Friday, February 27, 2009

Frugal Friday - Think Creatively

Everyone is frugal for a different reason - for fun/lifestyle, necessity, saving for a purpose (home, car, getting out of debt), or other reasons. Right now we are frugal out of necessity. Being frugal out of necessity can cause some people to feel like they are being deprived because they are comparing themselves with others their age, in their neighborhood, etc.

I don't feel deprived because I have to be frugal.

I feel empowered.

It is so empowering to figure out ways to do what you want without spending anything.

When I want something or I want to do something, I can't just go out and spend the money. I have to think creatively to get it or find a solution that will work. Sometimes the more I think about it I realize that I don't need what I thought I needed.

--A good example of this is entertainment - you can spend $100's of dollars to have fun, but you can also have a lot of fun for FREE. Check out some of my ideas for cheap dates here.

--Another example is food. I love to go out to eat, but of course that is a wallet drainer. I try to find inexpensive solutions that taste just as good - or sometimes better. My fellow blogger Deal Betty has some great copycat restaurant recipes. Check out her awesome recipes here.

--Another great example is decorating. I have seen my share of lavishly decorated homes. I find it funny that there are shows like "Design on a Dime" (I loved watching these when we lived in an apartment with FREE cable!) where they are redecorating a room for what they say is very little, but their budget is $1,000! Oh, the things I could do with a $1,000 budget!

There is another show I liked called "Decorating Cents." Their room budget was $500, still not a bargain in my book, but at the end of the show they did a feature where they would rearrange a room for someone for FREE. It was amazing what the person had that just got moved around.

That is a cool premise for a show - you have what you have because you like it in most cases, but are just sick of the same old, same old. Just rearranging things, moving a picture from one room to another, moving a chair from the bedroom to the living room, rearranging your plants really can make all the difference. If you don't know where to start, have a creative friend come over to help you!

There are tons of other ways to be creative, these are just a few. What are some ways that you practice creative frugality? Please leave a comment!


Mom2fur said...

Did you ever see that show caled "Freestyle." I'm not sure it's even on now. It's like the end of Decorating Cents, where they use what is on hand to completely redo a room. It's amazing how much you can do with what you already have on hand!
I don't regret trying to be frugal at all. I consider it a game, with a real rush that happens when I save big at the grocery. It's gotten me to learn scratch cooking (my husband loves homemade pizza!) and to 'use up and make do.' Now I even have other people asking me how I do it, which is really flattering. Who knew being frugal could be good for your ego, LOL?

Abbi said...

I totally agree that thinking creatively can help make a thrifty lifestyle every bit as fun and exciting as a non-thrifty one. The more you use the creative skills the easier it will come to you too. There are many people that think that to have a nice looking room you would go and buy a nice looking set from a showroom with everything to go with it. Those of us that are used to thinking creatively don't even dream of doing something like that. (For one thing it wouldn't be as much fun!)
I agree with the above comment that it is lots of fun to have others ask you how you do it!
THanks for the post.

Nancy said...

Hi Michelle,
We go to Barnes and Noble, sit back, read magazines, books, people watch, blog, and just relax, get a frappacino or sweet green tea - that is free entertainment - it allows us to just be together and enjoy some quiet time at the same time!
Thanks for the post - I printed this out to review and see where else I can be more "creative"!

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