I follow a plethora of “saving” websites, blogs and Facebook groups. Okay, maybe not a plethora, but enough. What I keep seeing is, “buy in bulk, when it is on sale”. Okay, that’s great, but what happens when I buy SO much that I can’t possibly use it up before it goes off, and my house starts to resemble Costco?
Am I exaggerating? Perhaps a bit, but you know what I mean. I have seen posts from people, who with the best of intentions I’m sure, have stocked up until the millennium (3000, that is). Now, to be fair, my husband and I buy the “Club Packs” of meat, and freeze them in meal size portions. We have enough toilet paper to ensure we won’t run out before the Jays win the World Series again (don’t hold your breath). However, we don’t have a huge pantry (or one at all, really), so we have to be very economical with our space, as well as our money.
What if we bought less? I theorize that people who have less, use less, and therefore, spend less. So, I’m coining the term “Less Frugal” to mean those of us who store less, and are then “encouraged” to use up what we have, make it last longer, and make better use of it.
If you’re spinning to the last of that roll of toilet paper, aren’t you more likely to be conservative in the number of squares you utilize? If your last bag of milk is nearing the bottom, will you be more thoughtful about how much you use for your cereal? What if you only have 5 dishwasher tabs left in the house? Won’t you be more thoughtful about completely filling the dishwasher before running it through its cycle?
I remember when I lost my job over 2 years ago. It came suddenly, and we were quickly and painfully aware of how much living costs. I decided to use up whatever we had in our pantry in order to keep our food costs low. We cut our food budget in half and only bought the essentials (perishables like milk, fruits, veggies, etc.). And you know what? We were able to survive for about 3 months. And not like Bear Grylls from Man vs. Wild, but quite comfortably. We never starved, nor did we really feel particularly deprived (other than those treats that we didn’t splurge on). And we didn’t hunt throughout the suburbs of Toronto, although I hear there are a couple of deer and coyotes in our area
I think that the more we have, the less frugal we become. We take for granted that we have another 40 rolls of paper towel in the basement, so let’s use it to clean everything, wrap our Christmas gifts, and dry off after our showers. I’m of course being a little tongue in cheek here, but quite frankly, I think that often, less is more.
Do you find that you’re more frugal when you have less? Do you have an arsenal in your pantry to keep you going until parachute pants come back in fashion?