22 Frugal Ways to Reduce Spending

Aren’t you fed up of constantly having to spend on necessities and not on your goals! Keep reading to find out how YOU can reduce your spending with these easy tricks.  It mostly a question of changing your habits. Some of the results you will see right away and others you will see it in the long run.

  1. Make my own Laundry Soap
  2. Using Dryer Balls
  3. Using Drying Racks
  4. Pre-made food
  5. Learned How to Make My Bread
  6. Stop Forgetting to Bring Reusable Bag
  7. Run all my Errand in One Car Trip
  8. Shop Around when Contracts Come to Term
  9. Made my Own Household Cleaners
  10. Dye my own hair
  11. Eating out is only for special occasions
  12. Give up your daily coffee shop run
  13. Cancel your Monthly Subscriptions
  14. Paper Towel
  15. Move to a Smaller home
  16. Budget Diet
  17. Unplug any Electrical item you’re not using
  18. Buy Bulk
  19. Repair what Broken
  20. Grow your Food
  21. Conditioner (use coconut oil)
  22. Razors and Wax

Make my own Laundry Soap:

I noticed that a big part of my monthly grocery allocation would go to laundry detergents. I used to spend +/- 20$ a month for two people. I didn’t think it was a reasonable amount even for a family of four, so I ditched the scented beads, expensive fragrance boosted fabric softener, and I ditched my laundry pod detergent. I did some research and found out that a small scoop Oxy Clean, with a small scoop of laundry soda, and a couple drop of your favorite essential oil will do the trick.

 

Laundry Detergent
Homemade Laundry Detergent

I was afraid of switching back to boxed soap, but I’m liking it a lot better than the liquid detergent (I’m clumsy so I always make a mess) and I’m loving the price compared to the pod detergent. To top it all off I found 5kg of oxy clean on sale at Costco for 14.99$ (they run for 10$/kg usually) and 1.5kg of laundry soda for 14.99$ (whereas I had found 1.5kg for 22$).

Ironically laundry soap was not the only budget sucking laundry product that I overpaid for, I used to purchase 20$ a year of dryer sheets (that’s with sales and coupons already deducted

Dryer balls:

Did you know that dryer sheets can be the cause of dryers taking fire? I couldn’t believe my SO when he told me that when we first moved in together (he can’t understand how to separate clothing for the wash, but he knows about the lint screen?! Weird right?). I did some research: Using dryer sheets leaves a deposit on your lint screen causing restricted air circulation. Luckily my SO showed me how to maintain my lint screen: you rinse it and make sure there is no flow restriction if you have restriction scrub the screen with a brush under water until full flow is re-establish.

I was grateful for the maintenance tip, it enabled me to shop around for an alternative to eliminate this risky procedure and to finish my dryer sheet box.  There are two types of dryer balls: wool (all natural) and plastic dryer balls. You must try them to find out which one you like better.

If you run out of dryer sheets before purchasing dryer balls, you can always use 2-4 tennis balls if you have some clean ones hanging around, but I don’t recommend them for the long run.

As much as those dryer balls should reduce your drying time, the amount of electricity that the dryer uses is quite significant. There’s nothing that beats not using your dryer though!

Drying Rack:

I started looking at my electricity bill and noticed that my dryer was consuming 4kw/hour and was running 8 hours a week at 0.12$/kWh. I was costing us 3.84$ a week, costing me close to 200$ a year just for the dryer!!!!

With winter at our door I wasn’t I wasn’t looking forward to being a human popsicle while hanging stuff on my outside clothing line. I looked into laundry racks and waited for sales and got a big rack for 10$ and I am waiting for other sales to purchase a second rack. I lay my clothing to dry and I fold them the next day.

By now you’re probably freaking out because you too are wasting a huge chunk of your budget on something as mundane as laundry. Laundry ain’t the only thing sucking your budget

Stop Buying Pre-made Food:

Individual lunches are usually really expensive for what you got. The other day my S.O.  bought General Tao Marcelina’s for .60$ per serving (microwave frozen dinners). He was really proud of his savings because they usually cost 2$ each. When he opened it to shove it in the microwave, he realized that there were 4 tiny pieces of chicken and 3 broccoli and ½ cup of rice.  Poor thing he tried really hard to save money, but he ended up eating the homemade frozen dinners I make ahead of time.

Although buying pre-made food at your grocery store when your living alone is practical and actually saves you money. When you have a family, you can feed the household for 5$ a meal by making big batches of spaghetti sauce and either freezing it or canning the sauce. A 325g of individually package pasta and spaghetti sauce goes for 5$ at our local grocer.

Making Bread:

I love how they advertise bread at grocery stores, always eligible for a 2 or 3 for a fixed price but you end up saving 0.10$ per loaf. I am lucky enough to have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, so I started to make all my own bread. Even with the purchase of a variety of flours (white, brown, oatmeal, flaxseed meal, almond etc.) I manage to stay under 50$ a year for all my bread needs.

There are multiple ways to make bread you don’t need a stand mixer (although it saves your arms) you can easily find recipes on Pinterest with Ziplock bag technic or the good old manual technic.

Bringing your Own Grocery Bags:

As much as I agree with the ecological aspect of not encouraging plastic bag usage, groceries have found a real gold mine in the opportunity. I’ve been doing grocery shopping for as long as I remember (as a child I love going with my mother), as the prices of food have sky rocked the amount of grocery bags you walk out the store with has greatly diminished. On average (before switching to reusable bags) I was purchasing one plastic bag, per 20$ of food.

Calculate with me: I budget 100$ a week for food and household products per person a week. Therefore using 5 bags at 0.05$ each, 52 weeks a year, involves a 13$ a year of plastic bags per person, just to end its life in a landfill destined to pollute for more than a lifetime.

How do you feel now about those tacky reusable store bag that cost a dollar sound? If you purchase reusable bag keep in mind to maintain it because once you dispose of them they rot in landfills longer than plastic bags. You can always find a recycled material bag as well if you look for them. Or instead of throwing out your plastic bags after putting away what you bought, you can bring them with you on your next shopping trip.

Run all my Errand in a Single Car Trip:

No matter what vehicle I drive, the fuel gauge arrow always goes down faster than my liking. In situations like mine where the closest village is a 15 min drive, running errands several times, a week can be very costly on you fuel allocations.

Your best option to save a few kilometers a week is to plan and plan all the week’s errands in one day during the week. You can also try combining them on your way home from work if that is possible.

Shop around when Contracts come to Term:

Every year you receive mail offering you a better price for a service you already have. When it comes to car/household insurance prices vary largely from one service provider to another, shop around and make sure not to overpaying for protections you don’t need.

Cellphone, internet, and cable provider are funded by their client. You pay a huge amount for service and when you decide to stay with your service provider, they do boost your invoices over the years.

After  9 years of fidelity, our initial cell phone provider only gave us a 10$ after we finished paying off our cellphone portion of the contract. It was supposed to be valued at 30$ a month per phone, we were disappointed. Learn how I saved 1250$ by changing our cell phone provider

When the renewal is around the corner call other providers to see their offer, then call you initial service provider to try to negotiate with them if they can’t equalize their competitor’s price, if not leave, go with your new service provider. Be sure to have the appropriate coverage.

Made your own Household Cleaners:

Have you ever noticed how expensive house cleaners are?! They’re budget suckers too and some are highly toxic for our health and especially our pet’s health.

Homemade Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning Supplies we all have at home: Vinegar, Baking Soda, Dawn, Hydrogen peroxide

I am currently washing everything with some sort of mix among baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and Dawn dishwashing soap mixed to warm water. I usually add a couple drops of tea tree oil to mask the nauseating smells.

Let me know in the comments below if you are interested in finding out more about homemade cleaner recipes!!

Dye your Own Hair:

Anyone who has long hair like mine will know the feeling of having a car payment thrown to your hair. I can spend anywhere between 70-110$ (depending on the salon), thank god I don’t bleach! Have you ever thought about dying your own hair instead?  I was able to chop the cost to 20$ every 6 weeks and planning to chop it even more, maybe try 8 weeks too!

Surprisingly dying your own hair is much easier, with the variety of YouTube video dedicated to this task, you will surely succeed. If your courageous enough, you might even try to cut your own hair.

Eating out is only for Special Occasions:

I’m definitely guilty of eating out especial when we’re out on our sports bikes in the summer, we never pack food. Next summer I will do efforts to find a solution to that because we can easily spend 120$ a day when we go riding. When the bike season is over this challenge becomes easy.

As I compose this blog post me and my S.O.  are on a budget diet because of financial mishaps. I am proud to say that we are in our second month without spending a dime on restaurants. That doesn’t mean our social life is doomed, instead, we gather in someone’s home and each brings a part of the meal, our entourage loves the financial break too.

Staying in doesn’t have to be boring. If are tempted by a restaurant ads try looking up similar recipes on the web and make it a family/date night activity. You might even find out that it tastes better because you cooked it up!

Coffee Shops:

Stop getting takeout coffee every morning! A medium size coffee runs anywhere between 2.50-5$ a cup. Eliminating this habit can save you anywhere between 650-1300$ a year if you take only one medium cup a day. You might save even more if you are the type of person who buys serval of those a day!

Subscriptions:

Look at your credit card statement and spot those monthly subscription charges you may have forgotten about. Maybe its time you give up that fashion magazine subscription, they’re pilling up in a corner anyways. Magazine, monthly boxes, music streaming, app, fan, video streaming and so on!

Do you really need them,  try only keeping the ones you use! As for subscription boxes, there is no excuse in the would justifying that fee.  Do you really need those 10 new travel sizes make-up samples or those 20 toys for your dog?

Paper towels:

I couldn’t completely remove this expense, but I’ve reduced it greatly. I now use rags whenever I make a mess. If its cooking mess than I use the oldest dish range to clean, then throw it in the laundry. It allows me to have a clean dishcloth every day. Yup! I’m that clumsy.

Move! To a smaller place:

Not only will you save on your rent/mortgage, but on utilities.  Smaller spaces require less energy to heat and to cool. Whether you own a home or rent if you’re not using the space why pay for it. If your kids have left home and are off to live their own lives why keep that extra amount of space? Don’t you want to put your money elsewhere? like travel?

We currently live in a tiny 850sqft home because we don’t need more space! We make our space efficient.  My dining table double as counter space. The second bedroom which is  10x9ft is an office, personal gym, and guest room. To do so we had to build a queen size loft frame that can support  500lbs or more.

Let me know in the if you want posts about frugal deco/space optimization

Stop Buying Things Full Price:

If you’re having trouble doing so, keep a list of the regular price at home and look at the weekly flyers. This applies to anything you want to buy. Teach your children to wait and save up, makes them realize the value of saving up for something and stretching their dollars.

You can earn cashback through Ebates, find coupons, and wait for sales. You can use all three-technics for each purchase or you can use one, as long as your trying your best to stretch your money.

Budget diet:

A great way to rack up a small amount of savings or a big debt payment is to not spend and use up everything that is at home.  When I budget a 100$ a week per person for necessities (food, personal hygiene, cleaning products etc.) I can build a stockpile which enables me to go a few weeks out of the year without spending.

Learn how to lower your grocery bill by clicking the link

Unplug any Electrical Item you’re not Using:

Did you know even though your electrical items are off they still suck energy? If you don’t need it, unplug it! I ’m talking about the tv in your guest bedroom you haven’t use in 3 years or the blender you use twice a year on your counter!

Buy Bulk:

Buying things in bulk 1. Is cheaper 2. Allow you to get high quality/expensive item (honey) you would not buy at regular price.

What I buy in bulk: Flour, Sugars, Honey (13.99$/3kg vs 8.99/.5kg), coconut oil, baking soda, meat, frozen veggies, cheese, pasta, tomato paste, chickpeas, toilette paper, paper towels (1x a year instead of 3x), cinnamon, coffee, tampons, Dawn dishwashing soap and so on..

Repair what’s Broken:

luckily my man is a heavy truck technician, he’s pretty helpful. Whenever something breaks e.g. lawnmower, car, phone, oven, kids toys, doors, or window mechanism, he fixes them.

Now if your man has those abilities but doesn’t want to contribute to a frugal lifestyle, show him the bottom line how much you can save if he helps. For example, a while back my SO was not too fond of the whole frugal concept until…  he was able to pay off a big debt (his snap on toolbox) and I cut the groceries bill in almost half. I also showed him our vacation account because after a whole year of effort I was able to save up our required emergency and start contributing to our vacation fund and other saving goals because we work together!

Grow your Food:

I’m a plant killer, I think it actually starting to cost me more than I save because I don’t have a green thumb. If any of you are good with plants, I strongly suggest starting your own garden and learn how to dry or can the foods once harvest. Fresh produce is one of my largest grocery expense and local food are only available for a short summertime in my area.

Conditioner, Shaving Gel, and Make-up Remover:

Just ditch them already and use coconut oil. It will do so much for your skin!

Razors and Wax:

I do not pay for razor or wax anymore. Last Christmas I tried an electrical epilator, I love it so much, I swear by it! I used to spend 20$ on wax strips every 4 weeks, buy investing 40$ I saved 260$ a year!

To conclude, you can save on any product or service you can recreate on your own, you just need to look for all the possibilities before making a move/buying. With the internet being the primary resource for information, there is no excuse to overspend on things you might already have!

Let me know if you want me to publish an article about my home recipes for a household product.

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