Frugal

This is the page where I'll post my everyday fun and frugal living ideas. I'm just getting started, so pardon if some of the links don't work yet!

Live Frugally:


Ditch the Overpriced Cleaners

I make most of my household cleaners from a few easy-to-get grocery store ingredients. I come out ahead on price and there are fewer different products to buy!
  • Homemade HE Laundry Soap Recipe

  • "Appliance Toothpaste" : Spread a little of this on a soft brush and use it like toothpaste to scrub your stove, bathtub, sink, toilet, etc!
    -1 Cup Baking Soda
    -1/2 Cup Peppermint Castile Soap
    -1 tsp vegetable glycerine

    Mix the ingredients up until they look like toothpaste!

  • Freshening Spritz: Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. It smells like a salad for two minutes, but then the vinegar evaporates and everything is fresh!


 

Food

Perhaps the area that is ripest for some budget cuts is food.

You do not need to coupon to be frugal! In fact, couponing can have the opposite effect, influencing you to buy pre-packaged food and end up spending more.

The cheapest way to eat is generally to prepare meals from whole foods at home. When I say whole foods, I am not talking about the store, but actual real food items that grow or come out of animals. Potatoes, rice, beans, pasta, veggies, and eggs make up delicious, fresh dishes that generally cost less per meal than prepared foods- even when they are on sale.

Learn to Cook!

It shocks me that a lot of people my age are dependent on take-out for many of their meals, simply because they do not know how to cook. I ran the numbers, and the lifetime cost of eating takeout for dinner vs. cooking at home comes out to over a million dollars when you factor in the opportunity cost.

But who has time to cook every single night? I don't do it either. Once a week I prep a batch of food and pack it into individual-size freezer containers. Doing this is known around the internet as "Meal Prep Sunday".

Meal Prep Sunday Recipes

I've been having fun coming up with my own recipes for Meal Prep Sunday that aren't bland or boring. Here's what I've posted so far!




What about Extreme Couponing?

But what about extreme couponing? Aside from being time consuming, extreme couponers find themselves with less choices over what they eat. You're stuck with what was on sale. I hope it was healthy.

Extreme Couponing is a Hobby, Not A Frugal Strategy. When I have nothing else to do, I check out extreme couponing websites for deals on things like shampoo and detergent. It's incredibly time consuming, and it usually takes up an entire weekend day. Occasionally I grab something for almost free, and it feels good.

I forbid myself from using coupons to buy things like packaged cookies and ice cream anymore. The temptation to buy these things is hard enough when they're full price. I don't need to give myself any more justifications for overbuying them. Getting 10 boxes of ice cream cones for 50 cents won't make your future diabetes medication any cheaper. Diabetes runs in my family, and I am already overweight. I need to focus on food that fuels me and nourishes me, whether it's on sale or not.

Do I want to spend all my free time hunting down deals, and every meal eating through 200 boxes of packaged pudding? Not really. Is it fun to snag three bottles of shampoo occasionally for 16 cents each? Sure, but I know that the time I spent tracking that deal down could have been spent tracking down a new client worth much, much more money.

Lifestyle


One of the most important personal finance tips is to keep your mind and body in good shape. This in turn effects the rest of your decisions and abilities. I've never been athletic, and I'm too darn cheap to pay for a gym membership, but I'm going to see if I can stay active this summer without needing one.

Mr. Money Moustache is correct when he extols the benefits of cycling. Bikes are basically fat-burning free-transport machines. I'm also a fan of walking and swimming in New York's fabulous free public pools.

After reading the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,  I got rid of most of my belongings, and I'm glad I did, because I then proceeded to move apartments twice in one year. That would have been really stressful if I owned a lot of stuff (or owned my own furniture), and having the clarity of mind that comes with control over my belongings feels good too.



Have any frugal tips of your own? Please let me know in the comments!



Disclaimer: This is all just my personal opinion. Some of the links are affiliate links, because hey why not make a couple cents? But that doesn't effect my feelings about the product. Nothing I write is intended as investment advice, and you should always get a second opinion about that kind of thing.

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