Friday, January 27, 2023

Frugal Friday


I was asked what started me on my frugal journey, or was I always this way, and I thought that perhaps I would share my journey with you all.

I was actually born to a fairly upper middleclass family. We could easily have afforded anything we wanted, but my Dad being raised during the 30's in a very small town here in Saskatchewan with a family of 17 (including his parents) had to stretch every penny until it squeaked. He brought that outlook into his marriage. 

Mom was brought up in a smaller family that lived on a farm. She always told me that she could never remember not having enough food on the table. This was probably because they raised their own meat, eggs, grew veggies, and picked wild fruit. Grandma died when Mom was around 8 and her youngest sister was about 5. Grampa raised 4 girls all on his own. He even taught them how to knit (Scotsman). 

Mom got X amount to purchase groceries and that continued up until the year she developed cancer and passed away. 

By this time both of them were still very well off and funny enough Dad did start spending more. He helped us out a great deal when we bought this house, buying us new furniture (though it wasn't what we would have chosen), new carpet and helping us put a pitched roof on the back of the house. 

My journey was slightly different. When we married Harvey had a decent job, but after being married about a year and a bit that is when where he worked closed down for the first time.

We had a son and things were tough for awhile, but we managed just fine. 

There was a call back to work at the factory and things were good again, for a bit. 

I was expecting our second child (our daughter) two months into the  factory close down for the second time.

This time the shut down seemed to be worse than before. At this point in time we lived in the small village where Harvey grew up. His parents farmed and raised a few cattle, they also had a rather large veggie garden. We got meat (well at least beef and chickens) as well as eggs from them. Also lots of veggies which really helped. Many in the village would hire Harvey for various odd jobs. 

I learned how to can and harvested free fruit. Made jams and jellies, tried to make bread which was a big failure at that time. That is also when I started to only shop every second week and sew clothes for myself and Kurt. All gifts at this time were handmade. 

Harvey was without constant work for almost a year, but just before our daughter was born he got a job in the oil patch with Suncor Energy. He ended up working in "the patch" for 35 years, and had a great reputation with the men that he worked with and the farmers who had wells on their land. 

Still the hard times we faced during the not working period stuck with me. I never wanted to be in that tough financial situation again. So I saved and made sure we could pay off our home as soon as possible, kept saving so we could have extra for our retirement, and to help our sons pay for their university (both did work and contribute to the costs as well).

I have continued to keep a close eye on our finances and have enjoyed the frugal game over the past 12 years that we have both been retired. Makes life very interesting and has enabled us to do a bit of traveling and enjoy a cabin at various National Parks here in Canada.

Everybody have a wonderful evening. 

God bless.


  1. I enjoyed this post Jackie. My story is completely different, but I don't think anyone can ever go back once you've lived a frugal lifestyle. Hope you & Harvey have a wonderful weekend!

  2. It sounds as though you have it sorted, Jackie. Frugal living takes a bit of concentration but it's worth it.

  3. This was a really great post. It's interesting to know from where your frugality stems. We're probably all motivated by similar but different circumstances in our childhoods and beyond.

  4. I'm sure it was tense times when Harvey's work was shut down. You definitely have a handle on things and have set a great example for your boys.

  5. That was really interesting to read. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thanks for sharing your story.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing this very interesting tale of your lives. Guess you have worked out the bread making by now? Not that I know anything about baking bread, except with a breadmaker many years ago. Like you, I used to preserve fruit, make jam, have always sewen and knitted, but I am certainly not what could be called frugal.

  8. That was interesting Jackie and thanks for sharing.

  9. Thank you for sharing your journey with frugality. I grew up as an only child on a farm. My dad had a little of everything - milk cattle, pigs, chickens - and grew the grain and hay himself. We didn't have indoor plumbing until I was in Grade 11. I didn't feel deprived because my best friend lived under the same circumstances.
    I really wish there was a personal finance class taught in high schools so young people could learn how to deal with money and be fiscally responsible as adults.