Author Topic: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.  (Read 40808 times)

ketchup

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #50 on: November 15, 2017, 01:12:19 PM »
I'd like to make my own yogurt. The yogurt in grocery stores is loaded with sugar.
The plain yogurt isn't.  Toss some berries or whatever in and you're good to go.

MrsPete

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #51 on: November 15, 2017, 03:47:18 PM »
I checked the yogurt prices.   It only really matters if you eat a lot.   If you only eat $10 of yogurt a month, does it really matter?
Yeah, I think I like knowing how to make homemade yogurt more than I like actually making homemade yogurt -- does that make any sense? 

Let me say it differently: I very much like knowing that I have "skills", even if it's not practical to use those skills on a regular basis.  I can make good homemade yogurt, but I'm the only person in the house who eats it, and it doesn't have a forever lifespan ... so I tend to buy it at the store.  It's not practical to make a bitty-bit homemade, and if I don't eat it all, I was wasteful instead of thrifty.  Regardless, I am glad that I know how to do it, and I do it every now and again just to please myself.

This post seems relevant to the discussion: http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/spavings-savings-account/ 
If you buy something you wouldn't have otherwise just because it's on sale, you're spending. If you would have bought it anyway and bank the difference, or decide not to buy it and actually save the money instead, you're spaving!
I like the term "spaving", and I use it frequently ... but I'm not exactly on board with the concept of setting up an account to "save my spavings".  They gave the example of buying a Panera coffee at $1 off ... see, I'd never pay for a Panera coffee in the first place, so why would I ever buy one at $1 off? 

Maybe the concept is worthwhile for people who are just learning frugal ways.

I agree. That's why I don't do recreational shopping any more. Everything is "on sale" and I'll see stuff I don't need and wouldn't have bought, if I hadn't seen it in the store windows.
I'm not a Catholic, but that church has a teaching (quite a few teachings, actually) that makes sense to me:  Avoid places that tempt you on a personal level.  For example, if you have a problem with alcohol, you should not go to bars --- they are places that tempt you on a personal level.  If you have a problem with overeating, you should avoid buffets -- they will tempt you to overeat.

The same thought process holds true for people who aren't very disciplined in their spending.  Don't hang out at the mall.  Don't use shopping as a hobby.  Those habits will tempt those who are prone to impulse buying into spending. 

katscratch

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #52 on: November 15, 2017, 04:11:56 PM »
My mom has always made yogurt and I believe most of my aunts do so. Growing up yogurt was served with dinner each night with some masalas added to it so it makes sense for my mom to make it herself. She would cook it in the oven at a low temperature. She also made roti and most other Indian staples from scratch. I didn't fully appreciate my mom for making so much homemade until I saw that what she does is not typical.

Ummmm I want to go to dinner at your parents' house. YUM.


My only not-really-frugal story is more of a Give a Mouse a Cookie tale in which a former fella, let's call him Give a Hippie a Pipe Wrench, decided he'd fix my tub spout for pennies. In a 1953 house with the original galvanized pipes. Needless to say there were many many trips to Home Depot and many new sections of pipe behind that wall....

Goldielocks

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #53 on: November 15, 2017, 08:59:20 PM »
I'd like to make my own yogurt. The yogurt in grocery stores is loaded with sugar.
You can buy unsweetened, plain yogurt, and add your own toppings, too.   Don't have to buy sweetened yogurt ya know.

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #54 on: November 15, 2017, 10:34:28 PM »
I'd like to make my own yogurt. The yogurt in grocery stores is loaded with sugar.
You can buy unsweetened, plain yogurt, and add your own toppings, too.   Don't have to buy sweetened yogurt ya know.

Or you can add a spoonful of homemade jam and make whatever flavor of yogurt you like. Depending on the recipe you use for the jam it may not have any extra sugar at all in it.

Just Joe

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #55 on: November 16, 2017, 08:52:37 AM »
The first time a colleague said they bought all the meals outside (we have free breakfast and lunch at work but they preferred to go out), I was so stunned that I didn't know how to react. He not only got meals for himself but also for his family of five. His wife sends him a text at 5 everyday to say what to get where, he orders it and starts from work, pick it up on the way and goes home. He said he's been doing it for the past 15 years. Money issues aside, I'm wondering how much it has affected his health and his family's health.

Eating out is nice and all but any time I travel for work, I'm done with eating out after the second day. I'm unlikely to enjoy a very expensive meal and affordable meals at franchise restaurants aren't that amazing. I try to look for those family owned hole in the wall places.

That said I've renewed my effort to avoid eating out at lunch with coworkers. SO EASY to fall into that trap again with the false notion of convenience.

Get in the car, drive somewhere, park the car, eat, pay, get back into the car, return to work and search for parking, etc. All that wear and tear.

Or I could get my lunch from home out, and eat it. Then go for a walk if the weather is nice. No money changing hands. No traffic or parking probs.

DS

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #56 on: November 16, 2017, 09:01:28 AM »
Or I could get my lunch from home out, and eat it. Then go for a walk if the weather is nice. No money changing hands. No traffic or parking probs.

Since I started the 9-5 I have been using almost the full break period to take a walk, usually getting about 4 miles in along the river. And then I just eat at my desk which takes like 5 minutes. People wonder how I walk so much, but they waste this time every day. I don't know how they do it. I need as much time outside as possible.

Dicey

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #57 on: November 16, 2017, 09:04:32 AM »
My mom has always made yogurt and I believe most of my aunts do so. Growing up yogurt was served with dinner each night with some masalas added to it so it makes sense for my mom to make it herself. She would cook it in the oven at a low temperature. She also made roti and most other Indian staples from scratch. I didn't fully appreciate my mom for making so much homemade until I saw that what she does is not typical.

I did two attempt at making yoghurt (from 0.5 % fat milk). Both times it failed because it fell apart after a while. I found out that it is a lot of work and the milk is not cheap. I don't really save money on it and for me it was not worth it.

Yeah, you have to add skim milk powder and / or gelatin to make good low fat milk yogurt.  Much better to start with whole milk.  The yield cost is 1:1...  For every litre of milk, you get a litre of yogurt...   for greek yogurt it is about 2:1..  2 litres of milk = 1 litre of greek style yogurt.

It is possible that your whole milk is the same cost per litre as yogurt, .... very easy to check next time you are at the store.
To this excellent info, I'd like to add that there's an environmental cost to all those little plastic cups...

I usually make yogurt in an Instant Pot, but I also like this bulletproof method from the Frugal Girl. One more often overlooked point is that it is easy to scale down. You don't have to make it a gallon at a time. You can even make single serving batches, if you wish. Canning jars are great for the FG method and are endlessly re-usable. I've attached her Troubleshooting Guide, which in turn has a link to the basic method.

http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/2013/09/homemade-yogurt-troubleshooting-guide/

Finally, when I don't DIY it, I buy the large tub of plain yogurt at Costco, which is pretty cost effective and lasts well. Plus it has the benefit of less added sugar.  I wash and re-use the containers or donate them to the local art center. They're great for individual tubs of stovetop popped popcorn on movie night, plus a zillion other things, because they have real lids.


Edit: typo
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 10:54:04 AM by Dicey »

katscratch

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #58 on: November 16, 2017, 09:21:08 AM »
I love making yogurt in the Instant Pot and have done it in jars before too.

I agree re the plastic usage.

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #59 on: November 16, 2017, 10:45:51 AM »
My mom has always made yogurt and I believe most of my aunts do so. Growing up yogurt was served with dinner each night with some masalas added to it so it makes sense for my mom to make it herself. She would cook it in the oven at a low temperature. She also made roti and most other Indian staples from scratch. I didn't fully appreciate my mom for making so much homemade until I saw that what she does is not typical.

Ummmm I want to go to dinner at your parents' house. YUM.

Minnesota Meetup at MgoSam's parents' house? ;-)

elaine amj

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #60 on: November 16, 2017, 10:52:23 AM »
For yogurt, I use whole milk, heat it a bit more than warm and add the yogurt starter. I then leave it overnight on the counter and it's ready in the morning. We tried getting the yogurt in shop but felt a difference in taste and switched back to home made.

Curious - do you find weather has anything to do with it? That's how my mother made yogurt back home in Asia. I haven't attempted this style yet. Here in Canada, I use my Instant Pot and boil it quite a bit first. I definitely don't get 1-1 milk to yogurt.

Dicey

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #61 on: November 16, 2017, 11:00:45 AM »
For yogurt, I use whole milk, heat it a bit more than warm and add the yogurt starter. I then leave it overnight on the counter and it's ready in the morning. We tried getting the yogurt in shop but felt a difference in taste and switched back to home made.

Curious - do you find weather has anything to do with it? That's how my mother made yogurt back home in Asia. I haven't attempted this style yet. Here in Canada, I use my Instant Pot and boil it quite a bit first. I definitely don't get 1-1 milk to yogurt.
Hmmm, I don't boil it. In fact, IIRC, it's important NOT to boil the milk. Maybe it's that?

Confessional moment: I have cheated and taken most of the chill off the milk by microwaving it first, being careful not to let it get too hot. Otherwise, I just set the fresh milk out on the counter and start the process at room temperature.

katscratch

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #62 on: November 16, 2017, 11:11:29 AM »

Minnesota Meetup at MgoSam's parents' house? ;-)

I like that idea! :)


--Before I used my Instant Pot for yogurt making and used jars similar to the frugalgirl link above, weather definitely affected my culturing. It also affected my kefir cultures- water kefir in particular has never been happy in the summer in my kitchen.

I've boiled the milk first in the IP, too - just following the directions. The idea is to kill off "bad" bacteria before you introduce your starter. But I didn't even think about the fact that I never did that in jars or with kefir grains, and if it's milk I'm drinking and would consume within a few days as yogurt it shouldn't make a difference bacteria-wise. I haven't had a bad/contaminated batch yet that I know of ;) Skipping that step in the IP would save a lot of time.

elaine amj

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #63 on: November 16, 2017, 11:38:28 AM »
For yogurt, I use whole milk, heat it a bit more than warm and add the yogurt starter. I then leave it overnight on the counter and it's ready in the morning. We tried getting the yogurt in shop but felt a difference in taste and switched back to home made.

Curious - do you find weather has anything to do with it? That's how my mother made yogurt back home in Asia. I haven't attempted this style yet. Here in Canada, I use my Instant Pot and boil it quite a bit first. I definitely don't get 1-1 milk to yogurt.
Hmmm, I don't boil it. In fact, IIRC, it's important NOT to boil the milk. Maybe it's that?

Confessional moment: I have cheated and taken most of the chill off the milk by microwaving it first, being careful not to let it get too hot. Otherwise, I just set the fresh milk out on the counter and start the process at room temperature.

My current recipe calls for getting the milk over 180 degrees. I have found that if I get it over 200 degrees, it sets thicker and I don't have my excess whey. My yogurt is good, but it will certainly be worth giving your method a shot.

firelight

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #64 on: November 16, 2017, 03:30:02 PM »
For yogurt, I use whole milk, heat it a bit more than warm and add the yogurt starter. I then leave it overnight on the counter and it's ready in the morning. We tried getting the yogurt in shop but felt a difference in taste and switched back to home made.

Curious - do you find weather has anything to do with it? That's how my mother made yogurt back home in Asia. I haven't attempted this style yet. Here in Canada, I use my Instant Pot and boil it quite a bit first. I definitely don't get 1-1 milk to yogurt.
Hmmm, I don't boil it. In fact, IIRC, it's important NOT to boil the milk. Maybe it's that?

Confessional moment: I have cheated and taken most of the chill off the milk by microwaving it first, being careful not to let it get too hot. Otherwise, I just set the fresh milk out on the counter and start the process at room temperature.

My current recipe calls for getting the milk over 180 degrees. I have found that if I get it over 200 degrees, it sets thicker and I don't have my excess whey. My yogurt is good, but it will certainly be worth giving your method a shot.
I live in California so that might mean more warm dry weather than most of US and Canada. My cousin makes it similarly but uses a heating pad that she got for $10 on colder nights. She lives in Chicago. I've also made yogurt in instant pot but I found it got more whey than the counter method.

Goldielocks

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #65 on: November 16, 2017, 08:21:19 PM »
For yogurt, I use whole milk, heat it a bit more than warm and add the yogurt starter. I then leave it overnight on the counter and it's ready in the morning. We tried getting the yogurt in shop but felt a difference in taste and switched back to home made.

Curious - do you find weather has anything to do with it? That's how my mother made yogurt back home in Asia. I haven't attempted this style yet. Here in Canada, I use my Instant Pot and boil it quite a bit first. I definitely don't get 1-1 milk to yogurt.

Where does the rest of the liquid from the milk go?
Greek yogurt is strained, so closer to 2:1 and I use the "cow water" for making bread... but basic yogurt -nothing pours off, so 1:1 ?

elaine amj

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #66 on: November 16, 2017, 10:17:50 PM »
For yogurt, I use whole milk, heat it a bit more than warm and add the yogurt starter. I then leave it overnight on the counter and it's ready in the morning. We tried getting the yogurt in shop but felt a difference in taste and switched back to home made.

Curious - do you find weather has anything to do with it? That's how my mother made yogurt back home in Asia. I haven't attempted this style yet. Here in Canada, I use my Instant Pot and boil it quite a bit first. I definitely don't get 1-1 milk to yogurt.

Where does the rest of the liquid from the milk go?
Greek yogurt is strained, so closer to 2:1 and I use the "cow water" for making bread... but basic yogurt -nothing pours off, so 1:1 ?
Mostly in excess whey.

I'll have to give this method a shot. Sounds easier too. A heating pad may be in my future.  Especially since we just started making coconut water legit and those grains sure need some nursing! They are currently hanging out in front of a portable heater lol.

Sent from my STH100-1 using Tapatalk


Goldielocks

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #67 on: November 17, 2017, 01:03:03 AM »
My yogurt will make a bit of whey, but I stir it back in, and it is less than 10% unless I am deliberately straining it.

MrMoogle

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #68 on: November 17, 2017, 02:19:22 PM »
The problem is the word "save" has two different, but legitimate, definitions. It can mean "putting money aside for later" and it can mean "paying less than full price" for a product.

No one would argue that putting money aside is a bad idea. And no one would argue paying less than full price is a bad idea. Both are legitimate and useful concepts. The problem comes when we confuse the two definitions. When you save money at the store, you are paying less than full price, which is a good thing. But it is not equal to putting money aside for later, but nobody said it was. I think most people can tell which meaning is intended, from the context.
I'm looking for X, and willing to spend Y on it.  The store has X for 1.5Y, but it's 1/3 off.  Did I save anything when I buy it?  That's my problem when they say here's how much you saved!!  I might have saved some of it, but I definitely didn't save the amount they are stating.

Linea_Norway

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #69 on: November 18, 2017, 12:25:05 PM »
The problem is the word "save" has two different, but legitimate, definitions. It can mean "putting money aside for later" and it can mean "paying less than full price" for a product.

No one would argue that putting money aside is a bad idea. And no one would argue paying less than full price is a bad idea. Both are legitimate and useful concepts. The problem comes when we confuse the two definitions. When you save money at the store, you are paying less than full price, which is a good thing. But it is not equal to putting money aside for later, but nobody said it was. I think most people can tell which meaning is intended, from the context.
I'm looking for X, and willing to spend Y on it.  The store has X for 1.5Y, but it's 1/3 off.  Did I save anything when I buy it?  That's my problem when they say here's how much you saved!!  I might have saved some of it, but I definitely didn't save the amount they are stating.

This is how I think now, the Mustachian way:
I really need X. The range of X products are priced from Y to X. When there is sale, you can usually buy an unfancy X for 1/2 Y. Therefore I am willing to pay 1/2 Y. In the shop, there is an X for 1/2 Y, an several other Xs for much more than Y. The one for 1/2 Y fits well and I buy it. I spend 1/2 Y, buy also save 1/2 Y, because for normal not reduced price is Y.

elementz_m

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #70 on: November 18, 2017, 01:04:35 PM »
The problem is the word "save" has two different, but legitimate, definitions. It can mean "putting money aside for later" and it can mean "paying less than full price" for a product.

No one would argue that putting money aside is a bad idea. And no one would argue paying less than full price is a bad idea. Both are legitimate and useful concepts. The problem comes when we confuse the two definitions. When you save money at the store, you are paying less than full price, which is a good thing. But it is not equal to putting money aside for later, but nobody said it was. I think most people can tell which meaning is intended, from the context.
I'm looking for X, and willing to spend Y on it.  The store has X for 1.5Y, but it's 1/3 off.  Did I save anything when I buy it?  That's my problem when they say here's how much you saved!!  I might have saved some of it, but I definitely didn't save the amount they are stating.

This is how I think now, the Mustachian way:
I really need X. The range of X products are priced from Y to X. When there is sale, you can usually buy an unfancy X for 1/2 Y. Therefore I am willing to pay 1/2 Y. In the shop, there is an X for 1/2 Y, an several other Xs for much more than Y. The one for 1/2 Y fits well and I buy it. I spend 1/2 Y, buy also save 1/2 Y, because for normal not reduced price is Y.

I have a different way of doing things. If I want something, I first think what it's worth to me and then set aside that amount from the budget.

If I think it's worth 50 But the price is 100, I don't buy it. If it comes on offer for 50, I buy it, but I haven't saved anything - I've paid what I consider a fair price.

If, however, I think it's worth 50 And it turns out they only cost 35 (even if that's "full price") then I've saved 15. I've paid 35 when I would have been happy to pay 50, and get to put 15 into savings.

BTDretire

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #71 on: November 19, 2017, 06:01:27 AM »
Me: Claiming to be frugal by riding to work. On any one of the fleet of expensive bicycles that require an ENTIRE outbuilding to store. 


"I saved four bucks on gas!"
said with a straight face while leaning against $1600 cargo bike


I swear I don't know what you're talking about.

It's a $1k mountain bike anyway... and not an entire outbuilding, just the roof space in half of a garage.

Hey, every 500 miles you've saved ~$60... I love riding my mtb bike though...
Well if you can save money on a $1K bike, I'm probably generating cash with my $30 bike I got at a yard sale! I'm going to look around the house to see where it's piling up.
 I'm not much of a bike connoisseur, but I am happy with my Trek mountain bike, I have had it 2 years and just recently found it's an 18 speed, not that I have any use for more than about 5 speeds.
btw I might be in the running for oldest bike--1996.

Capt j-rod

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #72 on: November 19, 2017, 06:49:30 AM »
I probably won't get any points around here for this, but I buy and sell items all the time to get nicer things. I'm on my third camper for the family. I have bought, fixed up, and sold two campers to pay cash for this one. Kinda like "one red paperclip" but with tons of sweat equity. Before the leaf and Prius drivers face punch me... I have a truck that I drive for work that I tow it with on our road trip, and we mostly boon dock or stay in state parks for $25/ night. Yes I need my truck as a HVAC/plumbing contractor. I also have a snow blower, chainsaw, lawn mower etc... I buy them at yard sales and auctions, fix and tune them up and sell them. My personal equipment is like brand new thanks to the profits off the other stuff. My tool collection is endless thanks to the work I do and my properties. In our disposable society, I get tons of items for nearly nothing and fix a few problems. A little advice for everyone, drain out all of your fuel when an item is not in use and run it out of gas. The fuel systems are 95% of all problems. Change your air filters.

Imma

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #73 on: November 19, 2017, 08:35:48 AM »
I probably won't get any points around here for this, but I buy and sell items all the time to get nicer things. I'm on my third camper for the family. I have bought, fixed up, and sold two campers to pay cash for this one. Kinda like "one red paperclip" but with tons of sweat equity. Before the leaf and Prius drivers face punch me... I have a truck that I drive for work that I tow it with on our road trip, and we mostly boon dock or stay in state parks for $25/ night. Yes I need my truck as a HVAC/plumbing contractor. I also have a snow blower, chainsaw, lawn mower etc... I buy them at yard sales and auctions, fix and tune them up and sell them. My personal equipment is like brand new thanks to the profits off the other stuff. My tool collection is endless thanks to the work I do and my properties. In our disposable society, I get tons of items for nearly nothing and fix a few problems. A little advice for everyone, drain out all of your fuel when an item is not in use and run it out of gas. The fuel systems are 95% of all problems. Change your air filters.

I think that's pretty mustachian actually! Instead of going to the store and buying brand new super fancy pieces of equipment that you only use once (which would be stupid) you have fixed up these tools (saving them from landfill) and you use them for both business and pleasure and sell them for profit. That's a very good business plan. My fiance does that with music gear. And there's certainly nothing wrong with owning a nice camper outright that you restored yourself and use to travel around on the cheap. It's stupid to buy a brand new camper, buy a special truck to haul it that you don't need otherwise, and use borrowed money for both the purchases.

And as for tools you need frequently, I truly do believe in getting the best tool you can afford. I own good quality cast iron cookware, a name brand sewing machine and fabric scissors that cost $30. These tools were an investment once, but they give me better, easier and quicker results. I own a basic drill because my DIY is simple: it doesn't get much more complicated than putting up shelves or building a bookcase. It would be a waste for me to get the most expensive fancy model, but it might be a good investment for someone else. I try to get these things used or on sale when I can, but I don't mind paying full price if I really can't find them used.

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #74 on: November 19, 2017, 12:57:08 PM »
I probably won't get any points around here for this, but I buy and sell items all the time to get nicer things. I'm on my third camper for the family. I have bought, fixed up, and sold two campers to pay cash for this one. Kinda like "one red paperclip" but with tons of sweat equity. Before the leaf and Prius drivers face punch me... I have a truck that I drive for work that I tow it with on our road trip, and we mostly boon dock or stay in state parks for $25/ night. Yes I need my truck as a HVAC/plumbing contractor. I also have a snow blower, chainsaw, lawn mower etc... I buy them at yard sales and auctions, fix and tune them up and sell them. My personal equipment is like brand new thanks to the profits off the other stuff. My tool collection is endless thanks to the work I do and my properties. In our disposable society, I get tons of items for nearly nothing and fix a few problems. A little advice for everyone, drain out all of your fuel when an item is not in use and run it out of gas. The fuel systems are 95% of all problems. Change your air filters.

Sounds pretty badass to me, actually.

Capt j-rod

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #75 on: November 19, 2017, 02:47:05 PM »
Before I started my company I did lots of work for friends and family on the side. Every penny went into the tools needed to run a business. My rentals are a side company all to themselves. I never take any money away from them and use the income to buy more properties. I now have literally an arsenal of tools and equipment. I finally got my new shop built in my back yard. It took all my side cash and a ton of favors from my buddies. I traded out a bunch of work as well. It also took me two months to get it framed up and dried in. Now I  am saving for concrete next summer. I paid cash for the whole deal, no debt. It has been a huge setback financially, but long term it will be worth it. Ironically I got it up before the lumber prices blew up! Now I will have everything inside and in one place.

Askel

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #76 on: November 19, 2017, 09:00:52 PM »
Comparison is the thief of joy.

Maybe, but it sure as hell is the muse of guilty pleasure. 

Now tell me more about broke-ass doctors. 

CU Tiger

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #77 on: November 20, 2017, 02:58:53 PM »
I checked the yogurt prices.   It only really matters if you eat a lot.   If you only eat $10 of yogurt a month, does it really matter?
Yeah, I think I like knowing how to make homemade yogurt more than I like actually making homemade yogurt -- does that make any sense? 

Let me say it differently: I very much like knowing that I have "skills", even if it's not practical to use those skills on a regular basis.  I can make good homemade yogurt, but I'm the only person in the house who eats it, and it doesn't have a forever lifespan ... so I tend to buy it at the store.  It's not practical to make a bitty-bit homemade, and if I don't eat it all, I was wasteful instead of thrifty.  Regardless, I am glad that I know how to do it, and I do it every now and again just to please myself.

This post seems relevant to the discussion: http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/spavings-savings-account/ 
If you buy something you wouldn't have otherwise just because it's on sale, you're spending. If you would have bought it anyway and bank the difference, or decide not to buy it and actually save the money instead, you're spaving!
I like the term "spaving", and I use it frequently ... but I'm not exactly on board with the concept of setting up an account to "save my spavings".  They gave the example of buying a Panera coffee at $1 off ... see, I'd never pay for a Panera coffee in the first place, so why would I ever buy one at $1 off? 

Maybe the concept is worthwhile for people who are just learning frugal ways.

I agree. That's why I don't do recreational shopping any more. Everything is "on sale" and I'll see stuff I don't need and wouldn't have bought, if I hadn't seen it in the store windows.
I'm not a Catholic, but that church has a teaching (quite a few teachings, actually) that makes sense to me:  Avoid places that tempt you on a personal level.  For example, if you have a problem with alcohol, you should not go to bars --- they are places that tempt you on a personal level.  If you have a problem with overeating, you should avoid buffets -- they will tempt you to overeat.

The same thought process holds true for people who aren't very disciplined in their spending.  Don't hang out at the mall.  Don't use shopping as a hobby.  Those habits will tempt those who are prone to impulse buying into spending.

SO MUCH AGREEMENT! THIS! I used to go to the mall because I was lonely and bored. And while I was there, I'd have a coke and a slice of pizza. And purchase a paperback at the bookstore. And maybe a few inexpensive things that made me feel better. None of those things were going to break me, but when you added it all up, I could spend $20- $40 in one 3 hour visit to the mall, with money in my pocket and sadness in my heart. And then I got super busy with a real life that included going to the library about 3 times a week, having hobbies like quilting, having dogs that need to be walked twice a day...and if I've been to any mall more than twice a year in 15 years, it would surprise me.

Stay away from places that tempt you to frivolously spend on impulses. Target and Bed Bath and Beyond are two of my places to stay away from. They have something in the air that encourages me to buy CHEAP CRAP FROM CHINA THAT I DO NOT NEED. Now when I go there, I have a list, buy what's on the list, and get the heck out of Dodge.

AMandM

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #78 on: November 20, 2017, 09:25:43 PM »

btw I might be in the running for oldest bike--1996.

Mine is from 1989, but you probably ride more than I do.  I bought my bike to commute to grad school, my riding dropped a lot once I started having kids, and now I'm trying to get back into it.

Rubic

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #79 on: November 21, 2017, 08:18:48 AM »

btw I might be in the running for oldest bike--1996.

Mine is from 1989, but you probably ride more than I do.  I bought my bike to commute to grad school, my riding dropped a lot once I started having kids, and now I'm trying to get back into it.

My oldest was an awesome 1973 Nishiki, but I've ridden with someone in France who
was on a bike built in the 1920's!

Slow&Steady

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #80 on: November 21, 2017, 02:30:44 PM »
My SIL decided that she should start coupon-ing to save money but 1st she had to go spend $20 on newspapers.  I have no clue how much she spends on newspapers per week now, but I do know that she was asking if I needed any laundry detergent because she got a really good deal on a lot of it.

Capt j-rod

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #81 on: November 22, 2017, 06:40:43 AM »
Extreme coupon if leads to warehousing a bunch of junk that was too good of a deal to pass up. My buddy's wife does it and their basement is FULL of toothpaste, laundry detergent, paper towels, ... you name it. I'm all for saving money, but it also leads to buying things that aren't needed. I buy what I need when I need it. I keep meat, rice, and canned goods stocked when on sale. I have seen his wife buy more of the same item because it was too good of a deal to pass up. When you have 12 jugs of liquid tide did you really need three more?

SeaEhm

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #82 on: November 22, 2017, 09:04:05 AM »
Extreme coupon if leads to warehousing a bunch of junk that was too good of a deal to pass up. My buddy's wife does it and their basement is FULL of toothpaste, laundry detergent, paper towels, ... you name it. I'm all for saving money, but it also leads to buying things that aren't needed. I buy what I need when I need it. I keep meat, rice, and canned goods stocked when on sale. I have seen his wife buy more of the same item because it was too good of a deal to pass up. When you have 12 jugs of liquid tide did you really need three more?

I just flew over their house and took a photo!


Sibley

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #83 on: November 22, 2017, 09:44:29 AM »
^^ I'm SURE the neighbors love them.  /s They're hoarders and have a mental illness.

BlueHouse

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #84 on: November 22, 2017, 09:49:08 AM »
I fit the description of the title pretty well.  I am very frugal for certain things and very spendy on other things.  I've just been prioritizing what's important to me and what isn't.  But I'm sure a lot of people here would drop jaws if they knew how much money I spend on stupid shit.  right now, I'm going through a declutter cycle, so I'm very aware of how much crap I've been holding on to. 

Imma

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #85 on: November 22, 2017, 10:00:59 AM »
Extreme coupon if leads to warehousing a bunch of junk that was too good of a deal to pass up. My buddy's wife does it and their basement is FULL of toothpaste, laundry detergent, paper towels, ... you name it. I'm all for saving money, but it also leads to buying things that aren't needed. I buy what I need when I need it. I keep meat, rice, and canned goods stocked when on sale. I have seen his wife buy more of the same item because it was too good of a deal to pass up. When you have 12 jugs of liquid tide did you really need three more?
My mum is a bit like that, it drives me crazy sometimes. Last time we visited, we went to a grocery store near her home that's very cheap. I found some canned beans on discount and I knew it was a very good deal, so I bought about 5 cans. She thought I was insane that I didn't buy as many cans as I could carry. Leaving them all in the shop would be such a waste of money. Every time we visit her, we go home carrying bags of food that she bought loads of, but ended up not liking.

She saw a good deal on wine. So, instead of buying 2 or 3 bottles (she's single, has wine drinking friends every now and then) she's buying 4 boxes of 6. And she's on a diet. I did reminder her of that, but 'just because I buy them, doesn't mean I drink them! There just for when I have company". Sure. Now, I don't drink wine, but when I'm trying to lose weight, I don't buy 24 bars of chocolate just to put them in the pantry ....

kelvin

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #86 on: November 27, 2017, 08:40:04 AM »
"I saved four bucks on gas!"
said with a straight face while leaning against $1600 cargo bike

I never realised I needed one of these, until I googled it a minute ago and found out they exist. Made in my city for the bargain price of 1,000. Wonder what they'd add for electric assistance? Damn, if only I'd saved more money. I know, I could pay on credit! At 25% interest, it's still cheaper than an SUV, so really I've saved tens of thousands.

I do want one, though. Maybe one day...

When it comes to this type of thing, my advice is to "Start with the cheapest and easiest, then work your way up".

I started with a cheapo bike from the discount shop. I hated it. It was horrible to ride, it was "light" which was supposed to make it easy, but it meant I was overbalanced when carrying a backpack or groceries.  In one year, I spent more money on replacement brake pads than the cost of the bike. I was riding 30km a day for my commute to work + school.

When the cheap bike no longer worked, when I'd established a habit of using it all the time, then I went and spent $1800 on a Batavus. The Dutch import had a steel frame, internal gear hub, and disk brakes. It doesn't give a shit about groceries or gymbags or icy rain. It wouldn't have been worth the money my first summer, because I didn't know if I'd use it regularly. It's been ten years now, it's outlasted 2 cars and a marriage. I still use it as my daily driver in the spring/summer/fall.

I hope you and your future cargo bike have many happy years together!

Imma

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #87 on: November 28, 2017, 08:11:26 AM »
"I saved four bucks on gas!"
said with a straight face while leaning against $1600 cargo bike

I never realised I needed one of these, until I googled it a minute ago and found out they exist. Made in my city for the bargain price of 1,000. Wonder what they'd add for electric assistance? Damn, if only I'd saved more money. I know, I could pay on credit! At 25% interest, it's still cheaper than an SUV, so really I've saved tens of thousands.

I do want one, though. Maybe one day...

When it comes to this type of thing, my advice is to "Start with the cheapest and easiest, then work your way up".

I started with a cheapo bike from the discount shop. I hated it. It was horrible to ride, it was "light" which was supposed to make it easy, but it meant I was overbalanced when carrying a backpack or groceries.  In one year, I spent more money on replacement brake pads than the cost of the bike. I was riding 30km a day for my commute to work + school.

When the cheap bike no longer worked, when I'd established a habit of using it all the time, then I went and spent $1800 on a Batavus. The Dutch import had a steel frame, internal gear hub, and disk brakes. It doesn't give a shit about groceries or gymbags or icy rain. It wouldn't have been worth the money my first summer, because I didn't know if I'd use it regularly. It's been ten years now, it's outlasted 2 cars and a marriage. I still use it as my daily driver in the spring/summer/fall.

I hope you and your future cargo bike have many happy years together!

You only need to buy 1 Batavus in your life. My sister is still riding around on my grandfather's Batavus from 1967.

Cargo bikes are very common in here (the NL). People in the city use it instead of a car. They are expensive, but if that means you're not going to buy a car it's value for money. If we ever have kids I'll probably buy one too. You can buy special kid seats so they're strapped securely in the bike and you can buy covers so the kids and the groceries don't get wet from the rain.

Daycare centers around here have them too, so they can take trips to the park etc ( like this https://www.kdvdoortje.nl/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Bakfiets.jpg  ) . Some of them actually have vehicles that are a weird mix of a cargo bike and a segway ( https://www.pido.nl/wp-content/uploads/Pido-Kinderopvang-en-duurzaamheid-..jpg  ).

Askel

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #88 on: November 28, 2017, 09:40:10 AM »
It is possible to do a cargo bike on the cheap-ish...

I'm a fan of the american style long tail cargo bike. But if shelling out big bucks for something like a Surly Big Dummy is offputting, xtracycle offers conversion kits to convert near any bike to a long tail:

http://www.xtracycle.com/leap/

kelvin

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #89 on: December 28, 2017, 09:05:31 AM »
The problem is the word "save" has two different, but legitimate, definitions. It can mean "putting money aside for later" and it can mean "paying less than full price" for a product.

No one would argue that putting money aside is a bad idea. And no one would argue paying less than full price is a bad idea. Both are legitimate and useful concepts. The problem comes when we confuse the two definitions. When you save money at the store, you are paying less than full price, which is a good thing. But it is not equal to putting money aside for later, but nobody said it was. I think most people can tell which meaning is intended, from the context.
I'm looking for X, and willing to spend Y on it.  The store has X for 1.5Y, but it's 1/3 off.  Did I save anything when I buy it?  That's my problem when they say here's how much you saved!!  I might have saved some of it, but I definitely didn't save the amount they are stating.

This is how I think now, the Mustachian way:
I really need X. The range of X products are priced from Y to X. When there is sale, you can usually buy an unfancy X for 1/2 Y. Therefore I am willing to pay 1/2 Y. In the shop, there is an X for 1/2 Y, an several other Xs for much more than Y. The one for 1/2 Y fits well and I buy it. I spend 1/2 Y, buy also save 1/2 Y, because for normal not reduced price is Y.

I have a different way of doing things. If I want something, I first think what it's worth to me and then set aside that amount from the budget.

If I think it's worth 50 But the price is 100, I don't buy it. If it comes on offer for 50, I buy it, but I haven't saved anything - I've paid what I consider a fair price.

If, however, I think it's worth 50 And it turns out they only cost 35 (even if that's "full price") then I've saved 15. I've paid 35 when I would have been happy to pay 50, and get to put 15 into savings.

 These are excellent, thanks for sharing.

Personal motto is "Start with the cheapest and easiest". So I'll start with the unfancy found-secondhand-on-craigslist option. If I'm using it to death and need more features, then I'll pay for the upgrade.

It's worked out pretty well for me so far.

LiveLean

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #90 on: January 01, 2018, 07:10:02 AM »
Christmas 2003....FIL spends $3,850 on a 47-inch flat screen, which at the time was slightly below the going rate. As wave after wave of friends and relatives come over during the day, he shows them the recently-hung TV, bragging about the great deal he got.

All I could think of was that he just paid $4K for a freakin' TV.

Christmas 2017....BIL and SIL buy 16-year-old son new car, raving about what a great deal they got......

Sometimes the apple falls three inches from the tree. Thankfully, DW has a different mindset.

Camarillo Brillo

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #91 on: January 01, 2018, 08:40:35 AM »
Christmas 2003....FIL spends $3,850 on a 47-inch flat screen, which at the time was slightly below the going rate. As wave after wave of friends and relatives come over during the day, he shows them the recently-hung TV, bragging about the great deal he got.

All I could think of was that he just paid $4K for a freakin' TV.

Christmas 2017....BIL and SIL buy 16-year-old son new car, raving about what a great deal they got......

Sometimes the apple falls three inches from the tree. Thankfully, DW has a different mindset.
Did they buy him a brand, spanking new car, or a 'new to him' used car?

Just Joe

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #92 on: January 01, 2018, 01:07:18 PM »
A few years later I bought a nice 42 inch TV for $350 from Sears when our CRT TV croaked. Still using the 42 incher today...

As much as gadgets are fun and exciting it sure is expensive to be an early adopter.

Zamboni

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #93 on: January 01, 2018, 05:12:00 PM »
How does one become accustomed to a $150,000/yr lifestyle while still in school/residency?

Peer pressure, man. When you want to be a doctor/lawyer, you have to dress the part, right? Which means spending money on clothes, accessories, hair, having the right apartment with fancy rented leather furniture, going to restaurants, having the right hobbies. I had classmates who traveled internationally several times a year--and this with near-zero income. I convinced myself at one point that I had to pay some $200 for a purse. I already had purses, but they weren't fancy enough, and what if I had to pull it out on a job interview? I sure felt dumb that time I went to a banquet in a dress from the thrift store, and all the other women had fancy rented designer dresses.

Some of this is rational--looking the part is part of getting hired. You do need to wear a suit. Some of it, though, is superstition, spending money just to alleviate anxiety over the job market and your own inadequacies.

Um, don't a lot of doctors where scrubs much of the time? Or cheap dress shirts with a white coat over the top? Because, you know, dealing with other people's body fluids is part of the job?

I hosted someone for an interview recently at it was kind of comical how "expensive" she looked. Fancy designer purse, fancy shoes, expensive looking jewelry, perfect make up . . . all for a relatively low paying, entry-level job in a field where no one really cares how you look (engineering). We hired her anyway.

katscratch

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #94 on: January 01, 2018, 05:37:23 PM »
I can't speak to lawyers, but in my hospital there is a clear line between the physicians who are literally the best in the world in their specialty and those few who aren't going to last long. The former don't "look the part" at all. Drive Toyotas, wear the same business casual clothes they've had for fifteen years.... They aren't bothered with trying to impress people. The latter category tends to burn out because they have to work so hard to keep up with the Joneses. They're the couple of dumbasses buying fancy cars and suburb McMansions in residency when their hourly wage is less than mine, because, you know, they're a doctor.

We joke about it all the time, that we can tell who will make it at our facility out of fellowship based on their brand of shoes. But it holds true.

Imma

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #95 on: January 02, 2018, 01:53:01 PM »
I can't speak to lawyers, but in my hospital there is a clear line between the physicians who are literally the best in the world in their specialty and those few who aren't going to last long. The former don't "look the part" at all. Drive Toyotas, wear the same business casual clothes they've had for fifteen years.... They aren't bothered with trying to impress people. The latter category tends to burn out because they have to work so hard to keep up with the Joneses. They're the couple of dumbasses buying fancy cars and suburb McMansions in residency when their hourly wage is less than mine, because, you know, they're a doctor.

We joke about it all the time, that we can tell who will make it at our facility out of fellowship based on their brand of shoes. But it holds true.

My gastroenterologist wears hospital logo polo shirts under her white coat. The same standard issue polo the PA's and even the secretaries wear. I think that's a sign she has her priorities straight. She's the only doctor in the department that wears the hospital polo.

Primm

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #96 on: January 03, 2018, 04:43:19 AM »
I can't speak to lawyers, but in my hospital there is a clear line between the physicians who are literally the best in the world in their specialty and those few who aren't going to last long. The former don't "look the part" at all. Drive Toyotas, wear the same business casual clothes they've had for fifteen years.... They aren't bothered with trying to impress people. The latter category tends to burn out because they have to work so hard to keep up with the Joneses. They're the couple of dumbasses buying fancy cars and suburb McMansions in residency when their hourly wage is less than mine, because, you know, they're a doctor.

We joke about it all the time, that we can tell who will make it at our facility out of fellowship based on their brand of shoes. But it holds true.

My gastroenterologist wears hospital logo polo shirts under her white coat. The same standard issue polo the PA's and even the secretaries wear. I think that's a sign she has her priorities straight. She's the only doctor in the department that wears the hospital polo.

Back when I worked in an exclusive private hospital we had a lady come in once needing emergency abdominal surgery. I can't remember what for now, but the best GI surgeon in the country was on call that day. He came in wearing what he was, because he was going to have to scrub up anyway.

Old sweat pants, a t-shirt with holes in it and deck shoes. He'd been cleaning his boat.

She refused to have him see her. We tried to convince her otherwise, but she ended up with surgeon-who-isn't-great-but-thinks-he-is-but-at-least-is-wearing-an-Armani-suit.

Didn't end well. She didn't die, but she didn't get better in a hurry either. If only she'd overlooked Brilliant Surgeon's clean but shabby clothes.

Zamboni

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #97 on: January 03, 2018, 07:44:45 AM »
A helicopter could be practical in certain doomsday scenarios like a zombie apocalypse . . . just sayin.

firelight

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #98 on: January 03, 2018, 07:33:44 PM »
A helicopter could be practical in certain doomsday scenarios like a zombie apocalypse . . . just sayin.
Just make sure you get the unlimited fuel variety... Or solar panels!

happy

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Re: "I'm frugal, really" - no, no you're not.
« Reply #99 on: January 04, 2018, 03:08:26 AM »
A bargain is not a bargain unless you need it!