“Collapsing Economy” be Damned! It’s Frugal Friday!

well_informed_and_staying_saneA friend whose opinion I highly value tells me that a simpler, more sustainable, and resilient lifestyle does NOT necessarily need to have an emphasis on frugality and money savings. Her example of how by cutting one another’s hair, she and her husband are free to use the time that it might’ve taken to make  appointments, drive to and from the appointments and possibly have to change clothes and drop some other activity at home in order to go to those appointments frees them up to pursue those things. Saving money on the haircuts is secondary to them, in other words.

I’ve given this a lot of thought and feel that she’s (mostly) right. The only difference for me is that being frugal keeps me off the payroll and out of the workplace. Not having to work outside the home for money enables me to have the time I want to garden, play music, volunteer, write and do the hundred other things that make my life feel I’m living the good life.

I think both of us are reaching the same objective, just from a different perspective. I get more emails and questions about how to get out of debt, save money and live on less than any other topic that I cover in this blog. I would prefer to spend more time writing about and advocating for ways that we can form more resilient communities, live and shop more locally,  or address climate change and Peak Oil issues, but frugality tops the list of questions- hands down. With yesterday’s U.S. economic headlines of  “Walmart earnings disaster exposes a collapsing economy” and “Cisco announces plans to lay off 4,000 employees”, as well as “Dow dropped 225 points today, August 15th” , I suspect frugality will continue to remain popular for both you and me. And so, Frugal Fridays will continue until I can no longer find inspirational things to offer you. (That’ll be the day!) And don’t forget, share your own inspirations in the comments below. You never know who or how much it might help someone.

Which brings me back to this week’s posting of ways I found to live well on less. None of them are life changing, none of them are sexy, but all of them saved me a bit of cash so that I don’t have to find a job in this so-called collapsing economy. And that makes Sam one happy camper. Not having to go to a paying job will allow me to go camping next month too, by the way.

  • I made enough pesto to see us through the winter and it’s now  taking up valuable real estate in my freezer. I use walnuts in mine rather than pine nuts because they are a: healthier and b: cheaper and c: I can’t tell much difference in my walnut pesto and pine nut pesto. Just sayin’…
  • I purchased a used, but like new copy of an Herb book I’d had on my wish list for a long time for $3.99, down from an all time high of $15.00.
  • I bid $10 on a pair of Teva- brand sandals on Ebay and won the auction. With shipping, my $65 sandals cost less than $15. They fit, I love them, and they’ll now replace my old Teva’s that were nine  years old and had a sole that was coming loose.
  • When it came time to get rid of the old sandals, I realized I could reglue it using contact cement I already had on hand. So I glued:


And clamped:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe tip to use contact cement rather than Shoe Goo, which I thought I needed but didn’t have on hand, came from a friend. Thanks Rich! Now I can use the old ones when I work in the garden or wash the car…

  • Which is exactly what I did yesterday. I washed and vacuumed the family ride, saving myself at least $6 in quarters, (or $20+ if I’d taken it to a full service carwash) and because it was such a glorious, fall-like day I loved being outside, while listening to some great music-and wearing my reglued  sandals.

Using resources wisely-whether it’s money, time or energy- is a talent we all benefit from cultivating. Whatever your reasons are for wanting to become financially stronger, happier, and more resilient, keep in mind it’s never too late to begin that transition that will see you through a collapsing economy and beyond.



5 Comments so far
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I totally agree about not wanting to be selling my limited lifetime to some “employer” and find that a perfectly wonderful reason for cultivating frugality.

Just like Joe Dominguez in his book, Your Money or Your Life, I’ve found that in learning to spend judiciously and to actually recognize when I have “enough” that there can be extra money leftover AND no desire to simply spend it because….

Personally, at this point in my life, what drives my frugality is wanting to limit my ecological footprint. Everything that we call into existence (buy) has a cost that is way more important than the money. It costs the environment. That, for me, is reason enough to (almost) always purchase second hand. It’s also, for me, reason enough to spend my time growing and preserving most of what we eat. It’s reason enough, for me, to make sure that what I don’t grow, I purchase from someone nearby so that there is little transportation involved.

One of the things that, over the years, has saved me the most money is learning to cook. By this, I mean cooking from scratch and the healthier the food the better because that’s kept us away from doctors most of the time.

The other thing that I suggest to people is to learn to do as many things as they can for themselves. Right after my first husband died, the bathroom faucet started leaking badly. That’s when I learned how to fix a faucet and the learning has never stopped. The more you learn to do for yourself, the less you will need to pay for someone else to do it. It can even be fun and it’s certainly empowering.

Comment by Sandy Aldridge

Oh these are SUCH good points Sandy! I’d been thinking of doing a post soon on similar ideas and your reply has helped me better put those ideas into words. Thank you for your wisdom, your commitment to lowering your carbon footprint and most of all, for being my friend 😉

Comment by simpleintn


Comment by Sandy Aldridge

By the way, I really appreciate your Frugal Fridays. I’m always looking for more ways to limit my impact:)

Comment by Sandy Aldridge

I agree too – it’s not all about just saving money. In our case, we live a way that makes sense to us – more like the way we grew up. We consume less, and as a result spend less money. We buy good quality and fix it as needed. In the end, we live a much less stressful lifestyle.

Comment by Heidi @ lightlycrunchy

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