When it comes to spending less and saving more, there are many ways to get financially fit, but some are much easier to accomplish than others. We’ve put together the ultimate frugal guide for people who are excited about saving money and really want to do whatever it takes to whip their finances into shape. Check it out below.
1. Dry your clothes on a line.
I know, I know. There’s this thing called a dryer that someone invented. Lucky us! However, you can save around $100 a year or more if you hang your clothes up to dry on a line. If you don’t have a yard, you can hang them up in your apartment too.
2. Wash dishes by hand using one sink-full of water.
Some people say washing dishes by hand costs just as much as running the dish washer, but if you use just a minimal amount of water, you’d be surprised at how much you save.
3. Make your own laundry detergent.
Did you know that you can actually make your own laundry detergent? It’s really awesome because you can see exactly what goes into it, which creates a healthier environment in your home.
4. Take public transportation.
Gas and parking passes get so expensive, especially if you use your vehicle every single day. Do some research to find out how much your local bus or subway costs. You might be surprised at how much you save. Also, ask around your work to see who might want to share a ride with you.
5. Make every gift you give.
With the popularity of websites like Pinterest, there is no shortage of ideas for handmade gifts. All you have to do is search for crafts or gift ideas, and you’ll have hundreds of awesome tutorials and ideas at your disposal.
6. Travel in-state.
Everyone always travels to different states or countries, but I bet you’d be surprised at how much fun you can have within a 200-mile radius from where you live. That way, you can save on hotel costs and maybe learn something new about your community along the way.
7. Give up your smart phone.
I know—these days, smart phones might seem like a necessity, but I lived without one for almost two years and I was amazed at how relaxed and rejuvenated I felt after giving it up. You can also save hundreds of dollars a month on your cell phone bill. If you really, really want to save money and penny-pinch, this is the way to do it.
8. Become a coupon expert.
You’ve probably seen the TV shows about extreme couponers, and that can be you too! All it takes it a little bit of time and practice to learn about couponing. You can save hundreds of dollars on groceries this way, so it’s definitely worth the time you put into learning about it!
9. Get a roommate.
Maybe you didn’t have a good experience with roommates in the past, but you can’t deny that having one cuts down on costs dramatically. For the most benefit, ask your roommate to split all bills with you, including electricity and water, so that they will be respectful about their usage.
10. Grow your own food.
Think of how much money you’ll save if you grow your own tomatoes or herbs. Plus, you’ll have awesome, fresh-tasting veggies to put in your dinner, which is great for both your wallet and your waistline.
11. Patch up your own clothes.
You don’t have to buy a sewing machine to do this: all you need is a few pieces of scrap fabric and a needle and thread. It will only cost you a few dollars. Plus, you can watch tutorials like this one on YouTube that explain the process in just a few minutes.
12. Use the Internet from your local library.
If you are really strapped for cash, you can use your local library for Internet access. They are usually open every day, and the librarians are so helpful if you have any questions.
13. Give up cable.
Today, you can catch all of your favorite shows on your computer, so there is no reason to pay $100 a month for cable. Plus, watching TV takes up valuable time that you could be using to hustle and make some money.
14. Use cards or board games as your main entertainment.
You don’t have to spend $20 per person to go see a movie. Playing board games with a handful of friends actually makes for a really fun night—just try it and see. I think you’ll be surprised at how inexpensive and how fun a game night in can be.
15. Cook more meals at home.
Eating out is definitely a drain on your budget. If you start to cook in more, you can save hundreds of dollars a month.
16. Shop at thrift stores.
You can buy all your clothes and furniture from a thrift store. I always say that it’s amazing what people will give away! You can definitely find designer duds if you look hard enough. Also, be sure to go on 50% off days if your local store has them!
Vinegar can be used to clean just about anything. You don’t have to spend any more money on expensive products. All you need is an old rag and a vinegar/water mix to make your house sparkle.
18. Unplug everything when you leave the house.
Our very last tip is to unplug all electronic devices when you leave the house. Although it might take up some time and only save you a few dollars, this is a must for those of you who want to live the ultimate frugal living.
Of course, these aren’t the only ways that you can save money and live better, so please share your tips with us in the comment section below!
Did you know that those two changes could save you over $500 a year? How to Save Money Around Your HomeFeatured photo credit: Closeup on ripe wheat via Shutterstock