Frugal Abundance

You know how as soon as you say you’re not going to do something, like eat chocolate, all you can think about is doing that very thing?  Like every time I say “No more take-out,” we end up eating take-out five days in a row!

While texting with my husband this morning about saving up for some projects, I wrote:  “I am determined to be frugal in a creative and abundant way.”

It’s only been few minutes, but so far, I’ve not yet thought of twelve things I need to buy, and I think it’s because of the phrase “creative and abundant way.” It feels like a project rather than a restriction.

My husband wrote back that chapter six of my (purely hypothetical) memoir should be:  “Abundantly Frugal and Other Potential Oxymorons Shattered by Creativity and Persistence.”

I loved that!  With creativity and persistence, we can be frugal while also enjoying abundance.

So, rather than focusing on what we can’t or shouldn’t do, we’re working together on a project, our self-imposed limitations challenging us to think outside of the box and find  inspiration.

We’re quite thrilled with ourselves, for example, when we “iron chef it” for dinner, when we manage to turn a mish-mash of bits and scraps into something savory.  The instant satisfaction of take-out entices, but we end up appreciating the creativity and adventure of “iron chef-ing it” just as much.

In my twenties, I lived on very little, and this kind of blog post would have had me rolling my eyes!  But coming from a more stable and comfortable place today, I love the idea of “frugal abundance” because it’s about noticing what we already have and finding happiness in that rather than seeking to acquire more.

What ways have you practiced “frugal abundance,” where a restriction has led to the creation of something great?



I write and illustrate stationery, cards, customized snail mail (yes, you can receive handwritten and illustrated letters in your mail!!), coloring books, and more. My business name is "Carrot Condo." After teaching English for 15 years (gasp!), I am now a full-time parent and part-time artist slowly, but steadily, building a creative business and life. You can read more at or see my products at Thanks for your interest and support!!
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2 Responses to Frugal Abundance

  1. Rose L. says:

    I am not sure I have really practiced “frugal abundance.” Hmmm…let’s see. Would using a scarf as a table runner to set a table instead of going out to buy one fall into that? What about using an unfinished quilt top as a tablecloth. Then maybe I have…

    • tristac says:

      Yes! Exactly! “Frugal abundance” probably does not apply when we our finances are truly minimal or even inadequate. But when basic needs are met, your examples are exactly what I mean — making due with what you have to save money but also to be creative and discover something unique and new.

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