You can’t pick up an article, read the newspaper, buy a magazine, listen to a talk show or podcast without someone touting their newfound joys of frugal hood. It’s as if these people have discovered the secrets to successful money management all wrapped up in a jeanie bottle simply by being frugal (the quality of being economical with money or food; thriftiness). The truth is they are only being frugal because they are forced to. At this stage of the inflationary game, people are being squeezed to be mindful of their wallets and pocketbooks (or should I say ‘handbags’?) Every day, more and more people have no other choice but to tap in to their savings in order to pay their regular bills. So, it’s only natural they’d want to seek out any frugal stream they can find.
Google the word ‘frugality’ and you would get approximately 5,760,000 results in 0.45 seconds. That’s a lot of hits. Just think:
- 15 Things You’ll Find In My Frugal Kitchen
- 25 Habits Of Frugal People
- Old Fashioned Frugal Living Tips
- 20 More Tips For Super Thrifty Living
- 10 Golden Rules For Frugal Living
- 55 Frugal Tips From The Great Recession
You can learn all of the above plus 5,759,994 more frugal things in the comfort of your own living room or office. Why, it’s overwhelming! Who in their right mind has time for all of this? Not me. I’m too busy actually being frugal and uncovering tried-and-true frugality rules that get me to pay my essential bills on time. It’s been downright exhausting. Enough!
Truth is, no one is born frugal. It’s a habit, technique, way of life you can only learn either through experience or from your parents, friends or elders. And the further truth is, you only become frugal when you are in desperate need of money. No one just wakes up in the morning and decides they are going to become more frugal. It’s a lifelong journey and you are always learning. No one has frugality down pat. I’ve been frugal since the Stock Market Crash of 1987. Going broke has a way of toughening up those wallet strings and forcing oneself to be more mindful of money. The number one thing you want to learn right away is how do I save my money, make it last while spreading it thin. Frugality baby. Frugality.
If you are new to frugality, before you do anything, I highly recommend you start out reading the Amy Dacyczyn 1993 hit, The Tightwad Gazette. You can either start out reading the three single editions or the all-in-one edition containing all of the three books and more. Experience mastered through the biggest inflationary period of the 1970s and 1980s, and written in the early 1990s, Amy started out with a monthly newsletter priced at one dollar per month. I’m guilty of sending Amy the $12 needed for an annual subscription and savoring each and every copy for years, till this day. Amy is the KING of frugality. There has been no other writer who has captured perfectly what the pure essence of frugality contains. Based on pure economic logic, Amy’s newsletters educated the masses to respect money, cut corners when necessary and live a full and happy life without sweating the small stuff. When Amy accumulated over a million dollars from her publications, she retired to her Victorian farm house in Maine, along with her husband and six children and has never looked back. Wouldn’t you want a future just like Amy’s?
All of her books can be borrowed out from your local public library. You don’t have to buy a thing.
The first thing I mastered from The Tightwad Gazette was making pizza from scratch for only $2.00 complete. Today, even with inflation, you can still make this pizza (and I do) for around $4.00. Still a massive bargain. My husband and I still to this day, every Friday night, we make our own pizza. We haven’t ordered a commercial pizza pie since 1998! With pizza pie prices hovering around $20, perhaps you should make learning how to make a pie for under five dollars, a priority.
If I estimate, for arguments sake, that a commercial take-out pizza was $15, making my own pizza every week, for a year would save me $780. Since 1998 hubby and I have been loyally making our own pizzas for 24 years. Based on these loose projections, we have probably saved $18,720 from that first day we made our own pizza. (in summer, we make our own pizza out on the BBQ grill).
Here’s a little video I made of hubby and I making our pizza, back in the day (2015), for only $2 per pie. (Please note: on the bottom of the video screen, I made a notation: Not Responsible For Inflation. Even back then, we knew!! Enjoy!