Frugal Life

Monday, January 05, 2009

Farhad Manjoo, Slate's technology columnist and the author of True Enough: Learning To Live in a Post-Fact Society, talks about the best Web sites to help you scrimp through the recession.


Farhad Manjoo

Comments [22]

Jeff from Boerum Hill

Hmm, a segment on how middle-class people with poor credit histories can apply for FHA loans would be great right about now...

Jan. 07 2009 06:24 PM
Christine Rath from Brooklyn

I had a great talk with my father about this. He and I don't see eye to eye on a lot (he's a conservative independent, me a liberal dem). I was brought up to spend wisely and not to turn up my nose at second hand goods. That is not to say that cheap is the answer, because people who back this movement have a strong belief in quality of life and goods. As my father said of the conflict between saving money and saving the market (a thing called the "paradox of thrift" by John Maynard Keynes), you can't break the market. The market is the market. What you can do is change the market, and I think it is time for us to be on the leading edge of a new market for a new world.

Jan. 06 2009 12:48 PM
sam from brooklyn

Check out the library. The Brooklyn Public Library in particular gets the new releases (dvds, books, cds, etc.) relatively soon after they become available in the store.

Jan. 05 2009 05:13 PM
Bud from Manhattan need to PUT OUT A DISCLAIMER about this, or you may be sued for disemminating irresponsible advice:
There are lots of good ways to save money, but trying to change your own brakes is not one of them. Without being trained how to do it several times by an experienced mechanic is heading for disaster...for example, if you dont bleed out air from the system properly, your pedal can go to the floor without slowing down the car. There are numerous other ways you can screw up a brake job, and kill yourself and innocent others.
Drop your cable service, or restaurants....but dont try to do your own brake job, or remove your own appendix. Thanks Bud

Jan. 05 2009 11:05 AM
NC from NYC

I changed my cooking habits to be a bit more frugal. I put together some lasagna using leftover vegetables (before they went bad) and cooked a big pot of chili which costs less per meal.

Jan. 05 2009 11:01 AM

Great Segment Brian!

Jan. 05 2009 11:00 AM
Connie from NJ

I've always loved thrift stores for used clothing--there's something really creative about taking a garment out of its original context and finding a new context for it. I unravel sweaters and reused the yarn, and I'll cut sweaters apart to use the fabric for other things (tote bags, catnip mice, whatever). And I'll wear things I would never have thought to buy in a retail store.

Jan. 05 2009 10:59 AM

The idea of able-bodied city-dwellers being "frugal" with their automobiles is oxymoronic to the extreme.

You don't need a car. Period.

Jan. 05 2009 10:59 AM
Serge Lescouarnec from Montclair, NJ

Changing our spending habits to me can be looking at ways to live a good life in a wobbly economy.
I call that going from consumed to thrifty and have been writing on that topic since March 2008
on 'Serge the Concierge'.

'The French Guy from New Jersey'

Jan. 05 2009 10:58 AM
elo from brooklyn

Re: wilted vegetables..kind of ew, but as someone who worked in the publishing industry, these sorts of tactics aren't new.

Letting food go bad really implies a lack of frugality in planning what to buy, when and how much. Instead of eating wilted vegetables, maybe just eat them before they wilt. Or don't buy them.

Jan. 05 2009 10:58 AM
Nathan from Saint Petersburg

for those who might be interested..

here's there description---

Welcome! The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,661 groups with 6,318,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on “Browse Groups” above the search box. Have fun!

Jan. 05 2009 10:56 AM
tamara zahaykevich from Williamsburg, Bklyn

I love thrift shopping, but NY has a huge bed bug epidemic. Now that's expensive!

Jan. 05 2009 10:56 AM
Dom from New Jersey

My father died when I was 4 and my mother raised me and my sister on social security and part time jobs. We got our clothes at the Salvation Army on 42nd street and rummage sales and we shopped at a "dented can" store too. It can be done if you are careful.

Jan. 05 2009 10:56 AM
Matt from NYC

Wilted vegetables are good enough for soup and broth.

Jan. 05 2009 10:55 AM
Robert from NYC

I'm frugal because I have to be, I'm on SSDI. But as for wilted vegs, they're okay if not bad. For example use wilted carrots and celery and onions and parsley to make soup; they even make a better soup. Some vegs can be brought back by just soaking them in water and you will see lettuce and other leafy vegs will come back with the addition of water. Mushrooms dry and are in fact often sold dry, use them in soups or reconstitute and use in braised meat dishes and stews.

Jan. 05 2009 10:55 AM
BL Show from WNYC Studios

[[BL Moderator Writes: A few comments have been removed. Please remember the WNYC posting policy, which asks that you remain civil and on-topic. Thanks.
-BL Show-]]

Jan. 05 2009 10:55 AM
Alec from Danbury, CT

I haven't bought new clothes in ten years! The Salvation Army is a wonderful thing.

Jan. 05 2009 10:55 AM
Jill from new york

This is useless.

Jan. 05 2009 10:55 AM
Jerome from Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

Re: the "new" frugality, one of the forerunners of this (IMO) was Joe Dominguez, an ex-Wall Streeter who created a program for moving towards financial independence through being frugal while clarifying and focusing on your true moral/ethical values. The current evolution of his approach is promoted by Vicki Robin and the New Road Map Foundation (set up by Robin and Dominguez)--see

While I haven't tried to adopt and implement their whole program, I have been quite influenced by it.

Jan. 05 2009 10:55 AM

The litmus test of course is whether you will eat the outer leaves of a cabbage. If so, the frugal world is your oyster.

Jan. 05 2009 10:52 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

Why don't people go to and look up Peter Schiff videos...he has been a very vocal voice for this for years. He (as well of lots of us) saw the inherent problems with rampant debt living/spending. We don't need a hipster from Slate to tell us whats right.

Jan. 05 2009 10:51 AM

Jan. 05 2009 10:44 AM

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