As I have mentioned before, I try to be as frugal as I can in all aspects of my life and this includes the food we eat. My Mum was a very good cook, but frugal at the same time. I don't think she ever made a cake that used any more than 2 eggs. She would say "thats a bit rich" if the recipe had more butter or eggs than she would normally use. We still ate extremely well and were happy in our simple life.
Today, with everyone encouraged to be a "Masterchef" the cost of some of those "chefy" meals are just out of reach of families that are on a tighter budget. In saying that you don't need to spend a fortune to eat well and just as there is a big push to be a gourmet chef there are plenty of books, blogs and web sites encouraging simple meal plans using less expensive, nutritionally dense, ingredients.
The websites I adore for economical, family friendly recipes ideas are Frugal Queen, Frugal Girl and Mels Kitchen Cafe. My go to books for economical eating are - The Thrifty Kitchen by Suzanne and Kate Gibbs, Jamie Olivers Everyday Super Food and Save with Jamie, The $21 Challenge by Fiona Lippey and Jackie Gower and Abundance by Tania Hubbard. If I can't find the inspiration I need from flicking through these well rounded books, I will hit Google and just type in the ingredients I have on hand and I can usually find a budget friendly recipe on there.
Recently I found a quote that resonated with me so deeply , I guess, it's because it's what we have been doing and trying to achieve for a lot of years.
" It's not the amount you earn it is what you spend"
I am on an average wage and hubby works two days a week, so between us we are not raking in big bucks, but we live a comfortable life. We don't go out for dinner (except for this time) I don't go shopping just for the heck of it, I make do and mend where I can, I bake and cook from scratch, we turn off light switches, we always take a water bottle or thermos flask with us where ever we go, we preserve abundant fruits and use up every scrap of food so nothing goes to waste. It is not rocket science, it's what our Mothers and Grandmothers did as part of their normal lives. Somewhere along the line we all got a bit messed up, thinking that shop bought = better, and we all know, that, is often not the case.
So to try and sum up what Frugality means to me, its living simply, within our means, wasting nothing - including time, not buying into the "you must have it or you must do it or you will not be in vogue" lifestyle, being patient with purchases-really think about it and find the very best price, insource your life- do everything, where possible yourself, make do an mend, buy quality over quantity, live a small life that is rich in experiences not things and above all be generous with your time and your love. Being Frugal is a lifestyle that takes practice to do well, start small and enjoy the experience of simple living.
So, tell me, are you already living a frugal and rewarding life? Have I given you some inspiration to dip your toe into a more simple life? Let me know.