My Tips on Frugal Living

20 Feb

Since I know most of us (if not all of us) are trying to live a bit more frugal these days, I thought I’d share my tips on how to save money.

  • Turn off all lights, computers, TVs, etc. when not in use
  • Turn down the heat/AC when we’re not home
  • Join a coupon train. You receive coupons in the mail from someone on the train, take out the ones you want, add the ones from your newspaper, then send on. I have found them on Yahoo Groups and DisBoards.
  • Buy the Sunday paper for coupons and grocery store circulars
  • Cash in a change jar at the end of every month. Last month’s jar was around $15.
  • Sell things on eBay
  • Get a part-time job, and even better, get a job where you can use the discount. For example, I’m going to be working at the gym, and my membership will be free! That’s an extra $53 in my pocket every month!
  • Buy store brand cereals, paper products, and any other grocery items that come in a store brand
  • Go through your budget and cut out unnecessary expenses. I recently signed up for for $9/month just to catch up on Grey’s Anatomy, and I cut it as soon I was done catching up.
  • Call you creditors to see if they can drop the interest rate.
  • Call your utility companies to ask for savings. I called Comcast recently and told them I had to cancel because I couldn’t afford the $150/month bill anymore. They dropped it to $90/month to save me as a customer. And that $90 is for my cable and internet. I tried giving up cable completely, and I lasted a month or two, but I love it too much. My gas company also helped me by spreading out my bills over the year. The bill can be $400/month in the winter and barely anything in the summer, so by spreading it over the year, the average bill is $100. No more surprises in the winter!
  • Set up a budget for groceries and going out to eat. Try to drink water or tea instead of alcoholic beverages when eating out.
  • Cook big dinners and then freeze the rest for another time.
  • Eat more vegetables instead of high-priced snacks like chips.
  • Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads
  • Pay bills online to save stamps and checks
  • Ask convenience stores how much they charge for water out of the fountain soda machine. Wawa (a regional store around here) doesn’t charge, so I pick up a water whenever I go in.
  • When you get a gift card for birthday or Christmas, don’t use it right away. Wait until you absolutely need something to use it. For example, I’m running low on “extra” money to go out with friends to dinner, so I’m going to use a $50 gift certificate I got for Christmas to a local, “fine dining” restaurant. That way, I still feel like I’m treating myself to something nice while my bank account is running low. I’m also saving a gift card I got to a salon for a pedicure to use right before “open toe” shoe weather comes back. If you get a gift card to a clothing store, for example, wait until you need that perfect interview outfit for a new job or the perfect dress for a wedding you’ve been invited to. Don’t just go spend it just because.
  • Sign up for Swagbucks. You can earn points for searching for websites on their search engine. You can also earn points for completing quizzes and such. For just a few minutes a day, you can earn enough points to redeem them for $5 Amazon gift cards and other prizes. I’m usually not one to promote something like this, but it worked for me. I got a $5 Amazon gift card after spending just 2 minutes a day on the site for 2 weeks. It’s worth it to me!
  • Ask your doctor for samples of your prescriptions. Mine gives me a pack of BCP every time I go, so that saves me $60!
  • Use for your finances! You can add all of your bank accounts and credit card accounts to your account, and it will send you a weekly summary of your finances. Luckily, the only reason I knew I was late on a credit card recently was because of and their courtesy email. I thought I had paid it, but I hadn’t. A 30-day late payment could have cost me a dent in my credit score and possibly the approval on my new house!
  • Sell your books
  • Instead of buying new books, swap!
  • Instead of subscribing to a bunch of magazines, find out from your friends which ones they subscribe to and swap with them when you’re done!
  • Buy your clothes at thrift stores or Plato’s Closet. Better yet, sell your clothes to Plato’s Closet. They only take brand names and “newer” styles though.

Ok, I must get to the gym! What are your tips to save money?


8 Responses to “My Tips on Frugal Living”

  1. Lindsay February 20, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    Thanks for a few new ideas Andrea!

  2. JoAnn February 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    Wow, that’s quite a list.
    1. McDonald’s has some free fruit and maple oatmeal coupons in today’s paper. Even if you don’t use them yourself, hand them off to someone that will.
    2. Shop at Dollar Tree, they have lots of brand name products.

  3. Lisa February 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    Groupon and Living Social are great ways for us to afford to eat out!

  4. Sana February 20, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    I am loving the tips! Awesome about the free gym membership!

  5. Heather February 20, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    This is a great list!

    I set my dishwasher on air dry and don’t use the drying feature – just open it up and shake the dishes out – saves lots of money. The drying cycle costs the most money.

    I also turn the heat down and try to figure out all the errands I need to run for the weekend; I try to run them all at once to cut down on gas.

  6. Beth February 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    Great list!! I agree with Lisa – do group discounts by places like living social, groupon, buy with me, and now Open table does it too in my area!

  7. Runeatrepeat February 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    I was raised in a house that always turned off the lights when you left a room, so I still do that 🙂
    I have a ton of books I need to sell!


  1. Tweets that mention My Tips on Frugal Living « Run, Eat, Date, Sleep -- - February 21, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sandria Carter and demortgagemaven, Andrea. Andrea said: New post: My Tips on Frugal Living […]

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