Being frugal…. or at least trying

Frugal:

1. economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving orsparing; not wasteful: a frugal manager.
2. entailing little expense; requiring few resources; meager; scanty: a frugal meal.
3. Not something that comes naturally to me

 

Viddy and I both spent 1-3 years single, working, post-bachelor’s degree. Although we weren’t living extravagant lifestyles by any means, money really wasn’t an issue. I was paying my student loans, taking care of my bills, flying to visit family whenever I wanted, and buying pretty much whatever I wanted. Amazon.com and I became too good of friends…

 

One summer I flew back and forth from Virginia to California or Michigan 3 times, without blinking at the cost! Now whenever we want to go somewhere it’s two tickets instead of one. Two trips can add up fast. Add in the cost of a new baby, house maintenance (who knew taking care of grass was expensive!??), cars that will need maintenance, graduate school, etc., and wham bam I’m getting a smack in the head with the reality paddle.

 

Thankfully, Viddy has a great job and we are doing fine. But the days of Amazon.com/mall shopping/willy-nilly grocery shopping are over. I hear about a $0.99/lb sale on chicken breasts and you’d better believe I drive my toosh (spell check?) over to Kroger and cash in on that deal.

 

Other things we’re doing to save money:
1. Menu planning – it’s amazing you can save money  by planning out your meals by what you have in your pantry and then just buying what you need. Previously I would end up with 4 bags of carrots just because I forgot I already had them.
2. Curbing impulse shopping. Viddy and I run all purchases by each other. Usually in the areas that I am more likely to impulse shop – Viddy is good at helping me differentiate the wants from the needs. And I do the same for him. I have a thing for baby stuff and books. Viddy’s shopping soft spot is technology (No, dear, we don’t need four PC cooling fans for our sound system receiver thing- you know, the black box with the buttons?)
3.  Working from home. Viddy works from home on Fridays to help cut back on our spending on gas. Unfortunately for me I have to drive to wherever the school sends me for clinicals (this last semester it was an hour away… once to twice a week – icky). So we’ll take the savings where we can.
4. Craigslist. It’s amazing what people will sell for cheap. Baby stuff, lawn care stuff, house stuff. We’ve got some really good deals by hunting on craigslist. Viddy is the negotiation master, he has a rule that he never pays the list price for anything on craigslist.

 

What we want to do:
1. Coupon. I have friends who are master couponers. I’m a sale shopper currently. I would like to coupon more – I’ve been hesitant to try it mostly because of the whole eating gluten free thing. Many of the crazy coupon deals I’ve seen so far are for processed bread products – not exactly Fannie-friendly. We are going to start getting the Sunday paper and hunting for coupons that will benefit us. I need to start a system of coupon organizing so they don’t just end up sitting in my catch-all bin in the kitchen and then expire.
2. Get a Library card. I’m too easily swayed by books. I need to use the library resources.
I know it’s smarter to live frugally. And we’ll be there for awhile. After I’m done with school there will be those student loans and then Viddy will be maybe going to graduate school eventually and there will be those student loans…. BUT we’ll live with-in our means and be just fine. And one day all the student loans will be payed off and we’ll be rolling in money (just kidding).

 

Any other suggestions on living frugally with a new baby?

11 comments to Being frugal…. or at least trying

  • Vanessa  says:

    It sounds like you guys are doing a great job. We had to make the same adjustments when we got married and especially when Mikaela came. I think the most important thing to remember is that if you are trying and paying your tithing, somehow it just works. And works well. We find that we aren’t just scraping by but living well and that is the miracle of how our Heavenly Father does math, isn’t it? I am so excited for your little Miss Lulu to come (and so excited to finally find out her name)! You guys are going to be amazing and are going to just love every minute (even the hard ones). Keep updating the blog, I love to hear about how you are doing!

  • Brynley  says:

    make your own baby food when they reach 6 months. The twins loved when I did in the crock pot chicken and carrots and potatoes and then just pureed it in my blender. Then you can freeze it in ice cube trays if you want. Redbox. We get one free every month on monday night. Trash bags are the plastic bags from the store.

  • Brynley  says:

    one more thing…good luck couponing! for me it takes too much time I would rather work as a nurse for a couple of hours then search through coupons. Just a thought. you’re time is money with your degree!

    • Fannie  says:

      Right now our goal is to just find coupons in the Sunday paper for things we buy anyways. We’ll see about how long it takes us to do that… I’m going to be making my own baby food, too, when she starts eating solids!

  • Jordan  says:

    Yes, grass can be expensive 🙂 I opted to seed over sod even though it took a couple years to grow in well. Suggestion, budget for a break from that frugality. Example, you can save a lot of money if you pack your lunch everyday, but we buget several days a month to eat out. That way it is in the plan and you don’t feel bad spending it. This applies to many other non-essential day to day expenses.

  • Kim Carlile  says:

    One easy thing we did when we cut back was that I started cutting Ken’s hair. Now that I have 3 almost 4 boys who need hair cuts every 6 weeks, we are saving about $100 every 3 months. I love my coupons too….

    • Fannie  says:

      I think I need some haircutting lessons before I take on the challenge that is my husband’s hair. I’m loving the idea of couponing, I just need to get into it!

  • Happy Weekend!  says:

    […] Being frugal is a way of life for us — how about you? […]

  • Andg  says:

    Thanks so much for the tips on how to save money. I’m trying to cut enough corners in the budget so that I can afford to stay home with my Buddy Bear. One trick I found was eliminating boxed cereal and making homemade breakfasts. I ended up saving $30 a month by doing that! I posted about it here: http://andmemommy.com/?p=46

    • Fannie  says:

      That’s a great idea! I love that you make healthy muffins – I might just start making more muffins now 🙂

  • Ooma | Our Big Adventure  says:

    […] see, when I wrote about trying to be more frugal, that was just the start of Viddy and I trying to do more to save our money. So we can pay for […]

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