Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Principles of Frugal Living

There are several basic principles of living a frugal lifestyle. Today I am going to discuss a few of them. 

One principle of the frugal life should be to use your resources wisely and that includes food, time, and money. Instead of watching TV, use your leisure time to learn new money saving skills. Learn how to bake bread, or make yogurt, or learn to change the oil in your car.  Keep track of your spending, so you know where your money is going and then always be on the look out for ways you can save even more in those areas. 

Another principle of frugal living is to cook from scratch as much as possible. This is one of the best ways to save money. And when you do cook, use everything you can. Save those butter wrappers to grease pans in baking, use the chicken carcass or vegetable scraps to make broth, use stock leftover from cooking meats to start other meals like soup, stew, or another dish altogether. Save as much money as you can on food. Look and search out those places where you can find food cheaper. Always keep looking for new places to save yourself the most money. Grow some of your own food by planting a garden, plant fruit trees and berry bushes. Make your own jam, jelly, preserves, and yogurt. 

Another principle of frugal living is to keep a well stocked pantryThis means to fill your pantry with food that you are able to purchase at the lowest possible price. Keep a price book in order to know what the lowest price is for your family. Stocking up when the price is right on food and non-food items you and your family use will provide security against rising grocery prices. 

Another principle is to understand the consequences of your financial choices. Make sure you pay for your necessities first before you spend money on anything that is non-essential. Pay the rent or mortgage, pay the utility bills, insurance, gas for cars to get to work, and food. Paying for necessities first will give you peace of mind over your financial life. 

Did you decide to go to college with student loans? Did you take the full amount they offered, so you could live on it too or did your accept only enough to pay for your classes and books? Borrowing the full amount will cost you more in Interest in the long run. Consider working part time during college to have money to live on instead of borrowing money that won't be paid back for years with Interest accruing.

Every penny that you spend on something you don't really need is a choice you are making. Do you want to stay in debt or do you want to remain debt free? The choice is up to you.  

Another principle of the frugal lifestyle is to buy second hand. Always shop the second hand market first when you need to buy something. Shop at flea markets, yard & garage sales, pawn shops, and thrift stores. Only then, when you cannot find what you need in the second hand market should you consider buying something new. And even then make sure you pay for it with cash you've saved up and not on credit.

Another principle of frugal living is to save money every month even if it is just $5.00, which will add up over time. Having money in the bank will allow you to have some security in case something happens and you need a cushion to fall back against. 

I've only scratched the surface here of frugal living. There are many different ways to save money and live the frugal life. 

What are some of your favorite ways to live frugally? 

CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
Professor Penny Pincher 
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 and beyond.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
"Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ~ It will help you save money"


  1. Excellent post Belinda, I guess a deal of living frugally is common sense, planning and taking the time to think about choices.

    1. Thank you, John. I agree, a lot of this is common sense. :)

  2. Wonderful list! I think the biggest hurdle a lot of people have to get over is the idea that frugal equals cheap (as in low quality). I think that attitude keeps a lot of people from realizing their dreams.

    1. That is so true, Shara. Several journalists who toured Amy D's home spoke about her wonderful antiques. And we know those are definitely not cheap.

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    1. Excellent tips!! A great list in fact. Thank you for sharing. :)

    2. I ordered a book from Paper Back Swap on how to make patterns from clothes you already have. I'm looking forward to receiving it because I have a couple of favorite shirts I would like to duplicate. :)

    3. I would love to hear more about the book you ordered when you get it. That would be a great skill to have. My grandmamma could draw out patterns on newspaper just from looking at many years of practice. A skill I definitely wish I had learned from her.

    4. I will let you know about it once it arrives, Shara. Definitely a great skill your Grandmother had there. :)

  4. Talk abou gifted grannies.... :) I was under age 5 when I sat cross-legged on the floor, to the right of my grandmother, as she sewed a doll's dress (flour sack fabric) without a pattern. If she used patterns, I do not recall ever seeing her cut with one on fabric, and she used a treadle sewing machine.
    Chances are that she was a DIY with s


  5. Put out the word, as Amy D would admonish, is as good a way to save as any for me.

    Need new brake pads on car, for example. Not a DIY project here. Put out the word to find best known mechanic and not car dealer or chain shop. Might save half the price. Friends and family members swap tasks, too.

    Skip the sweets and salties and beverages. Bad for health, anyway. I notice on blogs that healthful foods for meals can be minimal while there are sweets and salties on lists and in photos. Too few "good" veggies and fruits are offered at meals and for snacks. It is a habit that is costly for a lifetime of ailments, not that ailments do not come to those who eat healthfully.

    Dental care: It costs more, but Soni Care-type toothbrushes and flossing at least twice daily can save $$$. Worth every penny. Our gums need the care, too.

    Using a sewing machine is not a lost art. Dress forms are worth the cost. Using a dress form to alter clothes is a time saver and sure-to-fit habit.

    Swap flower bulbs with others when splitting every few years. 17 years ago, a neighbor did not have a place for her grandmother's hostas when she was planning to move elsewhere. We dug them up and to replant in our yard. The next year, we split some that I kept for myself.

    Freezer meals save hundreds/thousands yearly for my household. The little leftover combined with "new" food or other leftovers can be delicious and a time saver.

    Needed a new car, not a used one, when switching from manual to automatic. Originally planned to drive manual car for 250,000 miles. Great condition and appearance. Never considered trading but gave the manual car to a friend in need without a car. Friend has had no problems with car for 3 years. WooHoo! We practice, "Give and it shall be given to you."

    In my region, every household must guard against roaches and other insects and spiders. Some use any orange spray cleaner, but I use Orange Glo wood polish and cleaner spray to ward off the pests. Not cheap, but Orange Glo has never failed me. Also, light squirts work very well. Be careful not to overuse. Your needs dictate how often. Orange Glo is not cheap but worth every penny for me. Through the decades, my household has saved thousands using Orange Glo instead of paying a service that did not rid my house of pests.

    Much more...


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