Heart Reflections Live
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Frugality Can Be Fun!!
What does the word "Frugality" depict to you? Does it make you picture a penny-pinching mean & miserable type of life? Or does it mean something quite different to you?
To us it's an absolute necessity, but one we've embraced wholeheartedly, as a form of Christian Stewardship & yes it's something we've embraced as fun! If we didn't choose to live very frugally, there would be no way I could stay home to raise our children, and as I'm passionate about that, I'm passionate about frugality too. When something means that much to someone, it makes sacrificing that much easier, some days it doesn't feel like sacrifice at all.
People who know us well are often surprised at what we actually live on- I guess they think we don't look that poor! or live in a stingy manner. So how do we do it?, they all ask. Here are some of our top tips:
FOOD & GROCERIES:
-Invest in a separate freezer. Find out what time of the day your local supermarkets put markdowns on everything. Stock up on markdowned meat, bread & even veges. (We don't freeze these.)
-Buy most of your fruit & veges from local markets. Again aim to get there just before closing. We frequently get enough not only to stock up ourselves, but to be able to bless family & friends.
-Bake from scratch. We rarely buy sweets, cakes or biscuits, unless they're crackers, & home-baked stuff tastes soooo much better. Buy store brand flour & other ingredients & you'll save heaps.
-Learn to make your own sauces for meals. If you can make a basic white sauce, it can be turned into lemon & dill sauce; cheese sauce, herb sauces or whatever. The only cook in sauce we buy is spaghetti sauce on special. This saves a lot of money.
-Buy basic no-name breakfast cereals & add sultanas, cheap oatbran etc as topping.
-Regularly check for specials on food, cleaning products or toiletries at places like Crazy Clarks etc.
-We spend next to nothing on cleaning supplies. We use microfibre cleaning cloths & water- Not expensive Enjos- vinegar & bi-carb & basics like bleach & antiseptic when required.
-Our family usually wears fairly dressed up type clothes in very classic styles that don't date.
-We buy a lot of it 2nd hand, though people would find it hard to tell the 2nd hand from the new. Sometimes we buy good quality new clothes on sale & they last for years.
-Both our little girls prefer wearing dresses over pants, which is great as they fit for longer! A long dress with a pretty top underneath will get a lot more wear than a t-shirt & jeans if your children are long-waisted like ours. They tend to outgrow things like tracksuits very quickly & we consider it not modest for their tummys to show, or if they bend over playing, for their tops to ride up at the back. Dresses are so much neater & of course with 2 little girls everything gets worn twice over. Zara gets quite excited when she receives one of Talitha's outgrown dresses.
HOUSEHOLD & OTHER:
-I try to keep lists of things we'd like from books to things for the house & you'd be amazed what we've gotten by shopping at op-shops, Ebay, garage sales & markets. Secondhand bookshops are another favourite & we have an extensive home library. It can be fun shopping almost exclusively 2nd hand. I'm a real vintage girl too, so unless something is vintage, timeless or classic, I'm usually not interested anyway!!
-Buy the way, for those with babies we've always used cloth nappies, except for night-time & going out. We've always bought the cheapest brand napisan & nappies & wipes too & never had any trouble with them.
-Make the most of free resources like the internet, the library & parks.
-Line dry your clothes
-Forsake the coffee shops & entertain at home
-We pay for my hubby's haircuts, but our girls & I keep our hair classic & long- after all the Bible does call long hair the glory of a woman & when required, I ask my husband if he'll trim us. To be honest I believe my hair looks better today than when I was single & lived at the hairdresser!
These are just some of the things we do as part of living a frugal lifestyle, I hope they'll give you a few ideas or maybe, you could comment & add your own ideas to the list, after all sharing ideas is what bloggings all about!!