Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Living Frugally

So I have decided to take the plunge and try to live *gulp* frugally. Some people think it's not that bad to live frugally, but this shop-o-holic is going to have a hard time.

Not only am I a shop-o-holic, I am an emotional shopper. That means if I have a crummy day, the thing that makes me feel better is buying something. I'm also an impulsive shopper. Even though I have my list, I always buy a few things that aren't on it. Take, for example, last Saturday.

I went to Target to pick up a few necessities. I had our budget money with me and I really only intended to buy a couple of things. Well, as I walked into Target, I noticed many shelves of the new Harry Potter book. I really hadn't intended to buy it for another few weeks, because I didn't think they would be on the shelves since this is the last book in the series. I figured all stores would be sold out. So imagine my surprise when I saw many, many shelves of the book in all it's yellow covered glory! And to top it all off, it was only $17.99!! I told myself it was such a deal because in a couple of weeks, the price would have gone up quite a bit. So, I picked it up and bought it, along with the other few things on my list. I went over our budget and I had to steal from another envelope, something that really isn't a good idea.

Even though this book is pretty good so far, it wasn't right for me to steal from another envelope. It's a good thing we get paid tomorrow, or we would have had to go without a couple of real necessities because of my impulsive buy.

So how am I going to try to save us some cashola? Well, here are some of my ideas:

1- Pray, pray pray! - God knows I struggle with this, so I know He can put those little reminders in my stubborn little head when I reach out to pick up something that isn't necessary. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me, right?

2- Take Eric shopping with me- I've already discussed this with him and he agrees that for awhile, he should go shopping with me. That way he can talk some sense into me when I reach out for those cute pair of shoes that I need (never mind the 30 pairs of perfectly fine shoes I already have in my closet!)

3- Coupon Clip- I have never, ever clipped a coupon. I know some people who do and they save a bunch of money! I found this great website, couponmom.com that takes some of the guesswork out of coupon clipping . I haven't had the chance to play with the website yet, but the website helps with searching the grocery ads in your area and then helps you find coupons to double your savings! She also has a couple of free e-books that help you learn how to get more bang for your buck! I'm looking forward to the time that I can sit and read through the material and learn how to save money for groceries.

4- Cook More, Eat out Less- We could save gobs of money by just stop eating out. Sure there are special occasions that call for eating out, but we really need to stop driving by fast food joints on our way home from work. Sure, I could use the excuse of getting home from work late most nights, but really, that is exactly why casseroles and crock pots were invented! I am going to work on finding good recipes that cost less in making and gives a good amount of food for left overs. That way we won't have the excuse of stopping by In~N~Out on the way home from work because there is nothing to eat.

5- Learn to be Content With What God Has Blessed Me With- Eric and I truly have all we need. Even though I don't have everything I want (well who does?) I need to learn to be content with what God has blessed me with. I need to stop looking at what others have and feeling sorry for myself because I don't have that too! I do have a nice home (just don't come by without giving my a couple hours to spruce up) and I have plenty of clothes, so there is no need for me to buy things that aren't necessary. As Sally from agracioushome.com says: "
Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Do without" She has some amazing posts on celebrating a year of abundance. She too is learning to live frugally to save some money.

So those are the few things I am going to work on. Also, my verse for this period in my life is Philippians's 4:11-13":

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.


the feathered nest said...

Good luck with this - it'll be a challenge (I speak from experience). I found it helpful to read books dealing with frugality like The Tightwad Gazette and Your MOney or Your Life to keep me motivated. I know very few people that can actually go into Target and just get what's on their list - there's just something about that store LOL! I've found that sometimes it's just better for me to avoid it altogether and buy my things elsewhere even if the price is a little higher. In the end I've usually saved money compared with overspending at Target.


The Ramblin' Rat said...

Thanks for the luck! I may have to avoid Target, but that means shopping at Wal-Mart and I despise Wal-Mart.

There must be subliminal messaging at Target because you're right, I don't think I have ever met anyone who can go to Target and stick to a list. There is just too much good stuff there!

Crystal said...

Good luck! I second the recommendation for The Complete Tightwad Gazette. Great book. Your library might have a copy.

Target is a daaaangerous place for me. I never leave there spending less than $50! *GASP*

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving the comment/compliment. :)

Jane said...

With the internet (and your friends/family) you can save a LOT using coupons. I used to get my grocery ads on Tuesdays and circle everything that I would be likely to be able to find a coupon for. Then I'd post to one of the sites on the internet and trade coupons I had (that I didn't want) for coupons I did want. That way I could get multiples of items with the coupons. By using the coupons while items were on sale, I was sometimes even able to get items for free. And it wasn't unusual for me to save 50% of the grocery bill (that's when I was REALLY organized about it! LOL!) I also saved all the UPC's and such and did a lot of mail ins for things that I then used as gifts. Good luck on your frugalality!