Frugal Living Interview

Garen Daly

Garen Daly and Louise Reilly Sacco of The Frugal Yankee are all about enjoying life and spending less. They explore ways of incorporating traditional Yankee thrift into a modern lifestyle and share their ideas via pod casts and radio broadcasts. Garen is with us today to tell us a little bit about their philosophy on frugal living.

1. Hi Garen! Thank you for sharing a bit of your time with us today! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and Louise and your blog, Frugal Yankee?

Both Louise & I come from large families where stretching a penny was a necessity. Louise was the city mouse, I was the country mouse, so although we love frugality our perspectives are different.

Here is Louise's bio sketch:

LOUISE REILLY SACCO is a Bostonian, the oldest of 7 children. She insists that her frugal mother could feed all 9 with a pound of potatoes and a hint of hamburger. Being smart and thrifty is as natural as loving the Red Sox.

Louise was a marketing consultant to small businesses and has worked with emerging companies from Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the UK. All the time making a big impact with the tiniest expenditure. It's that smart and thrifty thing again.

She's been on some non-profit Boards, but her real fame comes from being one of the founders (and the present Permanent Acting Interim Executive Director) of the Museum of Bad Art.

and mine:

GAREN DALY grew up in a small New England town with 9 siblings. With so many kids, saving a penny was more than a hobby, it was a necessity.

His entertainment roots stretch back 100 years to Vaudevillian grandparents and he has been a distinctive New England voice. Garen is a regular on NE Cable News' GOOD MORNING LIVE and on New Hampshire Public Radio. He has been on WBUR's "On Point", WRKO's Daytime Divas Show, and WRNI (Providence), and INSIDE TRACK on WTKK radio. For the entire run of WB IN THE MORNING on Channel 56, he was the movie reviewer.

In his spare time he produces the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival, dabbles in New England history, pulls weeds from his garden, climbs the White Mountains and still marvels at how great beer tastes.

2. Can you explain the difference between being "frugal" and being "cheap"?

Cheap is saving money for savings sakes. It is short sighted and sometimes, mean spirited. Frugal is about not wasting money, finding value and understanding it is your money first. Use it wisely. For over 40 years, we have been bombarded that spending or consuming was satisfying. It isn't. Frugality is something our forebears practiced. It was useful and smart. Frugality today is re-discovering that value, but with today's technology and sensibilities.

You will find that many of the money-saving tricks that middle class and median-income families can use to significantly cut back on expenses are more long-term decisions rather than short-term ones.

3. Do you think that the economic downturn of the past year has resulted in more people looking for frugal solutions?

Absolutely. The Recession Generation has been impacted. In conversations with people from Harvard professors to college students, the 'frugal' demographic has grown to about 65% of all consumers, and most will stay that way. BTW a blog on THE RECESSION GENERATION will be issued within 10 days.

4. You have a radio show that airs in the New England area; is the show available to others that don't live in that part of the country?

The show airs live in New England. It can be streamed on the internet live at We also turn either the show or specific segments into podcast. We have over 400 pod casts.

5. Is Frugal Yankee a full-time job for the two of you, or is it a side-line that you do in addition to other work?

The Frugal Yankee is our first love, but I am also a film professional. I review films for NE Cable News, host THE GAREN DALY SHOW and I am a regular contributor to NH Public Radio and other outlets. I also produce film festivals.

Louise is accomplished in many areas, but one of her great loves is the Boston Red Sox where she has been a fan photographer for the past three seasons.

6. Your site is so comprehensive - you cover just about every topic imaginable! I love how you bring everything around to the underlying idea of living better on less. What are your favorite topics to report on?

For me personally, I love those tips that are common sensical and rooted in New England thrift. For example, I love old fashioned cast iron skillets. Well cured ones are as good as anything you can buy these days, but cleaning them in the regular way will ruin the 'cure'. The solution, use salt and a scrubber. It's that easy, inexpensive and it works like a charm.

7. Thanks again for joining us today. Are there any last words of advice that you would like to share with our readers?

A Frugal Yankee can live anywhere, not just New England. The concept of finding value and being thrifty is what our ancestors did to survive and then thrive. Today, these values are more important than ever. We love to share our ideas and those of others. The frugal community transcends age, politics or region.

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