10 Ways to immerse yourself in frugal living.
Believe me, I do get it. You want to get to grips with this idea of frugal living but a lot of it seem like just a bother, and you can’t be bothered! I know. But trust me on this, the pros for living a frugal life far outweigh the cons so let’s do it. Let’s make an effort.
No one expects you to suddenly be Mr or Mrs Frugality but we all expect that everyone will be able to take stock of how and why they do the things they do, and that we all will make plans to do things better. And just as we don’t expect a young baby to start running a mile on the first day it starts to walk, we don’t expect that anyone will suddenly do everything frugally. By the way, we do expect that baby to walk and then do the mile eventually.
So in this post, I want to share with you 10 simple things that you can start with, toward living a more frugal life. The sooner you start practising these and reaping the rewards, the more you will see that this way of life does work and hopefully will be okay with encouraging others as well to start this frugal journey.
So let’s make a start. (And hey, none of these are set in stone, so if you can’t afford to do any one of these, just cross it off your list and go to the next one that you will be able to manage.)
1. Plant what you can – this might seem too simple and I agree, it is. But it does make an impact and if more of us do it, it makes an even bigger impact. I can hear you thinking ‘how is growing a few tomato plants going to help, when it would cost less to just buy the tomatoes in the supermarket?’ Well, there are a few reasons. People who try to live the frugal life don’t only consider the financial cost of things but other implications as well.
By planting some of the things you need in your kitchen, you could teach valuable life lessons to some children or young people, you, me and others who take this path, take valuable steps to reduce our carbon footprints. With excess produce, you can learn new skills like canning, pickling or other ways of preserving food. Also imagine the joy on the face of neighbours and friends when they receive some of the things you have produced in your own garden. Pure delight! Case in point: my friend in Holland plants a vegetable garden. Her friends also plant things. What they do is to swap the produce with each other so everyone benefits. No money is exchanged and that makes it even better. I plant my own things as well. I planted my own pumpkin seeds and below is a picture of the patch and one of my pumpkins. Great in soups by the way, and very healthy.
By planting some of the things you need in your kitchen, you could teach valuable life lessons to some children or young people, you, me and others who take this path, take valuable steps to reduce our carbon footprints. With excess produce, you can learn new skills like canning, pickling or other ways of preserving food. Also imagine the joy on the face of neighbours and friends when they receive some of the things you have produced in your own garden. Pure delight! Case in point: my friend in Holland plants a vegetable garden. Her friends also plant things. What they do is to swap the produce with each other so everyone benefits. No money is exchanged and that makes it even better. I plant my own things as well. Here are a few pics of my pumpkin patch. Great in soups by the way, and very healthy.
2. Harvest rain water – this is useful and helpful especially if you are billed according to how much water you actually use and not just a flat rate. A large drum can be used and this you can use to water plants, hydrate animals and pets and of course washing. In Jamaica we often collected rain water off the roof for different purposes around the home. I found a useful tutorial for setting this up. Follow the link below:
Collecting rain water
3. Be a wiser fashionista – here we go! Well I know there are some who think they must get a new outfit for every event/meeting/social occasion! You don’t have to! In fact, I have declared 2017 as the year I will not buy myself any new clothes! There are lots of ways to jazz up outfits by choosing different accessories to go with different clothes, mixing and matching suits, and changing shoes and bags to suit. Make a habit of letting your personality shine and do the ‘talking’ so people will spend more time getting to know you than getting to know your outfit.
4. Re-purpose old items – that’s right! Lose the habit of putting things in the bin just because they have served their original purpose. If you have anything, and I do mean anything, and you have any inclination that it could be used for another purpose, do what I do. I type into Google or on Pinterest: ‘other uses for ……’. I have never been disappointed. Especially if you are a crafty person, you and the young ones in your life will have lots of fun working on these projects.
5. Make use of freebie sites – I’m always on the lookout for these. You would be surprised how much you are able to get for free. Even if you don’t need certain things for yourself, there is always someone you could offer the freebies to, perhaps as gifts even. I have had free tickets, vouchers for money off food items, nappies; make up samples, book vouchers, actual books, and even garden seeds. Check out this post on how you can get free wildflower seeds.
6. Use loyalty schemes – there are some supermarkets as well as other stores that offer points, or money off or other forms of reward for loyal customers. Use them up! Before you go out to shop, check and ensure that you do have your loyalty card or vouchers. Check and double check. I personally get a sick feeling in my stomach if I get to the check out to pay and realise that I have left my loyalty card or vouchers in some other bag! Ugh! Hate it!
7. Walk or cycle when you can – again that saves a lot in terms of petrol and let’s face it, this generation of which you and I are a part, don’t get as much exercise as we should. So do yourself a favour. If you do get the bus, get off a few stops earlier or further (depending on which has the better view), walk the rest of the way. Your health will be better for it. If you do have the opportunity, cycle, and if you don’t yet, it might be something you want to consider taking up.
8. Turn off those lights – all of them! After you have finished reading this post, go have a little walk around your home and check. How many gadgets and lights do you have on which are not even being used? I’m not saying go wild and switch them all off to your detriment. If the light is being used, leave it on. I don’t like the dark either. We tend to leave one light on upstairs just above the stairs and one on in the passage downstairs at night. We also have other gadgets which have a light on. We tend to switch these off. My view is if there is no electricity going to them, the light will not be on. So even though it is a small amount, in terms of cost, it adds up. So microwaves, routers, televisions, and even radios are switched off from the power source and these offer some great savings. Especially if you are going away on holiday, switch off all those things that you will not be using anyway. That can give you a whopping saving on your energy bills.
9. Organise your food cupboards – check the dates and ensure that foods with upcoming dates are consumed before foods that can last longer. Make a habit of this. Wasted food is, well, such a waste. Did you know too, that once the food is cooked it can be frozen and used at a later time? Even bread can be frozen! Just make sure it is properly cooled down before freezing (if you put hot foods in your fridge it will cause other foods to warm up and therefore spoil easily.)
10. Heat only the amount of water you need – yes last on this list but very, very important. You use more energy to boil a full kettle than you use to boil 2 cups of water which might be what you need. If you do have a thermos or flask, and you have multiple cuppas, then you might want to consider boiling the kettle full and then putting the extra in the thermos, where it will remain hot enough for all the hot drinks you are planning on having.
So there you go, a few frugal tips to start off with. Keep coming back and you will surely have some more. Here’s my most recent post about being frugal but with a purpose. You can also check out this post on how to make your own amazing bread that is free from additives and preservatives. These freeze very well and can last over a month in your freezer.
Please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can know how you are getting on with your frugal life. You may also subscribe to our newsletter if you wish.
Have a great week.