The 3 Hardest Areas to Stay Frugal in 2023

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 by the author of What School Should Have Taught You: 75 Skills You’ll Actually Use in Life

While inflation hits everything that it can come into contact with, I think there are three main areas where the average American will find it difficult to maintain their frugality in 2023.

All of these are fundamentally caused by inflation, but they’re going to all hit different parts of your family’s wallet this upcoming year.

What are they? Let’s take a look…

1.) Groceries

We’ve tackled the rise in grocery prices quite a few times here at The Frugalite. Skyrocketing meat prices, eggs, and the like means every trip that you go to the grocery store, that $100 bill you used to spend every week is going to lead to your walking out of the store with less.

While this is fundamentally due to excessive money printing, within the world of groceries, these rising prices are going to be due to the rising prices of gasoline (causing shipping groceries to become more expensive), food crises around the world, and labor shortages leading to employers having to pay more to attract employees.

I really think that there are only three main ways that you’re going to be able to fight these price increases.

Grow what you can.

For starters, I think that growing as much of your own food as possible – even if you live in an apartment – is the most cost-effective means of limiting the size of your grocery bill. If you’re looking for tips on producing food, check out this book on Amazon. I also fully understand that this option isn’t for everybody, however.

Eat more staples.

Colette has a number of great pieces that tackle how one can decrease the size of their grocery bill by focusing more on staples. I think she is spot on.

Pasta, potatoes, rice – these are all relatively inexpensive foods that have formed the backbone of diets across the world for centuries. By being able to creatively incorporate more of these foods into your diet (and Chloe has some fantastic ideas here), you’ll be able to save money at the grocery store. Also, check out our Frugalicious Food archive for more ideas.

Use sales and coupons like a madman.

I really think you’re going to have to be much more aggressive in your approach here. Pay attention to what is on sale at your favorite grocery store and start collecting coupons like a middle school boy does Pokemon cards. Daisy has a great piece on how to handle last-day-of-sale meat and produce.

2.) Electricity

Just last week, I was talking with a relative about electric bills. They pulled out their electric bill from last year, compared it to this month’s, and found they were paying roughly $80 more for this bill for about the exact same amount of energy used.

In short, the price of electricity has gone up.

You’re going to have to figure out ways to cope with that when you can, if you want to lower your bill.

Can you keep the thermostat set lower than what you normally would like it to be and bundle up? Can you use the wood stove more? Can you use more open windows and less A/C? Can you fill up the dishwasher and laundry machine as much as possible before every run? Can you limit the amount of time your fridge door is open when you’re looking for food, take shorter showers, and make sure that you’re vigilant about turning off what is currently not in use?

I really think you’re going to have to if you want to remain as frugal as possible here.

3.) Gasoline

We’ve written quite a bit about saving money on cars and gasoline here at The Frugalite before, and unfortunately, this is another key area that Americans are going to need this advice for this year.

While the price of gasoline has remained somewhat stable where I live over the past 2-3 months, it’s still more than twice the price of what it was three years ago.

I think if you really narrowed it down to two main things you could do here to decrease the pain felt at the pump, it would be this: drive less and drive more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Just be prepared for how this is going to impact your 2023.

In short, we’ll all have to be more budget conscious this year.

That is just going to be the nature of the beast this upcoming year as it unfolds. It’s not going to be the time to become lazy with your budget or financially complacent. Like a knight with a shield, find ways to protect your budget against all the things that want to chip away at it. While that’s something you should always have been striving for, for a number of reasons, I think that 2023 is going to force you to do this even more.

What areas are you most concerned about during the year ahead? Do you have any additional tips to add? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comment section.

About Aden

Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

The 3 Hardest Areas to Stay Frugal in 2023
Aden Tate

Aden Tate

About the Author Aden Tate has a master’s in public health and is a regular contributor to PewPewTactical.com, SurvivalBlog.com, SHTFBlog.com, ApartmentPrepper.com, HomesteadAndPrepper.com, and PrepperPress.com. Along with being a freelance writer he also works part-time as a locksmith. Aden has an LLC for his micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American at Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

8 thoughts on “The 3 Hardest Areas to Stay Frugal in 2023”

  1. re: groceries:

    One of my favorite examples of saving money is about how to cut the cost of energy way down to cook some things, such as stored dried beans. Normally there is a long soaking period followed by considerable cooking time (that requires fuels whether natural gas, electricity, stored propane, wood, etc) with the usual cost-free alternative being solar when available. But what is not well known is that when dried beans are milled into flour (whether by a hand crankable mill or motorized for larger bean quantities), the cooking time (and subsequent energy needs) drops to almost nothing. My favorite example is on page 174 of “Country Beans” by Rita Bingham where she explains that “when added to boiling water, bean flours thicken in only 1 minute, and in 3 minutes are ready to eat. Bean flours added to baked goods increase vitamins and minerals and provide a source of complete protein.”

    She also mentions that “Bean flour stores for up to 6 months on the shelf, 1 year under refrigeration, and is great to have on hand for “instant” soups, sauces, dips, sandwich fillings and gravies, and to add to almost everything you cook or bake.”

    My edition of that book is an early one so later editions probably have different page numbers.

    My own preference is to hand grind just enough bean flour as needed on the fly. That way there is no storage issue that needs refrigeration and very minimal energy cost (if any) for the cooking.

    I have a kitchen mill that can be hand cranked or motorized … and that can grind not only dried beans of pretty much any kind, but also grains of most kinds (even in combinations), and nuts for nut butter. I really like to make fresh flour from whatever grain (or combination) of choice for super-delicious pancakes, eg. Hint: freshly ground ginger used to bake gingerbread over rising steam was more delicious that I had ever imagined.

    There are probably lots of other examples of ways to economize on groceries whether purchased or home grown. When it’s possible to save on the acquisition dost, the storage cost, and the cooking energy cost … that’s win-win-win versus the WEF/globalists’ war against western civilization where they’ve already declared their deadly eugenics intentions. Their war includes destruction of energy independence, destruction of national money supplies they can’t control, destruction of population fertility, destruction of food production industries, and destruction of constitutional privacy and property rights to be replaced by a communist Chinese style digital money that enables almost complete tyranny.

    After the Soviet Union collapsed, the great monetary historian Michael Maloney reported that the communists had crashed the Russian money system some 7 times through their miserable decades. One thing that saved the lives of many Russians was their “dacha” system of summer gardens — a system of self-sufficiency that remains with them to this day. In contrast, while the US population in about 1880 was still about 80% on rural farm properties (with the self-sufficient skills to live in that non-electric era), by 1930 that percentage had dropped to about 30%. (Ask me how I’ve been able to remember those numbers.) But today that percentage has dropped to somewhere between 1% and 2%.

    Back to food preservation. The dehydration experts (such as https://www.dehydrate2store.com/) emphasize that for foods that can be dehydrated (which is most, although not all) they will preserve some 90% of their original nutritional value — where canned foods only preserve about 50% or so. So if you are considering either using a dehydrating method or a freeze drying method … you are getting a nutritional benefit that you may never have suspected.

    Re: fuels:

    There is a long history of alternative fuels. Up through 1919 Ford Model-T vehicles were flex fuel capable. The driver could switch between gasoline and alcohol — until Prohibition conveniently killed alcohol access as competition for the Rockefeller nationwide gasoline state monopoly. During WWII Germany ran short on gasoline and had to rework some vehicles to run on wood-gas (aka bio-fuels). This still happens today in some countries when the national economy gets trashed. The point is that there are fuel alternatives possible for vehicles, motorcycles and even bicycles — a thought worth remembering as the cost of gasoline is pushed through the roof. The David Blume book “Alcohol can be a gas…” tells much of this story.

    Re: purchasing power preservation:

    As the price of nearly everything is being jacked up out of sight … it is covered over by the deceptive label of “inflation.” Inflation is a convenient disguise for a combination of actual product and service shortages PLUS government counterfeiting of a nation’s money supply. The Rothschild ancestor of the global family banking dynasty said back in the 1700s that once he gained control of a nation’s money supply, he could care less about whatever laws they might pass. The point is that counterfeiting any nation’s money (such as the US has suffered since 1913) is simply a way to steal additional purchasing power from the population beyond what the published tax rates generate. The extreme example is when so much counterfeiting takes place that the currency is destroyed via hyperinflation — as Germany, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, and multiple other countries have suffered. Some of those people managed to save part of their wealth by exchanging their dying currencies for precious metals, diamonds, lands, businesses, etc. Other simply starved to death.

    In the last few years the US has had access to a UK-designed Swiss vault gold-backed alternative via

    https://glintpay.com/en_us/

    where financial transactions could be conducted via charge-card backed by gold bullion in a Swiss vault. That was a system that no government could counterfeit. The question today however is whether that system can survive the globalist obsession to replace all money with digital money they control — while taxing or otherwise regulating any or all competition to destruction. Communist China has already outlawed all cryptos they did not create or control. Sadly the Biden crime syndicate kicked off US efforts toward digital money with Executive Order 14067 last Spring. Whether any defenses against that government/banking thievery might be possible with a combination of local wallet records of cryptocurrencies and barter transactions remains to be seen.

    –Lewis

  2. Still haven’t seen anything on Biden bucks.
    Inflation is nothing new. Various events cause it but it can and will always happen. This time darn near zero interest rates and corporate fear of raising prices. Rates too low for too long and the preferred “let’s make the portion smaller” ran out of steam. Rates should have been raised a long time ago as should have prices. The Feds target of 2% inflation hasn’t kept up with the times. But remember, the Fed (and corp america) want our wages to be lower to “help fight inflation”. Prices won’t drop an amount equal to the decrease in our “lower” wages.
    If parents didn’t talk with their kids about inflation, bad parenting. If kids chose to ignore it (as adults), not so smart kids. I remember the inflation of the early 70s (Nixon and his price freeze and gas wars), raygun and volkers (but at least my savings earned a great interest rate), post 9/11 and the Great Recession (not quite inflation but economic downturn only surpassed by the Great Depression).
    Greed will cause the end of the world no matter what the paid for weapon(s) is/are.

  3. As to food…. the tips above are great and I would add that I’ve found Amish salvage stores to be great places for bargains. Food is often half price or less than grocery stores. They also have cleaning products, hygiene products and more. Worth checking out.

    One more food tip…. Check out if your area has a regular food pantry or second harvest event. In my area it runs about twice a month and I’ve been about to regularly get produce and more for free (well, my tax dollars support it as my county pays for it). Just be prepared to process/can/freeze/dehydrate stuff immediately. Last time I got a 50 pound bag of potatoes about 10 acorn squash, a few bags of onions, sweet potatoes, a case of grapes and some canned goods.

  4. Dear Moderator: My understanding of the rules is that politics are verboten. Why is it that certain people include it in almost every comment they make and nothing is done? Am I to understand then, that I can reply by countering with my own personal opinions on politics?

    1. I don’t expressly forbid any kind of comments. If you’re referring to the suggestion in the comments that our articles include a suggestion to vote a certain way, that is suggesting we put politics into our articles on this website. That’s something we don’t do because the goal here is to help people get ahold of their finances. Not help them find religion, not help them toward a different political path, not change their personal philosophical journey. We just want to help folks handle their money better and be happy doing it.

      I’ve noticed that you have objected more than once to how the site is moderated. I’m not really sure why you’re bothered by this. I really do just urge civil non-political discourse but unless someone is way over the edge, I generally let the comments post. I can disagree with a comment and scroll past without any problem, as long as we’re not directly insulting one another or being hateful. I’m not here to micromanage the comments – I’m too busy managing the posts themselves, which I think are pretty non-political.

      I do ask that all of you help me to keep this a kind, welcoming, and productive comments section. Please don’t let it devolve into political one-upmanship.

      I hope you have an awesome night, Carla! 🙂

      1. Yesterday I re-read the rules for the Forum, and I mistakenly assumed that they applied to all your websites (you can’t hear the tone of my comment, so I just want to clarify that I’m not being sarcastic). Yes, this isn’t the first time I’ve made an objection. I have a big issue with fairness and I pointed some things out. It’s your website and you get to make the rules. I understand because this is like your house.

  5. To save propane I pressure cook many things. My electrical power with the exception of a well is solar. With more battery I could go entirely solar. My hot water tank uses propane. Thinking about going solar with that too. A friend has 2 hotwater panels he’ll never use. They would just need plumbed in. I heat with gravity fed pellets in a rocket stove that can also burn chips or branches up to 2″ across.

    Pretty happy with the current setup.

    Dry beans are tender after 45 minutes of pressure here at 6,300 ft elevation. They would normally take hours to cook here. A pot of beefstew only needs 5 minutes at 15 lb pressure.

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