Living A Frugal Life

As money gets tighter and prices get higher, we hear the word frugal used more. We're encouraged to practice frugality and plan a frugal budget. But what does that word really mean?

The dictionary says that frugal is the economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful. That sounds like something our parents and grandparents have been trying to teach us for decades!

We're all looking for ways to be frugal in our spending, even if that's not the word we use.

Frugal cooking:
* Look for 3-ingredient and 4-ingredient recipes.
* Create dinners that will have enough leftovers to use for several meals during the week.
* Make use of your spice cabinet to make a meal tastier instead of using more expensive ingredients.

Frugal shopping:
* Cutting coupons only takes a few minutes a week and can really add up.
* Try to never buy anything at retail price - shop during sale weeks and with store discounts.
* Combine your shopping trips to save on time, gas and money.

Frugal hobbies:
* Instead of spending tons of money at the movie theater, hook your computer to the television and download your favorites.
* Take up gardening and you can grow your own fruits and vegetables, saving you money and getting you outside.
* Make a trip to the library and stock up on new titles instead of buying them all at the bookstore.

Frugal budgeting:
* Cut back to one car if you can - think about not paying insurance, gas and upkeep!
* Find that balance between cutting out unnecessary expenditures and keeping some of the fun things in life.
* Decide if there are things, like car or home or wardrobe, that can be downsized.

Frugal time-management:
* Don't go shopping unless you're looking for something specific - window shopping can waste time and money.
* Plan ahead so you don't have to make extra trips out and about because you forgot something.
* Keep your calendar up-to-date so you know where each member of your family is supposed to be and when.

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