How Does Your Location Help or Hinder Your Frugality?

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

Post by MackerelCat »

I live in south eastern Tennessee in a tiny city that lies along the border of the 4th largest city in the state, the one named in the choo-choo song. :-D We are only a few blocks from the big city limits, but our property taxes are half what they would be on the other side of the line.

There are four grocery stores within a few blocks of each other at the foot of the hill our neighborhood sits on: Food City (nice, but expensive), Save-a-Lot (very frugal for basics and meat), Food Lion (good for what you can't get at Save-a-Lot and issues good store brand coupons), and the Walmart Neighborhood Market and gas station. I find the market to be no real savings overall except for gas bought with gift cards and certain types of soft drinks.

The troublesome thing about where we live is that there are a couple of drugstores, a hardware store, and nowhere to buy anything else. So if you need a shirt or underwear, a set of sheets, a folding chair or shoes or what have you, it's a trip on the interstate to the other side of the big city or across the state line. Or you do online shopping.

But the more I read about working conditions at a certain ubiquitous online retailer, the less I want to spend money there. The past year, I would say our purchases at brick and mortar stores have gone up, thanks to sales and coupons (and thrifting!) as opposed to online shopping.

Our water/sewer bill here is far more expensive than it was back in Georgia. There is some kind of scandal going on because one company has a monopoly on the water service here. Trash service costs the same. We pay a nominal fee for home pickup of recycling and are thrilled to have it, as we had to sort and carry in the stuff ourselves in Georgia and endure getting scolded by the bin supervisor regardless of how well we'd done his job for him.

Overall, for city living, where we are is pretty frugal. We could have a garden if we weren't somewhat lazy. The back yard has good soil, but it's the dogs' play area so that we don't have to walk them. We have enough grocery shopping options that I have been able to cut our expenses by about 45 percent while out of work.

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

Post by ohjodi »

My location helps A LOT.

I live in a small town/city of about 11k in Central Illinois (it's actually considered a rural community). Rents are cheaper. I get Section 8 assistance, but in a larger city I'd still pay more. Property taxes are high, though.

You need a car to live here (and in those larger cities, too). But I still don't have one since it caught fire last spring, lol, but I borrow my sister's.

Where I really save money is because there isn't much shopping or anything else to do around here. Walmart, Aldi, and IGA for groceries. Our Kroger closed last year, and I really miss it, but honestly it was easy for me to spend too much on "fun and interesting" things there......same with Aldi, much fun and tasty stuff! We have a great farmers market in the summer. Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Gordmans (never shop there) and Big R (like Farm & Fleet) is all the other shopping, and a few nice "boutique" type stores. We have some family-owned restaurants, and Cracker Barrel. The usual fast food.

When I lived in the big city north of here (100k) and PIttsburgh (across the river from downtown) I spent too much money. Too many places to go, too many good restaurants. I have little willpower LOL

Also, in the city I spent too much time shopping around for sales. If you just have one or two stores to choose from, you can still get good sale prices....although I realize this still isn't true for everyone.

I do shop online a lot. I try to keep that in check.

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

Post by mbrudnic »

I live in a pretty densely populated suburb in SW Ohio. There are lots of stores. I cherry pick between 5 different grocery stores, Kroger, Walmart, Aldi, Meijer and a local Gourmet Grocery store called Dorothy Lane Market. I can walk to Kroger, but there is not a sidewalk to the crossing and the road is 4 lanes with a 45 MPH speed limit.

Pubic transportation is not widespread here. We are too close to Detroit and had a lot of auto & auto part plants/facilities here for years.

Funny how there are more upscale restaurants than fast food places at the shopping center across the street. And the nearest drive through is a bit up the road. So even when I think I want carry out, I am usually too lazy and the idea of door dash for fast food is inconceivable. So I usually cook something.

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

Post by colonialgirl »

This is an excellent question. I have been considering how to answer it this afternoon.

I live in a small country subdivision 5 miles from the edge of our state capitol city with about 100,000 population. I am 7 miles from the nearest grocery store. 15 miles from the furthest. My water and electric and natural gas are the lowest rates in the area. Our property taxes are high due to being in the most desirable school district. We pay higher taxes than a lot of states, but I believe we get more than a lot of states.

We have room for a small garden but neither of us are in physical health to garden any longer. I wish we could do that and I could can our veggies. We benefit because we have an Aldis in the area and they beat everyone for prices usually. We have Meijer, Walmart, Schnucks, & Hyvee. Hyvee and Schnucks are usually too pricey to shop at and Walmart seldom beats sales with their prices. Meijer has the best sales but their regular prices are too high. If you are a cherry picker and some one who stocks up on sales, you can cut your groceries immensely. Our next door neighbors spend at least double what we do. She never shops a sale - just shops.

Bottomline when I think of it. I think that there are trade offs. How frugal you can be depends on determination to achieve that goal. There are opportunities both in the country and the city.

Also - I would mention that it is humbling when age slows you down in your frugal actiivities. Not everything you do now will be possible in the future and that is hard to accept. I used to arrogantly wonder why anyone would (insert any non-frugal activity here) pay to have groceries delivered, not hit several stores to stock up, change their own oil, not hang clothes outside to dry, etc, etc. Now I know.

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

Post by Dgflorida »

Good question. I too had to ponder it awhile. I think my location now helps my frugality. My large yard gives me plenty of exercise. My small house, with limited space, discourages buying things. Eventually, my garden will give me lots of vegetables. My energy costs are tiny compared to others due to location with trees. I do grocery shop more than I should, but all the stores are within a couple of miles. As my health improves, I hope to walk to them more often. Yes, my current location helps my frugality.

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

Post by Jackielou »

I live in what is known in Canada as a small city of around 12k (it goes up and down with great regularity) and we have very few stores to really choose from. What does help my frugality is that I refuse to drive more than once a week to do the shopping, I don't really trust shopping on line (I do it, but am still very leery of it), and many things are within walking distance.

Since I started wearing a shorter hair style, I need to get my hair cut every 2 months (need this done again as I looked like Einstein this morning upon arising) that is one of my biggest expenses at close to $40.00 each time.

Stock up trips to the bigger city is something we look forward to, I can get more for less, and I just love being able to get clothing if necessary (here one must be a skinny person or buy from Walmart).

So what I am trying to say is that being where I am has pros and cons to being frugal. Some things would be much less expensive in a larger center, there would be more choice, and probably lots within walking distance.

Here though we have open spaces for hiking, my Hubby does not feel closed in, and we have a yard to garden in.

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