Simple Frugal Living Tips and Practical Money Saving Advice for Liberty, Freedom, & Happiness 

Frugality Simplicity Felicity Frugal~i~city

Frugal living money saving tips






Editor's Note

Hi, I'm Marc, the worker bee buzzing around behind the scenes at Frugalicity.com.

While I may do much of the heavy lifting around here and I'm pretty frugal myself, my especially independent and frugal German mother Beate (see images below) is the source of most of my money-saving inspirations and ideas you'll find throughout this website.

I will be documenting much more of mine and my mother's vintage know-how and thrifty household wisdom - such as our strategies for frugal meal planning, low-cost recipes, prudent grocery shopping techniques, and frugal gardening tips.

I hope you'll add some of your own wisdom too. Comments can be added at the bottom of every page.

I'll also continue to add more of my own next gen strategies which helped me pay off all my debt (including the mortgage on my house on 4 acres in Upstate South Carolina).

My frugality also recently allowed me to meet my next major life goal of being able to afford to "retire" from my corporate job in my thirties in order to work from home full-time.

Now I truly feel like I am the captain of my ship and master of my soul!

But, yes, I owe much of the credit for my independence to my mother and the discipline with which she raised me.

Much of what I have been taught was no doubt forged in the blitzkriegs of the Second World War...



My Frugal German Mother

My frugal German mother


From the hopelessness amid the post World War II bombed out rubble of what was ground-zero for Nazi Germany - to the austerity and repression of the communist side of the Iron Curtain in East Berlin...my mother was a foster child raised with poverty and strife as her constant companions.

Her survival depended on the ability to be sparing, to improvise, to adapt, and to overcome.

Like for most people alive during that darkest half of the Twentieth Century, frugal living and resourcefulness was not a choice for my mother, but was rather a mandate to stay alive in those times of global scarcity and economic devastation.

If there is but one silver lining to the fog of war, it is in this great generation's hard-won victories demonstrating that even the deepest adversity can be over-come with industry, perseverance, and frugality.

My mentor for this truth has primarily been my frugal mother who has deliberately passed much of her good old-fashioned practical German wisdom and household helps on to me.

All my life I have build upon and implemented what she has taught me from early on, and it has insulated us against economic strife in this new and uncertain century.

I will continue to pass much of this know-how and time-tested wisdom on to you dear reader through the many pages of this ever-expanding website.

In the worst of times, this wisdom will help us to survive.

In better times, it may help us to thrive.

My frugal German mother standing in front of her water-garden


Above is a photograph I recently took of my talented, tenacious, and frugal German mother to whom I owe much of my frugality, resourcefulness, and self-reliance.

She constructed and landscaped the two water-gardens you see above (the rest of the yard is like a botanical garden too).

I keep trying to convince her to turn her watergarden into aquaculture ponds for raising edible Catfish, Tilapia,  or Bluegills rather than her pet Koi. But my idea hasn't gained much traction with her so far. lol

I also have a pond larger than either of my mom's and which I hand dug in my front yard (see below image).

But so far I have not yet found the time to start my aquaculture catfish project. I'm currently raising shiner minnows in my pond for free fish bait.

My dad gets credit for helping me become an avid outdoorsman and fisherman (hence the need for lots of cheap fish bait;^)

Mom staking tomato plants in her kitchen garden


Here my mom is staking up her rapidly growing compost fertilized Better Boy Tomato plants located next to the garage in her little kitchen garden.

In addition to thousands of perennial flowers, beautiful trees and bushes, and seemingly hundreds of Double Knock-out Roses, she also has a nice little herb garden, vegetable garden, and fruit trees.

The annual harvest even from her moderately sized home garden still helps to save a significant amount of money on my parents' grocery expenses.

My parents are pretty well off at this point in their lives, but they are still sparing by nature.

I imagine that is probably because it is just a natural instinct of most baby boomers who grew up during and after the Great Depression and World War II.

A lot has rubbed off on me thankfully. They own two houses free and clear, whereas I own one outright...mortgage no more!

I am also an avid gardener and grow much of my own food.

But I can't give my mother credit for getting me started in vegetable gardening.

I started gardening on my own volition at around the age of 7 using pinto beans I borrowed from the kitchen and planted in a mud hole in our then backyard.

I'm not sure what inspired me to sow those first seeds. Maybe it was the story of Jack and the Bean Stalk.

It was onward and upwards from those humble beginnings though.


Square-foot Garden with raised beds of cinder blocks


While most kids were wasting their money on candy, soda pop, cigarettes, and arcade games, I was "investing" my earnings into garden supplies like sphagnum moss, seeds, and grow lamps.

By the way, I never got an "allowance" from my parents. Even as a kid I earn my own money by working - usually helping neighbors with yard work, cutting grass, ect. 

I bought my first front-tine tiller from K-mart when I was about eleven.

By that age, I am proud to say I was putting a lot of healthy food on the table. My garden had grow from a few straggly bean plants in a mud hole, to a nicely kept and productive 30 foot by 20 foot garden with about 15 varieties of vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

Every Spring and Fall I hand turned all 600 square feet of soil one shovel at a time. That was before I could afford the tiller.

Organic gardening is still one of my favorite frugal money-saving hobbies and I enjoy living off the land of my 4 acre "mini-farm" here in upstate South Carolina.

Currently I'm in the process of replacing my lawns with edible landscaping. I'm also gearing up to add some backyard chickens and maybe some bee hives.

What little front lawn I once had has already been turned into my below pictured minnow pond...soon to be aquaculture fish farm:^)

I built the below 22' x 15' pond on the cheap.

I hand dug this waist deep hole with a shovel...lined the hole with old carpeting (instead of the expensive geofabric), and then I installed a reinforced polycarbonate liner I was able to finagle a wholesale price on over the internet.

Total Cost ~ $400 (equity value added to my property ~ $2,000, plus a potential future water-garden in which to cultivate low-mercury freshwater fish to eat)

Sustainability and frugality go hand-in-hand.

My front yard fish pond



Frugal Living Made Easy

It's Time for a Frugal Pursuit of Happiness on YOUR Terms.

A frugal living revolution is now underway worldwide and you and I are a part of it.

"Viva la Frugal Revolucion!"

Hopefully this social coup d'etat on a global scale has become "too big to fail."

I consider myself a freedom fighter on the front-lines of this frugal struggle for ultimate independence.

I am the parsimonious owner and thrifty Zen Master at the helm of Frugalicity.com - nemesis to bean counters and billionaires worldwide.

So far I have come through this Twenty-first Century Dante's fiscal inferno completely unscathed thanks to being insulated by life-long careful money management and prudent frugality.

Because of the post-depression era austerity my parents raised me with, materialism and consumerism is not in my nature.

I have always been somewhat of an economic rebel and have always believed that keeping up with the Joneses was a suckers' game.

I think the seeking of external validation is something which drives a lot of fiscal folly.

Over-spending to create facades to impress people we barely even know is what has gotten a lot of us buried in debt up to our eyeballs.

This consumer debt often enslaves us to the deferred life plan within jobs that damage our health and our sanity.

My enslavement did not last long because of my contrarian disposition.

Don't get me wrong. Jobs are great and necessary things for most of us. I was glad to have a job when I really needed it.

But I personally don't believe being a full-time wage slave should become a life-long endeavor.

I think I started planning my Rat Race escape plan before I was even old enough to work.

I question everything and I try to think outside of the box whenever possible.

This together with my frugality, I believe, is a major reason why I was able to recently retire at 38 years old.

You too may already be a well-seasoned frugal living devotee. In which case I am sure you will appreciate a lot of the free thrifty tips and resources on this website.

But, if you are just getting started in your journey toward living frugal you too are in the right place.

I will continuously be adding to this ever-growing collection of frugal living tips and money-saving strategies and tools that I hope will benefit you greatly for the rest of your life.

The frugal living advice on the pages above and the many also linked to from those will enable you to save more money, space, time, and resources - while helping to reduce waste, stress, debt, and environmental impact.

You may wish to bookmark this website into your browser favorites. And for updates, check the below grey box where you can grab my RSS feed, and also follow Frugalicity on Twitter and Facebook.

In case you can not find your way back in the future, you can type our address Frugalicity.com into your browser's address bar up top and click go.

Just remember Frugalicity rhymes with and contains the last 6 letters of the words Simplicity and Felicity. Just combine "Fruga" with "licity";^)

The name of this site is no coincidence since I am living proof that simple frugal living can lead to increased felicity (happiness) and ultimate freedom and liberty.

I hope you and many more thrifty and industrious folks stop by often and share what you have learned and achieved as well.

Rest assured, since this is my full time job now, I will be diligently stockpiling more frugal living wisdom into the pages of this site for years to come...like a frugal squirrel busily preparing for winter...and a long winter I think it will be.

So take your time and please don't hesitate to share some frugal advice of your own by leaving a comment at the bottom of any page or by contacting me.

Thanks again for stopping by my frugal friend.

-Marc

Honeysuckle and wild rose

"Not for to hide it in a hedge,

Nor for a train attendant,

But for the glorious privilege

Of being independent.”


—Burns



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How YOU can escape the Rat Race.

I Escaped the Rat Race ... Here's How!

I'm frugal as heck and I question EVERYTHING!

That's part of the reason I was able to just quit my much hated and unhealthy wage-slave corporate job at the ripe old age of 38.

Life really doesn't have to be so darned difficult.  I'm loving my new-found freedom!

No more suits, no more commutes, no more stress from moronic coworkers & bosses, no more rationing precious little vacation time, and no more waking up at 4 am!

I now work from home full-time and earn a steady income from my websites (this one included).

Besides my own self-reliance & perseverance, I owe a big thank you to the tried and true discovery that is empowering me to live life on MY terms.

They have become like my second family, but I only wish I had found them years earlier than I did.

I sincerely hope this thrifty website helps you to find your way down that road less traveled toward greater independence.

Yours Truly,

Marc A. Smith

(Founder of Frugalicity.com)