Frugal living in my opinion is not a destination. I think it is a constant re-evaluation. It may not be easy but it is totally worth it. You can live well and live fruitfully by spending less. There are a lot of ways how we can save money. Here's 68 ways that we can be frugal:
- Plan your meals. Eat out less and pack your lunch to work or school.
- Have a grocery budget and stick to it. Plan on less money to begin with.
Skip Starbucks. Make your favorite drink at home. Try this : Starbucks Copycat Recipes
- Make your own pantry staples. Try :9 Pantry Staples That You Can Make at Home
- Clip coupons.
- Learn how to stack coupons ( store coupons with Manufacturer Coupons)
- Join Ibotta, checkout51, Shopmium, Berrycart , a rebate app for your groceries. Earn cash for the items you always buy anyway. Double the savings by using coupons.
- Be creative with your left overs.
- Have a no grocery week, cook what's available in your pantry.
- Serve more veggies than meat.
- Eat healthy. It will serve you good in the long run.
- Try a breakfast for dinner night. Think brinner.
- Shop dollar tree for healthy items like frozen fruits or single serve fish.
- Have a Meatless Friday nights. Here's 20 Tasty Meatless Meals.
- Make your own pizza. Make it a fun family night. Here's an easy Homemade Pizza Dough.
- Don't always stock up on ALL of the deals. If you always use it,then go for it.
- After buying your produce and fruits, wash 'em and cut 'em as soon as you can. You will more than likely cook it or eat it when it's ready to go in advance.
- If you love to eat out once in a while , join their mailing list or mailing club. They offer rewards and coupons. Like Chili's, it's nice to get a discount or a free kids meal.
- Host a freezer meal exchange party. Gather your friends, neighbors, relatives. Everybody makes a batch of freezer meal and exchange recipes with each other.
- Buy what's in season and freeze them. Here's HOW.
- Join a co-op.
- Keep a price book. What is a price book? Read here.
- Some men's products are cheaper than women's. Try men's shaving cream for instance! ( no one needs to know).
- Try generic brands. They are as good and sometimes much better than the leading brands.
22. You don't have to sign up on all of the streaming videos. $8 or $12 a month adds up pretty quickly.
23. Quit the cable and go for chromecast specially if you have wi-fi at home.
24. Visit parks instead of malls.
25.Check nearby colleges and universities for free activities and cultural events.
26. Visit your library and get a library card. They have free rentals on DVDs and paid 3 day loan as well for a very reasonable price. Most libraries would let you take out 50 books.
27. Visit your community center. Most of them offer a one year membership but that membership opens up a lot of perks. You can sign up for different programs ( sometimes free, sometimes you pay at a reasonable price). You can find a yoga class, Zumba, CPR class, computer classes and much more!
28. Check the dates for FREE entrances on National Parks and have a picnic or exploring day.
KIDS FUN , ACTIVITIES AND LEARNING29. Your local community center has a lot of fun things to offer as well for your kids ( See info on no.27). If you are a low income family, you can ask about their scholarship program . Even though you don't qualify , their yearly resident or non resident membership is till very affordable. They have classes like Ballet, Self Defense/ Tae Kwondo/Kung Fu, hip hop dance, sports and more.
30. Library - yep, they have free programs from tots to teens.
31. Sign up for Macaroni kids - they send out weekly activities , free and fun things to do as a family in your area.
32. Swap kids books with your neighborhood.
33. Host a neighborhood outdoor/backyard movie night. Everybody brings snacks to munch on and to share with.
34. It's okay to let our children get bored, they will come up with something fun to do themselves that we adults wouldn't even think about.
35. Never estimate what an empty box can do. I remember our kids when they were toddlers, an empty box,crayons, markers and stickers kept them busy and happy. ( just use non toxic and washable art supplies--you'll be glad you did)
36. There are a lot of free online resources for learning too!
37. Love movies? Take advantage of matinee times and summer dollar movies.
38. If you are in the military or a veteran, sign up at MILITARY.COM and ID.ME for discounts.
39. Have a board game night.
40. Always pack your snacks when traveling. Even when we traveled abroad, we brought our own water bottles and packed our kid's snacks.
HOME AND BEYOND
41. Go through your bills and see which is the biggest budget sucker. If it is your cable bill or phone bill make a phone call to adjust your bill. We've done this and we did receive an awesome deal. But after a while, prices will go up again so don't be afraid to switch companies if needed.
42. Buy used clothes. Esp for kids, they grow up so fast. Find a nice second hand store or consignment store for kids.
43. Sell your used baby gear, clothes, kids clothes and toys ( and more!) at a consignment store. We have a couple here that do give you store credit and you can use that credit to shop at their store too! Have you heard of Moo La La Boutique Children's Consignment Event? I have sold and have earned about $300 just by selling our used children's items. It is a great and fun event and you have perks when you volunteer and sell. See here for DETAILS.
44. You don't always have to upgrade your gadgets to keep up with technology.
41.If you are tempted to shop online or go out to a mall to splurge, pause before ordering and ask why are you buying. If you are just bored or sad, remember that shopping is only a temporary way to fill that void.
45. Ditch the gym. Transform a space in your house into a workout space. Have you tried Beachbody On demand? You can stream hundreds of proven workouts right into the comfort of your own home.
46. Need to buy bigger clothes? How about thinking of a long term solution? Enjoy a healthy lifestyle, later on when you reach your ideal health goals, you can buy clothes. You can now reward yourself. Think big here, yes you are going to spend later on BUT think about the other positive result from that. Your health.
47. For cars : buy used cars, change your own oil regularly, share your car with your partner ( if you don't have kids), carpool, don't speed, change your air filter by yourself, wash your own car, re examine your auto insurance bills and shop around if needed.
48. Get rid of vices: smoking. Just stop. No excuses.
49. Try your best to pay your bills on time, late fees are no fun. If you need more time, call the company and they are usually willing to work with you. That way , you will not accrue late payment fees.
50. It is not always wise to use your credit card. It is not free money. Yes it may free you up on a current situation but later on you will have to pay that bill. Use cash.
51. Think before you spend. you don't have the cash for it. Save for it.
52. Refill ink cartridges , don't always buy new ones. Costco usually sends out coupons for already bargained refilling services.
53. Speaking of Costco, you can split the annual membership with a room mate, neighbor or a friend. You can also shop together. I remember doing this with my room mates, we bought a case of toilet paper and we all split the goods and the cost.
54. Take advantage of refurbished items. We bought a roku stick for $20 at groupon! Plus, roku has a lot of free channels to watch.
55. Be careful of "vampire electricity" or "phantom electricity" , don't leave an unused device plugged in as it will continue to draw small amounts of energy.
56. Fix any energy leaks(drafts) in your home. Seal the leaks because they make your a/c system work harder.
57. Use LED or energy saver bulbs.
58 . Install aerating and low flow faucets and shower heads to save on your water bill.
59. Consider wearing thick sweaters or bundling up in winter time to avoid all day usage of your heater.
60. When making necessary purchases, think quality. You may save a few dollars but it might not last as long or you may not get your money's worth. So might as well invest in a quality product. This is one department that my husband always reminds me, invest in a good one and it will keep you from buying all the time.
61 .Embrace DIY but don't always "DIY" most especially if it will cost you more money.
62. Stop keeping up with the joneses.. Find your own happiness and realize how blessed you are. Don't let that attitude dictate your life and your spending. It is a habit that will not do you good. If you have to prove something all the time, you might want to re examine your thinking. That is a very toxic way of life.
63. Invest in knowledge. If needed , enroll in an enrichment class. Enroll in a baking class, who knows maybe you can use that skill to start your own home based business. Learn how to sew, so you can sew your own bedding, curtains and clothes! Nowadays, there is a ton of free tutorials on you tube.
64. Don't be shy to haggle.
65. Knowledge is power. Always find ways to feed your brain. I love reading my fellow bloggers frugal tips. Read on financial topics. I do find myself inspired all the time when I do read financial books and testimony. They sure do empower you and encourage you .
66. Always re think on how you can re use your stuff. Several years ago, I got myself into binder organization. A binder for bills, a binder for homemaking, a binder for recipes...name it I got a binder for that. Fast forward now, well I do not have all the time to keep up with all of my binders. So I re used the binders for something else. I am reusing it for keeping our kid's school keepsakes and for our Lily, who I am homeschooling for preschool. Speaking of binders , this is how I organized our manuals and warranties.
67. Embrace a " Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without" attitude. Sometimes, it is just in our heads, we will come up with good reasons why we needed to purchase. Be creative.
68. Do not be embarrassed to be frugal. Attitude is everything with this lifestyle. Being frugal is freeing, smart and practical. Being frugal is being humble and contented. Being frugal means you appreciate what is important in life. Being frugal means you are a good steward of your money. Being frugal means you are not a slave to money.
How about you, what other frugal ways would you love to share?
How to Survive and Thrive on a Single Income
How to Survive and Thrive on a Single Income