Tuesday, July 3, 2018

My ABC List of Frugality

 Apps - Use Apps on your cell phone to help you save money. I use a yard sale app on my phone that tells me where the yard sales are located and then lets me use Google maps to take the most efficient route possible, which saves me gas and time. I can even add a yard sale I find, which is not on the map,  to help other people using the app to find that sale. 

Brown Bag It- Bring your lunch and drinks with you when you are leaving the house and save yourself the cost of eating out. 

Cloth Items - I've really taken this step up a notch since April. We've used cloth napkins on and off for a few years, but now we are using them exclusively. My daughter has worn cloth pads for a few years, but I'm using them exclusively now too. I've not bought any paper towels since April. One of the best results of this is that we have so much less garbage than we did before we reverted to cloth only, and I love that. 

Debt - Avoid debt as much as possible, especially credit card debt, unless you are able to pay your credit cards in full each month. The interest you pay on credit card debt will end up using more and more of your take home pay. 

Emergency Fund - A savings account for the financial surprises that life will throw your way. 

Free - is one of the best ways to save money. Freebies from online sources, free classes at Home Depot for kids, free renting of books & movies at the library, free computer use at the library. The list of free items available today is pretty nifty. 

Grocery Store Ads - Peruse these online and it will help you reduce your grocery expenses. Also, reading these online saves me 50¢ each week or $26.00 each year. 

Herbs - Grow some of your own herbs to save money in the kitchen. 

Imperfect - You don't need to do things perfectly to live a frugal life. All you need to do is to begin your journey. 

Jars - Jars are a great frugal tool to have on hand. We save the best ones that come into our home and reuse them for many different things.  Storing coins, buttons, beans, seeds, spices, etc.

Kitchen - If I had to suggest one room in my home where I saved the most money it would be my kitchen. Meals cooked from scratch, food bought on sale or marked down and bought in bulk are just a few of the ways we save money in our kitchen. 

LED Light Bulbs - Thankfully these have come down in price in recent years. LED bulbs use less energy and last longer than other light bulbs. According to USA Today, they can save you up to $1,000 over a ten year period. 

Menu Planning can save you money by allowing you to stay within your grocery budget. 

No Spend Days - We have no spend days in our home on a regular basis. Making do with what we have on hand rather than buying something new helps us to save money. Stretch what you have on hand and that will help you to not spend money. 

Oil Changes - Change the oil in your car on a regular basis to keep it running as long as possible. Do these yourself and save a lot of money. Some of the oil changing places here are charging upwards of $50 for an oil change now. If you don't know how to change oil, find someone who does and barter with them. My BIL changes our oil and only charges us $20 for supplies. 

Patience is a virtue when it comes to being frugal. Before making any purchase seriously consider whether or not you actually need it. Then, if you're patient that item might just turn up at a yard sale at a fraction of the retail cost.  

Question what you do and what you spend your money on and see what adjustments you can make to spend less and save more money. Always reevaluate your financial life to see if any adjustments are needed. 

Repurpose - Take something you already own, rather than buy something new, and reuse it to make something else that will save you money. We regularly take clothes and turn them into something else useful. 

Sinking Fund - A sinking fund is an account where you put money into a savings account in order to pay for future expenses.  I currently have a savings account specifically for my car insurance, so that I will have the money available when my auto insurance comes up for renewal. 

Thermos - Definitely a tightwad tool to have and use regularly. I carry ice water in mine whenever we head out the door. You can use them for cold beverages or hot food, whichever one you choose will help you to save money. 

Unplug appliances when you are done using them, which will save on electricity, which will save you money. 

Vegetarianism - Eating more vegetarian or even vegan meals each month will help you save money on your grocery bill. 

Water - Drinking water exclusively will help you save money and we are not talking about bottled water here either. Find yourself a reusable water container and take it with you on the go and you'll definitely see the savings over buying any other drinks. 

Xmas - Shop all year long in order to have a frugal Christmas. Shop clearance bins, yard sales, flea markets, and thrift stores and save these items in your gift closet. Save money all year long in order to have the Christmas you want. 

Yard Sales - Shopping at yard sales will save you so much money over the years. Holding your own yard sale will also help you earn extra money. When we lived in a less rural area I held yard sales every year and always made extra money for our household. 

Zealot - Amy Dacyczyn, also known as, The Frugal Zealot is the Queen of Frugal Living. If you've not read her book, The Tightwad Gazette, I would highly recommend it. Of course, you'll want to borrow it for free from your local library. 

~ Living within our Means ~


  1. Great post - these are all good. I am going to print this out!

  2. Belinda, that list is awesome! Thank you for taking the time to put it together.

    1. You're welcome, Susan. I'm glad you like it. :)

  3. LOVE this, I mail steal it, if I can, and do my own version on my blog!

  4. Sounds great, Carol. There are so many other things I thought to use. YouTube would be another good one for the letter y.

  5. Great list you have. Do you mind that I paid 10-cents for a new TWG II at a yard sale? lol.

    1. Oh, that is so neat, Anna. :) :) I love that!

  6. Is thyme2Bthrifty our sweet Anna from our now defunct AOL Frugality board? I do mind she paid 10 cents for TWG, lol. No, I don't. I would have been screaming to find it that cheap. I paid only $4.00 for mine. :)

    I love the list. I know that took some time to compile. Thank you for sharing and working hard on it.

    1. Yes, thyme2Bthrifty is our sweet Anna from the old AOL board. She got a great deal on that book.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the list. Some of them took me a while to find something for like Q, X, and Z. But it was fun to come up with them.

    2. Now that Safyne Anais knows who I am, give me a hint who you are from the good 'ole AOL Tightwad Board years. ::please::

    3. Anna, It's DeeAnn from the old AOL board. I was the one with the fancy signatures and avatars you all use to love. I am still remember that to this day and it makes me smile. I was so happy to stumble on Belinda's blog to find so many of our AOL girls. I miss all of you.

  7. Love these! Hope you all are doing well.

    1. Thank you, Sarah. I hope you are doing well too. :)

  8. Hit the used book stores and buy a copy for Tightwad Gazette...you'll use it over and over


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