Friday, March 14, 2008

I didn't know I was frugal.

Until about two months ago when I heard the word “frugal” I thought of people who go to extreme measures to save money. I’m talking about people like the old lady I heard about as a kid. She died having millions of dollars but she lived in a one-room shack and wore newspaper for underwear. And since I’m not down for having paper underwear I didn’t think of myself as frugal.

Even less extreme measures of frugality still turned me off to the idea. I’ve heard tips like cutting your paper towel roll in half so you can make it last longer, or getting your ketchup from fast food places. Honestly, I would rather work an hour of overtime, than to spend my time and energy stealing ketchup packets from McDonalds.

But the more I read on the topic the more I started to realize that I am frugal. I just do it in my own way. Being frugal doesn’t mean that you live uncomfortably. It just means that you are conscious of your spending. It means getting the most out of your money. And who doesn’t want to do that?

Here’s a list of a few steps I’ve taken towards frugal living:

I learned to cook.
I price match.
I buy generic brands of pretty much everything.

I stay close to home.

I use the library.
I sell stuff on ebay.

But most importantly, I always shop with a list. It saves money because then I’m not tempted to impulse buy. I don’t wander around the store seeing if there is anything else I need. Stores have done plenty of research on how to get you to spend more money. You can fight that by making a list of what you need before you leave the house. Do your shopping at home. Then you won’t be swayed by all the shiny displays.

*picture by 4ever30something


Anonymous said...

i guess we're frugal too...we do the same things you listed...we're not rich by any means but we make out ok....i have a blog similar to this one...please visit if you get a

Living Almost Large said...

I've always been frugal, rarely have I never used coupons. I grew up being raised by a poor grandma, and while my parents aren't frugal, well they certainly didn't teach me about frugality. But seriously I'd love to stop being so frugal and start enjoying life more.