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Five Easy Frugal Tips to Reduce Your Spending

Updated on January 25, 2011

Learn to cook real food

Cut down on the restaurant meals and learn to cook "real" food for your meals. By "real" , I mean something that was pulled from the ground or picked from a plant or once was alive. It is much cheaper to buy " real" food rather than processed, precooked, prepped and preserved to last until your great grandchildren are born. Well, maybe not quite that long, but I think you catch my meaning. Real food does have an expiration date. It is meant to be used fresh. Fresh tastes better and is better for you. Aha! Another savings! If you eat healthier, you'll save on medical expenses. Yeah!

Save on cleaning expenses

Mix up your own cleaning supplies with ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboard. Cleaning products from the store can get very costly, plus not all so very good for your environment with toxic fumes and residue. There are numerous cleaning recipes to be found on the internet, depending on your needs. The main ingredients for these cleaners is water, soap, rubbing alcohol,vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, talcum powder.See what I mean? All items you already have in the house. My favorite general, all purpose cleaner recipe is:

1 gallon water, 1tsp. dishsoap, 1/2 c. rubbing alcohol. You can mix this in a bucket and use to scrub most surfaces, or pour it into spray bottle to use for spot clean ups.

So easy to do and so cheap too!


Save gas by planning ahead

We've all experienced those days where it seems the whole day was used to run to and fro for our daily/weekly errands. You could save alot of gas by simply planning your necessary errands into just one or two trips a week, or better yet, take care of some of those stops while on your way to or from work or school. Make a map and route your errands out so that you minimize backtracking. Also there is carpooling to consider, could you get together with a friend or neighbor to run errands together? Take turns doing the driving and cut your gas usage in half!

And don't forget the cheapest forms of transportation, your feet. Walking, biking, skating are all free forms of transport, plus it contributes to your good health. Aha! Yet another way to keep medical expenses to a minimum.

Think second hand for some purchases

If you've never shopped at a thrift store, or perused through craigslist or other online bargain sites, you are in for a really fun experience. Such bargains to be found! Some items are still essentially new too, price tags still on and items in original box (unused gifts?). There are real savings to be found on almost any item you may need. Also garage sales are a good source for the bargain hound. There are also FREE items to be found, couches, refrigerators, tvs, desks, packing materials, food and baby items. Some items may not be in wonderful condition, BUT many are in great condition. This could definitely help anyone's budget.

Libraries are free

This is the best idea anyone ever had.Free reading materials and much more. Thank you ,Ben Franklin. Your local library is a free source for books, newspapers, magazines, books on tape, music, dvds, free internet use, research materials of all sorts. Don't buy that movie or book that everyone has raved over, just see if the library has it, and if not , they may just order it for you or have it delivered from another library. They have story hour for children as well as reading programs to encourage children to learn. There are appearances by authors, musicians, and other talents, programs for adults learning to read, tax help and so much more.I know we all are so dependant on the internet and our computer or phone screens these days, but try looking up from your screen and getting out. You just might meet some new people and make new friends. Visit your local library and see what I mean.Look around at all the books, magazines, dvds, etc. Why buy when you can borrow for free?

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