A Little Too Frugal Maybe???

My kids give me a hard time…

I can be really frugal about some things.  Here are some of my examples.

These are my slippers.  I wrote a blog post back in January of 2020 recommending these slippers… FitKicks Crossovers Women’s Foldable Active Lifestyle Minimalist Footwear Barefoot Yoga Water Shoes (YEP, all of that is the name).

Oh, my word.  I love-love-love these.  I have worn the heck out of them.  I pretty much wear them every day all day.  I wear them more like shoes.  I even keep them on and run out to the mailbox.

After a year of wear, the edge on one started giving out.  I tried to superglue it.  I tried to hot glue it.  Then I got the bright idea to stitch it up.  The stitches in them have lasted for about six months.


Kalissa mentioned something about my slippers the other day and said mom, “If you’re too cheap to buy new ones, just send me the link and I’ll buy them for you.”  She was aghast when I told her I didn’t need a new pair, I had a brand new pair in my closet.  I just didn’t want to open them yet.


In fact, I have one pair of these exact ones and I have one pair of ones that are the same brand but a slightly different style that I bought at the thrift store…and they are brand new, still in the packaging.

I could easily give up on these, walk upstairs and take a new pair out of the packaging, but, I don’t.  I will likely sew these up again.  I’m just that frugal about some things.

Here’s another case in point that I might be too frugal.  This was another thing that bothered Kalissa…While I was recovering from my cancer treatment I had a terrible mouth condition and couldn’t taste a thing.  The doctors encouraged me to drink as much as I could with the intention of trying to flush the oral chemo, steroids, and radioactive iodine out of me.

Water tasted horrible.  Well, everything did.  It all had a very metallic taste and I had to force myself to drink.  It was miserable.

I used these drink packages and put them in my water.  I will often try new flavors or different brands.  Some of them I like, some of them I don’t.  Well, I am too cheap to throw the ones I don’t like away.  Way too cheap.  So…they have sat in the drawer.  The ones I liked the least always sifted to the bottom.  Then periodically I would put myself into a plan to work to use them up.  I’ll drink a couple and then give up.


Ever since I got home from the hospital, I’ve attacked the drawer of drink packets.  I decided I couldn’t taste right anyway.  Why not use them up?  I told Kalissa what I was doing and she just rolled her eyes and said, “Of course you are.”

I still can’t taste completely right so my plan is to keep drinking them until they are gone and not open any of the kinds I like until they are gone for good.

I’m just weird that way.  I hate waste.

I always keep my socks until they have holes in them.  The second they do have a hole in them, I do throw them away.

95% of my clothes come from the thrift store or Walmart.  I just don’t want to spend money on them.  The purse I carry is from a garage sale from two years ago.  My wallet was a gift from Kayla from about 10 years ago.  My winter coat was from a thrift store 10 years ago.

I showed this picture in a blog post from a year ago…(read it HERE if you missed it)


I was writing about having trouble throwing old dish towels away.

Even my quilting is pretty frugal.  I use what I have.  I use sheets as backing regularly. I always buy and use thrift store fabric when I can.  I purposely use up leftovers and make crumb or string quilts to use the smallest of pieces up.  If I want to sew on the current fabrics I purposely design and submit a quilt to magazines so the company will pay for the fabric.

I sew on a vintage machine I bought for $15 or my Pfaff 1200 that I’ve had for 15 years…I don’t foresee me ever buying anything else.  Well, I’d love to computerize my longarm but I don’t see that happening unless I win the lottery.  I just won’t spend the money on it.

I do have a few weaknesses though…cross stitch is one.  Even with that, I finish some things myself and only get the really large ones professionally framed.

Another thing I spend money on is eating out…but even that isn’t crazy.  I eat out once a week…maybe two if there’s a reason to, like we got pizzas the weekend Kayla was home.  But, there was a reason.  I wanted to visit and not be stuck in the kitchen.

Another thing I’m not frugal about is tipping wait staff at restaurants…or people who do a service for me.  I’m actually a good tipper for that.  I’m also not frugal anytime it comes to helping others…

My kids think I’m a little too frugal.  Who knows?  All I know is I’m pretty comfortable being me.  I don’t mind a bit sewing up my slipper.  I would much rather have the money to give to someone in need.

I don’t mind a bit repairing a dog bed.


Yep, I did that in THIS blog post.  Rosie was a terrible puppy and ruined several dog beds.  Happily, after I patched them she left them alone and still has them to this day.

My parents were the product of the Great Depression and sometimes I think some of that rubbed off on me.  Sometimes I think I’m just a person that bucks the system a little bit.  I’m not a buyer and spender like society seems to want us to be.  I don’t know?

Are others of you frugal about things like I am?  Why do you think you are?  I’d love to understand more why I am much happier patching my slipper again than going upstairs and pulling out the brand new pair I already own.  I think Kalissa would love to understand that too.  Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

81 thoughts on “A Little Too Frugal Maybe???

  1. Heidi Story

    Yes! I am frugal like you! I have shirts with holes. Shoes that are trashed yet I still wear them. I bought fabric today for $1 a yard! I want to get my moneys worth out of everything.

    I really laughed hard because yesterday my family took 3 of my holey t-shirts and made me open the package of new t-shirts. I was saving them for good :D

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  2. brendalynne1

    love it!!! This is you. You are not telling others they have to do things your way but you are comfortable in your own skin as the saying goes. It is wonderful. Enjoy your uniqueness. you have figured out what is important to you, have figured out what the trade offs are so you can accomplish the things that have importance to you.

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    1. ShirleyR

      Well said! I so agree. If a person can save money and it makes you happy doing that, what at a great combination! My parents, also went through the Great Depression so I learned ways of saving and conserving my resources while also having a happy heart while sharing with others who have less than I do. I remember one time in grade school my parents didn’t have money enough to buy me a new paper tablet for school supplies. So I tore off the raggedy cover of a partial tablet that still had unused paper in it from prior use and used a piece e of colored art paper and glued some cut-outs from an old magazine to make a new cover for my paper tablet to use in school. Also, for my first grade year, before my stepdad joined the Seabees in WWII he made me a lunchbox to carry to school., He bought a some sort of black, thick paper-like storaage box that had a lift-up op on it with a snap (probably from the local hardware store). He glued a large cut-out, colored picture of Donald Duck on the top, then shellacked the outside of it to give it stability, and I was so proud of that lunchbox as a lst grader because he made it for me! Necessity was the mother of invention for us back in those days but I remember those days with great affection!

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  3. sewhappy

    I am not like you. I just returned a pair of slipper I got for Christmas because they were falling apart. I did get a store credit. My savings should be bigger. I have enough fabric for two life times.

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  4. Samantha M

    I agree with you, Jo, society does want us to be buyers and spenders, but I, my husband and daughter are all “let’s mend it first ” people. We’re all for recycling, re-using and mending.
    There’s far too much wasted in the world.

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  5. Beth

    Jo, please use and enjoy your new shoes. Those shoes are worn out and you’ve gotten your moneys worth out of them. My Dad died around thanksgiving and we’ve been cleaning out his things…he was extremely frugal. He wore the ratty shoes and slippers because”they were still good” and we donated the new slippers and shoes he had saved for later. Later never came and he never got the benefit of the support and comfort of the shoes. Ditto for new shirts he’d been gifted that were still in gift boxes and the new package of underwear in his drawer- he wore the holey ones. I was cleaning out the dish towel drawer- he used the ratty towels and underneath were nice new ones. I understand being frugal and using things til they are worn out but you are special enough to have nice things too especially if you have the nice things on a shelf…waiting. Enjoy those new shoes!!!

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    1. Gwen Malinowski

      I so agree with you on this one. When Mom died, and we cleaned out the house (she was not a hoarder) there were so many new items she wanted, received then never used; purses, clothes, nightgowns, shoes and slippers, etc. She even had gift certificates to her hair salon go unused. She got her hair done every week but saved the certificates for a permanent wave. I won’t even talk about the food in the freezer and cabinets. Jo, retire those well worn slippers and enjoy the new pair. They will probably make your feet happier, too!

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  6. Linda In UK

    I was born 2 years after WWII ended and Britain still had rationing until I was 5 or 6 years old. My parents had to make do and mend throughout the war ( I had 2 older sisters, Mum was a stay at home housewife as all women were then). Dad had turned a large part of our long garden over to veggies and fruit bushes and we had chickens. Their eggs were bartered with neighbours for honey- one neighbours kept bees- and sugar ration points as Mum needed more sugar to make jam with our gooseberries and rhubarb. Dad mended our shoes, dresses were lengthened as we grew by adding a strip of contrasting fabric a few inches above the hem, our outgrown summer sandals had the toes cut out to create peep toe sandals for playing in the garden. Ends of jars of jam were made into a large marbled open jam tart, etc etc. So yes, I don’t like to waste anything either. Old letters are torn into slips of paper which we keep by the phones for jotting down messages and shopping lists. Large envelopes and packaging is reused too. I try to use up leftovers and turn older veggies into soup, etc etc! And I also use scraps for patchwork. However, like you , I tip well and love to give friends and family gifts and most of my quilts are given away, many to charity. Waste not, want not was how I was brought up and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. However, it’s probably time you took those new slippers out of their box!

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  7. Stearns Carol

    I agree with Beth above. Enjoy it! Life is too short. I don’t know about you but my back needs shoe support. It may be dangerous for you going up and down stairs in your weakened condition wearing shoes with no support. And think about those babies you carry. Good shoes are important. So everyday I get up and shower, and put on socks and skechers. I need that support. Sandals in summer but hefty supported ones. My sister gave me a beautiful new bathrobe for Christmas. I am still wearing my old comfy one.
    Now, that I’ve berated you on the shoes, I do agree on using up the bits of fabric. I balk though at thrift store fabric unless its for charity. ANd I take it to the church for LWR. However, I gravitate to the sale fabric and buy little else unless I need it for something specific. And there is something to be said for working with new fabric, its so nice! Enjoy! Leave quilts not fabric I say.

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  8. Stearns Carol

    PS. I hope you use every bit of that lotion I sent you. Its designed to help dry skin recover from whatever its been subjected to. Open and use it! Throw out the old cheap stuff. Or save the cheap for later but use this first.

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  9. SusanV

    I’m also the daughter of depression era parents. I understand the value of fully using an item. But I can’t help but wonder if someone who wears something terribly worn but can afford a good item somehow feels that she doesn’t deserve to wear or have nice things. And why? My mother does the same and hordes. My father had a completely different attitude and his family was way more destitute during the depression.

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    1. Nance in Reno

      My parents grew up in the Depression. I hate to waste things, so my husband laughs at me when I patch a cloth grocery bag handle or reinforce a bottom or side seam.
      But then I looked at some ratty underwear and thought why are you wearing things that aren’t good enough to donate?
      We are generous with charitable and tips (when we go out), so I’m trying to love myself as much as I treat strangers.

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  10. Cheryl

    The one thing to not scrimp on is shoes. Your feet are the foundation that moves you through life. As you are diabetic, it’s even more important. Arthritis in your feet in later years may limit your mobility. Get really good shoes to protect your foundation. If your feet hurt as you age, it creates big limitations and affects your activity level, your knees and hips.

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  11. Kelli

    I grew up very poor but as a child in didn’t know it! We washed out plastic bags to reuse (my sister and I still do that today!) We had poor man’s dinners often – creamed tuna over potatoes or pancakes, etc. Mom made all our clothes and we wore hand-me-downs – but we were happy and it wasn’t until i reached high school that i realized we were poor. All that to say, I am frugal today! My husband and i have always followed a budget, I still make creamed tuna, and we are happy with our lifestyle. I think you do what feels right to you, and be happy in your own skin! Life is short, march to your own beat! You are a special lady and you encourage others to be happy being themselves! You go girl!

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  12. Myra

    I spent most of my young years with my very frugal grandmother. She grew up dirt poor, and stayed that way most of her life. She lived through the depression years. She had an old straight back, wooden chair with cane bottom in the corner stacked high with quilts she made entirely with her hands . She never bought fabric or batting. Fabric came from old clothes with holes in them. Batting was anything that would serve the purpose. To this day, I have boxes of old clothes I cut up. My “fabric”. I have fabric and batting I purchased. Fabric is my weakness. I can’t throw away a glass jar. I have “junk” thinking I may be able to make something from it. My family does not see the treasure in these things and they do not understand why I keep them. I have them because my grandmother would have kept them and in my weird way I guess I am honoring her.

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  13. Margaret Tobin

    I am so much like you. Extremely thrifty and generous. I get buy one gettwo free sirloin at Acme and for $10 get $30 of meat and make beef stew and give most of it away.
    Japanese have a beautiful mending technique with tiny stitches. I did this in college with my boy friend shirts after his mother had turned the collar because of wear. I treasure old things. Especially friends. I buy new things for others for charity but wear my old things for myself. I am more comfortable in them.
    You are such a wonderful person.
    You should do whatever makes you happy.
    The world needs more people like you and Dr. Paul Farmer.
    All the best
    Margaret ‍♥️♥️♥️

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  14. Judy Adams

    I agree with Cheryl. Your feet carry your weight! Think about it! Wearing shoes with no support is the worse way to abuse your feet! I won’t telll you how much money I pay for my slippers and I spend good money for my slippers because, since retired, I spend the greater portion of my day in my house.

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  15. Marie

    Please don’t use superglue on your shoes or anything that comes in contact with your skin. Chemicals in the glue are known carcinogens- a relative who used superglue in running shoes learned the hard way!

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  16. Julie Hutcherson

    I also am frugal. I have 2 sets of bed sheets for my bed. In the winter, I use 2 different, warmer, top sheets, a knit and a flannel. Last fall, one of my fitted sheets ripped. I took off the elastic, used it as a pattern, and made it’s top sheet into a fitted.

    A suggestion? Wear one of the new pr of slippers for one day. See if you feel any better at the end of the day, less achy or fatigued. It is possible the slippers’ foot support has worn out.

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  17. Hedy

    Your feet are tremendously important to the wellness of your body. As you get older, your feet can be a big pain. I used to wear beat up shoes but not now. I was told the importance of wearing good footwear and I follow that advice. Those sewed up slippers are not meant to be good footwear for your feet after wearing them 24/7/360 days a year. Throw them away and get out the new pair. Please Jo, this is very important. I’m a thrifty person too and people have laughed at me for years for washing out plastic bags to reuse plus so many things . But I try and dress really nice in my thrifty clothes and I do wear and use nice things, no holes anywhere. Please pitch the slippers, say thank you to them, but pitch!

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  18. Ellie

    I chuckled as I read this as I could hear my mom say many of these things. But I agree with Beth. Use the nice things. Don’t save them and keep using the old mended stuff! When it was time to clean out my parents house there were so many things she had saved for “good” and that ended up given away. It made me sad that she hadn’t felt she was special enough for the “good”. No one is more special than you!

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  19. LaNan

    I too am frugal about some things…socks, dish towels but I don’t skimp on shoes! I totally agree with Cheryl..especially after I broke my foot. It’s miserable when you have a lame foot. I don’t even wear the same shoes everyday as that seems to help my foot adjust to a different fit and is less likely to get irritated. Your feet are a prized part of our bodies!!

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  20. Justine Clark

    Yes, I had to laugh as I was reading your story about being frugal. My children think I am a pack rat. It is hard to throw perfectly good things away if I can use them. I’m getting better and am like you in that I don’t spend a lot on clothing for myself. I think it makes us, us!

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  21. Edna Gerrans

    Once again you have prooved to be a sister in spirit. That would be the thrifty spirit, not the ghost thing.
    My parents also lived through the Depression. They kept everything. We lived well, but not fashionably.
    So my thrifty habits include getting every smidgeon of peanut butter or any sauce out of the jar using spatulas. I hate to see a serving of sauce left to get washed away.
    I also buy fabric at thrift stores, last Friday I got a piece of silk for $1. That is now a dress skirt
    I have a friend who sews clothing who loves estate sales. She buys a box or bag of fabric, takes what she wants and gives or ocasionally sells me the rest. Several times I have gotten blocks, even antique ones or quilt tops through her.
    I wear shirts and Jean’s til they have holes, then cut them up for cleaning rags. I don’t use many paper towels!
    One of the advantages of be “mature” for me is knowing my style and preferences. I won’t keep things I don’t like.
    I love to hear your adventures thrifting. Being frugal is not unhealthy or selfish. Please keep on being you!

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  22. Marie C

    I’m all for being frugal, but it looks like the sole is coming away from your slippers. That could be dangerous. I put on a shoe with a loose sole I was unaware of. The sole partially came off and caused me to stumble and almost fall down I was so thankful I wasn’t going down the stairs.

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  23. Marianne

    You and me are both cut out of the same bolt of frugal cloth! I do similar things, and my 32 year old daughter thinks Mom is crazy. Haha!

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  24. Donna Robinson

    I’m with you JO 100%, as I type this I am wearing a sweat shirt, I know I have had it 30years. I had it when I moved here 30 yrs. ago. It has one hole patched with a 2 1/2″ pinwheel square. It is “sweat shirt lingerie” it is my go to winter night top. I have a pair of Bob Shoes at the door nicely worn, I love them.
    I’m with you girl, not that it’s right but it’s comfortable . Blessings!

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  25. Kate

    I agree with Cheryl above, good footwear is important. It is really good to be frugal, but as far as not using new shoes that you already have, that might be something beyond frugal! I agree that it is much more fun to buy our hobby supplies or fun things rather than new clothes.

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  26. Aileen

    I was laughing while reading this , my slippers look about the same . My husband got on me the other day to throw them out ! I also have some new ones . It made me think about my daughter being here one day with my 20 year old grandson . I had an almost empty bottle of ketchup turned upside down on a new bottle , he looked at his mom with a questioning look , she responded , o poor people do that . I cracked up , I’m not poor . I just thought everybody did that ! Lol . So I think we do things like the ketchup bottle , because we were raised that way . I did throw out my slippers , so maybe you should go get the new ones also , lol

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  27. Sue

    Use your nice things- you deserve it. My grandmother had beautiful nighties that she kept for “good” and wore a ratty old nightgown- when she died we cleaned out several beautiful nightgowns, folded up with tissue in her drawer. We all thought it was such a shame that she didn’t enjoy them.

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  28. Lori

    While reading this post, I’m very much like you.
    I just started wearing a new pair of Haflinger shoes (wool shoes for the house) that I love, my old ones had holes in them. I now wear the old ones out to the garage(see, I still can’t throw them out). I’m sure my old holey ones were at least 10 years old.

    I’m the same way about fabric, I keep all the bits!

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  29. RuthW in MD

    A Tripping Hazard is what to call those sewn up slippers. One lady suggested that you wear one of the two new pairs for just one day and see if your feet feel better in them. Ditto that. I’ve decided that if I’m not going to USE the new thing I bought to replace the old thing, then I should return the new thing so that it doesn’t take up room in my home. I allow myself a few weeks to see if I can transition naturally to using the new item, but if not, BACK to the store it goes, and the money goes back in my account.
    If I can’t return the new thing, or the free thing I don’t need, I give it away. I don’t want new stuff lurking in my home, someone else can use it instead.

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  30. Pat B

    I am frugal as I have needed to be, when we had dairy cows all of the money went to the cows and I have carried it on. We live in a throw away society and I try not to add more than necessary to that burden to the earth.

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  31. Cheryl

    Yes, I am frugal like you. My parents grew up in the depression and I know my mom passed that along to me. I hate waste and will avoid it if I can. I mend instead of buy new, etc. I use hand me down fabric in quilts and plan designs with those fabrics in mind. I also love to buy fabrics on clearance. I check that section every time I go to the store. I even have a pair of quilted slippers I made myself a couple of years ago that I have put new soles into twice. What can I say? They are comfortable and so cute!

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  32. JANICE RUSSELL

    You, like me, come from a frugal generation, where money did not grow on trees. We learned to make do. I lived on a farm, and we didn’t have a lot of money, running water or electricity. Mom sewed, and I sewed, we used holey dishtowels and dishcloths, didn’t have 40 changes of clothing, but we ate well and we had all we needed. That frugality has carried over for me. I wore socks until the bottoms were shot and my husband would see them, and grab a sock and rip it up! I always told him the tops were still good!! There does come a time, though, when it’s time to get rid of some of the old stuff and use the new. Later on might never come for you if you don’t.

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  33. Beryl BC

    You found a topic to get many topics today. I, too, am frugal about many things. My parents grew up in the depression; my mother saved the liners from cereal boxes to lay cookies on as they came out of the oven. I don’t do that, but do save bread wrappers that we use for many things. I got out a pair of new shoes a couple days ago, as the old ones had a small hole in the bottom and have started looking bad for going places. I was sorry to find out the new ones weren’t very comfortable; I hope wearing them makes them more comfortable.

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  34. Toni W.

    I threw away a sliver of bar soap the other day, but before I did, I showed it to my husband and said my grandma and mom were probably turning over in their graves! They would both mold those slivers onto the new bar of soap so they weren’t wasted. My mom would add some water to our shampoo when it got so low that it was hard to get out so that not a drop was wasted. My grandma always washed out plastic bread bags and even her styrofoam paper plates! When my sister was younger she actually bought her some paper plates for Christmas because she thought she was too poor to buy more. I’d say I’m not frugal like that, but I’m also not wasteful. I do tip the bottles and jars upside down when they get low…I just don’t dilute them with water. Ha ha!!

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  35. Gail L Piper

    Jo, I do some of those same things! I have a pair of sandals that require the straps to be hot-glued into place now and then – I only wear them around the house, but they have such good arch support that I refuse to give them up! I did replace some dish towels recently; the old ones are in the rag pile for using to clean whatever. My parents graduated from high school in 1929 and lived through the Depression, World War II, etc. I remember saving bacon fat, ironing wrapping paper to reuse, washing out plastic bags and tin foil, etc. And yep, I still scrape out the very last bits of food from the containers!

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  36. Anne Fisher

    OH MY!!! I had to laugh–to smile all the way through– and I think with every comment I read above–I have to say– I’ve lived that. WASTE NOT WANT NOT! I could say ditto through nearly every comment. At the same time –I’m sure it would be a good thing if those slippers were just GONE –don’t let yourself keep putting them back on. Can relate about the feet–it is almost impossible anymore to leave shoes off and try to walk around barefoot. The bones in my feet are really painful. I went barefoot for YEARS while in the house–and I can hear my sister’s lecture to this DAY– “you are going to be sorry about going barefoot someday!” Guess she was right. Some of that I think was passed on from my dad– he had “bad” feet, sister did–I do– my oldest does–and my sister’s oldest. Hate to waste anything—my parents went thru the Depression too. It’s just ingrained in us…No doubt my kids think same about my habits!!

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  37. Michelle

    I’m pretty frugal but when it comes to the sneakers on my feet, I will use the ones where the support is shot as muddy outdoor/garden sneakers for a bit more before tossing them. I want to stay mobile & independent, hopefully to the end of my days, so that is one item I finally started replacing more regularly.

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  38. Elle

    Like you, I really hate to waste anything. I too would use up those drink mixes. My sweatshirts, t-shirts and dishtowels have holes. My feet? I take really good care of them and I would toss those slippers and use the new ones that you’ve got on standby. I’m retired and now spend a LOT of time in my slippers. I get a new pair every year and toss the old ones when the footbed breaks down.

    My older sister (by 11y) makes fun of me and we were much poorer when she was a kid than when I was a kid. It seems that moves her to buy more and toss/donate much sooner than I. I have no idea why. I do know that being super frugal paid off our debt, helped us invest in retirement earlier and bigger and allowed me to retire young at 58. 4 decades in the operating room was enough for this girl!

    So, I’m on team Kalissa for your feet, but team Jo for other things you’ve mentioned! :-)

    Wishing you a terrific Wednesday!

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  39. Pat Boelens

    Use your new shoes. Don’t throw the old ones away right away. Hang onto them, just in case your feet can’t stand the new ones. Feet change over time and what was the right size/fit 3 or 4 years ago, may not be the right size today. There are many truthful comments about old/new shoes that you should read carefully and thoughtfully. With inflation the way it is going today our children may have to learn to be less wasteful than they may be today. They will remember how we made do and perhaps take up some of those practices. Hugs to you.

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  40. Kay Dammast

    My mother’s dish towels were faded and very worn. For Christmas one year I sent her a good number of fresh, new towels. When visiting her the next time, she was still using the old ones. I asked her if she was saving the new ones for “daddy’s second wife.” Next time I was visiting, ALL the old towels were gone and she was using the new ones — finally. We all got a good laugh out of that one! Guess what? My dish towel drawer is full of faded towels on top of nice new ones. I have become my mother!

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  41. Susan from Michigan

    My mom was very frugal and didn’t like to throw things away, because we might need it someday. Life is about balance. It is good to repair rather than put into a landfill, but at a certain point, it’s time to let it go. Keeping stuff quickly turns into a storage issue. As far as keeping items like clothing, I think it’s a pride in, look how long I made this last. As we get older we really do not care what others think. If it’s a safety issue, though, we need to let that item go.

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  42. Deb

    Reading your blog today it struck me that you and I are exactly alike that way. Except I don’t keep holey dishtowels! But everything else — yes! Put a heavy duty new cover on the dog bed recently (but I quilted it first with batting and backing) and THEN sewed it onto the dog bed, and the girls LOVE it. I don’t throw away old sheets as I often will use the fabric as a filler for a light summer quilt or some other use. I buy my clothes at Goodwill or yard sales (hate the ‘new’ styles, too fussy!), and my heavy weight coat came from Goodwill about 10 years ago – still in perfect shape as its a good one. I do however, buy good shoes & keep my shoes in good shape as I have plantar fasciiitis and also achilles tendinitis so its not worth the pain in the long term as it takes so long to heal when I aggrevate those conditions. It’s not being cheap — its being frugal & thrifty! The plus is I have more money for quilting!

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  43. Barbara

    Jo there is frugal and then there is those shoes are a hazard for falling on the stairs. Slippin slippers are dangerous. Remember Bonnie Hunter took tumble not so long ago with uncomfortable results. I’m sure your children would prefer you stay in an upright and secure position. Sometimes, sometimes adult children do give good advice. (not all the time lol)

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  44. Pamela

    I am very much like you. Some things that I also do is cut containers open to get the last drop out of them. Some things, like hand cream, have quite a bit left. I don’t throw food away. I find a way to make it into something else or freeze it for some random recipe. I would like a nice quilting machine, but at my age I am not going to invest in one and will keep my little Nolting with no electronics. I buy extra large men’s tshirts at thrift stores and cut them down and make them into shirts for me. I am tall and couldn’t find shirts long enough for me, so this works. Thrift stores and yard sales are like treasure hunts.

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  45. Carla

    Ditch the slippers. Many people prior made valid points. I agree with them all. I especially want to hone in on the suggestion that maybe you find it hard to spend money on yourself. I don’t think you do. I’ve seen that when you see something you really want, and you can get it for a good price, you do. So you may just be over frugal with some things and think you have to wear them to pieces. You don’t. If you can get improvement/ happiness by using a new item now, please do it. Frugality is your tool, not your master.

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  46. Norma

    Another reason I relate to you! Yes, my parents grew up in the great depression. I’m sure I learned much from them. But! That said, wear your new shoes! For safety’s sake. I’m glad to know you’re back at child care. It’s too easy to be busy and distracted and catch the hole or sole on something. Your health and well being are worth it and you won’t be saving money if you’re hurt. Be frugal but wise!

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  47. Janine Baker

    I believe it is our “generation” having learned frugal habits from the previous generation. I do not believe that my children have picked up as many frugal habits as I did, but they do practice a few. I hate to beat a dead horse, but have to agree about good foundation/feet. I remember my Great Grandmother wearing the ugliest, rattiest old sweater. We gave her several-only to find them brand new put away when she died. So, maybe just this once be kind to yourself! As others have said before, you are so worth it!!! Hugs,

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  48. Virginia Grenier

    My parents grew up on farms where you made due with what you had or you went without and I was raised with that attitude as well. It was stressed that certain things were a waste of money. We lived very frugally and I tend to live like that as well. Thrift stores, garage sales, rummage sales, etc. are a highlight for me. Also, repurposing things rather than buying new as well as taking in other people’s discarded items.

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  49. Norma

    Another reason I relate to you! My parents grew up in the great depression and I learned a lot from them. BUT! Wear the new shoes! I’m glad you’re back at childcare. You may get busy and distracted and the hole or sole may catch on something. Your health and well being are worth it! Take care of yourself. The shoes are not doing any good in the closet but they will on your feet! I have lots of half worn shoes but I can have back issues so last summer I got a good pair of walking shoes. Your feet carry you every where!

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    1. Christine

      Jo, I agree with Norma, those slippers are dangerous! You are their role model so by wearing shoes or clothing with holes in them around the daycare kids or the grandkids, you’re sending a message to the boys and the girls that women don’t need/deserve nice things. Not the message you want to send! Be frugal but please be safe!

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  50. Norma

    Well, you may have 2 comments from me!
    I felt strongly enough to write again when I thought I didn’t send! Didnt mean to take up space. Take care!

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  51. Kathryn

    Do you remember Amy Dacyczyn from the Tighwad Gazette? I still have my 3 books and to this day they are useful. I know they are available in some libraries. She was the queen of frugality in the 1990’s. Your postings everyday are so thought provoking and a joy to read. Thank you Jo!!

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      1. Sherry Whalen

        I also loved Tightwad Gazette! Her newsletters were like blogs – only on paper. I also fix and repair and try to find ways to use up everything. Oh – and I always keep a tube of Shoe Goo. Way better to use on shoes than hot glue! ;-)

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  52. Kris in WI

    I, too, am a child of parents who grew up during the Great Depression and WWII. The Waste Not, Want Not and Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without slogans were watch words in my family. We didn’t have fancy things, but our friends all liked to come to our house! The one thing my folks felt strongly about was good shoes (we kids walked everywhere we had to go)…and we all learned how to polish them, remember that?! So I I’m thinking you can keep on being thrifty, but should ditch the old slippers, put your twinkle toes into the new ones, and do the “I like my new shoes” happy dance! Glad to see you able to be back at day care. You are a blessing to those children just as you are to your readers. Prayers continue.

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  53. Joy

    We live in a disposable society and unfortunately too much emphasis is placed on material wealth and going into debt. I didn’t grow up with much, but never did without. I shop at thrift stores for 90% of our clothing and only usually underclothes and shoes new (mainly because hubby and I have large feet). I shop clearance and thrift store fabric as well. My weakness is gardening, but all my purchases are justified as it cuts our grocery costs in half. I’d rather spend my money on home improvements than buying stuff that we really don’t need. If those shoes still have good tread, then by all means keep stitching them up!

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  54. Judy

    I had parents raised in the depression too. My sister and I wore hand me downs, but they were from our older stylish cousins and we didn’t mind. My mother and grandmother were excellent seamstresses. My mother made us very nice clothes to wear when we were in high school and both my sister and I sewed our own clothes by then. But my mother made sure we had good shoes that fit. I agree that you should throw away those old slippers so you don’t fall and hurt youself. I’ll have to admit I hoard fabric. I just can’t throw little pieces away. I make quilts from them. My daughter’s favorite quilt is one that I made from plaid men’s shirts that I bought at Goodwill and de-boned.

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  55. Sherrill

    My parents were also products of the great depression but it did NOT rub off on me. I would never stitch up a pair of shoes (but then I don’t have any that I COULD stitch up even if I wanted to) but I would stitch a hole in a sock or a rip in a pair of underwear!! LOL I have several flavors of Crystal Light that I don’t like and need to donate to a homeless shelter; the only flavor I really like is peach.

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  56. Cindy E

    Count me in with those with parents who grew up during the Depression. I’m use to having my clothes coming from thrift stores. I even wait until half price days before I go shopping in those thrift stores. Most of the times when I eat out, I’ll order the cheapest item om the menu, even when going to fast food places. I had a couple of relatives that really struggled and needed gov. help and I didn’t want that for myself. So all my adult life, I’ve saved for the future. The future is now, and I still have trouble spending money on things that I don’t think I need. I’m comfortable with my life, why change now.

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  57. Patty in Southern California

    I’m sure I would be called frugal. My dad was in the British army during WWII and captured at the battle of Dunkirk. He was in German prison camps for 4 years!! My mom grew up in Belgium and her mom had ( out of necessity) a huge garden. Belgium was under German occupation during the war years and there was rationing. My husband and I are so alike in this matter. We eat at home every day and have breakfast out maybe twice a month. We live on 2 acres and still grow a huge veggie garden. When we were first married, we couldn’t afford new so I shopped antique stores. Most of our wood furniture is from our early marriage ….and looks terrific. Over our 50 years together we did invest in property. Now in our 70’s we might be considered rich. We consider ourselves rich in the Lord and content with what we have. Both of us look for an opportunity to help others. We did splurge a month ago and purchased a 1 yo dachshund. She was worth every penny. As we age, we realize everything is on loan to us and we try to bless others with what we have.

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  58. Linda M White

    I am also frugal to a fault. My husband gets upset that I wear clothes from the thrift store or hand me downs from my daughter. Well, not exactly upset, but he doesn’t like it.
    My sewing machine was a gift from my kids. Most of my fabric is from yard sales, thrift stores, etc. I take clothes apart to get the fabric. Not long ago, I was gifted a huge amount of fabric from a friend who had a quilt shop and retired. I have probably 250 bolts of fabric from her. I’m loving sharing it with friends and family. Once I get it sorted and decide which I want to keep, I’ll be sending a lot of the rest to our wonderful community quilters.

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  59. Julie

    This post reminded me when I used to visit my parents when they were in their 90s and I would see old tattered towels hanging in the bathroom, the new ones I’d given them still stacked neatly in the linen closet. My mother would say, “Well, they dried us off perfectly well this morning.” She had a point, but the message she sent me was that she didn’t feel she deserved the new ones. As a result I try to treat myself even though, like you, I also do find it hard to part with beloved old things…As in quilts, there is a certain creative satisfaction from making do with stuff that has outworn its primary usefulness. I think it comes from being raised by depression era parents, as is my husband. Recently he asked me to order him new undershirts. They arrived, yet he continues to wear the old yellowed ones with holes in the armpits. He says, “There is no point in wasting them for no good reason and no one sees them. I say, “I do!”

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  60. kit

    favorite frugal shop? Goodwill outlet. yes, outlet. clothing, books, glassware etc., and they charge BY THE POUND !! love it!!

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  61. Jean

    Just love it. I would also keep wearing and repairing the shoes even if I had an unused pair available. And my mother was the same way. It is not even all about saving money although saving money is a nice side effect. It is about using up what you have and minimizing consumption which in turn leaves less damage to the wonderful earth we live on. But I might donate the drink mixes I did not like to a charity with the hope someone else might like them.

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  62. Susan

    Priorities are good. Better to spend our monies on things we enjoy especially our crafts. But please, please think twice about sewing up your slippers…faulty footwear can cause trips and falls. Be careful, be safe and keep stitching ( don’t mean to lecture, just want you to stay safe).

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  63. Terri in BC

    I’m a similar age as you, and I can be quite thrifty. I’m not adverse to spending money on the things I want or need, but in the same breath, I hate shopping for new clothes, shoes, etc. My frugal tendencies means I hate to throw things away, if they are still in good condition. I try my best to give it to someone who will use, or donate it. Since COVID, the charity I normally donate to isn’t doing regular pickups so I had a pile, but I’ve found somewhere that will accept my stuff so I’ve been able to get rid of the pile! One thing that drives me crazy is when my adult children buy something, and if they don’t use it or it’s not the right thing, they won’t return it to the store for a refund. But on a positive note, they don’t hesitate to make sure it gets donated, so that’s better than going in a landfill.

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  64. Erin

    Jo- check on Facebook to see if your town has a Buy Nothing group. I know you live in a small town in a rural area so it may not be a thing where you are, but my city (which is moderate sized) has 3. It is a group where people give away things they can no longer use. I love giving things away in my buy nothing group, I feel like so much of what we donate to goodwill and etc ends up in landfills and there are a lot of things they don’t accept. I have a hard time throwing things out but now when I find myself not enjoying something anymore (like your crystal light packets) I offer them up and see if anyone wants them. Life is too short to suffer thru drinking something or using something I don’t enjoy when I can give it to someone who may really want or need it.

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  65. Glenda Fletcher

    Jo-I am a day late on responding as didn’t get to the computer till today. We didn’t have a lot of money either as a kid. We lived on a farm in Iowa and had just about everything we needed to eat as we raised chickens, ducks. Mom planted a HUGE garden, plus potatoes in the field. We had apple and plum trees.
    Then also butchered our hogs and steer for meat. Mom also made our clothes, even in high school. I learned to be very frugal. I bought a pair of Birkenstocks in the 80’s. They were quite expensive. I still have them as they are my best arch support shoe. The newer ones, to me, don’t have as much arch as my first pair does. One of them started a rip in the top band. I took some electrical tape and taped it as don’t want to give them up. I use to volunteer at a charity rummage and could find a few items for me. I am using a purse that I found a couple years ago. Have found quite a few other items of use. Just love to go to a thrift shop and antique places to look around. Am so glad you are getting to feel better Jo. I think
    I would give the drink mix to some one else. You have been a great saver on other things that I feel you
    can give them up. I believe you got a lot done on your time off. It should make you feel great. Also love
    your ideas.

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    1. Judith Fairchild

      Most us kids born to parents who went through the depression grew up learning the mantra use it up wear it out if you out grow it pass it on. I didn’t have a new dress just for me till I was 5 and childless friends of mom and dad begged to have me for a week. The took me shopping and bought me 2 new complete outfits skin out plus 2 pair of shoes. Mom was shocked. But allowed that they were mine. I outgrew them with in the year and were passed down to my younger sisters. yeah we’re frugal

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  66. Jacquie Tinch

    Doesn’t your daughter know that ‘visible mending’ is very much in fashion. Shame on her.
    Perhaps you should use brighter coloured thread and then do some embroidery up onto the toe top rather than just where you actually have to sew to hold it together.
    I am frustrated because I don’t have any clothes that need mending whereas my husband who tears his in his workshop has t-shirts and shorts with several patches and repairs, many using simple and quick sashiko stitching through the t-shirt and patch fabrics. Much admired by men and women alike.

    Reply

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