As the global economy limps along, many of us are forced to tighten our belts – but frugality need not mean struggling or doing without. In fact, many people have found that this is the ideal time to adopt more than a few creative solutions from our parents and grandparents who view frugality as an important and highly valued life skill.
Technology has led to hectic lifestyles for most, and with this has been a phenomenal rise in ‘convenience’ products for every possible requirement.
Eating home-cooked, and even home-grown, meals around the family table in place of convenience foods eaten in front of the television or computer (often alone and at strange times of the day or night) is certainly better for our physical and emotional wellbeing. Spending an afternoon at a local playground or park rather than spending money on entertainment venues is both priceless and free. And we are certainly in times were all too many folk are becoming what is termed as ‘nature-deficient’.
I recall as a young child being quite amused as my grandmother went around her house last thing at night before bed switching absolutely everything off at the wall. Now I do the same – not only does it significantly reduce my energy usage (and power bills), but I do sleep so much more soundly without that almost imperceptible hum of electricity. Although I do leave the fridge and telephone plugged in!
The current rising trend is a focus on the ‘freeconomy’ – people who find ways to swap and trade locally (check out www.freecycle.org). Friends are even hosting swap parties where everyone brings along things they no longer use or need and swap with others. People are learning traditional skills, and trading skills with others.
So, whether you have just learned how to knit one, purl one, or you are swapping your fondue set for a pair of leg warmers – you are embracing the spirit of community, generosity, freedom, and co-operation. All essential for emotional, physical, and financial health.