I am very interested in new ways to be frugal. It's just sometimes I feel the urge to shop for more then I need. Shopping gives me this illusion of satisfaction. I want to get out of it. I want to adjust to the frugal lifestyle and to have a frugal attitude and mind-frame. Any suggestions?
By Krystal from Kenora, Ontario
I have only one major credit card that was becoming a problem so I locked it up in a safe deposit box. I have a set amount transferred from my checking to my saving account bi-weekly, but the problem was: I refuse to pay interest to the credit card company so when the statement came due and I didn't have the money in checking I'd transfer it every month to pay off the card. Sure I was saving, but I was defeating the purpose. I pay the bill online and don't get a paper statement. I thought I was being smart until I printed all this years statements. One month doesn't look like so much, but seeing 7 or 8 months worth of purchases is a different story. Now that that problem is solved (hopefully) I have to figure out the debit card problem. It's too convenient to use. I buy (and eat) when I'm stressed, lonely, and bored and that's often. I don't work, but I seldom ever stay home all day and that's where the spending comes in. Lately I've been staying home more and more. It's been strange and I'm having to relearn how to "just be" and occupy myself without running around and spending. I'm having to remind myself that purchasing from a thrift store is not frugal if I don't need the stuff in the first place. A lot of my spending is going overboard on my grandchildren. They are my weakness and I've decided it's got to stop. (08/28/2010)
When I get the urge to go shopping, I go to the thrift store. I limit myself to $5.00 and usually come home with something I can use or need. That seems to cure my urge to shop and I am not spending much money. I also am a coupon clipper, but steer clear of the coupons that require you to buy 2 items to use the coupon. Usually the store brand is cheaper than if you have to buy two. I also signed up for the online ads from Krogers and get them sent to me every week. Blessings.
My first suggestion is to make sure your living environment is free, clear, and uncluttered if you haven't already done so, start purging room by room. Make bins: Trash, Donate, Keep, and Sell (if you plan on having a yard sale). Don't keep anything you haven't used in a year. You should have lots more room in closets now, and if you do need to purchase items of clothing, (let's say you buy 2 shirts) then 2 shirts must be removed from your current wardrobe; in other words, what comes in must go out in equal amount.
Do you have friends or family or neighbors that you are close with and can "trade" items? We all get sick of things and trading objects (curtains, pictures for walls, accessories, household items, etc.) can be fun.
Make fresh veggies (and herbs like parsley) last longer by wrapping them in toweling paper and keeping in food storage bags, replace paper when it gets damp. Don't wash lettuce until you're ready to use it though. They will last a long time by doing this. Become familiar with crock pot recipes, it saves on using the stove and meals can be quite tasty! (09/01/2010)
Did you ever notice how every time you leave your house, you spend money? To save money stay home. If you end up with "cabin fever" leave your house only to take a walk around the block. It won't cost you money and you get some exercise for free. (09/01/2010)
In order to replace the "feel-good" lift you get from shopping for more than you need, you'll have to search for something to replace that temporary euphoria. Perhaps posting photos (in a place of your house you're in a lot) of vacations you'd like to take, gathering times with family or friends, or photos of charitable causes close to your heart will help you stay on track. Another idea is to keep a small notebook in your purse; jot down an item you'd really like to buy, but don't, then go back in two weeks or so to see if it's still available (and, hopefully, on sale!). If it's not there, just think that God didn't want you have it, and that He has something better in mind for you! Celebrate your successes when you're frugal and not spending on things you don't need or don't matter. When you "slip", just get back on track as soon as possible. You can do it. It just takes working a little bit each day toward changing your priorities. Good luck and God bless. (09/01/2010)
I use the 99 cent stores for my shopping fix. Also, when in most stores these days, I ask myself, do I really need this? Where will I store it? I put it down and walk around the store for a while, the urge to buy that item usually leaves. (09/01/2010)
Leave all your credit/debit cards at home, put the amount of cash you can afford, or wish to spend, and go shopping with the amount you have! (09/01/2010)
You might try "spring-cleaning" (or "fall-cleaning") your closet. Take things you haven't worn in over a year to your local consignment shop. (Be sure they're presentable and in good repair, of course.) In a few weeks, you'll receive a check for your consignment items. Just the act of cleaning out your closets may point up just how much you have that you really don't need. If not, shop till you drop, at a consignment or charitable thrift store. I like my local St Vincent de Paul thrift store. (09/02/2010)
I, too, like to shop so, like the other bloggers, I hit the Salvation Army, that way the money I spend will go to a good cause. Rummage sales are great. So is that $1.00 section at Target. I can buy stickie notes, small toys for my grandkids, flower seeds, etc. Being frugal should be fun, not a chore so shop for thinks you are sure you will use. (09/03/2010)
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