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
Posted by: glen | Jun 24, 2021 10:45:39 AM
There is nothing wrong with being frugal anytime ! things I cut back on or budget less for are gas and cloths, but not food.I believe food is cheap enough in Canada that we can choose from such a wide variety to eat sensibly and healthy without giving any up (even meat). Of course eating out at restaurants is a no brainer (the food is over rated in many restaurants and fast food outlets) that I prefer to make my own food as I like it. I care for family members and animals and always make sure we eat good. Public transportation and home entertainment keeps money in the bank. There is only so much you can go without, but food should never be a problem.
Posted by: salsal | Jun 24, 2021 12:51:51 PM
Interesting, but real frugality has a different mind-set - it requires resistance to messages directed at consumers and a world view of how others live. However, it is a start. Salsal
Posted by: P | Jun 24, 2021 1:58:33 PM
Being frugal is not being cheap but, being smart with your money. These days we go for the want factor not the need factor. This is how we get ourselves deep in debt. I had to look at my life and say to myself what do I have to do to survive in these times. What are my needs - I don't watch too much television so, I cut the cost of cable, I put up clothes lines in my basement for laundry so, I cut usage costs on drying, junk food (cookies, pop, chips, candy.....) was cut out, most foods were purchased on sale and in bulk if I can. I cut the cost of internet and would go to the nearest library to use a computer or use the internet during my lunch hour at work. Those were some of the things I did to get me above water. Remember the basics are all you need everything else is a want!
Posted by: Peter | Jun 24, 2021 2:02:33 PM
I certainly do not earn an above average income, and I have been affected by this "economic crisis" as much as anyone else has, but I think that society needs to keep spending, and doing what they are doing.
I still go out to resaurants, but now instead of 3 times a month, I go 2 times, and I order less food and drink. I am saving money and in turn still helping the economy.
If weather permits, I take transit to work. Not only does it save gas, but it saves the temptation to go to the store to pick up something I don't need. When going through the drive through, again, I still go. Just less often, and I have a small coffee now, no snack.
I suggest that people save all of their receipts for a month, and take a look back and ask: "did I really need to spend this money at this time?"
Not spending money is going to hurt the economy even more. There are some families who really have been hit hard, that I understand. Most people however, should still continue to live their chosen lifestyles.
Jobs will come back, and things will be how they were two-three years ago, so take advantage of all the deals right now. Use the low interest rates to fix your homes, or buy a car, and DON"T STOP spending, just trim a little of the top.
Posted by: Lisa | Jun 24, 2021 2:34:51 PM
I agree with Salsa. Being frugal is a lifestyle. It's o.k. to give yourself something extra, once in awhile...but on the whole, I believe living a chosen basic lifestyle is the best for body, mind and spirit. I disagree with Peter. If we need to spend to keep the economy going...I wonder how anyone managed for the past centuries? They lived off the land...that's how.
Posted by: Peter | Jun 24, 2021 3:05:53 PM
I agree Lisa, people did live off the land, and if we still could today, things would be so great. Unfortunately, money was conceived, which led to greed, and eventually to where we are today.
Posted by: Lisa | Jun 25, 2021 1:22:17 PM
Actually Peter, I DO know people who live off the land...still. It IS possible to do. In fact, Peter, if we did not have people "living off the land"...called farmers, you and I would not be able to eat...unless you started your own garden...then YOU indeed would also be living off the land. ;)
(I was being a bit sarcastic in my previous comment.) Cheers Peter!
Posted by: shannon | Jun 26, 2021 1:36:35 AM
Shoplifting is the way!!!
Posted by: cathy | Jun 28, 2021 8:32:42 AM
I make it a point of not looking at flyers if they are dropped off at my door or in the newspaper.....that way I do not see what is suppose to be a great sale temp me to buy...love the clothes line thing...save big time using it...want verses need is a killer....my grand parents did not ever eat out...everything was homemade...and no one got sick and as kids we were not fat and lazy...because we did not spend all of our time playing games on Tv or internet...we were outside running around looking for adventure...not sitting with a cell phone on our ear or texting....kids today have excellent flexiblilty in their fingers.....not their waist line...
Posted by: stanley cooper | Jun 28, 2021 3:43:54 PM
Persons, no ready made meals, they are JUNK.Also the restaurant meals.
Make your own meals , you know what kiind of "" poison"" you add.
Take to work your meals, if people 'complaing' or treat you liike 'cheap' ., that is way to get a raise on wages.
Posted by: Marsha | Jun 29, 2021 10:11:39 AM
My family is quite frugal these days, living with a below average income,single parent you learn what's a need and what is a want. We do have a few various expensive things because of being frugal we were able to save and splurge. We havn't had cable in 3 years but in turn we were able to afford a video game console. We buy in bulk as much as possible. We bake our own bread, cookies and most lunch snacks. I don't usually shop at a department store, most of the time it's a second hand store for clothing (brand name clothing for a fraction of the price) Living in a rural town cuts down on the temptation to eat out, but during our city trips we do try to pack a lunch if it's not in the budget to eat out (besides, who doesn't like a picnic? kids running and playing on the playground) And the kids love to recycle, nothing better than trading in old toys or clothes for something "new". With all the tech gadgets and kids wanting everything their friends have it is difficult to teach them the value of having something special. Most things are cheaply made or disposable so value isn't always what it seems to be on the shelf.
Posted by: Vee Pee | Jun 29, 2021 11:16:06 AM
Toronto is an expensive city. Honest realistic assessment of needs vs wants is essential – you may not 'want' to pay the mortgage but you 'need' to. I am single, no kids or pets, earning a modest income. My ideas to save $ include: buy bulk and split with a friend (know prices, Costco is not always cheaper) – cook meals you like in big quantities (either freeze some or enjoy leftovers daily) – 'trade' meals (eg., make 2 lasagnas, 1 for a friend, who will make 2 meatloaf and give you 1) – barter services (you cook for a male friend and he does handyman chores for you) – find good recipes for your slow cooker – shop at Walmart or Zellers (don't be proud) – use the library (don't make the Reisman's richer) – buy Starbucks coffee beans and brew your own, it's cheaper - can the gym membership (buy weights, a mat and a ball, then workout at home while watching TV). Be creative and commit to living 'below your means' forever.