For many people, grocery shopping is a necessary evil.
It’s a chore that has to be done, but it’s also an expense that can take a serious bite out of your monthly budget.
If you’re looking for ways to trim your grocery budget without compromising on the quality of your food, here are a few tips to help you get started.
4 tips for grocery shopping on the cheap
1. Make a list—and stick to it
Impulse buys are one of the biggest money-wasters when it comes to grocery shopping – whether you’re on a tight budget or if you just like to save on your grocery bill.
Before you even set foot in the store, take a few minutes to sit down and make a list of everything you need.
Not only will this help you save money by keeping you focused on buying only what you need, but it will also save you time by preventing you from wandering up and down the aisles looking for things you may or may not need.
2. Take advantage of sales and coupons
Most stores offer some kind of sale or promotion every week, so make sure you know what’s going on before you head to the store.
And don’t forget about coupons! These days, coupons are available not only in newspapers and magazines, but also online and through store loyalty programs.
Taking advantage of sales and coupons can help you save a significant amount of money on your grocery bill each month.
3. Buy in bulk—but only when it makes sense.
Buying in bulk can be a great way to save money, but only if the item is something that you know you’ll use before it expires.
There’s no point in buying 10 pounds of chicken if it’s going to go bad before you have a chance to eat it all.
But if you have the freezer space and you know you’ll use it, then buying in bulk can be a great way to save money in the long run.
4. Stick to the perimeter of the store
The vast majority of grocery stores are laid out in the same general way: fresh produce, meat, and dairy are along the perimeter while processed foods and packaged goods are in the middle aisles.
In general, the items along the perimeter are healthier and less expensive than those in the middle, so if you’re looking to save money, stick to the outside of the store as much as possible.
Of course, there will be times when you need something from the middle aisle—just try to limit those trips as much as possible.
How to Create a Cheap Groceries List
Grocery shopping can be a costly endeavor, with many people spending hundreds of dollars each month on food and household items.
But if you have the right approach and know how to make a cheap grocery list, it is possible to save money without compromising on quality or quantity.
One of the most important steps in this process is to plan your meals ahead of time.
This will allow you to identify which ingredients and foods are most important, and allow you to stock up on them when they are on sale.
Additionally, it can be helpful to consider items that have multiple uses or can be used in a wide range of recipes.
Another key step is to carefully consider what you are buying. Pay attention to the unit price and look for deals that come with discounted rates or additional perks, like free samples or loyalty programs.
Opt for a store brand over branded groceries (non-branded are generally cheapest) and always compare prices before you place an item in your cart..
Additionally, try to limit your trips to the store to once or twice each week, as impulsive purchases can be a major drain on your budget.
Ultimately, it is important to be mindful of how you are spending your money and to make smart choices when it comes to the food that you buy.
The Benefits of Creating a Cheap Grocery List
There are many benefits to creating a cheap grocery list when shopping for food.
For one, having a well-organized list of items that you need can help you stay on track and avoid making unnecessary purchases.
Additionally, focusing your efforts on finding discounts and special deals on the items that you need can help you save money in the long run.
Finally, by stocking up on healthy foods that you can easily incorporate into your diet and meal plans, you can ensure that you stay well-nourished throughout the year.
Tips for Sticking to Your Cheap Grocery List
Once you have your cheap grocery list in place, it is important to create a plan for sticking to it.
Making sure that you are organized before you head out shopping can help you stay on track and avoid distractions along the way.
Additionally, having a set budget and timeframe for your trip can make it easier to stick to your list without overspending.
Foods to Include on Your Cheap Grocery List
When deciding which foods to include on your cheap grocery list, it is important to focus on nutrient-dense items.
Some great options for healthy and filling foods on a budget include fresh vegetables and fruits, lean protein sources like eggs and beans, and whole grains like oats and brown rice.
Additionally, incorporating plenty of water into your diet can help you stay energized and hydrated throughout your trip.
What to include in a cheap grocery list
Fresh, nutrient-dense fruits are an affordable choice for healthy eating on the go.
Options like apples, bananas and berries are easy to pack and enjoy while traveling.
Lean protein sources
Eggs, beans, lentils, tofu, and other plant-based proteins are excellent choices for a filling, low-cost meal.
Seafood is also a good option, though it can be more expensive or difficult to find in some locations.
Whole grains like oats, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta are staples of healthy eating on a budget, providing fiber and essential vitamins and minerals without breaking the bank.
Staying hydrated is crucial when eating well on a budget, and can be as simple as carrying a reusable water bottle.
Keep it filled with filtered tap water, or consider investing in a pitcher-style filter to reduce contaminants in your drinking water.
Vegetables are an important part of any healthy diet.
Shopping for these items at local farmer’s markets, community-supported agriculture programs, or even your own backyard garden can help you stock up on fresh produce without spending a lot of money.
Cereals and grains can be great sources of fiber and other important nutrients.
Look for options that are low in added sugar, or consider making your homemade cereals using oats or quinoa, which tend to be more affordable than traditional boxed cereals.
Milk, yogurt, and cheese are all excellent sources of protein and calcium, two nutrients that are essential for a healthy diet.
If you’re looking to save money on these foods, try buying in bulk or opting for store brands instead of name-brand options.
Bread , Tortillas, and Oats
Bread and tortillas can be great sources of carbohydrates, but they can also add up significantly to your grocery bill.
If you’re trying to save money on these foods, consider buying grains like oats or quinoa in bulk.
Cheap meat (chicken, beef, pork)
Meat is often one of the most expensive items in our grocery bills, and it’s easy to overspend on steaks or tenderloins.
When shopping for meat, opt for cheaper cuts like chicken thighs, ground beef, or pork chops.
Frozen fruits and veggies
While fresh produce is undoubtedly a healthy option, frozen varieties can be just as nutritious and much more affordable.
Stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables to add fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your meals without breaking the bank.
One of the best ways to save money on groceries is by buying canned goods in bulk.
Canned beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber, making them an ideal addition to nearly any meal.
Look for soups, chili recipes, or salads that include beans as a staple ingredient to get the most out of your grocery bill.
Summarized Cheap Grocery List
- Frozen vegetables: frozen broccoli, frozen spinach, frozen peas
- Canned beans: canned black beans, canned chickpeas
- Dried or canned fruit: dried cranberries, canned peaches, canned pineapple
- Whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta
- Cheap protein sources: eggs, deli meat, canned tuna, canned chicken
- Snack foods: popcorn, crackers, nuts, peanut butter
- Taste enhancers: pasta sauce, sour cream, butter and margarine
- Baking: baking powder, cottage cheese, yeast, baking soda
In conclusion, grocery shopping doesn’t have to break the bank—if you’re strategic about it, that is.
By following these simple tips, you can easily reduce your monthly grocery bill without skimping on quality or quantity.
So next time you’re standing in line at the checkout lane in the grocery store, rest assured knowing that with a little planning, saving money on groceries and sticking to your grocery budget will be easier than ever!
You may have seen one of the most recent saving hacks on social media in the past year: the 100 envelope money saving challenge.
What is the 100 envelope challenge and how to get started?
This savings challenge is both simple and a fun way to save money – $5,050 to be exact.
Essentially it’s as easy as gathering up 100 envelopes and marking them with dollar amounts from 1 to 100 dollars.
You then store them in a shoe box and each day draw a random envelope from the shoe box.
If you draw envelope 9, you put $9 in it; and the next day if you remove envelope 78, you deposit $78 in it.
And then, after 100 days you will have set aside $5,050 in extra money.
Obvious challenges of the 100 envelope challenge
Depending on your disposable income, the 100 day envelope challenge may have other negative consequences for you.
For example, with the original money challenge if on day one you remove envelope 97, you’ll be $97 down in your disposable income.
And if on day two you draw envelope 100, that will mean you’re down almost $200 in just two days.
There would be no point for you to participate in this challenge if you only end up digging yourself into a money hole.
One solution to the 100 envelope money challenge
Instead of committing to depositing money every day for the next 100 days, consider what am0unt of money you can afford to “lose” per week.
For instance, try extending the time frame from 100 days to 200 days or even 300 days.
If you do this, you will only be depositing money every second or third day – but you will still end up reaching your savings goal of $5,050.
A variation to the 100 envelope challenge
Just like the original challenge, the idea here is to gather up 100 envelopes. Label each envelope with a different spending category, such as “groceries,” “restaurants,” “utilities,” and so on.
Then, put a set amount of cash into each envelope, based on your budget.
For example, if you have $100 to spend on groceries each month, put $100 in the envelope labeled “groceries.”
Now, when you need to spend money in one of those categories, you can only use the cash that you have in that envelope.
This will help you to stick to your budget and avoid overspending. Plus, it’s a great way to track where your money is going each month.
How much should you put in each envelope?
It depends on your budget, spending habits and savings goals.
However, a good rule of thumb is to put 50% of your income into long-term savings and investments, 30% into essential expenses (such as rent or mortgage payments), and 20% into discretionary spending (such as entertainment or dining out).
Also read: 15 Affordable date ideas you’ll love
If you’re not sure where to start, try using this percentages as a guideline for how much to put in each envelope.
For example, if your monthly income is $3,000, you would put $1,500 into long-term savings and investments, $900 into essential expenses, and $600 into discretionary spending.
Once you’ve determined how much to put in each envelope, it’s time to start saving! Put the envelopes somewhere safe—like a lockbox or safe deposit box—and only use the cash when necessary.
This way, you’ll always know exactly how much money you have to spend in each category.
Is it not better to save money in a savings account?
As fun as challenge it is, it may be better to create a separate savings account or fund and still participate in the challenge by transferring or depositing money into a bank account.
You can still use the envelopes, but rather than keeping your money in a paper piggy bank, rather let it gather some interest in a savings account or separate fund.
In conclusion, the 100 envelope challenge is a great way to save money and stay on budget – or set aside money. By allocating a set amount of cash to each spending category, you can avoid overspending and better track where your money goes each month.
Saving money and making money are two different activities, but each is as important as the other.
And while money saving challenges can be fun, it’s important that it still fits in with your financial commitments: like paying off debt, servicing your mortgage or rent, school fees and others.
So give it a try—you may be surprised at how much easier it is to stick to your budget when you’re using cash!
Even though these words are often used interchangeably, each has a different connotation. We might insult someone by telling them how cheap they are. Yet we praise them by telling them how frugal they are. And at times we may try to use both as slights or insults. Let’s explore the difference between cheap and frugal and why one has a negative connotation and the other a positive.
Cheap vs Frugal
Now, when it comes to being Cheap vs Frugal I like to think of cheap as going for the least expensive (cheapest) option, no matter what, and frugal as going for the option that offers the best value for the resources you have available.
I might be slightly biased toward frugality, and I’ll admit that freely. That is only because it is the best long term habit or approach to spending your limited resources. I specifically use the word resources rather than money, for the simple reason that we should look at everything of value that we spend when making a choice.
We spend, among many other resources, our time, attention and energy on whatever we choose. The mere act of choosing something requires mental energy and time. Be mindful of the value of these resources and be frugal rather than cheap. Focus on what matters rather than just throwing your time and attention at whatever cheap distraction comes easily.
The philosophy of frugality
Frugality ties back into ancient traditions and philosophy. Sages have cautioned against overindulgence and intemperance. Both can lead to bad health and reckless behavior. Some examples of philosophers who advocated simple living and frugality are Lao Tzu, Buddha, Socrates and Plato, even the Roman emperor and stoic philosopher himself, Marcus Aurelius.
More recent examples include Benjamin Franklin, Nietzsche and Gandhi to name but a few. Now these were all great men who achieved remarkable things. The list goes on and even includes religious figures such as Jesus Christ. So if this common theme is present in all of their teachings, perhaps it’s a good idea to take note.
While some of these men lived lives none of us would want, they all made exceptional contributions to society and the way we think. We don’t all need to be philosophers to realize the value of leading a frugal life, just look at the practical benefits of delaying gratification, saving and investing. Rather than spending and being in bad debt we discipline ourselves and put plans in place to heed the words of these great men.
There were those who took this idea to the extreme though, Diogenes the Cynic lived in a barrel or ceramic jar on the streets of Athens and had almost no possessions. Such extreme adherence to this philosophy might be considered insanity. He did not live the way he did to lead a simple life, it was more of a dramatic critique of the social norms among other things. He was basically one of the first trolls.
There is no need to take things that far though. Take the concepts he lived out to their fullest, and examine them and implement the wisdom that he suffered to extract from hardship, in your life. By looking at the extremes and ideals we can often find some parallels to these absurdities in our own lives. Do what you can to identify the worst and best in yourself, be honest and take stock. Go and look at how the sages lived, or at least learn more about how they thought.
We can apply these concepts to our daily lives, both economically and psychologically. There are many benefits to spending your time, energy and attention frugally. This becomes easy once you’ve realized that these resources are both finite and incredibly valuable.
For some more info on the Philosophy of Frugality, watch this video and take a deep dive into the concepts. The sound quality isn’t that great, but the information is incredibly interesting and the delivery witty.
Let’s have a look at how you can use the word frugal in a sentence in its different forms.
Frugal in a sentence
- She chose to be frugal and bought only what was necessary.
- The frugal man spent his money wisely, and can rest easy knowing he has no bad debt.
Frugality in a sentence
- I am always impressed by the frugality of some people, they could afford much more, but instead decide to live a simple life.
- The stoic philosophers believed frugality was a virtue.
Frugally in a sentence
- Shopping frugally can save you a lot of trouble caused by debt.
- I decided to spend my hard earned money frugally and save and invest what I had left.
Being cheap and being frugal only have a few things in common. Both approaches are concerned with using your resources sparingly and saving what you can. Being cheap however is often at the expense of others, and your future self. Being cheap looks at one variable and one variable alone, and that is price. A cheap person asks, “How can I pay the least, no matter what?”
There is a good reason why this word has a negative connotation. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “penny wise, pound foolish”. It means that a cheap way out is taken to save a small amount of money now, but large costs will be due in the future because of this.
We ought to sacrifice the present for the future, not the other way around. So by doing something properly the first time, we get rid of the need to redo it in the future. Redoing things can become incredibly costly, not just financially but in terms of time and reputation.
Don’t be cheap do something right the first time.
Cheap in a sentence
- Being his usual cheap self, he decided that working with protective gear was too expensive, he now only has one eye left to count all the money he saved.
- She was so cheap that instead of paying for parking, she parked 5 blocks away, walked all the way, got mugged and broke a heel.
Now I’ll admit, these examples are quite harsh and obviously many factors contribute to the decisions people make. But I hope they get the point across.
There is still much to discuss about frugality and the philosophies and practical wisdom behind the ideas that contribute to the concept of frugality. Applying these concepts to your life could be incredibly beneficial, not only practically and economically, but psychologically as well.
Cheap vs frugal might seem like an unusual topic to write about, and distinguishing between these terms might seem unnecessary and pedantic. But I hope that the differences between the two approaches are more apparent and that the different connotations clear.
For some more practical modern day tips on living frugally read 9 Frugal living tips for 2022.
We all know that one of the best ways to save money is to reuse and repurpose items instead of buying new ones.
But it’s not always easy to come up with creative ways to do this.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 37 different ways you can repurpose common household objects.
By getting creative with the items you already have, you’ll save money and declutter your home at the same time!
37 Ways To Repurpose Common Household Objects
1. Old T-shirts can be used as cleaning rags. Cut them into squares or strips and use them in place of paper towels.
2. Mason jars can be used as drinking glasses, storage containers, or vases.
3. Cardboard boxes can be used as storage containers, and toy boxes, or turned into a playhouse for kids.
4. Plastic bottles can be used as plant pots, recycling bins, or storage containers for small items.
5. Old sheets and blankets can be used as dust cloths, pet beds, or picnic blankets.
6. Coffee cans can be used as planters, pencil cups, or storage containers for small items like nails and screws.
7. Egg cartons can be used as seed starters, packaging material, or insulation for small items like cups and bowls.
Also read: 9 Frugal living tips for 2022
8. Tin cans can be used as plant pots, pencil holders, or organizers for small items like buttons and beads.
9. Glass jars can be used as drinking glasses, storage containers, or vases.
10. Plastic bags can be reused as lunch bags, shopping bags, or garbage bags.
11. Towels can be reused as dust cloths, rags, or pet towels.
12. Aluminum foil can be reused as food wrap, packing material, or oven liner
13. Saran wrap can be reused as a food wrap or packing material
14. Bubble wrap can also be reused for packing material or a fun family activity for rainy days.
15. Ziploc bags can also be reused for lunch bags or to organize makeup in your handbag.
16. Tupperware that has lost its lid can still find new life as storage containers or as a planter for small plants.
17. Cookie tins can make great gift boxes.
18. Shoe boxes are perfect for storing holiday decorations and knickknacks.
19. Old jewelry can either be donated or upcycled.
20. China that’s seen better days can be repurposed as garden accents or decor simply by applying a new lick of paint or decorated with mosaic tiles, beads, and small pebbles.
21. Vases and jars can be turned into candle holders or used to hold utensils on the kitchen counter.
22. Wine bottles can be transformed into vases or even oil lamps with a little DIY effort.
23. Used gift wrapping paper can be cut and glued onto notebooks or used as scrapbook paper.
24. Empty toilet paper rolls can be repurposed as cable organizers or seed starters for your garden.
25. Mirrors or picture frames that are no longer wanted can be used to create a unique mosaic tabletop or hanging piece of art.
26. Household furniture such as chairs and tables can be sanded down and given a fresh coat of paint
27. Baskets that are no longer needed can be hung on walls to store items or used as planters for small succulents and herbs.
28. Flower pots can be decorated with chalkboard paint to easily label plants in the garden.
29. An old ladder can be repurposed as a shelving unit for books or decor.
30. CDs that are no longer being played can be transformed into coasters or turned into a reflective mosaic on a piece of wood.
31. Candles that have burned down can be melted and poured into silicone molds to make new candles.
32. Empty glass jars can be used as drinking glasses, storage containers, or even mini vases for flowers.
33. Dresser drawers can be hung on the wall to hold office supplies or used as planters for succulents.
34. Wooden pallets can be repurposed into furniture, a vertical garden, or even a coat rack.
35. Books that have already been read can be donated, used as decoration on shelves, or turned into bookends.
36. Clocks that no longer work can be taken apart and the pieces used to make a unique piece of wall art.
37. Jeans with holes can be turned into shorts or made into handbags and other accessories.
In conclusion with a little bit of creativity, you can repurpose just about any household item into something new and useful!
By reusing items instead of buying new ones, you’ll save money and declutter your home at the same time.
So next time you’re about to throw something away, stop and think if there might be a better way to use it!
It’s no secret that Christmas trees can be expensive. The good news is that there are ways to make a cheap Christmas tree look amazing!
With a little bit of creativity and some inexpensive supplies, you can have a beautiful tree that will be the envy of all your friends and family. Here’s how:
3 Ways to Make a Cheap Christmas Tree Look Good
1. Pick the right tree
When it comes to finding a cheap Christmas tree, you’ll want to focus on finding one that is the right size for your space.
Avoid getting a tree that is too big or too small – both will end up costing you more in the long run. Once you’ve found the perfect tree, it’s time to get decorating!
2. Choose your decorations wisely
One of the best ways to make a cheap Christmas tree look amazing is to choose your decorations wisely.
Opt for quality over quantity – a few well-chosen ornaments will go a lot further than a bunch of cheap ones.
If you’re crafty, you can even make your own decorations!
3. Get creative with your lighting
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of making any Christmas tree look good.
Fortunately, there are plenty of inexpensive options out there – from LED lights to solar-powered ones. Get creative with your lighting and you’ll be sure to impress everyone who sees your tree.
With a little bit of creativity and some inexpensive supplies, you can have a beautiful Christmas tree that will be the envy of all your friends and family.
Just remember to pick the right tree, choose your decorations wisely, and get creative with your lighting!
7 Ways To Make Your Cheap Christmas Tree Look Exquisite
1. Start with a small, real tree and place it in a large pot or bucket
If you’re like most people, you probably want to make your home look as festive as possible during the holidays.
But if you’re on a tight budget, that can be a challenge.
One way to get a lot of bang for your buck is to start with a small, real tree and place it in a large pot or bucket.
This will give the illusion of a larger tree, and you can decorate it with all sorts of affordable ornaments and lights.
Plus, there’s nothing quite like the smell of a real Christmas tree in your home!
If you’re up for the challenge, this is a great way to get more holiday cheer for less.
2. Use natural elements, such as pine cones and dried oranges, as decorations instead of store-bought ornaments
If you’re looking for ways to save money this holiday season, one way is to be creative with your Christmas tree.
Instead of buying expensive ornaments from the store, try using natural elements to decorate your tree.
For example, pine cones and dried oranges can make beautiful and festive decorations – plus they can fill your home with an unbeatable natural aroma.
You can also use ribbons and bows to add a touch of Christmas cheer. By getting creative, you can have a beautiful Christmas tree on a budget.
3. Get creative with your lighting by using twinkly string lights or even wrapping colorful ribbons around branches for a unique look
It’s that time of year again – Christmas is just around the corner!
But if you’re on a budget, you might be feeling a little bit stressed about how to make your home look festive without spending a fortune.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to trim your tree on the cheap.
One of the easiest ways to save money is to get creative with your lighting. Instead of buying expensive Christmas lights, try using string lights or even wrapping colorful ribbons around branches.
You can also save money on decorations by making your own ornaments out of paper or fabric. And don’t forget the most important part of any Christmas tree: the star!
A simple paper star can add a touch of magic to your tree, no matter how small your budget may be.
So get creative and enjoy trimming your tree on a budget this year!
4. Finish off the tree with a handmade bow or garland made from burlap or fabric scraps
If you’re looking for a way to save money this holiday season, one of the best things you can do is make your own Christmas decorations.
Store-bought items can be expensive, and they often don’t have the personal touch that homemade decorations can provide.
One simple way to spruce up your Christmas tree is to make your own bow or garland.
All you need is some burlap or fabric scraps, and a bit of creativity.
With a little effort, you can create a beautiful decoration that will add a touch of elegance to your tree.
And best of all, it won’t cost you a fortune.
So if you’re looking for a way to save money this Christmas, try making your own decorations.
It’s a great way to add a personal touch to your holiday decor, and it can help you stay on budget.
5. Wrap white twinkle lights around the tree for a soft, elegant touch
If you’re like us, you love Christmas but hate spending a lot of money. That’s why we’re always looking for ways to celebrate the holiday on a budget.
One of our favorite tips is to wrap white twinkle lights around the tree.
Not only does it save money on decorations, but it also gives the tree a soft, elegant touch.
And if you really want to get creative, you can even use the lights to spell out words or create shapes.
So if you’re looking for a cheap way to make your Christmas tree look good, don’t be afraid to experiment with different lights. You might be surprised at what you can create.
6. Add fake snow around the base of the tree
Adding fake snow around the base of the tree is an easy and inexpensive way to make a cheap Christmas tree look good.
The snow helps to hide any imperfections in the tree, and it also makes the tree appear more festive.
If you don’t have time to add fake snow, you can also use cotton balls or shredded paper.
Simply glue the balls or paper around the base of the tree, and then spray them with white paint.
You can also add other festive decorations, such as ribbons or lights, to further enhance the appearance of your cheap Christmas tree.
With a little effort, you can easily create a beautiful and festive tree that will be the envy of your neighbors and add instant Christmas cheer to your home.
7. Use LED lights to decorate the tree instead of traditional Christmas lights
Christmas is a time of year when people spend a lot of money on gifts and decorations.
But if you’re on a tight budget (or if you want to live more frugally), it can be difficult to make your Christmas tree look good.
However, there are a few tricks you can use to make your tree look amazing without spending a lot of money.
One of the best ways to decorate a cheap Christmas tree is to use LED lights instead of traditional Christmas lights. LED lights are much cheaper to run, and they last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
You can also save money by using battery-operated LED lights instead of plug-in lights.
Another way to make your tree look great is to use ribbon or garland to add some color and texture.
And if you’re really on a tight budget, you can even use recycled materials like old t-shirts or blankets to decorate your tree. With a little creativity, you can make your cheap Christmas tree look amazing without spending a lot of money.
In conclusion , switching to LED lights and getting creative with decorations can help you save money on your holiday decorating expenses. So give it a try this year and see how much you can save while still enjoying a beautiful tree. Happy holidays!
Affordable dates and where to find them
Feeling the need to impress the person you are in love with is understandable, but doing so can cost you a lot and it’s usually misguided. How to take someone on “cheap dates” that are romantic and don’t feel cheap has been a question on people’s minds for a long time. Just have a look at this reddit post from more than a decade ago.
If you’re going out with someone we assume that you’d like to make it last, right? So if the relationship lasts over a few years, or a lifetime if you are lucky, the accumulated costs of expensive date nights can get ridiculous. Let’s say you go on one date a week and you spend what the average American spends on date night (dinner and a movie), which is often around $100. That means that you’ll end up spending around $5200 a year on date nights alone.
The solution isn’t to stop going on dates, but to find ways to go on more dates that don’t cost that much. All you need is a guide to affordable dates that don’t feel like cheap dates. Part of the fun is coming up with unique date ideas that you’ll both enjoy… Hey, look there’s your first date idea, spend some quality time together and come up with unique date ideas that won’t break the bank and that you’ll actually enjoy.
1. Plan, prep and cook a fancy dinner you’ll both enjoy
Making dinner with someone you love while having a glass of wine and listening to some music can be incredibly fun and a great way to bond. The process of preparing and cooking the food together can be playful and enjoyable. And obviously you’ll have the food to eat at the end, yum!
Gain some new mixology skills and make cocktails or other fun drinks. You could also surprise your partner with a dinner and drinks when they get home after a long day.
2. Play some games together
Board games, online games, retro arcade games, whatever you and your partner enjoy. Break out the Monopoly or Settlers of Catan, fire up the XBox, Playstation or PC and enjoy some fun gaming time together. Get a few snacks or order in and have a games night. Just remember, no one likes a sore loser.
Build some relationship XP and improve your romantic strategy skills by planning fun and cheap dates you’ll both enjoy!
3. Enjoy a picnic in the back yard or on the floor
Get a blanket, something to eat and a few extras and have a picnic at home. This can be a sunset or stargazing picnic in the garden or a romantic candle lit picnic inside on the floor. Get some snacks, order or make some food and drinks you and your partner enjoy, spread it out and have yourselves a stay at home picnic
5. Have a movie or series night
Watch a movie or series that you’ve both been looking forward to. Snuggle up with snacks and a blanket and enjoy the story. Preferably on a streaming service you already have since this will save you some more and remove the need to rent something or have cable.
6. Learn a skill together
There are many books, courses and videos with fun skills that you can learn. Dancing or learning another language are things you can do together as a couple and there are many channels on YouTube and other places you could learn something like this for free or cheap online.
If both of you enjoy art you can paint or draw things together and start a 30 day challenge with prompts that will guide you and help you draw every day to improve your skills. Whatever shared interest you have, make a date out of it and get better at doing something you love, together.
7. Go online and explore places that you’d like to visit
Many of us can’t afford to travel yet, but we can go online and explore some of the places we’ve always wanted to visit. Go and look around on maps, YouTube, travel blogs and social media to find out more about the places you’d like to go. Plan the trip you wish you could take.
Really go all out, as if you were planning the trip for real and plot the routes and stops along the way. This might just be a fantasy, or the beginnings of a trip you’ll actually take some day
8. Find out more about yourselves and each other
Just sit and talk, tell stories explore your past and future. There might be a lot you don’t know about the other person, especially if you haven’t been together that long. Just explore one another and bond by noting the differences, similarities and shared past experiences.
Another way of doing this is taking a personality test together, there are many affordable and free ones out there and some even offer a relationship report. This can help you find ways of working through conflict and differences in a constructive way that will benefit you both in the long run.
While these tests don’t necessarily define you, they offer ways of knowing yourself and others a little more. Getting to know your partner better on a deeper level is incredibly valuable and can save you from many wasted hours of fighting
9. Have a picnic
Go to a local park, botanical garden, nature reserve or farm and enjoy a picnic. This is a great idea for an affordable date since you can get some fresh air and exercise. Pack your basket or bag, and go on a nice long walk or a hike.
Find a spot with a view and some shade, lay down the blanket and let the romance begin. Here are some ideas from pinterest on what to pack for your picnic.
10. Enjoy time in nature
Go for a walk in the woods, on the beach or on a nature reserve where you can reconnect with nature and your partner. Sometimes it’s so refreshing to sit and take in the sounds, smells and scenery.
11. Get fit and healthy together
Go to the gym, on a jog or cycle together and get healthy. Group activities and classes like yoga, pilates and are also great to do as a couple. Challenge your partner and yourself!
12. Expand your knowledge or learn a skill together
Attend a dance lesson or other activity at a community center or with friends that can already do what you want to learn. Going to lectures, talks or events that are about things you both enjoy and want to learn more about can be incredibly rewarding if you do them together.
You can also go to museums and exhibitions together. Have a look at when there is free entry or a discount. Another fun thing to do is to visit a bookshop and look at books you like. Rather than buying them where they are expensive, go online, to second-hand shops or the library where you can buy or rent them cheap or get them for free.
13. Visit a farm ad pick or pet something
Many farms offer you the chance to pet animals or pick berries and other fruit, these can both be fun things to do on a date. Go and spend some time with the llamas or goats, they are cute and often funny.
14. Go on a scenic drive
There might be beautiful places in your area that you either know or don’t know, go on a drive and explore. See some new places, explore and enjoy the scenery. Drive out to the ocean, the desert or look at the colors of autumn spread across the trees and roads, take in the spring flowers in the field. Every place has something to offer. Sometimes at different times of the year.
15. Instead of date night, how about breakfast
Dinner can be far more expensive than breakfast, why not go out in the morning and get some coffee, bacon, eggs and pancakes or waffles. After the breakfast you can take a nice walk in the crisp cool morning air and do some of the other things we mentioned above.
Compared to dinner, breakfast is a cheap date, but it can be just as romantic and it could be the start of a wonderful day together!
Some more ideas
A date doesn’t have to cost a lot to be special or fun. Just get creative and take your partner out, or stay in, and do something you’ll both enjoy. It’s far more important to find someone you can do anything with and still enjoy it, than it is to try and impress someone by spending money you don’t have
I’ve been to expensive restaurants and 5 star hotels with someone I wasn’t happy with, and it meant very little to me. While the food was good and the places beautiful I really didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as spending time with my current partner. We make fun dates out of just about anything, even errands often turn into dates made up of fun activities and special memories.
If the dates go well and it’s time to get married, have a look at our article on 35 cheap wedding ideas. And if you are already married, keep the spark alive and your finances healthy by taking your partner on affordable dates often.
Just because you don’t have a big house doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful Christmas. With a little creativity, you can make your small apartment feel festive and cozy without breaking the bank.
10 Christmas decor ideas to get you started
1. Get a small tree
Get a small live tree and put it in a pretty pot. You can find these at most nurseries or garden centers.
2. Make your own wreath!
All you need is some wire, ribbon, and whatever greenery or decorations you want to use. Check out this wreath making kit for some inspiration.
3. String up some lights
LED lights use less energy and are safer than traditional incandescent bulbs, so they’re a great choice for small spaces. Plus, they come in all sorts of fun colors now so you can really get creative.
4. Decorate with things you already have around the house
Get out those vases and bowls that you never use and fill them with Christmas baubles, ornaments, or candles. Arrange some pretty branches in a vase for an instant holiday centerpiece.
5. Make use of all that natural light
Hang some sheer curtains in front of your windows and string up some fairy lights for a warm and inviting glow.
6. Create a festive atmosphere
Add some cozy throws and pillows to your furniture, and gather up all those scented candles for extra ambiance.
7. Don’t forget about the outside of your house!
Hang wreaths on your doors and windows, and string up some outdoor lights to really make your home shine.
Play some festive music to set the mood, and don’t be afraid to break out the holiday movies for a cozy night in with family and friends.
Don’t forget the treats! Set out some yummy holiday cookies or a hot chocolate bar for a delicious finishing touch to your beautifully decorated home. Happy holidays!
10. Less is more
Lastly, remember that less can sometimes be more. Don’t overdo it with decorations and cluttered surfaces – a minimalist approach can still feel festive and inviting. Happy decorating!
7 things to do after Christmas
- Shop sales and clearance items after Christmas for next year’s decorations
- Start planning for the next holiday theme or color scheme
- Take down and properly store all holiday decorations
- Deep clean the house to refresh after the busy holiday season
- Create a budget the year’s holiday expenses and start saving throughout the year
- Evaluate family traditions and find new ones to incorporate into future holidays
- Focus on self-care and setting goals for the New Year
5 Cheap (or no cost) gift ideas
- Give experiences as gifts instead of material objects – tickets to a show, a day at the spa, etc.
- Homemade gifts – baked goods, homemade spa products, framed photos or drawings
- Regift items that are new or unused
- Make a donation to a charitable organization on behalf of the recipient
- Offer services such as babysitting, pet sitting, car wash/detailing, yard work, etc.
With just a little bit of effort, you can turn your small apartment into a Christmas wonderland that will be the envy of all your friends.
So get creative and have fun! Merry Christmas!
Now read: Minimalism in Decorating
Frugal living is all about making the most of what you have and spending your money wisely. It’s about being resourceful and finding ways to save money without sacrificing your quality of life. There are many ways to live a frugal lifestyle, but it ultimately comes down to making smart choices with your money. Here are 9 frugal living tips for 2022 to get you started on your journey to frugal living:
1. Use apps to track your expenses and save money
If this is what you look like when trying to setup a budget I suggest you read this for some useful tips 😉
Get a good (affordable) smartphone, if you don’t have one already and install a budgeting app. For example, Mint is a great app that allows you to track your spending and create budgets based on your income.
It also provides you with advice on how to spend less and save money on particular expenses such as food, utilities and travel.
A few other examples of similar apps are: EveryDollar and YNAB (You Need A Budget). Many of these kinds of apps also have web versions that you can use on your computer so your budget is synced all over and easily accessible when something to buy catches your eye.
If you spend more than you earn each month it is a good idea to set a budget and try to stick to it.
2. Buy second-hand items whenever possible
There are lots of great websites and apps where you can buy and sell used items. This is a clever way of getting high quality products for a fraction of the price. You can also sell those unwanted items taking up space in your house on there and make a few bucks while you are on there.
The goal is to lead a simple and frugal living even when you can afford an extravagant life. You can also search for free or cheap activities that you can do in your community or in your area for entertainment and recreation.
3. Read books about frugal living and budgeting tips and tricks that can help you save even more money
Getting educated on this topic is a really great idea, since it can save and even make you a lot of money in the long run.
Some examples are The Simple Dollar by Trent Hamm, The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, The Non-Consumer Advocate by Dana Turner, and Money: Master The Game by David Bach.
Books can be a great source of inspiration and ideas for how to live a more economical and sustainable lifestyle.
Look around at second-hand bookstores and online. Or just buy them straight from Amazon or other online stores to save yourself some time.
4. Watch videos about frugal living tips and read articles on personal finance topics online
Many of us don’t enjoy reading books about dry topics like personal finance, we prefer reading fiction… So for those people there is YouTube, blogs and podcasts to watch, read listen to and learn from. Get educated on these important topics with engaging visual and audio content.
These sources are also really good for you to learn some skills so that you can do more things for yourself and save some money. That leads us to the next point, DIY.
5. DIY frugal living tips for 2022
Do It Yourself, doing it yourself can lead to a great sense of fulfillment and save you a lot of money. Minor repairs, painting and building furniture are some things you can do for yourself. You can also decorate your own place by making some art or other decorative pieces that you like. Here are some DIY crafts and decorations on Pinterest.
Now, there are certain things that you should rather get professional help with, especially if it is too far out of your comfort zone or area of expertise.Don’t try to save money and end up making a bigger mess than there was to begin with.
Making your own food can also be far cheaper and healthier than getting ready made meals and take out all the time. Sometimes you are tired, or just lazy, that’s fine… order some take out, save time and don’t worry about it. But it really is best to buy and make healthy food. This is where our next point on meal planning and grocery lists comes in.
6. Start planning your meals and shop with a grocery list
By planning and shopping with a list you will go to the grocery store with a clear goal and only buy what you went in for, rather than wandering around aimlessly. When you wander around the grocery store aimlessly you tend to buy things you don’t need.
Not having a list or plan wastes time and money, since you are buying things you don’t need and walking around without knowing what to buy. Another tip is to eat before going to the grocery store, this will stop you from buying snacks. And take some reusable shopping bags along tather
Once again, apps are the best thing for this since you tend to forget lists, but very rarely your phone. Getting some meal plan and shopping list apps can really help you on your way to simple and frugal living. Remember, this doesn’t need to be difficult, technology is a tool, choose to use it to make your life simpler.
There are many meal planner apps available, but some popular ones include Yummly, Paprika, and Mealime. The same goes for grocery list apps, but here are a few that we really like: AnyList, Out of Milk and Bring! This won’t just save you time and money, it might save your health too!
Another option is to use a meal service or grocery delivery service, this might cost a bit extra, but if you have more money than time, rather exchange that bit of convenience and time for the cost of having your food made and your groceries delivered. Frugal living is not just about saving money, it’s about being frugal with all your resources, the most valuable of which is time.
7. Leave cable TV in the past, where it belongs, share a video streaming subscription with other people
Cable TV offers a lot of variety, but so does Netflix, Amazon Prime and other streaming services. Rather switch and share one or 2 subscriptions with friends or family members, it’s far cheaper and you can take your access with you where ever you go
8. Frugal transport
Have a look at what it costs you to get around, see where you can save and make a plan. If you are close enough to the amenities you often use or your workplace, rather walk or cycle if it’s safe enough to do so. If not, carpool, use a ride sharing service or public transport.
This might not seem so great, but remember, every time you get in your car you are adding to the wear and tear. Gas, car services and tires are expensive! You are occupied when driving, but when you are commuting or carpooling you can often sit and relax, catch up on some reading or just watch or listen to something entertaining.
If you can afford it, a self driving car can also help with the found time aspect of using public transport. In the future it could even make you some money while you work, if you are comfortable with having your self driving car taking others around.
This could also help you a bit with the stress of driving in city traffic, which can be quite infuriating. Walking or cycling is good for your health and the environment, if you care about that 🙂
9. Change your mindset about money and frugality
The stories we tell ourselves and others about why we do or don’t do things are often preposterous, and we know it. A lot of the reasons we give for doing or not doing things are nothing more than excuses. Change these stories and you will find many ways to be frugal with your money.
Frugality is not just about saving money or leading a bare or cheap existence, it’s about using your resources wisely. These resources include your time, money, attention and will power. Remember that it’s best to plan for the things that can happen and saving yourself the need to exercise will power all the time.
Something that can really help in this regard is choosing your friends carefully. If your friends tend to spend a lot on expensive trips, restaurants, accessories, cars and other items, you will be tempted to do the same. There’s nothing wrong with going to expensive places, especially on special occasions, but doing this often can lead to serious financial strain.
Buying high quality items is often best, since they tend to be more durable and we tend to look after expensive things better, therefore they last longer. Don’t confuse high status luxury brand names with quality. Their items are often good quality, but that’s not what you are paying for, you’re paying for the status that comes with the brand not the quality of the actual item.
Widen your perception of frugality beyond just money, be clever and use the tools and technology around you to reduce the amount of effort you need to put in to lead a frugal high standard of living. In 2022 you can choose how you use the incredible tools at your disposal, whether it be the internet or the devices that we use to connect to it.
Getting married is also a major part of life and making a living, have a look at these 35 Cheap Wedding Ideas and make sure you don’t go overboard.
If you’re a man on a budget, but you still want to decorate your apartment stylishly, you’re in luck.
In this blog post, we will give you 12 ideas for decorating your apartment on a budget.
Some of these ideas are simple and easy to execute, while others may require a bit more effort.
But all of them will help you create a stylish and comfortable space without breaking the bank.
So read on and get inspired!
12 ideas for decorating a man’s apartment on a budget
1. Get creative with paint colors
You can always buy inexpensive paint and change up the colors in your rooms to give them a fresh look.
2. Thrift your furniture
Look for furniture at yard sales, thrift stores, or online classifieds websites. You can find some great deals on gently used furniture that will look great in your space.
3. Shop around for rugs or carpets
You can often find good deals on flooring at home improvement stores or online retailers.
Another tip is to search for closing down sales and products that may have been damaged in transit and are available for a great discount.
4. Find art prints or posters that you like and frame them yourself
This is a great way to add some personality to your walls without spending a lot of money.
Visit your local pawn shop, browse garage sales or search buy and sell forums on Facebook Marketplace to land some great finds.
5. Hang curtains or blinds that complement your color scheme
This is an easy way to add some style to your windows without spending a lot of money.
6. Get rid of any cluttered areas in your apartment
This will make your space look bigger and more inviting.
7. Add some greenery with inexpensive plants from your local nursery or grocery store
Plants can brighten up any space and make it feel more welcoming.
8. Use small pieces of furniture to create additional storage space
This will help keep your place looking neat and tidy while providing extra storage for things like books, magazines, or electronics.
9. Add throw pillows or blankets to your couch or bed for added comfort and style
You can usually find these items on sale at department stores or home goods stores.
Again, be sure to check out the bargain bin for some inexpensive finds.
10. Use wall decals or stickers to add some character to your walls without painting them entirely new colors
This is a great option if you’re renting an apartment and can’t paint the walls yourself.
11. Rearrange the furniture in your rooms to create new looks and feels without having to buy anything new
This is a great way to change things up without spending any money at all!
Plus, you may be surprised by the change in the look and feel of your apartment when you simply move a few pieces of furniture around.
12. Try candles
Candles can add both warmth and ambiance to any room in your apartment, so pick up a few inexpensive ones and place them around strategically to create the perfect atmosphere for relaxing or entertaining guests.
In conclusion, with just a little bit of creativity and effort, you can easily decorate your apartment on a budget!
There are plenty of ways to make your space look great without spending a lot of money, so don’t be afraid to get creative!
Try out some of these ideas and see how they work for you!
What is a Minimalist Decorating Style?
Minimalism in decorating is essentially a style taken from the minimalist life. Living a minimalist life means living with the bare minimum, often without spending extravagantly on things you don’t need. It defines a person’s personality and lifestyle. This extends the idea that everything in the house should have a purpose and nothing stays there to fill the space.
Simple decorations follow the same theme. Instead of a cluttered home, the minimalist interior style focuses on the essentials, such as tables and chairs and sofas.
A simple approach to minimalist design and decor is to think curated, not cluttered. You might think it’s easy to implement a minimalist design because it has few elements. It’s not. You can’t create a minimalist space by simply not placing anything in it, that doesn’t make for an attractive design. There are many things to consider when creating an aesthetically livable space while maintaining a minimalist design. So here are some decorating ideas listed by room:
Minimalist Living Room
Minimalist sofas are often in neutral colors, with clean lines and simple (or hidden) legs. Modular sofas are perfect for any interior style due to their versatility. You can move and configure sections to allow guests to be entertained, socialize, and get the sections back in time for family movie night. A few neutrally textured pillows and a cozy throw are all you need to complete the look.
Choose Smooth Lines
With soft, sleek lines in furniture these days, this look works well with minimalist styles. A cream-upholstered swivel chair is the warm focal point of the room, creating a warm space where an eye-catching lamp, a neutral rug, and a cozy pillow or throw are all you need.
Minimalist Living Room Wall Decor
When decorating the walls of your living room, it’s important to focus on a few great pieces of art rather than a few small pieces. This helps you maintain a minimalist style and add character to your living space.
Paintings with color and texture are ideal. Texture adds character to the room, and red and brown paintings add warmth to the space. Minimalist decor can create a cold and sterile environment that guests may find uncomfortable. Paintings are a great way to avoid this effect.
A simple wall decor idea is more than just hanging a few pictures. To add texture, use a beautiful Persian rug as a wall hanging. Choose artwork in different shapes to create a modern look. Timeless paintings in classic colors create a monochromatic look that most minimalists will love! Hang plants, children’s photos or classic family photos to create a cozy atmosphere in your living room.
Minimalist Kitchen Ideas
Having a minimalist kitchen can appear to be a challenge. The kitchen has a lot of what you think you need. However, this is not always the case. By organizing and applying these great tips, you can decorate your kitchen in a minimalist style.
Minimalist Kitchen Decor
Kitchen utensils should focus on quality, not quantity. Do not place collectibles and various small items in the kitchen or kitchen cabinets. Instead, remember that less is more.
Some modern art pieces go well with simple yet modern kitchen furniture. Use multi-purpose decorations like glass or ceramic canisters for sugar or flour on your counter. For kitchens with lots of natural light, opt for a more natural theme with a neutral color palette and greens.
Consider lighting upgrades when designing your kitchen. Wall lights go well with industrial minimalism, and pendant lights go well with modern minimalism.
Minimalist Kitchen Essentials
One of the first things homeowners need to do is keep their kitchen organized and stocked with essentials. Most homeowners tend to accumulate things over time. We all have some small gadgets that we haven’t used in months. Here are the minimalist kitchen essentials every home needs.
Two baking sheets
One to two spatulas and a serving spoon
- Big pot for pasta
Set of knives
Tableware for two servings
Set of measuring spoons
Measuring cup set
Four mixing bowls (these can also be used as serving plates)
Up to two cups per person
One reusable water bottle per person
These are the basics every minimalist kitchen needs, but every homeowner should adjust this list to fit their budget and the number of people in the home. There is no point in throwing away all your small appliances if you actually use them. Start with this list and add to it as needed to have an organized space as you prepare your meals.
How to Decorate a Minimalist Bedroom
Minimalist bedrooms are often portrayed as bare and cold, but you don’t have to sleep in such a setting to appreciate a minimalist home. In a minimalist home, you can use beautiful color neutral tones like royal purples and bright blues to add energy to your space. Choose chic design elements to transform an empty space into your personal paradise.
Cheap Minimalist Decor
Magazine minimalist decor often consists of large statues and abstract artworks costing thousands of dollars…but there are plenty of ways to add a pop of color without breaking the bank.
Throw pillows are the easiest way to add personality to a minimal space. Grab some pillows and place them on your bed or chair. A small but cute rug is cheap, comfortable, and makes for great decor. Other decorations, like beautiful vases for your dressing table, can be found at reasonable prices at a local shop or department store. Remember, cheap doesn’t have to mean ugly.
DIY Minimalist Room Decor
If you love minimalist DIY bedroom ideas, you know that with a little time and some art supplies, you can make a room look amazing in no time. Break out the canvas and paints and create your own painting in your own room. Turn a mini trash can over and paint it to make a DIY bedside table.
Remember, less is more when it comes to creating a clean space. Instead of a large, bulky dresser, consider a minimal closet with plenty of room for your clothes. A portable clothes rack is a great idea. We recommend using baskets and other storage items you already have to store your socks and underwear. Vertical storage, such as a shelf for hanging jewellery is a great idea. These are enough to increase the decor of the room and provide a more organized space.
Minimalist Bathroom Decor Ideas
Minimalist bathroom decorating ideas are always a challenge. You want to decorate your bathroom, but too many decorations risk making your bathroom too cluttered, which goes against the minimalist idea. To avoid this common minimalist decorating mistake, small items are necessary in the empty spaces of your bathroom.
Minimalist bathroom vanity
When choosing a vanity for your bathroom, choose a smaller vanity that has enough space for your essentials. A wire or metal dressing table with small stools is a great idea. You can even create your very own dressing table by installing floating glass shelves.
Minimalist bathroom configuration
Consider industrial minimalism in the bathroom. This means using mostly metal furniture for storage. These fit well into minimalist decorating schemes, but the shelves have plenty of room to store your essentials. Next, use simple square baskets for your essentials. Keep your bathroom clutter-free by storing items you don’t use often in the closet.
If your bathroom is small, choose shelving to take advantage of vertical space. A shelf designed to cover the toilet is a good option.
Minimalist bathroom essentials
Part of designing a minimalist home is removing clutter. It is necessary to remove unnecessary things from the bathroom. Here’s what you need in your bathroom:
Two towels per family member
One hand towel per family member
Discreet toilet paper holder
Toothbrush and toothpaste holder
When decorating with minimalist decorating schemes, it’s important to remember that less is always more. You want simplicity, not luxury. Use solid color schemes for large pieces of furniture and accent pieces to add color to the room.
You might also enjoy our article, How to create a minimalist bohemian living room (7 easy steps)