Frugal living - lifestyle change or just cheap living?
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  1. #1
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    Default Frugal living - lifestyle change or just cheap living?

    I was wondering how many have radically changed their lives.

    A lot of posts I see are about living in the same lifestyle but trying to find a cheaper way of doing it.

    With most of the blame for dwindling resources and climate change laid at the doorstep of us in the developed world, can we continue to live as we are?

    Is looking for a cheaper alternative to our current lifestyle doomed?

    How many of you pray for a magic technology that will allow you to carry on living a lifestyle that may not be sustainable.

    How many would like to live more simply but are afraid to?

    Remember that if everyone in the world lived as we did then the world would grind to a halt. There just isn't enough to go round.

    What's in store for the future?

  2. #2
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    I understand your question but I don't understand your question. What do you consider radical? Initially when we started living more frugally it was about what is cheapest and how fast we could pay bills. Now it is more about how we can work toward a more sustainable future for everyone. Don't get me wrong we still have bills, but they seem less important. It's funny how when we felt they were less important that they began to get paid off faster.

    Your question about being afraid to live a simplier lifestyle was really interesting to me. At one point my husband and I looked into intentional communities and didn't really find what we were looking for or perhaps we just couldn't make that leap. I am not sure.

    Our life at this point is as radical as it gets, gardening, canning, reusing everything we can, living frugally to the best of our ability. We now think before we use and appreciate everything we have, even if we pick it up from a curb or out of a dumpster. We share more than we used to. Stuff from our garden, our skills and our time. Sharing has enriched our lives beyond measure, spiritually as well as materially. Last summer I came home from dropping off tomatoes to give away and found a box of pears at my door. I am still smiling.

    I like your question because it makes me think. Could you answer your own question? I would love to see where you are at.

    Thanks

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    Registered User Frugal Girl's Avatar
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    I'm a little confused, too. I will try and answer what I think you're asking.

    My lifestyle isn't terribly different. We've almost entirely stopped eating fast food, but I don't miss it. We are so much healthier now and dh is finally putting on some much needed weight since he stopped his fast food addiction.

    I buy what I need, but I don't buy junk just to shop because I don't have the room in my house.

    Grocery shopping: I buy what's on sale and make dinners based on that. My mom raised me that way. I am learning how to make things from scratch though, which I think everyone will have to learn in the next couple of years (if the recession/depression goes on).

    Nothing too terribly radical that wasn't for the better. Just a little different than what it was.

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    For me it is drawing back from the consumer world. If it isn't sustainable then I don't do it, if at all possible.

    I grow, hunt, find or barter for my food. I have nothing to do with processed food or ready meals. I may have some salt, sugar, baking powder, flour and the like. That is as far as I go for food. A little coffee but I drink less and less of that. Juices but mostly I drink water.

    My water is rain water now. I stopped using the well.

    My toilet is a composting toilet. I didn't see the point in filling a bowl with drinking water and then dirtying it up.

    I walk or bicycle or eco-drive. Generally, around the village it is walk and cycle. If there is a heavy load or visit to the big town then it is an eco-drive, which annoys the pedal to metal petrol heads.

    Heat is by wood, electricity is minimal but from a generator. A friend is building a generator that runs on wood gas and I will get one of those off him in the future.

    No television. Just a radio and the odd borrowed DVD on my computer. I play a few musical instruments and meet friends regularly for entertainment.

    No wife and children. It is very difficult to find a non-consuming wife but I am glad there are a few on this forum. (That is not an advert.)

    I am quite pessimistic about the future. The world is overpopulated and for all of us to live as we do then either many will have to die or for all of us to live equally then will have to live like people in Africa do.

    With many farms turning to fuel crops then food will get higher in price. That will probably kill off many people. Nothing does everything that oil does so replacing some of our oil needs with wind and nuclear power won't fill the gap.

    I just think that people who want to be frugal but try to do it by living like the average westerner are doomed to failure. I am not wishing doom upon them but the sooner or later the world is going to change radically with or what them. Better to get used to living differently now than have to do it all of a sudden in the future.

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    Registered User Daisygirl's Avatar
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    We have changed our lives somewhat, although not at all to the point that you have John.

    For us it has been about consuming less, with what we do purchase being wiser. We don't go shopping just to shop any more, which is a big change for us. We prepare more food from scratch. Quite often we will look at something at a store and my oldest daughter will scoff, "You could make that, mom."

    We are trying to be more environmentally friendly. We recylce, use things up to the last little bit, and my oldest has been a vegetarian for 4 years. (this is not to be frugal for her, but because she loves animals). We cook many things from scratch now that we would have purchased before.

    We still go out with friends on occasion, my kids go to a regular school, and I drive to work every day.

    My change has been to try to make our life easy to live without worrying aout keeping up with the Joneses, something we can maintain on a portion of my income, and walking gently on the earth.

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    Registered User pammy's Avatar
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    This is a very interesting topic, great question. I'm trying to learn more about this type of thing and will be trying to implement them into our lives. Not only for the enviroment, but also to better prepare ourselves. Things just can not go on like they have been. It may well be survival of the fittest and most prepared.

    Great question.

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    Coming from a Native American background -- my lifestyle has almost always been 'green'.

    Dh and I actually had plans and land cleared, to build an off-grid home. Life intervened, and since then it's not been financially feasible for us to build that home. We've adapted some things at our current home, to be more environmentally friendly, yet frugal at the same time.

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    Thank you for the response John. I do think we differ though. My attempts out of being enviromentally friendly are due to my hope for the future. You seem to be motivated by fear for the future.

    Now don't get me wrong. I understand the fear and it is warranted, however, I can't live being fearful. I like to live in peace with the knowledge that I am doing all I can do right now. I am putting forth my best effort and that effort may be even better next year. Who knows?

    I am but an average westerner correcting the error of my ways. People who live like you do I put on a pedestal. Perhaps someday I will be there with you.

    Next week I will make an attempt to read your blog more. (working this weekend) I hope you are using it as a forum for educating on enviromental topics.

    thanks

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    Registered User Marie78's Avatar
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    I think everyone should read John's blog, especially before responding to this thread.

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    i'm an environmentalist at heart, so my lifestyle of living frugally is based on that. i don't necessarily agree with all the hype our media gives to us (based on clothing, food, other goods/services) as being "green" (or the other operative word: organic). To the definition, how can food NOT be organic? Seriously.

    Anyway, I have always tried to find good sales, but quality products. It's not frugal to keep buying cheap when "spending a dollar" will get you a better, longer lasting product.

    But I also make sure that what I do affects OTHERS (people, animals, environment) as LITTLE as possible as well. Be that "others" in my community, or the world as a whole. (Pollution isn't a cloud that just sits over your house, it spreads, and fast.)

    I hope this is what you're asking, as I feel very strongly about recycling, re-using, and creating as little waste as I can, based on where I live, and by abiding the laws/rules of where I live... which, admittedly, isn't always as "eco-friendly" as I would like, but conformity is something we all have to do to a point.

  11. #11
    Registered User rachelMcK's Avatar
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    I'm being frugal so that I can start a family. I already am somewhat green (I'm getting all the way there eventually). But then, I'm sure once we are ready to start a family, I'll be fairly environmentally conscious because I honestly don't want my child in an environment full of chemicals.
    I am terrified of the future, doesn't matter if its good or bad, simply because I don't know what it holds so I try to live in the present. Less anxiety that way.
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    Registered User danni's Avatar
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    Things we have already been doing for the last few years are
    -recycle everything possible
    -use less electricity
    -walk or bike instead of driving
    -try not to buy stuff unless necessary

    This year we are get more focused on the above and trying to add in a few more. Like
    -switching to cfl's
    -buying more local food
    -we are starting our first veggie garden

    Our long term goal is to buy some property and build an off grid home. We have decided what type we want and have talked to designer. Hopefully in a few years we will be able to start to build our home.
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    Registered User Moontidearts's Avatar
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    Default We could all learn from John's blog...how frivolous we are

    [QUOTE=Daisygirl;839309]We have changed our lives somewhat, although not at all to the point that you have John.

    My dear Friend, explaining or justifying your lifestyle on this thread is simply a waste of time. The niceties that please you, that add depth and joy to your life, to John, would be considered wasteful and environmentally irresponsible, be it a favorite music CD bought on sale, your scrap-booking hobby, the books you collect or your cable television. Think of the energy you've expended, both electric and personal, typing out a polite reply to this thread...Why, you could have been baking bread in a solar oven or watching a candle flicker while contemplating the impact of your personal carbon footprint. I can only say this after reading John's blog, where he begins by insulting Frugal Village and North Americans in general. Would that we were all as aware of how our very existence is doomed. Perhaps we would each build a bunker, bury our food and heads and await the end of civilization as we know it. And now, I am going to (with great shame) waste some electricity watching my television, after standing in front of my open refridgerator contemplating a snack. Oh, the guilt.

    Victoria

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    Where is John's blog?

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    Registered User Marie78's Avatar
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    I couldn't agree more with you Victoria. We are all doing our best in our own lives and this thread was started as as way to put down FV on his blog. You can't get to John's blog from his thread anymore, yesterday there was a link to it near his signature.
    Last edited by Marie78; 01-27-2008 at 10:14 AM.

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