best ways to save money
making living easier for you
The catch-phrase for today is living frugally. Cheap living makes sense to me and, as you're here, to you too it seems.
The way the world is now, frugal shopping with bargains, cost-cutting, sales and savings is relatively easy. Discounted grocery stores, cut-price nick-nack stores like your local dollar shop, coupons to help you save on petrol, sales aplenty and the internet to help you find the best deal possible without ever leaving your home.
You know and I know that it's getting more and more expensive to live. The cost of living increases more rapidly every year. I don't know about you, but my income doesn't rise nearly as fast as everything else does!
So it goes hand in hand that we need to look a little more closely at cheap living.
It's time to reassess how we are sourcing the things we can't do without (food, water, electricity, clothes) and whether it's possible to be that little bit more thrifty.
I'm not referring to being "tight" with your money, just spending wisely. Using the best ways to save money now to have more money to use for the important stuff down the track.
If you've chopped up your credit cards, you've made a great start towards utilising the best frugal living tips. I did this myself recently and it's quite liberating. Far too many tempting 'things' out there...
Consolidated your home loan, personal loans and other debt into the one package? Truly excellent work! You've saved a lot in interest costs and that is money in your pocket for tomorrow.
THE BEST FRUGAL LIVING TIPS: Debt ConsolidationIf times are extra tough and you've become an unexpected victim of job cuts or the depressed economy (or just of your credit card), there is help!
You can take advantage of the reputable Debt consolidation programs that help you to consolidate loans via insolvency or bankruptcy. They will start by freezing interest on all loans and cards and 'bargaining' with the banks on your behalf reducing the amount of debt you repay and helping you when you need it most.
This can cut down on the number of repayments you have to manage, giving you one very low repayment per week or month to cover all debts. This way you don't get overwhelmed and end up drowning altogether.
Living with reduced spending starts with eliminating as much debt as possible from your life. Being free of constraints makes it easier to be frugal by choice and feel good about!
Please contact your nearest Debt Consolidation company
The Kitchen: Grow it. Swap it. Frugalize it.
Saving money on groceries is easy!
After taking care of those major items, it's time to think about saving money on groceries for the household each week and substituting in a few more cost effective options. Even eliminating a large portion of the cost of groceries if you can.
Finding alternative options for the things we buy each week will then become money saved and back in your pocket!
Start using your frugal living tips and habits with the basic staples, food and water. Finding ways around filling the pockets of major corporations wherever possible, work through each item you use most commonly and find a workable, frugal alternative.
Looking at each of your food groceries one by one, find a simple, cheaper solution that could save you some dollars. Think home-made, or trade with your neighbours, grow it in the garden or exclude it altogether if it's not necessary to your survival.
It's quite amazing how much you can save just in this one area of your life.
More about saving money on groceries
Frugal living tips for the garden
Having a garden all year round allows you to create meals wholly and solely from your own labour. Vegetables, herbs and fruit grown in your own backyard, or on your patio in pots, is a fresh, tasty simple way to save a quite a few dollars.
You can start with a very small vegetable and/or herb garden and add to it as your experience and need grows.
The great thing about frugal gardens is that when a plant goes to seed, you can use the seeds from the previous season's plants to re-plant next time. Choosing seeds only from the healthiest of your plants each season means you'll always have something to eat for free. The longer you grow, the cheaper it gets.
The waste products of the garden can be used to create home-made liquid fertilizer and compost to continue to nurture and strengthen your new food source. Our garden has next to no expenses and we rarely buy seedlings as we have plenty of saved seeds. Free, fresh, plentiful food for our frugal living lifestyle!
The garden and other frugal-living-in-the-kitchen ideas create a reduction in the grocery bill and allows your savings to be diverted elsewhere for the longer term. That adds up quickly when you consider the cost of groceries now.
Swapping own home-grown veges and herbs was a really pleasing way to get to know our lovely neighbour. I've always been a big fan of that old fashioned neighbourly-ness. In the process, both we and our neighbour (who has a modest garden plot, several fruit trees and some chickens) make considerable savings on fruit, vegetables, herbs and eggs.
This way, if worst comes to worst and you lose your job or your business goes bust, you can still eat, no money required. Frugal living at its best.
Get Cheap Clothes Online. And Free too!
Always on the lookout for ways to be frugal, the next to go were buying clothes and shoes for retail.
This is one part of my life where I really had to alter how I think about money. In the past, I've never thought twice about spending $200 on one or two items in an unplanned shopping trip. Not anymore! I have a much better alternative. And more clothes than ever :)
Using frugal living tips with your clothes purchases isn't as bad as you think, girls! You can have many more times as many items for that same $200 and the quality is very high. Second-hand clothes shops are one option and the good ones don't accept junky or damaged clothes. They also ensure that items are clean and presentable before they hit the shelf. You can also get free and cheap clothes online.
There will be a secondhand store in every town and city in the
world so it's easy to thrift shop. You're doing your bit by clothes-cycling, keeping the money in your local community (usually going to a good local charity too) and you're saving your dollars for more worthwhile pursuits.
Still not frugal enough for you? You can get free clothes too!
Frugal Gifts and Cheap Ideas that keep you humming
Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, New Years, Hannukah, Valentines, Children's Day, Anniversaries ... so many gifts to give all year round.
When you're not using frugal living tips, it can cost a fortune to give gifts to the people that you care about and can set you back from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand dollars a year.
Frugal and creative go hand in hand. When you get into the mindset of saving for life (as opposed to getting into financial strife!) it also sets the wheels in motion for new, clever ways to source cheap gift ideas.
Remember when you were a little tyke: you put together fantastic presents for the ones you loved with little more than crayons, glittery glue and some wool you found in the bottom of the linen cupboard?
That was the creative part of you using what resources you had available. No money, no visits to the mall. Just you and your childish creativity.
While you're digging around for your inner child, I've got a few suggestions for frugal gifts and cheap gift ideas.
Frugal Living with Cheap Home Decor
When your budget is stretched it pays to tap into that same personal creativity mentioned above.
For stylish items to decorate your home that express your personality, create cheap home decor from existing items, pieces you can recycle and the myriad of free resources available online.
Frugal Families: A family that saves together, plays together.
While the title may be a touch corny, the sentiment remains true.
Growing up in a household where a focus on money (or the lack of) causes worry, fights and "we-can't-afford-its" is no joy for a child.
Change the focus on money to a family-sized, positive teaching exercise in frugal living and you introduce a fun, all-in-it-together attitude towards money-saving and creativity.
Frugal families whose parents are in sync with how thriftiness works in their own lives teach their children, by example, that simple living is one way to have what they most desire in life by eliminating expenses that they don't need.
As your kids start to follow your lead, they'll begin to view money through your eyes. Make it an adventure and lots of fun and you'll be the best parent ever in their book. Especially when they've grown up and really 'get it', seeing how what you've taught them works in their own life.
If at first they resist your frugal living tips: try, try again! That Nintendo Wii will be all the more valued if they've earnt the money for it themselves and have you cheering them on all the way.