Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Frugality or lack there of.......

One of the things I wanted to do when I started this blog was help everyone save money by telling them what I do to save money. However for one reason or another that seems to have fallen by the wayside. Not sure why could be lack of time, or even lack of interest on my part? I was just reading a post over at Notes from the Frugal Trenches and a lot of what she said hit home.

I have all these ideas about wanting to live simply, but actually getting around to doing it is another thing. We have got used to our comfort zone. We live in a new house with our attached double garage, our walk in closets and large ensuite. All new windows and doors all the modern comforts but honestly we use only half the house. So what is stopping us from down sizing and living more simply? If I knew the answer I suppose we would have done it by now.

I have become accustomed also to handing over my credit card at every opportunity, that too has to stop. We're lucky we can afford to pay the balance off every month. But when I think back to what we bought, were they all needs or just plain wants. I think 75% of them are the wants. Its got to stop, I just have been lax in my way of thinking. All that money would be better put into our savings account......

I have to start living the frugal life style. I know I can do it, people are always making fun of me about my use of coupons. I do try and scope good deals out on things I buy, but I know I can do better.

There are still things I do automatically without thinking, like hanging my laundry out to dry. I very rarely put it in the dryer. We still have the heating turned off, mind you a lot of that has to do with the weather being a lot warmer than normal and me being permanently hot (remember I am a woman of a certain age!!) I use the toaster oven rather than the main oven when ever possible. I reuse my grocery bags as garbage bags (we're allowed to do that). I have a veggie garden albeit not that big, but every bit helps.

I always check the flyers for the sale items and stock up on them. I bought 8 tubs of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter last week. The woman in front of me remarked at how many I was buying. As I said to her, they go on sale every couple of months or so. We use one tub a week, so these eight tubs should in theory last me until the next time they come on sale. And I would rather pay 99 cents a tub than $1.99, she agreed with my way of thinking.

I always wash out my ziploc baggies and reuse my aluminum foil. I even add water to what I think is my empty shower gel, to get a few more washes out of it, but am I doing enough? I don't think so.

I know there is so much more I could do, and I know you all probably do a lot more than me, so any tips on what you do to save a dollar or two would be greatly appreciated. Now to go and read my Tightwad Tips books again to get me motivated.


Rinkly Rimes said...

must leaf through your recipes sometime. My daughter's a vegetarian and some of them look good for her.

Lindsay said...

Like your post. We really did downsize two years ago and had to dispose of many many items, some to family and friends, others to sales - but mostly bonfires in the garden and 3 skiploads to the tip. I can honestly say we do not miss any of our old possessions.

We have altered our food shopping habits and now buy in-house brands - they seem just as good. We look on the internet before we shop to find out the various offers in the two supermarkets we patronise. Husband has traded in his car for a model that saves on fuel. We try to have one day a week when we do not use a car.

The only aspect of our life we have not skimped on is our subscriptions to the swimming pool for me, tennis club and gym for Husband.

Kim said...

Thank you for making me stop and think as well. Have a great day Gill :)

Connie W said...

I am finding this topic on other blogs these days. It's something that we all need to increase our awareness of if we want to make our money go farther.

headly said...

Because of your posting I started making my own laundry detergant and we love it.

our wants right now are pretty basic. but we could still cut back. we are having a financial pinch right now. and every bit helps so i look forward to ideas and things that you may post. take care. thanks for the food for thought,

Erin said...

i find myself reviewing the cupboards before shopping, inventorying the freezer and seeing what we've on hand before going out to shop lately.

and, i have now become a savy shopper as far as when i need something new in the way of clothes for work...watching for sales, checking out TJMAXX and Marshalls and such for the brand I buy and it has saved me a bunch :)

i have altered many of my purchasing habits since moving to the semi-country environment from the big city...a good thing :)

Lib said...

Hi Gill,
You are already taking steps to live the Simple life. Really the simple life is diffenert for all ,no one size fits all! You must accomplish what you want for "your" simple life. I know folks who lives the simple life who doesn't have gardens, animals etc.
You must do it one step at a time trying to do everything at once is overwhelming !Sounds like you're doing good to me:o)
Hope you have a great day!

Lakeland Jo said...

I liked your post. Very thought provoking. Our economies so far? I think twice about putting the heating on. I am more meticulous about lights and switching them off. I keep an eye on multi buys, bogofs, and half price offers on stuff we buy all the time. I am buying from three for the price of two Christmas presents.
Stuff to work on? I still drink a lot of take away coffee, we still eat out a lot ( but at much cheaper places).
I also use vouchers if I get them ( they are not very popular over here).

cheshire wife said...

You already seem to be doing quite a lot.

Foodwise I plan ahead what we will eat and only buy what we need unless things are on offer, then I will stock up. This works reasonably well as I rarely throw food away.

As far as the house, garden and clothes are concerned we buy as much as we can in the sales. If you have to wait for the sales for things you sometimes decide that you don't want them after all.

Gill - That British Woman said...

great comments everyone, I will maybe do more posts on this subject.


Denise said...

Like everything else the longest journey begins with a single step. We started taking ours a while back in cutting out things we never thought about before. Reading posts like this is a big help as it reinforces what we need to do more of. When Gregg retires anywhere between three to five years from now, we intend to move into a much smaller house. We have started looking around as to what we are going to get rid of and have a five year plan of things we need to do before we leave. The journey has begun. Thanks Gill, look forward to more on this topic.

suchthings.ca said...

I stopped using my credit card and now they are telling me that I need to use it so I can get a credit rating. A bit ironic, don't you think?

CannedAm said...

Have you & hubby thought about talking to a financial advisor about your retirement....how much you need to maintain the lifestyle to which you're currently accustomed? My in-laws did this...knew exactlyhow long they had to work, how much they had to put away in order to be retire at young ages (under 60 & just 60) and continue to vacation 4 times a year, etc. They're not executives by any stretch...he was in manufacturing (not management except for a little while) and she was a pharmacist's assistant...average jobs, you know? May well be worth your while. Then if you have a plan as to what to do with what you're not spending on the CC...etc., etc., :)

We're cut to the bone now while we catch up from a budget broohaha. So I can relate. I'm not spending though, so I guess I can relate to needing not to :) I'm gonna get those links I promised to you too! Been not quite well lately.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Have been having similar thoughts Gill and have already made some changes. We are planning to downsize but the housing market is so slow at the moment we are just having to sit and wait for now.

One thing we did which has made a difference was to downsize our freezer, Instead of the upright model which was full and had to be gone through from time to time and a lot of food discarded as being out of time (WHAT A WASTE) we now have a much smaller one and actually use it properly.

I'll be keeping an eye on your posts for more hints and tips. Thanks.

A x

Caroline said...

Your post was food for thought. I think the same as you on occasions but as long as we are making the best attempt we can at that present time well so be it.

Evelyn said...

I try to be frugal and wish we had more great deals here! Trying to feed a teen and a preteen uis quite a challenge and am always looking for tips. We live in a small house, drive fuel efficient vehicles. Hardly ever eat out or go out. i hand clothes and won't turn on the heat yet. Seems like it is all for nothing now. Oh and we never use credit cards. evelyn

notesfromthefrugaltrenches.com said...

Thanks for the mention! I'm amazed at how much we can all do!