The following is a guest post by Stephanie Lynch.
Whether you plan on starting the frugal lifestyle or maybe you’ve been frugal for quite some time now, you have to realize that there are always things that you can learn to make your life a lot cheaper.
If you want to save as much money as possible, regardless of how many people that live in your household, here are nine frugal tips that most frugal pros swear by:
#1 Learn How to Cook
Eating out and buying worthless ingredients can pile up quickly. Learning how to cook efficiently is going to take time; however, if you learn even the basics, you will be amazed at how much you can save. Learn how to creatively cook leftovers, use spices with cheap meals and figure out ways to cook efficiently.
Even if you don’t know how to cook, there are so many great recipe databases on the Internet that can give you step by step instructions.
Here are some cheap ingredients that go great with a lot of meals:
- Flank Steak
#2 Grow Your Food
This tip goes along with number one. If you haven’t started a garden, it’s time to do so. This is an awesome way to pass the time and save a ton of money on your grocery bill. Like cooking, maintaining a garden is going to be a skill you’ll have to learn over time as well.
Try to think about the food that you love to eat. If you’re lucky enough to live in a warmer climate, consider growing tropical fruits as well. The more you can grow, the more you can save.
#3 Learn Basic Repairs
Think of the last time you had to repair something in the home. There’s probably a good chance that the repair was rather simple, right? Instead of calling a professional every time a faucet is leaking, try to refer to the Internet before calling in the pros. You would be amazed at how many things you can do on your own with the help of how-to guides and videos. Remember, it’s always best to try to fix that problem, and even if you can’t, this is when you can pick up the phone and make that dreaded call.
#4 Ask This Question
Here’s a question that you need to ask yourself every time you plan on purchasing something you don’t really need: Would I rather have the cash or the item? So for example, let’s say that you want that cool Playstation 4 coming out. This purchase is going to set you back at least $500 once you buy the games, controllers, etc.
Now, if someone came up to you and asked, “Would you rather have $500 or the Playstation?” — How would you answer this? If you said the $500 — well — you probably shouldn’t buy that new Playstation.
Another tip: When making a large purchase, sit on it for two weeks. If you still want it two weeks later, then you should probably go ahead and buy it — of course, if you can afford it.
#5 Stick to Water
Like food, you’re going to need fluids throughout the day to survive. Soda, juice and other drinks will cost you a fortune over time. While this sounds rather boring, try to stick with water as much as you can. If you’re not a big fan of water, consider adding a slice of lemon or lime.
#6 Don’t Borrow Money, Unless…
If you can’t make a profit on it, don’t borrow money. This means credit cards and payday loans. However, since you can probably make a profit on your home and college education, then it will be okay to borrow the money. The next time you need to borrow money, be sure to ask yourself that question.
#7 Look for Cheaper Options
Buying new for most things doesn’t make sense most of the time. For example, if you need a new couch, there could be a great chance that there is a slightly-used version on Craigslist or your local classified ad, at a fraction of the cost. Before you buy anything new, always explore the used market to save hundreds, if not thousands.
#8 Clothes Rule
When buying clothes, take the amount and see if it will you will wear it that many times. So for instance, let’s say that you wanted to buy a $35 pair of jeans. You would want to ask yourself, “Will I wear this 35 times?” If you say yes, then it’s a great deal. If you’re contemplating, it’s probably best to skip.
If you smoke, it’s best to quit… now! You’re spending thousands of dollars every month, and this doesn’t even include the future health bills.
More Frugal Tips to Live By :
- Don’t grocery shop while hungry.
- Look at your bank statement every month. Analyze every purchase and make sure it makes sense.
- You don’t need cable. Consider options like Roku. If you really want shows, Netflix for less than $10 will do.
- Vinegar is an awesome cleaner.
- Make things from scratch.
- Visit a thrift store.
- Google and the library are your good friends.
- Set a budget.
- Drink at home — not the bar.
- Always pay yourself first.
- Live below your means.
About the author: Stephanie Lynch is from the website, How Much Is It? which features more than 4,000 cost- helping guides. If you ever need to know the cost of something in life, keep her resource in mind.