Being frugal is a mindset that you must embrace in order to get the most out of the experience. It doesn’t mean that you try to get everything as cheaply as possible, or that you cut out the things that you enjoy out of your life. It means that you look for opportunities to save and grab them when they come up.
So how can you be frugal every single day? Mostly it means being smart about the things you buy and the things you consume. If you need to buy something in particular try to think of how you can get it for less. Is there a certain store you can go to that has this item for less than others? Or perhaps there is a coupon you can use? Even if you suspect a sale is coming up it may be more advantageous to wait.
Here are some ideas on how you can save money every day:
- Use less gas: if you need to make a trip into town, try to combine multiple trips at once to save gas. If the store you are going to is within a ½ hour walk, then walk. It will save you money and do you some good.
- Wait for sales: last year we needed a new patio furniture set. While it was a pain going through another summer with an old, slightly rusty set it was worth the $300 savings to wait until the end of the season.
- Find another way: if you can avoid making a purchase, do it. This may mean making do with what you have, or finding the same item in a second hand store. Even if you just put off the purchase for a month or two you are still saving yourself money.
- Take advantage: the key to being frugal is knowing when to spend. If you see something your family needs now or in the near future, and it is a good deal then get it.
- Do-it-yourself: stop paying for others to do things for you. Dye your own hair, cut your husband’s or kid’s hair (if you feel up to it), start running or biking to save on gym costs and get used to fixing things around the house.
- Go to school: save on eating out by learning how to cook restaurant quality meals. Make gifts for friends and family, or learn how to make fancy bath soaps and salts for yourself.
- Save yourself: return pop cans and bottles and put the money away, have garage sale or get rid of unwanted and unused items on eBay.
So tomorrow when you wake up ask yourself “how can I be frugal today?” It may be that you take the bus to work or ride your bike, put off that home renovation in favour of a bucket of paint and a brush, or even learn something new so you can do it yourself. The possibilities are endless.
To learn more about frugal living, click here.