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Frugal vs. Lazy

February 16th, 2007 at 08:52 am

Something I hear all the time from people who are deeply in debt is that they just don't have time to be frugal. HUH? What's so time consuming about carefully watching your spending? I believe that most people think that being "frugal" means a lifetime of baking bread from scratch, sewing all of their own clothing, shopping at four different grocery stores to get all of the best deals, cooking all of their food from scratch, making all of their gifts by hand, etc, etc, etc. Well, I guess most of those things are done by frugal people. But, I consider myself to be a frugal person and I don't necessarly do everything on the above mentioned "frugal" list. Honestly, many of the things I do aren't done to be frugal, but basically because I'm lazy!

Some examples of frugal practices I do because I'm lazy.
#1 Every week I make out a menu of meals that I plan on fixing for the week. Yes, this IS frugal. It saves money because I don't buy a bunch of extra food I don't need. The reason I do this aside from being frugal? After working all day long, the last thing I want to do 2 or 3 or even 4 days a week is go to the grocery store and gather up ingredients for the evening meal. I'm tired. I just want to get home.
#2 When I cook things like ground beef I will cook up 5 or 6 pounds at a time instead of the one pound that a recipe calls for and put the excess in the freezer. Why? Because when I come home from work tired and knowing I still have stuff to do around the house, the kids will need help with their homework, and I still have a stack of bills that need to be paid and put into the mail, having a portion of my meal already prepared saves me time and energy because some of my meal is already made for me.
#3 For the most part I don't bake bread from scratch. Sometimes I do because my family enjoys the flavor of fresh bread. The "everyday" bread my family uses comes from the grocery store. I buy generic whole wheat bread at the "regular" grocery store for the same price name brand bread costs at the bread outlet store. On my time off I don't want to drive the extra distance and waste my free time going to the bread outlet store, so we eat generic bread instead. The cost is the same and there is no effort or time involved in buying the bread from my usual grocery store.
#4 Speaking of grocery stores, I frequent 2 stores. I live in a small rural area with only a few stores and they never have great sales competing for customers because, well, they don't have to. We don't have much of a choice were we shop. I know my prices by heart so I will shop at each store every other week and buy the best deals at each store.
#5 I never sew clothes. I don't enjoy it and it's very time consuming. Some of our clothes come from garage sales, but the majority are purchased at departments stores at season end clearence sales. I just purchased 5 pairs of jeans for my daughter at JCPenney's on clearence for $5.49 each. There's no way I can sew a pair of jeans for $5.49 a pair. We do have one thrift store in our town and you can't buy a decent pair of pants there for $5.49. BTW, this is why I rarely buy clothes at the thrift store. I can usually find clothing at other places cheaper than the thrift store price.
#6 We just celebrated Valentine's Day. I guess the "frugal" thing for us to do would have been to make homemade Valentines for my daughter to give out to her classmates. Okay, by the time I purchased paper, glue, markers, stickers, glitter, and whatever else is needed to make handmade Valentine's cards I would've spend much more than the $1 I spend on a box of factory made Valentine's from the Dollar Store. She also wanted to include candy as a treat. Did we load up in the van and drive 10 miles into town to buy candy for her Valentine's? Heck no! That's the last thing I want to do in the evening after a long day of work. Instead, I pulled out my bag of Hersey Kisses that I picked up on the clearence rack after Christmas. The Kisses were wrapped in green, red, and the tradional "foil" wrappers. We simply used the red and trational "foil" and put them into a small baggie. I'll use the leftover green Kisses in Easter baskets in a month or so.
#7 Recently a fellow worker asked me "sometimes aren't you so exhausted after work and running your kids around that you don't have the energy to throw together even a small meal?". The answer to her question is "YES"! So, do I drive up to a local burger joint and order a round of burgers and fries to my family to eat? No. For two reasons. The most important reason is because this food is simply NOT healthy. But, another good reason is that the prices is just too high. I have to feed my husband, myself, an athletic 15 year old son(who can eat twice as much as most adults), a thirteen year old daughter, and an eight year old daughter who is also an athlete. So, to fill all of us up would cost me $25 or $30. Instead, we go home and have a super lazy dinner of leftovers, a sandwich, or maybe even a bowl or two of cereal.

As you can see, most of the frugal things I do don't just save me money, but even more importantly, they save me time and energy!

7 Responses to “Frugal vs. Lazy”

  1. tinapbeana Says:

    #7 Recently a fellow worker asked me "sometimes aren't you so exhausted after work and running your kids around that you don't have the energy to throw together even a small meal?". The answer to her question is "YES"! ... Instead, we go home and have a super lazy dinner of leftovers, a sandwich, or maybe even a bowl or two of cereal.  

    in my house growing up, those were called "Forage for Yourself Night". any kid old enough to participate in extra-curricular activities is old enough to gather together a bowl of cereal, make a sandwhich, pull salad mix out of a bag, or microwave leftovers. plus, doing it once a week is a great way to keep the fridge cleaned out Big Grin

  2. living_in_oz Says:

    Yeah, we actually call it "every man for himself night"!

  3. fairy74 Says:

    great entry. I hate the "it takes too much time to be frugal" excuse. What it actually takes is planning (and not always a lot of planning). Personally I'd rather put some planning in up front, then stay awake all night worrying about overdue bills, that truly seems like a waste of time to me. When things get really busy at our house we have a breakfast for dinner night, with cereal, easy eggs dishes or some pancakes.

  4. Sunshine Suz Says:

    "Refrigerator Surprize" is what I call it!

    I agree with all you said and think you are doing great.

    Stay warm!!

  5. disneysteve Says:

    One thing that I do that is both frugal and lazy is cut my own hair. I use an electric clipper I bought for $15 2 years ago. It takes me about 10 minutes, about as long as it took to drive to and from the place I used to go. Plus, I save the time spent sitting there waiting to be taken care of. And, I can cut my hair anytime of day whether it is first thing in the morning, or 10:00 Sunday night, times when the shop isn't open.

  6. Sindel Says:

    nice post Smile
    I like reading abt how everyone is frugal in their own ways here.

  7. cecilia Says:

    Save the green kisses for St Patrick's Day. you'll be a hit.

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