When each of us begins our individual family journey into frugality, each journey is different as are the reasons. No one way suits each situation. Read, read, and read some more before deciding how quickly or slowly you want to take it depending on your strengths, weaknesses and reasons for doing so.
Try and chose obtainable goals so as not to get disheartend and don't give up. Don't try and do everything at once (unless you are in absolute dire straights), walk small steps before trying to walk faster and run.
Make sure, if you are a couple, and where possible, that you are both singing from the same hymn sheet, otherwise it may start to unravel. If a family, discuss, then discuss some more. Put your cards on the table and show why you need to change, what is the reason.
Our son was just 4 when our moment came. We had always been relatively frugal, discussing finances with each other but we sat him down, told him the reason (for beginning food rationing, see diary above) and he seemed to understand and came on board. It certainly hasn't done him any harm and when their own moment came, both he and his wife were able to deal with it in a positive way.
We are all better off now but those lessons continue to serve us all well and we know if another moment of hardship came, we would be able to deal with it, discuss it with each other and offer help to each other, if we are able to.
A Possible First Step - Greatly reduce your expenditure on food and toiletries where possible. Then stock take, menu plan, shop for only what is on the menu plan. The menu isn't written in stone though, swap meals within the week if circumstances change. Eventually, this will become second nature and your bills should reduce and any money left at the end of the month can go into savings.
You may be surprised at how much cheaper lesser known brands are. Most are equal to your well known brands but some aren't so try and decide. Get to know the cheaper supermarkets, their prices are quite a bit cheaper and for the most part, food is just as good.
By shopping for what you need, rather than want, you should have less food waste. Most people know the saying 'take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves". We have a second saying "take care of the grammes/ounces and the kilograms/pounds will take care of themselves". Don't bin unserved leftovers from meals, most can be reused, either in a second identical meal, or a soup, pie, quiche or a hash.
I think one of the best ways to save money that I've learned is to learn to cook and eat things that are cheap. I eat so many different things nowadays than I did when I was growing up- one of my daughter's favorite meals is based on cabbage, I roast Brussels sprouts whenever they're on sale, I learned to cook a vegetable called tindora (because that's what was on sale that week!), and I regularly shop in the grocery aisles that stock Indian food, because I made a lot of different curries, because at least here, those ingredients are inexpensive. It's saved us a ridiculous amount of money, and it's both healthy and delicious. :) (Obviously, don't eat things you can't stand, but it does pay to find ways that you DO like certain things. I'm not a huge fan of cabbage, but I do enjoy it in the soup my daughter loves, so that works out for all of us!)ReplyDelete
Same here, it will be discussed soon.Delete
Really good points, thank you very much.ReplyDelete
You’re welcome, more to come.Delete
I agree with all of the points mentioned. Food is our biggest expenditure. I'm shopping from the freezer where possible - we always have a roast at the weekend - I fancied beef at nearly £15 for a smallish joint - or a large chicken was 4.50 - a no brainer really as to which I bought! Our roast does 2 days main meals for us - I'm trying to stretch everything!ReplyDelete
I love roast beef but it certainly is a very special treat now.Delete
Very good points on starting (or even during) a frugal journey.ReplyDelete