One of the best ways to boost your savings or quickly pay off a significant amount of debt is to adopt, permanently or temporarily, a frugal lifestyle. A frugal lifestyle entails eliminating waste from your life, increasing efficiency, and finding better ways to do everyday things. A lot of the aspects of living frugal can often seem weird or too difficult to do, simply because people have become accustomed to relying on external parties for all sorts of goods and services. But the more you commit to a frugal lifestyle, the bigger the benefits will be. If you are willing to learn how to do things in a new, more efficient way, you will be able to whip your finances into better shape in no time. This article will focus in particular on frugal living and household expenses, such as food and home cleaning. Here are some strategies to get you started.
Frugal Living Tips and Tricks
Food takes up a lot of most households’ budgets. If you factor in the cost of all the food you buy and make at home, of the food and drinks you have at your workplace, of your morning coffee, brunch, dining out, and going out for drinks, it all adds up to quite a sum. Thus, food expenditure is definitely one of those things that you can be really frugal with, if you only take the time. If you are really serious about frugal living, then the first thing you should do is to minimize eating out from convenience and eat out only for special occasions or when the food/drinks offered are unique and cannot be prepared at home.
Eating out for the sake of convenience is when you buy your morning coffee on your way to work instead of preparing one from home, or when you have lunch from the restaurant near your office instead of bringing something homemade. Such expenses really do pile on quickly, since they are pretty much happening on a daily basis. Eating out in such cases is against the tenets of frugal living because it entails lack of preparation and loss in efficiency. Calculate right now how much it would cost to make a great cup of coffee at home and compare that to how much you’re paying for it outside. Even if the difference is only in cents/pennies, and probably it’s more than that, it becomes significant enough over time. So find an acceptable way to bring food and beverages from home and stick with it. After all, how hard can it be to find a decent inexpensive food container and a nice-looking water bottle that can easily be filled with anything?
Now turn your focus to eating in – what kind of ingredients you use and where and how you obtain them. Incorporating canned foods, frozen vegetables, and pastas and grains is a great way to keep food expenses low. One of the previously mentioned ‘too hard to do’ aspects of frugal living is to grow your own food! Now, this is something most people would instantly reject as too difficult or not worth it, but they’d be wrong on both counts. Starting a home garden is really easy nowadays with so many instructional videos and articles available online. You can do it indoors and outdoors, wherever you can spare some space. And the savings can be quite significant since you can easily grow small plants and kinds of herbs. Fresh, organic vegetables and most types of herbs are usually quite expensive in terms of price vs. satiation and quantity. But, this aspect of frugal living will enrich you in more ways than one – it will also allow you to have variety in your meals for a low cost, you will benefit from the therapeutic effect of gardening, and you feel proud to be a little more self-sufficient.
The last couple of frugal living tips are regarding the topic of household cleaning. When it comes to keeping your home clean on a budget, you can save a lot on cleaning agents for the laundry and for general cleaning purposes. A great way to save a ton of money on household cleaning is to start making your own laundry detergent. Yes, that’s a thing. It’s incredibly easy and cheap to make at home. You could save about 25 cents per wash so the more people are in your household, the more this is worth doing. When it comes to cleaning in general, it’s even easier. All you need to clean your counters, your stove, your shower, floors and even toilet, is a simple mix of vinegar and water. This mix is a real all-purpose cleaner, which is gentle enough to use on almost all surfaces, excluding textiles. Once you see how much you are saving by just using these two strategies, you will wonder why you didn’t start your frugal living earlier!