Updates On The Lives Of Some Frugal Weirdos

I don’t just write about extreme frugality and the awesome lifestyle it enables, I actually live it. Often, folks ask me how I devise my article concepts and the answer is that I simply draw from our daily lives. Everything I write about is either the articulation of an idea I’ve been mulling over or the result of something Mr. Frugalwoods and I experienced. I don’t make anything up on here, so it’s a darn good thing we live the frugal life every day. To that end, I thought I’d share a few tidbits with you on what’s been happening in the lives of these two (2.5 with Babywoods? 3.5 if you count Frugal Hound?) frugal weirdos.

The Great Frugalwoods Coffee Taste Test of 2015


The Frugalwoods Coffee Haus!!

Do you all remember the great Costco coffee experiment Mr. Frugalwoods and I embarked on last month? In case you’ve forgotten amidst your own frugal investigations, allow me to summarize. Mr. FW and I had long clung to a frugal hold-out in our lives: very expensive coffee beans (which we grind and brew ourselves at home). However, last month, spurred on by our continual examination of our spending, we decided to do the unthinkable: buy coffee beans from, of all places, Costco!

The rules for this venture were as follows: 1) we had to use the entire 3 lb bag of Costco beans (not going to waste something we’d already paid for!) 2) after one month, we’d assess if we wanted to revert to the expensive beans or continue on with the bargain beans.

Well, that month concluded last week. We skimmed the dregs of our gigantic bag-o-beans and called a family conference to determine our course going forward. Coffee, after all, is not something to be handled lightly. In a unanimous vote with one abstention (from Frugal Hound), we resolved that the Frugalwoods are heretofore Costco coffee drinkers!

3 lbs of Costco Coffee now belongs to us

3 more pounds of Costco Coffee now belong to us

What our month-long analysis taught us is that we’d been buying ritzy beans on the assumption that they were vastly superior in flavor. While they’re slightly better tasting, they’re not $214.11 per year better tasting (which is the amount we’ll save by switching to Costco-vended beans). Many of you savvy readers suggested we mix the Costco beans with the more expensive beans, but for our money, the Costco beans alone suit us just dandy.

As a side note, the month-long trial horizon is an approach we employ anytime we’re testing something out, trying to change a behavior, or instilling a new routine. It’s long enough to provide a reasonable sense of the change, but short enough that it feels tenable at the outset. For reference, this is the methodology we used to break our eating out habit and, in the larger picture, commit to our lifestyle of extreme frugality.

If we felt we were sacrificing flavor or enjoyment with these cheaper beans, we’d hop back on the pricey bean train. After all, life’s too short to drink bad coffee. But, we’re perfectly content with these money-saving coffee producers. As I discussed on Wednesday, spending that’s based solely on assumptions or inertia is spending that deserves to be put under the microscope.

Continually questioning spending choices–especially on sacred cows like coffee–is a valuable exercise in the life of the frugal weirdo. Buying certain items or brands on autopilot is something we all fall victim to, and it’s wise to shake it up every now and then to ensure we’re creating efficiencies everywhere we’re able. This is but one more example of how we manage to save over 70% of our incomes every year–it doesn’t happen by accident, we make daily decisions that cause it to be so.


Mr. FW on the Mt. Liberty summit. It was super overcast, but lovely nonetheless.

Mr. FW on the Mt. Liberty summit. It was super overcast, but lovely nonetheless.

July turned into hike-o-rama month as we scaled not one, but two, 4,000-footers in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Since these trailheads are a solid three-hour drive from our home in Cambridge, it’s no small feat to carve out the time for our treks.

I shared the details on our early July summiting of Mt. Pierce and Mt. Eisenhower in Hike More, Spend Less: Our Tricks For Frugal Hiking, and our hike up Mt. Liberty this past Saturday was no less magnificent.

At 23 weeks pregnant (almost 6 months!!!), the 4,000 foot climb in elevation was challenging, but doable for me. I’m tremendously grateful I’m having such a healthy pregnancy and I’m committed to eating well and exercising for as long as I possibly can. A number of people on the trail asked how I was hiking pregnant and the answer is that I do it just like everyone else–one foot in front of the other, up the side of the mountain.

There’s no automatic switch that flips when you’re pregnant preventing you from doing physical activity (unless you have a specific medical condition or your doctor advises against it) and in a normal, healthy pregnancy, you’re encouraged to continue working that bod!

Mr. FW on the Mt. Liberty assent

Mr. FW on the Mt. Liberty assent

Hiking soothes our souls and is a hobby that brings Mr. FW and I closer every time we’re on the trail. It’s a quiet, calming activity entirely absent the harried distractions and screens of our daily modern lives.

We’re able to challenge ourselves physically, and also emotionally since we’re usually on the trail for upwards of 7 hours and we don’t do anything but walk through the woods, talk to each other, and eat the occasional snack.

This detox from everyday life decompresses us and often brings clarity to our thinking for days to come. Being in the woods is a retreat and a refuge. And as people who don’t like being told what to do and prefer to chart our own course, hiking is one of the few sports that doesn’t involve complicated equipment (like a boat), expensive services (like a ski lift), or teammates (like Frugal Hound!). While we almost always hike together, we see plenty of solitary hikers on the trail, out there refreshing their own souls. Plus, we get a stellar view at the top, not to mention a fulfilling sense of accomplishment.

This Is My Face!

My makeup-free, natural face and hair

My makeup-free, natural face and hair

Well, part of it anyway ;). After putting it all out there in my Frugal Beauty Manifesto on Monday, I wanted to illustrate that I practice what I preach. I don’t wear make-up to hide my flaws. I’m imperfect, we’re all imperfect, and I’m sick of the media telling us we need to buy stuff in order to make ourselves beautiful. Nope. We don’t. I’m deeply inspired and uplifted by all of your sincere, heartfelt comments about your own experiences with the pressures society puts on women to look a certain way. I want to thank you all for sharing your stories!

We all look the way we do for a reason–it’s part of our unique presence on earth and I, for one, appreciate the way I look au naturel. To that end, I’m sharing this photo of my blemished, makeup-free face and untreated natural hair today on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. If you too feel that confidence is the best beauty product out there, I encourage you to join me in posting your own awesome, genuine selfie.

Another one for good measure

Another pic of me for good measure

I’ve heard that the latest trend is to heavily edit, re-touch, and otherwise falsify one’s selfie, so I thought it would be fun to fight the norm in typical frugal weirdo fashion and instead celebrate our real faces. Mention me in your tweet/post so that I can join in the fun, and if you want, you can use this hashtag:  (I’ve never made up a hashtag before, but apparently anyone can do it?). If the hashtag police call me, we’ll know I was wrong.

Frugalwoods Around The Web

We’re delighted that Lifehacker featured us earlier this week (thanks to the fantastic folks at Rockstar Finance) and today, I’m on a podcast!

I participate in a super fun monthly podcast series “Martinis and Your Money,” hosted by the fabulous Shannon from Financially Blonde, along with my buddies Tonya from Budget and the Beach and Melanie from Dear Debt. Our conversations run the gamut from investing to food to life philosophies and today we’re chatting about overcoming obstacles. Check us out if you’re the podcasting type!

Weekend Road Trip!

Enjoying our lunch on top of Mt. Liberty

Munching our lunch atop Mt. Liberty

Mr. FW must attend a work conference in Burlington, Vermont this weekend and so, spying an opportunity to revel in his free hotel and per diem together, I’m tagging along. We’re driving the Frugalwoods-mobile up this morning and will enjoy a blissful weekend by the shores of Lake Champlain.

Mr. FW shall conference and I shall do what I do best: eat write about weird frugal things in various different locales around town. Never ones to pass up a chance for free travel, we’re excited for this mini weekend jaunt. I hope you all have a divine frugal weekend; I’ll see you on Monday!

What frugal fun have you been up to lately? Have you challenged any spending assumptions recently?

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76 Responses

  1. Love #BeautyCantBeBought! And wow, sticking with the Costco beans! On the frugal travel front, I’m currently on a biz trip that will soon turn into a virtually free weekend to visit a friend for a milestone birthday. Love when we can get work to pay for fun travel, and we do this as often as possible!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Thanks so much! Nicely done on turning business travel into pleasure! It really is the way to roll :).

  2. You look lovely! I really like your necklace.

    I’ve only been to Burlington once – with a three year old – but it struck me as a really cool small city. Have a great weekend!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Thank you! That locket is my favorite necklace–Mr. FW gave it to me one year just because :). Burlington is pretty awesome (as I’m currently here enjoying the local scenery 🙂 )!

  3. I love how you share your philosophy on frugality. Thinking through why we do things is so much more motivating, and sharing your thinking encourages the rest of us. I also like how you constantly challenge your spending habits, like in frugal coffee taste test. While frugal autopilot is a great way to maintain savings, always being open to new strategies frees up even more resources. Thanks for sharing all of this with us!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Hey, thank YOU for reading and commenting! I definitely find that continually examining our spending choices–even though we think we have everything on frugal lockdown–is a really valuable exercise.

  4. Thank you for your beauty posts! It’s easier to focus on presenting one’s best side to the world and keeping the rest way hidden.

    Congrats on finding another $214 per year in savings! If you miss your roasted-by-unicorns beans, you could always get a bag a couple times a year as a special treat, but it sounds like the Costco ones are good enough it won’t really matter. Brew on, friends!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      So true–it certainly is easier to mask it with makeup than to work on the internal aspects. It’s a constant work in progress for me, but I do find it easier to explore what I really want when I’m not trying to conceal who I am. I’m pretty excited about the $214 in savings! So worthwhile to examine our spending assumptions every now and then :).

  5. laura morris says:

    Try the Espresso Bean Roast in the red bag from Costco. I think you will like it better. Been drinking it for years. It is good. I have a question. In your budgets you don’t list anything for medical insurance, life insurance, or car insurance or where you store your savings. I assume you are paying copay for Dr. visits ….
    Are you not paying these?
    How will you handle the expenses of having a teenager …? I am a frugal person, my husband and I have parented frugally. We now have a tween who is faced with all of the lure of consumer culture, she is grateful for what she has and she is learning to use money wisely but I know she feels left behind with her peers and their things.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Great questions, Laura! The Monthly Expense Reports that we publish only reflect what we spend every month. We don’t currently publish our savings and investment numbers. However, if you’re interested in reading more about how we manage our money, here are a few posts that address the topic: How We Manage Our Household Finances, Well Hot Damn, Frugality Works! Our 2014 Savings Rate Revealed and How We Save 65% Annually.

      To your specific questions–Mr. FW’s employer pays for our health insurance in full, so we don’t have a monthly payment for that. We do pay for doctor visit co-pays, which show up in the Monthly Expense Reports in months where we go to the doctor. Under our insurance, all of my prenatal visits are fully covered, so I haven’t had any copays for those. All other expenses (such as car insurance) just show up in the Monthly Expense Report in the month that we pay them–we tend to pay things in lump sums and not spread the payments out, so we don’t have a monthly car insurance payment, it’s once every 6 months.

      Great question on having a teenager! Since Babywoods isn’t born yet, I think I’d have to say that I don’t know yet :). Both of our parents raised Mr. FW and I pretty frugally and I didn’t have all the latest things as a teenager and so we’ll follow that same philosophy with our kiddos. But, it’ll certainly be a whole new world for us when we get to that stage :).

  6. I’m truly inspired by your lifestyle. I bought a bag of coffee beans to test and I’m slowly making my way through this humongous bag of coffee. I’ve learned that beans last longer and for just myself I could probably have bought a smaller bag. My husband swears by his k-kups (such a waste). It’s a learning process, right? I’ve been to Burlington….lovely city that I’d like to explore more when we get back to Vermont

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      The good news on the humongous bag-o-coffee is that it seems to freeze really well. We froze ours last month and it held its taste quite nicely :). Burlington is so adorable! We’re just loving it (and I’m writing to you as I enjoy the local scenery!).

  7. Leah says:

    Thank you for sharing! Ever since reading your beauty post, I’ve put the kibosh on makeup. Granted it’s only been 3 days and my makeup routine wasn’t that expansive to begin with (eye shadow, eye liner, mascara), but it’s made such a difference in my mornings AND evenings. Now I put on mascara and walk out the door. In the evenings it’s a quick swipe with makeup remover and DONE. I’m in love.

    Have fun on your trip! Just out of curiosity, what do you do with Frugal Hound when you travel?

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Woohoo! Congrats on ditching makeup–that’s awesome, Leah! I’m in love with how quick and easy the simple routine is too. I like being able to get ready almost as quickly as Mr. FW!

      Good question on the Hound :). She stays with friends when we travel and we, in turn, babysit their dogs when they travel. We have a little network of folks we dog-swap with and it’s really ideal. No one pays any money, the dogs are happy, and the humans are happy! More on how it works in this post, if you’re curious: Weekly Woot & Grumble: To Swap A Hound.

  8. Janna says:

    You know the only thing I notice when I look at the two selfies you posted? Your beautiful smile. Thanks so much for sharing your philosophy on this and inspiring me to rethink what beauty really means. I’m going to sit down with my 11 yo daughter and read your posts with her so we can talk about this.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Janna–your comment brought tears to my eyes. It truly warms my heart that you’re going to talk about these topics with your daughter. That’s exactly why I write what I do and I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to hear that you found it useful. Thank you.

  9. Thanks for sharing how the coffee challenge worked out! I often do a similar thing – buy the generic version of something and decide after making it through one bottle/bag/box weather or not the savings are worth it. Often, I find that it is!

    Also – the selfies are great! Good for you for being so comfortable with yourself!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Yeah, I’m glad we decided to question our spending assumptions re. coffee! Just when we think we have everything on frugal lockdown–behold, more savings :).

      Thanks for the selfie props! It took me awhile to get to this place of being so comfortable with who I am and how I look, but it’s really liberating to be here now :).

  10. I LOVE that you have posted your makeup-less look. I am going to add a few of mine to Twitter this weekend in solidarity. And I LOVE that you are a part of the happy hour. Recording them is a highlight for me every month and listening to them is a highlight for my listeners. I hope you guys have a great weekend!!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Yay–looking forward to your photos! You are one gorgeous person–inside and out. I love the happy hour sessions too! Thank you so much for having me :).

  11. In light of your coffee experiment, I recently conducted my own. We switched from the very high end Maxwell house to Aldi’s store brand 🙂 Mr. Crackin’ says it tastes slightly salty in flavor with his first few sips but other than that he doesn’t notice. Now we both still consume Maxwell house at our day jobs because it’s free, but truth be told, I can’t tell the difference.

    I think sometimes it’s simply our perceptions that cause us to repeat the same behavior or buying preferences over and over thinking it’s superior. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. It’s likely that if you make a switch, over time you won’t even notice. A couple of weeks ago, I made copycat Chic-Fil A sandwiches at home and they were fantastic! I’m not saying they were an exact match and I don’t think they would I could pass them off as the real thing. But we can’t remember exactly what Chic-Fil A tastes like so we thought they were some mighty fine sandwiches 🙂

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Nicely done! Love your frugal challenges! And, I think you’re totally right that we get into these ruts of spending where we assume we need to pay more for a ‘superior’ product. Mmmm, your Chic-Fil-A sandwiches sound delicious :).

  12. Yes! Your picture & confidence is perfect for #BeautyCantBeBought — way to be empowering! 🙂 It’s also very great to hear the results of the great coffee test. I am now considering trying the Costco beans! As far as spending assumptions, my fiance & I are challenging cultural norms/traditions of spending on the bride & groom. We are researching to find alternate ways to establish a non-traditional registry! Since we will be moving into a smaller apartment, the idea of accumulating more things just does not jive with us. The main priority is to have our family & friends present for our wedding, so we are thankful that many alternative registries have been created that do not just solely focus on purchasing items.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      I love that you’re bucking the wedding trend! That’s another one of those ‘industrial complexes’ of epic spending. Kudos to you for charting a non-traditional path.

      And, the Costco beans really do taste good! I wouldn’t lead you astray ;).

  13. Edifi says:

    Many great frugal things start in the kitchen! Just this month we’ve made our first pupusas (with the pickled cabbage) and yoghurts (american, greek, and skyr styles). Next up, almond milk!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      So true about frugality starting in the kitchen! There are so many ways to realize efficiencies with our food. Nicely done on the homemade foods–sounds yummy!

  14. Beck says:

    Frugal babymoon in Vermont!!!

  15. julie says:

    where do you find you break out the most? For me it was around the mouth and chin and changing my toothpaste helped a lot.

  16. I think spending based on auto pilot is what a lot of us fall victim to. We love our routines and often hate making changes. After developing a more frugal lifestyle over the past few years, I’m definitely more open to change, especially when it reduces my overall spending! I love the “one month” experiment to try new things to really see if you like them, or can easily change your lifestyle. Sometimes that’s all it takes to kick start a new (frugal) habit. You guys are great example of loving and building the frugal lifestyle… you continue to impress by adapting to new things, or just continuing on with what you normally do (hiking, no make-up – love it btw). Great update!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Many thanks! Yeah, the one month trial period works really well for us. It gives us an out if we find we really dislike a change, but it’s enough time to give it a fair shake. And, way to go on being open to change–that’s a tough one for many of us!

  17. I’ll join you in your twitter campaign! I can wear purchased sunscreen yes? 🙂 I think it’s great you are challenging the norm. That was one of my goals this month with some grocery items. Seeing what I can and can’t live with. For me I have to be careful with that…in the past if I don’t have some kind of health food “want” I end up eating something not so healthy. I can’t figure out which is worse…but for me I end up going with the healthier, but more expensive item. It’s my achilles heel apparently. I’m also doing more of a biking challenge which I’ll post monday. If I don’t use my bike a sufficient amount of time this month, I’m going to sell it. I’ve been really downsizing and simplifying all last month and it feels great. Hope you continue to feel great through your pregnancy!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Thank you for posting your selfie, Tonya! You look beautiful!! And, hopefully sunscreen is allowed because I’m wearing it in mine :). Gotta keep the skin safe!

      Ooo, a bike challenge–sounds like a great idea. Yeah, I also tend to agree that healthy foods are worth the expense. We’d save more if we didn’t buy so darn much organic produce, but it’s something I’d never eliminate from our budget (until we can grow our own, that is… ).

  18. Tawcan says:

    Having shot many models for my photography side business I can say that makeup does make a lot of difference. It’s also amazing what you can do in photoshop.

    We just recently gave up coffee and now may sell our coffee machines at home.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Yeah, I think photoshop plays a pretty big role in our culture’s beauty ideals. I’m much happier just being who I am naturally–flaws and all :).

  19. Nate Brunner says:

    Why not go all the way and just drop coffee all together? Or am I the only one who can’t stand that stuff? :o)

    In all seriousness, great job staying active while pregnant. My wife is on the same timeline as you and it’s definitely not easy.

    Love you blog!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Give up coffee???!! What blasphemy is this ;)??!!! Haha, yeah, coffee is a way of life for us–I think we’d sooner give up bathing ;). (P.S. I’m drinking coffee as I write this… ).

      Congrats to you and your wife on your upcoming bundle of joy! It’s such an exciting time :)!!!

  20. JH says:

    I have been reconsidering a lot of what I eat, not principally out of frugality, but ethics – as I switch from an omnivorous diet to a vegan-ish one. I have discovered that a lot of foods that I thought were essential to my happiness (hello, SmartFood cheddar popcorn) aren’t. From the beginning, I didn’t miss meat (except for the occasional craving for a delightfully lowbrow Buffalo chicken wrap sandwich) or milk (never drank much), but I did miss cheese. So I have been experimenting with cheese-less meals, alternatives to cheesy snacks and cheese substitutes (e.g., Daiya cheese).

    Like you, I have been surprised that what I thought was essential from a taste perspective often isn’t. The pizza chef at my office makes me an awesome (and cheap/huge) cheeseless vegan pizza whenever I want – and the only thing I really miss is the fact that the cheese kept the topping stuck to the pizza, so now I need a bigger napkin (and to wash it more often) 🙂 I don’t miss Smartfood Popcorn – tortilla chips are just fine (perhaps a little too fine). I do prefer dairy chocolate to dark chocolate (I know, I’m not classy) but I still like dark, dairyless chocolate and the fact that it’s not as addictive as dairy chocolate means that I eat a lot less of it (good for my waistline and wallet). I also miss cream cheese on my bagel (and soy cheese doesn’t make the grade, and peanut butter isn’t always what I want), but as vegan publications are inclined to say “Nothing tastes as good as kindness feels.”

    The added bonus (and a significant one for the frugal followers of this blog) is that my vegan grocery bill is significantly lower than my old grocery bill, and I’m eating out much less (because generally, I like the vegan food I prepare a lot more than what’s on offer in restaurants).

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Those sound like some wonderful changes, JH! Awesome! We don’t eat much meat either and didn’t eat much dairy before my pregnancy (now I do drink milk, though Mr. FW doesn’t). Our loosely vegan/vegetarian diet definitely saves us a ton! And, we enjoy the health benefits of eating more veggies too.

  21. Thanks for the updates. I hope you all have a great weekend!

  22. bev says:

    You’re in my town! How cool is that! Well, I live about 12 miles outside Burlington. I hope you enjoy your trip up here, and perhaps it will give you an opportunity to see and enjoy a new and different part of Vermont. I’ll look for that robust beard and say hello if I’m around town! Have a great trip!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Oh cool! That’s so neat you live up here! We just love Burlington. It is 100% our kind of place :). Please do say hi if you see us! I’m the pregnant gal wearing a black t-shirt today and typing into a laptop. And you kinda can’t miss Mr. FW’s beard ;).

  23. Maggie says:

    Well done on the #BeautyCantBeBought. It’s so sad “Going against the grain” means just being yourself, no makeup and all. Have a fabulous weekend trip! I love the business travel vacation!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      You’re right, it is kinda sad that it’s counter-culture to just be yourself. Ahh well, we’ll keep rocking it :)! Gotta love the business travel vacation–there’s nothing like traveling on someone else’s dime.

  24. I’m loving the Costco coffee experiment and that it worked out $200+/yr in your favor.. We do that kind of thing all the time too. I figure we might spend $1, $5, or $10 trying a new cheaper product, and it might be a total waste of $1-10. Or it might save us $10-20 per month which is hundreds per year. Multiply that times the dozens of products we buy all the time and you are talking mind blowing five digit savings every year.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      You’re so right about the power of all these small frugal decisions to add up. Our savings rate stems from the accumulation of al these careful choices–every dollar really does count in the end!

  25. Kim from Philadelphia says:

    1) Rock the tiger eyes Costco beans!!

    2) I think your u retouched photo just shows a beautiful, real face!!

    3) relax and enjoy your gratis hotel room and unexpected adventure!

  26. I’m constantly re-touching my selfies 🙂 Looks like a fun free travel weekend for you! Enjoy Lake Champlain, I hope the weather is nice.

  27. Kyle says:

    I’m not lucky enough to have a Costco anywhere near me. But on a business trip it turns out my coworker had a card and we went. Between remembering your test and MMM drinks Costco coffee as well, I thought I’d jump it. I purchased their three pound Rwandan coffee. I’ll be trying it tomorrow for the first time. I’m a pretty big coffee snob and I’m starting to plan to roast my own coffee building the roaster myself using some of my beer brewing equipment.
    Love your stunning hiking pictures. My recent hikes weren’t as beautiful, I’m jealous.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Good luck with the Costco bean experiment! Our eventual ideal is to roast our own beans too. But for now, these cheaper beans are fitting the bill quite nicely. We feel really fortunate we’ve been able to hike so much this summer–there’s just nothing quite so wonderful :).

  28. I agree with your hashtag that Beauty Can’t Be Bought. I find that the less stuff I use on my hair and face, the better I look! Or at least, that is my opinion. 🙂

  29. Ali says:

    Reading the comments from your beauty post was great – so many people who are happy in their own skin was wonderful to read.

    Today, I probably challenged other people’s spending habits when I sat in work and sewed up the hole in the sleeve of my jacket. So many people asked why I didn’t just buy a new one. Why would I when I can fix it in 10 minutes?

    Have a great weekend road trip!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      That’s awesome you sewed up your jacket at work!! Love it.

      Yeah, the comments on the beauty post are probably my favorites ever. It was really inspiring and heartwarming for me to read them. I may have teared up a few times ;).

  30. We just returned from a great trip on the West Coast visiting family. It’s nice to catch up with the Frugal Weirdos! Enjoy the weekend!

  31. Norm says:

    We just came back from our very frugal annual camping trip to the Thousand Islands. Watch for rambling post soon about how much I love this particular campsite while trying carefully not to give away its exact location.

    I love tagging along on Margie’s work trips, but I’ve only done it in Lake George. She has one to NYC in September, but it’s not worth doing since we’re going to NYC just one week later before our trip to Japan. Wish I had some Burlington recommendations, but I haven’t spent much time there. The Shelburne Museum, though, that’s amazing!

    BTW, I still think you should be drinking Bustelo 🙂

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Your camping trip sounds fabulous! We’ve actually been to The Shelburne Museum before and you are right, it’s amazing. I just love this area so much :).

  32. Chris says:

    Great ideas on checking on the spending autopilot!

    I stopped using cosmetics long ago, because of allergies, but it sure reduces expenses. During these experimentations I came across castor oil which clears up skin in no time. might be worth a shot (as a disclaimer: I don’t have skin problems, but it still improves it….) It will leave stains on cotton that are nasty to get out, though….plan accordingly…:-)

  33. TomTrottier says:

    FWIW, I like the A&P arabica beans, different roasts. $13.99/kg or so usually in Canada, but down to 8.99, even 6.99 every 3 or 4 months. So I buy about 4 & stick them in the freezer. I keep one kg out for making coffee, since using frozen beans means condensation on the remaining beans, which is not good for them.

  34. The Mt Liberty photos are amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  35. Amy says:

    Yay! I’m so glad you enjoy the Costco coffee. I’ve been a big fan of the large Folgers container for $11 for quite some time (I don’t mind the un-fancy kind). Costco for the win!

  36. As long as your docs are OK with it – you can continue to do “strenuous” exercise until it’s just not comfy for you any longer. I walked a half-marathon at 26 weeks – not a personal record, but not the last to cross the finish line either. I was traveling the world (literally) until 32 weeks and they just wouldn’t let me on a plane any longer. I walked 4 miles the night I went in to labor (I was stressed and pissy, and walking is a stress reliever for me). Keep going until it’s just not comfy any longer – and enjoy it while you can!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      That’s awesome! I’m certainly planning to just keep going until I physically can’t. I was reflecting in yoga last night that I can still do the full workout, I just have to accommodate a tiny bit for the bump in some poses (and no deep twisting) :). I love that you walked 4 miles right before labor! Sounds good to me!

  37. Mary says:

    I stopped perming my hair due to chemicals and my sensitivity to them. Although I have thought about dying my hair (turning grey), I am too lazy and cheap to have to keep up with it. Plus, I don’t care what others think and I would prefer to go natural. I have had people tell me how pretty the color of my hair is now.

    And, yes, you must count FrugalHound in the family numbers. The pets make up a large part of our families and, at least at our house, make their needs/wants clearly known . 🙂

    Also, a friend has been washing her hair with only baking soda and honey for months and loves how soft her hair feels. I have tried it, but it dries out my hair so only use those sporadically.

  38. SoniRose says:

    I just found your blog via the Frugal sub-reddit and the Forbes article. I’ve been obsessively reading through old posts ever since and decided to pop-in and say Hi. We’re fairly frugal (we buy secondhand, shop at Aldis, buy off Craigslist) and are working towards financial independence, but your blog has inspired to become even more frugal (less eating out and no more paying for Candy Crush 🙂 ). Also, just an FYI, I saw that you went to KU…we live in Lawrence! It’s so easy to be frugal here, especially with kids. The Craigslist section is really robust, the consignment stores are great, and there’s so many free festivals and outdoors activities to do. Plus, cost of living is high for Kansas, but is cheap compared to the rest of the country.

  39. Kaylen Ricker says:

    Do you get to bring your dog when you travel, or do you find a friend to take care of? Curious as to how you work it out. We’ve been wanting to travel with our cats, but haven’t been brave enough to try it.

  40. Iris says:

    I know the start of this is an old-ish post, but here’s another tip for the coffee. I used to work in an office where one of the early-arrival gang was responsible for both making the first pot, and for buying the coffee. At some point, our new manager did away with the put-the-money-in-the-jar approach, and decided to pay for our department’s coffee. So the guy who bought it would go out periodically and buy the big 3-pound cans of Maxwell House (no jokes here). Fast forward a while, and the company we worked for started stocking the pot-sized pouches in the storeroom, and you could just order them in. Everybody complained about the new coffee – but it was also Maxwell House. Finally someone investigated, and figured out that using the pouches meant less coffee was going into each pot.

    So some days you’d find someone standing in the kitchenette tearing open the bags and dumping them into one of the old 3-pound cans. Then they’d make the coffee as they did when they bought the cans. So consider that for a cup sized brew, just a little more coffee might make a detectable difference, for relatively little cost.

    We’ve got a Keurig (currently, I’ll consider what to do when it dies) but have never bought their cups – we’ve got refillable ones bought on Amazon, and not their k-cup which is really inconvenient and costs a bunch, though that’s a one-time expenditure, but even the extra knock-off filters are kind of pricey. You need to have several on hand – I make my coffee on a workday and I’m out of the house before hubby is up – do you really want to have to wash it right then if you’re having coffee together? Anyway, one day I made hubby’s coffee, and apparently he found it much better than what he normally made for himself. Surprise! – he was putting in far less coffee than I did.

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