To question everything days and not mindlessly replacing stuff just because its ran out. I found I was just automatically buying replacements for things without considering if we actually needed them. Far better to do without for a week or so and then reassess! I used to be all about the frugality. Over time, I become less enamored with it because of its diminishing returns.
But not everything is a nail. This is very true! My solution with food, partially because I too am a future homesteader but unlike the FrugalWoods have a decent yard is to replace boughten with homegrown or bartered. Very true. You guys are both at peak frugality I think, as are Mr. FW and me. I ascribe to the notion that permanently reducing your annual expenses is a good way to go about early retirement and FI.
Being a frugal weirdo is cool. It took me some time to embrace it, but I now have my frugal weirdness in a bear hug. Love 9 — I may have to try that! I almost never walk around with cash but consistently whip out our debit card to pay for small purchases. The key for me is to plan ahead. My spending usually revolves around food and I know that one of our major money leaks is spending money on coffee. We also love eating out but are trying to limit that to when we have friends in town or for special occasions.
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Used to be a weakness for me as well. Still is to an extent, because we buy nice beans to make at home. Love it! It will get done eventually. Hahah—glad you appreciated my gas reference! I find it applies to a lot of things in life, personally…. I had a really good time refinishing my jewelry chest. It took me an entire day, but it was actually a lot of fun.
I love it and want to flaunt it! I love this post! Unfortunately, we have lost touch with some friends because of it but that just makes me question how good of friends they were to begin with. I am the worst about treating myself when I have a stressful or rough day at work. Thanks for calling attention to it. I agree—friends should definitely not judge you based on material possessions! Not cool! I am a frugal weirdo. Recent example: I wanted to be able to bring my coffee to work, then pour it into a mug and warm it back up. Solution: Repurposed jar that once contained salsa!
I find myself caring less and less what people think. No proper biking pants? We have not zeroed out the entertainment and restaurant budgets. We do like to go see our favorite musicians play live, perhaps a few times a year I got Arlo Guthrie tickets for my birthday!
FP ordered half-price pizza when I went to work and left him at home with two preschoolers, on a Saturday, on a snow day, when he was down with a bad cold. One thing I started doing last year which was a lot of fun. I would go to Marshalls or Target and shop but not buy. I would list things that caught my eye and that I would buy. This summer I am going to refinish our dining room table that is the same table that I grew up with. I too find that writing things down on a list really helps me to not buy them. Seems counter intuitive, but it totally works!
Love this! I think you should do the bumper stickers, great idea! I still pay for haircuts as I have no one to do it for me LOL! I ultimately want to cast off consumerism altogether and for the most part the mindset has set in. You are definitely well on your way to frugal weirdo status, Michelle! I completely agree — be a frugal weirdo! I used to budget for things like groceries and eating out…but as you said, my spending always expanded to fill the budget allotted. So I threw out the budget, and became even more frugal!
Though this only worked because I had built my frugality muscles during my first transition of not having a budget to having one. Agree on the no budgeting approach. We just spend as little as possible! Another great post! Your spending always stops me in my tracks when I hear it. Thanks, Emily! Does Mr. Frugalwoods use beard oil? And in the meantime, I smell like lemony-peppermint.
Is there a recipe you followed? I mix those together half and half, in a bottle which I think is less than one ounce, and add about ten drops each of peppermint and lemon essential oils. I really love your post! We are not yet Frugal Weirdos but we are working on it! I spend some money on entertainment and eating out, mostly as social outings, but a lot less than I did even a year ago, and I challenge myself to spend as little as possible or even cut out entire categories for weeks or months at a time.
Frugal-ish is fabulous! And, it certainly makes sense to spend money on some things—all about the balance, I think. I do think that it is OK to spend more than absolutely necessary though, if it is thought out and purposefully intended. I want them to have food that is of human grade ingredients and that is not made from animals that have had cancer or other illnesses. I think this pays off in both fewer vet bills and longer, healthier life expectancy for my furry family members. To me, it is most definitely worth it given the concentration of their consumption in that one item.
In a very limited sample, this proved to be true with my first dear departed ones who both lived to be 16 — and very spryly until near the end. I do not, however, pay extra to buy organic groceries for myself. I eat a varied diet and have the ability to wash my produce well. It does not seem like the return would be worth the cost. We each have to choose what matters to us, I think — but it should be a conscious choice and not self delusion regarding the long term costs.
Definitely important to keep our fur babies healthy! I just see that a lot of folks end up spending so much money on things that surround their jobs, which seems like a huge waste to me. The point is to get paid, not to spend :! My wife and I are trying to do these very same things and it is amazing the responses you get when you tell friends you dont want to go see that new movie or go out to eat at that restaurant. Good luck to you and your wife on your frugal weirdo quest :! Hiring servants to cook for me is, frankly, bizarre. Real food is so awesome that occasionally my grocery spending gets a bit wild, because I go all Anne of Green Gables poetic and giddy over the quality of the ingredients.
Totally agree on spending for quality and BIFL products. Tools are a great example. We actually have had decent luck finding tools at garage sales. Also, FOOD :! Totally agree with what you have another well written article. Rude and very unkind comments now no longer matter. Ps We are forecast a light dusting of snow here in Arizona and I may need to get out a frugal cat nose warmer! I think life is definitely more enjoyable when you let go of caring.
Plus, letting that negativity just slide away from you is so freeing :! For free! I am definitely on my way to frugal weirdo. We also receive a bunch of hand me downs for my toddler son. I have embraced this lifestyle, but my husband is not as gung-ho as I am… I am slowly converting him. Nicely done! What a marvellous post! We need to hear this repeatedly! Linda from Australia. Thank you so much, Linda! I really appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment—means a lot to me! FW, I have been reading your posts religiously and I always get excited when I get a new post notification but I must say it is starting to sound a little one note to me.
There are certain things worth money. But spending money is not evil. In times of frugal uncertainty I sometimes ask my self, what would Mrs. FW do? Could I live without them to save bucks? Would I want to? That being said, I find ways to do the stuff cheaper than normal. I did some beta testing for a LDS computer project that earned me a full year of Ancestry for one hour of work or so.
I find discounts on photography supplies, Photoshop stuff,etc. I definitely agree that there are things worth spending money on. For example, Mr. FW and I spend quite a bit on travel every year as well as on smaller things like good coffee beans. Plus, weird as it sounds, frugality is a lot of fun for Mr.
Frugal weirdos, I love it. I am happy to be a frugal weirdo too! Excellent post, yet again FW fam. I am going to try the pad of paper thing…as the box of hand rolled Austin cigars is staring me down from the table. Hooray for a fellow frugal weirdo! The moneyless pad-of-paper method works shockingly well for me. It sounds so simple, but I love it. Thanks for stopping by! This had me giggling at various points, loved it! I think the key is definitely not giving a hoot what anyone thinks :.
It worked wonderfully on the fluffy snow and cleared the perfect width walking path. We inherited a snow shovel with the house we bought three years ago, but it broke shortly into the first winter. And not something we want to have to list in our expense tracking. Besides, what would our neighbors have to laugh at if I had a normal shovel?! Hahah, I love your dustpan story! Perfect example of a frugal weirdo at her finest! Hey, if you can use and reuse stuff you already own, then I say why not! Frugal on, my friend. I simply love reading and laughing during your posts!
Please keep them coming…you and Mr. FW are such inspirations!! Thank u:. Awww, thank you so much Lindy! Wish I could have had some of that bread, it looks so good. My number one weirdo frugal style is to never care about what people think. This way of thinking will save you lots of money. Love this post. Frugality to us is a way of affording things we enjoy doing or having. This is possible because we have paid off our mortgage! We have already put our eldest child through college and I am proud to say that we were able to cash flowed his education, which means no student loans for neither of us.
Congrats to you! You are really reaping the rewards of frugal living. Thank you for sharing! I totally think people would buy Frugal Weirdo shirts! It seems to be the thing around here to get together for lunch with other moms. B-day, Holidays, pot luck for no reason. When a gift is needed, I bake something tasty.
For weddings, as a rule we always buy a gift off the registry—what I try to do is use gift cards for those, which usually works well. Good luck to you! Rule 1 is key. I think I am lucky in that I struggle to care what some random person thinks of my car, shoes, clothes, beard, jokes luckily or job. I used to spend money randomly, not on bits to fit in, but more because I had no direction. The world is cruel and unfair. Gotta just crack on with it. Besides, if we can even entertain the idea of saving enough to become FI even if it a huge portion of our salaries then life is pretty dam good.
Nooooooooooooooooooooooo you are just selfish! Hahah, well said Mr. Right there with you on the value of frugality in service of a larger goal—makes it all the more worthwhile :!
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I always feel slightly inadequate when I read your posts — but in a good way : My take-away from this one? Last month, we had to decrease that discretionary allowance, and guess what? Clearly, I can manage on a smaller discretionary fund. But can I actually save from it?
Thanks for challenging me! Thanks so much, Prudence! I appreciate you reading :. That gas analogy works for me in so many different contexts. Great rant about consumer culture — I tend to get pretty fired up about it too. Our plan does not require us to be.
It fits us well to have me work 3 days per week and be able to take off all teacher work days when kids are out of school. We can travel quite a bit with school being out and Jim off for most of the summer. I think as long as you have a plan for what you want out of life, you can make your own weird. I think you can be frugal without taking it to the extreme.
I just think sometimes practicality has to come into play. Being frugal is great, but honestly it ends up mattering less and less the more money you make. Number one was the hardest part for me. After that, everything else came with relative ease mostly thanks to having already gotten s 3 and 10 down pat! Well said! What better way to live is there? I did better on food in February which is good because I proved to myself I was capable of being smart about it. Travel is a weakness for us too. Totally agree! Thanks for stopping by :!
I just splurged oh, horrors! That is a major deal and it is something I will definitely use and value. I have made money from time to time via design and photography and I intend to pursue it as a money maker more in depth when I retire. Totally makes sense to spend on investments for the future. I absolutely love this post!
Great tips and great humor. You know what? It IS fun! Haha, thank you Kay! Stop eating out and stop buying stuff are the two I try to follow the most. I think laziness is big part of overspending. Sooo you know you have to set up a Frugalwoods shop on your website now. Tshirts, bumper stickers and DIY beard oil? Haha, I love it! The best frugality starts with no debt.
I even paid cash for my house. It is such an incredible feeling of freedom. When you have no debt, it makes it very easy to save. That way what you eat is constantly changing.
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Another way to save is to only use your antenna for TV. I do have Netflix, but I share the cost with a friend. As far as my phone, I use Skype. Insofar as the internet goes, I only buy a slow internet connection, 1. Way to go on embracing the frugal weirdo life! I always run the Mr. Coffee several times in a row: the first for a regular but the last 2 runs to store in the frig for an energy drink or sometimes to heat up in a larger amount than usual to get the usual buzz instead of making coffee.
Also, I keep my eyes open for wild fruit when walking or opportunities like someone leaving 3 beautiful uncut pumpkins next to their can after Thanksgiving this fall! I am not into food scavenging inside cans though, haha. Foraging for wild fruit is a great frugal attribute! Nicely done on those pumpkins too! No worry, it looks cute though. Today, I will start to be a frugal weirdo. Promise after reading its advantages. I love cooking at home and learning new recipes as well. Admittedly I am at a different time of my life, so I am somewhere three quarters down the weirdness train.
I follow most of these except I eat out occasionally and I do have a concert and musical entertainment budget. It is what it is…. I think we all find the balance that works best for us. I absolutely love this list. For the last decade, I struggled with alcoholism. Any money that I made was spent on booze and when under the influence I made even worse decisions with my money. Things that I thought were necessary for my happiness have taken a completely different meaning.
This has brought a calm simplicity to my life. I do a lot of things for free and spend a lot of time in nature. Living a minimalist and frugal life has been the most freeing experience of my life. Thank you for these inspiring posts that are also fun to read! Congratulations on your sobriety! And on your calm, free life! I appreciate you sharing your story here—thank you. I was raised by frugal parents, and so was my wife. Today, we do not have early retirement targets like you do — for our own personal reasons.
But, we do out best to raise our kids to be frugal like us — and we attempt to lead by example. I ride a bicycle to work, we walk to the grocery store most of the time. And yes, we all ride our bicycles to the library. And so on. But the current generation apparently has got caught up in the spending craze. Everyone loves consumerism and the flashy lifestyle that it entails.
Selective frugalism from a time and payback perspective logarithmically minimizes you spend. Example, work trimming grapes vines, or gather and haul away charging a Vinter, make grapevine wreaths and sell at Craft Fair. You get it right? I start today. I live off Yes, Elle, you are right. Just find friends with the same values. Actually, I grew up in Ukraine and we did not have much but after moving to US I have adopted this consumer culture very quickly and it took me 14 years, serious illness and divorce to realize what really matters the most to me.
It is my time and my health, not trendy clothes, perfumes, jewelry, dinners out etc. I absolutely love your blog. In fact, it is my favorite of all blogs about frugality. I have been on this path for the past 2 years and still improving. I was planning early retirement for me and my now ex husband. Nothing I can do. I am trying to work with what I have at the moment.
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I used to be a spender, big time, but serious illness was a wake up call for me. Now, trying to keep whatever left from my health, I am enjoying simple pleasures of life. Picky Pincher and myself are definitely frugal weirdos. This blog is a great guide to get on the path to frugality. I wash my hair anyway. Who throws out half a pizza?? I was at a work do surrounded by keeping up with the Joneses types. At some point someone asked me what I did with my day off.
I said I had been invited to a dress up party, so had spent it making a Magneto from Xmen helmet out of cardboard from a youtube tutorial. I even eliminate needs. Because silly or not, needs are created. They mostly are a figment of our imagination. Like whipping your butt when you pooped! I turn down many of my lusts. I rather enjoy what I got and try to get as little of it as possible so I truelly deeply en lenghtly enjoy what I got. Like good relations with potential wife.
If I have a need for something I just imagine frugal wife was with me. Yet I have to find one! I do believe in wishes, wishes that come from the heart! Who needs needs when you got wishes! Your email address will not be published. What does it take to be a frugal weirdo? I smell a gas. FW investigating a dumpster: definitely embracing the frugal weirdo. Two entertaining activities in one: cookie baking and Frugal Hound.
This is a random photo of me on my Craigslist bike. I do not need a bicycle. There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again. Very smart to buy your produce in the summer and freeze it. When I was growing up, my mom did the same with produce from our gardens. Great tips! Jann, I have great memories of helping my mom and grandma can and freeze lots of produce. Is there produce that freezes better than others? Just wash them, drain them and once they are dry you can put them in a bag or container and freeze.
Most people like to first lay them on a cookie sheet to freeze before putting them in a freezer bag because that helps keep them from sticking together. Grapes are a yummy snack frozen too. As for veggies, you can freeze lots of veggies but they freeze the best and have the best flavor if you blanch them first. Basically this means that you just slightly cook them and then cool them down quickly. I explain how to do this in more detail in my post on how to freeze green beans.
Not sure if that totally answers your question or if that is the info you were looking for, but hopefully it gives you a little bit of an idea of what you can freeze and how it works! Great job! There are only 4 in our family but we are all adults. I am gluten-free so that has impacted our bottom line a bit. Your post gave me some new ideas. Do you use coupons or is that strictly by being a savvy shopper otherwise? And yes, we love our soups around here, as you probably noticed. Thank you for the inspiration! I really need to get our grocery budget under control.
Food is the only thing we spend a lot of money on. In all other aspects of our life we are very frugal. I will definitely be using some of your tips. We all definitely have our different areas of strength when it comes to saving and spending, Sarah!
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Thanks for stopping by! Your menu was especially inspiring. I am a frugal shopper though and make lots of soups and other sauces from scratch. And oatmeal? Thanks, Margaret, for your kind words! So glad you enjoyed the menu plan. And I appreciate the suggestion for canning tutorials. I always love knowing what my readers would enjoy and find helpful. So stay tuned! I wish leftovers lasted long enough in our house to eat 3 times lol! Because it happens less and less here, even when I intentionally make extra! In fact, most times I just freeze part of it right away for another meal another week.
It is, Angie! Yeah, snacking can definitely be a detriment! We actually snack more now than we ever have. Around 4 pm. About half the week she is fine and the other half she has to have a snack. But trying to keep healthy, inexpensive options available definitely helps! Thanks, Christine! Most of the time I enjoy the challenge of making it work. Loved your blog.
Would love to see a future blog about canning and freezing tips! This is inspiring! I definitely need to learn to can. When you stock up on produce in the summer and can it, how much do you spend? Or, how much of your canned items do you use every week—how much did it cost to buy and can those items? A meal planning makeover is overdue for me, lol. Kim, yes, canning can save a lot of money if you are able to get your produce for a good price.
And it is really much easier than many people think. I grew up helping my grandma and mom do it, so that experience has definitely helped me! As for how much I spend? I preserve a ton of stuff though- last year I did 52 qts. What I do and how much I do varies from year to year depending on prices, my time and how much we used the previous year, how much I have left etc. Yeah, snacking can quickly get expensive. I know because I used to love my snack foods! Baby steps are often the best way to make a change like that. Wow, that is a lot of quarts!
That is amazing! Some things cost more and some less so it evens out to that, I suppose. This made me smile…. But I guess you are right, in some ways I actually am. And so glad to know that the post was inspiring. That is my goal and so those words mean a lot! I realize not everyone is going to have this kind of budget or eat this kind of food, but my hope is that it can still motivate people to think about ways that they can make their own budgets work more efficiently. Thanks for sharing your tips and your menu with us. Love that your mother-in-law gave you a break.
So sweet! It makes a big difference, especially over a long period of time! And yes, I have a wonderful mother-in-law. And buying in bulk 25 pounds of pintos is a lot!!! Helene, 25 lbs. I know it would save us more though. The storage part is my biggest issue at this point. But you obviously are being thoughtful about your purchases and not just shopping mindlessly- and I think that is what really matters. By freezing the oatmeal you also kill any eggs that MiGHT be in your oats.
Thanks for the suggestion, Becky! I never thought about it killing eggs though. Good point! I am marveled by this! We are also a family of five and I am constantly looking for ways to cut down our continually growing food bill! These tips with the meal plan are great! I would love for you to share this on my new link party Making Memories Mondays going on now! Glad this could give you inspiration, Cathy!
And thanks for letting me know about the link up- I ended up doing it. I love your blog and this post, and I am motivated to achieve this for my fam of five! Thank you so much for sharing this on Making Memories Mondays! Hope you join us again soon, Rachael Diamonds in the Rough. We cook from scratch and try to buy in bulk or when things are on sale.
Thanks for all of the inspiration! Sounds like you are doing some great things to be mindful about how you spend your grocery money. And the Crockpot Mexican Chicken is such a great, easy dish. I need to note on the recipe though that it makes a large amount! So either cut it in half or be prepared to have enough for several meals. It does freeze pretty well too! This is so inspiring! I need to work on stockpiling- I think that would help us a lot! Thanks for the ideas!
And that is perfectly okay! It really does end up saving substantially in the long run. In fact one of my long time readers wrote a post for me about her experience with stockpiling. I think you might enjoy it! I am going to have to do some studying. I am amazed at your spending and your provision of healthy meals for your family. We had a small garden last year, but want to go bigger this year and take advantage of the local farms.
Do you have any recommendations on canning and freezing for beginners? Stephanie, sometimes I wish I had room for a garden and then other times when I think of all the work, well, not so much! Hope that helps! Gail, baking from scratch is such a great way to save. And it is so much healthier too so I believe in the long run it is saving you even more. And I love couponing too. How do you freeze your fresh produce?? That is something I really need to work on.
But my stockpile has gotten eaten up and I have not done much couponing in forever. It takes so much time and with four kids three of which I homeschool plus I work from home and blog. Couponing was the extra that had to go. Oh yeah and I hate to cook so its rare I make something from scratch. But basically, you have to prep your veggies and then cook them just until they boil.
As soon as they start to boil, you drain the boiling water and put them in cold water. This is called blanching and using a blancher like this makes it easy. Then you strain them really well, try to get them relatively dry and then put them in whatever container you want to freeze them in. And I hear you about the couponing! There are seasons for everything and we all have to know what is the important thing. You sound like you have your hands full without couponing! This post has been so helpful as I as I am trying to whittle down our grocery budget! I hope to can more this spring. So glad it gave you some inspiration!
I love all of your ideas! Thanks for sharing! Thanks, Leesha! But of course, if you want a challenge….. We all have different giftings, needs and preferences and so budgets are going to look different for everyone.
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I wish my family could do better with our shopping, although I know compared with a lot of my friends we do pretty good. Sure thing, Christina! Another thing you might not know that you can freeze is butter. I love stocking up when it is on sale and then using it as needed. Yes, meal planning is a great way to save money, but would you believe that I stink at it?
I know, I know. I need to bake more bread from scratch. It really does save money… especially if you are getting flour at a discounted price. It does, and fortunately for me, I love working with dough. But then of course, it takes time too and sometimes the time factor can outweigh the frugal factor, you know? Thanks for the laughs, Sarah! These are so great! I will definitely be pinning this! Glad to have found this! Thanks, Summer! And yes, groceries seem to one of the biggest expenses, and thing is, you obviously need them.
We also have the similar budget. I think that most important thing is menu planning — since I started to plan my meals I am spending less money, and our meals are more diverse than before. This is great!