Top 10 Frugal Steps to Take in the New Year
There are many things you can do to save money. More than could ever be listed actually. Since frugality is my specialty, I thought I would list what I think should be the top 10 frugal steps to take in the New Year. For some people they will be easy, for some people they might seem impossible. If you are looking to become more frugal and save more money, these things will absolutely help you do that.
1. Turn down your thermostat. Most people won't notice a temperature change of one or two degrees, however your heating bill will. For every degree you turn down your furnace, or up your AC, you will save 3-5% off your bill.
2. Do something yourself that you normally pay someone else to do. It could be changing your own oil, mowing your grass, cleaning your house, cutting your kids hair, or shoveling your snow. If you can do it yourself it will save you money.
3. Invest in fluorescent light bulbs. Incandescent bulbs will be completely phased out over the next few years anyway, you might as well start saving money on lighting now. Fluorescent light bulbs do cost more money, however you should recoup that cost in energy savings in just a few months. This frugal step is very easy to do.
4. Don't eat out, at least not as much as you were. If you normally eat lunch out every day start packing your own. If you usually order pizza one night a week start making your own. Cut back on or completely cut out eating out and you will save a ton of money. Especially if you have a large family that you have to pay for each time you eat out.
5. Cook from scratch. Learn to make meals yourself not heat up a frozen entree or open a box or can. There are numerous health benefits to cooking from scratch as well, but you will save a bunch of money.
6. Hang your laundry up to dry instead of using the dryer. For every load you use the dryer for you are paying $.75 or so to dry. Hanging them up to dry costs you nothing. If you do one load of wash a day, this can save you quite a bit of money each month.
7. Shop at home first. Don't let your first thought be that you need to run to the store to buy whatever you need. Start changing the way you think. Use what you already have and it will save you money, gas in your car and time spent going to the store.
8. Challenge yourself to have days each week that you don't spend any money and/or that you don't drive anywhere. This will require you to plan ahead and combine errands. Making a list of what you need and getting it all at once will absolutely save you money. Less trips out to the store prevents lots of impulse purchases.
9. Try store brand products. Most store brand products are exactly the same as a name brand product - just with a different label. Figuring out which store brands are really which name brands is a game I like to play and it saves money in the long run.
10. Shop consignment stores and garage sales. When you discover something that you need or want add it to your list of things to look for at consignment stores and garage sales. You will be surprised at how many great things there are to be had second hand.