Over the last day or two I’ve received a couple emails asking how I came up with the site title, “Frugal Dad.” It occurred to me that I have not really posted a “frugal living” post (other than the article about my balding tires), as much of my focus has been on more traditional finance topics. So allow me to present in this article my top five signs you are living a frugal lifestyle in Jeff Foxworthy fashion (and yes, I do all of these).
You Might Be Living Frugally If…
1. You hang your just-used towels on a drying rack in your bathtub. I use towels twice before they wind up in the dirty clothes hamper. After all, I’m clean after showering so theoretically the towel is not really dirty. By using each towel twice I am eliminating about one load of dirty-towel laundry a week. Now, if I could just get my wife and kids to do the same.
2. You turn the thermostat switch to “Off” every time you leave the house. This one is real popular with the family. Just before we leave for an extended errand I flip the thermostat to the off position. Now, some people swear that restarting the air conditioner costs more over time because it has to “work harder” to cool the house. I don’t buy it. I don’t think anything turned “off” works harder than when it is turned on.
3. You always order a small drink at fast food restaurants. I’m always amazed at the number of people I see ordering a large drink when they dine in. Don’t they know you can get free refills? Why not simply order a small drink and fill it up as many times as you like. The difference between a large drink and small drink could be as much as $0.75-$1.00.
4. You use a plastic grocery bag as a “stinky” bag. All you moms and dads know what a “stinky bag” is, but for the uninitiated it is a bag that holds a stinky diaper. They sell bags for this purpose that have a nice powder fresh scent, but I’ve found that grocery bags work just as well, and they are free.
5. You paint the top of your vehicle Rust-Oleum Gray. You may remember from my balding tire story that I drive a very old vehicle, sixteen years old to be exact. Mechanically, it still runs great, but the exterior has taken a beating over the years. The paint on the roof had shifted from a light blue to a rust brown. After considering my options I decided to sand and paint the roof myself. I purchased the sanding gear, some Rust-Oleum auto paint, and a pack of dust masks. I spent one morning sanding and washing the top and that afternoon spraying two coats of paint. Voila! No more rust, and now I have one of those fancy two-tone paint jobs.