Living The Frugal Life

I will admit that I have gotten slightly off track with my frugal skills over the last year. It has been so easy to just pick up something here and there at the store, or just throw a load of laundry in the dryer, or have my husband pick up a meal on the way home. (((Sigh))) I will say that we have not been that bad on the eating out, but even a little adds up.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but we have several family members and friends/acquaintances that think we’re really odd for living the way we do. I love Dave Ramsey’s saying “Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else”. That is definitely the motto of my household. Not to say we don’t make mistakes and get sidetracked, but we’ve found that over time we’ve learned a lot of frugal ways and, even though we do stray, we come back to them very easily because that’s the way we prefer to live.

We have friends and family that eat out a lot and cannot understand why we don’t. I have a very nice sized pantry that we take full advantage of, but even though some grew up with one, they can’t understand why we want to keep one and not have to do a major shopping trip every 1 to 2 weeks.

We live below our means, and that is definitely the hardest for everyone to understand. We have no car payments, no credit card payments, and no loans other than our mortgage. We have worked very hard to get to this point, and never plan to go back to the world of debt.

Do we always make the best decisions? No.

Do we feel deprived? Definitely not!!! In fact, we usually think long and hard before making any type of purchase, and we try to never make a major purchase on the very day we’re in the store. We try to research our options fully and try to make as informed a choice as possible.

Have we ever been faced with the fact that we might have to go into debt again? Yes, but we have chosen to pray about it and leave it in God’s hands. He has blessed us tremendously since we have started trying to follow His guidance.

We love finding new ways to save money, and we love doing things ourselves. I am very blessed to have a husband that is an electrician, and he is also very good at working with wood and building things. This has truly been a blessing in so many ways because just about any repair work that needs to be done, he can do. There’s not very many women out there who have a husband as handy as mine!

Since the running of the household is mainly my job (my husband helps out, too – don’t think he doesn’t!), here are some of the things that I do to help stretch our budget:

  • use reusable containers as much as possible instead of plastic zip top bags (we do still use some, but try to save, wash, and reuse as much as possible)
  • make my own laundry detergent (this is simple, quick, extremely easy, and EXTREMELY cheap!)
  • wash clothes in cold water as much as possible
  • hang clothes up/out to dry as much as possible (drying racks are wonderful!)
  • bake our breads
  • make our own snacks
  • cook almost all of our meals (we don’t eat out much, but have been doing a little more of that than usual here lately)
  • use up leftovers by either planning another meal with/around them or freezing in meal-size portions
  • keep a clean refrigerator – yes this is frugal because you can see exactly what you have and use anything up that needs to be used before it goes bad.
  • also cook once and eat twice (or 3 times, 4 times, etc.) – doubling dishes does not take any extra time but it does save you time in the future
  • keep a fully stocked pantry on hand at all times
  • keep unnecessary lights/TVs off when not in use/needed
  • combine trips out as much as possible to help save on gas
  • have Brian stop on the way home to pick something up if it can’t wait until my next shopping day
  • make my own cleaners – most everything can be cleaned very easily with vinegar & water or a vinegar/rubbing alcohol/water solution (great for windows because alcohol dries quickly)
  • use baking soda as a mild abrasive for cleaning
  • keep heat down and AC up as much as possible – you’d be surprise at what your comfort level really is!
  • if I’m using the oven, I try to combine cooking/baking to be done while the oven is hot – heat once and cook multiple times
  • keep curtains drawn when it is cold outside and there is on sun shining, open them up when it is sunny for natural heat
  • open windows when the weather is nice and enjoy the wonderful fresh air that God gave us!

These are just some of the things that I do to help save money and stretch our budget. I know there’s other things that I do on a daily basis, but it’s hard to remember them all any more because they have really become second nature. One other thing I do on a regular basis is check in at Frugal Families forums. I have learned so much there on the forums! The ladies there are a wealth of information. If you get a chance, go over and check it out! You can also request a “House Guest Pass” from the site owner. I hope this helps someone else on their journey in frugality.

God Bless,

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2 thoughts on “Living The Frugal Life

  1. I LOVE how you live!! I love the fact you have a pantry that is fully stocked! I would love to get there myself! The only thing holding me back is money…or the lack of!Lol! I enjoy your blog so much! I don’t think you are weird at all…I think you and your family are very wise in how you live! I look forward to learning lots more from you! God Bless!

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