly anyway). Freedom! It also helps while traveling :)

  • Hanna Says:

    Travel: Cell phone and Charger
    Digital SLR and Charger
    Long Distance Lens
    2 books
    iPod Touch and Charger
    Pashmina
    Eye mask (depending on the length of the flight)

    Simplifying: Home cooked meals over restaurants more often. Sure we eat out once a week or so, but when you’re making tasty and interesting stuff, then eating out doesn’t seem like such a requirement. It saves us a bundle on alcohol alone. Drinking at home is SO much cheaper, and then you don’t have to pay for a taxi home either!

  • Rebecca Says:

    I don’t have any tricks for doing more with less when it comes to the items I carry. My purse weighs approx 20lbs. I accidentally hit someone with it the other day while leaning over to give someone else a hug and practically knocked the poor lady out. I need to start downsizing. Especially since I have a baby on the way and once that little bundle of joy arrives I’ll have to start carrying diapers and wipes and bottles and extra clothes and won’t be able to carry all that plus my “essentials.” Oy vey! I need help.

  • TIMMAH Says:

    I don’t travel by air all that often, probably once every 3-4 months. When I travel light, all that I put in my Chrome Messenger bag is:

    - Notepad
    - Pens/pencils
    - OTC & Prescription drugs
    - Current paperback
    - One copy of Wired
    - Phone charger

    No lappy, no other techie gear. When I travel light, I like to make it as light as possible.

    Plus, having a smartphone is like having a PC in my pocket.

  • Stephanie Says:

    I always just try to remember how I get away with practically nothing when I’m camping… you just figure out how to make do. And we always have fun camping, so I just try to keep that mentality all the time.

  • Lisa Says:

    My basic purse holds a book, small notebook, pen, granola bar, water bottle, phone, wallet, compact and lipstick. Add a bobby pin and I should be able to MacGyver myself out of any situation!

  • Tricia Says:

    Yesterday, instead of heading to the fabric store for materials for a project, I hit up Goodwill first. I didn’t find everything I needed, but I found a good chunk of it. And I was proud of myself for not contributing (as much) to the stream of stuff flowing through our lives!

  • Catherine Says:

    One of my knockoff pashmina wraps – can use as a scarf, blanket, pillow, eye cover – and I don’t mind tossing them in the wash.

  • Liz Says:

    With less I can appreciate more.

  • Alison F. Says:

    My husband and I recently moved in (temporarily, I hope) with my parents. We are having to live out of boxes and suitcases so with little room I had to think very carefully with what we NEEDED. There are things in storage that I wish I could get to and use because I WANT them but we are getting by just fine without the extras. Makes me wonder what we are going to do when we do have all of our loot back.

  • Meg B Says:

    If I’m going on a backpacking trip I wear my hiking boots on the plane. I know they’re a pain to take on and off to go through security but hiking boots are big and bulky and take up lots of space in my bag so it’s best to jut wear them and save room for souveneirs or other cute pairs of shoes. This could work for snow boots, rain boots, etc if you’re going somewhere in the winter.

  • Jennifer Says:

    Getting rid of clutter has allowed my life to be so much more organized. I now regularly evaluate items so that I don’t leave junk laying around. I re-purpose the item or donate it to a charity.

  • Emily Says:

    I have to have a pashmina-sized scarf for traveling, even in summer. The airplane gets so cold, and sometimes it’s a good visual screen from the creep in the next seat.

  • ehme Says:

    I take the bare minimum. Always. Book, phone, wallet in carry on. Half as much clothes as I think I need. Then I actually enjoy where it is I am going. If I forget something…I find a fabulous new sparkly place in a different town to buy it. It is incredibly liberating to leave all your crap behind. I found out I just don’t need it.

  • MissM Says:

    We eat at home… almost exclusively. It saves no end of money and makes for really wonderful family time :)

  • Sarah Says:

    Bean! I add beans to meals whenever possible! It stretches the food out and gives more leftovers for lunch the next day!

  • tasha Says:

    I’ve stopped using a diaper bag AND a purse.I just have a larger-sized (but still cute) purse for my stuff AND my son’s. Now I don’t feel so weighed down whenever we leave the house.

  • Nancy R Says:

    When traveling with kids, their beach towel in their carry-on can double as a blanket/pillow/tent on an airplane. Add their swim suit and they are GO for swimming when you reach your destination.

  • Melissa Collins Says:

    I do more with less by buying all of my chicken in bulk from a local farm. Then I pick a day and make a months worth of meals and put them in the freezer. Each night I pull a meal out and fix it in no time.

  • Laura B. Says:

    I do more in the morning with less by packing my lunch the night before!

  • Ellyn Says:

    Do more with less by.. building (or purchasing if you MUST) a key holder/area/station/whatever you want to call it. Do NOT under any circumstances, use this safe haven for anything else (mail, purse, etc.) Simply place your keys on it when you walk in the door. Voila! They will be there when you leave. No more wasting time rummaging.

  • Paige Says:

    I reduce what I plan to take by removing anything I would be happy to buy at my destination. So if I’m deciding between taking 2 or 3 workout shirts (or scarves or whatever), I’ll take 2 and give myself permission to buy a snazzy new one if I end up needing it. (Obviously, this won’t work if I stuff my luggage to bursting when I leave, but so far that hasn’t happened.) Almost 100% of the time, underpacking still leaves me with plenty of stuff.

  • Trish T. Says:

    We are cooking out of our pantry for the month in prep for Thanksgiving…buying only perishables and using up the reserves. It isn’t exactly doing more with less, just doing more with what we already have. It is great for the grocery bill and is making me more inventive in the kitchen.

  • Stephanie Says:

    Word of the day is prioritizing! We buy almost all of our clothes secondhand because 1) we don’t care about the latest fashion trends and 2) we love trying new restaurants!!

  • jen Says:

    I’m doing more with less by budgeting to get more out of my money!

  • Miss K Says:

    Similar to Melissa (above), I hate handling raw chicken but find if I slice it and package it once a week while watching the Daily Show, I am less likely to buy takeout. I’ve got to eat that chicken before it goes bad!

  • Erin Says:

    It was a revelation to me when I stopped using thingies in my hair — no barrettes, no combs, no clips. My hair is my hair, and this is how it looks.

  • Missives From Suburbia Says:

    The iPad is our big space-saving travel device these days. Books, magazines, newspapers, email, stereo system, movies, and white noise machine all in one.

  • Terri Says:

    I’ve been working on trying to do more with less & it’s not always easy with 2 small kids. Lately, I’ve been trying to refashion old clothes into something new.

  • Devon Says:

    Here is my second tip:

    I have a few fancy dresses in jersey that WILL NOT WRINKLE. And trust me, I have done just about everything a person can do to wrinkle clothing. So, if I’m traveling those are a must. So much classier to show up in a wrinkle-free dress than say, a dress that has obviously been living at the bottom of an over-packed suitcase.

  • Gennie Says:

    Except for Conan’s recent return, I haven’t missed cable or Netflix at all in 2 years. Thank goodness I live in a town with a fantastic public library!

  • Shannon Says:

    I’m making toddler play clothes from my husband’s old dress shirts. There are some great free patterns for this online.

  • Jean YY Says:

    This is a very cool phone!! I would LOVE to win this. Not for me but for my husband. I just upgraded my phone less than a week ago but my husband is in need of a NEW phone!

  • LauraSt Says:

    My bag is always packed (sounds a little dangerous, no?) But it is the only way I’ll remember that I need to see (contacts), need basic hygiene (toothbrush) and communicate (phone). As long as they haven’t filled out the crossword puzzle in the airline magazine yet, I’m good to go.

  • Rochelle Says:

    Having a baby is SO expensive and it can get super costly to replace their clothes every few months as they grow! So, we shop at our local children’s consignment shop, Once Upon A Child, and get great used clothes for much, much less!

  • Cynthia Says:

    I’m going to try and “shop in my closet” until next year. It forces me to be creative with my old clothes…putting them together in a new way. Saves money and won’t take up additional space.

  • Leeloo Says:

    I hate paper clutter and I travel a lot. So I scan all my important documents and store them on a server or in my email box and can access them from anywhere!

  • Lindsay Says:

    I recently traveled to Italy with ONE bag…was so proud of myself as I am typically a ridiculous overpacker. Overpacker. A word? Hmmm.
    I bring a couple of books with me, then I stash them in unexpected places when I’m done. Hotel nightstand drawers, a table at an outdoor cafe, etc.

  • KB Says:

    We recently had a second child and became a family of four.
    1) Instead of buying new things, we are reusing all of our first child’s clothes, toys, etc and then passing them onto a friend who is expecting in the spring.
    2) We got rid of cable TV. We use Netflix and the library for DVDs.
    3) We started buying some food items in bulk. It saves on costs as well as less packaging.
    4) Signed up for electronic billing and bill pay – less mail and paper and so much quicker.

  • TinyZero Says:

    It’s funny – as my slightly OCD travel tendencies (read: must prepare for EVERY contingency) have become less pronounced, my daily luggage seems to have increased. Almost up until I graduated from undergrad, I carried: A wallet. In my back pocket. I have since discovered that women’s jeans DO NOT LIKE THIS. Many of said jeans died untimely deaths of hole-in-the-rear-syndrome. Now I carry a bag that I try to keep limited to: My wallet, my phone, ear-buds, pen, a small notebook, and my keys.

  • Lisa Says:

    To stretch our budget, I’ve become addicted to coupons. Harris Teeter dollar double coupon week and I are best friends. Its amazing how much money you can save at the store if you set aside some time to clip coupons and stay organized.

  • morgan Says:

    The concept of simplifying my life grounds me. I’m constantly trying to get back to that simple way of life.

    When packing for travel, I lay out everything I think I’ll need. Then I cut it all in half. Then, half again! That is usually what I’ll actually need. Having a small carry-on saves time and money when trudging through airports.

  • Heather O'Neill Says:

    When I fly I bring a carry on and a purse.

    The carry on contains my computer and all of the cords and chargers for my various electronics, plus all of my reading material.

    I also carry a large purse. It holds all of the normal stuff — wallet, keys, phone — plus a pashmina that I use as a scarf, a blanket or a pillow (depending on the flight) and a zipper pouch with comfort necessities so that I don’t need to root around much during the flight.

    The pouch contains ear plugs, lipstick and lip balm, hand lotion, gum, my ear phones and iPod, tissues and, if it is an overnight flight, a sleeping pill.

    Having my things separated this way makes it easier to find what I need without elbowing my seatmate in the eye during the flight.

  • Bellacantare Says:

    I visit the grocery store often, only getting enough fresh food for a couple days or maybe a week at the most. By doing this, I use up more of my produce or milk before it goes bad. I’d rather go more often than let something rot and waste my money. Plus, with roommates and small fridge, buying only what I need each time I shop frees up more space and keeps annoyances down. :-)

  • Samantha Says:

    i love travel sized make up and fragrances so even when im not traveling i keep them in my purse for a little touch up

  • Leslie Says:

    To travel, I mainly bring underwear. Lots and lots of underwear. One time, on a weekend visit to my boyfriend’s, I brought only underwear.
    It was better than the time I brought only a transparent vintage sequined and beaded flapper dress. And converse.

  • Anna Says:

    i kick my husband out of the kitchen, it’s easier and faster when he’s NOT helping, lol

  • Stephanie Says:

    I am trying to buy less package video games and purchase digital downloads instead. I have too much game clutter as it is. :P

  • Ellyn Says:

    If you have an infant..

    When you finish a paper towel roll, use it to make a rattle instead of buying one that they will likely lose interest in quite rapidly.

  • Jenna Says:

    My travel musts for a plane are a large wrap that I use as a blanket, a bottle for water that I fill up before I get on the plane, blistex, a good book or two, some simple snacks, hand wipes and ear plugs. I can (and have!) fly for hours or days as long as I have these things.

  • andrea Says:

    I do thrift-stores! I love them, actually. It’s like going on a treasure hunt… so many useless things, and then BAM! you find a little treat that is in good condition, cute, perfect for your home and crazy cheap.

  • Emily Says:

    I have to have chapstick, especially since the plane is so dehydrating. Plus, just putting it on feels like putting on makeup, which boosts my confidence when I’m all travel-rumpled.

  • Meg B Says:

    I’m in the middle of planning a wedding so I’m trying to do more for less with everything involved with the wedding. Just found invitations that come all together with the RSVP card attached. Therefore, no envelopes which keeps it greener for us, and less price because there are no fancy liners or anything like that. More bang for our buck, that’s for sure!

  • Roseanna Robles Says:

    I’ve scaled down my beauty routine to just cleanser and moisturizer. I only rarely wear makeup, and only rarely rarely wear eye makeup… so no need for an extra eye makeup remover.

  • Leslie @ {Tiny Wings} Says:

    Okay, your “personal” bag made me laugh. I’m leaving for a trip tomorrow, and am making my (extremely similar) list right now! Travel is so hard — because you want to be prepared for any situation! (Or is that just me!?) I have a lot to learn about paring down, in all aspects of my life — because I really need to learn that I do *not* have to be MacGyver all of the time!!!

  • Lisa Says:

    Carry on: Crochet project and hook (plastic). Kindle, I-touch, 2 – 3 trashy magazines, trail mix, gum and sanitizing wipes.

  • Sarah Says:

    I love packing my tote bag for plane travel. For some reason, it reminds me of being a kid and packing a bag of fun things to do for grandma’s house. My carryon includes reading material, listening material, and a comfort kit. Also, I’m a reasonably healthy eating vegetarian, so I must include snacks…including a chocolate bar. Oh, and an empty water bottle for filling after going through security.

  • Katrina Says:

    Love packing light. Whether I’m backpacking or taking a trip I take the bare minimum. As long as you can change your mindset you can live with practically nothing. At home I may use different moisturizers, hair stuff or look through all my clothes, but there is something so liberating about not having to choose between anything. Just get up and go, not spend time primping, or agonizing over what to wear. Less IS better.

  • Flora Says:

    This year, we’re doing the everyone pick one person in our family to give gifts to for Christmas. There is no need to go crazy every year!

  • Dele O Says:

    Doing more with less sometimes means working on the go. Which is where my laptop and a good smartphone comes in handy. Go windows phone

  • Kelly Hall Says:

    Doing more with less: I have taken up “couponing” in the last few months and saved hundreds of dollars for my family. (I am a stay at home mom with 4 boys and cook for my family almost every night.) Getting more good, healthy food for less $!

  • Lynne Says:

    I am trying to buy only edible things since I don’t really need anything else.

  • Yogi Says:

    I stay organized with Microsoft OneNote, which helps me do more with less time.

  • Laura B. Says:

    To pack light, I have a wheeled suitcase that fits in the overhead bin and no matter where I’m going or for how long, I only allow myself the space of that suitcase. Somehow, I always manage to make it work!

  • Gennie Says:

    Crockpot, crockpot, crockpot!! I want to make awesome homemade meals, but I work evenings. This way I can feed my family good food that I made (and on the cheap). Not glamorous, but true.

  • Cindy D. Says:

    I am addicted to couponing and shopping the grocery ads – trying to spend less and use up bargain goods!

  • Joy G. Says:

    We’ve been cooking more at home, and, bonus: eating less as a result. Obviously, we’re spending less, but we’re buying food that can last for multiple meals. And, I’m becoming more proficient in the kitchen. ;)

  • Lori Says:

    When I go out shopping or to run errands, I try to only bring my cell phone and wallet and a recycle bag to throw groceries, etc. into. I’ve decided I can’t stand lugging around a purse while I’m shopping.

  • Sophia Says:

    Doing less with more is about having some great staples in the closet that serve as “work horses” in your wardrobe. A great pair of black pants, a black skirt that can go dressy or casual. Great cardigan and a crisp white shirt. All of these can be funked up or be more classic. I try not to add anythign to my closet unless it’s a versatile basic.

  • Miss K Says:

    I take the subway to the supermarket, so have to carry everything home. This helps me narrow my shopping down to just the essentials.

  • Claire Says:

    My number one space saver for a night out is to wear boots and put my keys, small wallet, and cell phone in my boots. This sounds somewhat insane, but it totally works. I wear Frye boots religiously and with keys + wallet in one 12/14 inch tall, loosely fitting boot and cell phone in the other and I am in no danger of leaving anything behind going from bars/parties/buses all night. There’s nothing worse than that pit-of-your-stomach feeling when you realize that you’ve left EVERYTHING behind–or seeing the look on your best friend’s face when she gets that feeling.

  • meg Says:

    As much as I loved shopping at Barnes & Noble, I’ve started going back to the library to get my books. Walking out with an armload of books reminds me of when I was a kid.

  • Erin H. Says:

    Go for a smaller home. My husband and I have never regretted buying a small house. Less to take care of (read: one bathroom) means more time for the long list of things we’d rather be doing.

  • Amy Says:

    I’ve pared down by not taking a laptop with me when I travel. SD cards are cheap and I rely on my mobile phone to get the web fix I need. It makes it a lot easier for me to completely unplug from my job, which definitely helps me relax.

  • Lindsay Says:

    When traveling for pleasure, I leave my laptop at home. It keeps me from focusing on work…a bit tough for this Type A gal.

  • Julie Says:

    I have, over the past year, lost much of the use of my left hand. BUT, I am still working, cooking like a fiend, working out, designing a house, have moved in with my long-term SO and do almost everything I have always done. Most things take a bit longer though.

  • Lynsey Says:

    Traveling…make-up removing wipes, chap stick, and crappy magazines the bring me joy (US, Life & Style, People.)
    Downsizing…making dinner at home, never charging anything, and using coupons at the grocery store (grocerysmarts.com is a huge help!)

  • Kara Says:

    Doing more with less. . .is kind of all I feel I’m doing in my life right now. Such a sob story, but it’s just the truth: my husband was laid off in June, and hasn’t been able to find a job yet. So I’m finding out just how long I can go without buying random stuff at Target on a whim, etc. It turns out, I can go a long time! Tip? Well, it’s not like I’m actually recommending losing your job in order to gain material perspective. . .but maybe we could all stand to put some thought into what’s really important in life. . .stuff? Or having your family, your health, a husband who can make you laugh daily in spite of unemployment, etc.

  • Samantha Says:

    my ipod, i cant live without my ipod. id die without my ipod i know thats redundant but its true

  • Mary Says:

    Bare minimum for work and getting ready in the a.m. Is coffee, a clean car, music and and my plan of the day. A snuggly sweater is a bonus.

  • allison Says:

    My biggest ‘do more with less’ tip, which I know isn’t for everyone, is to stop wearing makeup. I’m in my early 40s and I stopped wearing makeup right out of college, so I’ve saved a ton of money and time over the years. And without any makeup in my carry-on, I have room for another pair of cute shoes.

  • mahlookma Says:

    Easy-to-maintain haircuts have always been a must when traveling. If my hair is long enough to twist-up, fine…otherwise I go to the other extreme and go for a pixie cut with a trim or cut just before leaving.

  • Yogi Says:

    By using Quick Steps in Microsoft Outlook, I do more and do it quicker.

  • Sheryl Says:

    During Spring Break, and Thanksgiving break the kids and I spend one hour a day cleaning one room (a different room each day). The rule is, if it doesn’t somehow improve the quality of our life and/or we haven’t used it in a year, we get rid of it. Tomorrow we start our Fall cleaning, and I’m really looking forward to it.

  • Lamisa Says:

    Hey there! Less IS more. I used to have all these toiletries cluttering my bathroom with a long facial routine to match. It was a pain in the butt. Now I’ve just got my Cetaphil and some lotion and I am much, much more pleased with this system.

  • Kristen Says:

    I carry my small black “going out” purse inside my day purse when traveling. It helps me carry less but is also super easy to change purses when it’s time to go out.

  • Leah Says:

    Tinted lipbalm…combines the lipbalm/lipstick idea and lets you carry less.

    Clear nailpolish…good for your nails and those litte runs in stockings.

  • Chrissie Says:

    I must travel with my ipod and some type of reading material (I want to say it’s a classic novel but it’s more often US Weekly or In Style ;).

    For simplifying, I’m in the process of donating clothing items and appliances that I don’t use anymore. I’m really tired of the clutter.

  • suzanne Says:

    i am meditating. my mind is a mess.

  • Coraniaid Says:

    I gave up my car & now ride a bike. Everything that needs to go with me anywhere needs to fit into a typical rucksack. It typically must contain my laptop, space for a jacket & gloves, room for a snack & drink, my cell phone & my keys. anything else is just a bonus.

  • Sarah Says:

    I’ve started the primal workout program. It’s super minimal in that you’re just doing body weight exercises for weight lifting, and I’m not paying for a very expensive gym membership. I’ve started walking a ton too…less in definitely more in this regard!

  • Ryan Elizabeth Says:

    I’ve started carrying a smaller purse. I wouldn’t recommend the first part – injuring your back – but starting to carry a much smaller bag with way less stuff (I used to carry a mini *stapler* for goodness sakes!) has really freed me. I don’t spend time searching for stuff, I know where everything is, and I always have exactly what I need, no more than that.

  • Meg B Says:

    I bring paperbacks that I bought at a used book store when I travel. Then I leave them places where they will be read again, like waiting rooms or coffee shops.

  • Barbara Says:

    I have starting using coupons again….saving quite a bit on stuff!

  • gina Says:

    i always pack something for allergies. every once in a big while i hive from eating seafood, so i never leave home without some type of antihistamine.

  • Sean Says:

    Whenever I get mail, I am typically very disappointed. It is usually junk mail, with the occasional “suspicious package.” What I usually do is keep a sort of “incinerator” out back to burn all of my junk mail. It is nothing more than a simple brick fireplace that I use to get rid of unnecessary clutter. It helps me do more with less!

  • Jessica Says:

    We have small bottles to reuse for traveling with carry-on sized liquids, so we don’t have to check luggage. Saves money on luggage fees and repeatedly buying travel size stuff.

  • Elsa Says:

    For regular days I use a little purse with my wallet, my keys, a pen, cell phone, lip gloss and a emergency binky for my little guy.

  • katrina Says:

    I’ve been trying to do more with less this holiday season – more handmade gifts or small inexpensive gifts that speak to the personality of the recipient more than a big expensive generic one.

  • Laura Says:

    I am going an entire year without buying clothing except socks and undergarments. It’s amazing what I’ve rediscovered in my closet either to wear as is or to turn into a “new” piece of clothing!

  • Krista J Says:

    I read all my books on a Kindle now, it saves me from having piles of books around my house with nowhere to put them.

  • Allison Says:

    This may sound sorta goofy, but I am doing less in the way of personal grooming products. Very little makeup, (only lipstick), very little hair product, etc. I may not look quite as perfect as the rest of the world, but I get out of the house pretty quick! :)

  • Tara Says:

    I am cooking and entertaining at home more and eating out and going out for cocktails (much) less. Rather than Starbucks, I make coffee at home. I also bring leftovers to work for lunch – instead of going out for lunch.

  • Dele O Says:

    i’m all about replacing my stone age phone. I’m sure it will allow me to do more with less time

  • Erin Says:

    I recently switched from high-speed Internet back to dial-up, if you can believe it, and it’s actually been sort of a relief that I can’t wile away the day online.

  • Elis Says:

    Bare minimum to be comfortable while I’m traveling: water, a cozy pair of socks and a journal.

  • Gennie Says:

    Can I give a shout out to Playaways? I wanted to take an audio book with me on vacation and was dreading transferring the library discs to my computer and then to my iPod. Playaways are preloaded digital media with just that one book on them. Totally awesome (and free from the library!!). I loved being able to knit and listen to a book at the same time on the plane.

  • Lisa Says:

    I can’t go anywhere without my Dansco clogs. I have to wear them on the plane unless, for some reason, my suitcase has not reached it’s weight limit. I wish I could give up the shoe obsession, but my feet don’t feel right if I don’t wear them at least every other day. Good thing dress shoes are so petite!

  • Laura B. Says:

    I never travel with shampoo/soap/hair gel or the like. I just use whatever is at the hotel and/or person’s house. I know this makes many people cringe. But I’m never gone for very long and it makes me that more appreciative of my shampoo scent when I get home.

  • Emily Says:

    I have a carry-on suitcase. No matter what, I never check a bag. I just make sure everything can fit into that suitcase, even if it means wearing bulky boots through airport security.

  • Leslie B Says:

    Once I lost my job, I started making changes with the little stuff. For example, when grocery shopping, I buy the bags of potatoes instead of the large, perfect, individual spuds that have a cost by weight.

  • Cynthia Says:

    More is less…laundry detergent. Using the attached cap, I filled it only half way. Clothes still clean. Then, tried a quarter capful. Clothes still clean. Maybe we only need a whisper of that stuff–with the clothes being still clean! Cheap cheap–and cleaner water too!

  • Katherine Says:

    I never really thought about it, but reflecting back, I bring way more on trips than necessary. Give me a tube of mascara, my favorite pair jeans, a few t-shirts, a warm sweater, and pair of walking shoes, and I’ll be good for a week!

  • Jearv Says:

    In terms of less is more, we definitely try to do hand me downs and homecooked meals. We’re a tight-knit family and no one really complains about hand me downs. Homecooked meals are also cheaper and probably healthier than ordering take out everyday!

  • I. Melissa Says:

    When I go on a trip there are two items that I wont travel without my pillow and hair blower! For some reason I can’t sleep without my pillow so after so many nights with insomnia that’s the first thing on my hand, I even I have a special costume made bag for it so I will carry it with my! For the rest if this phones delivers as it promise it will be a dream come true!

  • Joelle Says:

    I’m pretty proud of myself – everything I need on a plane, I can pretty much get into my purse, and I carry around on a day-to-day basis – plus a few extras, but not a lot.

    Wallet w/ pen
    iPhone w/ headphones
    Tampons
    Canon Elph (hardly ever use it anymore…hmm, maybe I should stop carrying it)
    Business Card Case
    Hair brush
    Hair clip
    Sunglasses
    Dramamine, 3 day supply of meds, ibuprofen, lactaid
    Moleskine journal

    If I have room, I might stash a paperback in there, or just bring a magazine, esp. if I have to be hauling a laptop bag for work. I can generally get the purse in the laptop bag, too, which is a lifesaver.

    Too bad the laptop is so damn heavy my shoulders are killing me 5 minutes in to the trip.

    I throw a sweater over my arm or through the strap, and am good to go. *Maybe* spare socks and underwear, if I’m traveling someplace sketchy or have a tight layover.

  • Marilyn Says:

    I have simplified my cleaning routines. A simple soap with only a few ingredients works great for both skin and hair, and I don’t have to worry about dangerous chemicals. I clean house with water, vinegar and a basic eco-friendly soap, so there are no half-empty plastic bottles of bleach, ammonia and other nasty stuff in my cupboards.

  • Samantha Says:

    cardboard, plain ol cardboard has always helped me. fold them into boxes, use as a make shift table, line areas for crafts. always works for me :)

  • Mahlookma Says:

    This is a little gadget-focused but…I love to read when I’m on trips so with that in mind, I purchased a Kindle. I suppose I could do with the app on my iphone if I were just reading for an hour or so, but when I’m on vacation, I will sometimes find a comfy spot and just marathon-read. My Kindle allows me to take a library with me which is nice because I like variety and have a tendency to read 2-3 books at once.

  • Tony Says:

    Aside from just trying to stretch everything in the house a little further, the family and I have stopped buying books and dvds instead opting to take advantage of our local library. It’s become a weekly routine that we all enjoy.

  • Alicia Says:

    We chose to pay for internet and not buy an insane cable package. I watch only the shows I want on hulu and don’t have to watch the rest of the garbage!

  • Dele O Says:

    Calendars are a huge help. And the Outlook Quickstep is a great shortcut tool that helps me quickly create some of my common tasks, appointments, and emails while on the go. The win phone 7 will be a great mobile tool to aid in this

  • Gennie Says:

    Doing more with less? Throw a potluck. Still festive, so much less work and cost. It’s the only way I could host 60+ in my tiny house and smaller budget.

  • Amanda Says:

    I use small hand towels instead of paper towels or napkins. I don’t have to spend any money on paper products and it’s more eco friendly.

  • NatalieT Says:

    I live in a tiny studio, and I have learned so much about what “stuff” I don’t need. I have recently thrown out my TV and microwave (substitute hulu and stovetop), and since books take up a lot of space, I bought a kindle (which is also fantastic for traveling light)

  • Emily Says:

    Pack lists are essential. I get all last-minute rush-rush-rushed, and when I land in the destination city, I often find that I’ve packed 3 black t-shirts.

  • Steph Says:

    having kids and pets teach you that you don’t need so much “stuff” for yourself

  • Miss K Says:

    Buying a rice cooker has made me more likely to cook dinner at home…the meal practically cooks itself.

  • janie Says:

    Travel item that I must have everytime- a pillowcase, shove a sweater into it and instant clean pillow.

    Doing more with less-pillowcase, those travel pillows always end up dirty, lost or too bulky for traveling…;D

  • Nancy Says:

    I couldn’t believe the money I was spending on bottled water. I got some water filter bottles and I haven’t looked back. Much better for the environment also.

  • Jearv Says:

    This year I’m definitely going to do more with less during Black Friday. I buy useless stuff I only use once so I’m going to spend less and use that money for stuff really need for the rest of the year. I’m going to have more time also by doing less shopping!

  • s.a. Says:

    I went on a ‘no buy’, used up my existing enormous stash or grooming supplies, and am now down to just a handful. I have discovered I love Cetaphil lotion- it is my face lotion under my sunscreen, my eye cream, I use it as body lotion on myself and by 11 month old, and I smooth a small amount over my hair to tame wispies and little frizzies.

  • Heather HS Says:

    Depends how I’m traveling… in a car definitely a blanket. On a plane, a cardigan. And I try to keep the bag as light as possible – I always clean it out before a trip.

  • Anastasiya Ivanova Says:

    I wash my hair with conditioner only. It saves me money on shampoo and doesn’t dry out my hair. Bonus all around!

  • Claire Says:

    A good rough washcloth is infinitely more economical than exfoliating shower gel and it does a much better job.

  • Chrissie Says:

    I’ve been Cutting back on eating out by having little dinner parties instead. You still get to hang out with friends and it helps me stay on top of housework more by keeping my apartment neat.

  • Tracy T. Says:

    I try to do more with less while traveling by obsessing about what needs to be packed and then putting it all into my very compartmentalized canvas carry on. With two young sons, I’ve got it all…granola bars, bandaids, nail clippers, hand sanitizer, lip balm, hand lotion, a deck of cards, you name it, oh and my iPod (sorry Microsoft!) On the iPod I can check the weather, calculate tips, show the boys’ a movie, lay games, read a book…

  • abby Says:

    I use a pashmina instead of a scarf when traveling. I can wrap it around my neck or over my head outdoors. On the plan I can lay it across my lap or over my arms or even across my face if I want to sleep. Also I pin my gloves with a large easy open safety pin inside my coat pocket. Keeps the gloves in my pocket when I am not wearing them and I can also pin a ten or twenty there for a hidden but handy bit of emergency cash.

  • mia Says:

    I’m doing more with less by making sure I only have and buy things that are absolutely essential. If I don’t need it, I don’t buy it. No more imp[ulse buys to cheer myself up.

  • Juliet Says:

    It has been so long since I last had my own carry-on. I walk on the plane with a diaper bag, baby in Ergo, daughter holding on to jacket (need to wear jacket long enough for 4-year-old to reach). As far as more with less goes let me say, it is amazing the number of uses baby wipes have: spit up – use a wipe, runny nose – use a wipe, spilled your juice – use a wipe, doubting the whether the surface of your touch screen personal viewing device is sanitary – wipes again. The list goes on, but I don’t want to bore you.

  • Beverly Says:

    I cook a full size meal (only one here) and eat left overs for days, rather than heat up the stove everytime.

  • Sharon Says:

    More for less means shopping garage sales and thrift shops, and even a stop at the day-old bakery store …it all stretches the dollar a bit further.

  • Anastasiya I. Says:

    This year we are putting a cap on all holiday gifts. We have some mixed income families getting together and this will prevent any uncomfortable gift giving.

  • Gennie Says:

    Maggie, every one of your travel fashion shows (ie, what you packed) has inspired me to do less with more. This week: packing for 4 for 5 days in 2 backpacks: GO!

  • Stas R. Says:

    We had to cut down on eating out. Not only because of money, but also because we realized how horrific our dieting has become. So we are spending less money and getting more nutritious food.

  • Miss K Says:

    I eat the school lunch instead of packing one. For $1.50 a day, it isn’t THAT bad!

  • Dele O Says:

    I do more with less by spending my time wisely with family, friends, and loved ones.

  • annie Says:

    I recently started using Vitamin E oil instead of other moisturizers. I use it for both face and body — I even used it to take off mascara the other day. Keeping it simple makes me happy.

  • Abby Says:

    Historically I am an overpacker, however, last few trips I’ve been leaving out anything that I might need and taking only what I know I will need. The might need stuff can usually be bought if the need comes up.

  • Erica Best Says:

    i do more with less when i use coupons they help so much

  • Yogi Says:

    I get more with less by doing comparison shopping using Bing.

  • Gennie Says:

    Doing more with less: starting my holiday shopping in February so I don’t have to lay out any cash when I’m brokest (after August, generally). It’s not like I look hard for bargains either – usually I just let deals websites like Wantnot hand them to me!

  • Emily Says:

    Warm fuzzy socks for the airplane!

  • Lisa Says:

    We have started turning what used to be everyday habits into luxury ones. I earn a new pair of cute shoes, a dinner out, a stunning new sweater.
    It makes us think about our purchases and how we really want to spend our money.

  • Alison F. Says:

    I have a new clothes shopping rule…only buy it if it goes with at least two things you already own. Expands more wardrobe with less stuff.

  • Dele O Says:

    I’m all about doing more with less by using free tools such as the Google calendar to organize my day, week, month, year…need I go on!!!

  • Milissa Says:

    I usually travel for business; so I have to pack all of my files, laptop, and office supplies into my carry-on. This doesn’t leave a lot of room left for my personal stuff. I can usually fit a small purse and a book in by bag and that is about it.

  • Sharon Says:

    My more for less: Bake family goodies instead of buying storebought. Make extra and freeze for later. Do the same for meals: cook more, freeze extras.

  • Alyssa Jones Says:

    Baby Wipes can do anything in my opinion. I pack extra in the baby bag and I can clean up spilled coffee in the car, wipe down the last table at a fast food place or clean spit up off my new shoes

  • Cristina Says:

    Thrift store shopping! You can find truly unique items for 1/10 the store price. I was hesitant to give it a try, it still had a stigma for me. Haven’t looked back since I made the jump. :-)

  • Miss K Says:

    I calculate how many times I need to wear something in order for it to ‘pay itself off’. My friends always look at me like I’m crazy, but I’ll say “That’s $100, so I will need to wear it ten times to pay it off.” It helps me rationalize spending and not buy things that I won’t use.

  • Shelby M. Says:

    I freeze any leftovers for later in the week or the next week. Keeps the kids from eating the same thing day after day.

  • Mahlookma Says:

    If you’re taking a trip with someone else, collaborate. Regardless of size difference or otherwise, there will always be something you can share–even if it’s just basic toiletries. One codicil: make sure that you are actually willing to share whatever you’re offering up in this situation. Don’t just give in and pretend that it will be okay since it will eventually lead to hard feelings.

  • Alicia Says:

    I am learning to color my hair at home instead of going to the salon.

  • Heather D Says:

    I never pay full price for anything, so in turn, I don’t impulse buy. I shop online for coupons or the paper. I also don’t buy my toddler new clothes unless I get a wicked deal. I buy resale, or turn adult shirts into clothing for him by working on my sewing skills. Doing more with less is what it’s all about.

  • Overfriendly Concierge Says:

    In our house, we do more with less by eating at restaurants much less often.

  • Duyen Says:

    My nook currently has 6 electronic library books on it. I’ve never bought a book for my nook and like the idea of not killing too many trees in our electronic world.

  • Samantha Says:

    i love clinique city block. its like using a very sheer foundation with spf protection and evens out my tone.

  • Bellacantare Says:

    I’ve had absolutely no time to work out lately. And my pants are proof to that problem. However, I’ve tried to do little things throughout the day that give me some extra movement – for example: Doing squats and lunges while brushing my teeth. Taking the stairs instead of the escalators at BART. Taking the long way around the office or breaking up the trips I need to take to the printer or to an office in a different area than my desk so I have more opportunities to walk/move (of course that isn’t super time efficient if you’re having a busy day). And when I finally get home at 9pm and all I want to do is veg for an hour before I go to sleep, I stretch the whole time. Even without exercise, you need to stay as flexible as possible, and it doesn’t stimulate you so much to keep you from falling asleep soon afterwards.

  • Stas R. Says:

    I got so used to writing to do lists for my work that now I can’t live without them for other aspects of my life. Sometimes I write ridiculous things like eat or take a shower. Somehow writing it down makes managing time a whole less stressful.

  • Anastasiya Says:

    I try to cook a lot of food and freeze some of it for later. It saves a lot of time in the end and I don’t have to come up with ideas of what to cook.

  • Emily Says:

    I always bring snacks, so I’m not forced to buy groos unhealthy expensive airport food.

  • Abby Says:

    When traveling for more than three hours, I tuck a small box of raisins, or trail mix and an energy bar high in protein with healthier nutrition stats in my carry on. They don’t take up much space and I don’t have to overspend on airport bought snacks or meals.

  • Dele O Says:

    I do more with less by using awesome phone apps. There are many useful, fun, and creative apps out there that help make life a little bit easier to manage.

  • Carrie Says:

    I’ve stopped wearing chapstick, so I basically don’t need my purse anymore – just throw my wallet in my gym bag and head to school.

  • Shelby M. Says:

    I do more by sleeping less. It is amazing what you can get done in the morning without distractions.

  • Sharon Says:

    Doing more with less means creating a tight budget and sticking to it, avoiding impulse buys, and saving for rainy days.

  • Gennie Says:

    Today I totally got my retail therapy fix at Goodwill. $10 for 2 pairs of great shoes (Merrell and Sofft!) – Done!

  • Alicia Says:

    Doing more with less means choosing which restaurant by what coupons we have.

  • Asma Says:

    It’s nearing the end of my first quarter in grad school and … I’ve run out of ink. So while everyone makes their speech therapy supplies with their color printer, I’ve gone back to using crayons and markers. It’s a lot cheaper than buying a new cartridge, I guess.

  • Samantha S Says:

    Naked Lady Clothing Swaps. Not only do I get to score some cool clothing, but I get the thrill of seeing my mistakes look great on someone else.

  • Yogi Says:

    I get more done by using the Microsoft Outlook junk filters to see less spam.

  • Yogi Says:

    I get my screen more organized with less hassle using Windows 7’s Snaps feature.

  • Emily Says:

    I always pack too many books, so now my rule is “3 books max, each from a different genre.”

  • Overfriendly Concierge Says:

    We do more with less by periodically holding garage sales to help us de-clutter. We then use the proceeds to buy the whole family dinner at a nice restaurant!

  • thebarmaiden Says:

    I’ve pared my wardrobe down to about 20 key pieces, and I’m slowly replacing them with nicer versions of themselves. Eventually, I’ll have an awesome (small) closet filled with nothing but things that I truly love!

  • Dele O Says:

    Doing more with less means keeping your cars as long as possible especially when they are paid off.

  • Suzanne Says:

    I am going to go easier on myself and have lesser expectations. I don’t have to be so type-A, do everything to perfection. I can accept that sometimes done is good enough and use the extra time to really focus on the things that make me happy.
    :)

  • Peggy Says:

    It depends on where I am going to what I need. Phone/charger and computer are a must.

  • Jearv Says:

    One example of me doing more with less is carpooling with friends to school (when I don’t take the train). Being college students, we’ll save all the money we can and it’s so convenient that I have a group of friends that all live pretty close! It’s fun to see each other in the mornings, ha and eat breakfast on the go. It’d be so awesome to win!

  • Anastasiya Says:

    I just realize that I use my Chanel shadow duo for all the occasions. Day look, evening, and everything in between. How awesome is that? It truly is more for less. Plus every time I use it, I feel so fancy.

  • Stas R. Says:

    Up until couple of months ago, I used to cut my own hair. Saved a TON of money and time. Although, it looked like crap. So as per the demands of my wife I am no longer doing that.

  • Duyen Says:

    When cooking, I try to use all parts of the ingredients. For instance I’ll roast beets for salad and then saute the beet greens for a side dish.

  • Schmidty Says:

    Doing more for less means buying a gently used car that’s been cared for and maintaining it carefully for another ten years.

  • Olive Says:

    This year my friends and I will be doing a tailgating party at Target starting at 9pm Thanksgiving night, so we can be one of the first in line for the Black Friday sales.

  • Samantha Says:

    id bring my instant comfort in a bag, my feetie pajamas i know ridiculous but they instantly calm and make me feel relaxed

  • Emily Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! During the holidays, when I’m camped out on so many deal sites, I make sure to keep an eye out for kid’s books and toys. This helps stretch my giving-to-charity budget so I can donate more to Toys for Tots, school libraries, etc. Amazon has a Flat Stanley boxed set for $7.50 now!

  • Alicia Says:

    Doing more with less means continuing to drive the awesome car from 1995, because it still runs quite well!

  • Overfriendly Concierge Says:

    We do more with less by making a list before we go out shopping and sticking to it.

  • Jearv Says:

    This might be a little too simple, but I do more with less by always having my laptop with me. Nowadays, since I’m in college, it seems like everything is being moved online, from turning essays in to math homework. It definitely helps me do more when I have free time and I have less stuff to carry around!

  • Schmidty Says:

    More for less: Host a get together with your friends and have a clothes swap …exchange your don’t-likes and never-worns for things you can use. Everybody wins!

  • Demetrius Lopeman Says:

    We’ve just discovered the greatness of organic farming in our own backyard, I have to say potato soup is our favourite of the month. I found a website dedicated to just potato soup recipes, which is quite amazing when you think about it. There’s a website for anything and everything nowadays it appears!

  • Overfriendly Concierge Says:

    We do more with less (and spread the love) by extensively utilizing Freecycle – both giving and getting.

  • Alicia Says:

    We make homemade costumes whenever the occasion requires.

  • Peggy Says:

    I travel light in my daily life by going through a small area of my home on a regular basis and purging out what I no longer use or need. The longer you live the more stuff you accumulate. Being ruthless with yourself is the only way to keep from becoming a hoarder in the end. LOL

  • Yogi Says:

    I do more with less redundancy by syncing my files using Windows Live Mesh.

  • Dele O Says:

    doing more with less could mean budgeting and adhering to it. It allows us to save properly and spend wisely

  • Alicia Says:

    Having a sister in the airline industry, I’ve learned to pack everything I need in a carry-on. I love not checking luggage. It’s amazing what you can do with less. You just have to be smart!

  • Overfriendly Concierge Says:

    My husband will kill me for saying this, but he does more with less by owning only gray socks. Seriously. He bought 30 identical pairs of gray socks. Whenever one gets a hole in it, he still has umpteen zillion other matches for it, so he doesn’t have to chuck the whole pair. And yes, he is that cheap. (Which is why I’d like to win a new phone and not buy one!)

  • Chantay Rowcliffe Says:

    Hey zi kqavg94a, very interesting post, it really got me thinking. Thank you. 4eyrv m5vls

  • Chelsea Says:

    This year, instead of buying a new ornament or two, I’m making them out of felt. I’ve sewn a snowflake, a fox, a drum, an owl, a star, a lightning bolt, a mustache, and a robot so far!

  • Schmidty Says:

    My grandmother taught me to “save steps”. During chore time around the house, always have something with you to be returned or replaced as you move from area to area and room to room.

  • Erin Morris Says:

    Haha, I guess somewhere along my journey in raising my 6 kids, my list of necessities got a lot shorter than it used to be! Let’s see….

    Purse: cell, paper, pen/pencil, cherry chapstick, tampon (just in case lol)

    Travel: all of the above+ camera, laptop

    In my bag, house, life, I’m always looking for things to get RID of. Makes life so much easier and peaceful =D Plus it feels great to pass things on to others.

  • Kate Says:

    i do more with less by planning ahead of time

  • Jearv Says:

    One example of me doing more with less is simply turning off and unplugging electronics and appliances. Sometimes people forget and it adds up to the costs. As time goes by, spending a few little seconds on turning appliances off can really make a difference and save more money, more money to spend on stuff I want! I only turn things on when I need to!

  • Jose D Says:

    Social networks have made my life a lot easier! Now I no longer have to call every one of my friends when I have a party, now I just post the event on Facebook and all my friends know about it!

  • Samantha Says:

    a nail file. i have used it to open doors, letters, file my nails obviously and many other things. extremely useful

  • Dele O Says:

    Doing more with less sometimes means reusing grocery bags, or buying the recyclable types and using those. Saves the environment and saves the grocery stores money, which in turn saves you money.

  • Alicia Says:

    Using the library! Talk about free! More with less!

  • Overfriendly Concierge Says:

    We do more with less by taking family vacations during the off-season.

  • Emily Says:

    I recently chopped off 8 inches of hair, all the way up to my jawline. It’s SO much quicker and easier to do my hair now, which leaves more time and patience for all the other million things every morning. Plus, it means I can’t just toss my hair up in a ponytail every single day.

  • John Says:

    It’s much easier being a guy. I bring my phone, keys, wallet, chapstick, and my zune. I just shaved my head so that saves me time and money. No more trips to the barber shop.

  • Jearv Says:

    One way we do more with less is with leftovers. Especially during Thanksgiving time. An example would be using ham for lunch sandwiches and using the leftover turkey for quesadillas or my favorite turkey and tortilla soup!

  • Kate Says:

    i do more with less by trying to stay as organized as i possibly can

  • Schmidty Says:

    Doing more for less means delegating more responsibilities to the kids so my time can be used more productively.

  • Jose D Says:

    How to do more with less? I have in my own house a soda vending machine, when I feel like drinking one, I buy one. At the end of certain period of time, I open the vending machine to recollect my profit!!!

  • Samantha Says:

    I really like spices and herbs. If you buy them in the ethnic food section, especially the hispanic themed aisle they can be only 99 cents a bag! They add flavor to everything including cheap cuts of meat and inexpensive dishes

  • Overfriendly Concierge Says:

    We do more with less by finishing all our holiday shopping waaay before the season gets underway. That way, we aren’t caught up in holiday mania or retail marketing when the gifts are being purchased, and we don’t spend as much money.

  • k8t Says:

    I’d do more with less by consolidating devices into one Windows Phone 7 phone: ereader, web browser, recipe list, to do list, shopping list, video game console, car navigator and restaurant finder.

  • Emily Says:

    Doing more with less: I’m on a pantry clean-out kick. No grocery store for me until all those aging boxes of couscous and off-brand pinto beans are cooked and eaten! More pantry space and more room in the grocery budget.

  • Gennie Says:

    Riding my bike for exercise and to use my car less. Which totally sucks when it’s 40 degrees and dark, so I need to work a bit harder on this “doing more with less” goal!!

  • Kate Says:

    doing more with less for me means staying organized so that i can multitask