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My Favorite Ways To Be Frugal Right Now

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In my time of trying to live frugally, I’ve learned that some frugal living ideas work better at certain times, and other times you need different ideas entirely.  Phases of life are different, and so must your money saving methods be.  Just as an example, there maybe times in your life when money is REALLY tight, and you need to employ every frugal tactic you can find.  At another point, you may find that, while money isn’t flowing freely, it isn’t quite so tight and you can spend some money on things that matter to you, above and beyond the absolute basics.

The phase we are in right now is that money is tight, and we need to be working towards our savings goals to get a new car… but there’s a tiny bit of wiggle room where we can spend a bit on things that are really important.  Such as my new throw pillows, 50% off from the thrift store:

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They were by no means a necessity, but we like to have lots of pillows to sit and lay on, and one of our most-used throw pillows was coming apart in so many places it really wasn’t salvageable.  So we popped into the thrift store to see what we could find,and came out with two pillows that coordinate with the room, for 50% off.  Can’t beat that deal!  I also found a nice, big plastic bowl to store leftovers in for $.99.  Another great deal.

Other than those two purchases, we’ve mostly been spending money only on bills and groceries.  We’re also employing some frugal tactics to get the most of our money.  Here are a few of them:

  • Growing our own food.  While it was a bit of a monetary outlay to buy the plants and pots, it will be worth it when the food is growing and ready to eat.  We don’t have a lot, just a cherry tomato plant, a yellow belle pepper plant,and a couple pots of herbs.

    This is my first time trying to grow any sort of food {or anything, really}, but I’m finding I’m having a lot of fun with it, and very hopeful to get some delicious food later.
  • Using a rice cooker to cook regular rice to fluffy perfection, rather than buying instant rice to cook in the microwave.  Not only does the rice from the rice cooker taste better, but it’s also much cheaper to buy bags of regular rice.
  • Buying cauliflower to turn into cauliflower rice. We should really be eating more cauliflower rice and less actual rice.  The other day I decided to take a shot and see if the rice cooker could cook cauliflower rice, and indeed it cooked it to perfection. Unfortunately bags of pre-riced cauliflower are expensive and not fitting with our frugal eating. So I went to Fresh Thyme yesterday and bought 8.8 lbs of $.99/lb cauliflower to put through the food processor. I’m not sure how much cauliflower it will take to make enough for a meal, but I know it will have to be cheaper than buying it pre-riced.
  • Getting our entertainment from the library.  A perennial favorite around here, we continue to entertain ourselves with the bounty of the library.  Hubs usually has a foot tall stack of movies checked out that he plans to watch, and I snag books for every interest I have coming and going.  The amount of money it would cost to get the stuff any other way would be mind boggling.
  • Staying home. This is a pretty simple one. If we go out, we spend money.  Even when it’s an innocent trip to the library.  While we do utilize the library heavily, we try to go only once or twice per week.  We’re terrible at resisting the temptation to buy fast food or iced coffee or something. So the best thing we can do for ourselves is stay home. It saves gas money, and incidentals money.
  • Enjoying my home.  This sort of goes with the last one, but it’s also it’s own point.  I’ve found that having a cozy home and being surrounded with things that have meaning and bring joy make it much less claustrophobic to stay at home.  At one point I had tons of knickknacks and things everywhere in the old apartment.  Most of it was nothing I truly treasured or had much of any feeling about.  Since then, and especially since we’ve moved to the new townhouse, I’ve downgraded significantly.  I have much less stuff sitting around, and the things I do have are mostly things that were gifted to me or I inherited, and the rest mostly came from the thrift store.
  • Reading books and blogs about how others save money, keep house, and live well.  Being a homemaker, it’s good for me to have that motivation.  Many days I’m mentally not strong enough to clean, or in physical pain, but reading that kind of stuff in my downtime helps energize my up time.  And even though I often think there’s no new frugal living advice to be found anymore, I get surprised and find something new that will be really helpful in our lives.
    {Example:  Stumbling across a homemade rice seasoning mix that will make our rice taste delicious for pennies, rather than buying seasoned rice mixes or cheese or canned soups on it.  And it’s healthier than either of those things, too.}

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Most of these ideas are not revolutionary, but they ARE big money savers when we faithfully utilize them.

What kind of things are you using in this season of your life to save money and live better?

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