Practical Guide to Thrifty Living
Thrifty Living - You Can Do It!
I bought a home and raised two children as a single mother on a fixed income in a tight economy. I will help you can meet your financial goals with less money!
Thrifty living is becoming essential in today's bad economy. It's best to learn to live frugally before it becomes a necessity. Losing a job, loss of a spouse, unexpected expenses, health problems and other complications of life can drain our bank accounts. If you know how to live in a thrifty way, it is easier to weather the crisis. I'll share with you my tips and what I've learned about thrifty living. You can save money by doing things yourself!
My Experience With Thrifty Living
How I Became an Expert on Saving Money
I became the queen of thrifty living after becoming a single mom eight years ago. One day I was living a comfortable life as a wife and mother, thinking my marriage and lifestyle were secure. The next day I was unexpectedly alone with two little girls, no job and no prospects. This was not by choice, but it was reality and I had to find a way to deal with it.
After a lot of trial and error, many months of running out of money long before the next payday, I began developing a system and learned a few things along the way. For the past 8 years, I have raised my children as a single mom. It has not been easy. In fact, it has been pretty challenging. We have made many sacrifices, because as I have learned, it is all about where you put your priorities.
Although we have made sacrifices in some areas, we have also accomplished a lot, including buying a small home in a modest, but tidy neighborhood. My older daughter has graduated from high school, where she participated in varsity sports and other extra-curricular activities. My younger daughter has many special needs, but is gifted in music. I have been able to provide music lessons for her, and hopefully this will be a way for her to create some income in her adulthood.
I do not use a credit card. I drive a vehicle that is 12 years old but I also have no car payment and my insurance is cheap. I have no cell phone. We have basic cable, only because we live in an area with a lot of severe weather in the spring and summer and I like to be able to keep an eye on that. We rarely eat out. I can count on one hand the number of times we have gone to the mall in the past 8 years. We are careful with our expenses so that we can afford those things that are most important to us and provide the most security for us in the future.
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Thrifty Living - My Articles
My Thrifty Living Facebook Page
If you would like to follow this topic, click through and like my Thrity Living Facebook Page. I will keep you updated on all sorts of topics related to thriftiness and saving money. Join us as we explore ways to live within our means!
- Frischy's Thrifty Living Facebook Page
A facebook page for learning more ways to save money and live within our means.
My backyard chickens help me save money
Frischy's Tips for Thrifty Living
1. Decide what is important and put your resources toward those things. - Don't blow your time, money & personal energy on the less important things and miss the essentials.
2. Always, always, always pay the mortgage (or rent) first! - Everything else can be juggled, but you have to have a place to live.
3. Ben Franklin was right, a penny saved IS a penny earned. - Hanging onto your money is the same as earning more.
4. Modern living is expensive. - Doing things in old-fashioned ways can save good old- fashioned dollars.
5. Networking is essential so don't try to do this alone. - You need other people and other people need you.
6. The little things add up. - You can nickel and dime your way to the poorhouse or to a secure future.
Thrifty Living - Advice from Others
Thrift is Knowing When to Make Things Yourself VS Buying In a Store
Tess Vigeland's family needed to save money and eat healthier, so they decided to go a year without eating processed foods. Instead, they made everything themselves, while Vigeland kept account of all expenditures. She learned that some things are more cost effective to buy the in store, while other things will cost less if you make them yourself.
At the end of the year, she wrote a book recounting her family's experiences and comparing the costs of making things yourself versus buying them in the store. The result is Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, her new book which can help your family make ends meet as well.
- Make the Bread, Buy the Butter | Marketplace Public Radio
A radio interview with Tess Vigeland, the author of Make the Bread, Buy the Butter.
Make the Bread, Buy the Butter
You can buy this handy guide right here, read about the Vigelands' experiment in thrifty living, and learn from both their successes and failures. This book will help you avoid reinventing the wheel and avoid costly mistakes.
Thrifty Living Videos
Meet America's Cheapest Family! This family of 7, practices thrifty living and has paid off their house on about $35,000 a year. In these videos they tell you how.
These videos are a few years old, but the principles still apply. Check them out and then let me know what you think in the comments section!
- America's Cheapest Family
Steve and Annette Economides are NY Times best selling authors and speakers. We’ve created this web site to encourage you through any financial struggles you might experience. If frugality isn’t new to you, you’ll still be able to glean some money sa
Save Money on Groceries - Thrifty shopping tips!
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Today I made a trip to my favorite bread store. I bought two loaves of the whole grain white bread my daughter likes. One reason I love this bread store is that this bread is 2 loaves for a dollar here, and the same bread costs $2.59 a loaf at our neighborhood Kroger.
I always check the expiration dates, and picked up two loaves that expire three days from now. I took them home and as I was putting them in the freezer I noticed one was quite a bit smaller than the other one. First I thought I had purchased the wrong kind of bread. Then I noticed a label on the smaller loaf that said, "New 16 oz.!"
The manufacturer had reduced the size of the loaf from 20 ounces to 16 ounces. That is a difference of 20%!
I wish I had paid closer attention. Soon all the loaves will be 16 ounces and I will not have a choice. I will pay the same price for less bread.
Shop Carefully at the Grocery Store to Save More Money
More thrifty shopping tips!
During this recession, many manufacturers are cutting costs by selling us food and other items in smaller packages for the same (or more) money. At my grocery store, often the old packaging with more items will go on clearance as they make the transition.
These items might be located in a clearance bin, but more likely they remain on the shelf with a "close out" or "discontinued" tag. At these times I have stocked up on items I buy regularly.
To save money, I do not purchase items my family does not need or will not use. I believe doing so is wrong for two reasons. First of all, it takes money I need to spend on my family to purchase unneeded items that will go into some sort of "storage." This is true even if the unneeded item only costs a few cents due to extreme couponing. Secondly, it removes the item from the shelf that could have been purchased at a lower cost by a family that needed it.
I guess this should go without saying, but with the current trend of extreme couponing, I felt the need to mention it. I have found that I often spend more money when couponing due to buying unneeded items. So watch for items that are getting ready to change packaging and stock up if it is an item you buy regularly. Use caution if you think it is something you might use, because often these are the kind of so-called bargains that end up sitting on the pantry shelf until they pass their expiration dates.
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Freebies for Thrifty Living
One way to save money is by signing up for free offers. Be careful with this. Only sign up for items you are sure you are going to use, or this can result in a clutter problem.
- Gotta Haves & Freebies
Primarily health and beauty freebies.
More Books about Thrifty Living
Thrifty Living: Save Money on Utilities
Groceries and utilities are the two main areas where a family can cut back and realize some immediate savings. I try to really slash my utility bills in the summer months by using my air conditioning as little as possible. My rule of thumb is that I do not use the air conditioning unless it is over 90 degrees outside and/or over 85 degrees inside the house. My house has pretty good insulation (although I still have the original windows on my 1950s ranch with aluminum storm windows) and this helps. The main reason I am able to do this is because of my whole house fan.
I get up early in the morning, open the doors and windows, turn on the fan, and let the house cool off while I get my daily caffeine fix and check facebook. After the sun comes up, things start heating up. At that point I turn off the fan. I may choose to leave the house open to fresh air, or not, depending on how quickly things are heating up and how hot it is expected to get. During a heat wave I go ahead and close the house up. At this point I turn on the air conditioning, but I set the thermostat to a point above 75. If the house is cool enough, the doors and windows are closed and the windows on the east side of the house are covered, it will be a few hours before the air comes on.
I always shut the blinds and/or curtains from the sun throughout the day. This cuts down on solar heating entering the house.
I keep an eye on the thermometer in the evening as well. If the outdoor temperature drops below the indoor temperature, I turn off the air conditioning, open the house and turn on the fan. It pulls in the cool night air for a lot less money than it costs to run the air conditioner.
My summer utility bills, which includes electricity and gas to fuel my hot water heater, generally run around $60.00 but it is not unusual for me to get a $45.00 utility bill early in the summer. My lowest bill so far as been $25.00, when I did not use the air conditioning or my electric clothes dryer at all.
I will share more at a later date about how to lower your utility bills. In the meantime, consider installing a whole house fan like this one.
My whole house fan is probably my biggest money saving device I have. This will save you hundreds of dollars in air conditioning costs, and pay for itself in one summer or less.
Getting Maximum Benefit From Your Air Conditioner
Here is some advice to help you save money on utilities while keeping cool this summer. These helpful hints were first published in the Frankfort State Journal on July 11, 1977, and saved by my Aunt Madaline along with her recipes. Having come through the Great Depression, my Aunt Madaline was a frugal woman and would not have believed in wasting money by being inefficient with her air conditioning.
Here are the thrifty living tips she felt important enough to save!
- Use a fan to cool the house when humidity is low. It is much cheaper to run a fan than the air conditioning, but it does not draw any moisture out of the air.
- Consider using the air conditioning only during the hottest hours. Switch to a fan during the hours of midnight until just before dawn, the coolest part of the day.
- Invest in an attic fan, which will draw heated air off the upper part of the house. The attic can be as much as 60 degrees hotter than the rest of the house
- Add insulation to your ceiling or walls. Insulation keeps cool air inside your house during the summer as well as heatedd air during the winter. Added insulation adds up to added savings!
- Weatherstipping doors and windows also keeps cool air inside the house.
- Paint your house a light color to reflect the sunlight. Dark colors absorb heat.
- Close curtains or window shades to block the sun's heating rays.
- Cut down on using heat-generating appliances while the air conditioning is on, this includes the oven, clothes dryer, dishwasher and other smaller appliances that generate heat.
- Even turning off lights will cut down on the amount of heat going into the air. Television sets, radios and computers all contribute to the heat in the air.
- Never try to cool the house more than 15 degrees below the outside temperature. Try setting the thermostat a little hgher. Most people feel comfortable in a room up to around 80 degrees as long as the humidity is not too high.
- If you are buying a new air conditioner, look for a model that is energy efficient to save money on operating costs. A few extra dollars spent investing in a more efficient model will save you money on your future monthly bills.
Thrifty Living Means Escaping the Consumer Culture
The first step in living a frugal lifestyle is to change your mindset. As a society, we have all been indoctrinated to be a nation of consumers. We sit in front of our televisions for hours everyday and are sold products. We are not only sold products, we are sold an entire lifestyle. We are told that our hair needs to be a certain color and a particular style and texture; what nature gave us is not good enough, we must add chemicals.
We are told our yards must be in a particular style and look a certain way. Whatever you do, do not let nature have her way with your yard! You must add chemicals, and lots of them. Your yard should be planted with grass. Be sure to give it plenty of water so it will stay green. That will make it grow fast too. You must burn up plenty of petroleum products to cut your grass short. This will allow weeds to grow, so you will need more chemicals to get rid of those.
We are told we must dress in a certain style. In a short period of time all the clothes we buy today will be out of style tomorrow and have to be replaced. They are still good, but we cannot wear them unless we want to look like a dork.
If you are going to survive on less money, whether out of necessity or out of choice, you need to step back and examine the degree to which you have been brainwashed to spend money. You cannot overcome your desire to spend until you face where this desire comes from and who that spending is benefiting (hint, it is not you and not your family).
Thrifty living is countercultural, and it becomes its own subversive fun as you begin to outsmart big business and keep your hard-earned money instead of turning it over to make Wall Street brokers richer. Thrifty living is revolutionary!