The longer I work at living frugally, the more realizations I have about frugal living. It’s hard work to live frugally and some days, I just don’t want to do it anymore. I wrote a guest post at Living Well, Spending Less on this very topic, sharing my honest look at frugality. My most recent realization is this. My frugal life continues to change.
I have always lived frugally but how I lived frugally as a single person is different from how I lived as a newlywed. My frugality continued to change when we were expecting and changed some more when I began staying at home with our son. As my life changed, so did my frugality.
In some cases, I don’t have time for the same things as I did in the past. My shopping trips as a single teacher and a new Mom look very different! As coupon policies have changed, so has my shopping. In some other cases, I have intentionally decided to invest my time and energy into different things than I previously did.
I think it’s also important to remember that my method of frugal living may be different from yours. That’s okay! We all make different choices on how to save and spend our resources and time. Just because someone makes different frugal choices than you, doesn’t mean either of you are wrong.
Here’s a glimpse into what my frugal life currently looks like.
My frugal living is clipping coupons and shopping at one or two different stores every week for the best deals. It’s maintaining a stockpile to save on our grocery bill. I actually don’t mind grocery shopping and like finding the good deals. It’s a fun challenge and a game to me!
Frugal living has become less of playing the drugstore game as the deals dwindled. I still shop at CVS and Walgreens on occasion, but I’m not rolling by ECBs weekly like I used to do.
My frugal life currently includes baking homemade bread and making my own yogurt. I am baking more from scratch but I still buy processed foods. We’re eating more fruits and vegetables but we don’t eat an organic diet.
I wash most of our laundry in cold water but I don’t hang my clothes out to dry. I make foaming hand soap but I buy name brand detergent (on sale with coupons).
Frugal living is staying at home, when I can, and combining errands when I’m out. It’s visiting the library regularly and taking walks around town for entertainment and exercise.
Our frugal life doesn’t involve cable but it does have Netflix. We rent free movies from Redbox and the library. We occasionally eat out with gift card gifts and coupons.
My frugality has me shopping at thrift stores and yard sales when I make it to one. I like to do so but time takes precedent. I’m shopping more and more for online deals at sites like Schoola, Twice and Thred-Up.
We use credit cards but we pay them off every month. We don’t use cash envelopes but we do have separate savings accounts for many items in our budget. We have a 30 year mortgage but we pay extra on the principal.
I’m sure there are some items on this list that you agree with (and practice) and others that you may differ on. That’s okay. Remember, my frugal life can look different from yours. Frugal living is a not a one-size-fits-all approach. Do what works for you, in this season of your life, to save your family money.
What does your frugal life look like currently? I’d love to hear in the comments!