31. learn to live frugally

A homemade picnic makes a very memorable, and frugal, date

Challenge #31 is…

Learn to live frugally. Living frugally means buying less, wanting less, and leaving less of a footprint on the earth. It’s directly related to simplicity. Here are 50 tips on how to live frugally.

Living frugally is a fine line to walk and one that I have been working on my entire adult life. You can go way overboard in either direction – turn into one of those crazed coupon clippers that buys junk they don’t actually need because it’s on sale, or be so cheap your friends can’t even invite you out to dinner because you’ll say ‘no’ it is too expensive.

Take for example my lovely grandmother: she buys the store brand oatmeal because it is 14 cents cheaper than the name brand that she actually likes the taste of. She’ll eat an entire box of cardboard-tasting oatmeal in lieu of the better tasting one merely to save pennies. Makes no sense to me, who are you really helping here?

I shop second hand *all* the time and I get a lot of compliments on what I wear. My rule to shopping second hand is that a) it must fit, b) for each item going into the house one goes out. I buy a trash bag of second hand garments for $40 and donate a trash bag of clothes that are no longer serving us.

Other ways in which I am frugal (and enjoy it!):

  • Making homemade gifts
  • Cooking and baking at home
  • Enjoying the great outdoors (way cheaper than being a mall or movie rat!)
  • Checking out books at the library before I consider purchasing them
  • Belong to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm & ranch (for the carnivore in the family) membership
  • Cooking in bulk, especially with friends!

I think there’s a nice balance for us and we get to set aside money and do things we really enjoy like traveling.

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5 thoughts on “31. learn to live frugally

  1. Heh, I am totally a “be so cheap your friends can’t even invite you out to dinner because you’ll say ‘no’ it is too expensive” type person *in the right circumstances*. I have some pretty well off friends, and their idea of a reasonable amount to spend on a night out is way higher than mine. In college, I’d go, order something small and nurse a glass of wine while they went overboard. Now I have a kid, so I have a good excuse 😉

    • It’s amazing how you can stretch your dollars at a spendy restaurant isn’t it Christa? I’m almost always a cheap date (not on purpose!): I don’t eat a lot of volume (always bringing home a to-go box), I like Reislings and Malbecs which are usually pretty middle-of-the-road on the wine price list, and I never have enough room for dessert by myself so we always share. Hehe.

      Ahhh! The kid card! lol. My girlfriends with bambinos make the best companions for a mid-week cup of joe or a cheap lunch date. It’s actually a bonus with my work schedule and I love that it is still ‘awake hours’ of the day and I can have a meaningful conversation without thinking of sleeping soon. 🙂

  2. I really like your post and feel similarly about the extremes of being too frugal or too wasteful. I believe in balance too and trying to make conscious choices about purchases and your lifestyle. I do need to use the library more as I am a bit of a book hoarder.

    • Thanks Natalie! I am a terrible book hoarder – which is why I’ve been hitting the library more and more these past few years. If I absolutely love a book I’ve checked out then I will look for it at the used bookstore, that’s another place I can spend hours at.

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