Food waste is a massive problem in the U.S. It’s also a huge waste of money. CNBC reports that the average family wastes $1,500 per year on food they never eat, which breaks down to $125 per month. One way to reduce your food waste is to follow the first-in, first-out rule that restaurants use. In your pantry and refrigerator, always store the earliest-purchased food toward the front so they stay visible and you use them first, storing later-purchased food toward the back.
In our grandparent’s upbringing, if something broke or wore out, you’d find a way to fix it. Items were built for quality and fast fashion wasn’t even an idea. If your chair broke, you’d fix it. Clothing would be mended and patches added. Learning to sew and general this time. One of my favorite garage sale finds old cast iron. Typically the pans are neglected and rusty. With a little TLC, the cast iron is easily brought back to its former glory. Since they were “ugly” and rusted, you can usually negotiate the price down.
Thrifty and frugal folk are not interested in working all hours, just the opposite really. They don’t live to work, they work to live. But if there are ways to make more money easily, without sacrificing their quality of life, then they will do it. Making extra money from home or while you are going about your daily life is the perfect way to pick up extra cash. If you want a work from home job here is a list of FREE resources to help you decide which is the best way to earn extra money for you.
Instead of hiring out, learn how to do tasks around the house for yourself such as painting and other maintenance tasks. Sources such as YouTube are great to learn how to fix a leaking sink or change your car’s burnt-out headlight. Many of the tasks we outsource can be done by us with only a little bit of forethought.
Anyone who loves dressing in the latest fashions knows how quickly clothing, shoes, and accessories can go out of style. That means you probably have tons of clothing items that you don’t wear any more just sitting in your closet. Use your clothing collection to your advantage to help you afford new purchases. Once you’re finished wearing an item, sell it and use the money you make to buy something new. You’ll help keep from cluttering your closet with new things and give you a chance to buy something new without going over budget. There are a variety of places you can sell your clothing to help finance new purchases:
Everyone loves the smell of clothes dried outdoors. We saw in Tip #19 how to save money on laundry detergent. How about cutting the cost of drying your clothes to zero? If you are able to hang clothes outdoors, do so. If not, you can use a clothes drying rack. They are inexpensive and pay for themselves many times over. As a bonus, you add moisture to the air during the dry winter months. That means your frugal clothes drying habit will also make your home more comfortable. You can read more about the clothes drying racks I use here. There are some links to Amazon to help in your search for the best clothes drying rack also.
To save money, you can start a side hustle to make extra money. Aside from getting a second job, there are other ways to earn more income:
It’s no secret that turning off a light when you leave a room and not leaving water running saves money. Perhaps start thinking even more frugally. In the Depression Era, single household laundry rooms with washers and dryers were only a dream. Your options were washboard or be dirty. Drying clothes was done outside in the sun or indoors during bad weather. I’m not suggesting we abandon our electric washers, only pointing out that d our clothes quickly is optional. During nice weather, instead of running your dryer, hang your clothes outside to dry. Here are guides for building your own clothesline and repurposing an old pair of khakis into a clothespin bag.
You can save the world and yourself one frugal act at a time. Whenever possible, bike to work, the grocery store, the bank or anywhere else you might be going. There are bloggers who think you should live close to work to be frugal. I personally love living in the backwoods where I grew up. It is 15.1 miles from my driveway to my office. And I bike it many times every year. I had an old Huffy bike I rode forever. I decided to get myself a new flashy set of wheels and pulled out my pencil and paper to calculate exactly what it would take to get a free bike. You can read that story here. It is about halfway through the linked post.
How full is your recycling bin each week? How about the garbage bin? All the stuff in those bins is filled with stuff you paid for only to throw it away. Want to inject frugality into every purchase? It is simple. Buy stuff with the least packaging. Packaged foods are the worst. Processed food is a bad health choice, as well. All that packaging is paid for by you. But did you want the food inside or the box? The food, of course. Yet you paid for the box, too. (There is no free ride. The box has a cost and it is added to the price of the product.) When you purchase something, be aware of the packaging. It is costing you a fortune.