I think anyone living on this earth should be at least somewhat frugal, but not be too extreme. The book of Genesis in the Bible tells us we have been freely given goods from God, and we should obviously use them wisely. However, I also feel it's possible to be TOO frugal, and either make things a god, or sacrifice time, which is a negative tradeoff. This can cause stress in our lives and gives us wrong priorities. The bottom line is that, Yes: we should live frugally, but No: we should not become slaves to a frugal lifestyle to the point where life becomes "I have to." There's a delicate balance!
As my mom said, "Your time is worth something, too." Before I engage in any frugal endeavor, I ask myself, "Will it be worth the time?" This can expand to "Could I find a substitute in the dollar store or the discount aisle that would work just as well and also save me time?"
For example, we all know there are numerous home recipes for cleaning products. We can keep them simple and use things like vinegar and baking soda, OR you might be lucky enough to find a comparable cleaner in the store (preferably without chemicals) for a dollar or so, which is all ready to be used. Time is definitely a factor to be considered in frugal living!
It's important, I think, to try to keep frugal living as simple as possible. I'd mentioned vinegar and baking soda, which can be used in numerous ways. I try to buy in bulk when I can; the bigger the containers, the better. This really can save money, if you use the product often enough. The less clutter and "extras", including things used in frugal recipes, the better we feel in our homes.
Thrift stores, rummage sales, and garage sales can be gold mines. I've come across hobby items, large pots for container gardening, cheap plants, and even brand new items still in the boxes (great for gifts!). I've bought things like a microwavable potato chip tray, a crepe baker, and mini donut molds, all for next to nothing. Some I've been pleased with; some I've resold or donated to the thrift store. I know I wouldn't buy such things brand new, but frugal living has taught me it's not all about just saving money, but enjoying what we have (or find!) and sharing with others. It allows us to sample and savor more of life's little enjoyments and the simpler pleasures. It reminds us that life is not all about money. Frugal living should be simple and uncomplicated, and never cause us stress.
Helen from Belle Plaine, MN
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Even though some things take a lot more time, there are several things that I enjoy doing: quilting, crocheting, sewing and mending, canning foods, to name a few. Yes, I can get a blanket quicker and cheaper than quilting one, but the creativity of making something with my hands gives a sense of accomplishment.
I think we need to say that something that is time consuming to one person may meet another's needs. Something that may seem too extreme to a lot of people may be the thing that gets another's family by. We all do what we can, what we choose to, what we know how to do, and what we think is important to our specific family. I really think that it is important not to judge what another chooses to do.
You make some good points and I agree with you.I think we as so called 'western countries' use SO much of the worlds precious resources every day in our daily activities. That we each owe the planet many 'repair' points.
You DO save $ by trying to do things yourself - but if it's too much of a hassle - then consider farming the task out.
I don't remember where I read this, but it created a great "aha" moment in my life.
"You don't pay for things with money, you pay for them with time.
Translate the dollar value of a house, car or anything else into time and then see if it is still worth it.
Sometimes you can't do what you want and have what you want at the same time because each requires a different expenditure of time.
The phrase "Spending your Time" is not a metaphor. It is how life works."
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