Of course, as it seems every topic in my life seems to raise questions, the topic of frugality was no different, so I went out seeking answers, and knowledge.
The dictionary defines frugality as the quality of being frugal, sparing, thrifty, prudent or economical in the use of consumable resources such as food, time or money, and avoiding waste, lavishness or extravagance.
So what exactly does it mean to avoid waste, lavishness, or extravagance? I have learned that this statement means different things to just about every person asked. Embracing frugality meant, I must myself figure out what I considered waste, lavishness, and extravagance, and learn to avoid those things at all cost.
I must admit that adapting to a more frugal life, after years of being a spend thrift has not always been easy, but we are working towards a larger goal of being debt free, and owning our home. I firmly believe that all the saving and penny pinching will be worth it. Just got to stay focused on the bigger picture and learn to be happy with what we have instead of focusing on material desires.
In order to help get the ball rolling a little faster, and to help myself stay a bit more motivated, I posted on my facebook requesting suggestions, tips, tricks, ideas, etc. for ways other people save money and stay frugal. I got a lot of really great responses and it caused me to think about the ways my family already saves money, and some things I would like to start doing.
I have now decided to post that list here in an attempt to help others see how easy being frugal and/or living a frugal lifestyle can actually be. There are a lot of ways to save money without feeling deprived. I am sure that some people may feel as though some of the things may family does are a bit extreme, but not everything is right for every family. There are of course things other families do to save money that would never work for mine, but I hope that maybe my list will serve as sort of a starting point for some and help to spark your imagination and creativity. Maybe just maybe we can teach each other a few things.
1) The lights out policy - when leaving a room turn the light off, also by 10pm (kids bedtime) all lights are out, it never hurt anyone to sit in the dark, especially since I am usually the only one up anyway.
12) we try to recycle and/or reuse - Of course there are some things that are just plain trash no way around it, and it would be disgusting to try to find new uses for them, or to even try to recycle them. We do recycle cans, and I try to find uses for other things, old torn clothes can become cleaning rags, or dog toys, food scrapes can compost (or go to the dogs), some trash like toilet paper rolls, etc can be used to make really neat crafts, and some times even gifts, or treats.
For now, that is all I have, I am sure as I continue to embrace a more frugal lifestyle this list will continue to grow and evolve, but for now these are 12 pretty simple things my family does. If you have any other ideas, please free to to share them, and if you would like please feel free to borrow a few of mine, or use my list as an inspiration to embrace your own frugal lifestyle