Were You Frugal Before the Recession?

The hand-me-downs, the homemade bread, the generic groceries—living a low-cost life is less than glamorous.  I used to complain about my ultra-cheap childhood, but in these rough financial times, I appreciate my lifelong education as a skinflint.  As more Americans struggle with unemployment and lower wages, it seems that all of us are moving away from consumerism and towards frugal adventurism.

saving money during a recessionHere at Greenbabyguide.com, we celebrate our nation’s new fascination with penny pinching, but we’ve been enjoying life on the cheap for decades.  Far before this recession or the arrival of our babies, we were living with less, buying used, and relishing the challenge of stretching a dollar as far as it could possibly go.

Although my husband and I got a kick out of garage sale shopping and socking away savings, when he lost his job in the spring, we realized that our frugal lifestyle gave us the freedom to stay home together for the summer and enjoy our second baby’s first few months.  What a treat!

Have you made the move to thrifty living since the recession or are you a lifelong tightwad? Has the economic climate helped you find even more avenues for saving money?  Fill us in on your budget adventures!


  1. i’m starting to live frugally not just to save but to help the environment.

  2. Hi! Just wanted to let you know that we loved your post over at KiwiLog and decided to feature it as a part of our weekly mom blog round-up. Thanks!

  3. Yes, definitely! Hubby and I got married when we were still dirt poor college students working two jobs to pay the bills. Being together was more important than a fancy wedding or a lot of unnecessary stuff. But it meant we didn’t have a car for the first 6 months (5 miles round trip to the only grocery – Walmart, 2 miles to the laundrymat, 1 mile to school and jobs), our budget for anything other than food and textbooks was nonexistent, and we ate pb&j for lunch for a year.

    Five years later, I’m in grad school and he has a job so our income has quadrupled (and it’s still not much) but we’re used to living on very little so I could cover our necessary monthly expenses with my measly stipend. The extra income does means we don’t have to sweat the small stuff (like that cup of green tea I bought this morning). We now give a lot to charity and the rest gets put in savings for the house we’ll get when I graduate. A lot less will be going to savings come April when #1 arrives but I think (hope) we’ll still manage to tuck away a bit.

  4. We have always been tightwads! You never know when you will have an emergency AND it has always been the best way to be a true environmentalist. The “3 R’s” does start with reduce.

  5. My husband nicknamed me “frugies” a long time ago because I am super frugal!!

  6. We were frugal but not to the extent we are now, that’s for certain!

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