Posted by Tim Stobbs on August 8, 2012
When you start learning to be frugal for the first time there is a sort of magic to the process. You shed old wasteful spending habits and start to focus you spending on what really matters most to you. You feel excited about doing it since it often makes you life better and saves you money so make changes is easy. Also during this time you find out lots of great ideas to reduce spending, after all there are entire blogs devoted to frugal ideas. The only problem is this honeymoon period comes to an end fairly quickly and after a year or two you really have run out of new ideas on what else you can do.
After you have finally run out of ideas you hit a sort of cruising period where you don’t learn much else about being frugal. The problem with this state of being is you tend to fall into a bit of trap of assuming that everything that you are doing is all that could be done and stop learning new frugal tricks or even keep an eye open for them.
Then something will happen that will shake you out of your cruise control and make you think back about things again. As an example, for me this week it was looking for some coffee. We were shopping for a few items after getting back from our vacation and we forgot to buy our usual coffee at Superstore. The next day I was picking something up at Walmart and wanted to avoid going to a different store for a single item. So I had a look at Walmart and then I found a coffee I actually like (which is hard enough of a requirement) for 20% cheaper than my usual coffee.
So this entire shopping trip triggered an old memory of something that I keep meaning to do but never did it…start a price book. A book of certain items and where I got them cheap at and what price. That way I can tell how good a sale is at another store by looking at a flyer and pick up some items elsewhere. I live within a short distance of four different grocery stores so it is not like I would be using much gas to do this. I’ve know about this idea for years…I just got lazy about actually doing anything about it.
This has lead to a few other ideas in my head that I’ve been meaning to do something about like trying to make wine from frozen juice…an odd but cheap experiment that is currently started (I’ll let you know if that work out or not). So while I won’t get back that magic of the first time of being frugal I am remembering the fun of doing little experiments again and getting past my old theory that I’m frugal enough.
How do you get back into trying new things after being in a rut? What experiments in frugal have you tried out recently?