"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!"

Saturday, January 28, 2012

This saying from the Great Depression and then WWII shows the way to frugality. I have subscribed to its principles for a long time. When it was first coined and in this economy, it just makes good sense.

I come from a family of thrifty folks...I have always been thrifty and shunned debt. Good thing. As a single woman living on a modest income, it is more important than ever for me to be thrifty. Over the holidays, and then with the planning of daughter's baby shower and the arrival of grandson, it just has seemed that my checking account has been bleeding outta control. I knew once these events were behind me it was time to get back on the frugal bandwagon -- then I saw Jeff Yeager, The Ultimate Cheapskate and was very intrigued by what he calls a Frugal Fast. Jeff says, "one way to rein in out-of-control spending is to observe a "fiscal fast" for one week. The idea is to try to spend no money for seven days, to see which expenses you can and cannot live without". This is perfect for me and my plan is to *Fiscal Fast* the last week of the month every month of 2012.

Some of Jeff's suggestions are:

Grocery-Shop in Your Pantry: You may be in the habit of stocking up at the grocery store once or twice a week, but see how many free meals you can come up with by raiding your own freezer or cupboards for foods you bought months ago.

Cut Down on Commuting: Is it possible for you to carpool or ride a bike to work for a few days? You could save money, socialize with co-workers and maybe lose a few pounds.

Flush Out Those Toiletries: You may have travel-size bottles of shampoo, tubes of toothpaste or bars of soap from past hotel stays in a closet somewhere. Try to use them up before you buy more.

Free Family Fun Night: Break out the board games or a movie from your library rather than heading to the movies on weekends.

My plan is to NOT purchase anything with the exception of gasoline to get back and forth to work during the week. Otherwise, I will use what I have on hand. That includes what is lurking in my pantry and freezer. No stocking up before the fast starts either -- just using what has already been purchased. I am really thinking this is going to be a breeze but I just may be surprised. Wish me luck!! What are some of your best frugal tips?