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Favorite Frugal Tips of Large Family Moms

Today The 4 Moms of 35+ Kids are sharing our favorite large family frugal tips.

When I was in the hospital for 30 days during one of my pregnancies receiving intravenous drugs to stop my preterm labor, one of my friends brought me her copy of The Complete Tightwad Gazette to read. (She must have known I was bored nearly to death.)

As I lay in that hospital bed day after day, I read through that entire large volume, which is actually a bound collection of newsletters by famous tightwad, Amy Dacyczyn.

I read one page after another and was absolutely entranced by what was there! The author pointed out in detail, repeatedly that the trick to being frugal isn’t some sort of secret formula. It is a matter of self control and keeping a long-range goal in mind.

In her family’s case, they wanted to buy an old farmhouse in the country on the single income of her military husband. They were able to accomplish this feat through self control and careful consideration of where each dime of their money was going.

At one point in the book, a television news team came to visit the family to find out how they were able to be so frugal. Mrs. Dacyczyn (pronounced “decision”) invited the crew to set up in the parking lot of the local McDonald’s and her family would all wave as they passed by in their second hand van eating their peanut butter sandwiches.

She went on to explain that being frugal isn’t so much what you do, but what you don’t do.

  • Don’t buy fast food when you have bread and peanut butter at home.
  • Don’t go to the movies and buy popcorn when you have a dvd player and a corn popper at home.
  • Don’t buy a new vehicle when a used vehicle will get you there.

The Complete Tightwad Gazette is my absolute favorite frugal resource!

It is full of many tips, but mostly it is training in a mindset, the mindset that I can achieve financial goals by using self control and planning to save my pennies.

What is your favorite frugal tip or resource?

Now, be sure to find out what the rest of my 4 Moms team lists as their favorite frugal tips:

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Comments

  1. I haven’t gotten to read this book yet but I would love to sometime. This sounds like a lot of what we do around here. Thanks for the ideas. Stop by and check us out as well. Thanks!

  2. I am often amazed at how often Amy’s books come up in the frugal blogs. I got everyone of her newsletters. I kept them in a binder and I enjoy reading them to keep me ‘going’ with the going gets hard.
    My favorite tip is to hang dry my laundry. Not only does it save energy to hang dry the laundry, it saves the clothes too. They (the clothes) last much longer when hung to dry.
    Another thing I do is if I am going to make something in the oven I always make a double batch or something else at the same time. The oven is large and will hold several things at a time. It is easy to fix two items and freeze one for another day.

  3. Stephanie says:

    My favorite tip is to pack lunch when we are going to be out running errands for the day. It is much cheaper (and easier). It only takes a couple of minutes to pack pb& nutella (our favorite on the road sandwich), fruit, and carrots, but it saves so much money.

    • Stephanie that is a great tip! One of those common sense things that I never think of and here I have been lamenting the fact that this past month we’ve been eating SO MUCH FAST FOOD. Ugh.

      Thanks!

  4. So much of being frugal is self control and habit. It is easy to get into the habit of eating out and going thru the drive threw, wish it was just as easy to get into the habit of packing a lunch! but I am working on it:D

  5. I picked up this book on a whim at my local library a few years ago and it changed my life. I devoured it, cover to cover, and even took notes. It changed the way I looked at “things” and life and money. I highly recommend it!

  6. I love this book. It really inspired me to be able to afford more children and be able to adopt. Thanks for reminding me about it.
    Becky

  7. Haha – we love Amy Dacyczyn at this house too! We joke about “what would Amy D do??” or “Amy D would hate this!” :) My 12 yo daughter loves reading her frugal tips and often gives me suggestions!

    Yes, some of her ideas seem a little out there, but I can definitely say the little things add up. Definitely a good book to have around – ours is so dog-eared. I’ve used her universal quiche recipe many times – super cheap recipe and one our family loves. I make 2 for our big family and am on the verge of having to make 3 for one meal.

  8. I am thankful to have a very frugal husband. We have financial goals and we save to meet them instead of buying whatever right away (which is what I want to do a lot of times!). He’s always reminding the kids that they don’t “need” what they think they “need” – really it’s just a “want” because we do have everything we need. Being frugal is not just for the big things – it’s even the small things – when I want to buy something I think is a good thing to have right now (i.e. new pants for the boys because theirs have holes in them), he reminds me that garage sale season is right around the corner (or, if it’s winter, Christmas or birthdays are right around the corner). He even questions my (about) once a week McDonald’s $1 coffee habit, always telling me that $1 is “real money” when I say, “it’s just a $1!”. I am SOOO thankful for him. Our house is now payed off partly due to his resourceful, frugal-ness and most of all due to the blessings of our good God! Praise be to Him!

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