Monthly Archive: November 2016

110

How To Give Frugal Gifts With Joy And Generosity

It’s time for the annual Frugalwoods frugal holiday gifts run down (check out the 2014 and 2015 lists too)! Although the mere phrase “holiday gifts” is anathema to many a frugalyte, there are ways to maintain one’s frugal predilections while celebrating all things festive and jolly. Chiefly, I wish to point out that the holidays should not come as a surprise to anyone or their budget. Indeed, we’re graced with this merry season every single year. Without...

118

How I Fight Food Waste At Thanksgiving And Beyond

October to January is easily my favorite time of year. It’s fall, it’s gorgeous, and it’s when all the best holidays happen. Nestled in the middle is Thanksgiving, which I consider a uniquely frugal occasion. Thanksgiving doesn’t encourage excessive spending, it traditionally has no gifts, there’s little commercialism associated with it (aside from the Thanksgiving Day Parade, which I got so fired up about last year that I wrote this), and it enjoys a cult of personality around leftovers. What...

86

The Patented Frugalwoods Cheap Christmas Card Hack

This could be a super short post. I could simply say: “don’t send holiday cards because they are expensive and decidedly un-frugal.” But, as those of you who’ve been reading for a few years know, I’m a holiday junkie. I can’t get enough of festive tidings and yuletide trimmings and hall decking. And so, this post is not short. Don’t Skip The Holidays… Frugalize Them! Obviously the ultimate frugal approach is to skip the holidays. To...

38

Starting The Thanksgiving Season With Gratitude

As Thanksgiving looms on the horizon–scratch that, “looms” sounds entirely too negative… as Thanksgiving blossoms (?) on the horizon, I’m reflecting on how tremendously grateful I am for the wonderful things in my life.  I am fortunate beyond measure and thankful in a profound, deep way. Beyond my gratitude, I’m cognizant of the privilege that catapulted me to this point and mindful that not everyone in our country is so fortunate, nor so immune from hardship. I...

138

Reader Case Study: Stay Home With Baby or Return To Work?

Welcome to this month’s Reader Case Study! Case studies are financial dilemmas/questions that a reader of Frugalwoods sends to me requesting that Frugalwoods nation weigh in on. Then, Frugalwoods nation (that’d be you), reads through their situation and provides advice, encouragement, insight, and feedback in the comments section. It’s a way for us to support and assist one another on our diverse financial journeys. Since many of us don’t discuss money with our friends in a conventional setting, I find that...

91

Muck Boots, Rolled Oats, And Other October 2016 Expenditures

After last month’s bonfire of the expenses, it was frugally comforting to return to a sane spending level in October. Nothing dramatic happened (other than our slightly premature snow) and nothing terribly expensive happened either. This is an illustration of why frugality is a longterm proposition: spending fluctuates–along with savings rates–and success only occurs when you maintain a frugal arc over time. The key is that on the whole, Mr. FW and I save vastly more than we spend....

98

This Month On The Homestead: From Leaves to Snow

If you’re just tuning in, this is a recurring series in which I document each month of our lives out here on our 66-acre Vermont homestead. After leaving urban Cambridge, MA in May 2016 to chart this wholly different life, we’re experiencing a constant learning curve of exploration (and plenty of stupid novice moments). Check out last month’s installment here. October will always have special meaning for our family because it’s the anniversary of us seeing our...