It’s really been in the past ten years that I began to think along frugal lines. I was never one to throw money away casually, but I didn’t think about my spending as much as I should have. Recently I’ve been thinking over the things which have become habit for me. I practiced one of those habits this morning.
Habit 2) hanging clothes to dry overnight then finish in the dryer the next day. Our clothes racks are inside, so we can’t get the thorough dry which a nice breeze will bring. Still, it cuts electricity usage and in the winter adds moisture into the dry air.
Habit 3) watching clearance aisles. Before, I would look through these areas once in a while, but now I take time for them each trip to the store. I don’t always find something I need, but frugal ways are patient. I have a mental list of things which we use frequently, things which will need replacing soon, and things which each family member likes. That leads into the next habit.
Habit 4) shopping for Christmas all year. This one takes some organization. I keep a list of what I’ve purchased, for whom, the price paid, and the original price. I like to add up the savings once the shopping is complete, and I need to keep track of how much I’ve spent. It’s easier to go over budget when the shopping is over a twelve month period. You also need a set location to store these items so you can find January’s purchase when ready to wrap in December.
Habit 5) be willing to pick up socks or other frequently used items when on sale and hang on to an extra package until needed. I don’t ever want to have to pay full price if I can avoid it. If you are on a tight budget, I’d recommend that you just watch the sales and purchase close to replacement need. It’s not frugal to purchase extra or ahead when the bills are pressing.
Habit 6) mend your clothes and other fixable items. I was raised by a sewer, so this wasn’t a big change for me. When in college, I found a shirt I liked reduced to a good price, but a few buttons were loose. I bought it and made the adjustment. Win-win. This attitude is passing to my children, thankfully. I can’t count the times they’ve brought things to us for repair. Princess Leia had to live with one arm, though. We decided she’d lost to a light sabre.
Habit 7) make foods from scratch. I don’t always do this. Again, I was raised by a baker, so making my own bread has never been something to frighten me. I enjoy kneading. Boxed foods do hit our table, especially on hectic nights. It’s good to expand your list of things you are capable of making. I go in spurts of searching for new recipes to replace boxes.
There are other habits I’ve formed which I’ll think of ten seconds after publishing this post, and tons of habits which other frugal people have formed, but this is not meant to be all encompassing. I really need to make time to learn to knit socks, but at least I know how to darn them when that day comes!