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-   -   How simply do you live? (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=163801)

Artkansas 02-16-08 06:17 AM


Originally Posted by FXjohn (Post 6160689)
makes a lot of sense. drive around looking for used cookware spending your free time and money on gas when you could just buy a skillet and a couple of pots new.

Well, since this the the car-free living forum, one would assume that you don't drive to estate sales. :eek:

You get to combine a nice day's riding with getting to know new people and know the neighborhoods near you better. Estate sales are often well advertised, and you can get a pan for $5 that would cost you $35 in the store. Quality is the important part. Good cookware will last you all your life. I'm using Revere ware that my Grandfather owned. So maybe it lasts for more than all your life. Not a bad deal for $5.

And, why do you suggest buying new? That helps to fuel excess demand for new goods while perfectly serviceable goods get tossed. A good example. Walking home from the bank today, I saw signs for an estate sale. At the sale I got a plastic tub, some good kitchen knives and a pair of scissors. My feet will enjoy soaking in the tub. No new tubs were made. And I help humanity get as much use out of the plastic as possible. :)

Roody 02-18-08 02:29 PM


Originally Posted by FXjohn (Post 6166626)
Hmm, are you an Ed Wood fan?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0144185/

Ed Wood: Look Back in Angora (1994) (V)

No...I'm just damn pretty in pink.

wahoonc 02-18-08 03:12 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 6187570)
No...I'm just damn pretty in pink.

:roflmao::D...got pictures:rolleyes:

Aaron:)

TheKingFiphtin 02-18-08 04:32 PM

I like to think I live a pretty simple life. The only furniture I own is my bed, a couple of nice rocking chairs, a book shelf, my sewing machine, and a floor lamp. I cook all my own meals, and rarely use anything premade. I only go out to eat on special occaisions. I don't own a TV or a microwave. I try to make a lot of my own clothes, and I make them to fit perfectly, look exactly how I want, and last forever. I do own a laptop, mostly just for music, but I do take it to the coffee shop sometimes to play on the internet (mostly I use the internet from work). I own a car as well, but that's because I haven't figured out a way to get rid of it yet. My family and friends live aobut 250 miles away, and I have a dog, so greyhound buses are out (unless I want to pretend he's a seeing eye dog.) I try to use my car as little as possible. I also own a bunch of camping/outdoor gear. A couple pairs of skis, rock climbing stuff, bike stuff, backpacking stuff, and canoe stuff. I have no credit cards, and am almost debt free (I owe my brother and mom a bit each yet from when I was going through a rough time). I can easily haul all of my posessions with my Honda CRX towing a tiny trailer.

I think I've done well, considering I'm a recovering packrat. When I moved out of my parents' house I took half a dozen trips with a pickup truck to move all my crap, plus I stored some things in my parents' attic. I feel so much better without all that stuff. Especially the TV and Microwave. TV takes too much time out of your day, and microwaves make you lazy and less likely to actually cook for yourself.

I am looking for some advice, though. Does anyone know of any bus lines that are pet friendly? I would like to get rid of my car, but I just can't see how right now. I'm also waiting for Milwaukee buses to get bike racks on them.

seagull.apollo 03-14-08 04:19 PM


Originally Posted by jk610 (Post 5916576)
Now I just have to work on spending my money more effectively on food.

I used to spend a lot of money on food, and then I discovered dumpster diving. That extra two hundred dollars a month goes a long way.

crhilton 03-14-08 06:14 PM


Originally Posted by seagull.apollo (Post 6344215)
I used to spend a lot of money on food, and then I discovered dumpster diving. That extra two hundred dollars a month goes a long way.

So, most of your diet comes out of the dumpster? Cause my wife and I together only need about $300 to eat at home all month (by buying at a grocery store, and not a cute rate one)...

johnnyburst79 03-17-08 12:55 PM

In June I moved halfway across the country to a city I did not know nor knew anyone in. Beforehand sold everything I owned including my car and every piece of furniture I owned. I had two suitcases of clothes and two small carry-on bags. I did not own a bike at the time so that did not factor into my move.

Now that I am in Austin and have been car free (first time since I was 16), I love it. Except, maybe, riding with traffic and breathing the smog.....

I now own a bed, desk, futon, dining room table (donated from Aunt), and cooking ware (donated from Uncle, in his college days). That's all of significant size which would slow me down in moving again.


I got the bike (a Miyata Nimbus) in late December and have been riding it everyday and done lots of upgrades. It is a bike I'm putting in the Tour de Cure and will possibly race the AT&T Criterium with. Not sure if I'm going to do that yet. I'm still figuring out the grocery store thing with the bike and my larger laptop bag-that-doubles-as-my-overnight-at-the-girls-or-messenger-bag. Need to get a bigger one...

seagull.apollo 03-17-08 02:28 PM

Maybe I save more like $150 dollars a month, I don't really know. The thing is I ate a lot worse before the dumpster days because I didn't have enough money to buy what I wanted. Now I get probably about 3/4 of my food from the trash and buy anything that I couldn't afford/can't find. I save money, eat better and get to meet a bunch of people I wouldn't meet normally so it all works itself out for the better.

ricohman 03-22-08 01:00 PM

When I was in my early 20's I lived a lifestyle with few frills. I wouldn't call it simple as that seems a bit luxurious so I will refer to it as a spartan lifestle.
But now with a wife, three kids, two dogs and others, living that way is no longer an option.
So enjoy it while you can.
But someday I plan on returning to my original way of life. My wife is terrified at the thought of it.

ricohman 03-22-08 01:02 PM


Originally Posted by seagull.apollo (Post 6359549)
Maybe I save more like $150 dollars a month, I don't really know. The thing is I ate a lot worse before the dumpster days because I didn't have enough money to buy what I wanted. Now I get probably about 3/4 of my food from the trash and buy anything that I couldn't afford/can't find. I save money, eat better and get to meet a bunch of people I wouldn't meet normally so it all works itself out for the better.

You eat out of the garbage?

Nightshade 03-22-08 04:39 PM

Dumpster foods are all to often just outdated by the date code.
There is not one thing wrong with them if found daily and cooked
or cooled.

America throws away food when we have starving people here
at home due to crazy laws that once ment well but now just
generate waste by the ton.

To cut our food bill I have an arrangment with the local grocery
to call me if they have food go out of date to buy at MUCH reduced
price. I either store/freeze the foods or deliver them to our local
poor pantry. I often get still sealed lunch meat or other cuts
for pennies on the dollar. The store writes off the loss and the
food stay outta the landfill.

As an example.....
Most states forbid the sharing of all food that resturants don't
sell but was fresh cooked near the end of the day. There is
more than one soup kitchen for the poor that would welcome
this bounty that is now legal "garbage" .

Amrican's are so, so very wasteful. :(:(

Machka 03-22-08 07:41 PM

In 2004, I packed, sold, tossed, and gave away all my stuff. I got rid of about half of what I owned then ... and I haven't really added to it (a few textbooks and a few articles of clothing).

My remaining stuff has been in storage since then.

I currently live in two small rooms on the weekend, and 1 room during the week ... in two different cities. I will be down to one place again in a month's time.

And, over the next year, I will be working on getting rid of at least half of my remaining stuff. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it all, but I'll figure it out as I go.

Stuff can be very imprisoning, and although it can hurt to let stuff go, it is very freeing.


BTW - about food ... I can feed myself quite well for about $20/week, buying from the grocery store. That's not bad at all. :)

politicalgeek 03-23-08 09:02 AM

Fun reading through the 17 pages or so. I am in the process of simplifying to my own ideal. My roommate and I are getting to that stage of going our own way and are looking for our own places come fall. I already have a goal of being car free by September, when I would move into my new place, but I want to be as uncluttered as much as possible.

I found a great place in the right location yesterday. Other than a restriction on keeping bikes in the storage/laundry room (out of my apartment) it seems perfect. A small bedroom and a living room/kitchen. I would love to find a good source for the real Japanese style futons and tatami. I love that idea for making the small bedroom as multi-purpose as possible.

C Law 03-24-08 01:07 PM

I don't get how eating discarded food equates to living simply.

politicalgeek 03-24-08 05:51 PM

It depends on the definition. "Dumpster diving" is quite popular in some areas. If your particular philosophy of living simply is to reduce materialism, be frugal and resourceful with what is immediately available, then it could be simple living. Different strokes for different folks.

christina.h 03-25-08 07:04 PM

As far as dumpstering food goes, I have personally been doing it since high school and it is now a large part of both my life and my husband's. I have never gotten ill, because I have never gotten lazy with it! you wash what you find and live by the motto: when in doubt, compost it! (not as catchy as when in doubt throw it out, but hey whatever.)

And C Law, living simply has a different meaning for every person, but this is how "dumpster diving" factors in for us: Our grocery bill has dropped dramatically and when food we have goes bad and ends up in the compost, we don't fret over wasted money. Additionally, because most of what we get is produce, our packaging waste is drastically reduced as well. It removes a lot of plastic from the equation. It also essentially eliminates any need to "work out" because we expend calories on the way to pick up calories. Works out really nicely.

Back to living simply: We haven't gotten rid of our car because we have 6 goats, a bunch of hens and 2 large land tortoises. We require the car to move them all when and if they need moving. I actually don't know how to drive (never learned) so my husband drives and I am complicit. That said, I still use my bike + trailer to go get things like goat feed (50 lbs a bag) and hay bales (100 lbs a bale) enthusiastically. If I could haul my goat ladies with my bike I certainly would, but I can't see how that would happen. Fortunately, our vet is within walking distance and I can just walk them there. If anyone has any ideas about ways to transport the livestock I would love to hear them! good to see so many people committed to simplifying their lives.

seagull.apollo 03-25-08 08:11 PM


Originally Posted by C Law (Post 6395574)
I don't get how eating discarded food equates to living simply.

Simple living to me means salvaging what other people throw away so that things that have already been made aren't wasted. What's your idea of simple living?

Roody 03-25-08 08:28 PM


Originally Posted by christina.h (Post 6404232)
As far as dumpstering food goes, I have personally been doing it since high school and it is now a large part of both my life and my husband's. I have never gotten ill, because I have never gotten lazy with it! you wash what you find and live by the motto: when in doubt, compost it! (not as catchy as when in doubt throw it out, but hey whatever.)

And C Law, living simply has a different meaning for every person, but this is how "dumpster diving" factors in for us: Our grocery bill has dropped dramatically and when food we have goes bad and ends up in the compost, we don't fret over wasted money. Additionally, because most of what we get is produce, our packaging waste is drastically reduced as well. It removes a lot of plastic from the equation. It also essentially eliminates any need to "work out" because we expend calories on the way to pick up calories. Works out really nicely.

Back to living simply: We haven't gotten rid of our car because we have 6 goats, a bunch of hens and 2 large land tortoises. We require the car to move them all when and if they need moving. I actually don't know how to drive (never learned) so my husband drives and I am complicit. That said, I still use my bike + trailer to go get things like goat feed (50 lbs a bag) and hay bales (100 lbs a bale) enthusiastically. If I could haul my goat ladies with my bike I certainly would, but I can't see how that would happen. Fortunately, our vet is within walking distance and I can just walk them there. If anyone has any ideas about ways to transport the livestock I would love to hear them! good to see so many people committed to simplifying their lives.

Welcome to the forum, christina. :)

It sounds like your lifestyle is an interesting mix of agriculture + hunting/gathering. I admire you for jockeying those bales on your bike trailer. What kind of trailer do you have?

As for moving those critters, tie a leash on them and let them trot behind the bike! Just go slow with the tortoises is my only advice. :D That's a joke, but here's a true story. A co-worker asked me how I got my Thanksgiving turkey home on the bike and I told her it ran along behind me. Her jaw dropped--she really believed me. She asked me if I chopped its head off with an axe! But in your case, I suspect it might be true!

:roflmao:

Roody 03-25-08 08:33 PM


Originally Posted by seagull.apollo (Post 6404645)
Simple living to me means salvaging what other people throw away so that things that have already been made aren't wasted. What's your idea of simple living?

Welcome to you also, seagull.apollo. :)

I like your user name. Is there a story or a myth that goes with it?

I don't salvage food, wouldn't even know how to do it. But to me it's another way of practicing frugality, which is certainly part of living simply. (Maybe the main part?) When you're frugal, you use less energy attaining physical things, so you have more energy for creativity, spirituality, charity, activism, or whatever you believe is more worthy of your energy.

Or maybe you just spend a lot of time on an internet forum. :D

Newspaperguy 03-25-08 11:00 PM

I don't feel the need to do the dumpster diving thing at this point in my life. My food bills are quite modest. I use the bulk foods store for beans and other dry foods and I try to buy fruits and vegetables in season. At times, I've had a small garden as well. Since I don't eat much meat, I can save a lot of money that way. In fall, I do a fair amount of canning so I'm set for the winter.

If my circumstances were to change dramatically, I'd have no problem with dumpster diving.

cutman 03-26-08 10:21 AM


Originally Posted by Tightwad (Post 6386160)
To cut our food bill I have an arrangment with the local grocery
to call me if they have food go out of date to buy at MUCH reduced
price. I either store/freeze the foods or deliver them to our local
poor pantry. I often get still sealed lunch meat or other cuts
for pennies on the dollar. The store writes off the loss and the
food stay outta the landfill.

My girlfriend works at a transitional homeless shelter and they get all sorts of expired food from a local specialty/natural grocery (like a smaller, independent Whole Foods). Problem is, a lot of what they donate (DeCecco pasta, Wasa crackers, Nature's Path cereals, ) the shelter's clients won't eat, so she takes it home. Works for me -- that stuff's delicious and expensive.

Nightshade 03-26-08 10:49 AM

I was talking about the fresh cooked food that all resturants have
at the end of their business day. THOSE foods ,in my state, must
be dumped. One local resturant used to feed the poor in my small
town one meal (a big one!) a day until the state stopped them.
Seems it's ok to sell food but not give it away. Go figure.........

seagull.apollo 03-26-08 12:03 PM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 6404777)
Welcome to you also, seagull.apollo. :)

I like your user name. Is there a story or a myth that goes with it?

I don't salvage food, wouldn't even know how to do it. But to me it's another way of practicing frugality, which is certainly part of living simply. (Maybe the main part?) When you're frugal, you use less energy attaining physical things, so you have more energy for creativity, spirituality, charity, activism, or whatever you believe is more worthy of your energy.

Or maybe you just spend a lot of time on an internet forum. :D

Apollo as far as Greek gods went was a bit of Renaissance Man and I've always liked the idea of people doing everything themselves. However, I only started researching him after I made the name. The reason I chose this handle is because "seagull.apollo" is really just an abstract of Victoria. You can go for miles around here and see nothing but seagulls and Apollos and seagulls on Apollos.

As far as dumpstering and frugalty goes, exactly. Less spending on food and other goods means less work, and work throughout my life has always been associated with a lack of writing and reading and thinking. If you're tired all the time, or already feel as if you've done your bit for the day then you're less inclined to sit down with pen and paper and more inclined to waste time on the internet.

C Law 03-26-08 12:28 PM


Originally Posted by seagull.apollo (Post 6404645)
Simple living to me means salvaging what other people throw away so that things that have already been made aren't wasted. What's your idea of simple living?

I guess I am very spoiled regarding food.

I live and work, with my wife and family, on a fruit orchard in New York. We barter with other local farmers or buy pretty much all our food from local farmers, including meat, etc..

no packaging, except wooden boxes that are reused, jars for canning and preserves which are reused, and plastic bags to freeze the meat we get from slaughtering a cow every year, and to freeze a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Our farm is very much a for profit enterprise though, so we also have money to go buy items at the local grocery. When the need arises, I find purchasing food at the local grocery or market much simpler than rummaging through the refuse. that is just me though.

Simpler in this context for me means less time procuring food. I know you need to work in order produce income to buy the food, but producing income to buy food is the least of my concerns as it is about the most inexpensive item in my budget.

I applaud your effort at reducing packaging waste though. It is crazy. Packaging is out of control.

christina.h 03-26-08 05:49 PM

C Law, I am jealous! I also see how your definition makes sense given your lifestyle and family. Less time procuring food=more time with family/ to do leisure stuff. I guess that is where our definitions of simple living diverge. See, to me, a simpler lifestyle means spending more time on simpler things. Sounds like you have sort of my ideal lifestyle, so stuff like dumpstering would only complicate your life.

Though I know it doesn't sound like it what with my livestock, I actually live in the city. Also I am 20 years old, newly married, and poor, so buying local is infrequently cheap. The demand for local artisan food in Portland has allowed the farmers at the farmers market to charge much more for their produce and I just can't afford it on a barista/mechanic's pay.

Oh and Rudy, I have this leggero brand trailer that my bosses at the bike shop gave me as a wedding gift. look here for an article: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005...ro_shopper.php
It folds into an upright shopping cart for the store. I use the frame only when hauling heavy stuff and old bike tubes as "bungee cords". These are never in short supply, as we pay our mortgage by renting out rooms in our house and each person in the house has at least 2 bikes.

GreenPremier 04-03-08 11:52 AM

My problem is that I'm a drummer/guitar player. So I've got 2 sets of drums, electronic and acoustic. I also have an electric guitar, half stack, etc. Also have recording gear. I have too much stuff...I don't like it, hate it in fact, I'd love to live that much more simply by not having to have so much crap. I like the idea of only using books from the library, sometimes the book you want isn't there, that's annoying.
I don't have a car or credit card. Just don't want to justify buying something with money I don't have with a credit card, that's how almost everyone gets into debt these days...

I admire that some of you guys can live so simply and minimalistic.

swwhite 04-03-08 07:50 PM

Thank you all, this has been quite inspirational. It made me think back to about 35 years ago when I still lived at home about 120 miles from the large city where I now live. I had made arrangements to live in the big city, so I sent on ahead two suitcases of clothes by Greyhound bus, mounted my bicycle with one backpack, and rode out of town to "seek my fortune" in the city. Now I have no fortune, but I do have a house cluttered with an unbelievable amount of stuff, and I wonder how it happened.

I can answer why simple living starts with getting rid of stuff, or being smart enough not to accumulate it in the first place. There have been many times where we have had company, or some event that required cleaning up a bit, perhaps on a weekend, and after it was all over we looked back on that period of time and realize that we spent most of it just moving stuff from one place in our house to another. After realization, and inspiration, perhaps can come some action, and I'll be joining you.

enjoi07 04-11-08 12:34 PM


Originally Posted by seagull.apollo (Post 6359549)
Now I get probably about 3/4 of my food from the trash

yea thats pretty gross.

jan nikolajsen 04-13-08 10:29 AM

we certainly are no angels. our cars see far more use than they should, although i am drifting towards pedal powered transportation.

we built own own cabin and live rurally. here's a website i put together, explaining a little about being off-the-grid and so on:

http://coyotecottage.com/

pic is of my bike, a cannondale bought in chamonix, france, in 1988 and biked back to denmark. when i emmigrated to the US it got boxed up and flew with me. it has literally thousands of miles on it.

http://coyotecottage.com/images/bike.jpg

seagull.apollo 04-14-08 11:43 AM


Originally Posted by enjoi07 (Post 6502799)
yea thats pretty gross.

How so? I eat food that's no worse than the food that you eat, I simply got it at D-Mart instead of Walmart. Every single person I've ever taken out with me has been appalled at the amount of food that needlessly goes to waste. It's bad, really. You should try going diving one time and then tell me it's gross, instead of telling it to me from behind your computer when you've obviously never been in your life.


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