I think frugality is an overrated word. What someone deems as frugal might not be the same in another’s dictionary. But in view of the increase in fuel prices, I definitely need to make concerted efforts to save save save, in addition to the steps my family and I are already taking. Just steering off course for a moment, the first time I filled up my petrol tank with Shell V-Power after the price hike, it cost a whopping RM112.99! Shell V-Power now costs RM3.15 per liter, by the way. And yes, hubbs and I still go for it despite it being more expensive because it is more efficient: a full tank can last us 1.5 weeks, give or take.
Anyway, I was reading Hijack Queen’s frugal tips, and thought I’d put my thoughts on frugality to blog too.
Being a shopaholic by nature, it is difficult for me to curb the habit of doing a double take whenever I see something I like, like shoes, clothes, accessories, etc. But I am trying my best to only buy whatever is NEEDED, and not WANTED. It’s a fine line, if you ask me, but I try to use the SALE factor as a benchmark. If something is not on sale, don’t get it YET. When the sale comes along, if it is still available and it is still appealing, then get it. Often times, I have found that my interest in that particular product wanes after some time.
Bargains & discounts
Grocery shopping, on the other hand, is something that cannot be avoided. I do mine every week, and since I am endeavoring to cook more (stay at home to eat = no need to go out to eat = saving on petrol), I pounce on every bargain possible, even in the supermarkets. Just like last week, when I spotted fresh tenggiri fish on sale at 50% off in Jusco. Made a nice assam pedas fish curry too, which hubby gave two thumbs up for. I must add, however, that I will never ever sacrifice the taste of food for the price.
At every store that I shop, I never fail to ask them if there is a discount available for any credit cards or store cards. You never know where you might save. Some people don’t ask for fear of the hassle involved, but my skin is very thick when it comes to this, and at cosmetic counters, I will always ask for samples.
Killing 2 birds with one stone
I like to pride myself in being as environmentally-friendly as possible, and it is even better because by being that, I get to save a bit too. Since my boy is 100% on modern cloth diapers, I don’t need to stock up on disposable diapers now. I don’t even look at the price of Mamy Poko now whenever there is a sale. Also in the same vein as being environmentally friendly, I am also using cloth menstrual pads myself, so I don’t buy disposable ones anymore. A little bit of savings here and there goes a long way, you know. Besides saving moolah, it is also a healthier option.
Keep a tab on finances
I’ve also resurrected my expenditure spreadsheet. This way, I will be aware of how much I spend each month for each category of expenditure. In my bid to spend less, I have started using more cash instead of credit cards, especially for purchases less than RM20. Essentially the same amount of money is spent, but the theory is that if I keep seeing cash disappear from my wallet, I will be inspired to spend less.
One of the tips to curb spending is to car pool. And hubbs and I are already doing that. We only have one car (so far), and since our workplaces are just across the street from each other, it makes sense to car pool.
I’ve also consciously started saving electricity at home. Light not needed in the kitchen, switch it off. Can shower without the light, leave the lights off. My hubby even realized this as he asked me if I was saving electricity. Heh… Sikit sikit la…. In any case, all our bulbs are energy-saving ones, except for the fluorescent light in the kitchen. In the evenings, we don’t use the water heater, which is another means of saving electricity too!
Renovate my wardrobe
I have also recently embarked on a cost-saving fashion tip, by raiding my wardrobe for old clothes I can reuse and wear. By just adding a belt to an old outfit, it jazzes it up and creates a new look altogether. Buys me some time before I get a new one, and also saves money la. Some of my ensembles have received rave comments, actually 😆
I enter contests almost every month, in the hope of winning something useful. I remember a few years ago I won 2nd prize in an Estee Lauder contest, which ensured I didn’t need to buy makeup and skincare for almost a year! Now that’s a whole lot of savings indeed!
In my bid to become more thrifty, I am contemplating going for less facials, maybe once every 3-4 months or so, or maybe none at all. I intend to give myself mini facials at home, and well, of course the feeling is not quite the same, but there has got to be some sacrifice, no? Of course, I don’t even go for pedicures or manicures (the last manicure I had was a French the day before my wedding).
So well…if there are other ways or suggestions as to how much more frugal I can become, without losing my giddy self, please do not hesitate to let me know! And of course, I am tagging anyone and everyone who wants to share a tip or two! 😛