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 Jennifer from Hilltop Communications.
What does frugality mean to you?
To me, frugality means using resources of all types – money, time, and “stuff” – wisely, so that you can enjoy living. Frugality is a way of showing respect for whoever worked for or provided the resources, whether that be the Almighty, a family member, or oneself.
What is something that you do that is ‘typically’ frugally?
I clip a few coupons (although I am not a major coupon-er), I stock up at grocery specials, I open or close the blinds to control passive solar heat depending on season, and I turn the heat way down in the winter.
What is something frugal that you do that is unusual?
I started canning food when I was 8 years old, and I like to think I was “putting up” (preserving food) before it became cool again. I have the biggest garden that my suburban lot will allow, and I grow some food plants in the front yard, which is not typical for this part of the country. I make my own laundry soap, my own fleece pillowcases, and my own make-up remover wipes. I try to eliminate or greatly reduce the need to buy disposable items.
I compost, which is not unusual, but I do so as much for the garden fertilizer as to control waste. I get a significant thrill out of watching garden produce nourish my family, then sending its waste to the compost so it can nourish the next garden and continue the cycle.
What are some of your longterm goals that being frugal will help you to accomplish?
Of course, my husband and I would like to retire comfortably one day, although I think there will always be some sort of work in our lives; hopefully, our retirement savings will allow us to be choosier about the work we do. Additionally, my husband and I dance competitively and like to spend time in Key West, Florida, neither of which are inexpensive hobbies! But I sure would rather spend my discretionary income on a mojito on the beach than on a few extra degrees of heat and some commercially-produced laundry soap!
About Jennifer Patterson Lorenzetti
Jennifer Patterson Lorenzetti is a writer, editor, speaker, and owner of Hilltop Communications. Lorenzetti had her first garden – and her first compost pile – at the age of eight, and she has embraced the sustainable homemaking arts ever since. In 1997, she founded Hilltop Communications, a professional communications firm focusing on the challenges of making complex subjects understandable to professionals and laypeople alike. In 2009, she married the two passions to start Fast, Cheap, and Good, a blog dedicated to helping readers pursue a more sustainable lifestyle, one choice and one project at a time.