Ye Ole Frugal Retiree here,

I have been asked numerous times how I live so well
on my fixed income.  As a retiree on a fixed income, I
was confronted with higher and higher prices and
lower and lower expectations.  However, since I
began hanging around Senior Centers and meeting
other seniors in coffee klatches, I have learned much
more – believe me, I have learned much more from
them than they have from me!  The more senior
seniors have taught me a lot, and they may well fare
better on  fixed incomes better than my junior
seniors.  

I worry about the current generation of baby
boomers and Dr. Phil addicts.  They only know the
Depression as that malady that you take Prozac for
and, consequently, have no experience in penny-
pinching.  My best advice for those less skilled in
managing an “Empty Nester” household on a small
income is to “think small.”  Small house, small yard,
small kitchen, small refrigerator, small utility bills
can all lead to a fatter wallet and larger bank
account.  As a society, we are programmed to buy
BIG.  Big cars and gas-guzzling SUVs, big homes
(and their big utility bills), big yards (and their big
water bills and maintenance costs), big refrigerators
for big appetites and expensive pre-packaged, pre-
cooked, pre-digested meals) all add up to thin
wallets and small savings accounts.

I have found that my wife and I can eat on less than
$200.00 monthly by eating healthy and buying
smart.  A typical day’s menu can be:


Breakfast:           





Lunch:







Snack:


Dinner:


     


Last Snack:




For entertainment, we review the weekly newspaper
and attend local concerts and shows at local venues.  
As an example, this week there are FREE concerts at
two local parks and three separate informal tours at
local historical sites.  We also attend grand openings
and open houses whenever possible.

We take advantage of our local 99 cent store and the
numerous thrift stores in our area, particularly on
“half-off days.”  Several area stores have a Senior
Discount Day every month and we take advantage of
these to stock up on our staple items.

For transportation, I have a 12 year old Subaru with
172,000 miles on the odometer.  I purchased her
from an e-bay auction for a mere $1,342.00 with a
guarantee that if I wasn’t satisfied after a test drive,
that I could terminate the sale at no cost or
obligation.  The vehicle was in perfect condition for
her age and I have been able to keep my
transportation costs (including gas, insurance and
maintenance) to under 14 cents per mile.

Whenever we travel by car on vacation, we take
advantage of a rental car with discounts from AAA or
AARP.  Sometimes, we simply fly to our destination
and stay in hotels near bus routes.  We always take
advantage of deep discounts which can be found on
Internet sites which I’ll be reviewing in upcoming
newsletters.  Frequently, we find ourselves staying
at 3 and even 4 star hotels for under $50 per night –
bet you never knew that being frugal could be so
elegant!

When dining, we take advantage of the discounts
offered at my favorite online restaurant (click on
banner to the left)  which offers $25 gift certificates
at fine local restaurants for as low as $5.00.  Yes, you
read that correctly – FIVE bucks!  Recently, while I
was in Phoenix visiting my daughter, we found 97
different restaurants listed on Restaurant.com where
we could indulge ourselves for less than 30% of the
menu price.

So say good-bye to lowering your expectations!  Life
can be quite good if you make a game out of thrifty
living.  In fact, the Internet has really leveled the
playing field for retirees, opening up all kinds of
options for better living on a budget.

Taking time to plan your meals, outings and
excursions - - utilizing the numerous Internet sites
that I’ll be putting at your fingertips will open the
doors to a vast number of possibilities.

Good hunting and a have a great time spending your
children’s inheritance!

Ray Freeman,
Ye Ole Grouch

Newsletter:  
Launching you on your Journey into Frugal Living
The Frugal Retiree
Fresh squeezed orange juice (in
season)
Oatmeal with brown sugar and
raisins
Half a banana
Fresh brewed coffee
Tuna fish sandwich on 7 grain
bread (from a day old bread
outlet)
Carrot and celery sticks (prepared
in advance and maintained in
sealed pouches)
Small Fat Free Yogurt
Small Apple

Baked Potato with chili topping
Raw broccoli florets
Half cup ice cream
Hot green tea


Half cup granola cereal with small
handful of chopped nuts and two
teaspoons of honey