Simple money saving ideas and frugal living tips for your house and garden so that you can live frugal. Times are tough and in order to survive these days one has to look at ways on saving money where one can. Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.
These money saving ideas will hopefully help you run a more efficient household, and minimize on unnecessary waste. My mum always used to say, "Waste not, want not", and I think with the way the economy is going at the moment, this is as true today as it was in the past learning how to budget and living frugal is very important, especially in today's economic climate.
By following these frugal living tips you will need to change your lifestyle, because if you don't change how you live, you won't save any money. We really need to learn how to budget and where to save money. It really isn't that difficult, but you need to know the difference between frugal living and being a 'cheapskate', and a miser.
That is not what I want to propose, because at the end of the day we need to enjoy life too. What we can do, however, is to be careful with money and resources and learn how not to waste. We are a consumer driven society and puppets of the advertising corporations telling us what we should be buying next. In order to get the most out of these frugal living tips one has to look at what one wants and what one needs, and to know the difference. In the end it becomes fun and challenging to see how clever you are at frugal living and creative in saving money. So here are some frugal tips for you:
Money savings ideas can come with
growing your own plants from seeds, which is a lot of fun, and very
much cheaper than buying instant plants and vegetables for your garden.
Growing these, especially herbs and cress in a decorative container can
be a lovely cheap gift for friends and family.
sprouts is a great past time for children and as
they have grown them, they will be more eager to eat them in their
salads and sandwiches. And you don't always have to buy seed from seed
suppliers. The next time you have a great tasting tomatoes take one and
dry it out and save the seed. Save seeds from rock melons, papayas,
green peppers etc. and plant them out when the season it right. As long
as they are kept in an air-tight container they will be fine.
Growing your own therefore also refers to growing your own vegetables. Save some pennies too by looking at what you can do with your vegetables once you have grown them. For example, don't let the excess vegetables go to waste.
Do some home canning, or even drink your vegetables through juicing vegetables. You can be totally self-sufficient on an acre of ground. And if you live in an apartment, grow vegetables and herbs on your windowsill, or create a container garden.
If you have a rooftop, create a container garden there. If you live in the UK owning an allotment of about 150 - 200 sq is a way of life for many, and allotments are cheap enough to secure from the council and the land will allow you to grow your vegetables, fruit and herbs on ground that you didn't have before. By growing your own, suddenly frugal living also becomes a healthier alternative lifestyle. You will eat better and get more exercise!
What about a natural herbicide and pesticide, that costs next to nothing? Do you have a rabbit problem, or too many slugs and snails eating your lettuce? Or are you being invaded by ants? Or perhaps you have grass growing in between those pavers and your really don't want to use Roundup or something similar.
Well have you thought about using vinegar? Using vinegar is a great frugal tip as you will be amazed just how many uses it has, and we all know how cheap it is, therefore a far cheaper method to use, and eco-friendly too.
Saving money starts in the kitchen and when you go shopping. Therefore money saving ideas here is to buy in bulk where you can, and make sure that when you get home you divide this bulk buying into smaller packages and make sure that you have proper storage. Buying bulk meat for example is great if you have a big chest deep-freeze.
Buying a whole lamb at your butchers and a hind-quarter may be expensive when you first buy it, but it will be a lot cheaper for you in the long run. If your butcher is any good, not only will he cut it and pack it according to the numbers of family members for portions, but he will also label it for you too, so that you don't end up with 'mystery meat'. However, too much red is not good for you, so your meat meals should be interchanged with fish, chicken and a meatless dish once a week. In that way, your meat will last longer and your health will be better for it.
As a working mum myself, I know that it
is a struggle to find things to feed the family. But do a reality check
the next time you shop. Are you buying TV dinners and pre-cooked meals
or do you make your own
Do you buy packets of biscuits or
do you make your own? Do you buy shredded vegetables and pre-made up
salads? Buying convenience food like this, all comes with a price.
If you are serious about frugal living and looking for saving money ideas, here's another; make your own meals, biscuits and buy a cheap food processor to slice and dice those onions etc. I am a lazy cook, and if you have a look at my recipes, you will find a lot of quick and easy recipes for all occasions that you will knock up in a jiffy.
And it not just the pre-prepared meals
but what you are throwing in your trolley that you should be looking
at. How many bags of crisps, fizzy drinks, chocolates, sweets and other
rubbish is going into the trolley that will send any child who is
borderline ADDH totally off into swinging from the light
bulbs and hanging from the fans. The diet that you have your children
on affects them, and buy buying loads of fruit and vegetables and
staying away from foods packed with preservatives, tartrazine and other
horrible beasties will not only be cheaper on the pocket, but you will
notice a considerable improvement in your children's behavior if they
do suffer from ADDH.
So avoid impulsive shopping, buy only what you need, creating a list is good for this if you find you are undisciplined, and check and compare brand prices. Normally shop fitters place the more expensive grocery brands at eye-level. The cheaper brands are on the lower shelves. Look there first.
Farmer's Markets and Farm Shops are great places to visit for your cheap fruit and vegetables for the budget. You know that you will be getting quality produce at a fraction of the cost and because its fresh it will last longer in your fridge if it is stored correctly. Farmers' Markets are also places to ferret around for those little arts and crafts, jams and preserves that make cheap but attractive gifts for later on.
This brings me to another related issue, eating out and money saving ideas here. It's fun to eat out, and we all love doing it, but how much money are you throwing away? Going out to clubs, bars, restaurants and take-aways on a regular basis all costs money. Frugal living doesn't have space for excessive eating out. You should limit these outings to once a month. By doing this, not only will you save, but you will actually appreciate times you do go out more, rather than taking them for granted.
And why eat out when you can have picnics? There is nothing better for the kids and family as to pack a picnic basket and to head to the countryside or the beach for a picnic lunch. It is one of those family outings that costs little, but ends up being a lot of fun for everyone.
Just because you are trying to save money, doesn't mean that you can't go on holiday. However, going on holiday will be expensive if you go to hotels, resorts, inns or even small country hotels. However, depending on your budget there are two options open to you, the first one is choosing some form of farm accommodation, and if you look through our various country pages, you will see our listings. However, another option is to go tent camping.
If you don't know if you will like camping, rather borrow the camping equipment you will need from friends and family. You can always buy what you need slowly, when things appear on sales at a later stage.
Homemade Dog Food. Find recipes for homemade dog food and homemade dog biscuits.
So, I'm back to vinegar again, and before you think I have a total fixation, I haven't but really it is a great little substitute as a cheap cleaning product and a must-have if you want to be frugal because it has so many good uses. Half a cup of vinegar added to your soapy dishwater will cut through the greasy pots and dishes, saving you on the amount of soap you would have needed. 2 teaspoons of vinegar added to your dish-washing cycle, instead of Rinse Aid and the like, will do the job just as well.
Looking to clean
those mirrors and
windows in your house? Mix one half teaspoon of liquid
tablespoons of vinegar and 2 cups of water. Keep in a spray container
and start cleaning those windows! And by the way, you don't need
expensive cleaning cloths for cleaning windows and mirrors. Scrunch up
some newspaper and use that, it gives a far better result.
Finally if you have a clogged drain, take a quarter of a cup of baking soda and pour it into your drain. Follow that up with a half cup of vinegar. Let it fizz and then follow through with boiling water. It should do the trick but if the problem still persists it's time to contact a professional to clear the blocked drain.
Why spend a lot of money on lotions and potions, when you can make them at home for a fraction of the price? For those of you who want to make your own cosmetics see our page on Homemade Cosmetics. Not only do we give you step-by-step instructions, but we also give you a number of recipes to use.
We all know how expensive Xmas time is
and those family birthdays can be a killer. Commercial cards are
exorbitant and at the end of the day will probably end up in the bin.
Have you thought about making
own cards? For a fraction of the price you
can download free software that allows you to create your own card that
can be personalized for the occasion. And will be far more meaningful.
Secondly, if you are good with your hands, create a card using dried grasses and pressed flowers glued onto card. Thirdly, if you like creating cross-stitch pictures, make a small sampler, paste it into a card border and write your message in your card. I have had several of these given to me, and have ended up framed and on display, rather than in the bin, where the commercial card would have gone.
So if you have made the card, what about homemade gifts? You don't have to be artistic to do something clever. Put a basket together of goodies and ring the changes. You could create a basket of bubble soap, candles, lotions and potions, or a themed basket for an Italian or Mexican meal. If you are a good baker and cook people appreciate homemade biscuits and cakes, jams, pickles, preserves and candy because it tells people that you care.
At Xmas time you can spend a little more putting a couple of luxury food items in a gift basket, but still end up spending a lot less than you would have done. Cover the basket with cellophane and top it off with either raffia string or a bow. Those sorts of things you can find very cheaply at those $2 shops.
Final money saving ideas here is to buy some graphic paper and using your favorite family photos make a personalized calendar for family members who perhaps don't see you as often as they should. You can put all the birthdays down and other special events for your calendar.
I have to confess that I love my books and tend to spend more money than I should. However, I have an excuse in that where I live there is no public library. However, if you have access to a library and you love spending money on books, magazines and CDs join your local library and visit it once a week to read your book and magazines without having to pay for them. If you have a lot of novels and books at home that you haven't read if a while, and probably aren't likely too either, find a book-exchange shop and either sell your books to them or exchange your books for others.
More money is wasted in households on gambling then any other thing. Gambling only leaves the bookies rich and the Casino bosses gloating. These are the only true winners. Frugal living and gambling are not good friends. Yes, occasionally you may get lucky, but how much have you spent to get there? It is only a million-to-one chance that you will strike it big. As a gambler you would know that the odds are really too high. Take that money and rather invest it in land and property which will always appreciate, especially between 5 - 10 years when you should see your investment either double or triple in value over that time period.
Learning how to budget means that you have to live within your means, and that doesn't mean that when you have blown your budget for the month you bring out the credit card. If you have a credit card, cut it up. You don't need it. Start with what you earn and do the math.
How much are you spending and where can your economize? You will always find ways of spending less if you are driven and committed to do so. Yes, there is always the unexpected expenses, and that is where so many people fall foul, because they don't anticipate these. They are so stretched financially every month, basically because they are living above their means, that when an unexpected expense occurs, the only way out is to bring out the credit card. This is a sure slide into financial hell.
When you have your salary the ratio for spending your salary on housing should ideally be a quarter, and definitely no more than a third. If you are spending more than that, you are already way over your head. Start modest and live comfortably. Life is stressful enough without having to worry about finances as well. If you have read these frugal living tips and take some on board, your finances should see a difference. Remember, if you are serious about frugal living, if you look after the pennies, the pounds will take care of themselves.
And finally, to all our readers out there, I am sure that you have lots of other money saving ideas. So please pass them along, so that they can be included on this page. You can send us an email through the contact us page. We would love to hear from you!
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