You know I coupon... I try to never pay full price for anything, except generic brands of food!
We do the thrift store for clothing:) We purchase out-of-season for new clothing:)
We try to distinquish between wants and needs.... like I'm sure some of our friends and family think we are CRAZY because of our lack of cell phone use. We have a TracFone but don't use it much. And poor Brian is lucky if I remember to bring it with me out and it actually stays with me, I'm just not in the habit of having it with me. Saves us $ though... we spent about $200 for 2 years of cell service!!
But ONE thing that keeps us frugal is a BUDGET!!! It's the backbone of our use of money.
Brian is the BUDGET- Man!! His parents taught him well to save for everything and budget money. He has been saving for his retirement since he got out of college and was working:) I remember being soo frustrated with having to be disciplined about how much to spend a week knowing he had such-and-such amount a week going into an account for us to buy a house or play goilf when we're 80! LOL
So he has painstakenly calculated our income, then subtracted all of our fixed bills, giving and savings.... the rest is our weekly budget. We have a set amount that all our weekly incidental expenses come from; including groceries, gas, copay for office visits, date nights, clothing, etc!
We write down EVERYTHING we spend to be sure we are staying within the weekly budget! While there are good weeks (under budget) and tough weeks (over budget)... we try to balance it out. So one week I enjoy all the couponing and stocking the cabinets and then next week we lay low. We eat from the stock and try to keep our incidental costs down!
We are blessed because we also have a "miscellaneous" coloumn. So any extra, non- salary, income is put there and used for bigger purchases, gifts, birthday presents, sometimes fun stuff, etc! For us it's kind of like having a padding... so if we do have some BIG spending weeks we take it out of our "miscellaneous" coloumn!!
When I first had this budget, I felt soo limited. But now it's a comfort. We can purchase heating oil for the house knowing that we have already budgetted that money for that expense. We save a little bit weekly for the each child to attend college, oh, it will be soo nice to have a start of their college expenses already saved when that time comes:)
Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy." Acts 14:17