Author Topic: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...  (Read 8993 times)

OtherJen

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #100 on: September 11, 2021, 03:00:12 PM »
My experience with dryers in a few European countries is that they are quite different from dryers in the US. Here they are big and powerful and get your laundry totally dry snd fluffy in under and hour.


Also if you live in a place with a lot of rain and high humidity it can be almost impossible to do laundry without a dryer.  We'd never be able to get towels or blue jeans dry at our place in the NC mountains during the rainy seasons that are common here.  Sometimes it's so bad that mold grows on our leather goods & even on the woodwork in the house.  Our laundry would sour before drying during those spells.

I'm also in a wet climate but I heat with wood so when my dryer has broken in the wet months I've hung clothes all around the living room. Not ideal, but it works.

Our wet months are summer. August this year was almost entirely daytime high temps of 30įC or higher with humidity rates of 70% or higher during daytime and 90% or higher at night. We donít have central AC, so nothing air-dries in that weather; our window units were only able to bring down the indoor temp and humidity enough to keep our pets, fridge and my work computer from overheating. The dryer is a godsend.

(We also donít have a dishwasher. No room in our tiny house. We cook most things from scratch, and hand washing isnít a big deal. To each their own.)

GreenEggs

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #101 on: September 11, 2021, 03:17:13 PM »
My experience with dryers in a few European countries is that they are quite different from dryers in the US. Here they are big and powerful and get your laundry totally dry snd fluffy in under and hour.


Also if you live in a place with a lot of rain and high humidity it can be almost impossible to do laundry without a dryer.  We'd never be able to get towels or blue jeans dry at our place in the NC mountains during the rainy seasons that are common here.  Sometimes it's so bad that mold grows on our leather goods & even on the woodwork in the house.  Our laundry would sour before drying during those spells.


 

Have you ever thought about getting a dehumidifier? I picked one up during that horrible "heat dome" a couple months ago when ACs were sold out everywhere, and I've been really happy with it. I bought it so I could get some sleep at night, but faster-drying clothes has been a nice side effect as well.


We have one, but it generates a bit of heat so it's not useful in the warmer months.  The Summers are normally quite mild so we've never really needed an A/C, but it would be nice to have one during unusually rainy Summers to help with the humidity.  It's on the "I'll get one someday" list.   

PoutineLover

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #102 on: September 11, 2021, 07:54:41 PM »
I do have a dehumidifier that is mostly used in the winter because the apartment isn't very well insulated and gets humid. It helps prevent mold and I think it helps keep electricity bills lower because we don't have to turn up the heat as much to dry out the place. It has the side effect of drying the clothes faster too. Honestly a great purchase.

Cranky

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #103 on: September 14, 2021, 05:42:03 AM »
Itís easier to line dry clothes in a humid climate than a lot of people assume, because Iíve done it in Florida and several parts of the Midwest. In Florida, the strength of the sun overcomes everything else, and in the Midwest, you just need a bit of a breeze.

But you do need to keep an eye on the weather and work around that, and itís certainly harder if you also are working around a work schedule.

Dicey

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #104 on: September 14, 2021, 06:43:39 AM »
Itís easier to line dry clothes in a humid climate than a lot of people assume, because Iíve done it in Florida and several parts of the Midwest. In Florida, the strength of the sun overcomes everything else, and in the Midwest, you just need a bit of a breeze.

But you do need to keep an eye on the weather and work around that, and itís certainly harder if you also are working around a work schedule.
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kite

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #105 on: September 14, 2021, 09:29:59 AM »
Itís easier to line dry clothes in a humid climate than a lot of people assume, because Iíve done it in Florida and several parts of the Midwest. In Florida, the strength of the sun overcomes everything else, and in the Midwest, you just need a bit of a breeze.

But you do need to keep an eye on the weather and work around that, and itís certainly harder if you also are working around a work schedule.
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A genuine two-fer!  No time constraints & fewer need for clothes!

dougules

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #106 on: September 14, 2021, 09:55:37 AM »
I do have a dehumidifier that is mostly used in the winter because the apartment isn't very well insulated and gets humid. It helps prevent mold and I think it helps keep electricity bills lower because we don't have to turn up the heat as much to dry out the place. It has the side effect of drying the clothes faster too. Honestly a great purchase.

Water vapor releases a whole lot of potential energy when it's condensed, so you may actually be heating the house more efficiently with a dehumidifier if you have a lot of humidity. 

Morning Glory

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #107 on: September 14, 2021, 09:56:32 AM »
I do have a dehumidifier that is mostly used in the winter because the apartment isn't very well insulated and gets humid. It helps prevent mold and I think it helps keep electricity bills lower because we don't have to turn up the heat as much to dry out the place. It has the side effect of drying the clothes faster too. Honestly a great purchase.

I have the opposite problem. My climate gets too dry in the winter so we hang clothes in our bedroom instead of using a humidifier.

OtherJen

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #108 on: September 14, 2021, 10:21:59 AM »
I do have a dehumidifier that is mostly used in the winter because the apartment isn't very well insulated and gets humid. It helps prevent mold and I think it helps keep electricity bills lower because we don't have to turn up the heat as much to dry out the place. It has the side effect of drying the clothes faster too. Honestly a great purchase.

I have the opposite problem. My climate gets too dry in the winter so we hang clothes in our bedroom instead of using a humidifier.

Same! They dry so quickly in our house in winter.

StarBright

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #109 on: September 14, 2021, 10:48:25 AM »
Frugal Vs. Cheap:

I really like the definition of cheap as imposing on others.

But there is something worse than frugal that is also imposing on yourself?

Frugal is definitely a positive for me, and cheap a negative, and between the two is . . . 'less than my best self."

By real word standards I was pretty frugal already when I joined the forum in the super facepunch days. Didn't have TV, cooked from scratch for most meals, drove old cars, good savings rate, etc. But I still bought clothing occasionally, still went to the salon for my hair, still paid for activities out.

I sort of went down the old school MMM rabbit hole (and still ALWAYS felt like I was being extravagant compared to others on the forum) and cut out my extras.

Money was tighter years ago, so ultimately that was a good call for our family. But it also felt like drudgery.

In 2021 I am basically back to where I was when I started my FIRE adjacent journey. I am not at all what most people on this forum would call frugal, but we have a good savings rate, and I started going back to the salon two years ago, and started buying myself clothes again when I need them, and giving myself the option of eating out when I'm tired of cooking and I am a much happier human being.

So for me - when it feels like drudgery for an extended period of time, I've gone too far.

dougules

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #110 on: September 14, 2021, 11:16:20 AM »
I do have a dehumidifier that is mostly used in the winter because the apartment isn't very well insulated and gets humid. It helps prevent mold and I think it helps keep electricity bills lower because we don't have to turn up the heat as much to dry out the place. It has the side effect of drying the clothes faster too. Honestly a great purchase.

I have the opposite problem. My climate gets too dry in the winter so we hang clothes in our bedroom instead of using a humidifier.

Same! They dry so quickly in our house in winter.

If you're heating your house much above the temperature of the outside air, the humidity in your house is going to be pretty low, so good for drying clothes inside.  If you live in a place that's really humid in the summer, your clothes will still dry pretty quickly outside if the actual temperature gets much above the dew point or you put them in direct sun, or inside if you're air conditioning (read dehumidifying) the house.

The only places you're going to have trouble line drying clothes are places where it's perpetually a gloomy muggy 70F/20C.  There are relatively few places in the US like that (maybe a handful places way way up in the mountains of NC during the summer?). 

Malcat

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #111 on: September 14, 2021, 02:46:26 PM »
Frugal Vs. Cheap:

I really like the definition of cheap as imposing on others.

But there is something worse than frugal that is also imposing on yourself?

Frugal is definitely a positive for me, and cheap a negative, and between the two is . . . 'less than my best self."

By real word standards I was pretty frugal already when I joined the forum in the super facepunch days. Didn't have TV, cooked from scratch for most meals, drove old cars, good savings rate, etc. But I still bought clothing occasionally, still went to the salon for my hair, still paid for activities out.

I sort of went down the old school MMM rabbit hole (and still ALWAYS felt like I was being extravagant compared to others on the forum) and cut out my extras.

Money was tighter years ago, so ultimately that was a good call for our family. But it also felt like drudgery.

In 2021 I am basically back to where I was when I started my FIRE adjacent journey. I am not at all what most people on this forum would call frugal, but we have a good savings rate, and I started going back to the salon two years ago, and started buying myself clothes again when I need them, and giving myself the option of eating out when I'm tired of cooking and I am a much happier human being.

So for me - when it feels like drudgery for an extended period of time, I've gone too far.

Cheap can also be when you are making yourself unhealthy or miserable to save money.

There was a poster here who talked about only eating something cheap, I can't remember what, but it was definitely very unhealthy.

I've seen a lot of posters engage in a lot of hand wringing and self flagellation over just thinking about spending on things that would clearly improve their quality of life.

Some people do get addicted to the shame of spending, and become pathologically miserly.

Dicey

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #112 on: September 14, 2021, 05:34:33 PM »
Frugal Vs. Cheap:

I really like the definition of cheap as imposing on others.

But there is something worse than frugal that is also imposing on yourself?

Frugal is definitely a positive for me, and cheap a negative, and between the two is . . . 'less than my best self."

By real word standards I was pretty frugal already when I joined the forum in the super facepunch days. Didn't have TV, cooked from scratch for most meals, drove old cars, good savings rate, etc. But I still bought clothing occasionally, still went to the salon for my hair, still paid for activities out.

I sort of went down the old school MMM rabbit hole (and still ALWAYS felt like I was being extravagant compared to others on the forum) and cut out my extras.

Money was tighter years ago, so ultimately that was a good call for our family. But it also felt like drudgery.

In 2021 I am basically back to where I was when I started my FIRE adjacent journey. I am not at all what most people on this forum would call frugal, but we have a good savings rate, and I started going back to the salon two years ago, and started buying myself clothes again when I need them, and giving myself the option of eating out when I'm tired of cooking and I am a much happier human being.

So for me - when it feels like drudgery for an extended period of time, I've gone too far.

Cheap can also be when you are making yourself unhealthy or miserable to save money.

There was a poster here who talked about only eating something cheap, I can't remember what, but it was definitely very unhealthy.

I've seen a lot of posters engage in a lot of hand wringing and self flagellation over just thinking about spending on things that would clearly improve their quality of life.

Some people do get addicted to the shame of spending, and become pathologically miserly.
I remember that dude. His posts made me incredibly sad. And kind of angry.

Morning Glory

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #113 on: September 14, 2021, 06:19:44 PM »
I do have a dehumidifier that is mostly used in the winter because the apartment isn't very well insulated and gets humid. It helps prevent mold and I think it helps keep electricity bills lower because we don't have to turn up the heat as much to dry out the place. It has the side effect of drying the clothes faster too. Honestly a great purchase.

I have the opposite problem. My climate gets too dry in the winter so we hang clothes in our bedroom instead of using a humidifier.

Same! They dry so quickly in our house in winter.

If you're heating your house much above the temperature of the outside air, the humidity in your house is going to be pretty low, so good for drying clothes inside.  If you live in a place that's really humid in the summer, your clothes will still dry pretty quickly outside if the actual temperature gets much above the dew point or you put them in direct sun, or inside if you're air conditioning (read dehumidifying) the house.

The only places you're going to have trouble line drying clothes are places where it's perpetually a gloomy muggy 70F/20C.  There are relatively few places in the US like that (maybe a handful places way way up in the mountains of NC during the summer?).

I spent several months in the UK as a teen and nobody uses clothes dryers there, even though the winters are cold, dark, and rainy. Things just take a couple days to dry and you get used to it.

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #114 on: September 14, 2021, 06:22:04 PM »
I do have a dehumidifier that is mostly used in the winter because the apartment isn't very well insulated and gets humid. It helps prevent mold and I think it helps keep electricity bills lower because we don't have to turn up the heat as much to dry out the place. It has the side effect of drying the clothes faster too. Honestly a great purchase.

I have the opposite problem. My climate gets too dry in the winter so we hang clothes in our bedroom instead of using a humidifier.

Same! They dry so quickly in our house in winter.

If you're heating your house much above the temperature of the outside air, the humidity in your house is going to be pretty low, so good for drying clothes inside.  If you live in a place that's really humid in the summer, your clothes will still dry pretty quickly outside if the actual temperature gets much above the dew point or you put them in direct sun, or inside if you're air conditioning (read dehumidifying) the house.

The only places you're going to have trouble line drying clothes are places where it's perpetually a gloomy muggy 70F/20C.  There are relatively few places in the US like that (maybe a handful places way way up in the mountains of NC during the summer?).

I spent several months in the UK as a teen and nobody uses clothes dryers there, even though the winters are cold, dark, and rainy. Things just take a couple days to dry and you get used to it.

We dry our clothes ona line in the basement. Works great year round, snd in the summer when it is super steamy we just turn the dehumidifier on anyways.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #115 on: September 14, 2021, 06:32:04 PM »
I think I'm saying the same thing as @Plina but in different words: everyone values things differently. What is important to you may not be important to me. The important thing is to spend money on things that are important to you, and save money on things that aren't.

There are MANY things I don't spend money on that a typical person does, but I'm thriving, not suffering. That's because I do spend money on the things that matter to me.

100%!!!

I heard this on a podcast. When it's something that you do not value, cut it out and be ruthless. This will then give you more opportunity to spend on things that you do value. We as humans sometimes conform to societal norms and buy things that society values, but you personally do not. This is tragic because you are then left with less money to buy stuff that you actually value.

bill1827

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #116 on: September 15, 2021, 03:31:17 AM »
I do have a dehumidifier that is mostly used in the winter because the apartment isn't very well insulated and gets humid. It helps prevent mold and I think it helps keep electricity bills lower because we don't have to turn up the heat as much to dry out the place. It has the side effect of drying the clothes faster too. Honestly a great purchase.

I have the opposite problem. My climate gets too dry in the winter so we hang clothes in our bedroom instead of using a humidifier.

Same! They dry so quickly in our house in winter.

If you're heating your house much above the temperature of the outside air, the humidity in your house is going to be pretty low, so good for drying clothes inside.  If you live in a place that's really humid in the summer, your clothes will still dry pretty quickly outside if the actual temperature gets much above the dew point or you put them in direct sun, or inside if you're air conditioning (read dehumidifying) the house.

The only places you're going to have trouble line drying clothes are places where it's perpetually a gloomy muggy 70F/20C.  There are relatively few places in the US like that (maybe a handful places way way up in the mountains of NC during the summer?).

I spent several months in the UK as a teen and nobody uses clothes dryers there, even though the winters are cold, dark, and rainy. Things just take a couple days to dry and you get used to it.

Something of a sweeping generalisation, hence completely wrong.

I would guess that most homes have a tumble drier (58% in 2018) and a great many people use them. If you live in a small flat with limited outside access most people will use a clothes drier rather than fill the flat with drying clothes.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/289140/tumble-dryers-in-households-in-the-uk/

DadJokes

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #117 on: September 15, 2021, 05:02:20 AM »
Frugal Vs. Cheap:

I really like the definition of cheap as imposing on others.

But there is something worse than frugal that is also imposing on yourself?

Frugal is definitely a positive for me, and cheap a negative, and between the two is . . . 'less than my best self."

By real word standards I was pretty frugal already when I joined the forum in the super facepunch days. Didn't have TV, cooked from scratch for most meals, drove old cars, good savings rate, etc. But I still bought clothing occasionally, still went to the salon for my hair, still paid for activities out.

I sort of went down the old school MMM rabbit hole (and still ALWAYS felt like I was being extravagant compared to others on the forum) and cut out my extras.

Money was tighter years ago, so ultimately that was a good call for our family. But it also felt like drudgery.

In 2021 I am basically back to where I was when I started my FIRE adjacent journey. I am not at all what most people on this forum would call frugal, but we have a good savings rate, and I started going back to the salon two years ago, and started buying myself clothes again when I need them, and giving myself the option of eating out when I'm tired of cooking and I am a much happier human being.

So for me - when it feels like drudgery for an extended period of time, I've gone too far.

Cheap can also be when you are making yourself unhealthy or miserable to save money.

There was a poster here who talked about only eating something cheap, I can't remember what, but it was definitely very unhealthy.

I've seen a lot of posters engage in a lot of hand wringing and self flagellation over just thinking about spending on things that would clearly improve their quality of life.

Some people do get addicted to the shame of spending, and become pathologically miserly.

Maybe I'm thinking of the wrong post, but I think it was peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.

uniwelder

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #118 on: September 15, 2021, 06:27:39 AM »
Frugal Vs. Cheap:

I really like the definition of cheap as imposing on others.

But there is something worse than frugal that is also imposing on yourself?

Frugal is definitely a positive for me, and cheap a negative, and between the two is . . . 'less than my best self."

By real word standards I was pretty frugal already when I joined the forum in the super facepunch days. Didn't have TV, cooked from scratch for most meals, drove old cars, good savings rate, etc. But I still bought clothing occasionally, still went to the salon for my hair, still paid for activities out.

I sort of went down the old school MMM rabbit hole (and still ALWAYS felt like I was being extravagant compared to others on the forum) and cut out my extras.

Money was tighter years ago, so ultimately that was a good call for our family. But it also felt like drudgery.

In 2021 I am basically back to where I was when I started my FIRE adjacent journey. I am not at all what most people on this forum would call frugal, but we have a good savings rate, and I started going back to the salon two years ago, and started buying myself clothes again when I need them, and giving myself the option of eating out when I'm tired of cooking and I am a much happier human being.

So for me - when it feels like drudgery for an extended period of time, I've gone too far.

Cheap can also be when you are making yourself unhealthy or miserable to save money.

There was a poster here who talked about only eating something cheap, I can't remember what, but it was definitely very unhealthy.

I've seen a lot of posters engage in a lot of hand wringing and self flagellation over just thinking about spending on things that would clearly improve their quality of life.

Some people do get addicted to the shame of spending, and become pathologically miserly.

Maybe I'm thinking of the wrong post, but I think it was peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.

What!!! How dare you speak ill of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!  They might not be the most healthy, but do add value to my life, along with the occasional box of mac and cheese, and even instant ramen noodles--- memories of childhood.  When in the mood for healthy, frugal, and joyful, peanut butter with banana on whole wheat is where its at!

Sorry, not trying to derail the topic.  Hopefully this doesn't turn to a discussion of unhealthy childhood foods.

DadJokes

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #119 on: September 15, 2021, 06:55:23 AM »
Frugal Vs. Cheap:

I really like the definition of cheap as imposing on others.

But there is something worse than frugal that is also imposing on yourself?

Frugal is definitely a positive for me, and cheap a negative, and between the two is . . . 'less than my best self."

By real word standards I was pretty frugal already when I joined the forum in the super facepunch days. Didn't have TV, cooked from scratch for most meals, drove old cars, good savings rate, etc. But I still bought clothing occasionally, still went to the salon for my hair, still paid for activities out.

I sort of went down the old school MMM rabbit hole (and still ALWAYS felt like I was being extravagant compared to others on the forum) and cut out my extras.

Money was tighter years ago, so ultimately that was a good call for our family. But it also felt like drudgery.

In 2021 I am basically back to where I was when I started my FIRE adjacent journey. I am not at all what most people on this forum would call frugal, but we have a good savings rate, and I started going back to the salon two years ago, and started buying myself clothes again when I need them, and giving myself the option of eating out when I'm tired of cooking and I am a much happier human being.

So for me - when it feels like drudgery for an extended period of time, I've gone too far.

Cheap can also be when you are making yourself unhealthy or miserable to save money.

There was a poster here who talked about only eating something cheap, I can't remember what, but it was definitely very unhealthy.

I've seen a lot of posters engage in a lot of hand wringing and self flagellation over just thinking about spending on things that would clearly improve their quality of life.

Some people do get addicted to the shame of spending, and become pathologically miserly.

Maybe I'm thinking of the wrong post, but I think it was peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.

What!!! How dare you speak ill of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!  They might not be the most healthy, but do add value to my life, along with the occasional box of mac and cheese, and even instant ramen noodles--- memories of childhood.  When in the mood for healthy, frugal, and joyful, peanut butter with banana on whole wheat is where its at!

Sorry, not trying to derail the topic.  Hopefully this doesn't turn to a discussion of unhealthy childhood foods.

There's nothing wrong with the occasional PB&J at all. Heck, my toddler eats half of one every day for lunch. However, he also eats yogurt, fruits, and vegetables. In the post I'm referring to, the person talked about only eating PB&J to save money on groceries. That's a bit different.

OtherJen

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #120 on: September 15, 2021, 07:17:58 AM »
I do have a dehumidifier that is mostly used in the winter because the apartment isn't very well insulated and gets humid. It helps prevent mold and I think it helps keep electricity bills lower because we don't have to turn up the heat as much to dry out the place. It has the side effect of drying the clothes faster too. Honestly a great purchase.

I have the opposite problem. My climate gets too dry in the winter so we hang clothes in our bedroom instead of using a humidifier.

Same! They dry so quickly in our house in winter.

If you're heating your house much above the temperature of the outside air, the humidity in your house is going to be pretty low, so good for drying clothes inside.  If you live in a place that's really humid in the summer, your clothes will still dry pretty quickly outside if the actual temperature gets much above the dew point or you put them in direct sun, or inside if you're air conditioning (read dehumidifying) the house.

The only places you're going to have trouble line drying clothes are places where it's perpetually a gloomy muggy 70F/20C.  There are relatively few places in the US like that (maybe a handful places way way up in the mountains of NC during the summer?).

I spent several months in the UK as a teen and nobody uses clothes dryers there, even though the winters are cold, dark, and rainy. Things just take a couple days to dry and you get used to it.

Something of a sweeping generalisation, hence completely wrong.

I would guess that most homes have a tumble drier (58% in 2018) and a great many people use them. If you live in a small flat with limited outside access most people will use a clothes drier rather than fill the flat with drying clothes.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/289140/tumble-dryers-in-households-in-the-uk/

I did wonder both about that generalization and whether mildewing was ever a problem. I feel like I end up fighting mildew all summer, and it's been like this every summer for the 18 years we've lived here.

Given our situation in terms of work (both full time, day shift), weather, and housing (very small house, no central AC, no basement to dehumidify), the most frugal option during the humid part of the year seems to be to wash each large load of laundry once and then dry it once in the tumble dryer. Whenever I try to wash and line dry in the summer (in the evenings after work because that's when I have time), I end up having to use more water to re-wash mildewy laundry and end up putting it in the dryer anyway.

uniwelder

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #121 on: September 15, 2021, 07:30:28 AM »
I spent several months in the UK as a teen and nobody uses clothes dryers there, even though the winters are cold, dark, and rainy. Things just take a couple days to dry and you get used to it.
Something of a sweeping generalisation, hence completely wrong.

I would guess that most homes have a tumble drier (58% in 2018) and a great many people use them. If you live in a small flat with limited outside access most people will use a clothes drier rather than fill the flat with drying clothes.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/289140/tumble-dryers-in-households-in-the-uk/
I did wonder both about that generalization and whether mildewing was ever a problem. I feel like I end up fighting mildew all summer, and it's been like this every summer for the 18 years we've lived here.

From the same site, in 1995 it says 50% had dryers.  Not sure how old Morning Glory is, but when they were a teenager, it could have been accurate, though you might have to look for data from the 1970's.  I'm sure Morning Glory know best whether the people they interacted with used a dryer.  Go back 100 years and everybody was line drying their clothes, but not sure what they did about the mildewy clothes.

GuitarStv

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #122 on: September 15, 2021, 07:33:14 AM »
I don't think I've ever had a problem with mildew on clothes line dried outdoors.  Sometimes they smell funny if I line dry them in the house and the temperatures are cool though.  I always thought that the wind and airflow prevented smells somehow.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #123 on: September 15, 2021, 07:40:41 AM »
One's position in the line drying debate probably has a lot to do with the typical relative humidity where one lives.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #124 on: September 15, 2021, 09:18:56 AM »
I loved line drying in the summer - just had to watch out for sudden afternoon thunderstorms.  In the winter taking frozen sheets off the line was not fine.  They were dry once they thawed out.  I worried about damage to the fibers and dried them in the dryer, other clothes on a drying rack.  Winter house air is always dry anyway, when there is a 40-50oC difference between outside and inside.

Now I am in an apartment - line drying is always inside.

Morning Glory

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #125 on: September 15, 2021, 09:37:58 AM »
I spent several months in the UK as a teen and nobody uses clothes dryers there, even though the winters are cold, dark, and rainy. Things just take a couple days to dry and you get used to it.
Something of a sweeping generalisation, hence completely wrong.

I would guess that most homes have a tumble drier (58% in 2018) and a great many people use them. If you live in a small flat with limited outside access most people will use a clothes drier rather than fill the flat with drying clothes.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/289140/tumble-dryers-in-households-in-the-uk/
I did wonder both about that generalization and whether mildewing was ever a problem. I feel like I end up fighting mildew all summer, and it's been like this every summer for the 18 years we've lived here.

From the same site, in 1995 it says 50% had dryers.  Not sure how old Morning Glory is, but when they were a teenager, it could have been accurate, though you might have to look for data from the 1970's.  I'm sure Morning Glory know best whether the people they interacted with used a dryer.  Go back 100 years and everybody was line drying their clothes, but not sure what they did about the mildewy clothes.

Gahh... I shouldn't have said "nobody" used them, just "not many people" or "nobody I knew", something like that.  We lived in a street with row houses and everyone had a washing line in their back garden, that they actually used.  I saw washing hanging up when I went to anyone's house in the winter.  It was just normal, and I brought that habit back with me when I returned to the US. Our circle could have been a little more environmentally conscious than average. They were definitely more environmentally conscious than anyone I knew in the US at the time.  I never noticed any mildew.

 I was there in the late 90's.  I knew a few people, including my dad, who had those washer-dryer combo things (where the same machine that washes also dries, not a stackable unit). We never used the dry function the whole time I was there because it didn't work very well.  Actually I can't remember if that unit was at his house or at a place we stayed on vacation once. There might have been just a washer at his house. I don't know if that 50% figure only includes stand-alone dryers or if the combination ones count towards that.

Edit: it looks like they still make them. Maybe the technology is better now but it still doesn't look great. The ones in the article seem quite a bit bigger than what I remember too:

https://www.consumerreports.org/laundry/all-in-one-washer-dryer-can-do-it-all-if-you-give-it-time/
« Last Edit: September 15, 2021, 09:49:52 AM by Morning Glory »

dougules

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #126 on: September 15, 2021, 09:47:04 AM »
One's position in the line drying debate probably has a lot to do with the typical relative humidity where one lives.

Kind of.  When it's hot, though, it doesn't take the relative humidity being much below 100% for clothes to dry very quickly because hot air holds so much more moisture than cold. 

Then when it's cold, the dew point is going to be low.  If you're heating the house much with that low dew point, the relative humidity inside is going to be low just because the cold humid air from outside doesn't actually have much water vapor in it at all relative to what warmer air can hold. 

OtherJen

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #127 on: September 15, 2021, 10:33:04 AM »
One's position in the line drying debate probably has a lot to do with the typical relative humidity where one lives.

Kind of.  When it's hot, though, it doesn't take the relative humidity being much below 100% for clothes to dry very quickly because hot air holds so much more moisture than cold. 

Then when it's cold, the dew point is going to be low.  If you're heating the house much with that low dew point, the relative humidity inside is going to be low just because the cold humid air from outside doesn't actually have much water vapor in it at all relative to what warmer air can hold.

Interesting. We went camping in northern Michigan in early August. It was sweltering and humid (70% plus, lots of nighttime rain) the entire time. After swimming one early afternoon, my swimsuit and our towels were on the line all afternoon and evening and were still very damp when we had to put them in the car late that night ahead of an incoming thunderstorm. Some of the dishtowels got mildewy.

I'm starting to wonder if I'm just cursed.

CrabbitDutchie

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #128 on: September 15, 2021, 11:22:15 AM »
@Morning Glory  and @bill1827 - not to confuse the picture but I live in a small flat with limited outside space in a wet, cold, dark city in the UK.

Some enterprising people hang some washing out of the window on good days, but the vast majority of people in my area hang their clothes up inside to dry. I am making the assumption that the other flats in the area don't have dryers either (most are rented, all have similar floor plans and there's no obvious space in the flats for either a tumble dryer or a dishwasher). Of course just anecdata from my specific area, but it is an illustration that it's not necessary to have a tumble dryer in a coldish wet climate, which seems to me what the original point was.

CrabbitDutchie

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #129 on: September 15, 2021, 12:44:04 PM »
Though actually, I live in Scotland. So maybe we're all just cheap ;)

sonofsven

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #130 on: September 15, 2021, 01:35:05 PM »
I love line drying in the summer because it's so efficient. This summer my 17 yo washing machine (cheap/frugal?) needed repairing so I dragged it out to the covered porch (I have a drying line on the south facing porch under cover and another that extends to a nearby tree).
I figured out the problem and ordered parts, the pump was failing but the machine still worked, noisily.
I used it for two weeks on the porch, discharging h2o into (4) 5 gallon buckets and hanging the clothes directly on the line.
It was great to be doing laundry while outside working in the garden. If I was in a warmer climate I'd probably move the washer outside permanently.

StarBright

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #131 on: September 15, 2021, 01:53:13 PM »

I'm starting to wonder if I'm just cursed.

If you are, I am too. I'm a tiny bit south of you and have the same problem. Have given up outdoor line drying (even gave away my laundry umbrella line last summer).

I'm lucky (?) enough to have a basement though and hang dry about half our clothes in my basement where we keep two dehumidifiers running constantly.

OtherJen

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #132 on: September 15, 2021, 01:58:28 PM »

I'm starting to wonder if I'm just cursed.

If you are, I am too. I'm a tiny bit south of you and have the same problem. Have given up outdoor line drying (even gave away my laundry umbrella line last summer).

I'm lucky (?) enough to have a basement though and hang dry about half our clothes in my basement where we keep two dehumidifiers running constantly.

Thank you! I was starting to wonder if there was something wrong with me.

bill1827

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #133 on: September 15, 2021, 02:49:49 PM »
I spent several months in the UK as a teen and nobody uses clothes dryers there, even though the winters are cold, dark, and rainy. Things just take a couple days to dry and you get used to it.
Something of a sweeping generalisation, hence completely wrong.

I would guess that most homes have a tumble drier (58% in 2018) and a great many people use them. If you live in a small flat with limited outside access most people will use a clothes drier rather than fill the flat with drying clothes.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/289140/tumble-dryers-in-households-in-the-uk/
I did wonder both about that generalization and whether mildewing was ever a problem. I feel like I end up fighting mildew all summer, and it's been like this every summer for the 18 years we've lived here.

From the same site, in 1995 it says 50% had dryers.  Not sure how old Morning Glory is, but when they were a teenager, it could have been accurate, though you might have to look for data from the 1970's.  I'm sure Morning Glory know best whether the people they interacted with used a dryer.  Go back 100 years and everybody was line drying their clothes, but not sure what they did about the mildewy clothes.

Obviously, if you go back far enough tumble driers didn't exist.

In my childhood my mother would generally dry clothes on a line outside, which worked OK on a dry and sunny or windy day, not so much when it rained. The main issue for her in those days was smuts from the coal fires, which were the most common heating method. (Of course the washing would have gone through a wringer before being hung out, to remove as much water as possible.)

Her first washing machine had an electric wringer, which was a significant advance over the manual wringer.

If it was really to wet to dry things outside she had a kitchen maid, which was suspended from the living room ceiling in front of the (coal) fire. You had to walk through a forest of clothes!

She later graduated to a twin tub, which had a spin drier to replace the wringer. And acquired a device with an electric convector heater at the bottom and a collapsible rack which held the clothes above the heater for indoor drying. This would probably have been late '60s.

By the '70s my parents had moved to a pleasanter house and would have had a tumble drier, although, as they were frugal people, would only have used it in extremis.

Of course there's a range of usage patterns. Some people never use anything but the tumble drier, some would never use one. We try not to use it and dry outside, but practicality dictates occasional use.

APowers

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #134 on: September 15, 2021, 08:02:40 PM »
Frugal Vs. Cheap:

I really like the definition of cheap as imposing on others.

But there is something worse than frugal that is also imposing on yourself?

Frugal is definitely a positive for me, and cheap a negative, and between the two is . . . 'less than my best self."

By real word standards I was pretty frugal already when I joined the forum in the super facepunch days. Didn't have TV, cooked from scratch for most meals, drove old cars, good savings rate, etc. But I still bought clothing occasionally, still went to the salon for my hair, still paid for activities out.

I sort of went down the old school MMM rabbit hole (and still ALWAYS felt like I was being extravagant compared to others on the forum) and cut out my extras.

Money was tighter years ago, so ultimately that was a good call for our family. But it also felt like drudgery.

In 2021 I am basically back to where I was when I started my FIRE adjacent journey. I am not at all what most people on this forum would call frugal, but we have a good savings rate, and I started going back to the salon two years ago, and started buying myself clothes again when I need them, and giving myself the option of eating out when I'm tired of cooking and I am a much happier human being.

So for me - when it feels like drudgery for an extended period of time, I've gone too far.

Cheap can also be when you are making yourself unhealthy or miserable to save money.

There was a poster here who talked about only eating something cheap, I can't remember what, but it was definitely very unhealthy.

I've seen a lot of posters engage in a lot of hand wringing and self flagellation over just thinking about spending on things that would clearly improve their quality of life.

Some people do get addicted to the shame of spending, and become pathologically miserly.

Maybe I'm thinking of the wrong post, but I think it was peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.

What!!! How dare you speak ill of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!  They might not be the most healthy, but do add value to my life, along with the occasional box of mac and cheese, and even instant ramen noodles--- memories of childhood.  When in the mood for healthy, frugal, and joyful, peanut butter with banana on whole wheat is where its at!

Sorry, not trying to derail the topic.  Hopefully this doesn't turn to a discussion of unhealthy childhood foods.

There's nothing wrong with the occasional PB&J at all. Heck, my toddler eats half of one every day for lunch. However, he also eats yogurt, fruits, and vegetables. In the post I'm referring to, the person talked about only eating PB&J to save money on groceries. That's a bit different.

I think the user here that we're talking about is @Solomon960. He showed up a while back on my $200/month food budget thread:

Please forgive me, but this is the easiest challenge a single Mustachian can be given. Always desiring to improve personal efficiency, my challenge to all is how can I improve the nutritional value of my meals that follow while maintaining or reducing financial costs AND lack of effort in preparation:

Breakfast: Roasted peanuts and tap water 
Lunch: Peanut butter-whole wheat sandwich, granola bar, two bananas, bottled water
Dinner: Depends on day:
  Option 1: Canned corn, peas, or green beans; whole wheat cereal (soy milk), granola bar, tap water 
  Option 2: Canned soup or a Tina's Bean & Cheese frozen taco, plain baked potato, granola bar, tap water

(Note: The above meals were originally shared at https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/meal-planning-2018/msg2517832/#msg2517832 and have been modified to reflect recent changes in my purchasing/consumption habits.)

My monthly food budget does not exceed $100. Having removed fruit juice from my diet, I take a daily multi-vitamin.

Suggestions are welcomed. Thank you.

Runrooster

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #135 on: September 17, 2021, 05:29:27 PM »
I don't know about Solomon960, but I've met a handful of people, mostly/all men, who eat very repetitive diets.  My Dad likes his roti and thal/beans, though he does enjoy fruit.  He'll eat his vegetables, but I don't think he much cares for them.  I think this tendency is much worse in people who don't know how to or don't want to cook.  I remember reading Early Retirement Extreme surprised by the limited food of Jacob.  I eat fruits and vegetables because they're good for me, sure, but also because I like them.  Its definitely extra effort to shop/cook, so I can understand people who'd rather not.  Food is a paradoxical good - it takes mere minutes to eat, but it provides happiness for hours.

OTOH, I don't eat out for a variety of reasons- health, allergies, cost, energy.  I think partly, too, I don't want to get used to having good sushi, or pho, or Thai food, that is costly in terms of time and money and not particularly healthier for me. Mostly its the sense that I'd rather splurge on ingredients, though I don't do that regularly.  I ate out for special occasions when I had a higher income, but I have coworkers who order lunch 3x a week, so it is possible.  I don't know, it feels to me like I've tried a lot of foods in my adult life, and "I know what that tastes like."  My nephew was talking about which fast food fries are the best, and I just could not care.  They're all fries.  I do miss the variety that I had pre-Covid, from eating at friend's homes.  Often its the same dishes I make but it tastes different because someone put their own spin on it.

Food is not that different from clothing, cars, housing, travel with a range of price points and everyone has to have their own idea of what's enough.  I spent the last 3 years wearing scrubs to work, and appreciated the simplicity of not worrying about what to wear. 

Plina

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Re: Where do you draw the line of being frugal and...
« Reply #136 on: September 17, 2021, 11:08:54 PM »
 I can kind of understand the want to simplify your meals as I mostly cook during weekends, freeze the meals and eat them during the week. I donít really like cooking but I do it because I want to eat well.

A diet of sandwiches, canned food and bars would in my world be equal to torture. I would be happy to take a pill and be done with the nutrition. You could combine with delicious meals sometimes. Bad meals daily would make me pretty miserable.