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Frugal Living – A Celebration of the Imagination

Contributor:
Ruth Brown
Ruth Brown
Pic: H.Koppdelaney
Pic: H.Koppdelaney

Anyone who has taken the decision to live frugally, is doing themselves and their families a great favour.  Not just because of the fact that you’re saving money, because you are exercising your ingenuity and imagination - which is great for your mental health and your self-esteem (not to mention your children’s).

Yes, life is no doubt much easier when all you have to do is hand over the dollars (assuming you have them) and whatever you need is given to you on a platter, no thought, effort or creativity required.  But it can also be a lot less satisfying.  

Yes, you can choose the $7 cleaning product at the supermarket, rather than mixing some borax, vinegar and water together to achieve an equally good result – however, doesn’t if feel much better to have the knowledge to be able to do it yourself?   You don’t have to rely on someone else to solve your daily issues.

Yes, you can continue to consume and discard, consume and discard, consume and discard – but how much more satisfying is it to know that with a little imagination you can probably find a much cheaper, more sustainable solution to your problem.

For instance, why buy plastic garden ties to stake your plants/vegetables when you can use cut up strips from an old t-shirt, or the old faithful pantyhose?   Is it worth paying the $5 or so for the garden ties, just so you didn’t have to spend that few minutes reaching into the rag bag and grabbing a pair of scissors?

While your child might want that computer game now – isn’t spending time creating their own fun (like creating bottle rockets and other home science experiments) a lot better for their development?

I often think of the saying “if you don’t use it, you lose it”.   The thought of losing the ability to imagine and create, while sitting back waiting for the answer to be given to me on a platter – the thought of not being able to look at a problem and think laterally to find an alternative solution on my own, is a sad sad thing.  

So why not put aside life on a platter and go and grab your life by the scruff of its neck and see what you’re capable of.

Frugal living isn’t about “living without” – it’s about living, period.

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