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Frugality is not about being cheap

February 6, 2008

Frugality is not about being cheap.  Although you may hear a lot of people say that someone is acting cheap, their wallet screams when it opens, et cetera, et cetra, frugality is about using what you have to make the most of it to achieve your goals.  I want a house.  I mean, I really want a house.  I’ve been wanting a house for the past four years.  I am a patient woman, very patient.  My husband is very conserative with regard to stocks and the real estate market.  So we’ve been renting, for a long time.  Regardless, here are some of the things that I do that allow me both to stay at home with my kids and afford us the lifestyle which we lead.  Our lifestyle is very basic but we do strive to eat organic fruits, vegetables, and grains, and grass fed animals.  I may not have the latest clothes or purses or car (ours are all paid for!), but I do have a decent savings account, unlike most Americans.

In your home:

  1. Use vinegar and water to clean most everything, readily available at most stores is BarKeeper’s Friend which is cheap and effective where vinegar and water won’t accomplish the task.
  2. Use cloth instead of paper.  Buy/make/rescue some washcloths, cloth napkins, table linens, and dish towels.  A bit of a stretch for most, but my daughter and I use baby washcloths instead of toliet paper and then throw them in with my son’s dirty cloth diaper loads.  Use mama pads, I love the ones from Peggy, the hemp and organic cotton winged ones are fabulous.

In the kitchen:

  1. Buy bulk.  You can buy almost anything you use in your kitchen in bulk.  Specifically, canned goods, grains, beans, dried fruit, and flours of many kinds.  You may think that you don’t have room to store such things, but we store ours in the fridge.  We go through tons of fresh produce as I shop weekly, but we still always have space for the dried goods.
  2. Run your dishwasher only when it’s full and try to fill it to the brim.  Everything will still come clean, my mother-in-law taught me that and I thought she was strange at first for the jammed up dishwasher she has.
  3. Keep a mental tally of the things in your cupboard, as you don’t want to tie up money on things that you have multiples of and try to monthly do a pantry challenge where you try to use up your odds and ends.
  4. Buy your meat in bulk and repackage it.  If you can’t or don’t want to do this, try to find a local producer of grass fed animals, and they usually package their meats in 1-2 pound packages for you.  Costco is now carrying some grass fed beef, last time I went in.

With your kids:

  1. Used won’t kill them.  Your kid is just as happy to play with a used toy as a new one.  Just make sure you check for mildew in certain toys (like bath toys) or outside toys.  You can find them significantly cheaper and extend your budget.  Used clothes also let you see how the clothing will wear and how well it’s made.  (This goes for parental clothing too.)
  2. Cloth diaper.  It’s cheap and easy.  Really.
  3. Expensive classes.  Honestly, they’re kids.  They want to play and they do absorb a lot of things from their surrounding environment, but they probably don’t need to go to 15 classes a week and get bombarded with all sorts of things so that they’ll succeed in college 15 years from now.

That’s all for now.  I need to go clean………………..

We already ate all the snacky balls….hehe.


One Comment leave one →
  1. January 4, 2010 11:12 am

    Thanks for discuss this. Great blog posting on your site. I was checking your posting and I have bookmark your blog done.

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