I like to save money, but I have my limits. Sometimes the high-priced item is better (or just preferred). That means I have to be frugal in other areas of my life so I can splurge on the things that are important to me.
We spend more on groceries than most people we know. We prefer organic – fresh when we can get it. We prepare most of our own food at home, then take our lunches, snacks and beverages to work with us.
Where we splurge
You might be thinking, “that sounds frugal,” but it’s not (for us). Meal planning and grocery shopping is time consuming and can be costly. We’ve learned a lot about the food industry over the last few years and have made significant changes to our eating. That means we’re buying more organics and fewer processed foods. Unfortunately, the healthiest choices are often more expensive. Therefore our food budget can seem like a splurge.
Where we’re frugal
We make similar choices with our cleaning ingredients, but here we’re able to save money. We’ve learned to make our own cleaners with vinegar, Castile soap, baking soda, etc. This is time consuming but it is cost effective.
With the warmer weather, we can grow our own vegetables. This year we are growing several types of lettuces, tomatoes, peas, broccoli, herbs and berries. This helps cut our food budget significantly in the summer months, and (depending on the bounty) we are able to freeze items to have well into the winter months. This reduces our food budget for part of the year.
This is how a balanced budget works. If you spend more in one area, you have to reduce in others. Your spending should not exceed your income. If it does, you may end up in debt, and that’s not a healthy choice.