We have all made the journey at some point in life. That is mainly why we are here - or why many came at first.
We have all had different journeys for different reasons. There is no right or wrong way to be frugal. Some have been extreme and some just keep a close eye on things.
It depends on the reason you are being frugal. Some decide to stay home with children, some it is necessity due to loss of job or medical issue. It may be from divorce or loss of partner. Some just can't get by any other way. Some are saving for something. Whatever the reason - go forward and make the BEST of it. Have fun with it. YES, it can be fun as well as productive. Soon, it becomes a way of life.
In MY eyes, frugality is not really about doing without! It is about making more precise decisions. Decisions that serve you well and enable you to have a good and full life.
In my eyes it is all about just keeping it simple. Simple food, simple wardrobe, simple decorating, simple gifts, simple home, etc. Nothing has to be fancy and expensive. You have all heard the phrase champagne taste on a beer budget! Well, it can be done - really!!!!!!
You don't have to give up the nicer things in life. You just get them in a different way!!!!!
You can make things. Want the pretty throw pillows or the new kitchen curtains, or a new table cover - make them. Use things you already have or have purchased for pennies and re-invent them for your new use.
Want to redo a kitchen look? Go to a resale shop and buy different handles (or at hardware store). Sand and paint cabinets. Paint walls. Add a pretty throw rug - many ways to update a room.
Get or use an older outdated piece of furniture and paint it a fun color to match your decor.
Watch for yard sales and check out thrift stores. NO SHAME whatsoever! I recently bought 3 lovely 'designer' tops at my neighbor's yard sale for $2 each. I would never go out and buy designer clothes (never have) - but these are excellent quality and will last me for years. I don't have that desire for designer stuff - I just happened to like these.
Reuse items for new things. At the simplest level - keep any plastic containers that you would normally trash - like yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream containers - they are now food storage containers!
Keep glass jars that grocery items come in - great storage for wet or dry items, and many can be used for canning or for storage.
A sturdy and heavy shipping box can store excess items in your house, it can become a temporary storage in the pantry. A big box can be covered and make a bedside table.
Expand from there. Old socks can become dusters or mops. (I use one on a Swifter to clean floors) - they are washable. Old t-shirts or clothes for rags.
Start simple and small and pretty soon you will be thinking of all kinds of things that you can reuse in a new way.
It is somewhat ADDICTIVE!!!!! And FUN!
Check Freecycle if you have it or neighborhood marketplaces for items. Put out the word to people you know, family friends, and neighbors "I am looking for............" Odds are - someone will have 'it' and you can get it.
If you want to learn new things - online opportunities abound. You can go on You Tube and learn about anything. From a foreign language, how to bake bread, how to make a certain salad, grow a container garden, fix simple plumbing, sharpen a chain saw - you name it!!!!!!! It is all FREE!!!!!!!
Be willing to try store brands instead of name brands. Many store items are the exact same thing - made by the same manufacturer and just relabeled. Give it a try.
Visit your library. There are so many fun things to read. You have a chance to learn, laugh, and journey to a new place - if only for a while. There are self-help books and reference items. They usually have movies to check-out. They have activities (free) for the kiddos and sometimes for adults. Some libraries even have lending items such as shovels, power tools, etc.
Remember first and foremost - your journey is yours!!!!! It is not like anyone else's. What you do or create to help your family depends on the situation you are in and what you want to accomplish.
It is give and take!!!!!!!
Maybe raising chickens isn't for you - just watch for best prices on eggs. Maybe gardening isn't your thing - check farm stands or markets, check with neighbors (barter or trade), etc.
If need be - go to the food pantry for help with groceries. That is why they are there. Use the resources you have available in your area.
Learn to cook and make delish meals with SIMPLE ingredients. It doesn't have to be a five-star delicacy. It needs to be tasty and filling and nourishing.
There are many things we can do without that isn't going to kill us!!!!! Stop buying the junk food - make cookies or snacks at home. Don't go out for latte - make a fun coffee at home. You may find that it is more flavorful and tastier anyway - and you save $$$ as well.
The list goes on and on.
Frugality is about having a goal or a purpose in mind - and living a good and fun life in a simple way - so as to reach that goal.
If you can save $5 a week - do it. If you can save $50 a month - do it. Just do something.
It doesn't have to feel like being deprived, it really doesn't.
You just need to get a little creative with what resources you have and think outside the box.
So do what is right for you. Pick and choose what fits and what you can begin with and then branch out. You will learn new things, have new opportunities and fill fulfilled!
Seriously - make it FUN!
JUST MOVE FORWARD.
So, for anyone just starting this journey or having to restart the journey - please know we are behind you 100% and YES you can do it!!!!!!!!!
IF you have questions - JUST ASK!!!!!!!