Cheap Living: Look Good on Less
Creativity is key when looking for tips for cheap living. For example, when building your wardrobe, look for high quality basics in black, white, tan, gray, and other neutral shades. These pieces are easy to mix and match with colorful accessories or trendier items you've purchased on sale.
Stop Brand Loyalty
When shopping, do you find yourself automatically reaching for a certain brand of laundry detergent or orange juice? Eliminating brand loyalty is a simple way to start saving money. In most cases, there are actually very few differences between higher priced and lower priced items in the same product category. Advertising expenses are simply factored into the price of the more expensive items.
Clutter is the enemy of cheap living. When you can't find items quickly, you either waste time looking for them or waste money by buying unnecessary replacements. Purchasing endless storage containers for all this "stuff" is hard on your budget as well. Go through your home with a critical eye and get rid of anything you don't use on a regular basis. Sell used items on eBay, have a garage sale, or take them to a consignment store to earn extra cash to pay down credit card debt.
Many of the "green living" practices that are good for the environment are also good for your wallet. Instead of buying expensive cleaners, make your own homemade cleaning products with vinegar, baking soda, and other common kitchen ingredients. Hang your clothes out to dry instead of using the electricity to run your dryer. Invest in florescent bulbs and rechargeable batteries for the greatest long-term savings.
Be an Early Bird
If dinner and a movie is your thing, consider starting your outing a bit earlier in the day. Lunch is generally cheaper at most restaurants and a matinee is always cheaper than the later show. If you're a parent who needs a babysitter for your "date night," you may even be able to get a cheaper rate by starting your date earlier than normal and returning in time for the sitter to pick up a second gig later at night.
Use Online Resources
Your computer is the greatest tool around for cheap living! Read articles from your favorite magazines online instead of paying for a subscription, watch free movies and TV shows on Hulu.com, and download free music samples from iTunes to keep yourself entertained without spending a penny! If there is a major purchase in your future, check sites such as Retail Me Not for online coupon codes that can save you some extra cash, and for even more tips, check out: