Frugal living is the new thing! Why? Because life is expensive, and we want to be able to live, and still get the things we want. So, how do you save enough money to be able to pay your bills and still enjoy life? With these easy frugal living tips, of course!
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Frugal Living Ideas for Beginners
Practice a money saving skill
There are so many great skills out there that can save you money! If your husband is pretty hands-on, he can go home or car repairs, instead of paying the outrageous prices to have someone else fix them. You can also sew, and save money on clothes. You can cut your families hair, or DIY your own gifts, home décor, etc.
Trade goods and skills with others
This is a great way to save a bunch of money! Find friends or neighbors that you can trade services with. Trade daycare for car repair, haircuts for help taking family photos, dinner for help with household maintenance, the options are endless.
Use a calculator while shopping
Often times, you get to the register and find out the total is a lot higher than you expected it to be. If you take a calculator shopping, you can continue to add up the prices of your items, so you know exactly how much it’s going to cost.
Grocery shop online
What’s even better than using a calculator at the store, is to not even go into the store! Grocery shopping online saves money in so many ways.
First, it has a running total for you going on the side of the screen, so you know exactly how much you’re spending. Second, you can compare prices really easily, as it shows you all of the various options of what you’re looking for. And third, by grocery shopping online, you’re getting everything on your list, and nothing more! It helps you to keep from adding stuff to your cart just because it looks good at the moment.
And something even cooler about shopping online at Walmart is that if they don’t have the item you selected, they’ll give you a better alternative for the same price.
Be sure to check out our article on Saving Money On Groceries Each Month.
Be mindful of sales and coupons
A lot of people don’t realize how much money they can save by using coupons and shopping sales. When you start being mindful of prices and sales, it will blow you away with the kind of deals you can find. If you simply google search your favorite stores + sales, you will likely be able to sign up for their email list to get notified about upcoming sales and promotions. There are also some really great apps you can download to help you save money, such as:
Ibotta– lets you get cash back for purchases at a TON of different stores
Ebates– lets you get cash back for online purchases
Always search for a cheaper alternative
First, always try to avoid buying things new! Whether it’s electronics, accessories, or vehicles, don’t buy new! Especially cars. If someone were to buy a car off a car lot and pay $20,000 for it. The second the drive it off the lot, it’s going to lose thousands of dollars in value. If you really want a newer car, buy one that is one year old, and you will save thousands! If you can find a car that you can pay outright for, then you can avoid having to pay interest AND you won’t have to have full coverage insurance.
You can always find an off-brand version of whatever it is you’re looking for. You are paying SO much more just for that brand’s label. Look for the off brand!
If you do really want the name brand, be sure to look for it used! Odds are, those beats headphones you want are for sale online because the brand new style just came out, and someone has to have the newest model.
Cut out cable and landlines
Paying for cable and landlines is a lot less common these days, and that’s because it’s expensive and unnecessary. You could get Netflix, Hulu, AND Prime TV, all for less than you’d pay for cable. And as for landlines, they just drive you crazy with telemarketers all day anyway! A cheap cell phone plan is so much more convenient and affordable.
Learn how to cook
This can be a fun way to save money! Look up some frugal meal ideas, and start practicing your cooking skills. Get your husband or your kids involved too. The more enjoyable it is, the more likely you are to keep doing it!
Eat leftovers for lunch
Never buy lunch again! Make just enough extra dinner that you can have leftovers for lunch! If all you have to do is stick it in the microwave, you’ll be less likely to eat out, or eat junk food, because it’s already pretty convenient to just heat up your leftovers.
Also, if you make enough leftovers, you can always have a “leftover night” for dinner. Wasting food is wasting money.
Limit expensive foods
Food is one of the average households highest expenses. This includes eating out, and groceries. Limit expensive foods, such as meat and cheese. Meat can be VERY pricey, especially the better quality kind. Try having a few meatless meals a week, and when you do have meat, try to buy cheaper meats, such as chicken or pork.
While eating out, you can share a meal with someone, or order off the kids menu! The serving sizes these days are absolutely ridiculous anyway. OR, if you do end up getting a larger dish, make sure to bring the rest home and eat it for leftovers.
Limit disposable products
It can be so tempting to buy disposable products, such as paper towels, paper plates, plastic utensils, sponges, makeup remover wipes, etc. Don’t do it! Although it may not seem like they’re all that expensive, it adds up quick!
Try some of these long-lasting alternatives:
- makeup remover towels
- reusable sponge
- reusable straws
- plastic dish set
- laundry ball (eliminates laundry detergent)
- dryer balls
Make your house more efficient
By making your house more efficient, you can save a ton on your utility bills. Fix leaky faucets, weatherstrip the doors and windows, replace light bulbs with LED’s, and buy energy-efficient appliances. (Some energy companies will give you a rebate just for buying energy efficient appliances! We got a rebate on our hot water heater and our washer and dryer.)
Buy certain things in bulk
Buying in bulk can save you money, or cost you money, so you have to be smart about it. The things you should be buying in bulk are things that you go through a lot of, and there’s no chance it will be wasted. Maybe for your family that’s milk, eggs, canned foods, toilet paper, dish/hand soap. Bulk stores usually carry a huge variety of items. Don’t buy things that can possibly go to waste, or things you’re not sure that you will like.
See if you can make your own
Get creative, with whatever it is you need. Try making your own cleaning supplies, laundry soap, make up remover wipes, Halloween costumes, home décor, etc.
There are a MILLION DIY ideas on Pinterest. Make a list of things you’d like to try to make yourself, to save some extra money!
Get rid of expensive habits
If you have a habit that costs you money, like smoking, eating out, buying cars or expensive accessories, or if you have an expensive hobby… get rid of it! Challenge yourself to find a new, cheaper hobby. Cut the bad habits cold turkey. Or, if it’s something that’s not necessarily bad for you, but it’s just expensive, use it as motivation. Once you achieve certain financial goals, then get what you want. But don’t set yourself back financially just to feed your habit.
Use cloth diapers, if you have a baby
Cloth diapering seems so odd to most people. But once you start looking into it, it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. The average baby goes through an average of 2,500 to 3,000 diapers in their first year. That’s a TON of money, even if you’re buying off brand. Try cloth diapering, as it will save you so much money!
Things you SHOULD spend your money on
There are a few things that you should absolutely spend the money on, such as;
Repairs- Maintenance to your cars or your house are totally worth the money, even if it sounds expensive. If your car is leaking oil, and you don’t get it fixed, your engine will blow up and it will cost you thousands to fix. If your washer isn’t working and you’re spending a ton of money washing clothes at the laundromat AND paying for the gas to drive there every time, you’re better off just getting the washer fixed or replaced.
Sidenote: A lot of people like to try to do their own repairs by watching a tutorial on youtube. This is often a really great way to save money. But, it can also cost you A LOT of money if you mess something up and you have to pay to fix it. So don’t go too far outside your skillset.
Tools that will help save money in the long run–
There are certain things that you should buy IF you are going to be committed to using them. If you spend money on something, you’re more likely to use it. For instance, if you are wanting to begin a cash envelope system, this cash budgeting book is really great!
For instance, crockpots and instant pots save SO much time on making dinner. If making dinner is easier, you’re less likely to go out to eat.
Amazon prime can save you a lot of money if used to it’s fullest extent. Prime comes with a lot of really great features that people often don’t know about, such as:
- Free 2 day shipping
- Access to deals that other people do not have
- Prime tv (similar to Netflix and Hulu)
- Prime music (similar to Pandora and Spotify)
- Pantry (for food and personal care products)
- Subscribe and save (by ordering things monthly that you use often, such as toilet paper or other household products, you can get a large discount)
Try your 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime
I hope these tips can help you to successfully live a frugal lifestyle, and save money so that you can still do the things you want to do!
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