How to Become a Frugal Homemaker

Last Updated on May 23, 2024 by Gabby Hatten

I’ve come to realize that the word frugal has different meanings for different people, so before we dive into the simple ways to be a frugal homemaker, we’re going to take a deep dive into the true meaning of frugality.

What it Means to be Frugal

In truth, the definition leaves a lot to the imagination. It really is open to interpretation, as far as how one decides to live it out.

Sparing is not a word I like to use, when it comes to frugality I believe it’s best summed up as using your money and resources wisely. For lack of a better term, how to get the most bang for your buck.

See, where many get it wrong is they mistake frugality with simply being cheap. Lucky for us, being frugal is not about being cheap. In the modern age of excessive consumerism, it is easy for us to find ourselves wasting our hard earned money on things we don’t need, or truly even want. Oftentimes we believe we want something when in reality, it’s the consumerism speaking. When we take a step back, have a perspective shift, and really analyze our thought process when it comes to what we spend money on, I promise you will have that light bulb moment!

The Very Necessary Perspective Shift

While frugality applies to most anything in life, for the purpose of this post I will be speaking purely in regards to the keeping of the home (homemaking). I’m someone who has struggled with giving sentimental value to most everything, which, as you can imagine, makes it very difficult to ever declutter or downsize anything. Three kids later, you can imagine how difficult simple housework would be when the problem is simply having too much stuff.

Here’s the perspective shift; your home is a living, breathing, machine. It can run as a well oiled machine does, or it can run as an old machine with too much gunk in the wheels does. It is imperative that you take the time to take inventory of your home. What all do you have hiding in drawers or cupboards? What do you need and you don’t even realize because there’s simply too much stuff lying around?

If your home is overwhelming, you need to shift your perspective as mentioned above, and take these actionable steps:

  • Start small: pick a room, and within that room pick one piece of furniture, one shelf, or one corner to go through and declutter. Take it day by day until you work throughout your entire home.
    • But how do I know what to get rid of? If you haven’t looked at it, used it, or even thought of it in the past 6 months it’s time to go. Another great question to reflect on? What purpose does this item serve, what job does it accomplish for me?
  • Pause before completing a purchase: take an extra 5-10 minutes in the store to think about an item and the purpose it would serve if you decided to bring it home. More often than not, you’ll realize you don’t have the space (mental or physical) to keep up with it.
  • Listen to real life, uplifting podcasts while doing the chores or daily tasks you dislike the most.

It is not a quick journey, but a vital one. Now you may be asking yourself, what does decluttering my home have to do with being frugal? Stay with me as I explain the correlation next.

A Well Oiled Machine & the Art of Frugality

To understand why the functionality of your home matters, let’s dive into what I consider the pillars of frugality:

  • Resourcefulness: This is all about knowing what you already have & finding creative ways to use it, breathing new life into items, and simply making the most of your resources.
  • Mindful spending: Prioritizing quality over quantity, making thoughtful purchasing decisions, and avoiding unnecessary expenses.
  • DIY mindset: Embracing do-it-yourself projects for home maintenance, repairs, and crafting to save money and develop new skills.
  • Minimalism: Simplifying and decluttering your living space to reduce the need for excess belongings and streamline your lifestyle.
  • Meal planning and cooking at home: Saving money by preparing meals in advance, avoiding food waste, and making the most of affordable ingredients.
  • Energy efficiency: Implementing strategies to reduce utility costs, such as using energy-saving appliances, insulating your home, and being mindful of water and electricity usage.
  • Thriftiness: One mans trash is another mans treasure! Secondhand shopping (thrift stores, facebook marketplace, garage sales, etc), upcycling, and finding value in pre-owned items rather than new.
  • Long-term thinking: Invest in quality, durable items that will stand the test of time, rather than opting for cheap options you’ll have to replace frequently.
  • Sustainable living: Incorporating eco-friendly practices into your homemaking, such as composting, reducing single-use plastics, and choosing environmentally conscious products.
  • Community sharing and collaboration: Engaging in community swaps, sharing resources with neighbors, and participating in collaborative efforts to reduce costs and build a sense of community.

In summary, a well oiled machine (home) is going to make it much easier for you to remain resourceful and mindful. The less time you have to spend digging through an abundance of useless items the more time you’re going to be able to spend taking inventory and repurposing what you already have.

Daily Tasks for the Frugal Homemaker

  • Morning Meditation/Prayer: it is soooo important to give yourself time in the morning. Prayer, journaling, reading, and mediation are all great things to incorporate into your morning routine. You can find my favorite bible verses and quotes here.
  • Food inventory : I’ve never been great at meal planning. My strategy when it comes to groceries is simply buying wholesome food. Fruits, veggies, meats and fish. We have bulk rice in our pantry always, and all breads/bakery items are made from scratch. I simply make meals with whatever we have, and prioritize but what needs to be used up first so nothing gets wasted. Make sure you’re paying attention to the veggies in your fridge that are nearing the end of their lifespan.
  • Horizontal surfaces: I make it a point to wipe down all horizontal surfaces in a room each day. Wiping down every surface of your entire home may seem daunting and time consuming, but when you break it up to one room per day it is much more manageable.
  • Sweeping/Vacuuming: this is at minimum a daily task, but for me it’s more like 3-4 times a day. We spend lots of time going in and out and barefoot, between chickens, dogs, and a goat… our floors take quote the beating.
  • Accounting: checking your finances daily is a must. how easy is it to spend aimlessly if not tracking where you’re at for the month? $10 here, $20 there doesn’t seem like much until you have 20 of those miscellaneous transactions with nothing useful to show for it.
  • Intentional time with your children: the nature of my job requires a lot more phone time than I’d like, so I make it a point to put it up and out of view for a good chunk of the day to spend with the kids doing things they enjoy, slowing down and letting them help me in the kitchen, etc.
  • Spouse check-in: while it is much too easy to get wrapped up in the chaos of the day, it is imperative you have a dedicated time to have intentional, meaningful conversations with your spouse. Whether you take the during dinner or wait until after the kids bed time, checking in with each other, helping where needed, or simply encouraging one another is more important to your daily routine than you realize.

While I could certainly turn this into an entire novel, I hope this was helpful and encouraging. If you have any tips of your own, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

Author Profile

Gabby Hatten
Gabby Hatten
Hello there, I'm Gabby! I am a mother of three, married to my wonderful husband Marco, and I have a deep passion for simple living, vintage homes, and cooking everything from scratch! Although I grew up in Las Vegas, my husband's military service brought us to the east coast, where we have now made coastal North Carolina our home. While I didn't grow up on a farm, I have always been fascinated by that lifestyle and have dedicated my adult life to learning and embracing those skills, which I am excited to share with all of you!

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