Ideas For Frugal Living [entries|friends|calendar]
Ideas For Frugal Living

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[29 Jul 2004|02:21pm]

[ mood | creative ]

One thing I love about the attempt to minimize spending $ is it forces me to be more creative. When I need something, I make myself look at what I already have and see if I can "make do" before running to a store to buy. This has led to many cool recipes. This morning? No blueberries for the muffins! But I had a few strawberries that were just a little too ripe to munch. Cubed they were a sweet addition to the muffins and even I liked them. :)

Cooking is an obvious and easy place to make substitutions. But it works well in other areas too. A quick herbal remedy can squeak us by till the pharmacy opens or sometimes heals us entirely. And cutting off and hemming pants that have gone in the knees instead of buying new shorts works too. Sometimes my solutions are just temporary fixes as I wait for a good sale but that still saves us money. ;)

Posting to myself again? :)

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I Hate Feeling Like I'm Posting to Myself... [28 Jul 2004|07:34pm]

[ mood | cheerful ]

but I feel like posting so here goes:

Thrift is not simply not spending money. We all spend money, we all have to spend money to live. Spending is not evil, over-spending is. For me, thrift means setting priorities; our mortgage is our highest financial priority right now, follwed by our car payment and the usual bills, food and gas for the car. We pay all of that stuff first. After all the nessesities are paid for then we spend something on our wants. Thrift means getting the most you can for your money. Like buying my kids all their scool clothes for less than $100 through judicious use of thrift shops, tag sales, trading with other moms and MAJOR sales at retail stores. Sometimes I fail to find everything they need before they need it and I am forced to pay full price. That hurts. But I shop sometime years ahead of what my kids need so this happens pretty rarely.

Just a few short years ago we did not do things this way. We didn't worry about our expenses, we just went out to dinner because all our friends were going. We bought really cool presents for all of our friend's birthdays, always had a bottle of wine on hand, beer, etc. We had fun, we were spontaneous. But it wasn't so much fun calling the utility companies to explain that we were going to be a little late... again, or our landlords, or the car loan people. It really sucked feeling like we were just getting by, just treading water but getting nowhere.

Two books helped us to change our habits and change our lives; "The Tightwad Gazette" and "Your Money or Your Life." I can't reccomend either book enough. They saved us financially, they really did. We still had to do the work, but the books were a great help in shifting our attitudes. If you are struggling financailly, and are desperate enought that something as radical as thrift is starting to sound reasonable... check them out at your local library post haste. :)

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Introduction [27 Jul 2004|07:03pm]

[ mood | curious ]

Hi. I am a student of thrift. This has been a nessesity in order for my family to survive, at times, and recently it has helped us to afford our own house on a limited budget.

We live in an expensive state, Massachusetts, and our income is pretty low for a family of five. We have still managed through thrift to get the house of our dreams. My husband works for an employer that doesn't pay very well. Many of his co-workers were shocked when we bought a house on just his income. They can't understand where we got the money to do this... these same people see my husband bring his lunch in every day, saving roughly $30/week that most of them spend to eat out. They also beleive that they could not survive without cable... we enjoy board games, RPGs, swimming, walking, reading, ... and we have time to do household projects since we gave up cable.

Sometimes my husband and I feel weird, like we are the only people who don't buy the over-priced school pictures for the kids, or the only ones who turn down invitations to go out with all our friends to restaurants and the like. These are things which we choose not to do so we can meet our nessesary expenses every month. We get everything we can secondhand. We shop tag sales and thrift stores for a good deal of what we need.

How about you?

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