Frugal living, basically, means living on less. The term cheap is entirely subjective, dependent upon where you live, how much you earn, your preferred quality of life, and your definition of cheap. Many people who live a frugal lifestyle operate by a few simple tenets.
Frugal living means smarter spending
If you’ve wondered how you, too, could live an economically prudent lifestyle, try these three easy steps:
1. Know where to shop. People who practice fiscal thriftiness can regularly let you know how to get various items (like clothes, appliances, and even furniture) for much less than many people typically pay. Common shopping venues include garage sales, thrift stores, consignment shops, and networking with family and neighbors (attic shopping).
2. Knowing where, and how, to eat out. Eating on the cheap does not mean dining in every night. Take advantage of the many discounts and deals that are available to consumers (buy a newspaper, check a restaurant’s website, or check out Groupon). Many thrifty diners eat at places that provide free bread or salad before the meal, which makes it easier to forgo the appetizer. Most restaurants try to capitalize on their beverages, but water is the best drink for cleansing the palate. Additionally, be responsible with dining out—treat it as an occasion, not a habit.
3. Know where to purchase basic supplies. Purchasing staple goods with coupons, buying in bulk, and taking advantage of specials and daily deals will save you huge amounts of cash over time. Those who are well-versed in frugal living are adept at watching for ads and identifying sale patterns. Case in point, my local supermarket puts chicken on advertisement every 4-5 weeks, so I purchase at least enough chicken to last at least a month when it goes on promotion. Having the proper storage (pantry, shed, freezer box) can also be very helpful.
Frugal living means knowing how to live within your means, stretch your dollars, and increase your savings whenever possible. If you are just starting, you will probably find that some of your friends will question, or even poke fun at, this thrifty lifestyle choice. Don’t worry, don’t let them get to you, and remember when it is all said and done, you will retire with money in the bank, and they will probably retire broke.