10 Frugal Tips You Can Use Right Now

September 27, 2007 by Kyle
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In an effort to continue to pass along frugal tips that will help you save money, I have comprised this list of 10 easy things you can institute right now:

1. Lower Your Satellite/Cable Bill Now

Do you have expensive cable or satellite TV? Or perhaps a DSL subscription you would like to lower? Here is an easy tip to lower all of these bills in 15 minutes. Just call up their customer service department and say you want to cancel because it is just too expensive. They don’t want to lose your business and will do darn near anything to keep you as a loyal customer.

I have personally done this and received $15 off my Dish Network bill for 1 year, and the introductory DSL rate of $19.99 per month for 2 years. It took all of 10 minutes to do both and I saved $25 per month and $300 for the year. Easy money.

2. Order Water Only

One of the healthiest (and cheapest) things you can do is drink a lot of water. So at restaurants skip the $2 soda and order water only. You can save a lot of money and do something good for your body. I have been doing this for over a year and I also ask for a lemon wedge, I actually prefer this drink now. Very refreshing and over the course of a year it has saved me several hundred dollars.

3. Buy Only What You Will Reasonably Use In 6 Months

Just because it is on sale does not mean you should buy 10 of them. If it went on sale once, it will go on sale again. Besides, if you stock up because it’s a great deal you run the risk of spoilage. Example, the 1 gallon vat of mayo from Costco is not a good purchase, unless you eat the stuff by the spoonful.

4. Sell Stuff On Etsy.com

Sometimes the best way to live frugally is to find extra income and selling on Etsy.com is an excellent way to do just that. Etsy lets you sell handmade items made by you, vintage items that are at least 20 years old, as well as commercial and handmade craft supplies. When your items sell, you pay Etsy a reasonable 3.5% commission.

This is a great way to earn some extra money, especially if you make your own Christmas decorations, ornaments, stockings, and other seasonal decor. Believe me when I say people will snatch it up very quickly. Etsy is the real deal and my wife has ordered stuff from them several times. I would define it as the anti-China, as products are very well made and have a lot of character.

5. Ask your Electric Company for an Inspection

My neighbor did this and had his home inspected, they found his home’s air conditioning ducts had a bunch of leaks in them and they actually fixed them. He had to pay for the repairs up front, but PG&E (our electric company) gave him a big rebate to pay for the fix. Pretty cool, literally.

6. Use Both Sides of Computer Paper

If you are like me, you print out a lot of blogs and other articles for reading. Don’t recycle the paper when done, instead use the other side for further printing, then recycle it.

7. Learn to Do-It-Yourself

A few years ago I picked up the Reader’s Digest Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual and it is great. Easy to follow directions with clear pictures for dummies like me. Covers everything from inside your home to outside stuff. A great reference that can save you a ton of money by not having to call in outside help. You can pick it up slightly used for around $8-10 at Amazon.com.

8. Buy Used A Lot!

Buy sporting goods for you and the kids at places like ‘Play It Again Sports’ and shop yard sales for kids toys and clothing that will outgrow quickly anyways. Also, get skilled at using CraigsList.org when buying used cars, tools, bikes, large toys, firewood, and furniture. You can easily save hundreds of dollars a year by buying used.

9. Save Money on Groceries

Never grocery shop when you are hungry, you’ll buy less junk food. Also, try to go to the grocery store when you’re in a hurry and have limited time to spend, you’ll waste less time meandering the frozen dessert aisle buying junk. Always shop with a list, it will keep you on track. Buy bulk items and non-perishables when they are on sale. They last forever and can be easily stored in the pantry. Buy chicken when it’s on sale and store it in the freezer.

It does not get freezer burnt, and stores really well. Also, learn to cook more than you need and use the leftovers for lunch the next day or freeze it for another meal down the road. These tips are really easy to follow and can save you at the very least $50 a month. It saves my family over $1,000 a year.

10. Shop Smart with Coupon Codes

This tip may seem a bit biased, but saving money using online coupons and promotional codes couldn’t be easier. It still amazes me how many people I run into that don’t know about online coupon codes and fail to notice the coupon code box when checking out from online retailers. Also, be sure you are armed with a mobile coupon app for your smartphone so you always have a coupon when checking out. It is free money and you don’t want to leave it on the table.

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Comments

15 Responses to “10 Frugal Tips You Can Use Right Now”

  1. Tish on September 27th, 2007 9:15 am

    Wow. Great tips, Kyle!

    I’m not a parent, but I believe that I’d rather pay too much money for disposable diapers than wash the cloth ones! Ewww.

    I love saving money, though, and the other tips will come in handy!

    By the way, I plan on reviewing your site for BlogsWeLuv. I’ll let you know when the review is up!

  2. Kyle on September 27th, 2007 10:15 am

    Tish, yeah, I would wear latex gloves when I had diaper duty, would have wore a hazmat suit if I could have found one!

    Awesome! Looking forward to my blog review! Please take it easy on me…..

  3. Fabulously Broke on September 28th, 2007 3:45 pm

    #1 about drinking water
    #6 about using both sides of the paper
    #8 about buying used things

    Are things I do on a regular basis… esp the water bit. I hate knowing I’m paying $2.95 for a GLASS of iced tea when it only costs $1.00 in the store to buy.. and even LESS to make it at home with the powder. Ugh.

  4. Tish on October 1st, 2007 10:29 pm

    Haha! The HazMat suit is awesome!

    Here are a couple of ways that I manage to save money.

    1. I pay all bills electronically through my bank’s online banking system. It eliminates the need for stamps. At .41 each, you can save several dollars per month!
    2. I live in the county, and garbage pickup is not included in our taxes. If we want garbage pickup, we have to pay $300 per year. I haul off my own garbage each Saturday. Fortunately, I’m only a couple of minutes from the county dump.

  5. Kyle on October 2nd, 2007 7:31 am

    Great tip on paying your bills online, not only do you save on stamps but also save time.

    Also, smart way of looking at the garbage expense. $300 for the year is harder to swallow than saying to yourself it only costs $25 per month.

  6. xantun on October 5th, 2007 7:25 am

    Why even print out to read blogs just read it from computer. That’s how you save.
    This is spending not saving.

  7. Kyle on October 5th, 2007 7:45 am

    @ Xantun – I often will print out stuff that I want to read when I am away from the computer on biz or vacation. Otherwise, I agree with you.

  8. mom2fur on October 6th, 2007 7:19 am

    I like the idea of only buying what you’ll use in 6 months. I keep a ‘well stocked pantry,’ as well as personal items closet. I might have 2 jars of mayo, but we use it a lot…and I’d rather reach for the jar I bought at 99 cents than have to rush out to buy a 3.49 jar, LOL! Also, I recently did an inventory of the personal stuff closet and vowed I’m not buying toothpaste for a long, long time. No matter how cheap I can get it, LOL! Even with 7 people living here, there’s enough to last us until early next year.

  9. jatoha on October 12th, 2007 6:39 am

    I did clothe diapers with all three of my kids and I swear it is not hard. I am a very lazy person, too. You never run out of diapers–no running to the store at the last minute. You have to haul bags of diapers out to the garbage–no different than taking them down to the laundry room. I used flushable diaper liners (they look like a sheet of toilet paper) which made dumping the doo-doo in the toilet a breeze. (sorry, prolly 2 much info, huh?)

  10. Kandy on October 14th, 2007 1:30 pm

    Great tips!

    I used cloth diapers with my third child, and once I got the hang of it and learned how to “strip” the diapers, they worked just as great, she almost NEVER had diaper rash, the doctor approved, and aside from the initial up-front investment, we really did save money. The “eww” factor really wasn’t much of a factor either…just don’t look when you flip it into the toilet LOL. And baking soda is your friend 🙂

  11. Kyle on October 16th, 2007 8:35 am

    Kandy, thanks for the comment! What does it mean to “strip” the diapers? Not familiar with that smelly term. 😉

  12. H on October 24th, 2007 1:42 am

    I’m forty five and tried cloth diapers with my first child who is now 24. The only problem is that I had no washing machine. I washed those diapers out by hand in the bathtub for what seems like forever; and a blink of the eye at the same time. I worked full time at night while my husband watched the kid. Glad to see that there are still people out there that care enough to see the big picture. IT’S NOT THAT HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. lucy mauro on March 11th, 2009 11:45 am

    Folks, My kids are 45 and 41, and in those days there were no paper diapers, only cloth, so no one gave it a second thought. My two never had diaper rash.

  14. Veronica DePrato on March 13th, 2013 7:53 am

    Some great tips here! Several of them I already do, but some I hadn’t thought of 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  15. Christi-TX on March 18th, 2013 5:43 pm

    I agree that cloth diapers are a good investment to use at home but taking the child to the store or church they are impracticable and daycare centers only allow disposable diapers.

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