Monday, January 12, 2009

Frugal first steps

Frugal Upstate & Being Frugal join forces in Frugal Coast To Coast.

Tune in tonight for advice on getting started...without getting overwhelmed.

What was your first step in figuring out frugality?

Mine was losing the attitude of entitlement. Only then could I enjoy the challenge of saving every quarter.


Jane said...

Reading blogs, such as yours,was my first step. Seeing others live so well on less helped me choose to do it. Once I realized this was my choice to make, it became a game, a puzzle and sometimes an adventure. I started before the economy fell apart. I am so thankful for that.

Anonymous said...

Yes! You're such a help! I don't find the thrill in it quite like you do, mainly because I don't like shopping. ha ha! But when I find the deals and realize how much I've saved, it is a blessing! It's also easier to make do and know that when the right find happens along, we can "trade" it. There's less of an attachment to the item when it's just a thing...though I'll admit we've had some fixer uppers that were hard to let go until we accepted we no longer needed them. Blessings for someone else!

Anonymous said...

that was Angela.

Miss G said...

Definitely your blog and others have influenced me! I just posted this weekend about a handmade gift that I took to a child's birthday party that used supplies I already had and didn't cost me a dime. That is due in large part to you and modgirl. I also picked up a nice linen tea towel at an estate sale for cheap so that I can turn an "ordinary baked good" into an extra special treat for someone, sometime.

So that brings up a question, how quick is your turn over usually on things like that, gift closet type things? Do you usually buy with a specific purpose in mind or not? Thanks. Kelly

Anonymous said...

We learned to be frugal years ago when both struggling to go to school and work min. wage jobs. A friend showed me how to bargain at yardsales and the abundant treasures at 2nd hand stores. But thank you for your blog. I've been reading since your daughter was born and daily you inspire new ideas and cheer me on to continue to find new ways to save money and save our planet and have more to GIVE away.
Thank you,Mary Anne

Patty said...


I recently came across your blog and have been enjoying reading past posts.

My husband and I have been married 25-years. In the beginning we stopped saying “this item is only” and began saying “this item is…” can we get it cheaper. As we learned to see prices in a different way it helped over the years to understand the value of merchandise; the more we learned the less exciting new purchases became; buying used at a bargain price became thrilling! After all these years I still find myself shouting out loud, to all who will listen, what a great deal I just found.

Last year I discovered blogs and how people share ideas, tips and tricks. Through several blogs I have learned about using coupons wisely at CVS and Walgreen’s. No matter how good a bargain shopper one is, there is still always something new to learn.

Tiffany said...

I've been living the frugal lifestyle most of my adult life. For me it started when I viewed the money I earned as a blessing rather than a right. I learned that everything I'm given comes from God and it is my responsibility to use it wisely. Sometimes that means I need to give it to someone who needs it much more than I, but it ALWAYS means that I must be a good steward.

Nicola said...

oh, missed it! :(
i was born into frugality. honestly, it was one of the best gifts my parents could have given me. but i really took ownership of it in my own life during college, when i stumbled across the complete tightwad gazette.

Amiyrah said...

I came from a mother and grandmother that loved to get the best deals on sale items at the stores. I don't remember my grandmother using coupons, but my mother made me clip them for her for a while. It's something I just grew up doing.

I did lose my way when I had my first "grown up" career and was making great money, but once I got married and had my son, I had a different outlook on frugality and savings. Now I can't imagine a life without it.

Renee said...

Another one born into frugality. My parents made it clear that to a certain extent people make choices about money. I remember being angery because my mother pointed out that clearly we could afford a phone in my teenage bedroom, but that was not a choice they would make with their money! ha! As an adult, reading the Tightwad Gazetts in preperation for my current stay-at-home mom job really made me think about each and every purchase. I saw my parents live one one income, and knew I'd make choices to allow me to do so too.

Marsha said...

I went from spendthrift to frugal 15 years ago when I wanted to stay home with my baby son. My salary was about half of our income, so it was a huge adjustment. I subscribed to the Tightwad Gazette and ordered every back issue I could get my hands on.

Within a few years, my husband was earning about twice what he had before, so it made up for my lost income. But I've stayed frugal. Blogs like yours help me stay on track. The challenge I've got now is how to feed two teenage boys without breaking the bank!

emw said...

My first step was realizing that I am not a victim to my finances. Now being frugal is almost a game to me!

Anonymous said...

I am always surprised that your children are almost always wearing short sleeved shirts and lightweight dresses in the winter months when we see pictures. Is your splurge that you like to keep your house very warm so that long sleeves and sweaters aren't needed? For me, keeping my house cooler than average is a big savings. We just wear extra layers. Just an observation and would like to know what temp. you keep the thermosat set on.

Frugalicious said...

Losing our jobs at the same time which caused an end to shopping for "fun". After going to Target once we were back on our feet I got sticker shock. I began to look at things differently....I cannot believe how poorly things are made and what these stores want for them!

TJ said...

I learned being frugal from my grandma, but embraced it while in college. Hubby and I lived on very tight finances, and a huge splurge for me was buying Tightwad Gazette. I loved reading it, and started implementing many of the tips that worked for us.

Now TG is my favorite Wedding Present for young couples.

Anonymous said...

Mine was forcing myself to think all of the time and not assuming I HAD to have something. i.e. Something is broken and I have no option but to fix it/buy new...poor me. I learned the attitude of can I do without, can I wait and hunt, can I make an alternative and yard sales are awesome. The Tightwad Gazette gave me the best tools of price per ounce, etc.

I was never a crazy spendthrift though my waitressing tips did disappear like the wind. But when I got married, we knew that we wanted the bondage of debt to play no part in our lives and to not model debt and helplessness to our children. We wanted have our kids in a private school and to be paying for it,` accruing no debt, and to be able to do piano lessons we could afford with no guilt.

Our third child is on the way, we are saving tuition for the first two, and our small home is paid for. We may not always be able to this free. What I did not know was that our first would have special medical, expensive dietary needs we pay weekly out of pocket. I have always been thankful to God for our food but being able to take care of my son is a heart-wrenching thankfulness. I am so happy to cook from scratch, buy used etc. for the great freedom it allows us.

Becky said...

Mine was two years ago when my car needed almost $2 grand worth of repairs and I wasn't in the position to buying something else. At first it was a game to see how I could get by on little but now I'm not enjoying it very much. I have made progress though financially through frugal living so I'm focusing on the good and I've learned a lot along the way.

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

I think my first step was probably just figuring how much less food cost us when I cooked! I became a SAHW over 9 years ago after having been an English teacher. When I taught, I was often too tired to bother with cooking (and I really didn't have any shortcutting skills at that time to make my life easier). Cooking most of our meals was the first step I took after I quit working, and that was a tremendous, visible, immediate savings!

Unknown said...

I was born into frugality, like many other commenters. When I was in high school, my father finally got a terrific job, with much more pay than ever before. My parents instantly became spendthrifts, and still are to this day. After years of struggle, they finally understand that I see money differently than they do. Although we have enough money, I am still very frugal in most areas of life, my only new exception is a bigger grocery budget. Living on only free food (with coupons) might be good for the wallet, but it is horrible for your health. Now I use coupons for toiletries, etc. or something that I truly want to put into my body that is actually good for me.

So, although I spend much more in some areas, I am super-tight in others. Are we all this way?

Sorry for such a long comment!


Michele said...

I was born this way. My father was born poor and "made it" so to speak, but he still lived frugally. By watching him, I learned to value every hard-earned dollar. When I grew up and made my own income, I did the same thing. So glad I did because I now get to stay home with my kids!

Anonymous said...

I grew up going without a lot.

So as I became an adult, I just continued living mostly the same, with just small indulgences here & there. To most people we are super frugal or even miserly.

I guess the difference between then and now is that now I have a choice and am doing this for a purpose.

I find frugality to be so liberating. We never wonder if we'll have the money to pay a bill or unexpected expense.

Anonymous said...

Frugal freedom is the only way -
I am a new convert - so am not perfect - had to go semi-frugal b/c of hubby's job loss - what a push! Now, I'm only responsible for 2 children and 2 adults -
I miss his paycheck - but he will have to do some chores in order to keep me functioning in the office - lastnight was a doozy - it hit me like a semi-truck - overwhelmed with chores and work and kids, and cooking and homework - and and and
I'm back on track now after boycotting my duties and going to bed at 6 pm lastnight - I refused to do anything -
the 'entitlement' piece you speak of is so verry verrry true -
you are right on with that one!

wow - i just vented...
- thanks for all yor inpsiration meredith - i admire you lots girl.
latrice -
working mama in the nw

Anonymous said...

Getting adjusted to one income after having our first child was my foray into frugality. Reading great blogs like this one has really helped inspire me! It too has become a fun challenge for me to find ways to trim our expenses.