My hubby and I try to be pretty frugal. Between the two of us, we have 1.45 jobs. Lucas has a full-time job and I work part-time (and am a full-time student). How much income does 1.45 jobs generate? Enough to live on and save...if you're frugal.
What don't we do?
1. We don't eat out every day, or even every week, or even 3x a month. Eating out is a special occasion for us.
2. We don't get (many) convenience foods. I have the time to devote to cooking from scratch (mostly). We don't buy frozen meals often, we make our own.
3. We don't keep highly expensive habits. Neither of us smoke, drink, or gamble. Those are expenditures that we don't have to make.
4. We don't have a tv (we had netflix for a while though), but we don't see commercials as a result.
5. We don't buy what we can't afford.
6. We don't use a dishwasher...mostly because we don't have one.
7. We don't make big purchases without talking with our spouse.
8. We don't buy things because our friends have them (in fact most of our friends are into frugality too).
9. We don't keep separate accounts and track my money and his money. It's our money, our spending, and our lives.
10. We don't have any more debt. We really tightened our budget down as newlyweds, so we could pay off *our* debt. Tax returns and extra monies were tithed and then sent to attack our debt until it was paid off.
What do we do?
1. We eat leftovers. A LOT.
2. I spend more time in the kitchen and house, making my own things.
3. We shop around. I look for the store with the best prices and highest quality goods. (For me this is Aldi's. I love Aldi's. Especially when 99 cent strawberries come around each summer).
4. We separate wants from needs.
5. We save up for big purchases and keep an emergency fund.
6. We get used items (thrifting, yard-saling, etc).
7. We give ourselves an allowance. Sometimes a milky way is too much of a temptation.
8. We know where our money goes. We track it and talk about it.
9. We reuse sandwich baggies and tupperwares (unless the baggies held raw meat).
10. We plan a menu and make a shopping list.
Why are we frugal?
1. We want to be good stewards of what God has given us.
2. We want to go into missions and handle our resources well.
3. Just because we have money, doesn't mean that we have to spend it.
4. We don't want to be in debt again. We want enough saved up to cover surprises thrown our way.
5. We're in favor of minimalizing. Frugality is related. We don't need to spend big bucks on pricy new things, because we don't want more *stuff*.
6. We don't feel a need to compete with the Joneses.
7. Being frugal allows us to help others who need help.
8. God has blessed us, so we don't want to squander (or hoard) His blessings.
9. We are in favor of the simple, fuller life.
10. We want to be respectful of the planet's resources, our money, and those who live in poverty. So we thrift-shop and recycle stuff and whatnot.
Being frugal has gotten more attention of late, with a slow economy and poor job prospects. More people are thrifting and reusing and cutting back. Do you have any frugal practices? Any ideas you want to share? Is frugality becoming the next new thing?