Frugal Living Tips

 
Do you ever get the hankering for ham, but don't really want to cook one? 

I live alone and the idea of cooking a ham doesn't really appeal to me. So I've started going to my grocery store deli and asking for three 1/4 inch slices of my favorite Virginia smoked ham. For less than $5 I have meat for three meals.

I fix some side dishes and eat one slice each evening for three nights. It's mighty tasty. I don't mine eating the same meat three days in a row.

Sometimes I get the midday meal my grocery store serves at their little restaurant in the store at noon; meat and two sides. Then I take it home and split it into two meals. Just heat it up in the microwave or oven.

When I cook, I always freeze meals for later. Make a big meal in the crock pot and you'll have plenty of food to freeze individual meals for one or two.


When I order Chinese food at my favorite Chinese restaurant, Chopsticks, I go in before 4 p.m., when the lunch menu ends. I order two lunchtime meals and take it home. So I get the lunchtime price and have meals for two evenings and just heat it up.

Another thing I like to get is the turkey sandwich at Arbys. I take it home, eat one half and put the other half in the fridge for later. Personally I like it better heated up to my specifications anyway. Plus I often get coupons in the mail.

I don't shop in the Walmart store. But I do shop Walmart.com quite a bit. Buy $35 worth and you get free two day shipping on most items. 

I paid for Amazon.com Prime this year, which is about $100. Not so sure I will next year. This was my first year to do that. But I'll have to look at all my options and see if it's worth the cost. 
 
I do order a lot of things online, but I hate to pay shipping costs. So I tend not to order anything until I have enough in my Cart to get free shipping. Sure helps and I don't have to use my car and pay for gas.

I buy all prescription dog food for the pupsters online at Chewy.com. Free shipping and most of the time I get it in less than 48 hours. Last time I got it the very next day! Don't even know how they do that. 


Another way to save money is to bundle at least three errands into one outing. I try to always do that if I possibly can. I plan on where to go based on the shortest routes to save on gas.

My car is 11 years old and I doubt I'll ever buy another one. So I'm trying my best to get all I can out of it. 

I have close to 44,500 miles on my vehicle right now. The only things I've had done are oil changes, which I know are very important. And I've purchased four tires.


Even though I live in an apartment, as you know I am fortunate to have a large patio. I plant a lot of herbs every year. I always have at least one tomato plant. 

You can garden in containers and still get a lot of good eating from a small patio or balcony garden. 

I have really enjoyed the chives this year. Don't know that I can get through the winter without my fresh chives, so I might plant a small pot and put it in my kitchen window. Along with a few other favorite herbs.

Herbs are pretty hardy plants. Just give them sun and don't over water!

As you all know I had them take my stove when I moved in so I could have a washer and hook the hose up to my sink when I do laundry. I've found that it doesn't heat up the place cooking in smaller appliances. I don't miss a big stove at all. So that was a win-win for me!

Please add your own personal frugal tips in the comments. We'd all love to read them. 



14 comments

  1. The best frugal thing I've done lately is to make a meal plan and actually stick with it! Our banking online shows us how much we spend per category and one of the categories is restaurants. I was astonished and mad at myself last month to see that we had spent more than I should ever say. This month, after realizing the error of our ways, we've spent one fourth of the amount we spent last month. We feel great about that. Groceries are so expensive for a family but I think if you eat it all and don't waste any then it's money well spent.

    I've been reading frugal living blogs lately. I find them so intriguing! I've been reading The Prudent Housewife, Retro Housewife Goes Green, and several others. Some of them are frugal to the EXTREME but I'm sure it works for them. Also, I've been watching Rachel Cruze videos on Youtube. She's Dave Ramsey's daughter who speaks on smart money moves. :)

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    1. Hi Stacey,

      Congrats on making a meal plan and sticking to it! May I ask where you bank? My bank used to break my spending down into categories but now just shows my balance. I miss being able to track my spending and living alone, every penny counts!

      Beverly

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  2. You do so well with your frugal living. I always enjoy your tips!

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  3. You know I try to grow as much food as I can to stock the freezers for the winter months. My freezers are all full now so I'm sending food home with my sweetie who has an empty fridge/freezer in his basement. I also do a lot of online shopping, to save gas and time. I also order from Chewy, their prices are great. And I combine errands, just like you. I also just changed out nearly every single bulb in my house to LED, which will save a lot for sure. And I primarily heat with wood, which is a ton cheaper than paying for oil. I'd rather keep the thermostat a little lower and put on a sweater, and I have throws in the living room as well. Every little bit helps!! I use coupons when I can, and shop through Ebates when I can as well. I also use SavingStar, and all the ecoupons my local store offers.

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    1. I forget about Ebates!! It's well worth the extra little step.

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  4. Love your tips, I also do the same things, it is nice to have cooked meals in the freezer for later on, and I like ordering from Walmart as I do not have to lug all those heavy bulky items up to my apartment from the car. I often think of Amazon Prime but I am not sure if I would use it often enough. I may try using it next year.

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    1. The best days for me are days when I know supper is already there and I don't have to think about it!

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  5. We use Amazon Prime and I love it. I order almost everything but food and some clothes online and many of their prices are better than the store. We order things like vacumn bags, refridgerator water filters and such usually at a savings aside from the gas saved if we drove all over the place. We order almost all Christmas and birthdays gifts. But aside from shopping we also get free, unlimited photo storage and Amazon tv viewing for many shows and movies. They have other services that come with the membership as well but we don't use them all. I guess I sound like I work for them but I don't, it's just that since we retired we don't go out as much and this has really helped us and saved us money.

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    1. I don't even buy Christmas presents anymore. Made a deal with my girls years ago not to do for one another in terms of gifts.

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  6. Great tips. I especially like the idea of ordering at the end of a restaurant's luncheon menu and dividing the meals. why didn't I think of that, lol. Like you I don't like to pay shipping costs and did a trial with Amazon. It saved me $26 in shipping costs for a gift. But now I need to make up the rest of the Amazon prime costs before end of year. I only meant to do the trial but the date slipped past. This time I've asked for a reminder of the renewal period. Like you I will have to see if it's worthwhile since I don't buy from Amazon all that often. Maybe I will if I don't have to pay for shipping. We will see :-)

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    1. I tend to order from Amazon or Walmart for home goods. With Walmart you don't have to buy as much to get free shipping. Isn't Amazon $50?

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  7. We have Amazon and use it constantly because we don't have stores nearby. It works for us with the free movies, etc.. Traveling to a movie house is just out of the question....29 miles each way. We have a Costco card and again have to travel 1 1/2 hrs one way so if we are going, we normally stock up...but..I have found myself spending waaay too much just because we are there. There's a point that you have to ask, are you really saving any money? I like your chinese food lunch menu ideas. I have started ordering one lunch combo chinese plate and my husband and I split it. It's just too much food to consume.

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    1. I just don't have the room to store much and stock up.

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  8. We have Amazon Prime but it's worth it for us because I order so much through them. We don't eat fast food or prepared meals, but I find I buy packages of organic chicken and organic grass-fed ground beef when they're on sale or at Costco (bulk; cheaper than the regular grocery stores) and store it in our extra freezer. Same with chuck roasts or pork tenderloin, etc. Chicken breasts can go a long way when put in the Crockpot with seasonings and salsa and use it to make tacos or serve over rice. Or dice and stir-fry with lots of veggies.

    Shopping at thrift stores - especially if you are lucky enough to have a Goodwill, Savers or Salvation Army near you - are great money savers on clothes, household decor, kid's toys, books, etc.

    Our cars are old and have very high mileage. I am driving a 2001 Honda Accord. We drive our cars until they "die". We don't trade them in for newer models if nothing is wrong with them. We take good care of them with regular maintenance. I dread the day when we have car payments again.

    If you eat out, most restaurants have specials on certain nights of the week. Or use coupons from localflavor.com or Groupon.

    Use your local library for books and movies.

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