In sort of a continuation of my post Why I’m Not an Extreme Couponer, I though I’d follow up with some of my ideas to save money without using coupons! After all, I personally think coupon usage is a very small aspect of frugal living.
You know how many household products, such as laundry detergent, give you guidelines on how much product you should use each time? Well, I rebel and always use less product than what is recommended 🙂 After all, in the case of laundry detergent, it’s actually the washing motion that cleans the clothing, for the most part. While I was in Africa (years ago) I never once saw laundry being done with Tide, let alone a washing machine!
There’s usually a cheaper alternative for most high priced items out there. For example, Jet-Dry. I use vinegar in the place of Jet-Dry and my dishes come out sparkling! Another thing I do is use cottage cheese in place of Ricotta cheese in recipes like lasagna. Cottage cheese is a much cheaper alternative and contains a lot of protein!
I’ve been finding myself shopping a bit more than usual lately. Mostly because I’m trying to pick up the baby necessities I know we’ll need when we bring the baby home from the hospital. (diapers, wipes, etc.) But do you know what else I’m discovering with my more frequent shopping? I’m spending quite a bit more money on things that I think might be useful. Spur of the moment purchases. The fact is, the less shopping you do, the less stuff you’ll discover that you “need”, therefore, you’ll be spending less money.
I have completely stopped buying cleaning products. I know I can get cleaning products really cheap by using coupons, but I’m just not comfortable with the toxins involved and the fact that I’m still paying taxes and the difference the coupons don’t cover. I LOVE the natural cleaning kit I created. Saves me a bundle and it’s fun!
Same goes for meals. The more you make at home, the more you’ll save, even if you “splurge” on some ingredients!
I always find it very satisfying when I create something at home that I know I could have spent a fortune on at a store!
Evaluate and Make Changes
From time to time, evaluate the services you make use of regularly (phones, TV, internet, etc.) to see if there are any changes you could make to lower your bills. If you want to hit a financial goal much faster, consider cancelling a service in its entirety to get you there. If you’re paying an outrageous interest rate on a credit card, call up your credit card company to negotiate a lower interest rate. If you’re spending a billion dollars on gas each month, assess how you do your errands/get to work to see if there are any changes you could make to lower your cost.
Swap with friends/family
Someone you know usually has something you need that they would be happy to let you borrow. I do this all the time with my Mom. She has mini muffin tins that I like to use, while I have a mini loaf pan that she likes to use, so we just swap! We’ve been doing a lot of this in regards to the baby stuff we need. My sister in law sent along all her newborn clothes so we hardly have to buy any clothes for the first little while! What I like most about this frugal technique is that we won’t be storing very much long term since it will go back to the person it’s borrowed from when they need it again! Perfect for me and my desire to have less stuff in my home!
What are your favourite ways to be frugal without using coupons?