frugal living

As one who's always on the prowl for deals, I found myself always spending more than what I budgeted for :(  when deals are so good, I often buy more than what I need !  A bad habit I'm planning to nip to the butt.

As I'm trying to buy less, waste less, reduce, re-use and save money, I thought I share what I learned.

Ways to be frugal

- Use Your Community Library
Buying books and renting movies gets expensive. Visit your community library and you'll find all of the latest books and movies free of charge. Most library have online access where you can renew your items, request an item from another library, or put an item on hold. Very convenience and remember it's FREE

- Make Your Own Cleaners
Homemade cleaners not only have less harmful agents than those store-bought cleaners, they also work as well and at a fraction of the price. Stock up on basic cleaning agents like vinegar and baking soda; and you'll be ready for any cleaning task that comes your way (see my Homemade page for recipes)

- Clip Coupons/Search for Coupon Codes
I never thought I would be the coupon lady but that's exactly what I became when I discovered that you can find coupons for pretty much everything online !  You can use google to search for coupons, go directly to the company's website to see if there's special discount code, and sign up to newsletter, the first email they send you usually has a welcome discount code.  Don't forget to check your weekly local newspaper for coupons.  

- Eat Out Less Often
Eating out is fun, you get to dress up and all, but do that often and soon you'll wonder where your money go.  Change this habit slowly by limiting yourself to eat out only on the weekend, then 1 a week, then 1 a month.  Challenge yourself and family to eat out less and watch your bank account grow.  Get yourself an Entertainment Book, they have some quality restaurants in there with buy 1 entree get another for free.

- Wash Laundry in Cold Water
There's no proof that washing in hot is better than cold. You can lower your gas/electric bill substantially by doing all of your laundry in cold water. If the weather is nice, hang them out to air dry.

- Turn it Off
Reduce your electric bill by turning off lights and other electronics when they aren't in use (kettle, tv, dvd, radio, microwave,etc).

- Take Transit

- Take Lunch to Work
Make your lunches the night before so you won't be lazy to prepare it in the morning. Left over dinner makes easy lunch and save you $.

- Free Entertainment
Go to free events around town - outdoor farmer's market, festival, petting zoo, art museum, night market, community event, city hosted celebration, etc.

- Go to the movies on half price day (in BC it's on Tuesday and matinee show time)

- Buy SALE
Avoid paying full regular price at retail stores and wait for end of season sale or look for discount code.  Most stores have a special sale if a holiday is approaching (easter, canada day, thanksgiving, family day, victoria day, etc.).  Wait for those sale if you can.

- Buy Second Hand ! Befriend Craiglists !
Craiglists have some great preloved items, everything from household items to clothes to toys for kids.  Check them out first before heading to your local stores.

- Barter
What's barter ? Barter is a method of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without money. Check out the BARTER page in Craigslists to see if there's something of an interest to you.  You never know what you might find.