Sustainable Minimalism & Frugality with Stephanie Seferian – EP 266

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Frugality intersects with so many things but our personal trinity in the Frugal Friends are Frugality, Sustainability, and Minimalism. The convergence of this trinity not only talks about managing money but also the lifestyle we can aim for and aspire to. Join us as we do a deep dive with Stephanie Seferian about “the trinity” and how they align to live our best frugal life. 

The reality is that today’s IT item is tomorrow’s clutter.


  • Managing. Sounds cool when it’s part of your job title, but a little desperate when it’s a response to ‘Hey, how’s it going?’ Wherever you find yourself, whether being a boss and managing all the things or just ‘managing to get by,’ we’re glad you’re here. AND if managing is something you’re into,  you can manage your money WELL by putting some of that cash into a high-yield savings account like the one at CIT Bank, currently offering 3.25% APY.

Stephanie Seferian is a former teacher-turned full-time podcast host of The Sustainable Minimalists podcast. She’s also the author of Sustainable Minimalism and is an avid distance runner and a lover of fiction. Stephanie lives just outside of Boston with her two daughters, yellow Labrador Retriever, 10,000-ish bees, and husband who loves to compost almost as much as she does.

Choosing both a minimalist and sustainable lifestyle

Living in a small apartment with her husband, 3 pets, and an infant who received plenty of dresses and toys soon crowded their place. This clicked an ‘Aha!’ moment out of Stephanie, making her realize how all this excess would only end up in a landfill once it loses its life and purpose to them.  Sustainability, minimalism, and frugality, all complement each other. They’re sisters as they’re all rooted in reduction–reducing the amount you bring home so that you can live better with less. 

How minimalism and sustainability lifestyle saved Stephanie money

The term “eco-friendly” has become a marketing ploy to make you spend more on these products and services. If you dig a little bit deeper, purchasing these products may not be as efficient as you may think it was marketed to us. A sustainable, frugal, and minimalist lifestyle is rooted in not buying the new eco-friendly IT items, instead, it’s about buying less, borrowing more, and relying on your own skill set to make what you need. 

The first realistic steps to living more sustainably

Social media would always picture that the end goal of living sustainably is a tiny home with bare counters, white walls, and pristine living space but for Stephanie, it’s all about having your “Aha!” moment, reflecting on your wants, needs, expenses, and priorities. Decluttering is to really understand what it’s all about on a bone-deep level. 

Setting boundaries to adhere to a sustainable minimalist lifestyle

Always remember that you’re not perfect and even for Stephanie, it’s a constant juggling act. For instance, Stephanie does not buy all the things for her kids as she believes they do not need every toy for their existence. Having fences and a boundary line can show us the area we can play in. Being proactive instead of reactionary, looking ahead and staying two steps ahead as best you can. 

Something we've done in the pursuit of minimalism or sustainability (or both) that went horribly wrong and we've never do again

  • Stephanie: Safety razor! The reusable razor that you replace the blade on.
  • Jill: All kinds of feminine hygiene/care stuff…. what can even be said about menstrual cup, at-home yeast infection treatment, at home-DIY- bikini wax… yikes!
  • Jen: Recycling glass at the new house

Bill of The Week

Thank you Stephanie for sharing your bill about a win on cutting back on trash which reduces the number of trash pick-ups which then reduced the trash bill!

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening. Many of you know we have a private community where we do monthly money challenges and offer accountability groups. We want to congratulate one of our members for a big win.

I actively look for inexpensive or free events on Facebook. I basically keep my account for buy nothing groups and Facebook events 😆

Today I went to an event organized by local real estate agents. Everything was free but you had to bring a toy or food donation. We gave two toys I had planned to give to my daughters and changed my mind… they’re not going to miss them! They were happy to help other kids in needs. They both received slime, candies, hot chocolate, hamburgers, a pumpkin for free. There was a face-painting artist who did an amazing job too!

Then right after we went to a local u-pick farm who, in order to avoid food-waste, asked the public if they’d come pick up leftover veggies for senior homes and healthcare workers. You could keep as many veggies as you wanted as long as you were picking the same amount for the senior homes. I hadn’t gone grocery shopping so that was perfect timing! I came home with a huge bag of carrots, turnips and kale. 🥳

Congrats! If you want to check out our monthly challenge community head to to see what challenge we have coming up next.

And keep leaving us reviews on iTunes or Stitcher, and sending the screenshot to And don’t forget to share your favorite quote from the episode by using the hashtag #FrugalFriendsNote. 😉

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