Frugal – Winter 2023

Frugal – By definition it means “characterized by or reflecting economy in the use of resources” per Webster dictionary. New thoughts added for Winter 2023. A constant work in progress.
The Morning Coffee:
Average base price at a coffee shop is $3.18 with tip per cup or approximately $1160.00 dollars per year. Assuming you drink just one cup a day. A better plan would be to make your own. A typical coffee pot makes about 6 full cups. Paper cups with tops cost about 27 cents on Amazon. Even better buy a thermos. Add in rich 100% Columbian Coffee from Market Basket at $8.99 per tub. That should lasts about two weeks. Plus milk, paper filters and you top out at about $450 Dollars per year. Easily saving $710 Dollars per year. And have better tasting coffee.
Cable TV:
The typical cable TV bill averages around $150.00 per month. I hear from neighbors with bills in excess of $200.00 dollars. That is usually a bundle with CATV and an Internet connection. Did you know that around 2016 all TV stations went digital! Your TV has the option to pull in a cable signal or an “over the air” signal by way of a simple indoor or outdoor antenna. A recent scan in the Pepperell, MA area brought in 8 strong OTA channels. Thoughts are keep the Internet connection and drop the CATV portion. You can cherry pick from numerous streaming options using ROKUs AND pull in the local Boston stations for the news and entertainment. You could easily save $800.00 dollars per year. See –
Attic Insulation:
We had a MASS SAVE insulation audit of our attic this summer. They concluded that bringing the insulation and venting up to spec would save us $700 Dollars a year. Our cost was a one time fee of $470 Dollars. I like to extrapolate costs over five years. This saves us $3500 Dollars. No brainer !!
The Local Grocery Market:
Your weekly grocery bill may seem like an indisputable expense with no room to improve. But there is a significant difference in some if not all demographics. The cost of going to a store that is convenient on the way home may vary as much as 30%. Consider a weekly grocery bill is at least $100 dollars per week. Making the effort to find a store that has overall lower pricing could easily equate to an annual savings of $1500 dollars!
Library Resources – Libraries are a phenomenal resource. They have the latest genre of books as well as movies, and tons of research material and tools. Plus REALLY TALENTED STAFF. There is one special feature I enjoy. That is the free give-and-take magazine basket. Each week I usually check into one of three local libraries on my way from different projects. I never fail to find an issue or two each week that I would enjoy reading. Many are expensive magazines such as “The Economist” and “The New Yorker” not to mention everything from archaeology to coin collecting to space exploration. They are FREE. Most magazines cost at least $5.99 plus tax. If you just brought home two magazines per week that equates to about $600 Dollars per year you save on subscriptions. And stay literate 🙂 Checkout Pepperell’s Lawrence Library
Cars are really a utilitarian device. Why spend for a big car that for the most part transports one person the majority of the times? A typical car racks up 20,000 miles per year. Average gas mileage is 24 mpg. Just getting 10 more miles per gallon (say 34 mpg) equates to a savings of about $850 dollars per year. There are a ton of costs affiliated with a car. Expensive luxury cars have expensive maintenance as well as higher insurance rates not to mention excise taxes charged in Massachusetts and other states. That can easily add a couple of thousand dollars per year in expenses! Extrapolate your expenses out over five years to see the overall impact.
Trash Disposal:
The Town of Pepperell Transfer Station has a base price of $96.00 dollars for the main pass then $3.40 per bag (33 gallon) and affords numerous re-cycling bins (free) to minimize what is waste. Your annual cost would be less than 300.00 dollars per year assuming one 33 gallon bag per week and the main pass. Your “waste” may be less if you re-cycle! Compare that to a commercial trash collector that comes in around $84.00 per month which would equate to around $1008.00 dollars per year. Using the Pepperell Transfer Station would offer a considerable savings. About $700 DOLLARS. It is a great value. Not to mention conversing with a professional crew that runs the operation. Town of Pepperell Transfer Station – Read More