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Day 2 Frugal Living Challenge: Develop the Frugal Living Habit

February 12, 2012

Today on the second day of the Frugal living challenge, Andrea discusses how to develop the frugal living habit. She suggests finding alternatives to satisfying our needs, and discovering your new minimum level for your comfort zone. She also gives a great list of suggestions on how to get started with some minor steps in breaking out of habit such as:

Cut back on the amount of soap used when washing hands. It could be that only 1 pump of soap will do, rather than 2 or 3.

Drink water. Boxed or bottle juice is expensive! Soda contains no nutritional value and isn’t cheap either. Drink water!

Turn down the thermostat. Daily reduce the settings by one or two degrees. Wear sweaters and slippers in the house. Add an extra blanket to the bedding.

Her list is long, so if this is something you haven’t started doing, you have a lot to get started with. I think the two most important things are to keep an open mind to alternatives and to tap in to your creativity. But these work best when you are truly honest with yourself. If one kind of change just doesn’t work for you, don’t think it’s a complete failure and give up. Just search out other ways that ARE easier for you to change – when you find what that is, do a couple of things to compensate for the areas that are more difficult.

Daily Goal:  Examine your own unique situation and challenge yourself to the minimum level. How will seeking the minimum level affect the way you live now? What will you reduce today? What can you work on reducing in the future?

Me: Many of the suggestions for getting started are things that we have already done in our home. We have significantly adjusted the setting on our thermostat. I air-dry about 60% of our laundry. We recycle- even though there is still no curbside service. We use cloth grocery bags. We don’t really eat out nor do we keep a significant amount of processed foods in our home. ( We are Paleo eaters.)

There is more we can do, though. Our biggest challenge is our home itself, rather than what is in it or our habits. Our house is just too big. And we are farther out in the suburbs than we need to be. Logistically, is was a poor choice on our part. We do have a plan set in place to eventually downsize and move closer in to the city. I’ve toyed with the idea of renting out one of our extra rooms upstairs, but that is over my husband’s comfort line and I have concerns with security and having a small child. A source of passive income would be fantastic, though! We BOTH want to start walking to do some of our smaller errands, or biking. We do this probably 2% of the time now, due to short distances of sidewalks (for walking) and honestly, people are NOT friendly to cyclists on the road here in our ‘burbs- so we fear for our daughter’s safety. This would most likely be much easier and safer to do once we reach our smaller-house-closer-to-the-city goal. These go hand in hand. Today, I will continue to clean out unused items and sell them or give them away.

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