Smart Buys – Frugalwoods http://www.frugalwoods.com Financial independence and simple living Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:00:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.4 Announcing My Book, “Meet The Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living” http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/10/16/announcing-my-book-meet-the-frugalwoods-achieving-financial-independence-through-simple-living/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/10/16/announcing-my-book-meet-the-frugalwoods-achieving-financial-independence-through-simple-living/#comments Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:00:50 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=15226 Announcing My Book, “Meet The Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living”

I wrote a book! In keeping with my theme lately of not burying the lead, I figured I’d just go ahead and get it out there. I’m thrilled to finally share this news because my book has been a long time coming. I started this journey when I was pregnant with Babywoods 1 and the book will publish after Babywoods 2 is born! And what a wonderful journey it has been.

Writing is my passion, it’s one of the things that brings profound happiness into my life, and I feel unendingly grateful that I get to do it for a living. I’ve always–truly, always–wanted to write a book and the fact that it finally happened is the realization of a major life goal and a childhood dream. Doesn’t hurt that it’s on my very favorite topic: frugality and financial independence! The book is called Meet The Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living and it’ll be published by HarperCollins on March 6, 2018.

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Why I (Mostly) Disagree With Buy It For Life http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/09/25/why-i-mostly-disagree-with-buy-it-for-life/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/09/25/why-i-mostly-disagree-with-buy-it-for-life/#comments Mon, 25 Sep 2017 10:00:41 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=15156 Why I (Mostly) Disagree With Buy It For Life

There’s an expensive, pseudo-frugal trend floating around out there referred to as “Buy It For Life” (BIFL). The idea behind this proclamation is that you should buy expensive, high quality products for everything you need–from hair dryers to frying pans to bookshelves–and then never buy that item again. Ever. For the rest of your life. As a devoted non-shopper, I like this concept in theory, but I also have a sneaking suspicion that I’m catching the oh-so-elusive scent of a falsely frugal rat. Methinks BIFL might be good in some instances but not all.

Don’t Start With Buy It for Life

My first objection to Buy It For Life: it encourages you to overspend on high-end products when you can get ‘good enough’ products at vastly cheaper prices.

What I propose is a slight modification to this catchy phrase. Instead of the quippy “Buy It For Life,” I propose the equivocation, “Maybe Buy It For Life, But Not Immediately.” Good, huh?

Continue reading Why I (Mostly) Disagree With Buy It For Life at Frugalwoods.

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How We Bought Inexpensive, Awesome Glasses Online http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/04/25/how-we-bought-inexpensive-awesome-glasses-online/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/04/25/how-we-bought-inexpensive-awesome-glasses-online/#comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 10:00:24 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=13409 How We Bought Inexpensive, Awesome Glasses Online

Mr. Frugalwoods needed glasses. After years of competing over who could discern distant signs on roadtrips first, age finally caught up with my mountain/computer man.

Both of his vocations–software engineering and forestry management/homesteading–require the ability to see clearly. As does, you know, life in general.

Last year he started getting headaches and complained of blurry vision and so, the time had come. I sent him to the eye doctor. Verdict: his vision isn’t terrible, but it’s enough that glasses make his life better. And who doesn’t want a better life?!

A LASIK Sidenote

Longtime readers will recall that I, oh haver of terrible vision since middle school, got LASIK surgery exactly four years ago, which I still consider one of the best things money ever bought (second, of course, to our marriage license and the co-pay for Babywoods’ birth).

The full rundown on my LASIK story is here: Why LASIK Surgery Is The Best $4,225 I’ve Ever Spent.

Continue reading How We Bought Inexpensive, Awesome Glasses Online at Frugalwoods.

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How To Find Anything and Everything Used: A Compendium Of Frugal Treasure Hunting http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/03/23/how-to-find-anything-and-everything-used-a-compendium-of-frugal-treasure-hunting/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/03/23/how-to-find-anything-and-everything-used-a-compendium-of-frugal-treasure-hunting/#comments Thu, 23 Mar 2017 10:00:10 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=13280 How To Find Anything and Everything Used: A Compendium Of Frugal Treasure Hunting

I have a used couch and used cars. And used clothes, used tables, and almost every single thing Babywoods owns is used–from stroller to socks. Even my dog is used (sorry Frugal Hound, it’s true).

Just how did I get all of this second-hand stuff? If you’ve ever wondered how to similarly outfit yourself and your family with such illustrious things as a coat from the trash and a dining room table from Craigslist, then today is your day.

Buying and sourcing items used is one of the central tenets to frugal living, and it’s one of the key provisos outlined in my Uber Frugal Month Challenge (by the way, you can sign-up at any time to join the over 11,700 folks who’ve already taken this free Challenge and saved thousands of dollars!).

Why Used?

Before we get to the instructional portion of today’s event, let’s review the why of second-hand.

Continue reading How To Find Anything and Everything Used: A Compendium Of Frugal Treasure Hunting at Frugalwoods.

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Our Amazon Mattress: A Five Year Update http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/02/27/our-amazon-mattress-a-five-year-update/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/02/27/our-amazon-mattress-a-five-year-update/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2017 11:00:40 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=13018 Our Amazon Mattress: A Five Year Update

I’m here to report on our Amazon mattress. Nearly five whole years ago, Mr. Frugalwoods and I bought a king-size mattress. From the internet. For $279. We named it Internet Mattress.

Since we’ve been snoozin’ on this bed for half a decade, I figured it was high time for an update on how the relationship is going. The summary: Internet Mattress is amazing, it’s still in great condition, it’s still under $300, and I still highly recommend it.

Frugality Works For Just About Everything

Before discovering Internet Mattress, Mr. FW and I expected we’d have to cough up four figures for a bed. What we didn’t know then is that frugality can be applied to almost every aspect of life. There’s an assumption that things like mattresses (and cars and babies) must be expensive, but that’s nothing more than a trope of our consumer culture designed to intimidate us into doing obscenely ridiculous things like purchasing beds on payment plans.

Continue reading Our Amazon Mattress: A Five Year Update at Frugalwoods.

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How To Give Frugal Gifts With Joy And Generosity http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/11/29/how-to-give-frugal-gifts-with-joy-and-generosity/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/11/29/how-to-give-frugal-gifts-with-joy-and-generosity/#comments Tue, 29 Nov 2016 15:15:52 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=11815 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 fail. No exceptions. And thus, panic of any sort is uncalled for. The holidays are not a time to dip into an emergency fund or go into debt or overextend oneself financially (or otherwise). Given their amazingly predictable recurrence, one can plan for holiday expenses well in advance.

The entire point of the holiday season is to spend time with family and friends, enjoy homemade feasts, and if you’re religious, celebrate an important element of your faith through either Christmas or Hanukkah.

Continue reading How To Give Frugal Gifts With Joy And Generosity at Frugalwoods.

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The Myth Of The Gross Used Things http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/09/02/the-myth-of-the-gross-used-things/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/09/02/the-myth-of-the-gross-used-things/#comments Fri, 02 Sep 2016 13:40:54 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=11166 The Myth Of The Gross Used Things

We begin today with a satirical rant, which will, I promise, eventually wend its way around to some possibly useful advice. 

Used stuff is gross. I mean think about it, someone else sat on my couch before I owned it. Someone else petted my dog before I adopted her. Someone else WORE my clothes. My cars were driven by another. Even my cloth napkin was pre-dabbed.

Therein lurks a very real threat to many a would-be frugal person: the fear of the used.

Sitting as I am at this very moment, in a deluge of used items, I contemplate this peril. Indeed, I’m perched on a used chair, at a used table, drinking from a used coffee mug, glancing over at a used high chair. A second-hand sideboard haunts the corner. Pre-owned baby toys are tangled in my feet (thanks to Babywoods’ current interest in putting things on our feet).

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Don’t Fear The Cheaper http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/02/26/dont-fear-the-cheaper/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/02/26/dont-fear-the-cheaper/#comments Fri, 26 Feb 2016 11:30:33 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=9925 Don’t Fear The Cheaper

Sometimes folks, being cheap is just fine. In fact, more than fine, it’s sometimes wise, sanguine, and crafty all rolled into one. But wait, you might think, aren’t we to be frugal and not cheap?! Have we not learned this salient distinction through our prudent purchases of high-end glass tupperware and nice hiking boots and superior kitchen tools? Indeed, fair reader! But I posit to you today that, as with all rules, there are exceptions and hence, legit times to be cheap.

To assist us all with this concept, I’ve created the following very in-depth outline:

  1. If you buy only cheap stuff, your things will break all the time… and you will be filled with woe.
  2. Conversely, if you buy only expensive stuff, your house will be stocked with super deluxe stuff you rarely use, that you wasted a bunch of money on, and hence… you are woe-filled.

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How I Send Hilarious And Cheap Christmas Cards http://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/11/25/how-i-send-hilarious-and-cheap-christmas-cards/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/11/25/how-i-send-hilarious-and-cheap-christmas-cards/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 11:53:56 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=9153 How I Send Hilarious And Cheap Christmas Cards

I am one of those rare people who delights in sending paper greetings through the postal service every Christmas. It’s an antiquated practice to be sure, but it’s something I greatly enjoy. Of course, it’s far less frugal to mail paper cards than it would be to transmit the modern e-card equivalent, but I find this analogue approach a soothing counter-balance to our otherwise entirely electronic lives. Plus, don’t you think I’m doing the world a favor by broadcasting this face through the post?

Naturally, my Christmas card extravaganza is not exempt from frugalization and, I discovered the one weird trick of budget Christmas carding: avoid anything labeled “holiday” or “Christmas.” Yes indeed, seasonal cards fall very much into the genre of “wedding” supplies–as in, the minute you search for a product with those special buzz words marketers love to hear, the price immediately increases.

Postcards = The Frugal Solution

Fear not, for I don’t suggest utilizing “get well soon” cards for the holidays (although that could be a strategy… ).

Continue reading How I Send Hilarious And Cheap Christmas Cards at Frugalwoods.

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Holiday Gifts For Frugal Weirdos To Give And Receive http://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/11/18/holiday-gifts-for-frugal-weirdos-to-give-and-receive/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/11/18/holiday-gifts-for-frugal-weirdos-to-give-and-receive/#comments Wed, 18 Nov 2015 12:05:50 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=9006 Holiday Gifts For Frugal Weirdos To Give And Receive

As the holidays near and I spring around with glee because I love–LOVE–Christmas, the question of gift giving and receiving is in the air. Presents are often a divisive topic amongst the frugal cadre as we, by our inherent frugal weirdo nature, can’t abide seeing money wasted on worthless stuff. However, as people who are equal parts frugal and Christmas adorers, Mr. Frugalwoods and I have staked out a middle ground with holiday gifts. We don’t spend a ton, but we’re not grinches either.

The primary way that we save money and stress is by not giving gifts to each other. This is an approach we agreed upon several years ago and its been the best holiday-related decision I think we’ve ever made. Instead of racing around trying to divine what we should buy for each other, we spend that time together, engaged in festive holiday pursuits that bring us closer.

Continue reading Holiday Gifts For Frugal Weirdos To Give And Receive at Frugalwoods.

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