Why the Biggest “Myths” About Frugal Living May Actually Be Right

Does the term frugal living conjure up images of reusing tea bags, eating dumpster dived food, and washing in the garden under a watering can? You don’t have to go such extremes to save a few your expenses. In fact, some practical wisdom can be found closer to home in the things your parents taught you as a child, like using leftovers and having a change jar.

Look after the pennies

While this might sound like a myth, it’s a great piece of advice as it works in two ways. First, there is the literal way of actually saving pennies and small change in a piggy bank or change jar. Then after a certain amount of time you will be build up a reserve and have some extra cash.

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Secondly, it refers to being on top of your spending. If you are looking after your pennies, then you are aware of where your money is going and how you are spending it. This is an essential financial skill and can stop you getting into debt and allow you to have extra money left over at the end of the month to save.

You can do a weekly shop free if you use coupons

This is one of the more modern frugal living myths, springing from shows like Extreme Couponers on TV. The show follows people that spend an awful lot of time clipping and organizing their coupon haul. Then when they do go to the store, they can get trollies full of stuff for free. While it is possible to get a weekly shop free, it’s not easy and can take days of work. It might be a much more pragmatic idea just to clip coupons for the things that you know that you use regularly and save a bit of money on you over all total.

In fact, this approach to couponing can be used to buy anything from bus journeys to clothes. You don’t even have to collect a weekly paper. Just go online to couponing sites such as Paytm promo codes, and search for the items that you currently need. If you buy with coupons, it can make you every day expenses a lot more affordable.

Mend and make do

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The myth of mend and make seemed to have been all but forgotten until recently. Our grandmother’s generation used to swear by this.  Largely because clothes and other items were rationed during the war, so they had to get creative with what they had. But as the availability of consumable items went up and the price came down,  it became so much easier to just buy something new. Luckily the upcycling movement has reinvigorated this idea. We are now seeing people repurposing and restoring older items and bringing them back into use. If you want to try this, take a look at these chalk paints for furniture. Or try some of these simple Etsy patterns for converting an item of clothing into something else.

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