Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.
These Elise Boulding’s words have been carved in my mind ever since I read it. Being frugal doesn’t mean cutting down everything you own and living your life squeezed in a tight budget.
Frugal living is generally the idea to spend less money on the unwanted things in order to meet your financial terms. But I am not here to cut down your expenses but instead, I can tell you the ways to save money and get your hands on free stuff. Thus, maintaining your financial and frugal journey by taking the road less taken.
Being a frugal person for 7 years, I have catch up a few things or two. And all I say is to follow these tips for at least a month and see the result yourself.
My confession to Save Money
Some of the biggest areas where we losses our money are on food, traveling and shopping. If you can’t stick to no spend monthly challenges, ask yourself one thing: how to make it cheaper?
- Like it or not MAKE A BUDGET
You will never be able to save money unless you know where the loopholes are. Before you even start making a budget, right down all the money trips that you have made.
This way not only you can cut down your unnecessary money but can make a precise monthly budget plan.
If you can’t follow the old traditional diary writing method, make use of mobile with budgeting apps like Mint, Need a budget, PocketGuard, GoodBudget. That will make it slightly easier for you.
- When you can’t BUY it.. DIY it
Craving pizza? Make it at home. Can’t make dinner on weekdays – prep your meal ahead of time with food in the jar type thing (search on YouTube).
Many times DIYs are less expensive than any the store-bought items. Whatever the money spending occasion is, like clothes, food, gifts, décor or even party, you can always go for simple DIYs. All you have to do is churns the wheels of your mind.
- Become a FRUGAL LOVER
Who says romance can’t spark on the frugal woods. Whether you are planning a date night or a weekend getaway. Being a frugal lover can at least sustain some money in your wallet.
Go for a free concert or a cheap staycation. Plan a picnic day ahead along with a couple’s bike rides or have a movie marathon at home. Don’t forget to use your travel reward credit card which can save you hundreds of dollar that can be used for special getaways.
- Cut down Your FOOD BILLS
Food is the number one reason when it comes to spending money. Dining out or take away, most of the millennials spend money on food like they are breathing air.
Instead of takeout, make dinner at home. Shop in-season groceries and local food. Skip the meat with meatless Monday challenge (you can save about $50 a month). Preparing dinner on a special occasion like Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas many stores offer free condiments or meat product.
Buy free groceries with coupons, you can check on these sites – The Krazy Coupon lady, Money saving mom, Free taste good.
- Shop like a FRUGAL SHOP-O-HOLIC
I like to shop, you like to shop, we all like to shop, and that is the universal truth. Shopping is the ultimate habit which can’t be overruled. So why not make it frugal.
When shopping chose reward credit card as they will help you earn cash backs on every purchase. Shop during the mid-season sale, cyber sale, Amazon prime day.
Try Ebates which gives you cash back when you shops through their site. Many popular stores on Ebates offer a discount as much as 18% on everyday purchases.
- Challenge yourself to a NO SPEND WEEKEND
The whole idea of no spend weekend it to spend your weekend without spending a dime. If I went on I can tell you almost 100 ways to have a money free weekend.
Play board games, give yourself a DIY beauty pamper, or indulge in learning a new skill or recipe, binge watch the unfinished movie or TV-series (this might be a good time to use those HULU or Netflix subscription)
Take this money free weekend challenge a month and see the changes.
My confession to get Freebies
- Free Sample
Free samples are everyone’s favorite even when you are not a penny pincher. Never miss the chance to try your hands on food sample whenever you visit chain grocery stores like Costco.
Some also give free cheese sample and fruit sample for completing simple tasks. Whenever you visit a departmental beauty store, always ask for free beauty products to try. One, you will never regret buying a full-size product (as you have already sampled them), Second, they will last you while (So no beauty shopping for days!)
Brands like Mac and Baskin-Robbins offers free products on your birthday. So don’t forget to check that out as well.
- Free Subscription Box
Free Subscription box trail has an advantage to a frugal lifestyle. They have a monthly free trial period before you put your money in it and some only requires you to pay shipping charges.
Hulu, Kindle, scent trunk, Walmart beauty box, Amazon prime are some the few subscriptions which you can try for free.
- Free Stuff
We have talked about samples, subscription box but what about everyday needed stuff. There are sites which ships free sample like clothes, laundry items, groceries product, or deals for the special occasion.
Keep an eye on freestuff.com, PINCHme, Smiley360, Instacandy and many more for all the free stuff that you might not actually buy but love to give it a try.
Everyone will see frugal living in a different way, what frugality means for one might not the case for others. You and only you can determine the level of frugality of your lifestyle. The only way to be Frugalistic is to inhabit this money saving idea in your daily routine. Don’t give up before a month because as we know, it takes 21 days to develop a habit.