Friday, September 14, 2012

Frugal Friday

This is something that I haven't yet tried myself. I caught one episode of the short lived TLC show, Extreme Cheapskates, and even though the show's participants were quite extreme, I wanted to possibly try a few of their methods.

This one comes from a man who rode his bicycle 40 miles, round trip, just to scrounge up enough lost change to buy a goats head (a cheap cut from the butcher) for dinner. He called it a frugal fast and I'm not sure if he is the one who had the idea for it, but I didn't find any other information online about it. 

What you do is you take one week out of the month, quarter, or whatever you choose where you spend absolutely no money. No $3 coffee, no tank of gas, no bills can be paid, nothing. He found that he can save hundreds of dollars per year buy using one week every now and again  as a spend-free week. 

Now it seems to me like this week must be planned. You couldn't possibly do it when you know all of your bills are set to be due, or when you just ran out of gas.  He said it is great because since you can't buy anything, specifically food from restaurants or groceries, you are forced to eat what you have left in your house. So many of us stand in front of full refrigerators and say "I have no food in this house." You can get creative with things, try re-purposing food you never thought you could. If you want to eat and you can't spend money, you'll have to. (Don't worry no goat's head required)

My first thought was that if you aren't spending money this week, you'll spend it next week, right? Say you see a new shirt on your frugal fast week, maybe you'll spend the same amount of money next week by buying it. Or, maybe not, if you don't buy it impulsively maybe you will forget about it and not want it later. If we can't spend money then we are forced to look at the things we actually spend money on. We many not think $3 here and $5 there amounts to much but try not spending it for a week and see what it can be alternatively used for. 

I would love to hear anyone's comments if you are brave enough to try this. Once I find the right time to do it I will update you on my experience.