Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Frugality 101


I am passionate about frugality. Period. Well, maybe, exclamation mark. I am actually a self-proclaimed hyper-frugal to the point that my heart races at saving cents as well as finding rock bottom deals. I could talk for hours about various ways to save money and bore even the closest of friends. I overanalyze cost comparisons to the point that some people would want to stab their eyeballs out. Some people, who are less kind, would probably even call me cheap. But as I sit and think about sharing frugal wisdom in a blog post, I'm stumped. Mostly because frugality is how I'm wired and it's hard to imagine that the way I think isn't just common sense to others. I want to share some ideas with those who want to be a little more thrify but aren't sure how. If in the process of doing this I end up saying things that make you think "of course, EVERYONE already knew that" then please forgive me. Hopefully, there will be a little nugget that you can walk away with...

Today I'm going to just share one cost saving idea, well maybe two. Or maybe a 3 paragraph essay...

First and foremost...frugality comes with a cost, as ironic as that is. It's easy to buy what you want, when you want, at whatever price it is. Saving money on whatever it is that you are wanting to buy (home decor, clothes, food) takes time and sacrifice. If you want to be frugal it will take patience, planning and discipline. BUT it CAN be done and it comes with great satisfaction and reward!!
You have to decide your reason for frugality. Do you need to be frugal just to make ends meet? Do you have something special that you want to save for? Or maybe you just want to make your money go further? Personally, I feel like I am frugal for all of the above but mostly because it's how I'm wired. I have to work to balance the cost of being frugal with the actual benefits (outside of the high that it brings). If you don't have a clear goal and motivation then it will be hard for you to count the cost.

Here's my one tip for the day...grocery shop less. WHAT?? I know, it's overwhelming. Here comes the cost. You will have to PLAN more and that's hard! You have to have a clear idea of what you NEED before you go to the store. You have to make a meal list (even if it's a flexible one) and have a clear grocery list that you stick too. But, you will SAVE MONEY! Not because you are buying less of what you need but because you are less tempted to buy what you DON'T need. Now, this will look different for everyone. Maybe you are shopping a couple of times a week right now, and you need to cut down to one. Or maybe you need to shop for groceries once every two weeks with a milk and produce run in between. Don't shut down on me, you can do it!
Studies show that people who shop less end up saving money. It's something to think about...

4 comments:

Bugs and Sunshine said...

oooh, good word. this morning i was reading about some sabbatical laws in leviticus. i've been thinking a lot about the sabbath and felt like God showed me i need to plan ahead or deny myself in order to make a day of rest set apart unto him work. self-denial is so hard. your post reminded me of all that. so now, i'll only be shopping once a week or twice a month and it won't be on sundays. good times!

Cinthya said...

Weather we like it or not, we HAVE to shop every two weeks. If we're lucky, once a week. But I completely agree. I had a whole meal plan for 7 weeks w/ grocery lists and all for each week, but being in Honduras, I have had to change it up completely. We don't buy lots of stuff b/c it's incrediby expensive (imported stuff) like balsamic vinigar, american cheese, olive oil is sky high here (but I did get a very small bottle). We finall have a printer, so now I get to print my new menus!! I'm saving a lot of money using cloth diapers. Disposables are double the price here than in the US.

Cinthya said...

I spelled whether wrong! Lo siento, amiga!

ATLKrafts said...

we have found that the grocery shopping less really does save money as well... thanks for the validation