Even though my husband took a pay raise when we moved to NJ almost two years ago, NJ is one of the most expensive states to live in. We are a one income household, so we have to be very frugal. I shop at the Goodwill for our clothes, household items and toys. I have found some brand new items there still with the tags on them. I do our grocery shopping at Aldi stores and Costco.
I have decorated our house using "oops" paint from Home Depot or Lowes at $5.00/gal. I am always on the lookout for free samples on the net. Our laundry is hung up, I use the dryer very little. We have energy saving light bulbs on every light in my house and a programable thermostat. We renovated this year with a new front door, more insulation for our attic, water heater blanket, and took down three 50' trees in our yard (causing damage to our foundation and roof). We've saved $1179.49 on our PSE&G so far this year. We enjoy camping trips for our vacations and we also go down the Jersey shore when ever we can. My husband is a wood worker and makes our furniture. We own two cars (just paid them off) and own our house. We have only one credit card and it gives us travel benefits. We will be using the travel miles to go to Tennessee and also to go on a cruise in 2008. We have cable, phone and internet but I use a strict budget system for our bills so we are able to have some enjoyment in our life.
I haven't had any challenges from being a frugal person. I have seen a "big payoff", so to speak. Before putting us on a budget, I had no idea how much money was going out. Now I have everything budgeted out and I know exactly where the money goes. We have been able to have a savings account for our vacations. We don't live paycheck to paycheck like most people do. We live in a very small house so we save on the electric and gas bill and we don't buy what we don't need. I am thinking of growing a garden in the summer and am looking forward to it. I really enjoy being frugal and I tell a lot of people that I am frugal. I really like to see how much I can save.
Stacia from Mount Holly, New Jersey
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A garden IS being frugal. I Live on LI and some-
years my tomato plants are producing thru November.
Suggestion: Buy @ a garage sale a used freezer
if you don't have one. Reduced meat @ supermarket if properly packaged will keep.
Also, if you go thru w/the garden, you might want to learn how to can so you have vegetables in winter
when the East Coast prices are exorbitant.
Your cut grass becomes a compost pile, adding veg
& fruit discards to it so it seasons.
Wow! I thought WE were frugal but you have us beat hands down! I do some of what you do but I haven't tried the paint at Home Depot...haven't needed to since my husband retired.
You mentioned having a garden. That will REALLY save you $$$! When we have more than we can use right away I can and freeze and dehydrate. Many, many times we sit down to a meal with food that only came from our own place becasue my husband is a hunter and keeps the freezers full. We eat balanced meals and have a great variety of veggies and meats. It's terrific to come in after a long trip or full day working on the farm and just open a can of soup that has just exactaly what YOU want in it and you KNOW it's going to be good.
We have fruit trees and this really saves money. I have all that stuff in my freezer and make jams and jellies with some. We have fresh fruit with every breakfast.
My point in writing is to tell you that you'll really love having a garden and it'll save you even more...plus it tastes much, much better! Oh, and you can compost, too!
I love hearing all the tricks that people use, please share all the little things that you do that could possibly help me. People all over that are frugal always do something different and we can all learn from them. Thanks in advance for sharing
It almost gets to be a sport after a time and we always win!
I love to go shopping and come home feeling like I robbed the place.
This kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth, One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
I am glad to hear you are still being frugal. My grandparents started out there marriage very poor in a cabin with no electricity in the late 1920's and they had a garden and children. They got rich from a suggestion my grandpa made to his in-laws which was to start a real estate investment and restaurant company. They did not take to the idea, so it was put off for a long while.
Meanwhile my grandpa hunted and sold the meat he hunted to the butcher in a nearby town. My grandma sewed all their clothes and washed clothes in a tub for the neighbors who were rich farmers.
Later when my great grandpa died he left my grandma a sum of money, which made their life better. They moved into a home with electricity, and started that real estate and restaurant, and had three more children. One of them my mother.
My grandparents remained extremely frugal till the very end of his life. He did become very rich, but they were still frugal. They sewed all home decorations, went to auctions, ate what was left over at the restaurant and meat my grandpa still hunted. They used coupons for every thing, and I do mean everything including gas for their new car bought used with cash saved only. They bought their car on sale too. They never took a loan from anyone, not even bankers.
My great grandparents were extremely rich. I guess it skipped two generations because my parents were poor, and they still are poor, as am I. I use coupons for everything, and all my grandparents had gardens, as did my parents. They still do. I am the only one without a garden. I have one brother who has a garden, and two sisters each with their own gardens and homes. I live in an apartment with my family.
Every detail is accounted for including shopping at thrift stores for everything too. I shop at dollar stores as well, and I haven't been in in a grocery store in ages. i did work in one, but I never shopped their in these past years. I am a member of a warehouse store, but it is the only place I shop in bulk. Bulk shopping helps a lot. My groceries from the money we get isn't much. I have it way better than most in the United States of America I admire what you have done keep it up and good going. God Bless. Tanya from MN
I love oops paint too! I thought it was a great deal until I figured out that I can go to the local recycle center and take all the paint I want for FREE! They say that they cannot dispose of it there so they have to have it trucked out to somewhere else. Maybe you could ask some centers in New Jersey about this. I live south of Atlanta. Good luck.
I would still VERY much like to get ideas from you on how you do some of those things, you know, pick your brain for more ideas. Please email me at lpme AT gbta.net if you would like to share some of your ideas with me. Thanks
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