Frugal Living

Check here often for new and exciting ways that will help you live a more frugal lifestyle. Have you ever thought of growing your own produce instead of purchasing it at a grocery store? or how about making your own baby wipes? Making frugal changes to your lifestyle can help you and your family live on less but enjoy more!

 

Frugal Living Section 1: Cutting costs at the dinner table

Preparing delicious homecooked meals is a simple and easy way to save tons of money. I try to make a homemade meal at least 5-6 nights a week. By combining sales and coupons I am able to keep my grocery bill low and my meals cheap. Here are some helpful tips for tackling the grocery store and staying within your food budget:

  • Buy fresh produce when it is in season and frozen when its not.
  • Check your local Farmer’s Market for local produce. Items sold at Farmer’s Markets are always fresher and usually cheaper than grocery store produce.
  • Find out when your local grocery store marks down produce. This is a great way to find overripe bananas for baking.
  • Find out when your local grocery store marks down meat. Look for packages with stickers that say ‘Manager’s Special’. This is a great way to get discounts on pricier cuts of meat that rarely go on sale and to stock your freezer.
  • Purchase Split Chicken Breasts and ‘butcher’ them yourself. I buy SCB when they go on sale for $0.99/lb or less. I take off the skin, separate the breast from the bone and then separate the ‘tender’ from the breast. There you have it, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (that are usually $2.50-$3.00/lb) for cheap!  You can even save the bones and make your own homemade broth. Tutorial coming soon!
  • Stock up on items your family uses when they are at rock bottom prices. Track sales on items your family uses the most. Keep in mind things like condiments, chips, and grilling meats will hit low prices during the summer while items like flour, sugar, and turkeys will be low during the winter holiday season. Stock up when these items are on sale and get enough to last you to the next big sale.

By following these tips and keeping your grocery bill low, you can consistently serve your family wholesome meals without breaking the bank.

Frugal Living Section 2: Multiple uses for items you always have on hand: Shampoo

Did you know that you don’t even have to pay for shampoo these days?! Thats right, stores are giving shampoo away left and right. The trick is catching the sales, coupons, rebates or whatever it is that the store or manufacturer is offering. Places like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid frequently have various brands of shampoo on sale and will give you money back for buying it (ECBs, RRs, SCRs). All you have to do is throw in a coupon and you’ve got yourself some free haircare. I’ll be the first to admit that buying 50+ free bottles of shampoo to throw into your stockpile is enticing and may be even a good reason to throw a party, but did you know that shampoo isn’t just for your hair. There are tons of other ways you can use shampoo around your house. Think of it as an all-around freebie!

  • Substitute a good smelling shampoo (possibly one that doesn’t work well with your hair type) for body wash. Hey, if you can wash your hair with it, why can’t you wash your body with it too?
  • Dilute baby shampoo with some water to make a great eye makeup remover. Since its tear-free it won’t irritate your eyes!
  • Use it to get rid of laundry stains. Rinse the stain in cold water, add some shampoo and then wash as you normally would.
  • Use it as hand soap! Fill your liquid soap dispenser 1/3 full with shampoo and then fill the other 2/3 with water. Rotate the dispenser around a bit to mix the solution and voila!
  • Use it to spot clean rugs and upholstery.
  • Use conditioner as a substitute for shaving cream. It works incredibly well and will leave your legs silky smooth and moisturized
  • Use in place of any type of liquid cleaner you would use. Wash the floors, rugs, woodwork, etc with it.
  • Use it as a sink and tub cleaner.
  • Mix shampoo and baking soda to get rid of buildup left in your hair from hairspray and stylers.
  • Use it to clean your toilet.
  • Use it to clean your arts & crafts brushes.
  • Mix shampoo and water to make bubbles for your kids.
  • Mix shampoo and baking soda to clean any type of hard surface.
  • Use it to wash your sweaters and other delicate clothing items.
  • Use it to clean your nails. Dirt can get stuck under your nails and be tough to remove. Rub a drop of shampoo along the edges and under the tip of your nails and rinse. Your nails will be clean and shiny.
  • Use it to lubricate a tricky zipper.
  • Use baby shampoo to wash your car. It will even remove paint smudges!

So go ahead, build that 50+ shampoo stockpile, it will come in handy, I promise!

Frugal Living Section 3: Beauty on a Budget

We live in a world these days that puts a lot of emphasis on looking a certain way but often times trying to look that way can be pricey. I think I speak for most everyone when I say a little pampering here and there is a must! Who doesn’t like to look and feel good? But, who can afford to make weekly spa visits? Who can afford to hit up the department store beauty counter every time a new makeup trend emerges? Let me reassure you that you can look great for less and nobody will be able to tell you didn’t spend the big bucks! Just follow these tips for keeping beauty budget-friendly:

  • Have you own spa day…at home! Make your own facial mask using items you probably already have in your fridge, put cool slices of cucumber on your eyes to reduce puffiness, and get your skin smooth and glowing with a homemade body scrub.
  • Try new products for free. Scour the internet for Free Sample offers from companies. My favorite go-to place for samples is Walmart because they change their samples often and they ALWAYS come. They often showcase new products like body washes, foundation, and lotions.
  • Shop coupons and sales. Track sales at stores like Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid where beauty deals are prevalent. When a good sale comes along, match a coupon to the item and enjoy a free (or super cheap) beauty treatment.
  • Keep up with makeup trends- but don’t break the bank! Did you know that e.l.f. offers cosmetics for only $1.00! Plus they often run discounts, promotions, and sales. With prices this low you can afford to change your look as often as you want. Oh and did I mention brushes were only $1.00 as well!
  • Do your nails yourself. While I don’t recommend trying to do acrylic nails yourself, I do believe that practically anyone can give themselves a manicure and pedicure. e.l.f. also offers nail supplies for… you guessed it!  Stock up on polish, remover pads, and files for only $1.00 each. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself why not invite over a couple girlfriends and have a party!

Looking great on less can be simple and easy. Money make be tight but your confidence is glowing!

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