Note: I am not cheap. I am not broke. I am not rich. I am none of these extremes. Nor am I too lazy to change out of my pajamas to go and shop. No, I am frugal. With everything except the love that I feel and share, minion kisses and cuddles, smart ass remarks and writing. For those four things, restraint does not exist.
But I am frugal. I stockpile when I find deals on food and other consumables we use regularly. I wear clothes until they are fraying and screaming to be put out of their misery and I’m beginning to look more homeless than even I’m comfortable with (also, by then, often my husband is ready for a change in my fashionista scenery, so it works out well for all). I try hard to budget for major expenditures, prepare and cook meals at home, borrow movies from the library and make sure everyone sees the dentist twice a year for cleanings and check ups (preventative spending, proactive frugality, if you will).
In keeping with my frugal mission this month I have:
1. Made many dozens of cups of applesauce using apples that cost about $0.61/lb and froze it. Yes, I could buy unsweetened applesauce, but why? It is fast and easy to make and fresher than the jarred variety I could buy at the store because the apples were locally sourced and used immediately. No lengthy processing and no travel needed.
2. I am doing all of the laundry (and there is A LOT of it) after 7 p.m. during the week and all day on the weekends. I was speaking with a few other mothers this afternoon and I have come to the conclusion that I can forgo the hours of folding and just toss each small’s clothing in a basket and have them fold it and put it away. So simple. So obvious. So clever. So completely the last thing that I would ever think to do without that conversation. Mums really do know everything and it’s awesome when we share what we know! By changing this one thing, I’ll be freeing up at least two, probably more, hours every single week that I have always spent on folding laundry. That’s an extra 14 hours a week or 62 hours a month. Which equals TWO AND A HALF DAYS! I just found two and a half extra days. I’m SO excited! And also thankful that I define frugality as more than just saving or not spending money – and rather as making choices to better use ALL types of life resources, including time 😉
3. I am using up my discount lemons by adding them to every drink that I have. I love the extra flavour and while I have them, I’m choosing to buy into their health properties. I’m also about to give up my beloved Diet Pepsi, so I’m enjoying my last ones with a lovely big squeeze of lemon. I’m not looking forward to this breakup. It’s going to be ugly.
4. I am limiting our grocery purchases this month to perishables and crazy long shelf life sale items (like cereal) and preparing meals based on what we have on hand and what we have in the freezer.
5. I am making sure to use my store flyer apps to ensure that I am getting the best price for everything. And I’m also remembering to bring my phone shopping with me. Because paying $2.99 for a head of iceberg lettuce (for Greek salads) when a quick flip through the app reveals a price of $1.99 at another store saves me $4.00 right away with almost zero effort on my part. Passive saving works for me, I’ll take it!
6. I have been purging old magazines, toys, clothes and household items that we no longer use. I’m classifying this as frugal because the more things that I can shift out of the house, the fewer things I need to dust, clean or care for. The few things I need to find places for and the lighter and our home will be. Decluttering now frees up time and space for the long term, so I find that it’s absolutely worth the investment now.
7. As I recently shared on the Instagram page, I renewed my licence plate sticker two months early and went with the two-year option, thereby avoiding a fine when I invariably get pulled over for having an expired sticker in February and also avoiding the inevitable price hike next year. As it is, it will be $108.00 as of January 2016 for ONE YEAR which is an increase from the 2015 prices. So I’ll pay the year in advance. Even if by some miracle rates don’t increase (pipe dream), I won’t have to worry about buying another one until January 2018 and I have two years to save for that price hike *happy tap dance with a side of sarcastic salsa*
So that’s my list for this month. I realized while writing this that I practice frugality by default now and have stopped even realizing how many ways I’m saving time, money or resources on a daily basis. I think I need to tune in more to what I’m doing and bet doing so will pay off by quickly figuring out new and better ways to increase my frugality muscle mass. 😉