This is What Frugal Looks Like is a series that highlights different ways that people can be frugal in their lives- after all, frugality doesn’t have to be drastic or just about clipping coupons. Frugality can be fun and easy. Each respondent answers the same four questions.
Today’s interview is with Molly Green from Econobusters.
What does frugality mean to you?
To me, frugality means thinking before spending. It means thinking while spending, too. It’s a thinking, careful, planned way to live. It’s all about being patient, and purposeful.
Thinking before spending means that my money has a better chance of staying in my bank account instead of disappearing. It’s frugal to stop and ask myself, “Do I need to buy this book, or can I just borrow it from the library.” Or “That top is really cute, but really, how often will I wear it? Or, I’ll decide to wait a month before buying that kitchen gadget that I think I need. Sometimes I do follow through and buy things after the month is up, but often I don’t.
Thinking while spending means many things-like researching the best price, looking for free shipping if applicable, using coupons, waiting for clearance sales, negotiating for a better deal, comparing product reliability reviews, etc. I need to be an informed consumer. No-one else is going to do it for me! It’s my responsibility-and the rewards of a frugal purchase are mine, too! It’s fun-I really do enjoy the challenge of getting the absolute most for my money-and figuring out ways to “make-do” creatively.
What is something that you do that is ‘typically’ frugally?
Meal planning. This saves so much money. It saves a lot of time and stress, too! On my website, Econobusters.com anyone who signs up for my free newsletter also gets a totally free Menu Planning E-Book because I think it’s a foundational part of a frugal family lifestyle.
What is something frugal that you do that is unusual?
Well I’m actually very careful about what “free” or “bargain” items I bring home. It’s way too easy to be like the “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” story. That free puppy will need food and shelter and shots-those free clothes can stuff your drawers and closets aggravatingly full and actually add stress to your life. Buy the time you fix up and paint that free dresser you may have spent money and time on something you didn’t really need or want. So I’m pretty selective.
I do take just about anything that friends or relatives offer-but often it goes straight to a thrift store donation (I do make sure they know my approach here) if it isn’t something I truly need or love. I like to keep the focus on giving, rather than getting-regardless of how little it costs.
What are some of your longterm goals that being frugal will help you to accomplish?
Live without debt, and therefore be much more self-sufficient.
Have freedom to spend time and money on things I’d enjoy, like travel, giving and helping with mission work, etc.
Keep a home that is simple and serene, that reflects my family’s values and interests.
Remove as much stress as possible from my family’s life, and help other families realize that it’s possible for them too.
Who is Molly Green?
(From the Econobusters’ website) That’s a question many readers have, and it’s a fair one! Molly Green/Econobusters is a sister company to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, (TOS) a global business serving the homeschooling community in a variety of ways, including an online store, free blog hosting, free newsletters, and the publication of the leading magazine in the industry.
While many TOS subscribers are from single income homes, we realize that financial challenges are common to most families, homeschooling or not. Since we place such value on families, and the role of homemakers, we want to encourage every woman to make the most of all she has been given, and enjoy the role of managing her home wisely.
That’s where Molly Green comes in. She’s a fresh way to share practical ideas, joy, and encouragement, in a non-intimidating, non-boring way. Molly was created as a symbol of “everywoman” who is trying to do the best for her family and home in today’s challenging economy.