Do you really want to know how to make the stuff you buy last as l-o-n-g as possible?
Do you want to know how to get the most out of the things you buy?
Then read on! The good news is anyone can do this! It’s way too simple and easy. Use these tips honed from my family’s years of experience and you’ll be pleasantly surprised…….
Can frugal living be … gasp…..FUN?
Why not? It’s fun when you know you’re saving money and improving your finances!
What’s so great about being frugal?
Being frugal means you’re reducing unnecessary wastage, without compromising on quality.
It means you get to save more money (I see you nodding.)
And you’re helping our environment too! There’s less pollution and strain on our natural resources and your children and their children will have a better world to live in.
It’s a win-win deal for everyone.
These frugal tips won’t make you a billionaire, but it’s bound to stretch your dollar to the very last possible cent! And this translates into very good savings for you!
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1. Find multiple uses for the same item or try to use up all parts of an item.
Save money by finding extra ways to use up a fruit or item.
Take for example, a lemon. After extracting the lemon juice, you can shave off the lemon peel and mince it to sprinkle over cooked dishes or use it for baking. The lemon skin has been shown to have excellent health benefits.
These lemon halves can also be used to remove finger stains if you’ve handled beetroot or tumeric. Rub your fingers against the inside of the lemon halves.
Save the lemon halves to clean your glass shower doors. They’ll help to make the doors clear again.
Squeezed lemon halves can also be placed in fridges to freshen up and absorb odors. A natural deodorizer….how good can this get? Compost the lemon after it has freshened up your fridge for several days.
2. Look after your stuff well.
Save a lot of money by looking after your things properly. They’ll last much longer and serve you better. This applies especially to cell phones, appliances, your car and so on.
With our hectic lifestyles, we are often in hurry and may be less careful with our things. How many times have you dropped your phone?
Have you ever wondered why they feel so smooth? So that you’ll be more likely to drop them and buy a new one. That translates into more profit for phone companies of course! I’ve seen and heard of phones with screens that have multiple cracks on them, and sadly they broke or didn’t last long.
The use of Lifeproof cases to protect your phones is optional because of the cost. If you own an iphone and you use it in rough conditions, you may like to consider getting it. As for me, I use bubble wrap to protect my phone. I salvaged the bubble wrap which was used as packaging material for items I had bought.
Not dropping your phone can save you the hundreds of dollars needed to replace it!
You can also save hundreds on motoring expenses by looking after your car well. Check your motor oil level about once a week. This simple act could save you thousands, as you’d prevent very costly engine failure arising from a low oil level. Use these 11 simple ways to save heaps on your motoring.
Related article: 5 Easy Steps Saved me $554 in under an Hour
3. Use less than the amount recommended.
You’ll save money on dishwasher and laundry powders.
We’ve been experimenting and found that using only one-third of the manufacturer recommended amount works just as well, meaning that everything in the dishwasher or washing machine still comes out clean.
Have you ever noticed that the recommended amount is usually a large quantity? Following this recommendation is wasting your money, and our environment is badly affected too.
Tip: Gradually decrease the amount of detergent till you find your sweet spot – use the least amount you need and stick to it. Your appliances and detergents will last much longer, and so will your money 🙂
Watch this fun video to find out what frugal means.
4. Use the shortest wash cycle to save power and money.
We use the shortest wash on our dishwasher, which is about 35 minutes, compared to at least an hour or the so-called normal wash. Our dishes come out clean.
Guess what? We also use the shortest wash on our washing machine. This takes only 22 minutes, and the clothes come out clean as well!
So use the shortest wash cycle to save money, water and the environment. Your appliances will last longer as there’s less wear on them 🙂
5. Use the dishwasher only once a day to save power and money.
Used once a day, the dishwasher suffers less wear and tear as it’s used less during its lifetime. We either soak stubborn stains or pre-scrub some utensils and crockery before they go into the dishwasher.
Related article: 12 Surprising Frugal Tips that Thrifty people love
Related article: 5 Easy Steps to Saving Hundreds on Insurance.
6. Save money by using vegetable scraps, and other odds and ends to make stock.
When you have leftover chicken frames, pork or beef bones and vegetable scraps, boil and turn them into stock, or you can do that using a slow cooker.
Save the stock and freeze them to use for flavoring your dishes. Homemade stock contains more nutrition and they’re much healthier. Most commercial stock cubes contain salt, sugar, artificial flavoring and artificial colors.
Tip: When you baking or roasting meats like chicken drums, save the juice to use as stocks too. Store them in your freezer. They’re a great addition to soups.
Slow cookers are very versatile. I’ve got two at home. The small initial investment you make now will pay you large dividends in terms of time and effort down the road. My mom used to switch on her slow cooker and then leave for work at 7 am and she didn’t get back till 5.30 pm. Her meals were absolutely yummy and I soon discovered her secret – her slow cooker! Make your life easier by finding out more about slow cookers here.
Related post: 20 Practical Ways to Not Waste Food and Save More
7. Repair and reuse your things to minimize waste and save money
When things are slightly damaged, find new ways to use them or just repair them whenever possible.
Look at the photo of these winter slippers.
Did you know that using duct tape is a quick and effective way to mend them? They’ll be nearly as good as new. Just try not to look at them too closely! More importantly, you save money as duct tape costs only a few bucks, but can fix lots of damaged stuff. Repair and reuse means there’s less impact on the environment too, since these slippers have not been dumped.
Over time, a crack appeared in my son’s sandals and it started to tear. How to repair it then?
By sewing it together using a fine fishing line threaded through a large needle, my spouse was able to repair it and now it’s almost as good as new 🙂 Secret: you need a pair of pliers to help push the needle though the material.
So, mend and keep using your things to save money and avoid wastage. Chuck stuff out only after they’ve become irreparable.
8. Mend the frayed edges or loose stitches as soon as possible
Don’t underestimate this simple action as it can save you a fair bit of money. You can get a sewing kit for as little as $2, like this set here. My ex-colleague had an even smaller set, but it worked wonders as one of the needles came to my rescue. It was used to dislodge a splinter in my finger!
I had a set of flannelette bed linen in perfectly good condition. It started with a tiny tear, but I was too lazy to stitch it together. The tear ‘grew’ so monstrous that it ran down the whole length of the sheet. Secondary tears started ‘growing’ sideways from the main tear. In the end, I had to cut it up and use the pieces as rags. Alright, I’ll admit it’s totally my fault, but I’ve since learnt my lesson.
9. Collect free auto battery water and save
My spouse collects condensed water and uses it for his car battery. Our breakfast oats are soaked in bowls of boiling water and covered with lids. After several minutes, he’d carefully remove these lids and consolidate the water in one of the clean jars we’ve saved up. He does this over several days, and his collection of distilled water grew.
He saved $6 from not having to buy this water from an auto parts store. $6 may not seem like much, but he derives some pleasure from this fun (to him!) and frugal activity. But then he seems to derive great pleasure from anything that’s to do with cars!
10. Put your dehumidifier water to good use
If you have a dehumidifier, ensure that its water container is clean. The water that’s collected is demineralized water that can be used for your car battery. You can also use the water for your steam iron.
11. Reuse your grey water from your washing machine and save precious water
Collect the waste water from your washing machine rinse cycle and use it to water your garden or flush your toilets. We’ve been saving this water and doing this for years.
This simple strategy helps reduce your water bill and saves you cash. Have an idea when your washing machine will discharge the waste water and collect the useful water.
It’s fun for some folks, as you need to collect as much water as you can that flows super fast from the drainage pipe 🙂
Now that you’ve digested these frugal tips that’ll save you money, don’t you agree that they’re super easy? Pick a few or as many tips as you’d like to try.
Remember to keep a light-hearted view and have fun. Keep practicing these tips and you’ll become a pro at frugal living in no time.
For the rest of the exciting ” 20 Frugal Living Tips to Save Even More Money”, read Part 2 here.
I’m always interested in learning new ways to be more frugal. Share yours in the comments below. I’ll be thrilled.