Living within a strict budget and trying not to overspend can be difficult to do, especially with prices for everything increasing seemingly daily. However, there are many resources available to help you succeed in living within a budget. Let’s look at where to find frugal living tips and how to live them.
The internet is a great place to find helpful information on living withing a budget and frugal living. Look up some websites, like www.frugalvillage.com and www.wisebread.com, and read their articles as they have great information about how to live frugally.
News programs have daily segments about saving money and living better. These segments include tips on saving money by buying the store brand as opposed to the national brand, making your list of errands then planning the route to best utilize your time and money and great times to buy plane tickets to save the most money, to name a few. Watch these programs or visit their websites for detailed information.
Successful frugal living doesn’t have to be difficult; you simply need to be or get disciplined. It is very easy to save money living frugally if you make a budget and set financial goals. Research ways to accomplish your daily tasks, for less. Examples include brown bagging it for lunch, taking shorter showers, mapping your errand routes so you’re only making right turns whenever possible and bringing flavored creamer to work or carrying it in your purse and adding it to regular coffee instead of spending $3 on your daily latte. Make plans for the money you save so you can see the results of your new budget and frugality such as paying down bills, smallest to largest, putting money into a CD, starting an emergency fund and budgeting a small reward for every 3 months of frugality, as examples.
Another great first step to take when starting to live frugally is to find a great coupon website that fits your needs. While you don’t have to use a coupon for everything, every time you shop, strive to use coupons as much as possible, especially for more costly items. Some great sites are www.coolsavings.com and www.thecouponclippers.com. They both offer a great selection of coupons and provide great tips for being frugal and saving money.
Look through the ads. On your regular grocery shopping day, prior to going shopping, check ads for the stores where you normally shop. You might also check the ads for stores that, while you might not shop them regularly, are still close enough that you wouldn’t be going out of your way to pick up great savings. You can even start to plan your meals around the ads. If you have enough in your budget, buy something you like, while it is on sale, in bulk and use it in the upcoming weeks. You will be able to cycle through the noodles or chicken you bought in multiple quantities and, who knows, it could very well be on sale again around the time you run out. Create different meal ideas for your family so they won’t be eating the same things every week.
Save money on gas. You don’t have to drive everywhere, everyday. Make a meal plan and go to the grocery store once per week. Have back ups of staples, such as quick meal ideas and cake mixes, at home, so that when your daughter comes home saying she needs two dozen cupcakes for her class the next day, you can make her cupcakes without having to make an extra trip to the store. Don’t forget to buy staples when they’re on sale or when you have a coupon that requires you to buy multiples of something. You can also look up gas prices on the internet and find a gas station near where you are going to save yourself both time and money finding and getting gas.
Frugal living doesn’t happen overnight. Start by taking small steps to save money, as trying to change everything quickly will probably backfire on you and leave you overwhelmed. Try a new step on the path to frugality every week or every couple of weeks as this will help to calm you down and get used to living differently.