I grew up in a house, where mum used to warn us that ‘when it’s gone it’s gone’ and I live by that principal. We get paid and then we do the following: buy train passes for the month, buy the bulk of our food shopping for the month including toiletries and sundries, pay any due bills then we equate what we have left after direct debits and impending expenses and savings and that’s what we have left for the month.
Today was the turn of my big shop where I make sure I have enough of the basics to last me a month and then I eek everything out to make sure it lasts a month – I know we can use two loo rolls a week in the upstairs bathroom and one a week in the downstairs! To me frugality is the lost art of making the little bit you have go a long way and thus ensuring we tread very lightly on the planet as we do so. I used to thing being green meant spending more money on eco-products but actually it can be about just consuming as little as possible
My dry goods cupboard is well stocked enough to see me into next month and probably beyond. It may seem a parsimonious way to live but it sharpens my ability to live as simply as possible even though I have a small budget; I always have a varied and healthy diet and I can always share my table with passing friends. I also make really good use of my deep freeze and have almost a month’s supply of meat, fish, some frozen veg and milk to keep us going. I carefully divide things up as I buy the cheaper bulk packs of meat and then spilt then into ‘couple’ size portions to make them last.
It means that by the time the banks equate the balance, after shopping and direct debits and standing orders, there is very little left. But I will have paid for everything, be able to get to work all month, have enough food, toiletries, cleaning and laundry supplies to last well into June and we never run short. Necessity is the most incredible teacher and I have been well taught.