Our Frugal Lifestyle

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Passionate about eco-frugality. I used to party hard, clubbing my way from pay-packet to pay-packet. Never getting ahead, just getting by. Then came our much wanted baby with no savings in the bank - only an old car. Changes were made to our lifestyle and we didn't turn back. In the past 6yrs we purchased a flat, found employment, lived below our means, built an emergency fund, purchased a reliable car and saw the financial benefits of our frugal lifestyle. Our only debt is our mortgage. Our aim is to manage our cash flow wisely, pay off our home quickly and eventually work for pleasure, not necessity. Join us on our journey, share insights, tips and tricks to help us and others to get ahead while having a good time.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gift for Under $10

An ex-CouchSurfer of ours still lives in our hometown with with his partner, 6 months on. People often come to town as a pass through but end staying for years. It can be a great place to find work and live if you can stand the tropical balmy heat.

Anyway... lovely Stephen turned 40 last weekend and this is what we gave him for his big day.

Our Booty to Gift.
2 eggplants from our garden as he is vegetarian and loves all things veggie. The 80 hour lead free candle I purchased last weekend. (He burns candles most nights). And an interesting book on Aboriginal Healing in the Arnhem Region of Australia, which is not far from us. A great score as books like this are hard to come by in op shops. And this one is out of print.

Our gifts were eco secondhand of course, in the aim to reduce the demand for production of more stuff. Stephen is environmentally forward thinking and an activist. He cares about global warming and is careful about how he lives. He also LOVES books about plants and is interested in Aboriginal issues. This book talks about pointing the bone, resting when a snake bites and also the use of plants for healing. So I had no hesitation in giving him this secondhand book as I think he will really enjoy it.

Dolly and I made the card with half a sheet of A4 card paper purchased from the op shop last Saturday and a piece of white paper from junk mail. The brown wrapping paper came from the wrapping of some local art we purchased. The string Dolly found in the garden. And all decorated with shapes cut from Dolly's school art work.

Frugal and within budget? - Yes, candle was $4.00 and book was $4.00 = Total $8.00.
Eco? - Yes, all second hand or reused items. Preventing landfill this time around and the production of more stuff. (Except for the eggplant which came from my garden).

Do you gift second hand? I find it a bit hard still as the norm is to purchase someone something new and fancy. And I worry about what people think still but I only buy second hand for us so had to push myself to do the same for others. This blogger has been a great influence.


  1. I think this is a fantastic gift! Very thoughtful and beautifully presented.

    I have only done second-hand-gifting to close family members. But I 100% agree with the principle and plan to do it more in the future.

    The eggplants look delicious. :)

  2. All the gifts I have so far purchased for this coming Christmas are secondhand; bought from flea markets, charity shops or carboot sales. They will be supplemented with homemade things and that will be our celebrations done on a shoestring. I blogged about this issue not long ago, as I was interested in whether other people believed , like I do, that it is the thought that counts.

  3. That's a great gift! I have given people second hand books as gifts, even before I was trying to be frugal! Sometimes you come across something perfect (like your book above) and you just know they'll love it! :) Personally I wouldn't mind receiving second hand at all!

    Were both of your vegetables eggplants? (we call them aubergines in the UK). The purple-y one looks different but awesome! :)

  4. it depends who the recipient is. some people i know would take offence and a second hand gift but others would love it dearly.

  5. Great gift! Any one of the things would have been adequate for a gift. Food from the garden is never inappropriate. Second-hand books that someone will love is great. If he likes candles, then he will love that one.

    LOL...I do not agree that it is the thought that counts on used or NEW or regifted items. Some gifts given me were just not me at all and the person who gave it to me just had to give me something and insulted me. (for instance, my good friend knew I hated green and gave me a green scarf while she gave someone else the pink one.) Really, if you think well of a person, give a gift that shows it, even if it is a shabby book the person will love. I got a ratty paperback that was just perfect as a gift, and the person knew I would like it.

    The card is especially cute. Did you see my post a few days ago where I posted yard sale items and got 25 cards with envelopes and another 64 cards, all for $1? My cards I made would not be as cute as Dolly's.

  6. Hi Mandy,
    Now that I grow eggplants I eat them every week and love them. They were never on my shopping list before due to cost and ignorance or their yummyness. We had fun with our presentation - it doubled as a crafty activity that my daughter really enjoyed.

    Hi Scarlett,
    I see you scour the op shops regularly like I do. You've got some very nice and super inexpensive finds.

    Hi Bryallen,
    The lighter purple eggplant is softer and milder tasting. I like it much better but the plant is not as prolific as the other one.

    Hello Miss Piggy Bank,
    I know some people who may find it offensive - for them I may need to make something in the kitchen.

    Hi Practical Parsimony,
    Yes I did see your post a couple of days ago on your thrifting finds. I thought nice stationary score. And a great price too!


Thanks for commenting - I love getting feedback, sharing experiences and learning from you.