If you really want to get out of debt but have your old habits knocking at your door there are ways to slowly but surely start changing your old ways. Pick one of the below tips to work on each week and you'll soon find that those old money habits will drift away. Being frugal no longer carries the stigma it once did as more and more people strive to save money.
We all have a little cheapskate in us and it’s time to bring it out!
Here are 26 ways to kickstart your inner cheapskate and reap the benefits of hanging on to more of your money…
1. Don’t Buy Without a Coupon
For the items you usually put on your shopping list, start looking for coupons. Use the newspaper, sales fliers, and even the online sources to find the coupons you’ll actually use. You get bonus points if a local grocery store will double those coupons.
2. Eat Everything in the Pantry
Stop shopping until all the items are used in the pantry. Find ways to make use of all the ingredients you already have. Make batches of recipes and freeze meals for use later.
3. Go Free
Let there be no shame in going for the free stuff. Whether you find free items in the newspaper or sign up for free offers from manufacturers, make it a point to opt for free whenever possible. Arrange a swap event among family and friends to get new things for free.
4. Be a Barterer
Consider all of the ways you can barter for the things you need. Trade services or things for things or services you need. There are websites like: Freecycle, Swap.com, Thred Up, PawnGo, and U-Exhange for bartering online but you can also just barter among your circle of friends.
5. Go Naturally Clean
Look up recipes for homemade cleaners and soaps and get your science on. There are many recipes with ingredients that are very affordable and will make generous amounts of what you need. The homemade products are also a healthy alternative to some of the harsher chemicals on the market.
6. Learn Things Online
There are plenty of instructional videos online for free that can teach you how to do everything from changing your vehicle oil to fixing your broken faucet. The more you can do on your own, the less you have to pay someone else to do it for you! Coursera is a great resource for getting free education online!
7. Get On Your Bike
Cut down on the cost of gas and wear and tear on your vehicle and ride your bike instead. It may take some getting used to but you can work your way through the changes and reap the benefits of a healthier you. (Take a look at: 51 Things to Spend Your Money on Other Than Gas)
8. Unplug As Much As Possible
Technology can be very costly so ditch the TV, cell phone, game systems, and other electronics and find a more constructive way to spend your time. You can save hundreds of dollars of month by making this change and you’ll also reduce your electricity consumption.
9. Get Your Fill of Water
Vow to only drink water (from the tap if possible). You can cut out a lot of expense in the course of the month by ditching the soft drinks and alcohol and sticking to a water-only policy. Drinking water before meals will also help you curb your hunger!
10. Love Your Home Life
Learn the benefits of being a partial hermit. By staying home rather than going out, you can resist many temptations to spend. When you do opt to get out of the house, only seek out free entertainment in your local area.
11. Be Your Own Beautician
Learn how to keep your own hair in shape with regular trims. Enlist the help of your spouse of a trusted, frugal friend, and then return the favor. Or, be bold and cut your own hair! It's actually super easy!
12. Be Obsessive With Maintenance
The better you maintain what you already have the longer it will be useable. Learn how to maintain your appliances, vehicles, and other household items regularly so you won’t have to replace or repair them.
13. Be a Thrift Shop Regular
You really never know what you’ll find in a thrift store and that can be a good thing. Hit the thrift store for your clothing, furniture, appliances, office supplies, luggage, and even a pair of crutches should the need arise. Never buy new what you can buy at a thrift store.
14. Bathe Less
Once on an episode of the show Wife Swap, a family of four bathed in the same bath water. There is no reason to go to this extreme or to quit hygiene altogether but learn to survive on bathing every other day instead of every morning. You’ll save on water and bathing supplies.
15. Skip the Dryer
When you wash your clothing, construct a way to hang all of your clothing to air dry (inside or outside) rather than use your dryer. You’ll preserve your clothing and save on electricity.
16. Go Meatless
Meat products can be very expensive so eat more meatless dishes. Pick one or two days a week where meat is on the menu but keep fresh produce, pasta, and bean dishes for the rest of the week.
17. Hand-Make Your Gifts
Not everyone may appreciate this cheapskate change in you but there are so many ways to create homemade gifts people will love. Just spend some time on Pinterest for ideas to try and work on making gifts for all occasions all year around.
18. Be a Better Planner
A lack of preparation is often the cause of overspending. Not being prepared often means you have to buy things you forgot or pay more for things at the last minute. Focus on being more prepared for every day. (Check out: Dramatically Increas the Quality of Your Life)
19. Eat At Your Desk
Go against the office grain and stay in for lunch everyday. Packing a lunch versus going out to eat is a healthier option and a way to save a lot of money throughout the month. (You might like this post: 98 Cheap and Easy Foods to Make for Under 5 Bucks)
20. Become a Stay-cationer
Vacations can be expensive so take your week off from work and just stay home. Explore local free things to do and take time to chill out and relax at home without spending money.
21. Shop Once a Month
It will take some getting used to but create shopping lists on a monthly basis. Except for basics like milk, bread, and fresh produce work on surviving an entire month with just one grocery trip. Keep a list of things as you need the rather than running out to the store every day for minor, unnecessary things.
22. Ditch the Kindle for the Library
A Kindle or other e-reader makes it really easy to spend your money on reading materials. One click and something new is there. Swap out your e-reader for a library card and test out new authors.
23. Downsize to Minimal
Go through each room of your home and get rid of all the items you don’t use including extra furniture and anything in the back of the closet you haven’t seen in years. Sell what you can, donate the rest, and bring nothing else into your home unless it’s vital. (Take a look at: How to Make Money Selling Your Crap)
24. Give Up Junk Food
Your addiction to convenience and junk food is costing you money and your health. Give up sweets, fast food joints, and other sugar-laden, cavity-creating items and stick to fresh and healthy. (Check out: Your Habits are Making You Broke)
25. Become a Negotiator
There are many places where negotiation on pricing is acceptable so learn the fine art. Even major services providers may be willing to lower prices or offer more incentives for free if you speak up.
26. Recycle for Cash
Glass bottles, old cell phones, and other items can be recycled in exchange for cash. Find the nearest location to find out what the rules are and get serious about recycling.