I ♥ being being frugal. I love the challenge, I love the freedom from keeping up with the Joneses and I love knowing that my family’s frugality keeps us from supporting businesses and environmental practices that are worsening our planet.
Recent frugal activities that warmed my heart:
- Mailing out our thank you notes. At 44¢ per letter, the United States Postal Service is a screaming good deal! (I know we could have e-mailed our thank you notes for free, but it’s so much fun to receive real mail, and if we can make that happen for under half a dollar, I say do it!)
- Using our leftovers to create delicious new meals. I saw that chuck roast was on sale at Fred Meyer, which meant it was time to make The Pioneer Woman’s perfec pot roast. After the initial hearty meal of pot roast for the five of us, the next night’s meal of french dip sandwiches knocked our socks off. So yes, we were able to get ten fantastic meals from that single pot roast. (And the leftover mashed potatoes from the first night got served with last night’s sausages.)
- Wandering around the Habitat for Humanity ReStore yesterday with my compacty friend Chelsea. Although I did not find what I was looking for, (spray paint for my Goodwill lamp) I did buy a bag of 50 assorted tulip bulbs for only $4. (I’ll probably split these with my neighbor.) I also found a penny on the ground, which I promptly put into their donation box.
- Lending our snow shovel to our next-door-neighbor. There is no reason why these kind of household items can’t be shared, especially in Portland, where a few inches of snow throws our citizens into a white-hot panic.
- Borrowing our neighbor’s garden loppers, which made it possible to chop the branches from our Christmas tree so it would fit into our yard debris can. If I simply put the tree on the curb for our hauler to take away, it would have cost us $6. This chore took maybe ten minutes, and was actually kind of fun.
- Sharing garbage service with our neighbors. This saves us $14 per month, and is easy, easy easy. This is an annual $168 savings for each of us. Schweeeet!
- Renting out our spare bedroom. My son’s Japanese tutor moved in last week, and it’s been awesome! She’s super helpful around the house, tutors the kids for free, (I was paying $20 per week for just one kid) and is great company. She’ll be paying a small amount to cover room and board, but it will be hundreds less per month less than she was paying in her last living situation. Great for both of us.
I can’t think of any frugal activities that in any way impact our lives negatively. We constantly scrimp and save, but it’s so that we have the time and resources to do all the fun and satisfying things that make life enjoyable.
How about you? Do your frugal activities keep you from living the life you want, the opposite or something in between? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.