Frugal LivingSaving money is an important part of life. By saving money, you are able prepare for your future. There are lots of ways that you can start saving money and living frugally that start with small things, but add up at the end of the month.

Start by setting a basic budget, take the amount of income you make every month and put it on the top of the page. Then list your expenses that can’t be altered such as your rent, your utilities and your car and medical insurance. Next, you should list your educational expenses, if any, for both, you and your children.  When you list your groceries, start with basics such as rice, flour, sugar and other non processed items. Then move on to your travel expenses and your emergency money. Removing all non essential items from your list is a great way to make the beginnings of a budget.

Allow yourself a little leeway to buy luxury items you like, but may not really need. Consider buying some of your basic household supplies in bulk. There is a wholesale stores in most cities these days. Pair with your neighbours, or a friend to get the most out of your money. Think about having a clothing swap instead of splurging on a shopping spree, there are plenty of people looking forward to saving money and chances are; they will be looking for items you have and vice versa. A lot of people love brand name everything, but did you know that often times; store brand items are exactly the same quality. Instead of opting for costly brand name items, get their comparable in the store brand version to save loads of cash.  Instead of buying overpriced cleaning products, opt for plain vinegar and backing soda. These very affordable items can be used on every surface in your home with amazing results, not only are they cheaper, but they are also more environmentally friendly.      

 In any lifestyle, environmental issues are much too important to be ignored. In a thrifty or eco-friendly lifestyle, people must synchronize their ideals with values that sustain the environment as well as their budgets. For instance, use of energy-saving bulbs other than the normal bulbs can be seen as not only economical, but beneficial for the environment. A good-quality life cannot be guaranteed if the environment is polluted.  Using your car only when necessary saves you money as well as benefits the environment. Switching off your electricity when not in use, or even using more efficient types of fuels are just a few examples of a frugal lifestyle.

Eating habits, which are an integral part of a person’s lifestyle, should be tailored to achieve a more penny wise lifestyle; for instance, join a local community-supported agriculture program from where you will be supplied with fresh, nutritious organic foods at a much more affordable cost than those commercially produced.  Packaged food is not always good for your environment or your wallet due to the waste of resources from the packaging. Besides saving a substantial amount of money on green groceries and vegetables, a kitchen garden can be part of an ideal wallet-friendly lifestyle.

One should exercise caution in regard to food safety: you should know the source of that food that you consume. Whether its meat or farm generated, the source should be from a sound environment. The animal, for instance, should not have been sick neither should the farm produce contain too many pesticides or growth chemicals.

The manner in which we store our food has a lot to do with how long we are able to preserve them. It is common knowledge that, besides catalyzing the decaying process; plastic storage facilities also contain chemicals that are harmful to our bodies. By not properly storing food, you end up spending twice as much on your groceries, which is bad for your wallet and the environment. Petro-polymer substances from decaying plastics can result to cancer. It is also advisable to shop using your own bag to avoid plastic packaging in supermarkets. This saves you a lot of money on the long run since many states have implemented laws regarding bagging at any store that sell consumable items.  In addition, people should create a culture of reusing and purchasing recycled products other than new ones so as to minimize wastage. Recycling is cheap!

Construction materials such as doors and windows can as well serve the intended purpose as the new ones provided they are reconditioned.  Cleaning detergents for your laundry also has a big effect on your wallet-friendly lifestyle. White vinegar and baking soda are some items that can be used in place of much more costly commercial products. These natural cleaners not only are easily affordable, but often work much better that commercially made solvents. In other soaps, lemon is considered a great natural additive with a vital antiseptic role. White vinegar is also a suitable bathroom floor disinfectant.

Food composting; which is an excellent source for soil enrichment, controls pollution, cleans up soil contamination and helps save money on trash removal, recycling fees and gardening cost. It is an affordable way to fertilize your lawn, garden or flower beds.  Food composting can substantially reduce the amount of carbon emissions to the environment. To create a frugal, eco-friendly environment, especially with the current population rise as well as tremendous technological improvement, we all need to incorporate “green ideas” in our lifestyles to make the world a happier place to live.

Plating trees in our environment should be a responsibility followed by all of us. Planting fruit bearing trees in your yard or community is a great way to reduce your seasonal grocery expenses while improving the landscape.

Being frugal also extends to technology; there is no need to physically print out documents or hand fax papers with the widespread use of cloud technology. You save money by not having to buy toner, paper as well as electricity. Many smart phones are equipped with access to application stores which host handy tools to reduce your phone bills such as free texting and free VIOP services.