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Frugal Females Today

Updated on June 29, 2019
PAINTDRIPS profile image

As a Baby-Boomer, Denise and millions of others are becoming senior citizens. She explores what it means to be over 60 today.

Penny Pinch

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Like The "Good Wife"

When I was a young woman (about 20 years old), I read The Good Earth by Pearl Buck. The good wife in the story struck me, the way she didn’t spend money on something new if she could fix what was broken. Instead of throwing things away she recycled and refurbished. She “made” money for her husband by not “spending” money. The husband in the story became a wealthy, respected man because his wife knew how to save. Since I read that book, I have never been the same. I have always thought that if I could just save money for my husband and family, it was the same as earning it for the family.

Today is no different. I have had part-time jobs but I still feel that saving is earning. I am sharing here my many methods of saving.

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

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The Good Earth By Pearl S. Buck

Published in 1931. Dramatized family life in a Chinese village before World War I.

Starts with Wang Lung’s wedding to a woman he has not met. His only concern is that she doesn’t have pock scars on her face. O-Lan is not a pretty woman but is faithful all her life to Wang Lung. Through her self-sacrificing industry and thrift, Wang Lung saves enough money to buy land and improve his circumstances. She bears three sons and three daughters for Wang Lung. She is so hard-working that she gives birth in the morning and is back out working in the field with Wang Lung in the afternoon with the baby on her back. Throughout the book, it is O-Lan who makes Wang Lung who he is. At the end of her life, he realizes all that she has done for him and finally that he loves her.

Because of the way the wife sacrificed and helped her husband buy land by not spending money on things she could make or repair herself, I was changed. I remember I was a young woman when I first read it and it made a profound effect on my life. I said to myself, “I’m going to be like that for my husband someday,” and I have always strived to be exactly that. Hardworking and thrifty. My husband calls me a “pioneer woman” because he thinks I make my own clothes and canned foods like pioneer women.

Shop Cheaper

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Saving is Earning.

What do you do to save money?

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10 Steps To Changing Your Economy

It has been years since I knew what “extra” money was. It seems like no one has a disposable income like they used to. Most are just like me; getting by from month to month and trying not to go over-budget. I have a few ideas and suggestions for changing your family’s economy to help: to become the good wife in The Good Earth.

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TV and Movies

We got rid of regular TV and cable 4 years ago. Why pay the price they are asking when you can get Hulu Plus or Netflix for just $9 to $18 per month? This what we did and we haven’t missed the regular TV broadcasts with the unreasonable commercial barrage every 5 to 10 minutes. All you need is Internet access.

If you really don’t want to get rid of the Cable or Dish you have but you notice that the price has been steadily going up over several months, call and complain. Tell them you are considering another company or canceling altogether and they will offer a savings package. They really don’t want to lose valued customers and will cut your bill by nearly half if you call them.

Online Coupons
Online Coupons | Source

Coupons/Sales

Don’t buy anything at full price if you can hold out for the sale. This is difficult for the most part. I have clipped coupons I never used because the item was just too expensive, even on sale. However, there are some sales that are cyclical in nature. I know, for instance, that there will be a sale on back-to-school items in August, and Christmas décor in January; summer clothes will go on sale in August and September; winter clothes and coats will go on sale in the spring, March/April. I can hold out for these if I plan ahead.

Many places online also offer coupons. There are many apps also available for your phone with coupon and sales listings.

Books

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Books

Many people I have talked to, are resisting the Kindle and Nook on the principle that they don’t want to give up the comfort a new book brings. However, an added incentive is that digital books cost nearly half (or less sometimes) than print books. Some classics are even free. With the cost of print and shipping, that was enough incentive for me to buy one.

As a grandmother, I was afraid that I would lose something reading a Kindle to my grandchildren. What more charming picture is there than a child on grandma’s lap enjoying a good book together? The Kindle just doesn’t look and feel the same. However, I must say, I was wrong. My grandchildren love having me read from the Kindle and even want to turn/swipe the pages for me. They have me stop at the pictures and swipe them to make them bigger before we can move on with the story. They get such a kick out of it that I don’t feel deprived as a grandma at all.

If you have children or grandchildren, you need to get the Kindle Fire. Children’s books are in color and it’s just not the same without the color. That’s my recommendation.

Could Be Valuable!

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Sell Your Used Books

Take a day to eliminate extra books. I know, this is where I had the worst problem. I LOVE my books. However, I read them, loved them, and haven’t opened them again. Why am I keeping them? For show? It was time to pass them on to bless someone new. If you don’t want to sell them in a garage sale, you can easily do this on Amazon.com. Look up the book on Amazon and then press the “sell yours” button on the right. The site will allow you to create your own store page with as many or as few books as you feel like listing. The site tells you how much similar used books are going for and you can set your price accordingly. Then when they email you to let you know that your book sold, you have 2 days to wrap it and send it to the address listed. Every two weeks Amazon will send the money earned to your bank or PayPal as you wish. It’s a win-win. Someone new gets to love the book you loved and you get paid.

Garage Sale

Photo by Denise McGill.
Photo by Denise McGill.

Garage Sale

If you are like me, you probably have a garage (and several spare rooms) filled with things you thought you needed and so never got rid of. Well, now is the time. When the fall and colder weather come, you won’t be able to have garage sales. So make time to have them while you can.

Make a schedule so that you don’t kill yourself trying to do everything in one day. One Saturday work on closets, clearing out what just isn’t needed or used anymore. A good rule of thumb is, if you haven’t used it/worn it in a year, you probably aren’t going to use it/wear it again.

The next Saturday, tackle the kitchen. Pots, cookware that is usable but not needed by you should go. Appliances you got as gifts but never cared for, salad bowls you never pulled out of the cupboard (I mean, how many salad bowls does one family need?), canning jars you don’t need or use, extra baking pans, trays, cake forms, etc., all must go.

Being Frugal

What does frugal mean to you?

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Make A Schedule

The following week, take a Saturday to go through the garage. Clean up and take pictures of those things you want to post on the Facebook site if you aren’t going to have a regular garage sale.

Take a Saturday to clear out any extra rooms you are using as a “stash” room. There should be plenty to get rid of there.

Even if you have postponed clearing out the debris, there are Facebook pages where local people are selling items to local people. These pages are the best. I can’t tell you how many things I have gotten immediate responses for on Facebook Homegoods page. Go to your Facebook access and search for home goods or local sales with your hometown in the name. Most towns now have a page like this.

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Frugal Female (OR Male) Comments Wanted

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    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      4 years ago from Fresno CA

      I learned a lot from The Good Earth. I imagine I would have been a frugal person anyway, it's in my DNA, but this book really moved me to be the best.

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