Monday, April 27, 2009

Being Frugal Can Be Freaky Fun!

One of my readers suggested I share my thoughts on frugality. Being a mother of 2, a wife of one very busy college student, and living in student housing, I suppose being frugal is just part of the job description. College families are quickly becoming a rarity in America, most people don't get married until they are graduated and even started in their careers. Then there are those of us, whose chosen careers have nothing to do with working out of the home and everything to do with being a little bit of everything: accounting, teaching, cleaning, cooking, record keeping, and a whole lot of bossing around, without even leaving the house! my dream job!

Anyway, us college moms have to do what we can to save a dime! It's hard enough to take out student loans, watch our husbands work their butts off to provide, it's the least we can do to value every penny that crosses our palms. So I got together with some of my fellow moms, and got some great ideas to share with the masses.

Warning: If you are sensitive to being "Green" I must warn you, that the last thought on Frugal College Wives minds is being "Green" - save money first, be green later. Sorry.

Here are a few ideas on being Mildly Frugal:
  • Learn how to cook! Americans spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on eating out. It's amazing how much you can save by cooking at home.
  • Hoard food! I'm dead serious, start a food storage. If you entered a Frugal College Wife's home you wouldn't believe where you would find food. Under beds, under tables, hidden with the DVDS, I'm not kidding. One of my friends even has an extra freezer in her kid's room -- lucky duck!
  • Don't by convenience foods: frozen pizza, pre-made meals, etc, will cost you a bundle.
  • Utilize the Library! Why buy books when you can check them out?
  • Walk, bike, use public transportation. Get on those Nike's and go for it!
  • Drink Water! Yay! Soda, juice, and milk can add up.
  • It's all about canned food! Seriously, it's cheaper and it stores a whole lot longer then fresh stuff. The moms and I are always on the look out for case-lot sales.

Now to get a little more Extreme:

  • Learn how to cut your own hair, and the hair of your kids and husband. Not hard to do. I have been cutting my husband's and boy's for a long time. The only reason my hair looks so sexy is because my mom's a beautician and I get it done for free-- I know I'm a cheater -- but my friends aren't!
  • Take your own professional photos:
  • Okay, so I look like a dork... This was my first attempt... I got better... honest!

  • My frugal friends and I LOVE plastic grocery bags! Here are a few things we do to recycle them:

    I don't have to tell you what is in that!

    Grocery bags make the best trash can liners!
  • Use super glue!! It can fix almost anything! Almost like new!

Then there is Freaky Frugal:

  • You can get free gum in the movie theatres or under a table at the bowling alley.
  • You can make or fix ANYTHING with duck tape:

  • Wal-Mart bunk bed: $5

  • Super cheap stroller:
    Self explanatory:

I hope you all have a Fabulous Freaky Frugal Day!


Jill said...

Okay, the freaky frugal... definitely freaky. The gum one... um... NO! That's disgusting. But I realize you were kidding. At least I hope you were. Please tell me you were kidding. If not, I might have to go vomit. :)

But the other stuff is good. I do most of that already. But there are definitely some to try. I think the food storage one is important. Sales are always the best way to go. I think my friends are always amazed at the deals I find at second hand stores for my kids' clothes. You do what you gotta do!

Ariana said...

I'm glad you posted pictures. I'll second the using plastic grocery bags for trash liners. They're the best! I actually think that hanger/toilet paper holder is kinda cute. :o) Duct tape is a great option for just about all of your needs, including a prom dress.

Mama Nut said...

Yeah, I saw those when I was looking around for great ideas! said...

Love the tie


Melanni said...

I thought the toilet paper holder made out of a hanger was pretty cool(0: And I do a lot of these, too: especially recycling grocery bags, they are so handy!

Terresa said...

duc tape is the world's bf, next to chocolate. ;)

Housewife Savant said...

This is great.
The freaky stuff will stay with me. You might say it'll haunt me.
The college family thing; we've been there and done that ourselves, in 600 square feet w/3 kids.
I know what you mean about stocking up on thrifty groceries, and storing food (storing anything!) in every nook and cranny.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

(PS Don't hate me for having that extra freezer.)

Momisodes said...

Wow! These are awesome.

Especially the tie and TP holder :)

Meagan said...

Wait, you forgot to mention and all those other great websites where you can find great stuff for free or super cheap...I haven't had to buy clothes for me or anyone in my family for a long time because of (a lady just gave me like 3 new wardrobes for myself, name brand stuff some of which still have tags)

oh and another thing I wanted to add, was that you said frugality first being green later...funny thing is by fixing stuff rather than throwing them away, by re-using plastic grocery bags and such all those things are being green...granted we don't buy the super expensive "green light bulbs" or "organic foods" (I saw organic soda pop the other day, what a joke) but I think being frugal is way better when it comes to being green then all those people out there than all those people who spend all there money buying all this "green" stuff only to turn around and fill our landfills even more by throwing it all away, and even though we don't buy organic, by making most the foods we eat by scratch we are feeding our kids way better than all those people who spend all that extra money on organic meals. You are right though, even though we are doing our part when it comes to being green, we are doing it by accident, most of us don't even realize it we just look at the price tag

Blackhearted Sista said...

Great post! I'll definitely post a link in my next Frugal LA article. These are some awesome tips.

Amy said...

Good ideas! Ok, the stroller with a cardboard box!?! Really?!?! That's a bout one of the best pics I have ever seen! SOOO funny! :)

Covington Sensation's said...

OH MY GOODNESS! Love the Ducktape shoes. So hilarious!
And the stroller, and the toilet paper holder, You are the Frugal QUEEN! I bow down in your presence.