So, how can you begin to live a frugal lifestyle without sacrificing your quality of life? Here are some simple pointers to get you on the right track.
Buy Items That You Need To Last
Yes, you don’t have to wear out your shoes until they’ve got holes on the bottoms, but if you buy more durable brands, your shoes will last longer. You get what you pay for applies for clothing, shoes, and any other necessities you need. Before you plunk down $100 for a pair of shoes, though, do a little research into that brand’s reputation. You might be surprised to find a $50 pair might last twice as long. Likewise, if you only need a camera on special occasions, it doesn’t make sense to shell out $300 for one, if you can get good results from one that costs only $100.
Buy Only What You Need, When You Need It
Stocking up on grocery items might seem like a great plan, but how much spoiled food do you throw away each month because you forgot you bought it? Create a menu plan on paper for each week, and only buy those items that you absolutely need to create each meal. Keep expensive snacks to a minimum.
Buy Fresh Fruits And Vegetables
The fresher the food, the healthier it is — and fruits and vegetables are often relatively inexpensive.
Search For Money-Saving Coupon Apps And Download Them To Your Phone
You’ll get alerts from your favorite stores or for your favorite products, which will help you save money.
Join A Coupon Swapping Group
Yes, coupons are always a part of a frugal lifestyle, but you don’t have to be fanatic. Find a coupon swapping site where people from around the country mail each other coupons that you can’t find in your area.
Participate In Groups That Help Others Get Rid Of Their Used Stuff
Freecycle, for example, is very active in some locales, and you can get free items like expensive vacuum cleaners, cell phones, cameras, and other items that people don’t need but can’t throw away.
Be Aware Of How Far You Must Drive To Take Advantage Of A Sale
This is especially important with gas prices as high as they are now. You could spend the equivalent in gas on what you might save on a great deal, so keep that in mind the next time you grab your wallet to head out the door.
Take Public Transportation, Walk, Or Ride Your Bike Whenever Possible
This might not be feasible in places that don’t have great public transit or where the temperatures soar into the 90s and 100s during the summer months, but if you really need to save money on gas, check to see if your city has bicycle routes you can use to get to where you need to go.
Find Free Activities Online
Each city has a website that might advertise free community events. Take advantage of those to give your family a fun outing.
Communicate The Need To Live More Frugally With Your Family
Living an inexpensive lifestyle is a collective family effort, and if everyone isn’t on board, then your effort might be wasted.
Eat At Home
Even those fast food dollar menu items add up quickly, and you will be surprised at how much you actually save by preparing meals at home instead of eating out. The average fast food meal for one person is about $6. Multiply that by a family of four and that’s $24. If your family eats out three times a week, that’s $72 per week, and $3,744 per year. Think of what you could do with all that extra money.
You really don’t need to have 100 channels at your disposal. Find a good Internet video provider and pay $10 a month to stream the shows you want. Many of the most popular TV shows and movies are available on Netflix or Hulu for much less than what you’ll pay in a cable bill. Many newer televisions today can also be used as a computer monitor. If yours is one of those, consider this option.
Starting a frugal, money-saving lifestyle can be done, and gets easier the longer you live the lifestyle. You’ll find that the things you once found you couldn’t live without are really unnecessary. You might find yourself happier, less stressed, and more financially stable than you were before, and that’s a healthy life choice that will benefit everyone in your family.
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Thomas James is the author and CEO of Get Free Debt Advice Now. The site offers FREE debt consultation by analyzing your financial situation and customizing a debt relief plan to help you achieve your goals.
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