Someone who really wants to save money and live frugally came online and asked others to help him develop a comprehensive guide to living frugally.
Great Ways To Save Money
He offered insights into what he thought was a great way to start this journey. Here are the highlights;
- Stop eating out; this means no fast food, no pizza delivery, and no door dash.
- Stop buying name brands and buy store brands instead.
- Stop wasting money on name brands (e.g., Advil, Tylenol, Pepto Bismol) when buying medicine.
- Buy safe-to-eat pet products that are produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and are truthfully labeled.
- Shop at discount clothing stores like Burlington, Marshalls, Ross, TJ Maxx, Gabe’s, and Foreman Mills
- Cancel all the streaming subscriptions you rarely use.
- Dollar Stores are misleading as they are usually not the cheapest option, are usually overpriced on grocery items, or sell substandard products that will have to be replaced, especially Dollar Tree
Other users chipped into this conversation, with each offering tips on what worked for them when they started being frugal. Here are some of the best samples and tips from this conversation;
Always Keep a Budget
Budgeting helps one track their expenses. According to one user, budgeting keeps you on track as you will know how to prioritize bill payments, “Start with a budget software like Mint and then look at your largest bills and prioritize from there. For example, if your largest bill is rent, what can u /are you willing to do to get that down….and go through each item and ask the same question. It is always easier to save more money cutting big items than pinch pennies on the small ones.”
Buy Quality Pet Foods
Buying cheap pet foods may seem frugal, but it is not a good idea, according to some people. One user said, “Don’t cheap out on pet food. Once I switched to a premium, high-protein cat food, my cats ate less, coats were shinier, and their litter boxes were less rank. Vet was pleased with the changes.”
Another agreed that healthy pets saved more on vet bills, “Don’t skimp on the pet food, but you also don’t need to go high dollar. I research and get the lowest price, high-quality dog food at tractor supply. Going cheap on dog food will lead to more vet bills.”
Find Better Ways To Get Entertainment
You can find better ways to get entertainment that will not dig into your pocket. The library, for instance, is one such avenue; according to another user, “When you drop your various entertainments, replace them with your public library (if you are in a country that has them). Books, films, music, streaming media, magazines (print and online), maybe toys, seeds, museum passes, and much more.”
Live Within Your Means
Spending money, you do not have can damage your financial life, as outlined by another user, “You should always live within your means. Pay your bills, place a % of your income in savings/investments, never carry credit card debt, have a 6-12mo emergency fund. Plan out your retirement needs and then enjoy your life.”
Learn To Cook
Another user urges people to learn how to cook to enjoy the food they spend a lot on, “I’m learning how to cook so I can still enjoy foods I love on a tight budget, and it’s been a really rewarding and mentally stimulating hobby too.”
Look For Monthly Discounts
Buying stuff when they are on sale monthly can help save some money; according to another user, “Shop the monthly sales….Plenty of non-perishable items like Trash bags, laundry, and dish detergent that are comparably priced but better quality. Motor oil was on sale for $7 a gallon recently. Degree deodorant came out to $1.25 a stick.”
Buy Nice Quality Clothing
Do not settle for name brands when buying clothing. Focus on buying quality stuff instead; a user urges, “Nice clothes (yes, this means more than Ross sometimes, name brand stuff IS there, but most of it is Walmart grade or worse) will last you and fit you far better in the long run. Rather than Ross/TJMaxx/Marshalls, look for second-hand high-quality pieces or look for clearance from actual brands you enjoy, especially at the beginning/end of a season.”
Stop Eating Out
People spend a lot of money eating out. One user says he is in his best shape since he stopped eating out and adopted healthier eating habits, “I can’t echo enough the stop going out to eat. Even if you think Chipotle is calorie dense enough nutrition the cost to make all that vs. working an extra shift you’re lying to yourself… remove “going out to eat” from vocabulary and I promise you’ll lose weight… I’m in the second-best shape of my life at the moment at 36. No supplements, I just decided that I hate restaurants of all types; fast food makes me feel bad, and sit-downs make me feel like I can youtube a craving and make it at home but better.”
According to another user, a penny saved is a penny earned, “Schedule an automatic transfer for a pre-set amount into a savings account that is not linked to your checking account – and ideally at a completely separate financial institution from your checking account/basic savings account.”
Invest in Your Career
One user urges that being frugal may not entirely eliminate some costs, but if one can find a way to make more money, one will be better off. And one such way of doing so is to invest in one’s career, “Invest in your career because while frugality may be able to shave off some costs, there’s only so much you can do. Advancing your career (training, education, seeking promotions/raises/new positions/new fields) helps raise your earnings over the rest of your life.”
Buy Groceries in Bulk
If possible, buy groceries in bulk and conserve them well to help you push through the month, “Groceries – buy in bulk, store in bulk, utilizing a vacuum sealer and your freezer, cook things like beans & rice yourself (a pressure cooker is a valuable tool here), and meal prep; check out co-ops like Azure Stardard for bulk foods.”
Cultivate a Low Maintenance Look
Women spend a lot on their looks. Having a low-maintenance look could help save some money; according to a user, “My favorite frugal tip for women is to cultivate a low-maintenance look. Easy hairstyle (I personally like bobs), no dying your hair, minimal makeup, well-cut long-lasting clothes. Shoes that match most of your outfits, a few sweaters that can layer over everything.”
Buy Quality Products at Discounts
According to another user, search for quality products and pay a discount on them. He offered examples of where to search for those discounts, “In my city, Walmart stuffs are not cheaper and just ok quality. Costco is a lifesaver. The Kirkland brand is amazing. Affordable and high quality. The key here is to buy quality products with discounts. Target prices could be competitive if I use coupons or if they have sales.”
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.