The term frugal living is a term being heard more on the internet and in everyday conversations these days. So what does being frugal mean? When you look up the meaning of “frugal” you will find that it describes a person that manages their money and watches cost and avoids waste. Some of us maybe doing things that are considered frugal everyday without knowing it.
You are living frugal if you recycle. Why is recycling considered being frugal? If you are lucky enough to live in a town that offers recyclable totes for you to participate in recycling use them to your fullest extent. The more items that you recycle will reduce in the waste at the local dump, which is better for the environment, and will reduce in your usage of garbage bags, which will reduce in your spending
You are living frugal if you use coupons to save money when shopping. Why is using coupons being frugal? In these current economic times, saving money has become more of a need than ever. You can save money by being smart and using coupons to help you get the lowest price available. Just remember to price compare using your coupons and realize that they item you have the coupon for may not always be the best price.
You are living frugal if you use the local library to check out books rather than buy them. Why is checking books out from the library being frugal? An average paperback book runs around $5.95. If you are like me and read around 4 books a month, you will save yourself around $23 a month, that is $276 a year.
You are living frugal if you rent movies rather than buying them. Why is renting movies being frugal? You can join a service like Netflix and get your movies for a small membership fee. That will also save you gas because it comes in the mail. You can also rent movies for $1 a night at Redbox locations. Buying movies can be very costly. A new release can run around $20 and if you buy three a month you just spent around $60. So renting is a much better money saver than buying.
You are living frugal if you are reusing items instead of throwing them out. Why is reusing items being frugal? Think of how much money you spend on garbage bags for your small trash cans in your home. If you are reusing your Wal-Mart plastic sacks that you get at the checkout for garbage bags you are saving money yearly that can help pay off a bill. Do you save the plastic containers that you get your deli cut meat in from the deli? I do and use them for storage around the house. They are great they come with lids and are compact enough to fit most anywhere. The key is to think if you can use the item in another way before throwing it away.
You are living frugal if you have slowed down on ordering take out. Why is cutting down on take out being frugal? Well, first reason is that you are not going to be throwing out the container waste after you are done. The next reason is that you won’t be spending the high prices to get something that you can be creative and cook at home for less. Most food that you can get out to eat can be cooked from the comforts of your own kitchen. If you go out to eat with friends or just for a night out, you can be creative at home and make the same ambiance that you would get from being at a restaurant and save money at the same time. You can find copycat recipes for most restaurants on the internet by doing a search on Google.
You are living frugal if you pay bills online. How is paying bills online being frugal? Well you are saving the cost of a stamp and the gas it too to get it to the post office. Most companies now offer this option.
You are living frugal if you are making your own cleaners. Why does making homemade cleaners make you frugal? It is more environmentally friendly and are inexpensive to make and they still do the same job that the expensive cleaners do. They are easy to make and can save you hundreds of dollars every year.
You are living frugal if you remember to turn the light switch off as you leave a room. How does turning light switches to off mean you are being frugal? Your electric bill will start to see a decrease in usage and therefore will save you money each month. Another way to decrease your electricity is to unplug any electronics you are not using. Taking these steps can save you some energy cost yearly.
You are being frugal if you reuse leftover food to create new meals. How does reusing leftovers help you be frugal? On holiday’s do you have extra turkey or ham? If so, you can create new ways to use them in recipes. You can also freeze the unused meat to use later. I once saw someone throw out half of a ham because she wasn’t thinking about what she could do with this tomorrow or next week. She probably threw out $10 of ham. Before you throw food out think of what you can create with it tomorrow or next week, if it will store well till then in the freezer. Throwing food out is one of the biggest waste of money that Americans make.
You are being frugal if you shop for clothes at thrift stores. How does shopping at thrift stores help you be frugal? You can find great deals on name brand clothes that are gently used by shopping at your local thrift store. My thrift store even gets overstock of new merchandise from our local The Children’s Place. I can get shirts for $3 that are sold at The Children’s Place for $19.99. Just look up your local thrift store and check it out and you will be surprised at what you can find there.
Of course, there are more ways to be frugal but these are a few things that you may already be doing that are contributing to your frugal life. If you are already doing some of the tips above continue to and pick up one of the other tips to help you be even more frugal.