for Living Frugally
to save money without really trying
Money on Vacations and Travel
possible, travel off season when the rates are lower.
vacations, go camping instead of staying at hotels.
airlines tickets in advance. If you delay, the price will
usually increase the closer it gets to your trip time.
- Shop online
for deals before you arrive in your destination city. Many
theme parks and museums offer special passes in conjunction
with other attractions.
- Buy fruits and
vegetables in season. Many holistic health experts think
it is not only less expensive but better for your health
to eat in harmony with both the environment and climate.
- Plan your meals
in advance and try not to
go to the grocery store without a shopping list.
- Avoid buying
nonfood items such as detergent, toothpaste, shampoo, napkins,
and facial tissues at the grocery store. Usually you can
get these items much cheaper at discount or warehouse stores.
- Buy cheaper
cuts of meat and cook them in a crock pot to make them tender
and flavorful. Crock pots are also great for chili, stews
- Use up leftovers
to make soup. Make
soup broth from leftover meat, bones and vegetable scraps.
Freeze any excess.
out to eat for lunch instead of dinner. The menus are often
the same, only with much lower prices for lunch time.
- Avoid buying
packaged and processed foods. Make foods from scratch using
preservative free ingredients. You'll save money and be
healthier for it, too.
for coupons in the paper each week for restaurants and save
them in a folder for future use. I keep my coupons and carry
out menus in plastic cover sheets in a big binder so I can
find them easy for busy nights.
- For more tips
see my section on Saving Money
Money on Healthcare
of the best investments in time and money you can make is
in your health. One way to consider improving your health
is to develop inexpensive hobbies that allow you to get
both exercise and fresh air.
My favorites free things to do are riding my bike and going
for hikes. My one splurge recently has been to get a nice
mountain bike from a bike store, but of course I got it
in your own gym equipment. You can often pick up gently
used sets of weights, exercise bikes, rowing machines and
similar equipment at garage sales. I have a set of resistance
bands at home. They are cheaper than weights and easier
home exercise videos instead of joining an expensive gym.
Or, if you want the faculties of a gym, consider joining
the local Y.
exercise as well as stress relief, try a yoga class. You
can often find yoga classes at the Y or through inexpensive
community adult education classes. Once you become familiar
with how to do the postures, you can practice at home with
just a book or video. Yoga is a great stress reducer, too,
and perfect for times like these when the economy is doing
poorly and many people are under stress from job losses
and tight finances.
see my section on saving money on dental
- Plan purchases
in advance. Shopping with a list is a good idea not only
for groceries but for clothing and other household goods
purchases as well. Avoid impulse buys. Many stores will
hold merchandise for 24 hours at no charge. If you aren't
100% sure something is a good buy, put it on hold overnight
while you sleep on it. Make sure it is something you really
need and the price is right before you buy it. That way
you won't have to deal with buyer's remorse.
- Studies show
people tend to spend less when they pay cash instead of
using a charge card. If you are a careful shopper, instead
of paying cash you can save money by charging your purchases
and using a rebate card. This only saves money in the long
run for people who are very disciplined and careful shoppers.
If that isn't you, then you may be better off sticking with
- If you have
the storage space, stock up on staples when they are on
sale or a regularly scheduled trip to a warehouse club.
- Keep a notebook
of prices for items you regularly buy so you'll know when
you see a sale whether or not the price is really a good
- When shopping
for gifts, consider inexpensive
calendars. They make great, low cost gifts. For example,
if you have a friend from Phoenix, a calendar with pictures
of that city could make a cute gift. Or if you know someone
who is a mom with a busy family, you can buy a calendar
that is a mom's
planner and organizer calendar.
- The Frugal shopper
has more frugal
- To save money
on mileage as well as your time, when possible, pick one
day a week to do all of your shopping and errands. Keep
a running list during the week of every errand you need
to do, and then use Mapquest or Google maps to plan out
the most gas saving route.
movies in the afternoon at matinee prices.
you belong to the American Automobile Association (AAA),
many museums, zoos and other attractions offer discounts
to AAA members.
family fun, have a board game night. Play classics like
Monopoly, Life or chess. One of our family traditions is
to play Trivial Pursuit on holiday get togethers. There
is a new version of Trivial Pursuit available for kids ages
12 and up, that is a bit easier than the original verison
of the game. Try stocking up on board games at after Christmas
sales when many of the toys are marked down.
together a complicated jig saw puzzle and have the whole
family work on it over several evenings.
a picnic in a scenic area like a park or the beach for a
low cost day out.
the library and borrow books and videos for free. Many libraries
also have free special activities for children.
museums and zoos have free year long passes in exchange
for one an annual membership fee. In our area these memberships
are often less than the cost of two visits a year. As an
added bous, some of the membership fees are tax deductible
and include free admission, while admission tickets bought
alone are not tax deductible.
clubs with free or nominal memberships. If you are interested
in the environment or outdoors, consider joining the Sierra
Club. In our area they have many free outings, especially
my section on inexpensive
restaurant entertainment ideas for more tips.
an Entertainment book for the city you are visiting
in advance of your trip at www.entertainment.com.
Using the coupons in the book will often get you half
off at many restaurants, hotels, attractions, etc.