Congratulations! You’re taking your first steps towards getting your finances in order by making a conscious choice to live frugally! It may seem overwhelming, but there are many quick changes that you can make your lifestyle it will help you start to live frugally life and see big changes to your bank account immediately. These 10 money saving tips will help all of you who are just starting to live frugally.
10 Money Saving Tips for the Newly Frugal
1. Start packing your lunch rather than buying it.
Lunch and snacks are a no-brainer. It is very easy to simply pre-make lunch or pack leftovers from the night before and avoid a fast through drive-through altogether.
2. Forget about brand loyalty, shop sales.
Do you really love a specific type of cereal? That’s great! Make sure you grab it when it’s on sale and get plenty of boxes. If not, when you run out consider if paying full price for that cereal is a better than trying something else that is on sale. Personally, I’ll take the stress of not being in debt over not liking one brand as much as another brand. We all have things that we prefer. The luxury of product preference is really a splurge that should only be made by people who are not spending someone else’s money (aka are debt free).
3. Make a meal plan for the week and stick to it. No more last-minute shopping.
Have you ever heard the saying that nothing is worse than going to do your grocery shopping while hungry? It is very true! You always end up with more in your basket then what you came in for. The same is true of when you drop by the grocery store for last-minute ingredients to make meals that you haven’t thoroughly thought through. You always end up with extras. Not to mention the extra time and stress that goes into last-minute meal planning. Try out planning your meals for just one week in advance and see how much better it feels. Maybe try making Sunday meal prep part of your routine. You may find that it’s one of those habits that can be addictive (and save you money!).
4. Reevaluate your cable bill.
There are so many options when it comes to cable. It is not just the one general package that you can get anymore. Do your research. There are lots of options on what your package can and cannot include. What do you actually use and how much is it worth? If you do not use your cable that often, you might want to look into options outside of your cable network like Apple TV, Roku, Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV ect.. Figure out what your priorities are and how much your entertainment is costing you. If you’re only watching 10 hours of television a week (40 hours a month) and you cable bill is $100 a month you are paying about $2.50 an hour to watch a show. Weigh the pros and cons and decide what is right for you rather than blindly paying for a package with options you don’t use.
5. Reevaluate your cell phone provider
Just like with cable, not all plans are cookie-cutter. There are many options and you should choose which right for you. When it comes to cell phones you also need to consider the cost of your actual device and replacement cost if damaged. In our household, we opted to choose a plan that included unlimited Internet access because we chose a cable bundle that did not include Internet. That may not work for everyone, but it is a good example of how you need to evaluate your needs and choose a plan accordingly. Also, if you live in an area with spotty cell phone service, you might want to consider a cable bundle that includes a household landline. In case of emergency not having a landline could be catastrophic. Again, there are great bundles out there that could include a landline if you ask.
6. No more Starbucks!
Get a nice reusable cup and brew your coffee at home. Splurge on a little cafe area of your kitchen. Nice creamers, exotic blends, adorable cups… Still less than daily a Starbucks run.
7. Make one night a week breakfast dinner night, leftovers, or meatless
When planning your meals out for the week, maybe factor in making a little bit extra some nights to use for lunch the following day or to have a leftover dinner one night with lots of different leftovers from other evenings. Meatless Mondays are really fun idea to try to make new things and step out of your comfort zone a little bit. It will also save you money because meet tends to be the most expensive part of the meal. A favorite dinner night in our household is to have breakfast dinner (bringer!) night. Pancakes with different mix-in options, make-your-own omelettes, and breakfast casseroles are always winners!
8. Try to cut out soda.
This one seems like a no-brainer. Especially when it comes to health. Obviously water will always be the healthier choice. But when you’re talking money, it makes a lot more sense to use a reusable cup and to fill it often with something that cost less money. I often see sales on great mix in drinks as well. Things like Crystal Light, iced tea, and lemonade are good options if you want something with flavor that cost less than soda. Juice is another great option. If it is caffeine that you are looking for, there are many wonderful flavored iced coffees and teas out there.
9. Shop sales first. Even better, buy something used before it’s on sale new.
There so many examples of buying things on sale in advance to help save yourself money. One of my favorite tips is to purchase holiday clearance items the year before when they are on extreme clearance. Why not buy Christmas cards when they are 90% off at target for next year? Not only does it put you ahead for next year’s mailing, he will save a ton of money! Same goes with almost every major holiday. The week after it’s over everything is on clearance. Invest in some giant Tupperware bins and sort them by holiday. That way when that time of year rolls around, all you have to do is put down and see what you have already! When it comes to buying something used, there are many categories in which is not always the best idea. A new car will depreciate in value the moment you drive it off of a lot. Find a good mechanic and you can save yourself a ton of money in the long run by buying used. There are also many examples of buying something previously owned in making it work for your family. Sometimes it is better to buy something used at a cheaper price and save up for more quality new item in the future.
10. Declutter your home.
There’s a good chance that at some point you have gone out and paid money for something that you already had your house because you either couldn’t find it or didn’t remember that you had it. Decluttering your home is a good way to know what resources you’re working with so that you don’t make that mistake twice. Also, you may find plenty of things that you don’t use anymore they could be resold in a buy, sell, trade group online or through craigslist, eBay, or Amazon.
Read part 1 of Angie’s Living on $30,000 Best Frugal Tips on Thriving and (not just surviving) on $30,000 a year!
Part 2 – Basic Home Budgeting
Part 4 – How to Not Spend Money
Part 6 – Money Management Skill
Part 7 – Why Couples Should Talk About Money?
For more Best Frugal Tips, read these: