Frugal Tools to Help You Save Money
Living a frugal lifestyle is becoming more and more popular I have noticed. I hope that people aren't just temporarily changing their lifestyle in the face of higher prices. Hopefully a more frugal lifestyle will be a permanent thing for most people. I do believe that it really is better for people and the environment. There are many tools a person should own to help them with their frugal living.
1. A vegetable peeler is necessary for cooking from scratch. Regular carrots, you know the long ones with the tops still on and that you have to peel? Many people don't realize that this is the way carrots are grown. I can buy organic carrots for $.99 a pound, cheaper if I buy a larger quantity. Compare this to $1.99 for a pound of already peeled baby carrots and my vegetable peeler just saved me $1 per pound of carrots. In my house that is $5-6 a month. You can save money by buying real potatoes and peeling them and cooking them yourself as well. Potato flakes in a box that say they are real potatoes are not. Potatoes don't come in flakes.
2. A drying rack for your clothing will save you a good bit of money each month as well. I save $.75 per load of laundry I hang. I do on average one load of laundry a day. I save $22.50 by hanging all of my laundry each month. The cost of the drying rack was paid for in the first month of use.
3. Cloth napkins and rags will save you money each month as well. If I were to use paper napkins at each meal for my family of 6 I would have to buy a 100 count pack of napkins each week. They take up very little space in the washing machine and save me $1 or so each week. Having small kids that are messy eaters, they frequently need to be wiped clean after each meal and snack. I bought a couple of packs of infant wash clothes when my youngest was born and we have used them ever since to clean hands and faces. Had I used a paper towel for each child, each time I can't even imagine how much I would have spent on paper towels over the years.
4. The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn. I consider this the bible of frugality. Not only does she have wonderful ideas and how to articles, but she really teaches a person the basics and how to figure on their own the best way to save money. Owning this and referring to it often is a great way to get new ideas and to stay motivated.
5. A vegetable garden will help you save money on your grocery bill. The vegetables will taste so much better than store bought, you won't have to run to the store so often for fresh fruits and vegetables and hopefully you will be able to put some in the freezer or can it for the winter. Yum!
6. An automatic thermostat will help you save money each day of the year, and you won't even have to think about it. Set it so that the heat is lowered each night and raised again in the morning. Have the AC only kick on in the afternoons and turn it off at night. Fresh air blowing in at night is so pleasant when sleeping.
7. Plastic containers to hold leftovers that can be washed and reused will save money on disposable items and hopefully prod you into packing a lunch instead of eating out. Having a night of leftovers is a great way to save money in the kitchen and it gives the cook a night off, which is secretly why I like to have leftovers each week.
8. A freezer is a great tool to use to save money in the kitchen. When something is on sale, buy extra! Next time you would have regularly bought that item at full price, you don't have to. You can use that money to buy extra of something else that is on sale that week and you have the beginnings of a stockpile.
9. Use your phone to get information before driving somewhere. This saves time and gas. If you are unsure about when something opens, spend 2 minutes calling instead of the time to drive there and back if it isn't open yet. Don't ask me how I learned this one! Also, if a store has been out of something that you want instead of driving back there to see, just call and ask.
10. Rain checks are a good way to get the great deals that your store might be out of. It can be very frustrating to know about a great sale and plan to stock up only to find there aren't any of the needed items at the store. Don't worry about chasing down the deal; just ask for a rain check. It takes just a couple of minutes of your time and then you can pick up the needed item next time you are there. Just remember to give the cashier the rain check before they ring up the items, because they usually have to do it differently.
There are so many ways to live a frugal lifestyle; these are just some of the tools that will help you on your journey. I have definitely found it to be a journey. My life seems to always be changing and the frugal things that once applied to me no longer do (cloth diapers, breastfeeding) and things that I didn't think would ever apply to me, now do. Use these frugal tools along your journey towards a frugal life and you will be well on your way!