Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I Need Your Frugal Input!!

Next month I am going to be teaching a class at church on the frugal lifestyle. I am really excited about this but also somewhat overwhelmed because there is so much I want to share and time constraints won't allow everything! I need some input from you!!

If you are just beginning a frugal lifestyle, what questions do you have? (Questions about anything from groceries, to clothing, to making things yourself!) Please send me these questions!!

If you are already frugal, what are some basic things that beginners can incorporate on their way to a frugal lifestyle and what basics would you cover if you taught this class?

Thanks so much! Just e-mail me at or leave a comment!


The Emel Family Blog said...

Rachel -

My family and I (2 adults, 4 children) have been living a frugal lifestyle for many years and I would focus on areas that will provide the most bang for the largest group of people. Here are the areas that I feel are the most widely needed:
Basic Budgeting - Keep it simple and follow the plan
Groceries & Shopping - Stock up, use sales and coupons together, make a plan for the week and stick with it, stick to your list at the store, create a price book of your local area - this will allow you to know if something is really a good deal
Cooking - Create a menu book (or whatever works for you) of cheap meals. Mine is broken into three categories (fast, regular, slow) this allow me to plan meals around activities. If I have a soccer game that night I need a fast meal. And learn to use a slow cooker or crock pot for busy days.
Research - Your local area has many things that can be done cheap or free for entertainment. We live near state parks and 2 colleges. There are endless musical recitals, summer park activities, and the like that can be done for free.
And Finally - Start slow - Take on one or two new ideas at a time. Once you have mastered that idea add another one. Becoming overwhelmed will cause you to give up.

Amy said...

The one thing that helps me try to keep on the straight and narrow is..."Do I want it or do I need it?"

Todd & M said...

How exciting!


Amy Lynne said...

I think one of the first things to talk about is menu planning and grocery shopping. Groceries are usually the area in a budget with the most wiggle room and if you have a menu plan in place it is a lot less tempting to go out to eat and spend way too much money. Good luck with your class, let us know how it goes!

debbielynne said...

coupons and coupon match-ups with sales ads would definitely be a good topic.

Jessie Hartle said...

I think it's ironic that you asked for questions because I've been meaning to ask you one! This is probably not the most pressing question when it comes to being frugal though, just so you know. I wanted to know how you keep track of your expenses. What works well for you? I can't decide whether to have a notebook/folder that I just write in, or some type of spreadsheet or other computer-related system. Now that I have a big girl job I need to be better with my paychecks! You don't have to use that for your class if it's not a good question but I'd be interested to hear how you do it.

And way to go on using your talents to help other people! You're so good at that kind of thing. :)

Rachel said...

Thanks for all of this feedback! Some of these things are in my current outline & confirms their importance & others I haven't even thought of!!


I have a medium-size leather notebook that I keep track of my expenses in! I know it's old fashioned but I prefer it over keeping track on the computer (at least for now!) We did Excel spreadsheets a couple years but I like my notebook so much better. In it is a written out copy of my budget and then each month I have written down the different categories (electricity, food, recreation, etc) & how much is budgeted. Under the categories I list the expenses! Every time we spend money I write the amount spent & where down, even if it's $.75...that way I know how much money we're spending & I'm not cheating on the budget!! I hope that answers your question!! :)


Anonymous said...

My first steps into being frugal was making my own laundry detergent. I do alot of laundry! I loved it so much I make my own housecleaning supplies, window cleaners etc! They smell so much better so it's a win/win with the cost savings!! I have actually made baggies of the ingredients/directions for laundry soap and gave away!! I get a tickled at ladies reactions and how truly simple doing this can be! have fun at your class! Pixie

Ginny said...

I've just found your blog today and can't get enough of it. I'm a stay-at-home wife too and we live a frugal and simple life as well. I am really interested in your grocery shopping techniques. I've gotten better about that budget but I'm still having a hard time with it some weeks. I've signed up to get the Kroger coupons and such through email (I see you shop there a lot, for meats mostly it looks like). I've always found Kroger to be a little high but with what you're showing it doesn't look like it. So my question is, are you signed up for the p&g e saver where coupons are sent directly to your kroger card? Is it legitimate?