Theories for a Frugal Life

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Living within my means has been ingrained in me my whole life, as is living a green life, meaning being nice to Mother Nature.

The two - to me - go hand and hand.

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I find when I share my theories with people, there are two schools of reactions. One is the person looking at me like I have three heads and webbed feet. This is sadly the usual reaction. The other rare reaction is a look of pure relief that there is a kindred soul out there.

My theories are simple:

  1. Live within my means. My house is small - just big enough for the two humans and dog who live there. Yes, when I go visit friends who have big house with real closets and spare rooms, I get a tinge of jealously, but their needs are different than mine and our 950 square feet work for us. If our needs ever changed, we would carefully reevaluate things.

  2. Live without what is not necessary. Necessary is different for everyone. For me, one of my life "with outs" was I made a conscious decision to live without a clothes dryer when my last one broke. It used a lot of natural gas and I felt like it was ruining our clothing.

    I started line drying everything and our clothing has lasted MUCH longer than before. Also, I felt I took a small step to reducing my carbon footprint. Your "live without" and mine may be totally different. I think everyone has something that they could easily eliminate from their life and not miss it.

  3. I also have (where I can) a three-life rule. This means try to get at least three lives out of an item. For example, the good sheets were used on the bed, then the dogs used them in their crates, and their final life was being used for cleaning rags.

    This three-life rule can work for things like coats--a good coat, a take out the dog coat, a use what's left of the wool coat to make boiled wool flowers for a craft project. Even silverware can have three lives, which are use for meals, leave in containers to spoon out things like powdered cocoa, and spray paint and bend them to hold business cards (think of it as metal origami).

  4. When I need something, I don't buy it immediately. If I want to replace something I use all the time, my first line is to ask around to see if anyone I know has one they don't need. If not, I will try a thrift store, flea market, or tag sale. Just about everything devalues the minute you take it off the store shelf, so why pay full price for something that someone else may have used a few times and discarded?

    If it is something I would like to have, then I wait a few days. If I think about it, 99 times out of 100, I don't get it. This is especially true with clothing and most household items. Yes, a pretty new tan sweater would be nice, but I have two already, so why add another to the mix? When the two I have lived their three lives, then I may replace ONE of them...maybe.

  5. When I have to buy something that is more of a necessity - tires for the car or replace a broken washer or stove - I shop carefully and when I finally make up my mind with who has the best price, I ask the salesperson, kindly and with a smile, if there are discounts or rebates available or if this is the best price they can offer.

    I have found this works best when I have a history with a store/vendor, and they know me, know that I have recommended them to others.

    That said, it also works sometimes just being kind to the person you are asking. And I mean kind from the minute you walk into the store until the minute you leave. Kindness goes a long way and, in every situation, it is FREE!

These are my theories. I hope if we meet, I will get the look of relief that you have found a kindred spirit. I always have to check when I get the look like I have three heads and webbed feet, you just never know. Stranger things have happened!

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Anonymous
June 20, 20180 found this helpful

I love it! Try to live green and I'm somewhat thrifty but lots of good ideas in here. Thanks!

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June 21, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you for your kind words! Start small and work your way up! It becomes fun and a challenge to out green yourself (both in saving money and being good to Mother Nature!).

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Anonymous
June 22, 20180 found this helpful

Love this! Got some great ideas! Thanks for sharing!!

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June 28, 20180 found this helpful

Thanks!! I appreciate your kind words!

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June 22, 20180 found this helpful

Great post !

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June 26, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you for your kind words!!! Means a lot to me!!

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June 22, 20180 found this helpful

Kindred spirit here! Besides what you do, I have been getting dangerous toxins and chemicals out of my life for some years.

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I don't buy laundry detergent, personal products, cleaning products, etc. I make my own. Talk to people about it or a frugal life style? Yep, three heads and webbed feet.

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June 22, 20180 found this helpful

Thanks for being a kindred soul!

I am also on a quest to rid our house if chemicals and toxins. Vinegar, baking soda and salt rule! Cotton rags, water and elbow grease too!!

Would you be so kind as to share your laundry detergent recipe?

Thanks again for your kind words!!

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June 24, 20180 found this helpful

Pghgirl40 - It is nice to put a "face" to an ID.
I certainly agree with your lifestyle and commend you for having the courage to stand by your convictions.
I grew up in a time when your way of life was not a choice but sometimes it has been difficult to remain frugal when there was no longer a "need" to be.

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I enjoy reading your comments and answers to questions as they always show your genuine interest in the person asking the question and also concern for their safety above "solutions".

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June 24, 20180 found this helpful

Thanks cybergrannie!! You made my day!! Your note is appreciated!

I don't think of my self as being courageous. I am just me.

It is nice to have re-found a community of like minds on this site. We can all have three heads and webbed feet together :)

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June 24, 20180 found this helpful

I reread it and was happy that not just for saving money you were saving our efforts for a better eco-system. I always like this thrifty fun site just as a reinforcement of many sharing my views too.

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June 24, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you! I find money savings is a happy bonus from green living.

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Like I said, I have been this way forever! Thanks for being a kindred soul!

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June 24, 20180 found this helpful

Another kindred soul here. I don't care if things get a bit shabby looking if they still work. My answer to most new things is" I don't want it THAT much".
It does help if you've been brought up by an inventive mother.Keep up the good work, Pghgirl! Thumbs up.
Marg from England.

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June 25, 20180 found this helpful

Thanks Marg! I learned a lot from my mom too! It is wonderful to have another kindred soul!! I so agree with not really wanting things. I find I am happiest with less. Thanks for reaching out! Take care!

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June 25, 20180 found this helpful

This article makes me so happy! A great read to keep and read in the future, and pass on to others who need such values.

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I love the 3 lives rule; I use the same and I have no shame!

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June 25, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you for your kind words, atossa! So happy to hear you are a kindred soul! Here's to the power of the three life rule! Thanks for reaching out!!

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July 4, 20180 found this helpful

I have read this post several times, thanks so much for sharing!!

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July 4, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you! Your kind words make me blush!

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July 6, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you so much for your comments. I, too, get the 3 headed look from folks but I don't care. I am saving money and making a difference.

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July 6, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you for being a kindred spirit! We three headed ones need to stick together and save money and our world!

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July 17, 20180 found this helpful

I especially liked your 3 life rule.I didn't even realize that I had been doing this many times- now even more will I be conscious about doing this!!Thanks for well written article you wrote.

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July 17, 20180 found this helpful

So happy to hear I have another kindred soul. Your kind words made my day. Thank you!!

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Anonymous
July 22, 20180 found this helpful

Definetly a kindred spirit!

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July 22, 20180 found this helpful

Definetly a kindred spirit!

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Anonymous
July 22, 20180 found this helpful

Happy to know there are more of us out there!! It is a great club to be a member of in this world!! Thanks!!!

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Anonymous
July 22, 20180 found this helpful

Lovely to know there are kindred spirits out there!! Thank you for taking time to let me know!!

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July 22, 20180 found this helpful

I have learned to live free the best way I can. I am beyond frugal so that is wonderful on our parts. I play a game called verydice. I use the search feature to collect the items I want. I use the heart to save them to favorites then Amazon ships them for free.

I love the easy surveys and nothing is better than the free items I am getting. Due to this game, I no longer use Amazon for cash items. The Amazon cards I get go to a friend. Blessings for me all the way around. enter this in the friend code 2059629 enjoy yourself 50 free rolls and watch out that jackpot is wonderful.

I use a mini washer in my tub and hang them in the room on a hanging rack. Due to my sharing, about 15 people around me adore theirs as well.

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July 22, 20180 found this helpful

Thanks for your message!! Much appreciated! It sounds like you have a neat system! Maybe you could do a separate post to share with the Thrifty Fun community. It's all about sharing and learning. Thanks again!

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