Frugal Friday: Darn your socks

Welcome to Frugal Friday, a weekly instalment where we try to provide small, bite-sized frugal tips from the school of Professor Roar Frugasaurus’ Fantastic Frugality Fair! So, come along, grab a chair, and join us as we try to present some bite-sized chunks of frugal living. Not unlikely, several of these might be food oriented, just because we love food. 

At least in these parts of the world, we are coming up to the time where autumn is firmly leaving its mark on the land. Some trees still cling to their leaves, but many are starting to shed them like old coats. It is the time where we move inside more, and don’t even have the decency to feel bad about it. A time for tea, cocoa, blankets, thick sweaters and… mending!

While I usually have some craft or another to occupy my time, autumn and winter is the time where I really get to it. It is perfect snuggle-up-in-the-couch weather, either with friends and tea (and crafts) or a movie/audiobook/radio/podcast. In the hectic warm months of summer, mending has a tendency to fall by the wayside, which is why there are always a pile of things waiting for my attention once the wind starts picking up.  Read More

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The opression of the 40+ hour workweek

Do you live for the weekend? Is the main purpose of the workweek to count down to those two days of freedom? Do you find you often end up picking up chores that got neglected throughout the week, like laundry, vacuuming or cleaning the kitchen?

I actually like my job, but if you’re anything like us, the above paragraph might be a bit too familiar.

Now, I might sound like a very privileged millennial saying this, but I do not enjoy the classical 9-5 (or 8-4 in Norway) workweek, nor do I feel like I have the ambition or stamina required sometimes. Truth be told, I enjoy shift work even less, so between the two I would always go for a predictable, daytime Moday-Friday job.

Never the less, what I really wanted while studying, before finding the FI community, was a reliable part-time job 3-4 days a week, doing meaningful work. I knew I had low spending habits and no real desire to inflate that much beyond poor-student mode, so I saw this as no problem at all.  Read More

Frugal furnishings

Or how we furnished our flat for less than $50.

As we have mentioned in this blog previously, when I first arrived back in Norway (Mr. E. was still finishing his exams and joined us a few weeks later), I lived with a very generous friend and her equal generous partner (thank you!). These were two amazing months of long talks, crafts, clearing some garden space in their freshly bought house and enjoying good food in great company.

It was also the time to look around online for free furniture different people no longer wanted. For this we utilised Finn, the Norwegian equivalent to Gumtree in the UK or Craigslist in the US. Other countries have their alternatives as well, I am sure, but I am not aware of them.

Thus armed with one of the most important frugal advantages; time, we set to work.  Read More

Frugal Friday: Sauerkraut

Welcome to Frugal Friday, a weekly instalment where we try to provide small, bite-sized frugal tips from the school of Professor Roar Frugasaurus’ Fantastic Frugality Fair! So, come along, grab a chair, and join us as we try to present some bite-sized chunks of frugal living. Not unlikely, several of these might be food oriented, just because we love food. 

Happy Friday 13th! What better month to celebrate in than October, the month of Halloween, Samhain, ghosts and pumpkins. In the Frugasaurus household, October marks the time where leaves are coming off in droves and the weather is taking a turn for the wilder and wetter.

Not unsurprisingly, it is also a time of great savings. Autumn is a great time to get local vegetables in season, and for us, that means cabbages, potatoes and root vegetables. As I already mentioned in a previous post, I am really happy to live in a place where we have room to buy cabbage when they are ridiculously cheap, only to store them throughout the year in our pantry.  Read More

Musings on a recent trip downtown and tea

Adopting a frugal mindset does something to your mind. I’m not just talking about looking for offers or making your money stretch as far as possible, I’m talking about simple desires.

A few weeks back, Mr. E. and I went down to the city centre. It was quite the event. We hadn’t done so in a couple of months, at least. But we had a small handful of things that we wanted to buy in different shops, and the would-be added costs of shipping made the bus ticket worth it. Also, Mr. E. was buying a used book, and needed someplace central to meet the seller. Still, not being financially independent yet, we made the trip on a Saturday, yikes.  Read More

Having goals

As a young child, I distinctly remember playing around in my parents’ garden and dreaming about building a cabin in the woods and living off the land. I did not tell anyone. With a child’s intuition, I felt certain that it would be considered naive and silly. So instead of exposing it to the world, I tucked it away in a secret corner of my heart.

Later, as I entered my early teens, the dream faded into the background. I had always done reasonably well in school, and as so many others who did reasonably well in school, I was expected to get one of those ubiquitous educations. Influenced by those around me, I allowed myself to go with the flow, further and further away from my childhood dream.

It still cropped up in my life through hobbies and interests, such as working as a landscape gardener in summer, learning to sew and weave through a Viking reenactment group, and my ever-present interest in cooking, particularly electricity-independent preservation techniques, such as canning and fermenting. But it was always on a hobby basis. I assumed that I would do what everyone else was modelling. Which was getting a job, finding a partner, buying a house, having children, and pay off a mortgage. Not necessarily in that order. Because this was modelled all around me, it was a truth I never questioned. And like a leaf on the wind, I let life carry me along wherever it seemed to go.

It was as much irresponsible as it was entirely normal. Which is why this post is all about having goals and working towards them. Read More

Frugal Friday: Preserving the bounty

Welcome to Frugal Friday, a weekly instalment where we try to provide small, bite-sized frugal tips from the school of Professor Roar Frugasaurus’ Fantastic Frugality Fair! So, come along, grab a chair, and join us as we try to present some bite-sized chunks of frugal living. Not unlikely, several of these might be food oriented, just because we love food. 

For me, preserving some of the bounty nature provides throughout the growing season is a big goal in our quest towards greater frugality and financial independence. While I might not have spent as much time as I could have in our garden growing up, I did spend more than a few hours in the kitchen.

When we moved back to Norway in May, it was with the attitude that this time we were going to stay, and thus, it would be worth investing in certain kit and skills we had never yet considered. Glass jars and canning skills were two of the major ones for me, and we started early by boiling spruce-shoot syrup in May while I still lived with my good friend.  Read More

The compounding effects of living by example

I cannot claim to hide the fact that the environment means a great deal to me. I am currently spending my working life trying to research some of the impacts humans have had on the environment. But I have also come to realise, that what we really need is not necessarily more research, but more people taking charge or their own life and blazing a trail by living boldly by example.

I can not claim to live very boldly, nor to have ever “blazed” a trail. In fact, I have been scared away from more active participation in several environmental organisations, simply because their outgoing extrovertism (totally a word), confrontational attitude and often somewhat superficial insight into big issues. I find it difficult to be angry, I find it difficult to stop people on the street and hand them flyers. I have, more than once, marched in protests, but again, I seem to lack some of the anger many people are fuelled by.

So, how can a timid, introverted, analytical environmentalist still try to save the world?

Live by example

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How space saves us money

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not talking about massive McMansions that require a map to get from one side of the house to another. I am talking about having space for a very specific room that is close to my heart.

I am someone who was privileged enough to grow up most of my childhood in a reasonably large house with a large garden. We did not have to share a bedroom, the toilet and shower were separate rooms (so useful!), and in the basement was one room specifically designated for storing foodstuffs. It is to the latter, the glorious pantry, that I dedicate this post.

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Frugal Friday: Our Not-Soda Soda

Welcome to Frugal Friday, a weekly instalment where we try to provide small, bite-sized frugal tips from the school of Professor Roar Frugasaurus’ Fantastic Frugality Fair! So, come along, grab a chair, and join us as we try to present some bite-sized chunks of frugal living. Not unlikely, several of these might be food oriented, just because we love food. 

A lot of people, myself included, find it difficult to stop drinking soda. I started replacing my soda habits with carbonated water, which worked for a while. But the cost of buying carbonated water was something I wanted to remove from the budget because essentially, it’s not something I need. I’m not saying that anyone should stop drinking soda cold turkey. If you enjoy soda, and you are able to drink it on occasion, that is not a problem. For me, the problem was that I wanted the carbonated stuff all the time.

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