Being frugal isn’t being a cheapskate. There are loads of frugal living ideas which can make your life better, give you freedom from the grind of life and save you money too. Here’s just a few of them.
Grow Your Own
Growing your own food is the dream for some. Self sufficiency, tending to your patch of earth, seeing life appear and grow, sounds good right? Whilst you might not have a massive area of garden to grow your own food, you can use what you do have to it’s full capacity. Even if it’s just growing tomatoes and strawberries, it’s likely cheaper than buying from the shop and you know where they’ve come from. You might end up with more than you can handle when it’s time to harvest, so learn to make sauces, pickles or jams to make them last. As well as growing your own, be sure to find places where you can forage for blackberries and raspberries. You can freeze them for using throughout the year. Perfect in smoothies!
Bake Your Own
Bread is often a staple is family life. For sandwiches, hot buttered toast and mopping up gravy. It’s actually much cheaper to bake your own. You don’t kneed (!) an expensive bread machine either. Baking your own bread is even more perfect if you have allergies in your family. Some shop bought loaves contain things that some people need to avoid. Don’t stop with bread either, try cakes, buns & pastries!
Make Your Own
Now we’ve covered growing and baking, why not make your own things too? It’s more affordable to make your own cleaning products, which also eliminates chemicals which are often found in off the shelf brands. It’s amazing what you can do with baking soda and white vinegar. Why not look into making your own clothes too, or perhaps up-cycling charity shop finds?
Go To The Pub
Maybe a strange sub heading, but why not go to the pub? If you love live sports like football, most pubs regularly show football matches. It’s cheaper to go to the pub than have a monthly subscription to Sky Sports. You don’t need to buy expensive drinks when you’re at the pub either. Soda water is often free but if you do want a pint, let’s say it’s £3 (depending on what part of the country you live in). If you go to the pub twice a month for a couple of matches, that’s £6. A far cry from £40+ a month on a sports subscription. Plus, if you decide not to go, you’re not spending any money. If you don’t catch the match on your own subscription because you’re away, you’re still paying for said subscription. Cut the contract and head to the pub.
Use your local Library
Instead of buying books, CDs and DVDs, head to your local library. Not only will you be a supportive member of the community in a time when libraries are facing budget cuts and even closing, you can borrow things for free. No longer do you need to buy books from the shop, just borrow them instead. Find music albums you wouldn’t necessarily pick up in HMV. Discover new movies for Friday family film night. Make sure you take them back in time to avoid fines and fees. You could even cut your broadband at home and use the libraries. Whilst this won’t work for everyone, it’s certainly worthy of being on the frugal living ideas list.
Rent Out Your Spare Room
If you have a spare room in your home, this one is for you. Declutter the boxes and random junk you have stored in there and turn it into a bedroom for someone. The average double room can rent for £500 a month, depending on where you are in the country. How would an extra few hundred pounds a month help you? Whilst you might have to share the bathroom, you might make a new friend as you easily earn extra cash every month. Be sure to do it correctly with a proper contract to cover yourself and the tenant.
Shop The World Foods Aisle
The world foods aisle often has cheaper prices for exactly the same items that you’d find in other parts of the store. You can find coconut milk in Tesco’s world foods aisle for 75p for a 400g can. Elsewhere in the store, Tesco’s own brand is £1.45 for the same amount. That’s almost double the price! Other items include herbs and spices, along with sauces like soy sauce and this is the same across most of the supermarkets. If you need ground ginger, head to the world foods aisle and you’ll find a much larger bag, for a much smaller price!
Cut back on buying juice, squash, fizzy drinks, tea and coffee and just drink water. It doesn’t need to be fancy bottled stuff either. Not only is it good for you, if you pay a set amount per month for your water bill, you’re not spending anything extra. There are refill points all over the country where you can top up your reusable bottle for no charge. Your body will love you for making the switch, as will your wallet.
Take a Walk
Walking is good for you. The fresh air, the exercise, the getting out of the same four walls. It also means you’re less likely to spend money on public transport or fuel for your own car. One or two less car trips every week can add up to a serious saving on your petrol consumption. It’s amazing just what a simple walk can do to boost your mood and enhance your wellbeing.
Now is to time to up your frugality with these top tips and frugal living ideas.