Frugal Living and Loving It! 10 Simple Tips to Help You Save
Rowdy Kitten lady gets it!
I love frugal living. I know that’s an odd statement, but it’s true for me. Living simply and with less resonates with my soul, it helps me focus on the important things in life. If we had a family battle cry it would sound something like this, “What’s important? PEOPLE! What are we getting rid of? STUFF!” I like to think of myself as a frugal ninja.
Not everyone in my household shares my less is more philosophy. My husband adores technology and likes to be on the ground floor of anything Apple creates and my 12 year old daughter seems to feel happiest when she has a lot of stuff piled in the middle of her room, but they are slowly coming around. And as employment situations change for us I suspect that my husband will start celebrating that he's married someone who actually revels in making do with less.
So as we prepare to live on a lot less, I am sharing with you ten frugal living tips that I plan on using to help us get through this hard time.
I’m holding my first ever swap meet at my home in a few weeks and plan on writing a hub about it after. 10 friends bring 10 things and then we swap. We are focusing on women and children’s clothing, books, kitchen items etc. Anything that doesn’t get grabbed will be donated to a woman’s shelter.
It falls in line with swapping, I will be bartering with goods and services instead of using money. I have already brokered a few deals. My daughter’s music teacher is willing to take babysitting in lieu of payment and I have some fitness equipment that is gathering dust that someone is willing to accept in lieu of payment for some house repairs.
As grownups, we’ve forgotten the importance of sharing. We seem to think we all need to own two cars, the latest gaming system, fancy clothes and everything else under the sun. Well I’m opening up our share circle in the hopes that others will do the same. We have a tent trailer and I am offering it to friends and family this summer. In the next few weeks I will need a fancy outfit to wear to an event. Instead of buying one I am asking a well dressed friend to borrow an outfit. Share what you have and it will flow back to you.
4. Less Meat
In my younger days I was a happy vegetarian and then I married a total carnivore and adopted three total carnivores for children and I’ve slipped back into my meat habit myself. Well now it’s time to break out the vegetarian cookbooks. Meat is expensive, beans and tofu are not. We’ll be dropping down to three meat meals a week. We’ll be helping our pocket book, our health and our planet.
I am preparing to grow as much of our own food as possible. I am a newbie at this so I’m expecting a lot of trial and error, but I have a few neighbors who are willing to share some of their gardening tips so long as I share some of the produce.
Going out is not going to be an option for us for a while, but that doesn’t mean we can’t socialize. Potlucks are a wonderful way to spend time with friends and family and then you can divvy up the leftovers.
7. Turn off the TV
My husband is a sports nut, but he’ll have to catch the highlights online or at a buddy’s house. Not only are we taking a hiatus from our satellite TV, we’re unplugging the darn thing. It’s massive and sucks up energy even when it’s not turned on. Phantom power no more.
8. Goodbye Landline
I am not sure why we still have this, but it’s hitting the bricks too. We both have cell phones; if the power goes out we’ll plug them into the car or run across the street and use our 80 year old neighbors phone.
We already have dropped down to one vehicle, and now I’m carpooling to work as well. With the cost of gas being what it is, sharing the cost just makes sense.
This could be me, I want to be ready
10. Secondhand, Thrift Stores, Garage Sales
Kids need a ridiculous amount of stuff. They are constantly growing and/or destroying things. Argghh! Fortunately I adore thrift stores and garage sales. Last year we found skates for all three girls and a bike in great condition for one of the twins all for under $50. New doesn’t mean better, it just means more money.
I like to think living through these lean times is teaching my kids lifetime survival skills. My mom always told me that the best insurance in life is living through difficult times so you know you can do it. And as I face a household income about to drop by 2/3 with a smile on my face and plan in place, I know she was right. How do you cut costs when the going gets tough?