People only have so much willpower, and while it might seem counter-intuitive, the occasional splurge will help you stick to your budget in the long run [source: Tierny]. Sometimes you need a break from all the decision-making that goes into frugal grocery shopping.
Just remember to think of those indulgences as an occasional thing. Maybe you can afford to eat take-out once a month or to treat yourself to a nice bottle of wine for a special occasion. Indulging yourself from time to time can help you stay focused on your budgetary goals.
If you're worried about opening the spending floodgates, you can even work those little splurges right into your budget and set aside actual cash to spend on them. Say you have $50 a month set aside for yourself, get $50 in cash at the bank or ATM to ensure you're not swiping that credit card for something that's even slightly over your budgeted amount [source: Siddons].
Running a frugal household may mean giving some things up, but it doesn't have to mean feeling deprived all of the time. For more tips on living well and on budget, go to our next page.
- 10 Budget Basics Every Parent Should Know
- 10 Green Living Ideas for Frugal Families
- 10 Tips for Staying on Budget
- 10 Tops for a Debt Free Life
- Can you penny pinch and still have fun? Frugal Living Quiz
- How Personal Budgets Work
- How to Know When to Spend and When to Save
- Why does having too many options make it harder to choose?
- Emily. "Cooking Dried Beans vs. Buying Canned Beans." Frugal Living NW. January 13, 2011. (October 7, 2011) http://www.frugallivingnw.com/frugal-homemaking/cooking-dried-beans-vs-buying-canned-beans/
- Energy Savers. "Blower Door Tests." U.S. Department of Energy. (October 14, 2011) http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/energy_audits/index.cfm/mytopic=11190
- Energy Savers. "Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Assessments." U.S. Department of Energy. (October 7, 2011) http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/energy_audits/index.cfm/mytopic=11170
- Finn, Julie. "How-to: Make Re-Usable Stickers from Upcycled Paper." Crafting a Green World. September 19, 2011. (October 14, 2011) http://craftingagreenworld.com/2011/09/19/how-to-make-re-usable-stickers-from-upcycled-paper/
- Jackson, Sarah. "Recent innovations make cloth diapers a cheaper, easier alternative to disposables." HeraldNet. April 19, 2011. (October 7, 2011) http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20110419/LIVING/704199975
- Levine, Pamela. Personal correspondence. October 7, 2011
- McCredie, Scott. "Go vegetarian to save money." MSN Money. July 24, 2007. (October 7, 2011) http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/SaveMoney/GoVegetarianToSaveMoney.aspx
- McIntyre, Douglas; Sauter, Michael; and Stockdale, Charles. "Top 10 Things Americans Waste the Most Money On." Top Stock Analysts. February 28, 2011. (October 7, 2011) http://www.topstockanalysts.com/index.php/2011/02/28/top-10-things-americans-waste-the-most-money-on/
- Roth, J.D. "Don't Confuse Frugality With Depriving Yourself." Get Rich Slowly. June 23, 2006. (October 14, 2011) http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2006/06/23/dont-confuse-frugality-with-depriving-yourself/
- Stewart, Martha. "Rock Crafts" Martha's Crafts for Kids. (October 14, 2011) http://www.marthastewart.com/274462/rock-crafts/@center/276975/marthas-crafts-kids
- Tierny, John. "Do You Suffer from Decision Fatigue?" New York Times. August 17, 2011. (October 7, 2011) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-you-suffer-from-decision-fatigue.html?pagewanted=all
- Vanderlinden, Colleen. "Make Your Own Cloth Diapers and Baby Wipes." Planet Green. August 20, 2010. (October 14, 2011) http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/make-cloth-diapers-and-baby-wipes.html
Dollar stores — where most items cost just a buck — always seem to make money. HowStuffWorks finds out how they do it.