The secret of frugality revealed here!
Okay, this is a frugal blog and yet it seems all I have been doing is catching you guys up on basic life items. So here's an attempt to get back on track.
The secret to frugality
Yep, I have the secret to frugality. And I'll even let you in on it. Are you ready? Do you need to get a glass of water? No?
Okay: The secret to frugality is thinking ahead.
Seems so simple, doesn't it? You are probably even telling yourself right now that you already do that. And to some extent, I am sure you do. But the real secret of frugality is to always think ahead.
This means eating before you leave the house, so you don't succumb to advertising and aromas. It means packing a granola bar or other snack so that you can fortify yourself if your stomach starts a-rumblin'.
And it means comparison shopping whenever possible and trying to never buy on impulse. The Internet is a wonderful tool and you can generally find anything for less than retail if you enter enough search terms.
Most of all, it means knowing your weaknesses -- emotional and physical.
**I try to avoid clothing stores -- especially affordable ones -- because I know I'll be tempted to make just one little purchase.
**I avoid craft stores (especially bead stores) because, once in them, it's nearly impossible to leave with just what I came for.
**When I'm not on a no-sugar diet, I try not to have extra junk food around the house. If it's there, I'll eat it. But if I have to go get a specific item, it's usually not worth it.
**I'm an emotional eater. So I try not to buy anything when upset, not even groceries, lest I load up on junk food. Even on sale, that stuff is pricy. As for non-food purchases, well there's a reason for the term "retail therapy."
My physical weakness is pretty obvious: my fatigue.
Tim cooks and I do dishes, but his health isn't much better than mine. This means there are times when neither of us have the energy to figure out food. It's times like this -- when I'm so tired that I can't even think of what I want to eat -- that ordering out sounds appealing. It was becoming a drain on our finances. So I now keep our cupboards and freezer stocked with quick meals: soups, frozen entrees, and hot dogs.
My fatigue also means I can't always go to get the best deal. I try to plan trips based on stores' sale items. Even so, no plan is perfect; and sometimes I find myself exhausted and settling for a slightly higher price (if I need the item right away). Tim recently convinced me he should get a bike, so that he can run errands for me when I'm too tired to drive.
Weaknesses are not something I like to admit to. Even so, they're part of the package deal of being human. So rather than beating myself up about what I can't do, I try to focus on having solutions in advance.
What are your major weaknesses? How can you solve those in advance?