Often times you might think being frugal or financially savvy has to come with the knowledge of investing or managing your money in a high profile way. Either that, or you might assume being frugal is all about cutting every little expense to the point of misery. It’s truly neither of those experiences as we’ve learned from our path to a frugal lifestyle.
Being frugal is, yes, about money and your management of incoming vs. outgoing, but it’s also about quality vs. quantity, and a whole host of other personal choices. Here are four ways to be frugal without being directly related to your income or your expenses:
1. Learn to Cook
When Chris and I first were out on our own, in our very first home, neither of us knew how to cook very well. Chris was so good at it, it landed him on Rachel Ray as the Substitution Guy! While I was a bit more improved and could make average meals from boxes or cans, I wasn’t the experimental chef I am today.
On our road to frugal living, we both learned how to cook. We watched America’s Test Kitchen together, after we got rid of cable six years ago (more on that later), and we started to learn about the specifics of home cooking. I found an interest in fresh fruits and vegetables, even often times venturing out to a local farm or one year we joined a CSA. Chris became a pizza dough expert.
With the plethora of YouTube chefs (and zillions of websites with recipes) out there, it’s easy to recreate your favorite restaurant meal at home. I recently decided to try my hand at empanadas, after seeing an episode of America’s Worst Cooks, realizing it was so much easier than I thought.
From there, we haven’t been to our favorite Mexican restaurant in months! I just whip up some homemade goods when we’re in the mood. It saves us quite a bit, but it also makes for enjoyable time spent together with each other, and definitely with our three year old; you’ll come to know him as “Monkey”. Continue reading…