Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Frugal Principle #2: Sacrifice

The second principle of a frugal life on which I have been reflecting is sacrifice. There's no getting around it: to start saving money you are somehow, somewhere, going to have give something up. This is the difficult part of living a frugal lifestyle, depriving yourself and sticking with it. At first glance, sacrifice seems purely negative, but I can think of two important positive aspects to it.

One of Merriam-Webster's definitions of the word "sacrifice," is the following: "a destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else." So sacrifice is not pointlessly depriving yourself of something, but rather letting go of something less important in order to gain something more important (as I wrote about yesterday).

Another unexpected positive side to sacrifice is that I have often found that I actually don't miss the thing that I gave up nearly as much as I thought I would. Sometimes the alternative solution is actually better! For instance, a few months ago I started making homemade bread in a bread machine purely to save money. However, I found that it is super easy to make and my family loves it. Plus, the homemade bread is probably healthier, and I can control the ingredients that go into it. Now we wouldn't go back to store bought bread anyway!

In the end, as Henry Ward Beecher wrote, "It is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich."
Photo from freefoto.com.


  1. There are so many ways in which being frugal is less of a sacrifice than I originally thought! My favorite way to save money is to buy used stuff. It makes me sooooo much happier than new stuff!

  2. Hi Elizabeth--

    I enjoy reading your ideas here--I'm learning lots!!

    I make our bread in a bread machine that we received as a wedding gift 8 years ago (I'm making some right now, as a matter of fact). I felt so guilty years ago that it was sitting there gathering dust that I started using it and it has been a nice savings for us.

    Other things I make: granola. Boxed cereal can be so expensive! We buy some boxed, eat some granola and I try to make a hot breakfast 2-3 times a week since I think they are less expensive, and it varies our diet a bit.

    -Erin Voorheis


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