I’m not afraid of saving money, and I’m proud of being frugal. I’ll always save money where I can, and if I find little value. I’ll share just some of ways I save money while living my frugal lifestyle. Check it out!
Don’t Pay for TV
As I have talked about when I first started tracking my spending and budgeting. I found that I was dumping a bunch of money into DishNetwork on TV, I never really watched. IO found it rather easy to drop my paid Satellite TV provider. What’s often overlooked, and is super easy to do, is just use an antenna to get, digital, over-the-air (OTA) broadcast. You can pickup an antenna from Target, Walmart and Amazon for under $20. Most modern TVs have a digital tuner already built it. You may not even know it, but it’s there. Simply connect the antenna to the Coaxial Antenna-In connection on your television. Next, go your TV’s menu and choose an option for auto-tuning, or channel scanning. For example, I scan channels in my area and can pickup 22 Channels! Yup! This includes all my local/network stations, plus a bunch of other channels with local or other types of programming. Some of the things I can watch for FREE are:
- Local and National Network News, I watch my local news every weekend morning.
- Local NFL games, I watch the Minnesota Vikings every week!
- Prime time network programming on NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS, WB
- Live Network events, like Grammy’s, Academy Awards, etc…
- PBS – Publicly funded Television from TPT (Twin Cities Public Television)
There are other channels available as well:
- Local Channel 45, Newer reruns of shows like The Goldbergs, and classics like Seinfeld and Friends
- H&I, Heroes & Icons – Watch reruns of McGyver, Greatest American Hero, or Star Trek
- MeTV – Shows from the 70’s & 80’s like Hogan’s Heroes, M*A*S*H, ALF
- Fox9 + Local News, Weather and information
You can see over the air channels here
Hit the clearance rack and thrift stores
I recall one time I was attending a networking event, and I had two compliments on my new dress shirt (Yes, when I’m not wearing Metal T-Shirts, my shirts have buttons) and I commented, “Thanks! It was my latest find for $4 at Goodwill.” My buddy leaned in and whispered, “dude, I wouldn’t tell people that.” I’m always one to share where I find a good deal. I’m not afraid to save money and let people know if it makes sense. For example, check this latest outfit of name-brand digs.
- My dress shirt: 3.99 (Goodwill)
- Jacket: 24.98 (Macy’s Clearance)
- Jeans: 3.99 (Goodwill)
- Dress Shoes: 19.98 (Kohl’s Clearance)
When I’m in need for paper products, or household items, even over-the-counter medication, many of the times, I’ll buy the generic equivalents. I feel that there are times when buying generic is totally fine, but for somethings it is better to buy a name brand, top quality product to get the longevity. However, things that are consumable or some products it’s totaly fine to purchase the generic version. Many of these products are identical to the name brand, if you look at compare ingredients of some of these they are exactly the same! Here is an example of some items that usually buy the generic version:
|Generic Equivalent||Brand Name|
|200 Caps – $3.89||200 Caps – $14.99|
|Acetaminophen Day/Night Time Cold and Flu Relief Liquid||Vicks DayQuil & NyQuil Cold & Flu Relief Liquid – Acetaminophen|
|2ct/12oz – $10.99||2ct/12oz – $14.99|
|Gentle Face Cleanser||Cetaphil Skin Cleanser|
|16oz – $6.69||16oz – $8.63|
|Premium Ultra Strong Toilet Paper||Charmin Ultra Strong Toilet Paper|
|12 MegaRolls – $10.79||12 MegaRolls – $17.89|
|Make-A-Size White Paper Towels||Bounty Select-A-Size Paper Towels|
|12 Single Plus Rolls – $13.49||12 Singles Plus Rolls – $15.29|
|FlexGuard Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags||Glad ForceFlexPlus Kitchen Trash Bags|
|120ct – $15.99||90ct – $17.99|
Use a treadmill at home
One of my goals for 2020 is to begin walking on a more consistent schedule. With Minnesota winters, I wanted to walk in a controlled environment, but not pay monthly membership costs to a gym or fitness center. I took to craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. I had looked at three treadmills for sale, and my third one was a good shape, it met my needs and cost me $40!
If I need to run errands, either if that is locally, or across town. I try to stack these to save on my effort, time and fuel costs. If I need to connect and have a meeting with my Real Estate Agent or Lender, and I need to visit a rental property, both of which are 25 miles away from home but roughly the same direction. I’ll try and coordinate to do this both back to back. If I have an errand to run, or I am meeting with someone south of the cities, I build that into when I’ll be visiting my customers, that are typically south of the cities. Again, doing so saves time and fuel. Location-based reminders can help with this. If you setup a reminder to be location-based, or remind me when I’m near this area, or remind me when I leave this location. It can help remind me stack my errands together.
Join eClubs and Rewards
I do have a dining budget that is used only for eating out. One thing that I have done is join mailing lists, or clubs. Especially, with those that have pretty consistent offers that are sent out to members. If I’m in the mood for BBQ, I’ll go to Famous Dave’s or for bacon and eggs, I’ll go to Perkins, for example. I consistently get BOGO offers at Famous Dave’s, or 20% off coupons at Perkins, for example. Perkins also drops BOGO an entree, usually, once a week. Using things like the Target App and joining the Target Circle (what used to be Cartwheel) for Deals, and earning rewards. The kicker here is to stick to the deal, and don’t let other items creep into your order. For example, order water to drink, or if you are getting an entree you probably don’t NEED an appetizer.
Connect my Hilton Points to Amazon
Did you know you can use your Hilton Points as a payment method on Amazon? If you connect the accounts, your points earned for Hilton hotel stays can be redeemed upon checkout at Amazon. The exchange rate is 500pts = $1, so it’s not great…However, I travel for work, and if I happen to stay at Hilton hotels, I bank those points, if I’m shopping on amazon for pantry or other household items, I use points to drop my price, or even get something for free sometimes!
Use the Cash Envelope system
This is a methodology that has become very popular for followers of Dave Ramsey. Basically you allocate a budget for a specific spending category. You place cash in the envelope that will specifically be used for that category. I typically use this for Dining, or eating out and groceries. One thing I did for 2019 was set a budget for Dining out, and Groceries of $300 each. I also made a list for my grocery items. I created a shared list on my phone and shared it with my kids. That way if there is something specific they want they can add it to the same list. This forced me to save a lot of money on spontaneous, random grocery spending, as well as how when you just swipe a card it was so much easier to spend and not feel that pain of spending. There was no friction. I would often go over budget especially when eating out. In 2020 I’ve combined my grocery/dining budget and I’ve reduced this to $400 per month. I like combining these now, so if I happen to not prepare meals at home, I can use that money for a meal out, or visa versa. This does limit my spending. If there isn’t cash available. You don’t spend.
There are many, many ways we continue to save money, time and live a frugal life. Please share some of your best ways you save!