Let Your Frugal Flag Fly

The country I come from is called the Midwest.

So sang Bob Dylan on his landmark 1963 record The Times They Are A-Changin’.

Now, the Midwest is known for many things, namely passive aggression and squeamishness.

And nothing gets Midwesterners more squeamish than conversations about money. (Fine, it’s a three-way tie between money, sex, and mental illness. But it’s right up there!)

I once mentioned my annual savings rate to a fellow Midwesterner, and I could actually see the life drain from his face. I shit you not, I think he teared up. I immediately steered the conversation back to the weather.

Now, this is a shame, because every day we are bombarded with advertising that urges us to spend with abandon. We also have to listen to Susan talk incessantly about her kitchen remodel. (Yes, Susan, it really does look like a plain old cabinet. I can’t believe it doubles as a fucking fridge.)

What’s the counterweight to all this? Where’s the person bragging about putting $5,000 into their savings account last year? Where’s the person bragging about maxing out their work 401K and IRA?

Frugal sisters and brothers, we need you to come out of the woodwork! We need you to show that frugal is the new cool! We need you to drown out all the Susans!

Let’s lead by example. Remember, our example may be the only one some folks have.

I’ll start: I saved $8,000 more in 2019 compared to 2018.

What frugal accomplishment are you proud of? Care to share? Go for it! Say it loud and say it proud! Let your frugal flag fly.

Editor’s note: I apologize to all Midwesterners for using the term “three-way” in this post. I know some of you lost your wings as a result.

Frugal Tip: Every three months or so, pull out your fridge and clean its coils. This will increase the fridge’s energy efficiency, saving you money and helping the environment.

Can’t we just talk about the weather?

9 thoughts on “Let Your Frugal Flag Fly

  1. We started eating 90% vegetarian and stopped buying expensive cleaning products. You can clean anything with a diluted bleach solution and a bottle of white vinegar. Savings in both areas. Although I’m not gonna lie, we do enjoy a monthly cheeseburger, so I am very midwestern.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We stopped eating out almost entirely. I think cooking (or foraging) at home saves a lot. I believe I could become more frugal if there weren’t so many things I wanted. What’s the secret to wanting less?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shari, I don’t know if there’s any silver bullet here. One thing that helps is learning your weaknesses. For instance, I avoid commercials because I’m always tempted by the junk food advertisements. When I’m on the highway, I won’t look at billboards. I turn the radio off when commercials come on.

      I also try to surround myself with people who share my frugal values. I’ve formed a little support network of sorts and am rarely peer pressured into spending lavishly. I’ll also stay away from stores unless I legitimately need something. Out of sight, out of mind.


  3. I use the envelops from mail to make paper to write grocery lists on or notes to myself of things I need to attend to or to leave a message for someone.

    Liked by 1 person

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