Frugal in 2013

Frugal Family 2013

A few ladies I happen to read on a regular basis are doing a series that I have been wanting to do for months now. They are sharing their ideas for being frugal this year. It happens to be a subject dear to my heart as I watch so many people around me struggling to makes ends meet while refusing to adjust their priorities in order to actually make it work.

Many of you know that Big Army moved us up here to Alaska this past year. What you may not know is that Alaska has a higher ‘cost of living’ ratio than the DC area!! That is just nuts, folks. And if you have cruised by here at least once, you will know that I have 5 hungry children to feed in a state where milk does indeed cost $4.95 a gallon (commissary) and $3.95 (Wal Mart).

I want to share some of the ways we offset this cost of living and have been able to put some money in the bank this year… happy dance, happy dance!!

The first thing we did when we got up here was ditch the expensive cell phone service. That means no smart phones here.

I purchased a refurbished slide phone from StraightTalk for only $20 bucks. That saves me a bunch of money above the current $300 for the latest gadget phone. Guess how much milk, eggs, flour, cereal, shoes, and jeans I can buy for the $280 I saved on just my phone!

The next step to our frugal cell phone concept is the plan. I go with StraighTalk’s 1000 minute talk time/1000 text plan for only $30 a month. Yep, you read that right, I only pay $30 a month for my cell phone. I have only gone over the texting minutes one month in the 7 I have been on here, and my aunt passed away. That meant lots of talk time and texting with family 2000 miles away. How much do you pay a month for your high tech gadget phone? I wonder how much milk, eggs, flour, cereal, shoes, and jeans you could buy if you were only paying $30 a month for your phone.

Just ask yourself:

  • Do you really need to know exactly when someone posts something on Twitter?
    • I check online for any Twitter updates
    • I also choose to have this emailed to me in a weekly digest
    • Do you really need to read email when you are grocery shopping or playing with your kids at the park?
      • I get my email on a computer and check it when my kids are doing their school
      • Unless you are a high powered lawyer with clients that must get in touch with you at all hours of the day, I think you could find unplugging refreshing
      • Current surveys discovered that people check their cell phones every 9 minutes. What on earth did people do before the cell phones?? Oh yea, they enjoyed the minute they were in with the people they were with. Hmmmm.
      • Do you really need your phone GPS?
        • Did you know that MapQuest and Google maps are still working? All GPS systems make mistakes, just like the computer generated ones, it’s ok.
      • But all those other people have them!!
        • Yep, they do. And you can laugh your way to the bank when they are asking you to help with their lunch tab because they have no money for it 😉

      4 thoughts on “Frugal in 2013”

      1. Great tips! I’m not ready to give up my smart phone, but I can’t wait to read to see what else you’ve been doing. That said, I pay $70 a month for my plan and will get my next one free… not the latest, but still a smart phone, so that helps!

        1. It would be a hard move to make, I understand that. But getting one for free is a good deal! Also going for the past generation “new” is really smart! Good call 🙂

      2. I am SO with you on this one!!!! Our family went for years with not using cell phones at all. Only broke down and bought one after my son– who has a seizure disorder–needed an ambulance to take him to the hospital and I realized that from a medical viewpoint I really should be able to call for one anytime, and not just when I was home. That said, I bought a prepaid trac phone, and pay around $30 for three months service.

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