Debt Free, I'm Still A Frugalite

Well now that I am debt free, I am still a frugalite as I am saving for a one year emergency fund. Here are a couple of the ways which I am doing it. I hope that you will be able to apply a couple to save a little money. My Frugal Life


To begin with let's begin with the limitations, of which a major one is that I live in an apartment, so I can't do any structural changes such as adding insulation to decrease my heating bill etc. But other than that the sky is the limit. So here we go:

  • I made window blankets from old thrift store blankets which I found cheap, cheap, cheap at my local thrift store. I covered them with some broadcloth which was in my fabric stash for aesthetic purposes. I hung them at my windows which considerably warm up the rooms.

  • I love wearing thermal underwear; however, when I pulled out all of my thermal underwear which I have worn for several years, I found that the elastic at the waist had lost its elasticity so I had stopped wearing them. I contemplated purchasing new ones, but decided instead to sew a waist casing (again from my broad clothe fabric stash) and place elastic within the casing. This rendered these underwear usable for a couple more years and saved me a bunch in replacement costs.

  • I have begun turning off my heat at night and instead sleeping with flannel pajamas, heavy hunter's socks, a scarf, and a sweatshirt. I am toasty warm.

  • I have an electric heating pad at my back when sitting reading or sewing while on the couch as well as a blanket on my legs.

  • I brought all of my clothing drying racks indoors. I dry all of my clothes on these racks. The clothes raise the humidity level in the house, which makes the temperature feel warmer and saves me the cost of purchasing, as well as the expense of operating, a clothes dryer as well as a humidifier.

  • I find that my neck gets cold while in the house so I wear a neck scarf indoors. Who cares what other people think? I am toasty warm.

  • I stopped using the stove which came with my apartment for baking and instead purchased a counter top toaster oven. The toaster oven uses less energy and gets the job done. I have even perfected making bread in the toaster oven.

  • I unplugged the mammoth refrigerator which came with my apartment and instead purchased a 1.7 cubic foot compact refrigerator. It is similar to the type which you see in college dorm rooms. I have found that it perfectly meets my needs, saves on electricity, and as an added bonus I never encounter spoiled food which used to get pushed on a back shelf in my old refrigerator and forgotten.

  • Last spring, I found sweaters on sale for a quarter at my favorite thrift store. Needless to say, they were picked over and the ones which were left were very short. They barely came below my bust. I purchased three anyway and got out my old crochet hook and crochet several inches to them to make them waist length. I saved a bunch versus purchasing new ones.

  • I have over two dozen long sleeve t-shirts which I purchased over three years ago. My city water has a lot of minerals and after several washes they looked pretty dingy, even though I use bleach. I did not feel comfortable wearing them to work. I decided that instead of replacing them, I would use fabric dye and dye them. I found the dye at the grocery store for only $1.67 per box and I was able to dye three t-shirts per box. They turned out GREAT. I saved a bundle as each long sleeve t-shirt would have had a replacement cost of $6.00 each.

I hope that these were of benefit to you and please keep sending in these Frugal Life stories. I love reading what others are doing.

By Lovejoy from Dallas, TX

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December 12, 20100 found this helpful

I've read at several places and have even seen a few magazine articles where people will get several different sweaters, cut them apart, and construct new ones that are a sort of patchwork design. Horizontal bands are sewn in for length, the patterns are "blocked," and colors and designs are matched. Some look really nice. I've also seen rag rugs constructed from old sweaters. I've really wanted to try this, since I can imagine how soft they must feel underfoot.

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December 12, 20100 found this helpful

Maybe where you live, turning the furnace off isn't a problem, but for those of us who live in the mid-west and colder climates that would not be an option since our pipes would freeze and if that were to happen and they burst, not very frugal getting them repaired and the damage that could cost. I work to pay my bills, but also to enjoy some comforts. I think sometimes we can get a little carried away with frugality. It's a fine line. But, if it works for you, go for it. I will enjoy my furnace during these cold winter months set at a reasonable temperature.

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December 23, 20100 found this helpful

Very nice article! We do a lot of your ideas, and you've sparked me to get going on some projects I've been procrastinating on. I need to make more blankets! We hang blankets over the rock walls in our house, in addition to the windows. We shut off the heat too, and to save from burst pipes we have lots of shut off valves.

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May 5, 20140 found this helpful

I live in the Dallas area, too, and I can't believe anybody needs thermal underwear more than a few days a year. My elderly aunt wore it, but she was in her 90s and cold all the time. Most of the time, it's hot, though we will have some cold spells. I think we have some thermal underwear, packed away with ski clothes.

I do like the idea of replacing elastic rather than buying new, and when my son went from waiting tables (white shirts only) to working in a bank, I dyed his white shirts blue so he wouldn't have to buy all new clothes, and he was sick of wearing white shirts.

We invested in an electric blanket a year ago and it's been wonderful at night. The heat goes way down automatically, but we stay warm, and we usually switch off the blanket after it's warmed up the bed.

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