Frugal Living Tips on How to Save $500 This Month
Most of us feel like we live pretty frugal lives. We don’t imagine ourselves as big spenders – spending money on all the accouterments like Cristal Champagne, Jaguar convertibles, and 10,000 square-foot mansions. But our money trickles out of our pockets anyway, dollar-by-dollar, day-after-day, just buying the essentials.
With just a little more attention to where your cash is going, you can save around $500 this month without feeling the pain of deprivation. These suggestions will help you maintain the lifestyle you have, without making you give up those tiny little luxuries you enjoy. You’ll even enjoy some surprising perks! Let’s see how this works:
Shop your refrigerator
Run out of milk? Need a couple more slices of bread to make a sandwich? Instead of running out to the store (where you’ll certainly pick up more than just the needed one or two items), put off that shopping trip and dig into your refrigerator and cupboards instead. Get creative: Make a sandwich with English muffins or bagels, or create a wrap with a tortilla. Whip up a salad and put your tuna on top. Skip the milk in your morning coffee and save a few pennies, as well as a few calories. By delaying that trip to the store a day or more, you’ll save yourself big bucks at the end of the month. Avoid the store… avoid the impulse shopping. The bonus? Food doesn’t get wasted, spoiled, or forgotten when you’re digging deep into your refrigerator and pantry.
Go for the smallest size
Whether you’re ordering fries to go with your Big Mac, or ordering your favorite cafe latte, choose the smallest option. Sure, you might get a better deal by super-sizing it and the temptation is to get the most for your money. But, in the end, you are taking more cash out of your pocket when you buy a bigger size. The bonus? Think of the calories you’ll avoid!
Have a potluck instead of going out with friends
Instead of heading to your favorite watering hole to watch Monday Night Football, host everyone at your house, and divvy up the responsibility for drinks, main dishes, desserts, and snacks. No overpriced bar tabs, no tipping the waiter – just a lot of homespun fun. The bonus? New recipes to share and share alike!
Change in a jar
At the end of every day, empty your pockets, wallet, and the bottom of your purse of all your loose change, and place it in a glass jar. Those nickels and dimes add up fast! The bonus? Spending “found” money on something special is what this is all about. You can save up enough for a trip that you wouldn’t have thought about taking before – even Hawaii! I’m here to tell you that it can, and has, been done.
Go to the library
If you haven’t stopped by your local library lately, you may be surprised. You can check out the latest DVDs, attend networking events, and scoop up New York Times bestsellers – or hang out and read the latest issue of Sports Illustrated – all for free! You can save on movie rentals, book purchases, and more. The bonus? Meeting other frugal-minded people just like you with similar interests. The public library is the ultimate “social networking”.
If you’re going out to eat, some of the highest-margin items on the menu are the drinks, whether soft or hard. If you’re eating at home, opting for water instead of soda or alcohol will still save you big. Opt for the ol’ H2O and keep your money in your pocket. The bonus? Your skin, liver, stomach, cholesterol, weight, and general fitness will thank you!