21 Jun 2012
Trend: Frugal Living
The Power of Less
Frugal Living is hot in the US and the UK. It’s the power of less and a smarter way of spending. In times of recession people are breaking the pattern. From wanting everything to needing nothing – we are shifting to slow living. Frugal living is about taking the money that you have and stre-tch-ing it as far as it will go. From making your own furniture to bringing your own meal to a restaurant. All you need to do is use your creativity to keep the fabulous life you have while spending less. Some tips:
1. Guerrilla Gardening
Health is a very important issue these days. We care about the origin of fruits and vegetables, and we want our green food to be true green food. So it will be good for our bodies. Unfortunately these needs aren’t so good for your wallet. Therefore you can tend a small garden plot or container garden in your spare time, and enjoy the fruits and veggies of your labour. If there is no garden space available, don’t give up yet. Guerrilla gardening is your answer. Any piece of land could be your own small vegetable yard. Just grab your shovel and rake, go outside and create your own biological food by your small guerrilla garden.
2. Fun for (almost) free
Trips and excursions belong to the expensive cost. So how can we keep the fun and lower the costs? For example, a library pass, a great way to catch up on your reading for a small amount of money. But there is so much more to gain from a library pass. Nowadays a library card can be used to access all sorts of free services and materials. You can rent movies, e-books, magazines, CDs, and you can even rent games, puzzles and toys for children. Besides, the library can also be used to work on computers with FREE Internet. Do you already have piles of books and DVDs at home? The Internet will give you the opportunity to sell your stuff to gain some money, or you can even trade them for new ones.
3. Minimal fashion
Frugal shopping is being in full control of your spending. Some say frugal shopping means wearing a simple outfit, a minimal outfit, but we thought that creativity couldn’t be left out. Grab your sewing kit from the attic, and you can make your own authentic creations. Do you have all thumbs? Minimal fashion also falls under the category waiting patiently for a sale to bring an item down to your price. It is knowing when not to shop. To help you with your decision making Lucie Siegle wrote a book ‘To Die For‘: Is fashion wearing the world out? She points out that not only Primark Fashion is by far unsustainable, but even ‘Big Fashion’ isn’t worth the (green) price you paid. She just creates new clothes from her old clothes, and this recreating brings her the same joy as buying new clothes did.
4. DIY – Do it yourself
No need for Ikea to buy some cheaper furniture. You can be original and paying attention to your costs by making your own tables, chairs and closets. When you like to be very creative you can also show your magic with a brush. Everywhere people are making their own genuine furniture. If you need some inspiration to get started visit Pinterest. Here you can find pictures of peoples personal crafts. From colorful boxes till own made jewelry, everything is cultivated in a individual style. And at the end you can even earn a dime by selling the items on the Internet.
5. Homemade dinner
Homemade dinner is all about challenging yourself at home more often. Dig up those dusty cookbooks, and try out new dishes. After a while you will see, that you will get better in making your own mixes and ingredients. And then starts the fun part, savoring the results. Do you want to spare the water from the dishwasher? Basis Amsterdam, will do it for you. This is a restaurant which follows the bring-your-own trend. You can bring your own meal, and they will provide you with dishes and take care of the washing-up, for a small amount of money.
6. Sweepstakes and coupons
You would be suprised how easily you can become rich by entering all the sweepstakes on the Internet. Especially Facebook is helping the poor with free bags, shoes, gift cards, and so much more products. Simply click on the like button, and before you know it you will have the latest fashion season hanging in your closet. Even supermarkets feel the need of discount. With every ten euros you will get a coupon or stamps, which can help you with a discount till 30%. Feeling very lucky today? Enter the real sweepstakes, and win prices of thousands of euros.
7. Flip a switch
Saving energy and off course energy costs is possible in a variety of ways. Remember flipping the light switch when a room isn’t used, or having quick showers instead of expensive long ones. You can even do the laundry by hand, using only cold water and a small piece of soap. Water bottles can be used for a refill and you can squeeze your products till the last drop, which helps saving and sparing costs and the environment. It is such a same how much toothpaste and detergents are thrown away while there is still something left. Are the products finally gone? Than you can make your own, for example vinegar and soda are the perfect replacement for cleaning products.
8. Affordable transportation
Affordable transportation is all about saving gas and thinking of the environment. You can travel with larger groups and share the gas-bill together. A cheap trip while having so much more fun being together. However, if you are in need of gas you should go to tank stations who work with coupons, to save a little extra. But did you also think of the green traveler? This sustainable unit will take you anywhere in the city, and you probably will even be faster than by using a car. A hip way, which isn’t damaging the environment and cycling is great for your health.
9. Build your own home
Remember the Hemloft? A 26 year old man build his own house in the middle of the Canadian woods. He didn’t want to live working 24/7, and because he wasn’t able to go with retirement yet, he decided to build his own home. A great manner to chose your own surrounding and you can create en decorate your home from scratch to your personal style. It may be small but cozy and the best advantage is not paying a mortgage or rent.
10. Books – The power of less
If you want to know more tips and tricks about the Frugal Life, we recommend two books. You can start by reading Frugal Living for Dummies, an easy book that teaches a better way of living. Frugal Living guru Deborah Taylor shows a warmhearted guide to living the good life on less while enjoying it. In addition there is the book ‘The power of less‘, the fine art of limiting yourself to the essential by Leo Babauta. Because in a Frugal Life less is powerful.
Source: Frugal Living