Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goals for 2015

Image Credit

Tonight marks the beginning of a brand new year, and is often the time when people reflect back on the previous year and make a list of goals they would like to work on in the new year. As 2014 rolls over into 2015 I find it is time to decide what my goals are for this coming year. 

Goals for 2015

Continue to Live within my Means
Avoid Consumerism
Utilize the Tools I've been given 
Increase Savings 
Increase my Income
Increase Ebay sales
Continue to Declutter
Acquire No New Debt
Weight Loss

That is what I will be working on this year. 

What are your goals for the new year?

I hope you and your family are healthy and happy in the new year, and I wish all of God's blessings on you.  :)

CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
Professor Penny Pincher 
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 through 2015 and beyond.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
"Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ~ It will help you save money"

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Day

Merry Christmas everyone!

After unwrapping our presents today, I folded up the gift boxes we used and saved the bows to use again next year, which will save us money next year. We are always on the lookout for ways to save money.  

My Christmas presents this year included a new stainless steel tea kettle, a Veggetti, a lighthouse clock, a blue furry steering wheel cover for cold winter mornings, antenna topper, and season two of the Bates Motel. 

I also received a basket from school this year with some bath & Body Works lotion, room spray, homemade bread, candles, candle centerpiece, and a monetary gift. It was so thoughtful and sweet of them to remember me. They wanted to thank me for being a dependable sub for them. 

I've been feeling under the weather with a cold for at least two weeks now, so I'm enjoying some hot tea made with boiling water in my new tea kettle, which boiled the water in less than a minute. Sure is making my throat and sinuses feel better. 

We love the new tea kettle and have drank more hot tea today than we have all month. We are definitely going to enjoy this present. 

My daughter & I have been playing games all day today and it's been a nice and pleasant day here. 

I hope you've had an enjoyable celebration with your loved ones today.  :)

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"

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas in Dixie

Christmas in Dixie is one of my favorite Christmas songs and I have fond memories associated with it.  :)

We did Christmas very frugally this year. 

Christmas Tree & Decorations

First on the list was a Christmas tree, which we have, but it is a small one at only three feet high. While we were out and about one day we found one someone was throwing out. The only reason we could figure that someone was throwing it away was because the bottom branches hung down low, but we fixed that with some string. The tree was one of those pre-lit trees with lights already on it. 

My daughter also made a candy cane wreath using last year's candy canes, so no cost there either. 

Total Cost: $0

Stocking Stuffers & Presents

I used a variety of sources to come up with stocking stuffers and presents this year. I used Swagbucks, Listia, Ebay earnings, and Mechanical Turk. 

Listia is an online auction site sort of like Ebay, but you sell items for points and can also earn points through surveys. I have gotten several stocking stuffers there at no cost to me. 

My Ebay earnings also allowed me to purchase several Christmas presents at no cost to me. All I did was sell things we no longer used and then bought items my family wanted for Christmas with the money I received. 

Mechanical Turk is Amazon's online work center. I earned a little bit of money from there and was able to buy one present using those funds. 

My daughter's big gift this year will come from McKay Used Books and I will be trading for it, so no cost to me there either. I finished up the last of my Christmas shopping today and figured I ended up spending right at $75 cash for gifts this year in addition to those things already mentioned. 

In years past I usually spent more than $75, so this year was much better because I was able to use all those resources to spend less money this year. The best part of all is that I will have NO DEBT from Christmas this year. Everything was bartered, traded or paid for with cash, so I am very happy about that this year. 

Total Cost $75

Wrapping Paper

This year I continued to use the wrapping paper I bought in January of 2012 in an after Christmas clearance sale. I blogged about it here. I paid 86¢ per roll for the paper and this is the third (2012, 2013, 2014) Christmas I've used this paper. I store the paper under my bed after I am done wrapping for the year. It stays out of the way, but saves me money each year I am able to use it. 

Total Cost 86¢


We have been fortunate this month to be gifted quite a bit of food items. This week we received apples & oranges, bread, milk, and several frozen dinners (and more than enough, so we shared with others). We've been invited to my (former) brother-in-law's home for Christmas dinner this year. I'm bringing a dessert and side dish using items I already have on hand here, so no money spent for food for Christmas dinner this year either. 

Total Cost $0

There were a lot of changes in store for us this past year, and in spite of all that happened, we have decorated the house, sent some Christmas cards, and are making our best effort to remember who this season is actually for and remember Him every day as we celebrate the season of His birth. From our home to yours, we hope that you have a blessed Christmas.

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"

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Weekend Report

I worked two days last week and now we are off for Christmas break for eighteen (18) days. I've already gotten several things done from my to do list and also have several more things I want to accomplish on this break. One of those being a pile of clothing that my daughter has requested I repair. 

Today I finished my Christmas shopping. I have another blog post detailing our Christmas this year, which I will be posting later this week. 

I started the week thinking that we needed bread. By the end of the week we were gifted with multiple bread items and had this to be thankful for...several loaves of bread, hamburger and hotdog buns. 

Since we had hotdog buns, dinner tonight was a recipe for Butter Dogs from The Kneady Homesteader. They were fantastic too! Not the healthiest of dinners, so we won't be having them very often, but everyone really liked them. 

I stopped in at CVS one day this week because I had a coupon for a free full size CVS brand body wash for liking their Minute Clinic on Facebook.  Turns out they were having a sale on the bodywash. If you spent $10 on body wash you earned a $3 extra care bucks. I already had a $10 extra care bucks from CVS, so we didn't have to pay anything out of pocket for these...

I also stopped in at Publix this week to buy a gift card and some Scrubbing Bubbles cleaning spray and Truvia. Both of these were money makers for me at Publix this week, so no cash out of pocket for these items either.  

Gas is down to $1.89 a gallon here, so I was able to fill my car up for only $21, which I am loving! We ran our usual errands yesterday including taking the garbage and recycling off and are planning on spending as much time at home as possible these next two weeks. 

How is your weekend shaping up?

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"

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Weekend Report

Image Credit
A clever 14-year-old teenager from the UK has figured out that people can save money on printer ink by changing their font. He says that switching to the Garamond font will save 25% on ink, which is something I am definitely interested in doing. Here is a link to the article: Saving Money on Ink

Had a movie night Friday night at home and made popcorn on the stovetop, which is cheaper and healthier than microwave popcorn. On Saturday night we attended the local high school Christmas play. Attendance was free and it was so much fun to see so many of the students doing something they love and having fun. 

During the week I usually make a list, sort of like a shopping list, of errands I need to run the next time I am in town. This helps me save money on gas by only having to make one trip to town and helps me save time also. I combined all my errands into one trip to town today. I don't plan on going back until next weekend. On a good note, It was great to see gas priced at $2.07 per gallon on my way home. 

This week I earned and received another coupon from My Coke Rewards for a free 12 pack this week. I picked up a 12 pack of Sprite while I was in town today. That way I will have it on hand for sick tummies when needed. 

We did some grocery shopping while we were in town today. At Publix, I picked up some I Can't Believe it's Not Butter (b1g1f sale), Ham for sandwiches, Kleenex (b1g1f sale + coupons), sugar - white and brown, Crisco, ginger ale from the Crash & burn section, and free mayonnaise. 

We were also gifted several items this week. Twenty pounds of carrots, eight pounds of grapes, 5 quarts of eggnog, 8 Greek yogurts, 6 containers of olive oil/butter blend, 5 half gallon containers of lemonade, 6 containers of Grape Sunny D. I've already washed the grapes and put them into individual baggies for the week for lunches this week. 

Now, I am cooking five pounds of carrots. I'll cook five pounds every night for the next four nights and freeze them as I go along. That way we will have them ready to warm up for weeknight dinners throughout the next few months. My refrigerator is filled this evening and I have to say that all this food was truly a blessing. 

I worked everyday last week and have three days scheduled for this coming week. Thursday is officially the last day of school for Christmas break until next year. My daughter needs me to keep that day free for her, so that is what I'm going to do Thursday. 

I've been getting ready for Christmas slowly, and frugally, but I'm saving that for another blog post.   

Finally, let's end this blog post with a discussion. What is your best money saving tip from 2014 that you will carry with you into 2015? 

I'm looking forward to reading your answers. 

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"

Monday, December 8, 2014

Last Week

Last week was a busy week here. I worked everyday and had sick family members. I took my daughter and Mom to the doctor one day and took Mom for a CT Scan as well. Twice last week we did not get home until after dark. 

One day we took our recycling to the Recycling Center. We've been saving the cans from canned food and any aluminum cans we come across. We pass the recycling center on our way home from school, so no extra gas involved. They wrote me a check for $2.06 for what we recycled today. I was happy with that as these are things we could easily throw in the garbage, but instead we are keeping them out of the landfill and getting money in the process. 

Dinners last week included Grilled Chicken Salads, Pasta Salad, 
Smoke Sausage & Macaroni & Cheese, Hamburgers, and Mexican Pizzas, Tacos and Salisbury Steak with sides, one of them being mashed potatoes. 

One of the frugal things we have always done is to use the water we boil potatoes in to make mashed potatoes. This saves us money over using milk to make mashed potatoes. There is starch in the water you use to boil your potatoes and is a very good substitute for milk in not only mashed potatoes, but also your bread recipes. You can also keep the potato water for a day or so in your refrigerator. 

I've gotten some of my Christmas shopping done. I've ordered a few things online from Listia using Listia points. This is an online auction site where you can earn points for selling things and then use the points to pick out items you want. The things I've sold have been on a small scale basis and things I've picked out have been on a small scale also. I've gotten several stocking stuffers for my daughter. And I picked out a book for my Mom from her favorite author. It's nice because no money changes hands. I'm exchanging things I no longer use and gets points to purchase things we can use. 

I've also used my Ebay earnings to buy a few things she wanted. Again using the money from selling things we no longer use here at home. So Christmas this year will be done on a small scale basis with hardly any money being spent. The upcoming winter months will be expensive with us having to heat our house and every little bit we can save towards that goal will be set aside for that purpose. 

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"

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Happy Thanksgiving to all my Frugal Workshop readers today. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday and that your blessings will be "pressed down, shaken together, and running over". 

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"

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Weekend Edition

I worked everyday except for Monday this week. Next week we will have the entire week off for Thanksgiving break, which will be a bittersweet holiday this year as we have plans to lay my FIL to rest Sunday afternoon. 

Today we took the garbage off and headed to town to shop for some grocery store deals. Our first stop was Target where we picked up Special K cereal bars, Clorox wipes, Olay makeup remover pads, and Cover Girl nail polish (the last three items being my daughter's deals). 

As usual, we used the Couponaholic website to find out about the good deals this week. I went for the Special K bars. They were on sale for $2.50 each and when you bought four boxes, Target gave a $5 gift card. I bought 12 boxes and had coupons for $12 off (12 - $1 off coupons), and earned $10 in gift cards, so each box ended up costing 66¢ each. 

Totals for Target:

Retail Value: $77.72
Paid out of Pocket: $21.41
Savings: 73%

Afterwards we went to Publix for some awesome buy one get one free deals.  Even though we went for coupon deals, some of their weekly deals were so good I bought them without coupons. 

Our savings are a combination of manufacturer coupons and store coupons, and buy one get one free deals. We also used a deal where if we bought $50 worth of groceries, we earned a $10 gift card. It was a Target deal, but we were able to use it at Publix. 

Some of the deals we plan don't always work out, and we simply decide at the time if the price is right, there were a couple of deals today that didn't pan out, so we didn't take advantage of all the deals we had planned. 

Here is a list of what we picked up at Publix today:

(not everything is in the picture)

2 bags of flour (b1g1f sale, $1.50 each)
4 cans of Del Monte corn (25¢ each, b1g1f sale, store & manf. coupon)
4 pounds of butter (b1g1f sale, $2.15 a pound )
7 containers of Hummus (sale + $1.00 store & manf. coupon = free)
4 containers of sour cream (b1g1f deal, $1.06 each)
4 containers of Dannon creamery desserts (manf. coupon)
6 boxes of Orville Redenbacher popcorn (manf. coupon = free)
2 spray bottles of Pam (b1g1f deal)
1 box clementines
1 half gallon of Silk almond milk (free with coupon)
1 jar Vlasic garden style pickles (combined manf. & store coupon, 79¢)
1 jar Barilla pasta sauce (combined manf. & store coupon)
4 cans Hormel chili (manf. coupon, 58¢ each)
6 boxes Ritz Cracker (manf. coupon & big1f sale, 88¢ each)
6 Sargento Tasting Cheese (store coupons, $1.11 each)
6 Eckrich Smoked Sausage (sale + 6 - $1.50 off coupons, $1.50 each)
2 Carmex lip balm (manf. coupon, 40¢ each)
2 Hellmann's mayo (b1g1f sale + store coupon, $1.50 each)
12 Lipton boxes of tea (manf. coupons made them .29¢ each)
2 cans Carnation milk (sale + manf. coupon made them 20¢ each)

Totals for Publix:

The retail value of our items at Publix was $256.22 and our out of pocket expense was $76.64, a savings of 70%.

So far this month, I've spent a total of $191.08 on groceries. 

I'm doing much better than I was last month. 

How are you doing on your grocery shopping?

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"

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Sorry I've not posted this week, but we've had a lot going on the last two weeks. 

My daughter's grandfather passed away this week. He was my (former) father in law, but always treated me like his daughter even after the divorce. He was generous to a fault, never failed to see us when he came to town, and I never heard him say a negative thing about anyone in all the years that I knew him. His passing, along with some other things, has left me with a sadness I've not been able to shake. 

I was all set to work five days this week, but the roof is being replaced at school, and since it is an older building there were several safety issues, so they ended up cancelling school on Friday to do some safety checks. Everything checked out OK, so we will be back in school on Monday. 

My daughter and I went to town today and after her volunteer duties, we went grocery shopping to get in on some good coupon deals. 

Pictured above are 12 boxes of pasta, 1 bottle of ginger ale, 2 bottles of V-8, 18 bottles of Lipton tea, 12 cans of Progresso soup, 4 canisters of Quaker oatmeal and 8 bottles of Pom juice. The retail value of all of the items on sale was $99.51 and we paid a total of $10.21

Everything but the Pom juice came from Publix and we used a combination of coupons we printed online at Couponaholic, from the Sunday paper, the Publix advantage flyer, and buy one get one free sales, which can be a powerful combination as you can see.  

Look what we scored last week:

We bought 10 Sunny Delights for 64¢ each using Smart Source 

coupons combined with a Publix buy one get one free sale. 

Sorry this post is not more than it is, but it's about all I can muster for 

the time being. 

I hope you all are having a great, frugal weekend. :)

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"

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Early in the Week

I can't remember if I mentioned the fact that we have Monday & Tuesday off this week. My daughter and I have been doing laundry and cleaning all weekend, so we could enjoy our two days off this week. We finally got all the chairs and brooms from the drying racks put back where they go, which made the house look better almost instantly. And we are finally caught up on the laundry. Yay! :)

I've been working in the kitchen, cleaning and putting things away. I boiled two dozen eggs today for egg salad and lunches for this week. I am so tired of sandwiches in my lunch, so boiled eggs will be better. I'll add some cheese too. 

Dinner today is Pedernales Potatoes, Carrots, Green Beans with Onions, and Sweet Iced Tea. 

On Tuesday we ran some errands. One place we stopped was Bi-Lo because I had some coupons I wanted to use with their three day sale. 

My favorite coupon site nowadays is Couponaholic. 


I don't even use the Sunday coupons anymore. I let my daughter deal with them because she enjoys it so much. I look at Couponaholic every now and then to see if there are any good deals. The 55¢ off coupon for Skippy peanut butter was a good deal.  I printed two coupons off my computer and my daughter printed four coupons and she also had an additional six $1.00 off coupons from the Sunday paper for one jar of Skippy. 

The peanut butter was on "sale" at Bi-Lo for $3.12, but it was buy one get one free, which made each jar $1.56. The 55¢ coupons doubled and so our total coupons took off $12.60, which made each jar only 51¢.   This was a really good deal. 

The also had Pillsbury cake mixes on sale for buy one get one free. We had 35¢ off coupons that doubled, so each box end up costing 44¢ each, which was another good deal. 

We did buy a few other things like margarine, crackers, preserves, and olives. 

We also got hair cuts today. I saved a receipt from Walmart for $9.99 haircuts and used them at Great Clips today. Haircuts for both of us came to $19.98 plus tip, which saved us $6.00 off the Great Clips price. 

I also filled up the car today using my Bi-Lo bonuscard fuel perks and paid $2.44 per gallon. It only cost me $21 to fill up today. I should be dancing in the street at the savings. LOL :)

Back to work and school tomorrow. I hope you all have a great week!

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"

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Wait is Over...

We have a new dryer!

We tried to buy the dryer I mentioned from Home Depot, but they wouldn't deliver, so we ended up buying a dryer from Lowe's yesterday for $299 and they delivered it this morning. It is a little bit bigger than our other dryer was and it looks great. We are just thrilled to be back in business with the laundry and have plans to get caught up on it this weekend. 

Today is my daughter's day to volunteer at the library, so we left the house early, took the garbage with us and dropped it off along the way and I made stops at Bi-Lo, Publix, Dollar Tree, and United Grocery Outlet. 

At Bi-Lo, they had Stayfree pads on sale, priced at 2 for $6.00, a real bargain since I normally pay $4.97 for them at Walmart.  Lucky me, I also had three $1.00 off coupons, so I paid $2.00 each for them. What a bargain! I now have 10 of these in my stash, which is about a ten month supply for me. 

We picked up seven bottles of Pom juice for free at Bi-Lo too. They had them on sale priced at $1.00 each and we had seven 50¢ off coupons, which doubled, so all of these were free.  

I also picked up this 12 pack of Fanta strawberry drinks for free using the coupon above I received for free from My Coke Rewards. 

At Publix, they had Mueller's pasta on sale for buy one get one free, which was not a good deal without coupons, but I had two 75¢ off coupons, so I picked up two packages of spaghetti for 25¢ each! Another good bargain today.  

I also stopped in at the Dollar Tree to buy a loaf of Nature's Own bread and a loaf of Wonder bread and since I had a 55¢ off coupon for both, these were only 45¢ each.

At United Grocery Outlet, they had a Saturday only special. Green Beans for 39¢ a can and Mandarin Oranges for 40¢ a can. I picked up 20 cans of Green Beans and 20 cans of Mandarin Oranges, all for $15.80 plus tax. Forty cans of food for $15.80 was a great bargain and is a good example of how the Pantry Principle works. :)

Free this Week 

Three samples of Juicy Fruit.

A very nice five pack sample of Nestle Quick. 

I certainly didn't spend a lot today, unless you count the dryer, but I came home with a lot of food for the money I spent. $17.19 for 20 cans of mandarin oranges, 20 cans of green beans, 2 loaves of bread, 7 bottles of Pom juice, one 12 pack of pop, and 2 boxes of spaghetti. The best part is we had fun in the process. 

How was your Saturday?

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"

Friday, October 31, 2014

End of October

I hope all of my readers have had a good week. I worked four out of four days this week. School is out on Friday this week, so today was the end of the work week for me. The students were so excited this week for Halloween. I loved seeing them in their costumes on Thursday. 


In September I spent $334.22 on food for our family of three and said I wanted to do better in October. Well, I totaled up everything I spent on groceries this month and it came to $324.37. A difference of close to $10.00. While I definitely wanted to do better than that, I have to say that the kitchen is well stocked right now, so I'm happy with that.  

I left home early this morning to snag a couple of deals that were one day only sales and while supplies last. The first stop was IGA where they were offering milk for $2.99 a gallon, which is about an 85¢ savings. I also picked up some ground chuck priced at $2.99 a pound. I plan on making Tacos and Hamburgers this weekend. 

I also stopped at Fresh n Low for Wampler's pork sausage in the one pound packages for $1.99. I bought five pounds of the sausage and put one in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. They had three carts filled with Crash & Burn items. I bought several things including Bubble Bath for hand washing for 50¢ a bottle, Suave body wash for 75¢ per bottle and several packages of Jello for 40¢.


This month I made $13.94 on Ebay sales. I mentioned earlier this month that my sales were down from last month. Seemed to me that people were just not buying. My Dad says people are afraid to spend money right now because they don't know what the future holds, which is certainly understandable. 


Gas for my car is one of my biggest expenses each month because we live out in the country and have to drive a ways to get most places. In October I spent $169.09 for gas for my car. It was nice to see the price drop this month though. On my first fill up of the month, I paid $3.09 a gallon while the last fill up of the month was $2.62 per gallon. My Dad says it's because of the November elections coming up, but I read an article this week about OPEC, the price of a barrel of oil, and US supplies were the reason the price dropped. Either way, I'm happy that the cost of gas has come down so much, and I hope it stays that way. 

Dryer News

We've been dryer shopping last week and this week. We stopped in at the Habitat for Humanity store to see if they had any dryers, but no luck. We stopped in at a locally owned appliance store and found one for $356. Home Depot has one for $314 as well, which is probably what we will go with, but for now we are still hanging laundry up to dry. Our electric bill was $45 less this month, so we are already seeing a savings there. 

The thing that I noticed about hanging laundry to dry is that, if you save up your laundry for one day or are washing large loads, you can run out of places to hang it fairly quickly. 

I cannot hang our laundry outside to dry here because of my daughter's allergies. We live on forty-one acres of land that is mostly wooded and she is allergic to many of the trees and grasses here along with the pollen and the ragweed count is very high right now. 

S0, allergies are the reason we hang our laundry indoors. I have four sets of chairs back to back with brooms and mops on them and one clothing rack and it can fill up quickly. I hang shirts on hangers and then hang them on the broom sticks to save room. As a result of this, I have been washing smaller loads, which is not the most frugal way to do laundry. We are going dryer shopping again today, so I'll keep you updated on that front. 

That is my end of the month report from here. I hope you've had a good frugal month in your corner of the world.  :)

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"

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"
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