Okay, Your Turn. Who Are You?

by Katy on October 22, 2010 · 160 comments

The role of a blogger is unique. I write an almost daily personal essay, which while not exactly soul baring, still opens my life up to thousands of strangers. You all know that I’m a Portland, Oregon labor and delivery nurse, parent to 12 and 15-year-old sons, frugality geek, green living enthusiast and large house/simple living wannabe.

There are of course areas of my life that I do not write about. I am deliberately vague about my husband and sons, and try not to share my bad moods, which are inevitable. Truth be told, I probably share too much about some areas of my life, and not enough about others.

But here’s the thing, I want to know about you.

Are you male or female, do you live in the U.S., and if so what area? Do you have a blog, kids, chickens? Are you frugal, how about green? Are you a hip twenty-something or a seasoned sixty-something? A hundred things in your house, or a hundred things on your coffee table? Do you read The Non-Consumer Advocate regularly, or are you a first time visitor? Did you come to frugality out of choice or unexpected life changes? You get my drift.

Please share your stories in the comments section. If you read this blog but never comment, today is your day. It’s time to turn the table around and let you share your life.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

{ 160 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathleen McDade October 22, 2010 at 8:55 am

Hi! I live in Portland, too, and I think I must have found you looking for other Portland bloggers. We are frugal by necessity, because we have 3 kids and don’t make a lot of money and still have debts to pay, but we’re also frugal by philosophy, because we believe consumerism is NOT a sustainable basis for an economy, and we value living simply. We’re pretty green. We drive less, ride bikes, and keep the heating and cooling at a reasonable level. We also garden and preserve food.

I’m a computer lab specialist (non-certified) at an elementary school, and my husband is a school bus driver. We have 3 daughters. I also blog and do some freelance writing and am working on a memoir about how I became a full-time bicycle commuter.


Mrs Green @myzerowaste.com October 22, 2010 at 8:57 am

Ah well, some loud mouth has to go first so it might as well be me!

Are you male or female

I’m the female of the species

do you live in the U.S., and if so what area?

Nope, I’m in the green and pleasant land of England; which I absolutely love; I truly feel this is my home and have no desire to even visit other countries.

Do you have a blog

I have several!


1 gorgeous, free range, highly spirited, earth loving, tree hugging, organic daughter


Only when the neighbour’s come for a visit

Are you frugal

I am indeed, especially with food waste (there isn’t any) plus using charity shops and always separating wants from needs

How about green

Pretty much – we don’t produce landfill waste, we run a woodburner to heat our home and water, we use LED lighting from a solar panel, grow a little food, only do around 6k miles in our car per year that kinda thing. But we’re by no means perfect.

Are you a hip twenty-something or a seasoned sixty-something?

A cool twenty something according to DD but really I’m a thirty-something πŸ˜‰

A hundred things in your house, or a hundred things on your coffee table?

I’m on a serious decluttering mission and loving it (except for the fact I married a hoarder πŸ˜‰ )

Do you read The Non-Consumer Advocate regularly, or are you a fist time visitor?

Regularly and I wish I had time to respond more because I love your work, ethos and sense of humour.

Did you come to frugality out of choice or unexpected life changes?

A mixture of both

Can’t wait to get to know some more of your readers πŸ™‚


Stefanie October 22, 2010 at 8:59 am

I’m an almost-34-year-old married mother of a 20-month-old girl. I live in Chicago and am the assistant pastry chef at a hotel. I knit, sew, crochet and craft, and of course, cook, bake and now, preserve. I try to blog these things but have a hard time keeping up with it. I have a lot of stuff that I am trying to get rid of, in one form or another. I do some couponing and do my best to get the best deal on things. I read a lot, and am a heavy library user. I have been in and out of debt and am trying to modify my habits as best as I can so that I can be permanently out of debt. I also am doing my best to reduce my footprint on the world, and try to get used items when I can, and try to buy things that don’t have a lot of packaging, and in general, I just try to think about every purchase that I make, rather than blindly buying whatever strikes my fancy. The Non-Consumer Advocate has helped me a lot with those thoughts!


BethC October 22, 2010 at 9:01 am

Female, 50s, NJ-full time professional services job and part-time food blogger for a larger local food blog that someone else started. Reformed weekly mall shopper (although I would never give up the time spent with my daughter during her teen years, I do wish we had spent a whole lot less). Getting greener, wasting a whole lot less food. Getting more frugal and trying to cut down on “stuff.” Love finding deals, but have finally realized that a deal isn’t a deal unless we need it. Paperback Swap fan. Trying to simplify-Sundays at home are a good thing. However, also love to travel. Found your blog through “A Year Without Spending” and subscribe via RSS. Read each and every one of your posts once when I was away by myself on business and had some time at night. Love your blog-keeps me company when I eat my packed at home lunch at work each day πŸ™‚


Cindy S October 22, 2010 at 9:11 am

I am a 45 yo mother to 4 beautiful kids. 14 yo boy, 13 yo girl, 9 yo girl, 4 yo boy. I have been married for 15 years. I live in Keizer, Oregon. I am in my 40’s. We are frugal by choice/necessity. I was laid off 14 years ago and we made the choice at that time that I would stay home. To make that happen I had to become very frugal. We have a garden and can the produce from it every summer. We have 3 cats and 2 rabbits (my girls show the rabbits for 4-H). I hand make a lot of our food and gifts to give out for Christmas. I am not an all out “green” person but I do believe we need to take care of our planet. I do not read your blog everyday only about once a week. I found you through The Frugal Girl. I am trying to declutter but my children and husband fight me the whole way (most of the stuff we have except books are theirs). I do not like nick nacks or to have items on my counters. Less is better.


Susan October 22, 2010 at 9:12 am

I live on northern Utah. I think I stumbled onto this blog a few months ago from it being mentioned on another blog that I read. I am a stay at home mom with 1 child. We have a dog, a cat, and 6 chickens. We recycle, compost, mend things as much as possible. We have removed about 1/4 of our lawn so far and replaced it with veggie garden. (Our veggie garden in the park strip turns a lot of heads in our urban neighborhood.) We make most of our food and do a lot of preserving/freezing/canning. I try to shop secondhand, but I am in a smaller rural community so my options are limited. Its a day to day struggle for me to balance decluttering with buying in bulk and saving any scrap that could possibly be reused down the line. I am especially weak when it comes to anything made out of wood or fabric. I think one of the major turning points for me to embrace the frugal/green lifestyle was when I read the Tightwad Gazette books back in college. It really clicked with me and I have been moving in that direction ever since. I stop by TNCA on most weekdays, along with a handful of similarly themed blogs.


Becky October 22, 2010 at 9:13 am

20-something American living in England, somewhat permanently (been here 6 years with no plans to leave). Pretty green, not so good with the frugal. Husband, no kids, no chickens (we live in London, which is a positively horribly place to raise either kids or chickens!). Love your blog- read it every day!


MeliD October 22, 2010 at 9:17 am

I’m a regular reader (non-commenter) from near Albany, NY; I found you through our local Simple Living blog (Naomi) and have been following you ever since. I’m a 33 yr old married-to-a-Spaniard mom to a 4 yr old daughter and 2 yr old son. I am newly embracing a simplified living/non-consumer/green lifestyle but I am struggling to get my family on board on the simple living/non-consumer piece. We’ve always been frugal and green and have been living your mantra of “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”.
I love reading your blog daily and have started to apply a lot of your wisdom to my own life. I have always had a “thing” about buying used, though I will gladly take hand-me-downs/regifts, so one of my personal goals right now is to check out some local thrift stores instead of buying new.
Thank you for what you do – keep it coming!


Loren October 22, 2010 at 9:17 am

I’m 31, have an amazing husband and a 3 month old baby, and live in Marin county, CA. But we rent. I subscribe through an RSS feeder to your blog. I like the idea of being green and do live simply. I’m really trying ot become more green progressively. So your blog inspires me to keep at it. The living simply comes a bit more naturally to me: we don’t have a TV, we don’t own a lot of ‘stuff’ and what we do acquire, I try and find through Craigslist and/or Freecycle. My husband and I both work full time, but he works from home half of that. My mom just moved (from South Carolina) in with us, so she and my husband tag team taking care of my son while I’m at work.


jilliankay October 22, 2010 at 9:31 am

Hi Katy! I’m 30 yrs old, live in downtown San Jose, CA and have been following your blog for a few months now. I’m a software engineer and wedding/headshot photographer. I live in a tiny ~400sf apartment that I adore! Since I live downtown, I try not to drive on weekends. I just went through a second major round of purging my home of excess, and was able to give almost all away on Craigslist…what’s left goes to goodwill. I will be trying so very hard not add more!!

This year for Christmas I’m asking for things that are either 1) consumables (like tea or polaroid film) or 2) small replaceables (like a new bath towel to replace a couple i’ve had for 10+ years).

I need a lot of inspiration to remind me not to keep buying new things – but I’m making progress!


Lori October 22, 2010 at 9:33 am

i’m a married mother of 2 children, ages 2 and 7 weeks, live in Canada, stumbled across your blog about a year ago and now visit daily. i try to lead a balanced ‘thrifty’ life to help us achieve the things we want in life, always looking for new ways to cut back, save and give back. I get great satifaction from managing our finances and finding ways to save money and put it towards the things we want/need. i like your blog because you talk about things that others don’t, and i feel like i ‘know’ you when i read what you write.


Christine S October 22, 2010 at 9:37 am

I am 30 years old follower of Jesus, a wife married to my best friend, and just had our first baby almost 3 months ago. I’ve been reading your blog for a year now I think, and I can’t remember how I found it. I read almost daily, and I love seeing what you made for dinner last night! We currently live in South Carolina and have made a lot of changes in our lives because of your blog and others like it. Since I am now a stay-at-home mom, the frugality is more essential, but we do make green choices. I am crunchy compared to some, not so much compared to others. Its coming to the point we find Goodwill too expensive for clothes and prefer the thrift stores. We try to buy used and are working on cutting food waste especially. I enjoy your blog immensely, and you have reintroduced me to the library, which is a GREAT thing! Thanks so much for your positive impact on our lives. πŸ™‚


Ingrid October 22, 2010 at 9:39 am

I live in Portland also, am 41, married, and have 3 sons. I recycle and compost and shop at Winco with coupons. My family eats a TON so I spend a lot of time looking for good food deals, and cooking healthy food. I do not like to have clutter, but with 4 other people in the house it sometimes feels like shoveling the sidewalk during a blizzard. I read your blog every day.


lucy October 22, 2010 at 9:42 am

I am a 30-something married lady living in the mid-atlantic. No kids, no chickens (we’re thinking about both, but are a little leery of the coyotes in our backyard gobbling up the chickens). Love your blog! It’s on my google reader and I read it as often as you post. I like your interest in things Japanese. That is one culture that I am inspired by in terms of design and homemaking. One of my dreams is to go to northern Japan. I work FT and engage in about 10 hours/week of freelance projects and I am also in grad school (exhausted!). I am also an obsessed homemaker: canning, gardening, sewing, cooking (and on a new kick as instructed by Julie Morganstern to organize it all, including my time). Frugality is something I’m working on due mainly to the fact that I own a condo in the DC area that won’t sell (on market for almost six months), so I’m looking at the possibility of losing money on it (not sure how much). I can’t control the sale of my condo, but I can control how much money and time I waste (or save) on other things in my life! Thanks for your blog–it really connects with me and I like your voice quite a lot!


Sara October 22, 2010 at 9:44 am

I’m a 30 yo female living in currently rainy San Diego. I also live in an old craftsman house, built in 1920. No kids, two cats, a dog, and a husband. I’m working on being more frugal and decluttering. We’re thinking of taking an extended rv trip so we’re working down to the 100 things!


Sara October 22, 2010 at 9:46 am

And I read your blog regularly and really enjoy, thanks!


Charyl October 22, 2010 at 9:55 am

Homeschooling, stay-at-home Mom. 40ish, living on the East Coast. I’ve been reading and gleaning from your blog for over a year. Love your writing style and the frugality is coming in handy, as my husband has been unemployed for over a year. Watching you squeeze a nickel until it screams is inspirational. Thank you!


Meredith October 22, 2010 at 10:10 am

A part-time academic, mom of two boys, lates thirties living in Canada. I think I stumbled on your blog through the Simple Living network. My husband and I are frugal by necessity (we are both in theatre) and also because we feel it makes more sense. Lately, we are trying extremely hard to reduce our living expenses, decrease our debt and put a little in savings. Your blog has been great inspiration in this – thanks. Love reading it!


Jenni October 22, 2010 at 10:11 am

Hi! I’m a female blogger – domesticefforts.blogspot.com – in my 30s. I live in Philadelphia, where I have a small container garden (and I’m currently excavating a small raised bed). I’m in the process of starting a community garden in South Philadelphia, where I hope to grow even more of my own veggies. I try to live both frugally and green, but tend to fail more in the former. I love your blog because it inspires me to try to become more frugal and rely less on unnecessary things. I look forward to reading the other comments!


CC October 22, 2010 at 10:14 am

I’m a fifty something lady living in the south. I found your site by way of The Frugal Girl. You are one of my daily stops. I have always played at being frugal. These last few years have turned into a need to be frugal. With all the years of practice these times are not so bad.

I like dogs, cooking, reading, and doing crafts. I also like gardening but I’m real bad at it. Plants have to be tough to survive at my place.


Mary October 22, 2010 at 10:19 am

Hello Katy & fans of Katy!
I live in Arkansas, female 50-something. I’m married (no children) My husband and I have inside cats and outside chickens & a big garden. We compost everything the chickens don’t eat. I’m a supporter of our public library & a member of a small sustainability group. I like clean uncluttered but my husband is a collector & seems to love clutter so… we look for a balance.
I don’t remember how I found out about your blog but I read it almost every day.
We love Oregon – when we have the money for an out of state vacation that’s our favorite place to go.


Elizabeth L. October 22, 2010 at 10:22 am

What fun!

I’m a twenty-something single-but-still-living-at-home blogging librarian from Alabama. I’m trying to buy a house, fall in love, and not turn into a crazy cat lady. I try to be frugal and green and fail miserably everyday…but trying has to count for something, right? I read The Non-Consumer Advocate everyday, and have for about 18 months.


Little Miss Moneybags October 22, 2010 at 10:25 am

Female twenty-something in New York City. I have a blog, but no kids, chickens, or any other pets. We have more than a hundred things in the apartment, but less than a hundred things on the coffee table. I subscribe to The Non-Consumer Advocate and read every post. I am sort of naturally frugal, but embraced it even tighter when learning to live on a low salary in expensive NYC.

I love reading about your choices to live a simpler, less expensive, and more sustainable life. I am surrounded by consumerism in my daily life, and while I’m not brave enough (yet) to take on The Compact, I like to see how it’s done so I can aspire towards it.


NMPatricia October 22, 2010 at 10:34 am

I am a huge fan and this is one blog of a very select few that I never miss!

I am a 58 yo married female currently living in northern New Mexico. I have two grown sons who have been out on their own for more than 5 years. We moved here two years ago after living in Salem, Oregon for 28 years. So you comments about Fred Meyer and other Oregon landmarks are near and dear to my occasional homesickness. I don’t blog. No chickens although I would like to think there might be in my future.

I came to frugality by a couple different paths. First, with my husbands retirement and our relocation, neither of us are working and sort of like not working. By being thrifty, we can pursue other avenues right now, although one might lead to a job for me! I have also made the frugalness a bit of a game, so it can be a challenge. As mentioned by others, frugality redefined becomes a way to be kind to the earth and be “green”.

And as a mother who has had her “chicks” fly the coop, I love hearing about your sons, although I am sure you get some heavy sighs from them at times about your blog.

Thanks so much for all you do share.
Are you frugal, how about green? Are you a hip twenty-something or a seasoned sixty-something? A hundred things in your house, or a hundred things on your coffee table? ? Did you come to frugality out of choice or unexpected life changes? You get my drift.


Laura October 22, 2010 at 10:42 am

I’m a 22 year old married mother of one in Klamath Falls (Oregon). I run a day care out of my home and just recently got licensed (yay!). I started a blog, never feel like updating so I don’t lol! My husband and I never spent a ton of money on “things” before having our daughter, we mostly spent money on “experiences” like dining out and going places (nowhere exotic, we’ve never made much to begin with). My husband grew up with a lot because his parents had the ability to do it. I think I grew up with quite a bit considering we lived at poverty level for most of my childhood (which means my parents are in quite a bit of debt as a result). I started working at Goodwill when I was 19 (my second job, I had worked at McDonald’s for nearly 4 years before that). I fell in love with the bargain! While being at home I found I wasn’t alone in my pursuit of cheap things! I’ll admit, I am a little extreme; once a week I take the day care kids on a certain walk to pick pears that have fallen off a tree a few blocks away, I reuse bath water to water the flowers, and have a mailman who comes to my door at least once a week because my free samples won’t fit in my mailbox. I do love the life I lead, and am always looking for more ways to save and learn :]


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl October 22, 2010 at 11:05 am

I think you already know more about me than my own blog readers do. lol


Katy October 22, 2010 at 11:42 am




Frances October 22, 2010 at 11:22 am

Hello from Missouri!
I’m a fifty-three year-old single woman who moved here last year from Southern California to take care of my eighty-something parents.
We live out in the country but I commute 70 miles each way to work as a library assistant at MIZZOU (go Tigers!) ’cause I just can’t imagine working anywhere but in a library!
Otherwise we do live pretty green: my Mom and I cook every day using fresh, mostly local meat and produce, my sister-in-law gives us eggs from her beautiful chickens, we compost, recycle, and try to live below our means.
I’m trying to encourage my folks to let go of some of the stuff they’ve accumulated over the years and don’t use anymore. I’ve been taking boxes of stuff (mostly my stuff that I’m finally unpacking) to Goodwill.
I’ve asked my brothers and sisters (there are twelve of us) to give our folks the gift of themselves instead of more stuff!
I don’t blog but I’ve been reading other blogs about frugal living and getting out of debt via Google Reader since I took a job with a lower salary and got serious about living within my means. I’ve got student loans and credit card debt to pay off. I’m struggling to stop paying for vacations and other things I can’t really afford by credit card.
I love your blog ’cause it gives me ideas to try like the No Heat Challenge, the ReGifting Challenge, and buying food on the same amount of money that Oregon families get for food stamps. I also love reading about your house! Keep up the good work!


Angela October 22, 2010 at 11:24 am

I’ll play…

I’m a 29 (almost 30) year old mother of 2 girls. I live in Madison, WI. I’m frugal by necessity (we’ve never had much $$ to spend!) and I’d like to be more green than I am (still working on that). I have more than 100 things in my house, but only 3 things on my coffee table (right now). I read the Non-Consumer Advocate regularly!


Liz October 22, 2010 at 11:34 am

Hi Katy,
I’m a regular reader from Ottawa, Canada. I’m 37, separated, no kids, atheist and working part-time while I finish my PhD. I’m frugal by choice so that I can live the financially limited but intellectually rewarding life of the non-tenured academic. I have lived on an income of $80K but my life is much richer now and less anxiety-inducing (since my spending is mostly under control). Yours and fakeplasticfish’s are my two favourite blogs bar none, and I’ve been reading both for a couple of years (I think). I’m as green as I can manage, living in an apartment with no car, with limited storage space and no outdoor space (so I can’t grow my own). I make a lot of my own food from scratch (as well as soap, lotion, etc.), I use as little plastic as possible, and I’m a minimalist (probably close to 100 possessions, depending on how you count the kitchen contents!). That’s definitely easier when you live alone. I’ve downsized my bills and have eliminated my debt, so most of the daily battles that remain are mostly about balancing priorities in the ‘wants’ category. Your blog is wonderful – full of useful info, engaging stories and lots of reminders that we are all human and must simply do the best we can.
Thanks for doing what you do – I’ll try to comment more in future!


Cindy October 22, 2010 at 11:39 am

Female, 50ish, I am from NY, but live in an RV and travel fulltime with my husband. I have 2 children, 3 bonus children and 10 grandchildren with 3 more on the way. My fulltime job is shopping for Christmas and birthdays!!!! I have to be thrifty, love garage sales, clearance, thrift stores and the library. I grew up on a farm and my son had chickens in our back yard through his teen years. It took me 2 years to downsize enough to live in an RV, but it is very freeing not to have all that stuff. We are definitely into experiences over things. I found your blog through the Simpler Living blog and enjoy reading it everyday.


Jana October 22, 2010 at 11:48 am

Female, Orange County California. I’m working on becoming a minmalist…I’ve never been a saver but 15 years and 2 kids later…the stuff creeps up. I just sent our oldest off to college. My youngest is 17 and definitely a minimalist. I’m 45 and looking forward to retirement with my husband in a few years. I’m a subscriber and I read your blog everyday πŸ™‚
ps-I have a secret pact that I’m trying not to buy any new clothes for a year-shoes/bathing suits/underwear is okay. I don’t think my husband has noticed because I still have really cute clothing…now it’s just from the thrift store.


Mary Kay October 22, 2010 at 11:51 am

I’m a 50-something female, living in the Mid-Atlantic region.

No blog(s), one high school aged daughter, no chickens.

I/we are relatively frugal and green. Frugality is a choice with results that we love.

I read your blog regularly, I have been following you for about two years.

Too much stuff in the house, but less over time.


Anne Marie @ Married to the Empire October 22, 2010 at 11:59 am

I’m 36, married 12 years, live in Dallas, and have 2 cats but no children. I’m a former English teacher, and I’ve been a SAHW for the past 11 years. It’s wonderful! I had to adopt frugality when I first quit my job, and we still try to make the best use of our money. Meredith at Like Merchant Ships introduced me to thrift shopping, and I really enjoy it! (Although, admittedly, I’m too impatient to do it for clothing. We have way too many amazing outlets with sales around here, so I still get beautiful clothes dirt cheap.)

I’m into crafty stuff, although I’m pretty amateur. My recent venture has been soapmaking. That’s been fun, and I finally get to try using my first batch this weekend! Assuming it’s all good, I’ll give homemade soap for Christmas this year.

My life is otherwise consumed by caring for our cats, both of whom have kidney disease. Also, my husband is the youth minister at our church (this isn’t his “real” job–it’s strictly voluntary), so I play Secretary for him and Supplier of Food for the teens.


Gwen October 22, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I’m in my 50’s living in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia. We have 6 children, the oldest 4 are grown and married–between them we have 8 grandchildren. My youngest is serving a mission in the Philippines (talk about frugal, simple and green!) and the next to the youngest is disabled, so will be with us forever. We have 1 lonely goat, too many chickens to count, 3 dogs and 1 cat. We are frugal by choice and by necessity, but we’re not nearly as green as we should be. My husband is a hoarder and now that he’s retired, it’s even worse! Trying to reduce clutter is a constant challenge especially since I love having things simple and he does not. We grow a large garden, preserving all we can and bartering eggs for blueberries and other fun stuff. I make as much as I can from scratch and I love to quilt and read. I think I found your blog from GetRichSlowly and I try to read it everyday.


Janna October 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm

I’m a 46 yo female living in Atlanta with two kids (6 &9), a husband, and two dogs. We’ve been married for 21 years (as of yesterday!) and have lived in the same house for 20 of them. We’re slowly turning our intown bungalow into an urban homestead (although that term’s a little too trendy for my tastes). We have a small flock of chickens, bees and grows vegetables on every spot in our yard that gets good sun. We compost, line dry our clothes and cook at home pretty much all the time. You’ve inspired me to work hard on reducing food waste, but I still have a loooong way to go. I think I first tried line drying because of you as well πŸ™‚

I’m a commercial freelance writer for businesses, and I specialize in website content. Our finances go up and down, so frugality is a necessity, but it’s also a choice that just feels right to me. I’m inspired by you and other bloggers that approach it from the standpoint of finding the richness in life that money can’t buy. Not feeling deprived, just living well with less stuff. I read you every day and can’t thank you enough for all the inspiration you’ve given me.


Mary October 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm

I’m a 51 year-old female in South Carolina who is so inspired to read about all the others out there who feel pretty much the same as I do! Making a conscious effort to not spend on things we really don’t need; getting rid of stuff we don’t use anymore.

A lot of our friends don’t understand how my husband and I manage on only one income (his) … it’s called living within your means! We rarely take big trips; drive older model cars and (gasp!) don’t have a plasma TV! Yet, even in the economic downturn, we have a fairly healthy 401k, no credit card bills and live quite comfortably. He plans on retiring in a couple years and we’re both pretty confident that we will manage just fine since we’ve always lived frugally.

I’ve learned so much from you all! Non-consumers, Unite!


Ms. Oomph October 22, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Love this idea! I’m 24, married with no kids yet, self-employed doing marketing/graphic design work part time. I’ve been a frugal saver my whole life. Even as a kid I always enjoyed saving up for things I really wanted, including an upright piano when I was 13! I’m passionate about spirituality, my family, my home, and facilitating a healthy environment for people to connect and grow. I’ve just recently started making efforts to become more eco-conscious and health-conscious and my big scary goal for next year is to start my first garden.

I am a newbie to the blog world and just started reading your blog, although I’ve heard you mentioned by many people IRL and on other blogs. So far I love it!


Lee Ann L. October 22, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Hello. I’m Lee Ann, obviously female, living in Texas. I do have a blog; but, I don’t much advertise it. I am a follower of your blog via Google reader.

I am frugal by choice and it started after I finished college (I went back to complete the degree). Our savings was depleted and that alone made me nervous. A good friend of mine mention Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and I was on my way! Thank goodness because in just over a year, my husband got laid off. I had a well established Emergency fund by then. HOwever, we didn’t need to dip into the fund because of my husband’s severance package. And fortunately, my husband found a new job in three months and we moved 400 miles to a new city.

I am also somewhat green. I recycle as much as I can. I compost. I try to reuse things. But, I have issues with certain things that just don’t make sense. I won’t go into that here. πŸ™‚

~Lee Ann


Jennifer October 22, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I have been reading your blog for about a year now and enjoy it very much. I am a 33 year old mother of two, 5 year old girl and 4 year old boy and married for 11 years to an awesome man. We both are educated in and work in natural resources. We have the priviledge of living in a state park as my husband is a park ranger. I work part time for our state’s (Indiana) forestry division.

We try to “live off the land” as much as we can. Most of our meat comes from my husband’s hunting and fishing. We also gather fruit, berries, mushrooms and nuts. We also garden, and would like chickens sometime soon.

Now that my children are more self sufficent, we like to go to garage sales, goodwill, and my new love, auctions. Hope to do a blog post soon on some of our awesome finds! We are frugal by upbringing, necessity (you go into natural resources for love not $$!) and enjoyment. We are on the Ramsey plan and have taken FPU! We find the more we live life simply (as anyone can in these times) the more full our lives are.

Thanks for your blog, it brings me much enjoyment and information!


Jenny, Plain and Simple Me October 22, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I’m a 30 something mom, step-mom, wife, photographer, gardener, naturalist, teacher, blogger, and live in Northern Indiana. My blog is plainandsimple.me: living life with deliberation. I write a lot about sustainable agriculture and making better decisions about our purchases. I think it’s important to put our money where our values lie.

A job at a nature center about 5 years ago made me realize how much impact we Americans were having on our earth, and I want to do my part. I currently teach high school Environmental Science and try to inspire my students to live thoughtfully. I spent some time raising sheep and heirloom tomatoes for farmer’s markets.

We have four kids in a blended family which can make it tough to reduce in some areas. I feel really strongly about making second-hand purchases as much as possible, and raising as much of our own food as possible, and buying locally what we can’t grow ourselves.

Thanks for your blog! I love to be inspired.


Katy October 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Okay, I am officially loving all of your comments. Everyone so different, and yet all part of the same Non-Consumer Advocate community.

Keep ’em coming!



Jenny October 22, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I’m a married 38 year old woman living in St. Louis, Missouri. We have two small children, two cats, and one dog.
We strive to be frugal on most things so we can spend on what is important to us. We try to be green with things like recycling, using less water, cloth napkins and things like that.
I am struggling to whittle down our clutter and belongings to a manageable amount and have been blogging about that. Hubby was brought up in very frugal family. I grew up watching my Mom and my Grandma trash pick treasures and clip coupons. So switching to frugality to pay off our credit card debt and student loans was a no brainer. I also devoured The Tightwad Gazette after our wedding. We wanted to live within our means on one income with no debt other than a mortgage so I could stay home with children. We’ve been a one income family with only mortgage debt for about eight years. Now we’re tackling our mortgage chunk by chunk and I can actually see being completely debt free in less than a decade.
I read your blog frequently.


Kathy M October 22, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Love the comments from everyone.
I am single,54 yo, live in Savannah, GA. Two grown children and grandson in Texas with another grandson on the way.
I found you thru the Compact. I am not as green as I aspire to be but am motivated by you and many others. Baby steps. I am frugal out of necessity but also just don’t feel the need to spend lots of money. My biggest expense is eating out. I live alone and find eating out is such a social thing for me. I read you and Frugal Girl daily and a couple of other blogs daily. I work part time in a gallery and pet sit. I live in a condo. I have great admiration and respect for your readers and all that they do.


BLG October 22, 2010 at 1:48 pm

I’m 31, living in Colorado. Female, married, no kids (never plan to have any), no pets just now. We’ve been living in apartments and moving every 3-4 years since we married (both PhDs, with no permanent jobs yet – we are itinerant postdocs), so we’re not really in the gardening/chickens/home improvement camp. Definitely more than 100 things in any room in my apartment! We went down to 1 car over a year ago, though, and it’s working great, so that’s probably my most frugal move. I read your blog almost every day – we’re different in many ways, so it’s an interesting to experience your perspective on life.

Just a comment here – my perspective on DIY frugality is definitely influenced by the fact that my parents were always doing their own remodeling at our house, but v-e-r-y slowly, and that meant a 1/2 finished house for most of my childhood. Due to this experience, I’m much more inclined to pay (hopefully a reasonable amount) to get something done professionally. Just a thought that I thought you might be interested in hearing, since DIY house stuff comes up a lot on this blog – it’s funny how we’re influenced by our parents in these ways!


Sherry October 22, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Female, almost 30, married, no kids yet, no pets, in Nashville, TN. Musician and music teacher. Home owner. No blog. Definitely frugal, but messy. Read the blog pretty much every day, I love it.


Misttan October 22, 2010 at 1:51 pm

I am a 35 year old happily married mom of 1 son. We live in Southeast lower Michigan, not too far from Ohio really. I am a regular reader and I think I came across you from reading other blogs. For sure not as green or frugal or uncluttered as I should be so I keep reading and keep trying πŸ™‚


A. Marie October 22, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Thanks for asking. I’m female, 55, Tennessean by birth and Upstate New Yorker by accident of matrimony (although, granted, that was 3o-some years ago and I’m very happy here). One beloved recovering spendthrift husband, no children, one cat. The BRSH is in the home energy/building performance business, so his remaining major extravagances these days are home retrofits that should pay for themselves pronto, given the way energy prices are going. We’re far from minimalists in terms of possessions, but after cleaning out both our late mothers’ households, we realize we can’t take it with us and are trying to downsize. I raise about 80% of our summer vegetables and 40% of our winter ones on our double city lot; no livestock, but I’d love to try for some the minute the only neighbors who might lodge formal objections move out! Meantime, we purchase all our chicken, eggs, beef, and pork from local folks we know personally. Most of our wardrobes are secondhand, including the gown I will be wearing in Portland next weekend at the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) Regency ball (check it out in the 4/8/10 “Thrifty Threads” post on My Year Without Spending). (However, I must admit that traveling to the JASNA Annual General Meeting has become *my* major extravagance.) I read both your blog and Angela’s regularly, and they give me the sort of charge I used to get from reading Amy Dacyczyn’s books 20 years ago. You go, girls!


Melissa October 22, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I’m a 41-year-old mother of two boys, 7 and 5 in Portland. I teach at a community college part-time (verrrry part time). I don’t have a blog or chickens, but I love your blog and I can hear my neighbor’s chickens whenever they lay eggs (In fact, judging from the squawking, they might need a labor&delivery nurse). I became frugal once I had kids and stopped working so much. I am as green as I can manage, but I still feel immense guilt every time I drive somewhere instead of bike. My garden this year completely sucked, and for every item I get rid of in my house, my children replace with legos.


Gigi October 22, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Another Portlander here. I am a 28, married, have 4 cats and a spazzy bichon poodle. My field is Architecture and I’m frugal by choice. Also a reformed hoarder turned minimalist. Came across your blog through the compact group and have been reading nearly every day for the past 2 years. Love when you post your ‘Cheap Eats’ recipes!


Melissa October 25, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Okay, the first time I read the part about your dog, I read, “spazzy, bitchin’ poodle”. Ha!


Deb October 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm

It’s interesting and fun reading about your blog readers!

I’m a 43 year old divorced mom, who has a newly empty nest, living in Maine. I work full-time as a Paralegal which I really enjoy, volunteer teach a budget course at my Church, and do volunteer work for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Starting the year I turned 40, every year I set a physical and mental challenge for myself, always something I haven’t done before, and I raise money for charities (Cancer) while doing it. The first year I ran a marathon. I’m trying to decide what next year’s challenge will be.

I haven’t always been frugal, but came into the lifestyle by necessity originally. My ex-husband and I didn’t earn a lot of money, but we sure knew how to spend what we didn’t have early on. Now I find frugality fun, challenging, and rewarding. I completed Dave Ramsey’s FPU 18 months ago, and am now debt free except for my house.

With a very small house lot, I have a little veggie garden, and get the rest of what I need from a CSA. I like to re-purpose things, do-it-myself around the house, cook from scratch, can & pickle, and make homemade gifts. I try to walk or ride my bike whenever/wherever I can, and love to spend time with my family and friends. Living simply allows me to do the things I enjoy.

Oh, one dog, one cat (both of whom think they are the boss of the household), and no chickens.


Deb October 22, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Forgot to say that I’ve been reading your blog for well over a year, but can’t recall how long or how I found you anymore.


kim October 22, 2010 at 2:31 pm

wow! you’ve had a great response from your readers.

i live in chattanooga, tn., with my 13 y.o. son, two cats, and very small dog. we are consciously trying to become more frugal and are working on decluttering and getting rid of unnecessary things. i teach emotionally disturbed high school students and try mightily to work on my art when i can.

i don’t remember how i found you, but i’m glad i did. been a regular reader for a few weeks.


p.s. no chickens! although i’d love to raise ducks at some point. we live in an older and kind of funky but nice apartment complex. i don’t have the desire to take on property ownership at this point in my life.


Erin G October 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm

I live in a small town outside of Eugene, OR, where I am a full time pastor and my husband works part time for a fast food company. The way we became frugal was through trying to be green. The only way I could convince my husband to put up with the smell of vinegar as all-purpose cleaner and the extra time it took to dry our clothes outside was to remind him how much money we saved by doing so. Now it’s very handy to have that philosophy since we’ve ended up in jobs that don’t rake in the dough. I’m definitely a twenty-something, but I don’t know if anyone could describe me as hip. I think I’m only one high-waisted pair of khakis away from middle-aged woman. To me, responsible consuming is a matter of faith. It’s our duty to be good stewards of creation, so that’s what I try to live and teach. I don’t blog. All my creative energy usually goes into writing a sermon every week. But I do read this blog religiously (sorry, couldn’t resist.) Keep up the good work.


ellie October 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Love the comments. I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for several months, but never commented before.I may be your oldest reader – I’m 75, a retired teacher, mother of three and grandmother of 4. I’m frugal by choice – I like being able to set aside “saved” money for treats for grandchildren or donations to our local food bank (yes, I use a lot of coupons).

I should mention I’m also an Oregonian, but from the EAST side of the Cascades. A somewhat different world. ( Only Oregonians will understand.)


Katy October 22, 2010 at 3:23 pm

I do understand. πŸ˜‰



Trish October 22, 2010 at 3:01 pm

I’m a 40 something married female (no kids) living in the wilds of southern Illinois, not far from St. Louis. I came to the frugal lifestyle thru Amy Dacyczyn, whose attitude of putting your resources towards things that are truly of value to you really registered with me. I worked several jobs that didn’t have meaning, and tried to save what I could, to be able to afford the lifestyle I wanted- a country life with dogs and hopefully horses. I am a rabid greenie, and hope to raise meat chickens eventually (intimidated!). I have a big garden and cook from scratch as much as possible. And I am finally lucky enough to have horses, which has been my lifelong dream. I love to declutter, and always, with projects, bite off more than I can chew, which resuts in lots of frustration at times (am working on changing my ways) . Have been reading your blog for a couple of months, and usually check daily for updates. I love this blog, by the way!


Linsey October 22, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I am a 34 yo married mother of a 3.5 yo son and am expecting my second son in December. We live in North Bend WA with our 2 dogs. I work full time as a registered dietitian. I am frugal because I like to be and will be taking 7 months of work off (non-paid) after the birth of our second son. I am an avid coupon user, thrift store shopper, and budget follower, we compost, recycle, try to buy only what we need and I am working on decluttering, although I am more along the lines of 100 things on my coffee table and another 200 things on top of my desk. I am not a blogger myself. My sister turned me onto your blog and now I subscribe to receive it in my email. πŸ™‚


Maria October 22, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I’m a 34 year old married woman with 2 daughters, 4 and 7. I live in upstate NY and work as a School Librarian. I’ve been reading your blog for a few months after reading about it on Naomi Seldens blog. I try to be green and I’m frugal about certain things. I’m trying to declutter my house but it seems to be a losing battle. I like to read about financial planning, being frugal and green living because it makes me more mindful of how I’m living my life.


Noelle October 22, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Hi Katy! I’ve been reading for months, but have never commented. πŸ™‚ I’m 24 years old and I live in Las Vegas. I’m frugal by necessity, as I graduated college a year ago and have been having trouble finding work in my field. I am living at home with my parents and saving up to get further credentials next summer. Unfortunately, Las Vegas is not well-suited to biking/public transit, so I am stuck with a car for now (I managed to get a car with very good gas mileage, though, so I am saving a little bit at least). Eventually I hope to move to a different city, though, hopefully one where a car is not a necessity. I really enjoy reading this blog, thanks! πŸ™‚


Amanda N October 22, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I am a 35 y.o. mom to a one-year-old. My husband and I decided I would take a year off from my freelance writing to focus on him (the baby-not the husband.) I ease back into working from home next year. We are debt free except for the mortgage. I have begun a house purge to last till the end of the year so that next year, when I am caring for a toddler and working while my husband travels for his job, I can focus on the important stuff.
We recycle and compost and I am determined to follow my late Gramma’s advice of “waste not, want not.”
We live in NW Louisiana and I love the laid back attitude here. I adore your blog and love your attitude.


Alane October 22, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Late 30 something yo here. Married with two boys. One adult and one senior in high school. Live in SJ just outside Philly. Thought about blogging but am unsure if anyone cares to hear the ramblings of a Jersey girl. No chickens but I think I am allowed to have them in my town. 3 dogs ( all are hunting dogs so chickens may not be a good idea)
For those who don’t know recycling in our state is mandatory by law and you can be fined if you don’t. So I recycle like a nut. Have way more than 100 items but the things I have were mostly bought second hand ( except my Stephen King books) and bring me a lot of joy. My feeling is if ur items bring you happiness than that’s fine. Am not crafty at all and wish I was brave enough to try canning. ( I do live in the Garden State) Found your blog from someone else’s during the Food Stamp Challenge and have been following everyday since.


Catherine October 22, 2010 at 3:22 pm


I am a 42 year old woman who just moved to PA from the south. I have two kids 11 and 13. I currently work but I am tendering my resignation on Tuesday for the end of the year. I am frugal by nature although my husband is not. I have been reading your blog for a few years now. I cannot even remember how I found it.


Kristen October 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm

I am a 36 yr old married female, no kids and no plans for kids. I am a Canadian expat living in Georgia. I think I came across your blog via Get Rich Slowly at least a year or 2 ago. I love hearing about your adventures in the Compact and your love for the library (I feel the same way about mine). I am not frugal by necessity but rather for the sense of security it gives me knowing I have some money in the bank plus I am tired of society’s pressure to spend and consume and keep up with the neighbors…I want to rebel! From you I learned about Amy Dacyczyn and took out her book at the library, I loved it. Also from you I learned about Annie Leonard and her little movie on “Stuff”. I am moving towards being more green, but we still have 2 cars and we don’t have a garden, though I would love to, I just have no idea how. I am also moving towards minimalism and have been working consistantly to pare down our possessions and rid ourselves of the clutter. I love your blog, I think you are smart and funny!!! Thanks for writing it.


JLS October 22, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I am a 36 year old female in Orange County, California. Live with a boyfriend, two dogs and one questionable cat. Right now I work as a government lawyer in the busy U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

I do not write a blog, but look forward to reading yours every day. I believe I was led here by a RowdyKittens mention some weeks ago. Some day I will have chickens(!), but for now am restricted by what I can grow on our sun-bathed balcony (lemons, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and squash). I am definitely frugal, somewhat out of necessity, but more by choice; and am working on being more green. LOVE libraries, thrift stores, public transportation, finding ways to save/resuse, and (above all) the personal PEACE that comes from those lifestyle choices. I’ve also been inspired by the 100 Thing Challenge this year and have been donating much of my excess “stuff,” although I think the “100” number will forever elude me…

Thank you so much for writing — I adore your blog!


Deb October 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm

International fans too!? Kudos, Katy! I am the *other* Deb :o) I follow this blog a few days a week.

My partner, Jim and myself are former Portlanders. I’m 48, he’s 49. He has 1 adult son, I have no kids. We have 2 rescued geriatric dogs and a colony of feral cats that we care for. I telecommute (I’m in health information & research), and Jim is in the high tech telecommunications field and travels for his business.

We moved to Longvew Wa (1 hr north of Portland) 2 years ago, and downsized from 1800 sq feet to 900 sq feet. We heat our little home with a woodstove. The PUD rates are super low. We are saving up for a tankless hot water heater, and are installing a composting toilet in our shop. We purged/sold/gifted away lots of furniture and possessions, and are still whittling it down. In spite of that, our shop is still filled with boxes of stuff from our previous life/house. The stuff feels like an albatross and we have enjoyed the purging. I plan to reopen my online shop and resume selling my best items & collectibles this winter.

We are both pretty frugal. Necessary purchases only and always second hand if possible. We love Craigslist & have found incredible deals there!! We do most of our own cooking & all from scratch. Purchase local food as much as possible including the super happy, truly free range chicken eggs from a neighbor just a half mile down the road. Our house sits on 4 acres. We plan to use 1.5 acres for a veggie garden, berries and fruit trees. I dream of having a Farmer’s Market stall one day, or even a produce here at home. I want to donate fresh produce to the local foodbank. We both love to can and preserve.

I have to add this, seriously. A few years ago some people actually laughed at us for our simple lifestyle choices – the second hand vehicles, our simple second hand camper, the thrift store/garage sale clothes & dishes, even for our gardening & canning (I remember one particular comment…”wow, does anyone still do that anymore? why bother”!?) How quickly things change, huh?


Rebecca October 22, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I am a 32 year old, married, female Ohioan (no kids). I just recently started reading your blog (found it through Rowdy Kittens). My husband is the only one working right now, but we are frugal and green by choice. We have 2 dogs and 11 special needs cats (all fixed), and we volunteer at our local no-kill shelter. We are Quaker Christians, and much of our living choices stem from the five Quaker testimonies (simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality). We are looking to move into a house that is about 1/3 the size of where we are living now here soon. I’m not a blogger, but enjoy your blog very much!


Amanda October 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm

I am a 38 year old stay at home, homeschooling mom to 2 daughters, 7 and 3. We live in West Virginia. We are frugal out of necessity – one small income has to stretch for our family of four. My husband has been laid off 4 times in the last 5 years – we are still trying to get back on our feet. I visit here every day and discovered you during the Food Stamp Challenge.


Kylee October 22, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Hi! I am a 38 year woman living in Brisbane, Queensland (Australia) with my cat, George. My boyfriend is currently based in Sydney (about 1300m away from here). We don’t have children and we don’t plan to have any. I am an engineer, working for a government owned corporation which is about to be sold off.
I can’t remember how I found your blog, but I have been reading it for about a year. Mum and Dad were frugal (by necessity) was I was growing up, but once I started working I lost my way and went berserk with credit cards. Once I bought my house though, I struggled with mortgage payments and the credit card payments. So, I learnt to be frugal all over again.
I love, LOVE your blog. Some things just aren’t applicable. No Heat challenge? I don’t own a heater, I didn’t even know what a furnace was. Snow? Frozen compost piles? Never going to be an issue here. Housing (renting or buying) is very expensive in Australia, and our groceries seem to cost a lot more than yours. But, a lot of your blog is universal and applies no matter where you live. I keep reading your blog and others, to keep me focussed. I am now blessed to earn a high income, and I need to pay attention or lifestyle inflation will take over.
Oh, and I really want chickens. We had them when I was growing up. I just have to convince Dad to build me a chicken coop.


Kylee October 22, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Oops. I meant that Sydney is 1300km away from Brisbane (about 780miles)


Karen October 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Katy, it’s really cool to learn the bios of your audience! I have been reading and enjoying your blog since spring 2009 and am an occasional commenter. You always inspire me to do more–recently, your comment about separating the plastic from paper layers on cat food bags really resonated with me, and I now try to do this all the time.

I am 54 and live in Northern California with my husband. (We both love the Portland area, as we both went to college at Marylhurst, living in Lake Oswego for 4 years.) Our kids are all grown up, one living nearby and one living in Cairo, Egypt. I am a freelance editor/writer and my current project is a play. I also work for our local high school district doing writing assessments.

A child of the’60s/’ 70s, I came to the green movement out of interest (loving trees and the outdoors, and not wanting to destroy the environment), and perhaps some programming too–my mom was always so bothered by waste of any kind. She never forgot the Depression! She was the first recycler I knew, and she took her duties very seriously. For me, getting interested in frugality seems a natural spin off from being green, as they are so connected. I love making all my own cleaning products–this fulfills both green and cheap requirements. How satisfying!

One of my favorite activities is thrift shopping. It sounds crazy to people who are not into it, but I really look forward to my weekly or bi-weekly thrift session with a dear friend, who also loves the thrill of the hunt. We visit 2 to 3 stores per time and have a ball while picking up some great bargains. She always finds amazing shoes and I tend to scope out linens and fabric plus books, of course. Of course all you thrifters out there understand how cool it is when someone comes to my house and really compliments something and I tell that someone that it cost me a couple bucks at Goodwill or Savers. What a high…


Mary Ann October 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm

I’m 52, married, mother of two Virginia Tech sons and live near the coast of Virginia. I became frugal out of necessity, so that I could stay home with my sons for 7-8 years. I am now frugal out of habit and try to be “green” as possible. I work at a government research facility. Someday I hope to visit Oregon, but so far I’ve not been any further west than Ohio. (Have done the entire East Coast though.) I am a regular reader of your blog.


Krista October 22, 2010 at 6:55 pm

I’m a long time reader and Google subscriber. I’m 26, married and live in NYC. I’m frugal in the sense that I try not to buy unnecessary stuff and to be a good steward of the environment. I don’t buy many new clothes, I joined a CSA but I also spend a fair amount on my favorite hobby, triathlons. I think I’m more of a minamilst than my husband but I’m trying not to let that prevent me from pairing down my own belongings πŸ™‚


Jeanne October 22, 2010 at 6:57 pm

I have read your site for the past year and have put many of your suggestions into practice. I am 47, have a fantastic partner and live in Central Washington. Your tips help me to prepare for a life of semi-retirement. My partner has his own business and it is our goal for me to join him. We practice frugality, which requires creativity and a sense of humor. We appreciate the outdoors, friends and family. Thanks for adding to my motivation, it’s a good life.


Jeanine October 22, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Hi, I’m Jeanine.

I’m a 31 year old mother to two girls, 10 and 8, and wife of 11 years to a husband of 43.

We live about as far south as you can get without being in the Gulf of Mexico.

We currently have no debt, no mortgage, no car note, nothing. I am slowly, and all by myself , moving our family to a more green, frugal lifestyle.

I’ve read your blog for a little over two years now, and really enjoy it.


Annie Jones October 22, 2010 at 7:22 pm

I’m Annie Jones, which is the pseudonym I use on my blog. I live in a suburb of Kansas City, MO. I maintain a blog called Real Life Living.

I have a grown daughter who is 26 and married. I also have a granddaughter who is 7 and who lives with my husband and me. We have three cats that live indoors and one feral cat that we feed and claim as ours, but have never been able to touch. We don’t have chickens but are seriously considering keeping some laying hens next spring.

I have been frugal, in varying degrees, my entire life. I was raised by parents who were frugal. We enjoy the lifestyle and are frugal as much out of choice as out of necessity. I can’t imagine living any other way. My husband’s family of origin was not frugal, but because he has a DYI attitude, once we married, he took to frugality right away. As for being green, there is a certain amount of green-thinking that comes with being frugal, I believe. However, I think we are becoming more green as time goes on.

I am in my late 40s, while my husband is in his mid-30s. I don’t think we’re hip or seasoned. Our neighbors would probably call us the strange family with all the raised garden beds and scrap building supplies in their backyard.

If there’s such a thing as minimalist hoarders, that’s us. We aren’t into buying the latest and greatest of anything, but if it can be had for cheap or for free, and we’re certain it will be useful to us, we’ll take it! We’ve been able to remodel rooms, build climbing forts, give away good useful items to those in need, and even make a little money, all from materials and objects we’ve picked up here and there for little or no money out of pocket.

I read your blog regularly via Google Reader and even comment occasionally. πŸ™‚


Christy October 22, 2010 at 7:25 pm

I am a 39 year old, married stay-at-home mom of a 13 and 9 year old. We live in the Sacramento area of California. I love to garage sale and thrift store shop. I volunteer at a environmental learning center and periodically teach worm composting classes. I have been an avid reader of your blog for over a year, perhaps two. How long have you been blogging now? I found out about you on the Internet through The SimpleLiving News. Keep up the good work!


Lacy October 22, 2010 at 7:29 pm

I’ve been reading your blog for over a year but I’m not much of a commenter. I’m 25 and I stay home full time to raise my 18-month old. My husband, daughter and I live here in Portland in a 700-square foot apartment which fits all of our belongings quite nicely – we don’t own much stuff and we like it that way. My husband bikes to work and my daughter and I walk everywhere we can during the day. And we use the library. A lot.


Sara October 22, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I’m a 30 year old fellow Portlander (I’m pretty sure we live in the same neighborhood – I live in the Richmond District not far from Freddy’s). I have a lovely husband and 4 month old daughter. I’ve been reading your blog for about a year (I think) – there was an article in the Oregonian that turned me onto your blog. My husband and I are somewhat “green”. We have a small house, rarely run the heat, carpool and bike to work, compost, recycle, but there’s always room to do more. I’m fairly frugal, but haven’t always been that way. My goal is to join the compact at some point. . . I’m not quite sure what’s stopping me. Love your blog – I look forward to reading it every day.


Valerie Heck October 22, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I’m a 27 year old goldsmith/juggler living in a suburb of Cleveland Ohio with my husband (a lawyer) and our parrot Bentley. I blog daily as well! : ) I try to be green, reuse things and avoid going to stores as much as possible. I take notes on the best goodwill/thrift stores so I remember where they are. The majority of things in our house are used, many were ‘trash’ that I turned into treasure. My Mom taught me to be thrifty!


Christy October 22, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Hey Katie – I found your blog via the simple living newsletter at least a year ago, probably closer to two. I’m a physical therapist living in Astoria, OR. I grew up in Portland. I spent the last 3 years living in the Tahoe Nat’l forest in a small mining town. I can relate to your house stuff – we bought an old gold rush hotel and fixed it up to live in, only to sell at the height of the mortgage crisis! I have a husband and 2 kids whom I adopted through the State of OR. I like simple living b/c I think I am that way naturally. Also, one of my kids has some pretty significant ADHD going on, so I actually like minimalism to help manage this. If I lived in Portland, I think you and I would hang out and be friends :)! I think you are very funny and have an awesome outlook on life. Oh….and we just had a Goodwill open up here. I think of you when I go.


Susan Smith October 22, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Hi: Retired grandmother of 4 teenaged granddaughters, still married to their Grandfather. We live on Vancouver Island (one hour north of Buchart Gardens seems to be the easiest way to explain where we are because everyone seems to know where that is). We struggle to live a thrifty, environmentally sustainable life rich in interactions and experiences. Am member of the local Transition Initiating committee, compulsive quilter, gardener, food bank volunteer. Enjoy hearing about your experiences and find your activities make me aware of how set in my ways I am in danger of becoming. Thanks.


Lilypad November 4, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Susan, you live in one of the most beautiful places in the world and I would love to live there! *jealous* I live in the Seattle area and we try to get to Victoria/Vancouver Island (actually anywhere in B.C., I love Canada!) as much as possible. My son (9) loves the museum of miniatures there. Thanks for commenting. It’s so nice to read about everyone’s lives and recognize a few places I’ve been to…


Lindy October 22, 2010 at 8:29 pm

It was nice to read about your other readers!

So, as for me…I live in the Ozarks of Missouri, a 40ish something, married female with 3 children. We own a cattle farm (husbands job) but I work outside of the home.

I was rasied by very frugal parents, so I guess frugalness has always been the norm for me. I have always been one to garage sale, clip coupons, etc. to save money. I look at it actually as a hobby because I find it fun to save money.

I absolutely hate clutter. Drives me nuts. So, needless to say I have no clutter in my house. But on the other hand I love to go to thrift stores, garage sales and flea markets. I love decorating with old things (country decor) and most decorating items have to serve a function. One reason being I live in a small house!

I have probably been reading your blog for about a year but I can’t remember how I found it, most likely from blog hopping from other frugal blogs, another hobby of mine! I read your blog most everyday, when I get on the computer anyway!


Jennifer October 22, 2010 at 8:49 pm

I’m an almost 30 year old mom to 2 daughters (2 1/2 & 4 months) living in CT but native to California. I’m frugal & sometimes cheap but I also like to buy “things” I follow your blog to help keep me focused on consuming less.


CindyC October 22, 2010 at 8:50 pm

I’m a 49-year-old Latina living in Southern California. I’m married and mom of one 8 year old daughter that I homeschool. I was a software engineer for 25 years and the breadwinner of our family. I was laid off last year. My husband and I started a small business providing classes to homeschooled children. It doesn’t pay the bills, yet, so my husband went back to work as a family therapist. I have blogs, but not a traditional blog. I use blogs to create websites. I do have a blog where I list local family events. I wish I had more time for it.

Why am I here? Well, with my layoff we needed to cut expenses quickly. So the subject of living modestly and frugally was at the top of my list. I’m not exactly green. It’s not really high on my priority list, but I don’t like to let people know. πŸ™‚ I’m thinking more about what we are eating, though, and McD’s is just not appetizing to me anymore.

I think I’ve been reading this blog for about a year. I do have clutter and I suck at housekeeping. Now that I’m a SAHM, I’m trying to figure out the routine that works for me. So far it’s throwing everything away.


Kat C October 22, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Hi Katy!
I read your blog regularly via Google Reader… not sure where I first found you. I live in Canada. I work for our healthcare system, as a speech therapist. I am in a common law relationship, no kids. I am mostly frugal by choice and because we bought a house a few years ago, when we perhaps weren’t quite ready! I learned the joys of a simple life many years ago while participating in this cool program the Canadian government runs called Katimavik. So I’ve been interested in simple living for a long time, and have always lived somewhat simply. Two years ago we gave up our car (planned for when the lease ran out) and are living well without it. (Although might need to get one again due to potential job changes).

I love your blog!


Kat C October 22, 2010 at 8:58 pm

oh yeah, and I’m in my early 30’s and very interested in being green.


Lorna October 22, 2010 at 9:02 pm

I can’t remember who turned me onto your blog, but I read it almost everyday. It helps keep me in the direction I want….greener and greener. I’m 67…used to be a hippie so lived for 10 yrs in the MOST frugal manner in a log cabin we built from the logs on our property in the wilds of North Idaho. We lived with no electricity or running water, gardened, kept chickens, pigs, cows, horses and turkeys. In the winter our skinned elk or moose or deer hung in a tree to keep it away from the bears. My husband would lower it, hack off a chunk with a machete and toss it to me to cook on the wood cookstove. Summers, I canned everything i could get my hands on on the cookstove which we moved outside. We rode our kids on horseback 5 miles to meet the school bus…a very interesting life, but one I finally tired of…became a Realtor and spent the next 10 yrs enjoying spending money and gathering too many possessions..I’m sure as a reactionary move to the former 10 yrs…LOL…now, I’m retired and in a financial dilemma, so I am returning to my frugal roots and that’s where your wonderful blog comes in! Thanks for doing it!


Rebecca S. October 22, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Hi, Katy! I’m a 22-year-old female regular reader in Seattle. I’m currently a college student, but I’m about to graduate and start a full-time job as a research scientist(!!!!! I’m SO EXCITED FOR THAT!!!). I’ll be working in a wonderful environment that has taught and even nurtured me as a scientist for two years, but the salaries in academia are far less than those in industry. Though I will be living with my boyfriend of four years, he has not yet secured a job for when he graduates, so our financial situation is far from certain.

Between the college student thing and the uncertain financial future, I’m currently putting myself in the “frugal by neccessity” category (at least for now. Should he get a job with insurance, or I get into medical school right away, it’ll be easier). Of course, the green benefits are great, but right now, I’m mostly about pumping up my savings without sacrificing eating healthy food and doing activities that keep us healthy (I bellydance, he does karate).

I may be the primary earner for the two of us for at least a few months, should he not get a job soon. I’m fine with that–that’s what couples of four years do, and he’s a bright guy with a lot to offer who will get a job eventually, it’s just that the economy is terrible. It’s a tough time to be staring out in the world. We’ll make it, but we’ll have to be frugal and watch our pennies for a while.

We do a lot of cooking from scratch, doing our own repairs, and not buying things. We don’t have landlines or cable, though we do have a $12/month X-Box live subscription that takes care of all of our entertainment needs. I worked full-time last summer in my lab, but I also do secret shopping and take part in research studies and do other odd jobs, too. Compared to my peers, I feel like we’re doing pretty well in terms of money, but ask me again in three months! πŸ˜›

We live in a tiny apartment in a city, even though we hope to move back to the country one day (I hope to be a rural primary care doctor. My BF is an archeologist). I’ve really liked reading the city-living aspects of your blog–how there’s free entertainment in the park, free museam days, etc. We don’t have those in the country, and it’s exciting to hear about!

Thanks for writing! You hae a fun-to-read blog, and I appreciate the insights you have on a frugal, sustainable lifestyle! πŸ™‚


Carrie October 22, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Hi Katy,
I’m 36 years old and live in northern Alberta (Canada) with my husband and two preschool children. We live in the country in a log home that we built ourselves. We have a large garden, chickens, dogs and cats. I love to can things, bake, sew, knit a bit and in general just make stuff from scratch. I recycle and compost and try to reuse whatever I can. I went back to work for a few years while we were building our house and have just recently left my job to be at home with my children. I grew up in a household that was frugal out of necessity and am now trying to be as frugal as possible so that I can be at home with my family. We have a mortgage and a vehicle (paid off in one year) that we owe on and don’t want to add any debt, but instead add to the savings. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog over the past year. It encourages me and reminds me that I’m not deprived and not the only one trying to live a better life. I love that you blog almost everyday – I check in whenever I can. Thanks.


Julie October 22, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Hi Katy!
I just want to say how awesome it is to read your blog and to see how you are reaching people around the world. I met Katy years ago when we were first starting out as labor and delivery nurses. She was the first 20 something that I had ever known who clipped coupons. She would always share her stories of her amazing finds with me at work and planted that seed of frugality in my mind. Years later and many moves away from my friend, I have quit working, home school my 4 kids, and never leave the house without my 3 ring binder coupon organizer.

Cheers my friend! Keep up the great work!


Jenny October 22, 2010 at 10:09 pm

40-something, small-town Alaskan, owner of a small business. Husband, dog, no kids. Trying to be frugal and green, frugal is harder for a girl who grew up an only child of two working parents in the affluent 60s and 70s.


Amy H. October 22, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Hi Katy! I’m 41, espoused, no kids and sadly, no pets (our apt. building doesn’t allow them). My husband and I live in San Francisco . . . so you know just from that that there are some limits to my present-day frugality. I was raised by a very frugal dad and managed to sock away some decent savings in my first 5-8 years working as an attorney — after having read “Your Money or Your Life,” which was very inspiring. But I also have realized that I like living in a city, and, specifically, love living in this city . . . and I’m not currently as frugal as I used to be. Part of that is also being married to someone who doesn’t have the same frugal genes — but (as I’ve commented about before) he’s come around to a lot of my brainwashing!

I do still focus on what I found to be the core (for me) of “Your Money or Your Life” — aligning one’s spending with one’s priorities and values. We rent a relatively expensive apartment, but that is a deliberate choice, with deliberate tradeoffs in other areas (we share one car — a 5yo Corolla — for example). We also spend what I’m sure many would consider shocking amounts on groceries (my favorite example is $4.59 for a half-gallon of local organic milk in glass bottles that require another $1.50 deposit) and restaurants . . . because we love to eat and we live in one of the best cities in the world for that! Several years ago I took a pay cut in order to work fewer hours. It was exactly the right decision for me and I’m very grateful to have had that opportunity.

San Francisco is also a good area to be green — we have recycling and composting right in our building, extensive public transportation (even to SFO and OAK), a city that’s completely walkable (I walk to work) and takeout in compostable containers. We even have potato starch utensils in my office kitchen. Of course there’s still more I can work on in this area. . . . Your blog is an inspiration in many respects!


Amy H. October 22, 2010 at 10:46 pm

Forgot to say that I found your blog through My Year Without Spending about a year or two ago.


aileen gasson October 23, 2010 at 12:37 am

Hey katy. My name is Aileen and I live in the UK. I first started reading your blog a few months ago as I came across it when just scrolling through some other money saving sites. I am a divorced 55 year old with 2 grown kids and 2 adorable grandsons (twins). I came from a a very poor family and married a man with more money than sense – and he didn’t have too much money either! Have just stretched myself to buy my lovely home and am trying to pay off my mortgage as quickly as possible. We don’t have thrift shops as such, or Goodwill, but what we call “charity” shops. People donate to a shop opened to raise funds for a particular good cause (say Age Concern or MacMillan Cancer Nurses) and the goods are sorted then sold. I have noticed though that they seem to be getting expensive as other shops cut their prices in the recession. Enjoy your posting most days, and usually catch up when I get home from work and am waiting for dinner to cook.


Jo October 23, 2010 at 1:27 am

(late!) 30 something, living in a nice part of Surrey near Windsor, UK (just West of London) most of the time and sometimes in a converted farmhouse in the LOT, SW France. I’m childfree and live with a husband, dog and cats. I’m frugal through choice as my husband has a relatively good job with the BBC and I have a couple of small businesses that do OK (sounds a whole load more impressive than it actually is!!). I’m a bit of a modern day hippy and I’m definitely going through a rebellious stage so I love getting one over on the big companies and consumerism in general. I live in an old house that’s really too big for us but we love and it’s got too much clutter in it but I’m getting better (I’ve found asking myself if I love something enough to dust it every week for the rest of my life works wonders!). I read your blog every day on google reader, no idea how I found you and the interesting thing for me is that some of the things you do (line drying, loving the library, etc) aren’t frugal in Europe, they’re pretty normal!


Karen October 23, 2010 at 2:08 am

I’m in my 30s, live with my husband in a run-down Edwardian suburb of London. We’ve got a two-up, two-down terrace but which came with a surprisingly long garden into which we’ve crammed chickens, rabbits and fruit trees. We’ve also got an allotment garden just down the road so we can be reasonably self-sufficient in veg and eggs at least.

My husband works part-time restoring coppiced woodland, sometimes in the city itself but usually in the surrounding countrysite. The rest of our income comes from proper office jobs, that we’re not massively fond of.

We’re sort of trying to crow-bar a country lifestyle into the city, and to save as much money as possible to get the real thing later. I try and cook from scratch, sometimes obsessively so. Not spending seems to be increasingly addictive.


Alana October 23, 2010 at 3:20 am

Hi Katy,

I’m 27, single, no kids. I started reading your blog about two years ago when I lived in Portland (I went to college there and stayed for a while). I’ve always tried to have a non-consumer outlook on world, and I was thrilled to find your blog. You also got me into personal finance, doing The Total Money Makeover, etc. When I lived in Portland I had a wonderful big communal house in SE with 7 housemates – we had chickens and a garden and baked our own bread, etc. I then spent a year living in Russia working as an English teacher (kind of a shock on the green front, as they have no recycling or even awareness of environmental issues, for the most part), and now I’m living in Berlin (Germany) for a few months before heading back to Oregon. I like to be frugal because it means I have more choices with my life and I’m not tied to year-round employment.


Sarah October 23, 2010 at 3:50 am

Hi- I’m 22 year old Australian, living in Madrid and I read your blog every day. I think I came across your blog through the Frugal Girl. No blog no kids no chickens, but I have a cat! and a boyfriend πŸ™‚ I try and be frugal (and found that I actually really enjoy it!) as I only work part time and we saving up to buy a house in the UK or Australia, haven’t decided where we will end up yet. Also trying for the no heat challenge which is easy right now, but as it has snowed the last two years in Madrid, I imagine it will get harder. πŸ™‚


Jinger October 23, 2010 at 4:13 am

I think I might have come to your blog from the simple living website…you are in my bookmarks and I read every day. I’m a semi retired grandmother with my college student granddaughter living with me. As a single parent/teacher, then single G-Ma raising a grandchild, I have always lived large on little. However, 5 years ago, I had to reinvent myself after losing my life, job, home, and all worldly belongings, in New Orleans, so I live even more simply now. The money I do spend aside from bills and rent is on real food, memorable experiences, and small pleasures. I find great inspiration in nature and the outdoor life as well as creative projects. Recycling, repurposing, thrifting, and reinventing are all important parts of my life. You can learn more about me from my blog.


Maryanne October 23, 2010 at 4:28 am

Hey, Katy!
Reading about your readers has been fun! I am a 38 year old (for the next 2 weeks, anyway!) woman living in Concord, NC. I have been married for 20 years and I have 2 daughters who are 13 and 12 and a son who is 10. I have been reading your blog for about 7 or 8 months. I work from home running our family’s non-profit and I blog at http://www.minimumwageprosperity.org. Our family is in month 4 of our 12-month pledge to live on minimum wage. We are showing people how time to do the things you love is better than working your butt off to keep up with your neighbor’s spending habits. Frugal is what we are about! I love your blog!! Keep up the good work!!


Kim October 23, 2010 at 4:39 am

I’m a 39 year old mother of almost 5, living in the midwest. I found you through The Frugal Girl and have been reading for over a year. I was fortunate to read The Tightwad Gazette 3 years before my oldest child was born and it’s still my go to book when I need frugal inspiration. I have always wanted to be a mother to many, and knew we’d need to embrace a frugal life in order have the kind of family we wanted. I work part time when work is available to supplement my husbands salary. I’ve thought of starting a blog, mostly to connect with others on a similar journey. The hardest part.. just getting started, of course. That and just about every name I could think of for a blog has been claimed. I actually ran across a blog with the address, everyurlwastaken, lol.


Jenn October 23, 2010 at 5:12 am

I am a 36 year old married working mom of three children from Chicago. Over the years I have found myself overwhelmed with the amount of stuff we had and received for our children. My mother always told me that the more stuff you have the more responsibility you have. She is right. I am also tired of spending money on stuff we can get secondhand. I have no problem getting rid of almost anything. My husband has a tougher time but he is improving. Anyhow, I look to your blog for inspiration and encouragement when all around is mass consumerism pressure. Thanks.


Shannon October 23, 2010 at 5:19 am

I’m a stay at home mom of two boys in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. (Go Bucks!) I am frugal, I think by nature, but life situations like digging myself out of massive debt after college, and now staying at home with the boys, have brought it out more. I’m pretty green—I garden, I compost, I recycle, I don’t use paper towels, that kind of thing. I have a little blog that chronicles various things, mostly to do with my home and family. I strive for minimalism, yet I love to collect things (hence I have a small Etsy shop for the overflow.) I’m somewhere in my late 30’s, and I read Nonconsumer Advocate daily πŸ™‚


Laura October 23, 2010 at 6:25 am

I’m a 35 yo woman (girl? OMG I’m starting to feel so old) from Northern Italy and a few months ago I noticed I kept stumbling on posts about minimalism, smaller living and therefore frugality. One lead to another, and here I am. I work as a freelance translator, live with my boyfriend since 2002, and we started decluttering and trying to live a simpler life since a few months (I also have started my own blog on the topic). To be honest, I have the impression Italy is quite far behind on these issues, but… we’ll see! Thanks Katy for your work and thank you all for sharing.


FIONA October 23, 2010 at 6:33 am

I’, Fiona from the United Kingdom and I’ve been reading your blog from almost when you started. I have 3 children, 24, 17 and 8. They all living at home and I can really relate to the mall v thrift store posts ! I like thrift stores and so does my youngest, the other two kids and hubby less so ! I’m finishing my doctorate this year and am very commited to green living and saving resources. Keep writing I think your blog is great !


Linda October 23, 2010 at 6:42 am

I am sitting at my desk (yard sale find for $20 which opens up to a 6 person table), with a lamp on my left side and my laptop open. Oh, and my desk is by the window. I looked at your picture and said, “That’s exactly how I look right now.” Except, I am in Massachusetts, in direct sales, try to be green and frugal. I have been frugal for most of my married life. Thanks to my mother-in-law, who is super frugal. I have learned a great deal from her. Sometimes I am successful at frugality/being green, sometimes not. My laundry is in the wash and, yes, I will hang it on my line. I live too far away from anything to walk (store, library, etc). I read your blog just about every day for the past year.


Kim H. October 23, 2010 at 6:51 am

I am a frugalist who also does what she can for the environment, and is currently turning towards minimalism.
My husband and I (no kids, 3 cats) started on the frugal journey about 10 years ago when we were living in a large (3500 sq. feet) home near Madison, WI.
We were doing okay paying the bills, but we rarely had money to put into savings and we knew we didn’t want to live this lifestyle into our mid-60’s with the chance of having to continue working into retirement.
So we started being more frugal, this was okay for a couple years because we did see our savings building a bit, but we wanted to have no debt by the time we were 40, and retire as soon as possible.
While we were being frugal, we noticed that a lot of the stuff we were doing (composting, using cloth napkins, bartering, changing the light bulbs, unplugging electronics, etc…) was also good for the environment, which lead us to a deeper love of the Earth (cheesey, I know), and the desire to leave the planet in a decent, livable shape for the future generations.
Fast forward 9 years and 1o months: We’re doing good. Student Loans paid off, 1 vehicle paid off and the other one has 2 years to go at o.o% financing. We just re-financed our mortgage down from 30 years 6.5% to 15 years 3.9%, and we pay off our credit card each month (have Discover which we put most of our purchases on so we can get travel points.)
But…. a couple months ago we started getting restless again. Our 40’s will be here in five years, and although our debt should be paid off (including the mortgage), we do not want to keep working traditional jobs 40 hours a week. We want to do what we want when we want (and really who doesn’t?)
So we veering towards a more minimalist life. We have donated about half of our household items to the local Family Center, and will be putting our house up for sale in the Spring to purchase a smaller one. We’re hoping with the sale of this house we’ll be able to put about 2/3 down on a new, smaller house.
With so much stuff donated, our house is too large! We have two rooms that are not used, and we want to go down to one vehicle so our two car garage can shrink down to a one car garage.
So by the time were 40, or hopefully in even less time (1-2 years) we will be debt free and doing more of what we want.
I currently live in a little village outside of Wisconsin Rapids, WI. and work at our awesome library.
I found you about two weeks ago and was instantly smitten : ) and have been reading about your adventures ever since!


Denise October 23, 2010 at 7:08 am

We live on the Oregon Coast and are in our mid 30’s. Both my husband and I come from farming families and have always known the value of frugality. We are country folk, grew up with home canned foods, things made from scratch and knowing how to stretch our budget.
I started reading frugality blogs to keep my mind from going crazy. It seems that so many people our age have no idea how to budget and spend wisely. I was beginning to feel sorry for myself and “look up” as Kristen, over at Thefrugalgirl just posted about. It is a relief to get a little daily dose of reality. It keeps me grounded. Thanks!


Anki October 23, 2010 at 8:13 am

My name is Ann-Christin. I’m 34, married with two kids and I live in a house in Sweden. I’ve been reading your blog for a while but I don’t remember if I’ve commented before. I had a year of not shopping in 2007, inspired by Judith Levine, and I’ve been reading blogs and blogging myself ever since. I blog about green living, frugality, personal finance, minimalism etc at my blog called Kâpstoppsbloggen. Like you I try to blog with integrity and keep my family ouf of the spotlight, it’s a challenge not being personal while still writing engaging stuff. I really like your blog and read it daily!


Mamie October 23, 2010 at 8:20 am

I am 41 years old, recently married, part-time parent to my niece and nephew (ages 7 and 12) who live a mile away and whose parents are struggling in this economy and work wretched hours. My brother’s mother-in-law lives in my household as well. We are a household that ranges from 3 adults to 5 adults and 2 kids, depending on who’s doing what at a given time.

I am an elementary teacher and my husband is a web designer who works from home. The slow economy has affected his business and income, so we try to “make it” on my salary alone and consider his earnings “extra” to be used to pay down our considerable debt.

We love the outdoors, and we are striving to be more self-reliant. We try to be “green” for reasons of both ethics and frugality. I love to cook, and we have gone steadily toward a mostly-cooked-from-scratch/mostly organic diet in the last two years.

I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time, and have commented once or twice.


Alice October 23, 2010 at 8:27 am

I’m 28 years old, female, single and live in a big city in the Midwest. I think I found you through Get Rich Slowly. I am trying to be more green and more frugal because like you I like to keep my working hours limited. I was raised frugal, hated it, rebelled a bit, and am back to frugal after struggling to pay off $15k in cc debt, $20k in student loans and to maintain an emergency fund. I own a condo and have no car, relying on great public transit. Love the library! No blog, garden or chickens (condo board frowns on gardens and chickens ha ha) and I would not call myself hip by any means. Not very creative so no sewing or furniture remaking here but I love to go to thrift store and library book sales for great finds. I read your blog regularly, for fun and ideas, you’re a great writer! I struggle between healthy eating and shopping at Aldi because of cost!


Jackie October 23, 2010 at 8:43 am

Hi! My name is Jackie and I am a 29 year old living in Texas with my husband (no kids). We started on the path to frugality when we decided to leave our well paying, soul sucking jobs and go back to nursing school. Right now we are in the process of selling our junk and our house. We plan to move to Austin and rent a small apartment. I am hoping that our frugal ways will let us live off of savings for 18 months while we complete a fast track ADN program.

I also think the frugal gene is hard wired into me, because my dad is incredibly frugal, to the point that people make jokes all the time. But he is about to retire at 55 and pursue his passion, photography. So I see nothing wrong with it! I am also tired of the consumer culture. I have gotten myself into debt (paid off now!) and shopped to make myself happy in my marriage, with where I live, where I work, etc and I can say it doesn’t work! I also try to tread lightly on the environment by making my own cleaning supplies, using containers (not disposables), carrying a water bottle, etc.

I love your blog and I have been enjoying reading through all of the archives. Please keep it up!


Ani Mia October 23, 2010 at 9:05 am

I am a mom of 2 girls in my early 30s. I live in a mid-sized midwestern town in Iowa and am working towards being more frugal which is in general better for the earth. I recently started working part time to spend more time with my kids. I buy most of my kids clothes second hand at resales and garage sales. I have recently converted my MIL to doing the same thing. I am also struggling to declutter as I have become very claustrophobic due to stuff lately. We compost and garden. The funny thing is that I started these things not because I was conciously being green, but because that is how I grew up on a farm. I find it very interesting that what is becoming considered trendy and green is how quite a few rural families have doing it for many years.


grandma October 23, 2010 at 10:05 am

I live in Seattle – my house is worth $80,000 less than when I bought it and and I had hoped to retire in 5 years. Now it doesn’t seem I will ever get there!!! I read your blog for the upbeat comments and help in dealing with the stress of being so far underwater.


Carla October 23, 2010 at 10:09 am

Old lady here at 60 years old; married for nearly 38 years to the same man. Live in Texas. Own home, which was a goal before husband could retire. (He retired this year.) Still deal with too much stuff and buying too many things, although we seem to do better than the majority of our friends. Disinterested in clothes, fashion, expensive cars or elaborate food BUT love books and crafts and this is where a lot of the “free” money goes. Love the idea of living green but find it not so easy to practice. No animals of any sort, not even pets. Read NCA regularly and am a fairly frequent commenter. Frugality (or at least a watered-down version of it) is in my genes, having come from a positively stingy grandmother on one side and an excellent manger in my mother on the other. Think in terms of, that costs HOW MUCH? It’s always a balance, isn’t it?


Laura October 23, 2010 at 11:50 am

Another old lady here at 58, but definitely don’t feel that old. I have been married to the same wonderful guy for 32 years, and we have lived all over the US and overseas, but love Oregon best. We’re in the process of downsizing and simplifying as my husband fully retires in two years, and we hope to move down to the coast as soon as we get our girls through school here in Portland (they’re in a language immersion program), and are toying with the idea of doing a year abroad somewhere. I formerly taught ESL to adult immigrants and refugees, but “retired” four years ago to stay home with my daughters. My husband and I also have an older son; he lives and works in Tokyo, and he and his wife are expecting their first child (our first grandchild!) next year, so we are planning a trip there next spring. When I’m not ferrying kids around I write and read a lot.

What I’ve discovered over this last year is that I’ve always been frugal about some things, but with others, not so much, so it’s been an interesting journey as we work on getting rid of debt and getting rid of stuff. My husband has always been frugal; he comes from a rural, farming family (read: poor), so has always been an advocate for doing things simply and green (I have apparently corrupted him though).

You’re my second go-to blog every morning (The Frugal Girl is first, sorry!). I also had the privilege of meeting you once in the parking lot at the Dave’s Bread outlet (recognized you from the blog), and hope I get to get together with you again some day.


Cate October 23, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I am 20 years old (turning 21 in a little less than a month!). I got married when I was 18, and have a 16-month-old daughter. My husband is a teacher. We live in Louisville, KY, and have two cats and a dog. I love the idea of minimalism, but love my “stuff” more. I do love to get rid of things, though. Cooking is one of my favorite pastimes, and I’ve recently started experimenting with canning. I am a feminist. I recycle. I read constantly.


Susan October 23, 2010 at 2:34 pm

I like the brevity and info-load of your last three sentences. You sounds like a cool gal. Louisville rocks (I grew up there).


Marianne October 23, 2010 at 1:21 pm

33 y0 with a husband, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 2 chinchillas, and 7 chickens. No kids yet but that is a whole other story. lol. My husband and I own the PAWS Bed and Biscuit, a doggie hotel and daycare that we established several years ago when we both got laid off. We live on 7 acres in small town 45 minutes southwest of Boston near Rhode Island. Katy introduced me to the COMPACT and i love it! i did follow it to the T for one year and now follow it about 95%. I also do a lot more canning and buying my veggies fresh from the farm stand, cooking from scratch etc. It is amazing how much money we have been able to save since I don’t buy anything except groceries and gas. I even try my hardest to find things I need for free off Craigslist and Freecycle before actually paying for something used. And I also have begun purging many items to get down to the bare necessities for living simply. Its a breath of fresh air to have all this space and time to live the life that i feel is a dream. Thanks for coming into my life Katy and all the other people on this blog who inspire and make me laugh. =)


Sue October 23, 2010 at 1:33 pm

I am a 53 year old Mom to three adults, one who is a 20 year old young man with multiple disabilities ( living with me) that makes it necessary for me to stay home with him instead of working as an RT. So yes being frugal is a must in our life but that is not a bad thing. I have learned that less is more in our case. I don’t use credit cards at all and most of my shopping is in thrift stores. I cook from scratch and buy the foods on sale or with coupons. My only bills are medical bills. I am starting school in January to learn computer repair and hope to be able to do that at home so I can still care for my son at the same time. The internet and library provide us with plenty of entertainment a long with crafts and sewing. I am content without having all the things the media tells me are must haves. It is more fulfilling to enjoy what I have that constantly wishing for more stuff!


Sue October 23, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Oh, by the way I love your blog and read it daily!!!!


Juhli October 23, 2010 at 3:08 pm

I’m 61 and have downshifted to working minimally due to a series of health problems although I say that I am transitioning into retirement! My DH works full time, we own our home and save a lot each year. I come to frugality by example from my parents and poverty while putting myself through college and grad school as a single parent. However, now that we are financially comfortable I take the approach of looking at the value we get for spending – trips to see the grown children and surviving parents, theater and movies, travel for fun, etc. get the thumbs up for spending and grocery shopping on senior discount day, doing many of our own home repairs, cleaning our own house and doing yard work, etc. to save money. I enjoy reading your blog.


Jennifer October 23, 2010 at 3:12 pm

I’m a married Mom of three girls, ages 15, 13 and 10 and we live in Ontario Canada. I work full time as an accounting manager and my husband as a handyman. We have had many hard times in our 16 years of marraige, including many lay-offs including the most recent one for my husband that lasted 1 1/2 years. Luckily we are both working now and paying off our last bit of debt, which should be gone in less than 12 months if we are able to stick with our plans. I have a blog that I try to keep updated, but with working full time, taking two university courses, volunteer commitments and various kid activities, I don’t get to update it as often as I’d like. One day I will figure out how to warp the time-space continuum and be able to fit it all in, but until then, I just do the best I can!


Stacy S October 23, 2010 at 3:38 pm

I’m a 34 year old female, with a husband and 2 girls (6&4), a dog and a cat (no chickens), living in Canada (near Toronto).
No blog, but I read them – yours is one of the few I’ve bookmarked and check almost daily for over a year now. I feel like I know you!
Came by frugality just after my first was born and I’d planned on staying home. Got started at the awesome library (which I go to a couple times a week) by borrowing the Complete Tightwad Gazette and was on my way. Still a SAHM, but babysit randomly throughout the week and work freelance one evening a week as an Intervenor (interpreter/guide for the Deafblind).
My friends say I’m the greenest person they know, but I’d say I’m average compared to all the posters here – line-dry clothes, cloth napkins, compost, recycle etc.
I have 2 little girls – they have over 100 polly pocket pieces alone (free from their cousin…) but we are always purging and the clutter is not obvious (til you head to the playroom). Love to shop at Goodwill, but not to collect more stuff, just to find necessities like clothes.


T.M. October 23, 2010 at 4:26 pm

I am a 52 year old factory worker living in Southern Illinois. I work a lot of 12 hour shifts which I hate. I am single and love being so! My sons (two) are in their 30’s and have long ago flown the nest. I own my home which some folks might consider small (just over 800 sq. ft.). I ditched my television around 5 years ago and I am so proud of doing so! I have three cats (two female, 1 newly acquired young male) and a cockatiel. I have been following your blog for a year or so and enjoy it so very much! I TRY to be frugal and green which is hard because I really like my “junk” lol When I find myself being wasteful (mostly with food) I tend to blame it on all the hours I work. Since reading your blog I have been encouraged to follow through with taking some of my overflow belongings to auction, selling a great deal in a yard sale and donating mountains of clothes and books! I have been making my own laundry detergent and using the dryer only to fluff each load before I hang them to dry. I stopped buying hardback books ( a terrible obsession I had) and got a library card! I am really proud of breaking the habit of buying those books πŸ™‚ If I could figure out how to live without this job I would love to get back into sewing and crafting and do some gardening and such. Thanks for all the info you share. I hope to be reading your blog for years to come!


Practical Parsimony October 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm

I am 64 and have to prove my age. Good genes. LOL. Because of fibromyalgia and a dozen other minor health problems, retired at 62 and not a moment too soon.
I had four hens until raccoons killed one last week. On my blog I tell of the battle with raccoons and how three got into my living area! I love the eggs. I love my hens.
BA in English, BA in Social and Behavioral Sciences, all coursework for MA in English, MA in Education, valid teaching certificate… my educational credentials…lol. Taught GED, most satisfying job I ever had.
When I filed for CH 13 bankruptcy, my house and car went into the plan. I just paid off the bankruptcy and own house and car…thank heaven.
Expert seamstress, crochet, needlepoint. Lifelong learner, avid reader.
Feminist, liberal, volunteer outside of normal venues.
Since I am very creative, I love to make anything I need instead of buying. I dumpster dive (safari) and will eat the food. More–trashpick, upholster, cane chairs, mend, repair, love wood glue and clamps.
Single, divorced forever. I have three children and four grandchildren.
I live in north Alabama but am from Memphis.
What I really want–a farm in the city.


Robin October 23, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Hi Everyone,

I’m Robin from Cary, NC. I am full-time working mom with two small children ages 7 months and nearly 4 years old. I want to live a simpler life and not spend/waste so much money – but the pressures of the real world are hard to resist.

This is the first blog I ever subscribed too. For a long time, I just didn’t ‘get it’ when people talked about reading blogs online. I hadn’t found any blogs that I really liked and didn’t understand the RSS feed. Somehow I stumbled onto this blog and figured out how to subscribe to the email. I look forward to and read the blog every day.

This blog has been very inspirational to me, and for that I am grateful. I love readying Katy’s stories about her cool finds at Goodwill. I’m more of the person who doesn’t buy stuff until she is sure she wants it and then will go to the store that has what I want. So, the idea of going to Goodwill to find something, but it not being there wasn’t doing it for me.

BUT, last weekend, I took a plunge. I went to Goodwill and looked through ALL the black pants and pulled out all the size 16s — I found three in total that fit (I’m losing weight and don’t want to spend a fortune on a new wardrobe). I got three great black work pants (one was Talbots!), for $10.17. Katy – I was totally thinking of you that day!

Also, I will forever be grateful for Katy’s linking me to The Happiness Project (love, love, love that book and am excited to be working on my project for next year!), and many other cool sites I’ve followed.

Thank you Katy for your diligence with writing the blog. I really do look forward to it every day. You give me courage to do what I REALLY want to do, to be who I REALLY want to be — even if that means being a bit odd compared to my peers!


Ann October 23, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I am a 64 year old Northeasterner who has recognized your Make it do slogan from my Yankee background. I grew up with a limited income as my dad was in the military. After I went to college and became a professional I moved to New York City and lived the good life. I am amazed at how CARELESS people are these days with their lives and their money. People don’t seem to think about manners or the longer term anymore. One example is how kids mortgage their future with college expenses and then binge drink every week. I can buy virtually anything I want, but I don’t. Stuff doesn’t matter much anymore after you get the first round of stuff. I have never bought a “suite” of furniture because I heard from a Southern friend that that was the height of bad taste. Most of my furniture is old, antique, hand me down, or estate sale. I have spent a fortune on decorators however. I have really nice clothes, furniture, houses, and cars, but take care of them very well. We have never over spent on cars. It just seemed stupid. Any fool can lease a Lexus or a Mercedes. My family had to tear my 10 year old Tahoe from my hands when it became a little unsafe. I don’t spend a lot of money from week to week on decorating things and coffee and makeup. I used to spend $10 every Friday on a Snapple and some junky gossip magazines but I’ve outgrown that. I guess I spend about $100 a year on makeup, mostly Yonka toner. I used to sell Carlisle clothes which are expensive, so I have lots of those left and buy a pair of pants a few times a year from them. I mostly wear Talbots clothes with Target t-shirts and some Patagonia pants and stuff that I find lying around the house from my husband with really good shoes. About four years ago we bought a retirement house in a great resort area that I furnished completely for under $25,000. It is a big house, but I saved lots of antiques and old furniture for years and just bought two new sofas and mattresses. My family has been making fun of me for years when I collect things, but after I placed everything in my new four bedroom, 4000+ square foot home they said that they “finally got it.”
Being frugal isn’t about being cheap, it is about making smart choices. Also, you can’t be focused on saving money ALL the time, because you become stingy. You have to know when to let go and be gentlemanly about somethings. Also, you have to be generous when it counts. Some people are so focused on saving pennies and dollars that they could have lessened all that angst by buying one less $40 blouse, or $50 pair of sneakers. Those people on Oprah that were on the debt diet drove me crazy because they were so careless with their choices and ran up hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt.
Yes, I have subscribed to the Tightwad Gazette and was influenced by Amy’s philsophy of setting goals and working toward those. I was surprised when she abandoned what I considered a million dollar brand when she wanted to do something else after five or six years. I felt that THAT was careless. Also you can achieve false economies. When you have a large family, spending a weekend scraping and painting a shed to save $200 is probably not a good use of time.
I get massages every week because I have migraines (that are better) and really tight shoulders and TMJ, but, I am thinking about making my own laundry detergent. In fact I bought all the ingredients to make it. I used to make most of my own clothes, but I gave that up in my late 20’s. I still refinish furniture and make lamps, etc. I have recycled for the last twenty years as a matter of habit. I practice hypermiling in my car to reduce my gas expenditures. Google it. But I still spend well over $500 a year on books. Maybe closer to $1000. So, I try to be mindful. I thought that I would try to go a year without buying anything. I’m still thinking about it. Maybe the year 2012. Love your blog


Sue Harley October 24, 2010 at 3:28 am

Hi Katy,
I live in Perth, Western Australia with my DH who has now retired(66). I turned 60 July 4 this year and work part-time in our local library which I love; this was a real career change as I had previously worked as a carer for people with disabilities until my body just about gave up! I did some retraining courses and managed to get a contract with the library – I was actually offered a traineeship and will have ‘real’ qualifications by the end of the year. Goodness knows when I’ll retire!
I’ve always been frugal; my DH says it’s because I’m originally from Scotland and the Scots are known to be ‘tight’ but I think he’s even more frugal than I am! My mantra is “all I have is all I need” and we also try to live by a concept known as the “Green Triangle” – the environment, health and money; do something to benefit one of these and it invariably benefits the others.
We own our home, no debts and have modest retirement plans but I have to admit to treating myself to a 60th birthday present; bought a brand new Toyota Corolla for cash to the astonishment of all my friends!My DH now drives the 24 year old 4×4 I previously drove as his even older vehicle died. We have a camper for vacations but a few years ago, we travelled around Australia living in a tent for 8 months which truly made us appreciate home comforts – and also confirmed how little we need to be happy. Many thanks for your wonderful blog,
Sue H


Abby October 24, 2010 at 3:51 am

This is fascinating! I’m a long-time lurker. I’m also a late 30-something mom of two, ages 5-going-on-6 and 2. I work outside the home because I love it. We’re accidentally frugal, motivated by concern for the environment and a desire for more simplicity in our lives.

But the rewards of having less are incredible. We can now contemplate my husband transitioning from his high-prestige, high-stress, high-income job to something far more meaningful. I’m also considering negotiating a reduction in hours in a few years, after we meet a few more goals.

It’s also made for a better way to raise children. No one is perfect, and sometimes I agonize over our choices when I should just get on with life. But mostly, I’m delighted to have discovered that I’m not alone. From The Tightwad Gazette to the Non-Consumer Advocate, I’m grateful to have guides to making a life of less richer than I’d ever imagined possible.


Cyndel October 24, 2010 at 4:55 am

I live in the metro Washington DC area ( my job is Director of Marketing and Public Relations) with my boyfriend and our really fat hamster. I am very frugal by choice. I made a decision last year when I was fresh out of college to do a year of service, which gave me a very low income (I worked in Adult Education). It worked for me, and now that I have a “regular” paying job, I keep up my frugality because I have bigger goals than buying clothes. I try to be green, but I still like paper towels. I am twenty-something, but I wouldn’t go strait to “hip” to describe me πŸ™‚ My goals in life are to write a cookbook, own a Bed & Breakfast, and open my own gift business. Someday, I might have three kids. Or maybe just one plus a dog and cat. Who knows.

I do read your blog regularly, but I’m a little behind this week, which is why I’m commenting on all your posts now. I do very much enjoy your blog!


Marianne October 24, 2010 at 5:44 am

I am a 30 something, Midwestern frugal beginner. I am a faculty member at a large university and spend a lot of time working with undergrads in the life sciences, so I am very concerned about the environment and getting the next generation interested in Eco- issues for their future.
I am less optimistic that we will be returning to a society of constant growth than the politicians and pundits predict, so I am glad that I have the luxury of choosing frugality. Frugality is also bringing me a great peace of mind.

I love your blog!


Jenn L. October 24, 2010 at 7:11 am

Hi there!!

I am 31 and live with my boyfriend in a loft in downtown Los Angeles. We have three 4-legged kids (1 cat and 2 dogs). I have a blog, Crazy is my Superpower dot blogspot dot com. Its my little place in the world where I feel like I can give voice to something that no one really talks about in a “normal” context. I am fairly new to the whole blog world, but LOVE it! Writing has become an outlet for me and connecting with others via blogging is quite amazing!

I have been green for quite some time, but of course can always do better!! My love and I just became a 1 car family and we do the usuals: recycle, canvas bags, buy local/organic, etc. I am newly a newly inspired frugal-ista (thanks to you and Rowdy Kittens) and taking one step at a time in that direction. Yesterday I spent all day cleaning out a storage unit that I have been meaning to get to forever. It is my goal to have it empty by donating/selling/giving away as much as possible (thus creating as little trash as possible) by the end of November. I am learning that a big part of my anxiety is the STUFF that I surround myself with — time to put an end to that!

I love reading your blog! Thank you for the inspiration and practical tools that I can use daily! Have a happy Sunday!!!


PaulaK October 24, 2010 at 11:35 am

Age 54, female, financial planner turned pension consultant. I work in NYC, but will retire to Maine in 4 years.

My mother’s estate was in litigation with the IRS for 17 years. The result left me wiped out financially, and I studied financial planning to help me get out of the hole. It became a career. Frugality started as a necessity but has turned into a great interest and pleasure.

I am currently studying couponing, not to acquire more things, but to see how inexpensively I can buy the groceries, vitamins and non-prescription drugs I need.


Dawn October 24, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Hi. I’m Dawn.

I’m mainly a reader, rarely a commenter, since I found your site forever ago through Get Rich Slowly. I read your site daily through Google Reader as it helps keep me focused on how I want live.

I’m in my early 30’s, engaged and live in Portland with my fiance in a house we own (our mortgage is cheaper than the last place we rented).

After a job transition and a feeling that I was leaching money by paying for things that didn’t give me enough value for the cost (cable, land line, going to the movies, etc.), I started reading about simple living and frugality.

I’m sort-of green, a BIG declutterer (even though our house is still filled with stuff), take the bus everywhere (which, admittedly, makes me think hard about going anywhere, but I don’t know how to drive) and love the library.


Anne October 24, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I’m a 35-year old single female (two cats) who lives in Texas. I’ve begun the journey to simplify my life and clear out the clutter, along with making more informed, better financial choices. I love reading your blog (stumbled on it through Rowdy Kittens, I think ^_^), with its wit and wisdom.


Beth October 24, 2010 at 5:16 pm

I grew up in southwest Portland (really unincorporated Washington County), and enjoy reading about your life downtown. I’m currently in exile in California. My husband and I have one car, a one-bedroom apartment, and too many dishes for two people. We don’t compost yet, but I know there’s a guy who keeps a pile across the street and encourages the neighbors contribute, so I really don’t have an excuse. We have student debt to pay off and want to be able to live on one income, so practicing frugality is a must.


Issa October 24, 2010 at 5:51 pm

I’m a 33 year old woman living in Knoxville, TN on a little homestead with a partner, chickens, pigs, cats, and a baby on the way. I’m a little bit frugal and a little bit green, but money and the environment aren’t my primary goals – I just like to make my life simple and pleasant, and the pursuit of that goal often dovetails with frugality or greenness. I read every post on this blog since I subscribe to the feed.


pidge October 25, 2010 at 3:54 am

I am a 40 something year old stay at home mom. I chose to leave my part time job as a Labor and delivery nurse after 15 years, once I had my second child. We live in a modest old home in the Northeast. I believe that balance in life is important and that money is never my first priority or motivating factor (thus, the decision to stay at home with my children)…we are fortunate enough that we are able to live comfortably with my husbands salary. But when people tell me how lucky I am to be home with my kids…I remind them that yes, I am very lucky, but it’s also all about choices for us. We chose to continue to live in a modest home, in a modest neighborhood, drive older , paid for cars. Most of our family entertainment is free and outside! We rarely eat out and we take” local vacations.” These are our choices and we don’t feel deprived at all. I am interested in people who chose more frugal and simple lifestyles. I came upon your blog because I am often searching for like-minded people in a world of consumerism….it’s a struggle sometimes! I appreciate the inspiration that you provide!


LeShea October 25, 2010 at 4:13 am

I don’t blog….but I am a fellow nurse. I work as a cardiothoracic nurse here in Vermont. I have a husband and 2 little girls. I am 44 yrs old. I guess at this point I know most of the usual frugal things possible…..I am more into sharing lives and motivation!


ellen October 25, 2010 at 5:07 am

I am Ellen 41m, full time worker, two childrend 4 and 2, married almost 8 years, born and raised in Jersey.
I found your blogg from “the frugal girl” . And have only been reading a short time. But enjoying!
I am proably not as frugal as I should be. But working on it.


Dmarie October 25, 2010 at 9:09 am

Fast approaching 50, I have been a frugalist since I was a stay-at-home Mom many moons ago. Big fan of the Tightwad Gazette books and big fan of frugal blogs like this one, as they remind me to be conscious about how I’m using the earth’s resources (and my finances). I do have a blog that I changed to “public” only yesterday. It’s mostly been a frugal diary, written in sporadically for myself, though I have written it as if for an audience. Thanks again for sharing your life here in the nonconsumeradvocate!


Mama's Simple Life October 25, 2010 at 10:06 am

I am a female and live in The Netherlands. I have two blogs, 1 boy (4) and a boy or girl in my tummy, and no.. no chickens. Altough we really love to have a couple ;o) We try to be frugal and green, but sometimes it’s hard to be. I think you could place me by the lost thirty-somethings with a lot more than hundred things in my house, or on my coffee table ;o) I just recently dicovered The Non-Consumer Advocate, but sure trying to visit you more. Love the blog! I came here due to the No Heat Challange (you can read it on my blog). Something like this? ;o)


Barb @ 1SentenceDiary October 25, 2010 at 10:42 am

Well, Katy knows me, but in the spirit of this post, here’s my answer:

I’m a 42-yo divorced mom of 2 kids ages 11 and 14, work full time outside the house, and live in the Boston area.

I grew up in a very frugal home (by necessity), and my brothers and I have maintained that frugal mindset even as our incomes have increased. In the past year, however, I have greatly reduced my hold on the purse strings in favor of “enjoying family time” as much as possible. (The death of a loved one has changed my mindset considerably.) For example, I now employ a house-cleaner twice a month and no longer spend hours each week scrubbing the bathrooms, vacuuming, etc. On a very busy night I may occasionally get takeout for dinner rather than stress about it. I understand that these choices come from a place of privilege, and I do not take them for granted.

I campaigned for curb-side recycling in my town (which is now in place) and I believe that in many instances “less is more.” Though not a minimalist, I’m a big fan of uncluttering.

Of course, I read every entry of this blog, which I love! And I’ve gotten several other friends and family members addicted as well. πŸ™‚

It’s such fun to read through the comments on this post. Thanks to everyone for sharing a little bit of themselves.



Trish [ modern thrifter ] October 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Okay, you probably know quite a bit about me, as I tend to be quite candid on my blog, but here’s the biggest reason I follow your blog (other than it’s funny, and I like your writing)… It gives me balance. I can easily get sucked into blogs like Design Sponge or Apartment Therapy, and start to think that I need every new thing that they post about. Your site helps me remind me that I don’t always “need” more stuff.

You also help me to recycle when I don’t really feel like itÒ€”like when I have to wash out the peanut butter jar that’s been sitting in the sink for a couple of days. I am consistently reminded of when you separated the layers in the cat food (or was it litter) bag to recycle.


Tracy Balazy October 28, 2010 at 6:46 am

Hello! I’m 43 and live in Dearborn, Michigan, a city of 100,000 that borders Detroit and is home to the Ford Motor Co. world headquarters. With its emphasis on A Car in Every Driveway, the Motor City lacks the public transportation I’d like to see and would definitely use (we have sketchy bus service, no light rail), but I live in a community where I have quick bicycle access to groceries, a farm market, a seasonal farmers market, three of the city’s four libraries, and other things I consider necessities.

Katy’s blog and the responses it generates have inspired me, over the year or so I’ve followed it, to clear out clutter in my home and to quit buying new items whenever possible. I no longer buy clothing or shoes from retail stores, nor any other new items excepting pet supplies. I shop at garage sales and several area thrift stores, and I’m a member of three Freecycle/ReUseIt groups. Thanks to Katy, I joined The Compact earlier this year.

I buy cosmetics only from a local holistic healer who creates her blends from organic ingredients, and I don’t eat meat and make every effort to buy dairy only from Michigan farms that employ humane practices. Thanks to tips I’ve learned on The Compact, I’ve learned how to make my own house-cleaning and hair-washing concoctions from basic ingredients like baking soda and vinegar, so I no longer buy chemical cleaners, either.

My husband and I are avid recyclers, and we compost all of our yard and kitchen waste and have a large vegetable garden. We live simply but don’t feel we’re sacrificing anything, since we enjoy buying what we need at resale and have no problem with our seven- and 10-year-old paid-off cars. Except for the monthly payment on the house we bought four years ago, to be paid off in 11 years, we carry no debt and have retirement savings.

We have been married for four years. Chris is a project supervisor for a heating & cooling company within two miles of our house. He has done all the repairs on our 1941 Cape Cod house, including building a kitchen addition and a garage.

We live with four cats and two dogs, one of them a Labrador retriever mix I’m fostering for the Dearborn Animal Shelter.

I was laid off in December from my job as a copy editor for the magazines/special publications division of the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News. In this time, I’ve volunteered 10-15 hours a week with the animal shelter, which gives me a great sense of fulfillment. I write a blog about pets in general, with a focus on the shelter, for a friend’s Dearborn-based entertainment/news website, The Dearborn Counter Project. My blog is called In Through the Dog Door.

Katy’s blog is something I look forward to every day!


Katy October 28, 2010 at 7:54 am


You presence and comments have become a big part of The Non-Consumer Advocate, and I’m happy to hear about all the changes you’ve made in your life.



Bauunny October 26, 2010 at 4:42 am

I am from Michigan. I’m not sure how I found your blog, but am a faithful reader (but have never commented before). I don’t think anyone would call me frugal necessarily, but I love thrift stores (can so identify with you blog about getting a Goodwill “fix” on a dreary and stressful day), LOVE my library and the Friends of the Library Book sale every two months and have a large vegetable garden. I try to coupon, but only for things that we need and not usually on pre-packaged foods. To lose weight a couple of years ago, I gave up foods with gluten and sugar for the most part — so we eat lots of fresh, simple food. I am 56, married, with two children (one in college and one in high school). College tuition fuels my frugality these days — as well as the imminence of retirement in a few years. I LOVE your blog as it helps “ground” me and remind me of what is really important. You and the regulars who comment make me feel like I am not alone in pursuing my quasi-frugal lifestyle. I also appreciate the other blogs you have led me too — Get Rich Slowly, Zen Habits, Rowdy Kittens, Frualista, Frugal Girl, etc. Thanks!


Rachel October 26, 2010 at 5:46 am

Hi there!

I’m a college student from rural California, finishing up a degree (and, eventually, a credential) in elementary and special education.

I blog, but it’s mostly a personal blog to keep up with family and friends and have a place to work out my thoughts. I’ve been working on trying to live a more frugal, minimalist and simplistic lifestyle, originally because I just didn’t have any extra income.

Now that I’ve gotten a decent handle on my finances and could spend more money, I don’t feel much of an urge to do so. Instead, I choose to work less and spend more time doing the few things I love and spend more money for better quality of things and experiences rather then a larger quantity.

There are very few blogs I read consistently, and I only discovered within the last couple of months. I don’t check in everyday but pop in once a week or so to see what’s going on. I copied your June Food Stamp Challenge (but in September, because I found it too late) and it was one of the best exercises I’ve done yet; my food spending has been way out of line with the rest of my budget, and that helped me so substantially.


GreenVeggie October 26, 2010 at 9:17 am

I’m a 38 year old lady, married, and living in a small town in the Southern U.S. My husband and I are both healthcare professionals, but we made the decision several years ago when we left The Big City that I would stay at home as long as it made both of us happy. I’m green, vegan, and selectively frugal. What I mean by that is we save money in some areas so we can spend more in other areas—things that are important to us such as organic food, quality food for our pets (2 dogs and 2 cats), vacations, etc. My blog focuses on family, cooking, and living green.


Dianna October 26, 2010 at 9:41 am

I am a 41 year old Respiratory Therapist, work full time, married, 3 girls (17,7,2), one dog, one cat, one goat, 12 happy egg laying chickens. I live in Arkansas. I found your website through The Frugal Girl. I wish we had woke up earlier but now we are 9 months from being debt free. I grew up frugal and on homemade instead of packaged and preserved but somewhere along the way we got off course. We are now back stonger than ever even though we make more money now. I am going to start working only a few nights a month and homeschool my two youngest when the debts are gone. We have 3 vehicles that are all paid for, do all repairs/servicing that my dh can do. I love to spend time with my family, I love to take pictures, and enjoy the outdoors by hiking, camping canoeing, kayaking the beatiful places we have in our state. I love the beach. I am not as green as I should be but try to do better every day. Thanks to The Frugal Girl, I do not use paper towels anymore, I plan my menu’s better, I have been to Goodwill and thrift shops recently, and I am watching our food waste. I have been composting for over a year now. I love reading your blog and Kristin’s for the great ideas and just bringing things to mind that we don’t always think of.


zina October 26, 2010 at 10:11 am

Hi, I heard about your blog from Kristin over at the Fruga Girl(love her blog) This is my first time here but I will definitely be back!
I am almost 40, married to a German and we have lived in Germany for the past 5 yrs.


Shari October 26, 2010 at 7:27 pm

40-something wife, mother (2 boys 9 and 11). program manager in a corporate environment, avid blog follower (use Google Reader)

I am blessed and don’t need to be frugal. I choose to be green. I choose to eat organic whenever possible. I find joy in crafting gifts and upcycling. Everyone in our family wears at least one article of clothing we purchased at a thrift store. Our boys take their lunch to school each day in reusable containers. We always favor water bottles over plastic.

As Trish said, this blog provides balance. I try on new ideas and see if they fit. I still consume—I just think I do it much more thoughtfully now.


sofy October 28, 2010 at 12:17 am

I am bit late answering. I read you blog rather often, though not too regularly (hence I have not read this post before today).
I always feel inspired when I read you blog – so thank you for that!

I am 21 yo, lives in Denmark, Copenhagen. I try and live frugal, but I am not too good at it. I live with depression and social phobia, but as I am getting better, I hope to put more of the things I read here, into action!
So far I am a huge fan of libraries, riding my bike instead of the bus/train. In not too long I will be moving to my own place (currently sharing a flat with 2 others), which I hope will make it easier to live frugal and green. Fingers crossed!
I have a blog, where I mostly write about my creative projects and such.
keep up the good work:)


Heather November 2, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I just found your blog through Miss Minimalist, and I love it! I’m an Oregonian too, a bit farther south. I’m a teacher, mama of two middle-school boys, married to a sweetheart, and our household includes a new big dog, three cats, and TEN chickens (outside of course). We have eggs coming out of our ears! I’m working on simplifying our house, needs, schedules, transportation, finances…and most of all my mindset. It’s challenging but feels so liberating. I’m really interested in the experiences of other families on this quest for simple/frugal/green living, since some of the challenges are a little different with kids.


Lilypad November 4, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Better late than never, I hope: I get your blog every day by email but always seem to run 2 weeks or so behind. I am 43 years old, I have been married for 15 years and we have a 9 year-old son. For financial, health, and yes, “green” reasons, we decided to limit our family to one kid. Our son is somewhat “special needs” (hate that term but don’t know what else to use!) because he has Tourette’s Syndrome (physical and vocal tics) and Sensory Processing Disorder (extreme sensitivities to many things, sensory-seeking behavior in other areas, oy) and he’s gifted. For all of these reasons, we homeschool. My husband has worked for the same company (a local chain of stores here in the Seattle area) for 25 years, since he was in college, and he has no desire to leave the company. I hate his job, because he has to travel 5 – 6 times per year for up to 5 days at a time, which leaves me alone with our quite-challenging son. We are currently renting. I was always frugal but we made the biggest financial mistake of our lives 4 years ago, buying a townhome at the peak of the market. Shortly thereafter, we realized my husband’s position (which was new at the time) was going to end up paying him $20,000 less than before, I became quite ill with depression (still battling that, still not able to get the care I need because it’s not covered by our insurance, grrr) and could not keep the part time job I had. Our son, who had started at a fancy private school on scholarship, began to hate it (was starting to be teased by kids and completely stressed out by the workload), so we pulled him out of school and decided to sell the home we could not afford. Long story short, we could not sell it despite almost a year of trying and MANY price reductions, and we finally ended up doing a short sale last year (selling it for $150,000 less than we paid!) Many family members are extremely judgmental about this and seem to worry more about the bank than us. We had bought our first home in 1994 and never imagined we’d be renters again. But now, although we have no debt (we’d only had mortgage debt before, our 2005 and 2006 cars are paid for and we intend to make them last, no student loans because we worked our way through college) we are still struggling. The only way we’ll be able to buy another house is if we inherit some money, it sounds evil and greedy to say, but it’s true. We have a lot of medical expenses (my son needs $1000+ worth of occupational therapy which we have not been able to afford yet—meanwhile, my parents and sister are both remodeling their homes, which had been perfectly serviceable in my opinion!, and traveling and living the high life) and this wears me down. I am a hippie green freak and have been for a long time. I am a vegetarian (cheating vegan—I eat a bit of yogurt and cheese now and then, and always cake made with egg if someone offers it to me!) and so is my son. My husband, bless his heart, eats veg with us at home and has actually decreased his meat intake drastically at restaurants too. I LOVE to bake and cook, and read about everything under the sun. (Lately, it’s been Peak Oil and climate change issues, oh my is it scary!) My dream is to get a piece of property, a couple of acres like I grew up on, and have a veggie garden, orchard, and chickens so I can eat eggs again. (I quit eating them for ethical reasons.) We’d also like to get a rescue dog. Right now, we have an elderly kitty (my first born!) on whom we dote. I’d like to move away from the Seattle area, I’ve lived here all my life and I’m tired of worrying about earthquakes (and have lived through too many of them, including one while 6 months’ pregnant) plus the cost of living here is outrageous. I lived in Austria and Germany when I was younger and loved Europe and miss it so. As I replied on someone’s comment earlier, I also love Canada and would move there in a heartbeat. And Katy, here’s my Oregon connection (other than loving Portland {we used to go to the Portland Brewers’ Festival every summer}: my grandfather was born in Independence, Oregon. And my grandmother was born close to you in Camas, but yes I know that’s in Washington. πŸ˜‰
Keep up the great work—the more people you inspire to change their lives, the better for our country and our planet.
p.s. have you read the book “Radical Homemakers”? It’s terrific and I think you and your readers would enjoy it.


Lilypad November 4, 2010 at 7:21 pm

p.s. count me among your Jewish readers. And sorry for being so long-winded. I don’t get to talk to other “grown-ups” very often. πŸ˜‰ and these issues are all very close to my heart…


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