5 Frugal Living Tips from my Grandma

Chances are I”ll bet your Grandma or Nanna knew a thing or two about frugal living. Embracing her tips won’t just  benefit your hip pocket : the planet, your family and your creativity will also profit. Here are my favorite top 6 frugal living tips passed down from my very wise Grandma

Can you be green and frugal? The answer is a yes! With the GFC hitting everyone in the hip and the continued sustainability of our  planet at stak

e, why not embrace a leaner, greener ethos and learn some of the best ways to save money?
One of the best ways to go green and  save money is to live a simpler, less complicated life style With all the stress that seems to be entwined in modern-day living,  a simpler existence makes good sense. And you know what, its a mindset. Its about getting creative, saying no to consumerism, making your own and taking pleasure in sharing, reusing older items and a whole lot more!


Even small steps in greener living can  have a big impact. Learning to live with less and with what you have and making it  count all helps. If you don’t use it, give the item away to someone who will

1). Live Lightly

Join the the freecycle revolution

You’ve heard of recycling and reusing right?
There’s a cool new kid on the block in the world of eco-savvy savings: it’s called freecycling. Basically, this means checking out free websites for stuff that people are giving away and posting items you’re searching for. Check out

Green up, be hip

Make greening up your life a fun thing  to do and kids and teens will love getting involved. One way to do this is to up-cycle, which means giving a lease on life to unwanted items, converting them into something better that you can use. There are lots of unique and creative ways to upcycle.

Extreme Cheap Living, ways to save money Turn old CDs into funky coasters, wine corks together to create a groovy absorbent mat, craft ribbons and old broaches into a necklace, knock up shelving from a wooden pallet or transform a pair of preloved  jeans into a unique designer tote bag.

For more ideas, check out pinterest.com/stephiraerae/creative-ways-to-reuse-recycle She has a wealth of unique and magical ideas to transform old and unwanted into cool and groovy useful objects.

Go Unplugged

Stash  away the kids’ iPods, tablets,laptops and all their techno wizardry and  spend time together rediscovering the good,old-fashioned fun in board games  or card games. Instead of expensive trips to the cinemas, take the family for a bike ride and stop to have a picnic in the park or gather friends over for a video night and make popcorn and treats to share and make it a social fun night in.
These are great ways to bring your family together and create a close bond:). These are some of the great ways to save money as a trip to the movies and buying snacks quickly adds up to be expensive.

Strap on your joggers and visit a national park, trek along the nature trails and take lots of happy family snaps. Kids and adults love looking back at snaps and remembering the fun times together. When you’re looking for something to do on a rainy afternoon, get the kids together and scrapbook your happy memories into albums.

Love your library

Save trees and your hard-earned cash by borrowing books instead of buying them. Some Libraries also offer e-library services for borrowing magazines and music. The savings will definitely add up.
While you’re there, investigate some of the online courses, talks and events on offer. For example, learn to draw, take photographs, cook with herbs or create edible landscapes, as well as meet inspirational authors and more. Libraries are great resources and they are  free.

Resist the Latest Gadgets & Gizmos

For many, resistance seems futile: a new-model smartphone or tablet is trotted out into the marketplace and people are  scrambling over each other to be the first to own one. Use your gadgetry until the end of its life. If you keep updating, not only will you spend a bundle for minimal improvements and really, how often do you use those improvements, chances are your old one will end up in landfill pumping out toxic pollutants.

It’s the same for kitchen gizmos. These days you can buy popcorn makers, hot dog makers, cupcake makers, pop cake makers, pie makers and more. A decade ago, all you needed was a saucepan and a baking tray to do the same job — and you still do. Its the best way to save your cash.

2) Embrace Your Frugal Living Green Goddess

Barter, don’t buy. A friend has a hat you love and she’s wild about a handbag you bought and never use. Swap with each other — or, better still, organize a clothing swap with all your friends.

Go au Naturel.

No, I don’t mean running around in the nudie:)  Switch to making your own natural beauty products; you’ll be helping the planet and saving a Lot. Check out http://www.aromantic.com/blog/category/aromantic-natural-skin-care-news/ for some great ideas or our own  Top 10 Home Made Face Masks and Face Scrubs

Make it a Wrap.

Boycott expensive wrapping paper; use scarves, fabric scraps or kids’ artwork to wrap presents. Make your own cards; don’t buy store-bought ones, is a lovely personal gift from the heart and one of our special ways to save money. People appreciate the time and love in a hand made card.

Frugal Living Simple Life, frugal living tipsGive a gift in a teacup (or container). Melt down half-burnt candles, add a dash of fragrant essential oils and a sliver of crayon for colour and pour into a pretty teacup.

A pair of high heels can be transformed into a groovy planter, or unleash your inner artist with a recycled paper sculpture or frame.

Leave a Paperless Trail.

Pass on books and magazines for others to enjoy. Use both sides of printer paper and draft mode when printing to save ink. Pay your bills online (and opt for paperless billing) to reduce paper usage and postage costs.


Volunteer with a green-inspired organization, you may find yourself planting shrubs, bird watching, counting frogs, making mud bricks or doing other things for charity and the environment. Plus the upside is you can make new friends and expand your social circle!

Pet  Power

Keep your pet amused with toys made from recycled materials or sustainable fibres in lieu of the expensive plastic counterparts sold in shops. A length of rope, odd socks tied together in a tight bundle or a preloved child’s toy will keep them entertained for hours.

Teach your feline to use the too. Movie moguls have made fortunes from cats hopping up on the toilet to do their business. You’ll save a fortune on kitty litter by teaching yours to use the toilet.

Reuse your pet’s fur.Yes, it’s possible. Imagine a cuddly warm jumper made from Fido the dog’s fur. Check out these books: Knitting with Dog Hair or Crafting with Cat Hair.

3). Get Vegie Savvy

Grow your Own

ways to save money with your vege gardenSome of the fruits and vegetables you serve up to your family will  have winged their way around the globe before they land on your plate, clocking up expensive food miles and fossil fuels.

Instead of buying expensive exotic fare from far-flung lands, try your hand at growing your own. You’ll not only cut back on food miles; if you get the kids involved, they’re more likely to eat what they’ve grown and try new vegetables:)

In a corner near your vegetable patch, grow a cubby for the kids by threading climbers over a wire frame, or create an adventure garden to encourage your children outdoors away from the TV.

Compost it

Composting is a savvy way to recycle most of your organic household waste. Plus, it creates a nutrient-dense soil, saving you money on soil additives. Pick a sheltered location in a warm area that’s not too close to your neighbors’ place.

Your compost needs nitrogen,  green stuff such as kitchen scraps and lawn clippings and brown stuff, leaves, hedge clippings too. It also needs to be regularly aerated, turning it over oxidises the carbon so it breaks down more quickly and watered frequently. For more information, check out environment.

Plant a Herb Garden

With fresh, zesty healthy herbs at your fingertips,  this is one of my favorite ways to save money! You can spice up your culinary dishes and save your hard earned cash on store-bought herbs and expensive packet flavourings for food for something special.

Green your Roof or Balcony
Don’t have the space for your own patch? Any surface can be greened — even roofs that are terraced, sloped or curved. With a few square metres, you can create a unique oasis with pots filled with flowers or herbs. With the extra insulation you’ll reduce heating and cooling costs. On balconies, potted dwarf fruit trees and vertical green walls with trellised tomatoes, climbing snow peas, strawberries or tepee beans look fantastic.


Eat Locally — and Use it All

For the food you can’t grow at home, shop at your local farmers’ market and buy lovely fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. Buying locally means your money also stays in and supports your local community.
frugal living tips, home made jamTips for living cheaply – Buy in bulk and in season. Share the cost with friends and neighbors and save even more. At your local farmers’ market, often the not-so-pretty fruit sells for less. A punnet filled with seconds or misshapen strawberries will taste just as plump and juicy as the pretty ones.

Use all of what you buy, where possible. Instead of just eating the broccoli and cauliflower florets, eat the lot; the stalks taste great in stir-fries. Invest in a large saucepan so you can cook up fish heads, prawn shells, ham bones and some vegetable scraps into delicious warming winter soups or fresh summer broths.

Freeze it

Don’t toss leftovers — freeze them. This is another of my favorite frugal living tips and great for frugal moms! Cook double quantities and freeze. You’ll save gas or electricity and, on the days you don’t feel like cooking, dinner’s already done. A full freezer uses less power than a partially stocked one, too. Freeze things you might just need a little of, to save wasting the rest: tomato paste, stock, herbs, ginger, some nuts and citrus zests.

Use the Power of the Sun

Harnessing solar power isn’t just about installing solar panels on your roof. Sunlight is a natural disinfectant and bleaching agent. Hang your clothes on the line instead of using a clothes dryer. With electricity costing almost a dollar a load for a 5kg dryer, it soon adds up — and think of the carbon pollution you’ll save.

For more information on just how much electricity is guzzled up by appliances, check out consumer.org. nz/reports/applia nce-running-costs.

Bag it and Bottle it too

Americans are a thirsty Lot. According to Statistic Brain, Americans  will part with around 11 billion dollars or 30 billion bottles a grocery bags for foodyear to buy bottled water. Battled water costs over 2500 times more than tap water. The solution is simple: don’t buy water bottles; invest in reusable ones. You’ll not only save money but you’ll be helping to prevent tonnes of plastic going into landfill.

Did you know Americans  use so many plastic bags, 100 billion that each year, if you tied them all together, they would circle the world 54 times? Only 23 per cent of people say no to plastic and use reusable bags. Frugal living tip : Switch to reusable tote bags and there’ll also be no more broken plastic bags with smashed grocery items, either

5). Clean & Green Ways to Save Money

Many home cleaning products are chock full of harmful chemicals, contributing to the growing problem of toxic air pollutants in the home, which can cause headaches, lethargy and aggravate asthma symptoms to name just  a few. Toxic air indoors bears a hefty price tag, with many people presenting with hard to diagnose illness and generally feeling unwell.

Natural store-bought cleaning options are one alternative green option and there are a  myriad of labels touting green credentials. To make sure they’re the real deal, check to see that they’ve passed eco-friendly certification standards. The independent organisation in America, EcoLabel Index  recognizes accredited eco-labelling.Simply search for your manufacturer and check their credentials.

Alternatively, you can simply make your own eco-cleaners; all you really need is a little bit more elbow grease to get the job done. Vinegar, water and a couple of drops of liquid soap will get your bathroom sparkling. Bicarbonate soda mixed with water is an all-purpose cleaner.

For clean, shiny floors, mix half a cup of vinegar in a bucket of hot water with a little eucalyptus oil. For heavy-duty jobs that need a good scrub, try a cup of bicarb soda, half a cup of white vinegar and a cup of coarse salt with a few drops of essential oil.

There are so many ways you can add to your frugal living ideas, simply be creative and be inspired by the growing group of people wh0 are passionate about looking after our beautiful Earth as well as being on the look out for ways to save money and to share their frugal living tips.

There are many frugal living websites around now, let your fingers do the walking  and Google them! These are my favourite 5 frugal living tips  from my Grandma, she grew up in a time where people had to make do and reuse. Items were treasured and valued  and nothing was thrown away. I always admired her creativity and her ability to remake. It is truly an art and we can all do it


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