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!
What’s so great about being frugal?
Being frugal means you’re reducing wastage unnecessarily 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 will have a better world to live in.
It’s a win-win for everyone.
These 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.
See if you can find 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 odours. A natural deodorizer….how good can this get. Compost the lemon after several days.
2. Look after your stuff well. What for?
They’ll last longer and serve you well.
This may sound basic but with our hectic lifestyles, we are often in hurry. This applies especially to cell phones, appliances, your trusty car and so on.
How many times have you dropped your phones? Have you ever wondered why they feel so smooth?
So that you’ll ‘accidentally’ drop them and buy new ones and that translates into more profit for phone brands of course! I’ve seen and heard of phones with screens that sported multiple cracks on them and sadly they didn’t last as long.
The use of Lifeproof cases to protect your phones is optional because of the cost. Unless 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 from items I had bought.
Related article: 5 Easy Steps Saved me $554 in under an Hour
3. Reduce the quantity recommended.
This applies to dishwasher powder and laundry powder that you usually use.
We’ve been experimenting and realize that using only one-third of the recommended amount works just as well, meaning that everything in the dishwasher comes out clean.
Have you ever noticed that the manufacturer’s recommendations usually involve large quantities? They’re wasting your money and the environment is adversely affected too.
Tip : Gradually decrease the amount till you find your sweet spot—use the least amount you can get away with and stick to it. Your dishwasher powder will last much longer.
4. We use the shortest wash for our dishwasher. This helps to save on power.
5. We use the dishwasher once a day. The dishwasher suffers from less tear and wear as it’s used fewer times 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 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 use 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 and artificial flavoring.
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 leave for work at 7 am and she didn’t get back till 530 pm. Her meals were absolutely yummy and I saw her secret—-her slow cooker! Make your life easier by finding out more about slow cookers here.
7. Repair and Reuse.
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.
Do you know that using duct tape is a quick and effective way to mend them? They’ll be as good as new. Just try not to look at them too closely. More importantly, you save money as duct tape can be as cheap as less than $5. Repair and reuse. This 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 does one repair it then?
You need a pair of pliers to help push the needle though the surface of the material. By sewing it together using a fine fishing line treaded through a large needle, my spouse was able to repair it and now it’s almost as good as new.
8. An excellent way to prolong the life of your clothes or sheets is to 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 set of 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 managed 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 and slow in stitching it together. The tear ‘grew’ so monstrous, it ran down the whole length of the sheet and 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. My spouse collects clean 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 buying this water from a garage. It may not seem like much, but he derives some pleasure from this activity. But then he seems to derive great pleasure from anything that’s to do with cars!
10. If you have a dehumifier, ensure that the water container is clean. The water that’s collected is demineralized water that can be used for car battery too. You can also use the water for your steam iron.
11. Collect the waste water from your washing machine rinse cycle in containers and use it to flush your toilets. We’ve been doing this for years.
This simple strategy helps reduce water bills and save your cash. Have an idea when your washing machine discharges the waste water and get ready.
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, don’t you agree that they’re super easy? Pick a few or as many tips as you like to try.
Remember to keep a light-hearted view and have fun. Keep practising 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 other ways to be more frugal. Do share yours in the comments below. I’ll be thrilled. Thanks.