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15 March 2011

Wise Economy

Last week, Raspberry wrote:  I don't know if you previously did a post about wise economy and what that means, but I would love to see you do one. Wise economy doesn't always means buying what's cheapest, but it can sometimes be difficult to know when it's wise to buy what's cheapest and when it's wise to pay extra, especially when it comes to quality. I would love your thoughts on this issue.


Raspberry was commenting on my knitting post when I wrote:  I use to think it was a wise economy to buy the cheapest wool; I no longer believe that. The cheapest wool comes with its own invisible price attached. Fibres - even natural fibres like pure cotton and wool, are often processed with harsh chemicals you don't want on your skin. Paying a few dollars more for a better quality yarn will give you a better quality garment and peace of mind, knowing it's not tainted.

As Raspberry said, the cheapest isn't always the best value for money.  What good is a scarf that you buy the wool for, knit and start to use, only to find that it irritates your skin, is too scratchy or leaves a rash.  You won't want to throw it away because you spent all that time and money on it. That scarf will sit in your cupboard and not be used. Saving a few dollars not buying the yarn you really wanted will turn into a total waste of money.

There is no rule that covers this.  Often when it comes to making a decision on what to buy, you have to try it first. For instance, I thought buying embroidery cotton would be simple and straight forward so I bought a slightly cheaper brand. I discovered when I'd made the cover, embroidered and washed it, one of the red colours ran.  Since then I always buy the more expensive cotton.  I think the best advertising is word of mouth from someone you trust.  If you're going to buy something, ask your friends what they know about it.  If you can't find anyone who knows and it's a small item, buy the smallest amount you can to try it.


If you're learning how do various things, ask those you're learning from about how they choose their materials or ingredients.  If you're starting a new craft, learn as much about the materials as you do about the techniques.  Do your research, read good books on your topic and be selective about what you find on the internet.  There will be differing opinions on just about everything.  

I can't give you recommendations for various products but I am firmly convinced of the wise economy of:
  • buying good quality that lasts, can be recycled, mended, changed, painted, dyed or handled down through the family.  This applies to clothes, shoes, appliances, furniture, equipment, tools and cars and much more.  The longer you use anything, the more value you're getting for the dollars you put into it.
  • cloth nappies/diapers.  I think setting yourself up with cloth nappies/diapers is a good investment.  Generally you'll spend about $1200 for everything you need.  You have to pay for washing costs, but make your own washing liquid and that cost goes down significantly, hang them on the line to dry, it goes down again.  When you have one set, you have enough for most, if not all, of the babies you'll have.  The cost of disposable nappies/diapers in Australia, is said to be about $3000 for each baby.  It's a big difference in financial cost and in the cost to the environment.
  • buying goods produced in your own country and if you can buy local produce, meat or goods, it's the best bonus.
  • buying organic, if you can afford it.  If you can't, buy it whenever you can and be okay with that.  Just do your best and rest easy.
  • living within your means, or below it.
  • teaching children the value of money when they're growing up.
  • cooking from scratch and developing a good selection of incredible recipes that people ask you for.  When that happens you know the food you cook is healthy and thrifty without sacrificing flavour.
  • never walking down the cleaning aisle of a supermarket unless it is to collect borax, bicarb, vinegar and soap.
  • looking after what you already own.
  • doing your own repairs and maintenance - from darning, sewing and mending to changing the tyres around on your car, changing the oil, checking brake fluid and tyre pressure and everything else you're skilled enough to do.
  • growing your own vegetables and cultivating plants that will allow you to make your own fertilisers - comfrey, yarrow etc.
  • developing a worm farm to help you recycle household waste and to supply fertiliser and microbes to your garden.
  • preserving, canning or freezing excess vegetables.  Whether you grow them or buy them in season at the market.
  • paying your mortgage off faster than you're expected to.  You can do that by paying fortnightly instead of monthly  or paying extra payments throughout the year.  It's a sacrifice, but the payoff in savings is extraordinary.
  • getting rid of disposables as much as possible. 

I guess my overall recommendation is to know about what you buy. Otherwise you're at the mercy of the manufacturers and we all know that's not always the best position to be in. If you go into the shop to buy something, go armed with as much knowledge as possible.  When you buy something that exceeds your expectations or disappoints you, tell your friends about it.  Making the decision to buy is never easy but if you're aware and have done some research, you'll be better placed.  Don't be one of the uneducated sitting on the side lines thinking that everything you should know will be on the label.  It won't be.  I think there are many good manufacturers and ethical retailers out there.  The problem is, generally, we don't know who is who.  

What are your wise economies?

45 comments:

  1. Wonderful post! We've been working on this throughout this last school year since I quit teaching. I've actually been trying to do all of your suggestions, except for nappies (kids are all out of diapers) and buying organic. I simply can't afford to feed 6 of us organically so I buy local and grow my own. Making many meatless meals each week and, I agree, purchasing better quality yarn. No paper products except for toilet paper too!

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  2. I totally agree with everything on your list. Some things are well worth paying extra for if they can be used for years and years. That is one of the reasons I like antiques. They may be well aged, but they are still useful, and obviously built to last!
    P.S. I adore your blog! You are a woman after my own heart!! :D

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  3. Paying extra on mortgage is a good thing. We have an automated payment made on our mortgage and we started it with extra every month. Now, the payments have gone down but we still pay the same amount and our house will be paid off about 5 years early. Also, we bought a house we could afford even though it meant doing upgrades modernizing it a little at a time. Really saved us a ton of money.

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  4. We do not make a huge amount of money, but we are very strict about only purchasing only organic produce, and most of our other foods are also organic. I am willing to sacrifice cable TV and eating out in order to be able to afford these things. We also spend more on recycled toilet paper, but we have cut paper towels out of our lives, and hardly use any tissues. We have also started using more dried beans instead of canned to save money, but when we buy tins of them we always buy the more expensive brand that does not contain BPA lining. My health is more important to me than an extra dollar in that sense. Thanks for your post, I always look forward to reading them!

    Brenna
    consciousearthveg.blogspot.com

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  5. This will be my first summer not working five days a week for over thirty years and I'm wrestling with whether or not to jump right in with chickens and a larger garden. I already knit, crochet, sew, repair our clothes and cook meals at home (except for Friday nights when we eat out with friends). I hang clothes outside to dry and wash dishes by hand. I rarely buy new clothes and shop at our local Goodwill store; I buy meats when they're marked down and freeze them; I don't waste food. These are all things I've been doing even with working full time, so I feel pretty good about what I've been accomplishing thus far.

    I want to be sure that I don't wear myself out and end up being wasteful with too many changes in the beginning. I know I'll have the time to spend on these two new endeavors, but it's all so new to me that I'm afraid I'll not do the right things with the chickens and waste money, plus I'll be heartbroken if the chickens die. As far as the garden goes, I'm arguing with my husband right now over just what to grow. Of course my list is a mile long, but he believes I might have "pie in the sky" ideas...so I know I need to temper my goals, just as I'm sure you'd advise me to do.

    I sure do want to practice "Wise Economy", but I'm a little shaky just now. I didn't mean to write such a long comment, but I wonder if you experienced any of my trepidations before you actually were able to get yourself into such a good place in your life.

    Thanks for listening.

    Diane in North Carolina

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  6. While I agree with most of what you have written, I would like to dispute the cost of disposable nappies, while I have always been a promoter of cloth nappies and some of my older children never ever wore anything but cloth, when our fourth baby was born we were in a severe drought and only had tank water so used disposables in order to save water. I found that I would buy a large box of the most expensive disposables and they would last me 1 month.They would cost $40 a month over 1 year that cost works out at $480 over 2 years $960- no where near the $3000 dollars I always see quoted. I have checked with other exclusive disposable users and they have backed up my figures.
    I would also suggest that if you are going to buy some terry cloth squares buy the Canningvale ones, I gave mine away after using them for 5 children still in good condition- although I did not use these exclusively, most people wouldn't be using them on 5 kids either. I only got 1 child use out of the cheaper nappies I bought for my first.

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  7. Sometimes you have to grit your teeth and spend money.

    We recently received a fairly large (for us) gift of money. We could have put it away for emergencies, but instead took the opportunity to buy a new computer. Going from a 12 year old, rebuilt from the inside Mac to a brand new has been a shock, but it means my OH can work from home, do extra freelance work an suchlike.

    It also means that what used to take me minutes to view/download now takes seconds. Effectively, I can spend less time on the internet!

    Oh - never skimp on fruit trees unless you propagate your own.

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  8. Our household economy definitely works on these principles. Our house is recycled though we have lived in it for over 20 years. Because an old friend and I have always op shopped one day a week for most of those 20 years much of what is in our home is quality recycled goods. Beautiful silky oak furniture, lovely quality china, beautiful linen work that someone has put months of work into.
    Rhonda we are also awaiting a new grandchild and when the first granchild was born 5 years ago, granddad went down the shed and got a wooden toy cot and rocking chair off the wall , bought over 30 years ago for the then new baby's father - they have been in nana's playroom/sleepover room ever since. Wooden toys such as beautifully made tip trucks and trains have been picked up at the op shop, reoiled and loved at our place- all for a few $'s . These toys will never be thrown out- they are still like new.
    Hubbie has just finished a new and very luxurious chook pen- except for the wire ( his birthday present) all recycled - iron from frined who got a new roof, walls fencing panels left over from , door $10 at the recycle shop . this is our second pen in 20 years but it will see us out.

    I am very big on quality buying and quality recycling.

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  9. I've been caught so many times buying something cheaper that I thought would do the job then finding out it didn't and wasn't worth it. Now I buy the best I can afford and if I don't have the money I wait. Quite often I find I don't need that item anyway. Like you too I go for the better quality wool. No more acrylic for me - it's not worth it. The vegie garden is flourishing and I'm looking at lists of fruit trees to go in this winter. Can't beat home grown, organic fruit.

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  10. Thanx all for this discussion. These sorts of topics are something I'm trying to create discussion about with my extended family and hubby. So good to have some other minds and ideas to think through. The balance of short term financial benefit, long term quality benefit and environmental impact has become more and more important in my buying decisions. It definately pays off in the long run!

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  11. what a great post! thanks for a great overview of wise economy!

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  12. An older neighbour of ours has the saying "Poor people pay twice". I have found myself quoting it to myself when pondering a buying decision many times.

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  13. Great post, Rhonda. The wisest economy I made was to save, as soon as I started working at 18 years of age, towards buying my own home. As a single young woman on a low income and with no support, I owned my home freehold by the time I was 30 and still managed to travel and see the world throughout my 20's. I then invested in getting a better education.

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  14. Thank You for the wonderful thought provoking post..
    ~~HUGS~~

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  15. When we married and set up our home I didn't understand 'wise economy'. Our priorities were all wrong - we bought a top of the range television (back then a little 14 inch black box!)but purchased cheap kitchen appliances, pots and pans. The same for household linen and towels. I thought I was being a thrifty housewife but it ended up costing us more when the cheap pots scratched and burned on the bottom and the towels' threads pulled and wore thin in a very short space of time - they became very expensive rags! My husband bought me a set of good stainless steel pans last year - they were expensive but on sale at the time. They are a dream to cook with and clean up beautifully - they are something we should have bought at the start of our marriage! We also now carefully consider our big kitchen appliance purchases and are prepared to pay more but only after lots of reading of reviews and finding out where the motors are made! Even a German name doesn't mean it is made in Germany! When it comes to replacing small appliances I have found garage sales, especially estate sales to be invaluable. You will see all the gimmicky appliances people buy and never use such as pie makers but I'm amazed at how many of my own useful small appliances were found at garage sales - all in perfect order, I always ask to plug them in before I buy them. My bread machine(a good quality brand) was $5. My iron was $2. A hand mixer $1. A food processor for $5 - the list goes on - a slow cooker and a dehydrator. Recently, I've been buying up plates, tablecloths and napkin sets at garage sales for hospitality purposes. Once again a lesson learned - I used to go out and buy paper or plastic plates for parties and functions because I just didn't have enough plates. Re-evaluating, I'd rather have more washing up to do at the end of evening and have served my guests a home cooked meal on real china plates that I can use over and over again.

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  16. One of my little economies is using linen tea towels. I had some in continuous every day use for 25 years (washed, dried, then immediately used again) before I made them down into dish and cleaning rags. When they are too holey for use they can be composted. I get occasional ones from family for Christmas but most I pick up for 50c or $1 at the Opp shops.

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  17. An excellent post, though paying more for better doesn't always work as some of the quilting fabrics I purchase still run whether they cost me $4/mtr, made in China with no label, or $25/mtr made in the USA/UK from well known manufacturers. I ALWAYS pre-wash now.
    I'm lucky with my furniture as it's inherited from my Nana as no one else wanted the dark, laminated, dove tailed wardrobe and dressing table. They'd have to be nearly 100 yrs old now and my eldest daughter has already requested them when I no longer need them :).

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  18. Op shop says
    I buy near new (second hand)for many things, In 2009 we had a house fire and lost all of our whitegoods and when came time to replace them were able to buy near new e.g. refridgerator and washing machine one e bay for a lot less than new price but still with top energy ratings. The same happened with our car also destroyed in the same fire, we were able to buy a few years old vehicle for a lot less than a new one. Over the years this has saved us many dollars, but still been able to have the quality. I often refer it to some peoples purchase mistakes is our gain. You do have to be patient and spend time looking for items, but with computers all research and buying can often be done online.
    This is a different way of wise economy that has worked well for us.
    Regards
    Melinda

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  19. Thank you lovely post, the local food comment especially struck home. I'm trying hard to do that on a budget, now I'm eating less of some things (butter/cheese/meat) to make sure I can afford to buy locally. I use less, I can afford it.
    Buying local has a value far exceeding cost, I'm appreciating that I don't have to abandon my attics to keep in my budget.
    Thank you again,
    Fay

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  20. would you believe that after using the same cloth diapers(nappies) I still have one left that I use for a cleaning cloths.My "kids" are from 40 to 28 years old. Not a bad investment if I do say so my self.

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  21. We have limited space for fruit trees. Once we knew what we could plant here we thought long and hard before buying. First thought was what we use the most of and second what fruit cost the most to buy. If you can grow one that suits both of thee it is a real winner! If it is something that can be canned or dryed or frozen all the better! Same goes for the vegetables we grow if space is limited. I cannot believe the cost of cloth diapers now! I guess when we had our children you just got the cloth squares and folded them or bought prefolded and just bought plastic pants to go over them. They were pretty cheap and they lasted through all the children and passed down. I don't understand how they could cost so much now. Are they extra extra thick? Also there are so many different kinds of 'systems' of them! :) I agree that investing in the best you can buy is the best way to go.. I too had cheaper embrodery floss that when I soaked the item it changed color!! Also the older furniture we bought was all wood and sturdier and also could be redone unlike so many of the fax woods in the newer furniture. Sarah

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  22. I knew that there was a phrase that summed up what I try to do but hadn't found it before! 'Wise Economy' Yeah!

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  23. All that post reminded me of my Grans favorite sayings "its not wasted unless you Don't use it"
    i love to come to visit your blog its an inspiration.ps i always read them drinking a cup of tea

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  24. Great post Rhonda. I was mentally ticking off a lot on your list there, so that feels good.
    I agree with you about "...knowing what you buy". Reading every label, researching and questioning where things come from. It takes awhile at first, but it's worth it.

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  25. Really good subject. Great post.

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  26. Rhonda Fantastic post. I think everyone should stick to your list. We have always maintained a frugal yet very happy lifestyle well I mean once we figured it out. Your list is the key. B

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  27. Excellent post! A good example is those gingher embroidery scissors I see in your picture there. I've bought many pairs of cheap "sharp" scissors over the years, and tossed them in the recycle bin after a relatively short period of time. But a good pair of sturdy, sharpenable scissors is a dream to use, and if they're pretty all the better!

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  28. Thank you for the wonderful, in-depth, reply to my comment. I have enjoyed reading everyone's comments on this topic.

    As I have gotten older, I've come to treasure craftsmanship and quality and to despise cheaply made, disposable items. We are such a throw away society these days and it seems to go hand in hand with styles constantly coming and going as well. When a person changes out their wardrobe and home decor every year or two, quality doesn't seem to matter as much because they know they will be replacing those items in the near future. But, when you settle on a wardrobe style and home decor that suits you and your lifestyle, there's no reason to change things constantly. You can comfortably spend more for higher quality knowing it will be around for years and years instead of being tossed in a few years. For this reason, I have never been into, nor excited about, the typical home decor and fashion blogs. So, for me, one of the biggest wise economy decisions is having a classic/timeless wardrobe and home decor that you like and suits your family, and buy long lasting quality items for those areas of your life. It can serve you for many years to come instead of constantly changing with the ever changing tide of fashion and decor which we are encouraged to do so that businesses/corporations can make more money as a result of us feeling to need to be "current". The more trends they create, the more money people spend, the more money they make. It benefits them to create this "need" for change, which leaves us with empty pockets and fills theirs. To me, that's the beauty of classic, enduring styles; they never go out of style. It has the power to balance out of control wasteful capitalism, which capitalism is a good thing in and of itself, but it's wrong for people misuse and abuse it.

    ~Raspberry

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  29. Second-hand booksales are another example of 'wise economy' purchases. New isn't always necessary. Of course, lending books to others or borrowing from libraries or giving books outright to others are also good options. This is true despite the dawning of the Kindle, as I've lent the same books over & over to a number of different people at no cost to them.

    Re: cloth nappies/diapers. These make excellent baby shower gifts making the cost to the new mother & father zero (except for washing them as they can be line dried outside or inside if it's raining/snowing). This is true whether it's the more expensive kind being sold nowadays or the plain terry squares used in the past. I think one of the main arguments in favour of cloth over disposable is that the disposables sit in landfills and therefore are not really 'disposed of'....it's a con as they are just 'out of (your) sight', but are sitting in a garbage dump/landfill somewhere for years & years reeking havoc on the environment. How 'wise' is that 'economy' then...Of course, there are those who don't use nappies/diapers much at all and have a whole different philosophy of 'catching' their baby's wee etc....and train their child according to signals.....not my scene, but it is other's--this wouldn't cost financially, but would in time spent in learning the cues/signals.

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  30. We are not in want for much .. but when we are in need I first check thrift and second hand stores because older products often are made better. For meat we buy from a local ranch (about an hour away) that has their own processing facility .. buying enough for almost a year .. this is budgeted so we have enough money saved when needed. If a repair is needed that we can't make ourselves, I usually never go with the cheapest quote .. but go with someone that has been recommended for quality workmanship .. this always proves to be a benefit.

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  31. I see you've received the pincushion! I am now strugling with the braided strips of an old sheet and tried to sew it on the machine. That doesn't work so now I'll sew it by hand.
    I discovered the seeds of the bell peppers are still okay. I used your method by putting them on a wet paper in a plastic bag and now they're in small pots!
    Love your blog and I am looking for it every day!

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  32. The internet has truly made shopping for quality so much easier. Lots of online info to compare.

    If you do buy an inferior product I suggest calling/emailing the manufacturer and letting them know. You can ask for your money back.

    I did cloth diapers 19 yrs ago and everyone in my group thought I was nuts. The older ladies in my church were very happy to see me using them as was my dmil.

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  33. Hi Gerry! Yes, it arrived. I sent you an email to thank you. Didn't you receive it?

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  34. No Rhonda I didn't get your mail. But I'm pleasantly surprised to see this tiny thing on your blog!!
    I would have prefered to bring it myself and shake hands with a woman I admire..... I think your blog is a source of inspiration for a lot of people.
    Thank you so much! Gerry

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  35. Hi Rhonda,

    This brings to mind a quote - rather long-winded I'm afraid - from the economist and social commentator Ruskin (1819-1900) about Best Price. It is something I have kept with me from my university days studying economics. I have had to go and dig it up in my quote book as I don't have it from memory!

    "There is hardly anything in the world that some men cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider only price are this man's lawful prey.

    It is unwise to pay too much, but it's more unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of the doing the thing you bought it to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot - it can't be done.

    If you deal with the lowest bidder, it's well to add something for the risk you take. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better."


    Rather verbose, but still relevant today:)

    Sarah

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  36. that's a very wise quote from Mr Ruskin, Sarah. Thanks for adding it to the mix.

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  37. With respect to cloth diapers, $1200 seems a little high to me...we use bumGenius pocket diapers, and they can be found new for about $200/dozen. Not cheap, but they've worked well for us. (We got 1 dozen as a gift, bought 1 dozen ourselves new, and bought 5 more used from a friend. That number of diapers, for 1 child, has worked out great, and of course we can use them for future children and probably resell when we're done if we want.)

    As for economies, with children's toys, all the cheap plastic stuff out there breaks so easily with normal use, and then one has a disappointed kiddo and a piece of trash for the landfill. Much better to spend a little more for a well-made toy (handcrafted if possible) that will last for generations. Fewer toys of better quality, rather than many cheap, easily broken things.

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  38. i sewed my own cloth nappies, so they only cost me a few hundred dollars to make 40-50 top notch nappies... it would have cost me a couple of grand at least to buy them..
    i also sewed my own cloth wipes!

    the nappies have done my first child and are about to do the second! i made my money back in the first few months of using them! everyone told me i couldn't do cloth nappies, that it was too hard, too much work, too much poo... well they were all wrong!

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  39. woops, sorry i forgot to put my name on that post!
    amy :)

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  40. I have been working on updating my kitchen to make it more efficient and just generally get rid of the things that I detest like the cheap peel and stick flooring that is lifting up. For example, my cabinets are still serviceable so I made the decision to reuse them all rather than buy new. I am simply augmenting them with a couple of new cabinets and retrofitting them with some new toe-kick drawers. So much cheaper but I still get what I want and need in this upgrade. I have always felt that there is a fine line between being frugal and cheap. Cheap means buying whatever is cheapest without considering the quality or even how much you like it. Frugal is buying the cheapest good quality item you can find that you like. Frugal gets you something you want at a more affordable price. Cheap just gets you something cheap.

    And my new financial goal for this year is to pay down my mortgage! It is pretty amazing how much you save. At this moment in my mortgage, a single months payment chops off about 4 to 5 months of the mortgage. It is astonishing.

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  41. When I was in high school, I went through three backpacks in my freshman year (and the year was only half over). My mother and I had been buying the cheapest ones we could find -- $10 or $15 at Wal-Mart. Then a friend of mine suggest L.L. Bean backpacks to me. So I talked my mother into buying a backpack from them. It cost a good bit more ($40 or $50 as I recall), but not only did it last me through high school, it lasted me through college -- including a year abroad in which it survived being checked luggage on countless planes. When one of the zippers started giving me trouble after I graduated college, they replaced it for free! Needless to say, I hadn't kept any receipts that long. I think I paid only the shipping to send the old backpack to them. I'm so happy to know a company that stands behind its products, I recommend them to everyone.

    The other manufacturer I highly recommend is Canon. My husband had a digital camera from them. It started giving us some trouble after six or seven years. I did an Internet search and found that Canon knew of a defect in a piece of hardware in that line of cameras and would fix the camera if that was the cause of the problems. I made a quick phone call to them and they promptly sent me a prepaid box to ship the camera in. Within a week or so, they had fixed the camera and sent it back to me. No cost to me at all and, again, I didn't have any sort of receipt. Certainly, when I went to buy a new printer last year, they were the only brand I would consider! It's refreshing (and so rare) to see companies that work on brand loyalty through having good quality products and good customer service rather than simply the cheapest product possible and scads of advertising.

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  42. I agree with your list.

    I actually made my son's cloth nappies. They are the MCN and I have found they are better than at least one well know mass produced brand. My use of actual brands of nappies is very limited, I start making MCN for friends years before I used them.

    We grow vegies as we prefer them and they are so much cheaper. We have recently added some chooks to our family and are excited by their laying.

    I think soceity is too wasteful and marvel at pre generations. And I'm only just over thirty so not exactly old either.

    I have just found your site, and can't wait to get home and show my husband

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  43. I really liked this article on wise economy!

    I have been so disappointed with quality of goods made now days. Not that I expect things to last forever. But goodness I bought my kids and husbands some new clothes (which I usually buy second hand), only to have holes in after a couple times of wearing them. I would except holes after wearing something heavily for a year, but not after wearing it 3 times!!!! I bought a purse at Walmart only to have the strap brake on it a few months later. What a waste of money. The purse I bought next I bought at a rummage sale for 50 cents and I have had it for quite a few years now. I also have been trying to purchase more quality brands (LL Bean, Lands End) only to have their goods wear out terribly too. Shoes with holes in after 3 months (thankfully I could return and get a new pair under their guarantee). Tights that were suppose to last (and were $10 a pair)- holes in the first time worn. So not only have I had bad experiences with cheap stuff breaking and wearing out horribly fast, but bad experiences with "quality" companies not producing quality goods any more either.

    I guess I prefer buying second hand, which is normally all I can afford anyways. I try to buy nice quality, namebrand things second hand. You save so much money and quality doesn't seem to be a problem. If its held up good enough to make it to the thrift store (without holes in and breaking), it will surely make it through my children wearing it or my family using it! (And even if it doesn't I only paid a little for it, unlike buying new).

    One area that I think it pays to spend extra on is healthy foods. This is one area that I don't think being cheap is a good idea.

    I also like buying quality children's toys. I never buy Walmart cheap plastic toys. I like buying toys from learning shop/natural toy store type places better. I love buying my children quality toys that will last. I learned from buying things for my first daughter- that buying cheap is just a waste of money. Her first dolly broke in like 6 months after getting it. Now my second daughter, has a Baby Stella doll for several years and plays with her all day long, every day and her dolly is still in good shape. Quality is much better for children's toys too!

    And one other thing with wise economy is- buying things you love, over buying things that are on sale or cheap or a "good deal". I think is being wise too. Last year I got a gift card to a local department store for my birthday to buy some clothing. Well I bought one shirt I loved (even though it was more expensive- $15), and then bought the rest cause they were cheap and a good deal- $5. Well guess which shirts I have worn over the last year- only the one I loved. The other cheap ones shrunk funny and just didn't look that good on me. So carefully buying things that you love and really want is wise economy!

    Thanks again for this post. I enjoyed reading the other comments too.

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  44. Cheap sheets!! Such a waste of money. Good sheets last for ever feel so much nicer.

    Charlie

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  45. Hello Rhonda,

    I have learned a lot from your blog, and this is the end result regarding the saving:

    http://cucinaforeveryone.blogspot.ie/2015/02/on-saving-as-fine-art.html

    It is with your help and precious hits that we are where we are now: happy out living simply!!!

    Hugs from Ireland :)

    ReplyDelete

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