Smart Buys – Frugalwoods http://www.frugalwoods.com Financial independence and simple living Mon, 19 Nov 2018 11:00:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Why We Went Solar: The Economics, The Environment, and The Energy Produced http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/11/01/why-we-went-solar-the-economics-the-environment-and-the-energy-produced/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/11/01/why-we-went-solar-the-economics-the-environment-and-the-energy-produced/#comments Thu, 01 Nov 2018 10:00:40 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=18551 Why We Went Solar: The Economics, The Environment, and The Energy Produced

This is the post you’ve all been waiting for. This is the answer to your prayers and the deliverer of miracles. That’s right, I’m finally writing about our solar panels. I know you’re thrilled. Actually, I think ten of you are, in fact, thrilled and the rest of you will read along just to see hot panel pics. I know I would.

As everyone in the world knows (or at least, everyone who follows along with Frugalwoods on Instagram), we decided to have solar panels installed on our barn roof last November. I admit this date to you and I admit it took me a year to write this post. I’m an embarrassment to my profession. I mean seriously… I could list my excuses, but I won’t. Ok actually I will: I had a baby, I have a toddler, we run a homestead (“run” is too intense a word, “limp along” might be more appropriate), and I published my first book!

Continue reading Why We Went Solar: The Economics, The Environment, and The Energy Produced at Frugalwoods.

]]>
http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/11/01/why-we-went-solar-the-economics-the-environment-and-the-energy-produced/feed/ 72
How We’re Preparing To Make Maple Syrup http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/10/17/how-were-preparing-to-make-maple-syrup/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/10/17/how-were-preparing-to-make-maple-syrup/#comments Wed, 17 Oct 2018 10:00:27 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=18620 How We’re Preparing To Make Maple Syrup

Today we’re going to learn about making maple syrup! But first, I must regale you with a story (far be it for me to get to the point quickly… ):

One of the reasons my husband and I chose to move to a 66 acre homestead in Vermont three years ago is that we knew nothing about homesteading. Yep. We both felt conversant in city life–to the point of boredom–and wanted a new challenge. I remember when I first moved to New York City in 2007, I was overwhelmed by the subway system to the point of sweaty palms and furtive studying of the stop map posted above the train doors.

But I mastered the subway and all other artifices of urban life. So I needed a new adventure! I needed to throw myself into another lifestyle that I knew nothing about. There were quite a few other reasons for this move, but learning new things is a primary and lifelong motivator for me and my main man (ok, only man).

Continue reading How We’re Preparing To Make Maple Syrup at Frugalwoods.

]]>
http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/10/17/how-were-preparing-to-make-maple-syrup/feed/ 74
My Book, “Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living,” Publishes Today! http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/03/06/my-book-meet-the-frugalwoods-achieving-financial-independence-through-simple-living-publishes-today/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/03/06/my-book-meet-the-frugalwoods-achieving-financial-independence-through-simple-living-publishes-today/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2018 11:00:28 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=16597 My Book, “Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living,” Publishes Today!

I can’t believe I’m actually writing these words, but, as of today, I’m officially a published author! My book, Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living, is out today! Published by HarperCollins, I am beyond thrilled to share my story of realizing the joys of frugality, simplicity, and the power of wisely managing your money.

I’m going to be on NPR’s live call-in show, On Point, today (March 6, 2018) at 11am EST to discuss my book. Tune into NPR today during the program and, if you’re so inclined, call 1-800-423-8255 to chat with me live on air! Update: here’s a link to the podcast of the interview.

Many of you have already pre-ordered a copy, for which I am most grateful. And! You got a free signed bookplate from me! Fear not, for if you too would like to snare a free signed bookplate (picture of what that is at right), if you order my book by March 13, 2018 (that’s a week from today), I will happily mail you one.

Continue reading My Book, “Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living,” Publishes Today! at Frugalwoods.

]]>
http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/03/06/my-book-meet-the-frugalwoods-achieving-financial-independence-through-simple-living-publishes-today/feed/ 121
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.

Continue reading Announcing My Book, “Meet The Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living” at Frugalwoods.

]]>
http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/10/16/announcing-my-book-meet-the-frugalwoods-achieving-financial-independence-through-simple-living/feed/ 236
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.

]]>
http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/09/25/why-i-mostly-disagree-with-buy-it-for-life/feed/ 201
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.

]]>
http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/04/25/how-we-bought-inexpensive-awesome-glasses-online/feed/ 115
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.

]]>
http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/03/23/how-to-find-anything-and-everything-used-a-compendium-of-frugal-treasure-hunting/feed/ 123
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.

]]>
http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/02/27/our-amazon-mattress-a-five-year-update/feed/ 122
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.

]]>
http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/11/29/how-to-give-frugal-gifts-with-joy-and-generosity/feed/ 112
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).

Continue reading The Myth Of The Gross Used Things at Frugalwoods.

]]>
http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/09/02/the-myth-of-the-gross-used-things/feed/ 144