We all want to spend less than we take in. To be fiscally responsible. Part of the way to do this is by being frugal. Here are a few ideas:

  • Notice how much food you have wasted during the week. Buy less the next week until you know how much fresh food you actually use. Eating out of the freezer or pantry helps out at the end of the week. Freeze food that you can if you can’t use it before it goes to waste.
  • Set an actual limit for grocery shopping. Carry cash and add it up as you go. This way you won’t automatically add indulgence items to your cart. You know you can only spend so much.
  • Turn saving into a game. Week 1 save $1, Week 2 $2 until you are at $52 for week 52. Of course you can use whatever savings goal you would like.
  • Notice if you have too much house for your budget. It may be time to downsize. (Or at least think about it until the housing market goes back up.)
  • Don’t pay with credit unless you can afford to pay it off each month. Most people are well beyond that now – so you might need to go cold turkey on credit cards until you get them back down to 0.
  • Do a spending diary for a month so you know where you can cut back.
  • Foaming soap refillable dispensers save money as you buy less liquid soap.
  • Double recipes and freeze leftovers.
  • Drink more water and less of expensive beverages. It is an even bigger saver when you go out to eat. You can also bring your own beverages to work.
  • Buy in season fruit and vegetables. Frozen for the out of season.
  • Use internet videos to fix things yourself.
  • Active entertainment like family hikes, snowshoeing, playing at the park are better for your body and your wallet then passive entertainment like movies and video games. When you do go to the movies only go to matinees and after you have eaten lunch so you don’t need expensive goodies.
  • Eat at least one more meal at home each week.
  • Get wrapping papers and bags for gifts at the dollar store or make your own.
  • Stop getting a magazine subscription and read it at the library instead. I read magazines at the library once a month while my daughter has her writer’s meeting.
  • Ask yourself, “Where am I going to put this?,” before buying anything.
  • Create instead of consume.
  • Make your own cards.

What are your best frugal tips?

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2 comments

  • Susan Troyanek

    Two years ago, I decided to make everything at home rather than purchasing pre-made food or fast food. I live alone – but have company often. I started baking my own bread, and learned how to use vegetables I had never eaten. I even planted a large vegetable garden from seed (you can find inexpensive seeds), canning and freezing what I didn’t eat fresh. My doctor had been complaining about my cholesterol levels, and I refuse to take statins because of the side effects. After six months of cooking everything at home, I discovered my bad cholesterol went down by almost 100 points. I did not give up butter, whole milk, cream, cheese, sour cream, local raw honey, sugar, or chocolate (chocolate chips and powdered cocoa). I make pudding instead of purchasing ice cream. I bake pretty much anything I want – usually incorporating oatmeal into cookies or crumbles – and have plenty to share with friends or take to church for coffee hour. My food spending went down by about 50 percent. I even lost 20 pounds without trying, despite my love of homemade cookies and bread-and-butter.

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