Frugal living looks different to everyone, what works for me may not work for you and vice versa. I’m a busy person and as much as I love saving money, sometimes the payoff for something isn’t worth the time I invest.
Top 5 Frugal Things I Don’t Do
1. I don’t coupon heavily
I used to coupon religiously and I saved a ton of money, but I don’t anymore. Why? Well, I no longer live in an area where double coupons are a thing, and even if I did I found that we were eating so much processed crap that our bellies were full but we weren’t healthy. I do coupon a little, as in I will put digital coupons on my store loyalty card and if I happen across a great coupon I’ll use it, but I don’t go hog wild like I used to.
2. I don’t make my own laundry detergent.
Again, I used to (here’s my recipe) and it works just fine, but for the last year I’ve been buying conventional detergent. Why? Because it’s just easier and since the baby came to live with us (well, she’s a toddler now!) I just don’t have the time I used to. I made a list of priorities and making laundry detergent isn’t on that list. I’ll probably go back to making it one day because I sincerely want to reduce our plastic consumption, but that day isn’t soon.
3. I don’t cloth diaper.
This is becoming a trend, lol, but I used to! I cloth diapered babies 2-5 more than 3/4 of the time, even when I had multiple kids in diapers. I started cloth diapering #6 but after a year I had to admit that I just couldn’t keep up. Here I was telling other people how it really is only one extra load of laundry a day, but when you’re already doing 3 or 4 loads a day, that’s A WHOLE LOT of extra. I opened the diaper pail one day and found living things growing on the diapers and that is the day I decided to part with the cloth diapers. Yes, they were adorable and yes, they saved me money…but they did not save me time so the cloth diapers went off the list of priorities.
4. I don’t avoid credit cards.
Ok, this is a tricky one because we HAVE abused credit cards in the past. We do use credit cards BUT we don’t carry debt on them. I don’t think credit is bad, and I don’t necessarily think responsible credit debt is bad. We waited 5 years after our bankruptcy to apply for a credit card because of our history. We learned a lot in those 5 years and as a result our credit ratings have raised over 400 points each.
The key is RESPONSIBLE use of the cards, here is how we do it:
-Do not charge more than you can pay at the end of the month (or at the end of 3 months if it’s an emergency like needing a car repair or paying a doctor).
-We have instituted the rule that if we are carrying a credit balance for any reason we WILL NOT charge something else until the balance is paid off.
-We use the cash back rewards on our cards to pay down our balance. This is really handy if you charge all of your monthly bills on a card, give it a few days to generate cash back rewards, then pay the bill off. We get around $50 cash back each month which we apply to the balance, leaving us with an extra $50 to put in savings!
5. I don’t craft and DIYs are iffy.
I love a well-decorated home but I’m not one to DIY up some fancy wall hangings. I’d much rather have a bare wall or wait to find something I LOVE for a good deal at a thrift store than spend my money making something I’m going to hate because I don’t have the crafty gene.
The same goes for household repairs above and beyond the basics like screwing on a new toilet seat. We’ve learned from experience that even with all the YouTube tutorials in the world an inexperienced person should NOT try to free a dead snake from their sprinkler system, and even moreso they shouldn’t buy a new sprinkler system motor and attempt to install it themselves. Some things are just better left to the professionals, and usually it ends up being cheaper to hire someone to do it right the first time.
So there they are, 5 frugal favorites that I don’t do. Do you have your own list of frugal things you don’t do? Leave a comment below or visit the Facebook page to join the conversation!