Firstly-don't spend more than you make. Sounds easy but for many this is very hard. If you have to, put that debit card away and live on cash. Yes I said cash. It hurts when you see those twenty dollar bills flying out of the ol wallet, doesn't it? Then go through your bills-is there anything you can eliminate? Do you need that monthly food subscription or makeup subscription or oh well you know what I mean. Can you cut back on your cable package or perhaps cut it out entirely? Now to be honest we have cable but we aren't living above our means, we can afford it. I daresay that your food bill will be the one line item that you can really attack. Stop going out to eat, start bringing your lunch to work. Become that closet FoodNetwork chef you've always aspired to be. Compare prices at your local grocery stores. You may be surprised to see that your favorite grocery store is not the cheapest. If you have an Aldi or Lidl try them, you may like them. They do not take coupons and they are totally different from your usual grocery stores but we've grown to love Aldi. When you do shop, try purchasing the bulk of your items along the perimeter. That's where you find the produce and meats and dairy and less of the prepackaged foods. This is not only cheaper but also much healthier. Don't always assume that bulk is cheaper than smaller sizes. Compare prices and ounces or pounds. Buy basics when on sale. This time of year is great for baking products. If you have the space and money and time stock up to last you at least a few months. Make a list of what you need. Don't wing it. Trust me, I wing it alot and it is so not worth it. I, myself, am slowing learning this trick. If you can stock up, keep up with what you have so it doesn't go to waste. It's not a good deal if it spoils and you to throw it away. Am I right about this? And mostly have fun to see what you can do with a smaller food budget while eating tasty foods. There are so many websites out there that you can put in what you have and it pops up all kinds of recipes.
Try cheaper cleaning and personal care products. Vinegar can be your best friend. And no your home won't smell like a salad bar when you are finished. If you are an essential oil lover just put a few drops in your vinegar and water. Voila! Some bloggers out there like Rhonda Hetzel, an amazing blogger from either Australia or New Zealand (I can never remember) makes alot of her own products. Her blog is called down to earth. For me, I find products that don't make my allergies act up and stick with them. Witch hazel can replace a more expensive facial toner. If you are a true devotee of Bath and Body Works shower gels then please stay with them but...........buy when they have their semi annual sales and simply stock up. It may seem ridiculous to have a closet full of body wash but it will pay off in the end. Why pay $10 or more for a bottle when you can get them for $3? Just budget for it and have the cash ready to go when the sale hits.
Speaking of budgeting, here are some ideas that may be helpful. If you have a car you know you will have to pay the taxes for it once a year. Divide that amount by 12 and save it. You can do this with all kinds of categories. Christmas? Hmm it's always in December, it should never come as a surprise and for sure it's not an emergency so put away that credit card, Save some money each month and you will have the money you need when it rolls around. Do the same for vacation, birthdays etc. You get the idea. Really there are few true emergencies. Medical yes by all means! Your kid's birthdays? Nope! Your car blows up? Yes and no. At the time it happens yep it is an emergency because you didn't think it was going to happen but no because you've been putting a designated amount aside each month for emergency. This is called an emergency fund. Murphy happens folks. Always be aware of this. Every little bit you can shave off of your regular monthly expenses can be put into this emergency fund. $25.00 doesn't sound like much, but if you start small, this will eventually get easier and your budget will develop more wiggle room and then you can increase your saving.
If you have benefits with your job like insurance, take advantage of them. We have dental insurance so we go twice a year for cleanings. If you don't have insurance ask your dentist if they will accept a smaller payment if made in cash. Maintaining tooth health now will pay off down the road.
These are just a few suggestions to help you on your way in this thing called life. There is no perfect frugal way. We all have to mold our frugalness around our lives and needs.
|The soap is on a soap catcher. This keeps your soap out of water so it won't disentegrate and get mushy. Notice the smaller pieces on top. Mashed an old bar on top. Easy peasy. Suave and Herbal Essences are really affordable products.|
|This is my hair on Suave. I think it looks pretty good. Tell me truthfully. Can you tell I don't us a $30 bottle of shampoo?|
|Cut open those tubes! Look at how much toothpaste is left even when you think you've used it all!|