Gleefully Frugal, NY Times Acknowledges Benefits of Thrift During Recession « Frugal Café Blog Zone

Gleefully Frugal, NY Times Acknowledges Benefits of Thrift During Recession

Posted By on April 10, 2009

By Vicki McClure Davidson * Frugal Café Blog Zone

Click the origami dollar shirt to go to the Frugal Café main site's home page for frugal ideas & creative money-saving tips | Photo credit: Vaguely Artistic,

Click the origami dollar shirt to go to the Frugal Café main site's home page for frugal ideas & creative money-saving tips | Photo credit: Vaguely Artistic,

When the New York Times combines the words “gleefully” and “frugal” in the same sentence, you know you’re on the cutting edge of the “next best thing.” Saving money and being cheap are suddenly chic… but we always thought they were, so we’ll just quietly smile.

An interesting human interest article, but for the real frugalists and recessionistas out there, not much in the way of new tips is offered. More of the “Hey, I spent less than $400 this afternoon shopping for clothes and wine, and I FEEL GREAT!” revelations for those who believe this is real yanking in of the belt. My Fair Lady reversed. But for those who are making efforts to being frugal for the first time in their adult lives, it’s a helpful article.

A snippet from the NY Times piece:

The gleefully frugal happily seek new ways to economize and take pride in out-saving the Joneses. The mantra is cut, cut, cut — magazine and cable subscriptions, credit cards, fancy coffee drinks and your own hair.

In San Francisco, Cooper Marcus, 36, has started choosing recipes based on the ingredients on sale at the market. Mr. Marcus canceled the family’s subscription to Netflix, his premium cable package and a wine club membership. He uses a program on his iPhone to find the cheapest gas and drives out of his way to save 50 cents per gallon.

“It seems a little crazy,” he laughs, then adds: “I’m frugal and loving it.”

Kellee Sikes, 37, a consultant in Kirkwood, Mo., no longer uses paper napkins. Ms. Sikes uses organic cloth ones until they get threadbare and then uses them as cleaning rags. When they are no longer useful, she puts them in the in-ground waste composter in the backyard. She plans to start burying her dogs’ feces there, which saves on the cost of sending refuse to a landfill.

“I recently heard a phrase: ‘Never waste a crisis,’ ” Ms. Sikes said. “I love it. This is a chance for us to re-examine what’s important.”

Indeed, the recession has given penny pinchers — once closeted in a society that valued what one had, not what one saved — license to speak up.

“There is no joy in other people suffering, but this validates the choices I’ve made,” said Vicki Robin, author of “Your Money or Your Life,” a guide to saving money that was a best seller in the 1990s and was re-released last year.

New York Times: In an Age of Austerity, the Miserly Thrive

In the above snippet, I noticed that one woman who was interviewed said that she was planning on putting her dog’s feces in her in-ground composter. If she is planning on using the resulting compost in her garden or yard as a fertilizer or soil additive, for health and safety reasons, the feces from carnivores (i.e., dogs, cats, people) should not ever be added. Manure or compost should only be made from animals that are herbivores (non-meat eating).

If our government continues to overspend and waste taxpayer dollars, this recession will probably last much longer than was anticipated. It’s important for everyone to cut back on waste and non-essentials, to reuse and repurpose, to take steps to be more frugal, learn to DIY (do it yourself), cut overall costs, and to use resources wisely.

Desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures. For great tips on saving money and spending more wisely, the Frugal Café main site has a growing inventory of informative articles on how you can save money in hundreds of areas. Clicking the origami dollar shirt graphic above will take you to the Frugal Café main site for frugal ideas & creative money-saving tips. New articles are added to the Frugal Café main site each week. Below, are a few article links for you to check out.

Second Time Around: Smart, Frugal Ways to Reuse & Recycle Things around the House
Don’t Call a Professional: 5 Easy Fixes in the Home – Wobbly Table Leg, Squeaky Wooden Floor Board, Stuck Window, Loose Countertop, Electrical Outlet Safety
DIY – Bicycle Selection, Care, Repair, & Security
Free Movie Viewings: The Reel Truth
DIY Fashion: ThreadBanger | Video Demo: How to Crochet a Hat
DIY Fashion: ThreadBanger | Video Demo: How to Make a Cute Bikini from Old T-Shirts & the Renegade Craft Fair
Angelina Jolie and Her Fabulous, Dirt-Cheap Dress
Potluck Fashion Party, with Rachael Ray
How to Fight Botnets and Trojans: Cyber-crime Attacks Could Cost You Money, Your Identity, Computer Data, and Credit Card Information
Celebrities’ Frugal Recipes: Martina McBride’s Tortilla Soup
Budget Kid Fashion Craft – Video Demo: Embroidery Floss Bracelets
Homeschooling Tools and Supplies on a Frugal Budget
Chefs’ Culinary Secrets & Cooking Philosophies | Paula Deen, Gordon Ramsay, & Tom Colicchio
Save Those Bones! Meat Stock to the Rescue
Dollar to the Max – Slash Your Grocery Budget at Those 99-Cent & Dollar Stores
The Truth about Tomatoes
Save Money on Kids at Restaurants: Denny’s Kids’ Night and Lone Star Steakhouse
Classic TV Cooking Clips: Julia Child
Meat Mania: 9 Things You Should Know When Cooking & Working with Meats
Fill Their Stomachs for Pennies: Potatoes for All!
Ask and Ye Shall Receive: Free for All, the Little-Known World of Freecycling
Easter Fun Review: Bunnies in the Garden
Send a Free Virtual Greeting: Free e-Cards Extravaganza
12 Amazing "Gee, I Never Thought of That" Household Hints from Heloise

Related reading:

Michelle Malkin: Frugal Shoe Friday!
Fire Andrea Mitchell!: Michelle Obama is cutting back like all Americans should too! Sneakers only cost $540! John McCain – $520 loafers

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About the author

I'm a conservative frugalist. My priorities: Watchdogging the government, making sure our tax dollars are spent wisely, living within our budgets (at home and in Washington, DC), and adhering to our Constitution and the conservative principles upon which it was developed by our founding fathers. Also, loving God, my family, and my country. Be wise, be frugal. God bless America!      


One Response to “Gleefully Frugal, NY Times Acknowledges Benefits of Thrift During Recession”

  1. Cassie says:

    Great ideas! Thanks!