I have been a frugal woman all my life. And it seems I am always researching or joining a group in an attempt to find ways to be even more frugal. And in my quest for information I have found this; one size doesn't always fit all.
So many times I will read a post on a subject and many others will comment after it that this is the wrong way and their way is right. For instance, I have seen people post how to save money on gasoline in their car by combining errands, tune up, etc. And others will post nasty comments below it telling them they should not OWN a car, they should use public transportation, ride a bike, or walk. Oh, really? I live approximately 70 miles from the nearest town that has public transportation. Due to arthritis, bike riding is out. Since the closest town is about a 5 mile round trip walk, that is out, too.
And if I posted that, I am sure many commenters would start typing I should move. I have a beautiful home in a small town with over half an acre of land. Before we moved to this home, I did some research. Twenty miles up the road in a town with more shopping areas than mine, a home similar to mine, with a postage stamp yard, is over twice what I paid for this one. Sprinkle in a higher crime rate, more traffic, the noise, and the higher taxes and, to me, it is a better deal to be here.
Some people, when they read a post on stockpiling a pantry, will post messages telling them it is wrong, they are hoarders, and telling them how THEY do it, and that their way is the right way. This one size for all doesn't fit me, either. I live in a rural area where shopping is limited. And since there is little competition here the prices are sky high. So I don't shop often. When I do, I spend a day shopping, separating, and storing my food/non-food items properly. I rotate my stock. I save a fortune by doing it this way, not only on my items but the gas I save from not having to run to the store to buy an item I am out of.
Last year a freak storm came through and power was out in our area for over a week. Those who did not plan ahead had to drive 20 miles up the road to eat several times a day. And then while they were gone they had visitors called looters. Since I had a fully stocked pantry (and a generator) I stayed put, and so did my belongings. I don't judge those that feel they don't need extra food on the shelf, but it is the right size for me!
Another subject I see arguments posted on so many times is vegetarian vs meat eaters. I recall seeing a post on how to stretch hamburger. And below the post the comments started on how if the poster would eat they way THEY ate, they would not eat meat, be a vegetarian. And of course the comment rambled on and on. Now I am not dissing vegetarians, to each their own. But please, I am a meat eater, let me be! I like beef steak well done, with steak sauce. Tofu just isn't the same thing!
Everybody does different things as we walk through life. I recall one group having this thread that you only need 100 items in your home, nothing else. WHAT? And take away my cook book collection I love reading? My music boxes that I wind up and listen too when I am in the mood? No, sorry, this may be for you, but not for me. That one size doesn't fit me, either.
Now I am not a big TV watcher. But in the winter when getting out is hard to do, I love to watch classic movies. (Can we say "Arsenic and Old Lace"?) And since this is what I REALLY enjoy, we have TIVO. I can hear people gasping now and typing furiously "YOU DON'T NEED TIVO! GO TO THE LIBRARY AND GET FREE DOCUMENTARIES FOR FREE TO WATCH!" No, I don't think so.
I believe I will pop my microwave popcorn I purchased last month at Sams, kick back in my comfy chair I purchased at a Salvation Army for only $4.50, drink my tea made from mega sized tea bags and kept cold in the fridge sitting in a gallon glass jar that is a recycled pickle jar, and hit the play button on the remote and enjoy a classic movie. I am saving a fortune by not jumping in my car, driving 25 miles to a theater, paying to get in, and then paying $20 for popcorn and soda. I like my way, it fits me, and it makes me happy. (And yes, I drink lots of water, but I like a soda. Maybe some don't but I do.)
No, one size just doesn't fit all!
Have a wonderful Frugal life, but do it your way. Because, one size doesn't fit all. :-0
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I loved your post. People who are insecure in their choices feel threatened by those who have made different choices. I think that attitude includes everything under the sun, not just frugal living. Frugal living is different for everyone. It means making the best life with the resources you have and for your particular circumstances. Also, it takes into consideration what you like to do. I will never sew my own clothes. I think it is an admirable thing to do- it just isn't for me. I also don't freeze too many meals because I don't want a freezer that is like my own personal purgatory I have to work my way out of. For me to make something and freeze portions it has to be a dish I totally love. But I might view freezers differently if I lived out in the country with a big family to feed. The freezer might then be my best friend. When I visit frugal sites, I sift through the advice and look for the suggestions that suit me now.
I found your words to be very comforting. I too am frugal and do things my way to save money. I find the same things happening to me. My daughter wants me to use coupons, but I find that if I buy store brands they are cheaper then the name brand with a coupon. I also buy in bulk when I can. Actually I never buy one of almost anything. I find that when you run out you need a spare and then you can go to store and buy two more. This works for me. I am disabled and filing for disability so I have no income. What little I do get here and there needs to cover me in the very lean times. So way to go. One size does not fit all... not in clothes... or in being frugal.... I try just to ignore the means ones... Ignore the ignorance. Frugal On!!!!
Very interesting post. So now there are frugal snobs! If we all did just as much as we can, considering our circumstances. It would make a big difference in our budgets & probably our greenish "footprint" too. I dabble in all sorts of frugality, from picking up designer handbags for cheap, to hemming my own pants, to doing small repairs and so on, plus some knitting & crafting.
It all adds up to helping my husband & me to have a quite nice lifestyle. We even have a bargain boat in a bargain slip! As my hubby says, we just have to manage to keep it up!
I read the responses, most (as expected) praise. People don't like to be told. Told anything. For any reason. It makes them mad. Madder if they feel guilty. Let's apply the Beverly principle to Frugal Living. When someone gives suggestions about anything, let's not suggest improvements. Their tender psyches might be offended. Let's not even piggyback on ideas, because someone might imagine we're trying to reshape their lives. How simple Frugal Living would be! How free from upset! How empty!
There are many kinds of frugal snobbery, and they can derive from a sense of not being in control of work or home life. The tendency then is to strike out where one can, like the man who lost a key down the block but looks for it under the lamppost because the light's better. So yes, this is one of those snobby critiques- think through what's being said. One size doesn't fit all, but all those folks who, rightly or wrongly, suggest alternatives are freely donating their thoughts and experiences, and I value them even as I say to myself, no, that one doesn't work for me right now.
Sharing is wonderful, and in season.
This can apply to every part of life! You are so right. What is a good way for one person may not be right for the next. Kudos to you for an excellent post!
I really enjoyed this article. When I first became frugal, I was so proud and shared ideas with everyone. I soon learned that a lot of people don't want to hear the ideas of others. I was told several times that the person did it a different way and they thought theirs was so much better. I now know that if someone wants to know something, I just love to talk about frugality but if they are one that knows it all (even if they don't), I just smile and nod my head. Each person does have a right to have their own ideas. I listen to everyone though and keep an open mind and have learned so many new things.
See how many people agree with you....look at all the posts. I'm one of them. You couldn't have said it any better and I love it. There will always be someone who thinks their idea of frugal is better than anyone elses'. You go girl!
I also loved your post. I just registered to be a member and am already enjoying this site. I also do a lot of the same things you do to be frugal, because we too, live in a rural area, but in Maine. I didn't grow up in a very rural area but my grandmother was a very frugal woman and I spent most of my childhood with her and learned a lot of her ways. She had chickens for the eggs, a garden every year, fruit bearing trees in her backyard that she made use of, etc. It seemed as though nothing went to waste. Needless to say, your "size" of frugality is about the same size as mine! Thanks for your essay!
An excellent post, and you are so right about everything. We march to our own drummer, as it should be. Thanks for sharing!
You said it! I feel kind of bad when someone posts something on here to share and I see someone else has left an unkind comment about it. That's missing the point entirely and hurting, not helping. Thanks for stating that in a kind way!
I also agree with you about stockpiling. I just moved into a new place and want to get some good deals before the snow comes. I live right outside of Cleveland, OH and we usually get hit pretty hard in the winter. I don't want to run out of sundries in the middle of a snow storm. I want to stay in my apartment and not have to face the icy roads and poor visibility, thank you very much.
My boyfriend wants to keep as much of his paycheck as he can so he will buy just a little bit of food, then one day he comes home and has no food and has to go to the store. I feel more comfortable knowing that when the bad weather comes (or I am sick and not feeling like going out) that I will have food and supplies. If bad weather doesn't come it's not like the extra food and TP and cat litter will not be used!
Anyhow, thanks for sharing with us!
I, too, loved your post, and you are so right about everything. If we took less time judging people and more time enjoying life, this world would be a better place.
An older lady once told me "Opinions are like @ssholes-everyone has one". Unfortunately this is true. People spend too much time trying to be right. Thank you for your post!
I could not have said it better! Bravo to you! People need to understand that not everything is exactly tailored to or for them, but, with good measure we try to add helpful hints, advice & a treasure trove of How To's & Don't Do's on here. Happy Thanksgiving & Blessings to all.
This is a wonderful attitude to life that we can all learn from. You are blessed to live in the "wide open spaces" and not the "concrete jungle" of suburbia. Personal opinion is freedom of speech. God bless.
Wonderful post. I love the ideas and positive opinions. They are so helpful and useful and shows the diversity of the Frugal Community. A little personal advice (as others have suggested), the negative opinions and put-downs don't add to the purpose of this site. Love you all and keep up the great ideas.
I agree with you except for one thing. Microwave popcorn is not good for you. It contains chemicals and preservatives that are harmful. Get a whirrly pop popper and use popcorn in a jar or bag. It costs less and tastes good and doesn't take but a munite or nore to make than microwave. Just a suggestion.
You are right, that one size does not fit all. If others do not want to do what you do, that is their right, but it is not necessary to criticize what you have chosen as the best altenative for you and your family. Perhaps instead of being critcal, offer an alternative. Neither is right or wrong, but fits into the lifestyle of the one doing it. Since no one way fits for everyone, seeing other options gives people a chance to see how they can adapt what someone is doing to their own way of life. Then a polite thank you for the idea would be more appropriate.
Amen, Sister! I treat it all like a buffet, I take what I like and leave the rest.
Marg from England
Excellent post. My momma always told me "If you can't say something nice, just keep your mouth shut." I envy you spending Thanksgiving in Missouri. My mom, dad, and extended family are all enjoying a meal together about 3 hours north of you (in Mexico MO) while I sit here wishing we were there too.
God bless! Happy Thanksgiving!
Thank you for writing what I should have wrote. No matter what you do someone will not like what you say or do.
I really enjoyed reading your post. One thing you mentioned was the vegetarian thing as opposed to meat eating. As a vegetarian for 26 years, I get the disrespect the other way around. I have never ever criticised or commented on meat eating, after all, we are all entitled to have a choice. What really gets me is the unkind and ignorant comments regarding my way of eating. Please people, vegetarians are human too and our choice of food is entirely our decision. I will quite happily sit next to somebody eating a steak as long as I don't have to eat it myself. Why pass hurtful comments ("why dont you eat the pot plant?") When I have left you alone. Let me have my choice of food, too.
Great suggestion staying home on Black Friday. I never have done and never will do BF. Other suggestions you made are wonderful ways to spend time also. Thumbs Up!
Thanks for your post. We are so lucky to live in a time and place where we have choices, and don't all have to do things the same way. It's nice to be reminded that (I'm a child of the sixties) "different strokes for different folks!"
You tell 'em girl, boy are you right!
Rarely comment as I read for suggestions and those I like, I do and those that don't suit, I don't. Can't imagine commenting and telling someone they are wrong. If there were only one way to take care of things, no other medications would have been developed for headaches after the discovery of aspirin.
Thanks for posting.
Are you my sister? If not, we should be!! Wonderful post!
I really enjoyed your article, I totally agree with you!!!
I, too, enjoyed your post. Although the internet is a wonderful thing it sadly brings us all kinds of people who can't mind their own business. You gotta drive your own bus.
Maybe you only technically need 100 items. But I wouldn't be an artist without my pencils and paints, and I wouldn't be a writer without my pens, notebooks and laptop. That's the way it is.
I even have a cat stroller and harness. That works where I live. I swore I'd never get a stroller. She's a cat, not a baby! But my neighbor gave me a barely used one, and you know? She took to it.
I have read a lot about the stocking up debate. I have a large, organized storage room and find that online warehouse sites give me the best deal. As long as you find you are actually using what you buy, who cares what you use the space for?
On the other hand, I have pointed out when something doesn't seem to make sense. For instance, ways to save even more grocery bags probably work, but why are you saving that many grocery bags? That may be hoarding. I do think it's okay to point it out.
So true! I get frustrated with sites where they advocate all this comparison shopping. I and my spouse do not own a vehicle or have drivers licenses. The small town I live in has 3 grocery stores one of which is basically a glorified convenience store. It's more than an hour to another town even if you ask a friend for a ride you are pretty limited!
We live in a trailer and have very limited storage. You are limited when it comes to renovation in the trailer park.
We do not own a television or stereo. We use our iPads and iPhones to read watch tv and Netflix on free wifi!
Do you ever use Jet.com? You get free shipping with every $25 dollar order and there is no signup fee. Prices fluctuate, though, so you have to pay attention.
I've found that Amazon Prime really pays me. It may seem anti-frugal to pay that much per year but the two day shipping on often heavy dry groceries, household items, paper goods and even last minute gifts has saved me at least that much and more. Plus you get music and tv. It's worth consideration at least.
Also, if there is no good library in your town, download the Kindle app or whatever reader app for iphone that does kindle and you can get a subscription to Kindle unlimited. It's a monthly subscription like Netflix but for books. You can "check out" ten at a time.
How much I agree with you! We don't need to lose individuality in life; there are so many forces telling us what to do and how to do it. Be yourself and satisfy your own wishes in your frugal life!
I agree with you on the comment about people with a through away attitude that think being frugal is for the birds. I tell everyone what I do to save money with the statement "the more I save the bigger my diamond". That means If I save on what I need I can afford a little of what I want.
Brava! You are living my 'when we retire' dream. My little town will have to have a great library. Even though I can get e-books galore, for me, the feel, smell, and look of a book is important and I just can't afford to add to my already huge collection. Hubby also loves books so this is our 'treat'. But the library trip would be our day-out for the week/month as needed.
Everyone should just do what works for them, support those they agree with, offer suggestions if they are helpful, and stop criticizing others that do differently. No one walks the same path and each needs to find what works for them. Your words are more eloquent and I enjoyed reading them. Thank you.
What a sorry state that one has to justify your frugal life. Frugality has good fringe benefits, such as a lowered carbon footprint on Planet Earth. Someone with a differing opinion can also make their own thrifty tips, separately, so as to not disturb the integrity of someone else's. Of note, soy has antinutrients, and unless it is fermented, as in tempeh, soy is overall very unhealthy for the body, surprise! Yes, tofu has protein, low fat, and calcium and is versatile in a recipe. But the antinutrients make it, and other soy, including edamame, a poor choice. I learned about this late in life, after revering tofu in my cuisine.
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