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We are retired and are living on a fixed income. Being frugal has become a way of living. We shop the specials at the supermarkets and I have a vegetable garden. Our clothes often come from thrift stores or yard sales. I like to decorate and make my home nice and I never feel deprived.
We attend country auctions where we often find curtains, bed linens, tablecloths, wall decorations, pictures, throw rugs, candles, etc. in box lots for a very low bid. The auction items I don't use for my home, I often sell over EBay. We often sell on week-ends at our local flea market to make extra money.
It is wonderful to keep money for ourselves instead of giving it to the supermarket chains and department stores. Now we are saving for a vacation. As you can see, thriftiness has its own reward.
NellieMary from West Virginia
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The federal government's website http://www.usa.gov (formerly FirstGov.gov) has a lot of interesting government information. For example, surplus property auctions for state and federal agencies, including colleges, are listed at http://www.usa.gov/shopping/shopping.shtml. They list links to each state, where they're selling everything from Palm Pilots to sofas, all used and sold "as-is", many shown in photos.
Watch your local paper for estate auctions. Furniture, appliances and many other items can often be purchased well below the cost of the same item new.