Whatever Happened to Frugality?

My family traveled extensively throughout my childhood. But my parents always placed a premium on spending time with their parents. Because of this, we lived in close proximity to one set of grandparents, and spent at least two months each year with the other set.

One grandfather, particularly, was incredibly frugal. When he retired, he took over the household management for my grandmother, under the guise of giving her her own retirement. But really, it was because he wanted to shave as much money as possible from the family budget.

To this end, he had a circuit of three grocery stores. One for the staples, one for the perishables, one strictly for milk. The family joked about his 'milk store', incredulous that he would take the extra time to pick up milk from a third store.

His explanation made perfect sense. It was directly on the path home from his second store, and stopping there for milk saved him a quarter per gallon. He could rattle off the savings in a heartbeat..."Fifty cents a week, two dollars a month, twenty-four dollars a YEAR!" he would finish off in visible glee.

When he purchased the Sunday paper from the vendor outside of our church, he liked to point out that the paper was paying him. After he finished clipping coupons and doling them out on double- or triple-coupon days, this was in fact true.

While my Baby Boomer parents and their siblings mocked my grandfather's grip on his money, I think they overlooked his earliest financial impressions. They had never wanted for a thing, and this sense of being 'well-off' led them to pay a premium for shortcuts. It didn't ever really click with them that my grandfather had lived through the Depression...an event that he would carry with him for the rest of his life.

Similarly, spending so much time with him as a child made its own impact on me. My grandfather liked to bastardize various sayings and cliches, making them his own. The one I remember most clearly was truly his own economic compass. He would look at me and say, "A penny saved is BETTER than a penny earned, because you don't have to pay taxes on that one!"

I'm indescribably grateful for the example that he set. When I learned that I would be responsible for paying for my college education, his lessons became that much more important. By working two full-time jobs and living on the cheap, I was able to pay for my private university. The discomfort of the situation catalyzed me to graduate as quickly as possible, and finished a dual-degree in three years.

I'm not sure when it started, but I myself have three grocery stores. I switch back and forth between two stores for the staples, depending on what's on sale during any given week. I round this out with a trip to Trader Joe's for the 'gourmet' items and wine.

I get a strange thrill out of compiling a crazily cheap meal. It's the same feeling of accomplishment that I have after completing a project or a fruitful day of work. I have been known to call friends and rattle off the contents of a dinner plate, complete with a cost breakdown.

This past week, for example, presented a fantastic array. Here's a sample of some favorites.

The priciest meal of the week:
scallops, $2.50 on sale
brown rice, $0.18 per portion
fresh asparagus, $0.87 on sale
Total cost: $3.55

Another favorite:
mahi mahi, $2.26 on sale
brown rice, $0.18 per portion
frozen corn, $0.10 per portion
frozen green beans, $0.10 per portion
Total cost: $2.64

Veggie burritos, a quick and easy regular:
whole wheat tortilla, $0.11 per portion
brown rice, $0.18 per portion
black beans, $0.20 per portion
homemade salsa, $0.10 per portion
shredded lettuce, $$0.15 per portion
Total cost: $0.74 !!!!!!!!

If you open my pantry right now, you'll find at least a six month supply of my favorite mineral water. Normally $3 per bottle, I stocked up when it was on sale for $0.99. It won't go bad, and I know it will be consumed at some point. Hopefully the store will run another sale as I start to run low.

The frugality shines through in other elements. I go out of my way to live in places that have a variety of shops and services within walking or biking distance. Not only does this exponentially increase my quality of life by reducing the amount of time spent fighting traffic, but on average, I use less than one tank of gas per month. Most months, actually, it's about a half-tank, but other months are obviously higher.

These small steps in my life make a huge difference. And that's a good thing, because I have expensive hobbies. I love to travel; and I believe that the highest and best use of 'extra' money is spent having a spectacular meal and gorgeous wine with my best friends. Whether this means going out to an incredible restaurant, or inviting people over for a lovingly-prepared dinner party, the cost of these events comprise the majority of my recreation and entertainment budgets. It is the one area where I don't take shortcuts.

Even when I travel, I'm an off-season traveler. This is in large part a survival tactic. I despise crowds. By traveling off-season, I get to enjoy a much more leisurely pace to my days, receive attentive service, am far more likely to be upgraded on my flights/hotels/cars, and spend anywhere from one-half to one-third than if I traveled during peak times.

I know that in our world, there is such an emphasis on various shortcuts to wealth. But I have to tell you, I'd love to see some of those crazy financially-based reality shows (Flipper Nation and the like) replaced with some good common sense application of the FUNDAMENTALS of wealth building.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for mentioning my show. Me and Richie -- we're on pace to reach a million dollars in real estate wealth in no time. If only we could get this second flip off the ground... you should check out our "flip tips" page -- it's full of lots of good information for making millions in real estate, just like me. Take it from me, I'm a former CPA. I know money.

Aspeth said...

Hi David...the 'mockumentary' of idiotic flippers, way too late in the game, with no experience or expertise, is funny; except for the fact that these people really exist.

In a strange and bizarre twist of irony, you're actually doing a recreation of Casey Serin's real estate career. Add back some sweet cash back at close and a few illegal shell corp's and you're right there!

(I personally like your "Links" page the best)

Aspeth said...

Oh, and I forgot...Take it from me, I'm an award-winning blogger. I know blogging.

Anonymous said...


[b]Xrumer SEO Professionals

As Xrumer experts, we secure been using [url=http://www.xrumer-seo.com]Xrumer[/url] for the benefit of a long immediately for the time being and grasp how to harness the titanic power of Xrumer and build it into a Cash machine.

We also provide the cheapest prices on the market. Assorted competitors will order 2x or temperate 3x and a a pile of the time 5x what we responsibility you. But we feel in providing great mending at a tearful affordable rate. The whole something of purchasing Xrumer blasts is because it is a cheaper surrogate to buying Xrumer. So we aim to keep that thought in cognizant and outfit you with the cheapest censure possible.

Not solitary do we be suffering with the most successfully prices but our turnaround occasion after your Xrumer posting is wonderful fast. We intention secure your posting done before you know it.

We also cater you with a sated log of successful posts on manifold forums. So that you can get the idea seeking yourself the power of Xrumer and how we hold harnessed it to help your site.[/b]

[b]Search Engine Optimization

Using Xrumer you can expect to see thousands upon thousands of backlinks in behalf of your site. Scads of the forums that your Site you will be posted on have great PageRank. Having your join on these sites can deep down serve found up some top-grade quality endorse links and as a matter of fact as well your Alexa Rating and Google PageRank rating utterly the roof.

This is making your position more and more popular. And with this developing in regard as superbly as PageRank you can envisage to witness your site absolutely filthy gamy in those Search Mechanism Results.

The amount of conveyance that can be obtained nearby harnessing the power of Xrumer is enormous. You are publishing your site to tens of thousands of forums. With our higher packages you may even be publishing your position to HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of forums. Create 1 brief on a popular forum disposition inveterately get 1000 or so views, with announce ' 100 of those people visiting your site. Now devise tens of thousands of posts on fashionable forums all getting 1000 views each. Your shipping liking go sometimes non-standard due to the roof.

These are all targeted visitors that are interested or bizarre nearly your site. Imagine how many sales or leads you can achieve with this great gang of targeted visitors. You are literally stumbling upon a goldmine primed to be picked and profited from.

Keep in mind, Above is Money.



Anonymous said...

Takings Our Unconvincing Prices at www.Pharmashack.com, The Unsurpassed [b][url=http://www.pharmashack.com]Online Chemist's snitch on [/url][/b] To [url=http://www.pharmashack.com]Buy Viagra[/url] Online ! You Can also Smoke Ok postponed Deals When You [url=http://www.pharmashack.com/en/item/cialis.html]Buy Cialis[/url] and When You You [url=http://www.pharmashack.com/en/item/levitra.html]Buy Levitra[/url] Online. We Also Hold forth a Mammoth Generic [url=http://www.pharmashack.com/en/item/phentermine.html]Phentermine[/url] On account of Your Sustenance ! We Hawk Name marque [url=http://www.pharmashack.com/en/item/viagra.html]Viagra[/url] and Also [url=http://www.pharmashack.com/en/item/generic_viagra.html]Generic Viagra[/url] !

Anonymous said...

Infatuation casinos? sieve this modish [url=http://www.realcazinoz.com]casino[/url] president and wing it denigrate online casino games like slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and more at www.realcazinoz.com .
you can also stop our additional [url=http://freecasinogames2010.webs.com]casino[/url] fit out something at http://freecasinogames2010.webs.com and be legatee to in true incredibly touched in the prime divine !
another contributory [url=http://www.ttittancasino.com]casino spiele[/url] plot is www.ttittancasino.com , in proffer german gamblers, dub unrestrained online casino bonus.

Anonymous said...

Someone deleted several links from x7.to and netload servers.

From now, we will use www.tinyurlalternative.com as our main [url=http://www.tinyurlalternative.com]url shortener[/url], so every link will be there and visible for everyone.

You can choose from many great [url=http://kfc.ms]short url[/url] names like:

kfc.ms easysharelink.info jumpme.info megauploadlink.info megavideolink.info mygamelink.info myrapidsharelink.info mytorrentlink.info myurlshortener.com mywarezlink.info urlredirect.info urlshrinker.info weblinkshortener.com youtubelink.info and many others.

They have over 60 other available domains and the [url=http://myurlshortener.com]url shortener[/url] service work well for free without any registration needed.

So we assume it is good notion and suggest you to use [url=http://urlredirect.info]url redirect[/url] service too!

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I'm new around here, seems like a cool place though. I'll be around a bit, more of a lurker than a poster though :)
[url=http://acai-berries-and-weight-loss.wetpaint.com]Acai Berry[/url]
Acai Berries
Acai Berry
Acai Berry

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...








[url=http://www.pornvideoonline.info]Porn video online[/url]
[url=http://www.pornvideodownload.info]Porn video download[/url]
[url=http://www.pornvideotorrent.info]Porn video torrent[/url]
[url=http://www.gaypornonline.info]Gay porn online[/url]
[url=http://www.teenpornonline.info]Teen porn online[/url]
[url=http://www.freepornvideosonline.info]Free porn videos online[/url]
[url=http://www.bestpornvideo.info]Best porn video[/url]

Anonymous said...

Generic Viagra is the world renowned medicine for erectile dysfunction and most men have forgotten they ever had a problem with erections after its use. Take it on empty stomach and it will work in 30 minutes. Erections can be achieved on stimulation.Generic Viagra is a need based pill and should be taken only when you plan to indulge in sexual activity. Generic Propecia is a wonderful medicine for men suffering hair loss and who are at risk of getting completely or partially bold. Propecia can also help you at the beginning stages of some prostatic problems. Viagra improves erections for most men no matter how long they have had erectile dysfunction, taken approximately 30 minutes before your plan of sexual activity and works on stimulation for around 4 hours.Generic Cialis is in a medications in the class known as PDE-5 inhibitor, which is used to treat impotence in men. Generic Levitra is the third treatment in the same class as Viagra and Cialis – all being medicines prescribed to men with erectile dysfunction.

Anonymous said...

make money www.333eur.com

Anonymous said...

link to [b]software downloads[/b] are available here:

Windows YouTube downloader
[url=http://www.1800soft.com]Windows YouTube downloader[/url]

betting software
[url=http://www.betextremesoft.com]betting software[/url]

buy software for windows
[url=http://www.buysoftwareforwindows.com]buy software for windows[/url]

download software for windows
[url=http://www.downloadsoftwareforwindows.com]download software for windows[/url]

Download Youtube Videos
[url=http://www.downloadyoutubevideos.co.uk]Download Youtube Videos[/url]

FLV to AVI converter
[url=http://www.flvtoavi.co.uk]FLV to AVI[/url]

DVD ripper
[url=http://www.flvtodvd.com]DVD ripper[/url]

Video converter
[url=http://www.hollydollyvideo.com]Video converter[/url]

Home video converter software
[url=http://www.homevideopage.com]Home video software[/url]

Poker software
[url=http://www.pokerwinningvideo.com]Poker video software[/url]

Shark Video Downloader
[url=http://www.sharkvideopage.com]Shark Video Downloader software[/url]

Simplest YouTube Internet Video Downloader
[url=http://www.simplestutils.com]Watermark Software[/url]

Popular screensavers
[url=http://www.popularscreensaverpage.com]Popular Screensaver[/url]

Hyper YouTube Magic Tool XXX
[url=http://www.andromedaapps.com]Hyper YouTube Magic Tool XXX[/url]

Free FLV converter
[url=http://www.cassiopeiasoft.com]Free FLV converter[/url]

Working YouTube downloader
[url=http://www.pegasusapps.com]Working YouTube downloader[/url]

Anonymous said...

I found your site on del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later.

Anonymous said...

Predilection casinos? research this untested [url=http://www.realcazinoz.com]casino[/url] advisor and wing it shame online casino games like slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and more at www.realcazinoz.com .
you can also into our off-the-wall [url=http://freecasinogames2010.webs.com]casino[/url] orientate at http://freecasinogames2010.webs.com and bruised countenance of prosaic to memoirs far icy !
another late-model [url=http://www.ttittancasino.com]casino spiele[/url] purlieus is www.ttittancasino.com , in read stand by german gamblers, pass on because of unrestrained [url=http://www.realcazinoz.com]online casino[/url] bonus. so check this leading [url=http://www.omniget.co.il]online casino[/url] for free [url=http://www.casinosaction.com]casino bonus[/url] and 100's of online [url=http://www.thecasino.co.il]casino[/url] games.

Anonymous said...

I usually don't post in blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful !
Purchase Ultram Tablets

Anonymous said...

United States Restaurant Guide - a guide to every restaurant, http://restaurants-us.com/nv/Las%20Vegas/Cabo%20Mexican%20Restaurant/89130/

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

je suis nouveau ici j'aime vous lire ;)
je voulais vous remercier pour votre super site internet !
Bonne continuation
Nicolaseo, Rien de mieux que le referencement naturel.

Anonymous said...

Klonopin Without Prescription[url=http://www.klonopin-without-prescription.us]Klonopin [/url]http://www.klonopin-without-prescription.us
Meridia Online[url=http://www.meridia.ws]Meridia [/url]http://www.meridia.ws
Ambien [url=http://www.purchase-ambien.com] Purchase Ambien[/url]http://www.purchase-ambien.com
Xanax [url=http://www.buyxanaxwithoutprescription.net] Xanax Without Prescription[/url]http://www.buyxanaxwithoutprescription.net

Anonymous said...

Buy Levitra[url=http://www.buylevitra.name] Buy Levitra[/url]http://www.buylevitra.name
Buy Ativan[url=http://www.buyativan.us]Ativan [/url]http://www.buyativan.us
Meridia Online[url=http://www.meridiawithoutrx.com] Buy Meridia [/url]http://www.meridiawithoutrx.com
Levitra Without Prescription[url=http://www.levitrawithoutprescription.info]Levitra [/url]http://www.levitrawithoutprescription.info

Anonymous said...

Viagra Online Without Prescription[url=http://www.viagraonlinewithoutprescription.us]Viagra Online Without Prescription[/url]http://www.viagraonlinewithoutprescription.us
Buy Cialis Online[url=http://www.buy-cialis-online.biz]Buy Cialis Online[/url]http://www.buy-cialis-online.biz
Cheap Cialis[url=http://www.cheapcialis.biz]Cialis [/url]http://www.cheapcialis.biz
Buy Viagra Online[url=http://www.buy-viagra-online.info]Buy Viagra Online[/url]http://www.buy-viagra-online.info
Closeing Spinn ----->

Anonymous said...

Viagra Price[url=http://www.viagra-price.us]Viagra [/url]http://www.viagra-price.us

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Purchase Viagra[url=http://www.purchaseviagranow.com]Purchase Viagra[/url]http://www.purchaseviagranow.com
Buy Cialis [url=http://www.cialisbuyonline.us] cialis[/url]http://www.cialisbuyonline.us
Buy Ambien [url=http://www.orderambien.net]Ambien [/url]http://www.orderambien.net
klonopin [url=http://www.clonazepamonline.org] Clonazepam Online[/url]http://www.clonazepamonline.org

Anonymous said...

Thank you for making the sincere effort to speak about this. I feel very strong about it and would like to read more. If it's OK, as you achieve extra intensive knowledge, would you thoughts adding extra articles similar to this one with more information? It could be extremely helpful and helpful for me and my friends.

Anonymous said...


Feel free to surf to my web page; electric toothbrush reviews

Anonymous said...

viagra, [url=http://pinterest.com/pin/271764158736683114/]viagra[/url],


viagra, [url=http://way2bookmarks.com/story.php?title=buy-cheap-viagra-online-1]viagra[/url],


viagra, [url=http://www.cruber.com/story.php?title=buy-cheap-viagra-online]viagra[/url],


viagra, [url=http://inseratemarkt.at/story.php?title=buy-cheap-viagra-online]viagra[/url],


viagra, [url=http://rm07.com/News/buy-cheap-viagra-online/]viagra[/url],


Anonymous said...


viagra, [url=http://moodle.mspp.edu/mahara/view/view.php?id=606]viagra[/url],


viagra, [url=http://aluniversity.edu/elearning/blog/index.php?userid=28074]viagra[/url],


viagra, [url=http://moodle.perelandra.edu/moodle/blog/index.php?postid=51291]viagra[/url],