This week, we’re in the Mediterranean, meeting a reader who lives in Greece.
I gotta say, I am having so much fun learning about readers both from America and from all over the world. It’s endlessly interesting to get a peek into other people’s lives!
1. Tell us a little about yourself
Hello! My name is Efterpi and I live in a small apartment with a great view in Nafpaktos, a beautiful small town by the sea, west Greece.
I have 3 kiddos: an 8-year-old daughter and two boys, 6 and 3 years old! I work as a kindergarten teacher in a public school.
Our town has hidden beauties everywhere!
My hobbies are sewing, cooking, occasionally crocheting/crafting, and reading.
Almost all of our school snacks are homemade
I love frugality, productivity, organization, practical DIYs, and trying every day to become a better version of myself.
My small office with the sewing machine on it and on the left, my own version of the Sunday Basket.
I am also a blogger and I love writing about all the above in my blog!! You can check my blog “Koritsi Malama”.
(You can translate any content by tapping “Translate…” at the top right corner of your browser!)
2. How long have you been reading The Frugal Girl?
I really don’t remember, but I searched my e-mails and the older newsletter from you is from summer 2018, so definitely before then.
You have helped me in so many ways, especially in fighting food waste and I thank you for that!!!
3. How did you get interested in saving money?
I was interested in saving money for as long as I remember myself! It is written in my DNA I suppose!!
When I was about 11 years old, I organized a drawing exhibition at my home, where I was selling some of my best drawings to my classmates.
I also remember running to the couch, the moment my father was getting up from his nap and going back to work, only to collect the coins that fell from his pocket while sleeping!
The small, picturesque harbor of Nafpaktos
4. What’s the “why” behind your money-saving efforts?
I hate the idea of wasting money while I can avoid it! I feel accomplished and capable of doing the best for my family when being frugal.
The living room often becomes a craft center! The kids learn to make beautiful things with the odds and ends of craft supplies.
5. What’s your best frugal win?
My husband!! Seriously though, he is super frugal, but without making us feel deprived, he is the best budget maker AND provider, and super good at prioritizing our needs and wants! He enjoys my frugal efforts but never makes me feel bad about my frugal fails.
Also, our small apartment is a bargain!
My tiny kitchen serves all 5 of us
My apartment warms up in minutes, it is pretty cool in summer, it doesn’t allow us to bring a lot of stuff in and I can clean it quickly, so there’s less power and time consumption.
And the view? Totally free psychotherapy!
the view from my balcony
Although for many people it looks like we need to move into something bigger, I can see a lot of advantages to living in a small house.
A good reason to wake up early in my place!!!
6. What’s a dumb money mistake you’ve made?
Walks by the sea, since it is only 15 seconds away from our home
I bought too much baby girl stuff for my first kid! I mean, I could just buy unisex clothes, sheets, and curtains and use them again for my boys.
But you know… the first-time girl-mama went crazy!!!
7. What’s one thing you splurge on?
Quality grocery food!
The best pizza is the homemade one!
I prefer paying a bit more at the grocery store, in order to buy high quality milk, cheese, meet and products that I believe they are more nutritious and taste better.
Again, I definitely chase the discounts, but I always choose between the best quality products for feeding my family!
You can tell we really have a sweet tooth. But homemade sweets with discount ingredients are frugal, so no guilt!!
I also really love purchasing self-help books! Of course, I always try to buy them at a discount.
8. What’s one thing you aren’t remotely tempted to splurge on?
Accessories! I don’t wear jewelry (not practical at all, DYT type 3 here) except for a watch (extremely practical) and a necklace, which was a gift from when I was born!
I own one summer and one winter bag and enough second-handed scarves to keep me warm at winter.
I also have a pair of boots, sandals, heels, and sneakers. I buy something new only when something I already have wears out!
9. If $1000 was dropped into your lap today, what would you do with it?
I would buy a dishwasher (soon I hope!) and pay some of my taxes.
10. Share a frugal tip with other Frugal Girl readers
Think outside the box! Find your own ways to save money, even though your friends/relatives believe you are crazy or cheap!
Don’t be afraid to make different choices, to experiment and find what serves you best! Listen only to the people you have a common wallet with and prioritize with them!
11. Is there anything different about frugal living in Greece as compared to other countries?
Many, many things!!!
First of all, neither have we that great discounts at our grocery stores, nor so many coupons! We don’t have Aldi, just Lidl, which is also based in Germany, but I have to drive there, while the stores where I buy, deliver at home, so I save gas, time, and energy.
Fortunately, we have Ikea though!
If you look closer, you can see the Rio-Antirio bridge, which unites central Greece with south
Also, we don’t have Goodwill or anything like that! Thrift stores either are located in big cities and they are not popular here, so people are not familiar with them.
Imagine how few easy choices we have to donate stuff, especially in a small town like ours. Personally, when I want to donate, I send packages to organizations by post, which means I donate AND pay too!!!
Selling stuff is also something that the law is not clear about. You might be in trouble if you cannot provide a receipt for the money you received.
Another difference is that the clothesline is something essential for every Greek household.
My really big (often full) drying loft
Most months of the year we have pretty good weather for hanging clothes outside, so there are MANY households that don’t own a dryer.
(I do own one, because I make laundry literally every day and in winter I have no inside space to hang our clothes AND get them dry in time!)
Lastly, our local library is WAY less updated than what I see on yours and other American blogs.
We do a lot of family reading, so public library is pretty awesome for my kids!
We cannot find there most of the latest Greek books, so I have to purchase them. The good thing for me is that some publishers send me for free many of the latest books, because I review them in my blog.
So, blogging in Greece is frugal too.
Efterpi, thank you so much for participating, and especially for sending in so many photos; they really help me to get a sense of what your life is like in Greece.
And honestly, I kind of want to move to your town; it looks so lovely there.