We don’t live out of a van. We don’t (usually) dumpster dive. We (very) occasionally pay full price for things. We buy disposable toilet paper (yes, there are very green people who use cloth, in case you didn’t know).
That is why my husband scoffed at my blog’s original tagline: “Extreme Frugal Living to Match Extreme Student Debt.”
There’s no doubt that six figures of student debt is extreme. The question is whether our frugal living qualifies as “extreme.”
My husband grew up in a very, very frugal family. Originally it was out of necessity, but frugal ways became very ingrained habits. From his perspective, much of what we are doing to save money is just “normal” not extreme.
From the feedback I’ve received from friends and family (my side) regarding our lifestyle, I would say that on the frugality scale, we would rank closer to the extreme side in many areas.
Here are a few examples of the norm around here:
- My husband and kids bring back their fold top sandwich bags which we reuse several times before throwing away.
- We wash out ziploc-style quart and gallon bags.
- We use cloth diapers (and got them free or cheap).
- We have never paid for cable.
- We’ve actually never owned a TV.
- We went to a sit-down restaurant once in the past year (with a gift card from a client).
- We have been to 2 movies in a theater in our 8 years of marriage (one was free).
- We have never had a car payment.
- My husband has never paid for a haircut.
- I’ve paid to have my hair cut maybe 6 times in my life.
- We have dumb phones on the same $10/month plan we’ve had since 2005. UPDATE: Now we have smartphones but still at $10/month!
- In 8 years of marriage, we’ve never gone to Disney or any other amusement park.
- On road trips, we bring our own snacks and sandwich-makings in the car.
- We live in my in-laws’ unfinished basement.
Is this just your average level of frugality or is this extreme? What do you think? What is the most frugal thing you have ever done?