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Spending too much on groceries? ..and how to embrace the frugal lifestyle


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Spending too much on groceries? ..and how to embrace the frugal lifestyle

kathryn_dayle | Apr 3, 2013 09:58 PM

My name is Kathryn, and I am a frugal.
I was in a discussion on another thread, discussing the high cost of groceries, and they suggested I start a new one.

My suggestion that $25pp a week is plenty for groceries, and that if you spent more than that, it wasn't really unnecessary.
I do not prefer to buy organic or other restrictive products.(grassfed, free-range). We take advantage of free food (gleaning, scanning code of practice), loss leaders, reduced foods and sales.

My husband and I have rasied 4 children, with one parent being home for most of this time.We paid off our home and used the equity to finance buying rental properties when we were in our early forties. Within 6 years, we were able to live solely on the rent collected.
We certainly wouldn't have been able to achieve this on our very modest income (approx $30k) if we hadn't embraced a modest, frugal lifestyle.
We now travel 8 months of the year in Australia, and return to Canada for the remaining 4. While in Australia, we housesit for people,and all we need to supply is our food. In between these housesit times we live in our 2006 van.

In 1980,we started out with a 2 bedroom mobile on a rented lot. Bought a piece of land to build a house. Sold the mobile to start the house, and worked lots of overtime while my husband and my brother built our house.We ended up taking out a small personal loan to finish off the interior.
When the first child was a year old old the house was paid for, and I knew I hated working and being a parent. We made the decision for me to stay home.Our family increased.

We sold this house 8 years later and bought a larger one. Paid off that mortgage asap.(within 5 years). I provided childcare in my home for neighbours. After the house was paid off we continued to save our mortgage payment.We maxed out our RRSP (Canada), but soon realised we cannot save our way to wealth.

We were always frugal. Before the children were even coneived, we had bags and bags of babyclothes that we purchased at yardsales. I would plant potatoes and vegetable seeds all around our property, before we made a garden. We would buy everything on sale, and second hand as much as possible. We eventually went down to one vehicle. Being frugal is a process, which we learned as we went along.

Some people think being frugal is to denying yourself. On the contrary. It is more about liberating yourself. It does certainly reduce stress.
Just find out what you want and how to get it cheaper.
Last year we needed a new couch. We have the funds to buy a new one, but instead we searched on Kijiji and found someone who had just bought a new couch and wanted to get rid of their old one. We paid $50 and took it home.
Many times during spring/fall cleanups people would dispose of their microwaves, bread makers, dvd players. The most common fault is a fuse. We have acquired many washer and dryers just because people wanted to buy a matching set...or it just needed a simple repair. My husband is very handy.

The great part about being frugal it is continuing learning lesson.The internet is a vast place to find information.
I like to make applesauce.Did you know you can use the cores and peelings to obtain pectin, and make jelly with? Imagine that!

My tshirt was stained and I was going to throw it away. Instead I cut it into kleenex sized squares. Now I use them for messes and toss them in the laundry.
When my towels get a hole, I cut them into wash cloths.When they get ratty, I use them for rags.

Why be frugal?
For me it is a sense of a challenge. How can I find another use.Everything I can use once more, is one less thing to buy.If I can buy it secondhand, it is saving another product from needlessly being produced. This is all good for the environment.

Too much debt is bad for the economy. How many times have you heard people say they are drowning in debt. Most of their paycheques are going towards repayments.If they could have just bought more wisely, or waited a while to save for the item, they would be better off financially.

When people get to the point where they think they need to declare bankruptcy, it is mostly because of poor decisions they made along the way. They didn't disconnect their cable. Didn't turn down their a/c or heat.Bought a vehicle that they couldn't afford.
They didn't bunk up and take in a roommate. Take odd jobs. Rent out the house and rent somewhere cheaper.Stop buying takeout food and coffee.Mostly they just stick their heads in the sand.
We,as consumers, end up paying more, when others declare bankruptcy.

So being frugal, can help in many ways.
Please share your frugal suggestions.
If you need help, ask...and we will to try to offer assisstance.

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