Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Frugal Life

Ever since I married Jon I became more and more aware of how much money I spent. How much money I wasted I should say. If there is one thing I love about my husband is his great financial leadership. Especially during this time in our lives when disposable income is nowhere to be found!

We have come to the conclusion that "I want" is not the same as "I need". Most people mix those two. Because if we wouldn't have seen those cute shoes in the catalog we wouldn't need them! Am I right?
Well, I hope you caught the sarcasm.

Now, seriously, the truth is we do NOT need most things that we buy. We can either go without (long or short term) or we can come up with a cheaper way to get things done. For example: I can either go to the spa and have my nails done for $25-35, or I can have some friends over and do each others nails for free! Maybe not be perfect, but it will be pretty darn close! Plus we get to hang out with people we love and know! Another example: summer is coming and you "need" a new skirt for the beach. You can either buy one at Anthropology or re-purpose an old t-shirt by adding a thick elastic, just like the thousands of ideas show on Pinterest.

The point is, if you are complaining about "not having enough money", stop and think where it is that you are spending too much, or any at all. What I have found is that if I can go one more week without _______, usually I really don't NEED it. And if I do, I either save money for it (NEVER use credit cards) or try to figure out a way to get it in a cheaper way.

Anyways, so much blah blah blah. Here are a few things that work for us/we don't mind going without/I do:

1. Make your own baby wipes.
2. Use vinegar, dish soap and baking soda for most cleaning needs.
3. We do not have cable TV. We have internet and watch one show a day.
4. Eat a lot of left overs. {I hate to throw away food!}
5. We only eat out for Valentines and Anniversary. {unless it's a special occasion besides romantic ones}
6. Make your own baby food. It's easy, healthy and last a lot longer!
7. Set thermostat on 65 and bundle up! {only the baby's room is at 70. WI is cold!}
8. Go grocery shopping only once {or twice occasionally} a month. This will force you to be a smart shopper so you don't have to go out again.
9. Take the bus when possible. We only have one car and husband rides the bus to school.
10.Make the whole 12 cups of coffee that your coffee maker allows you to. Making small amounts may cause you to use more coffee grains than you would otherwise. You can always reheat the left over and have it later.
11.Freezer meals!! A lot of work in one day, but saves you time and money later on!
12.Really, you don't need more than two swimsuits...especially if you live in the northern part of the country where winter lasts almost 6 months or you do not swim very often. So stop buying them!
13.However, when you do buy one, buy quality! (This applies to most things). Break things down to cost per use and you will notice your real savings in the long run.
14.Learn to sew. Seriously. For basic stuff, it is not that complicated. And you get to design things the way you want them!
15.Buy at garage sells, consignment stores and be open to hand-me-downs! Quality can be found this way too! many people like to get rid of perfectly good stuff.
16. Do dishes by hand. But if you use the dishwasher, wait until it's a full load.
17. Learn to knit. You could make your own washcloths out of old tees or leftover yarn.
18. Grow your own garden (indoor and outdoors)
19. I do my nails. Always. Only time I go to a spa is when I receive a Christmas gift for it!

Seriously, I could go on and on. Many of the things listed will save you money in more than one way. Just click on the links for a more detailed explanation of how to's, tutorials, and other saving tips.

How do you live the frugal life?
Please share with us what you have found helpful!


  1. We do go to the store weekly, but that's because we eat a lot of raw.

    I'm starting to make bread again and we make our own tortillas already. I can sew, but don't really like to.

    You have a great list here too btw.
    I'm visiting from Titus 2sdays.

    1. Hi! thanks for stopping by!

      That's great that you are making your own bread! I love homemade bread (or anything homemade for that matter!). I just decided to start making our own tortillas too. We go through a lot. DH loves his quesadillas!!

      What raw foods recipes are your favorites? I am from Peru and one famous dish is "ceviche". Most people who try it for the first time just fall in love with it! It is raw fish with sweet potatoes (cooked and squared), corn, onions and sea weed. To die for!