How Do You Live a Simple, Frugal Life?
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So, you want to start living simply, save money, and start taking advantage of your free time? Living frugally sounds good on paper. More money stays in your savings, your carbon footprint decreases, and you get to find out what in your life truly matters to you.
But the idea of living frugally can seem daunting at first. To some, it can seem downright impossible. And then, of course, there’s the question of living frugally without looking like you’re living frugally.
If this is what’s running through your mind when you’re thinking of living frugally, don’t fear. You’re not alone in asking these questions. And what’s even better is that there are plenty of ways to live the frugal lifestyle you’re dreaming of, save money, and do it without looking like a cheapskate. In this article, we’ll discuss some of these ways.
The very first thing to consider when you’re trying to live a frugal life is your food. Food costs a lot of money, and a lot of it, unfortunately, goes to waste. So, the next time you head to the grocery store, be mindful of what you’re buying. Don’t buy more than what you need, and make sure anything you buy in bulk can be stored for a long time.
A great way to help with this is to invest in a deep freeze. Deep freezes will keep your food good for a long time, which means overall you spend less money replacing food that’s gone to waste.
Here’s a tip: when you buy fresh veggies, chop them up right away and put them in a plastic container. Then put that container in your deep freeze. This will keep your veggies fresh for longer, and when you’re ready to cook with them they’ll already be chopped. Plus, buying them fresh means you’re using less packaging than you would be if you bought them already frozen. You’ll be saving money, keeping your veggies fresh longer, and being gentler on the environment by using up less packaging.
On the topic of buying fresh produce, if you’re looking to buy fruits or veggies for cheap, consider getting them from a U-pick. These are farms that allow you to come and pick your fruits or vegetables, for a fee. You’ll be able to pick as many fruits and veggies as you can, which will be cheaper than buying them from a supermarket. Plus, if you’ve got a deep freeze, you’ll be able to freeze anything you’re not planning on eating right away to use up later.
One final food-related tip is to meal prep. Spend some time on the weekend preparing a few meals that you can take to work for lunch, and put the meals in containers, ready to go. By doing this, you’ll be less likely to buy lunch while you’re at the office. It also means the food that you have had home will go to waste less quickly since you’re making sure you’re eating it.
Now, when it comes to your day-to-day living and spending, there are a few ways to downsize costs. If you’re a big reader, think about getting a library card instead of going to the bookstore to buy new books. You’ll spend less money, and you’ll be supporting your local libraries.
Also, remember that libraries can order books that you’d like to read if they don’t have them available already. If you use an e-reader, most libraries will also have the option of borrowing e-books instead of physical copies, which you can read on your Nook or Kindle.
If you want to spend time with your friends, instead of going out to an expensive restaurant, consider throwing a movie or game night at home. A potluck can be a really fun way for everyone to contribute to the evening, and it’ll be less expensive for everyone.
If you’re concerned about luxuries and travel, don’t worry. You can still go on vacation and travel the world—you’ll just have to be a little smarter about it. Consider where you’d like to go, and think about going during its off-season. It’ll be less expensive, plus you’ll have fewer other tourists to contend with. You’re also more likely to get a real taste of what living there is actually like, so if you’re interested in immersing yourself in the culture rather than doing all the usual tourist activities while saving money, this is the best option for you. Sure, the weather may not be the nicest, but you’ll have plenty of stories to tell when you come home.
While living frugally can seem hard at first glance, the reality is that there are lots of ways you can do it while still getting the most out of life. Plus, you can do it all without looking like you’re cheap to your friends and coworkers. It might take some extra work and planning, but you’ll be sure to find a frugal lifestyle incredibly fulfilling.