How many times have we reminded ourselves that we ought to save more and spend less because we never know what will happen next? And yet, we fall into this vicious cycle of doing what we don't want to do because it is convenient to do so. Practicing a frugal lifestyle can be challenging but it need not be difficult. Here are seven lifestyle changes you can employ to save more and spend less:
1. Maximize Those Coupons
You're online most of the time, right? Why not take advantage of those coupons to save on groceries? A dollar discount for a loaf of bread, 75 cents off for a gallon of milk... they all add up to the kitty. Before you know it, you're able to save $12. That may not be a significant amount that one time but when you do your addition and multiplication diligently, you'll know that that amount can actually grow over time.
2. Cook at Home
Sure, fast food is cheap but you can save more if you cook your food at home. You already saved from using coupons, now you can stretch your budget by cooking at home. You don't know how to cook? There are several blogs, videos, and recipes available for free which will teach you how to cook quick and easy meals. And there's a health bonus: you know exactly what you put in that homemade burger patty compared to that pink goo that fast food burgers are made of.
3. Discover the Dollar Tree Store
Because it's a treasure chest of everything great but cheap! It's like Ariel of the Little Mermaid finding treasures from that sunken ship. Dollar Tree stores offer a variety of products. There are hair products that are sold for a measly dollar compared to their overpriced versions in online shops. So... yes, reconsider your affinity and obsession for online shopping and head on to one of these stores.
4. Consider Free Samples
Walmart, Target, Walgreens... they offer free samples aside from coupons. Be diligent and check out their websites. You can actually sign up for free samples and they mail the samples to you. Or... you can drop by their customer service counters and pick up your free samples there. Either way, you get to try a new product without having to spend for it. The beauty of freebies...
5. Plan out Your Travels
Spontaneous is good if... you're rich in cash or you have more than enough money to spare. But if you belong to the working middle class, then snap out of your illusions of grandeur and get real. You spend so much money with unplanned trips (unless that trip only happens to be a quick visit at the nearby children's park) and it sends your struggling bank account down the sinkhole. We don't want that to happen, do we? So plan out your travels, make sure that you can afford it, and you don't empty your coffers just because you want to do your own version of "Eat, Pray, Love."
6. Ditch Online Shopping and Try out Goodwill Stores
Do you really need that see-through top? We spend so much time online that we are so prone to the sales ploys of online sellers. Tell you what... why not let go of that phone, close that laptop, or set aside that tablet and go to your nearest Goodwill store? They sell slightly used, secondhand items there and if you're up to some adventure, you'll score great finds at really affordable cost. Who knows... you'll find a see-through top there too.
7. Start a Home Garden
Several blog posts have gone viral on social media on how you can start a home garden even when you live in a condominium. You can grow spring onions, ginger, even lemons in used PET bottles. If you have a backyard, then by all means, start your home garden. Tomatoes are fairly easy to grow and so is spearmint, which is a must have for mojitos! Now you can bring the party at home!
Who else here lives a frugal lifestyle? Care to share some more tips?