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· Registered
4,448 Posts
In no particular order ...

1) Eat vegetarian

2) Don't buy toys unless it's Christmas/whatever winter holiday you celebrate or birthday

3) Buy in bulk

4) Make your own bread

5) Don't serve cold cereal and milk for breakfast

6) Ask for hand-me-downs/shop the resale shops

7) Use public transportation

8) Don't buy books or rent videos--use the library!

9) Look for inexpensive activities through your Parks-n-Rec or city community center

10) Hang your laundry.

Do I have to stop at 10?


· Registered
6,120 Posts
Grocery shop using sales only

Use public library for DVD's and books

Try to find ways to make things stretch (If I buy fabric softner sheets I cut them in half and still use one half at least two times before tossing)

Shop thrift stores and consignment places

Learn to sew (For me this saves $, but not for everyone) I was able to make curtains as presents instead of buying, patch DH's work jeans, Hem my jeans, and do simple repairs around the house

When shopping go with a list and stick to it. If you see something you like put it back and tell yourself if in a week you still want or need it you will come back- chances are you won't.

Use whats available for you for cheap entertainment. Parks, bike trails, library story time can feel like an outing without costing a lot.

Have or make new friends that are frugal. Then you can share ideas and help eachother out without thinking of reasons why you can't go out to eat every weekend.

At the grocery store never grab things that are eye level, always look on the bottom because thats where the best deals are.

If you hear or find a great tip write it down in a notebook that way you always have ideas on hand and wont forget.

· Registered
59 Posts
1. Hang laundry out to dry instead of using dryer.
2. Make meal plans, shop according to sale flyers, and use coupons.
3. Shop yard sales and thrift shops for what you need before hitting "real" stores.
4. Paperback Swap!
5. Make iced tea instead of buying soda (this is a big thing for us.)
6. Downsize to one car (saves car payments, insurance, maintenance, gas, and unnecessary "errands"--though we were just gifted a truck, dh still takes the car most days as it's more dependable and gets better mileage.)
7. Freecycle!
8. Seek other sources for groceries: grocery outlets, bulk stores; we get lunchmeat and many other items at a great discount from a Mennonite grocery outlet.
9. Be open-minded about family and "date night" entertainment--we've had so much fun at events in our community that cost us nothing, or very little (some have been duds, sure, but most of the time we have a blast.)
10. Come here for inspiration!

· Registered
8,119 Posts
1. Carpool.
2. Don't grocery shop when you are hungry.
3. Use shopping lists and do not deviate from your list.
4. If you have an emergency fund, put it in a Money Market Mutal Fund instead of savings (you'll get at least 3% more return for a taxable account and 2% more for tax-free and you can write checks out of them like you could a checking account).
5. Plant a garden.
6. Compost. (Okay, I guess that's more conservation than frugality.)
7. Pay an extra few bucks a month on your mortgage. You can reduce your mortgage by years and interest paid by thousands.
8. Keep water and electrical conservation in mind all the time.
9. Install a whole-house fan if you are planning to stay in your home for several years. They are only a couple of hundred dollars and can keep your house cool for all but the hottest days.
10. Drink water instead of juice or soda.

11. (Can't resist).... contribute to your company's retirement savings programbor start an IRA for yourself. It grows tax free!!

· Registered
12,879 Posts
1~ Buy bulk
2~ shop yard sales and thrift shops for clothes and household furnishing
3~ cook from scratch
3~ unplug all electronic gadgets when not in use, they draw a lot
4~ buy raw milk from locals. we pay 2.5 for a gal of whole milk. I make yougurt, sour cream, buttermilk and sometimes butter.
4~ make my own coffee drinks instead of buying them from coffee shop. Save lots of $$
5~ hot water heater blanket
6~ attic fan, really helps keep the house cooler
7~ do simple car maintaince yourself, save much on the labor bill

thats all i can think of right off hand that we do

· Registered
383 Posts
1. Don't eat out
2. Keep snacks with at all time and bottles of water
3. Freecycle
4. spend one day doing errands to save on gas
5. allowance for my kids for their own spending. Once it is gone, it's gone. Helps them budget, saves me money.
6. garage sales
7. making food from scratch
8. growing veggies
9. freezing,canning,smoking or drying fish/game/bulk things we buy
10. We hardly ever go to a movie, it's a lot for 5 of us and then candy and popcorn...cheaper to wait for it to come out on DVD and then we get to keep it!

· Registered
3,857 Posts
Oh, this is fun!

1. live very close to work
2. walk, bike or take public transport
3. don't automatically crank up the air or the heat (we have a sweater rule- you can't turn up the heat unless you're wearing a sweater and socks)
4. hang laundry out
5. buy bulk and cook from scratch
6. limit meat and dairy
7. garden
8. take advantage of public entertainment like free movies in the park, free theatre and music, etc.
9. pack your lunch for work, pack snacks and water for other trips (this is also great for your waist line)
10. turn off your tv and check out of the commercial world

· Premium Member
6,296 Posts
1. Use public transportation or have only one family we car (we only have one).

2. If you drive your car somewhere make sure you combine several errands to make full use of the gas/time.

3. Hang laundry on a clothesline instead of using the dryer

4. Buy gently used clothing especially for fast growing youngsters. Small children don't know any better. They don't care whether the clothing came from Macy's or a garage sale.

5. If you can't find what you need at a thrift shop buy the best you can afford at a regular store. You'll save money in the long run buying a quality item rather than a junky piece that breaks down in no time.

6. Buy when things are on sale or clearance. Try not to pay regular price unless you have to. Obviously if you need something right away or the item isn't going on sale for a while and you need it buy it. Otherwise, look for a discount or a deal. A few bucks off here and there adds up in the long run. It goes without saying don't buy something simply because it's on sale. If you don't really need it don't get it.

7. Recyle, reuse, and regift. I regift all the time. Of course if a gift is truly hideous I don't pass it along.

8. Set up a system so that a set amount of money is automatically deducted from your checking account at a certain date of the month and put into a stock, mutual fund, or bond fund of your choice. If the money isn't there in your checking account you're less likely to spend it. Paying yourself this way will help you in the long run.

9. Grow your own vegetables and fruits if you have the space and the inclination. You may be able to get free compost from your municipality. Ours gives free compost to city gardeners. You can also get 10-20 pounds of free coffee grounds for your yard from any Starbucks store. There's no obligation to buy anything from them.

10. Generic is just as good as name brands.

· Premium Member
10,171 Posts
oh what fun! Love the ideas!

-Cloth diaper and cloth wipe you babes. They can be used child after child and still be sold resale! Or sell them resale and use the money for the next size.

-breast feed you baby as much and as long as possible. Its free and its the best thing for them.

-When cooking, double or triple batch and feed your freezer while your feeding your family. So when you have the urge to take out, take it out of the freezer instead!

-ebay, freecycle, trading post, craigslist, resale, borrow, trade, give away anything possible. Keep it in use and not filling the landfills

-Attend some kind of spiritual retreat at least one hour weekly. Whether its a religious service or meditation or yoga. For some reason this helps keep you frugal and using your resources well.

-library for books, resourses, dvds etc

-I cut up my dryer sheets in 4s and sometimes resuse them.

-grow your own veggies, can them!

- stretch out time between grocery trips and use what you have on hand first.

-bring leftovers for lunch everyday.

-cook from scratch.

· Registered
2,304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow! So many great ideas! Here are my ten:

1. Free entertainment: library for dvds, cds, books; seek out free live theater events, lectures, gallery openings, etc.

2. Live close to work and other activities you do often. Unless we are going to visit the ILs we can keep all of our activities with 10 miles of the apartment.

3. OAWC or OAMC. I usually cook a double or triple batch of something on the weekend and then freeze in Mason jars. A pint is usually one serving and a quart for the two of us. We have homecooked meals for dinner and supper but little effort other than reheating.

4. Name every dollar, or budget.

5. Use less whenever possible. I've gotten it down to "just enough" to clean something well, ie. toothpaste, laundry detergent, dish soap, etc.

6. Match coupons to sales and look for coupon specials like double or super double coupon weeks.

7. Cook from scratch, use ingredients that your ancestors from 200 years ago would have used AKA stuff with one ingredient like "wheat flour" or "honey."

8. Write the companies whose services and/or products you use/enjoy. Ask about discounts and coupons. The worst that happens is you lose a stamp.

9. Declutter often. Have a garage sale or just give it away. When I see how much I have the less I want.

10. Plan for eating out, don't do it on the fly - I don't remember it and it's not special at all.

· Registered
726 Posts
1. Cloth diaper
2. Bring a lunchbox/small cooler full of snacks, anytime you think you're going to be gone longer than a few hours.
3. Cut off your cable and cell phone.
4. Don't grocery shop at one store--peruse several stores and take note of who has the cheapest meats, dairy, canned goods, etc..
5. Turn your thermostat to at least 80.
6. Use an envelope system, and pay cash for everything.
7. Don't use paper products--try to find a washable alternative for anything disposable that you use.
8. A few days a month, try to eat a few meals made from excess food in your freezer/pantry.
9. Periodically shop around for lower rates on your utilities, internet, phone, and insurance.
10. For entertainment, borrow everything you can from the library. Most libraries have a good selection of videos/DVDs, and mine has music CDs as well.

· Registered
1,790 Posts
Top 10 Frugal tips!

1. Barter, borrow or buy second hand. (If you must buy used, buy the best quality you can afford!) Expensive doesn't always = good quality
2. Use cloth products vs. paper products whenever you can. Dish towels/rags, dust cloths, cloth wipes, cloth diapers.
3. Utilize the consignment store to sell clothes/buy clothes, even make money!
4. Hang all 2 load dryer items out in the sun (or even indoors to dry) they bleach out and get cleaner and saves you $$$.
5. When holidays/special occasions roll around: ask for one item only! (If a holiday involves more than one person, ask each one for a specific gift) Then include all of the relevent info for that gift. Make sure to include: sizes, location of stores, website, price, etc. Or ask for gift cards to relevent places you utilize. (We always ask for restaurant GC and then we just stash them until we feel like we need a "date night".)
6. Shop locally, join a CSA, befriend a neighbor with a big garden. Local farmers markets are great places to find gifts, crafts, produce, jams/jellies and they're always better/healthier than their grocery store counterparts.
7. Drive as little as possible, walk and do your errands if you can. Otherwise group your errand route the most efficently you can so you have to make fewer stops and drive less miles.
8. Wash your hair every other day! Normalizes your oil production and doesn't dry out your hair.
9. Use olive oil or coconut oil for a moisturizer instead of lotion! Cheaper and healthier for your skin! (no additives/parabens/chemicals!)
10. BREASTFEED your little one as long as possible, then feed them "normal food" (instead of baby food). Just boil/cook/bake items a little longer so that they're soft and "gummable" and cut them into bite sized pieces. They eat the same thing you do for dinner and it's healthy, smells good and doesn't add to your grocery bill!

Ok I could go on and on, but I'll let someone else have their turn!

· Registered
2,354 Posts
I'll probably repeat some a few others have posted, but here goes:

turn down your water heater

put on warmer clothes or put on cooler clothes rather than cranking the heater or a/c

use your windows and window coverings to your advantage- when you want it warmer, let the sun shine in; cooler, block that sun out

take shorter showers; even try for 'navy showers', where you only run the water to get wet then rinse when you are done, turn faucet off otherwise

hang your laundry dry; outside when you can (sun helps keep whites bright!), inside otherwise

don't use disposable diapers; cloth diaper (making sure you hang them to dry)

don't use artificial baby milk; breastfeed

soak super dirty or stained laundry for a period before the wash cycle vs. running the items through multiple cycles

always have water and snacks with you when you venture out; pack a meal if you know you'll be out at that time

clothing- shop discount stores. Most of the clothing is still high-quality, looks nice and lasts. Care for it gently- wash stains out asap, use the coolest water you can, line dry. Have 'play clothes' for children that you don't mind them really thrashing, and separate 'nice clothes' for situations that warrant it. Wear clothes until they truly need to be washed; hang on a peg and wear again.

try to use up all the food in your pantry and refrig vs. buying more groceries (or going out to eat); see how long you can go

remind yourself how much money you are saving while doing any particular frugal thing. ex: think of how much you are NOT spending on fast or other restaurant food when you pack a lunch.

eat leftovers; plan leftovers so you are cooking once for several meals

have more meatless meals

turn off lights, tv, etc., when not in the room

use the library- for books, cds, dvds, magazines, storytimes, family entertainment. I especially like that I can "try before I buy"- occassionally I'll think I want a cd, but most often, after checking it out, decide I would have wasted my money had I purchased

shop or at least comparison shop online- watch out for and figure in shipping, though! However, also factor in fuel (and time) if you are torn between ordering online and paying shipping vs. driving across town to buy locally.

if you use propane or heating oil, buy in the summer when prices are lower

have a budget; keep close track of every dollar, even penny, for a month or so

ok, maybe I'll stop now; just having fun brainstorming!

· Registered
4,828 Posts
1. Keep track of everything you spend. Look at it at the end of the month and see where you can reign it in the next month.

2. Eat meatless.

3. Cloth diapers.

4. Cloth wipes.

5. Cloth napkins. (I love cloth, can ya tell?!)

6. Rent videos/DVDs from the library instead of going to the movies.

7. Make toys, etc. for the kids instead of buying them. (ex/I made a kitchen set for DD for less than $10 instead of shelling out $100.)

8. Buy paperback books if you have to buy. Then buy contact/clear cover paper and cover the books to keep them new. I've saved $100s doing this the past couple years!

9. Breastfeed.

10. Eat healthy, live healthy, exercise. It saves you tons on doctors' bills.

· Premium Member
6,296 Posts

Originally Posted by Selu

3. OAWC or OAMC. I usually cook a double or triple batch of something on the weekend and then freeze in Mason jars. A pint is usually one serving and a quart for the two of us. We have homecooked meals for dinner and supper but little effort other than reheating.
This sounds like a great tip but what does OAWC and OAMC mean?

· Registered
2,304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Originally Posted by BookGoddess
This sounds like a great tip but what does OAWC and OAMC mean?

Once a week cooking or once a month cooking. Pretty much everything can be frozen well except for cream cheese, cream, and stuff cooked with a heavy milk-base.

Also we use the oven or stove to reheat and it has non leftover taste to us and usually comes with nuking something.
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