Tips on Living a Frugal Lifestyle

toy swapShare Your Children’s Toys Through a Toy Swap

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the toys in your house? A great idea that I saw online a few years ago is a toy swap. A toy swap is something that moms & dads can organize within their church or through their local community centre. Bring in all the toys that your children have outgrown and swap them with what the other parents bring. This is a great way to save money and as discussed in Frugal parents skip stores and swap online for kids' toys, your kids will always feel like they have new toys.

Buy in Bulk

There are certain things that you may need to buy every week such as milk and eggs, but there are many things that you can buy in larger quantities and store until you need them (assuming you have the room). 

We like to go to Costco about once every 3 or 4 months. We buy paper products, garbage bags and cleaning supplies.

Earlier this year we really began to wonder if we were saving any money by shopping there so we made a list of what we were paying for products there and compared their prices with Co-op and Safeway. We were happy to find out that we were saving money by shopping at Costco.

Put Your Spare Change in the Bank

How much change do you carry around in your pocket or purse each day? Years ago my husband and I started a spare change jar that we toss our change, including our loonies, into at the end of each day. Just recently I went to the bank and asked for coin wrappers so that I could cash in what we currently have in our collection.

When I worked in the UK several years ago I found that I collected a lot of coins. One day when I was at the grocery store I noticed that they had a machine that looked like an instant teller machine. It was actually a machine that you dump all of your coins into and it counts them for you. I had never noticed one here in Canada. Anyways, it counts your coins and gives you a receipt for the amount. But of course it deducts a small commission for counting your change.

Host a Potluck Party

After I graduated from college I began working in the Wills & Estates department of a major bank. One of the ladies I worked with began hosting potluck parties on Saturday nights at her home. Everyone would bring a unique dish that they figured others may not have tried yet, and we would share all the food and exchange recipes. Those evenings were a lot of fun. We didn’t do them to intentionally save money, but by not going out to a restaurant for dinner and drinks, we easily saved money.

Cook in Big Batches

A couple of years ago I read a story about women who get together once a month to cook huge meals. They choose the recipes prior to getting together and each person is responsible for buying certain items. Everyone brings their own storage containers and groceries and they spend the day cooking. As each meal is finished they divide the food up amongst themselves so that they can take it home and freeze it for their families.

Use Less Gas by Pre-Planning Your Errands and Appointments

Gas is expensive. We try to keep our spending on gas to $75 a month. Sometimes we get away with $50 a month.

When we have appointments to go to and errands to run we make a list and we make sure that we schedule them all in one day (if possible). We always pre-plan our route so that we are not running all over town. Not only does this reduce the amount of gas that we use but it also saves us a lot of time which allows us to work on other projects and get more done around the house.



    • WorkSaveLive

      WorkSaveLive 03/13/2012 8:52 a.m. #

      I love the potluck party! We don't really have parties like this, but whenever we have friends over (or whenever we go to their place) we have them bring something. It really helps financially and it certainly doesn't throw all of the burden on the hosts.

      That's an interesting story about the big batches - I'd never heard of that.

      We still cook "big batches" and have leftovers. We made some lasagna last night and will be having leftovers a few nights this week! It's just so easy and smart to do...not only cheaper but it saves time.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 03/13/2012 10:26 a.m. #

      Lasagna! Yum! Haven't had that for a while. I love leftovers because you can cook once and eat 2 or 3 times.

    • Aloysa @My Broken Coin

      Aloysa @My Broken Coin 03/13/2012 1:37 p.m. #

      We are trying to do all of this with an exception of putting our change into a bank. I am not even sure what we do with it. Can you imagine? We try to store it but I think we either lose it, use it for something non-essential or misplace it. Great advice!

    • Kari@Small Budget Big Dreams

      Kari@Small Budget Big Dreams 03/13/2012 10:05 p.m. #

      I really wish we knew our neighbors or had close friends in the neighborhood so we could do potluck parties. I'd also love to cook in batches and swap with friends. Unfortunately we don't really know anybody here and the neighbors aren't really interested in getting close. Hopefully at the new house this will change.

    • CultOfMoney

      CultOfMoney 03/13/2012 10:13 p.m. #

      I'm a big fan of the potluck party. I do like to host in order to get to keep some of the leftovers, but then I do have to put the house into party-shape, which always involves more cleaning than I expect. I also buy in bulk a lot, though that usually just means stocking up on something when its on sale. Like soup, I love me a good soup deal so I can get a can of Chunky for a buck. :)

    • frugalportland

      frugalportland 03/14/2012 10:42 a.m. #

      potluck parties sound fun! we do weekly "family dinners" and alternate who hosts. very low key, very fun.

    • Michelle

      Michelle 03/15/2012 8:35 p.m. #

      We hang out at friends' houses or host hang-outs at our place. We are especially close with two other families and we all have kids, so taking turns works out. That way, only one house gets trashed by our brood of little darlings each weekend.

Comments are closed.