Obviously, you know that I’m a fan of saving money, right? I’m the first to admit that it’s not been particularly easy for me to switch to a frugal mindset and truth be told, I’m probably not as frugal as I could be these days. Over the years though, some of the things I’ve done have become habits and it’s those frugal habits that mean that even when I’m not thinking frugally, I’m still doing OK!
These are some of the frugal habits that I didn’t do before but I now do automatically:
10 Frugal Habits you need to learn!
Meal planning is the one thing that is going to save you time and money every single week! By writing a meal plan at the start of the week based on what you have in, you’ll save money on your shopping as you’ll only buy what you need and time through the week as you don’t have to think about what you’re cooking and all going well, there should be no last-minute trips to the shop.
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One of the secrets to meal planning is definitely batch cooking and using your freezer to its full potential. I batch cook meals every now and again specifically to put in the freezer so I have homemade ‘ready meals’ ready to go when I need them and I also cook double when I’m cooking something like bolognese or stews so I have some extra to pop in the freezer. Even leftovers are great for lunches the following day or putting into the freezer for another time. Just make sure you don’t forget what you have in. 😉
Buying food in bulk
OK, I mean this in a completely different way to the current panic buying that’s going on because of the Corona virus. What I actually mean is that buying in bulk or larger quantities can save money – sometimes a little and sometimes a lot!
I shop at Costco on a monthly basis and buy quite a few things in bulk every month when I’m there. Things like herbs and spices are cheaper in larger tubs as are a lot of the things they sell there so I definitely save more than my annual membership fee. If you don’t have a Costco card, consider looking at your local ethnic supermarket or even the ethnic food section in your supermarket.
I picked up a small jar of Turmeric a while ago in the spice aisle at our local Tesco – 85p for 45g I think it was. I carried on wandering with my shopping list and stopped at the ethnic food section to pick up some coconut milk and I managed to pick up a packet for 100g for just 99p which is double the amount for an extra 14p.
Using up everything you already have in
When it comes to frugal habits, this is the one I struggle with the most!
I bet you have a ridiculous amount of cleaning materials in the cupboard under your sink and if you open the cupboard in your bathroom I can practically guarantee you have plenty of products that need using up, yet most of us continue to be tempted to buy new stuff because it’s on offer or because it apparently does more than the one you have already. And if you’re anything like me, you probably have a load of food in the cupboards that you could easily incorporate into a meal plan to use up.
So right now, make a pledge to yourself to try and use up everything you have in before buying something new!
Make your own where you can
So this can cover pretty much everything from homemade cleaning products to DIY beauty treats and from homemade spice mixes to shopping bags. Basically, if you can make it yourself rather than buy it then go for it!
My favourite things to make are homemade cleaning products and homemade beauty products because I like to know exactly what’s in the things I use.
You’ll save money on buying something, reduce waste by making it from something you already have in and do the environment a favour.
Reusable is cheaper and better for the world
OK, we know this don’t we – it’s common sense.
Reusable make-up pads, for example, will save you buying wipes that you’re just going to use once and throw away to the detriment of the environment. Making a switch from using cling film and foil in the kitchen to using environmentally friendly beeswax wraps that you can make at home and use time and time again is another example of how you can save money and waste.
There are so many examples of changing your habits and making the switch to reusable that it absolutely needs a post all of its own but start by looking at what you throw away and consider how you can change that – single-use water bottles, sandwich bags, batteries… There’s so much you can change with very little effort and each change will save you money as well as being kinder to the environment.
Do what you can to reduce landfill and make money from it where you can
Upcycle, sell or donate anything you don’t need to avoid sending it to landfill.
From a frugal perspective, I’d always rather try and sell something to make some extra money and in the past, I’ve successfully used car boot sales, eBay and my local Facebook selling site to sell things that I no longer need.
I’ve also upcycled furniture that’s seen better days and repurposed things so I can use them for something different rather than get rid of them.
And what I can’t sell, upcycle or repurpose for our own use, I donate to charity so someone else can have a go. 😉
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Make saving easy
I have everything set up so I can make an overpayment to my mortgage in less than 30 seconds and I can transfer money from my current account to a savings account in even less time. By making sure that I can do these things in less time than it takes me to change my mind and think of something else I can do with the money
Make sure you have a monthly budget – and that you stick to it
If you don’t have a monthly budget calculated then how do you know if you’re spending too much? I have a budget that I review properly every 3-6 months but on a smaller scale, every month. I then know where I can cut back and where I can afford to spend a bit more.
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Find your ‘Why’
We’re all frugal for different reasons and that’s the thing that keeps us going when people around are seemingly wasting money on things that you can’t afford. I’m frugal in some areas because I want to be able to spend more in other areas, such as travel and getting into the habit of reminding myself of that definitely helps keep me going. My reasons for being frugal have changed over the years though and I’ve been through the problems of having no money and having debt to consider so I understand that just as much as my current reasons for wanting to save money where I can.
If you can master these frugal habits then you’re absolutely going to save money even when you’re not really trying.
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