March 05, 2021

Frugal Friday

When I was deep cleaning last month I thought of something one of my friends said once when she walked in my house. She said "Wow, the nineties just called and they want their furniture back." I laughed. I suppose it's true, my home does look dated now, but I would never consider replacing anything that is still in good condition. That's just a waste of money in my opinion. Besides, I still happen to like my furniture - thank you very much! 

I remember my mother always remodeling, refurnishing, or updating something. It never made any sense to me. It was such a waste of money. 

When we bought our home, I was focused on living very frugally, and trying to double up on mortgage payments as often as possible to get it paid off early instead. An early payoff would likely mean an earlier retirement too. Now that's something I really wanted.

I accomplished my goal, a thirty year mortgage paid off in eighteen years. By then living frugally was a way of life. We were able to retire in our mid-late fifties. 

We won't have a fancy retirement. We won't be traveling or doing things some people dream of in retirement years. We will still be frugal homebodies, earning extra money when we can here and there. We were both more than willing to trade all the other stuff to be out of the rat race ten to fifteen years early.

My friend can laugh at my nineties furniture all day long while she sits at her desk for forty hours a week for another ten years or more.

Now that I got that story out, here are some little ways I saved this week...

I always save a lot just by menu planning. I build my menu between what I have on hand and what's on sale. I don't buy anything outside of that plan other than items that are buy one get one free. 

There was zero spending this week other than groceries. Some of the buy one get one free items I added to my stock up were assorted pastas, Greek yogurt, olive oil, assorted broths and stocks, assorted shredded cheeses, Italian bread and laundry detergent. It seems like I'm missing something, but that's all I can remember at the moment. I saved over $70 just by stocking up on those items.

I reopened my Instagram book shop on Tuesday. I've made $117 so far. I'll get more books listed this weekend before sending out invoices for the week.

Luckily we are having windows wide open kind of weather this week. We haven't needed AC at all which is always a big savings!

How frugal are you? Did you find ways to save this week?

88 comments:

  1. Good to know your weather is warmer. It is a chilly day up here in northern Virginia. I consider myself frugal and one of the things this Pandemic has done, has reinforced in me is that there is a lot we can manage without and make do. It helps us and it helps the world in the long run. No waste where food is concerned, no turning up the heat too high and turning it down when we go to bed, a lot of other things. “Turn the lights off!” My dad used to say to me. “You’ll understand when you have a place of your own and have to pay the bills.” My parents passed this on to me as their years of rationing during WWII and several years afterwards taught them to be frugal and to make-do, and passed that on to me as I grew up. I must have paid more attention than my parents realized at the time :)

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    1. Very true about the pandemic reinforcing what we can do without. It amazes me how many people were losing their minds because they couldn't go shopping or out for entertainment and meals. I don't do those things on any kind of regular basis to begin with, not much changed for me in that respect. I'm glad your parents passed that on to you. I kind of giggled when you said that thinking of the Progressive commercial where people become their parents lol. I don't know where I got it from, my parents were spenders and not the least bit frugal. I guess I just instilled it within myself somehow. Have a great weekend Denise! :)

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  2. We're expecting temperatures of -°4C tomorrow, send me some heat!
    Life's all about compromise, isn't it? We paid our mortgage off in our 40th year (2006) and have been self-employed for 15 years. We scrimp on some things to be able to afford stuff that's important to us. Most of our clothes, our home furnishings, our cats and vehicles are all secondhand. The only thing we buy new is food &fuel! xxx

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    1. I wish I could share some warmth with you! I agree with you, I am the same with buying just about everything second hand. I can't remember the last time I shopped in a retail store, It's been years. Great job getting your mortgage paid off at such a young age, that's awesome!

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  3. We won't retire a decade early, but hopefully at least five years early for DH and 6 for me. I am not sure if I am frugal or if I just don't like spending on pointless things-lie constantly changing out dΓ©cor or closets.

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    1. Pointless spending is even worse and I know so many people who do it. Whether it's home things or just being shopaholics in general, needless spending is just foolish in my book. Good luck Sam, I hope you are able to meet your retirement goals!

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  4. I'm hoping to retire early (DH could, but has no desire to), so that's a top focus. We've lived in very HCOL areas, as our industry requires it, but have been very focused on our mortgage paydown, despite it being 7 figures. We've paid off half in four years, and are feeling great about that.

    Do you have a post on your book shop? I'd love to learn more.

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    1. That's an amazing accomplishment in four short years - go you!! My book shop is on Instagram @Little_Seaside_Shop. Stop by when you have a chance. I normally put up new listings two or three times a week. Have a great weekend!

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  5. Well, I do not follow fasd much, including that silly "color of the year". I buy what I like, regardless of whether it is in style or not. You would be a good financial counselor!

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    1. Thanks Ginny, I don't know about that but I agree with you on the fads. I go by my own style whether it's my home, the way I dress, or anything else!

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  6. I am frugal like you. We keep our furniture forever and a lot of it is early Ikea!

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    1. Nice Christine. I always love to hear when others live frugally as well. Early Ikea furniture is awesome, I'm sure I would love it! I can't believe our furniture made it through raising three kids, yet it is all still in great condition!

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  7. I call my frugal self, cheap to the bone. when we bought this house, we had 50,000 from our other home, this was in 1989 so that was a lot more than now. We found two homes we fell in love with, this one and another. this one was 79,900 the other 129,900. I said they are both beautiful and have a pool in the same town and we went with this one for lower price. We told Realtor we would put 5o,oo down, he said just put 10 percent, get a 30 year mortage and invest your money. I said no. we got a 15 year mortgage and then I doubled up payments and paid it off in 10 years. Would have been sooner but bob lost his job 8 weeks after we bougth this house. if we had bought the other we would have lost it. my kitchen table has been in this house since 1989 and it is so 80's, in fact you would be in the 80's. i look at it and think, we rarely use it, it is anice table, so why would I.. we also do not buy anything we can't pay for, no charging allowed.

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    1. Excellent job on getting your mortgage paid off so fast! I'm totally with you on putting as much as possible into paying off a home. My husband thinks like your realtor. Even to this day he's always trying to get me to refinance and invest the money. Like hell I will! Like I always tell him, if we ever came to a time we had to live off nothing but social security and our small pensions we will at least have a roof over our heads and be able to afford to eat if nothing else! No charging allowed here either. My whole kitchen is so 80's, I still have the original cabinets from when the house was built. They still work just as well so I would never fork over the money to update them!

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  8. When we were first married & both working,we never thought of saving money. Then, having a house built from our specs & two kids in 5 years the "wild" spending came to a screeching halt. We too paid off our mortgage in 15 years retired at 55 and me in late 40s. Never looked back. We live within our means & don't need vacations. I'd much rather be happily retired early than to work 40 years & die all too soon like so many I've known.

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    1. Exactly Anni! I really didn't want to die at my desk or be too old to enjoy anything by the time I retired. After we left our careers we still worked here and there, just enough to cover our monthly bills until Covid came along. I agree with you, no vacations needed here either, just a nice quiet retirement works for us. Congrats to you and your hubby for being able to retire nice and early!

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  9. Rather than focusing on frugality, I have always focused on "simple living." I don't live an extravagant lifestyle. I know the difference between "wants" and "needs." I'm not into consumerism or keeping up with the Joneses. But if I want to spend money, I spend money. I don't deny myself.

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    1. I guess I have always put frugality and simple living in the same category. I'm careful with money and save where I can, but I'm not miserly or being deprived in anyway. I'm just happy and content with what I have. :)

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  10. I've never been a big spender. The biggest problem with that is I've not always bought the best quality

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    1. That's definitely something to consider Ann. When I look at things like my furniture that is now about 25 years old. I bought high quality and it's all still in great condition. If I would have bought lower quality I probably would have had to replace it several times over already.

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  11. Having signed a new, 30-year mortgage 3 years ago I've little room to talk. But ya, we're both homebodies and live a pretty frugal life -- only 'splurging' for those things that bring us joy. For instance? I think Tom thought I'd lost my marbles when I bought the fireplace, but I've had it 'burning' every single day since the first of the year.
    Sorry, but your 'friend's' comment makes me guess she's not much of a friend. Ugh.

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    1. My friend is actually a good friend, she's just an opinionated one, always has been lol. I'm used to it.

      I'm so glad you are enjoying the fireplace Myra and I hope Tom is too. Living a frugal life frees up a little extra to splurge on things that bring you joy. :)

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  12. We retired in our early 50s. Thirty years teaching was plenty. Our home is comfortable and suits us. We have no desire to update furniture etc. We are happy the way everything is.

    I am careful with money and save when I can. I buy the essentials on sale, stocking up when things are on sale. I don’t often pay full price for anything. I enjoy the challenge of frugality.

    Neither my husband nor I are fashion conscious so the essentials are all we ever buy. Clothes last a long time.

    We travelled for a number of years when we first retired and have no desire to travel now, even if there wasn’t a pandemic. We enjoy our lives as they are.

    Life is good.

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    1. I'm right there with you Marie! You just hit the nail on the head for me - enjoying the challenge of frugality. You know how I love a good challenge and that's the way I've always looked at it too!

      My husband and I both traveled quite a bit when we were younger, before we met. That was enough for both of us. I love being in my own home and sleeping in my own bed at night. No desire to travel anymore at all.

      Life is good! :)

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  13. I am not sure I would call myself frugal, but I am thrifty. There are some things I like and I do not mind paying the price for them. Other things are just things and I will skimp on spending for them. That being said the things I like are never the big ticket items, so we don't have to worry about me wearing a 10,000 necklace anywhere.
    One night I was at a charity event and had a piece of costume jewelry on. One of our acquaintances is a huge diamond fan who came up to me asking if TheHub gave me the necklace for our anniversary. I kind of enjoyed telling her no, but she could find one just like it for 15.99 at Macy's

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    1. I love it Anne lol! Some things are totally worth paying the price for, going with the cheapest isn't always the best option. It often comes down to you get what you pay for. When I buy something like furniture for example I think quality, take good care of it and it will last a lifetime, or things like good quality groceries, I buy on sale and BOGOs but I would never by cheap meats or inferior quality of anything food related. Frugal vs thrifty all depends on the situation I guess. All I know is I wanted to retire early and made it happen! :)

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  14. Well, everyone makes their own choices in life, and some may want different things than others. My friend worked her whole life, and although her house is paid off now, I would have never wanted that for me. I didn't have the money and leisure my friend had, but I stayed home all day, every day and watched my kids grow up. Yes, I consider myself frugal because I had to be. I bet your furniture is beautiful, Martha. I think the older the furniture, the nicer it is.

    Have a restful weekend. That's great that your house is paid off. : )

    ~Sheri

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    1. I totally agree Sheri! I went middle of the road between you and your friend. I was a stay at home mom until my youngest was school age. That's when I went to work in the office at the kid's school. I worked all the same days and hours they went to school. A year or so later I talked my husband into leaving his higher paying job to go to work in the school system too so he would have the same hours as well, along with benefits including pension which he wouldn't have had otherwise. We never made a lot of money but we made a good life, and no amount of money could top us both being able to be with our kids like we were while they were growing up.

      I hope you have a restful weekend too!

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  15. Wow! Your friend was rude!

    I am frugal in some areas, less so in others. I drive an 11-year old Subaru (less than 65,000 miles). We have had our living room furniture for several years (at least 8), but we eat out often. I buy "fancy" yarn and Steve golf's. Golf is not frugal, but he loves it.

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    1. Well Dee she is an old rough and tumble Philly girl lol. She's always been the tell it like it really is type, I'm used to it.

      I have you beat on the car. I'm driving a 13 year old Hyundai. It's the oldest and best little car I've ever owned too. Luckily I love to cook so we don't go out to eat often. Your yarn is used to make beautiful, useful things so that's a different story. Steve's Golf, well let's just say if my husband played golf he would still have to be be working. He had to make a similar decision with his money pit... I mean boat. The boat is gone now. Oh well, he will still have his memories. I always hated the thing and I'm glad it's gone!

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  16. I retired at age 64, so not too many years after you. Isn't retirement grand? It has been reaching 60 here, so I often air out my house, plus the cat and dog like the patio door open so they can stroll in and out. I understand A/C is expensive and we don't need it where we live. We bought our car when it was two years old, so that was a savings from buying a new one. Oh a book shop, good for you.

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    1. Hi Terra! Retiring at 64 certainly isn't bad these days and yes, I'm loving every minute of retirement! Glad you are having nice weather too. Where do you live that you don't need AC? We need it 9-10 months out of the year here in Florida. In the summer our electricity bill can be nearly $400 a month due to the AC running constantly because of the intense heat - that's never fun. My last car was bought new but it's an economy car. It was so cheap to begin with, has lasted me for 13 years, still going strong, and it's the best little car ever! Thanks so much for stopping by today. I'm on my way over to your blog for a visit too. :)

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  17. I'm pretty frugal, I enjoy saving money. I use apps within reason to help with saving money. I use credit cards for points, so we can save money when we go on vacation. How have I saved money this week? Well, I didn't do any buy one get one free at the grocery store, but I did buy some tuna that wasn't on my list because it was on sale. I like an expensive brand of tuna, so it's smart to grab it when it is cheaper. I'll make something with it this upcoming week.

    I had a coworker who used to pay double on his mortgage every month. I felt like a slacker because we could not do that, until he told me how much they paid. Their double payment was less than our single payment. Sigh. Location, location, location, I guess, because we are in a more desirable area and better school district. Also they bought their house probably 10 years before we did, and around here that's a big difference in price. We recently refinanced (again), and by making the same payments that we did prior, and applying the extra to principal, we are shaving 5 years off of our mortgage, which makes me happy.

    Our cars are a 2005 and a 2008, so I know at some point we will need a new car. I'm putting it off as long as I can.

    Our daughter got through college with almost no debt. She did have a loan of about $2,500, but that is nothing these days, and she recently paid it off, which is great! She took AP classes in HS, which got her college credit. She wanted to go straight to a 4 year college, but even though she got some pretty decent scholarships, they weren't enough to make it a good idea. So she went to a local community college and lived at home. Then she transferred to a local University (best English dept in the US, so not settling) and still lived at home. She sacrificed a lot of the 'college experience', but saved herself a lot of money. Room and board is about $15,000 a year, so she is glad she saved herself that money.

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    1. I can totally relate to the mortgage thing. We bought right before the big real estate boom here. People who bought a few years after us were paying double per month what we paid. What a huge difference buying at just the right time can make. It was all about location here too. Congrats on shaving the 5 years off your mortgage!

      My husband's truck is a 2006, my car a 2008. Thankfully they have both been great vehicles and are still going!

      My daughter (my oldest) was lucky, my mom had a prepaid college program for her. She attended a state university all four years coming out with very little debt. My middle son just went to community college for two years and fell into a job that taught him a trade, he's stuck with that and now managing the company. Youngest son still pisses me off. He was in the gifted program since first grade, had all the AP classes in high school, was a musical genius, and in the end had full ride music scholarships but decided not to go. He thought the whole college experience sounded like a nightmare. He sure is kicking himself now, but nothing I could say at the time changed his mind. *Sigh*

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  18. Most of our furniture is either antique, inherited from Grandparents on both sides of the family, or it was given to us by others. I am looking around and trying to see something that we actually bought ourselves in the almost 52 years of marriage, and the only things we actually bought were our appliances and electronics. Oh, and a recliner. We haven't paid off our house as we just moved here last year, but our mortgage is very low and reasonable. We decided we'd rather keep some of our savings for other unexpected expenses rather than use it all up paying off our house. We never had jobs that paid really good incomes or had retirement plans except for a few years we both worked for the state and were able to get on the state retirement plan, but the amount is so small it doesn't amount to much. We are thankful to have our SS and what savings we inherited from parents' estates. Again, not much. So yes, we have to live frugally. We don't travel. We don't buy a lot of expensive items. We eat out once a week after church with our church friends at a local restaurant that is very inexpensive. Anything extra has to be figured into the budget. But God supplies all our need according to His riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19. We are very grateful for what we have and for how He has taken such good care of us.

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    1. I know all about you furniture and it's all so beautiful! Amazing that appliances and electronics are all that you've bought in 52 years! Now that's not only being frugal, but really loving and appreciating the memories that come with everything, that's the best part.

      We never had high paying jobs either. All the years I was a stay at home mom my husband worked in construction - good pay but not a stable income and zero benefits. I went back to work once the youngest was school age, went to work at the kids school of course lol. Talked my husband into doing the same for the benefits, so we could both have a pension in the end and so we could work the same days and hours as the kids. We never made much money but it was all so worth it in the end!

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  19. Sure, we can call it frugal. I tend not to overspend on anything. My car is nearly 30 years old.

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    1. You definitely have me beat on the car! Take good care of it, they don't make them like that anymore. I feel so lucky that my 13 year old car is still going strong!

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  20. I've learned the importance of pinching pennies since my childhood, Martha. I'll do anything to manage a budget, and my husband, Danny, is the same. Sadly, in a previous, failed marriage, it was spendthrift all the time. Can we say sabotage? I'm not attached to things, but to memories. And if I can't afford it, it doesn't happen.
    Blessings!

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    1. I'm glad you and Danny are on the same page, that sure makes things easier. I've always had to keep my husband under my thumb. He would spend every penny and have credit cards maxed out if I left him in charge of our finances.

      Memories but not things hits the nail on the head. When my mother passed away she had an unbelievable amount of stuff. When I had to deal with that it was very difficult. I knew the things she treasured and other things I had connection to remembering them from childhood. It seriously took me years to go through everything. Finally I decided to take photos of the things I had a hard time letting go off. Now I have those for the memories. I don't need the actual stuff.

      I've always said I could easily be a minimalist as long as I could still have all my photos on a hard drive. Memories are the most important and I'd much rather continue to make more memories than to keep up with the Joneses!

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  21. I would say that I am a mindful spender! I'm frugal in some ways, but, I spend on things that are important to me. I didn't plan to pay off the mortgage early, but, I did, anyway! Nor was early retirement a goal, as I enjoyed my work and kept working even when I could have retired!

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    1. I think you are more frugal than you most Bless, at least from what I've read on your blog. I'm glad you got your mortgage paid off early and so happy that you enjoyed your job, that's a blessing in itself!

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  22. Some of our furniture is newer some is early junk that we like:) I like to think we are frugal...we can add money to the savings account every month, have no bills other than electricity, phone etc...and we menu plan ahead of time and save up for big purchases and emergency stuff like new furnaces! WE rarely eat out...I do like to go to DQ once a month! When we built our home we did it ourselves as we had the money...nice not to have a house payment!!

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    1. That is definitely nice Connie! That emergency stuff really hurts. I was hit hard over the past year, of all times! I had a boatload of unexpected vet bills, my refrigerator died and the latest was the AC - luckily that is still under warranty, but it was still $500 I had to shell out for labor.

      Sounds like you two have things under control! :)

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  23. There are some things that I don't save at all! Our laptops and phones shouldn't be dated, and neither should the car.
    Life in Europe is very different from America. We also have offers in the supermarket but very different from yours! I like to watch TLS, there is "Extreme couponing", a series about the people who save a lot of coupons and can get free food and other things from the supermarket ... nothing like that can ever happen here!
    We moved in 2019, the furniture is new, but it was already in the house, we gave our "old" furniture (2001) for free to people who needed it.
    But I take good care of my clothes and don't use a lot of make-up.
    Oh, forgot ... i'm not frugal on my shoes ... i love shoes and i have many pairs ... some still new in the dos! LOL
    Nice weekend! Hugs!

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    1. I would love to hear about how things work there sometime Ella. I love the extreme couponing shows too, but can't imagine ever doing anything like that. I don't think I've ever needed 100 of one item lol. It's nice that you were able to get new furniture with the new house and also great that you were able to help others who needed it. I think helping others when we can is very important too!

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  24. I wish I could be more frugal. I am doing better than I use to. I retired at 56 and it has been nice. We have a lot of used stuff and inherited furniture. I am fine with that. Comfort in more important that all the latest styles. Been there, done that. We have several days if the 100's in the summer so our electric bill gets high. We can eat left overs for days so we are good. Have a nice weekend!

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    1. I agree, I don't get the whole keeping up with the latest. it's such a waste! I know you can relate to the high electric bills. Ours are outrageous in the summer months. Leftovers are always good. Wasting food is probably my biggest pet peeve. I hope you have a nice weekend too! :)

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  25. I confess that I am a frugal person. I like to recycle old stuffs and I have learned not to buy things which I really do not need. Have a beautiful weekend.

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    1. I figured that Nancy and I love that you grow some of your own food too, that always helps. It's something I've always wanted to do but I've never had any luck with it. We live so close to the beach that our soil is basically sand. Maybe I'll try container gardening next round. I hope you have a beautiful weekend too!

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  26. I like to use things till they are no longer usable or repairable! I still sit at my great grandmother's shabby desk, the other things are all dated, but I'm happy with them! Have a great weekend, hugs, Valerie

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    1. I totally agree with you Valerie, and how cool is it that you are using your great grandmother's desk?! I love that! I'm glad you are happy with your things like I am. Hugs to you too! :)

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  27. Way to go Martha! I agree wholeheartedly! I also knew folks in my previous life that were incessant shoppers. One in particular is still working in her 70's. We live a simple life and are very happy with it. When we moved up here, I took so much to the auction and gave away stuff, as i knew we didn't have anywhere near as much room here. (We'd lived in our house for over 30 years)I only miss a very few items, and can live without them. It is very 'freeing' to have less to look after and worry about! We practice the 3 R's, heavy on the first two!

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    1. Thanks Rosalea! I absolutely love reading about the life you are living now. Living off the grid is something I always thought I'd love to do, but wow does it ever look like a lot of hard work! Living a simple life doesn't always mean a easy life, that's for sure!

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  28. Hello,
    My hubby and I are very frugal, we did much the same as you paying off the mortgage asap. We do not need much and live simple lives. We go to the food store with a list and pretty much stick to our menu items and things on the list. We do like to travel but much of our traveling involves visiting parks and nature which are free. Take care, enjoy your weekend.

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    1. I'm glad you were able to get your mortgage paid off early too, it makes things so much easier once that's behind us. I love the kind of traveling you and your hubby do. If I did any traveling at all that's what I would like to do too. We have talked about downsizing to a tiny home base and spending a few years experiencing RV living to visit all those beautiful parks and travel the backroads. That sounds like something you and your hubby would enjoy as well.

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  29. Amazing post!
    Thanks for sharing 😍😍
    Regards:)

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  30. Nineties furniture? You are far more on trend than I am. I bought my couch in the 90s, yes. And one chair a little later from IKEA. But everything else in the house -- from the bedroom on, predates the nineties by a good twenty years. And older at the cottage, which seems to get whatever comes from this house. Part if it is preferring to spend on something else and part is that I hate furniture shopping! You're in good company!

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    1. I bet your furniture is timeless though, where mine really does look like a step back to the nineties lol. I don't care, I like it all and will probably use most of the pieces for the rest of my life. I'm sure the couch itself will wear out eventually but so far it's still just fine! :)

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  31. I'm frugal out of necessity and try never to buy anything that's not on sale and that includes groceries. I have enough in my pantry to make do and so I just stock up on sale items when I find them. My furniture and clothes are old but not sha shabby. The are comfortable and that counts for a lot. I'd buy new but it's not a necessity. As long as things work, I'll hang on to them.My couch isn't out of the 90's but is over 30 years old, but it isn't broken or worn bare so I figure it still has some life left in it.

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    1. Exactly Ma, I agree with you 100% on all of it! No need to fix what isn't broken! I hope you are having a great weekend :)

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  32. Yikes. What a comment from a friend.

    Rick and I had no business getting married when we did, 1981, during the horrid economic recession at that time. There were no jobs in either of our fields (construction and education). We were so poor we did laundry at our parents' and ate dinner there twice a week. He worked at a shoe store and I worked at a bank.

    We learned how to pinch pennies pretty quickly and the difference between Needs and Wants.

    We're comfortable now, but we don't take it for granted at all. I abhor waste, and I don't like paying for convenience unless it really saves me time or aggravation. And I choose carefully what I'm willing to spend money on/splurge for. It took me a long time to stop being afraid and nervous about money and worried about being poor again. A LONG time.

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    1. She said it in a teasing manner, but she is definitely one of those call it like you see it kind of people. She doesn't hold back. It didn't hurt my feelings or anything, I know my house looks like a step back into the nineties lol.

      That was definitely a rough time to get started Nance and I'm glad you remember those times and don't take it what you have now for granted. I know you both worked hard and put in your time to get to where you are now.

      I'm STILL worried about being poor again, especially after this past year. We still worked here and there, just enough to cover monthly bills so we weren't dipping into our retirement savings yet. Of course we had to take out a chunk to survive this year. Now it has me worried about anything else unexpected and I worry about the cost of living skyrocketing beyond our means as well.

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  33. I had to read everyone's comments, looking for tips! I got divorced a few years ago; my choice (and the best thing I ever did, besides my kids) but being in your 50s, on your own, and self-employed is kind of scary, to say the least. I think I'm frugal b/c I have to be...Any time I worry about money and retirement, I just think how extraordinary my life is now compared with the hell we were living in.

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    1. Good for you Elle, I'm so glad you got yourself out of there! You are still young enough to figure things out from here and being frugal is a great place to start!

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  34. We did fid some ways to save this week. Of course, you have already rad those on my blog. LOL

    I loved your blog past, Mattha. You made a great life for yourselves and paid off your house early and retired early. That is wonderful.

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    1. Thanks so much Belinda! I think we did pretty well especially with what we had to work with along the way. Our income was always low but being frugal along the way was a big help.

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  35. I don't think it is particularly friendly or even nice, to make unkind comments, about a person's home or decor. I had that happen to me, when I was a newly wed, in our first little home. A neighbor came over and said something quite unkind, about my kitchen paint color. And I have never forgotten it.

    Being a Sweet Young Thing, back then, I did not do anything, but be hurt. Today!!!! -chuckle- Let's just say, that nasty woman, would get her "teeth handed to her"!!!! Not literally, but.... LOL

    Of course be frugal!!!!! Do not live, having to have the latest toys. Make your home/you comfortable. When you have the funds to do so. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    My husband worked and I stayed home with the children. But he always says; We have a comfortable retirement, because we worked together... 50~50. He made the money and I was frugal with it. -smile- And we are both, very Proud, of this!!!!!

    Oh and another old saying.... My father's.... "Pay as you go, or don't go." Imagine that being said, today!!!!

    πŸŒΈπŸŽ€πŸŒΈπŸŽ€πŸŒΈπŸŽ€πŸŒΈ

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    1. What my friend said didn't bother me a bit, she was speaking the truth after all. If anything I thought it was funny and especially since I'm already retired. Her home is more up to date than mine, but she still has many years of work ahead of her. That says it all right there.

      I'm believe in your father's saying, and have raised my own children with those words of wisdom.

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  36. I'm frugal in some ways and not in others. I'm not a clotheshorse, and my furniture is also 1990s vintage. I do buy new cars(not flashy ones) and spend freely when I (used to) go out to restaurants. I started saving for retirement in my 20s, and never had to have the latest car, outfits, boat, house, etc. I have two houses paid off, and no money owing on my Subaru. I retired at 61 and live very comfortably.

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    1. That was very smart to start saving for retirement at such a young age. I was blowing every penny I made on sports cars, night club attire, and traveling back when I was that age lol. When we first retired we went out to eat often and never worried about the cost, but that was just a phase. I love to cook and we prefer to stay home. We have another paid off property as well, but it's the majority of our retirement funds tied up in it. We make way more off the property than we would if the money was sitting in the bank, it's all good. We can always sell it down the road if and when we need to.

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  37. No, I am not frugal! I wouldn't change anything either. I have some items from family members who are now gone and I love them. Our newest furniture was maybe 15 years ago for a new family room. Way to go on your mortgage. We took on a new one at 55...crazy! I love buy one get one free.

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    1. It's nice that you are in a financial position that you don't have to be frugal, but I know I still would be no matter how much I had. It's just part of my life. Good luck with the new mortgage Debby.

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  38. I enjoyed your post and I agree with your frugal good habits! I am pretty frugal myself. I never get rid of anything just because it is old. If it works or is in good condition I use it. In my family furniture was passed down and I still have a few pieces from family. I also take care of things so they last longer. I actually still have and use a toaster I received as a gift before my kids were born over 40 years ago! Take care Martha!

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    1. I love to hear that you don't get rid of things just because they are old either. I could never understand people who do that, it's just flushing money down the toilet. Taking good care of our stuff is important too, definitely makes things last longer. When you mentioned the toaster you reminded me of my hand mixer. I remember seeing it on clearance for $5 when I got my first apartment. Yep, I'm still using it lol!

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  39. We have always lived within our means and are savers. I do believe in saving for the best quality. It just makes sense to me not to have to replace items. We usually bought second hand cars but our last vehicle we did purchase a brand new Jeep. The price was good and I like it being five years old and I haven't even hit 30,000 miles yet. Have a great weekend.

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    1. I agree that quality is very important for some things, especially things like furniture and things we use often. My husband has always bought used trucks. I bought my last car new back in 2008. It's a little economy car and was so cheap to begin with. It's been a great little car and it's still going strong! :)

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  40. I'm still driving my 2008 car too :) And I refuse to get rid of perfectly good ANYTHING, but grew up with solid antiques that never seem to wear out as we are still using many of them. We did donate any upholstered furniture in this last move as we didn't want things rotting in storage here in the dampness. Other than that I shop like you do - coupled with my menu plans that were born of necessity from a military budget! Glad your weather is so nice!

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    1. Unfortunately my mother got rid of all the beautiful family antiques in her constant refurnishing. The only one I had left was her beautiful, huge dining room table. It was way too big for my house so that went to JoJo.

      I knew our menu planning would be similar :)

      The warmer weather will be back by Tuesday if the current forecast is correct. Thankfully highs in the low 80s - too warm for soup weather but not horribly hot yet.

      Have a great week!

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  41. I am a mix. I dont spend a lot on clothes...I have shirts I wear that I bought 6 yrs or longer ago at Good Will. But if I see a shirt I like that is made of cotton, AND fits, I will buy it.

    I dont have room to keep a lot of food stocked ahead, but do try to buy things on sale when I can. But rather than make extra trips, or go to two or three stores I will pay a few cents more. If I can wait till I need to go to the other store, I will. But it is not worth the time and gas to drive miles more to save 50 cents. Since husbands stroke, I do all driving, all shopping, etc.

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    1. I totally agree with you on the food Rose, and especially over this past year. I want to go in one store and get back out as quickly as possible!

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  42. I am hard core frugal and have two friends like yours. They prefer to blow money as they please and work long hours to pay for their whims. I have often felt uncomfortable when they would choose an extremely expensive restaurant for get togethers or plan weekend trips at high end hotels. I learned to say no but could sense their disproval.

    When my first baby was born, I looked at him and could not leave him in the local daycare. My husband said if I could live on his salary (right above poverty level) I could stay home. I learned to severely cut costs and we eventually thrived. Within 8 years, we paid off our credit cards, two car payments, the house mortgage, paid cash for a new truck and a put down a big deposit on a second new car. I have never looked back. Now, I'm not as tight because we are financially in a great place, but I look at my two friends who are approaching retirement and it is another story with them.

    I don't regret the sacrifices I made to be with my children, and to also homeschool them later. They thank me all the time. It was worth it.

    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

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    1. Good for you Jeannie! I was the same way when my kids were little. No way was I leaving them with anyone else. I was a stay at home mom until my youngest was school age and then I went to work in the office at their school. We actually lived at what's considered poverty levels most of our lives, but we always made it through, always had a roof over our heads, and nobody ever went hungry. We made a good life and sure sounds like you did the same. :)

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    2. I think we are awesome!
      Jeannie

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    3. We definitely are! :)

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  43. That's awfully rude to say about someone's furniture. That's awesome that you were able to pay your mortgage off so early. Ours is a 30 year mortgage, and we bought the house when we were 28, so even if we only shave off a few years, I'll be happy.

    My parents are terrible spenders, so I grew up thinking that was normal. It has taken a lot of time and effort to unlearn that behavior.

    I absolutely love finding great deals on groceries. I love it when Harris Teeter has a B2G3 sale on things we regularly use. My best savings this week was 20 cent cans of cat food. It's normally around 60 cents a can, so I was thrilled.

    How does an Instagram bookstore work? Sorry if that's a dumb question. I'm not on Instagram and don't really know anything about it.

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    1. Same here Danielle, my parents were spenders too. Being frugal wasn't something I was ever taught. I guess it just came kind of naturally to me.

      On Instagram shops people announce a sale at a set time and then post individual photos of each item. People interested watch and if they see something they want they just leave a comment saying so and send me their email address. Invoices are sent to the email via PayPal. Once paid a shipping label can be printed. My customers are regulars so I hold their books for up to a month so they can all be sent in one shipment.

      The fun thing with an Instagram shop is it's almost like an auction feel. The first person to comments first gets the item. people watch closely as you list items so they can pounce fast.

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