Tips From Grand Ma’ on Frugal Living (Part I)


Some people innately have the talent to manage their money and champion frugal living and my Grand Ma is one of those people. She has a lifelong experience of stretching the dollar and her tips about frugal living can sound crazy to some extent but they are very practical. In this day and age when everything is so expensive, using your resources economically and managing your money smartly is the key to a balanced and contented life.

So here is what my Grand Ma’ suggests for a frugal living:

Saving Money on Utilities

You can save quite a lot by controlling your use of power, water and gas. My Grand Ma’ always tries to use less of these utilities even when she is staying with someone else.

  • Use only one light after dark
  • Do your laundry, all of it, just once a month
  • Do not leave food baking for hours as it will consume a lot of electricity
  • Always check all the lights, fans and other electrical appliances are shut when you leave the house
  • Bathe on alternate days to save water
  • Add bleach to one dishpan of water and use that to clean dishes for a week
  • Reuse dishes like glasses that are slightly dirty

Repurposing and Recycling

The repurposing tips from my Grand Ma’ are not really, let’s say, Instagram friendly (You must have seen those cute videos where they turn used jam jars into glittery holders for eye pencils).

  • Use tins as glasses in your regular use so you use actual glasses only when you have guests over
  • Wash the plastic storage bags and reuse them, even if they had sticky food in it
  • Use butter bowls instead of buying Tupperware
  • Save old newspapers (helps clean mirrors like a pro!)
  • Use cereal boxes as containers

Going for Free Stuff

My Grand Ma’ was not shy of getting free stuff from people. She would not even hesitate to ask for it if need be, especially if she knew something is not of major importance to its owner. Whether it is new or used, she would welcome it with open arms. And if you think about it, you really can save quite some money by getting something for free. You know how they say; one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

  • Look for discounts and coupons as you can bring down your grocery bills and keep it light on the wallet
  • If there is a free offering or prize accompanied with a product, go for it even if it does not seem to be of use now
  • Do not hesitate from getting hand me downs especially from a relative or friend
  • Borrow things instead of buying that you are sure you will not need again and again
  • If someone has something that is not useful for them but may be of use to you, then it does not hurt to ask

It may seem that my Grand Ma’ has taken frugal living a bit too far but if you actually incorporate some of these tips in your life, you will never be broke in the last days of the month. Yes, we have all been there.

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