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Just Doing My Best: Frugality is a Lifestyle - Organization

Friday, April 17, 2009


Frugality is a Lifestyle - Organization

This is an adapted excerpt of my article How to be Frugal - The Four Essentials, originally posted at Happy to be at Home.

Those of us who consider ourselves wise with money or even frugal minded, have learned many tips, tricks and know precisely where to find the best deal. Our best money saving efforts, however, can be diminished or even worthless if we are not organized. I consider organization to be on the most important aspects of a frugal and productive lifestyle.

Why is organization so important to frugality? If you found snow boots on clearance for $2 but they never made it to the proper area, chances are you will forget you bought them. Then, when you see another great clearance sale on snow boots, you buy next season's size. Again. I often buy party supplies on clearance, but have to make a point to get them to the correct storage area so that when the holiday comes, I know exactly where to find them. Otherwise, those birthday napkins I just knew I had somewhere, would need to be replaced the day of the party. If you are organized, and only if you are organized, buying ahead and stockpiling makes sense.

I consider myself a couponer, but if the coupons are not organized, there is no way I would be able to take advantage of the deals in the same way as if they were clipped nicely in my coupon organizer. During times I could not prioritize staying organized in this department, I am certain I paid way too much at the grocery.

Whether you work outside the home or work at home without pay, staying organized to the level we want can be tricky. Perhaps we should move our focus from being organized everywhere and feeling bad when we are not, to being organized in the areas that affect us daily, such as schedules, clothing, meal prep, etc.

The second largest place we should be organized are areas that save us money. This will look different to each family. Take a look at the areas where you are feeling disorganized and ask yourself if it is costing you money. This might be either having to re-buy items you already have, (somewhere) or missing out on potential savings, such as with coupons or sales ads. It might also be missed income opportunities, such as the clothing you meant to take to the consignment shop.

None us can be perfect and stay perfect in this area. Decide which problem area in your home makes the biggest impact financially and start with that. This can mean either items being replaced because you didn't know you had them, savings lost due to disorganized coupons, or income lost from not taking clothing to a consignment shop, etc.

Perhaps, starting your organizing efforts at these two main place will get the "ball rolling" for organization in other areas. Off to take my own advice. Have a great day!

This post is linked to:
Frugal Friday at Life as Mom
Finding Freedom Friday at Cents to Get Debt Free

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So true! It helps to take inventory once in a while of what you have. I'm a couponer, too, but sometimes end up with 7 tubes of toothpaste and no shampoo, LOL! Knowing what you have on hand (just another form of organization) helps you stay frugal.
Did you ever see the site called "Pack and Find"? It's totally free, and lets you record where you keep things.
Heather, this is very good advice. Fortunately by nature, I have always been an organized person.

I can definitely see how disorganization can be a costly problem though.

If you don't know what you have, you don't know what you need to buy and what you don't need to buy.
I find that I need to reorganize my pantry and my bathroom tolietry cabinet on a regular basis. This helps to keep me knowledgeable about what we have and what we are needing.

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