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Thread: Who are today's Helen and Scott Nearing?

  1. #11
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    I loved the way she would do cost benefit analysis of things like cocoa mix. It really stayed with me, taught me how to do that myself.

  2. #12
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    I loved the way she would do cost benefit analysis of things like cocoa mix. It really stayed with me, taught me how to do that myself.
    I loved those little charts, too! The pictures of the little cups from full-on convenience options all the way down to complete DIY, cost per cup. I think her ability to use her graphics skills with her analytical skills helped to make that book so powerful. And just the narrative alone--having a slew of kids, wanting to stay home with them, having a husband on a Navy pension and still being able to buy a farmhouse in Maine... wow. What gets me are the people who got angry at her, and told her she was "abusing" her kids by not letting them go to McDonald's, etc. What a twisted logic!!
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  3. #13
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    I loved the way she would do cost benefit analysis of things like cocoa mix.
    One concept that stayed with me was the concept of Wow, ie there has to be a corresponding increase in wow to the spending. So if something is twice the price, it needs to be twice the wow. I wind up buying stuff a little more than average for a little more than average price, as I don't find spending much more gets me incrementally more "wow". There's a sweet spot for most purchases.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    I didn’t pay that much attention to the Frugalwoods. Never knew how much they made.

  5. #15
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbgeek View Post
    One concept that stayed with me was the concept of Wow, ie there has to be a corresponding increase in wow to the spending. So if something is twice the price, it needs to be twice the wow. I wind up buying stuff a little more than average for a little more than average price, as I don't find spending much more gets me incrementally more "wow". There's a sweet spot for most purchases.
    I never read the Amy D. books, but I understand the concept of wow. There is a sweet spot for most things, agreed.

    Every time I get a wild hair to fly first class I look at how much it costs and all the things you get with it other than more seating room in the airplane, are things that do not matter to me.

    I am investigating various business class flights on various airlines because that might be a sweet spot for a treat experience, but first class is a no go.

    A reverse corollary of WOW increases is cutting back. I just did it this morning since I’m back to watching calories again. An English muffin is 230 cal. That’s a lot! But then I thought to myself well just eat half of it, doh. And that is enough.

    Diana in Wisconsin who used to post here talked about how she added powdered milk to the gallons of milk her boys ate. They were teenagers and went through tons of food and expensive milk, so she watered it down with powdered milk to the point where they noticed. That point was “too much “ so she went back to the mixture just before that. That was a sweet spot.

  6. #16
    Senior Member littlebittybobby's Avatar
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    Okay---there USTA be a couple places in Dumb Moinez called "Helen & Pats". They'd serve you a plate o' scorching-hot "cavatelli" that took 20 minutes to cool down. That way, you'd order a couple beers, in the meantime. For that reason, I can understand why they closed up, years ago. Yup. Is that what the thread is referring to?

  7. #17
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    I think there are many.people living very simply however we don't hear about them. In these days of facebook/cable/ instagram and so on the people living a simple life and not wanting to monetize it fall below the radar.

    I know many people who do a lot of bike riding and walking for the majority of their transportation, make simple breads, soups etc and never think of eating out. Who don't have Internet, cellphones or cable and rely on a radio for news or in emergency situations.
    they get library books, play cards with friends,, buy things used or repurposed and so on.

    They have way more peace off mind and serenity than most.

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    I had not read anything from the Frugalwoods since the book and I just went to site and I don't think I was very fair. The case studies look interesting. Has anyone looked at them? I like reading about how other people advise people about money, like Dave Ramsey calls, where he deals with case studies. I always see connections to my own life, and learn. https://www.frugalwoods.com/

    The Nearings were about creating a simple, sustainable life and their legacy has stuck with me--things like how they did maple syrup because they were vegetarians, how they used stone for the walled gardens and their house, how incredibly long they lived and worked, the 4/4/4 things with time. I think MrMoneyMustache does similar teaching. But it's not simple living out in the country, the way the Nearings did it. Which was always the draw, to me as a suburban kid growing up envying people who lived in the country in farmhouses. The way Amy D did--both the envy and then achieving it. It was aspirational.

    We have looked at a couple of houses here in Maine and one was being sold by an influencer. Their blogs were so annoying I couldn't get past it to really consider the house, which would have been a good house for us. But they were SMUG! The other was next door to a woman who had a thriving floral business, and she sued her neighbor for spraying with chemicals. Not that I wanted to spray with chemicals, but I don't want to move in next to someone who would sue me.

    That Serendipity Farm couple in Wisconsin was good. But they were also big money move to the city make more money with rental. They did explain where they money came from, very transparent, and I liked that. But quite smug too.

    I don't know, I need to learn to take what I can use and leave the rest.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    The closest I came to living rurally was living in a town of 2k people in upstate New York but in 10 minutes you could be in a town of 20k. Syracuse was a hour away. We were young and supplemented our heat with wood he chopped for free, a big garden and he hunted. I never worked in the garden as I hated gardening but he loved it. Now being older I love being in town where I can walk places and most things are a short drive.

  10. #20
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    The closest I came to living rurally was living in a town of 2k people in upstate New York but in 10 minutes you could be in a town of 20k. Syracuse was a hour away. We were young and supplemented our heat with wood he chopped for free, a big garden and he hunted. I never worked in the garden as I hated gardening but he loved it. Now being older I love being in town where I can walk places and most things are a short drive.
    I honestly understand both. I love where I live, but I also love other towns I've lived in, like Ocean Grove, NJ, which was right on the beach, but within walking distance to anything I would need. Like *short* walking distance. I still love that town and. I haven't rented there since pre-COVID, but I would consider doing it again, even though the winter off-season prices are way high now. I like the idea of spending the winter in a warmer climate, but I'm happy with nothing further south than New Jersey. I couldn't see myself in Florida, for instance. Just not my thing.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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