A Day at the Races in Saratoga – Down the Stretch They Come!

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The legenday Fourstardave won a lot of big turf races.

Have you ever been to the horse races?

The Smidlap family if from the Saratoga area in New York State and horse racing is a late-summer big deal around here.  We’ve been here three days at the in-laws’ place and I thought I might give you some frugal and not so frugal entertainment facts if you ever find yourself in this gorgeous Victorian town.

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Financial Independence From Working in a Factory?

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Welcome to Buffalo in the Rust Belt.

College was fun but what if I just started working at age 19?

If you’re like a lot of Americans you pursued the dream of getting good grades and matriculating at a good college so you could pay back student loans and slave 60 hours a week at a job you mistakenly hoped would bring you money and satisfaction.

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We Bought a One Week Vacation Using Dividends!

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Watercolor painting by Mrs. Smidlap of the little lake at our annual Adirondack cabin rental

You want to know about the cleanest and most peaceful place I’ve ever been?

I know you do.  It’s the Adirondack Park Region of New York State, especially the High Peaks area near Lake Placid, where the 1980 Winter Olympics were held.

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Good Eats for Cheap #4 – Grilled Pork and Sweet Corn

I love steak but pork is cheap and delicious

I made a rare trip to the grocery market last Thursday.  I generally loathe grocery shopping or any shopping that isn’t for wine, so I was In-N-Out like the burger chain.  My score was about 3 pounds of pork loin, 5 ears of corn, and a bell pepper for 12 bucks.

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Work Wasn’t Working So We’re Monetizing Our Dog!

You Smidlap’s are pimpin’ out Banjo!?

Worry not.  No dogs are pimped or harmed in the course of this endeavor.  We’re just working on a little side project selling his image and giving him his fair cut.  All he needs to do is walk around and wag his tail and be naturally handsome.

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Good Eats for Cheap #3 – Black Beans

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Put the cast iron skillet right on the grill.  Don’t be scared.

We make a pot o’ beans every week in the Chateau Smidlap

We always start with the dirt cheap dried beans and cook ’em in the trusty Dutch oven.  Eat enough beans and have fun giving your significant other a nice dutch oven for some yuks.

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We’re Not Maxing Out our Roths in 2018. Don’t Call the Retirement Police!

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The House of Usher is complete with new roof and premium paint, but not for free.

It’s been an interesting past 18 months at the Chateau Smidlap

Maybe you’re new here or just forgetful, so here are some highlights and lowlights of the past year and a half.

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Can the FI crowd shoot a basketball?

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Is it lack of skill or personal choice to eschew a good frugal game of hoops?

I’ve noticed a pattern of certain activities common in the financial independence movement.

You can’t generalize completely but lots of the community seems to love biking anywhere and everywhere along with hiking in nature and running.  Weight lifting and strength training seem popular too.  Where’s all the love for the game of basketball?

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2018 Halftime Update – AKA Summer is Overrated

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At least you have this in summer.  Home grown except for the pig and salmon.

Do you love summer?  I’m a spring and fall lover.

It’s not that I hate summer, I just seem to feel better when it’s not around.  Ms. Life Simply Frugal sums it up well here.  We went right from bitter April cold to hot as hell and humid to top it all off.  Being no dummy (as far as you know) I expect a certain amount of this every year but I swear it’s been hot and nasty about 6 straight weeks now.  Even Banjo! our beloved and mighty boxer dog doesn’t want to walk/run any more than two miles and that’s not doing much for our exercise regimen.

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