Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Frugality and 25 things

One of the criticisms of the minimalist movement is that people may own very few things, but they spend an awful lot of money.  There are minimalists who both own less and are frugal.  I was born frugal.  I have no idea where it comes from.  My parents can tell you that I have always been that way.  I also married frugal.  However I'm not perfect.  There are things that frugal people do that I don't.  I recently watched a youtube vlog about the 25 frugal things this family does and while I don't do all of them, I certainly can come up with my own list.

1) Keep my air conditioner on a higher temperature setting (and thus drown the therapists in buckets of sweat) and also keep my heater on a lower temperature setting (thus freezing people).

2) Make things. Sometimes these are gifts for other people.  Sometimes this is toothpaste, cleaning solutions, bone broth, etc.

3) Fix things. I'm not great at fixing a car, but I fix a hem and sew back on a button.

4) Check out things from the library including music cds and dvds.

5) Use an antenna on my television. We went two years using the library and only antenna channels, but now we have netflix so the antenna gets used seldom especially with watching youtube videos. My husband and I have never had cable or satellite and we will have been married 10 years on Friday.

6) Rarely purchase postage. Most everything can be done electronically including paying your bills.

7) Line dry.

8) Purchase used clothing.

9) Purchased used home furnishings.

10) Rarely purchase children....anything. My children seem to attract things. Small toys at the eye doctor's. Crayons from the end of the year at school.  Books from school and even the library.  Even sometimes we get clothes from friends for free.

11) Free (or low cost) outings. The park is free (if it wasn't too hot outside). The library has free events/clubs. And the local autism association will sponsor movie showings and we can get free passes to those.  There are also a number of community events that are free such as firework displays.

12) Free food. In the summer a number of the schools will give children under the age of 18 free breakfast and free lunch.  It doesn't matter your income or if you are even attend or are old enough to attend the school.  My children had free lunch today (and probably will tomorrow).

13) Use freecycle.

14) Repurpose things.

15) Wear stuff out. Nobody needs a new car, a new computer, or a new cell phone everything a new model comes on the market.

16) Take care of what we do have.

17) Free calendars. My parents give those to use every year for Christmas.  And if you are Catholic, they usually come free at New Years to your parish.

18) Play lots and lots of games. Board, video, and physical ones.

19) Eat at home.  We do eat out, but I think it's below the national average of times that people do. Neither one of us are gourmands so this is one we aren't as frugal on.

20) Buy food in season and on sale.

21) Only wash full loads. That said my modern washing machine uses low water based on the amount of clothes you put in.  It has a sensor.  My dishwasher doesn't measure out water.

22) Use rechargeable batteries.  I haven't done a cost comparison based on the amount of energy to charge a rechargeable versus constantly purchasing new batteries.  That said over the years I think we've saved.  I've only had to get rid of some rechargeable recently because they weren't working properly.  And that's the first time...ever.

23) Make do. I recently left behind some stuff at a friend's house.  I'm hoping she'll bring them back, but in the meantime, we're doing without.

24) Use rags. There's been studies that show a kitchen sponge is the dirtiest most bacteria-filled thing in your house so I avoid using them like the plague.  Instead I use a dish rag and deposit it in a bucket which when full goes into the washing machine. 

25) Trade services. I was giving music lessons for free babysitting.

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