Ohio Living

Frugal Friday: Waste Not, Want Not


Frugal Friday: Waste Not, Want Not

Frugal Friday Waste not Want not

It’s Frugal Friday!  Each week, I’ll share tips, encouragement, and practical ideas for living a frugal lifestyle!

One frugal truth that’s been around since the Great Depression and long before: when a Frugalista throws down $$ to buy something, it gets used. To me, that shows two things about buying attitudes: thought goes into it both before and after the purchase!


Whether it’s a pricey purchase like nice clothing, a major purchase like a new TV, or just an everyday purchase like food at the store, it’s frugal and smart to consider how much use an item will get.  Along with researching the best prices and using sales and coupons to score deals, it’s not worth buying (no matter how cheap you can get it) if it’ll end up not being used.  That just leads to more clutter in your home, and frustration over wasted money.


If you’re a thoughtful buyer, then only useful things make it through your front door.  (Okay, only might be a strong word, but mostly…)  Make sure you use what you buy and don’t let things go to waste.

In the food department, this takes a little organization.  I hate it when I realize food has gone bad, especially something we really like.  But it’s easy for things to get lost in the shuffle if the fridge is packed full, or it gets buried in a chest freezer.  This means taking a little time to organize (admittedly not one of my favorite tasks!).  If you’re digging out from under some chaos, don’t try to attack it all at once–clear out a shelf at a time, and work in manageable chunks so you don’t get discouraged and quit.  I had to do a purge after all the holiday festivities this winter, and it was so much easier to see what was in my fridge and make sure it got used up!

If you notice that your fridge, freezer, and pantry are full, commit to taking a few weeks to just “live off your stockpile.”  That means cutting back on some of your regular shopping (just buying fresh perishables like produce and milk), and planning meals around what you already have.  This helps you really make sure you use what you buy!

Every few months, go through your non-perishables to check expiration dates–if something’s getting close, make sure you use it, give it to a friend who will use it, or donate it.

For non-food items, try to keep an eye out for things that aren’t being used.  Could they be donated?  Sold on Ebay or at a consignment shop?  Repurposed?  When you notice something that’s not being used, take note and remember that to help you with future buying decisions.

How do you make sure you don’t waste what you buy?  Please share in the comments or on Facebook!

If you’re just joining the Frugal Friday series, check out these other posts:

Megan has been frugal most of her life, but has been really honing her frugal skills as the chief home economist for her family of six, surviving and thriving on a single (teacher’s!) income.  If she can do it, you can too!

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