Friday, September 18, 2009

Frugal Friday

There are so many things that I have learned in the past two years, during our quest to get out of debt, about being frugal. Menu planning, couponing, baking from scratch, making my own detergents and cleaning products, gardening, canning, freezing, budgeting, snowballing. Some of these things I was already doing and some things were completely new to me. There are so many ways to save a few bucks, and they all add up to a whole bunch of bucks over time. You know what they all have in common though?

Hard work.

Clipping and organizing coupons takes time and work. Gardening takes work (which this year my Father in Law did most of, bless him), canning takes work, hanging clothes on the line to save a little electricity takes a small extra effort. Not everything is "easy", but it's so rewarding. My favorite books to read when I was growing up were books like Little House on the Prarie, and anything from back in that time period. I learned something from them. I learned that the essence of their survival was the willingness to work and that each person in the family contributed to the household for it to operate successfully. I am thankful for every modern convenience that we have, but I also don't want to sacrifice what is best for my family so I can take it a little easier, and I don't want to raise children with a lazy mindset. What's best for my family's finances is to be debt free and stay that way, so if that takes some extra work on my part, I'm willing to put that in.

My frugal tips for today:
1. Be ready to put forth the time and effort that it will take to make changes in how you live.

2. Schedule and plan. If you read my last post you know that I believe nothing is more important than your family and relationships. Your family doesn't have to be sacrificed in order to be frugal. It's just finding the balance.

3. Start with one thing. When we first started this journey, I jumped in with both feet.. and burned out quickly. Make a list of some things you can change and begin with one thing, master that, then add something else. It takes time to learn how to do some of these things and it will help you fit things into your schedule when you're adding only one thing at a time.

4. Get everyone involved. Children love to help and they can learn amazing lessons right now. I am excited to raise children that have wisdom about finances and the heart to be good stewards of the things that God has given to us. Also to have the "know how" to do many things on their own.

Being Frugal: It's all in a days work.

For more amazing frugal tips visit Life as Mom.


  1. Good post. I think this is the first time I've seen Hard Work listed as one of the things required for a frugal life. It's true. And it's not a bad thing at all, but it does need to be acknowledged.

    I grew up in the 50s and 60s. When I was little, we were on a very tight budget. My mom not only cooked from scratch, but made all the dresses for her, my sister and myself and the shirts for my dad and brother. No clothes dryer and everything had to be ironed. And she taught Sunday School and Bible School (her own lesson plans). When I was 3, she developed heart trouble, so she rested a lot. She is now 95 years old.

    How did she do it? Our house was tidy, but not Martha Stewart-like. She didn't physically play with us (most mothers didn't back then), but she would read a story anytime I asked her (especially when she was resting) and she and my dad played card games or dominoes with me. She told me stories about her growing up years. She or my dad would take me places (movies or swimming or the dime store) but we didn't join sports teams or have lessons, etc... The kids in my neighborhood played together.

    My parents had a terrific work ethic.

  2. I was glad to read that someone else finds frugality and staying at home hard work. I also needed reminding about point #3 - I burnt myself out quickly too. Another thing I find that makes my life easier is limiting the errands and general 'running around town'. I'm more peaceful, I spend less and my house is a lot more cared for. Nice blog and thank you as well for visiting mine.