Did you ever hear the old lament, “Every time I start to make ends meet, someone comes along and moves the ends”? Everything goes up except your paycheck. What to do? The only answer is to adopt a frugal lifestyle standard. Some ways to do that are:
#1 Use it up. My mother learned this from her mother-in-law and so I naturally did it too. When making tomato sauce from tomato paste, we measure water in the can and stir it to get every bit of paste out of that can. Small savings indeed! You can find another use for the 1/4 full can of paint. Stale bread? Make breadcrumbs or bread pudding. Finish the bottle of soda before opening another one. Add water to the last of the shampoo or detergent bottles to use up every last drop.
Pennies saved soon turns into dollars. Whatever you use, use it up.
#2 Make it do. So often we replace items when we could survive with the old product.
#3 Wear it out. Limit the number of pairs of shoes you own. Do not replace them until they are so worn down, they are no longer wearable.
#4 Reuse it, whatever it is. As t-shirts get worn, turn them into sleep shirts. Coffee cans can become storage for screws, nails and even your matchbook collection. Make a simple skirt out of a tablecloth. Old toothbrushes are useful to scrub lots of things. Old makeup applicators can be used for paintbrushes. Turn bottles into flower vases. Reuse wrapping paper. Old socks and stray buttons can become puppets for small children.
#5 Live everyday the way you live it the day before payday.
#6 Attend events that provide free meals.
#7 Always use doggie bags at restaurants.
#8 Keep track of your out-of-pocket expenses for a week. “It’s only a quarter” you think as you pop it into a gum ball machine. You might be surprised, after a week to find ways to save dollars. Again, by watching how you spend pennies.
#9 Walk rather than driving the car whenever possible.
#10 Use your public library.
The best advice on how to live a frugal lifestyle can be found by talking to the elderly. Many learned frugality living through major depressions or growing up poor. They had to be frugal to survive. Adapt their ways and you will have your frugal lifestyle standard.