Friday, August 20, 2010

Frugal is the new black


Frugal Living Community - Frugal is the new black. That sounds depressing.

Something about the word frugal just doesn't work for me. Frugal. It reminds me of someone old, grumpy, gray, plain, simple, uninteresting, traditional, and boring. I do not associate one positive happy word with the word frugal. I even have a sad face when I say it. Go ahead, say it out loud. Froooogal. Ick. I don't like it.

The phrase "Frugal is the new black." is referring to a new trend. Then and now. I get it. I just don't like it. And I don't really want to be part of it. Unfortunately, I am part of it big time. We are living more frugally now than ever before. We still have a long way to go to really learn how to live frugally. But we're getting there.

I wish they called it "Smart Living Community" where frugal is the new black. That would work much better for me. Because smart is a happier word than frugal.

I know. I just need to accept it. And this is the hardest part of all. Which is why I'm following this new community.

I need to learn how to live with it. It helps to know I'm not alone. There are many, many people like me trying to figure out how to live life with less. I love reading all their tips. You never know what might work for you. And you can always tell the difference from people that are living it - and the people that are not. Their advice and suggestions are different. The person living it has real suggestions. Not the obvious - make your own coffee and take your lunch to work. Duh.

Here's the thing. I don't want to give anything up. I want to know how I can have it all - for less.

What I want to know is where can I buy all my fabulous gourmet food ingredients for a lot less $$? I found this weird little store in San Rafael, by the Trader Joe's that sells Indian spices, rice, breads and stuff. And they sell ginormous bags of jasmine rice for $5.99. This is WAY cheaper than the regular grocery store. They also have huge containers of olive oil that are less than 10 bucks. Those are the tips I want. Where can I shop to save on things that I want like:

  • seafood, meats and cheeses
  • fresh fruits and vegetables
  • wine (besides bevmo)
 Is there a way I can get all my household expenses a lot cheaper?

  • cable tv and internet
  • cell phone service
  • insurance
  • rent
  • electricity
  • car repair
  • gas
Does anyone know if there is there such a thing as a discount orthodontist? We need to take Elli. But we know how expensive it is. Where do you find a good orthodontist that is affordable?

And car repair. The "bring your car in for service" light has been on for a month. Where do you get quality auto repair that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? The enormity of it all has my stomach in knots.

I'm working on a new account at the agency called Raley's. It's a supermarket chain in CA and NV. They've recently introduced a concept called Raley's Dailies. They have set prices on over 1,000 items that people purchase all the time. It takes the guess work and stress out of buying. I love this. I wish other retailers did this too.

So I'm asking for help. What do you do to to save money on everyday expenses?


  1. Don't know if you still have a home phone but, I just got rid of ours. We just use our cell phones-each of us have one. I saved $50 a month by doing that.

  2. I like the Smart Living Community name better too.
    Here is a blog post a friend of mine just wrote about making your own laundry soap. I'm thinking about trying it. I thought of your post when I saw it.

    Hope it's okay to leave a link:

  3. Sarah, we do have a house phone still. It's tied to our business. We should try to get rid of it. We hardly use it at all. Which nets out to some very expensive phone calls!

    Sally, thanks for the link. I haven't thought about making my own soap. But you never know! I'll check it out. Thanks.

  4. Hi Kris,
    Me again from Marin/CT. I too have been trying to trim the fat in bills. Just changed my auto insurance. Saved $400.00. Called around for about 8 new quotes. The cheapest was AAA. Went to the Larkspur office. They were super nice. Same exact policy as I had with Allstate, paid for a full year, saved $400.00. Hope this helps!!

  5. Hi anonymous! Thanks for the insurance tip. We have AAA but I should check to make sure our rate is as low as it can go!


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