1. I embarked on a frugality adventure yesterday and this time it has to stick. I love this post ; it makes me feel less inadequate in front of the task to be accomplished. Thank you !
    The Silver Bunny recently posted..To the beach !My Profile

  2. Karen

    I bought my most recent winter coat, wool with an insulated lining, at a Junior League thrift shop. I have had it for quite some time now; don’t need it very often for my climate.

    I cannot find clothes in my size(or near it) second-hand anywhere in my city. What little I buy is always on end-of-season sale. Buy only what is needed and not more than twice a year.

  3. I agree that living frugally depends a lot on the attitude you have toward it. If you look at it from the perspective of saving for later, wasting less and living healthier and better, you win. If you feel like you are being deprived, it will never work.
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  4. Tina B

    I know many people will sell items on eBay or Craigslist to make a little extra cash. When I’m ready to pass on my clothing, I take it to a local consignment store. They are selective about what they take and the clothing does sell. It’s great to get a check from them for my clothes and I’ll admit to finding some great deals whenever I’ve shopped there. I like doing this so that I don’t have to post pictures online, traipse to the post office, etc. and the money stays in the community, as well as supporting a small business owner.

  5. Great overview, Sara! I have learned so much from you and I really appreciate when you say that we can take baby steps and make real changes that will stick. I have been using cloth cleaning towels and dinner napkins, as you have suggested. I also hang my laundry to dry – it is super easy and fast without clothes pins. I also printed out the template and make a Meal Plan some weeks – and even make the food I planned to serve sometimes! Baby steps are perfect for me!
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  6. Kris

    Good to have you back and hope to hear about your trip soon! Thanks for a thought-provoking post. I was raised to be frugal but have found that life circumstances occasionally force me to re-evaluate my spending choices. When I figured out (a few years ago) that saving $20 in expenses a week added up to $1000 over a year’s time, it was like a lightbulb went on. Maybe I should write a book on that strategy! :)

  7. Karen G.

    I love your frugal living tips! It’s wonderful to keep finding new things to try, or a new perspective on the subjects you share so eagerly.

    In August 2012 I started something new that has been successful for me and may help someone else. Other than groceries, I only “shop” every other month. Along with that decision I started a “Wait-And-See List” so I can remember things I might need to purchase during a “shopping” month. That cooling off period from the time I add something to the list, until it’s a shopping month is valuable. I’ve become more innovative and find many of those things on the list aren’t necessary at all. It has helped me to question every purchase and “plug” some little spending “leaks”. Even as a thrifty person I was able to make some improvements.

    I, too, enjoy Michael Pollan, and like this quote, “We can eat less, if we eat better….”

  8. As always, I love your tips! I especially appreciate the idea of always pretending that your budget is zero. I suppose that’s what appeals to me about frugality – the constant challenge to do more with less. Thank you for always inspiring me with your posts!

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  9. This is great. You gave me some great ideas for a blog I am just starting called Style Me Cheap, stylemecheap.blogspot.com. I like what you said, “Don’t shop to save”. Buying things you do not need or will never use is not really saving its spending, no matter how others try to sell it to you. Great post!

  10. My 22-year-old daughter finally landed a full-time job in her field for a nice salary. We’ve been talking savings/planning (and she’s shopped at Goodwill her whole life) but I’m going to send her the link to your list and ideas – perfect timing! And a great refresher for me ;-)too.

  11. Hazel

    We’ve always lived below our means. I got in the habit when I was single, lived in the city, my pay was about $100 per week and my rent was $100 per month (seriously!). A long time ago. But it was great to be young and working and living in the city, and I “made do”. Had a couple of nice suits, bought a few tops that could be worn with both suits, and two pairs of shoes (brown and black) one day handbag that was black and brown, an assortment of silk scarves (which were cheap then), and little makeup (mascara and lipstick).
    I never splurged on fancy undies, cut my own wavy hair. I diluted shampoo, used a solution of vinegar and water to rinse and make my hair shine. You get the picture.
    After I married, we more of less continued the frugal lifestyle. Bought a house, used the furniture we had from our city apartment, toted that to the second house. Bought a “you assemble it” kit of very rustic pine living room furniture that saw us through that house and moved with us to the house we built almost 30 years ago. Eventually we bought a sofa and sold the pine furniture but it served us well for a long time.

    We ate simply, meat, chicken, or fish with salads and dressings that I made myself. I’m a good cook but we were healthy on very simple meals, love sugar free jello and whipped cream for dessert, or cheesecake made from the recipe on the plain gelatin box topped with berries or whipped cream, or panna cotta that I make using an old recipe. Friday nights used to be pizza night, but we both have the gluten problem, so that expense was offloaded. I make pizza using a low-carb recipe. That’s quite a nice saving.

    I kept my cars for years, one for 14 years, the next for 12 years. My present car is nearly 7 years old. We’re fanatics about doing maintenance, we chose to use a private mechanic rather than the manufacturer’s shop, and our cars hold up well ’cause they get a lot of love.

    We refinanced our mortgage three times using progressively shorter-term loans, paying all three down early with progressively larger payments against principle which we were able to afford because our habits enabled us to save from our paychecks. We’ve been mortgage free for about 15 years.

    I’m a jean-loving kind of girl, they are the backbone of my closet and they wear forever. My “wardrobe” is jeans and turtlenecks or T-shirts with sweaters, jackets, or vests, which I buy on deep sale. I may not be a fashionista but I look good and feel comfortable. I still use scarves as accessories, still like black or brown shoes and neutral bags, have a couple of dramatic hats, and coats that are beautiful and in good shape but are old. Some coats are from consignment shops, as are some scarves and handbags.

    We both know that more things don’t make a happier life. Having control of our finances and income has given us that. We don’t have cell phone contracts or other contracts for nonessentials. We DO have annual maintenance contracts for our furnace, air conditioner, and generator. We don’t subscribe to magazines or newspapers. Online-Is-Us. Internet is the greatest library there is.

    Being cognizant of how we spent money and why made frugal choices easy…what was necessary in life versus what wasn’t. We lived well, had fun, enjoyed life, and we had, and have, financial security.

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