Some Thoughts on Frugal Living…

My dear friend Kevin recently forwarded a quote on frugality that has really stuck with me:

“Common strategies of frugality include the reduction of waste, curbing costly habits, suppressing instant gratification by means of fiscal self-restraint, seeking efficiency, avoiding traps, defying expensive social norms, embracing cost-free options, using barter, and staying well-informed about local circumstances and both market and product/service realities.

In our celebrity-obsessed, wealth-entitled culture, the thought of living frugally is both frightening and embarrassing to many people. We have been raised to consume and discard, consume and discard. In an effort to make life “easier”, consumer product companies have tricked us into believing that purchasing more is the key to an easy life. But, what we are left with is more waste in the landfills, less money in our pockets, and a sense of helplessness and dread.

During the first couple years after college graduation I started to fall into this trap. I told myself that spending $100 at Target every month was a good use of money. Everyone else was using bleached white paper towels and antibacterial body soap and disinfecting counter-top spray, so I thought I should, too. I have always been very eco-conscious and careful with my money, so I soon realized that this kind of lifestyle was no life for me. It was time to change my ways!

No one knows how to do anything anymore. I think a lot of people are hesitant to make changes — like getting rid of paper towels, for example — because they don’t know any different. They don’t even realize that regular cotton towels are just as effective and significantly cheaper. I use cloth diapers on my baby, and whenever I tell someone about it they GASP and wonder how I manage all the “extra work.” I tell them it isn’t extra work – its just a different way of doing the same task. What routine tasks in your daily life can be done in a different, healthier way??

I strive to make my life easier by making as much as possible by myself. There is great pride to be had in a batch of homemade laundry detergent. I can’t help but smile as I prepare homemade dinners for my husband and daughter every night. And I love opening up the refrigerator to find neatly stacked jars of homemade yogurt waiting for me every morning.

I encourage you to invest in items of quality that will last. Buy only what you need. Make what you can. Strive to reduce your consumption while increasing your happiness!

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3 Comments for this entry

  1. Michal says:

    what a great post. you are very inspiring. i try hard to live frugally, to stick to a budget, to truly ask myself if something is a need or a want. and i make most of our food from scratch, garden, etc, but i haven't started making my own detergent yet or moved to cloth diapers. your post inspires me to try to find more ways to simplify our life while making it less expensive and less cluttered with stuff.

  2. Katie says:

    Kevin turned me on to your blog & I'm very glad he did (we're good friends from college & I lived with him for a spell in Dallas). You inspired me to buy the yogurt maker and I have to say I love it (see the post I wrote on it,
    Keep up the great writing,

  3. Maureen says:

    So glad you're liking the blog! I am still loving my yogurt maker. Instead of buying the packets of freeze dried yogurt starter, I am just using regular yogurt bought from the grocery store. While doing so does create more garbage than the packets, it is cheaper and easier to get.

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