Frugal Tips

My November Simple & Frugal Updates

This post will be a recurring feature on Simplymuslimmom which will be updated every month inshaAllah.

We live a frugal life without debt and interest alhamdulillah. Our simple, frugal lifestyle motto is to live well, pay less while finding the best value for our money.

What does frugality mean to us?

  • Live a balanced life while taking control of our financial blessings.
  • Use high quality items that last longer so you end up paying less out of pocket.
  • Shop around for best prices.
  • Plan ahead to avoid last minute purchase.
  • Reuse, recycle repair and re-purpose as much as possible.

What frugality doesn’t mean for us-

  • Using poor quality items that are cheap so we can save like crazy. Because that’s being stingy, not frugal.
  • Buying something just because it’s free or almost free. These items create clutter and use up valuable time for organizing, clean up etc. We are frugal with money and time.
  • Having more things for less. Quality is the goal here, not quantity.
  • Beating us up over money mistakes and worrying about money.
  • Relying on “saved up money” for sustenance. The reliance is on The Sustainer, Allah(swt)

So here is our November update. I’m $24 over budget as of now but I don’t have any plans to shop for this month so I’m not too over budget alhamdulillah-

1. This month had all the possibilities to turn into a frugal nightmare. Our only computer crashed which we’d purchased barely a year ago. All on a sudden It had the blue death screen and then just stopped functioning altogether. Alhamdulillah it’s working again now after being repaired.

2. Our toaster gave out. We have been using it pretty much everyday for the last 11 years. We tried to repair it before replacing it (one of our frugal mottos). It worked for a little bit but then the handle broke again and only one side of the bread would get toasted. We bought the same brand- a KitchenAid toaster while taking advantage of the Black Friday Sale and saved over 50% alhamdulillah.

3. The fridge broke. The good thing about a broken fridge is that it gives you some time so you can try and save the food that’s in the fridge/freezer. Alhamdulillah we were able to save most of the food as I cooked all the meat and fish that’d thawed and stored them in our upright freezer. It wasn’t easy because I cooked the day before and I didn’t plan on doing any cooking that day since I would be out until evening! But Allah(swt) had other plans for me- I ended up cooking a number of dishes to minimize the damage.

Not having a fridge is an interesting experience, especially since we don’t have a microwave either. The breads were “toasted” on a frying pan.The frozen pizzas from Trader Joe’s were a lifesaver. I had to be careful with how much rice I’d make since the upright freezer has limited space. The cheese and sour cream are still frozen and I see a lots of Quesadilla, grilled cheese sandwich and curried chicken in the future to use them up. We didn’t order any takeouts nor did we eat out during this time. Instead I planned the menu according to the shelf life of the produce which allowed us to save most of the food alhamdulillah. I’d say we still had throw away about $20 worth of food.

4. I bought a number of items that were on my list. I have a running shopping list of things that we need and some that we want ;). So I keep adding the items to the list that we need and cross off what I bought already or don’t need/want anymore. I bought summer pants, slipper, a fleece sweater and basic t shirts for myself and bought a few other things for the rest of my family.

5. I have 3 tomatoes growing on our tomato plant. The tomatoes are planted in large buckets on our front porch since the backyard is taken over by our pets. We grow tomatoes and potatoes in them. The yield in vegetable is limited but the yield in joy from planting to plucking is unlimited.

6. While we are enjoying the Fall weather, the days are getting shorter every day. We are listening to audio books, watching original episodes or Scooby Doo and good family movies- free from the library. We are also reading like it’s going out of style and I just finished reading Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin- loved it, such great insight on habit.

7. I have returned a sweater to Eddie Bauer. It was a a black and white fairisle sweater that was really beautiful and really itchy.

8. And lastly, I have a good deal for you if you or your kids love crafts. You can become a member of creativebug for $1 for 3 months and will have access to their thousands of arts and crafts classes. We have used this website before and they offer great classes. These classes are wonderful to beat cabin fever and winter blues insha Allah.

*** Simplymuslimmom is not affiliated with creative bug.

I’m grateful that we live in a house where things get replaced when they are broken. I’m also grateful for our emergency fund that takes care of events that we were not expecting. Alhamdulillah.

How was your November?


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