10 Ways To Be More Frugal Around The House

frugal livingBeing frugal is a lifestyle. It’s not something you do just for the day, week or month. Frugality is something you practice each and every day. Begin by looking around your own house to to find the many ways you can save money by being frugal.

1.   Shop at dollar stores
Shopping at dollar stores is downright fun. There are so many bargains, it’s hard to NOT overspend. Laundry soap, cleaning supplies, school supplies, food products, everything for a fraction of the cost. And don’t be surprised if you spot a local celebrity at one of these stores. The prices are so great even the rich shop here. (How do you think they became rich? By bargain hunting, naturally!)

2.   Check the garbage.
A woman asked her teenage daughter to clean out her room. The daughter did just that filling two huge trash bags of thing she no longer wanted. Out of curiosity, the mother peeked into the bags and was shocked to find two perfectly good sweaters, half a dozen Barbie Dolls in perfectly good condition, old record albums, books, a lot of perfectly good items. The daughter did not realize that just because the items were no longer of interest to her, they might be to someone else. After talking to her daughter, the mother turned around and listed many of the items on Ebay and netted over $200 in profit. There just might be gold in all you unwanted “stuff.”   

3.   Have a garage sale.
Go through the house and pull together all the items you no longer use. These can include small and large appliances, gardening tools, clothing, sporting equipment, furniture, kitchenware, whatever you have. Rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used it in two years, you probably won’t use it in the next decade or ever again.   Put everything in the garage and have a garage sale. If you’re shy of stuff to sell, ask you neighbors if they want to contribute or join in your sale. Advertise in the local newspaper and, if it’s in your city, on Craigslist. Remember, your junk is someone else’s treasure. Take the money you make from the sale and put it in a savings account along with all your other savings.

4.   A new twist on recycling.
Have you ever received a gift from someone that you like but know you will never use? Rather than returning it, consider keeping it to give as a gift to someone else. Another way to recycle is to give quality items you no longer use as special gifts. One lady collected teapots but was trying to downsize and wanted to get rid of them. During the winter she wrapped up a teapot and gave it as a housewarming gift whenever she was invited to dinner or a party. She was surprised to find how few of her friends even had a teapot although they drank a lot of tea, and how much they appreciated her gift.

5.   Redo instead of replace.
Instead of spending $1,000 on a new sofa, you might consider reupholstering it in a bright, new fabric for a few hundred dollars or purchasing a quality slip cover for even less. Your sofa will look brand new for much less than it would to replace it. If you have a lamp that you want to replace, consider painting it and adding a new shade rather than buying a new one. Outdated colors on appliances? Give them a new look with a new paint job. If you don’t feel comfortable painting them yourself, there are businesses that can do it for you.  

6.   Do minor repairs yourself.
No, you’re not a plumber or an electrician, but you are probably capable of doing many home repair projects yourself, repairs that could save you hundreds of dollars a year.  For all kinds of home repair projects, click here.

7.   Buy gently used.
If you do need to buy items for the home, think about buying used instead of new. Consignment stores are becoming big business, and the quality of their merchandise in many cases is almost as good as new for less than half the price. This is especially true for children’s furnishings since they grow out of things so quickly. In fact, enterprising entrepreneurs are finding children’s furnishings and clothing a niche market in many communities. And don’t forget Goodwill. If you haven’t been to a Goodwill store lately, you might be pleasantly surprised at what you’ll find.

8.  Shop online for bargains.
The Internet has become a bargain hunter’s paradise. Not only do you save money on the items themselves, but you’ll save wear and tear on yourself and your car, not to mention gas, by shopping online. Sites like PriceGrabber  and  NextTag help you find online bargain for almost anything you’re looking for. That is not to say you shouldn’t do some of your own bargain shopping. For example, if shipping charges are going to bring the price of an item above what you could purchase it for locally, but all means buy local. And remember, if you have to exchange something, you normally pay the shipping charges to return an item.  So purchase only those items online that you are pretty certain you won’t have to return, and look for FREE shipping offers whenever possible. Also, compare online prices with prices at a local store. Sometimes a local establishment will match an online price for the exact same item.

9.   Shop the factory outlet stores.
If you have a factory outlet mall within a 50 mile radius of your home, these are sometimes good places to shop, not only for household items, but also for shoes, clothing, and almost anything you might need. But be careful. Just because these stores sound like their bargains, many times you can end up paying more than if you had purchased the same item in their regular stores on sale or not. You really have to know your prices when you shop here. 

10.   Reuse.
There are many things that we simply throw away without thinking if they are still usable. Most of us have an obsession with saving and reusing paper sacks. Plastic grocery sacks make great trash can liners. And there are many more items you use every day that you can reuse.