Frugal living is easier then you may think. Some people are naturally frugal by nature and and make frugal choices when it comes to spending and other life decisions. For other people, easing their way slowly into a frugal lifestyle can take a little bit of practice. The takeaway benefit is knowing that their efforts result in additional benefits that go far beyond their cash savings.
Initially, you might not notice these non-monetary rewards at first. In the early stages of adopting a frugal perspective and lifestyle, you’re usually focused on reaping the primary benefits, which is saving money. What we have discovered and really enjoy is that living frugally encourages a heightened level of awareness in many areas of our lives. Here are 8 ideas you can put into practise in your everyday life as a result of your commitment to minding your money…
Living Frugally Encourages Respect…
One of the best aspects of living frugally is when you choose to live with less, you begin to respect what you do have far more. You might think about having items repaired rather than throwing them out, or refurbish them. An example of this is our old dining table with its marked and stained surface. We spent a weekend sanding back the lacquer and wood stain to reveal a beautiful tabletop with blonde colored wood. Running along the top are all sorts of different wood grains which looks fantastic and finished off with a simple clear lacquer. A bit of elbow grease, and $30 can of sealer was all it took, and we now have a beautiful new dining table.Next in line for another weekend are the chairs…
Buy choosing to live a frugal lifestyle you take better care of things you own and we find this leads to being more appreciative of the important people around us and the beauty of life itself. By being grateful and experiencing an increased level of thankfulness for the blessings of this world, I find the more grateful I feel, the less I want and need.
Who Loves A Bargain-We Do!!
I don’t know about you, but when I find an item that I’m after for little or nothing, I experience huge feelings of satisfaction as I know that I have saved money which we could use elsewhere. , We have learned to be increasingly creative and resourceful and we have developed all sorts of skills in learning how to fix things ourselves, or finding a low cost solution, or realising we can easily do without…
With each dollar saved and invested, we sleep comfortably at night knowing we are financially secure and it’s a great feeling. In choosing to live frugally there is great comfort in increased financial savings.
A frugal lifestyle can help you build an emergency fund in the event of unexpected incidents, increase your retirement fund as well as being able to help family and others in need. You have choice in life and that’s increasingly important these days.
By taking some small important steps, you will soon discover that you too can live a frugal lifestyle. Here are some of my favorite little tips to begin living a frugal lifestyle I’d love to share with you all.
1) Make Use Of Your Local Library Facilities
Did you know your local library is one of the greatest free resources in your community? From storytime, workshops, short courses, games and loads more, the library is often underutilised. And it’s all free!
Start using your local library for your weekend entertainment. You can stop your subscription to Netflix or to Vogue magazine. Your library has all the new release movies and let’s not forget the old classics, or the latest magazine subscriptions and thousands of wonderful novels at absolute no cost to you, or your family. We have made it a habit of getting a few really great movies each week to enjoy. On the weekends we curl up without popcorn, hot drinks and blankets and enjoy the movie we have chosen at absolutely no cost to us.
And remember, you can always order in the books, movies or magazines that your library doesn’t have in stock. You might just have to be a little patient…
This is what frugal living is all about!
The magazines we used to subscribe to reverse such as Vegan Cooking, Healthy Living and Harrowsmith. Now we borrow them from the library and this way we are choosing to save a lot of money. Another tip, if you choose to buy a magazine subscription, get a year subscription as they are always cheaper than paying on a monthly basis.
A tip on the snacks we enjoy from movie watching. By investing 20 dollars into a hot air popcorn machine and a bag of corn kernels, you can pop your own popcorn and shake a dusting of cinnamon, icing sugar and a little salt over it. Add some lightly browned melted butter drizzled over the popcorn, and you have the most delicious snack that tastes amazing. This is truly the cheapest snack we have found at prop and probably the tastiest
2) Check Out Sales At Your Grocery Store
Meals can “eat” into a large chunk of your budget very quickly. It’s easy to wonder where that money has disappeared to at the end of the week or month.
By learning to plan your meals around what is on sale at your local grocery store is a brilliant way to save up to $40 or $50 or more. This can help you when beginning your frugal living journey and it actually becomes a fun game. You can also involve your children in seeing what’s on special this week as this teaches them the value of money and appreciating how far a dollar stretches.
It’s really that simple. If a chicken is on sale, grab a jar of pasta sauce you made from all the summer tomato produce and make a chicken pasta dish for that week. Or if yams are on sale and grapes and oranges you can make delicious sweet potato fries sprinkled with home made dukkah. Slice up the oranges finely along with the grapes, add a little brown sugar and vanilla essence and you have fruit salad for dessert.
Using coupons is another awesome way to save a few dollars off your grocery bill each week. Try buying in bulk items such as rice in large bags and meat in large quantities.
3) Plant A Vegetable Garden And Enjoy The Best Of Seasonal Organic Produce!
Given how expensive fruit and vegetables are these days, it makes absolute sense to grow your own produce. Home grown produce is organic, chemical free, tastier and depending on what you grow, can be shared amongst family and friends. The feeling of giving a basket of plump, round red freshly picked tomatoes along with a bunch of fragrant basil for a garden fresh salad to your friends is a gesture of love and appreciation.
Plan a large vegetable garden, or a small, grown in a pot on your balcony version. Growing your own veggies is a wonderful way to begin living frugal and organically. We save our seeds from each year from some vegetables such as pumpkin, zucchinis and tomatoes and this eliminates purchasing seeds each year to plant.
We often buy heritage seeds as well as we find the produce tastes so much better than the modern seed varieties. We preserve and freeze excess vegetables during the growing season to use in the winter months when vegetables are more expensive to purchase.
Farmers markets are a great place to go for fresh produce that is even less expensive then the stores. You can cut and freeze vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers to use in soups, pasta dishes, stews and stir fry’s all year long.
4) Make Your Own Natural, Chemical Free Cleaning Supplies
Those bottles of cleaning products promising to make your home sparkling clean with a spray cost a bundle and are often mostly water:( Or worse still, so highly toxic with the multitude of chemical cocktails contained.
Learning to make your own cleaning supplies is actually easier than you think. Yes, there is a bit more elbow grease required and there is a great feeling of satisfaction to be gained from knowing you are looking after our precious environment.
Making your own cleaning supplies is much less expensive then purchasing them at the store. And a lot healthier as we mentioned. When doing laundry, use cold water as that cuts down on your electricity bill and of course using your cloths line is a free way to dry your clothes. Letting the wind rush through your clothes leaves them smelling fresh and wonderful too.
5) Compare Mobile Phone Bill Plans
Those monthly bills can cut a horrible gut wrenching swathe through your budget! Taking control of your finances includes very carefully comparing your mobile phone, your satellite, Internet and telephone company bills monthly. There are plenty of comparison sites for you to easily see at a glance which companies offer better deals. Make sure you read the fine print first before signing up to avoid any unexpected hidden nasty extras!
The majority of companies will constantly add new promotions each month and won’t tell you about them unless you inquire. It’s worth the call as that call can save you hundreds of dollars. That holiday for 2 weeks in Italy or France is looking very attractive isn’t it. Keep your money in your pocket today by choosing to get the best deal on your plans
6) Compost All Those Scraps And Feed Your Garden Love & Goodness
Keep all those kitchen scraps and compost them down to feed your vegetables and flowers. Our soils are quite depleted of minerals so this is a great way to re mineralise the soil again. Your vegetables will grow particularly well and be stronger and healthier to eat.
Compost all your vegetable, fruit peels and add in your coffee grinds as well. Composting allows you to have less garbage and makes for wonderfully rich fertile soil that you can use to make your own hanging flower baskets in the summer with and to grow your veggies in your garden.
7) Choose Solar Power
Keep a close watch on your electricity consumption. At our cottage we are solely on solar energy so therefore we become very aware when people leave lights on unnecessarily. Having solar power makes frugal living that much easier to do. Going around and turning switches off in your rooms will save you truckloads of money each year.
8) Reinvent, Repurpose And Hand Make Christmas Gifts
Make your next Christmas a frugal one. Our family have been having a second hand and handmade Christmas for the past three years. It’s wonderful fun as we all become very creative and inventive. We have a rule that you have to either make it or purchase it at a yard sale, second hand store or flea or antique market. This process makes gift giving and gift finding fun and exciting. And also allows us to really splurge on our family members as we get so much for so much less.
Whatever your decision is to start living frugally today, I can tell you it’s a lot more fun to shop and live when you are challenged by making frugal decisions along the way. Going out and finding that bargain is exciting and you tend to see it as an adventure rather then a bother. We stock up on all kinds of sale items and often spend hours in our local Salvation Army store getting a whole new wardrobe for under 10 dollars or finding that perfect birthday or Christmas gift for that special someone on your list.
Get the whole family involved and living frugally can actually become very addictive at times. You are always looking out for bargains and sale items and find yourself getting excited on Saturday mornings in the summer when it’s time to visit your local yard sales again.
So get out there and become actively involved and enjoy a more frugal lifestyle! Watch your bank balance increase :):)
Discover how much fun backyard gardens can be. And the bonus to this hobby of yours is all the nutritious, delicious food you will yield each day and season.
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