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My Frugal Life: How I Make Ends Meet

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A woman using a calculator to add up expenses.
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Every day I take the opportunity to look around my home and decide how I can make a difference in the cost it takes to make my household run. It can be as simple as turning off a light when someone else walks out and leaves it on, or it can mean taking that leftover mac and cheese and adding hamburger, onion powder, garlic, and some milk to make my own "Hamburger Helper".

I'm kind of old fashioned as well. I use dish towels instead of paper towels, hang the clothes on the line when it's nice, open a window instead of turning on the air conditioner, and always use cold water in my washer for laundry.

My shopping sprees consist of going to Goodwill, the Reuse/Recycle Center where everyone can get free items that have been taken there, or yard sales. I have yet to buy a new outfit; even from Walmart, LOL! I won't buy cookies or cakes, because I make those at home. Until we had the drought this past summer, I always canned my own garden produce; such as tomatoes, green beans, etc.

One of the funny sides to this essay is that, while there are "new" ideas coming out all the time on how to save money, time, or energy. I have been carrying out these same ideas for years and ask myself, "If I already do all of these things, what else is there to do to save?" I hope this has been helpful and I appreciate you taking the time to read it.

By katiedid from Laurel, IN

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By Elle01/01/2011

I feel the same way. Be a good steward of what you have. I often will take and recycle food. Steamed veggies are often put into soups, casseroles or for picky eaters pureed up and frozen into ice cube trays for some healthy flavoring into dishes they can't pick out. If something is getting ready to expire, I find a way to use it quickly, I don't want to lose it. Leftovers are always changed up and no one is the wiser.

By Anonymous [848]12/20/2010

I do many of the same things you mention here too. Big kudos to you! :-)

By sandy12/18/2010

I think many of us feel the same way. I came from a large family and our parents were from the depression era. We were taught to be frugal from an early age and "waste not: want not". My mother and grandmother baked desserts, bread and did their own canning. I learned a lot from them. The only thing we can do is our best with what we have. Erma Bombeck wrote a joke in the fifties that has been quoted a few times from her syndicated column. It goes something like this: " Where do I go from my meatloaf budget?" I think that sums it up for us. We all can just to the best we can.

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