Frugalwoods

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How We Evaluate Expensive Purchases: Why We Bought A Generator

I reached the limit of my desire to re-enact Little House On The Prairie every time our power goes out. So, we bought a generator. Today I’ll discuss why, what type of generator we got, how to assess a range of price points for the same product, and perhaps most importantly, why we waited four years to make this purchase. The 1870’s: Not For Me I’ve tried living a la the 1870’s and, I’ll be...

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Allspice And Other October 2019 Expenditures

October 2019 When October rolls around, I know it’s time for one thing and one thing only: purchasing an entire pound of Allspice (affiliate link). I know I’m not alone in this. Perhaps you favor ginger or nutmeg in such quantities, but I adore the versatile, flavorful zest of Allspice. Fun fact: Allspice does not contain all spices; it’s made from the dried, unripened berries of the Pimenta dioica plant. I feel better for knowing this...

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Reader Suggestions Of A Frugal Holiday Gift Guide (aka Staying on Budget the Non-Grinchy Way)

There you are, frugaling through the year, with your money on your mind and your mind on your money when, BAM, it’s the holidays and all the cash you saved and scraped is siphoned off into an endless swirl of gift buying, wrapping paper, holiday party hosting, and Christmas tree be-decking. Ahh well, better luck next year, you think as you start January broke, deflated, and feeling ever-more Grinch-like. BUT NOT THIS YEAR! The Frugalwoods...

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Reader Case Study: Should We Buy An Optometry Practice?

Sarah and Jonathan are thinking about buying and running an optometry practice together–she the optometrist, he the office manager. But can they make it work financially and for their two young kids? Case Studies are financial (and life) dilemmas that a reader of Frugalwoods sends to me requesting that Frugalwoods nation weigh in. Then, Frugalwoods nation (that’s you!), reads through their situation and provides advice, encouragement, insight, and feedback in the comments section. For an example, check...

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This Month On The Homestead: Apple Cider, Tomato Sauce, and a Jack O’ Lantern

October 2019 October is the reason why I live in the New England countryside. I mean, I guess there are other reasons, but October ranks pretty high. It’s the most idyllic, most stereotypically “autumn,” most mythologized, most steeped-in-Americana of all the months. And I love it. Welcome to my recurring series in which I document life on our 66-acre Vermont homestead, which we moved to in May 2016 from urban Cambridge, MA.  Wondering about the financial aspects...

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How Many Vacuums Should One Person Own? I Endeavor To Find Out

“You know you’ve made it when someone sends you a free vacuum.” -said no one ever. Until now. Now, I’m saying it, you guys. Because by this calculation, I’ve made it. I am someone in this world. I am someone who receives free vacuums (well, one free vacuum to be precise). The Dyson V7 Motorhead to be even more precise, which is a cordless, lightweight, super powerful stick vacuum. How This Free Vacuum Came To...

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Reader Suggestions for Celebrating Halloween and Thanksgiving On A Budget

September to December = my favorite time of year. I’m a holiday hound. A festivity fox. A Halloween hugger. What can I say? This trifecta: Halloween Thanksgiving Christmas IS MY JAM. People are sometimes surprised at how robustly I celebrate holidays because celebrating is not inherently frugal or minimalist or simple. It’d be cheaper, easier, and require less stuff if I let October 31st, some Thursday in November (I always forget which), and December 25th...

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This Month On The Homestead: A Full Woodshed, Evolving as Gardeners, Plus a Pumpkin

September 2019 As you saw in our expense report, September turned us away from summer, pushed us into fall, and forced us to reckon with the inevitability of winter. We started the month with monochromatic green and ended in a riot of leaf colors. September makes us hustle. Dropping temperatures rob us of our languid summertime pace and Mr. Frugalwoods and I rushed from garden to kitchen to firewood, each task feeling immediate and necessary...

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A Chainsaw And Other September 2019 Expenditures

Winter is coming and every year, we spend a boatload (an actual, entire boat) of money in preparation. It might cost us less to just burn dollar bills to keep warm. This September was particularly expensive because quite a few non-annual expenses all hit at once. Expenses we incur every two years, every three years, every five years–somehow they all aligned in September 2019. So let’s get to it! Read my disclosures here. Winter Preparations = $$$$$$$ and...

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Reader Case Study: Family of Four Plans a Move from Oregon to Japan

Helen and Earl want to move to Japan! They currently live in Portland, Oregon with their two daughters and are planning to make the leap overseas in the spring of 2021. Helen would like our help thinking through the process of moving and wants to check her financial projections with us. Read my disclosures here. Case Studies are financial (and life) dilemmas that a reader of Frugalwoods sends to me requesting that Frugalwoods nation weigh in. Then, Frugalwoods nation...