Frugality has always been in my life. I spent my summers as a child with my grandma in a very very small town about 150 miles away from where I lived the rest of the year. My grandpa is/was a farmer, had cows, and a diesel mechanic. My grandma was a farmer’s wife. I learned how to garden, sew, cook, move pipe, change oil, and learned how to drive on a tractor. At home during the school year none of these tasks were put to use. We lived in a suburb of a city with nearly 50,000 people, we didn’t have a garden, we had a dishwasher, etc. So at the end of the school year I was ecstatic to get to go my grandma’s house! I loved being there; I loved the fruits of my labor there. I felt as though I had a purpose.
Fast forward to 5 years ago. I graduated high school, moved to Phoenix, got into a heap of money issues, wanted everything in sight, forgot everything my grandma ever taught me and then I moved back to Idaho. About a year and a half later I came to the realization that something had to change. I turned to my best friend, google. Haha! It started with a search similar to “how to not spend so much money” and “why can’t I pay my bills?” It came back with one of my lifesavers. Mommysavers.com. I had never belonged to a forum before, and I’m not a mom. So I was very nervous to join Mommysavers, but for some reason I did. This single act put me back on the road I’ve always wanted to be on. The main focus on that board is about saving money with a family. I figured well Chevy Man, I, Duramax and Chelsi…we are a family right? So I jumped in headfirst!
You know how something so simple never occurs to you? While I lived in Phoenix I had 2 roommates that made me feel well, less than at home. So I ate out every day and was never home, only to sleep. So I just got into the habit of never being home, even after I lived back in Idaho. One of those “simple-never-occurred-to-me” things was cooking all from scratch. I mean I cooked a lot but, I bought boneless chicken in a frozen bag from Walmart for $7.. for less than 3 lbs.. I thought this was a good deal. I just went grocery shopping whenever I felt like I needed stuff and it was no big deal to spend $100 each trip. This was upon eating out at least once a day, if not all 3 meals.. per day.. yes, I said PER DAY.
While this seems just ridiculous to me now, it is the truth. After reading and really pondering on the kind of person I had become, I decided that I needed to change. I was not happy with my life. I evaluated what was important to Chevy Man and I. We both had full time jobs, 2 vehicles, a huge apartment, and I had a massive shopping problem. We were headed for disaster. I decided I hated debt, hated paying to eat out and paying a lot of money for junk.
I learned about a great coupon site from a friend on that forum I mentioned before. I taught myself how to coupon shop and went NUTS! Haha. We are still living off the stuff from way back then, lol. So boarded the frugal train and while I have fallen off, a lot, I always find my way back.
For me, frugality is not a means to an end; it is a road I choose to travel. I have decided that I would rather make my own food rather than eat out so I can have a date with Chevy Man every now and then. I have decided I would rather wear older clothes so I can buy yarn to crochet. I have decided to make laundry soap instead of buy it because I like to drink Dr. Pepper. Haha! It all doesn’t connect or make sense to some, but there are places I’d rather spend as little money as possible so I can spend money on the things that I truly enjoy. It is all a matter of choice; I choose to live this way.
Since finding my place in frugality, I have found another great frugal forum. Frugalvillage.com. The people there have great advice, are brilliant at frugality and very helpful. I highly suggest both of these websites.
I love to hear how people feel about being frugal or lack of. No judgment, just curiosity
Why are you frugal? Why aren’t you frugal?