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 Sam from Ducks and Dollars.
What Does Frugality Mean To You?
Frugality means living well within your means and making a constant effort to save more money and meet financial goals.
What is something you do that is typically frugal?
Frugality is my lifestyle. I look for ways to save money and reuse products all the time. The one thing that I’m most frugal about is grocery shopping. I spend a significant amount of time each week looking for ways to save on the grocery bill. I create a meal plan each week and try to use up ingredients that I already have on hand. I also look out for sales on non-perishable products that I can easily stock-up on (canned goods, etc). Lastly, when possible I buy in bulk, that is, when it makes sense. Sometimes the bulk packages actually cost more per product/unit than buying the item in smaller packages.
What is something frugal you do that is unusual?
I use cash. Seems like this wouldn’t be unusual, but in our credit-friendly world, it is. On payday, my Husband and I withdraw cash for all the discretionary costs – dining out, shopping, car washes, coffee stops, etc. We have a set amount that is withdrawn each paycheck and once the cash is gone, we don’t spend any additional money on discretionary expenses. This has helped tremendously with saving money!
Another unusually frugal thing that I do is I water-down most cleaning products. I’m referring to cleaning products that come in a spray bottle. When I’ve used up about half of the bottle, I just add water to the bottle until it’s full.
What are some of your long-term goals that being frugal will help you to accomplish?
I want to be completely debt free one day. The current goal is to have all consumer debt (student and auto loans) paid off in a few years. At that point, I’ll start tackling the mortgage. Being frugal gives me more money to put toward debt. The more money I can throw at the student loans and auto loans, the sooner I can become debt free!
Being frugal also helps to develop skills for dealing with tough financial times. The fact that I’m frugal today will help me adjust in the event that I were to lose my job or have any other type of financial emergency.