Five Frugal Things

I’ve been working on saving money.  I want my house payment to go away as soon as possible.  When I have lived most of their life without having a house payment and then suddenly having one keeps me thinking about how I can make it go away as fast as possible.  Life without it was really nice and I want to get back that way again.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the house and it’s completely worth it but like any payment, it’s good to have them gone.

I’ve always been on the frugal side but lately, I’ve even been more thoughtful about it.  I keep trying to applaud my efforts in hopes that I can keep it up.  Here’s some of the latest things I’ve been doing.

1-I’ve been saving all the vegetable left overs and making soup.  So often the childcare kids don’t eat a whole can of veggies.  I’ll have a 1/4 of a can left over so I’ve been freezing it.  I just throw it all in the same bag.  Then when I want to make soup, I just throw whatever I have into the soup.  Easy-peasy, frugal and tasty.


2-After I was so sick with colds and sinus infection this winter I got into a bad habit of drinking Gatorade or Powerade.  I’ve been cutting back and have been using my water bottle more again.

3-I’ve been making a conscious effort to use more leftovers…I haven’t really been doing full out meal planning written on paper…but I have been doing it in my head and planning some meals around the leftovers.

4-I’ve stayed out of the fabric shops.  Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I went.

5-I’ve been keeping up on my book work.  This one is MAJOR for me.  Typically by this time of year I am months behind.  Now I’ve been keeping up weekly.  I love how good that makes me feel.  I’m told that managing book work, money and bills more efficiently is a big step wiser spending.

So what are you doing??  I’d love for you to share.  I’m always looking for more things.

9 thoughts on “Five Frugal Things”

  1. I find meal planning the greatest saving. I plan around the weekly specials. I cook 3 big items late in the week (shopping day is Wed) and then recycle the leftovers early next week. The dribs and drabs go to MIL’s lunch.

    I want to get into the habit of saving veggie remnants for soup and soup broth. Also, need to work on making my own chicken and beef broth from remnants ….

    I had to be frugal in my early years, so I know how — just need to get back in the habit.

  2. Great ideas, Jo! I’ve been trying to use up the food from the pantry and freezer. This started when we recently had to buy a new fridge. I take the bits of leftovers to work for lunch. I am also not buying any fabric; only when I need border fabric. It’s amazing how many quilts can be made from scraps.

  3. We stock up. I don’t like to shop. When something we use is on sale, we buy enough for several months or a year (if it’s dry goods, like laundry soap, personal items, extra).

    We waste nothing. We have the Use it, reuse it, use it up montra in our house.

    I limit my new purchases to around sale time. You need office supplies? Wait until school sales are now (now) and stock up.

    Shop at Dollar stores.

    Use what you have. Shop at home. You’d be surprised what you have!!

    When I cook a meal (always from scratch) I cook an extra meal and put it in a freezer friendly dish. Pull it out on a day you know you’ll be busy. You’ll be glad you made that extra meal.

    There’s SOOOOO much more!!

  4. I stock up on whatever is on sale at the grocery store. I don’t live close to any store at all so I have a great stock of staples at a great price. I was recently shocked to see what the full price was on a large can of crushed tomatoes. It was almost a full dollar more than what I paid- that was just ONE can. Glad I’m not the only frugal one.

  5. It sounds like you are doing a good job of minding your spending. You’ve shared good ideas. We do those too. I think keeping close track of what you spend is a great way to save. I think you probably already do a lot of what we do. We rarely eat out. I’ll bet it amounts to 6 times a year. I cook from scratch, don’t buy processed foods, only drink water, grate my own cheese and bake bread. Once I adopted the saving mindset, it became a game of how much I could save. The little things you do add up fast, but I think you’re already a good example of that.

  6. At one point in our life, we kept getting those credit card offers in the mail. So, I started reading the close print on those offers. We did have credit card debt then, and I found that if I started a new account with a company that did not charge transfer or rollover fees, and gave me 12-18 months free of finance fees, I could make a big dent in my credit card bills. Then at the 11-16 month point, I looked for a second credit card company promising the very same things, and I transferred the account over to that one. This way I didn’t pay any finance fees for nearly two years, and i paid off the debt entirely. Currently, we refinanced our mortgage but continue to pay the highest amount possible. It helps that mortgage companies apply any extra monies to the principle amount first nowadays. They used to apply it to the interest, unless you specified where the extra money was to go each month.

  7. A big savings is subscribing to Mary Hunt’s Cheapskate newsletter. No kidding! And it’s FREE. What is more frugal than free? Lots of hints and tips from readers as well as Mary herself such as making your own window cleaner for pennies, removing stains from clothes, doing things quicker and easier (more time for quilting!), making your own salad dressings, sauces, seasonings, etc. etc. She also publishes, among other things, a chart of when things are seasonal and on sale.

  8. Bonnie Baker Lippincott

    I am so fortunate that I learned from my mother how to make “planned overs” as she called them. My husband will eat just about anything, his only criteria is that dinner (supper) is hot. I made him Taco Salad for dinner when we were first married. He ate it and asked what was for dinner! I learned that lesson.

    I learned to cook for five growing up. I still do, pretty much, for the two of us. My freezer is my best friend.

    I stock up on the canned goods when they are on sale and shop at Costco for other staples that are canned or can be frozen easily. We grocery shop every Sunday, and nine times out of ten all we need is perishables.

  9. I wish that “The Tightwad Gazette” and :”Your Money or Your Life” had been published when I was 20 rather than when I was in my 40’s, but nevertheless the principles have stayed me. (And TG’s researchers used my library when they needed to look things up (in the days before the internet.)) “How to Get What You Want In Life With the Money You Already Have” (Carol Keefe) is useful, too.

    For years and years I have saved change. (I clean out my wallet, starting each day with four quarters and five pennies.) More recently I have begun to save bills: every $5 bill and every $1 bill marked B and H [my initials] (Federal Reserve bank). I put the change and the bills into a passbook account. It earns about one cent a month in interest, but it’s a parking place for the money. (I usually use it to pay my car insurance.)

    I also charge everything I can. My VISA gets airline miles, my Discover gets cash back. I avoid “statement shock” by writing down every charge transaction in my check register, just as if I’d written a check. I’ve done that for 20 years and it’s habit now. (I cashed in miles so last month’s airfare to California was just $11.20!)

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