Thursday, March 19, 2009

Intro to being frugal

The big buzz word lately, that we hear daily is "economic stimulus". We see big banks and big corporations being bailed out by the government daily. So what about the little guy? What about the average taxpayer. Well folks we are paying for these big corporations to be "bailed out" of the mess they got themselves into.
It seems like where ever I turn I see friends and family being hit by the economic down swing. Even my own family is being hit. In seeing all of this I am reminded of my grandmother who raised her children during The Great Depression. This woman was amazing. She saved everything. I remember seeing balls of rolled up tinfoil in a drawer. She would use and the wash the same piece of tinfoil over and over. I also remember her washing ziploc bags and then reusing them. Her clothes were often made of pieces of other clothing that she had sewn together. I could go on and on about her. However, sooner or later I need to get to the point of this blog.
My point....frugality pays.
First let's look at the word Frugal. According the boys over in the dictionary department, to be frugal means: economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving, not being wasteful, meager, scanty. You get the meaning here. Being frugal in my definition is to save my money where ever and when ever possible.
I've always considered myself to be a bit on the frugal side. I was raised in a home in Eastern Central Utah.(Yes for the record I am "Mormon") There was 11 children in our family, I am the youngest. My father was a school teacher. As we all know school teachers don't make a lot of money. I was raised to be very conservative in my spending habits. We had a small farm, we had chickens, goats, a calf was raised every year, as a young child I remember pigs on the farm. My parents also raised a large garden every year. Corn, tomatoes, potatoes, peas green beans, raspberries, apples, peaches, etc... was grown in our garden. We enjoyed the harvest with many meals made of fresh vegetables. What wasn't eaten was then canned and saved for winter storage.
We rarely ever ate out. My mother always cooked our meals. We didn't eat cold cereal for breakfast. It was always oatmeal or cream of wheat. On Saturdays one of us would make pancakes(from scratch) and syrup(from scratch). Mom even baked our bread. We would trade corn and cucumbers for milk and eggs from a small neighboring dairy farm. We had desserts, but generally only on Sunday's after Sunday dinner. Desserts were always something homemade.
We ate well, but we rarely went to the grocery store. I guess you could say in many ways we were "self reliant". I'll touch more on that at a later date.

In a lot of ways being frugal not only has to do with using money wisely, but it also has to do with using what we have, like the dictionary guys say "not being wasteful".

Over the course of this blog, I plan on giving you my tips for being frugal. I am also open to comments from other frugal people, so feel free to share your tips with me. We'll let this be our "economic stimulus".

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