In times of economic downturn, many people look for ways to reduce their household budget expenses and save extra cash. Living a thrifty lifestyle does not have to mean doing without. Making small changes will allow you to save money and still enjoy your favorite treats and activities. Being frugal can help you save for retirement, pay off your credit cards faster or even just save money for a dream vacation. To live in a thrifty way, you need to pay attention to your day-to-day expenses.
Track your spending for at least two weeks. You won’t really know how to live a thriftier lifestyle until you know where your money is currently going. Write down every time you spend money and take a look at the list at the end of the month. You will see obvious ways to reduce the small daily expenses that many people accrue.
Scour the Internet when you have to make purchases. Because of the easy access to information, you can compare prices from more stores in less time. Check your local stores as well as online providers to find the best price.
Turn off the lights and other electronics in your home when you are not using them. Open a window and let in the natural light instead. Electronics use takes a tremendous amount of extra energy, costing you money. Unplug chargers when you are not using them. Your cell phone charger is still using a residual amount of electricity when it is plugged into the wall.
Cut back on your cable. You probably don't really need 500 channels. Reduce your cable package or eliminate it altogether and save a large chunk of money every year. If you decide you really can’t live without it, call your cable company and see if there are any promotions or discounts available.
Use coupons when you do your regular grocery shopping. Many websites offer free, printable coupons you can take with you to the grocery store. Check sites such as BettyCrocker.com for coupons of a variety of name-brand products. Combining manufacturer’s coupons with store discounts can lead to major grocery savings.
Eat at home most nights. When you do go out, look for available deals and discounts. If you are a frequent restaurant diner, consider purchasing an Entertainment Book for local restaurants. These collections of coupons typically cost about $30, but they provide 2-for-1 deals at local restaurants and places of interest.
Have a movie night at home. Invite over all your friends for popcorn and fun.
- Have a movie night at home. Invite over all your friends for popcorn and fun.
Kimberly A. Smith has been a freelance writer for two years. She graduated from the University of California at Davis and the California Culinary Academy, then pursued a career baking wedding cakes. During her time at CCA, she received certification in nutrition and food safety. She currently attends the University of Oregon School of Law.