Frugal tips

Don’t Waste

Purposefully wasting something was unheard up in our grandparent’s time. Take a page from their book and reduce your waste. Before you’re about to throw something away, think of whether the items can be used in a different way instead of filling up a landfill.

  • Make sure to use all of a product up before tossing it. This tool is perfect for getting every last bit.
  • Use less product than you think you need. Often times, your hair would be equally as clean had you used half the amount of shampoo.
  • Vegetable scraps can be saved for making broth.
  • Table scraps can be composted or vermicomposted.
  • Extra produce/herbs can be saved and stored for later use.

Purchase Reusable Products

Why waste your money on an item you’re going to throw away? Instead, invest in cloth napkins for mealtime and washable rags for cleaning tasks around the house. This easy to make linen bread bag prevents your fresh loaves from going moldy. Reusable grocery and produce bags keep you from having to use plastic bags the store. Another plus is that reusable items are great for the environment.

Opt For Free Entertainment

Every weekend doesn’t need to be filled with expensive outings.  Some budget-friendly options include hiking, bird watching, visiting the beach or lake, board games, and local festivals. Chances are, your friends are ALSO looking for fun things to do that don’t cost money. It’s a great way to take advantage of what your local community has to offer. Related: For free (or super cheap) date night ideas, check out this list.

Determine If You Need It

Is this a fleeting want or something you can’t do without? Do you want it because you NEED it or is it because someone you know has the item? In the Depression Era, they didn’t buy new clothes as a source of entertainment. They bought new clothes because the old ones were so worn out they couldn’t be mended any more. Training yourself to reflect upon the reasons WHY you want an item, is a way to make your spending more conscious. It’s easier to say no this way as well. Saying “no” allows you to live within your means and not rack up debt. Nothing is further from your frugal grandparents than debt. They paid for things in cash. If they didn’t have the cash, then they didn’t get the item.

Repurpose And Upcycle Items

Every person produces an estimated 4.4 lbs of solid waste EVERY DAY! Instead of tossing something away, it may be easily repurposed for something else. There are some very creative ideas out there and you’re limited only by your imagination.

  • Instead of buying new furniture, try to reupholster it yourself. Dining room chairs are an easy starter project with now sewing involved.
  • If you have a lot of t-shirts lying around, they could be cut into strips and made into a unique area rug. Thrift stores and flea markets are the perfect locations to find items that can be good as new with a little care.

Have Fun

Frugality only works if you are having fun. Deprivation is not a long-term solution. Make it easy. Make it fun. Your financial goals are closer than you think if you can get rid of all the dead weight spending. And it is even okay to be silly about frugality. Here is a post on 10 Ridiculous Ways to Save Money. Life needs to be fun. Frugality is a way of life, a way of living. There is no need to give anything up! Quite the opposite. You can actually have more while being frugal. And so much of it allows for high-quality family time. It is fun to see how things work. It is not about yelling at the kids to turn off the lights. I hope you enjoyed these 31 tips and tricks to cutting spending. Frugal seems to be a dirty word until money is tight. I think good money habits are best applied at all times so money stress is reduced or even eliminated. And please, don’t let me do all the heavy lifting. My back is sore as it is. Share your favorite frugal tips and tricks in the comments below.

Get All the Rewards You Deserve

Just about everything today has a rewards program attached to it. Credit cards have offered cash-back rewards for a long time and debit cards have also started adding rewards programs. If you enjoy playing the game, you can find inconsistencies inside rewards programs. You can game the system for profit. Doctor of Credit is a good place to start playing the game. Sign up for their newsletter and get a weekly email on all the deals and specials on rewards programs. There are juicy deals each week. It can even be a profitable side hustle. Paying with a credit or debit card also comes with hidden perks. Many credit cards offer free extended warranties of products bought with their card. Purchase protection guarantees the lowest price or the card will refund the difference. Roadside assistance, delayed or lost luggage, trip cancellation, auto insurance are all free perks found with many credit cards if you know enough to ask. Even if you have an item stolen, many credit cards will replace the item! And don’t forget about local rewards programs. A local gas station created so many moving parts to their rewards program that I will pay under $2 a gallon for gas for the next year and a half. More details about utilizing all the hidden perks on credit cards can be read about here.

Review Insurance Annually

Insurance is a necessary evil. At least for home and auto coverage. The insurance they sell to protect a $100 purchase at Best Buy or Walmart or Amazon is worthless, in my opinion. Insurance is a commodity. The insurance company hopes you don’t see the relentless climb in the premium. Your best defense is to review and shop your insurance annually. This is the only way to ensure the best insurance for you at the lowest cost. Also be sure to review that you have adequate coverage. Especially liability. Lawsuits can take out just about any nest egg.

Cancel Recurring Payments

Companies love to set customers up on recurring payments. The customer is later either too lazy or doesn’t remember to cancel the service. Recurring payments are a cancer on the family budget. It is also low hanging fruit when it comes to frugality. And some subscriptions are outright scams! These recurring payments are financial death of a thousand cuts. They drain you dry a few drops of blood at a time. You must review all your credit and debit card statements each month. The same for all checking and savings accounts. Highlight the little buggers nickle and diming you to death each month and exorcise them. Be merciless! Your frugal reputation is on the line. You can probably retire 10 years sooner if you avoid these vampires.

Dump the Landline

Is there anyone left with a landline? Everyone has a mobile phone today. There is no reason to have a landline as well. And as long as we are talking about it, stop paying for AOL!!! Or any other unnecessary service. It blows my mind when I see people still paying for dial-up service or other such nonsense.