Grocery Savings and a Frugal Lifestyle

Cooking saves you money throughout your life because you are not paying high prices at a restaurant for someone to do the same thing. Besides the obvious money saving, I always find it chancy to eat out. There are so many bad cooks in the world and I have received many terrible tasting plates in front of me. At least I know if I cooked it, everything in it is good and fresh. If you or the person that would do the cooking in your house is not a good cook, there are many ways to improve upon this skill. The internet is full of wonderful videos of chefs making delicious recipies. There are also many places a person can go in their community for cooking lessons. If you know someone who is a good cook, you can ask them to come over and show you what they know. They would likely be flattered, show you how to cook something easy and healthy and it would provide entertainment and comradery. Cooking is something that everyone can do if they want to learn. Learning how to cook any specific meal is actually very easy once you figure out how you best learn things. In any event, buying your own groceries and cooking your own meals saves money. Leftovers from dinner become lunches that can be reheated in an office kitchen. You can buy a lunchbox with a thermos and pre make your lunches while cleaning your kitchen after dinner. You are saving yourself at least $15.00 a day by taking your lunch, drinks and snacks with you. That $15.00 every day adds up to a whopping $75.00 per week that you can be putting into your savings account, vacation account, Christmas Club Savings, emergency fund or your nest egg.
Delicious, fresh vegetables and spices can make several meals throughout a week. Cooking saves you money, can be entertaining and eating freshly made meals is healthier for you.

Buying groceries is a huge area where most people are spending too much money. I used to be one of the people who would just go into the store, fill up my cart as quickly as possible, pay and then rush home. This approach will have you spending too much and wasting half of what you buy. Before you go to any store again, look in all of your cabinets, your pantry, your storage shelves and your fridge. Get rid of anything that is past its date and make a list of everything that you are throwing out so that you can examine it later. Organize while you do this, all canned items together, all items in jars together, dried items (pasta, rice, flour, etc.) together and clean out your freezer(s). Know what is in your house and if it is not likely that you will cook and eat it, get rid of it. Again, making sure to write it down on the list of things you will be looking at later. Looking at the list of things you threw away, will ensure that you do not make the same mistakes again when it comes to food.

Once you know what you have in the house, think about ways to use what is there by looking up recipies online. If you are missing items for the recipies, write those down on a shopping list. You might find that the majority of the fresh items and staples can be used in several recipies throughout a week. Try to get a list together for items you will be cooking for an entire week and think in terms of “three meals per day” and remember to buy some fresh “snacks”.

Once you have your shopping list, check out the local ads for the stores that are directly in the areas where you live or work. You can save money buy figuring out which stores have the best prices on produce, meats, drinks and staples.  I typically shop every few days and I never go without my list. It took me time to figure out which store had the best quality of produce for the money, where to buy quality meats and which store has the largest selection of staples for the kitchen and which store has better house staples, i.e.; toilet paper, paper products, soaps, detergents, shampoos, etc.  I suggest making a trip to one store for everything you need first and later, checking out all of the other stores when you have time and trying out their groceries that are on sale if you need it later. That way, you will have the luxury of time to get informed. Remember, while shopping, to look at the price of what you want to buy, then check and see if there is a store brand for the same item and see if the sale price is cheaper than the store brand. If it is not, try the store brand. Where I live, many store brands items are much cheaper than the normal brands and taste either the same or better.

After you return from the store, put everything away in an organized manner. Have your recipies for the week somewhere handy in the kitchen. Cook! Cooking saves you lots of money. We all have to eat, if you buy microwave items or prepackaged items you are spending more money for things that are less healthy even though they might save you some time. I suggest you cook for yourself (and your family if you have one) try to make sure you have leftovers for your lunch the next day. Take some fresh fruit or carrot sticks for a snack, make sure whatever you take is something you like and take drinks from your home. Either something you make, like tea or coffee or something else you like that you purchased at the store. If you have to buy it from work or somewhere else, it will cost more.

Keep track throughout your week of all of the times you saved money by eating or drinking what you prepared at home instead of going out to eat and I am sure you will be amazed at just how much money you actually saved.  Take the money you saved and put it aside, repeat this entire grocery process every single week and after a month you should start seeing just how much you will be able to put aside with this savings aspect alone.

The grocery/cooking area of our lives are merely a drop in the financial bucket of ideas on how to save money. Other suggestions are to look into selling of some of your things you no longer use or need and at the same time, to make space for a new roommate or to have fewer things to move to your new cheaper home or apartment. People have a habit of holding on to unnecessary things that they might need at some point in the future or that they feel some kind of attachment to. However, cleaning out your space can be a very rewarding experience both in terms of free space and in terms of letting go of unnecessary burdens. You can either sell or donate your things, or do both, and you will end up with some extra cash in your pocket and the knowledge that you did something beneficial on multiple levels. Also, if you are itemizing on your tax returns, your donations can become a dandy writeoff.

When it comes to entertainment and culture, a lot of people think that they will definitely have to give up one aspect of it on their frugal lifestyle – traveling and exploring new places. However, this is not necessarily true. There are two basic ways to do traveling on the cheap – backpacking and cheap RV living. Out of these, RV traveling is probably cheaper, because you can cook and you don’t have to eat out all the time – even fast food prices add up over time. Traveling with an RV is also more comfortable – you always have a roof over your head and a comfortable bed. The monthly expense for cheap RV living can be from $250 to $700 depending upon the size of the RV and your rental contract. This expense becomes really affordable if in the meantime you are renting out your house or apartment to tenants or if you share this fixed cost with a couple of traveling companions.

One of they best ways to save on your food bill is by growing your own produce. You can eat them fresh as they grow every day and save yourself $5.00 or more per week. If you do not have the space to grow anything or do not have a green thumb, you can look for outdoor markets or local farmers in your area. There you can buy in bulk and you should get better prices and quality than you would find in any grocery store. Nearly all produce is seasonal and you can extend the length of your produce by canning and freezing them. Canning and freezing is an art in itself in the area of cooking that can be learned in order to save money long term. I used to have a house in Montana with a large backyard. I turned my backyard into a giant garden. The initial investment in this was nominal, less than $300.00. With that garden I grew, three different types of berry bushes which grew bigger and spread with every year. With a lot of reading I learned what they needed, how to prune them, train them and keep them from growing into the rest of the garden. Every year I got more berries than I could possibly eat fresh. I invested in canning equipment, probably $50.00 there. With that investment, I was able to make syrups, jellies, jams and pie fillings which I was able to use for the rest of the year which saved me hundreds of dollars every year that I would have been spending at the store on the same items.
Fresh Strawberries, delicious any time of the year!

When you are transitioning into a new, more frugal lifestyle, it would probably help you a lot if you joined a community of people who are already doing it! There are a ton of online communities out there that talk about all the aspects of how to live on a budget. Whether you are interested in free cultural and entertainment events, or some easy and healthy recipes, or savings tips regarding banking and insurance, or even how to grow your own food, there are a lot of blogs and forums where people like you are discussing precisely these topics. So if you are looking to start your own

Keeping track of what is in your house and using grocery/houseware list keeps you from buying more than what you need and wasting food. With housewares such as; shampoos, soaps, toiletries, paper products and everything else for the house you really have to have a good overview and those should be kept on a separate list. Buying housewares in bulk and storing them will save you money over the course of time. I try never to run out of everything at once as, that bulk buying bill can be pretty pricey. If you have money put aside for such things it is not a big deal but, if you are already living paycheck to paycheck it could put you in the minus. Check ads for all stores in your area for these things too and buy what you can in bulk when it these items come up at great sale prices. For instance, I like a certain brand named dishwashing tablet does a better job cleaning the dishes than the lesser expensive brands sold in our area. The problem I have with this is, these little tablet thingies are expensive! There are a few times per year when the stores sell giant bags or boxes of them (90 or so in a package) for a fantastic price. I buy at least two packages during these sales to make sure I will have enough to get through to the next sale. The same goes for laundry soap, batteries and many other houseware items. I have a list of things that I keep an eye out for while I am out and about. Let's say, I know we always need batteries, we have a child so in our house those things go fast. We happened to be at an electronics store looking around at the laptops as the old one died. I noticed they had giant packages of good batteries on sale. I picked up two of those packages and now I am set for batteries for the next few months.
Buying only what you need and what you will eat right away saves you money!

garden, but you have no idea where to start, head online and get all the advice you need for free, along with some encouragement and support as well. You might be surprised to find out how many people are talking about ‘how to save money’ tips. Share with them what you’ve learned so far and gather some fresh ideas that would fit into your lifestyle.

Learning how to live frugally can be a very fun and rewarding process if that is your attitude going in. It can inspire you to simplify your life, eliminate waste, and get back in touch with nature. If or when you find yourself in a situation to have to significantly cut back on spending, don’t despair. Remember that you can still enjoy a great quality of life if you adjust your habits accordingly. Hopefully, your takeaway from all of this will be that financial difficulties are bound to occur to most people sooner or later, and certainly it’s not the end of the world. In fact, many people start living frugally not because of financial struggles but because they simply want to increase their efficiency for a more sustainable way of life. So look at this process a learning experience. While you are learning how to live on a budget, joining a community will help make your transition smoother and easier. It always helps to hear the advice of someone who has already gone through what you’re going through. And you will probably end up making new friends along the way.

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How to Prepare Inexpensive, Frugal Meals

You can achieve cheap living much easier than you think. One way to change your habits straight away is to look at your food budget. It may be the case that you could spend half as much and still have enough food to comfortably get by without having any worries about going hungry. One vital aspect of attaining this goal is meal preparation. Many people head to their nearest supermarket without actually planning what they are going to buy beforehand. What is worse, many arrive at the doors on an empty stomach, which is always going to lead to poor choices because you are shopping whilst you are hungry. Before you go to the store sit down a write a list, not of items, but of meals. Once you have your meals, look at where ingredients cross over, meaning you only have to buy them once. Also look at buying them in bulk and cooking them all at once.
Frugal living enables you to eat healthier and more delicious meals!!

Many people who follow us already know the basics of how to live frugally. BudgetPronto is here to show you ways to increase your frugalness and save even more money. Being frugal is a lifestyle. It must extend to every corner of your life, even your meals. That’s why I am going to show you ways to create an inexpensive meal plan.

Bulk. You hear that word everywhere when it comes to creating meals on a budget for large families or even putting together a frugal meal-for-one. Bulk is the framework of cheap cooking. Without buying in bulk, every time that you go to the supermarket, you are just spending money that didn’t need to be spent.

Foods to buy in bulk:

  • Dried beans, pastas, and rice.
  • Snack foods and popcorn
  • Meat and chicken
  • Candy!

When you buy in bulk, you can easily cook cheap dinners for your family. We have posted before about buying in bulk, search around to find more information about that. So now you have your food, and lots of it. Great! It’s time to start cooking. Put on your apron, chef’s hat, and whatever else that you happen to use in the kitchen.

CHEAP AND EASY FRUGAL MEALS

In this post, we are going to cover our favorite top inexpensive meals to make while staying within our budget. With grocery prices ever changing, sometimes it is hard to make elaborate meals. The truth is, any meal (even if it costs less than one dollar) can be great. It all depends who cooks it and just how much love went into the frugal cooking.

3 Frugal Breakfast Ideas

Our first idea for breakfast is Oatmeal with Raisins & Sugar. Oatmeal is one of those cheap food staples that ever person should have in their household. There are a million different ways to cook oatmeal, and we recommend cooking it with some raisins and a spoon of brown sugar.

You may for example buy a large pack of beef mince. From that large pack of mince, you could make several meals with good planning. You could make a Chilli Con Carne, Spaghetti Bolognese, Burritos and Lasagne, all from one purchase (of course there are other ingredients required but you get the picture). That’s five meals all made with the same base ingredients. Once you cook these large meals, you can always freeze the leftovers, creating more meals to eat at a later date. As you can see planning is vital in successful personal financial management. You could take the above food example and apply it to nearly everything. There may be other groceries that you often buy just on a whim, for example Shampoo. You may currently buy a mid-range brand name whenever you think you are close to running out, or whenever there is an offer or discount on that product.
Spend less money by making frugal meals!

A frugally prepared breakfast can still taste great!

Breakfast number two is a nice plate of homemade pancakes with a side of fruit. This is probably one of the most frugal meals, especially if you are willing to go on Craigslist and find free fruit. Seriously! Go to Craigslist and you’ll see that people with citrus trees are willing to give away free fruit. For the pancakes, you can just go on Amazon and get a 10-pound bag of Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix for just under $20. You will be able to make about 135, 4” pancakes with that!

The third breakfast is really simple. It’s just a plain old banana and a bowl of yogurt. Sometimes a plain breakfast is good way to enjoy the simpler side of life. Preparation is fast, that is, if you know how to peel a banana and fill a bowl with yogurt. You can get creative and sprinkle some berries on top of your bowl of yogurt to introduce some variety into this super frugal meal.

Cheap Lunch Ideas

Ah leftovers. This is perhaps one of most frugal of all lunch ideas. You could even have leftovers for breakfast or dinner. In my house, we are only allowed to eat leftovers at lunch because we have a food system that we follow.

Another absolutely spectacular frugal lunch is cheese and crackers with fruit. Crackers are cheap and so is cheese. You can get a pound of cheese and in the right environment; it’ll stay good for a month or more in your fridge.

Is it possible to eat frugal meals every day? Heck yeah it is. All my meals are under $5 and I am living perfectly. I highly encourage you to look more into eating frugally. With the money you save, you can invest in your future or even other personal projects.

Need more inspiration? Here we go

Save Money by Living on a Budget

We will start with the basics of how to live on a budget and it will mostly focus on frugal living in the USA and UK, with tips, tricks and strategies on how to start saving money. However, almost all of the strategies discussed here can be applied in other countries similar to the USA and UK as well. This article will cover the topics of budgeting, savings on food and housing, traveling on a tight budget, and some other tricks for happy frugal living.

When it comes to personal finances, learning how to start saving money is the most impactful thing you can do to change them in the short term. Our finances depend on three major categories – income, savings, and expenses. A monthly budget calculator is a free online tool you can use to track the change in each of these categories over time; hopefully the money management tools that we share will make a difference in your bottom line. Out of these three, savings get accumulated over time and if you don’t already have any, in the short term there is not much you can do about it. Income is a category that you can’t change in the short term either; you can change in the long term, and perhaps even in the medium term, if you look into ways to make some extra money on the side. Still, even finding temporary work is not easy. Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that so many people are realizing the need to learn how to start saving money. The monthly budget calculator can really help you to plan future changes in these categories easily and for free, especially when it comes to expenses and savings.

For instance, when your partner is out grocery shopping and he sees a brand he likes is on offer, but the supermarket’s own brand is much cheaper and that’s what you’ve both agreed to buy. He is more more likely to make the right choice because it contributes towards your saving goal of having enough money in the bank to send the kids to college or to pay for much needed car repairs.

It is up to you how often you budget for. Most people tend to stick with monthly budgets, since they get paid monthly. However, it makes sense to change this to weekly or bi-weekly if that’s how you get paid so you know where every penny is ending up.

Finally, if you haven’t already sit down with your spouse (and if necessary your children) and thrashed out a budget that includes everything from groceries to fuel and energy to snacks. Have a figure sorted out for each expense by the end of discussions with a very small amount budgeted in for wiggle room.

Collate them all together and there you have it, a budget that will help you save money on a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or annual basis. The key to success is sticking to it, no matter what, and that takes discipline that not everybody has.

Cutting down on expenses is the quickest way to change the state of your finances and also introduce a positive change in your life.  You will find more helpful information right here.

Living On a Budget

Living on a budget applies not just to your house and grocery bill. Cheap living is not as hard as people would have you believe, often a few simple choices will help you immensely in staying within your budget. One of these choices is being smarter with your money spending decisions. Often when we take out a contract with either a mobile (cell) phone provider, a broadband internet contract, digital TV provider, or any other service that takes a monthly payment, we forget to switch when the contract expires and often end up paying well over the value of that service. This is especially the case when we are paying for an item that last for a specified period of time. For example, broadband internet companies will often give you their fastest speeds at a really cheap price for the first 12 months you are a customer with them.
Living on a budget is only hard if your planned budget is unrealistic for your situation.

The principle of a budget constraint is one of the first things taught in a beginner’s microeconomics course. This principle stipulates that every consumer is faced with a budget constraint which shows the various combinations of different goods and services that can be purchased with the consumer’s available funds over a period of time. Thus, the rich as well as the poor are all living on a budget but, for some the pot is bigger while for others it’s smaller.

Still, when people say living on a budget, it is usually understood that this implies limited or tight budget. Understanding the trade-offs in a budget constraint is not useful only for beginner economists but, also for everyone else – you can probably see that the aptness in how we handle our budgets is one of the main factors that determines in which category we find ourselves in. This is why it is worth learning how to set up a monthly budget and how to handle savings, expenses, taxes and loans. This is a basic education in personal finances that can be beneficial to anyone who puts time into learning it! So let’s begin with the basics of personal finances and living on a budget.

The basics of learning how to manage your personal finances well, all revolve around creating and following a solid monthly budget. A budget is simply an estimate of how much money you have coming in and to which uses you want to allocate this money. In most cases, you will find that living on a budget is very hard only if you have created an unrealistic budget in the first place. The first step in improving your finances is to simply track your expenses in detail over a couple of months. At the end of each month, use a monthly budgeting tool (many of them are available online for free) to create a monthly budget after the fact. This is done simply for you to become aware of exactly where your money is going, and whether there are any inefficiencies or money leaks that you could eliminate.

Companies who operate on business models like these actually make a loss on you as a customer in that first year. However, they hope to gain back that loss and then a lot more when they auto-renew your contract after 12 months at a much higher price, and often the consumer only notices when it’s too late, and they are stuck paying a high price for another year. They are always hoping you forget to either cancel or look around for a new deal, so if you’ve been with the same provider for a while now, I can guarantee you are paying too much. This isn’t just true of broadband deal this is also the case with insurance companies offering car and home protection. They always set their policies to auto-renew at a price that is above the market rate.
Budgeting in your monthly cellphone or internet contracts in order to get the best deals means you need to keep up with when they run out!

The next step is to start preparing a monthly budget in advance for each month. This will make your spending deliberate rather than impulsive. From the previous step, you will already know what amount to budget for the most fundamental necessities like food, housing and utilities. If you are struggling to afford these things, then you can analyze your monthly budget to determine where it is best to make cutbacks and how big those cutbacks should be. In any case, it is important to remember that from this point on, you are living on a budget that is pre-determined with strategic intent and therefore it is absolutely crucial to stick to it consistently, or you will lose most of the benefits from making a budget in the first place. The most important benefits from having a budget are that you can be realistic with your shopping expectations, you can avoid frivolous spending, and you can begin an emergency fund and put away some savings. You are much more likely to do all of these things while you are living on a specific budget than, if you just have the intent to save in the back of your mind, where you don’t actually make a real commitment to it.

While living on a budget as a single person, a great way to save some money is to dramatically reduce your housing expenses by finding a roommate to share your space with. This instantly reduces your expenses and allows you to put the money to better use. Despite what you might think or any reservations you might have, finding a roommate is always a possibility for many different housing situations – nowadays a lot of people are looking for affordable housing while living on a budget.

Another thing you should look into is your expenditure of food. Here, your budget only tells half of the story – how much you spend on food and what kind of products you tend to buy. This half definitely has a lot of influence on your expenses – if you buy more finished products (like microwave food, or frozen dinner) you will spend more; if you buy more raw ingredients you will usually spend less. If you grow, fish and forage a lot of your food, you will spend even less! The other half of the story is how much of the food that you buy you actually end up eating and how much ends up discarded in the trash. Many people are wasting up to one fifth or more of the food they buy on a monthly basis. It’s usually spoiled cooked food or vegetables and fruits that went bad before they were used. This is precisely the kind of inefficiency that you should eliminate completely when you are living on a budget.

Here you find the ultimate guide on how to live on a budget

Using Budgeting Worksheets in a Frugal Lifestyle

In order to live a frugal lifestyle, you will ideally have some sort of financial plan in the works that is put into action by means of following home budgeting worksheets. In order for this to work, everyone in the home needs to be on the same page and have the same understanding of what the budget sheets do and why it they are being used, to what end, so to speak. You cannot have one or two kids running around the house demanding more money because, they have already spent their weekly allowance mindlessly. A home budget worksheet is just what it says and everyone in the home needs to understand the reasons behind them and abide by the use of them. Sticking to a budgeting worksheet will keep your spending under control and your financial big picture directly where you can see it and keep track of all of your expenditures and savings.
Hashing out a home budgeting worksheet is vital to a frugal lifestyle.

Having a budget and following it consistently can really transform your finances. A budget gives you a clear overview of all expenses, income, savings and investments. Being completely aware of the developments in these categories is enough to inspire some positive change with your money management, but it’s only part of the full effect of budgeting. Setting home budgeting worksheets is just one aspect of obtaining and maintaining a frugal lifestyle. The main effect comes from taking charge of money management in advance of each month or year. However, not all budgets are created equal – from budgeting worksheets to mobile applications and printable templates, each budget type has its advantages and drawbacks. This article will focus on worksheets and how they compare to printable budgets.

Outline of a Home Budgeting Worksheet

Most budgeting worksheets are comprised of four columns and over twenty rows. Each row represents a type of expense or a type of income. Some worksheets classify expenses into categories and present the categories in separate tables for better visibility and more convenience. All worksheets have at least two columns – one for the title denoting the type of expense and one for the budgeted amounts. However, it is most beneficial to include two additional columns that will make things clearer – one for actual amounts and one that shows the difference between the budgeted amount and actual amount. The best thing about such budgeting worksheets is that the ‘difference’ column makes it apparent where you have overspent and where you have underspent, and the total in the bottom row shows the final result. Also, this column is very easy to construct using a simple formula in Excel or Google Docs.

Worksheets make for such good budgeting tools because of the features of Excel and similar programs themselves. For one, every file can be easily stored on the computer, a USB or online. This is useful because then you are able to retrieve old budgets easily and compare how much your spending has changed since this time last year or over the year in general. Conversely, printable budgets can easily get lost or misplaced over time.

Your home budgeting worksheets do not have to be complicated, they just have to be followed and updated regularly. There is no money amount to small to be left out of the calculations and ideally, you should strive to be able to keep track of your money down to the last penny. You can even have small children start their own budgeting worksheets by giving them their allowance (if possible) and making them responsible for filling in their own budgeting sheets with the information of how they used their money. Perhaps your kids would also like to be saving for something special but they don't quite have the idea of how to go about it. A set of budgeting worksheets would help them to learn and gain a real understanding and a respect for you and the money that they have earned.
Save your pennies and add them up each week in your home budgeting worksheets.

Another advantage is that the information in worksheets can be easily changed – copied, pasted, updated, etc. Again, with a printable budget this is not so easy to do. Just filling it in can be problematic. If you use a pencil, it might smudge or fade. If you use a pen, you cannot easily go back and make changes to the paper. In Excel budgeting worksheets, making changes and updates is easy to do, and you are free to save as many changed versions of the same budget as you wish so that if you need to you can go back and see how things changed over the course of a month or a year. With a printed budgeting worksheet, all areas would need to be filled in again with the new changes being made along the way which could be very time consuming and frustrating. If it really helps you to have the budget on paper, displayed where you can see it many times a day, then what you should do is prepare and save it on your laptop, then print out a copy to display on your fridge and then dispose of at the end of the month.

Especially useful for budgeting purposes is the fact that Excel and similar programs make it easy to add, subtract, divide, or multiply numbers in a set pattern. If you are using a printable budget template, or you do the calculations in a notebook, you have to do all the calculations by hand. When you add up over twenty items, as budgeting often requires you to do, it becomes highly likely that you will make a calculation error. This possibility is vastly eliminated when using budgeting worksheets. Most of them come with the formulas already set, so that the calculations are done as soon as you fill in the values for the expenses and income.

Lastly, in Excel and similar programs, it is easy to customize any budget template or even combine different budgeting worksheets into one another to get all the features you want. Once you have the perfect blank budgeting template, you can easily update the worksheet each month, while still keeping last month’s figures saved as well. This feature of budgeting worksheets is more important than it might seem – the level of detail in a budget can help maximize or minimize the benefits from budgeting altogether. Also, these are facts and figures that can be printed out and sent to your tax specialist with the proper receipts at tax time which will save you both time and money.

The best budget worksheet available today

Budgeting worksheets should be detailed enough to provide a clear overview of where your money is going. For example, it makes sense to distinguish grocery shopping from eating out even though they are both food expenses. On the other hand, you shouldn’t go into too much detail and make it too hard to fill in. For example, you don’t have to put expenses on pens, pencils and notebooks as a separate item unless they constitute a significant expense on a regular basis – otherwise, they should be classified as miscellaneous. In general, thirty to forty expense items should provide sufficient detail.

 

Saving Money on Groceries

The produce section of any grocery store is typically one of the most expensive area to be in. Many people waste money on the things they buy because things do not get eaten or cooked before they go bad. The shelf life on any fruit is typically 4 days. If you buy a plastic box of grapes that weighs two pounds and your only eat a handful of them every day, probably half of them are going to be thrown in the trash. What I like to do is to pick all of the grapes off of the vine bunch, put them all in a strainer and wash them very good with water while swishing them around. After that, I will set them aside to drain the water off and later store them in freezer bags. How you do that is up to you. You can, if you have the freezer space, put them all in one giant bag and freeze them. In that way you just open the bag and take out what you need at any given time. In this way you are not wasting money on grapes. This can be done with any kind of produce and you should always look for sale prices on bulk groceries using this freezing idea. Just make sure that you rotate through your frozen items every three months or so being sure to use all of what you have frozen so that nothing goes to waste.
You can save lots of money in the produce section!

Food represents a big fraction of most households’ monthly budgets. When people suddenly find themselves in financial difficulties, the food budget is the first to decrease because they immediately eliminate eating out expenses and start preparing all their meals at home. This, of course, results in considerable savings. But, when you need to start a really frugal living, there is much more you can do to save on food expenses.

Save Money By Smart Grocery Shopping

Saving money on groceries can be a great way to lower your expenses and allocate the money to a better use while at the same time paying more attention to what you eat. So, here are the best tips for saving money on groceries to get you started with a frugal food budget.

First of all, you have think about what combination of ingredients will allow you to have healthy, varied meals on a budget. The best advice here is to choose a few cheap staple foods for most of your satiation and chose a few splurges to add variety, flavor, and nutrition to your menu. Great staple foods are pastas, rice, quinoa, and legumes like beans and lentils, because they are pretty cheap, easy to store and cook, they are filling and they can often be found on discounts. Whenever your budget permits and you come across a great deal on one of these items you should definitely stock up on it. That way you will definitely be saving money on groceries over time. It’s worth noting that most of these foods are really healthy too, especially the quinoa and legumes.

Now let’s focus on the “splurges” and how you can incorporate them in your menus while still saving money on groceries. When it comes to food, herbs, organic vegetables and fruits, good quality meat, and seafood are all considered to be splurges when you look at price to quantity ratios. However, many argue they are well worth the price because of the flavors and health benefits they provide. Herbs like parsley, basil, thyme, mint, chives, oregano and others are a great addition to many meals – for example, a teaspoon of basil can really elevate any plate of pasta. And they have powerful health benefits too. But also they can be really expensive if you buy them from the supermarket.

A good way to keep your food costs low is to make sure not to purchase things that either you or your family will not eat. To make sure that you are saving money on groceries you need to make sure to buy only what you need, make a list, and stock up on things you know you can freeze that, will be eaten by your family at a later date. Keep your menus simple and delicious by finding recipies online that incorporate many of the same or similar staples or even some of the same fresh ingrediants. As an example, I make a really good tomato sauce for Italian dishes. I can use it for making spaghetti, use the leftover sauce for lasagna later and if there is any left, as the sauce for eggplant or chicken parmasean later in the week or put it in the freezer for one of those dishes the next week. That type of sauce could also be used in minestrone soup or a vegetable soup. I generally do not make soups throughout the summer, we do those when it is cold outside. If you like raw vegetables and your kids don't like them unless they are smothered with cheese, you can make yourself a nice salad with some leftover broccolli or cauliflower heads. To save even more money on groceries you can dehydrate, can or pickle the kinds of vegetables you like and eat them as healthy snacks long after the date of purchase.
Grocery Brussels Sprouts Cabbage Sprouts

When it comes to herbs, and even certain fruits and vegetables, the most cost-efficient thing you could do is to grow them yourself. Growing your own herbs, cherry tomatoes, onions, beans and other fruits and vegetables is very cost-efficient because the seeds, containers, and compost all together cost just a few dollars per type of plant. It doesn’t take up a lot of space at all to have a few windowsill containers for herbs and a few larger ones for fruits and vegetables of your choice. A lot of people, both living in houses with backyards and in apartment buildings with no balconies, have already realized the benefits from growing these plants and they are sharing their experience and advice online, so it wouldn’t be hard to learn what you need to know about gardening. And there is no better way to be saving money on groceries than to grow your own organic herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

If you do not have the room to grow your own vegetables and herbs, a good way to get them at a good price would be to find a local farmer’s market or a few local farmers who will let you pick what you need, at a better price than what you would find at the grocery store. Many farmers already have small stands set up directly on their farms for produce that they have picked already and there is also a good chance that they have more than produce available to be purchased.

Here is the best information on how to save money on groceries

Regarding fruits and vegetables, a great way to save money on these ingredients is to buy frozen ones. Frozen peas, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach and vegetable mixes are very easy to prepare and incorporate into most meals. They will add much-needed variety to a plain pot of rice, quinoa, or pasta. And, even though they are not fresh, they still contain a lot of their nutrients. Similarly, canned fish of any kind can be really healthy and nutritious, like canned tuna in water. Frozen vegetables are much cheaper than fresh ones, and canned fish is long-lasting and easy to store so, it is possible (and worth it) to stock up when it’s greatly discounted. Thus, if you really want to be saving money or groceries, you should substitute meat with discounted canned fish and most fresh vegetables and fruits with frozen ones – but you can still use your favorite fresh vegetables and herbs for a really low cost if you grow them in your own garden.

One way my family saves money on groceries is to have lots of freezer space for storage. I have a small chest freezer and two smaller refridgerator/freezer combos. I have lots of fresh veggies and fruits stored in there, meat of all kinds, fish, poultry and quick things for when we are busy and need to save time on cooking. You can buy large amounts of anything that is on sale, put it into useable quantities and freeze it for later. One example is hamburger meat of any kind. I buy the giant packages when it is on sale, take it home and make as many smaller packages as I can for freezing. I typically use it to make Bolognese Sauce and know that I use about 300 grams at a time. Other people might get the same package and make as many meat patties as they can, figure out how many they would need to feed their families on any given night and separate by the number of patties and put them in the freezer.

Fresh meats and produce are not the only thing I freeze to save time and money. As I stated earlier that I use hamburger to make Bolognese Sauce, I make enough sauce for three to four meals. That goes for normal sauce without meat as well which I would use for Lasagna. If I make a batch of Lasagna Sauce, I will make a double batch and freeze whatever I don’t use making the Lasagna. Also, many people set one day aside just to cook things that, they can take with them to work and put it in the freezer. They might spend an entire day cooking large quantities of different foods just for this purpose.

Two examples of something we like to do in this area are mini-burritos and cassaroles. Both of these things are great as time saving meals or snacks later. You can also do this with Quiches, Muffins, Cakes, Waffles, Pancakes…pretty much everything you can think of can be pre-made and frozen in small batches. Not only does it save you lots of time thoughout your week or month, but it also gives you the chance to have a larger variety of foods throughout a week. Any time you cook and have left-overs, put them in the freezer if, you will not be taking them for lunch the next day. I hope this article has given you enough ideas to get you started saving money on groceries!

Save Money by Grocery Shopping on a Budget

grocery shopping on a budget saves you time and money for many reasons. You take with you only the money that you need for what is on your list. That means, you will only buy the items you need because you have only allotted yourself a certain amount of money. Stay firm with your frugal living plans and you will save money.
Grocery shopping on a budget helps you stick to your shopping list.

Whether you want to start living more frugally, pay off debt or save up for a high-ticket item, living on a budget is a great way to achieve your financial goals. Food is one of those expenses that we have on a regular basis, and yet we don’t really think about how much it’s costing us. If you’re trying to cut down on food spending and save some money, then you should probably substitute eating out and fast food with home-cooked, low-cost meals. Doing your grocery shopping on a budget is the best way to lower your expenses even further, so here are some tips and tricks that will help you keep to the budget and make the most of it.

If you’re looking at your expenditure on food and disliking the fact that food expenditure takes up a lot of your monthly budget then imposing a strict restriction on your food expenses can make you more efficient and save you some cash. If you set a predetermined amount to be spent on food each month then you will have a bigger incentive to buy affordable ingredients as well as to make sure that no purchase is made in vain. Both of these activities in combination can lower your food expenditure by one quarter or more. Thus, doing your grocery shopping on a budget can be a great way to save some money.

save money on grocery shopping with frugal living.
Cooking fresh meals increases the quality of frugal living while. you save money on grocery shopping.

Being Creative Shopping for Groceries on a Budget

At the same time, grocery shopping on a frugal living budget will require you to be creative and resourceful if you want to enjoy great taste and food quality at a lower price. Doing the grocery shopping on a budget doesn’t automatically imply that you can only afford to buy cheap ingredients. If your budget is big enough, then of course you can afford more expensive ingredients as well. However, if you want to minimize your expenses on food, the best way is to use a lot of staple ingredients which are low-cost and store well, and then elevate the taste with herbs, frozen vegetables and fruits and more expensive ingredients when they happen to be discounted. Great staple foods include rice, quinoa, legumes, pasta and potatoes as well as frozen and canned fish. This ingredient list is very versatile and allows you to create all kinds of different meals which are tasty, nutritious and inexpensive.

Make sure to get the best prices on seasonal produce by looking at volume prices. Frugal living means only buying what your household needs in order to save money for the things you want to do later.
Your grocery shopping list should include seasonal produce which helps you at the checkout!

The best way to make sure you don’t overspend while you’re doing the grocery shopping on a budget is to shop from a shopping list. The act of already having selected what you really need to buy before you get to the supermarket is going to prevent you from making impulsive purchases and buying food that you won’t eat. You must keep in mind that supermarkets are marketing environments that want to get you to spend as much as possible. Everything from how the products are laid out to the sounds and smells in the supermarket is made to encourage spending by the consumers. The best way to resist the subtle temptations is to stick to your list.

Here’s another tip – when you’re grocery shopping on a budget, one of the easiest ways to get more bang for your buck is to make use of grocery price comparison tools. These tools allow you to enter all the items you need in a virtual shopping basket and then they give you an approximation of how much that basket of goods will cost at various large supermarkets. Not only that, but many tools also show you cheaper alternatives to the products you’ve selected. Even if you’re not willing to downgrade a brand level, these tools can help you buy the exact products you need from the supermarket where the price is lowest.

Save Money by Grocery Shopping on a Budget

Lastly, shopping for fresh ingredients when they are in season is an affordable way to enjoy variety while grocery shopping on a budget. If you buy fruits and vegetables that are out of season then you are also paying a premium that covers the extra shipping costs as well as the convenience of eating food that is out of season. Conversely, fruits and vegetables that are in season sell at a discounted price compared to other fresh produce which allows you to make a variety of low cost meals. This makes them a great addition to a well-balanced, frugal living, low-cost menu.

How to Grow Your Savings – Save Money Tips

Being frugal means that you are using your money wisely, it does not mean you are cheap. It means that you do not take what you have for granted and that you use everything that you have and buy only what you need. Becoming frugal is a great one of the great saving money tips that we can give you. If you rethink all of your mindless spending you will wind up making better decisions which will in turn help you to figure out your own tips to save money. The idea that we are all spending too much on housing is not a new idea and should be looked at very carefully. If you need to live in a certain area for your kids to go to a good school that is one thing that you might be unable to compromise on however, there might also be good schools in an area where the housing is much cheaper. We live in a great town with good schools and happened to find an apartment that was smaller than what we were used to but, still big enough for the three of us and we still have a guest room. We compromised on the bathroom space, meaning we have only one now but, we are only paying half of what we paid before when we lived in the city.
Save money tips and tricks

When it comes to saving money, there are hundreds of little saving money tips out there that show you how to do small changes in your everyday life and save a bit of cash. This article takes a different approach. It will mostly focus on save money tips with a large payoff – tips that have a very large impact on your finances. Thus, it is also natural that implementing these tips won’t happen overnight. Rather, it will take planning and time to put them into action, but once you do it, it will be worth it.

Common Sense Saving Money Tips

One of the most effective saving money tips is to rethink your living space. This is economically beneficial both in the short term and in the long term. Rethinking your living space is about looking into how much space you really need. A lot of people own and/or rent a lot of space which isn’t actually essential, and as we all know space is certainly not a cheap commodity.

Rethinking your living space begins with one step – getting rid of all your clutter (this is one of the best saving money tips in its own right). It means going through everything you own and deciding what to keep, what to donate, and what to sell. You should keep in storage only seasonal clothes and a few other items. If you need a storage unit or a whole room to keep all your extra things, then you are keeping too much. Just from selling some of your things you will get some extra money in your pocket and you could put the earnings into an emergency fund or a savings account. Also, this tip goes both ways – when you need something, always try to look for used first. Without any preconceptions or assumptions, just ask around, ask friends and family and check online. Even with that little effort, you might find exactly what you need for a steeply discounted price.

Moving to a smaller space is a great way to put into practice one of our saving money tips. Smaller spaces do not need as much heat or cooling, use less electricity, less upkeep and probably even less water. Meaning you will spend less to live and have more to save or invest for the long term. This in turn will be a turning point for you into becoming frugal. I now rethink everything I see while I am out shopping. I ask myself is this something that we need? If the answer to that is no, I usually will not buy it, where before I would just purchase the item without giving it a second thought. There are so many people in this world with saving money tips and tricks that it should be easy to find some that you can identify with and use in your own life to help you build a better future. If you implement four saving money tips into your life now, over the course of a year you could have thousands of dollars set aside.
Change your lifestyle so you can build up your nest egg with saving money tips

The second step in rethinking your space is to assess whether it makes sense to move into a smaller house or apartment. If you are facing serious financial difficulties, then the answer will probably be yes. But, even if you are not and you are just implementing these saving money tips to save for retirement or investments, you should still take this question into serious consideration. Moving into a smaller place can save you serious money and it’s worth considering what you could do with the savings. Also, while you are calculating the benefits vs. the costs, also look into renting and owning as housing alternatives. A lot of people think that owning your house/apartment is an investment and clearly the way to go, but that is just a preconception. Whether it is true or not depends on the circumstances i.e. the mortgage rate, insurance cost, rent, etc. of the specific places you are considering.

The second set of saving money tips has to with transportation. A car costs a lot to obtain and to maintain. On top of that, it costs a lot to store – you need a garage and you probably have to pay for parking most places you go. But is it really necessary? With carpooling, public transportation and bicycles, you have three great alternatives to using a car on a daily basis. Public transportation can be a great way to save money, especially if you obtain seasonal or yearly passes which come at a significant discount. Using a bicycle to get around is a great way to be environmentally-friendly, keeps you active, and it’s basically for free.

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You don’t have to pick one of these alternatives – you can find a combination that suits your lifestyle. For example, you could carpool to and from work, use the bicycle for traveling in your leisure time, and use public transportation occasionally as the need arises. Selling your car and making a switch to these transportation alternatives probably won’t be easy at first, but the savings really are considerable. Thus, if you have committed to a frugal lifestyle and taking saving money tips seriously, then you should at least read up on each of these transportation alternatives for the area where you live and see what people have to say about feasibility, practicality and cost-efficiency.

Tips for Living Frugal On a Budget

living frugalOne 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.

frugal living tips

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.

how to live frugallyThe 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!

Here is our ultimate guide on how to live frugally on a budget

How to Live Cheaply With Less Income

Living Cheaply Due to Low Income

Nowadays, a lot of people can find themselves in a challenging financial situation, facing the need to significantly cut back on expenses. It may be due to having no job, having a low-paying job, or having a lot of debt to pay off. On the other hand, there are people who don’t have to cut back on spending, but they do it anyway in order to pay off their debt early and save on interest or save up for a high-ticket adventure.  For those reasons they need to learn how to live cheaply.

This just goes to show that economizing with household expenses and income is an important concern of every prosperous household. And even though economizing doesn’t always mean living on the cheap, sometimes doing exactly that, even on a short term, will be necessary to overcome financial difficulties. Thus, this article will describe the best tips and tricks that will help you living on less and make the most of it.

living on less

When you’re learning how to live with less and make the most of it, the first thing you should do is to start using a monthly budget calculator. That is an online tool which is useful for planning expenses, income, and savings. More importantly, using a budget calculator makes you more aware of your financial situation and you are more likely to take control of it if you are facing your financial obligations each month. It may take time to get used to the idea of making and following a household budget every month, but soon you will see that it’s easier to do than you thought.

Advantages Of Living with Less

A big advantage of using the monthly budget calculator is that it will make it apparent how much you spend on things like food and housing each month. One of the best ways for living with less is to reduce your expenses

frugal living
Living Cheap Has It’s Rewards

on these things. Reduce housing expenses by renting a smaller house, an apartment instead of a house or just rent a room.. Or if you own your apartment, then you should find a roommate. If you are really pressed for cash, you could even look into living with an elderly or handicapped person. In that type of deals the rooms come a lot cheaper if you agree to occasionally do a few things around the house.

Regarding food expenses and how to live cheaply, a lot can be said about buying in bulk and buying most of your food online. This will allow you to buy most of your ingredients at steep discounts. And what kind of food should you be buying? Your budget-friendly shopping list should include frozen vegetables, canned foods, and legumes. All of these are pretty cheap to begin with, they store well over time, and they’re even kind of healthy, especially the lentils and beans!

Furthermore, they are easy to cook, for example in a stir fry, and you can achieve a lot of variety by mixing in different combinations and some herbs. If you have some free time on your hands, it would also really pay off to get a job in the culinary career while you’re in financial difficulty. A lot of people are able to secure one meal of the day for free at the restaurant where they work.

Education Matters when Learning to Live Cheaply

how to live cheaplyWhile you’re learning how to live cheaply, you should also look into improving your financial literacy and understanding of personal finances. It will not only speed up your financial recovery but also prevent you from getting into a similar situation in the future. The two most important things to learn are how to allocate the cash you do have intelligently and how to put together a debt elimination plan.

If you need to learn living on less odds are you are in a lot of debt, but if you don’t have debt, then work on your savings instead. And remember, being frugal is about how to live cheaply and not waste any money, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t allow yourself some fun once in a while! Don’t forget to allocate some funds for fun in your monthly budget – you need to motivate and enjoy yourself for all the hard work you’re doing!

Here is our ultimate guide on how to live with less on a budget