The ABCs of Frugal Living

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Always return items you buy that don’t fit when you get them home.

Bake your own cookies, cakes, bread, etc.

Christmas shop during “day after” sales and have your gifts ready for next year.

Do it yourself… anything you or a family member can do free will save money. This includes lawn care, hair cuts, car repair and more.

Evaluate every purchase you plan to make–before you buy!

Fix what’s broken. Leaky faucets, cars that burn oil, ovens that waste heat, and other things that need repair cost money every time you use them.

Grocery shop on a full stomach and without the kids.

Host birthday parties and celebrations at home rather than going to the local pizza place.

Invest at least a portion of your money every year, or every month. Penny stocks, gold, even real estate are possible investments that could pay off well in time.

Join a recycle group such as Freecycle and give away what you don’t need or want, and find things you do… free.

Kick the habit! Save your lungs and hundreds of dollars a year.

Leave the oven door open to let it help heat your kitchen in the winter.

Manage your budget. Pay bills on time to avoid late fees, balance your checkbook to save overdraft charges, etc.

Never buy something you don’t want or need because a friend is having a party and earning rewards!

Open a savings account and deposit 10 percent of everything you make every week.

Put your change in a jar every day and see how the savings add up at the end of the year. You may even have enough to pay for a family vacation!

Quit beating yourself up when you overspend. Sure, you don’t want to make excuses or get in the habit of blowing your budget, but a little splurge here and there probably won’t hurt that much.

Rearrange your schedule, if possible, to save on child care. Work while the kids are in school, shop when your husband is home, take classes when a friend or relative can watch the children.

Stop spending! Every penny saved is indeed as good as a penny earned!

Take your lunch to work instead of going out to eat.

Use everything you own until it wears out.

Visit free local attractions, museums, parks and other places of interest that don’t cost anything when you want something to do.

Watch movies you borrow from the library instead of renting them, or going to a theater.

eXamine monthly statements to be sure the charges are correct. Large companies often make mistakes on what they charge.

Yield not to temptation where your money is concerned. If you feel you shouldn’t buy something, then don’t.

Zipper bags are expensive! Wash and reuse any that haven’t contained raw meat.

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