Friday, April 8, 2011

Back to Basics: A Lesson in Frugality

Last month we moved into our first house- an out of state move that required lots of planning and praying. God has provided for us in tremendous ways since we've been here, but one thing that has been difficult to adjust to is the temporary dip in monthly income. Daddy C was able to land a work-from-home position with his company, but the start date isn't until later this month. So we've been tiptoeing around practically everything, trying to save money and get back to the basics when it comes to practicing frugality.

It's hard to remind yourself to be cautious and do without when you're used to not worrying too much about extra unplanned purchases or little impulse buys. Going out to eat is a luxury, not a right. Cooking meals from home is the standard, as is baking your own treats.

With the rapidly rising gas prices, it's also been hard to remember to stay home as much as possible in order to stay within the gas budget. We've been walking to the park instead of driving and combining errands as much as possible. Sometimes, it takes all day when we combine 5 different things at once, but the savings make it very worth it.

We've also been using the cloth diapers during the day to help conserve the disposables we do have. It's not much effort to use them instead, but when you get used to the disposables, it does require an attitude shift!

As we started our vegetable garden, we tried to reuse as many materials as we could. The wood for the edging were all scrap pieces leftover from the previous homeowner home improvement projects. The walkways were made from spare bricks leftover from the front garden beds, and the the mulch was leftover from last season. So far, we've only had to buy extra topsoil and composted manure as well as a few transplants. To date, the total cost for our vegetable garden hasn't even topped $100, a truly frugal garden indeed!

What kind of things do you do differently when money is tight? Have any favorite frugal tips?


Rachel said...

I understand this having just went through a very lean season. For us we just rewrote the budget and then stuck with the smaller numbers! My biggest saver is to stay out of the grocery store and make myself use what we have on hand to save money!

Congrats on the work at home position! Oh I'd love if my husband was able to work from home...I just love having him around! :)

SparingChange said...

What an awesome post. I am praying for you and the family!