Being frugal and adopting a frugal lifestyle isn't just about spending less or devoting hours of time on couponing! I spend about 30-40 minutes a week clipping coupons, visiting blogs like Hip2Save, Saving Addiction, Stretching A Buck, Mommy's Wish List, and several others.
These blogs offer match ups with store sales and currently running coupons - so I don't have to spend a lot of time doing it myself. More thank just matching grocery coupons, these blogs also alert readers to on-line sales and coupon deals.
At each of these blogs, you'll also read that to them, living frugally is about more than 'clipping coupons.' The blog, Couponing For Disney was created as a result of one woman's desire to take her family on a Disney vacation. She realized she needed to either make more money (not practicable) or save enough to finance a vacation.
These blogs offer step-by-step ways to change your lifestyle, modify your perspective and achieve your financial goals. It can be overwhelming to dive in head first and try to make the changes all at one time. These ladies can help you pick and choose where and how to start.
I save at least 25-28% on every grocery trip and aim for 33% on each trip -- I've even gotten my husband to use coupons! He has actually achieved our highest percentage of savings @ 44% on one grocery trip! (You can bet he doesn't let me forget it every time I report my latest savings to him.) I could spend more time and probably save more, but it's important to calculate the value of your time. It's really a personal choice. With persistence and good planning, I have raised my expectations on grocery and other savings in the coming year. I'll probably devote a few more minutes a week to my efforts.
One of the most helpful, and I think important, things I did this year, was develop a simple spreadsheet showing when our bills are due - divided into 4 weeks. It was pretty interesting, and also helpful because it helps us determine if we should make and unplanned purchase during the current week, or wait. Even if the item is something you want and is available at a deep discount, it's not a good deal, if buying it means you won't have enough left in the bank to pay your bills or have to put the purchase on a credit card.
This year I plan to build my stockpile inventory with the help of Stockpiling Moms.
What's the smartest thing you've done to live more frugally?
I consider frugality an art form and a religious conviction. I learned about paying cash for purchases, recycling and reusing just about everything and being generous to friends and those in need from my parents.
My faith instructs me all things are gifted by God and so I am compelled to be a good steward of my gifts. [The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to man. Psalm 115:16]