Friday, May 29, 2009

My frugal way of life

When choosing to live frugally and within my spending plan, I use whatever resources I have to minimize spending. My actions also tend to be more green by keeping my resource use lower.

I buy used items whenever possible.
This includes clothing, gifts, gardening implements, beauty supplies, fabric, canning supplies, furniture, housing and vehicles. I shop the local charity thrift shops and visit garage sales. I save money by not buying new, I reduce my demand on the earth's resources when buying secondhand and my money goes to a family's savings or helps people in need. That seems like a win-win situation to me.

I reuse or repurpose items.
I enjoy yogurt but the curbside recycling will not take plastic that has held dairy other than milk jugs. The yogurt cups are perfect for starting seedlings. Two liter bottles can be used to get water to the roots of plants if holes are poked in the sides and buried into the ground next to tomato plants. I wrote about a few other gardening repurposing ideas in 2008.

I consider whether I need the new item I want.
There are some things I cannot easily find used. For example, paint for the exterior of my house. Other issues include how to get items into my car and to my home. Considering how necessary the item is and what it will do for me ensures that it is something I will use and will not add to the clutter in my household.

I take advantage of scavenging opportunities.
If you put it on the curb and I have an idea how to use it (and it fits in my car), I will take it home with me. My three new raised garden beds were made of scavenged wood. One of my potato plants is tucked inside a wood bushel basket picked up from a neighbor's curb. (I would prefer not to dig far into the ground for the potato harvest.)

These strategies have served me well, and I like finding treasures at the thrift shop, on a curb or at a garage sale. It is fun in a way that going to a large retail store lacks. Do you have a favorite way to save money?

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