Frugal tips

Play Card Games

A deck of cards is going to give you more hours of entertainment per dollar than pretty much any source of entertainment out there. Every night, we like to play cards while dinner is in the oven. It’s another simple, frugal way to take our minds off today or what needs to be done tomorrow, so that we can enjoy the moment. Grab a deck of cards and take a chance to connect with your spouse and kids. Our favorite games (listed in order from most favorite to least favorite):

  • Cuttle
  • Golf
  • Hearts
  • Egyption Rat Screw
  • Gin Rummy
  • Spoons (AKA Pig)
  • Speed/Spit
  • Rummy 500
  • Cribbage
  • Nerts
  • B.S.

Work Out At Home

Do yoga—It will keep you young forever. You’ll become extremely flexible and gain functional muscles that will let you do fun tricks for you to show off with. Plus, it doesn’t cost much money. We like to use Glo.com There are thousands of lessons taught by the top instructors in the country. Stop paying for that gym membership you don’t use, buy a yoga mat, and see what your body is capable of with yoga.

Feed Your Pet Appropriately

Be honest with yourself: is your dog overweight? If so, you’re losing money! Stop free-feeding your pet, and put them on a healthy diet (their optimal diet can be found on their food-bag). I know you feed them extra food because you love them, but I promise they’ll be much happier and more energetic when they no longer have to carry that extra weight around. Plus, you’ll save hundreds on dog food and thousand on future veterinary bills (it ain’t cheap to have a diabetic dog, my friend.)

Always Use A Shopping List

The most important factor in keeping our grocery bill under $300/month is using a shopping list. Before heading to the grocery store, walk into your kitchen, open your ‘Reminder’ app on your iPhone, and create a grocery list. Once you’re at the grocery store, don’t deviate from your list. Buy what you need—no more, no less.

Drink Water

We are able to keep our grocery bill under $300/month because we drink water. Sodas, juices, bottled drinks—sure they taste good, but they cost too much money. Drink tap water, or if your tap isn’t good, buy a water filter. Here’s the one we use.  You’ll save at least $100/month.

Sell Your Clothes Online With Depop

We have a one-in, one-out policy for our clothes: when I buy a new pair of jeans, an old pair needs to leave. It keeps our closets manageable, and more importantly, it gives us an chance to make easy money. All of our gently worn clothes are sold on Depop—an online thrift store. Depop makes the process of selling clothes online incredibly simple. Just take a pic of that shirt you no longer wear and set a price. When someone buys it, Depop creates a printable shipping label. Stick the shirt in a box, tape that shipping label to the box, and drop it off at your nearest post office. Also See: How To Live Minimally

Take Advantage of Parks and Recreation Areas Near You

For years now, government leaders have seen how recreational amenities can improve the life of a city. More towns are finding ways to add bike paths, tennis courts, basketball courts, ballfields, walking trails, and parks. Enjoy some time away from the computer and phone screens and take a stroll or a ride on a trail. Sometimes there are so many great things to see under our noses that we take them for granted. Don’t be afraid to call a Chamber of Commerce, a Convention and Visitors Bureau (also known as a Tourism Bureau). Find out what sites you can visit for free or very minimal costs. Be sure to do this for any area you visit, especially if you have to travel for work.

Take Advantage of the Library

Libraries are a magic portal into infinite awesomeness. And that’s an understatement. There’s nothing like a good book (or audiobook if you’re not too keen on reading) to turn your mind off to all the stresses plaguing your thoughts. If you haven’t tried reading, please give it a shot. Imagine your favorite TV show made 10X better and 10X longer. Also, watching it is actually good for your brain. Try it, and I promise you’ll love it. Go to goodreads.com, find a book (maybe a personal finance book?) with great reviews, checkout that book or audiobook from your local library, and discover your next free and probably most favorite hobby.

Make Your Keurig Coffee For Cheap

There’s nothing more convenient than brewing coffee by the cup. There’s only one problem: those K-cups aren’t exactly cheap when compared to the cost of ground coffee. So how do you take advantage of both the convenience of your Keurig machine and have access to the inexpensive cornucopia of coffee availalbe outside a K-cup? You’re about to find out. Here’s what you need:

  • Reusable K Pods: These K-pods last for ages! We’ve had ours close to a year, and they’re still like new. They’re also dishwasher safe. The only problem: they brew a weak cup of coffee. Because the perforations in the mesh are large, you can’t gind your coffee too finely or the grinds will slip through the grating and into your coffee. That’s why you also need item number 2.
  • Reusable K-pod Filters: Because filters are impermeable to even the finest ground coffee, you’re free to grind your coffee as small as possible (the key to a strong-brewed coffee). Stick these filters into the reusable K pods, fill the filter with any coffee of your choosing, and brew yourself a strong cup of coffee. Now you’re free to enjoy a strong cup of coffee of any flavor on the cheap!

Use Credit Cards

Everything you buy should be 2% off. Which doesn’t sound like much, but when you spend $30,000/year, that’s $600 in free money! Credit card companies, specifically rewards credit cards, pay you to use their card, and if you use them wisely—i.e., not go into debt—you can make great money with them. With our credit cards we get 2% off general purchases, 5% off Amazon purchases, one free airline ticket every year, free checked baggage on our flights, and plenty of other awesome money-saving opportunities. We easily save over $1,000/year because we swipe a credit card rather than a debit card. Credit cards have also raised both our FICO scores above 800! And no, we have never taken on a dime of credit card debt. There is no reason to fear credit cards. Ditch your standard bank card, and find a quality credit card with generous rewards. (because why wouldn’t you want more free money?):

  • Here are the Best Reward Credit Cards of 2020 (we use #7)
  • Here are the Best Travel Credit Cards of 2020 (click “see details” under every card for all the travel perks) Not sure what your credit score is? Get your free Credit Score from Credit Sesame here.
;