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Extreme Frugality - The other people think I'm crazy thread! - Page 2

post #21 of 156
Y'all are reminding me of other things we do that get the "crazy" look!

I cut DD's and DH's hair. No one seems weirded out by me cutting DH's hair, but they all look at me like I am crazy when DD says, "My mommy cut my hair," after they comment on how cute it looks.

I've been using canvas bags for 15+ years. Reusable bags are trendy these days, but my "old-fashioned" bags get the "crazy" look and I got the "crazy" look all these years, too...

I've been cleaning with vinegar and baking soda since the mid-1990s and have gotten the "crazy" look often when friends/acquaintances have the "best cleaners" conversation and I am asked what I use. (I am known to keep a clean house and people are just not ready for the truth about what I use, I guess... )

and more, but we're headed to the Farmer's Market...
post #22 of 156
Another great thread! With us, it's the fact that I rarely if ever buy new kids clothes. People can't seem to wrap their brains around that. Luckily, there are plenty of people out there willing to buy new stuff so I have plenty of second hand selections, LOL!
post #23 of 156
Dumpster diving-- haven't been doing it lately b/c I'm pregnant, plus it's hard to get out that late with a buddy (usually DP, which means DD is in the car too, it just gets difficult). But it was fun and useful while it lasted.

Buying most things used. The vast majority of our clothing. And I do it on sale days (IE 50% off blue tags!) so it's ridiculously cheap. Most of our furniture was freebies that friends/family didn't want anymore, or from Craigslist.

Not using disposable anything, though I did get out of the habit of family cloth. I also need to fashion up some hankies.

Wrapping with paper bags turned inside out.

Reusing dishes within reason before washing them.

Limiting heater use. Next house I want a woodburning stove or some such so I barely have to use the heater at all.

Making my own cleaners.

Next up is learning how to sew, i just bought a sewing machine on a great discount. I can think of all kinds of ways to save that way.

I also need to learn more food/kitchen skills. Making ahead and freezing, canning, being more creative with ingredients, etc.
post #24 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjorker View Post
Reusing dishes within reason before washing them.
Oh yes, we do this and it freaks people OUT. It bothered DH at first (I'd only do it for myself or the kids), but now he does it here and there as well. I make sure that I use my old plate or one child uses their own plate again. I don't switch them up. But I've had family and friends act like it's soooo dirty. (We don't do it when they are over visiting and/or eating, but they've caught on to my doing this anyway)

It really geeks my MIL out when I re-use the same glass over and over at her house. If I am pouring my second glass of ice water, why on earth would I get a new glass???
post #25 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by UberMama View Post
It really geeks my MIL out when I re-use the same glass over and over at her house. If I am pouring my second glass of ice water, why on earth would I get a new glass???
Exactly. We do have a dishwasher but we'd be running it at least twice a day at that rate. If food isn't stuck all over a plate I'll happily reuse it for snacks later on, or whatever. I can't imagine what the big deal is.
post #26 of 156
I am loving this thread. I always use the same glass all day long. I also will use a plate for toast in the mornig and oftem just push the crumbs off it and reuse to cut something up or heat something up for lunch. If it had something wet on it then i would probably wash it. I am going to make DH some reusable snack bags for Christmas. He already reuses his ziplocks so I see no reason he wouldn't use these. I made some mama cloth for myself and have a diva cup. I am going to make cloth wipes, I already use cloth diapers most of the time. I am also going to make cloth napkins and unpaper towels.
Some might think it is gross but I reuse my bath towel at least once, I am clean when I use it so it doesn't gross me out. I also do not wash some of my clothes after one wear. I usually wear my clothes to death before getting rid of them, shoes included. My husband wears them way past death and I steal them from him so he doesn't look like a slob.
I am so trying to get our grocery bill down and have started to cook most of our meals and we eat leftovers from the meals. Need to start keeping my peeling and chicken bones for stock again. Will start a big ziplock in the freezer.
post #27 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by enfpintj View Post
We live so frugally and saved enough that we are both able to be home with the kids. Most people think we are insane for dh giving up a great job. This was the result of frugal living for 10 years.
Wow! That's awesome!
post #28 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by air View Post
Some might think it is gross but I reuse my bath towel at least once, I am clean when I use it so it doesn't gross me out. I also do not wash some of my clothes after one wear.
Not gross at all! Growing up my mom insisted that we got 2 bath towels per week. That was it. One for our hair and one for our body (being long-haired it just made sense to have 2). You hung them up after every bath and if you left them on the floor and they got nasty...too bad! We learned very quickly to keep our bath towels on the rack. I still use bath towels 6 or 7 times, then they go on the floor to catch any spillage from the tub, THEN they go in the wash. We also wore jeans more than once if they didn't get dirty.

I think people are baffled most by cloth everything in my house. I try to keep some tissues and TP available for guests. People are *constantly* asking my for a paper towel or napkin though. My answer is the same as last last week and last month and last year. They are in the drawer and they are cloth. It won't kill you to use them I promise!!!
post #29 of 156
Huh... What's the point of towel drying racks if you only use the towel once? all you need is a table and a laundry basket then...

I find it weird when people *don't* use their towel more than once... everyone in my family does.

for that matter, the re-using plates? I never even thought about it. I don't usually re-use a plate that got real messy (like if I ate pasta on it and there's pasta sauce all over it, I usually won't put crackers or something on it - or I'll rinse it first), but if, say, my kid had a sandwich on her plate and there's just crumbs on it, why on earth wouldn't I use it for, say, crackers or apple slices or whatever later And there's people out there that won't re-use a water glass over and over? That just seems weird to me. I don't even know if I *know* anyone who doesn't reuse their water glass all day...
post #30 of 156
Wait, do most people wash their bath towels after EVERY use? I know some people do, but do MOST? Whoa.. I guess I may be considered a freak to some in that regard as well.

Same with wearing clothes more than once without washing in between (esp pants/jeans, never socks or undies though).

Our kids also don't bathe daily. They don't need to first of all, second it's harsh on their skin (even if they don't use any soap) and third it's just a waste of water/electricity due to the first two things, lol.

I don't shower daily either. I shower every 2-3 days. My showers are cut down to about 5 min now as well.

If our neighbor has their front porch light on (which means their driveway light is on as well), we don't turn ours on. Their light over their driveway is BRIGHT, it lights up our driveway from a good 50' away if not more. As long as I see their lights on at night, which they usually are, I don't turn on our front porch/driveway lights (but if I do, the lights are motion activated, so not on continuously at least).

If I wake up in the morning around the time the sun is coming up, I turn off the night light we have on for our DD (since the light through the window is sufficient).

I used to let the kids take pennies from my coat pocket and save them. Inevitably they'd end up in toy bins and I'd clean them out every six months or so when cleaning out their toys. Now I put every last penny into our coin jar.

I use hot water in the steam cleaner vs. homemade cleaners and/or store bought. Hot water works just as well for most things I've found. But a family member of mine found this odd when I told her about it a couple of weeks ago. She insisted that while we saw clean carpet, it wasn't truly clean. Hey, if it looks clean to me, then it's clean. It's not as if I am eating off of my floor.

I feel a bit crazy about this stuff at times, but I also feel I have to be with how bad of a place we're in financially due to DH being ill and now with no job. Of course, I don't tell most people of what I do and don't do in order to save money, haha.
post #31 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin2004 View Post
$2450??? is that really how much they cost? well, now that I think about it, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than a 2nd car!


Darn right! My truck has deprecated $20,000 over the last 5 years. Now I'm depressed. We just bought the Big Dummy frame for $1400 and DH built it up with bargin parts found at the Toronto Bike Show in the spring.

DH gave me some links

Kona Ute $899/CDN - http://www.sweetpetes.com/index.php?...emart&Itemid=1

Yuba Mundo $1099 - http://yubaride.com/yubashop/

Madsen Dutch Style $1299 - http://shop.madsencycles.com/collect...1-bucket-cream

ETA: This video link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vD7eZmBrHg They should all be wearing helmets though!
post #32 of 156
Thread Starter 
So after reading all the responses so far and doing many of the things that everyone else here does I have decided that we are not crazy. Everyone else is!

-Same glass all day here too.
-Same towel for a week or so. (I only shower ever 2-3 days.) I have also switched to a hand towel instead of a bath towel to save washer space.
-Reusing mostly clean dishes... very interesting.
-BS and Vinegar here too.

And many more.
post #33 of 156
okay who are these people who don't reuse a water glass? That's the crazy stuff imo.

I also use a towel several times, but wash it as soon as it starts to smell. I've noticed that the smell transfers to your skin. I have to throw them down because dh would never notice.

Dh and i reuse plates, sometimes each other's if one ate the same thing first and no one is sick.

I always rewear clothes unless they get really dirty. Most of the time I'm just around the house, so who cares.
post #34 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by nichole View Post
Wow! That's awesome!
Thanks. Dh says there is no comparison between being home with us and watching the kids grow up vs. the big job. It's been 2 years and we love it.

Dh is currently doing a short contract that fell in his lap and we are waiting for the housing market to turn around so it was hard to turn down, and he hates having to work again (even part time short term). So that's validation as well that we are doing the right thing for us. Plus it'll pay for braces and roofs and some health stuff for me and those things won't have to come out of savings.
post #35 of 156
I'm afraid if people really knew how frugal they are they would think we're crazy.

We haven't bought a piece of furniture in our entire 7 years of marriage. I've never bought a new bedspread or brand new sheets (have found a few new with tags at the thrift store, though) We're happy with other people's cast off's. Actually, pretty much everything we own is someone else's used stuff.

The extent of new clothes buying has been work shoes for dh, or if I have a gift card. Everything else is from the thrift store.

We eat out once or twice a year. At the cheapest place possible.

We reuse towels, too. Clothes don't automatically get put in the wash after one day's wearing. If they're not stinky or visibly dirty, they get worn again, with the exception of undies.
post #36 of 156
I feel so at home here.

I do pretty much all of these, too.

One of my favorite stories about my SIL's, who are VERY materialistic and used to shop for Coach bags and show them off at every family gathering: I had a leather black messenger bag that I bought for a few dollars at a thrift store (no label) and my SIL asked, "Oh, is that a Coach bag?" I mean, she was all about the Coach bags and couldn't even tell the difference.

Other SIL's DH used to mock us for having rabbit ears on our TV and a dent in our car that we didn't bother to get fixed. They've always been in debt and lived on the financial edge even while they got the latest gadget...now I guess they're not doing so well. I feel bad for them but honestly, what did they think would happen?
post #37 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParisApril View Post
We can walk or bike to everything in our town and we like to walk and bike. I biked up to the grocery store the other day in the rain and on the way home the rain was hitting me in the face and guess what? I was grinning this huge grin because I was having so much fun!
Ok, I bike a LOT to work, as long as there isn't snow on the ground. But could you explain more about how you handle rain on the bike? How do you keep your pants dry? If its a very light rain it isn't a huge deal, but the horizontal-ish thigh surfaces catch so much rain. I usually walk or take the bus if there is rain forecast because of this. One time I got caught in an unexpected downpour and when I got to work I was so drenched I had to go in the bathroom and strip completely and wring out all my bottom half clothes in the sink, including underpants. Everything in my backpack was all wet too. And my shoes went squish-squish-squish as I walked. It was NOT pleasant. Yes, I was wearing a rain jacket, but it doesn't cover my bottom half - I don't think I could rider properly in a long coat.
post #38 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyamo View Post
Ok, I bike a LOT to work, as long as there isn't snow on the ground. But could you explain more about how you handle rain on the bike? How do you keep your pants dry? If its a very light rain it isn't a huge deal, but the horizontal-ish thigh surfaces catch so much rain. I usually walk or take the bus if there is rain forecast because of this. One time I got caught in an unexpected downpour and when I got to work I was so drenched I had to go in the bathroom and strip completely and wring out all my bottom half clothes in the sink, including underpants. Everything in my backpack was all wet too. And my shoes went squish-squish-squish as I walked. It was NOT pleasant. Yes, I was wearing a rain jacket, but it doesn't cover my bottom half - I don't think I could rider properly in a long coat.
I know they make rainpants, too...
post #39 of 156
Oh, we haven't bought new furniture either - ever! Everything we have is free from CraigsList/FreeCycle and/or free from family. Thankfully, our ILs have good friends that had a couch and loveseat that were only 2 years old and never sat on (pretty much never). They wanted to upgrade, so we got their set. Not the set I'd pick but it works, so who cares?

And I use cloth pads. That icks out a lot of my friends!
post #40 of 156
I'm sitting here greatful that my friends are either more open minded or do the same as we do. Towels get shared and re-used. I use one cup a day, as do the boys. Pants get worn at least 2 days, 3 if they look clean and we haven't done anything to sweat inducing. The boys only shower / bath share once every 2 or 3 days. I refuse to buy paper towels. I reuse plastic spoons. I view all these things as normal though, as this is what I did when growing up.
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