Some might consider these habits frugal but I feel that they can be minimalist too, as you are making the most out of what you have and if on top of that you become a smart consumer, you are saving not only a lot of money that can be invested or spent on more valuable things to you but also saving the planet by reducing your carbon footprint.
These 10 are very simple ways and can become habits in a short amount of time, just apply those that resonate with you and your lifestyle. I will let you know which habits I adapted into my daily life as we go through this list.
1 Unplug devices when not in use
Have you heard of the term "phantom or vampire energy"? Just as the name suggests its energy we do not use but is still charged on our monthly bills.
Studies in 2015 have shown that the average household electrical bill averages between 10% and 33% of phantom energy, that's right you are paying an extra fee for the energy you didn't use and also note this study is 5 years old, so the average must be higher now.
The phantom energy trend keeps going upwards as technology evolves and more appliances, electronics, and gadgets are created to satisfy a never-ending consumerist lifestyle.
How can you reduce your energy consumption? Obviously, there are certain appliances that can't be unplugged like the refrigerator but the truth is most of them can be unplugged, toasters, coffee makers, cellphone chargers, all decorative lamps, stop reading this article for a moment and go through your house and unplug everything in similar categories to what I mentioned that is not in use right now.
I have adapted this habit into my life, for example, I never leave the phone charger plugged when there is nothing to charge, and as soon as I'm done using an appliance I unplugged it. In my case the savings are not huge but imagine the savings a big family could potentially have, stop giving away your hard-earned money.
2 Grow your own vegetables, fruits, and herbs
I have talked briefly about this idea before and while I wouldn't be able to grow vegetables I can see myself growing herbs like parsley, cilantro, mint, rosemary, or green onions, not only is an amazing way to have fresh herbs to garnish your dishes a snip away, they will help decorate your kitchen too and there's nothing better to decorate a home than live plants and flowers.
If you have green thumbs and are blessed to live in an ideal climate to grow vegetables or fruits, give it a shot, some home-friendly produce includes tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, beans among others, and notice you can grow these on pots too.
3 Dryer balls and racks
Ideally, you want your white clothes to dry under the sun because UV rays help deodorize, bleach, and disinfect fabrics, for color clothing indirect sunlight works better.
Sadly this is not a possibility for most people especially those living in small apartments, there are some solutions one is using dryer sheets, which I do not like as it creates more waste and you are pretty much drying your clothes with cash. A better solution is to use dryer balls, you can find them in different materials such as wool or silicone, they will last much longer especially the silicone ones.
The final and best option in my opinion is buying a foldable drying rack, a small home-friendly option, you can place it on a balcony or near an open window to air dry your clothes and once finished fold it and store it under your sofa or on a linen closet.
4 Create a high yield savings account
Most people have one account for everything, the issue is the tendency to withdraw funds from those savings from time to time not allowing it to grow. If your goals are longer-term, consider products with higher rates of return for one account and a separate one for daily expenses.
There are many online banks that offer higher rates of return as they do not have to pay for physical locations and other expenses regular banks encounter.
5 Pack your own food
Meal prepping is another easy way to save a lot of money in the long run, instead of buying every day a cup of coffee in the morning, a meal for lunch, and some fast food for dinners, do a Sunday meal prep for the whole week.
This way each day you have a portioned meal to take with you, buy a reusable coffee mug with a lid and bring your own coffee, this is not only a money saver but you have the choice to eat healthier food as you get to decide what to eat and how to prepare it.
6 Stop smoking
I can talk about this as I was a smoker during my college years but a minor health scare many years ago stopped me from smoking.
Not only I have saved thousands of dollars but also feel much better, I can run for long periods of time, my home doesn't smell like nicotine and my skin is brighter and healthier looking, the average person spends around 3000 US dollars on cigarettes, imagine how much money you could save and use it on better things and all those doctor appointments in the future.
7 Delete shopping apps
Nowadays is so easy to shop for things and companies know this and want to make your shopping as pleasant as possible, they want you to spend quickly leaving no space to think about your purchase.
This can become a dangerous habit especially if you tend to shop a lot when stressed or bored. Delete those apps and while you are at it, delete your credit card information.
Make sure you take the same approach to online stores as you would with physical ones, only use their apps and websites when you need something, don't browse their pages when you are bored, because I guarantee you will find something you want.
And I'm not trying to demonize online stores, I think they are amazing and save a lot of time, but be smart about your approach to these stores to make your life easier.
8 Use up what you have
Don't shop until you absolutely have to and try to delay your visit to a store as much as possible (some people even make a challenge out of this and try to see how long they can resist without shopping), check out your pantry, fridge and freezer, what can you make with the things you currently, get creative or use Pinterest to find recipes to cook.
The same idea applies to your personal hygiene, use up all the toothpaste and the shampoo (when the bottle is almost empty I like pouring some water and swirl it around to use up all the product) and cut in half bottles of body lotion or similar products, you would be shocked by the amount of product that is left inside.
9 Don't shop without a list
Once you have to go shopping, make sure you write down all the stuff you need, I like going through all my storage spaces to see what I need.
This way you will not lose focus as you shop and end up with a bunch of duplicates or non-essentials. The list will also save you time as you will buy everything in one visit, you won't forget anything and save yourself from having to go back for a bag of rice or a can of beans.
10 Set a goal
Whatever goal you have in mind will do! a dream trip next year, paying off your college, car, home debt, a kitchen makeover, early retirement, anything you truly wish, and is a major goal.
It's easy to save when we have a clear goal to achieve and every penny will count towards it, as a matter of fact, the old glass jar for spare change is a great idea, label it with the goal so you and your loved ones can chip in.
Saving money at home is easy and will help you reach your goals faster, give it a try!
If you have any questions please write it down below and I'll answer it as soon as I can.
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