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Living Maximumly Frugal

Monday, January 13, 2014

My boyfriend and I have some debt looming over our heads after a year of unemployment on his part. So it's time to break out those frugal habits that I was raised with and also developed over the years as a single mother. Here are some of the things I can think of to do:

-Here in Louisiana the weather from February through April is usually moderately warm so the heat and AC go off until May. We have compact florescent light bulbs so that should help save electricity. I also use the toaster oven instead of the big oven when I can.

-No going out to eat. I cook large batches and freeze portions for busy days and lazy weekends. We have friends over for game days instead of going out with them.

-I have a bread maker so I'm making 2-3 loaves a week. We've also become semi-vegetarians only eating meat every other day or so. It's cheaper AND healthier!

-I pack a lunch for me and boyfriend every morning. I make low-fat muffins and freeze them so I can pop them in the lunchbags. I cut up lettuce and veggies ahead of time so we can bring salads.

-My boyfriend cuts his own hair with a clipper. I cut my own bangs and go to SuperCuts once a year to get a few inches cut off the back. I cover my gray with Henna which is cheaper and healthier--no chemicals. I do my own manicures and pedicures. Waxing? Thank goodness I'm not that hairy. ;) Massages? Maybe I can talk my boyfriend into giving me some.

-I drive a Prius so the gas usage is extremely low. My boyfriend rides his motorcycle to work so ditto.

-Any clothes I'll need will come from thrift stores or Wal-Mart.

-I'm selling things we don't need anymore on Craiglist.

-We've given up cable TV and NetFlix should go if I can talk my boyfriend into it. Internet has to stay because of his job where he needs to be able to work on the computer remotely.

-I'm putting up with my phone that has a broken speaker. It will have to do until my contract is up.

-I've started an Etsy shop to sell my handmade items. I have lots of yarn to use up so there is no need to buy more.

-No blowdrying hair, dishwasher heat dry mode is off, washing clothes in cooler water, drying clothes outside on rack.

-We're growing some of our own food and buying from farmers directly when we drive out to the country to visit relatives.

-Going to the library for books and movies.

-Exercising by walking, lifting weights and doing yoga.

-Avoiding the doctor and dentist by staying healthy and flossing.

-No gift giving. Any birthdays or holidays will be celebrated with homemade cards and home-baked items.

-When our lease is up we will look for a cheaper place to live. We're saving up for moving costs and hope to borrow a family member's trailer instead of renting a U-Haul.

-I have enough airline miles for one trip this spring to see my family who live across the nation. After that, well, there's Skype.

-Now is the time to use my English degree and write that bestselling novel. ;)

We'll have to live this way for at least two years. Then, I hope, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel for us AND everyone else who is affected by this crazy economy.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great ideas and steps you are taking! Several years back we found ourselves in similar circumstances ... job scarcity or opportunities and need to downsize. We do many of the same things you have implemented, You might find after a couple of years it's not just a crazy economy but for some of us it was a matter of participating in a crazy way of life - personal opinion here - ha! We love living simpler and with less 'things'. It allows for a different quality and appreciation of life to come through and so much more time to pursue things which are truly more beneficial.

    I am a knitter and did turn my 'hobby' into selling my items for extra income. I've yet to check into selling online but have sold at our local Farmers Markets which is a mix of produce vendors, artists and crafters. This is a great way to be in touch with community.

    I do one thing differently - I celebrate my graying hair! emoticon I do occasionally miss using a blow dryer - I sometimes misjudge how long it takes for my hair to dry and arrive at various functions with 'damp' hair - ha! But that's not odd for where I live ... a lot of us around here live and dress quite differently.

    Another thing I just thought of - we live off the grid and use solar power which unfortunately our landlord has not upgraded batteries adequately and during rainy season our power can be quite low but we bring in outdoor solar lights for 'evening' light and use oil lamps as well. It makes it quite cozy and I love the ambiance it creates. I also got some solar powered led reading lamps ($10) which are wonderful for all those library books we read at night. I just stick them on the window ledge during the day to stay fully charged.

    If ever we were to move/lease another place to live that had electricity I would still use the solar lights and oil lamps!

    Good luck ... and just remember that 'more' doesn't necessarily mean 'better'! Enjoy life, be healthy, be receptive to 'change' - life is an adventure when not totally planned out from a-z! Sometimes it's the curve balls that life throws at us that turn out to be the best thing! ~dj
    1468 days ago
    I love that these are more than just ideas... you are doing them... living this way. We have been making many changes and downsizing is ahead for us too. Amazing how getting rid of cable and stopping shopping impacts the monthly balance. Good for you and keep it up! emoticon
    1469 days ago
    Excellent was to meet your financial challenges - may your 2 year journey teach you valuable lessons and bring you peace of mind and needed resources...
    1470 days ago

    Also see if you can find "Tightwad Gazette" by Amy (Decision) at your local library. Full of tips/ideas.

    What's your Etsy listing?
    1470 days ago
    You can do it!!! We live practically the same way, right down to the bread maker bread several times a week. There is a bread recipe that I also use where you make a no knead dough, keep it in the fridge for up to 7 days, and grab a handful or two, let it rise for 45 min, and bake it whenever you want bread in that 7 days.

    I also gave up paper towels. I had bought cloth napkins several years ago so now I use them instead of paper towels and throw them in with the bleach load when I do the laundry. Plastic wrap, tin foil and sandwich bags are luxuries around here too.

    We got rid of our cell phone too and went to Trac-Fone. $19.99 every 3 mos. we were at the end of our phone contract so we were able to give the good phones up.

    And, we're perpetually in no-gift mode too. It's better than credit card debt. Our cupboards, fridge and freezer aren't busting at the seams with food but I've become so accustomed to buying only what we need that living less wastefully has become a great feeling.

    I'm in the process of selling lots of my nice things on eBay. Longaberger baskets, signed first-edition books, collectibles. It feels good to get rid of "stuff" though and live more simply.

    Good luck!!
    1470 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/13/2014 7:37:45 PM
    Sounds good to me. It gets easier to do as the days go by. I may even get to be more frugal. I'll try to pay for anything with cash. That will make me think do I actually need or just want the item. It's good to be frugal. Most things we buy we don't even need.
    emoticon attitude!
    1470 days ago
    Good luck, you can do it. Looking forward to you telling us that your novel is about to be published.

    There are lots of local Facebook pages that sell or swap items. There may be one for your area. I sold a trouser press that we didn't need, and hope to sell other household items when I move house in a month or two. There are no listing fees, unlike eBay.
    1470 days ago
  • KWOOD1955
    Great ideas!!! emoticon
    1470 days ago
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