For the uninitiated, many frugal approaches can be misconstrued as being cheap. Any act with a potential for savings in time and funds merits a pondering. Below is our compilation of frugal tips. Analyzing against our definition makes their frugality apparent.
- Self-haircuts – Contrary to the popular belief nurtured by smart marketing folks that portray self-haircuts as being contemptible and comical at best, it is an easily acquired skill that can save both time and money perpetually.
- Saying no to cable TV – This is a deviation from the condescending attitude epitomized by talking heads on TV ‘poor people that cannot afford cable TV’ as though economical classification hinges on cable TV. The subscription style expense coupled with its potential to squander time makes this high in the frugal list.
- Lifeline service for telephone, and switching to a pay as you use cell phone service –These options allow switching from a subscription style expense to one directly linked to usage.
- No-gift parties, re-giving gifts, and developing a culture of no gifts (including Santa Claus stuff) in the household – Gifts by nature are not efficient as someone else is using their valuable time and resource to decide your needs. This measure applies to both gift giving and receiving. A gift card at a retail place is a great alternative in situations were one cannot avoid it.
- Saving reusable plates, forks etc. from take out vendors – Reusing these items as opposed to throwing them away helps the environment while being frugal.
- Shopping selectively at dollar stores, craigslist, garage sales, etc – These options have the possibility to limit spending yet maintain the standard of living. Exercising a little patience while browsing for your needs goes a long way.
- Buying only from the bargain aisles at department stores –Bargain aisles hold surprises up their sleeve.
- Comparison shopping at online stores and waiting on the wish-listed items – Prices do fluctuate up and down and that too again and again.
- Going for homemade coffee, minimizing eat-outs, take outs, etc. – This is the oft-touted homerun of a frugal tip by pundits. If your family appreciates the ambience of a dine-out, it is perfectly fine to switch from the norm to mark achievements and such.
- Local library – The biggest underused resource are the public libraries. They offer a myriad of services. Donate useful books to the library and the time you can spare to give back to the community.
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