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Frugality? It's All in Your Mind

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You and I both know frugality is as much about mindset as it is about the math. Frugality is mostly about your attitude. Being satisfied with less expensive options, enjoying free and almost free entertainment and keeping as far away from the Joneses as humanly possible.

I think about how I spent yesterday, and I find a number of perfect examples:
  • I walked to the library, where I both returned a tote bag full of books and picked up a book I'd put on hold.
  • I then walked to my credit union to deposit a stack of checks I'd earned through cleaning my mother's guest cottages and blogging income.
  • I walked to Zupans (local high-end grocery store) to buy nice sausages, as I had a buy-one-pound-get-one-pound-free coupon.
  • I then stopped off at Fred Meyer, (Kroger) where I picked up a humble head of lettuce, on sale buns and a gallon of milk that had been marked half-off. (The expiration date was still eight days away, so I was happy to snag this bargain.) I used my own bag, which saved me a nickel.
  • Dinner was barbecued sausages on rolls and a big green salad. The meal included sauerkraut that we've been chipping away at for a year or so. The Costco-sized jar was leftover from a soccer picnic, and no one else wanted it. (There had also been an enormous jar of relish, but I Freecycle'd it.)
  • After dinner my son and I watched a couple episodes of Netflix TV shows, and enjoyed each other's company.
My day was based on being satisfied with less.
  • I was happy to get exercise from walking instead of visiting a gym.
  • I was happy to plan a meal around a great coupon. (And those sausages from Zupans? They were fan-flipping-tastic!)
  • I was willing to put a few minutes into washing and chopping a head of lettuce instead of buying a more expensive and highly packaged bag of lettuce.
  • I was not tempted to buy impulse items at the grocery store.
  • I was completely satisfied to spend an evening at home with my son instead of a  more expensive alternative.
  • I was happy to get my new stuff fix from a library instead of a store.
  • I was depositing small checks that added up to a significant amount. A direct result of a willingness to work for small-ish amounts of money. (I may be an experienced labor and delivery nurse, but I am not too high and mighty to earn a few extra bucks cleaning my mother's rental cottages between tenants.)
When frugality is approached from a mindset of deprivation, everyday decision are resented instead of celebrated. It's only when the simple joys of a humble meal or a brisk walk are seen in a positive light that the benefits of frugality can truly blossom. 

Are you able to see frugality as a positive part of your life or are you still hating the limitations? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley
"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."
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