Frugal living is not just about saving money...it's a way of life, and one that I wish we had started a long time ago. It is amazing the feeling of satisfaction I get, knowing that we are the ones that made these things. But the most important thing is that we know EXACTLY what is and is not in the food that we eat and the cleaners that we use.
When we first started practicing frugality, living within our means, almost 2 1/2 years ago, I went to the library and borrowed a bunch of books. Two of my favorites that I found were "Miserly Moms"
and "Frugal Living for DUMMIES"
Both have a ton of ideas to cut costs and even recipes that I have tried that are delicious. One thing these recipes don't skimp on is TASTE!.
Around our house, we make, rather than buy, as much as we can. We cook/bake as much as we can from scratch. We make our own breads, snacks, desserts, Bisquick baking mix, taco seasoning, apple pie spice, iced tea, and grow and dry our own herbs. I used to re-use my coffee filters over again, but now I have a percolator and it does not use filters, it has a basket. WAHOO!
We use washcloths in place of napkins, grow our own vegetables, and go to pick-your-own farms for our fruit. When we do shop for things that we can't make or grow, we go to one of the two discount grocery stores in our area called Sharp Shopper or Aldi's. Also using coupons and comparison shopping is another way to save a great deal of money. You can also get on-line coupons that you can print out to take with you to many stores. My sister is the "discount code" queen! LOL
We also make our own laundry detergent/fabric softener, and household cleaning supplies. When I know I am running out of detergent, I wait until a day when we are grilling or cooking meat for the week to make more by using the hot coals from the fire. It doesn't take very long to do, so the coals are still good and hot after we finish and clean up from dinner. I only dry our clothes for about 4-5 minutes to get the wrinkles out, then it all goes out on the line or hung up in the house to dry. We also use hurricane lamps and candles for lighting as much as possible. I also wash and re-use our plastic storage bags as well.
There are so many things that you can do and so many different ways that we can cut costs around our homes that it is impossible to list them all. There are, however, a TON of resources available at your local library as well as on the internet. Word of mouth is also a good way. Ask your friends and neighbors if they have any money-saving-tips they would like to share with you, and vice versa.
The only thing it takes to live a "frugal lifestyle" is a little bit of time. And if you do decide to live a more simple life, you will find out that the rewards are AMAZING!