Category: Frugal Living Tips

TMR Frugal Living Tip #48

Today’s thrifty tip is keep your thermostat lower to conserve heat. For each degree lower it will save you 2% on your heating bill according to most institutes. I don’t run my heater as much during the winter since I live in sub-tropical weather. When I do have to run it, then I keep it set at 65 degrees during the day. It does get chilly in the house so I just wear warm clothing. At night I still keep it around 65 degrees. Many experts say you should turn the heat down to 55-60 degrees at night. My husband would never go for this. I am on natural gas so my bills aren’t extremely high. There are many days we don’t even turn on the heat like yesterday and today. My monthly average over the course of a year is right under $50/month. I pay $25 during the summer months for my gas water heater, dryer, and stove. I don’t use the dryer that much either except during winter.

Investing in a programmable thermostat is another great way to keep your house energy efficient. If no one is in the house during the day, then you program it to keep the house cooler during the winter and warmer in summer. You can also program it to have it start warming the house up right before you wake up in the mornings. Have it get colder when it’s time for bed. I need to invest in one for myself.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #47

Today’s thrifty tip is use plain water instead of windshield wiper fluid. I use plain water and haven’t noticed any difference. I have seen many recipes where you can make your own using either vinegar, dish liquid soap, or rubbing alcohol. The problem with using any of those ingredients is it could harm your hoses and/or seals over time. I do buy windshield wiper fluid, but if I run out or can’t find a good sale, then I do use just water. I also don’t live in a climate where I experience freezing weather. I don’t have to worry about fluid or water freezing in my reservoir. I find the water gets the grime off.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #46

Today’s thrifty tip is plan your meal the night before. I know that many experts want you to make up a 7 day menu, but that’s not realistic for us. Even if I did keep in mind all the activities or other planned events, that wouldn’t take into consideration all the last minute changes. Let’s be honest that things do change at the last minute. I honestly prefer to plan my meal either the night before or first thing in the morning. I thaw out all my meats or frozen leftovers in the sink with cold water by that afternoon. It still gives me plenty of time to cook a nice meal. This is what works for me, and maybe going by a weekly menu works better for you. Another benefit is if the weather is cold, then I know I can make a nice soup or something to warm us up. I don’t like to eat gumbo in the summer and this is the perfect weather for a nice bowl of it.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #45

Today’s thrifty tip is to invest in an extra freezer. My freezer on top of the refrigerator is pretty small so I can’t really put much in it. I love to buy in bulk when I see a great sale on meats, frozen veggies, butter, cheese, and such. I also like to cook in double and triple batches to freeze the extras in smaller containers. I know some people are worried about the costs of running an extra freezer. The one I own only runs me an extra $5/mo in electricity. The savings in stocking up on great sales and not eating out will pay for itself easily in the course of a year. I got mine on a great clearance sale (less than $300) six years ago. It still runs perfectly. We are a small family of three, but I still like to have meals ready to go on those nights we don’t feel like cooking or don’t have time to cook. I also freeze some of the excess of my garden or if I receive fresh vegetables from a relative or friend.

If you still think it’s too expensive to own one, then ask yourself these questions.

How much could I save in a week if I had a nice frozen meal to cook instead of eating out?

How much savings did I lose because I couldn’t take full advantage of a great sale?

How much could I save on fresh fruits and vegetables I could grow myself to freeze?

How can you not afford an extra freezer?

TMR Frugal Living Tip #44

Today’s thrifty tip is think before you spend. I’m extremely guilty of this one as well. I see something on sale, and my eyes light up. I feel like a kid in a candy store when I see items that are deeply discounted. I have to stop myself and ask these questions before I grab it. Do I really need this item? Will I really use it? Would I buy it if it wasn’t marked down?

I do find myself buying stuff I don’t need so I didn’t save anything. The temptation to buy it can be great because it is marked so low. Really stop and think about some of the purchases you wouldn’t have normally made. You think it’s just a dollar or two, but these little purchases add up quickly. Don’t let clearance fever take control of your better judgement. Take a deep breath, put it down, and walk away. You will be much happier in the long run.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #43

Today’s thrifty tip is use the back of a used envelope or junk mail to write your shopping list. You are reusing a used item. Most envelopes are long enough to write a pretty long shopping list. You are saving money by using new paper and trees.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #42

Today’s thrifty tip is buy more generics. This could be food, medicines, and even beauty items like skin care. I even prefer some generic items to the name brand. The funny thing is they are packaged and processed at the same plants, but just a different label. The same foods but just cheaper. This could save you as much as 30-40% as the name brands. I don’t have double store coupons and mostly local stores.

Generic medicines are just as good as name brand. They have to go through the same testing and regulations. This will definitely save you a lot of money, especially on prescriptions. I always ask for the generic form if available. My co-pays are much cheaper as well. I can usually pay $4 for certain prescriptions.