Canning was a large part of home life in the Depression Era. Our grandparents’ canned leftover produce into jams, salsas, sauces, purees, and fermented foods. Perhaps canning appeals to you but you’re frightened of not doing it right? The risk of improper canning is botulism but following reputable guidelines will help keep you safe. Check out this guide to get you started with terminology and supplies. Use the National Center for Home Food Preservation for the latest research-based information regarding food preservation best practices.
Many homemade cleaners work just as well as storebought but cost a fraction. Diluting white vinegar in a spray bottle is a healthy produce wash and general cleaner. Considering that a bottle of eco-friendly store-bought cleaner can be over $5 a bottle, you can make MANY bottles of cleaner using a $1 gallon jug of white vinegar.
Laundry detergent in the box stores have so many fillers just to make it look like you are getting a lot for your money when you are not. You can cut your laundry costs up to 98% by making your own laundry detergent. It is easy to do and it cleans better than store-bought detergent. Consider the detergent-making process a family project. It is fun and teaching your children the low-cost way of living is priceless; a gift that never stops giving.
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.
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.
Be honest with yourself: is your dog overweight? If so, you’re losing money! Stop free-feeding your pet, and put them on a healthy diet (their optimal diet can be found on their food-bag). I know you feed them extra food because you love them, but I promise they’ll be much happier and more energetic when they no longer have to carry that extra weight around. Plus, you’ll save hundreds on dog food and thousand on future veterinary bills (it ain’t cheap to have a diabetic dog, my friend.)
Do yoga—It will keep you young forever. You’ll become extremely flexible and gain functional muscles that will let you do fun tricks for you to show off with. Plus, it doesn’t cost much money. We like to use Glo.com There are thousands of lessons taught by the top instructors in the country. Stop paying for that gym membership you don’t use, buy a yoga mat, and see what your body is capable of with yoga.
As discussed above with vehicles, transaction costs add up fast. The same applies to where you live. It is expensive to move. It takes time and requires helping hands and/or a moving truck, etc. If you are renting there might be some damages that get deducted from the security deposit; the new place will also require a security deposit. Owning your own home can be a very frugal move! But take a page from Warren Buffett’s book. Buffett is one of the financially wealthiest people on the planet. He bought the home he lives in back in 1958 for $31, 500. His home is worth over $650,000 now. Buffett mentioned many times he would not be happier living in a bigger or newer home. He is happy right where he is. And good thing. The money he saved in Realtor fees and other selling costs would have come from the seed money he used to build his fortune. Fees generally are things you pay that give you next to nothing in return. Cutting fees is the surest frugal step you can take. Stay put. Move only if you have to (i.e.. job change).
A deck of cards is going to give you more hours of entertainment per dollar than pretty much any source of entertainment out there. Every night, we like to play cards while dinner is in the oven. It’s another simple, frugal way to take our minds off today or what needs to be done tomorrow, so that we can enjoy the moment. Grab a deck of cards and take a chance to connect with your spouse and kids. Our favorite games (listed in order from most favorite to least favorite):