Maybe you just got married or welcomed a child into the world. Maybe you just graduated college and are making your way in the world. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe you want to quit your job to travel the world.
Whatever brought you to frugal living, and to this blog, WELCOME. Welcome to This Big Happy and frugal and mindful living!
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “I can only cut so many corners!” and you may be thinking “I’ll never have fun again!” but let me tell you, frugal living is a means to an end. It’s a way to act now to accomplish your life goals. So welcome, let’s do this thing!
I’ve compiled a list of tips, things you can do right now, to help you on your journey. These are not things that will make you a millionaire overnight (sorry!) but they’ll help you get in the mindset of saving now to play later. I know that they will seem silly at first, just remember your goal!
Frugal Living Tips for the Newly Frugal
1. Use half of the soap you normally do. All of the soaps. Laundry soap, dish soap, dishwasher soap, shower gel, shampoo…use half. Just try it.
2. Skip meat for 1 meal a week. I’m not saying to go all crazy and swear off bacon, just make 1 meal meatless. Look up a recipe using beans, lentils, tofu…challenge yourself to make 1 meatless meal a week.
3. Visit the library. When you make friends with the library you can seriously kill a big portion of your entertainment budget. Not only can you borrow books and movies, but these days most libraries offer free audiobooks and streaming videos and music!
4. Start saving things that you can reuse. DO NOT TURN INTO A HOARDER…but save a few glass jars. Rinse out some of those zipper bags (unless they stored raw meat, then just toss it!) Can you save that tv dinner tray to freez leftovers? Can I freeze this little bit of leftover tomato paste so I don’t have to buy a full can the next time I only need a tablespoon? (the answer is yes! Yes you CAN freeze tomato paste!)
5. Learn how to sew. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart (all you youngins can click here to find out who that is!) but knowing how to mend and alter clothing will save you A TON! You’ll be able to buy those great yoga pants on clearance (I’m not judging!) without worrying that they’re 4″ too long. You’ll be able to sew the button back on your shirt and sew an expender in your pants for when you gain a little weight (keeping it real.) When it comes to sewing lessons, YouTube is your friend.
6. Make too much food. Don’t go crazy but do plan to make an extra serving or two because you’ll want to pack your lunch when you go out. I know, everyone hates leftovers. That’s ok, just freeze them for another day and pack sandwiches in the meantime. After two weeks of sandwiches you’ll be glad for those leftovers!
7. Learn how to cook. Knowing how to make just a few of your favorites will save you so much money! How to Cook Everything & The More with Less Cookbook are great places to start!
8. Budgets are your friend. I know budgets can be scary when you don’t have a large income, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need one. Here is a great tutorial on building a budget when you don’t have money.
9. Just say no! What if you said “No, I am not going to the movies tonight.” or “No, I am not going to eat out tonight.”? The world won’t end, promise (and if it does you’ll have other things to worry about!)
10. Have fun! Make it a game! Can you save $20 this week? Can you double that next week? Can you have your credit card paid off in 3 months or 4? Challenge yourself, your friends, your partner, and your kids to make it happen!
I’d love to hear how you’re doing on your journey! Please leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.