Over the past few days, I have been thinking about things we do out of habit. Stuff we do around the house, that we have always done, that others see as “frugal”. Than I saw an article over at Simply Frugal; How to Painlessly Save Money. I knew I needed to complete this post with some super easy things we do, that we have always done, that are actually frugal.
Make extra dinner! Most nights I make dinner, and I try to make a larger portion than our little family needs. This way, we have leftovers for the next day, usually enough for all three of us for lunch! This saves TONS of money, because now my husband won’t buy fast food at work, and I wont be as tempted to hit a drive-thru knowing I have something ready made waiting in the fridge. This is something that is really easy for us, as most recipes make enough for 4-6 servings. It’s great when I’ve had a crazy morning of chasing a 15 month old around, and when lunch time hits, it’s ready in the fridge; huge score!
Be your own Starbucks – Without having to spend a ton of money on an espresso maker, that you’ll never be able to figure out anyway, you can make tasty coffee house drinks at home. My husband requires morning AND afternoon coffee, and usually in the afternoon he’ll add a few tablespoons of hot chocolate powder to his coffee instead of sugar = cafe mocha! Add a few drops of peppermint extract = peppermint cafe mocha! And in the summer we like to brew a pot of coffee and keep it in the fridge, serve over ice = iced coffee! Blend it up and add some french vanilla creamer or just half and half and powdered sugar = frappuccino! (fyi powdered sugar dissolves better in cold drinks)
Make things from scratch – Now, I’m not saying you have to go crazy with this one, and never buy anything pre made (the hubby and I joked about making our own ketchup the other day…we agreed it probably wouldn’t be cheaper), but there are lots of things people buy automatically, that they could easily make themselves. #1 pan cake mix. I HATE pancake mix, it tastes like salty cardboard, and most of them you are still adding water oil and eggs too (same goes for cake mix) stirring up flour, baking powder, and sugar isn’t that hard, and they taste a million times better. #2 prepared pasta meals (frozen with meat and veg, or even just Hamburger Helper) This is up there with going out to dinner and ordering pasta. Pasta costs pennies per person per meal! Don’t buy the frozen things, or the helpers, make it yourself. It’s actually pretty easy, and websites like Kraft Canada and Campbells Soup have super simple recipes. It’s cheaper, doesn’t take much more time or effort, and it’s healthier because you know whats in it!
I think that’s a good list for now. Though I just realized they are all food related…I’ll have to get back to you on non-food related tips!