I’m learning to be a very frugal person. Oh what the heck, let’s call it what it is, cheap. I was never taught to watch my finances, and today, I’m struggling because of it. My mother spent like there was no tomorrow and I learned that lesson well.
I also learned, early on, that spending was my way of self medicating. Had a bad day? Buy something. Fight with hubby? Buy something. Rebellious teen? You guessed it..buy something. Thankfully, I never made huge purchases, but the smaller ones added up as did the unnecessary stuff in my home.
The last few years have been eye openers here in the lost world. Due to some poor financial decisions on my husband’s part and my excessive spending, we hit critical mass. It was change my way of thinking or else face certain disaster.
Interestingly enough, my quest for frugality coincided with my desire to lead a simpler life so retraining myself to do without so much ‘stuff’ was born not only of need, but of desire as well.
I began paring down, giving things away, holding yard sales, advertising on Freecycle. It was completely gratifying to see the clutter in my life dwindling. An added bonus, for me, was as I saw the excess stuff go away, a lot of my excess emotional baggage seemed to go with it.
Then it was time to work on my spending. I resolved to utilize our local thrift shops first, second, to not pay full price, and third to learn to coupon in order to reduce my spending at the grocery store – my biggest expense.
Coupons have become my best friends! I actually took a class on couponing that set me up with some of the basics. I learned with to clip coupons and when printable coupons were a good option for me. Now, I never go to the grocery store without my list and a fistful of coupons! It’s become a game with me, and a fun one at that, to see how much I can save without compromising the quality of what my family eats.
I love my garden more than ever and it allows me to put more of the great organic produce, my family loves, on the table for pennies a serving. I still jar up our excess and plan my garden space accordingly and these days use more space for plant based proteins to supplement my own vegan diet and move my omnivores into a more cruelty free diet.
I’m not compulsive (in a bad way) about saving a buck or two, but I do enjoy the challenge!
How do you save money in your day to day life? I’d love to hear about your tips and tricks!