How do you define frugal living?
Is there something you can do differently that you consider not frugal?
For me frugal living means not spending any more money than absolutely necessary. You buy the store brand cheese instead of the Kraft, you don't waste, buy secondhand, do what you can to lower bills when you can, etc
The one thing we have/do that is not frugal is our windows. They are old and extremely drafty. DD actually gets ice on the inside of her room around the window frames. So these windows are costing us a ton in electricity and gas.
Living below your means is part of it. But to me it's getting the most "bang for your buck". Deciding what is and is not a priority to YOU and using those priorities to determine what you spend more of your money on.
This is just me, but...
Priority-- DS having the best start to education he can get, so I paid for private school until 7th grade when he went to a good charter school (he is now in public HS)
Priority-- own a house, I hate renting
Priority--travel. Lots and lots of travel, preferably overseas. We've done three trips so far, planning a BIG one for a few years from now
Priority-- log house in the middle of the woods. House backfired bad, but still have the property, one of these days...
Not a priority-- a new car, I plan to drive mine into the ground
Not a priority-- fashion, thrift store and clearance work for me
Not a priority-- cable, haven't had it for years
Not a priority-- eating out, rarely do it, and when I do I try to do lunch specials, bogo free, etc.
Even for the important things, I try to save money without losing quality/experiences. Rented a small "apartment" for less than half the price of a hotel in London, used two-for-one vouchers on almost everything we did, bought groceries at the little store down the street to save money on meals, things like that. It was two weeks of fun but didn't break the bank.
So to have what is important to me, I scrimp and save on those things that are not.
Hi, I'm new so bear with me.
I love the definitions of frugal living. We own our house and cars outright (no loans), buy clothes for the three kids (age 9 and almost-six-year-old twins) at Goodwill and consignment sales, and have chickens and a garden (although the garden isn't doing as well as I'd hoped) and still live paycheck-to-paycheck.
I do as many errands to-and-from work as I can to avoid extra trips out. I air-dry my clothes when I can, bake my own bread and cookies (which may or may not be cheaper than store-bought, but at least I know what's in them), and we hardly ever eat out. These kids have never been to a movie theater, nor have we really taken a "real" vacation.
I am trying so hard to live below my means, but it's tough sometimes. I'm going to keep reading to glean more ideas.
For me, it's about getting the best value for what I spend.
Sometimes that means I spend a little more than I absolutely have to. For example, store brand margarine costs much less than real butter, but I prefer the taste of real butter, so it's worth it to me to pay more for the real thing.
Maxwell House or Folgers coffee costs less than my beloved Community New Orleans blend, but they taste like muddy water to me. It's not a bargain if it's undrinkable.
Store brand cat food is cheaper than Purina Cat Chow, but Purina is the only reasonably priced food I've found that doesn't cause my daughter's diabetic cat to develop bladder infections. Cheap cat food isn't so cheap when the cat starts peeing blood and has to be taken to the vet for antibiotics. Not to mention that she is hell to medicate.