My Frugal Life essays about saving money and living frugally.
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We live in an area where there are lots of trees and woodland critters. A large rat had taken up residence in my neighbor's yard had been killed. My son, who has a mischievous streak a mile wide, asked me if I needed pics for ThriftyFun.
We love books but our book collection required bookshelves which required wall space and that means more square footage, which meant a larger house. That larger house required larger payments for mortgage and taxes.
Being frugal is not all about saving money. It is a discipline lifestyle, at least for me. Growing up with a single parent, I know the struggles my mother had putting clothes on our backs and food on the table. I too became a single mother.
I found my true calling. I know how to save a buck or lest try. As soon as I finish this post, I will be going to get my Sunday papers and look through the coupons, sales and ads.
Times are definitely tough for many of us and there is little or no cash for treats and little luxuries. At our house to make belt tightening a bit more fun, we have invented a game; "Good to the Last Drop".
Growing up, I had two cousins who lived across the street from me. They were sisters. One was bigger and the other was smaller than me. The clothes went from my cousin to me, then back to the younger cousin. This went on for years.
I love saving money. I love shopping. I love living the good life. Sometimes those worlds collide with each other. I wonder if the occasional going out or buying something with a coupon or on sale, makes me a frugal fraud.
Do you have the same problem? "Buy one get one free" deals at the grocer sounds great but not if the produce goes to waste! A whole watermelon is tempting but then, since there are only two of us, it doesn't get completely eaten and is thrown out.
I am a frugal woman. The joke around here is that I can squeeze a buffalo nickle until it potties. There are a few things I choose not to cut corners with.
The Gautama Buddha, over 25 centuries ago, commended frugality. As an example, he taught the first monks and nuns to make their robes from "pure cloth" that is cloth that no one wanted.
Spring is here and so comes the traditional spring cleaning. This year, due to my retirement, I really have the time to do a thorough cleaning of closets and cupboards. I've been discovering long lost "treasures" and duplicate grocery items.
I try very hard to be creative when giving gifts to friends and family, giving thought to their likes and dislikes, or what may be age appropriate. Having a limited retirement income means I need to be mindful of my pennies, so I do as many people do.
This is by no means a medical advice story or something that anyone else has to do. It's simply tips I have used to make my life easier and it might work for anyone who is interested in trying them.
Through the course of adopting a frugal lifestyle I have discovered that frugality has not only helped me become more flexible, it has shown me that flexibility must reign supreme over routine when saving money is the goal.
Where I grew up life was tough. Even as children, we had long days of working, helping in the garden and in the kitchen. I assumed this was just how it was.
If you are using a limited budget as an excuse for not adopting healthy living habits, these tips will make that excuse invalid. Taking care of yourself should be a priority regardless of your financial situation.
Back in 1985, my father claimed that at the head of every giant corporation, in the hand of every international banker, in the stomach of every commodity pit trader lives the spirit of an old miser.
I love ThriftyFun. It IS fun! I was learning to be frugal before frugal was even a word! I don't even remember hearing the word "thrifty." We just did it! My dad grew up in the depression so we heard a lot of those stories.
I have always tried to live a frugal lifestyle. Sometimes that frugality was a matter of choice and sometimes living frugally was a necessity rather than an option. This year has been one where frugality was a necessity, not just for me but for many people.
My thoughts run back through the years to Christmas past, when I was small and Grandma was still around. It was always Christmas at her house, a ramshackle farmhouse with mice in the walls that she used to tell me were fairies working for Santa.
My husband is a long haul trucker and more often than not will not get home for Christmas until late Christmas Eve night and will have to leave again early on the 26th.
I still live in the same house I did when my first child was born. That was 37 years ago. What does that have to do with anything? Well, at first it wasn't intentional; staying here I mean.
Once upon a Christmas time in a little college town there lived college couple with a baby son. In between classes and jobs and studying late, they had bought gifts for parents, sisters, brothers and baby too, of course.
The Christmas season seems to stretch many people's budget even tighter than it is already stretched. One way that I have reduced holiday expenses and the cost of future holiday decorating is by learning to be more crafty, more frugal, and more creative with decorating.
Being frugal has a long history for me and I owe it all to my Mother and Grandmother for setting the ground work. My Mother became a single mother of three young children when my father left and never paid support.
"Hey, Bob, look!" I said as we neared a bus stop in my neighborhood. "Now why would anyone want to do that?" he grumbled, outraged at the eyesore we'd just driven past, a gang of abandoned shopping carts.
When I look at some of the great pleasures of my life, I find that most of them are free - or very nearly so.
I have been working since I was 15 years old and I am now 51. Knowing how to stretch a dollar is a lesson I learned early. My older sister was a seamstress and she taught me how to sew.
My husband and I had very different childhoods. He grew up in inner city St. Louis while I was raised deep in a rural Alabama valley. We do, however, share one common thread. We both grew up poor.
I love eating out. NOW WAIT! I can feel all you extreme savers and frugalites throwing stones at me. Please, please, please restrain and let me explain.
I have found it helpful, thriftily-speaking, to take a look at all the necessary things in my life and make a list of those that I just can't scrimp on.
I have been frugal all my life. Thrift shop, giveaways, and garage sales have been as much a part of my life as breathing. In my early years it was out of necessity.
I had always been someone who spent too much on things we just didn't need. I would buy on impulse, and shopped until I dropped. About 6 months ago, I saw a video on YouTube about couponing in Canada, and decided to try it out.
My author father liked to use examples from third-world countries to teach personal money management. He pointed out that the savings could grow enough to buy a boat for fishing and traveling, or become an investment in a local business.
I used to be proud of being spontaneous, of living on a whim. Now that I can no longer afford to have anything I want at the moment that I want it, I have come to savor the far deeper pleasure of expectation, of waiting for something and looking forward to it.
I recently heard a report about money and finance. Lay away isn't a good idea. The fact is you save money, by not paying the fees, and risking losing the items you have paid on by being late.
The most important economic development in my family was when my husband (after 34 years of marriage) converted from being a spendthrift to a saver.
Even if you have spent years living a frugal lifestyle in order to save for your retirement years, a change in income might make it necessary for you to pinch pennies a little tighter than you anticipated following retirement.
I learned that the Goodwill is changing their marketing strategies due to the availability of new goods coming off shelves of failing/going out-of-business/bankrupt stores. I have found a plethora of NEW in-the-box with-the-manual items at tremendously low prices.
My father shared the title of his self published book "The Miser's Muniment." In the mid eighties, with freewheeling credit within the reach of practically everyone, hardly anyone was interested in reading about misers.
Remember the satisfaction you felt at being able to extract that last bit of toothpaste or shampoo or cold cream? Remember how long it took? Each day you thought there couldn't possibly be anything left in that tube, bottle, or jar, but there always was.
I make it a habit of being open to food-shopping deals whenever I go anywhere. Today I stopped in at an independent dollar store, where I found a quart of lemon juice at 2/$1.00. That'll last a good long time.
We are frugal not because it is stylish or in style. My husband and I are frugal because he works on a cotton farm and makes very little money, and I am on disability, a fixed income.
I have found that frugal living requires many of the same tactics and disciplines as dieting to lose weight or dieting to improve your health. I found it very helpful to pull ideas from standard dieting plans to assist me with my financial diet.
"Hey, Lady! What are you looking for?" asked the driver. "A penny," said I from the pavement next to him. "It's sort of a game I'm playing, and I need to find the penny myself. You know (I lied), for luck."
There are many different mystery shop companies online and the benefits are numerous. Although you certainly won't get rich doing shops, it is a great way to save money.
As odd as it may seem, just the act of writing down a budget can have an adverse or possibly even reverse affect on your attempt to save money. Have you ever decided to go on a diet and immediately began craving something sweet?
In my small community there are many traditions including having enough food for people that visited around a meal time. It was important to feed them, so this was done by taking out a few more things than was needed for our family.
This has been an interesting end to summer. It is not winding down in a quiet way, as it normally does, we are getting a new roof, and I will be happy to see it. We are ready for a new season!
At the young age of five years at the time, my daughter was a very bright, intelligent, helpful and energetic young "woman", as she would laughingly tell it today at age thirty five.
Manufacturers are so good at persuading us that we HAVE to have their products that it's difficult not to end up buying all sorts of things that we really don't need.
Growing up, I was always taught not to hoard. Donate or throw away what you don't use. On the other hand, I learned to buy good once, reuse and be creative, and you never do without.
I have been honing my frugal skills every since I left college, years ago. My first frugal research started with an old book entitled "How to Save on Everything", written in the late 40s. It had all sorts of interesting ways to reuse, remake, and recycle.
I've been thinking a lot about the world and the terrible state we are in. One thing I've been thinking is that we would all be a lot better off if we didn't say "someone ought to do something" and said "I'm going to do something" instead.
In the difficult financial times that many of us have found ourselves in over the past few years, giving up two well paid and secure jobs to take up one reasonably paid one in a new start up company in another country may seem a pretty strange proposition to put forward.
I have been frugal all my life. When I was young, it was called "living country". You saved everything and found another use for it. To this day, I don't know if we would have been considered working poor or not.
As a single mother on a dotted budget line, I have learned how to provide for my family on very little.
The benefits of composting are many, such as free vegetables, healthy flowers, and the joy of knowing you are removing garbage from landfills.
When my husband and I first married, I didn't have any real sense about saving and/or spending wisely. I allowed my husband to assume control over finances because of his excellent upbringing.
I decided to write another post to help others out since my first post was a success. I want to share my opinion on stuff that works for me.
We should try to make thrifty not just doing with less, or spending less, but also thinking how to be globally responsible. You know, rags rather than paper towels, cloth napkins not paper, using a drying rack or clothes line instead of our very wasteful dryers.
I live on a tight budget. My family doesn't have much money, but I manage to stretch the money we do have in some creative ways that enable us to pay our bills, take care of all our needs, and still have some fun.
How do I make my money stretch? I buy used as much as I can. Garage sales, thrift shops and www.craigslist.org are my go to places for everything. I purchase most non-food items from thrift shops.
It is back to school for millions of children. I see my grandchildren entering into education. I have to call my daughter to take a picture of my grandson as he enters his first day of school.
I recently went to a couple of Coupon Classes locally, my brother's wife was very interested. I wrote down a few things that I learned and then after reading it a few times decided I should share what I learned.
Oh, but it's getting ugly around here. I am speaking of my garden of course. For one thing, about this time I lose interest in it. The magic of watching the plants grow, then blossom and put on their colorful array of tasty treasures for us to enjoy is long past.