Easy Ways to Be Frugal and Save Money

woman washing car

Washing Car

The key to frugal living is creativity and drive. You can save time and money by taking leftover soup, spaghetti, or meatloaf to work instead of sandwiches.

By: Erika Stewart

In an uncertain economy, simple frugal living tips can save money and time. Start now and you’ll find that they quickly become second nature and fun to implement. Make it a game to see how much time and money you can save in a day, a week, a month, or even a year. You can save and simplify everything from food to insurance. It just takes a little creativity and motivation.

When it comes to food, simple is better. Whole foods in their natural state are best for you and most often, they are least expensive. Unfortunately, fresh produce often spoils before you are able to eat it all. You can avoid multiple trips to the market and keep eating fresh produce if you plan for two or three meals at a time. Buy enough fresh ingredients for extra meals. Freeze them and you’ll have healthful ready made suppers for those busy days.

Invest in good lunch containers. While there is financial outlay in the beginning, you can save time and money by taking leftover soup, spaghetti, or meatloaf to work instead of sandwiches. Pack your lunch containers right after dinner and refrigerate. A minute or two in a microwave will provide a tasty mid day meal.

Avoid using plastic and paper bags and you’ll contribute toward the environment. Chopping down trees and adding to already burgeoning landfills robs our future generations.

There are many recipes for making your own laundry detergent that can save money. However, most of us are not prepared to go to that extent. With most brands, you can reduce the amount of detergent per load up to half of the recommended amount and your clothes will still be clean. Drier sheets can be cut in half and still effectively soften your clothes.

Cancel your gym membership and exercise at home. Check out magazine, diet and exercise websites online, and find free videos and workout music. Your local library also has DVD’s that you can borrow at no cost.

Carpet cleaning, pest control, and even utilities are all up for grabs when it comes to being frugal and saving money. Make your home more energy efficient by sealing all windows and doors. Use natural light from windows as much as possible and turn off the light whenever you leave the room. You’ll save a ton of money if you turn down your thermostat in winter and up in the summer for the time you’re not at home. Investigate tax incentives when purchasing new appliances, air conditioning and heating systems.

Wash your own car. Once you’ve purchased the products, you’ll get many car washes from them. The added bonus is exercise and the satisfaction of knowing you’ve saved money.

The key to frugal, effective living is creativity and drive. Find a way to get cheap insurance, keep bugs at bay, save on groceries and everything else that is eating up your money, time and joy.

Photo: craigerskine