Home Improvement – Frugalwoods http://www.frugalwoods.com Financial independence and simple living Wed, 16 May 2018 10:00:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 How Decluttering Saves Me Money, Time, And Stress http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/17/how-decluttering-saves-me-money-time-and-stress/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/17/how-decluttering-saves-me-money-time-and-stress/#comments Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:00:16 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=16403 How Decluttering Saves Me Money, Time, And Stress

I reorganized our house. And by “reorganized,” I mean I went through every single closet, drawer, cabinet, and shelf, and every single t-shirt, shampoo bottle, and Christmas decoration that we own. And by “house,” I mean all of it: from the front hall to the basement to the new baby’s room, I systematically deconstructed every single inch of our living space. Even the guest bathroom, which, as it turned out, was harboring a most random panoply of unused toiletries, a humidifier, and a hairdryer I’d forgotten I owned.

This entire process took me an embarrassingly long stretch of time–I didn’t keep close track, but I’d say four or five months. Of course my work wasn’t constant, but rather, as all my work is, sporadic and crammed into naptime and preschool time and the ten minutes I can grab at any given moment during my hectically joyful days of parenting a two-year-old, being pregnant, managing a homestead, launching my book, and writing Frugalwoods.

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Moving? Wait Before You Renovate http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/03/17/moving-wait-before-you-renovate/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/03/17/moving-wait-before-you-renovate/#comments Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:07:11 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=13223 Moving? Wait Before You Renovate

Moving into a new house is surrounded by as much consumer fanfare as a new baby. There’s a temptation–and a goading by the likes of HGTV–to buy all new furniture, renovate immediately, and deck every wall in a trendy palette. But this urgent wish for everything to be precisely perfect is detrimental to both budgets and longterm planning. Hard as it might be, the frugal route is to bide your time.

Impose A Waiting Period

Before we moved into our first home–the one in Cambridge that’s now a rental property–Mr. Frugalwoods and I put together a massive list of upgrades we wanted to do to the house. Urgently. Ideally before we moved in. Thankfully, we restrained ourselves because after living in the home for six months and then a year, our thoughts on what we wanted to do to the house changed radically.

Had we rushed into all the renovations we thought we wanted, we would’ve wasted thousands of dollars on upgrades that, as it turned out, weren’t necessary.

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How To Move With A Baby (Without Losing Your Stuff Or Your Sanity) http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/05/27/how-to-move-with-a-baby-without-losing-your-stuff-or-your-sanity/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/05/27/how-to-move-with-a-baby-without-losing-your-stuff-or-your-sanity/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 13:41:44 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=10565 How To Move With A Baby (Without Losing Your Stuff Or Your Sanity)

We are officially moved into our Vermont homestead at long last! I’m immensely delighted (super delighted? supremely delighted?) to write this from our porch, gazing out on our apple trees–which are just beginning to blossom–listening to the distant sounds of a hooting owl, running streams, and Frugal Hound chasing squirrels in her sleep (some things never change).

Although spending weekends here for the past five months gave us a taste of homestead life, being moved in full-time is yielding a level of peace and happiness heretofore unknown by us. I have to say, it’s amazing. And we are so thankful to be settled!

Since moving is everyone’s absolute favorite thing to do (right????!!!!), I want to share how we made this decampment from urban Cambridge, MA to rural VT in one fell swoop with all babies, hounds, and boxes accounted for.

While, naturally, our goal was to complete this move as inexpensively as possible, thriftiness was not our chief concern.

Continue reading How To Move With A Baby (Without Losing Your Stuff Or Your Sanity) at Frugalwoods.

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Revenge Of The Appliances: A Tale Of DIY Mishaps And Triumphs http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/03/31/revenge-of-the-appliances-a-tale-of-diy-mishaps-triumphs/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/03/31/revenge-of-the-appliances-a-tale-of-diy-mishaps-triumphs/#comments Thu, 31 Mar 2016 10:00:23 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=10049 Revenge Of The Appliances: A Tale Of DIY Mishaps And Triumphs

And then there are the times when DIY goes awry. Lest you think we’re some sort of home improvement mavens following our recent self-taught plumbing escapade, let me disabuse you of that notion post haste by telling you the tale of our oven. And our refrigerator. And our closet door…

An Oven Obituary

Right on the heels of our frozen and burst pipe, the Frugalwoods oven decided it was a dandy time to cease operation. Mr. Frugalwoods turned it on one fine evening in anticipation of preparing a scrumptious and highly complicated dinner (ok, actually it was a frozen pizza) and… nothing happened. We reasoned that the oven was jealous of all the attention the pipes had received and hence felt the need to act out.

Our oven is was not old. Not old at all. And so, with the foolish optimism of youth, we had the folly–and hubris–to assume it would serve us for years to come.

Continue reading Revenge Of The Appliances: A Tale Of DIY Mishaps And Triumphs at Frugalwoods.

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Extreme Frugal Insourcing: Repairing a Frozen and Burst Pipe with PEX http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/03/07/extreme-frugal-insourcing-repairing-a-frozen-and-burst-pipe-with-pex/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/03/07/extreme-frugal-insourcing-repairing-a-frozen-and-burst-pipe-with-pex/#comments Mon, 07 Mar 2016 11:30:11 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=9973 Extreme Frugal Insourcing: Repairing a Frozen and Burst Pipe with PEX

Have you ever wondered if there’s a surefire way to get your pipes to freeze? Well, wonder no more! You’re in luck because Mr. Frugalwoods and I have uncovered this miraculous and amazingly practical wisdom!

All’s you have to do is go out of town on a weekend when the temperatures are predicted to be sub-zero. And presto! You’ll return home on Sunday night to the glory that is frozen pipes.

As I previewed in our February expense report, quite a few things decided to helpfully break last month around the ol’ Frugalwoods HQ. So many things, in fact, that I’ve decided to launch a miniseries devoted to this excellent topic. Stay tuned for riveting new editions as sundry bits continue to degrade in and around our home!

It Started Innocently Enough…

As you might’ve surmised, this is–unfortunately–not hyperbole. Nope. This tale is drawn straight from real life events at the Frugalwoods abode.

Continue reading Extreme Frugal Insourcing: Repairing a Frozen and Burst Pipe with PEX at Frugalwoods.

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My Quest For A Clutter-Free Life http://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/09/11/my-quest-for-a-clutter-free-life/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/09/11/my-quest-for-a-clutter-free-life/#comments Fri, 11 Sep 2015 11:01:44 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=8053 My Quest For A Clutter-Free Life

I’m currently experiencing a simultaneous nest and de-clutter phase. While half of me is wholly dedicated to arranging, assembling, and acquiring hand-me-downs for Babywoods, the other half of my manic pregnant brain recently declared war on junk. I’ve become a one-woman chaos annihilator.

Let’s preface this with the fact that I’m admittedly the worst minimalist out there. This has become increasingly obvious as I befriend actual, real-life minimalists like Cait from Blonde On A Budget, who got rid of 75% of her stuff. Now that is some impressive minimalist action!

Despite my minimalist shortcomings, I hold a deep-seated grudge against useless and ill-organized belongings. My physical surroundings have a profound impact on my mood and I find that a coordinated space enables me to think more clearly, write more creatively, and feel more at peace.

There’s something about the tactile nature of both the act of organizing and then enjoying the results that brings me actual happiness.

Continue reading My Quest For A Clutter-Free Life at Frugalwoods.

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The Great Homemade Seltzer Discovery of 2015 http://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/08/07/the-great-homemade-seltzer-discovery-of-2015/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/08/07/the-great-homemade-seltzer-discovery-of-2015/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2015 11:12:26 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=7368 The Great Homemade Seltzer Discovery of 2015

Sometimes frugality is about giving stuff up. Other times, it’s about being clever.

Mr. Frugalwoods and I are known seltzer addicts. Indeed, we can scarcely make it through a day without our bubbly water fix. And we have zero intention of ever giving it up. Pure, unadulterated seltzer (just water and gas, no sugars or flavors) is a luxury we’ve decided to incorporate into our extremely frugal lives.

Would it be cheaper for us to just drink tap water? Quite obviously yes. But we choose to treat ourselves with this fizzy little drink. Why? Because seltzer is a key component of our luxuriously frugal lifestyle. Oh yes, you read that right, we consider our lives to be frugally luxurious.

The Great Frugalwoods Sodastream Hack of 2014

As long-time readers will recall, Mr. FW devised a system to hack our Sodastream machine last August to replace the pricey little Sodastream brand C02 canisters with a gigantico 20lb C02 tank.

Continue reading The Great Homemade Seltzer Discovery of 2015 at Frugalwoods.

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Our 15 Frugal Moving Tips http://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/06/05/our-15-frugal-moving-tips/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/06/05/our-15-frugal-moving-tips/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 10:49:22 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=6455 Our 15 Frugal Moving Tips

It’s moving season! No, Mr. Frugalwoods, Frugal Hound and I aren’t moving–yet–but we’ve moved a grand total of 15 times between the two of us (not counting Frugal Hound’s various hound-related moves). All of these moves were between states and, in some cases, across vast swaths of the country.

Since most of us are probably either too old or not idealistic enough to move with just a backpack, let’s assume the few of you who can pull that off don’t need to read this post. You’ve figured out a far more frugal and minimalist life than I. Though I do think Frugal Hound would look pretty cute moving herself with a doggy backpack strapped to her little houndy shoulders…

For the rest of us, moving doesn’t have to be a stressful, time-consuming, nightmare of money-draining madness. Indeed, it’s totally possible to approach relocating yourself with frugality, grace, aplomb, and above all, organization (and snacks!

Continue reading Our 15 Frugal Moving Tips at Frugalwoods.

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11 Frugal Hacks to Stay Warm and Save Money This Winter http://www.frugalwoods.com/2014/10/27/11-frugal-hacks-to-stay-warm-and-save-money-this-winter/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2014/10/27/11-frugal-hacks-to-stay-warm-and-save-money-this-winter/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 10:39:53 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=3530 11 Frugal Hacks to Stay Warm and Save Money This Winter

Have you turned your heat on yet? After I divulged that Mr. Frugalwoods and I haven’t–and likely won’t until November–I received a number of comments and emails from readers asking that I share our methods for thermostat abstention.

We adore the shoulder months of fall and spring when we live totally sans climate control. Heating and air conditioning are money drains and we save a bundle by flat out not turning ours on. Summers are rather mild here in Cambridge, MA and we were able to squeak by with AC only in July and some of August.

Our winters, on the other hand, can be epically harsh. Going without heat all winter is an absolute impossibility–in addition to being extraordinarily uncomfortable, our pipes would freeze and burst, which is about the least frugal thing in the world. Despite this fact, we spend a fraction of what most folks do in order to avoid the shivers every winter.

Continue reading 11 Frugal Hacks to Stay Warm and Save Money This Winter at Frugalwoods.

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How To: Cheap Homemade Seltzer with a Modified Sodastream http://www.frugalwoods.com/2014/08/11/how-to-cheap-homemade-seltzer-with-a-modified-sodastream/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2014/08/11/how-to-cheap-homemade-seltzer-with-a-modified-sodastream/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 13:09:39 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=1887 How To: Cheap Homemade Seltzer with a Modified Sodastream

Oh seltzer! Tasty bubble water of the gods. Once you’ve tickled your tongue with this crisp and refreshing remake of boring old water, you’ll never go back.

Our march towards a franken-seltzer machine started innocently enough.

In college (as our romanced was blossoming), Mrs. FW and I drank prodigious amounts of the cheapest diet soda we could get our hands on. It was really awful, off-brand stuff. Think diet strawberry shasta… and you’ll get the picture. This essential fuel for all-night study sessions cost us $4 for a 30 can flat. We’d easily go through a flat per week during peak study season.

After college, being so mature and all, we quickly dialed back our soda consumption. But we missed the fizz! We were buying 2 liters of seltzer water occasionally, along with diet ginger ale. The reasons for diet ginger ale have been lost to the sands of time as I now think that stuff tastes weird even for diet soda.

Continue reading How To: Cheap Homemade Seltzer with a Modified Sodastream at Frugalwoods.

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