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Before you read this post, have you read my post on creating a budget? If so, carry on. If not, please check it out first so you get off on the right frugal foot.

Frugal finance 101: You need a budget

This is when things get really fun because you get to review your budget, cut out the fat, and brainstorm ways to still do things that you love for less money.

Frugal Finance 101 - Do More With Less

I’m telling you, this is the step that will start strengthening your frugal thumb.

I’ll give you some ideas on how this works to get you started.

Getting Frugal with Coffee

Here’s the first example: Let’s say you reviewed your transactions and noticed that you have been spending $10 a week on coffee at the Starbucks near work. You love your coffee, so what options do you have?

Well, if the thought of no caffeine makes you feel violent, you could:

  • Try going one fewer time a week and use your fun money
  • Make your own coffee or tea at home
  • Drink the coffee or tea provided by your employer
  • Find coupons for coffee at other stores
  • Put a Starbucks gift card on your Amazon wish list

Getting Frugal with Fast Food

This is another common budget-buster that people find when they start budgeting. From my experience, if we’re spending more than $100/week on food for our family of three, then we can do better. If you find that you’re spending a LOT on food, first check how much is going toward fast food and restaurants rather than groceries.

To cut down on the food bill, you could:

  • Try going one fewer time a week and use your fun money
  • Meal plan for an entire week at a time so you won’t be tempted to stop for fast food
  • Shop the weekly grocery ads for deals
  • Use the Ibotta app for cash back on items you already planned on buying
  • Use coupons like buy 1 get 1 ads. We rarely get fast food without a coupon of some kind anymore.
  • Go grocery shopping when you’re full so you won’t be tempted to buy more than you need due to hunger
  • Find cheap and easy recipes
  • Shop at a discount grocery store like Aldi
  • Pack your lunch
  • Ask for gift cards to your favorite fast food joints on your wish list

Getting Frugal with Furniture

Are you eyeing some new furniture because it looks modern and you feel that yours is out-dated?

You could:

  • Update with paint and/or spray paint
  • Sand and refinish wood surfaces
  • Put on new knobs or handles
  • Give a couch/chair a new look with different throw pillows, blankets, or new cushion
  • Make a new headboard for a bed

 

So, as you can see, there are so many possibilities here. It’s really just using your imagination to come up with solutions to your budget predicament. The next time you want to buy something, remember to brainstorm alternative ideas to reach a satisfactory solution.