What is Frugal, Anyway?

fru·gal
ˈfro͞oɡəl/
adjective
  1. sparing or economical with regard to money or food.
    “he led a remarkably frugal existence”
    synonyms: thriftyeconomicalcarefulcautiousprudentprovident, unwasteful, sparing, scrimping;More

    • simple and plain and costing little.
      “a frugal meal”
      synonyms: meagerscantyscantpaltryskimpy;

      plainsimplespartaninexpensivecheapeconomical
      “their frugal breakfast”

      When most people think of being Frugal – they are usually thinking in terms of food, or spending money. But, I believe being Frugal goes beyond the realm of money. It is a way of thinking and living. A mindset, if you will. How about being Frugal with Time. Possessions. People in your life. Goals and dreams.

      Today’s world is all about hurry up and get there – yesterday. What happened to the saying “Slow and Steady”? Who got to the goal the quickest – the Tortoise! The Hare was too busy following rabbit trails that, in the end, got him farther behind.

      For me, being Frugal with my time involves a wee bit of multi-tasking. Not major, just minor! Here’s an example: If I am having a breakfast of eggs, toast, coffee, and perhaps a smoothie – I am going to do a few things at the same time. The first thing, of course, is to get all the ingredients out. I need eggs, bread, coffee fixings and smoothie fixings. I then want those items nearby the prep area – eggs by the stove, bread by the toaster, coffee by the hot pot (unless I am taking already-brewed coffee out of the fridge), and the smoothie fixings by the Ninja blender. Ready, set – Multi-task.

      I will put my bread in the toaster (don’t put it down, yet).

      If I am using my pre-brewed coffee, a cup goes in the microwave and I heat it up now. If I am making instant, the hot pot, for water, is turned on now. (I don’t have a coffee maker, I use a Bodum French press – https://www.bodum.com/us/en/)

      Next,  I am going to prep the eggs. Right now, I can only eat my eggs in scrambled form. They may become a frittata, omelette. or simply scrambled eggs. Because I am frugal in my time, any meats or veggies I may include are already prepped. I will start my eggs cooking at this point.

      If I am having a smoothie, again, all the additional fruits or veggies will have been prepped. As the eggs are cooking, I will be putting all the ingredients into the Ninja.

      Since the blender can run by itself, I will go and check the eggs, and add ingredients, flip or stir the eggs, etc…

      By this time, the coffee is finished heating, the smoothie is finished blending, and it’s time to put the bread down.

      Once the toast is finished, the smoothie will also be finished, as will the eggs.

      In all, I may spend about 15 minutes with prep, actual cooking, and then clean up. But, it takes a little planning. Prepping my ingredients is being frugal, in the end. It saves steps, time, and in some instances – money (yup, Frugal just came back to money!!)

      There have been many articles written against multi-tasking, but the reality is, if you are a wife and/or a mom – you multi-task. Setting a goal of doing 15 things at the same time is just a bit overwhelming. To anyone. Don’t try to be super human, but it isn’t wrong to do 2 things at the same time. You won’t lose your sanity, I promise. If you have a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, or other automatic household appliances – two or more can run at the same time. And maybe you could vacuum or dust at the same time. It’s those kinds of things that I am talking about when looking at being frugal with your time. And multi-tasking.

      I recently came across this article, and I love her first 3 points: Give Things Away; Simplify Your Time; Simplify Your Goals.

      http://acultivatednest.com/2016/01/10-steps-towards-simplifying-your-life/

      What about being Frugal with the people in your life. Either family, friends, co-workers, social friends (either social media or in person). Do the people in your life make demands on you that make you do more and more? Do you feel obligated to them to ‘perform’ at a level that is not who you are. The biggest Frugal word is only 2 letters long – NO! Believe it or not, most people will understand if you say ‘No’ to doing things. I am not suggesting that we become hermits and hide from the world. But, I am suggesting that we weigh how much importance we are giving to having a commitment list that is longer than our life-expectancy! Been there, done that, but I never even got a t-shirt!

      Are your goals insurmountable? Pick one, and work on that. Be the best at what you are doing, right here and right now. I tell people to never go strawberry picking with me. I am constantly running after the brightest, biggest berry. And I wind up all over the field. In the end, I have a few strawberries, and am exhausted. If I had stayed in the row I started in, I’d probably have more berries, be less tired, and feel more fulfilled. Don’t hear me saying to stagnate. Nope. Just don’t become a whirlwind of activity with nothing to show in the end.

      What are your Frugal goals for the week? Today, Monday, is my Friday. I don’t work Tuesday or Wednesday, but have a bunch of appointments. I literally never get a day off. So, being Frugal means that I have to start re-thinking those appointments. I will gradually be taking all of my Tuesday appointments and sliding them either into Monday, or Wednesday. Then, I will have Tuesday as a real day off. Whew! I am waiting for my new correspondence course to arrive – Floral Arranging. I will be looking at this course through Frugal eyes. I don’t know if actually making arrangements will be part of the course, but if it is, I will be checking out the most frugal sources around the area.

      Be Blessed and Happy Frugaling

       

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