Friday, September 28, 2007

What's Frugal?

Here's my little frugal tip: Surround yourself with other frugal-ites, network with wise people in living frugally (like we're doing here), and enjoy the satisfaction of saving a buck!

Something I've learned from a friend who uses this kind of laundry soap recipe is that you don't have to buy expensive detergent to clean your clothes well. We love it. And I use a little vinegar in a downy ball for softener. I like it as much or better than this laundry detergent we used to buy (somehow I was convinced it was better. Ahh! What was I thinking?) So check this soap out. The ingredients are very basic and more natural than the ingredients in commercial detergents. What we do is closest to the first recipe.

Here's a little story:

When I got married, I lived in CA and was frugal out of absolute necessity. My husband and I both worked, and I would say we had decent paying jobs. But, California is such an expensive place to live, our dollars never seemed to go far enough. I learned a little from my Mother-in-law about where to shop and what to buy, but on my own I started making rules for myself. I only bought certain things if they were on sale, and I knew all the, regular prices, great sales, and don't-even-think-about-buying-me kind of prices on the items I regularly bought.

Growing up, I didn't see my parents being particularly careful with spending. I sometimes felt like I was disappointing to my mom when I would tell her about my great deal, or record shopping trip. I honestly thought I was odd. Many other people I knew grocery shopped at the big chain stores, which I knew to be much, MUCH more expensive than the places I shopped. I didn't really talk to friends about how I shopped, but secretly felt very satisfied that I could shop for my family (then only the husband and I) for only 30 dollars every couple weeks. I missed being able to go out an buy myself a new top or pair of jeans, but soon learned the places that ran great sales at the end of seasons, and began buying only when sales were at their best, or at places like Ross. When my husband got a promotion and needed better slacks for work, I shopped there, and found HUGE savings. Sometimes the big savings meant weak seams or other minor flaws, but I could easily reinforce a seam in exchange for the low prices. I didn't know I was frugal (I kinda just thought I was poor, and didn't want to be poor AND in debt.) I didn't know people were like me in this and liked getting the most for their grocery dollar. But, I did know I could honor the Lord this way.

Then we moved. Living in the Midwest, I find the cost of living is lower, and our budget has a little extra room, but I don't plan to make that a license to waste. I am still careful with our grocery budget, and when clothes shopping, I always buy sales, but we do get to budget in eating out occasionally. That is a great treat. We have learned, though, that if we are in the mood for a great steak dinner, buying some steaks to grill, baking potatoes, and roasting some farm fresh corn on the cob is a way better deal and more of a treat than just going out to a steakhouse. We can even invite friends over and enjoy this kind of meal together for MUCH less than we would spend on ourselves going out.

I have recently discovered the site, Frugal Hacks. These ladies are brilliant and encouraging. I love reading their stories, and tips. I really want to be consistently frugal, be a good steward of what I have, save my family money, and honor them and my Lord.

So, check this blog out, but also check out Frugal Friday over at Biblical Womanhood.


Kacie said...

You said: "Surround yourself with other frugal-ites, network with wise people in living frugally (like we're doing here), and enjoy the satisfaction of saving a buck!"

I say: Right on! It's a lot of fun, plus we're making good use of God's gifts.

Abraham said...

Little by Little I see you get wiser and develop the gifts that God gave you.

I love you