By: Notes From The Frugal Trenches
Happy Holidays to you & yours! As the Holiday Season closes and the New Year approaches, I've been thinking a lot about the frugal life in 2011. Saving money can feel like a long hard road and while it certainly takes determination, sacrifice and motivation to get out of debt and save, there are hundreds, if not thousands of ways we can live more frugally! Here are my own 100 suggestions for ways to cut back spending in 2011.
1. Join the library, go visit, order some books and pledge not to buy a book this year!
2. Cut your magazine subscriptions or ask for them for gifts or even share one between friends.
3. Stop buying cleaning products and instead purchase baking soda and vinegar. Great cleaning solutions and ideas can be found here
4. Stop buying paper towels and instead designate certain tea towels for cleaning the floors, counters etc.
5. Use reusable toilet paper.
6. Buy or make reusable feminine products.
7. Use reusable nappies.
8. Use reusable baby wipes
9. Hang your laundry out to dry.
10. Do not wash things just because you have warn them once except for undergarments!
11. Turn your heat down a few degrees and wear socks and a sweater instead!
12. Turn your air con down a few degrees and wear thin clothes that don't reflect the sun
13. Always either make cards or stock up on packs of cards. You can make or find packages of eight cards for the same cost of 1 card in some shops!
14. Keep a gift drawer in your house and stock it with reasonable items
15. Make homemade gifts
16. Keep cookies, squares and soups in the freezer to give as gifts!
17. Swap names for the holidays instead of buying for everyone.
18. Give charity gifts - a donation to charity and gift in one!
19. Ditch the gym membership.
20. Take up walking, hiking or running.
21. Find free hobbies like joining a choir or book group
22. Nominate two days a week as vegetarian days then build to three
23. Nominate two days a week as no spending days, aim to get used to it (maybe for a month or so) and then increase it to three days a week.
24. Nominate one evening a week as soup night. Soup + veggies + a roll (or crackers) is a very frugal family meal
25. Box up leftovers before sitting down to dinner so that you don't pick at them or have second helpings.
26. Pack a lunch for work each day
27. Always keep water and snacks on hand.
28. Pay cash for your groceries and only take that amount with you to the store.
29. Always shop with a list and a menu planner.
30. Plan your meals, even if you simply plan which meals you'll have over the course of the week.
31. Nominate one day a month as freezer cooking & baking day.
32. Join a food co-op.
33. Grow your own fruits and veg, if you don't have a garden look at a community plot or growing herbs indoors.
34. Make a list of local activities that are free.
35. Nominate one weekend a month as a no-spending weekend.
36. Set yourself no driving days.
37. Combine shopping trips to limit the petrol you use
38. Walk to shops, friends, school, work as much as possible
39. Ride your bike
40. Shop at second hand stores
41. Join freecycle
42. Have a rule that if something comes into your home, something must leave it.
43. Get a slow cooker and nominate one day a week as slow cooker day
44. Repair items that are torn or broken
45. If you are going to purchase something make yourself wait 48 hours
46. Ask yourself if something is a need or a want and calculate how many hours work you would have to do to pay for it.
47. As much as possible drink water
48. Give up soda.
49. Give up candy
50. Set yourself a mad money limit each month which you can spend on what you want, $20 can let you splurge on some new music or some treats or a trip to the movies. But when it is gone, it is gone! :)
Part II will follow on my next posting day!
What are your money saving tips for 2011?