Thank you to all our readers for making our Frugal February experiment a success. It’s great to learn about useful tips and just how nutty our friends and relatives really are! Here are some quick observations from last month:
Gender – Though the majority of the submissions were from women, I suspect our male readers are just as frugal as our female ones. What gives? Is it that most of the advice was household focused (groceries, bill paying, services) and despite progress and statistics to the contrary, females are still the primary gatekeepers in those areas? Or is it that women see thriftiness as a source of pride, and men see it as a necessity born from a failure to provide? Curious what your thoughts are on this.
Subject Matter – Mostly revolved around food because, as we’ve seen ourselves, it takes one of the bigger bites out of our yearly budget (next to mortgage, medical and childcare – which are fixed expenses, or costs that fall beyond our control). There were some really creative ways to save in the food category. Yum.
Perpsective - What I found most enlightening, besides the practical advice, were the thought processes, or rather, justifications behind the decisions people based their strategies on. The motivations and goals that people had — not wanting to waste food scraps, doubling up servings, cutting expenses by going without X, growing your own herbs — were really just different ways of looking at a situation and a doing a cost-benefit analysis. In some it took a little discipline to plan ahead one’s food schedule, in others, to do without a certain luxury.
Blessing: Books on tape — a calming effect on the kids in long and short car rides — and entertaining to boot. Oh yeah. It’s free too, thanks to the library.