Sunday, January 21, 2018

35 of my Most Frugal Living Tips

      Before I get started, I wanted to tell you about a recent blog post I did that has gone viral.  I recently wrote a post about How (and Why) to Dehydrate Aloe Vera.  The post got over 3000 views in the first 12 hours.  That is a first for me and I wanted to share my joy with each of you.

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How (and why) to dehydrate Aloe Vera.

    Okay, now on to today's post.

       Have you ever thought that you wanted to give the frugal life a shot but you just don't know where to start.  Before you dive head first into it, start slow until you figure out what works for you and what does not.  A few simple changes in your life at a time will really add up after awhile. 
  
      We could all use a few new frugal living tips and living frugally does not mean you are doomed to a life of deprivation.  Frugal living is not about deprivation or total sacrifice.  Frugal living is about living smarter so that you can afford the life you want to live...the life you have always dreamed of living.

        Most people would agree that we all need to make changes in our lives.  We should be better prepared for small and large emergencies.  We all need to cut our spending but most just don't know where to start.  In the following post, I am going to give you 35 suggestions to help you with your first steps to positive change.

      With that being said, just know that being frugal is a wise choice.  Being frugal helps you to spend less than you earn.  Having that extra money will allow you to save money for rainy days and to pay down your credit card debt, etc.  Also, if you spend less, you can work less.  If you are currently working two jobs or you are working a lot of overtime, if you can cut some expenses, perhaps you won't have to work as much which gives you more family time.  

      Here are the tips to help you lie a frugal life:  (Any words that are in "blue" or are underlined are linked to other posts that tell you more about the subject or will take you to a recipe).

  1. Make your own bread.  I make 4 loaves of bread a week and each loaf costs under 50 cents a piece to make.  So not only are you saving money but the taste of homemade bread is significantly better than store-bought.  Using my recipe, you can make 2 loaves of homemade bread in ONE HOUR (start-to-finish, including rise time).  
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  2.    Do you ever buy oranges or apples?  If so, keep the netting that they come in.  Just ball up the netting and it works good as a pot scrubber.
  3.   Instead of purchasing napkins, hand towels or tissues cut up your old towels and use the smaller pieces as hand towels.  Any old worn-out t-shirt can be cut up and used as napkins (think cloth napkins) and into tissues or "sneeze rags" as we like to call them (think handkerchiefs).  
  4. Instead of buying small trash bags for your smaller trash cans, use the plastic grocery sacks you get from the store.
  5. When you find bread on sale (day old bread, etc.) buy some up and freeze it and/or make French Toast Casserole or Bread Pudding for a yummy breakfast treat for your family.    
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    French Toast Casserole
  6.   Don't use your dryer on beautiful and sunny days.  Hang your clothes out to dry and let Mother Nature dry your clothes for you.  By doing so, you can lengthen the life of your clothes. 
  7.    Speaking of laundry, make your own laundry detergent and fabric softener.  The cost of detergent continues to climb but you can make 6 months worth of laundry detergent for the cost of one jug of detergent from the store.  
  8. Before you make any significant purchase, wait a full 24 hours before you buy.  This stops your impulse buying and helps you weigh the pros and cons of the purchase.
  9.  Don't buy chicken "pieces" at the supermarket (just the thighs or just the breasts) but instead purchase a whole chicken.  The cost is so much cheaper and there are so many ways to use the whole bird.  For example, Dr. Pepper Shredded Chicken, How to cook a complete Chicken Dinner in the Crockpot, Homemade Chicken and Dumplings, or make your own broth/stock.   
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    Homemade Chicken & Dumplings
  10. You can also save a ton of cash by purchasing a whole or half of ham.  Purchase it and then you can slice it up at home or you can have the butcher or deli slice it for you.  It is a much more frugal way to have sandwich meat.  
  11.  When you harvest your garden each year (and yes having a garden is a GREAT frugal tip too), save the seeds to be used the following year.  Just another reason we grow only heirloom and non-GMO varieties.  
  12. Make your own pancakes, waffles and instant oatmeal packets.  Again, they are cheaper than the store-bought varieties and taste better too.  You can in an afternoon to make up a bunch and freeze them and when you need some, just pop the waffles or pancakes into the oven, microwave or toaster and you are good to go.    
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    Homemade Waffles
  13. People need their cars to get around and to get to work, etc. and there is absolutely no doubt that automobile maintenance and gas is not cheap but there are ways to save money where your vehicle is concerned.  Instead of jumping into your car and running somewhere every time you fancy it, be sure to stop and think before you go:  Do you really NEED to go?  Is there anything else you can do while you are out and about? (Combine 2-3 errands into your trip.) Also, fill up a coffee cup with coffee or a cool beverage and eat a snack before you leave your home to keep yourself from stopping out somewhere and buying it.
  14.    Be your own baker.  Instead of purchasing a cake, pie or cookies from a bakery, bake them yourself.  Here are some great recipes that taste great and cost a fraction of the cost.  Homemade Doughnuts, Death by Chocolate Cake, Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Cookies, and Pumpkin Supreme Pie.   
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    Pumpkin Supreme Pie
  15. Make it, don't buy it.  There are so many things you can make yourself instead of purchasing it.  Good examples include:  Rice-a-roni (yes, it can be made at home); gravy and even Potato Chips.  
  16. Also, learn to can and dehydrate foods in season to be used throughout the year.  Did you know you can dehydrate watermelon, eggplant and pineapples?
  17.   We have talked about making your own bread and being your own baker but you should also be your family's cook.  Yes, cook your meals instead of getting take-out or drive-thru.  Cooking on a regular basis is not only fun but your family will appreciate it too.  In fact, on more than one occasion my teenage son has mentioned that he feels sorry for his friend because his friend only eats out and never gets a home-cooked meal.  Some fast-food style foods that you can make at home include Homemade Hush Puppies and French Fries!
  18. Another big expense I hear from families a lot is purchasing coffee from Starbucks or other places.  A man we know spends $6 per cup of coffee.  Oh, my!  That is crazy to me.  Do not ever purchase coffee when you are out.  Make it for yourself at home and take it in a thermos or in an insulated cup.  Click on the link to learn how to make French Vanilla Coffee at home. 
  19. Adopt a minimalist wardrobe.  I know many will not want to consider this tip but it can be done.  I have a very minimal wardrobe.  You do not have to go to such extremes but when you do purchase clothing, make sure everything goes with everything else.  You do not NEED that much to get by, even dressing well, purchase items you NEED and not that you just want.   
  20. Use cash, not credit cards for all your purchases.  Using cash and physically having to hand over that wad of money makes a person think more clearly over what they are buying and how much they are spending.  
  21. Become your own personal handy-man.  Watch Youtube videos or check out books from the library to learn how to repair things around the house or how to build things you may need for your home.  Save money that you would have to pay a repairman for to save for other expenses.  For example, we needed some hay feeders for our goats so we made them instead of buying some.                                                  
  22. Start hitting flea markets & yard sales for items that you need.  Just be sure to go with a specific item in mind and don't buy just for the sake of buying.
  23. NEVER go to a store without a list.  Buy only what you have on your list and don't do any impulse buying.
  24. Try meal planning
  25. If it is legal in your area, set up rain barrels and collect rain water.  The collected water can be used to water your garden or water your farm animals.
  26. Learn to turn off the lights as you leave a room.  We started doing this regularly and have already noticed a change in our electric bill.  
  27. Do not get cable/satellite TV and if you have it already, cancel it.  Watch just Blu-rays and DVD's.  Swap movies with your family and friends or check out movies from your local library.  You can also watch TV online now. 
  28. In the winter time, save money by wearing a sweater and house shoes instead of cranking up the heat.  Do not freeze yourself and your family but do turn the thermostat down a few degrees.  It really will add up.  Also read the following post:  10 tips for a warm home this winter. 
  29. Make your own homemade air freshener.  
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    Homemade Air Freshener
  30.  Don't throw out your leftovers.  Learn a great way to use them in this post:  Homemade TV Dinners.  
  31. Make your own condiments and sauces.  For instance, I make my own Steak Sauce, Barbecue Sauce, Spaghetti Sauce, Taco Seasoning, and even my own Baking Mix (similar to Bisquick).
  32. Instead of taking your kids to the movies or other places for entertainment, stay home and do fun things together such as making puppets; making a ball; or making some Play-Do together.  You don't have to spend money to have a good time.  
  33. If you have a farm, grow your own fodder and stretch a 50 pound bag of feed into 300 pounds of fodder.  
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    Growing Fodder
  34.  Buy in bulk to save money.
  35. Stock up on items you use frequently and keep a well stocked pantry.  75 Pantry Essentials Every Cook Needs


    If you have enjoyed this post and want to read more, be sure to check out my most popular blog post:  Frugal Living:  How our Family of 4 Live off of $1300 a month!

6 comments:

  1. What a great collection of awesome Tips! Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Hope you drop by again soon and I'll be sure to link up with you again next week!

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  2. We canceled cable and never missed it. Thanks for sharing your family tips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome. We haven't had cable, satellite or anything like that in over 10 years and we sure don't miss it.

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  3. great tips we do some of these but others we could get better at. Thanks for giving us a few more ideas to save money
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very welcome and hope you will stop by again real soon.

      Delete

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