BEING frugal is a state of mind.
This is a statement I’ve come across many time over the years.
At a younger age, when I was working and earning a good wage, it meant very little to me.
However 40 years ago I married an alcoholic who wasted his and my money.
I had to look for ways to make my money work for me and my children.
At first I was angry and bitter that I had nothing to show for all my hard work, tired and frustrated at the uphill battle to survive.
I then had my road to Damascus moment, people all around me were losing jobs, home and cars. No more fancy holidays and mountains of credit card debt.
In the middle of this I realised I was an expert on frugality. ‘64 ways to make one pound of mince meat feed a family of five’. Re-make, recycle and reuse. Hand-me-downs and charity shop finds.
I decided to celebrate my skills and instead of hiding my frugal life, I shone a bright light on it.
We are heading towards a bleak future this winter and I keep thinking of one of Sir Winston Churchill’s quote: “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
Save money by looking at every challenge as a potential win over waste:
1. Turn your heating down, but don’t get hypothermia.
2. Heat your water up enough to have a pleasant bath, but don’t boil it and then have to add lots of cold water.
3. Don’t leave lights on if you’re not in a room.
4. Cut down on wasted food. If you don’t think you will eat all the vegetables in the fridge before it goes soft, freeze it.
If you’ve cooked too many vegetables, put excess in a container in the freezer. Keep adding to it until you have enough to make a filling stew or soup base.
5. When you get out of the shower, do you use the towel then put it in the wash? Try hanging it up to dry and use that towel several times.
6. Stop using the tumble dryers, invest in a washing rack that is lowered and raised to the ceiling, when you have the heating on in winter it will rise and dry your washing at no extra cost.
Remember: Money saving ideas beat those big company bills. More money in your pocket and less in theirs.
By ‘The Auld Git’ of Armley