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Frugal means to be prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful according to Dictionary.com.
Being frugal has been a way of life for many. Before I came to the understanding of what frugal actually mean, I was already practicing it without noticing.
A misconception people have on this topic is that people who are frugal are cheap.
Yes, there is a slight connection between the two, but they’re not the same!
FRUGAL VS CHEAP
Cheap people always spend less regardless of the price of an item. Price is the factor of decision for these individuals. They’ll be like, “That’s too expensive, I’ll stay without!”
In contrast, frugal people prioritize their spending to accommodate or have more of the things they truly love. They take advantage of bargains when the opportunity is there and spend wisely!
As a frugal person, if I need something then I’ll buy it but most likely at a discount.
The bottom line is that you can be a millionaire and be frugal! So don’t be offended or feel pitiful if someone says you’re cheap because you’re spending wisely.
There’s nothing wrong with being cheap but many times it’s said in a very degrading way.
5 Painless Ways To Be Frugal Without Looking Cheap
1. Be Honest With Yourself
To live frugally you have to prepare both mentally and physically.
Why do you want to be frugal?
Is it to pay off your debt or do you just love the idea? It doesn’t matter! The reason many people find frugality difficult is that they are not honest with themselves.
There are many ways to be frugal and one blogger may recommend buying second-hand clothes at the thrift store.
If you don’t like the idea of buying second-hand clothes then don’t do it.
That’s being honest with yourself!
You may prefer to buy furniture used instead of clothing, that’s perfectly fine.
2. Buy At The Best Time Of The Year
Why not plan your purchases around the best time of the year when things are cheaper?
Finding deals can be time consuming especially if you don’t know where the look.
So for Christmas, Birthdays or even anniversary, you can start looking around for gifts or items beforehand.
Best time to buy what:
- Clothing – for summer clothing for example dresses, flip flops, sandals or swimwears, and even camping gears – its recommended to start shopping September and October as retailers are preparing for the next season.
- TV’s and Laptops – the best time to buy TV is around Black Friday sales.
- Appliances – the best time to buy appliances such as washers and dryers, and refrigerator are Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Black Friday.
Other times to look out for deals are back to school rush, Super Bowl, and even on the fourth of July.
3. Take Advantage of The Envelope System
This method has been around for a long time but gained some popularity when Dave Ramsey refers to it.
So basically the envelope system is where you keep all your cash for spending. This is done after you have gotten your monthly paycheck and have withdrawn it from your bank account.
This eliminates the need to use your card when shopping. So you’ll have an envelope for all your budget categories such as grocery, etc.
Take, for instance, you budget $400 for groceries, you’ll then put that amount in an envelope. This money should not be used for any other purpose.
Believe me, you will no longer overspend or find it hard to manage your money.
4. Make Your Own DIY Products
You can save a lot of money by creating our own cleaning agent what you already have in your home.
From creating your own all-purpose cleaner, sugar body scrub, laundry detergent to even making your own face mask. You can do it all for cheap!
I wrote a post on over 20 ways you can clean with vinegar (you actually skip buying 20 stuff because this common household item is an eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner).
Other items in your home that can be used to clean your home are baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and even lemon.
5. Always Check For Coupons and Deals Before Purchasing
Imagine paying for something for full when you could get for half the price with a little coupon. Couponing is all about saving!
You can find FREE printable and digital coupons here from top stores like Walmart, Walgreens, Best Buy, Target, and Macy’s to help you save hundreds of dollars.
In addition, take a look at your grocery store flyers then meal plan afterward.
Lastly, sign up for Rakuten for cashback on every purchase you make which is also free.
Frugal living doesn’t need to be complicated if you have a few tricks up your sleeve
Frugality is about spending intelligently and not necessarily being cheap. With the help of cashback deals, DIY, to even using coupons, living frugally can be less stressful.