Frugality in practice: Shopping for second-hand clothes

On a street corner near our house is a store called The Dig, which advertises "most clothes $3 - $4 - $5". Many of these are items of the latest fashions, which have been rejected for whatever reason. Clean and organized, the store also has dressing rooms, something many thrift stores lack. I used to mock Kris for going to The Dig. It looked like a dive. Then I joined her for a trip a couple of weeks ago — now I'm a convert.

I buy most of my clothing at one of two places: Costco or the local thrift shops. It makes me wince to pay more than $20 for a piece of clothing. (Unless it's something top quality, like a Filson jacket, in which case I'll gladly pay $150.) Costco has styles I like, but the selection is limited, and the prices are three times those at thrift stores. Thrift stores have a huge selection, but the garments are often flawed. And to find anything good, you have to sort through tons of junk.

Used clothing stores like The Dig are a compromise. The prices are better than at Costco. The selection isn't as wide as you might find at a thrift store, but the quality is generally better. Here are some tips about shopping for second-hand clothes. (Kris gave a lot of help with these.) Continue reading...

More about...Clothing, Frugality

An introduction to homesteading

I am a huge fan of simple living and of the do-it-yourself ethic. It's no surprise then that I am fascinated by homesteading, the lifestyle of "agrarian self-sufficiency". This article was written for Get Rich Slowly by Phelan, host of A Homesteading Neophyte, a blog about learning to homestead. Phelan is a regular commenter to this site.

Modern homesteading is a great way to save some of your hard-earned cash. That is if you are not afraid of a little hard work and waking before the rooster. The fast-paced convenient world of today can and will lead you down the path to debt. Four years ago I found myself in a terrible situation: How does one go about feeding a family of four on one hundred dollars for two weeks? Did we have enough money to buy gasoline just to get to work? It was scary not knowing where my family was going. Yet when I planted my first tomato, a thought sprouted in my mind.

My first homesteading goals were just to preserve my garden for the winter, insuring that there was always something to eat. But as my garden grew, so did my ideas.

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Miserly Moms: Living on One Income in a Two-Income Economy

Don't judge a book by its cover. Most especially, don't judge a personal finance book by its cover. Books promising quick riches and sure-fire investment schemes are generally filled with impractical gimmicks, or lead the reader into the land of financial risk, where fortunes are lost more often than they're made.

Sometimes it's the most unassuming of books that offers the best advice, that can actively help you on your quest to get rich slowly. Miserly Moms: Living on One Income in a Two-Income Economy by Jonni McCoy is one of these books.

Miserly Moms doesn't offer advice for the Big Picture. Its focus is helping people save money on the little things. The book is ostensibly a guide for stay-at-home mothers, but is actually filled with useful tips for anyone who is concerned with frugality, especially for parents with young children.

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26 cheap camping tips

Backpacking and camping are awesome frugal activities. It costs nothing to take a hike. It costs a bit more to camp overnight, but even that can be done inexpensively. While browsing the web for camping stuff, I stumbled upon a great list of frugal suggestions that were originally posted to the Usenet group rec.scouting on 03 December 1994!

According to the original poster:

These low-cost equipment/ideas/fixes for Scouting and camping in general [were] originally found on a F-Net Scouting board and [were] reposted on Fidonet on Nov 11/92 by Steve Simmons. The file evidently originated with BSA Troop 886 in the USA.

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More about...Frugality, Health & Fitness