I came from a poor family and we were taught from very young that every cent counts and that we have to make it a top priority to save every cent that we can. However we were also taught to be generous and give to needs. Frugality is a good lifestyle. Being frugal just means living economically and not wasteful.
Important Family Teaching From Young
My grandma used to tell us that every cent saved will one day become a mountain of cents and that’s a lot of money. My mom taught us that if you are short of just one cent, the shopkeeper will not sell you the bottle of soya sauce that you want to buy. My dad taught us that money is very important for your success and to see your dreams come true. When were young, every year we will take out all the coins that we saved to count and roll them up in rolls of 2 or 5 dollars. Then my aunty will bring us to the bank to bank in. We were always excited to see our money in the bank increased, together with the bank interest.
As I grew up in life, I have followed these advice closely; to be frugal and to be generous. Most Asian parents are very frugal and really saved for their children’s higher education and for rainy days. Being frugal, or thrifty, is all the more important now that the economy worldwide is regrettably bad. Too many people were caught unprepared by a sudden collapse of the global financial market and ended up in debt. The main reason was they spent too freely, wasted too much and didn’t save enough. Well, it’s not too late to start being frugal to save. I have here:
27 Easy, Practical Ways To Be Frugal To Save Money
- Plan and write down what you really NEED to buy
If you don’t plan and write it down, you will likely buy more than what you need and ended up wasting them. If you go to the supermarket, try to use a smaller trolley rather than a big one because there’s always a temptation to fill it up.
- Don’t keep a pet
Pet food is expensive and veterinary bills can be higher than your mediacl bill. A lady told me that a tooth extraction for her dog cost her £140!! What about nail clippings, grooming and hair cutting.
- Don’t go for branded goods
High street goods are equally good if you take time to check it out, especially clothing. If you really want it so badly, wait til it goes on sale. You can save a lot of money if you learn tailoring and sew your own family’s clothing. I remembered I learned tailoring after my A levels. Within 4 months, I was able to make all my dresses and later my children’s dresses. That’s a lot of money saved.
- Use email
Talking over the phone is very expensive, especially long distance call. Use email if you have internet connection. It’s fast; save you time and money. Don’t give the excuse that you don’y have time to use the email while you can talk for hours over the phone. Similarly, don’t give the excuse that you don’t know how to use the email - learn it! I have a 6-year old little friend who uses email!
- Use simple cleaning products
A lot of the cleaning products are very expensive. You can always the common, simple stuff at home that is very cheap and also do not pose as a health hazzard, like vinegar,lemon skin and soda powder.
- Buy things in bulk and in bigger size
A big box of cornfakes is much more cheap than many small boxes of cornflakes added together. A pack of 12 rolls of kitchen towels is cheaper than a roll. A good place to buy in bulk is wholesale shops.
- Save on paper
Use up scrap paper as shopping list. When I was in school, I always collected scraps of paper to do my Maths rough work. Many paper factories just throw them away. You can get them for free. You can even use them for making cards if they are the thick type.
- Walk and don’t drive
Petrol or gasoline is expensive. Walk if you can. It’s also good exercise for you. It not only helps to save money on petrol but you also save on parking fees which are very expensive.
- Check gasoline price
Prices at different kiosk varies. Go for the cheapest one. If you need to drive, don’t speed or change lanes because you use up more gasoline.
- Think before you join a club
Monthly or yearly club membership fee can be very expensive. Think through very thoroughly before you join, whether you really need to or not. I have a friend who joined a health club, pay £45 every month but seldom use the facilities.
- Turn off lights
Use low energy lights and turn off if you are not using them.
- Wash dishes by hand
Using a dishwasher uses up a lot of electricity especially if it uses hot water too. It’s easy to wash by hand. Don’t accumulate. Wash up immediately after using. Keeping till there’s a lot only breeds bacteria.
- Dry laundry on lines
Using a tumble dryer uses up a lot of electricity and money. Hang out your laundry outside on the lines to dry during hot days or on the heater during the cold winter months. If you think you are not at home, you can use a table fan to dry them which is still cheaper.
- Check out prices
Prices varies widely in different supermarkets. It is always much cheaper to buy fruits and vegetables from side stalls. You can also save a lot from food with a reduced price, sometimes as much as 50%.
- Don’t smoke or drink
Smoking and drinking cost a lot of money. Imagine how much you can save if you don’t smoke and drink. More that that, you also save on medical bills that come with cigarette or drinks related sicknesses.
- Travel by train or bus
Flying can be convenient and fast. But if you have the time (comes with planning ahead), you can save a lot from travelling by train or bus, even more so if there is special offer. Airports are always far from town so you have to take train, bus or taxis again.
- Don’t take unnecessary vacations
Vacations can create a big hole in your pocket. It comes with accomodation, eating out, visiting places of interests and shopping. On top of that it’s always exhausting. Your precious hard earned money is so easily spent while the experience is soon forgotten. Plan your holiday ahead to go to places that you can relax, enjoy and come back refreshed without spending so much. Save for other important things.
- Plant your own vegetables
It’s easy to plant your own herbs or some vegetables in small boxes even in the house. It will save you a lot of money in the long run. It’s organic and fresh too.
- Maximize your oven
Ovens consume a lot of electricity. So, if you need to bake, put in as many things as possible to bake in one go and remove them as they get cooked.
- Do your own lawn
It is expensive to pay someone to mow your lawn or do your garden. Do it yourself. It’s also good exercise as your doctor will tell you. You increase your know;ledge about plants too.
- Pack your lunch from home
Eating out is always expensive. A simple sandwich can easily cost £2-£3. I mean just 2 slices of bread with a little filling inside. You can easily do that at home and bring along.
- Learn hair-cutting
Going to the hair saloon can be expensive. I once went to a hair dresser for a simple cut and it cost me £30! Learn to cut for yoiur family member. Or you can engage someone who goes from home to home to cut hair for people. They are equally good. Some do their business from home and it is also a lot cheaper than going to the shop.
- Make your own greeting cards
Greeting cards can cost as much as £10! Learn to make yourself. It fetches a higher sentimental value and yet cost very little. You can borrow books from the library to learn how to make them.
- Cook and eat at home
As said earlier, eating out is always very expensive. I have a lot of easy, fast cooking recipes here on my blog that show you how to cook. You spend more time and money to call up for reservations, travelling and worse if the food is not satisfactory. It happened to us on several occasions.
- Eat less meat.
Meat is increasing in prices because of the credit crunch. Eating less meat not only helps you save but is also good for your health. You can always eat more beans to get your protein. Dried beans are very cheap, nutritious, easy to cook and taste nice too.
- Drink a lot of water
Drink 8 glasses of clean,pour water everyday. Don’t buy boxed or bottled drinks which are depleted of nutrients and high in sugar. If you really want to drink juice, make yourself. It taste awesome and loaded with lots of live nutrients that your body need. Water is cheap so you can imagine how much you can save.
- Buy a pressure cooker
A pressure cooker is a great invention. It only takes a short while to cook beans or meat compared to boiling for hours on the stove. In this way, you save on electricity or gas bills too.
So you see, if you apply everyone of the above ways to live frugal, you will save a lot of money by the end of each year. Keep a record and you will be surprised how much you save. That will be your greatest motivation to continue living frugal.
Are you one that spends freely or make every effort to be frugal to save money? Do you have other ways to save money? Please share, add and comment in the comment box below. Click on the title of the article to see the comment box. If you like this article, you can subscribe to the RSS (orange button on the top right) or through email for free. Keep saving and keep smiling as you see your money increases. Teach your children early if you have young children.
Thought of the day……
‘A penny saved is a penny earned’.