December 25, 2011

Everyday Frugal Living Ideas

Many people are living the frugal lifestyle, and sometimes it seems like a complicated thing. After all, some frugal families seem to devote an enormous amount of time and energy to developing budgets, clipping coupons, and seeking out bargains. While that may be where you’d like to go, you don’t have to start out with that much dedication. There are things you can implement every day to live frugally. Here are some tips.

Food – Where to Cut?

Perhaps one of the greatest chunks of household income goes to food. In order to implement some everyday frugal living ideas, you need to look at where you spend the most, and where you can cut. Keep the following things in mind as you give your food budget an overhaul.

* Eating out is probably the first place where you can make some everyday changes. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks, eating out can eat your budget. Pack lunches and snacks, and cook in instead of eating dinner out.

* Focus on fresh produce, dried beans, and bulk whole grains (such as brown rice) when you go to the grocery. Not only is this healthier; it’s a big savings if you replace expensive meats and prepared/packaged foods with these items.

* Skip the chips and other snack foods. It may seem affordable and cheap to get a bag of potato chips for $2, but you can often get many fresh, raw potatoes for the same $2 (think oven baked fries). The same is true for cakes, cookies, and ice cream. You can make your own for much less, or simply cut out some of the unhealthy snacks altogether.

* Drinks are another way you can cut back each day. Prepared iced tea, chocolate milk, juice, soft drinks, and so forth can add up. Make your own iced tea for pennies, and try cutting your juice by mixing it with half water. Soft drinks can be cut out gradually. When you do buy drinks, put them in reusable drink bottles rather than spending money on individual drink boxes or containers.

* Coupons are a great way to cut back on food, too, although you are not likely to find a lot of coupons for produce and whole grains. But for those items that you do buy pre-prepared, coupons can help.

Other Ways to Save Money

* Make your own household cleaners to save money. There are all kinds of recipes online. You can even make your own laundry soap. Hint: you’ll need a lot of baking soda and white vinegar to start!

* Shop at rummage sales, second-hand stores, and antique shops for holiday gifts.

* Shop at second-hand stores and yard sales for clothing and household items, like placemats, throw rugs, and shower curtains.

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Alexis Rodrigo