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25 Tips for Living a More Frugal Life

Thrift Shop
Thrift Shop
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Living frugally is becoming more and more important as prices keep going up on goods and services. SNAP benefits have gone down a little. Food cupboards might not have as much food to give as they once did. Some employers are cutting overall hours of their employees, or it might just be the slow season at your place of employment. For whatever reason, pinching pennies tighter is becoming a necessity.

This article shares a number resources showing how an individual or family can live a more frugal lifestyle.

  1. When money is tight it is difficult to come up with enough funds to clothe a family for the changing seasons, or an adult for a new job. Church and other thrift shops are a big help if you have limited funds, but what happens if there is no money set aside for such an expense? Why not put on a community clothing swap? Find more ideas here.
  2. School shopping might be difficult as well. Look within the community for programs offering free back packs full of school supplies, as well as Coats for Kids programs for winter needs. Check out The Discount School Shopping Plan over at Bangor Single Mom, and as well as the article After Back to School Sales.
  3. When it doesn't look like what groceries you can afford will last the week, check out local food cupboards and read How can I Save Money on food? When your SNAP benefits aren't stretching as far as they used to, these tips will be helpful.
  4. Learn how to provide a Thanksgiving meal on a single moms budget, and look for activities for the children to enjoy while you are preapring the meal. If you can afford a little extra upfront, put all those leftovers to good use, possibly saving money on the next weeks grocery bill.
  5. Save money by creating a homemade Yule or Christmas (or both!) experience for your family.
  6. Buying on sale to stock a pantry is a great way to save money. Some of this can be done at the local dollar store. Use coupons for further savings.
  7. It is possible to raise frugal children. Doing so will not only make things easier now, but will prepare them for adulthood.
  8. Wait for deals. Learn when certain items go on sale in your area and buy when they do. If you can find a coupon at that time, use it to save even more money.
  9. Use store rewards points on necessities when money is extremely tight. Save the points up, but pay attention to when the they expire. Use the points before they do.
  10. Use natural items when decorating for autumn.
  11. Allow your teen to get a part time job, as long as it will not interfere with school performance. She will learn valuable lessons when she takes over buying her own needed items such as shampoo and clothing. Require her to put a portion of the money away for college or their first home. Or both.
  12. Celebrate the fourth of July on the frugal side, and provide an entertaining day for your children.
  13. Take the bus. It is far cheaper than taking a cab, and than owning a car. Even if you own a car, utilizing the bus will save a lot on gas and upkeep.
  14. Better yet, walk or bike whenever possible. Both of these modes of transportation will save money on gas now, and doctor bills later because you will be healthier.
  15. Find frugal ways of decorating.
  16. Learn how to cook frugal meals. Visit Frugal Recipes: Spending Less to Eat Healthy for a multitude of frugal recipe ideas. Be sure to sign up be notified of updates to the blog while you are there.
  17. And check out Frugal is Fabulous! Sign up for updates while there as well!
  18. Shop clearance sales for holiday items. This requires a bit of planning, or at least knowing what you will need for the next year or so. It is possible to get decorations, wrapping needs for the holidays and other times of the year, and even all the holiday gifts and birthday gifts for the coming year, if you plan well.
  19. If internet is not in your budget, take heart. There are places available for you to visit that have free wifi. Some restaurants and other local businesses, even some parks.
  20. Plan ahead for frugality. Set family goals to help achieve frugality.
  21. Make this Halloween a frugal one, right down to the treats. And plan ahead for the next Halloween.
  22. Look into scholarships and grants for college bound students. Get them involved. Also consider having them take AP courses throughout high school, so they already have credits to start their higher education careers with. Doing so now will save you money later.
  23. Learn how to shop yard sales productively.
  24. Save money on basic household supplies.
  25. Grow as much of your own food as possible, even if that means growing herbs on a windowsill. If you can grow a lot, learn freezing, drying and canning methods for the different types of foods you harvest.

There are, of course, many other ways to live frugally. This list will get you started down the frugal lifestyle path.

Be sure to subscribe to Bangor Frugal Living to receive all new updates to the column. Please share articles you enjoy on Facebook, Twitter and other social and bookmarking venues. You may contact Shannon any time at shannonlbuck@gmail.com, or by leaving a comment here.