Wondering how to live simply when you feel like you’re already following most frugal living advice? Time to dig deeper!
Here’s another fabulous post from one of our favorite frugal folks from the Frugal Living Facebook group, Belinda Lents!
Do you ever feel like you have read countless money saving articles only to realize…
…none of them apply to your real life?
I mean, I don’t even drink coffee or eat out on a regular basis.
Over the past twenty years, I have read hundreds, maybe even thousands, of articles on how to save money.
And a few years ago, it finally occurred to me that I was already doing most of the common suggestions.
It was time to dig deeper.
Digging Deeper To Find That Frugal, Simple Life
Saving On Paper Products
It wasn’t until my daughter had a sleepover three years ago that I realized we did things a lot differently than other families.
One of her friends commented on the fact that we didn’t use paper plates, paper towels, or paper napkins.
By that time, our family had lived without those things for so long, we forgot that other people use them regularly.
(Did I mention that my husband has worked for decades at a paper mill? Let’s just keep that little secret to ourselves.)
The really funny part is that not using paper products was his idea!
When we first married, he explained how he grew up with cloth napkins. That was a foreign concept to me, but I embraced it anyway.
There was always a little extra room in the washer for a few napkins, and it was definitely less waste and expense.
I have an obsession with dishes, so the no paper plates thing was easy.
The paper towels bit, on the other hand, has been negotiable over the years. I keep them on hand for super messy or greasy situations. But honestly, we mostly use cloth dish towels or rags for most messes.
Another “aha moment” for me was when I realized that we were wasting a ton of money (and resources) on plastic storage bags.
It wasn’t unusual for me to go through a half a dozen each day!
Now, I am too lazy to be one of the super savers of the world who washes their plastic baggies. Frankly, it also grosses me out a bit.
But one day, when we ran out of storage bags, I turned to my trusty plastic storage containers.
Still to this day, I don’t know why we didn’t use them from the start for everything.
Sandwiches are no longer smashed. Chips don’t get crunched into those miniscule crumbs that somehow cover the entire contents of your kid’s backpack.
Sure they have to be washed. But for us, it was worth the extra effort.
We live on three acres and have the fortune to be able to compost and garden.
If we didn’t have our garden, our grocery bill would be triple what we normally spend.
The compost provides free growing soil and fertilizer, all in one.
Now I’ll admit, there are times that I do not want to see another zucchini. And nights when I mumble under my breath about how tired I am of canning green beans.
But, the pleasure and, honestly, the pride from seeing the pantry shelves and freezer full of goodies that you have grown and harvested makes up for those long, hot days.
If you don’t have the space for a full garden, at least consider planting something in pots outside or even on the kitchen window. You’ll love that puff of pride when you can use herbs you grew yourself, too.
Simplify Your Foods
Back in the early days of our marriage when we had a small toddler, we lived off of green beans I had canned and boxes of macaroni and cheese that cost a quarter.
Not the most nutritious meal, maybe. But we all had the necessary calories to get through the day.
As hard as those times were, they have left lasting and loving memories etched in my mind.
Inspiration boards can be, well, inspirational.
Would you love to travel? Post some pictures or postcards to a bulletin board or stick them on your refrigerator to remind you of the goal you are working towards.
(It’s the best way to press through when you’re sick and tired of being so frugal.)
Been dreaming of an amazing kitchen renovation? Put some paint chips and pictures of those new cabinets up on your board.
Visualize it all…it’s like creating a physical Pinterest board.
I’ve noticed that if I can touch it, or pick it up and study it, it makes a stronger impression in my life.
Those reminders may give you the added boost you need to resist the temptation to spend on something unnecessary.
Don’t Give Up!
Most importantly, don’t give up.
You will have setbacks.
You may even lose friends along the way, because you said no to their invitations for events you just couldn’t fit into your budget.
Just know that there are like minded people out there. You just have to look for them.
(If you can’t find them in your daily life, you can certainly find them in our Facebook group!)
Take the Time To Adapt To The Frugal Life
Life will always be complicated.
So when you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath.
And remember that science lesson we all learned years ago. We have three choices in life when change presents itself. We can move, we can adapt, or we can die.
Trust me when I say that adapting is the easiest and cheapest of those options. 😉
Looking for more frugal living tips that you haven’t already read 100 times before? Be sure to check out 500 Ways To Save Money.
How do you keep life simple?