10 Frugal Habits I Enjoy
|June 14, 2012||Posted by under Finance & Budgets|
Awhile back, I made a list of 5 frugal habits I no longer practice. Here is a list of 10 Frugal Habits I enjoy and will probably keep no matter how much cash I have in my pocket.
1. Shopping Thrift/ Second Hand
Even when I have more cash in my pocket, I still opt for shopping thrift a lot of the times. Not only do I find excellent clothing pieces but for 1/10th of its original price! Same with other items. I’ve bought thrift sheets for the guest room where I host guests and have purchased some dishes and furniture in the past. (at yard sales). I always feel good buying second hand and do it as much as possible.
2. DIY Beauty
When I had my fancy contract jobs, I used to get manicures and pedicures on a regular basis to keep looking polished. I used to watch the estheticians do it and I took mental notes. A couple of years later, I taught myself how to do my own nails and feet. I polish, scrub, buff, file and paint! Once a year, I get a pedicure and manicure at a cosmetology school just to clean things up (I am not a professional, so I’m sure things don’t get done 100% perfectly). I stopped dying my hair bright red and now have my natural color which means no more spending too much money at the salons either. I also do my own facial masks. I don’t think you have to spend much to stay looking nice, just go on YouTube and learn a few fun tricks. Doing most things myself has saved me a lot of cash and now I don’t even mind doing it anymore.
3. Using Group Buying Coupons
I buy a lot less of these than I used to. There seems to be a lot of junk on those group buying websites these days. However, I do buy some for services (like painting for example) and places to eat. I buy them more often for when I travel, that way I get to do things on a dime that are good! Generally, these coupons can be very useful and save you cash on entertainment and activities.
4. Taking Short Showers/Using Sea Sponge
We have a High Sierra water saving shower head (1.5gpm). I love it. I’ll never ever buy anything else. It’s amazing. I’ve been taking 10 minute showers for ages. Sure, I’m certain that a 5minute shower will save more water but I’m pretty happy with the 10 minutes and I can get everything done in that time. I don’t see the point of taking long showers. I don’t need to, though I know some people do their thinking in the shower sometimes. (I read that!). Our water bill is very low, even when I host guests (that shower also has the same shower head). As long as I get clean, I’m good! I also use a sea sponge to wash and only need about 1 tsp of body wash! I found sea sponges way better than those icky plastic bath “pouffs” and they also last for months before I need to replace it.
5. Free Online Entertainment/No TV
Most of you know that I haven’t had television for about 7-8 years now. This is probably one of the BEST decisions we’ve ever made. We spend more time doing quality things, like reading and having discussions. I’ll never ever get tv again. I watch free documentaries online and we have a Netflix account for all of our other entertainment needs (only sets us back $8/month but we put the account on hold for summer months). I do believe that in time, old-school television will be a thing of the past and everything will be done via the internet. Not having cable saves from $50-100/month.
6. Buying Less Food (Better Quality)
We don’t stockpile anymore. Weekly, we buy fresh foods from the farmer’s market and I normally buy bread at the French bakery twice a week (day old!). We buy better quality food but much less. Our bodies love us and there is also little food waste now. It’s a fact that if your food is nutritious and vitamin packed, you will eat less. I don’t ever plan to stockpile food again. Saves money and your health. I also cook from scratch and do not buy processed or ready made foods which also saves money!
7. Using Public Transportation
People rely too much on cars. I watched a documentary which stated that suburban living makes it impossible for people to NOT use their vehicles, so there are more cars on the road than there should be. Unfortunately in North America right now, freeways, bridges and other structures are getting old and there is no money to fix them to accommodate all those vehicles. Not to mention the pollution they cause. I walk, cycle or use public transportation wherever I live. No insurance to pay, no gas, no repairs…We do have one car now which is already paid off, but I don’t drive (gave up my license at 23 years old, intentionally). The car isn’t used that often. My partner has a clean driving record (not even a speeding ticket) so the insurance is very low, we don’t spend a lot in gas and we leave it home when we can. My partner has to use it to go to work because the public transportation here isn’t great and although his work is only a 10minute drive, it would take him over 90 minutes to get there by bus. Crazy, I know. I’m a huge believer in leaving cars behind as MUCH as possible. It saves money, the earth and you move around more. And if you need a car to do something, use a car share in your city, the memberships are affordable.I love using public transportation, sometimes sitting in the bus can be quite entertaining.
8. Using Long Distance Calling Cards
Occasionally, we have to call overseas or somewhere else in North America. If you have Skype, then no need for those cards but our parents do not use it so when we call home, calling cards are needed. I buy $5 ones from ontariophonecards.ca which lasts 6 months after you use it for the first time. Having a long distance plan isn’t worth it to us. We even got rid of our VOIP calling service which was $4/month to call anywhere in Canada, unlimited. Now, we only spend $10 a year on long distance phone cards. This works for our needs but I suggest using Skype, FaceTalk or a monthly VOIP long distance calling service if you are doing more calling (ie: Worldline in Canada).
9. Traveling on the cheap
It seems as though no matter how much money we have saved up for travel, we always do it on a dime. We prefer staying in hostels, small family run hotels or using Airbnb. The experience is way more fun and you usually meet people and get a better sense of the culture. I am not a fan of hotels, especially chain ones which tend to be pricey anyway. And I find fancy hotels boring (where is the fun in that?). We also usually seek out inexpensive places to eat (like food trucks & take-away spots) and will cook our own food on occasion; though it depends where we are and how much time we are there. We never buy souvenirs (which I find cheezy anyway) but will usually purchase some interesting food (I happen to love grocery stores in foreign countries!) or something cultural that I can use. Last year, I purchased some Fleur de Sel at a discount grocery store in Paris for 2euros…and here that costs $10+! We always get the cheapest flight, even if it will take longer to get to our destination. I just find traveling on the cheap way more interesting and I love it. Check out the guide I wrote called: PARIS FOR 100 EUROS A WEEK (zip file).
10. Using a Kindle
Since I’ve had my Kindle, I haven’t spent any money on books. There are so many available online for free right now. If I want to read something that I can’t download for free, I check the local library for it. Amazon also has special deals and very cheap books for sale for your Kindle if you do want to spend. Not only are my bookshelves now free and empty (no more clutter!) but I am spending a lot less on reading materials.
WHAT FRUGAL HABITS DO YOU ENJOY?