How Does Your Location Help or Hinder Your Frugality?

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Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:05 pm

Re: How Does Your Location Help or Hinder Your Frugality?

Post by randamax »

HappyDaze wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:21 am
How does where you live make it easier or harder for you to be frugal?
Hmmm. Good question. And for me the answer is yes - to both! LOL

I live in a very high cost of living area - Los Angeles County - so nearly everything is more costly than it would be just about anywhere else in the country, except for maybe San Francisco or New York City. Everything costs more here, from housing, to groceries, to gasoline. However, that said, there are always things you can do to lower your expenses - and living where we do actually helps us do that.

The least expensive grocery store in our area is Aldi; I live literally, three blocks from the store, so I've been able to save a lot on groceries since I started shopping there. It's only been there about a year and a half, and I started shopping there in May, so I'm still finding more ways to save here. If Aldi weren't as close as it is, I still have no fewer than 10 major grocery stores and countless mom and pop grocery stores within a five mile radius of my home. The same goes with gas stations. I don't have to drive out of my way to find the gas station with the lowest gas price in my area - it's within 2 miles of my home and on the way to other places I go on a regular basis.

The library is within easy walking distance of my home - only about a half mile away. Not only can I borrow books from the library, twice a year they have an enormous book sale where I can get 5 books for $1.00. Kevin and I stock up during those sales. The library also offers other sources of entertainment such as live music, movies, crafts, book clubs - all sorts of things! - all free. And that's just the closest library - there are numerous others in our area, too.

Within 5 miles of our home, we have access to several museums, public gardens and countless venues for free music, movies and festivals. If I had the time, or the energy!, I could attend 3 or 4 free events every single day of the week, not to mention weekends.

We don't grow a garden, but we have access to a ton of fresh produce for very reasonable prices. There are numerous farmer's markets that take place around here - without much effort, I could go to one just about every day of the week. The only day I know for certain there is not one close is on Sunday. Other than that, I could go to one every day without traveling more than 6 miles. Because there is competition, the prices are very reasonable.

I think it all depends on your perspective.

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Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:46 am
Location: Oklahoma

Re: How Does Your Location Help or Hinder Your Frugality?

Post by SandiSAHM »

I live in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it town of ~ 14000 (33% population growth from the 2000 to 2010 census and I got here a couple years ago so I padded a little, things are growing in this direction) in Northeast Oklahoma. Given what I see in terms of services, shopping and housing construction, we'll hit 20000 long before 2025.

More shopping than I could ever need is 5 miles away (I despise shopping in all forms, true to fate though, DD finds it fun to hit Michael's and Hobby Lobby routinely and I go with her to keep her in check - DH went with her a couple times and he's nearly as bad as she is AND the Michael's is very close to Lowe's, so....). Nearest health food store is 10 miles out.

We garden (DH and the kids garden) again, it's DH's outlet from work and usually provides all the tomatoes we need for a year with a sprinkling of other veggies and herbs.

Being close (we used to live 45 miles from the health food) to shopping keeps me from piling resources up in the pantry and freezer like I used to, as there's no need.

I prefer my own (our own) cooking to eating out, for the most part. Where eating out when we lived so far away was nearly impossible (vegan/vegetarians who don't eat wheat, we're hard to feed), it's much easier here, and some of it isn't half-bad, health wise.

But I can't blame the lax attitude toward frugality solely on location; if I stopped working tomorrow I'd be tracking every penny again. Not that we'd be in dire straights, but we'd have to do the same with less, if that makes sense, and plan better. It's more attitude than location.

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Re: How Does Your Location Help or Hinder Your Frugality?

Post by nbeaver »

I remember Amy D. in one of her books compared country living to city living in terms of frugality and said each place offers its own chances to be frugal, and I think that's true. That said, we live in the country on a farm but relatively close (10-15 miles) to 3 medium to large cities, so I think we have the best of both worlds. We grow a large garden and grow our own beef; we are able to safely run on our gravel road, so no need for a gym membership. We have a Dollar General about two miles from our house, but do most of our shopping when I am on my way home from work as there is both a Walmart and an Aldis about 3 miles from my work (which is about 15 miles from our home. We heat with an outdoor wood furnace and burn wood that DH gets from our own woods. We rarely eat out, but when we want a date night, it isn't too far to go to any of the 3 cities. We live in the Midwest, so there is a generally low cost of living, but since I think there is a connection between prevailing wages and general cost of living, I'm not sure how big of an impact it is. It is fairly easy to be frugal where we live.

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Re: How Does Your Location Help or Hinder Your Frugality?

Post by HappyDaze »

I have read all of your responses with great interest, thank you for sharing. I know there are pros and cons to wherever we are and we all make the best of what we have to deal with and work with.

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