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10 Ways I Living Frugally and Save Money

Living mindfully trickles into all areas of my life, including my finances.

I view frugal living as a way to spend my money intentionally and purposefully, without being wasteful.

I don’t feel as if I'm depriving myself or compromising my quality of life.

Making the areas of my life I value most the priority of where I choose to spend my money like, health, experiences, and family. We will spend money differently because we have different priorities, goals, and lifestyles.

These are a few ways I live frugally and save money.

1. Coffee at home

I love good coffee, and I will spend a bit more at the grocery store for it. I enjoy my morning ritual of boiling water in the kettle and slowly pouring over the grounds in the ceramic dripper. I add raw honey and MCT oil, topped with frothed cream.

Delicious and just the way I like it.

Specialty coffee drinks can be very expensive, especially if it is a daily occurrence.

2. Capsule wardrobe

In a world of fast fashion, many clothing items are outdated and discarded within a few months. Having a simple wardrobe capsule is the best thing I’ve done to live frugally. The neural colors and timeless articles of clothing allow me to mix and match each item, giving me countless options. Buying quality items means they last longer, and in turn, I purchase less clothes.

3. Weekly meal planning

I like to plan and prep my meals. This simplifies my life so much. When dinner time rolls around I never wonder what I’m going to make, or need to run to the grocery store to pick up last-minute items. Everything is ready to go, which makes it less tempting to eat out.

*Tip: Only buy what is on the list and nothing else.

I plan out my weekly meals make a list of the items, and stick to the list.

Inflation is raising the cost of food. I only buy what I need for meals. I have found that the impulse items can knock me off track from my budget and fitness goals, and usually go to waste.

4. Eat whole foods

Farmers' markets are the best in the summer. Buying local and in-season produce supports local farmers, and the produce is always fresh.

I don’t buy overly processed foods, like packaged cookies, bars, soda, juice, candy, crackers, and other snacks. I also don’t spend money on convenience foods, frozen or prepackaged foods. I stick to whole food items which are cheaper and healthier.

5. Homemade beauty products & household cleaners

Living frugally and mindfully, I began making many of our family toiletries and household cleaners 8 years ago. They cost me pennies to make and I avoid harsh chemicals in my home or on my body. I’ve found they work just as well if not better than store-bought products.

  • Shampoo 1/2 cup water 1 tsp baking soda 5-7 drops of Castile liquid soap Massage into wet hair, then rinse.

  • Conditioner 1/4 cup water 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar Massage into clean wet hair, leave for 1 minute, then rinse completely.

  • Deodorant 1/8 cup coconut oil 1-3 tsp baking soda a few drops of essential oil (optional) Use fingers to rub mixture under armpits. Allow to absorb into the skin before getting dressed. *If the deodorant is not working well enough, increase the amount of baking soda. If your armpits are developing a rash or agitated skin, reduce the amount of baking soda.

  • Body Butter

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup shea butter

1/4 cup cocoa butter

Melt all three together. Cool completely and then blend with an immersion blender until whipped. If body butter will not whip it is most likely still too warm. Put into the refrigerator and blend again once cooled.

  • All-purpose cleaning spray

1 cup water

1 cup vinegar

5 drops essential oil (optional)

Place into a spray bottle and shake well.

  • Window cleaner

1 cup water

1 cup rubbing alcohol

1 Tbsp vinegar

Place into a spray bottle and shake well.

6. Pack lunch

When I plan and prep my meals for the week I include items for lunch.

I have always packed lunches for my kids when they were in school, and my husband packed his lunch too.

The cost of lunch for several family members 5 days a week can add up.

Taking a bit of time to plan and prep lunch the night before saves money and stress.

Whether it’s a day trip, or a weekend getaway we love to travel. Because we don’t eat fast food, I pack a small cooler or backpack for lunch. If we are on a road trip for many days, I stop at a grocery store and buy a Baggett, fruit, veggies, and hummus for lunch. This is healthier and more cost-effective than fast food.

7. No single-use items

Buying disposable items requires me to continue re-buying those items and puts many products into the landfill. I use silicone zip-lock bags, wax cloths, and large cloth bread bags in place of plastic baggies.

I don’t buy paper plates, plastic cups or utensils.

In place of plastic water bottles, everyone in the family has a metal water bottle that we fill before leaving the house.

An old-fashioned metal razor for shaving works wonderfully and keeps plastic disposable razors out of the landfill. A package of 50 razor blades costs under $10 and will last me over 3 years.

8. Home fitness

My health is essential to me and a priority. However, I’ve never been one to go to the gym and run on a treadmill. But, I have been physically active my entire life. I grew up in the mountains and have been hiking since I could walk. If I can hike I will, and if I’m not near mountains I will walk. I’ve been practicing yoga for 25 years and have a daily practice.

The great thing about yoga is that I can practice it at home, outside, or at a yoga studio.

My husband (however) is a gym rat! He loves his gym time. He always finds a small local gym that meets his needs at a low cost. His current gym membership is $10 a month.

9. Eating out allowance

Being frugal doesn’t mean I never eat out. My husband and I enjoy a delicious meal and the experience of dining out. And it’s always wonderful meeting up with my girlfriends. I choose to be intentional about the amount of money I spend eating out.

Eating out is one expense that I have complete control over. I set aside a budget amount for eating each month. This way I’m never surprised at the end of the month when I look at my bank account by the amount I spent on restaurants. If we have a special occasion our budget might go mostly to that one meal or we stretch our budget across several less expensive meals.

10. Dress appropriately

I have lived in an extreme four seasons climate. The winters are very cold and the summers are very hot.

To offset the cost of heating in the winter and cooling in the summer, I keep the house a bit cooler in winter and warmer in summer. Humans were never meant to always live in a perfect 72 degrees. My cozy sweater and fuzzy socks make sense on cold winter days. Just as a light summer dress is what should be worn on a hot summer day.

Get creative with ways you can save money. You don't need to go without, maybe find simple solutions to make your dollar go further.

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