When I talk about being frugal and living a frugal life style I would like to say I am NOT at ALL saying “thou shall never enjoy the simple pleasures in life again! Thou shall never spend another red penny again!” Don’t think that, because just like you I am human and just like you I enjoy being able to purchase needed items and take my kids places. However when doing so my spending is just on the lighter side, that’s all. How can you? I will tell you.
Reading…At a Frugal Price
When was the last time you walked into let’s say a Barnes and Noble book store? How sticker price shocked were you? I bet a lot. Reading doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. You can still enjoy the love of books without the highs dollar price and there are a few different ways.
1. Go to your local library and read books for FREE. Yes FREE. Of course you can only check a book out for so long, make sure you’re not taking too many out that you won’t finish before needing to return them. Taking books out of the library however is the best and most frugal way to enjoy books.
2. Amazon. I am a total amazon freak. You can find many books on amazon.com for pretty cheap starting at .01 yes one freaking penny. Of course there will be a small shipping charge for the most part, but seriously how much cheaper than going to the book store!
3. Borrow and swap books. Do you have friends or family who read? If you want to read a new book but don’t want to spend on amazon or don’t live near a library you can always talk to friends and family about doing a book swap. I used to swap books with a few of my co workers at a job and now my mom and I swap books. FRUGAL choice DING DING DING.
Going to the Movies… At a Frugal Price
1. Most cities offer a $1 or $2 theater. So the movies showing at the discounted theater aren’t going to be brand new releases, but they are typically pretty current. Who wants or can spend $10 a ticket for their family plus drinks and popcorn. You’re looking at $100 easy for one movie outing. Insanity, seriously. The dollar theater for a family of 5 can cost roughly $30 total including drinks and popcorn. Take that other $70 and go food shopping. Bam.
2. Redbox. Now I know this isn’t going OUT to the movies, but hear me out. Have your kiddos pick out a movie they want to watch. Make popcorn have soda, juice, or water (drinks of choice) and set your living room up to be a slumber party home theater. I bet your kids will still have fun. Heck pop into the dollar store and pick up a bag or two of movie theater candy to top off the feeling.
Going out to Eat… At a Frugal Price
1. Groupon is your friend. Repeat after me…. My family goes out to eat on average once a month. Typically it’s because I found a GREAT groupon deal. Make sure when using this tool to check the menu. Make sure the deal you’re about to score is in fact a great deal. If the prices on the menu don’t reflect that move on there are a ton of Groupon deals for eating out. Another option is you could get a groupon deal for ice cream. Eat dinner at home and take the kids for ice cream at a fraction of the price.
2. Coupons or specials. Places like Chili’s are always doing deals. The two for twenty deal. You and your husband or two kids can split the one meal and if you get two of these deals 4 people eat for $10 a person at a nice restaurant. Not a bad deal. Make sure if you’re getting drinks they are free refills or have the kids drink…water.
3. Picnic time. This isn’t “exactly” eating out, but still is. On a nice spring afternoon you can prepare a fun lunch at home, go to a park, and have a picnic. You still get the feeling of “eating out” without the big dollar attached to the price.
Shopping for Clothing… At a Frugal Price
1. Kohl’s. Yes Kohl’s. So example. This past weekend I went to Kohl’s I needed a pair of jeans for myself and a new top. My clothes generally are thrift store finds, so rarely do I buy new items. I however have a Kohl’s charge and got a 30% coupon in the mail. Go to the clearance rack first and foremost. You can always score some good deals at Kohl’s in clearance. Breakdown of what I got a pair of jeans $8.00 in clearance regular price $38.99. Blouse $8.00 regular price $39.99 and a tank top for blouse $2.00 regular price $12.99. Subtotal = $18.50 minus 30% $5.55 Grand total = $12.95. I paid LESS for all three than the tank would have been alone full priced. A new outfit for less than $15.00. So I say go to Kohl’s when they’re having a sale, when you have a coupon, and with a plan.
2. Thrift Stores. This is probably the most obvious choice to buy clothing at a frugal price. When I go thrift store shopping I go on 50% Saturday. The crowds are not so fun, but the prices sure are. If I’m going it is for a purpose, and I set a budget usually about $30-$40 total. Which is $60-$80 in merchandise total bought. Don’t over buy just because an item is ON SALE. Get what you NEED and get the heck out of dodge!
3. Garage and Yard Sales. This is pretty much thrift store shopping before the clothes get there and they are cheaper. Most people who buy clothes at garage sales are spending about .25 an item. Seriously 4 shirts for $1.00. You won’t always find clothes at a garage/yard sale, but ya might. Most people who are having a garage/yard sale give that stuff away they didn’t sell to the thrift store, so you’re pretty much buying clothing at an exclusive event. (giggles).
There are 3 easy options to every one of these dilemmas we face as adults trying to live a frugal lifestyle. You don’t have to suffer and never get a new shirt, book, or eat out again while bring frugal.