My Frugal Life: Frugal Is Fun

Who knew being frugal could be so much fun? When I talk frugal, I'm NOT talking about being the cheap friend who never picks up a lunch tab. I'm talking about ways to not spend money on things that do not bring us pleasure - paper towels. Who gets a lot of joy out of buying paper towels? Saving money on the non-joy items provides us with more money to spend on the things we truly enjoy, such as a trip with our family, a good book, a great bottle of wine.


I read a great article awhile back in which the author essentially states that "Thrift is more about knowing what you cherish, then skipping the rest." So I embarked on a year-long journey of self-discovery and learning. Self-discovery for me because prior to 2010 I had a very nice disposable income and seldom, if ever, looked at the price of anything.

Learning is about taking bits of wisdom from all sorts of people from the hard-working mommy to the professional economist. I started small, experimenting with buying store-brand items - sometimes wasting money because the item I tried to save money on was, well, crap. As I grew braver I made some real changes - cut back on our television dish bill by eliminating channels we didn't really use. I learned that the clothes drier accounts for up to 12 percent of our electrical costs each month and bought a wooden clothes rack. I read where one can cut drier sheets in half and they are just as effective. Because I had found a good sale and had a coupon, I had stocked up on sheets, which I cut in half. I have a stack a foot high. Every time I look at it I have to laugh. I will never have to buy drier sheets again.


I replaced light bulbs, turned up the thermostat and only used the car air conditioning when I really needed it. But the big step was the landline. My husband and I have had the same phone number for more than 30 years. It's odd how one can become attached to - a NUMBER?! But since we both carry cell phones and the only people who ever call us on the landline is telemarketers and my mother-in-law, well, need I say more? So I canceled it. It was a big step. But with all the big changes I've made and all the little changes I continue to make we are saving more than $400 per month. Which we have been able to use taking a nice trip to visit our grandchild. Worth every penny!

By Gretchen from Mansfield, SD

July 31, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you for sharing that Gretchen. You are very graceful.

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August 1, 20100 found this helpful

"Thrift is more about knowing what you cherish, then skipping the rest." I so agree with you! I also disconnected my land line and no I do not miss it in fact my little apartment is a lot less noisy now that I do not have that intrusion. Thank you so much for sharing. May you be blessed and just love on that grandchild.

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August 2, 20100 found this helpful

Thanks for your inspiration and getting what you inevitably wanted, time with your family. One other thrifty suggestion: although you have a mountain of dryer sheets, the coating that gets on your linens and towels makes them less absorbent and also leaves a film on your dryer filter, that after it's buildup impacts the dryer itself unless it's washed off. Please check on this. Thanks again!

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