miserly or stingy???

I have been a miser for a lot of years now. I do things without thinking about it and forget that others do not live the way we do here in our home.

We went on holidays and stayed at a relative’s home. Nice people very generous but I was horrified at the money they spent on things. I automatically pointed out the cost and was politely told to pull my head in. Not those words of course but the meaning was there… I had not meant to be rude but had come across as such.. oops not a good thing to do to in-laws.

We are stingy at the best miserly at the worst or is it the other way around? Anyway it is automatic for us to not spend money and if we do we do it sparingly… I will give you a little look into our miserly ways and hope you too do not tell me to pull my head in.

Take for example bread. I use to make my own but after the bread maker died (arthritis means I cant knead the dough) I purchased the cheapest bread I could find. It does the job. I reuse the bags to freeze meat veg or meals in and the bread tags to seal those bags. This saves us money.

I reuse the plastic wrap around our very cheap toilet paper (the toilet is not concerned with the cost of the paper it flushes) to line the bins in the bathroom…cut the end off the wrap. Slide the rolls out then use the ‘bag’ that is created by the plastic wrap in the bins, it’s a perfect fit and costs nothing.

Home delivered groceries come in plastic bags. I use these bags in the kitchen bin.

Shampoo that we don’t like I use it as a cleaner for the shower.

Shampoo bottle Hubby says is empty I will put in some water, swish it around and I can get up to three more washes from this, I have short hair.

Soap we have left over… you know those tiny bits you can’t use… I crush and grate them up to put into homemade washing detergent.

Empty margarine containers are reused to freeze soups etc in. They are a perfect size for this and it saves me buying plastic containers. If they break as they all inevitably will then I simply throw them away without crying about the money I paid for the expensive container that has broken.

Milk is watered down just a bit and it is then equal to skim milk strength and lasts us longer. Many will scream about this technique but you add a dash of skim milk to your coffee do you know if it is watered down or not… I cant tell and never has anyone asked if our milk is watered down… they cant tell the difference.

Buying cheap… I am looking at the cupboard as I am typing this and see generic brands everywhere. If they are not generic they were on special cheaper than the generic brand when we purchased them.

Cooking… I rarely use egg in a cake, biscuit, muffin, pancake etc. You cant tell the difference in most cases. They are still crumbly with egg and rise nicely without egg…try it.

Milk Powder…for cooking and for my coffee and yoghurt making and it works out cheaper than using the bottled variety.

Meat… buy only on special and only the cheapest you can find. So what if you have chicken three nights in a row, just serve it differently e g chicken roast, chicken stirfry, chicken macaroni or whatever you can think of.. its not what meat you serve its how many ways you can serve it… sausages can be curried, fried, turned into sausage rolls, diced into a stirfry made into a hotdog with all the fixings to camouflage it… etc etc etc.. variety is the key.

Meat again… when making meals you do not need heaps of meat per person. Just reduce the amount you would normally put in a stew or stirfry etc by a little bit….keep the saved bit in the freezer for another day because a couple of those saves can make a nice stirfry when you are short of money …

Veg…cheapest in season and it doesn’t matter if it’s marked. Marks do not change an apple into a hippo you know it’s still an apple only it cost you less. Why pay $5 a kilo of you can get them for $2 and kilo.

So you are getting the idea… variety, cheap and stretch what you have to make just one extra meal from it. Reuse or repurpose what you have eg margarine containers.


I learned my lesson on my holiday with the in-laws. People aren’t as miserly as I am and think it’s just fine to waste money then whinge about how expensive life is… I have learned to let them do this and to keep my mouth shut. This is a major achievement for me because I do not keep my mouth shut normally, you may have noticed this. Hubby and I will continue to do things as normal for us and pay off our mortgage, live a nice life and look forward to our debt free retirement. I will enjoy the challenge I have set myself to live on as little money as I can possibly live on and I will leave the in-laws to waste money as they see fit….with my mouth shut.

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