Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What Is Frugal Living? Tips To Live a Frugal Lifestyle!

I am asked this question on a regular basis! If you are reading this than chances are you are wanting to Live a More Frugal Lifestyle! Does Frugal living mean that you have to suffer, and deprive yourself? No, it doesn’t! Frugal living is Better Money Management so that you can live the life that you want to live! Once you start to see the savings, you’ll be able to save money for things that you want. Maybe you’d like to save up for a vacation, retirement, or sending a child to college. Living Frugally will allow you to save money for the things that you want out of life, no matter what it is. Decide what you want out of life & use Frugality to get it! It takes baby steps to get started but you can do anything that you set your mind to do!

Here are my Top 20 Tips to help you live a Frugal Lifestyle!

1. Set a Budget! If you know how much money is in the bank, and how much money it costs to pay your bills, than you'll know if you can afford a new pair of shoes, or whatever hits your fancy! Making & Setting a Budget will help you to better manage your money. Only buying what you can afford is a smarter way of living, and a better way to manage your money! Also try to keep track of your savings! This will motivate you to save even more!

2.Trim your Bills! There is always something that you can cut out. Go over all of your bills - Cable, cell phone, Internet, and utility bills. Cancel any services that your not using, maybe you have too many minutes on your cell phone, or you don't watch all your cable channels. Call the company and negotiate. Many times there are better deals out there that your not aware of. Also usually when you try or threaten to cancel they will give you a better price to keep you as a customer. Also check into bundling services, this will also save you money on your bills in a lot of cases. Also if it’s possible - share your Internet connection with your next door neighbors (with their permission of coarse!) So that you can get the Internet & not pay anything for it. Just a Frugal idea here!

3.Switch to Online Bill Pay
This is a safe way to go. You will reduce the amount of paper that comes into your house (clutter) You will save money on stamps, and to avoid paying late fees. You can even set it up to pay your bills automatically.

4. Eliminate extras! Cancel your gym membership and walk outside for free, or in a local mall. Instead of paying lots of money to go out to a movie theater to see a movie on a regular basis, try renting a movie. You can rent movies for only a dollar per night through Red Box, and Movie Cube. They even sometimes give out promo codes for Free movies. You can also go to the library to rent Free movies. And even borrow books from the library instead of paying high dollar to buy a Book.

5. Menu Planning! Every week, or every month sit down and write what your family eats on a regular basis. Writing a menu plan will help to eliminate to most common question, "What’s for Dinner?" It will also help to keep you from eating out often. Making a menu plan will save you time, and money! Also freezing meals ahead of time will also help save you time and money. Next time cook double and freeze half for next time! Some easy foods to freeze- meatloaf, pancakes, scrambled eggs, the list goes on and on!

6. Use Coupons! This is a Gimme! Buy the Sunday newspaper, clip your coupons, and wait to use them until the item goes on sale! Write your shopping list & menu plan according to what’s on sale & what you have coupons for! Soon enough you’ll start to see that you are saving hundreds of dollars every month! And if you buy multiple newspapers you’ll be able to stockpile and save even more!

7. Stockpile items that you buy on a regular basis! Write down everything that you buy on a regular basis. Start collecting coupons, and when you see an item that your family uses and it’s 75% off or more than Stock up! Combining sales with coupons, you’ll see that commonly used items do go on sale often! Usually sales happen about every 12 weeks. So when stockpiling keep in mind that you’ll at least need to get enough to get you through until the next sale! For example, we buy toothpaste on a regular basis. So when I see that I can get a tube of toothpaste for FREE after sale & coupon, or even say 25 cents a tube than I’ll use 4 coupons, and buy 4 tubes of toothpaste instead of just one. Then when we run out of toothpaste I can grab a tube that I paid little or nothing for, instead of going to the store to pay $3 for it!

8. Group your errands
Saving money wouldn't be saving money if your spending lots of money on gas to get to the destination. Grouping your errands will help to save on money and only driving when you need to.

9. Shop Alone! Don’t shop with your Husband or kids in tow! Maybe choose to go shopping with a Frugal minded friend or relative instead! You’re more likely to spend more money when shopping with your hubs or kids. And most likely an error could occur when it comes to couponing! It’s usually best to be completely focused on saving money which is easier to do when your alone or with someone that will hold you accountable such as a friend!

10. Become a Smarter Shopper! Shop for used items at flea markets, thrift stores, Good Will, yard sales, Craigslist, and Ebay, or shop clearance racks until you find a price that you can afford! Its also knowing when to wait on a purchase until the item goes on sale! I usually try to look for items that are 50 to 75% off of the original retail cost! This concept comes into play when you are shopping for things that your family or yourself needs. It is also a Good idea to have a "Gift Closet" or a "Gift Box." When you find Great items at Rock Bottom prices put them in a designated area. Then when a Birthday party, special occasion, or even Christmas comes around you’ll already have gifts that you purchased for super cheap and this will save you time and money and impulse purchases! When you decide to be a Frugal Shopper, you are in complete control of what your spending!

11.Use your creativity! Learn to use items that you already have on hand! Learn how to do more for yourself! Try doing things yourself instead of paying other to do it for you. This can be the case with many things! Making or doing something yourself gives you a sense of accomplishment & it saves you money!
For example learn how to do your own oil changes, or learn how to sew or knit! These are just a few ideas. Every day gives you opportunities to reuse, re purpose and create. It is a Frugal person that puts these things into action!

12. Grow your own garden! This will save you money from having to purchase produce!

13. Get Freebies in your Mailbox!
I love getting Freebies in my mailbox! Freebies are fun & budget friendly! If you like to try new products, than this will be a good savings strategy for you too! Make sure to check out my "Freebie Friday" Post every Friday to get in on all the Best freebies from all over the web, in one convenient place!

14.Buy Gas Early in the morning when it’s colder-and thicker-in the ground, to get more bang for your buck! Also make sure to always keep your gas tank more than half full, and drive the speed limit!

15. Plug in your TVs, DVR’s, stereos, microwaves, computers, and all of your major energy hogs into power strips. Then turn them off at night when your go to bed, or when they are not in use! You will notice the savings on your energy bills! Reduce your electric bill even more by flipping off the light switches when your not in a room, also replace all of your light bulbs with CFLs (compact florescent bulbs).

16. Vacuum the back and underside of your refrigerator once a month and disconnect the ice maker!

17. Wash your clothes in cold water! If you wash your clothes in cold water your electric bill will thank you and your clothes will still come out clean!

18. Wash your dishes in your dishwasher, at night when most people aren’t using a lot of water. Only use one half a dishwasher tablet per load. Make sure the dishwasher is full. This will save on water & energy!

19. Store your batteries in your refrigerator, they will last longer there.

20. Last and not least– Make sure to check daily! I am constantly on the lookout for deals, and Frugal ideas. So I always make sure to share & if you never what to miss anything than make sure to sign up for my emails or RSS feed on the right sidebar.

Do you have any tips that you'd like to add to my list? Please leave a comment & share!

1 comment:

  1. Great tips. Even if you don't have a garden, a flower box outside the window would do nicely for oregano and tomatoes.

    #15. Just make sure it's a very very sturdy, heavy duty fire strip. A cheap one can cost you your house.


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