Try these frugal living tips to painlessly trim your household budget!



Everyone is trying to cut their spending these days. Most of us tend to think of the word 'frugal' as meaning cheap to the point of the Scrooge genre.

In fact, frugal is mostly a matter of not wasting your assets and resources. How many of us can say we haven't had to throw out some food item that inadvertently became a science project in the frig? Washed a single item in the washer? Here we give some frugal living tips that will help you save money in every area of your household maintenance.

What causes many of us to be scrambling for frugal living tips is that most of us have less disposable income. We definitely notice this when we start living paycheck to paycheck. So it just makes sense that the first stop in our analysis is the budget.

Here's how to conduct your budget exam. Split your page, or spreadsheet, into two columns. One's for income, the other for expenses. The income column is pretty easy. You need to be thorough in thinking through the expense column items. You may not think of the couple of trips to the dry cleaner's each month, the daily newspaper or other such incidental expenses. Once you've got all your expenses recorded, go down the list and mark any that are not necessities. Now you need to establish priorities. Do away with the ones you really don't need. If you have credit cards with high interest rates, consider debt consolidation. Your budget exam is perhaps the best frugal living tip we can offer, because in most households, this is where you can gain the most in your cash flow.

Most families can cut their food bill by at least 20% and still serve the same quality of meals, just by shopping smart and using coupons and rain checks. Look up some of the grocery shopping tips on household websites for many excellent ways to save on groceries. Put leftovers in dated containers or bags in a designated area and use them! Veggies can go in salads, soups or stir fry dishes, along with bits of meat.

Here's another good frugal living tip that brings in some cash and gets rid of clutter in a single effort. Go through the closets, kitchen, wardrobes and garage and gather up all the things you don't use. Hold a garage sale. You might add a few hundred dollars to your bank account, if you haven't done your spring cleaning for a while.

Do you have young kids who grow out of their clothes every three months? You can run up a horrendous department store or credit card bill if you buy new clothes. Here's a great frugal living tip for you! Try shopping the consignment or thrift store shops. You'll find 'gently used' clothes at a fraction of the price of new.

When you do the laundry, always fill the washer. Don't do those extra-small loads. It's just wasting energy and money. As for drying clothes, even if you have a dryer, consider hanging the clothes on the old-fashioned clothes line, weather permitting. Your clothes will smell sweet and fresh, at no cost.

Other ways to save on electricity costs: remember to turn off lights when not in use. Insulate your water heater to realize up to 3% in energy savings over the year. Repair weatherstripping. Check your power company's website. They often have articles detailing ways to save on your energy bill.

Using these frugal living tips can add up to a lot of savings and a manageable budget. Frugal living makes good sense!

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