Are you tired of all the frugal advice out there that is anything but frugal?
Read any magazine or watch any morning news show and you will see advice such as, “Save $200 by purchasing these $100 shoes instead of those $300 shoes!”
This advice is useless to those of us who really need or want to save money – we would never have spent $300 on shoes in the first place!
To be truly frugal, don’t get your advice from magazines or television shows – the best way to learn how to live on less is to take advice from people who are actually doing it.
I’ve compiled a list of the five best ways to save money by living frugally from people who know the real meaning of living on less.
1. Save money by staying at home.
It is almost impossible to not spend money when you’re out and about.
With the exception of going for a walk or bike ride to a park or other free place, you will no doubt spend at least the cost of the gas you used to get to wherever you’re going.
Once you are out, it is very easy to give in to the temptation to buy something to eat or drink or impulsively purchase something at a store.
Staying home is a sure-fire way to save money for most of us.
2. Learn to eat on a budget.
People spend a lot of unnecessary money on food. Buying food at the grocery store to prepare at home is almost always cheaper than getting pre-made food at a restaurant.
Even those of us who are not naturally talented in the kitchen can learn to cook decent meals and save a ton of money by not eating out.
To save money on groceries, a few simple rules are to buy cheaper cuts of meats, fruits, and vegetables in season (or frozen), and only limited convenience foods.
Eating good quality yet inexpensive foods at home is something everyone who lives well on a budget does.
3. Find cheap entertainment.
Going out to the movies and having cable television can be very expensive.
You can save well over $100 a month by getting a subscription to Netflix or something similar instead.
The library is also an excellent source of free entertainment.
Check out your local newspaper online for listings of free things to do around town. Go outside and enjoy the free sunshine and fresh air!
4. Shop around for the best price on necessary purchases.
It pays to shop around for necessities.
Everything from car insurance to new shoes for the kids can have a wide range of prices.
Don’t settle for the first price you find – look around and you’ll probably find something similar for less.
Frugal people are not shy about negotiating a better deal to save money.
Don’t be afraid to ask your credit card company for a better rate or the salesperson at the furniture store to lower the price on a piece of furniture.
Using coupons along with sales at stores can be very worthwhile once you get the hang of it, but only if what you are buying is something that you need and would buy anyway.
5. Don’t buy the stuff you don’t need.
This tip may sound so simple that it shouldn’t be stated, but it is actually a lot harder than it looks.
We are bombarded by advertising everywhere we go, and it is very effective at getting us to buy things we don’t need.
But every frugal person will tell you that the key to saving money is to not spend it. The next time you think you need a new shirt, gadget, or book, take time to think it over.
You will probably discover that you only want it and can live perfectly well without it. With a little effort, you might find the object you want for free by using the library or Freecycle.
Of course, there are many other ways to save money, but every frugal person I know does these five things. See how much money you can save by choosing to live frugally!