thrifting

GeorgeC

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GeorgeC
Jokes about pilots being able to afford airplanes because they buy cheap cars / use double edge razors / use both sides of the toilet paper aside...

I've had the same winter coat since the mid-90s. I ordered a new one a year or two ago because Lands End had it on sale for impossibly cheap, but it didn't fit well and was probably made by questionable labor, so I returned it.

My local airport is having a coat drive, so I'm trying a different approach this year. For the cost of a cheap new jacket, I could get two "vintage" LL Bean jackets off ebay, made in USA. If either one fits, I'll keep it, and I can donate the other two, and still come out ahead relative to buying new.

I have been buying refurbed computers and phones for some time.

I recently got the urge to do my own brakes.

What other strange impulses can I expect from middle age?

Is this The Change? Are you there, God? It's me, GeorgeC.
 
So my latest: I switched cell phone service...went from over $100 a month to $30 a month, unlimited data, 2 devices (that's $30 for BOTH, total). Cell service has actually improved too!
 
Roast your own coffee. Brew your own beer. Grow your own veggies.
 
Lately I’ve been moving in the direction of spending more to get exactly what I want, and high quality at that, so I can keep it forever (or a longer time). My truck and the Alfa are good examples. The Alfa will depreciate significantly, but my wife loves it and we do expect to keep it a long time. The truck I bought 6 years ago, I have precisely zero desire to replace it.

Higher initial cost but also higher value long term. Then I do all my own work, or as much as possible. Even for The Ted, sometimes you need to pay someone else.
 
Jokes about pilots being able to afford airplanes because they buy cheap cars / use double edge razors / use both sides of the toilet paper aside...

I've had the same winter coat since the mid-90s. I ordered a new one a year or two ago because Lands End had it on sale for impossibly cheap, but it didn't fit well and was probably made by questionable labor, so I returned it.

My local airport is having a coat drive, so I'm trying a different approach this year. For the cost of a cheap new jacket, I could get two "vintage" LL Bean jackets off ebay, made in USA. If either one fits, I'll keep it, and I can donate the other two, and still come out ahead relative to buying new.

I have been buying refurbed computers and phones for some time.

I recently got the urge to do my own brakes.

What other strange impulses can I expect from middle age?

Is this The Change? Are you there, God? It's me, GeorgeC.
 
I still wear some rugby shirts from the 80s. Had one of the rubber buttons disintegrate on me the other day from dry rot! I also have a pair of Docksiders from that era that also won't quit.

I've had a dynamic DNS account for 15+ years. It's like $5/year to purchase but you can extend the free trial on their website once/month. I've saved a whopping $75. I've been wondering if they'll ever reach out asking...really??!

This one actually makes a difference. I ride my bike to work every chance I can. Saves 36 miles on the car and parking. I fill my car up about every other month. It's a 2007 w/ only 160K miles on it. I intend to drive it another 10 years if I can.

I left a cord in @eman1200's plane the other day b/c apparently my 30 YO flight bag also has dry rot issues :)
 
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I'm building my own airplane. Not really because it's cheaper, but...

I'm also about to harvest my first crop of home grown tobacco (and I let one of each variety flower, so I have seeds for next year). We've been harvesting tomatoes for a while now, and next year we're planting more edible stuff in our planters and flower beds.

Part of the impetus for this stuff was money, but in each case it's turned out to be really enjoyable. I just wish I had enough space (and the zoning) for a beehive. I've thought for several years that would be fun to do, and who doesn't like honey and beeswax?

Oh, yeah... I just made my own batch of home made moustache wax.
 
Take care of your health and save a bundle ...

"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
 
An old credit card (or even one of the fake cards that come with the letter trying to get you to sign up for a card) can be used instead of a real shoehorn.

I won't go quite so far as to use a current credit card.
 
"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

I have zero clue what you just said. other than bosom, of course.
 
Like @Ted, I work on my own RV to save money. The training was a little spendy, though. ;)

In all honesty, though, I do it because I’m still finding stuff that the shop screwed up a couple of years ago.
 
I have a solar panel from an old gate opener system strapped to my Kawasaki Mule since its regulator is broke ($175) and won’t charge the batt. Motorcycle batt is too expensive so I have a big Chinese sealed deer feeder battery in there. Been that way for 3 yrs now.

Water only at restaurants.

A/C set at 80 at home.
 
Water only at restaurants.

This. I have noticed the price of non alcoholic drinks have really gone up. 2.49 for a medium sized soft drink that the ice makes up half the volume.....yikes.!!!

We bring in our own bottled water.
 
I left a cord in @eman1200's plane the other day b/c apparently my 30 YO flight bag also has dry rot issues :)

Hold on just a dang moment ^^^^ This right here is a first world problem and it does not qualify as a sob story. Thank you for playing, please try again.
 
We got rid of the groom and the stable boy and my wife started doing horse chores herself. Does that count?
;)
 
I still wear some rugby shirts from the 80s. Had one of the rubber buttons disintegrate on me the other day from dry rot! I also have a pair of Docksiders from that era that also won't quit.

I've had a dynamic DNS account for 15+ years. It's like $5/year to purchase but you can extend the free trial on their website once/month. I've saved a whopping $75. I've been wondering if they'll ever reach out asking...really??!

This one actually makes a difference. I ride my bike to work every chance I can. Saves 36 miles on the car and parking. I fill my car up about every other month. It's a 2007 w/ only 160K miles on it. I intend to drive it another 10 years if I can.

I left a cord in @eman1200's plane the other day b/c apparently my 30 YO flight bag also has dry rot issues :)
I was wondering where that cord came from.
 
We've got roughly 60 jars (varied between pints and quarts) of tomato products (spaghetti sauce, chili starter, bloody mary mix, whole tomatoes and salsa) that my wife canned from our garden. Another 20 or so quarts of green beans (poor crop this year) and a few pints of black eyed peas. Still some okra leftover from last year thankfully, since our okra didn't 'make' this year. We tried potatoes but just barely broke even on the potatoes we planted vs. what we harvested. She's still getting hot peppers, so making habanero jelly and whatnot is the name of the game lately.

I ran a circuit from the breaker box intending to run power out to the shed to have power for a chicken coop, but I think we've decided that we prefer not to be tied down to having to care for something on a daily basis like that, so I think we've avoided that debacle.

Still pondering bee hives. I really like honey - put it in my coffee every morning - and the idea of having REALLY local honey to help fight allergies sounds good (plus something else to tinker with).

I do pretty much all my own car and house maintenance, though I do pay for the oil change just b/c I hate dealing with disposing of the oil.

I don't know what I'll do when I get old and curmudgeonly - maybe I'll start paying to have everything done.
 
I am constantly fending off my wife and my mother in their efforts to find and eradicate my old, worn-out shoes. You know, the pair that I can step into to take the dog out and not care if they get caked in mud or the pair that I can wear while crawling around under cars and airplanes and not care if they absorb a couple pints of oil and dust. Their theory is that I should throw away shoes and buy a new pair when they have lost half the sole or developed a few 50-cent-piece-sized holes around the edges. My theory is that I should always have a couple of worn-out pairs so that the new shoes I buy have a chance of lasting into next month before they become the next worn-out-but-still-indispensable pair.

I have a 1952 Chevrolet pickup that I inherited from Dad. He bought it from his uncle's estate for $40. It ran when we parked it where it sits, next to the old homestead site. That was, of course, circa 1990. You know all that money I didn't waste on shoes? I'm planning to pay someone to attempt to restore the Chevy. Because if I knew how to make rational financial decisions, I wouldn't have an airplane.
 
We haven’t fired the pool boy yet. Might be next.
I cancelled our pool service. After having the pool refinished and refilled, we had mustard algae, which looks like little piles of tan sand on the bottom of the pool. The pool guy insisted it was sand from the patio pavers. Only the sand is years gone, thanks to the idiots who used playground sand instead of polymerized. I had already done a ton of learning, explained mustard algae to him since the only algae he knew of was the green kind, and sent him some links to articles. No respinse other than “interesting”.

He used just the paper quick test strips, and eyeballed how much chemical to add. pH was high, as were phosphates, so he threw in a cup of acid and a splash of phosphate killer. Next week, same. Next week, same.

So I took a sample to the local pool store. They did actual testing, explained it, and recommended four gallons of acid and a quart of phosphate killer. Four days later the algae was gone, pH was normal and it’s been fine since. I bought a test kit and use it weekly. When chemicals are needed, we use a specific quantity per the formula, rather than TLAR.

So all he was really doing was vacuuming and skimming the pool, which I already did whenever needed. Eighty bucks a month we’re now saving, my knowledge and skill increased, and it’s quieter on Monday mornings ‘cause our dogs hated him and barked nonstop.
 
So my latest: I switched cell phone service...went from over $100 a month to $30 a month, unlimited data, 2 devices (that's $30 for BOTH, total). Cell service has actually improved too!
Which provider is that? Is the service quality good? I had T-Mobile before and not only was it $200/month for 2 lines, their data would not work. Changed to US Mobile, got 3 months free up front for porting my number, and the data is significantly better, it’s $70/month for 2 lines.
 
Lost weight and a number of shorts just fall off when I put them on, I’m not a belt guy, so I went online and found a nice sewing machine for $150, I offered $50 which was promptly accepted, I picked up the machine and tailored a few pairs of shorts that would have went to the trash. Now my other half has a pile of items for me to tailor too. I don’t know how to tailor or use the machine much, but I’m playing around with it. Anything that keeps me off a screen is a good activity.
 
Which provider is that? Is the service quality good? I had T-Mobile before and not only was it $200/month for 2 lines, their data would not work. Changed to US Mobile, got 3 months free up front for porting my number, and the data is significantly better, it’s $70/month for 2 lines.
We switched to T-Mobile a while back. Got their over-55 Magenta Max 55+ deal, unlimited everything on two phones for a little under $100/month total. Plus, we got $600 worth of Costco gift cards when we switched. So far it's worked great everywhere except our house, where we have wifi so it's not an issue (until the Internet connection drops and I have to call the ISP...) But I'm always looking for our next provider. We were on Visible for a while; it started out great and got really bad by the time we switched to TM. I bite the bullet and just buy our phones outright now so I don't have to worry about that when we switch providers.

The streaming TV services are getting out of hand, that's my next thing to fix.
 
We switched to T-Mobile a while back. Got their over-55 Magenta Max 55+ deal, unlimited everything on two phones for a little under $100/month total. Plus, we got $600 worth of Costco gift cards when we switched. So far it's worked great everywhere except our house, where we have wifi so it's not an issue (until the Internet connection drops and I have to call the ISP...) But I'm always looking for our next provider. We were on Visible for a while; it started out great and got really bad by the time we switched to TM. I bite the bullet and just buy our phones outright now so I don't have to worry about that when we switch providers.

The streaming TV services are getting out of hand, that's my next thing to fix.
Yeah I also tried visible and the data was pretty bad, so far US mobile has been the best (however I couldn’t make outgoing calls for awhile since they had a program error on my line, I chatted with customer support who fixed it). TM data wasn’t consistent or stable so that prompted me to change providers, finally got tired of it. I’ve seen advertisements for Boost and Mint but not really in the mood to risk having my data not working (dead zones). Until then.
 
I dunno man, anymore I think this is more wisdom than thrift. I have been seeking out used, durable things to buy more and more -- when my jank cheap version of <whatever> inevitably breaks and causes me to say spicy words.

The democratization of "access to stuff" for the masses can suck it. Give me back $2500 televisions that can be passed down in obsolescence for generations. I hate that the market does not have room for both cheap-as-chips junk AND durable quality goods.
 
Yeah I also tried visible and the data was pretty bad, so far US mobile has been the best (however I couldn’t make outgoing calls for awhile since they had a program error on my line, I chatted with customer support who fixed it). TM data wasn’t consistent or stable so that prompted me to change providers, finally got tired of it. I’ve seen advertisements for Boost and Mint but not really in the mood to risk having my data not working (dead zones). Until then.

For those 'budget' providers, double check what network they are piggy backing on. I know Mint is on TM - I tried using it for my son's 'emergency' cell phone and it wouldn't connect to any cell tower from home. Switched to TracFone, which is on VZW network as far as I can tell and it works better in our area. YMMV
 
As I sit here waiting for over 2 hrs past my 'reservation' time for a simple tire rotation, I am reminded of why I typically choose to do self-service on pretty much everything. I *assumed* that this would be a quick one where they could get the job done faster than I could get jacks and blocks dug out, but....commercial "service" fails yet again.
 
I do pretty much all my own car and house maintenance, though I do pay for the oil change just b/c I hate dealing with disposing of the oil.

I'm still doing my own oil changes on almost everything. I like the opportunity to get a look under the vehicle (use a grease gun now & again). The recycle oil is taken from the oil drain pan and placed inside the empty container. The local auto parts store will take it for recycling. They will accept old batteries and give credit for them too.

Admittedly as I get older I think more about having it done by someone else but sometimes (as Tom Petty sang) the waiting is the hardest part ...
 
I do as much of my own maintenance (Home, car, plane) as possible... partially to save money, partially because I enjoy it, partially because scheduling other people to do it is a PITA.
I do that as well, for mostly the same reasons, although I will add that I also do it because I don't trust the bottom-of-the-barrel lackeys to not screw up a basic oil change or tire rotation. I can also generally get it done more quickly than the time it takes to drive somewhere to have it done, and then drive back. Also gives me an opportunity to look around under the vehicles and inspect suspension or other items that look out of place.
 
I do that as well, for mostly the same reasons, although I will add that I also do it because I don't trust the bottom-of-the-barrel lackeys to not screw up a basic oil change or tire rotation. I can also generally get it done more quickly than the time it takes to drive somewhere to have it done, and then drive back. Also gives me an opportunity to look around under the vehicles and inspect suspension or other items that look out of place.
Not to mention having more control on the parts/materials. I did my own brakes recently because I had a specific pad/rotor combination that I wanted.
 
Not to mention having more control on the parts/materials. I did my own brakes recently because I had a specific pad/rotor combination that I wanted.
Agreed. I use Amsoil and Wix filters for pretty much everything. EBC on most brake components. Hard to find shops that have those in-stock, or will install parts I buy without charging me full price for install.
 
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