Monday, August 20

Frugality: Choices and Control

Weighing choices!Life is about choices.

All day, every day, we make choices. We hear the alarm and decide to get up right away or to hit the snooze button and steal a few minutes from our day. We decide whether to have a quick shower or a long shower. We decide whether or not we need a coffee, a donut, or perhaps something healthier.

You may not realize that everything you do is a choice, but it is. Now, to be fair, you may have ceeded your choices over to habits like the rest of the population. Everyone knows we are creatures of habit. While that's true, never forget that you are still in control, that you choose whether or not to let your habits take over, each and every day. At any moment of any day you can suddenly exert yourself and change the script.

Why am I talking about habits?

If you want to become more frugal you are going to have to change some of your habits. Instead of vegetating in front of the television until it is time to go to sleep you may have to allocate a bit of time and effort getting lunch and snacks ready for the next day. That way you, and your family, can eat healthy food and save money at the same time.

With this in mind my girlfriend and I sketched out a weekly meal plan. Actually, I let her decide on what we'd have every day, while I'll look after most of the grocery shopping and cooking. So, complete with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, we now know what's on the (planned) menu for each day. With this in hand we did a trip around the supermarket that same evening and picked up everything else we would need.

We took control.

However, as a lot of people have the wrong impression of frugality, it is important to keep in mind that this isn't deprivation. Eating well, eating healthy and saving money at the same time is an all around win. Frugality isn't just skimping and scrounging, it can also be about minimizing wasteful habits so that you have more resources available for other more important things.

What choices are you making?

Frugal Guy said...
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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is important to make changes. My problem is I love sugar and have diabetics in my family. I have to watch my diet and exercise. Good luck. I hope you both avoid disease and make great choices too!! It's not easy but, the Health food store has yummy stuff !! Superwalmart and the Dollar stores carry health food inlcluding veggy burgers. Have a nice day!! Annette Organic is best due to less metal from pesticides I was told.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Medical bills for bad health cost much more than decent food. You give great advice.

Frugal Guy said...

Hi Annette, thanks for commenting. I find it difficult to discuss exactly "what" is healthy as so many people have a variety of opinions.

For example, some people are worried about fat intake, or perhaps refined carbohydrates, while others might worry about salt, getting enough fiber, or avoiding cholesterol. Then again, there is always the issue of avoiding pesticides and other potential substances by going organic. Heck, depending on existing health conditions different people will appropriately have different opinions or needs on these issues. It gets complex.

However, as you suggest, at the core health is really job 1, from there we can find ways to be healthy on a budget, or use our income from work to support a healthy lifestyle. In general, I feel that society has forgotten that our main goal should be to healthy, before we worry about being wealthy.

I like to blog about these issues as "perspectives" from time to time... thanks for raising the issue and the well wishes!

Anonymous said...

Ya thanks too!! You can pick up a book or go to the library on eating for your blood type. This should solve most health problems. They have a great deal of information on this at the health food store. You could be the richest man on earth but, if you are in poor health you could lose it all too medical bills. Human life is more valuable than anything!! Once you lose it, you cannot get it back!!!

Abbi said...

I totally agree that life is full of choices. I have a tendancy to find it a little frusterating when people (who bring in a higher wage than we do) look at us and say "You have the good life". The choices we make really determine how we end up. My husband and I were both blessed with God fearing frugal parents who taught us how to make good choices.

Frugal Guy said...

Hi Abbi, I think you are right. Those comments appear to ascribe your condition to luck or some trait other than your wisdom and discipline. Good work!