So the book I started today was this one.
I totally agree with her introduction on the myths of frugality.
The first myth is:
Frugal people never have any fun. Stuff and nonsense. I have lots of fun. Having fun does not mean having to spend lots of money. I love walking and hiking, reading, watching movies, and entertaining.
The second myth is:
Living frugally means eating like a pauper. I feel we eat very well. When a person goes into black belt frugality that would mean eating more beans and rice, but eating healthy. Living on ramen is not healthy and would definitely make me want to spend money instead of save money.
The third myth is:
If I am frugal I will never get to shop again. Yeah, right. Frugal people shop, we just make sure that we can get our monies worth out of whatever we buy. Shopping for recreation is just asking for trouble, we shop sales, second hand stores, garage and yard sales.
The fourth myth the author talks about is:
Our children or spouse will hate us if we ask them to be frugal. I did worry about this years ago when the boys were very young (but then we almost lived pay cheque to pay cheque) and up until Harvey realized how my being frugal was actually allowing us to take trips, buy brand new vehicles (paying cash), and just plain living better over all. Now Harvey is behind the frugal band wagon, and the boys are trying to be frugal as well. We all search for the best deal and use every last thing up that we can.
Then the author moved into how to make little changes in our daily lives for chapter one.
These are the very basic of changes like using rags for cleaning instead of paper towels or expensive tools. Something I already do. I will never be able to go completely without paper towels as they are perhaps the best way of cleaning up cat upchucks and as I found this past week cat diarrhea (I know too much information, but it was so much easier to throw out a few paper towels than have to wash even more). There are also some cleaning supplies that I will never be able to get rid of or make my own (carpet cleaner because of the previous cat disasters).
I already do meal planning, in fact while the author does it for a week I do a monthly plan. Now while the meals may get switched around I pretty much stick to what I have planned for the month. The author is correct however in stating that planning menus and good shopping go together. Back in the day when I first started planning my menus, I could only plan for a week. Now because of stock up techniques I can do a months plan and that enables me to stock up on meat and dry or canned goods that might get used next month or even the month after that. It does take awhile, but now I wouldn't have it any other way. In order to do this I had to buy a freezer. This freezer (our first is 35 years old and works wonderfully) has saved us so much money over the years we were able to buy a second one so I could separate our meat from veggies, baking, fruit and premade meals. Having premade meals also saves me from spending cash on a take out meal on those busy days. We both agree on the use of leftovers to save time and money. I call them planned overs as these meals save me having to pull something out to thaw for dinner, and make the best possible use of every bit of meat (meat is expensive).
The author talks about laundry and takes a slightly different approach then me. I was always taught to do full loads of laundry to save on water costs, and laundry detergent. She seems to think smaller loads save more money.... We do agree on not using the dryer however. I always try to hang as much as I can on the lines in the basement during the winter or rainy weather.
I have looked into purchasing a soda stream to make our own pop or fizzy water. I know that this can be a saving but unlike the author I do not consume even half of what she did (or does). I also do not know where to get the carbonation bottles after the one you get with your first purchase is gone. We don't seem to sell them in my city. I would not be adverse to buying them when we went to the big city however so I need to think about this one a bit longer.
Coffee buying is another area the author touches on. I haven't bought coffee since I left uni so really this is not a way for me to save. We have cut down on the amount of coffee the two of us drink so we are getting a bit of a savings.
Hopefully I will find more ways to save in the next couple of chapters. I would really like to be able to say I managed to save enough for our next large trip in just a year.
Everybody have a wonderful evening.