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  • Showing only topics in ~life with the tag "cost of living". Back to normal view / Search all groups
    1. With rising costs of just about everything, what are some frugal things you do to save some cash?

      I'm new to tildes and thought I'd start a topic about frugality, as it's something constantly on my mind. (hopefully ~life is the right place, apologies in advance if not!) I try to look at...

      I'm new to tildes and thought I'd start a topic about frugality, as it's something constantly on my mind. (hopefully ~life is the right place, apologies in advance if not!) I try to look at spending a few ways; cost, environmental impact, and time. The time is important, because some frugal tips take up so much time that they end up not being very frugal in the long run. So here are some of the things I've done or started doing in the past few years to try and bring our monthly budget down without giving up much.

      Started using Flipp, Ibotta and Flash Food.

      These three apps aren't going to save you a ton but enough to make a difference without much effort. Flipp uses your location to gather all the circular ads for stores near you so you can compare prices on items more efficiently. Ibotta is a rebate app that is quick and easy, just claim anything you might buy and once you hit 20 bucks you can redeem for gift cards or cash. The key is to only buy things if it ends up being cheaper than the option you normally buy, or stuff you buy already. Flash Food is a new favorite and isn't everywhere but can be really beneficial for produce particularly. Participating stores list items that are overstock or near expiration for significant discounts. You buy right on the app, and head to the the flash food station in the store to pick them up. Mine is by the self checkouts, there's a big freezer with the logo stationed there. They have huge produce boxes often for only 5 bucks! The assortment of goods will vary by store and time of day so I check every so often if I know I'll be near or going grocery shopping anyways.

      *If you don't have flash food, there's another called Too Good To Go, It's not in my area so I can't say how useful it is. However, it works similarly for stores but also includes restaurants.

      Switched to a double edged safety razor

      with a bit of practice, they are just as easy to use as a cartridge razor. The best part is after the initial cost they are CHEAP and you aren't throwing away plastic cartridges anymore.

      Vacuum Sealer and Deep Freezer

      I slept on a vacuum sealer for far too long, theses keep frozen goods better for so long without worry of freezer burn. Combine that with Flash Food, and you can really save without much effort.

      Switched to a Menstrual Cup

      I did this many years ago and never looked back. I will be upfront and say that it isn't going to be for everyone, we are all shaped different! However there are many more options for reusable products these days if a cup just doesn't work (discs, cloth pads, and period panties to name a few.) I have endometriosis and I'm a heavy bleeder so this has easily saved me thousands in disposable costs and worked better for me anyhow.


      This one is tough because it's easy to go over board with costs, but if you get creative with containers and boxes, buy loads of dirt instead of bags, and start from seed indoors and it can be a pretty cheap way to have fresh produce. Add in the vacuum sealer or canning and you can make it even more worth the time. To go with that, I collect rainwater. This is dependent on your local regs of course so find that out first!

      Instead of going out to dinner with friends, host pot lucks instead.

      This saves everyone money, you still get to see your buds and have a super nice meal. Throw in some board games and it's sure to be a good evening and only cost you the price of a dish.

      Rotate your streaming services and other subscriptions

      You can't watch them all at once, so why pay for them all the time? I'm sure they are all about to make it harder to share following in Netflix's footsteps so it's a good time to sit down and look at what you are paying for and what you are actually using. You'd be surprised how easy it is to shave off some costs.

      Eliminate single use items where you can

      I've already touched on this, but things like paper towels, paper plates, plastic storage bags etc add up if you are using them frequently. There are so many things that fill our landfills just for convenience and you are paying for the privilege! There are so many great reusable items these days, it's become more affordable for upfront costs. Coffee pods, makeup wipes, razors, swiffers, bottled water -- it's never ending and all cost more than their frugal alternatives. For instance, I drink tea and switched to a reusable diffuser and loose leaf as well as using an electric kettle instead of turning on the stove or microwave using much less energy and the used tea is good compost and breaks down faster than the bagged variety.

      Use your dishwasher

      It seems silly, and obviously not everyone has one, but a relatively newer dishwasher is going to use a lot less water than handwashing and it disinfects better.

      Feeling like you need that decor item? Try moving decor around instead

      You should be deep cleaning your home anyways, and if things feel stale and you are itching to spend try moving things around instead. You'll often find that you are just bored with the current layout of things. So while cleaning, switch it up!

      Keep inventory of your freezer

      Deep freezers are easy to lose things in, or forget are in there when you go shopping. I use a notes app shared with my husband with a list of stuff in the freezer so we don't buy things we already have and it's easier to figure out a meal at a glance at the list.

      At least try to fix or mend things instead of buying new

      It's certainly not feasible with some things anymore, and sometimes it ends up being more expensive but it never hurt to take a second look at something before rebuying. Mending clothing, buying a cheap part etc can save you some money and keep things out of the landfill.

      I'm excited to read any ideas you guys have. My next venture is going to be meal prepping, so any tips for that would be extra awesome!

      105 votes
    2. How much money would you need to live the life that you want to live?

      Consider the life you want to live, from the essentials to the luxuries. House, car, food, tech, kids, etc. Furthermore, consider where you want to live. Rural France? Downtown Tokyo? For the...

      Consider the life you want to live, from the essentials to the luxuries. House, car, food, tech, kids, etc. Furthermore, consider where you want to live. Rural France? Downtown Tokyo?

      For the purposes of the question I don't want you to think of the life of your wildest dreams (e.g. private jet, personal island, etc.), but I don't want you to think bare minimum either. Focus instead on "comfortable and fulfilling" according entirely to your own standards--a life that lets you live well and follow your aspirations with a sense of financial safety. Do not feel obligated to give a low, reasonable answer if your aspirations are higher, and don't feel obligated to shoot high if you're fine with a lower-cost lifestyle. Set your number entirely based around the desired archetypal life you want, rather than what you think is necessarily achievable based on your current financial situation.

      Furthermore, don't anchor your hypothetical income to real-world standards. If you want to, for example, teach kindergarteners for a living and live in downtown San Francisco, and your desired income is $200,000 USD a year, that's perfectly fine for the purposes of this discussion despite the fact that you would be hard pressed to find a school there in real life that pays that much. I'm much more interested in the hypotheticals of the costs in your life rather than the feasibility of the income. Think of this less as a real-world budget and more of a thought experiment/personal reflection.

      With all that in mind:

      • What are the details of the life you want to live?
      • Where do you want to live it?
      • How much money would you need each year to make that feasible for you, and why?

      I'm not interested in anything exact--just a ballpark estimate. And you don't need to give a full budget or anything. This should loose napkin math at best.

      Also, to make things easier for everyone:

      • Give your money as an amount per year.
      • Give the currency you're using.
      • Use combined income if your desired life involves multiple people.
      • Do not judge someone else's desired life nor income.

      Also, please specify which currency you are reporting in so that people can convert it to their local currency if needed to get a better sense of it.

      15 votes