Is your frugal lifestyle permanent?

(85 Posts)
CatAndFiddle Sun 12-May-13 12:56:07

As the economic crisis/credit crunch enters it's 6th year, I've realised that all the frugal behaviours I've adopted thus far will be a permanent change for me.
As things gradually return to 'normal' over the next few years, credit becomes more readily available, consumer lending rules are relaxed (as they inevitably will be to stimulate 'growth')...do you think you will return to your previous spending habits?
My Nan never forgot the experience of rationing and the 'make do and mend' mentality of the war and the years that followed (though I don't think this was true of all her generation)and I can honestly say that the experience of the last few years has completely changed my attitude towards money.
Do you feel the same or are you just biding your time and riding out the storm?

MissBli55 Sat 24-Aug-13 12:56:45

I love lentils! I buy bags of red, green, and split yellow peas, use third of a bag of each and soak over night and rinse, - cheap piece of gammon, throw in a chopped onion, spud, carrot simmer away, makes pea and ham soup for my work lunch for a fortnight. Sorry to throw in a quick recipe!

moggiek Fri 23-Aug-13 20:40:39

I agree, Chottie. I do feel like an idiot for being suckered into the whole 'must have' culture for most of my life. It's nonsense.

Chottie Tue 20-Aug-13 04:47:29

I will not change either, it's scary how quickly life can change. I am another one who could kick herself for getting suckered in to buying so many things I did not need.

I have down graded on lots of things and to be honest I haven't noticed the difference.

princesscupcakemummyb Sun 18-Aug-13 20:41:20

our frugal lifestyle has def changed us for the better we will be keeping it even if we came into money i cant say id go mad or anything we try keep the cost of everything to a min we dont have luxurys but we def make our money go a bit further because we have to allways shopping around also allways try buy in sales for xmas birthdays our food is budget branded i think our shopping would def be alot cheaper if it wasent for us buying meat but saying that we only really meat once or twice a week for like a roast on sundays and chicken and dumplings or something similar during the week the cost of things have def got high and they are climbing higher as we know it sad

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 01-Aug-13 08:45:25

I don't think it would be sustainable to be permanent for us tbh, there is only so little money you can clothe and feed a growing family for. But we have reasonable hope of our income going up over the next five years or so, thankfully.

I don't think we've often 'wasted' money but we are more cautious and inclined to overbudget to cover contingencies which I expect we will hold onto.

If we get to the point of being debt free and able to afford a holiday, we absolutely will go, for example. Although we can't afford that now.

500internalerror Thu 01-Aug-13 08:39:58

I've always been frugal - if I hadn't saved right from childhood, I wouldn't have had the deposit for my first flat , & therefore wouldn't have a house now! I had a couple of splash-outs before having kids - 2 x £1k holidays, which I don't regret at all smile

Seabright Thu 01-Aug-13 08:28:34

We are frugal by nature, me more than DP, but are about to return to the UK and will need to step it up.

I am going to try growing some of of my own veg/fruit next year, I think things like salad leaves that are pricy to buy and will look nice in the garden, tomatoes and courgettes to begin with. I already grow herbs.

In the UK I do a twice-yearly trip to Costco and Wing Yip in Croydon & really fill freezers and store cupboards. We eat a lot of Asian/Oriental food so save a lot going there and it's better quality too.

I love reading other people's tips and ideas. Always something new to try!

BiddyPop Fri 26-Jul-13 12:58:05

Some will, some I was doing before the crisis, but others I will let slide.

I had an allotment for 5 years that I let go in January, as I was too stressed not getting to it (20 min drive and then 15 min walk carrying all my tools) and not getting enough time meant it was getting overgrown too easily. But having HAD the allotment means I am a lot better at growing veg and have learned a lot more about how to squeeze more into my pocket hankerchief garden. So I will be continuing growing at least some veg myself. (But I do miss the loads of fresh raspberries and making my own blackcurrant jam).

I am also really lucky that I am not in the depths, there are many people a lot worse off than me - but we've recently had another round of paycuts so I am having to remember some of the lessons I learned before and put them back into practise.

We have freesat on the tv rather than a satellite package, so it only costs us the tv licence yearly (and even if I gave that up, there are plans to make all households pay regardless of tv in the next couple of years here).

I still buy quality clothes as I need to be well dressed, but I tend to buy fewer of them and make sure they are really perfect now, and look at the end of the sales in the high end stores (70% off a really good classic suit like Jaegar means it's the same price as a regular Next or M&S suit and I'll get WAY more wear out of it). I get my old shoes re-heeled and re-soled as needed, which is a lot cheaper than buying a new pair. And I also tend to look for new shoes in the high end sales again as much as possible as the quality of those lasts better.

I am getting back to more cooking from scratch (I like it and used to do a lot more but longer working hours and dealing with DD SN's and DH working overseas 50% of the time, meant I had dropped back). I always did double batches of dinners to freeze 1 (better than takeaway on frantic nights - microwave defrost and oven heating is as fast as takeaway, cheaper and better nutrition). I've changed a lot of food shopping habits, doing a lot more shopping around and getting some things in 1 store and others elsewhere - using our F&V shop, butcher, fishmonger etc more too. And I get all my spices and lots of ingredients (tins coconut milk, rice, noodles etc) in the Asian supermarket too. And I am more rigid again about menu-planning and making a list before I go shopping. So while it can change if the offers are good, I am buying to a plan rather than at random and throwing out loads at the end of the week.

We sometimes get 1 takeaway per week - but it wouldn't be 4 per month. Often Fridays, but I have more fast and easy options for Friday dinners now that I've learned.

celticclan Wed 17-Jul-13 18:04:13

I've become incredibly anxious about money and I can't imagine that I would ever go back to how I was before the recession. Times have changed and everyone has had to reassess how they manage their finances.

Bluecarrot Wed 17-Jul-13 17:36:05

I've always been frugal but really only saw it as sensible til I saw how many folk live.

I look for good value rather than cheap and do tend to spend to get quality items ( ideally from a charity shop, but sometimes new) rather than replace cheap items regularly.

I could be more frugal but it would compromise too much on comfort level and is, at the moment, unnecessary. ( we already usually spend below what is considered to be the poverty line, the rest of income is saved)

nkf Wed 17-Jul-13 17:30:00

The credit crunch has taught me to recognise what I really value. I will be better off when my childcare costs end. I will out money aside to help my children through university and go to the theatre more often. U will still buy reduced croissants and cheap clothes (apart from coats.)

Abra1d Wed 17-Jul-13 17:21:04

Into our third year of my husband's unemployment and I think frugality now seems natural to us. We have managed to draw down some pension money, though, which is helping fund our two teenagers.

Lovetoknit Wed 17-Jul-13 17:19:04

I usually try to save where I can so we can afford occasional treat for our 3 kids e.g local vintage rally and steam fair.
I love cooking from scratch and baking, I shop around for best offers and often by in bulk and then separate meat into portions. I always use up any leftovers and with 2 cats, dog and chickens (they not only provide us with eggs but also lots of entertainment for all the family) there is always somebody to finish any meals off.
Our vegetable garden seems to be doing great and since it's next to the house now it's lot easier then the allotment we had with our previous house. We are planning to make more room to grow even more next year. Kids love to help and definitely know where our food comes from.
It was kind of funny when even my Mum noticed when she came to visit that my youngest daughter was wearing a coat both her older brother and sister used to wear. I make, mend, upcycle and recycle things and even kids are learning along the way.
I just wish I could lower the cost of the fuel, energy and water.

Jellybeanz1 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:14:18

I tried growing our own food in the garden but with the rubbish summer last year I honestly think I wasted a lot of money for almost no return. I hate slugs sad

Iwantmybed Wed 12-Jun-13 20:38:38

Hmm good question. We've been fairly frugal since 2006 so its second nature not to waste money. However we are now pretty liquid and built up a small pot of savings we are now investing in the house but will happily scrimp elsewhere.

Soditall Wed 12-Jun-13 20:34:10

The stress that has gone since we have become more frugal there is no way I'll ever go back to the way we were.

I enjoy making meal planners,I love baking and making everything from scratch.

I Love using my creative side to create the things I want and need for my home and I get so much more enjoyment making and up cycling things than I ever did just buying them ready made from a shop.

And I love that are money now feels like it's working for us rather than us just always working for the money.

spidersandslugs Sat 18-May-13 15:41:26

I borrow glossy mags from my local library. They loan them out for a week at a time & you can't renew. It's free as long as you remember to return on time.
& yes, I think I'll stick with the frugal lifestyle, I can't bear wasting money.

AdoraBell Chile Wed 15-May-13 04:00:04

It's all the advertising revenue that keeps the magazines afloat. The big fashion houses spend obscene amounts of money on pushing their products. Doesn't work on me thoughgrin

expatinscotland Tue 14-May-13 19:29:23

How do those glossy mags stay in business? I picked up one the other day and it was £4! WTAF? I can get a good book for that and/or share a book on Kindle for that.

BackforGood Tue 14-May-13 19:14:50

I've always been tight frugal. My 'skint' days were 18 - 25 yrs ago, not in the last 5 or 6 years. I can't bring myself to "waste money" on things I know I can get off Freegle or from charity shops, or paying for a brand name at the supermarket when I know I can get far cheaper without, even though we are considerably more 'comfortable' than we were when we first got together.

StuffezLaYoni Tue 14-May-13 18:59:11

Over the last five years I've adopted as many frugal habits as I can. I won't be stopping if I ever become rich! Some are great, like meal
?planning to avoid food wastage, but some depress me. For instance, I don't think I will ever be able to go on a warm summer's drive without worrying about the wasted petrol again. sad

I've got a lodger moving in next month and am doing as much private tuition as I can, so hopefully thing should be less tight soon.

AdoraBell Chile Tue 14-May-13 18:55:28

I was brought up to be frugal, my parents were born between WW1 and WW2 and had 6 kids. Now I need my kitchen cupboards to be full but don't need to go to a hairdresser - not judging anyone who does- but where I live it's not easy to be frugal in everything.

We're in South America and I can get fresh veg etc really cheap locally but if I want meat or fish, or even dairy, that is actually fresh and has been kept refrigerated I have to do an 80 km round trip. There are butchers, you find them by sense of smell, and fish isn't kept on ice other than in the supermarket.

I can't get DDs shoes from supermarkets as they both have inherent problems that make fecking expensive well structured shoes, a la Clarks, a necessity.

We also spend an absolute fecking fortune on health insurance which is a constant source of stress. We pay to see a Dr, DDs pay (or we do) for dentist and prescriptions. If we can sell the house before we lose it we'll be lucky. A part of me yearns to move back and stop spending all this money.

So yes, I will continue being frugal if I can actually get back to being frugal.

MERLYPUSS Tue 14-May-13 08:44:35

I've always been frugal (tight as banjo strings). My maternal GMum was widowed during WW2 with 7 kids. She was Jewish and disowned by her family for marrying out so had no fall back. She worked full time in Woolwich Barracks in the kitchen feeding the 'lads' so the head chef would let her take the scraps home 'for the kids Winny'. She could make a 1lb of mince last a week!
Dad served in WW2 and has to have a food stock as a fall back, I'm sure in case rationing comes back! He is always trying to feed my 2 up when we are there.
Mum, in turn, learnt GM's ways, and when dad was on limited income she would often not eat so the older 2 girls and dad could. (she would wash up and have a piece of toast instead of a meal). When I came along some 8 years later it was a way of life by then. I had hand me downs, hand made clothes and market stuff. No Primark then.
My OH was born in Sri Lanka. His family were not on the poverty line but often did not know when they would next eat meat so lived on a lot of lentil/bread and rice combos. Very healthy but he is a meat freak now. Comodoties like plastic stuff were non existant so never a marg box was thrown away in MIL's house when they came here. Everything was used until it wore out. And they saw no point in having 'stuff' for the sake of it.
I scratch cook 90% of the time. Bulk buy and would rather shop around and save 50p than pay M&S prices. It is just ingrained. I get all my clothes form Primark, Asda or bootsales. Same for the kids.
We now have quite a healthy income but I cant justify not having savings or spending £30 on a pair of kids shoes when Sainsburys do them for £15. I do treat them on extortionately expensive things like a tree house that cost nearly £800 because I know they will get play value from it for years to come. I can rationalise that.
I don't think Iwill ever change. It is just how I am

God, no, you can't go through life being miserable about your hair shock

Life is truly too short to have crap hair.

ElizaDoLots Mon 13-May-13 22:36:24

grin

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