We often associate the phrase “saving money” with something unpleasant, such as not going shopping for awhile or skipping our regular Saturday night out. These would certainly help, but there are a number of other easier ways to save money, which many people are neglecting. The reason for neglecting them is probably the fact that you don’t save a lot of money at once. Every time you do or don’t do something you save cents, but if you make them a habit, you will be surprised how quickly these cents will add up and help your budget.
Here are the things which every frugal person should remember:
1. Turn off the lights. If you are in the bathroom, turn the light of everywhere else (unless of course there are family members in the other rooms). If everyone is in the dining room eating dinner, you don’t need the lights turned on in the entire house.
2. Turn the TV off. It is amazing how many people have their television turned on as background noise. If you don’t watch it, turn it off.
3. Drink water. Water has incredible health benefits. Drinking it instead of soda not only improves your health, but saves you money.
4. Write a list before going shopping. If you see something that is not on your list, don’t buy it. Unless you are food shopping and see a great deal on something that you can freeze.
5. Freeze your meals. Cook meals in bigger quantities and freeze them. It will save not only energy but time.
6. Buy low energy light bulbs. They save energy and last longer.
7. Always remember to shut your windows and doors. You don’t need to heat or cool outdoor air. Plus, considering rising crime rates, it is much safer.
8. Use towels and cloth napkins. It will save you money and protect the environment. I would like to recommend cloth diapers as well, but I wouldn’t, because it would make me a hypocrite. I just can’t deal with those.
9. Air-dry your clothes. If you have a backyard, dry your clothes outside (make sure it doesn’t rain though). It will make your clothes last longer and will save you a lot of energy. You will be surprised to see how much energy your dryer eats.
10. Buy generic brands. They are just as good as brand named ones. If you don’t believe me, check he ingredients.
11. Shop end-of-season sales. The best time to shop for clothing and seasonal merchandise is at the end of a season. Stock up on Christmas stuff in January. If you have kids, it is not a bad idea to buy stuff for the next year. True, you don’t really know how much they will grow, but if in doubt, always buy larger size.
12. Do not ever neglect coupons. Before going shopping, do you homework. Search for coupons online or in your newspaper. Don’t neglect smaller savings, because they will add up.
13. Leave your credit card at home. If you have a shopping addiction, leave your card at home and bring cash with you. In Russia and Eastern Europe people usually pay by cash which is a good reminder of how much money you are actually spending. Remember: credit card is not a magic card. You will have to pay it off and usually, you will have to pay more because of the interest rates.
14. Take lunch to work. It is not difficult to make a sandwich at home and it is certainly cheaper than going out for lunch; and much better for you than eating fast food.
15. Make coffee at home. Stopping at Starbuck or Dunkin Donuts every morning is an evil habit for a frugal person. If you do it every day, you may be spending $30-60 a month just for that.
16. If shopping online, use cashback sites. Always.
17. Cook at home. Learn how to cook from scratch. It is not as difficult as it seems. It is much healthier, it will save you money, you’ll score a point or two with your significant other and make you friends’ significant others jealous.
18. Use home made cleaning products. Here is my post on how to make the basic ones.
19. Shop at local farms. Locally grown food (even if it is not organic) has lower chemicals and pesticide levels and is usually cheaper.
20. Buy in bulk. Join wholesale clubs and buy stuff in bulk. It is always a good idea to freeze meats and refrigerate fruits and vegetables. It will save you money and extra trips to the store.
21. Invest into a programmable thermostat. It will cost you some money, but it is a good investment. You will save a great deal if you automatically turn down the heat or AC when you are at work or are sleeping.
22. Buy produce in season. It is healthier, cheaper and it tastes better.
Any other tips you could think of, my frugal reader? Feel free to share with us.
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