A Questioning Day

by Katy on October 18, 2012 · 186 comments

Today I turn the tables and ask you, the readers to share a bit of yourself. So here goes . . .
  1. Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live?
  2. When the last time you bought something new? What was it?
  3. What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money?
  4. What is your biggest non-frugal splurge?
  5. What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure?

Here I’ll start:

  1. We have not turned our heat on yet, although the house has been feeling mighty chilly in the mornings. We live in Portland, Oregon.
  2. The last time I bought something new was a few weeks ago, when I bought You Can Buy Happiness (and it’s Cheap) How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too by my friend Tammy Strobel. I used Amazon credit that I earned doing Swagbucks web searches.
  3. It’s hard to say the weirdest thing I do to save money, but ya’ll already know that I am always on the lookout for new frugal tricks. My latest was filling up jugs of water to put in my not-exactly full basement chest freezer. It was a tip from a reader, and one of those duh moments for me.
  4. My biggest non-frugal splurge would have to be food. Although I shop the sales, use coupons and cook from scratch, I never hold off from buying the food I want for my family.
  5. My guilty pleasure is long hot showers. I take them daily and I do not apologize for them.

Now you!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 186 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary October 18, 2012 at 9:26 am

1. No. I live in the Sacramento region where it still is in the 80s, with the occasional foray into 90. If I’m lucky, I can make it another month before turning on the heat.
2. I bought 2 new things last week: a dog training book and a specialized collar, both off of Amazon.
3. I probably do a lot of weird things to save money, one of which is riding to work, which not only saves gas, but lets me take a long hot shower on the university’s dime, not mine. Also, I have been known to fish cans & bottles out of my office trash can (otherwise filled with paper!) for the refund.
4. I’ll agree with you on the long hot showers. Best way for me to wake up or unwind.


Katy October 18, 2012 at 9:33 am

Team hot showers! 😀



Mary October 18, 2012 at 11:46 am

I forgot my non-frugal splurge!

Mine is ridiculously expensive facial sunscreen. It costs $35 for a small bottle, but to me it’s totally worth it. I’ve already had melanoma twice (eek!) so finding a product that works, but also doesn’t smell and goes on without leaving my skin oily, which translates to me actually wearing it daily, is way worth the money.


Jeanine October 18, 2012 at 9:27 am

1.Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live?
Um no. The a/c is still on. MS Gulf Coast.
2.When the last time you bought something new? What was it?
A water pump for my Jeep. I tried one from the junk yard…Just No.
3.What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money?
It’s not weird…but I make an effort to not spend it to start with.
4.What is your biggest non-frugal splurge?
I treat my assistants to lunch once a month. They make my work life SOOO much easier.
5.What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure?
I love long drives in the country.


Katy October 18, 2012 at 9:34 am

I say a once a month lunch with your assistants counts as an investment!



Kate October 18, 2012 at 9:34 am

1. Yes. Central Pennsylvania.
2. Last weekend – new slippers at a closeout store.
3. “Weird” is such a relative term. I have friends who think I’m weird because I try not to drive the 7 minutes into town unless I have at least 3 errands to run and that I’ll park 4 blocks away from where I’m going so I don’t have to use a metered spot.
4. Biggest non-frugal splurge would be organic food, although I do my best to find good deals on it. Hello, surplus food outlet! 🙂
5. Long, hot showers.


Katy October 18, 2012 at 9:48 am

Slippers are actually something that I also buy new. Can’t have a chilly house without warm slippers!



Kate October 18, 2012 at 9:59 am

That’s exactly why I got them – we don’t wear shoes in the house and the floor was getting cold!


Megg October 18, 2012 at 8:56 pm

I bought my slippers from LLBean 3 years ago (they’re the Wicked Good slippers!) I love them, they’re SO warm and lifetime guarantee means if anything happens to them I get a new pair! SO worth the $50 price tag!


Lisa October 18, 2012 at 9:35 am

1. Yes, I always do my best to wait until Halloween, but this year West Virginia is a little chillier than normal.
2. I bought new blue jeans, because I just lost 28 pounds and I had NONE that would stay up anymore. (which is a good thing)
3. The weirdest thing I do to save money – is I ask all my friends & family to save their lint from the dryer and all of their toilet paper tubes for me. I stuff the tubes full of lint, and use them for fire starters in the fireplace. They work great!
4. My non-frugal splurge is my $25 a month Healthways membership – it give me access to all the gyms in my area for that price (which is cheaper than a single membership to any of those places) and is getting me healthier – which is long term super frugal, right?
5. My non-environmental guilty pleasures are magazines. I use coke reward points to get free magazines (and the coke lids are from co-workers & family members). But, after I read them, I always pass them to friends, with instructions to pass until they end up at the local library for the book sales!


Katy October 18, 2012 at 9:42 am

I’ll have to try that lint and toilet paper tube trick. Thanks!



Lindsey October 18, 2012 at 3:13 pm

egg cartons with lint (even witout) work really, really well, too, for woodstove starting.


Sharon October 18, 2012 at 8:07 pm

That’s what we use too.


Megyn @Unstuffed October 18, 2012 at 9:38 am

1. HAHAHAHAH! You’re funny. We have yet to turn off the A/C as it’s still consistently in the 90’s.

2. I actually just purchased 2 new things on Amazon: full mattress protectors for our sons. I was tired of the partial covering hand-me-downs where our youngest would have an accident anywhere BUT on the cover. Although they were pricey ($30/each), they will last forever, are hypoallergenic, and PVC free.

3. Probably the weirdest thing I do to save money is to eat mainly food groups v. meals. Since we still have young boys, they are fine with very simplistic meals, and I am VERY simple too. It saves a lot of money on spices/add-ins/etc. And we still get all of our food groups.

4. Our biggest non-frugal splurge would be beer for The Hubs. He is OBSESSED with craft beer! And that stuff comes at a cost. We try to set up a beer budget, but that (and his coffee addiction) take a big chunk out of our budget. But it makes him happy, and he’s the one making the money, so we compromise.

5. My biggest non-environmental guilt pleasure would be packaged, processed foods. I have the aspiration to make things, but sometimes nothing beats a box of Cheezits or package of cookies or carton of lactose-free ice cream! (Hot showers are a VERY close second).


Katy October 18, 2012 at 9:43 am

Oh yes, mattress protectors is a definite buy-new item.



Riitta October 18, 2012 at 9:44 am

1. Yes – just turned it on today – west kootenays, b.c. Canada – it was 2C.
2. Just bought two books off Amazon yesterday: ‘Year Round Vegetable Gardener’ & ‘Encyclopedia of Country Living’.
3. Weird – hmm- gonna see if i can grow some vegs in my windows this winter.
4. Biggest non-frugal splurge – i do love a glass of red wine every night.
5. non-environmental splurge – love driving around the country side to look at potential properties for when we’re empty-nesters in a few years.

Katy, just have to say how much I really enjoy your site!


Katy October 18, 2012 at 9:49 am

Thank you, that’s so sweet!



Diedra B October 18, 2012 at 9:50 am

1. The heat thing is not up to me. But yes, it is on. I’m in NYC and there are laws.
2. It was a mirror, for my desk at work. It was wrong of me because I have two handheld mirrors at home.
3. To save money I switch off and unplug everything that doesn’t need to be on. We’ve saved nearly $20 on our energy bill doing this.
4. Buying stuff at a supermarket in Manhattan, near my job. I bring things into the office to eat for breakfast and sometimes lunch. It’s cheaper than going out to lunch but not as cheap as buying things at the Aldi near my home (not in Manhattan) and then schlepping them on the train.
5. Guilty pleasure? That’s a head-scratcher. I guess I better go find one. Oh, I just stole this from someone else. I have a magazine subscription. There we are.


Tara Morrison October 18, 2012 at 9:53 am

Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live?
1. no, central MS
When the last time you bought something new? What was it?
Some hinges to make trifold boards from some wood my neighbor was throwing out for a school project( now we don’t have to ever use the foam core board or cardboard ones)
What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money?
have my mom boot-leg 3 buck chuck on her trips from ATL for my husband to have his nightly glass of wine
What is your biggest non-frugal splurge?
Food by far, we eat at home most every night so I don’t mind buying expensive ingredients to cook with think local meat vegetables and cheeses.

What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure


Tara Morrison October 18, 2012 at 9:54 am

*What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure?
Long hot baths or showers.


CB October 18, 2012 at 9:55 am

Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live?

I literally just turned it on last night! I live in an apartment where heat is included so there is no direct cost to me. That said, my building is normally always blazing hot, so I only typically use heat on the odd day. I’m so not used to using it that I forgot to shut it off this morning…doh! I live in Vancouver, BC and the fall has just gotten very chilly these past couple of weeks.

When the last time you bought something new? What was it?

I bought 3 sweaters and a dress to freshen up my work wardrobe for fall a few weeks ago. I buy many of my casual clothes second hand (especially jeans, I LOVE pre-broken-in jeans) but rarely find clothes of appropriate quality 2nd hand for work.

What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money?

I guess an annual No-Buy-Month is kind of weird. Getting more popular these days though. I usually choose January since all the consumerism around the holidays just gets to be too much.

What is your biggest non-frugal splurge?

Food. Buying lunch is a pleasure that has more to do with the freedom and time away from the office than the food. And my grocery bill is atrocious for a single person. I never have any coupons and I mostly buy fancy organic stuff. Plus I eat Paleo, so lots of meat and veggies and no cheap carbs.

What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure?

I can’t think of something non-environmental that I take pleasure in…so I’ll just give you one that makes me guilty. I don’t compost and since 90% of the garbage going out of my house is veggie trimmings I feel very bad about it. Unfortunately my area doesn’t have curbside composting for apartments, and I’ve looked into apartment composting solutions but none work for my situation.


EcoCatLady October 18, 2012 at 10:01 am

1. HEAT. The heat’s been on for a few weeks here. We’ve already had our first snowstorm of the year and it’s been down in the 30’s most nights. I’m in Denver.

2. NEW. I bought some new bike pants last month.

3. WEIRD. I bathe with my workout/biking clothes. I’m a bath rather than shower person, so after a workout or ride I just toss the clothes in the tub with me and give them a quick wash so I can wear them again the next day. It lets me own fewer workout & cycling clothes and means I do a LOT less laundry.

4. SPLURGE. A few months ago I dropped an ungodly sum of money on a new road bike – but it was totally worth it. I’ve already put over 500 miles on her and I’m loving every minute of it!

5. GUILTY PLEASURE. Long hot baths. Nothing like soaking in a steaming hot tub after a long chilly bike ride!

Hmmm… I’m sensing a theme here. I think I’m obsessed with cycling these days!


Trish October 18, 2012 at 10:07 am

Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live?
No, because Jax, FL is still in the 80s, but we can open the windows in the evening now, and enjoy some fresh air.
When the last time you bought something new? What was it?
Just bought Studio 60 DVD Season 1 (only season!) for my daughter for her 24th Birthday. E-Bay had a great deal.
What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money?
I save water from heating up the bath. I put a bucket under the faucet when I am getting the hot to heat up, and I either dump it in the washer, or water plants with it. We pay twice for water via water and sewer on our utility bill, so this is quite a savings.
What is your biggest non-frugal splurge?
Our internet. We don’t have cable TV, but we can’t give up our net, and we seem to be on our computers ALL the time. (not really but seems like it).
What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure?


Trish October 18, 2012 at 10:08 am

Oops forgot the last question. I have a 3 way bulb in my reading lamp.


Trisha October 18, 2012 at 10:08 am

1. Yes. We live in Hood River. (Sunshine today! Curtains open!)

2. Just bought a new black pencil skirt from JCPenney.com this morning to replace the one I have. It was on sale and even with shipping it was cheaper than the original cost… that’s called “justification.”

3. Weird is not a negative. 😉 I cook all of our meals from scratch. Everyone in the family eats a packed lunch. And we try really hard to minimize food waste.

4. Biggest non-frugal splurge for us is food, too. I like to buy our food locally, and that sometimes costs more. I feel it’s worth it.

5. Another vote for the long hot shower. I only can do that about twice a week just due to a general lack of time, but nothing beats hot water.

P.S. I enjoy your blog, too. I’m always happy when a new post shows up in my feed! Gonna try your teenage decluttering tips with my seven-year-old pack rat this weekend. Wish me luck!


MelissaInkDesigns October 18, 2012 at 10:08 am

Heat? No, but it’s been serviced and is ready to go when the time comes. NW Louisiana.

I bought two pairs of new jeans and a new shirt for myself. I was down to one pair of frumpy jeans. Gotta say, I feel like I’ve had a makeover.

I turn off my hot water heater when I leave on vacation and unplug just about everything. It drives my husband nuts! I also do my fair share of trashing, but that’s not weird amongst fans of this site 🙂

I buy quite a but of pre-made baby food and snacks. It’s just easier at the moment. She is getting into table foods, but grabbing a few jars and going out is tidier for all involved. I also buy Lunchables. I’ve tried making my own, and the kids didn’t go for it. They’re more nutritious than some things and the cost per a smile factor is unmatched. I only use them for packed and on-the-go lunches. They don’t ever get them at home!

My most recent big splurge was on new couches. They were double what I wanted to spend, but the size (super-oversized) and craftsmanship (made in the USA, eco-friendly materials) were just amazing. I knew when I saw them and sat in them, that they were THE ONES. Of course, I have a La-Z-boy in our bedroom that we found on a neighbor’s curb …


Shelly October 18, 2012 at 10:10 am

1. We did turn on the heat the other day. It was 59 degrees in our house and my son said he was too cold. We live in Portland too.

2. Bought a new water filter for the refrigerator a couple weeks ago. I know not really an exciting purchase. I am really upset as it only lasted two weeks. I am going to call GE the last time I complained about getting a bad filter they sent me a few free ones.

3. I don’t know if this is weird but I shop the closeout grocery each week to save and I try to recycle our worn out items into something new regularly and repair what I can.

4. Biggest non frugal splurge is goat and sheep cheese at Trader joes. It is $8.99/lb. Gasp! I know but my kids and husband can’t eat cow cheese but can eat goat and sheep, TJ’s do seem to have the best price in town.

5.My biggest non enviromental guilty pleasure is a hot bath. I love to soak in a bath. I try not to feel guilty about it but sometimes I still do.


Tina October 18, 2012 at 10:10 am

Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live? Yes, it has been kicking on in the a.m. I live near Seattle

When the last time you bought something new? What was it? Just this week, new tires for hubby’s truck

What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money? I have been known to grab coupons out of the recycle bin at Albertsons, but not when my teenager is with me (soooo embarrasing mom) :}

What is your biggest non-frugal splurge?
Good shoes for the entire family.

What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure? Long hot showers and baths.


Diane October 18, 2012 at 10:13 am

No heat…just turned off the AC in Austin!

And just “bought” something new today…went to JCP with my $10 coupon intending to buy a birthday gift, but nothing there suitable for a trendy working girl…however, I snagged a pair of brown linen capris for $10 for myself. Paid $0 for them with the coupon!

My biggest splurge is real maple syrup…gotta have it.


PQ October 18, 2012 at 10:14 am

Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live?
Yes, I put it on for a few minutes first thing in the morning till the house gets to be 68 degrees, then I turn it off again until the next morning. I live in Central NC.

When the last time you bought something new? What was it?
Last week I ordered a special power strip that works on a remote control. It turns all of my entertainment center devices off so no phantom power drain (needed the remote since i have to keep the cords tucked behind the center and can’t reach the button on the power strip).

What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money?
Nothing really weird, shop at second hand stores, careful on groceries, etc.

What is your biggest non-frugal splurge?
Having pets (3 cats, 2 dogs – 3 of them with health problems) but i wouldn’t trade them for all the money in the world.

What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure?
Long showers and baths in the winter


Megyn @Unstuffed October 18, 2012 at 10:45 am

Definitely agree on the pets! My MIL often gets mad at me that I spend THAT much on my pets (you know for annual shots, meds, etc.) when our boys “need” things (they are more than taken care of lol). I’m finding that my brand of frugality is not good enough for hers. My pets love me a lot more than my savings account 😉


EcoCatLady October 18, 2012 at 10:58 am

Another vote for the pets here… didn’t even think of them as a non-frugal thing since to me it would be sort of like considering having kids to be a non-frugal choice, but aside from the mortgage, my 4 cats are certainly my single biggest expense.


Maureen October 18, 2012 at 10:20 am

Love this one Katy!

I’ve only turned on the heat in my office. I work from home and sitting at a cold desk makes it hard to work. We have started the woodstove a few nights. I’m in the Albany area of NY — which is upstate.

We had a business trip and my weight has fluctuated so much that I had to buy a few new pieces of clothes. I did also buy a new handbag/carry on bag, but the inside lining tore, so I returned it and got my money back.

According to my family everything I do to save money is weird. I do wash out ziplocs, hang dry my laundry (although I did convert a sister & daughter that electric dryers are evil and not very cost effective!) and open my dishwasher after the wash cycle to avoid the drying cycle.

A pound of fancy coffee. I make it in the afternoon for a special treat. One pound lasts way longer than a daily latte habit.

And my biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure has to be scrapbooking. It’s relaxing and fun to me and I do spend money on it. Haven’t figured out how to use up all the little scraps of paper though. My hubby would be happy to know that I have not bought any new paper in a while. Trying to use up all that I have.


Kelli October 18, 2012 at 10:22 am

1. Yes, we’ve had the heat on a couple of times this fall. We live in Wisconsin.

2. We had to buy new tires and brakes for our van this week. Ouch–that one hurt.

3. This might draw a collective gasp, but I am not grossed out about buying used socks and bras…..now, let me say I am SUPER picky and the items must look like new. I would never buy a Victoria’s Secret bra new, but I will “splurge” on an $8 used one at our thrift store. I wash with warm water and detergent and have not had a problem. I will not, however, buy used underwear. (Unless of course they were still in the package/ or with tags on.)

4. My biggest non-frugal splurge would have to be cookbooks! I love Taste of Home annual cookbooks and I buy them for about $4.98 at our thrift store. I don’t need them–but I love reading them so I always pick them up. As a bonus, my family gets to try new recipes.

5. I don’t think of this as a pleasure, but it makes my life easier: I dry my towels and sheets in the dryer in the winter…. everything else air dries on racks in the house. I don’t have space for large items and I think they don’t smell the best after they have lingered on racks trying to dry….that’s my justification anyway.

I love your blog and the inspiration you give your readers. I never shopped thrift stores before reading your blog and I can honestly say– I know I will never go back to my old ways. Hats off to you!!!!


marie October 18, 2012 at 10:34 am

1) Since we use the woodstove for our main source of heat. Fired it up twice so far. Slippers and blankets are a good thing.
2)I bought new rubber boots for granddaughter. More than I wanted to spend, but couldn’t find second hand one’s. I suspect children wear them out like she does.
3) Hard to choose from the many weird cost cutting things we do, but picking up pinecones from our property for firestarters. And since we have garbage pick-up monthly, We have a kitchen scrap bucket for the goats and chickens. It cuts down on chicken and goat food, and is a real treat for them! It’s fun to watch the chickens pick up something and run with it. Everyone else chases them. lol
4) I don’t know if this is non-frugal, but our dogs eat kinda expensive dog food. We have labs, and the older one has skin problems.
5)Sattlite t.v. I know I pay too much and it’s a waste, but can’t fiqure out how else to get reception where we live


Reese October 18, 2012 at 10:53 am

I don’t have labs, but I feel you on the expensive pet food! One of our cats has skin problems due to a food allergy and it’s ungodly expensive to buy him the gastrointestinal stuff. And each time he pukes? Makes me cringe since that’s like 50 cents worth he threw up! (hair balls..drat it).

So I keep thinking about how he increases our quality of life, and how he’s a great furry fuzz ball of love, and just take it! 😉


Kris K October 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I make my cats food. It’s not cheap averaging $9 -10 for just over two weeks of food for two cats, but it’s been wonderful for their digestive systems, they’ve lost weight, are super playful, and the litterbox stink is way down since they eat primarily meat.


sherry October 18, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Would love to know how you make this food for your cats. Do you have a recipe you could share?


Linda in Indiana October 18, 2012 at 10:37 am

1 Heat has been off and on here in windy, chilly Indiana
2 New work boots for husband…if his get too worn his feet and back
bother him…well worth not hurting.
3 Weird–wash out baggies, save scraps for our chickens, dry all bread
ends for croutons or dressing, eat wild game that is caught in season,
and lots that I forget but people raise their eyebrows at me, so I get
that they think it is weird.
4 I love my Diet Coke…wish I didn’t ….but!
5 My guilty pleasure is my Diet Coke…but I recyle the cans.


Heather October 18, 2012 at 10:38 am

1. I live in MT and I have turned on the heat this past month. It has snowed recently and will again by the end of the week.
2. Bought new shoes to wear to work recently since I am in retail and need a good pair so my feet don’t ache or I can’t work.
3. Weirdest thing I do to save money is wash my tooth brushes in dishwasher instead of buy new ones like is recommended every 6 months. I use baking soda for tooth paste and hydrogen peroxide for mouthwash.
4. Non frugal spluge is my coffee and creamer I buy to relax before i head to work at 3:30am. I could drink water in the AM before work but I don’t wanna. 😉
5. That would be my nice hot baths I like. It’s my reward for scrubbing my tub and bathroom.


dusty October 18, 2012 at 11:30 am

I checked with my dentist regarding putting toothbrushes in the dishwasher. I was told not to do as it does absolutely nothing for it and there are a lot of chemicals in the detergent (just take a whiff when you open the door). He also suggested getting a new one every 3 to 4 months or so. I go to the dentist 4 times a year (have lots of problems) to get my teeth cleaned and I get a new one there. I do keep the old ones out in the garage and hubby uses them for different jobs like getting wax off the door jambs, etc on the cars. Check with your dentist about the toothbrush in the dishwasher and see what he/she thinks


Heather October 18, 2012 at 11:33 am

Thank you Dusty! You only get one chance with teeth. I have no dental insurance so I value this advice.


Lynn D. October 18, 2012 at 10:42 am

I live in Salem, Oregon in a drafty house and we’ve had the heat on for a week or so. It only comes on in the morning. If I shower in the morning I feel I have to turn on the bathroom heater as well. I haven’t bought anything new in ages. I really need to go new or used clothes/shoe shopping desperately, but I hate it. We’ve set up a grey water system for our washing machine. We can keep the grass green in the summer without spending extra for water. Because my skin can’t take it, I only shower every third day. Maybe that makes up for my heat habit! We spend a lot on food we make at home. I was once so apalled at a Zupan’s receipt for Serrano ham and fancy cheese that I sent an extra donation to the food bank for that amount. My non-environmental guilty pleasure is tossing the tomato paste cans in the trash. I’ve got better uses for my time and water than cleaning those suckers!


marie October 18, 2012 at 11:31 am

Oh, and peanut butter jars. I feel it costs too much water to rinse, but my husband does it if I don’t hide it under other garbage


kelly October 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Those PB jars are tricky! I squirt a bit of soap in there, fill with hot water and cap it. Leave in the sink and shake it whenever you think about it for the next day or two. Most of the PB will be gone when you dump the water.


patti October 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I put mine in the dishwasher (after I remove the label). Easy peasy!


Angie October 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm

My dogs take car of cleaning the P-nut butter jars. They think it is a real treat.

Raeleen Gannon October 18, 2012 at 10:43 am

1. yes, I just moved over to the coast of CA and I am always cold.
2. yarn to complete some holiday projects
3. I don’t think it is weird or unusual but I rent my college books that are not part of my major and buy used if they are and I plan to keep them for my library. I search online for the best deals.
4. I travel back to my hometown at least once a month (in my defense my son and family is still there). Also our zoo membership,
5. if I am cold I turn up the heat. I hate being in the house bundled up


A. Marie October 18, 2012 at 10:45 am

(1) Furnace came on once last week when outdoor temp was below freezing (Upstate NY). We keep it turned way low and do most of our heating with wood, but we haven’t really started the stove yet.
(2) Just bought Sandor Katz’s The Art of Fermentation on Amazon with Amazon Visa card points. I want to know how to make pickles and hooch when civilization goes under.
(3) Probably practicing “California flushing” in Upstate NY. Our California relatives still haven’t gotten with the program and not only don’t practice Calif. flushing, but take 45-minute showers whenever they visit. Snarl.
(4) Wine. I haven’t learned how to make hooch yet (see 2).
(5) Probably taking long drives around Upstate, both for general pleasure and for Jane Austen Society of North America business (I facilitate local meetings in a few different locations).


dusty October 18, 2012 at 11:33 am

very funny about the pickles and hooch, gave me a good laugh


Sharon October 18, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Ok I am stupid? What exactly is California flushing?


WinterLightHomestead October 18, 2012 at 8:28 pm

“If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.”


dusty October 19, 2012 at 2:26 am

years ago when first married, my hubby’s aunt and uncle told us if we ever have a septic system to follow this rule “if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down”. We do this now but of course it’s only the two of us and I work at home.


Reese October 18, 2012 at 10:48 am

1.) I live in a 3-story apartment building and, unfortunately, have no say in when the heat kicks on. But I noticed a familiar hiss and clanking from our radiators–so I know it WAS turned on. Our apartment gets ungodly hot since we’re an end unit on the top floor. I’d prefer to have them off all winter, as we’ll have to keep our windows open to let the warm air out and that seems so very wasteful. Seriously hot in there. I live in Chicago, IL.

2.) I went to Target last weekend to pick up a few household needs (i.e. toilet paper), and stopped by the 70% off rack in women’s workout land. I picked up two pairs of running shorts that were $3.88 ea. I couldn’t beat the price for that brand and I didn’t own any before (probably because I was too cheap to pay full price. But since it’s the off-season for these items, they’re cheap!)

3.) I’m not sure it’s weird, but I always tell coworkers to think of me when they clean out their closets/dressers. I’m not below hand-me-downs, and my coworkers have some AMAZING taste (one brought in a fabulous jean jacket from GAP and a pair of red Merona heels for me just last week!).

I also use empty wine bottles inside my tall fall/winter boots to keep them upright so that the leather doesn’t get messed up. (Once, my husband threw out one of these bottles and I almost lost it. So he knows better now ;p).

4.) I’m not ashamed to admit I shop at Victoria Secret for underwear and bras. I get coupons for free underwear in the mail which keeps me stocked. And then I always use the $10/off a bra (and tend to get the cheapest bras from there so they’re affordable).

5.)Baking supplies. I live close to The Spice House (http://www.thespicehouse.com/) where I can get really nice quality spices. And I never cheap out on having enough baking cocoa, powdered sugar, brown sugar, chocolate chips, salt, vanilla, etc etc. on hand. I even have some of the weirder, seasonal stuff (candied cherries, dried pineapple, caramel squares, cinnamon chips, maple flavoring, etc.) in case. I make all baked goods from scratch (bread, pastries, cupcakes, cakes, biscuits, and more) so it helps to keep my pantry stocked.


Reese October 18, 2012 at 10:48 am

I apologize for the novel. Didn’t realize how much I wrote until I posted it! Yeow!


Maggie October 18, 2012 at 10:58 am

1. Nope. We live in SoCal and as a result, we’ve never turned our heat on. No, I take that back, we did once last year while I was pregnant.
2. The last new thing I bought were 10 cloth diapers from eBay. I did look for new ones, but they were more expensive than the new, so frugality won in the quest to cover my son’s butt.
3. We reuse the envelopes that come with spam mail instead of buying new envelopes.
4. I splurge on quality. We buy shoes that’ll last, cloth diapers that we can use for our next baby, too.
5. We still use paper napkins (for now)


Mandy October 18, 2012 at 11:06 am

1. No heat yet! Still running the AC part time here in Austin.

2. We just bought a new car last weekend! We are the kind of people who drive our cars into the ground so we decided to buy new vs. used to get all the safety features, etc. It hurt, though!

3. We were using cloth diapers and cloth wipes for our baby… So we thought it made sense for us to use cloth wipes instead of toilet paper (#1 only!).

4. We buy a fancy chocolate bar every week when we do our grocery shopping.

5. I too love long, hot showers!


Dianna October 18, 2012 at 11:12 am

Katy, your making me think hard today.

1. We haven’t turned our heat on, its still 80 during the day and low 50’s at night. In fact the a/c does run some. We are in South Central Arkansas.
2. I bought 2 presents for my daughter’s 19th birthday at the beginning of the month. I used a gift card on some boots and bought her a pair of nice jeans (with a coupon code of course).
3. I plan our meals by sales, look for coupons for everything, shop yard sales and thrift stores, which too many I know is all weird.
4. Biggest non frugal splurge is traveling with my girls for softball.
5. My biggest non environmental guilty pleasure has got to be a diet coke.


Raven October 18, 2012 at 11:21 am

Heat: No. We live in northern Nevada, it was 29F last night, and it’s a bit chilly in the house, but it’s also dry, so we can play chicken with the heater for longer and streeeeeeetch our propane.

New purchase: not counting food? A couple of weeks ago, sweatshirts and shoes for my kids, because our thrift store (yep, one) in town didn’t have their sizes.

Weirdest thing to save money: A lot of what others have written, and I use reusable feminine products. That’s really more about my health than about saving money, but it DOES save a lot.

Non frugal splurge: Good coffee and quality herbal tea. 😉

Non environmental splurge: disposable diapers, sometimes. It’s just more work than I can handle, sometimes, with three kids 4 and under, to do cloth diapers on a car trip.


Jessie : Improved October 18, 2012 at 11:22 am

1. Nope, but I’m in Atlanta so that’s not really fair. 😉
2. Today, a pair of child’s safety scissors.
3. Fold over or wash tinfoil (thanks FZ for letting me know I’m not the only crazy out there!)
4. Food. Fancy cheeses, pastured meats, farmer’s market fare.
5. REALLY hot showers. I enjoy nearly scalding myself, seriously.


Krystal October 18, 2012 at 11:32 am

1. About 1o days ago, Seattle.
2. I treated myself to nail polish last weekend, I have a weakness for makeup.
3. When we were living in San Francisco on a tight budget, we bought a hot water bottle and put it in our bed at night instead of a space heater. Actually thinking it might be time for that again! Actually, that’s not weird, that’s good sense.
4. A new vacuum. We are very limited on space and some of the older models that are used don’t fit. I cannot wait for this one.
5. Flying. I can’t give up travel. Just cannot do it.


Alyson October 18, 2012 at 11:38 am

1. We turned ours on for a couple of days when our house was getting into the 50s at night, but then turned it off, as it is now in the 70s and 80s. (50s don’t bother me, but I have a 5 month old and I’d hate for her to be cold.) We live in KS.
2. Dolls for my daughter’s 3rd birthday. However, we are getting the dollhouse used.
3. I do lots of things that my friends think are weird, but that are normal on this site. Probably the weirdest–and the one I don’t tell my friends–is not flushing the toilet after every use. “If it’s yellow, let it mellow.”
4. Eating out. We limit this to a few times a month, but it is just so fun–and there’s no mess to clean up after.
5. I’m with you, Katy. I love long, hot showers, and since I have an infant and a toddler, that is my me time.


ledith October 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Our water is 18 cents a gallon, so we also practice the don’t flush it down unless it is brown rule.


dusty October 19, 2012 at 3:13 am

18 cents a gallon, ouch


Jennifer Nash October 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

1. No heat… while some might say the overnights have been low enough in Central NC, I say the A/C still comes on in the afternoon and I’m not paying for both.
2. Almost 2 weeks ago I bought a Christmas present for my son. The price was excellent and you have to start early on these things!
3. I don’t think this is weird, but some people do… I use baking soda and/or vinegar to clean just about everything that isn’t dishes or laundry. I did make my own laundry detergent for a stretch, but I’ve since fallen out of the habit. And I really like the smell of Method’s laundry detergents!
4. Eating out – some weeks are better than others and this is something the family really needs to improve. Otherwise, I love Starbuck’s Frappuccinos… even in the dead of winter.
5. Driving… public transportation around here is awful and I live far away enough from work that I can’t really do it another way.


Jen October 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm


1. Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live?
No. North Idaho.

2. When was the last time you bought something new? What was it?
Our computer died about 4 months ago. Bought a new one.

3. What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money?
Haha…. Probably cloth toilet “paper”! People would say I’m weird for that….. But after using it for almost a year, I say you’re weird for using tree bark on your most sensitive parts! Charmin or not, tp is icky!

4. What is your biggest non-frugal splurge?
Vitamix… My amazing hubs bought it when making baby food burnt the kitchen aid blender to a crisp. So, in some ways… It was spend, but we’ve been able to continue homemade baby foods and honestly, I use the thing 2-3x a day, so anymore the $ spent seems minimal compared to the use its getting.

5. What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure?
When we’re (myself and the three kida) are having a rough day, I pack em up and go to the grocery store. Thankfully its only a couple miles away, but still a waste of gas. Guilty as charged.


Sarah October 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm

1. Heat? No way. We’re in Southeastern Mass and it’s chilly, but not too bad. I use a woodstove downstairs and pellet upstairs. I only run the oil when we risk freezing pipes (or have company who would be uncomfortable.

2. My husband and I do go a little nutty on Christmas for our two kids so our Amazon gift card credit has been getting a workout. Last item was a sports watch for our 9-year-old.

3. I time the family showers – get ’em in and get ’em out. My husband refuses to do the quickie shower and throws my system off.

4. Add eating out to my list.

5. Cable tv and an overpriced cell phone. My cell phone plan ends soon and I’m going back to a basic one. As for cable, it’s kind of a fixture in our house.


Alice October 18, 2012 at 12:46 pm

1. Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live?
Yes, temp was down to 25 degrees for several nights in Nebraska.
2. When was the last time you bought something new? What was it? Bought a sweater and a top last week.
3. What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money? Probably not so weird, but I take the bus every day to and from work.
4. What is your biggest non-frugal splurge? Biggest splurges would be on cross stitch supplies. They have gotten very expensive.
5. What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure? I love taking a very warm bath this time of year especially.


Madeline October 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm

1. In Arizona the question is:Have you turned OFF your A/C yet.Used to have a RULE, off on October 1 but it stayed in the 100’s longer than usual this year.

2. New: Books on amazon for my kindle

3. I wash and dry my zip locks and use them for a loooog time. I have a friend who things this is terribly unsanitary.

4. Take out burritos from local Mexican take out place, but it’s owned bya LOCAL FAMILY and a bean burrito is only $1.99 and is over one pound!

5. Using extra air conditioning when it’s hot, at night.. I have to be COOOL to sleep well. Am on the “time of day” program so it is cheaper at night, at least– but I am still using energy.


Liz October 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm

1. we have a few times, we keep turning it off tho, lol… Southern NJ
2. I recently got a pair of workout capris with Dri-fit – I am ripping up my old target leggings with my increased walking/working out and big strong thighs
3. hmm… i would say the fact that I am still trying to grow things, veggies, without a cold frame, is making me and our back deck look a bit weird!
4. Food… I will spend on organic and quality spices and things like that…
5. I as soooo on team long hot showers it’s not even funny!


Brittany October 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm

No we have not turned our heat on. Southeast Louisiana:)
I bought 4 new pairs of work pants at JCPenney because mine were too big. I kept putting it off but the old pants were getting to be uncomfortable.
Nothing really too weird… but I constantly put things off that I think about buying just to see if I really want/need it.
My biggest splurge is my cleaning lady. My husband and I along with my daughter are always so busy and it is so nice to come home to a clean house after a stressful day!
My biggest non environmental guilty pleasure is cable tv. I don’t know if that has anything to do with the environment though!


Stephanie October 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm

1. Yes, we have turned it on a couple of times since it’s dipped into the 50s for a couple of days in a row here in Kansas City.
2. Last week I bought both kids new tennis shoes. I try to thrift ‘specialty’ shoes like dance shoes or cleats but I think it’s important to have nice tennis shoes that are good for your feet for growing kids. I do look for them on clearance though, I don’t think I’ve ever paid full price for them.
3. I don’t know if this really qualifies as weird in thrify circles but it does apparently in normal circles but I make my own laundry soap. I think I’ve spent maybe $11 on laundry soap in the past 2 years.
4. My iPhone which I love. Yeah, I didn’t need it but I really do enjoy it!
5. magazine subscriptions – I do recycle and try to pass them on to friends after I’ve read them, but yeah, that’s a pound of waste into the trash.


Liz October 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Man… I not only like long showers but I also love a long drive and have many magazines delivered… and I thought I was so green! But by the same token I save on just about everything I can, even the splurges and new stuff when needed so… all good 🙂


greenstrivings October 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm

1) heat: No. Here in my corner of SoCal we’ve been consistently having temps in the 90s this week, 100+ last week. I’ll be happy when I can stop running the upstairs AC unit.

2) Oh man, really had to think about this one (yay!). For myself, it must be _How to Be a Woman_ by Caitlin Moran, a really wonderful book. That was about 2 months ago. For children, new lunchboxes since theirs were truly disgusting.

3) My normal is someone else’s weird. Making my own yogurt, using Recyclebank to get coupons for organic/real food, not getting my hair cut for six months (and it looks so much better shorter)…

4) The family membership to the gym. I justify it because we use the heck out of it (I’m there 5-6 days a week, Other Adult goes 4-5x/week, we take the kids there to swim since we don’t have a pool) but it’s still expensive.

5) Coffee. We go through a lot of it. You people with your “one pound lasts me a month” would be horrified. I get the 40-oz bags of Starbucks French Roast at Costco often enough for that one purchase to justify the Costco membership, probably.


greenstrivings October 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Under 5) I meant to say that I don’t think the Starbucks is Fair Trade Certified or shade grown so it’s bad in all kinds of ways. Auugh.


Megg October 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm

1. Technically, yes. We have our heat programmed so it is on, but the highest it goes is 62. It drops to 60 in the evening when we go to bed and goes up to 61 in the mornings. It kicks back on to 62 around 5 when we come home. I love programmable thermostats!
We live in Seattle.

2. On Tuesday I bought fabric for a cross stitch stocking I’m making for myself.

3. I use cloth pads and cloth wipes (pee only!)

4. I have to say Starbucks coffee. We have a regulated coffee budget and have our Starbucks cards loaded monthly.

5. We have a Keurig. I got it as a free trial and we got a year’s worth of K-Cups so I have yet to buy K-Cups (and when we run out I’ll just use the reusable filter) but I do use them, and I like it.


Kris K October 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Heat? Not yet. We live in North Alabama and we are still having to use the A/c to keep it at 78 or less, but only a few times / days in the past three weeks.

New? Three books. Two bought with Amazon cards earned with Swag bucks (Ratio’s and Hungry Planet, library has one, lots of holds, doesn’t have the other) and a cook book oddly at BAM, $3 for a book full of one pot wonder dishes.

Weird thrifty? Homemade tp made from upcycled old flannel baby blankets. (No lectures or gross comments please, I’ve heard enough.) I stay home all day, drink lots of water and I feel convicted to limit my killing of old growth trees and trickle (pun intended) of money spent on a literal throw away item.

Non frugal splurge? Popcorn at the buck-fiddy theater. We buy the yearly bucket, so it’s $3.50 a pop, and we sometimes make it dinner, but it’s still a splurge and for popcorn, not frugal.

Non-environmental splurge: Long. Hot. Baths. In a big garden tub. Sometimes up to three times a week. I have a slipped disc in the lower back and osteo-arthritis in the hips and hands. In reality, it’s cheap therapy, but that’s a tank of hot water and I do nothing else with it but let it drain when I’m done. 🙁


Racheal October 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live?
Yes. I’m in central Iowa, and it got down to the 20s at night for a few nights in a row a couple of weeks ago, so the heat was turned on then! I’ve been able to turn it off most days since then.

When the last time you bought something new? What was it?
I got my guy some new work pants. He has a difficult time finding pants to fit him, but we finally found a style from JC Penney’s that works well. There was a sale, and I had a coupon, so I stocked up on a few more pairs for him.

What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money?
As someone mentioned above, I use reusable pads for my period. It makes a big difference cost-wise as well as how I feel!

What is your biggest non-frugal splurge?
Food- I love to cook and like using different spices and organic/local foods as much as possible.

What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure?
Like many others: hot baths. Went without a bathtub for a year when we were remodeling (and without running water for a month where we took solar showers outside), but I really love being able to take a long bath a couple of times a week. I try to limit water use for bathing outside of that (sponge bath instead of showers some days, and I only wash my hair 2-3 times a week).


WinterLightHomestead October 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm

1. No. Northeast Arkansas in the Delta by the Mississippi River.

2. A brand new thing? Ummmm… For my son: a much needed pair of sneakers. A brand new thing for myself? A clearance priced 4 pack of pairs of socks (white, gray, aqua, and teal — pretty!). I’d been weeding out raggedy socks from the laundry for a while, and my sock supply was starting to run low. I was glad to find pretty colors on sale. Both purchases were a few weeks ago.

3. No TV. Not an antenna. Not cable. Not satellite. For 5 years, now. I don’t find this “weird” at all, but most everyone else does.

4. Dollar menu eating out for lunch at work approx. twice a week. Because, at my work, if you lunch box it and eat at work, it really isn’t like a break. Still loud, crowded, and people calling/paging you even though, technically, you aren’t on the clock. They act like you still are. Plus, I’m really an oddfish out amongst most of my workmates, and they become trying to my nonneurotypical quirks after a few hours. I get headachy and hypersensitive. I need to get away from the more intrusive people for a while so I don’t get snippy, impatient, and snarly. Sometimes, I spend the $3.31 to escape to a nearby fastfood place (that I can walk to — no gas $ used). I sit and read a book (gotten free with trade credit at the used bookshop), indulge in free refills on $1 Diet Coke (treat!), and just get away from it all for about 50 minutes. I’m a much nicer, less clinched up person when I go back to work.

4. Craft supplies. *insert evil genius, mad scientist laughter here* I’m a glutton for yarn, embroidery floss, felt, beads, sequins, etc. ALTHOUGH, in my defense, I do make frugal use of a lot of it — homemade Christmas, making my own legwarmers, skirts, etc., mending and repairing, winning money and ribbons at the county fair, etc. And, I craft items that people commission and pay me for. But, yes, I do indulge in items not on the needs list. Sometimes, the yarn must be petted. Sometimes, I go raccoon over shiny objects. Sometimes, I just want to learn that new skill/technique for the fun of it. A craft supplies store like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s is pretty much a “the mother ship has landed” situation for me. Good thing the closest one is an hour’s drive away and I only get over there once every 2 or 3 months. 🙂

5. Magazines. I don’t buy many. And, I pretty much only buy (a) magazine(s) every 2 or 3 months when I’m in the city (I budget for them when I know a trip to town is on the offing.). I don’t buy entertainment fluff and such. And, I mostly read magazines for free at the library. I only buy magazines that I’m going to keep for reference (crafting patterns and tutorials, DIY/thrifty/homesteading oriented, etc.) OK, on rare occasion, I buy a copy of a British espionage magazine I enjoy. Maybe twice a year. Total indulgence! But, anyway, oh how I enjoy having a new magazine in my hands! Online zines are just not the same as turning the pages in my hand, marking things with a pen, etc. I am a happy, happy, happy woman when I’ve got a new magazine to read, reread, and keep rereading. Small pleasure, big thrill.


Katy October 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm

“British espionage magazine?” Very cool!



WinterLightHomestead October 18, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Oh, and also on the weird frugal thing. I use a Diva cup and reusable cloth pantyliners for my period. Again, not weird to me. But, it freaks the heck out of some of my female friends who just don’t understand my purse at all. lol


Megg October 18, 2012 at 8:52 pm

I’m with you here. I use reusable pads. Most people are grossed out but I find them to be so much more comfortable, plus it saves me money, so the comfort is a bonus!


Rachel W. October 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm

1. No we haven’t turned on our heat yet because it is still in the 80s here in southern Louisiana. I am so ready for cooler weather.
2. Does food count as something new? I bought a new shirt this weekend. It is striped with a skull and the skull is covered in flowers. SO PRETTY. And comfortable.
3. Hmm. I’m not sure. I don’t consider any of the stuff I do to save money weird. Maybe turning off the valve at the toilet to prevent it from running almost all the time. Even changing the innards of the tank didn’t help. ::sigh::
4. Food. Books.
5. Hot bubble baths. I tried giving up the bubbles but I missed them. And soaking in a hot bath is so relaxing to me. I try to keep the water level low most of the time. And also save much of the “gray” water for things like force flushing the toilet.


Anne Marie @ Married to the Empire October 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Have you called a plumber about that running toilet? When I was in college, my bathroom in my condo had a toilet that ran all the time, and I’d taken to turning it off at the valve. I was running late for a sorority thing, and forgot to turn off the valve before leaving. Came home to a flooded apartment, as whatever was the problem chose to break while I was out. HUGE mess.


ASF October 19, 2012 at 5:29 am

running toilets are the worst!


Trish October 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm

1. Heat – not yet. we have had some cold mornings and one weekend was particularly cold – I fired up the wood stove instead.

2.New purchase – outfit for a wedding. yuck. last month.

3. maybe delaying turning my heat on to save money would be considered weird to some. Most of what I do is a cross between saving money and being environmentally friendly. I do what everyone else here does – reuse baggies and foil, hang dry laundry – inside in winter, etc.

4. Non frugal splurge would be my horses, whom I board instead of keeping them at home, which I could do. But the boarding works for me for a myriad of reasons. And I am one of those who adored horses as a kid but couldn’t afford them until adulthood (mid 30s). and now I couldn’t imagine life without them.

5. Non environmental guilty pleasure – air conditioning. I live near St. Louis, and I remind myself that people used to be able to do without it (watch the movie Meet Me in St. Louis), but I am just not tough enough. I could also say my truck and horse trailer, but they aren’t really a pleasure so much. air conditioning is perhaps my favorite invention.


Katy October 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I’m noticing a certain propensity towards long hot baths and showers; as well as long country drives and magazines. I have been lusting after the HGTV Magazine whenever I go to the grocery store.

Love it!



patti October 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I love this post!! Here goes:
1. Yes, I turned the heat on but we have a programable thermostat and we keep it low. We live in upstate South Carolina.
2. I bought fabric to sew three sets of napkins yesterday. Not a necessity but since we quit using paper napkins, we have needed more so we could rotate them and not be washing them all the time. And I love to sew and it gave me an excuse to buy cute material. ; )
3. Here is a fun frugal tip> my friends and I make our own lotion out of a bottle of baby lotion, a jar of petroleum jelly, and a jar of vitamin E. We try to get them at the dollar store and mix it in equal amounts (but don’t get hung up on this being exact). If you don’t have strong arms, use your handheld mixer and mix in a bowl that you can wipe clean before washing. After mixing, put back into the bottles and jars they came in or other tins or plastic storage containers. It will be light and whipped and smell wonderful PLUS it works wonders on your hands and feet, especially in the wintertime. We have a party to make it and besides being frugal, it is a lot of fun to make and share!
4. I get my hair cut and a pedicure every six weeks and hair color every three months. I just do it because it makes me feel good about myself. And I am not a “girly girl” although this post makes me sound like one. LOL
5. I am on the team hot showers!!! Just can’t help it… swore once I left home, I would never take another ” Navy” shower again!!


Erica October 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm

1. I have not turned on the heat yet. In fact I still run the a/c. I live in the great-Phoenix-area in Arizona, it’s still in the 90s. The a/c doesn’t kick on too much but I try to keep it reasonably cool in the house.

2. The last thing I bought new was a book for my MiL. They are facing some awful financial problems right now. We have been following the Dave Ramsey plan and are trying to get them on board. Since I have free Student Prime with Amazon it was cheaper to buy the book for them there and than used from someone else. Plus they received it the next day.

3. I guess that most abnormal thing is that we share a family plan with my in-laws. His adult sister is on the plan as well. It’s cheaper for all parties to split a family plan than each of us have our own.

4. My biggest non-frugal spluge is a tablet for my husband. (but ssh don’t tell him!). Even that was a carefully monitored and saved up for purchase. He’s a hard worker and a great sport during our extra penny pinching time to pay off our debt. Plus, with the tablet his business trips will be a little more entertaining.

5. Every now and then, I like to take long hot baths. I try to go all out to make it extra worth while. I usually add some tea bags to the bath and light lots of candles and bring in a pile of magazines from the library. Sometimes I’ll even cut up a plate of fruit and have some water in a wine glass.


Megyn @Unstuffed October 18, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Another Phoenician over here too 🙂


charli October 18, 2012 at 2:51 pm

1. I’m in the southern hemisphere -Queensland Australia so haven’t needed the heat on, but put the air-conditioner on for a couple of hours 2 weeks ago.
2. I was down to my last bit of foundation so bought some more this week.
3. I keep blinds and curtains closed at the start of the day and have an order of opening them and opening windows as the day progresses to keep the house nice and cool so there’s no need for air conditioning. I insist on wearing most clothing mutiple times before washing and I don’t insist on my kids showering everyday. They swim most days anyway. Putting that in writing sounds bad, but I really don’t think we smell!
4. My biggest splurges over the year would have to be gifts for extended family- birthdays and Christmas. That I guess reflects my need to please. Maybe I should work on that.
5. Pool maintenance costs. It does make me feel guilty every time I hear that filter going, but the pool really is a pleasure for the whole family.


pat October 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm

1. No I haven’t turned the heat yet. I live in Michigan, and while it has been cool it just isn’t cool enough (for me). We only heat our house to 62 anyway so 59 isn’t really so bad. I usually shoot for Dec 1.

2. The last new item I purchased was a pair of running shoes 2 weeks ago. It was time, way past time.

3. Probably that 62 degree thing. I hear all kinds of comments about it from everyone. Honestly I don’t understand how people can stand to heat their homes to 70. I think I’d pass out from the heat.

4. Every Christmas I get a jar of this really awesome French perfumed body creme. Hubby used to pick it up on an annual trip to Chicago, but now purchases online.

5. In the winter I’m onboard with that hot shower thing. Just long enough to warm my bones.


Kat C October 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm

1. Yes – we are in Alberta Canada. We’ve had our first snowfall (and it’s gone now)

2. Some vinyl trim to repair the rotting wooden trim in our bathroom (window is in the shower stall)

3. I re-use envelopes that come with the bills etc. if I’m mailing something I slap a label over the address and the pre-paid postage. It’s less about money and more about not wasting. I don’t think I do anything else weird. I am trying to grow some salad greens in a cold frame this winter.

4.toss up between my dog and my iPad. (I have spent more money on the dog, but he’s a pretty important part of our life and the source of much non-consumer entertainment).

5. Using the dryer! I can’t seem to get in the laundry hanging groove and love warm pj’s fresh from the dryer.


AnnW October 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm

1)My heat goes on in my bedroom once in a while at night. I live at 8500 ft in Colorado.
2)The last thing I bought was a pair of $150 boots with embroidery on them because my favorite dog was having back surgery at that moment and I was bereft.
3)The main thing I do to save money is always have two or three perfect outfits for the right occasion. One of them is a dull black silk pants suit that goes to funerals or black tie.These outfits last for over 5 years. I don’t go to stores unless absolutely necessary.
4) My non frugal splurge is a personal trainer. I need to work out for my health, but usually try to sabotage myself. I may not have been born athletic, but are becoming a little bit so. Going for a 5k snowshoe race this winter.
5) My anti-environmental pleasure is drinking spring water from bottles that I recycle. We have a well and the water is not very good tasting. I have a bottle of water with me at all times and it helps prevent migraines.


Lois October 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm

1. Yes, I turned on the heat the beginning of October I live in PA and have had freezing temps for a couple of weeks at night.
2. The last time I bought something new was in July when I bought a Hemmes cabinet from Ikea. I had searched for months for a used one and needed it to be slim to fit in the tiny apartment. It stores all my books, dishes, pantry items and even blankets
3. Weird tricks, I guess the way I rigged 3 2-liter bottles filled with water to disperse some of the water in my toilet tank. Renting I can’t change it out for a water saver tank.
4. The biggest non-frugal splurge was my Ikea cabinet.
5. Milk chocolate, or drying my clothes. I haven’t worked out a plan to dry my clothes outdoors where I live…yet.


Marvy Megs October 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Katy- you just might be my new BFF. I read about you in Real Simple this summer and I look forward to your posts every day! I also love this circle of people to learn from… positive and encouraging. I can honestly say 90% of my friends/ family are not frugal.
1. Yes! This is Wisconsin we’re talking about.
2. a $15 Nordstrom Rack sweater that was originally $98
3. In January, I cancelled our trash/recycling service and haul everything to our dump once a week. It is about 1/4 of the price and it makes me think about EVERYTHING I throw away/recycle and bring into the house. I love doing this actually. I feel more clear headed and focused on making a simple life for me and for my family than ever! (Katy’s blog has caused this change in me too.)
4. Where do I start? Concert tickets to Madonna! I am evolving into a gal who values experiences over things though. Yeah!!!
5. Again, where do I start! AC 100% I cannot sleep if I am too hot!


John Benton October 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I turned on my heat last week, although to only 62 degrees. I live in the vicinity of Sandy Oregon in the foothills of Mt. Hood. It gets really cold here at night. I have a propane fireplace that is waiting for parts and going to be repaired. I can then turn off my electric furnace and save energy. I moved here recently and did some extensive remodeling of this older home. I moved from a three story house with a garage to a one level home with only a carport. I sold and gave away the equivalent of two moving vans full of furniture, clothing and stuff. I do however have a shed that I am turning into a workshop. My new purchases have been paint (wasn’t worth the savings with high gas prices driving to metro), new carpeting, fiberglass insulation and sheetrock – all things that I can’t purchase used or recycled. My former house had a walk in closet which my new one does not have. I needed to purchase a dresser. I looked for an appropriate one at the Goodwill and second hand shops, but couldn’t find one that suited our needs. We went to IKEA and purchased a plain dresser for $150. I am really a good craftsman but this product was just terrible. The instructions were obnoxiously bad and I had a hard time putting it together. It was made out of really cheap particle board and by leaning on it while assembling it I broke some parts. It was really junk, so I had to put it out for the garbage pickup. I was not a happy camper. The next day we went to Gresham and visited a local furniture company by the name of Amiton Furniture. This company is an old time company and had really good prices and services. I purchased a dresser made completely of solid pine and made in Canada. It will last a lifetime for many generations. The price was very competitive. By the way the leaves on the trees here are turning and are so beautiful.


Anna October 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Heat, yes, once, maybe twice last week, but I am so ashamed! I live in the Deep South (Alabama), so that it ridiculous, I know, but I was having one of those days when I had a cold and just couldn’t get warm. Excuses, excuses…
New purchase : pajamas for our son since the thrift store had none. I did find the full set for $2 on clearance.
Weirdest thing: hmm. Wash ziplocks, make my own detergent, sell my recycling for scrap metal, and, according to my family, it’s totally weird that I refuse to get a smartphone. Yep, still a flip phone girl.
Splurge: eating out waaay too much.
Non green: drive a big suv, but it can pull a horse trailer and haul tons of kids. 🙂 I also love my clothes dryer with lavender dryer sheets.

My heat usage will be much more eco friendly when we crank up the wood buring stove that we use for almost all of our heat. Hubby has no idea that I “cheated” and turned on the gas heat that day! Shhhhh! 🙂


Jen October 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm

1. I have turned on my heat, to about 65. I live in Indiana and we have already had some pretty chilly days!
2. We just got back from Hawaii, and I bought some new tennis shoes for the trip and pretty much wore $3 flip-flops the whole time. That’s okay, I really needed the shoes. I also relaxed my usual spending quite a bit on this awesome vacation.
3. Weirdest thing: my kids hardly ever eat their dinner, so I make dinner with this in mind. I dish myself up a very small amount and then end up eating the food they leave on their plates. I can never predict what they will eat, I feel strongly about not forcing food on them and I hate to throw it out too. So, it may be gross but I usually clean up their plates!
4. I get fast food more often than I should, often once or twice a week. I know I am not supposed to love it but I do.
5. I usually end up drying my clothes in a dryer. I tried to hang them but I am too lazy. I make my own detergent though! 🙂


PQ October 19, 2012 at 4:41 am

Hi Jen, I just wanted to commend you on not forcing your kids to eat when they are not hungry. I was brought up as part of the clean-your-plate club and was not allowed to serve my own portion size. To this day I struggle with my weight recognizing when I am hungry or not.


Amanda October 19, 2012 at 9:54 am

It never occurred to me that making kids eat everything on their plate could lead to them not being able to self-regulate their own intake of food. I will have to think on this one a while.


Leenie October 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm

1. We’ve built two fires in one of our two wood stoves. We live in WV.
2. Today I bought a new remanufactured ink cartridge for our printer.
3. I guess I don’t think anything I do to save money is weird because it feels very natural to me. However, most people might find it weird that we eat LOTS of wild foods that are free. I also teach wild foods classes and herbal health care with an emphasis on whole foods and culinary herbs and spices (garlic, ginger, mustard, sage, cinnamon, etc.) as traditional home remedies and health support. People pay me for classes, lessons and sometimes herbal preparations with everything from organic produce from their gardens to raw milk, free-range chicken and eggs and even handmade quilts and clothing. Okay, maybe it is weird.
4. Our biggest non-frugal splurge is a weekly (with rare exceptions) date day with my husband. We spent 20+ years pinching pennies and never going out, taking vacations other than frugal camping trips, and now that our kids are either grown and flown or teens we really enjoy a day together each week. We generally take a morning run, go out for an expensive coffee, talk, go where we want, then have lunch somewhere and order whatever we want, even have a glass of wine or beer sometimes. My husband says he absolutely refuses to give this up!
5. Hmmmm…I do love long, hot herbal baths with a good book and a pot of tea. I fill the tub deep and I even drain some and add more hot water if I decide to stay really long. These only happen maybe once a week, sometimes less often, but I sure do love them.


marie October 18, 2012 at 8:32 pm

I wish you lived near me (oregon), we’d love to learn about wild foods. I always see wild mushrooms in the woods, but no better than to try them!!


Trish October 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm

me too, I would love to learn more about foraging. I read Euell Gibbons’ ‘Stalking the wild asparagus’, but I am not sure even what stinging nettle looks like. And I loved Gibbons’ book, but he really processed the heck outa some of his stuff.


marie October 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Oh, we having stinging nettle on our property, once you’ve been (stung), you don’t forget it.
And yes, I have another frugel weird thing, my hubby does. Collects stinging nettle, drys it, makes tea and freezes it.
He thinks, maybe it helps allergys, but since he has so much stored up, and won’t waste anything, He drinks it. I won’t, it’s really awfull


tna October 18, 2012 at 5:52 pm

1. No heat. I usually make it until January.
2. I guess the last non-food item I bought was Puffs with lotion, last week.
3. When I move I only take what I’m willing to carry. The last time I moved I walked across two states and brought my cat.
4. Biggest non-frugal splurge is my 8 year old 15 pound cat >^._.^< Mugsy.
5. Non-environmental guilty pleasure…it's probably dishwashing detergent for the dishwasher.


Lisa October 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm

1. Yes, I have turned the heat on…and off and on again (the temperatures have been really inconsistent). I live in central Ontario, Canada.
2. Today – I bought a thermometer for making yogurt (I did check the thrift stores first, but no luck).
3. The weirdest thing I do to save money is to not have an iphone (I was told this was weird just the other day at a meeting).
4. My biggest non-frugal splurge, like the person above, is my pets ($3000 on the cat’s teeth last year).
5. Biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure must be our 2 cars, although one is >12 years old and not so pleasurable to drive in.


WinterLightHomestead October 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I’m loving all the simple cell phone folks here! I get MOCKED at work for not having a smart phone. I have a pay-as-you-go Tracfone, an old style flip phone. And, I only add minutes to it every 2 months or so, $20 at a time. It’s ALL I NEED. I don’t need a smart phone and certainly won’t spend crazy money getting locked into some monthly contract.


marie October 18, 2012 at 8:34 pm

yup, me too. Have no cell service at home, so what’s the point?


Kate October 19, 2012 at 9:59 am

I just UPGRADED my husband’s old Tracfone to a flip phone! Definitely caught some flack for that. He actually saw his old phone about five years ago at a science center – in a display of “Outmoded Technology”! Of course, he couldn’t take a picture of it because he doesn’t have a fancy phone! 🙂


Stacy S October 20, 2012 at 2:17 am

I (gasp) don’t even have a cell phone!


Michaela October 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm

1. Yes I have turned the heat on, which stay sat 72 all winter here in Ohio. I hate being cold and uncomfortable in the winter. I justify this with my heating bill only being $96.00 a month (gas bill).

2. I just bought a new lamp tonight from the Pottery Barn. Did I “need” it – no. Did I envision it in my living room that I have been trying to improve all this last year – yes. Will it replace the light that is so-so at best – heck yes!

3. The weirdest thing I do to save money? I pick up change. I reuse paper (the backside) for work to save on buying reams. I turn off lights. I guess that isn’t too weird.

4. My biggest non-frugal splurge has been this entire last month. I spent a large amount of money replacing 20 windows in my house (all were broken or in bad shape), I replaced the front porch (which was rotted), and had the entire house painted (which was peeling horribly) – not to mention doing some redecorating in general to with all the improvements. The best part is everything is paid for in full from money saved. However I have lived here 14 years, and all the improvements were a must for me personally if I was to continue living here. I was tired of living in a ghetto looking house, with bad windows.

5. My biggest non-environmental pleasure is probably long hot showers. Air conditioning in the summer. Drying my clothes, all year long. And paper towels.


BoomersRock from Boston October 19, 2012 at 6:26 am

“I pick up change.” I do this all the time! Don’t care if it is pennies or not. I see it as a sign of Good Luck! Especially lucky during the spring when the snow melts!


Anne Marie @ Married to the Empire October 18, 2012 at 7:06 pm

1. We turned the heat on a couple of weeks ago. The temperature in the baby’s room was 61 degrees. We’re native Texans living in Oklahoma. That is COLD for us.
2. I bought some clothes for the baby and for me.
3. This isn’t really all that weird, as it’s a bit trendy in some circles, but most people think it’s weird and icky: I cloth diaper my baby. In fact, I’ve gotten to where I truly hate disposables, although we do have to use them at night (cloth at night did not work out for us, unfortunately).
4. My non-frugal splurge is that I have my tea shipped from England. I’m addicted to Whittard of Chelsea teas, and while there is an American supplier, her inventory isn’t as fresh as what I can get straight from Whittards. Yes, I once paid $30 just in shipping.
5. My biggest non-enviromental pleasure is going home to Texas! Last time I was home, I used an entire tank of gas just driving around the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex over the course of 5 days. (Some of it was for doctor’s appointments, though, so it wasn’t all frivolous!) Totally worth it, as I got to spend time with friends and family.


A. Marie October 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm

From A. Marie to Anne Marie: I second the motion on Whittards teas. Best brand there is. I don’t go so far as to order it direct from England, but I do beg friends who are traveling there (fortunately, I have a few who go regularly) to bring me back a few packets.


Anne Marie @ Married to the Empire October 24, 2012 at 6:35 am

My sister lives in England, and my parents visit regularly. However, Whittard’s went into administration a couple of years ago and closed a bunch of shops, as a result. It became harder for my parents to find it when they were there, so I just started ordering it myself. I definitely preferred having it just given to me! LOL!


Liz October 18, 2012 at 7:09 pm

I am going to second Marvy Megs shout out to the awesomeness of your blog. I don’t know anyone else that follows this sort of thing, so having a community here really helps!
1. No heat or air for the past couple of months. I live in Nashville. I think I can get a couple more weeks in without heat yet.
2. I bought some new jars/bottles to put gifts in. I justified it since they are for gifts, but really I think I just wanted to buy something.
3. I don’t have trash service, I take my trash to the dumpster at a friends apartment. It definitely helps me think about what I am throwing away.
4. Biggest splurge is food. Mainly fresh fruit and veg.
5. I am on the long hot bath shame train. I just can’t give them up.


Anonymous October 19, 2012 at 6:59 am

Unfortunately, all the apartment dwellers in that complex are paying for YOUR trash now, as the service they have is in their rent. Perhaps you should find a way to pay for your own trash, and not make others pay for it, however indirectly.


Shannon October 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm

1. Heat is on in Columbus Ohio, but set at 64, so it’s only kicking on some nights.
2. Last purchase was a book about Da Vinci for my kids, 2 weeks ago.
3. Weird frugal thing: washing baggies
4. Biggest non frugal splurge: YMCA membership. I do like to swim year round! Plus my boys need activity. They are good about getting outdoors year round, but it’s nice to have that option.
5. Non environmental guilty pleasure: pizza delivery. Sometimes it just makes a long day a little shorter.


KrisND October 18, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live?

Yes. I live in North Dakota. Need I say more? ;).

When the last time you bought something new? What was it?

I am assuming you you don’t mean groceries right? My son’s birthday was the day before yesterday. We actually bought him a nice pair of boots. Well worth the cost and the last pair of shoes we will buy for our “child” since he is now a newly minted 18 year old 🙂

What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money?

I don’t know. I don’t really do anything that could be considered weird(at least not to anyone here 😉 ) I am still new to really saving money so I guess my weirdness will take some time to catch on.

What is your biggest non-frugal splurge?

Books. That is my weakness for sure, audiobooks, e-books and actual books. My NOOK is a dangerous weapon 😉 I am learning self control since my husband and I just paid off most of our consumer debt. Want to build the account back up not kill it off with book fever 😉

What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure?

drives in the country. I grew up doing it, we did it with our kids and now my husband and I enjoy the time alone. When you are trapped in the car you tend to have some really in-depth conversations you wouldn’t have with distractions. I learned alot about the way my kids see life during those drives.


AFS October 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm

1.I live just north of Seattle, the nighttime temperatures dropped into the 30’s for a few nights so I ran the furnace in the morning just to take the chill out of the air. Temperatures are milder this week so the furnace is off again.
2.I just put a new roof on the house. My other new purchase was a book for a birthday gift but I used a gift card to purchase it.
3.I work in food service. I bring home coffee, soup, and bread that otherwise would be thrown away at the end of the day.
4.I lighten up a little on my frugal lifestyle when I go on vacation. Also I’m willing to pay extra for local produce
5. I too indulge in long hot showers. (but I save the water for watering and to force flush the toilet.)


Lilypad October 18, 2012 at 7:35 pm

1. We haven’t turned the heat on yet, it’s still 73 degrees in here (it hasn’t been below that since about May!! It was way too hot in summer, it got to 85 degrees at the highest) and that is very unusual for Seattle. I think the person in the unit below us must have her heat on full whack all the time or something.
2. I bought my son (11) an “Adventure Time” (crazy weird teen TV show) t-shirt with matching cap. He’s only recently started caring about his clothes and REALLY wanted this.
3. weird thing: I’ll eat all kinds of strange leftovers/unusual combinations of food for lunch if that means the food does not get wasted.
4. non-frugal splurge: local, high quality, organic vegetarian food (90% of what we eat)—good health, better planet = worth it to me
5. I can’t really think of any environmentally-unfriendly stuff I do other than the occasional drive to a town farther away for a certain grocery store that makes the best darn pitas. I am that annoying Prius-driver looking down on princesses in Cadillac Escalades. 😉


Lilypad October 22, 2012 at 5:04 pm

p.s. here are the decidedly non-local foods that I cannot live without and let’s count that as my un-environmentally-friendly splurge: avocados, tea, chocolate, coffee and oranges!


Ruth October 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm

1. Our heat has been on at night for a few weeks. We live in the Rocky Mountains of southern Colorado and it gets cold here at night!
2. The last thing I bought new was a pair of roller skates for my 8-year-old granddaughter’s upcoming birthday.
3. I don’t think anything we do to save money is weird.
4. By far, our biggest non-frugal expense is travel. Our family is scattered all over (six different states and one foreign country) so between aging parents, six grandchildren, and trips just for fun — we are on the go a lot!
5. See #4 — I don’t feel guilty about the money we spend on travel — we collect memories instead of stuff!


Sharon October 18, 2012 at 8:02 pm

1) Yes, I turned on heat several weeks ago. I am in Southeast WI. We already had frost. Current temp is 43. It just kicked in!
2)last thing I bought new was a Vera Bradley wallet. I had $20 birthday code and I bought a discontinued fabric that was discounted on Wednesday for their Wednesday only sales. Wallet ended up being $2 and $8 for shipping. Usually was a $44 wallet.

3)I have many weird things: wax cereal inner bags, cut up and use between hamburger patties I pat out. A weight in toilet tank to save on water. Unplug microwave when not in use.

4)Biggest non frugal splurge: my husband and I have been going to Starbucks every Saturday since 2009. Starbucks to knit/read, then Good Will. Also we go to the casino once a month, but we each get $10 coupon every month for buffet making it cost $1, and they give us $10 for slots.

5)Biggest Guilty non environmental pleasure is viva paper towels, at least I buy select a size ! But I have decided when my stash of 2 1/2 rolls is gone, I am going to try without.


Penelope Samuel October 18, 2012 at 8:39 pm

1. Yes 🙁 I am always cold, so when I get up I turn the wall heater in the kitchen on for maybe 30 minutes, but only if I am miserably cold.
2. I love just north of you, Katy, in Longview, Washington
3. Today, but I used a 40% off coupon 🙂
4. I am baking and decorating my BFF’s granddaughter’s first birthday cake and I needed new Wilton icing colors.
5. I don’t think I do anything weird to save money
What is your biggest non-frugal splurge?
What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure?


Penelope Samuel October 18, 2012 at 8:55 pm

I forgot to answer the last two and they were the most fun!

What is your biggest non-frugal splurge? Either good coffee beans or rubber stamps/papercrafting supplies

What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure? Driving to Portland/Seattle/the coast just to get away for the day. Fortunately, my car gets excellent gas mileage, and I don’t do this very often.


greenstrivings October 18, 2012 at 10:00 pm

This is completely off-topic, but I get a daily email from Woot.com and today Pyrex is on sale. If you’re still building your Pyrex collection, there’s a set of 4 bowls (different sizes) plus lids, or 6 (smaller) bowls with lids, for $13, or for $20 you can get two different bake and serve sets, again with lids. Woot charges a flat $5 shipping fee, no matter how much you order. Maybe a neighbor wants Pyrex too?




Alyson October 19, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Thanks! I ordered a couple sets of the smaller bowls for storage–for me and my mom.


Alison October 18, 2012 at 10:20 pm

1. Yes, a couple of weeks ago. Victoria, BC.
2. Some drapery panels about three weeks ago. We have been without curtains in our living and dining rooms since we moved into this house almost 8 years ago. I’m thinking its time we “cozied” up the house, and it should help with heating costs too!
3.Maybe turning off the in floor heat in the bathroom. It seems so wasteful to have a warm floor all the time. My husband loves to get up in the morning and stand on a warm floor, but I think of it as wasteful and unnecessary. I may change my mind in the next couple of months though when the nights get really cold!
4. Probably joining weight watchers. It is expensive, about $12 per week,
but I have to lose weight for my health, and don’t seem to be able to do it alone.
5. Coloring my roots every 4 weeks, at a salon. Hair dye is not good for the environment, and I did once go completely (and I do mean completely) gray for a few years, but after awhile I felt old, and needed to go back to my old color. It’s been three years now, and I think I will continue with the color, for now at least. Maybe when I retire and have less income, but for now, it makes me feel better about myself, and that is worth it.


chris October 19, 2012 at 1:12 am

alrighty katy – here i go

1. heat: we moved to florida two years ago so i haven’t turned on the heat at all! prior to moving here we lived in way upstate new york and the highest our heat ever was was 65
2. bought something new? the other day i signed up for rosemary gladstar’s new video series
3. weirdest thing i do to save money? well, it does save money, but i do it for the environment; i keep a bucket in the shower and by the kitchen sink so when i run the water till hot i can put it in the bucket to water plants with rather than let it run down the drain
4. biggest nonfrugal splurge? let me think………………probably my recent obsession with learning all about herbal medicine – it’s not cheap
5. biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure…………..that’s hard…………i guess i have to admit that i am an occasional splurger of ben &jerry’s americone ice cream


Iris October 19, 2012 at 1:34 am

1. We are living in Düsseldorf, Germany, and have not yet turned the heat on. Warm sweaters work just fine for now.
2. Yesterday I bought new fabric to make a baby blanket and a skirt.
3. I keep plastic containers from food and use them each day to clean the litterboxes of our cats. This way we only have to do a full litter change every two weeks.
4. Travelling to different countries. I don’t mind paying money for great experiences.
5. Buying nowhere near locally grown produce. When available, I always choose locally grown, but citrus fruits and other yummyness come with a larger carbon footprint.


Paige October 19, 2012 at 2:15 am

-Yes, we turned on the heat one evening when a cold front came through and we woke up sweating the next morning. Yes…we live in Texas.
-What I recently bought new? 4 new pairs of glasses and contacts for 3 of my children. (we have 5…yours,mine,and ours) And one child got two pair…hence the 4 for 3. Spent right around $300. That was last week.
-I’m not sure I do anything weird frugal. I make my own laundry detergent, bake my own bread, just started canning, and do my best to make everything from scratch instead of buying instant anything. I also use coupons and have a small stockpile (and when I say small I MEAN SMALL). I’m by NO means an extreme couponer.
-My biggest splurge…my make up and skin care. I’m a Mary Kay Consultant and I’ve gotten the best results for my skin since I started using the product. Loved it so much I started selling it parttime. I put emphasis on the skincare line. Your face is you first impression to the world and I believe you shoudl treat yourself to great skincare.
-My biggest pleasure….Getting my hair highlighted and cut and getting pedicures and massages. I don’t get any of it done frequent enough because I make sure my kids and my husband have everything they need before I make big purchases for myself, and the massages help my fibromyalgia, but those only happen about once every 4 or 5 months and ONLY if I have a gift certificate.

I’m just starting to transition to a frugal lifestyle and I’m hoping to continue learning and growing. Thanks Katy for all your tips and for practicing what you preach!


Linda in Mass October 19, 2012 at 3:42 am

1. I have not turned on the heat yet. I usually wait until Nov 1st. I live in Massachusetts.
2. I was doing really well on not buying anything and then I bought a top and black pants to wear to my nephew’s wedding. I did not need them but I was tired of wearing the same things to events. I could have gone to a thrift store but didn’t.
3. I do not do anything weird (at least for this group) in my frugal quest. I think my friends and family think I am crazy for putting my heat on 62 (when it goes on) and for hanging up my laundry.
4. About 5 years ago we installed a pool. I love my pool! It makes me feel like I am on vacation all summer long. My mother said it would bring down my property value when I sell my house. But, I have no plans to sell my house until I die.
5. My biggest pleasure…reading a really good book. I love reading and have a book with me wherever I go… I never know when I will have a few minutes to read. I go to 2 book groups at my library. The books are free and the conversation is great. I have really expanded what I read because of the book group. I found I really like biographies and non-fiction books. Prior to the book group, I would never have read a biography.


Stacy S October 19, 2012 at 3:58 am

1) Not the furnace, but the super efficient wood stove insert with fan has been lit a lot of nights – Nova Scotia, Canada – temps here below zero (32 F for all the Americans) most nights now.
2) New – a few sheets of Halloween window stickers for the kids. We had some that we used over and over, but they were falling apart after last year…
3) Weird…I do use a Diva Cup, considered odd to most people – but I love it!
4) I guess our brand new van was a splurge. We’ve never bought new before, but the deal was great, and moving half way across the country means some long drives back and the need for a lot of cargo space. Oh, and we probably didn’t need such a fancy new tractor for our 24 acres – but it does save hubby many hours cutting the fields!
5) My non-environmental guilty pleasure…it seems everyone is saying showers/baths or magazines but neither is really my thing. But I love chocolate and treat myself to a bar sometimes when I’m out – whatever is handy, not necessarily fair trade or organic, with plastic packaging that gets tossed in the trash…


Holly October 19, 2012 at 4:36 am

1. Yes for the past few weeks. Our heating is programmed to come on a couple of hours each morning and night to take the chill off the air. I live in England where the temps have been in the high 30’s to low 50’s F at the moment. Not freezing, but with the damp climate added to the temps, makes it uncomfortable for this Southern US gal. Also, if I do not run the heating at least a bit, we end up with a problem of mould on the walls. We supplement with a wood and coal fire when it gets really cold.

2. I bought 3 long sleeved t-shirts to wear this winter as my last 3 which are about 5 years old are worse for wear. (they will be cut into strips and crocheted into rugs)

3. I suppose my weirdest is cutting up old holey towels into re-usable, washable toliet ‘paper’ wipes for #1’s. (We use toliet paper for #2’s.) It saves us roughly £140 ($225).

4. The few books I buy. (Even though most of them are reference for living simply and thriftily.) I do not ever pay full price. The vast majority of my reading comes from my local library.

5. Using the clothes dryer when the weather is too damp, cool and miserable to dry clothes outside. Even hanging up a few clothes inside the house will take 2 or 3 days to dry properly in our climate as we don’t use the heating very much. The clothes end up having a musty smell too. Blech!


ellen October 19, 2012 at 5:01 am

1. I turned the heat on the theromstat but, it hasn’t kicked on yet. even though we have had some chilly mornings.. I live in Jersey.
2. yesterday, make up, but I did a test for Loreal and got a pass into their store, where the items are 1/2 the price they are in the store! So i hope that is part of the frugal question!
3. Be a guinnie pig for loreal?
4. Proably said makeup!
5. After the kids go to bed (6-4 yo) A bowl of chocolate ice cream.


JD October 19, 2012 at 5:32 am

Is my heat on? No! I live in North Florida, and my bedroom windows were open last night with my ceiling fans on. Still lusting after autumn weather….

Last new thing bought… a pump for our fountain. The old one could not be fixed.

The weirdest thing I do to save money… everyone seems to think I’m nuts because I make my own shampoo and use cider vinegar and water as a conditioner. My hair is shiny and soft, though.

Biggest non-frugal splurge? Buying organic and/or local foods, and using high quality herbs and supplements. And I don’t regret any of it.

Biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure? That fountain is probably it. It recycles the water over and over, so that’s okay, but the pump has to run all the time. The birds — and we — love it, though. Even better, in the spring, migrating robins come and sit in the fountain and thrust their heads into the flow of water. You can almost hear them say “Ahhh.”


Ame October 19, 2012 at 5:33 am

1) Haven’t turned on the heat yet, but we’re in Texas.
2) I bought some make up last week, and a bra a couple months before that. But those are things I would never buy used anyhow.
3) This is my favorite silly-brag. I save those scratchy produce sacks and old socks. Then I sew them together into washable double-sided kitchen sponges. They work wonderfully, won’t scratch my dishes, wash in the laundry, and last at least 6 months before I sew up a new batch.
4) Definitely groceries. I consider it front-end health care costs, and I spend as much as I want to.
5) I don’t buy expensive organic cosmetics or body products for myself or my family, and I sometimes feel guilty about that. We’re not wealthy, and that stuff gets WAY too expensive. Much more expensive than organic foods, and I think they’re less regulated too, so I’d be worried I was paying extra for nothing.


Kathy M October 19, 2012 at 6:24 am

1. No heat here in Savannah. 85 degrees yesterday. Cool today but won’t need heat until Dec/Jan.
2. I bought a couple of shirts and two pair of jeans. I had literally no fall pants that fit. Thrift shopping is best done when I don’t feel so pressured.
3. Use the library (not weird, but practical)
4. Starbuck’s pumpkin spice lattes
5. Keep the heat quite warm in the winter. I don’t mind using little a/c in our hot summers but hate to be cold.


Emilee October 19, 2012 at 7:02 am

1.Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live?
Fellow Portlander here, no heat yet. Last year my husband and I had a challenge going with friends about who would be the last to turn their heat on. It was a draw, neither of us ever turned our heat on last winter. Hooray for living in the middle of an apartment building 😉 We have since moved, so we will probaly need to turn the heat on at some point. But we are still sleeping with our bedroom window open for now, so the heat is probably a fe weeks away yet.

2.When the last time you bought something new? What was it?
Cloth diapers! I bought them online a few days ago and can’t wait to add them to my growing stash.

3.What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money?
Other people would probably say cloth diapering. I love it though! It is easier on the budget, on little guys bare bottom, and on my earth-friendly conscience.

4.What is your biggest non-frugal splurge?
Hmm…had to think about this one. I guess I would say going out to eat. My husband doesn’t cook, so if I’m not planning something for dinner, then take-out it is.

5.What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure?
Driving my gas guzzling SUV around. I have a 1995 Ford Explorer and I love it! Us Portlanders love our 4-wheel drive 😉 I really don’t drive it a lot as we also have a much more sensible sedan, but it’s the favorite car that I have ever owned.


BoomersRock from Boston October 19, 2012 at 7:06 am

1. Been freezing here in Massachusetts, heat on (we have automatic thermostats, tuned up natural gas furnace)
2. When the last time you bought something new? Bought a used Sony Walkman CD player on eBay because the current cheaper ones are junk. I am a big reader and have been using our local library for audiobooks (big commute), books (if I like the book, I will purchase used on eBay or Amazon) and movies/tv shows.
3. I too pick up money. I see it as a sign of good luck! Also, I purchased a smartcar four years ago a)because they were cute as a button and b)it is so much fun to drive, c)she gets great gas mileage (37 mpg in stop n go traffic). I hate spending money on gas!
4. Expensive pair of very comfortable shoes. Found a brand that really works for me so since I am on my feet for 13 hrs a day, I justify it.
5. What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure? I am used to using very little water for showers in our RV but I insisted I wouldn’t go camping without daily hot showers.

As an aside: I purchased some really expensive furniture back in the 80’s. I am so glad I did. Most of the stuff out there is disposable until you get into a certain price point. Thinking of down sizing in my retirement, I would had to let go of some of those pieces.


Sharon October 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm

We get 38 on our new Ford focus . Actually got 41 on the 5 hour trip to daughter. And it only runs on gas!


sandy October 19, 2012 at 7:22 am

1. No the heat is not on yet. We always try to wait til November and that can get mighty chilly up here in Pennsylvania along Lake Erie.
2. The last new thing I bought were the fixtures for my remodeled bathroom: the one we got rid of was 92 years old, no kidding.
3. The wierdest thing I do to save money, that’s hard since I have been at this for so long that lots of things no longer seem wierd. But, to others it is probably saving and washing plastic bags. My daughters laugh and say I must save, oh atleast a $1 each year. 🙂
4. My biggest splurge is my Starbucks coffee: sugar free vanilla soy latte. It tastes like a treat without it going to my waist.
5. My non environmental guilty pleasure is driving to work some mornings when I could just as easily walk, it isn’t that far.


Peg October 19, 2012 at 7:28 am

1. No heat yet, but we live in the Phoenix area.
2. The last new thing bought was a new furnace/AC unit for our house. Yesterday.
3. Weirdest thing I do to save money is emptying almost empty jars into their full replacements. Which means saving the almost-empties until there’s room in the replacements.
4. Biggest splurge is Starbucks coffee. Try to limit to one/week.
5. My guilty pleasure is also hot hot hot showers. Still trying to thaw from living in Wyoming for 52 years:)


Trisha October 19, 2012 at 7:56 am

I have turned my heat on, but it’s still under 70 degrees. We have a 7 month old, a two year old and a 6 year old! I live in Norther Indiana.
The last thing I bought something new was make up. It was a few weeks ago.
Not really too weird, but we reuse, reuse, reuse! With THREE BOYS, we keep hand me downs.
My biggest non frugal splurge is also FOOD!
My biggest non environmentally friendly splurge is getting my nails done every now and then.


Megan October 19, 2012 at 8:15 am

Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live?
We set the furnace to kick in if it got below 65, just for a few really chilly nights. We have 2 kids that haven’t learned about covering up in the middle of the night yet. Gas fireplace has been used nearly every day for an hour or two for the past few weeks. Wood burning fireplace has also been used at night (that was probably more because we were itching to use it, rather than need). We are in Iowa.

We bought birthday/baby presents for a new baby and her siblings (1 had a birthday yesterday) Normally I don’t do this, or I make a baby quilt, but they gave us gifts, so I felt obligated to reciprocate. Consumer wise- I felt very guilty with this purchase.

My friends think most frugal things are weird. I’m not sure what’s actually weird… I cloth diaper, cook from scratch, begged for a clothesline, vehicle is paid off, goodwill clothes, etc. Are any of those strange?

Our biggest non-frugal splurge is probably nights out with our friends, and gas to drive to see our family. It goes back to experience I guess. Most of the time we just rotate houses for supper and a fun night with friends, but then there is the sitter cost, etc.

I’m so guilty of long, hot, bubble baths. Did you guys know you can lock the bathroom door and the kids can’t get in? LOL.


Kat October 19, 2012 at 8:19 am

1. Nope. But to be fair I don’t have heat to turn on until I get the gas turned on. Oklahoma City, OK

2. Books. The used book stores didn’t have them and buying a used book on the internet seems to defeat the point (at least to me) so I ordered them from a locally owned bookstore. I had been checking two out from the library every month so it was money well spent and the rest were gifts.

3. I put all my recycling in a box and take it to a friends house because my apartment doesn’t have recycling service. My boyfriend is not sure washing and reusing plastic baggies is worth the trouble.

4. Cycling gear and flute music/accessories. Neither come cheap (especially french flute music) but I use both nearly everyday. I can get some cycling equipment used or as hand-me-downs but the clothes I have to buy if I want them to fit properly.

5. My boyfriend uses the clothes dryer. Which is at his parents house since the “laundry facilities” at the apartment are suck-tacular and cost quarters. I don’t complain because he’s doing my laundry too.


Karen October 19, 2012 at 8:40 am

1. Yes, briefly. First freeze was 3-1/2 weeks early in West Texas.

2.Some OTC supplements and facial tissue.

3. Nothing weird. We take the recycling to the bins set up at the closest local supermarket chain.

4. Biggest splurge is food for the family and 2 dogs.

5.Non-environmental splurge is going to hair salon every two months for a color adjustment. I know those chemicals going down the drain must be bad for the water table.


Lynsey October 19, 2012 at 8:56 am

Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live?

Yes — can’t avoid it usually past September, I live in MT. I only have it on 68 though….and I turn it down to 65 while we are gone. It’ll be colder soon though so will have to bump up to 70 probably.

When the last time you bought something new? What was it?

Artificial eyelashes. I love to wear them on dates 🙂

What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money?

Nothing weird I don’t think. I don’t let my kids pick out birthday presents….I stock up on cheap stuff after Christmas, usually on Amazon, and get amazing toys for like $5. They have to pick out of the box when they are invited to a bday party.

What is your biggest non-frugal splurge?

Shoes. I have feet issues and can’t wear previously owned shoes. I can’t even borrow shoes. Ew.

What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure?

Ridiculously long hot showers, I drain the water heater.


Amanda October 19, 2012 at 9:41 am

Oh, fun!

1. Yes, here in Virginia it is 50 one day and 75 the next, but I still bump the heat on when it gets below 67 in my house.
2. Yesterday I bought yard torches for a backyard party we are planning for next weekend. But I think that new purchase was canceled out by all the Goodwill dishes I bought earlier in the week to avoid having to buy disposables for the party.
3. I think everything I do is perfectly normal. But my husband thinks it is weird that I wash and reuse plastic baggies.
4. Biggest non-frugal splurge was our 1910 row house in a great city neighborhood that even has *gasp* a good school. Of course I have filled said house with hand-me-downs and $50 craigslist furnishings.
5. I garden organically, clean with baking soda and buy fragrance free shampoo and laundry detergent. But when I see an ant or a flee, I pull out the poison faster than you can say dead.


Brenda Kelley October 19, 2012 at 9:52 am

1. Yes; northern New Mexico, at over 7,000 ft above sea level it gets cold in Autumn and me and my arthritic joints cannot function below about 70 degrees.
2. I bought a new car because I wanted something that was very efficient and under $20K.
3. Color my own hair with henna. It’s messy but so much better for my hair and my wallet.
4. HE washer and dryer.
5. HE washer and dryer.


Anne October 19, 2012 at 11:55 am

This is a fun post! Love reading everyone’s comments. Lots of great ideas!
1. Yes, I turned it on during a cold spell, I have a very old parrot and I don’t want her to get chilled. The weather turned warm again and off the heater went. We only heat to 62.
2. We just bought a new water filter for our fridge. It was overdue by a few months…
3. Probably my weirdest habit is reusing post it notes at work. Since I tend to write the same notes over and over on the paperwork I verify I just keep all my post its in a file folder and use them until the sticky wears off. I also carry around some bamboo utensils I whip out instead of using plastic. I do get some strange looks for that…
4. Biggest non frugal splurge is definitely the money spent on our pets. Our poor dog has had to have both of his knees replaned. It was either that or he would have had to be put down, unthinkable! Our pets are a huge part of our family.
5. My worst environmental habit is my tendency to buy lunches to go. I’m trying to break myself of it because the styrofoam containers make me feel so guilty.


Sara October 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I love your post it idea. I too write the same things over and over again and feel a bit guilty for throwing them away after each use. This is a good idea!


Susan Marsh October 24, 2012 at 7:50 am

Just yesterday, I told my husband that rather than leave a newly written note letting him kn0w there is a voicemail he needs to be aware of, I will have a note laminated, so that I can easily leave it on the counter for him to see. He then added that we could write additional info on the laminated note with a dry erase marker, such as the date.


Lara October 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Hi Katy – after reading your post I looked up swag bucks – free books piqued my interest. I was wondering if there is some trick to gaining them because a $100 amazon card is 11,600 swag bucks. It seems like it would take a long time to accumulate that many. Thanks.


Katy October 19, 2012 at 11:26 pm

A $5 Amazon gift card is 450 “Swagbucks.” It’s a better deal to get the $5 cards than any other way.



Lindy October 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm

1.Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live?
Yes, at times. Missouri
2.When the last time you bought something new? What was it?
A couple of weeks ago I bought tennis shoes.
3.What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money?
When I bought my tennis shoes, I bought them in the children’s section. The same exact pair I wanted in the ladies size was $25 cheaper in the children’s section! 🙂
4.What is your biggest non-frugal splurge?
Makeup. I love department store makeup. But I try to only buy when they have “freebies”, like lotions, mascara , face wash with a makeup bag.
5.What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure?
Ummm, probably my small suv. I actually get pretty good gas milage. I live on dirt roads and need something sturdy.


Janinne October 19, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live?
We’ve had it on for about a week and a half and we live in North Dakota. The rest of you are a bunch of wimps! Hahaha!
When the last time you bought something new? What was it?
It’s big. New furnace a week and a half ago. Yes, the old one still worked, but was probably from about 1960, so it should now cost less to keep the thermostat between 60 and 68.
What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money? I’ve dumpster dived at a local thrift shop. And those lamps were a perfectly matched pair! After I gussied them up some, I donated them to my favorite non-profit’s silent auction and made them some $.
What is your biggest non-frugal splurge? When we put in the new furnace we sprang for central air, too. I feel so upper-middle-class now!
What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure? Probably the air conditioning.


Christine October 20, 2012 at 2:50 am

I live in Florida, so no heat, but it’s cool enough to turn off the air conditioning from time to time.
I bought an orchid… very new, guilty, expensive pleasure.
My family things everything I do to save money is weird. But I don’t do anything out of the ordinary.
Biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure is my love of gold jewelry. I don’t buy it, but I do guiltily accept it when it’s a gift.


Shanna October 20, 2012 at 4:51 am

1. I have not turned on my heat yet. I live in Ithaca, NY. On our coldest night it reached 24° outside and it was still 64° in my house. So I don’t expect to have to turn it on for about a month.
2. The last thing I bought new was a white hoodie for my daughter at Walmart for $10. It was at the request of her cheerleading coach so all the girls could match. But I had to draw the line at the $12 tshirt. Lol
3. Everything I do seems to be weird to my friends. If I had to choose one thing they hate. Is make 2 pots of coffee with the same coffe grounds. (I don’t make them drink it. I’ll make them fresh coffee).
4. Biggest non frugal splurg is $20 a month for $5 dvds at Walmart or the thrift store since we don’t have cable.
5. My non eco friendly purchase is disposable diapers for my baby.


kiersten October 20, 2012 at 6:04 am

1. We turned the heat on Oct. 1st. We live in PA, so it was time. We have a programmable thermostat which gets cooler while we sleep and warmer when we’re awake.
2. The last thing I bought new was a Scentsy warmer from my old neighbor. She lives an hour and a half away from me now, so this gives me a chance to reconnect with her.
3. My son tells me the weirdest thing I do is I don’t get cable.
4. Our biggest non-frugal splurge was probably remodeling our downstairs (tore out ugly seamed-paneling, put up drywall, had it professionally painted, new light fixtures, new carpeting, new flooring in kitchen, new curtains, and new curtain rods).
5. Hot steamy showers and baths. 😉


Marianne October 20, 2012 at 6:30 am

Late but oh well.
1. My husband has turned on the heat 2 or 3 times and we’ve had 2 or 3 fires going.
2. I bought some baby gifts off a registry and wrapping for a baby shower I’m going to.
3. I can’t think of anything weird. Grow some of my veggies, use cloth napkins, buy used clothes. :/
4. Shopping at whole foods. Some of the food is a bit more expensive but I feel good supporting organic practices and a company that seems to care about the world.
5. Gotta be those long hot showers


Bazinga October 20, 2012 at 7:20 am

1. No heat. We live in Georgia.
2. Last thing I bought new was panties this Spring. I’m not much of a clothes horse – just have a few well made pieces that I interchange – but I cannot deal with panties when the elastic goes out.
3. Weirdest thing isn’t that weird although some people might think so. Our beagle has to have a prescription diet. It is all very expensive but the canned food is much more expensive than the dry kibble version. I buy the dry food and add warm water to it. It makes “gravy” and she loves it! Win-win.
4. Biggest non-frugal splurge was our new deck. We had our old deck replaced with synthetic composite decking material. More expensive but so hassle free. We love it!
5. Biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure is paper towels. We go through a lot of paper towels as it seems I always have a house full of teenage (uncoordinated) boys around here. At this stage in life, it just isn’t worth the argument to use a towel. Other than paper towels, we produce minimal trash so I’m not going to sweat it.


Jen October 20, 2012 at 8:59 am

1) We live in Alaska. The heat is definitely on. But we never have to pay for air conditioning!
2) A sketchbook for my upcoming vacation and a scarf for my sister-in-law’s birthday.
3) Taking food along on above vacation. We always make homemade granola and take it along for breakfast when traveling. Neither our waistline nor our budget needs to eat out three meals a day. And often we’ll buy crackers, cheese, avos, fruit, etc. and picnic for a second meal. We prefer a picnic on the hiking trail or beach to fast food.
4) Travel again. We have scaled back but can’t give it up entirely.
5) Other than travel, it would be art supplies and (of course) long, hot showers.


Ruby J. October 20, 2012 at 10:28 am

Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live?
Yes, a couple of times. We live in Tennessee and autumn has arrived early this year.
When the last time you bought something new? What was it?
Two weeks ago. I bought six new shirts on sale to replace all the worn-out ones that were culled out in that week’s Great Declutter.
What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money?
The latest one is that most people think we’re nuts for giving up cable. Short of dumpster diving, I think we’ve done every trick in the frugal toolbox at one time or another, and someone was always ready to say it was weird. We laughed all the way to the bank.
What is your biggest non-frugal splurge?
Nice hotels when we travel. We don’t travel often, but we always stay some place very nice.
What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure?
Our yard was overrun with an invasive exotic species of vine that makes fruits poisonous to dogs, and we have a young dog that eats everything she comes across. After months of clipping, mowing and pulling the stuff up by the wheelbarrow load only to see it sprout back up the next week, I finally caved and sprayed a herbicide (very carefully, I should add). Success — it’s finally gone!


Fan October 20, 2012 at 11:44 am

1. Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live? Yes I have. I live in Paris, but my flat has single glazing windows (I rent so I can’t do anything about this), so I freeze in winter and roast like a chicken in summer (I enjoy a 4th floor, SouthWest view not blocked by tall buildings but this means the sun directly irradiates my apartment from 11AM till 7PM in summer.)
2) When the last time you bought something new? What was it? I just bought coconut oil this afternoon, I’m reading everywhere it’s better for cooking and can be used for the skin as well.. to be honest I think it’s a really, really expensive purchase, but I’ll give this pot a try and we’ll see if I change my I-only-ever-cook-with-salted-butter habits.
3) What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money? Take 3 different metro lines and spend 2hrs+ in public transportations just to get the right price.
4) What is your biggest non-frugal splurge? I’m a geek. I can’t live without my iPhone, my MacBook and my iPod. They are crazy expensive but I like to think of all the time saved when using them (they almost NEVER crash) and the money saved on the long run (I think it evens out in the end, between buying the crazy expensive equipment and having to buy more often cheaper equipment that won’t last…) I’ve had half a dozen MP3 cheap players in 2 years before buying my 1st iPod which lasted a good 4 years. I’m hoping the same will apply to the MacBook vs my previous laptops. I’ve had it for 2 years and so far so good. As for my iPhone this is a definite slurge as I’m changing models every two years, but well, I’m addicted. Maybe the S will last longer than the 3GS (the backlight died so I really had to buy a new one).
5) What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure? Heating my place. As said in point #1, I have single glazing windows (with ancient hence very very poor/nonexistent central heating in the building) but I also get cold very easily by nature (and then I get sick, with a never-ending/ever-recurring runny nose, fatigue, fever and sore throat) when I live in a place heated below 23-24°C (72-75°F). When I have my own place it’ll be super-duper isolated to prevent global warming and crazy electricity bills, but right now my tiny flat gets to the comfortable temperature with my electric oil-filled radiator (a.k.a. my Winter best friend.) and I don’t spend that much on electricity so I guess it’s a good product.


Fan October 20, 2012 at 11:49 am

I meant Paris in France, by the way.


con November 22, 2012 at 10:40 am

Fan it Paris, coconut oil is the best for everything! It is definitely worth the cost, its anti viral and anti bacterial among many other things. http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/


Amanda October 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live?
Yes, we did about 2 weeks ago, we live in WA.
When the last time you bought something new? What was it?
about a month ago, our 2yo took out the old tv with her belt (swinging it) We bought a more efficient tv, which is great news since we live completely off-grid
What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money?
I make everything from scratch, we have a farm and raise almost all our own food.
What is your biggest non-frugal splurge?
the occasional starbucks hot chocolate
What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure?
disposable diapers


Mama Minou October 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm

1. No. I live in the Pacific Northwest too.
2. I bought new underwear at Costco today (6 for $9).
3. Turn off all the powerstrips, server, etc every night.
4. I just bought a pair of black Merrell boots. Argh–more than I’d ever paid for shoes, but I had eyed them for close to 2 years.
5. I love fancy coffee drinks out in paper/plastic cups as a splurge.


Rachel C October 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm

1. Yes, we’ve turned the heat on. We live in Wisconsin. We do have a programmable thermostat.
2. We’ve recently inherited a teenager (long story) – so I’ve had to buy lots of clothes for him – and groceries.
3. We got rid of cable about a year ago and have not missed it one bit. We put up an HD antenna and the picture is better than the reception ever was with cable.
4. Coach purses – but I do buy them on sale at the Coach outlet store.
5. The dryer – I try to air dry when possible, but I am too busy to do that all the time.


Kat C October 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm

I commented yesterday, but feel that I should add to #3 – I repair my dog’s toys. I just finished patching some holes where the stuffing came out. (And he is supervised until I know the stitches hold).


Rosa October 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm

1. We turned our heat on. Minnesota. It made me sad – I usually try to hold out til Thanksgiving. But we had several freezing nights (literally, frost on the windows) the week we also had houseguests, so I caved – boiler’s on, it’s set to 60.

2. 2 weeks ago? Bought Halloween decorations and rechargeable batteries – we don’t get trick or treaters, so I am trying more lights.

3. I don’t think any of the things I do to save money are weird. Eat cabbage? Wait until Christmas/birthday for stuff I want?

4. Nonfrugal splurges – we spend a lot, lot, lot of money on food, and I always have big library fines.

5. We have an awful lot of electronics – mostly bought semi-obsolete, so cheap, but still not environmentally good.


Hannah October 20, 2012 at 10:18 pm

1. Our heat is definitely on, but we live in Fairbanks, Alaska and it’s only in the hottest of summer months that we shut it off. We try to keep heating costs low (heating oil is $4.00/gallon here!) by programming our stove to drop down to lower temperatures while we’re sleeping.
2. We buy food weekly, and we bought a new timer for our car plug-ins recently as our old one wasn’t regulating the electricity flow very effectively.
3. It’s not weird here, but most people think it’s unusual when I tell them about plugging in our cars when it gets really cold (-40F is a frequent wintertime temperature here). Plugging in helps our cars’ fluids stay, well…fluid, at cold temps, meaning a shorter idle time in the mornings and less pollution as our cars warm up. Yes, it sucks electricity, but hopefully our new timer will help cut down on that use.
4. Airline tickets!
5. I love hot showers, though I’ve got a good record going of avoiding them this last year. Otherwise, eggnog!


Katie October 21, 2012 at 3:28 am

1.Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live? Yes, absolutely! I live in Chicago.
2.When the last time you bought something new? What was it? I bought some jeans last week. Badly needed, as my after-baby body is not fitting into my before-baby jeans, and the maternity pants are getting too big. I paid $16 for Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, so I was pretty excited about the price.
3.What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money? I stockpile restaurant paper napkins, and then use them to clean gross stuff off our floor.
4.What is your biggest non-frugal splurge? I haven’t done it yet, but I’m getting my hair highlighted. I’m hoping it will help my gray blend in better, and my hair looks a bit crazy after doing home colorings. I’m waiting for a perfect storm of Groupon and grandparent babysitting.
5.What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure?
Heat, A/C, and Pampers.


Paula in the UP October 21, 2012 at 6:29 am

1. Yes, we have unfortunely had to turn on the heat, I live in the Upper Peninsula of MI, winter like to come early here! 🙁

2. I bought a pair of slip on tennies, about a month ago. I’m lazy and prefer non lace/ buckle shoes! With a $10 off coupon in hand for DSW I got myself some Sketcher brand tennis shoes with elastic cords in place of laces, LOVE them. They are comfy and make my big narrow feet look small…..amazing!

3. We have NO credit cards and NO debt. According to Dave Ramsey we’re weird!!

4. My haircut and color every 8 weeks. I’m now growing my hair longer so I am cutting back to less frequent salon visits, but I still will need to color, I do not appreciate the gray hair that seems to be taking over! I am going to see how I do with coloring it myself. At $390 a year just for my hair it’s at least worth a try!!

5. Incandescent light bulbs! I prefer the light they give off, I like 3 way bulbs and I like that they “look” nicer and there is more variety.


Rosa October 21, 2012 at 9:40 am

I have kind of a counter question, because these come up on green and frugality blogs all the time:

does ANYBODY think the things they do for financial or environmental reasons are weird? I have experimented with some things that seemed extreme to me, and they didn’t fit with our lives, so I stopped. The stuff I keep doing seems normal to me.


Jennifer @ Little Blog in the Big Woods October 22, 2012 at 3:24 am

Oh! I’m a little late to the game, been out town since Thurs!

1. Yes, had several nights in the 30’s. Northern Indiana
2.Yesterday I bought both my kids little activity books on the 7 hr drive back from grandma & grandpa’s house. Also two days before I bought a handmade pottery souvineer mug from the beautiful “Big South Fork” National Recreation area we were visiting in eastern KY. This gave us a useful souvineer of the place, our current mugs are not to our liking. Got them at Goodwill, they match my dishes, but do not like how they are made.
3. Wierdest thing to save money….hmmm….I don’t think it’s weird because I grew up this way but we eat almost entirely wild game, venison, rabbit, fish ect. And we love it and it is healthier and the animals don’t have to suffer in one of those factory farms.
4. I am a sewist and love buy new fabric (on sale of course) I will buy some at garage sales if I see it too! Of course this fabric goes into making homemade gifts for folks or decor for my home.
5. My non-environmental guilty pleasure is fountain pop (damn it!) I am addicted and have tried to quit drinking sodas many times but I always come back. I have about 3 a week. I know how bad it is and the way it is made and I can’t stop. I do always use my reusable cup, that’s semi environmental!
But ditto on the showers! Long hot showers are one of the few luxuries of a mom!


Joanna October 22, 2012 at 5:02 am

Have you turned your heat on yet? And if so, where do you live? Yes, we turned on the heat a few weeks ago. We live on the Connecticut coastline. If it were just the 2 of us we would probably be holding out until the end of October, but with 2 young children who tend to kick off blankets, a warm bedroom is important. I will say, though, that our thermostat is programmable, and during the day it automatically drops the temperature to 45 degrees. Often when I get home from work the heat has not yet kicked on because it is still so warm in the house! I attribute this to the blown in insulation we had done a couple of years ago. Our 100-year old drafty house is now really snug and warm during the heating season, and stays cool longer during the summer.

When the last time you bought something new? What was it? Yesterday. I bought elements of my 4yo daughter’s Halloween costume. She and her best friend (our next door neighbor) are going as monarch butterflies. I bought wings and tutus, but she will have antennae that I make with pipe cleaners and a headband that we already have in the house. She will wear leggings and a sweatshirt that she already owns, and while she wants a fancy trick or treating bucket, she will use the same basket she used last year. The plan had been to make the wings using felt that I already have, but there is not enough time. My next door neighbor and I both work full time, and her family and my family each have obligations every weekend in October. I did pay for the wings and tutus, but the shipping was free, and I did research them to ensure that they were a good price for what they are.

What’s the weirdest thing you do to save money? I don’t throw away pantyhose until both legs have runs. As I take them off at the end of the day, if a leg has a run, I simply tie a knot it in. Once they have been washed, I will take 2 pairs of matching stockings with knots, then lop off the knotted leg on each. It’s not all that bulky once you have them on, and the extra lycra just keeps the tummy tucked. I buy all of my pantyhose from the same company, so I know that the blacks will always match.

What is your biggest non-frugal splurge? Yarn. I am a passionate knitter, and life is too short to knit with acrylic.

What’s your biggest non-environmental guilty pleasure? Driving to the train station. It’s a 17 minute walk from my house to my spot on the platform, or a 3 minute drive. I normally am running around until the last possible second, so it’s always a Gasp-grab-coffee-kiss-the-kids-run-out-of-the-house-and-sprint-for-the-closing-doors kind of morning. It’s important that I make my usual train consistently, as it gets me to work on time, and the next one gets in 40 mins later. Given that I work for a global organization, the difference between overlapping at 7am and overlapping at 8am is huge.

Fun questionnaire!


Ann October 22, 2012 at 7:11 am

I love the pantyhose one…we used to do that “back in the day” when pantyhose were new and “OH SO EXPENSIVE”!! The tummy – flattening aspect was an unexpected surprise!


Ann October 22, 2012 at 7:06 am

1. No heat yet…We live in Los Angeles where it has been really HOT all summer. Still have AC on. This week is supposed to be cooler.
2. T-shirt at the Jimmy Buffett concert in Las Vegas on Saturday.
3. My husband thinks it is weird that I cut open containers to get the very last bit of hand cream or shampoo out.
4. My hair. I never tell ANYBODY how much I spend on it.
5. Food. High end gourmet shop cheeses and chocolates, especially.


Ann October 22, 2012 at 7:13 am

I don’t know if my #5 is non-environmental…but the cheese shop we frequent is about 20 minutes away…by freeway…


Kate October 22, 2012 at 3:08 pm

1) We have turned on the hallway baseboard heater a few times to heat my sons room. We live in Durango, we recently picked up 2 cords of wood so we can use our stove soon too and we won’t use the electricity any more after that (for heating).
2) I did buy some new clothes! No excuse other than no time to search thrift stores for quality things to wear to work, online shopping is how I usually do it.
3) We have a punch card at work to buy 10 breakfasts and get one 1, so I save mine to buy misc grocery items mainly things I only need a little of and don’t want to buy a huge container of it. Like I need a 1/2 cup of plain yogurt for this one recipe and don’t normally eat it plain, so I get it from our cafeteria. Then I also need a small amount of orange juice or B8 for another recipe, another thing we don’t drink, and so I buy the single serving container and then when I use my breakfast card it’s all free!!!
4) I do not know! Maybe my fridge?
5) I can’t think of this either!!


Amanda @ The Scacchi House October 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm

1. The heat is on! We are in Anchorage, Alaska.
2. I bought a new ice scraper today. I didn’t want to take the chance of not having one when I needed one.
3. When we moved to Alaska, my daughter and I flew first class. It was a better deal because I didn’t have to pay $455 for my 3 bags.
4. A few years back I bought a Coach purse and wallet at the outlet. It has held up better than any other purse I have ever owned. It was worth every penny!
5. We like to eat $21.00 per pound cheese.


Mary October 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm

1. Yes the heat comes on in the morning to take the temp. up to 68 degrees. I live in Newport, Oregon.
2. Last weekend I bought handmade lip balm and a lotion bar at a craft fair. I love to buy local and handmade.
3. I don’t know if it’s weird, but I re-use paper towels over and over until they fall apart in my glass studio.
4. My biggest splurge is on books (mostly used)….always. Next biggest is on food–I was at Barbour World Foods in Portland last weekend. Love that store!
5. I read in bed and most times leave the light on….


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