Are you constantly trying to save more and spend less?
If so, you’re not alone. Saving more and spending less is always one of the top battles we face every day.
One of the best ways to save money is to adopt a frugal lifestyle. Frugal does not have to equal boring – you just have to be creative with the free and low cost resources that you have available.
Below, are 5 ways that you can become more frugal today.
Learn to say no
This is something that a lot of people seem to have problems with. They say “yes” to every opportunity that comes their way, without first thinking about whether or not they truly want to spend the money to do whatever it is that was suggested to them.
If a friend invites you to a movie, suggest watching one at home. If a relative wants to spend the day at an amusement park with the kids, suggest a free museum. If a co-worker thinks a trip to the book store would be fun, suggest the library.
In addition to enjoying time at home, there are many free activities available in your community. Consider them before you go out and spend money on entertainment.
Switch to homemade coffee
Are you one of those coffee drinkers that picks up a cup of caffeine on the way to work each morning? If so, stop! Coffee shops have over-inflated prices and you will end up paying way more for your coffee than you would if you just made it yourself.
There are many great coffee brands on the market (Van Houtte, Melitta, even Starbucks and Tim Hortons sell their coffee in stores) that taste just as good – if not better than the kind you will pay 10x the price for at your local coffee shop.
I’m a big fan of stockpiling. I believe that in addition to using coupons, stockpiling is one of the best ways that you can save money off your grocery bill each and every month. It’s a fantastic way to avoid paying full price at the grocery store!
Set aside a bit of money each month for stocking up on great deals. When those bargains come around, pick up as many as you need and can afford, and add them to your stockpile.
Invest in energy efficient products
There are some things you should spend your money on, such as energy efficient products.
If you’re in the market for a new dishwasher, refrigerator, washer and/or dryer or chest freezer – take a look at the energy efficient models available. They may cost a bit more, but considering all the money they will be saving you in the future, they are well worth the investment.
Don’t forget about smaller energy efficient products, such as LED light bulbs. These do cost more than traditional incandescent light bulbs, but they last much longer and are much more environmentally friendly. Our hydro bill was cut in half (and no, that’s not an exaggeration!) when we switched from incandescent to LED light bulbs. I’d say that was well worth the extra bit of money we spent to make the switch!
One way to save a ton of money this year is to buy used for everything you possibly can. Do you need new clothes for your kids? Check out thrift stores in your area. Need a new couch? Online classifieds are great for that!
Just because something is used, doesn’t mean that it’s garbage and that it can’t be used and enjoyed by someone else. Before you head to your local big box store, check out all of the alternatives – try to buy used instead.
I’m often told that people who are frugal are just “cheapskates” that are boring and never fun. I have to laugh, because of all my frugal friends, none of them are boring and they are all a ton of fun (some more so than my friends who choose NOT to be frugal!).
Being frugal does not mean you live a life of deprivation. You are simply being smart about the resources that you have and learning to love the simple life.
How are you going to start being more frugal today?