Since our family’s move from the “secure” life in Alabama (job with a monthly paycheck) to the “exciting” life in west Texas to start a vineyard (no paycheck at all !), I have learned even more ways to be frugal.
I have always tended toward frugality, but watching our savings dwindle as we have payed for land, vines, trellising and other vineyard related items, and the rest going quickly for living expenses, I have had to take a crash course in frugality. Each of these actions individually may seem insignificant, but their cumulative effect over time has added up to big savings.
- Tithe to your local church – Remember that God is source of all we have and can do. And He uses our all experiences to bring us to a greater knowledge of Him.
- Write all expenditures down in a budget book – Know where all your money is going.
- Stop impulse buying – Give yourself a week to think about a purchase and the necessity of it.
- Stay out of the stores as much as possible – What you don’t see won’t hurt you!
- Determine “needs” vs “wants” – Keeping up with the neighbors is an endless task in our society costing you not only money but needless anxiety.
- Compare prices – Look for the best buy. Check different stores as well as brands.
- Buy used – Shop yard sales, thrift stores, Craigslist, eBay
- If buying new, shop sales – Certain times of the year are more “sales” oriented than others so wait for these if possible.
- Make your credit card work for you – capitalize on the “cash back” aspect many card have when used to purchase particular items. Example: 5% cash back offered for gasoline purchases for the first $150/month.
- Use coupons – Coupons are a tool for you to use to save but also for the seller to hook you on a fad.
- Combine coupons with sales to maximize savings.
- Utilize store “rewards” programs – Example: Walgreens – Register Rewards or CVS – Extra Care Card and Extra Care Bucks.
- Drive older cars – If it still works and is reliable, keep it!
- Combine trips to save gasoline.
- Walk or bike instead of driving
- Adjust your thermostat so as to save energy.
- If you have a gas hot water heater, turn the pilot down.
- Turn off room lights when leaving a room.
- Turn off ceiling fans when leaving a room.
- Adjust your dishwasher load so as to maximize available space. Every home needs a dishwasher nazi to re-pack the load of dirty dishes more efficiently!
Tune in next week for even more frugal living tips!
by Expert Mommy, Dina-Marie Oswald