Frugal Living

money saving tips


Frugal living and going green have a lot in common.  Each concept seeks to preserve precious resources, both personal and natural.  In addition, both require action by human beings to be truly effective.  Success in frugality and the green arena aren’t mutually exclusive.  They actually build upon each others principles.  Let us show you how going green and frugal living can save you money, time, and effort over the long haul we call life.

Myth: Going Green Is Expensive

That’s an unfortunate myth.  Yes, you can go and throw out all of your cleaning products, makeup, old appliances, furniture, light bulbs, and vehicles out to replace them with more eco friendly pieces, but this is neither green, nor frugal.

So instead, we’re encouraging you to seek greener products gradually and replace things as needed.  Yes, it’d be great if you could replace all of that stuff—you could give your gently used items away to those in need, get a tax break, and acquire newer items for your enjoyment, but perhaps little by little is the way to go. 

Green and frugal living aren’t all about stuff really—it’s more about picking the right kinds of stuff that are derived from natural resources and/or reduce energy costs. This stuff should save you money, promote your health, and the earths' health long-term.  Going green isn’t necessarily expensive by default and can definitely be the best frugal living choice.

Fact: You Can Save Money, Embrace Frugal Living, and Go Green (All At One Time!)

And we can't wait to share our favorite ways to do all of these things at the same time. The frugal ideas below will help you pinch your pennies and then some.

Quick, No-Cost Sustainable Living And Frugal Tips For The Home

Drastically reduce your energy costs up to 50% by implementing these simple living, no-cost frugal ideas:

  • Set your water-heater temperature to 120 degrees.
  • Wash your laundry and dishes in cold water.
  • Shorten your shower by 1-2 minutes.
  • Draw the curtains on hot days and cool nights to save on heating and cooling costs.
  • Lower the cold settings for your fridge and freezer.
  • Use the sleep mode on your electronics, especially office equipment.
  • Lower your thermostat 3 degrees in the winter and raise it by 3 degrees in the summer.
  • Make a habit of switching off the lights and electronics when you depart a room. Pass this nugget of wisdom on to your children.
  • If possible, line dry clothes as often as you can.
  • Wash clothes and dishes only when the washer and dishwasher are full.

Learn more about the top 10 simple ways you can go green at home and at work.

frugality

Money Saving Tips For The Home

To reduce overall electricity bills, get yourself a Smart Strip Power Strip with Autoswitching Technology

for every major energy center in your home and office. The Smart Strip is no ordinary power strip. This particular model offers surge protection while eliminating the “phantom load” of devices in the off position. The appliances hooked up to the other outlets automatically switch off if the main device is powered down. It's super easy to operate and saves you a bundle on electricity bills. It uses less than one watt of power when fully energized and makes shutting off appliances a snap. Frugal living begins with saving energy.

This strip is perfect for home offices, entertainment and gaming centers, and “charging” centers for cell phones, music players, etc. Bonus! The unit is offered with free shipping!

  • Unplug [fill in the bank]. When devices are plugged into an outlet and aren't switched on, they drain electricity. This is called “phantom loading”. This costs you money. Solution: unplug non-essential items like cell phone chargers, blenders you never use, toaster ovens you rarely use, hairdryers, straighteners, air fresheners that no longer have any juice left, etc. Watch your electricity bill diminish as you implement this very easy, cost-effective green and frugal living tip. Get your hands on a Smart Strip (see link above) to make this frugal living step even easier.
  • Update Your Light Bulbs. Switching from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) will save you money by noticeably reducing your energy costs. CFLs are listed in different wattage than their incandescent counterparts. The 13-Watt CFLs have a 60-Watt output, but take less energy. The 23-Watt CFLs have a 100-Watt output. CFLs may appear to be slightly more expensive upfront, however you can save up to $45 a year per CFL bulb in energy costs! That's pretty incredible.

    CFLs use up to 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs. Most CFLs will last up to 10,000+ hours, as opposed to the 750 hours of incandescent light. Over a span of 5 years, the CFL bulbs will save you a chunk of change.

    sustainable living

    If you are looking for a deal on an 8-pack of ENERGY STAR® certified 13-Watt (60-Watt) CFLs, Amazon.com is a great place to shop. Learn more

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    Amazon.com offers an excellent price on 6-packs of ENERGY STAR® certified 23-Watt (100-Watt) CFLs too. Learn more

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    Warning! CFLs contain mercury, which means you shouldn't dispose of them in the trash. Mercury is a vapor contained within the tubing of the bulb. Major retailers, such as Home Depot, recycle CFLs for free, which is great for you and the environment.

    If a CFL bulb gets broken, the vapor will escape into the atmosphere which can be poisonous to small children, babies, fetuses, and the environment. Once broken, do NOT vacuum the remnants up. Gently sweep them into a plastic bag. Double bag the plastic bag. If you have small children that play in that area, some recommend you not allow them to play there for a couple of weeks. Learn more about broken CFL bulb cleanup.

    With all of these warnings, it may seem that CFLs are too much to mess with, but we believe they'll save you a lot of money and preserve precious energy resources over time. Please handle with care!

  • Fix Leaky Toilets. Leaky toilets can waste more than 100,000 gallons of water per year! To check your toilets for leaks, put a few drops of food coloring into the tank and wait for 5-10 minutes. If the coloring shows up, your toilet is leaking. Fix it yourself and stop flushing your hard earned dough down the toilet! Frugal living means fixing stuff yourself and saving precious resources.
  • Limit Vehicle Usage. The first thing you can do is cut down vehicle usage.  It’s a tight economy, so do yourself a favor and limit the use of your vehicle as much as possible.  This will save you money on gas and hopefully limits the frequency for routine maintenance.

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  • Carpool. Frugal living is all about banding together with coworkers to maximize your resources. This saves money spent on gasoline and distributes commuting demands easily. If you live in a big city like the District of Columbia, check into slugging to work. It's a service offered by local commuters and it's free! Click here to learn more.
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  • Sell Your Car. If you’re really feeling gutsy, get rid of your car altogether.  Depending on the vehicle you drive, you’re probably spending anything from $8,000 to $15,000 per year on vehicle costs between car payments/leases, insurance, registration, taxes, and gas.  Just imagine what you could do with the money you’d save if you didn’t have a car.  We get that this may not be a great option for those who don’t live in metropolitan areas with quality or reliable public transportation, but it is an option nonetheless.  If you have two cars and can’t stand to part with both, try getting rid of one.  It’ll save you a bundle in the long term.  Plus, a vehicle’s value continues to depreciate over time, so it’s like getting a pay raise if you do get rid of your vehicle.
  • Cleaning and Living Frugally

    Lots and lots of supposed green, non-toxic, over-priced cleaning products flood the market today. We know it's hard to tell which ones are really safe and clean effectively, so we've boiled it down to the following:

    • Frugality Meets Clean. Stop buying “green” cleaning products from your local grocer. A majority of the cleaning products you buy contain water as the main ingredient. Why buy products that are mostly water when you can add water for much cheaper at home? Instead, purchase non-toxic, natural, doubly concentrated cleaner with biodegradable surfactants and mix it in reusable bottles at home (super easy to do). This saves you money because you add your own water, instead of paying for it at the store over and over again. This keeps less materials (bottles, canisters, packaging, etc.) out of the landfills. Mixing your own cleaning agents is frugal, prudent, and green. Learn more about eco friendly truly green cleaning products. Green living is proving to be frugal living in disguise.

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    Frugality And Nutritional Supplements

    If you are a regular vitamin and supplement taker but fail to take your multivitamin or supplement, do you feel a difference in your energy levels, etc?

    If the answer is a resounding “no,” you're not being frugal with your supplement purchases. Frugal living is all about making wise and prudent purchases. If you spend $10-$15 on a bottle of generic or even “name-brand” multivitamins or supplements, yet fail to feel a difference when you don't take them, you aren't investing your hard earned monies wisely (and excrete out the result (we apologize for the crudeness of our last statement)).

    Putting nutritionally sound and complete stuff into your body is key if you want to live a long and healthy life. Did you know that 9 out of 10 Americans don't eat enough fruits and veggies? Did you know this can lead to serious health problems down the road? Not to mention the lack of energy, poor quality of life, doctor visits, and missing work...

    In order to be proactive about your health, it is imperative that you supply your body the nutrition it needs to optimally function. You want energy, yeah? You want to have great skin, great nails, strong knees, healthy insides, yeah? Strong heart, strong mind, strong body, yeah? You want to live to see your grand-kids and romp around with them, yeah?

    To reach all of these milestones, you've got to stop spending your money on synthetic nutritional supplements that don't make you feel one way or the other. Frugal living has everything to do with your health and spending your money wisely.

    So you have a couple of choices:

    a) Eat a perfectly balanced diet every day, consuming the exact portions of food groups. This eliminates the need for nutritional supplements, as you gain required nutrients from your carefully selected food choices.

    b) Make as many healthy choices as you can and supplement wisely with organic nutritional products that may help prevent a slew of diseases. Supplement with a nutritionally complete vitamin and mineral regimen that will leave you feeling the difference if you fail to take them.

    Since most of us aren't prepared to eat X number of servings of fruits, veggies, meats, grains, etc. per day, we need supplements to invest in our long-term health. This is frugal, prudent, and green. How so? When you supplement with the correct nutritional products, you cease to throw your money down the drain on products that don't work. Being prudent means making good, frugal living choices. Green living means selecting organic products that are derived from nature. Our body processes organically extracted materials better than synthetically derived ones.

    So what can you do?

    Choose nutritional products that have proven vitality—products that work and have the research to back it up. Otherwise you're just wasting your money, flushing it down the toilet (literally), and not embracing frugal living.

    Not sure how your multivitamin stacks up against our favorite nutritional supplements that are supported by 12 clinical studies and protected by 12 patents and 2 patents pending? Check out the unprecedented Landmark Dietary Supplement Study that proves our favorite products are more likely to help you retain normal levels of blood pressure, triglycerides, homo cysteine, HDL cholesterol, C-reactive protein, and more*. In fact, people that use these potent, naturally derived supplements are shown to have noticeably better health than those who use other multivitamins and those who don't supplement at all. People who use our supplements were found to have “very good” or “excellent” health and incur less disease than those who use other supplements or those who don't use supplements at all. Great health is frugal living at its best.

    So what's the moral of the frugal living story? Don't waste your money on supplements that don't actually improve your health. You should feel the difference!

    Taking a synthetic multivitamin or other generic supplement(s) may not make a bit of difference in your health, even if it makes you think you're doing something good for yourself, when you're really not (and you're throwing your money away). Take nutritionally sound, naturally derived supplements that improve your health. We've got the research to back it up, go to shaklee.com so see for yourself!

    Food

    Frugal living tastes great and is very refreshing!

    frugal tips

  • Refine Your Cooking Skills & Ditch Prepared Meals. Why? So you can bring your own lunch to work in reusable containers. This will save you roughly $10 a day or $2,600 a year. That is a huge savings!

    To get used to your new routine, make a list of what you need before you journey to the grocery store. Plan your meals (including breakfast and dinner) ahead of time and purchase those items only! Don't stray from the list, otherwise you'll end up spending a bundle on stuff that may seem like a good idea at the time, but may go to waste. Avoid impulse purchases. Keep your pantry stocked of practical, easy to prepare items. Pack your lunch the night before so it's ready to go the next morning. Enjoy. Eat. Wash. Repeat.

    If you are tempted to purchase frozen meals, we ask you to reconsider. Why? They are typically packed full of preservatives, unnecessary calories, fat, sodium, and last, but not least, the food is processed, meaning, it's not real food. Our bodies have a harder time breaking down overly processed foods which may contribute to weight gain and a host of other health problems. Plus, they contain all sorts of excessive packaging which undoubtedly junks up another landfill.

    If you must choose buy frozen lunches, ensure you are selecting ones that are low sodium, no preservatives, and that have wholesome grains and nutrients. Recycle the box and the plastic tray when you're done.

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  • Buy Groceries On Sale. This may seem like an obvious point, but we felt we should mention it. Most grocers post a new weekly ad on the same day of each week that displays the in house specials. Most chain grocery stores have the weekly ad posted online. Check out the ad before you head to the store and make a list of what you need that is on sale. Frugal living means sticking to your list! Plan ahead for meals you'll be preparing and purchase those items only. Take advantage of any frequent customer card programs your local grocer may have. Utilizing local tools like this will save you a ton of money on groceries.
  • Eat Less Meat. Meat is a great source of protein, but over-consumption may be hazardous to your health. It's relatively expensive compared to other sources of protein like beans or soy. You don't have to stop eating meat altogether, but consider eating less meat to promote frugality and sustainable living. It'll save you money and may help with cholesterol (if you are having any issues in that area). Looking for tasty alternatives to meat or protein-packed meal replacements? Check out these delightfully tasty, healthy meal replacements with 24 grams of protein for only $2.72 a meal.

    This non-genetically modified soy protein is packed with essential amino acids that can be added to soups, sauces, smoothies, muffins, and more. Learn more. If you need a fast, delicious meal-on-the-go for you or the kids, check out our favorite Bavarian cocoa and French vanilla shakes. These shakes provide 35% or more of the Daily Values with 23 essential vitamins and minerals. Yum!

    For other healthy, energy-packed meat alternatives, click here.

  • Reusable Containers. Use reusable containers instead of disposable ones. Cut the use of plastic wrap and foil by storing leftovers and such in high-quality food storage containers

    . This frugal living tip will reduce the amount of wraps and containers you must purchase in the future.

  • Use Up the Last Drop. This is one of our "no-brainer" frugal living tips, but we felt it was necessary to mention. Instead of tossing an almost empty container into the recycle bin, turn it upside down to use up what's left in the bottom. Getting a few more uses out of a product will save you some immediate coins before you have to buy a replacement. Use toothpicks, knives, straws, etc. to get the last drop out of the bottle, container, tube, etc. For maximum effectiveness, unscrew the cap and squeeze out the remainder of the product. Better yet, cut your toothpaste tube in half. There will be a ton of toothpaste left! Frugal living has no shame!

Old, Frugal Living Adage:

Use it up,

Wear it out,

Make it last.

Do without.

frugal living

Monthly Frugal Living Tips Cutting Your Other Bills

Do you really need 1,800 minutes in your cell phone package? Frugal living means being slightly more conscious of how long you're chatting on the phone to save a few extra bucks. Check your actual usage each month to evaluate if you need to downsize your plan. Most major cell providers allow you to change your plans without a penalty or extending your contract.

Do you have a bundled package for your internet, home phone, and cable? Most of these packages are good for only 12 months or less. Your rates automatically increase after this introductory offer. Check out your bill and compare your costs to other promotions offered by other providers. Don't be afraid to call up your current provider and threaten to switch to another company if they don't allow you to renew or switch to a new special. Chances are they'll accommodate your request and you'll save those extra bucks each month. Frugal living takes boldness!

If you don't have a bundled package, but want to reduce your other utility costs for internet, cable, and phone service, apply the same principles as above. Companies don't like losing customers and in most cases they'll be happy to extend a current promotion to faithful customers such as yourself.

Get your credit card interest rate lowered too. This is a point of contention for most people around the planet. Check out Bankrate.com for the latest and greatest deals for 0% balance transfers and low interest rates. If you find something you like, do a balance transfer to the new card. Usually there is a fee involved, but it will likely be less than the overall interest you pay per month. If you don't want to do a balance transfer, consider calling your current credit card company to tell them you want your rate lowered. If they aren't so responsive, threaten to do a balance transfer to another company. This will most likely change their tune!

Frugal living means getting your finances organized. Use Mint.com to round up all of your online accounts. This service is free, secure, and easy to use. It organizes all of your online accounts and helps you track what you really spend your money on. This tool is probably the best, free online money management resource out there.

With all of that said, don't miss out on life activities to save money. We want all people to save money by simple living, but it doesn't mean you have to be cheap. Continue to give to charity, church, and other organizations that are worthy of your money. As a general rule, save 10% for yourself, give away 10%, and use the rest as you see fit.

GreenHomeGreenBusiness.com--Love earth. Love life. Live green.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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