‘The decision to live frugally is a hard one to make, and while it can be quite the challenge at first, once you get in the habits you’ll be amazed how easy it is and how quickly you’ll save money. While many of the frugal tips are a little scary sounding to the newcomer, here are 10 easy things that you can do to help kick start your new frugal lifestyle!
1. Create a budget
The first step in becoming frugal is knowing where all your money is going. The easiest way to do this is to create a budget. You can try one of these budgeting methods to get started, and find something that works for you!
2. Make a meal plan
With each paycheck, sit down and create a meal plan for each day, and write your shopping list at the same time. This way, you’ll already have food at home and be less likely to make a stop at the drive-thru.
3. Shop your kitchen first
Before you go shopping, look through the food you already have. You’ll be amazed how much food you actually have sitting around. Build upon that when you’re making meal plans, or looking for something to eat. This will save you loads on food.
4. Shop less
A simple method for being frugal is simply shopping less often. Every time you go to the store, there’s the risk of spending more money than you intended. So instead of stopping by the store every evening to pick up dinner, shop once a week for everything you need. As a bonus, you’ll enjoy having fewer errands every night!
5. Buy off brand or in bulk
Off-brand products often taste the same, and buying in bulk can save you quite a bit of money as long as you know how to preserve and store the extra food. Remember to look at the top and bottom shelves for cheaper alternatives when at the grocery store.
6. Start packing lunch
I always bring leftovers for lunch. You’d be amazed how much money you’re spending buying lunch each day. Besides, brown-bagging it is actually healthier.
7. Buy secondhand first
Shop the secondhand stores before you go to the main stores to see what you can find. Furniture, clothes, shoes, and sometimes even accessories are not only cheaper at the secondhand stores, but sometimes they’re more unique and often similar quality.
8. Reevaluate your phone, cable, and internet bills
These are three of the easiest bills to save money on. For example, do you actually need cable, or will Netflix really be good enough? Can you lower your internet bills or perhaps switch to a prepaid option? If you’ve financed a phone, then you’ll have to pay that off, but a prepaid phone can really save you tons of money.
9. Declutter your home
I think most of us have things sitting around the house that we just simply don’t use. Go through and declutter, and see if there are any things you can sell including extra electronics or unworn jewelry.
10. Have no-spend weekends
This weekend, try and have some free fun with the family. Have a picnic if it’s nice outside, or do a movie marathon if it isn’t. Start a craft project, conduct a board (or video) game tournament, or simply relax with a cup of cocoa. Being frugal is about quality, not price or quantity, and a full weekend without spending money will help remind everyone of that.