Showing posts with label Frugal living. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Frugal living. Show all posts

Friday, September 9, 2016

68 Ways To Be Frugal

    Frugal, tightwad, cheap, stingy are adjectives that some find offending. Why is there a negative connotation with these words? A lot of people struggle in life because we fail to realize how to live within and below our means. Some people get too busy looking into others peoples success without knowing the story behind it and do not realize you eventually fall into a pit of jealousy and insecurity. This is a poisonous path, leading you into a pretentious life just to keep up.  We need to realize how living a simple life can bring us contentment.

   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:

  1. Plan your meals. Eat out less and pack your lunch to work or school.
  2. 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
  3. Make your own pantry staples. Try :9 Pantry Staples That You Can Make at Home
  4. Clip coupons.
  5. Learn how to stack coupons ( store coupons with Manufacturer Coupons)
  6. 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.
  7. Be creative with your left overs.
  8. Have a no grocery week, cook what's available in your pantry.
  9. Serve more veggies than meat.
  10. Eat healthy. It will serve you good in the long run.
  11. Try a breakfast for dinner night. Think brinner. 
  12. Shop dollar tree for healthy items like frozen fruits or single serve fish.
  13. Have a Meatless Friday nights. Here's 20 Tasty Meatless Meals.
  14. Make your own pizza. Make it a fun family night. Here's an easy Homemade Pizza Dough.
  15. Don't always stock up on ALL of the deals. If you always use it,then go for it.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Host a freezer meal exchange party. Gather your friends, neighbors, relatives. Everybody makes a batch of freezer meal and exchange recipes with each other.
  19.  Buy what's in season and freeze them. Here's HOW.
  20.  Join a co-op.
  21. Keep a price book. What is a price book? Read here.
  22. Some men's products are cheaper than women's. Try men's shaving cream for instance! ( no one needs to know).
  23. 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.

50 Things to do with our kids before they grow up- You will build strong relationships.

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.

29. 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.

Worry Free Travel with Young Kids


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.

How to pay for your travel in cash

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 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.

How to organize anuals 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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

5 Books That You Should Read To Get You Started With Your Financial Goals

New year is fast approaching and I am sure that you have a new set of goals. Most of you will have a list of New Year's resolution that involves being debt free or just have the need to have control of your money. 
There is no shame in trying to get rid of your debt or learning how to have a budget. You will learn that on this list of books that I personally recommend, the common ground is budget and living a simple life.These 5 books are the books that you should always have on your shelf, or even read every year!

A Bountiful Love is a participant on Amazon Affiliate Program, when an item is purchased through my links I earn a small advertising fee.

 Total Money Make Over 
By Dave Ramsey


I've had this book for a while now and I always recommend it.
Best and inspiring line : " financial freedom is 80% behavior and 20% knowledge "
This book gives you baby and do able steps towards your financial freedom. Married couples can greatly benefit from this book. But it is also geared towards 20 to 30 yrs old. The book also shared real life experience that will really get you motivated. If you think paying off your debt is impossible or even paying a car with cash is a this book!

 Say Goodbye to Survival Mode : 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More and Restore Your Passion for Life.
 by Crystal Paine


  Let me start with , this book is not just for bloggers. It is for all MOMS. Moms, from different walks of life. Working moms , stay at home moms. Why geared towards moms? Because we always have the "Superwoman" attitude. We love our family and our work so much that we tend to forget taking care of number one--> YOURSELF. We gave into the vicious cycle of having less to no sleep to "do more". We do not  ask for help and simplify things when needed, we are perfectionist, we try to do it all and don't slow down. We fail to manage our finances.  All of these will just result into a very , very bad case of burning out. I've been there, I think we all did at one point.  I like when she shed light on how sacrifices and having faith can greatly affect your finances.

I love this book so much that I actually gave it as gifts for Christmas. Very useful, a book that you need to keep on your shelf all the time as a reminder.

by Ruth Soukup 


How serious are you in changing your behaviors and finances?  If you can commit 31 days into doing her clear and insightful assignments , you will succeed. Do not underestimate this book though, it may be a one focus goal - spending zero, you will be surprised on how she laid out a clean plan , do able actions and helpful resources! No spending in a month can really be a scary and impossible idea for some but this book will show you that it is indeed possible. It will change your behavior and your outlook. Focusing more on the positive side than what you are giving up.

by Steve and Annette Economides


I know, don't raise an eyebrow on me. They’ve been called cheapskates and tightwads. During tough economic times, Steve and Annette have managed to feed their family of seven on just $350 per month, pay off their first house in nine years and purchase a second, larger home, buy cars with cash, take wonderful vacations, and put money in savings. Without degrees in finance or six-figure salaries.They had created a comfortable life for their family and most of all--- debt-free! 

I had read this book over 2 yrs ago I think and I would still recommend it in a heartbeat. You do not have to do every single thing they did. They provided tons of ideas on how to save money and how to stop living paycheck to paycheck!

The Complete Tightwad Gazette
by Amy Dacyczyn


Okay so another tightwad term, that some people find it so offending and shameful. To start with your financial goal, you need to stop being ashamed of being a tightwad and Amy will just make you realize that there is nothing wrong with that. Read this book and it will change your life. Again, let me repeat that. Read this book and it will change your life. She will also give you some insight on raising your kids in a world of materialism. 

Just like any other frugal living books out there, you do not have to do every single thing that she does. Tweak it according to your family. Eliminate what doesn't work .  Let her insights on frugality inspire you to come up with ways based on your family needs. She gave a whole lot of options throughout the book. 

I would love to connect with you!

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A Little R & R Wednesdays @ A Little R & R
Tell it to me Tuesdays @ FDean Hackett
From House to Home @ I Choose Joy
The Cozy Reading Spot @ Reading List  Shine Blog Hop @ Deliberate Mom