What do you do to live an affordable lifestyle? Let us know in the comments!
I think I live an active lifestyle, enjoying the company of my family and friends, doing the things that I enjoy doing. One thing my dad always told me was, if you can't pay for it, don't buy it. That rule really stuck with me, and I feel it may have shaped the way I spend my money day to day.
Here are some rules I live by, and some tips on how I save a buck or two daily.
I was at the store picking up a can opener the other day because ours had just broken. There were three selections to choose from, the $0.99 one, the $4.99 one, and the $9.99 one. They all looked basically the same to me, so I decided to go "middle of the road" and pick the $4.99 one. Chances are $0.99 one was cheaply made, and would break sooner rather than later, and the $9.99 was overpriced, possibly because of brand naming or needless bells and whistles.
I try to keep this frame of mind when making most purchases. Don't buy the cheapest product available, and don't buy the most expensive one either. Doing research on any purchase definitely helps you make an informed decision before you buy.
The Juice Double Down
Here's a quick tip. A can of juice concentrate can make 2 jugs of juice. Mix it in 1 jug fully, then pour half in another jug and top them both up with water. This gives you double the amount of juice, juice that is less sugary and better for you health wise.
This is actually 2 cans of juice.
Toothpaste, no waste!
You really only need a small amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush to clean your teeth. The brushing action with the bristles is what actually cleans your teeth. Also, you'd be surprised at the amount of toothpaste still in the tube after you cannot squeeze more out. Try cutting open your tube of toothpaste and see how much is still there.
This is too much toothpaste!
Laundry Detergent Quantities
Laundry detergent comes with a scoop that has an amount line or two, telling you how much detergent to put in your washing machine. But, all washing machines are built differently, and newer washing machines are very efficient and do not require much laundry detergent. In fact, using too much laundry detergent can be harmful to your washing machine, and could decrease its lifespan. Check your washing machine instructions, either stored away or under the lid somewhere. It should tell you exactly how much detergent is needed.
Dinner For Two
My wife and enjoy a break from cooking dinner occasionally and go out to a restaurant for some food. We find that most times, the portions they give you are way too much for one person to eat, so we share an entree item together. We ask the server if we could share an item, most times they are very happy to do this for us, often splitting the meal into two plates. Some places even give you extras for doing this, like extra bread or an extra potato.
We will usually order water, possibly with lemon, to drink. Soft drinks and alcohol are simply overpriced at restaurants.
It's safe to say that you can save at least 25% on used merchandise. When making any sort of purchase, I will often time check craigslist to see if anyone is selling exactly what I am looking for. I've even gone to a furniture store, marked down the model of something I like and see if it is available online or used for less money. Not only are we saving money, but we are also practicing the second R, Re-use!
Take a look at your television bills, and figure out how much TV you watch in a given month. Is it worth it? You can save a lot of money month after month by lowering or completely cancelling your television service. There are other ways of getting television service, such as HULU, Netflix, which are much more affordable and have some great content to watch.
You could even purchase or build a HD Antenna for your television. With these handy-dandy little devices, you can pick up Over-The-Air (OTA) streams in beautiful HD video and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. Now that all broadcasts in North America are digital, you are sure to pick up some great channels for free in your area.