Anytime frugality is brought up in a conversation, eventually the talk turns to those who are extreme in their frugality. I know that there are some things that I do that are too extreme for my co-workers and some things they do that are beyond the pale for me.

But frugality isn't about shocking your friends and family. Frugality isn't an extreme sport where there are winners and losers. It is a way to get from point A to point B, financially and as long as you are not hurting yourself or others in being frugal, have fun!

I thought I would list a few things I have learned from living frugally over the years:

  1. Quality matters as much or more than price in most situations
  2. Patience does pay off, and it can only be self-taught
  3. Friends and family matter more than where you gather or what you eat
  4. It truly is the giver and not the gift that makes the longer lasting impression
  5. Cutting down on eating meat stretches my dollar very quickly
  6. Water is the greatest benefit to body and wallet
  7. When you start small, DIY projects aren't so scary
  8. Laughing, exercise and talking are doubly beneficial; both free and healthy
  9. Time is equal to or greater than money in most situations
  10. Having another support you on your frugal journey is like being wrapped in a warm blanket
  11. The library is the greatest resource, next to paved roads and emergency responders, for which I am happy to pay taxes for
  12. Going for a drive to nowhere with a friend to talk and daydream is priceless
  13. Warehouse clubs are both a godsend and an evil temptation
  14. Nothing beats a beautiful day walking your dog barefoot in the grass (as you watch where you step)
  15. Handing coupons over to a friend who appreciates them makes me feel good
  16. Actions do speak louder than words, eventually people will pick up what you are talking about
  17. Haggling isn't so bad once you get started
  18. Vinegar and baking soda are invaluable products
  19. Staycations can be quite fun for all involved
  20. A hobby doesn't have to be expensive
  21. Sometimes all you need for a bad day is a smile from a baby to forget
  22. It is a great feeling to have more control over finances when you know what is coming in and going out
  23. Picking through trash to find a gem is a great high
  24. And decluttering could become just as addictive
  25. Being proud of my frugality and speaking out about it has taught me that others can learn from me and I from them
  26. You get along better with your partner when your debt isn't piled up and stressing you both out
  27. There are more free activities in my city than I have time to do and that is very cool
  28. Life is less stressful when you aren't worried about what others think because you have a goal and a plan
  29. With a little time to be creative I can find ways around buying new
  30. New doesn't always mean better. Old, antique, worn and used are good words as well
  31. Being frugal can seem scary, but with little steps it is amazing what you can achieve
  32. I really don’t need half the stuff that I think I want
  33. Sitting out in the warm sun is the best vacation, whether the fish are biting or not
  34. It's amazing what "sleeping on it" can do for a buying decision
  35. Food portion control can save money and health
  36. Eating healthy doesn't have to be expensive
  37. Homemade cafe mocha beats out all fancy coffees anyday
  38. If you have the space, a stocked freezer or pantry is a thrilling sight to see
  39. The value of asking myself "Do I need this?" is priceless for saving money
  40. Being frugal has allowed me to help others more through financial means

Can you help me with the 41th one?
What are some things you have learned living frugally?


  1. Jill // Friday, January 21, 2011 9:05:00 AM  

    Again with the cool posts.

    I've gained a great deal of self-confidence by being frugal. I think that is a "learned" thing...
    I mean, I've learned to trust myself over friends, advertising and "professional" advice on finances.

  2. Mrs. J @ Road Less Traveled // Friday, January 21, 2011 9:38:00 AM  

    I really like your list! One learns a lot on a frugal journey, especially how to enjoy the simple things in life. One thing on your list really stood out to me:
    "Having another support you on your frugal journey is like being wrapped in a warm blanket"
    I am lucky in that my husband is completely dedicated to our frugal journey. Without that, I don't know how I'd do it. :)

  3. Tim Gray // Friday, January 21, 2011 10:11:00 AM  

    My favorite 2 : Get over the social hangup over used items. Used = higher quality for a lot less money.


    Really review entertainment costs. cutting the cable TV/Satellite TV cord saves you huge amounts. Why pay monthly for something you rarely use. Cutting CableTV out has saved me more money than just the monthly bill amount.

  4. Anonymous // Friday, January 21, 2011 11:24:00 AM  

    I have learned that having "more" is not necessary or desired.

  5. Hollis Colquhoun // Friday, January 21, 2011 3:08:00 PM  

    Great list! You should make it into a poster!
    One thing I've found, you spend much less when you have to use real money!

  6. Dawn // Wednesday, January 26, 2011 7:28:00 PM  

    Thanks! Confidence is definitely a wonderful by product.

    @Mrs. J
    Support is so nice when you have it. Good for you that you are both going along hand in hand on this journey

    @Tim Gray
    Monthly bills definitely nibble us alive.

    More isn't always better - Amen!

    A poster would be a cool idea, and a great reminder when I'm blue.
    Cash does impact us psychologically, I would agree.

  7. Cathy Moran // Thursday, February 03, 2011 8:13:00 AM  

    41. Simplicity is energizing.