Speaking of jackets, I have a little secret that I’ll let you in on:
My ski jacket is as waterproof and as clean as the day I bought it. That’s a pretty bold statement considering I live in rainy, outdoorsy Seattle, and the jacket is 10 years old.
The secret is a product called Nikwax. It’s really two products purchased together. The first preps the jacket by cleaning it. The second is the actual waterproofing agent.
A kit costs $20 and is good for about 5 jackets. I figure for that price (plus the negligible cost of running the washing machine twice and the dryer once) I’ve extended the life of our family’s jackets by at least 10 years. (The kids get cheapo thrift store ski jackets that they lose or grow out of in a year anyway.)
Frugality doesn’t mean not buying nice things. But it does mean taking care of the things you have so you can get the most use out of them.
The hardest part about being frugal is not caring what other people think.
I bought a coat at Value Village for $5. I assume it was priced low because it had a rip in the back, since it’s an otherwise amazing jacket that packs down small. I’m not good with sewing but I’m really good at duct taping things. So I taped the hole closed with waterproof duct tape. That was 2 years ago and it’s still going strong.
Since the hole is in the back, I usually forget about it anyway. I probably saved myself $50 – $75 compared to buying a comprable coat new.