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June 24, 2021

Why frugality is making a comeback

If the economy has gotten you down and you’re looking to make some changes, maybe it’s time to join frugal living movement, says Jonni McCoy, author of Miserly Moms: Living Well on Less in a Tough Economy.

Rather than looking for ways to increase the family income, McCoy is convinced that reducing the family budget is still the smartest way for families to ease their financial burden. This is particularly true for those who’ve been laid off and are suddenly living on severance pay or unemployment, she notes.

To stretch your newly limited income to pay the bills, start with food, she suggests:

* Keep track of food prices and shop comparatively

* Prepare meals and eat at home more often

* Avoid convenient mixes and ready made food

* Plan your meals according to grocery sales

* Watch for coupons and rebates

* Cut back on meat

Sounds a bit like my grandmother, but good advice indeed.

Unlike many evangelical texts, McCoy does a good job with cost analysis, such as trying to figure out the price per pound (it’s an American book) for homemade vs. store-bought, and how to incorporate these calculations into a meal plan.

If you want to take things even further, have a look at the latest edition of The Tightwad Gazette, a corny but entertaining 972-page tome that tackles everything from recycling to slashing your electric bill. Or try these ‘frugal living’ blogs by clicking here, here or here.

What’s the one thing these two books have in common? They were both originally written 20 years ago, suggesting that some things really don’t change that much at all.

If you have any useful tips that have saved you money, let’s hear them.

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...