The way things are in the world today most people have no choice but to cut down on costs and become more frugal or money conscious. Some people think of frugal people as being poor or cheap. I beg to differ.
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?
How to stay motivated when being frugal
Today, I have an awesome post from Natalie at Debt and the Girl. Enjoy!
I have to say that ever since I started this journey to rid myself of debt, it has sometimes been a struggle to stay motivated. We all have experienced burnout when we put our all into something and its only natural.
No matter how much determination you have for something, it is normal to lose motivation especially when it is one of the things you think about most of all.
Blogging in the PF community has been an immense help in staying determined with this, but what else can you do to stay motivated?
One of the things that have always been the downfall of many is hanging out with those who have different priorities. The same can be said when you are trying to save money. If you have many friends that are looser with their finances, then you may be tempted to spend to keep up as well.
For example, I have a friend who treats money like water. By that I mean, she thinks it will never run out. Some of her crazier purchases include a $200 sun tent that she only used once and several expensive handbags that are collecting dust on the shelf. Her parents have always helped her out with money and so she has never really learned to deal with it.
I love her to death but I have had to tell her that I can’t always go to the fancier restaurants because I am trying to pay off debt. Luckily, she understands and we are still able to have cheaper outings on the cheap.
I also try to read as much as I can about what others are doing to save money. This is not solely reserved to reading PF blogs. One of my favorite things to do is read economic articles on MSN Money or Yahoo and read up about how others budget and live.
I have even found valuable advice on sites like Pinterest that have all kinds of ideas on saving money such as making your own laundry detergent or making your own face masks. There have also been many articles lately ton the internet hat center on everyday people paying off enormous amounts of debt through hard work and determination. I like to read those to further re-motivate myself to keep doing what I am doing.
Probably my biggest motivator is the thought of being financially independent.
The idea that I can one day achieve my dream of being secure and be comfortable in life no matter what is what gives me the energy to keep going. I know that I can realize my wishes by working hard and being self-disciplined.
For all my efforts, I do try and do fun things for myself as well so that I don’t completely run myself down. It is important to have little splurges in life so that you can enjoy things and not hate everything in life J
Staying motivated can be tough but its important to keep yourself going:
· Hang out with people who share your goals if possible.
· Read as much as you can for knowledge and inspiration.
· Don’t forget why you started being frugal in the first place and know that there is no greater feeling than being financially sound even when everyone else is spending up a storm.
· Know that what you are doing is for the best in the long run and remember to do fun things for yourself to keep things interesting.
The path to financial independence is long but it is so worth it in the end. I can’t wait till that day is here.
Natalie is writer, instructor, marketer and a full time debt destroyer at her PF blog.
(*This content comes from the website “debtandthegirl.com”.)
How grocery items make their way to discounters.
Most grocery store chains move their food purchases from suppliers to their own distribution centers and then to their retail stores. Throughout this process, there are many different points where companies make purchasing and inventory control decisions in order to ensure they are minimizing their inventory and shipping costs, stocking only the most popular brands, and selling through their inventory ahead of “best use by” dates.
Given all the guesswork involved in the process, it’s no surprise that these major grocery stores occasionally realize they bought more units of a certain product than they probably should have—whether it was too many boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes or Nutella.
Other times, items become overstock because they go out-of-season, they get damaged at the warehouse, or the supplier re-designs the packaging and re-brands the goods.
However it happens, these extras become a wasted cost for the retailer and this cost must be offset by higher prices on the products we shoppers actually buy.
This is a problem for the grocery store and the consumer, right?
Right! And this is where grocery remarketers come in. These outlets offer to buy the excess or sometimes lightly damaged inventory from the big grocery stores and suppliers at rock-bottom prices.
The sellers love the deal because the remarketers enable them to get rid of excess inventory, thereby reducing their losses. The remarketers love the deal because they can then sell the cheaply bought excess inventory to shoppers like us for extremely low prices and still make a profit!
That’s a win-win-win.