Rethinking Frugal

by GettingFreedom on March 23, 2011

It’s easy to get caught up in deal shopping.  Bringing home a buggy full of cleaning supplies, makeup products, toiletries, and prepackaged food for pennies on the dollar is a thrill.

As most of you know, in 2007 we found ourselves knee-deep in about $40,000 of debt.  I became a homemaker in 2004, and we apparently hadn’t made the mind-set adjustment. After toying with the idea of going back to work {and realizing just how much that COSTS!}, we decided that I would take on the job of “Budget Cutter”.  My first jump:  Extreme Couponing!

We saved a lot of money this way shopping at Walgreen’s.  I loved it, and I would talk the heads off of anyone who would listen.  I began in June of 2008 and by December I had built up a big enough stockpile that I stopped.  Initially it was just to use up of  my stockpile, and I had full-intent on getting back at it after the busy holiday season.  Except, I’ve never been back.

This is where I lose most people.

Rethink Frugal.

My frugal choices may not look like your frugal choices.  What works for me, may not even be an option for you.

Rethink your Frugality.

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For us, while I loved having shelves and shelves of commercial products, and being able to run in my pantry and grab another {aerosol} can of Scrubbing Bubbles or plastic container of {insert product here}.  I realized something.

I had to dispose of these same containers I was hoarding storing ;). That right there is costing me money.  Instead,  I’ll make my own and control the ingredients. Important side note here:  We live in a very rural area, and trash service does not come to our home.  Instead we have to haul it up our county road, and they still charge us a fuel surcharge {eyeroll}.  Instead we’ve chosen to take our trash directly into town and pay per bag, instead of for “the service”.  Now we have to be more conscience of what we throw away–so we recycle the aluminum cans, and plastic bottles-which we get paid for.  We burn the cardboard in our wood furnace,  and we shred the papers for mulch, and I reuse most of our glass. This leaves us with very little trash and saves us approximately $20/month or $240 over a year. In turn, I’m helping the environment by contributing less trash and keeping my family away from {some} harsh chemicals.

My frugal also includes making most of our foods at home using frugal recipes, gardening during the summer months and canning our harvests. I absolutely enjoy doing those things.  Really good grocery deals are few and far between here.  That, and I have a passion for controlling our ingredients and increasing our real foods. To me, spending more money on wholesome, nutritious food, is more frugal than buying a box of wheat thins or cookies on sale.  My family stays full longer, making the end product greater.

My frugal tends to lean on the side of getting back to our basics.  Our great-grandparents and grandparents took full advantage of their everyday resources.  They used every bit of what they could, so they didn’t have to shell out additional funds or use up any additional resources.  I want that!  You, on the other hand, may have no interest in that whatsoever.  And that is just fine–you pick what your frugal looks like.

Now, having said all of that–it’s important for everyone to know that sometimes you can’t do it all, and that is okay!

My frugal won’t look like your frugal.  We each are unique and we each have different circumstances.

When was the last time you took a moment to rethink your frugal? What does frugal look like to you?

Linking up to Frugal Friday.

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