Marriage Monday: 10 Tips for frugal living

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis
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“There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing: and one
who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.” – Proverbs 13:7

A timely Marriage Monday topic today.

I’ve been watching the news about the economy and find it interesting to learn about how these things work (economics) on a large, national scale. Truly, I have a hard enough time understanding how to be be a good steward as a home economist, much less trying to understand what a 700 billion dollar bail-out means!

But one thing I do know: My trust is not in government nor in dollar bills, but in my Father who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (meaning- my Abba’s rich and He knows how best to provide for me! See Psalm 50:10). With that trust comes an earnest desire to oversee and use what He provides me in a way that brings Him glory. For the most part that means being frugal, but occasionally it means being seemingly wasteful in doing something that doesn’t make much sense financially but is an act of worship and love much like the woman in Mark 14. She poured a very expensive bottle of perfume on Jesus’ head and was criticized as wasting what could have much more logically been used to help the poor.

I am not against frugal living. In fact, I’m all about frugal. But I just had to share here what God is stretching me in lately: to walk by faith in being frugal and in being fragrant.

I do believe that God desires that we are worshipful in our management of money, when we’re being frugal and when we’re doing something ridiculously expensive as unto the Lord like the woman in Mark 14. For in John 12:3 we see that this woman’s anti-frugal fragrant act of worship filled the whole house with the scent of the spikenard. Everyone in nose-reach experienced the alluring fragrance of Jesus through her ‘wasteful’ worship.

When we are worshipful in our management of money people will be drawn, like a hungry person smelling a barbecue, to our Lord. They may be critical, but they’ll be curious.

Okay, now that I got that off my heart, here are my 10 Tips for frugal living:

  1. Give thanks to God every time you withdraw or spend money. Take time to acknowledge that every penny you have is provided by Him.
  2. Give from the heart cheerfully to those who serve up spiritual food to you, i.e. your local church, a radio ministry you’re encouraged by, etc.
  3. Give to those in need as you are led. “He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, and He will pay back what he has given.” -Proverbs 19:17
  4. Make yourself “poor” (see Proverbs 13:7). Don’t live high off the hog. This is really what I see as the Biblical essence of frugal living. Even if you have the extra cash, choose to buy second hand or at discount stores or sale items only.
  5. Let your husband’s leadership be a guide for your spending and saving. If your husband prefers that the cracked tiles and chipping Formica stay that way and chooses to buy a new guitar… see it as God’s will. Rejoice in the new guitar and forget about the cracked tiles. Worship the Lord with the guitar! (This is a personal example of how God’s teaching me to apply that “wasteful” worship to my life.) If your husband would prefer steak dinner, but the budget only allows for chicken soup, make the steak dinner, thank God for how He’ll provide, and make yourself “poor” in some other area, maybe in delaying getting new makeup, perfume, fall wardrobe updates, etc.
  6. Shop for groceries according to what’s in season and what’s on sale.
  7. Use Google to search for recipes to make what you find on sale.
  8. Use large cuts of meat, such as chuck roast or whole chickens, to make sandwiches rather than lunch meat. Lunch meat costs about 3-6 dollars per pound whereas whole chickens cost about 49 cents per pound and chuck roast about $1.49/lb.
  9. Ride your bike or walk with your kids to local markets or to the library or the gym if you can. In other words use your car less.
  10. Make soups and homemade cookies and snacks rather than store bought ones. Go here for some recipes I’ve been using lately.

Thanks e-mom for hosting this topic! For more frugal tips head over to Marriage Monday at Chrysalis!


  1. Denise says:

    Amen to this post.

  2. Andrea says:

    What a great post! It’s so easy to get frazzled when times like this come, but I love how you reminded us not to put our trust in government or in dollar bills. So true! Our Heavenly Father WILL provide for us!Thanks for the recipe link. That banana bread seems like a winner! I think I’ll try that one. AllRecipes is a great place to find meal ideas.I thank you for sharing your tips! Have a fantastic week.

  3. lori says:

    “Give thanks to God every time you withdraw or spend money. Take time to acknowledge that every penny you have is provided by Him.” THAT WAS FABULOUSLY WORDED…do you think if we all did that we’d be in these debt messes???hmmmmmm……. Sheila what a WONDERFUL post this was…lots to sink in, and you know it always has been and always will be about choices…Thank YOU for the blessing! As always!peace,lori

  4. Detroit says:

    I love following the foods of the season I just wish the Farmers Market would stick around long enough! This too makes such a difference financially, and we feel better too physically. I also love supporting local farmers.I enjoyed learning about what you are learning with your husband’s preferences and finding the balance of priorities – around the Almighty first. Blessings!

  5. e-Mom says:

    I love the way you’ve contrasted “frugal” and “fragrant” living… your insights are always so refreshing Sheila-girl! Your thoughts about spending <>more<> on a steak dinner for your DH, while spending <>less<> on cosmetics for yourself are so loving. If your husband doesn’t know what a treasure he has in you, have him read this post!Thanks for joining us for Marriage Monday today, Sheila.Blessings,e-Mom :~D

  6. MiPa says:

    What a fabulous post! The list is wonderful. But the thoughts above it are so relevant. Bless you for reminding us where to keep our trust in troubled economic times (and in non-troubled times as well). Thank you!

  7. JesusRulzMe says:

    <><>“But one thing I do know: My trust is not in government nor in dollar bills, but in my Father who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (meaning- my Abba’s rich and He knows how best to provide for me!”<><>I think you said it all right here! Our God is MORE than sufficient for all things! Bless you sister for sharing this wonderful truth!In His joy,Sunny

  8. Transformed says:

    My husband and I were just talking about this today. The Lord promises that the righteous will never go hungry! What a comforting promise for the times.

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