Category Archives: Frugal Choices

Shopping Responsibly

A photo and comment showed up on Facebook recently that misleadingly and irresponsibly tries to justify laziness and poor eating habits as an excuse for being overweight. Well, that’s quite a hard thing to put together, i know, so i’ll copy the article here. Clearly, the author has selected items which are likely imported and out of season as well as being convenience and snack type foods. These types of selections are nearly always the most expensive choices. Anyone on a budget needs to shop smarter. If you can’t afford organic, don’t buy organic – buy the best you can afford. Historically, food is cheaper than it’s ever been!

Item# lbsprice/lbtotal price
Carrots2 $     0.80 $     1.60
Onions1 $     0.90 $     0.90
Potatoes3 $     1.00 $     3.00
ground beef2 $     3.00 $     6.00
chicken4 $     1.00 $     4.00
sugar1 $     1.60 $     1.60
zucchini2 $     1.00 $     2.00
oats3 $     1.15 $     3.45
milk4.3 $     0.50 $     2.15
apples3 $     1.60 $     4.80
butter1 $     1.99 $     1.99
eggs (doz)1 $     1.50 $     1.50
Flour2 $     0.90 $     1.80
Total $   34.79
For fun, i quickly put together a sample shopping list of items not on sale which adds up to a bit more than $32. Now, i’m going to be very clear – this list is commodity, cheap, and not environmentally friendly food stuffs and i would not buy these items where i am in my life. I can afford more costly, more humanely raised, healthier choices, including that which i raise of it in my own garden.

Real food is not expensive to buy – don’t be fooled – do your homework.

Shop responsibly and wisely.

Second Hand Saves

A child after my own heart!  Youngest son, college-bound Nathan, scored well at the second hand shops in Chillicothe today.  He has decided to spiffy up his wardrobe from jeans and t-shirts to a bit better dressed these past months.  Although his shoe purchases were high, there’s not much to be done with that.  He still did well buying new.  Honestly, he was in a shoe poor situation – everything he had is worn out and will be thrown away.

One dark blue classic styled 100% worsted wool, fully lined suit coat - $5.00.  The other is half lined and not as fancy at $3.00.
One dark blue classic styled 100% worsted wool, fully lined suit coat – $5.00. The other is half lined and not as fancy at $3.00.  Both made in the USA!

Three dress shirts: Calvin-Klein, Van Heusen, and Hathaway.  Cost of all three totalled $6.00.  Like new, maybe never worn.
Three dress shirts: Calvin-Klein, Van Heusen, and Hathaway. Cost of all three totalled $6.00. Like new, maybe never worn.

New backpack - $3.00
New backpack – $3.00

Hanging in the Wind!

One of my best investments is the Hills Drymaster 42 rotary clothesline I purchased 10 years ago after admiring them in all the backyards of Australia. Cost about the same (less now) as an electric dryer, but we can only use it about 6-8 months of the year, but line dried clothing and sheets are such treats.  Find them at Breeze Dryer.
Last May (2014) Nathan and Allen re-installed my Hills rotary clothesline. SO glad for that. The pole is set in concrete, but they had dug the chunk of concrete which contained the receiving end for the pole from the lawn of the Lamme house, then hand dug a hole by the northeast corner of the Young farm house (formerly Powell’s Country Guest House) where we now live. I purchased this Hill’s rotary clothesline after our return from Australia in March of 2005 because EVERYONE had them over there and they are so efficient. However, the heavy duty ones used there were not available in the US, so I purchased this lighter duty one from an outfit in Canada via paypal – that was the first time I’d used Paypal. (Funny, the things our minds remember, eh?) In only a couple of years, the small plastic snap which held the ‘arms’ up and out broke and for years, I just had a gnarly piece of wire holding it up, albeit not tightly. Dallas helped me drill a hole underneath the collar and through the pole, so I could insert a 5/16ths by 2 ¼ inch PTO locking pin. Should have done this years ago. Works like new now!

I was dumping about 12 gallons of water a day from our basement dehumidifier largely because of running the dryer so much (it simply vents into the basement) and could still not get the humidity level below 55%. Works fine in the winter since we need the humidity, but springtime and summertime humidity can quickly overwhelm a basement and coats and valuables start moulding because of high humidity! With the rotary clothesline up, now I hang out all the clothes and rarely run the dryer and, as long as we keep the dehumidifier running, the humidity level is dropping already to about 43% – hope to level off about 37%.

miscellaneous 006 - Copy

The Drymaster 42 is no longer made, but there are newer models now and they can be purchased in the US. I had to purchase mine out of Canada. It is not the heavy duty model found in Australia, but it serves the purpose well. I see now that the prices have come down which is a pleasant surprise!

The little orange latch broke years ago so I repaired it by drilling a hole through the post and then using this pin to hold the rotary clothesline in the upright position.
The little orange latch broke years ago so I repaired it by drilling a hole through the post and then using this pin to hold the rotary clothesline in the upright position.

Stormy or super windy weather is a good time to fold it up.  This can really get to spinning if the wind is whipping around.
Stormy or super windy weather is a good time to fold it up. This can really get to spinning if the wind is whipping around.

Just discovered that today is National Hanging Out Day.  Way too windy, rainy, and stormy here, but maybe later this week!

Cheers!

tauna

“Not-To-Do” List

Here is another thought from Burke Teichert, a man whom I’ve yet to meet, who has words of wisdom and experience worth pondering taken from his column “Strategic Planning for the Ranch” in Beef magazine.

“We can all think of things we used to do.  We quit doing them because we discovered they were not necessary –often long after they’d ceased to be necessary, if they were ever necessary in the first place.  I’ll guarantee most of us are still doing things that don’t need to be done, but cost us time and money.”

Burke Teichert, a consultant on strategic planning for ranches, retired in 2010 as vice president and general manager of AgReserves Inc.  He resides in Orem, Utah.  Contact him at burketei@comcast.com

What are some things you do that are time wasters?  I know i have some, but it seems like they come from poor planning rather than day to day wasting (although this blog may easily fall into that category, but I am hoping it will build into a business someday).  Questions i ask myself:  What am i doing right now?  Is it costing me time and money? or is it a good investment for my time and money?  If it is a cost, why am I doing it?  Sometimes we do things because we enjoy them and that’s okay IF we can afford it.  For example, if we have no debt, if we have some serious savings, and if we can easily live within our means.  But if we struggle with finances, we need to seriously slash those costs that yield no income.  Don’t fall into a trap of justifying anything.

Rust, Rot, Depreciate

Here is another thought from Burke Teichert, a man whom I’ve yet to meet, who has words of wisdom and experience worth pondering taken from his column “Strategic Planning for the Ranch” in Beef magazine”

Cut Overheads

“If it rusts, rots, or depreciates, you want as little of it as possible.  Think of ways to function with less labor, facilities, and equipment.  These decisions are often more emotional than rational.”

Burke Teichert, a consultant on strategic planning for ranches, retired in 2010 as vice president and general manager of AgReserves Inc.  He resides in Orem, Utah.  Contact him at burketei@comcast.com

Before purchasing something that will rot, rust, and depreciate, think hard about whether or not there is a better way to deal with an issue.
Before purchasing something that will rot, rust, and depreciate, think hard about whether or not there is a better way to deal with an issue.

Second Hand Salvation

Farm and ranch chores are hard on clothes and boots and my tattered black wool trench coat shown on the right shows it. The coat has given me three harsh winters, so the $2 purchase price in a second hand store was a fabulous investment. Thankfully, last week, after years of watching for them, i found two more wool coats for $4 and $3. These are a more feminine cut, so son, Nathan, won’t be sharing these with me!!! Still keeping my eyes open for men’s wool trench style coat.

Although our clothing budget is small (we really don’t need many clothes), boots, both mud and work, eat up the vast majority of the budget.  Most of our clothes are purchased second-hand for $1-$5.  When i can buy practically new  jeans and shirts for a buck a piece, there is no reason to spend more!  Admittedly, i can’t always find the right sizes for our family which is why, when i do, I buy in advance.

Shalom!

tauna