Bigger is not always better. Remember, buying for status is expensive. A smaller home in good repair is thrift.Reduce square footage. For example, have same-sex children share a bedroom. Eliminate duplicate rooms, such as multiple living rooms, multiple bathrooms, etc. Remember, each additional room carries a cost (heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning).Learn home repair.Clean your own home.Perform your own lawn maintenance.
Energy supplies are not limitless. Costs rise as supplies diminish. Wasteful use of energy makes the energy provider rich!If possible, upgrade furnace and air conditioning units to the most fuel-efficient models.Weatherproof windows and doors. Insulate attic space to minimize heating and cooling loss.Lower heat in winter, raise cooling in the summer.Use energy-efficient light bulbs.Turn off lights in rooms not in use.
Quality classic styles withstand the test of time and wear.Prefer natural fibers like cotton, linen, silk and wool over synthetics. For footwear, prefer leather.Learn to make clothing.Sew your own repairs.Keep your clothing clean, especially woolen wear. Protect from pests like moths.Don’t use the floor as a closet or dresser.Shop quality thrift stores first.Look for sales when shopping for necessary clothing.Don’t buy clothes just because they are on sale.
Eat to live, don’t live to eat. A smart diet is good for your waist and pocketbook.Don’t waste food. It is estimated that 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. is thrown in the garbage.Cook your own foods. Eating out at restaurants regularly is pricey and unhealthy. Carry a bag lunch to work.Realize that foods prepared for you—those that are cut, chopped and sliced—cost more.Eat fresh, non-processed foods. Fresh fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains like brown rice are more filling and nutritious.Buy grains and flours in bulk.Use store coupons for foods you use.Grow your own fruits and vegetables.Curtail the consumption of junk foods; they carry a hefty price tag.
In a severe financial crunch, cut out all unnecessary costs.Give up the gas guzzler. Drive a smaller, fuel-efficient car.Car pool.Walk or bike when possible—it’s healthier.Rent a movie rather than taking the family to the theater.Cancel cable TV. Focus the family entertainment on active, educational activities.Cut out Internet use. When you need to “search the Net,” use the public library.Give up your cell phone. It seems indispensable, but people have survived thousands of years without them!
Final Thought: Teach your children thrift. It is more valuable than any college education.