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The Top 10 Most Frugal Things I Do

I’ve been living frugally for quite some time now. There are still some things I need to work on, but for the most part, frugal living has become a part of my everyday life. Some things have just become so ingrained in my brain that I don’t even realize when I’m doing them! For instance, opening the blinds and using the sunlight to light up our living room is just something I do without thinking. I know it drives my husband nuts, but you can’t argue with the electric bill savings! It got me thinking about all the other frugal things I do, which is why I put together this list of the Top 10 Most Frugal Things I Do. Enjoy!

 

Leave The Lights Off During The Day

Our electric bill is one of the few bills we have some control over. Even if you turned off your air conditioning, all the lights, and didn’t cook a single meal, you’d still have a bill at the end of the month.

One of the ways I keep our electric bill down is keeping the lights off during the day. There are a few rooms that don’t get enough light since they are not near windows, including the bathrooms and laundry room. Those are the only two rooms in the house that don’t get any light during the day. The bedrooms, kitchen, and our living room all get plenty of sunlight from the nearby windows, so during the mornings and afternoons, I leave the lights off.

 

Pack A Snack

Since we are a homeschooling family we eat at home most every day. Since the kids have sports and homeschooling classes outside of the house we pack snacks. I know that at least one of us will get hungry at some point and those vending machines and snack shacks can get expensive for a family of 6. A case of water is left in the car and a bag of snacks and sandwiches are packed up and ready to go for the hungry crew.

 

Wash Laundry Using Cold Water

Want to hear a secret? I have never ever separated my whites from my colors! NEVER! It’s amazing I haven’t ruined anything I’ve owned all these years. Despite my horrible laundry habits, I have not. It was these experiences that taught me to just wash everything in cold. Our whites look just fine, and our colors are just as colorful. While this may not save a ton of money, a few cents add up quick!

 

Take Home Food When We Eat Out

Restaurant size portions are HUGE. Before I’ve even taken a bite out of my dish, I ask for a to-go box and put half of it away to take home! This means I get to enjoy my tasty meal a second time for lunch, and I’ve stopped myself from overeating. This frugal trick extends the life of your meals and leaves no food to waste. We especially like to take advantage of those restaurant deals where you buy one and get to take another one home for free! It’s like paying for one meal and getting 2 or 3 more free!

 

I Plan All Our Meals

Since James and I have been married, I’ve been meal planning. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it saves us a lot of money on groceries. I sit down with my weekly ad, coupons, and a list of what we already have, and put together a meal list for the week. This helps make sure I take the meat out in time to thaw, allows me to plan ahead for busy nights, and avoids food waste as much as possible. I’m then able to make a grocery list of only the things we need, which saves us money!

I add the menu to my planner for the week and any meal prep like thawing meat for the next day. It’s so easy to look at a glance of what meal is next. (KATI – AFFILIATE LINKS FOR PLANNER)

 

Buy Our Meat In Bulk, Sale Or Clearance

There are very few exceptions to this rule, but generally, I do not buy my meat at full price. By stockpiling meat when it hits rock bottom price, I always have some on hand until the next sale. We buy chicken, bacon, beef, and even shrimp during sales and freeze them until they’re ready to be used.

I use freezer baggies and separate out the bulk packages into meal size portions. This helps me stay on track with what I have to use and they don’t get freezer burnt wasting my money. I even have used a Foodsaver and that works great too at prolonging the life of your foods in the freezer. (KATI – AFFILIATE LINKS FOR Foodsaver)

 

We Cut Our Cable

When James and I moved into our first house and we had to move the cable from our apartment to our new home, I got into a price war with the cable company.  And I can be stubborn. So we went seven years without cable. After seven years we moved about an hour East into the next county, the first thing James asked was if we were actually going to REALLY GET CABLE?!! {I have a sneaky suspicion that he was diligently praying for a “yes” answer… and he got it!}

Then, sometime during 2016, our Phone/Cable/Internet company, Verizon, was purchased by Frontier, and they raised our rate by over $10, per month! Without ever even telling us! And then, when it went up again, by another $10, we noticed. So James decided we could honestly do without cable, and CUT IT OFF. {And the home-phone too}

A month later when we actually got the new bill, we did a little happy dance! Because it saved us $77 per month! That means, over the course of a year, we will save $924! Score!!

 

Keep Emergency Frozen Pizzas

Sometimes I don’t feel up to cooking…ok, a lot. You probably got a good laugh out of this one, but it is a really useful frugal tip. Whether your plans ran long or you’re just not in the mood to cook, a frozen pizza can save your night in a pinch! We keep at least six frozen pizzas in the freezer at all times just in case.

 

Coupon And Shop Sales

I started couponing years ago, and it completely transformed the way I shop for everything. We buy everything we need at a discount, and pass the savings along to other parts of our budget! Couponing and combining them with great sales allows us to eat the food we love for a lot less.

 

Create A Stockpile

I had never started a stockpile until I started couponing. I made it a goal to create a stockpile of things we use regularly so we would never have to pay retail prices again! My stockpile includes items such as laundry detergent, air fresheners, cookie mix, aluminum foil, razors, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo and conditioner, trash bags, and so much more! All of these items were free or bought with coupons or during a great sale, and now we have at least a month or more supply to last us!

Out of everything I do to save money for our family, these are by far my top frugal things. Most of these are second nature now, and I do them without even blinking. Frugal living isn’t just a way of life around here, it’s apart of everything we do!

 

Your Turn: What are the most frugal things you do? How has it helped your budget?

 

 LOVE to use these containers
for meal prepping!
Celebrate Christmas & Hanukkah?
Here’s how to stay on budget!
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