You can save the world and yourself one frugal act at a time. Whenever possible, bike to work, the grocery store, the bank or anywhere else you might be going. There are bloggers who think you should live close to work to be frugal. I personally love living in the backwoods where I grew up. It is 15.1 miles from my driveway to my office. And I bike it many times every year. I had an old Huffy bike I rode forever. I decided to get myself a new flashy set of wheels and pulled out my pencil and paper to calculate exactly what it would take to get a free bike. You can read that story here. It is about halfway through the linked post.
How full is your recycling bin each week? How about the garbage bin? All the stuff in those bins is filled with stuff you paid for only to throw it away. Want to inject frugality into every purchase? It is simple. Buy stuff with the least packaging. Packaged foods are the worst. Processed food is a bad health choice, as well. All that packaging is paid for by you. But did you want the food inside or the box? The food, of course. Yet you paid for the box, too. (There is no free ride. The box has a cost and it is added to the price of the product.) When you purchase something, be aware of the packaging. It is costing you a fortune.
Water isn’t an expensive commodity in my part of the world. That isn’t true everywhere. Water can be an expensive purchase. Heating the water adds more to the cost. Shorter showers and a low-flow shower head is an excellent way to reduce water consumption. Turn off water when not in use. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. So much of frugality is common sense. Examine all water use. It should be easy to see where you can reduce consumption in your household.
Filters make a difference. I have an open-loop geothermal heat pump in my home. The filter where the water comes in needs to be cleaned periodically. If it gets dirty the efficiency is reduced. If dirty enough, the heat pump trips off. The air filter also needs changing a few times per year. I have a reusable air filter I clean and then put back into the unit. Filters on your vehicle, lawn mower or any other item in the house, need to be charged or cleaned on a regular basis. Forgetting this reduces the life of the item and increases energy consumption. And clean the grill behind your refrigerator! And under the darn thing, too! Stressing the compressor on your refrigerator can cause the compressor to fail. Have you seen what refrigerators cost? Yes, it is very frugal to clean and replace filters often.
A sure way to save money is to keep the heat (or cold) where you want it. Insulate the attic. Wrap your water heater and the hot water pipes. Weather stripping around windows and doors offer serious energy savings. Many communities have low-cost services to help with your insulating needs. If doors and/or windows are deteriorated it might be advantageous to replace them. Tax credits are available to reduce the cost.
A watched pot never boils, it is said. I’m not so sure about that. When I was a kid I kept my eye on a pot on the stove, and sure enough, it boiled. Electric bills are out of control. There are so many phantom energy drains in the average home that half or more of electricity consumption goes down the drain without any benefit to the homeowner. Read more about recording your electricity consumption here. This one simple step can lower your energy costs significantly.
Your grocery budget is one of the most flexible parts of your budget. You can spend a lot or very little, your choice. There are so many thrifty tips and tricks to save money on your grocery shopping, here are some of the bigger ones to get your started.
One of the best frugal living tips that I learned from my Mother was to buy used not new. We all know how new cars can lose up to 30% of their value in just one year, and the same goes for everything else you buy brand new.
Saving money first before spending is one of the founding elements of living thrifty and frugal, because you never know what is just around the corner.
Thrifty and frugal folk are not interested in working all hours, just the opposite really. They don’t live to work, they work to live. But if there are ways to make more money easily, without sacrificing their quality of life, then they will do it. Making extra money from home or while you are going about your daily life is the perfect way to pick up extra cash. If you want a work from home job here is a list of FREE resources to help you decide which is the best way to earn extra money for you.