I came from a family of 10 kids. With 12 people in the house, we had to be frugal - that's all we knew. My Mom, never bought anything that she couldn't make. She made fabulous meals that stretched with enough for leftovers. I never ate in a restaurant until I was 13 years old - and then my neighbor treated me. I never felt deprived - I thought that's how everybody lived.
Now in my married life, I'm still frugal. I stick the tail end of a bar of soap to the new bar so nothing is wasted. I cut the top off the toothpaste tube - still a couple of brushings left! I pull the plastic pour spout out of the laundry detergent, you'd be surprised how much is still left in those bottles that won't come out! I make all my own Christmas gifts. Best of all, I found the greatest 2nd hand store where I buy my clothes. I can get better things there for less!
Lovethosehounds from Port Charlotte, FL
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I really admire you and I have to say it is about time someone spoke up for big families and frugal living that happens in them. I too come from a big family. I am happy to hear how you have taken what you learned growing up and integrated it into your adult life, marriage, and family. I only hope to continue and honor my frugal family living as they have lived in my married life when I do get married someday like you have honored your family traditions.
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I do not use paper products, that is the biggest waste. I recycle my old white socks (washed in Clorox) as dish rags, to mop small areas, to clean up after my dog (and toss). I buy the cheap brand.
I keep old white towels (washed in Clorox) which become kitchen towels. I put them to work outside if they get too dingy. I use them to dry my dishes after they air dry on top.
I buffer all my soups with rice or noodles to make them last 3-4 days. I cook beans on Sunday, and then freeze half. The other half, I make into soup or refried for my tacos.
Isabel from South Texas
I think this is all fine as long as you're happy living that way. But I think you should pamper yourself some and give to someone in need. And I don't see anything wrong with what's you're doing.
Don't feel that this is a bad thing. What is good for your pocketbook is often good for the Earth as well. So you are being thrifty and "green" as well. Happy Earth Day!