Friday, May 12, 2017

Frugal Friday

I was thinking about my life the other day and the examples I had growing up which have led to some of my ideas about living frugally.  For a time after my parent separated, we lived with our pastor and his family.  They took us in to help us out financially.

I do remember homemade meals, gardening, cutting wood and learning what it looks like to use it up, wear it out, make it do and do without from this dear family.  They were industrious and had learned to trust God for many of their needs as a family in ministry. 

Throughout the years, we have had different examples of families who were content with simple living.  When I think back on these different families, the words that come to mind are content, joyful, generous and peaceful. 

As I puttered around the kitchen the other day, trying to use up some ingredients in a dish, I too felt content.  As I've learned to enjoy living simply and taking pleasure in the small things, I feel peaceful.

This week I've saved by doing the following:

$ Emily needed a dress for her senior dinner dance in a few weeks.  After hitting some thrift shops and finding nothing, I reluctantly went to the mall thinking it was certainly going to cost more than anticipated.  However, due to the fact that one of the stores is going out of business, we were able to get her dress at 50% off.  So a $70 dress cost $35. 

$ A neighbor brought over 15 bagels from a huge bag they had.  Since we aren't going to use them all at once, I put some in the freezer.  Free is always good. ;-)

$ A friend from church brings us eggs every few weeks.

$ I used Vista Print to design and order Emily's graduation announcements/party invites.  It was much cheaper than using the school's company.

$ Dan and I went on a date.  We stopped and bought tea to go and then went and sat by the lake and chatted.  Inexpensive and yet, it was time connecting.

$ I was out of the house all day yesterday and when late afternoon rolled around I was in the middle of Walmart thinking, "What in the world are we going to eat for dinner?"  I thought about ordering take-out (expensive) or purchasing a frozen something or other (unhealthy).  Instead for $13 I pulled together a meal that took me 20 minutes to make.  Steak and provolone sandwiches on store bought rolls with caramelized onions, mushrooms and tomatoes and steamed broccoli.  Much better for us and inexpensive compared to the other options.

$ As gardening time rolls around, I've decided once again to not plant.  I'm HORRIBLE at it.  The amount of money and time and failure that happens each year makes it not a frugal option for me.  So once again, I'll be heading to the regional market to get my fruits and vegetables.  Because I know my prices, I can bargain shop.  Yet, I'm getting fresh and local grown fruits and veggies to can.  I did this last year and it was such a better option for me.

Most of the ways I save money tend to be through the kitchen because that is the one expense I can control.  Because I stay out of the stores and very rarely buy anything else, it keeps our costs low. 

It's work, but fun!  How have you done this week?