I find that a lot of people feel as though they have to keep up with what their neighbor has or keep up with friends that may not be in the same income bracket. However, all that ends up happening is that they end up broke, in debt, and unhappy. For what? To have a shinier car? A bigger house that is going to go into foreclosure? Call me old fashioned, but I really don't see the point in that.
So here are a few things that you can do to live a simple and frugal lifestyle
1. No Retail (or very little)
I shop at thrift stores, garage sales and craigslist for most things. I love the fact that I am saving money and I love the "thrill of the hunt" and finding that "retro something" that is so cool, that you haven't seen in years, that brings back such great memories.
2. Shop Grocery Outlets
Allow SavvyShopper4U to be one of your stops to be frugal and put money back into your pocket not the big chains. Then you could do something fun with your family like a getaway.
3. Lose the landline
Our cell phone company has a shrinkage plan where after 6 months of on-time payments the bill is lowered in $5 increments until it reaches $35. This service includes unlimited phone, text and internet.
4. Cut cable bill
Cable bills can be insane and we don't watch a lot of television. So see where you can cut that cable package or get a converter and get 12 channels. That is perfect for the person trying to be frugal.
5. Join a vegetable co-op
If you don't have the space for a garden, you can always join a vegetable co-op garden or lots of places are now doing community gardens. This saves you money on “FRESH” produce.
6. Don't eat out
Why spend $40 for a meal you can make at home for $5? My family will order out, but usually only once a month for a treat and when we go out we use coupons.
7. Learn to cook
Make your own food, from scratch. Why buy mac and cheese when you can make your own? We hardly buy any processed food. We cook everything from scratch and love it. A perfect example of one of our home-cooked meals is this delicious Homemade Mac&Cheese. Follow the following recipe and you and your family can enjoy it too!!
1lb CV Cooper Sharp (cut into cubes)
1lb Box Plain Velveeta Cheese (cut into cubes)
2lb San Georgio Elbow Macaroni
½ Gallon Whole Milk
Cook Macaroni 4-5 minutes only
Drain –do not rinse!!!!!!!!
Spray Crock Pot well with Pam
First Layer: macaroni-1/3 of the cheese salt and pepper to taste
Second Layer: macaroni 1/3 of the cheese
Last Layer: macaroni remaining cheese and pouring the milk over mixture.
When you begin to see milk below to layer of noodles-stop pouring
Cook on high 1st hour stirring well
Continue to cook on low until milk is absorbs usually 1-2hours total.
HINTS: If you use other brands of ingredients than those listed the Mac&Cheese may not taste the same. Don’t use jar Velveeta as you want the cubes to take their time melting and jar can become runny. I always make this fresh and it is an A+ hit EVERYTIME!! Good luck and happy eating!
8. Make your own household cleaners
I have been doing this for over a year and I love it. Most household cleaners are made from baking soda or vinegar. Making cleaners and detergents is very easy and so much cheaper than buying from the store.
It really is all about what makes you happy and what you like. We like living simply and doing as much as we can to be as self sufficient as possible. I am constantly learning about new cleaner recipes to make. There is something about having the satisfaction of making your own cleaning products from scratch, not to mention the money you save making them!! So my thinking is...it is a win win situation!
What does frugality and living simply mean to you?