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Extreme Frugality - The other people think I'm crazy thread! - Page 4

post #61 of 156
Originally Posted by enfpintj View Post
We are also trying to teach our kids to appreciate the freedom they are experiencing. I think they will grow up knowing there are other ways to do things. I think it's bizarre that people think they have to work 40+ hours in to old age, and they have no choice. Our society really has drummed creative, original, independent thinking out of many people's head. I think our founding fathers are rolling in their graves about the way we've turned out.
post #62 of 156
Originally Posted by Teenytoona View Post
Woohoo! I have a new label instead of lazy! I reuse dishes sometimes because I'm frugal! heh!
Yay! Me too! My mom is CONSTANTLY washing my dishes/glasses as soon as I put them down and it drives me CRAZY!

Originally Posted by mysticpi View Post

I make tempeh and vinegar too (both surprisingly easy).
How do you make vinegar? I don't even know what vinegar is made of but I use it all the time so I'd love to know!
post #63 of 156
Originally Posted by akichan View Post
How do you make vinegar? I don't even know what vinegar is made of but I use it all the time so I'd love to know!
The first time I made it it happened by accident, I was trying to make hard cider from some fresh apple cider and I let it go too long and air got into it and it became apple cider vinegar! I've replicated it with other fruit juices like rhubarb and elderberry (I made the juice cooking the fruit in some water and straining the pulp)

From what I understand when you let fruit juice ferment (possibly any liquid that is sweet?) it first has an anaerobic (without air) fermentation that produces alcohol and then an aerobic (with air) fermentation that turns the alcohol into vinegar. I am not sure that this would work with store bought juice without adding yeast to it though because it's been pasteurized.
I haven't made white vinegar but I'm going to look into it.

So basically put some juice in a jar, cover it with some fabric to keep bugs out and let air in and just wait!
post #64 of 156
I grew up with a lot of this, and yeah, my family was (and still is) considered extreme for it by some. Growing up, glasses were reused all day (barring illness), heat and air were thoughtfully turned on only when actually cold or hot (instead of a general, well, it's summer, time to crank it down to 60F in here!), towels reused, clothes not washed until smelly or visibly dirty -- definitely jeans were worn over and over, and dresses worn to church were almost always hung right back up when we got home. Most of these things really aren't a huge deal around here, but refusing to pay car notes is a different thing! We have always either bought used OR bought new with cash -- no interest, and often the dealers will come down much lower in the first place.

But now, my family -- who taught me so much about frugality and the value of a dollar -- thinks DH and I are crazy! We do dine out far more than we should (and it's all me, I admit, DH would rather stay home usually), but we share meals 90% of the time. We get almost all of our clothes from Goodwill or on clearance new (which is very often cheaper than our Goodwill). We sew. We take picnic lunches and eat those instead of paying the exhorbitant prices at the Ren Faire (yep, we're nerds like that!). We gather up the bones at hunting season and make pots of bone broth (not purely for frugality reasons, though). We didn't bother to bring the dryer when we moved... we'd rather have the storage space in our 600sq ft house. We rinse and reuse any Ziplocs that didn't contain meat. We keep our a/c and heating to the minimum, unless company comes. One year, in our old drafty house, we hung a blanket over the living room entry and just lived in there, heating just that room. We had a mattress in the floor and we loved it! We saved so much money and found it fun. Our families were convinced we were going to freeze to death. Nope!

I love the way we live!
post #65 of 156
The book "Wild Fermentation" talks about how to make your fruit trimmings into vinegar, I believe. Like, instead of making compost with apple peels immediately, you ferment them first and then throw them in the compost (the left-over pulp?)

I haven't tried it, but I love the idea!
post #66 of 156
All the things metioned sound close to us but what really baffles people is we don't turn on the heat. LOL we have a wood stove (in the past house a fireplace) and it's hot in our house, toasty warm. We have gone 3-4 years off wood people give away from downed trees my husband chops. We keep a cast iron keetle filled withwater on the woodstove as a humidifier. We line dry year round, we just hang in the basement when it rainy/cold/snowy. When we were in an apt. we had a drying line strung up through the living room into the kitchen. I love dried line clothes, if I have to use the dryer I get miffed cause my clothes come out all junky.
post #67 of 156
Everyone is mentioning the thanksgiving turkey carcus. Right after my DBIL finished carving the holiday turkey last week, he called into the other room over 20 people and said "Amy, are you saving this??" and I said yes. A few were like- what is she saving? I took home the turkey bones and Friday made the best turkey stock I have ever made. It had the perfect taste, thickness, saltiness (not as much) etc. DFIL didnt even notice until I mentioned it to him and he replied, "oh I was wondering why we didnt have that much garbage the other night." he was glad we did that.

I have been known to do a clean out the smaller freezer and take bits and pieces, also the poultry bones or beef bones (never the same) and throw the whole mess of stuff into the pot and fill with water, come back later to the best stock.
post #68 of 156
We put up canvas to separate our living room/kitchen from the bedrooms and block the vents so that we only heat the bedrooms at night.

We direct the vent from the dryer back into the house in the winter.

we put bubble wrap on our windows.

We bike/walk to stores when we can.

But, we spend a lot on good quality food.
post #69 of 156
Originally Posted by wendyland View Post

We direct the vent from the dryer back into the house in the winter.
I read somewhere that the moisture from the hot air off the drier can cause mold problems. I don't know if this is true or not, but I thought I'd mention it!
post #70 of 156
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!
Don't forget about ditching insurance, gas and maintenance costs!!!

Im Inspired and might get this
post #71 of 156
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by AniellasMommy View Post
Don't forget about ditching insurance, gas and maintenance costs!!!

Im Inspired and might get this
Nice bike! Did you see you can get seatbelts for it too?

My DH took a few bike repair courses back in the day and has been working on bikes for 15+ years so all my bike repairs are free. He's so handy!

Some Xmas Frugality

My Mom asked me if we were doing the Xmas gift game this year at the extended family Xmas. Each person that wants to play has to buy a gift for $25 and put it in the middle for the game. That's $100 for us all to play so I said no.

My DH's side plays a similar game only better at their extended Xmas only they bring something from home that you don't use anymore or something that was gifted to you that you wont use. Cost $0.
post #72 of 156
Originally Posted by mysticpi View Post
of course!

I mix equal parts (maybe 2 tablespoons?):
- baking soda
-arrowroot (could use tapioca or cornstarch)
- melted coconut oil OR a combination of oils that will end up being solid, for instance some olive oil and some cocoa butter/shae butter. If you are into making it really really cheap you could even substitute petroleum jelly
~you can add some essential oils if you want, I don't

put in a little container and let cool so that it hardens. It will last a LONG time

To use: scoop a teeny little bit on your finger tip and rub into your armpit

~ Some people find that baking soda irritates their skin, if that happens you can try reducing the proportion of baking soda

This deodorant is not an antiperspirant so it might take a little to get used to if you've been using commercial deodorants
I just use a little rubbing alcohol for deodorant. Works great.

Will try this though. Much gentler on skin.
post #73 of 156
Originally Posted by FloridaBorn View Post
Big expense coming up for me is going to be a new fridge (preferably one made this century!) and I kind of dread it... new appliances are crazy-friggin-costly!
We bought ours early Jan when there were a bunch of sales. Spent $500CAD on a simple (yet good sized) model found at an online store.

Ok, here's our really frugal crazy bits and I feel like they top some people in the sense that they *do* border on crazy.

DH and I lived separately for a year to save money to buy a house. He rented a tiny bachelor pad/room for rent within walking distance of his work and I lived with my parents an hour's drive away.

Then we bought a fixer upper. Like, pay it off within 15 years or less fixer upper and have been paying as we go on remodeling. We reuse a lot of old things (tub, old bathroom sink/faucet but "new" vanity, old kitchen sink but new faucet, paint kitchen cabinets instead of replacing type of thing.)

We had to replace all the plumbing as it was old and rusty. We were also planning on moving the bathroom. Building the new bathroom took a lot longer than we thought. Had to gut the room, (realized we had a log house with no insulation!) frame outer walls and insulate, build dividing wall (to make large room smaller), painting, plastering, taking up and putting down new flooring... and I was sick with the flu for 3 weeks and DH's work schedule was changed so he didn't have a lot of time to work during the week.

We thought we could use the old bathroom then make the switch to the new in a day or two. But, right away the old plumbing gave out. It didn't make sense to replace all the pipes to the old bathroom/kitchen then move them once the new bathroom was ready... so we've been living without running water. We already share a well and pump with our neighbours so it's no extra cost to them and they let us fill up some jugs at their outside tap. (Even our main shutoff was a POS so we had to have the neighbours shut our water off at their house... our house used to be his Dad's hence the connection)

For two months, I have been lugging water from next door (20 feet away) boiling it to wash dishes, clean, etc and have flushed a toilet by dumping water into it. I really don't mind it except having to *admit* to people that I do it. Because people look at us like we're weird, treat us like we're poor etc.

To be honest, we didn't expect it to take this long. Being sick/work schedule change set us *way* back. Also, realizing we didn't have all pieces and needing to reorder wasn't fun either.

But, it's going awesome and just about finished. (Any day now ) Oh, we shower/do laundry at my sister's 5 minutes away.

And we choose not to have a tv which = you're poor to most people... even though we have a fancy computer with high speed internet.
post #74 of 156
We happened to go down the appliance "returns" section in Lowes once when we were there and happened upon a huge fridge (energy star, french doors on top, freezer on the bottom) that was a return on a special order - they were selling it for $650 or so (It was just past $700 with tax), but the original price was $1500. It was lacking the drawers. We called whirlpool and had new drawers sent (which cost about another $100 - there were 5 drawers or something?). Our electricity bill dropped precipitously. Before that, we had two fridges running (we have a second kitchen in our house that is unused) because we bought a 1/4 of beef and we used the fridge downstairs for the beef (and to keep beer, soda, etc, in the bottom), and then we had the upstairs fridge. The new fridge was big enough that we could get rid of both old fridges (which were probably 20 or 30 years old), and then when we were ready for a new 1/4 beef a few months later we bought a chest freezer for a couple hundred bucks which is WAY more efficient than a refrigerator.

Anyway, when all was said and done, it dropped our electric bill by like 2/3. We were SHOCKED, but extremely happy. Have to say it was our best impulse shopping EVER
post #75 of 156
Subbing, what a great thread. Helps me not feel like such a black sheep. Heck, all of MDC does!
post #76 of 156
Hmm, weird stuff? I do a lot of things that I get called a "hippie" for, but I think people mostly keep the "that's weird" comments to themselves. I think with us some people are amazed at what we spend lots of money on, and the things we are super thrifty about. We paid 2k for our homebirth and pay extra $$ for our freerange organic meat. Then on the other hand, my kids wear hand-me-downs, we don't buy snack foods, we use cloth everything, diva cup, make our own bread, grind our grains, and only camp for vacation. I do think people thought we were weird when we went to the Ashland Shakespeare festival and camped at a campground 17 miles away and bought only one meal out.
post #77 of 156
Thanks mamas for this thread. You have given me some great ideas on how to save money

I'm not very frugal atm however, I aspire to be much more frugal because I'm expecting
post #78 of 156
Originally Posted by Leta View Post
We typically spend just under $200 a month (family of four and a half) on food
Can I have a sample grocery list? LOL...or something? I want to know how you do this! I know it is possible, but I haven't been able to and I so badly want to. I have about a $320 monthly food budget for three people and I barely make it through the month with that. SO bad, I know. I cook from scratch a lot, too. I know I can do better though.

And these cloth/reusable ziplock back replacements...how is this done? I've sewn cloth-pretty much everything, but not snack bags. I need to make myself a lunch bag, too.
post #79 of 156
Yeah that to the reusable ziploc bags. I'd love to learn to make them.
post #80 of 156
It's interesting to read this thread and hear what is seen as "extreme" right now here on the Frugality forum. I have known times when the discussion was on cloth toilet wipes as an alternative to toilet paper. We've yet to come close to that on this thread , unless it was what someone meant when they said "we use cloth everything."
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