More Truth about the Frugalwoods!

I just thought I’d add this recent Guardian article on The Frugalwoods for your amusement. The truth is that they did not retire at 32, but they both still work (albeit mostly online from home). Sure, they may have abandoned the city for the countryside, but their so-called ‘Living the simple life’ would not be possible without a high-speed internet connection. So please don’t believe the hype.

Oh, it also helps that they both earn ridiculous amounts of money from their jobs (upcoming blog post giving more detail on that). I don’t disagree that they may have decided to stop embracing consumer culture, like many of us have. But once again I just want to warn people who might think they can emulate them.

They may think that they are only spending money on the very ‘basest’ of items. But I love this from the comments section:

       “Food, our mortgage, gas for the car, electricity, an internet connection, toilet paper. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, 2018”.

Whilst I’m glad that only spending on these things helped them to realise their mindless consumption. I think plenty of people in the World would consider the essentials to be food, water, shelter, warmth and rest. They probably don’t realise how Westernised their basics are.

Obviously you can read the article, but I think the comments are hilarious and really call out the truth behind some of the lies! But most of all, I’m still curious as to how they can claim not to be reliant on a salary from a job. Anyway, here’s a selection of my favourites and it’s nice to see I’m not the only one thinking this way:

“Reading the comments has saved me from reading the article. Thank you one and all”.

“Such a small, modest house they have too! I think the book should be called the The Smugwoods: Our transformational journey from city work slaves to rural phoneys who live very far away from everyone, only because we are so annoying”.

“I’m staggered by the fact that you think that living frugally in this way is exceptional. Having to make many of the ‘savings’ you describe in this article is just normal life for many people – and many are worse off than that…”

“I’m too frugalized to buy this ridiculous book”.

“And according to the article it only took them three years. 2014: decided to be frugal. 2018: Retired (!), own 66 acres and a house, book published”.

“Dear Liz (frugalized your name), Will you accept my well thumbed copy of The Bonfire of the Vanities in exchange for Meet the Frugalwoods?”


How do you wash your dishes?

Dishwasher Hand wash dishes

The great debate of the moment in our house is how to wash the dishes.

As you know, we recently moved house. Unfortunately our dishwasher didn’t survive the move and so we were forced back to washing all of our dishes by hand. This led to some interesting discussions on how we should approach dish washing in the future.

Now we used to live in a tiny, one-bed flat. We didn’t have room for a dishwasher, even though we wanted one! So every night, we would have a big pile of dishes to wash. It was always the last thing we felt like tackling, after a hard days work. You’ve just eaten a big meal and sat down to relax, when you remember that enormous pile of dirty dishes. You know you must tackle them tonight, or you won’t have the crockery and pans you need for tomorrow. You also need the kitchen counter space back, as your kitchen is so tiny. It was never something we looked forward to and washing dishes seemed to take over half our lives!

Now I cook everything from scratch- eating take-away or even a ready-meal is a very rare occurrence in our house. One of us also has a  special dietary requirement and so, all of this equals extra pans and dishes- usually at least twice as many.  We didn’t look forward to having guests over- partly because it was a massive squeeze to get even two more people around the table. Dishing up the food was tough because there wasn’t enough space to lay out the plates and the pots it had been cooked in. But mostly because the pile of dishes would become extreme. We worked out we were spending at least an hour a day washing and drying dishes, this doubled if we had guests or if I baked a cake, for example. The task felt endless.

And so, I have to laugh at these minimalist bloggers who are proponents of having as few dishes as possible and washing up by hand. They must be mad, I think. Although I know that washing dishes by hand uses less water, which is great for the environment and your pocket if you are on a meter. But, using a dishwasher is more hygienic and gets the dishes to a higher temperature during the wash. Sure, dishwashers ruin your glassware faster and no doubt take the pattern of your crockery faster too. But how do you manage, maybe they’re not bakers and home cooks?

But what about you, my readers? Do you wash dishes by hand or do you have a dishwasher? What difference does either make to your life? What are the reasons for your choice? I would love to hear your thoughts. Come on- join the debate!