How To Live A
Thrifty Life

  • Would you like to be living a thrifty life but just don't know how to do it?

  • Are you already living within your means but need more thrifty ideas?

  • Are you trying to raise kids and live in a budget?

Why do some people just seem to be born to save money while others can't seem to make enough no matter what?

Everyone approaches life, and certainly spending, differently. Some people think using credit cards for extra purchases is fine, while others won't even carry a credit card.

These are two extremes, but there is a middle ground.

One great way to use credit is to do it intentionally. In other words - If you can, set up your budget so that all of your bills and groceries are paid from your income. Then any extra item you need - say a dishwasher - purchase it with a credit card and don't use the card again until that purchase is paid off completely.

There are a couple of things to note here - use the lowest interest credit card you can obtain and if a company is offering zero interest for a period of time, pay the item off before the end of the zero interest period. Also if you already carry a credit card balance, work to get that paid off before implementing this method.

This is not as difficult as it sounds because on a single purchase, the payments are pretty small. In fact they are small enough to allow you to pay a bit more than the minimum payment, thereby paying off the item faster.

Once that item is paid off, make your next credit card purchase. This keeps you from getting deep into credit card debt but still allows you to use credit and purchase some of those items that you are needing and live a thrifty life.

This video talks about a simple way to save on transportation.


Wearing used clothing is a very thrifty way to live. It not only saves on money spent but it helps the environment as well. If you have children, the first at least 5 years of their lives, the best way to dress them is in used clothing.

Children, and especially babies, outgrow clothing so fast, much of what you will find at garage sales and second hand stores is new or very close to new.

Even adult clothing can be found at a bargain if it is previously used. And handing clothing down through families is living a thrifty life.

If you are looking for items other than clothing and you are willing to settle for second hand, a perfect place to look is the Free Stuff on CraigsList. The Free Stuff is a bit tricky to find - it is under For Sale then Free. The free stuff isn't always the best, but if you take a peek every day, you will find something you can't live without - and the best part is It's Free!!

Would you like to bring in a few extra pennies? There is no shortage of "Get Rich Quick" schemes out there, but those usually cost more than they actually make. When living a thrifty life you are usually trying not to spend more money.

So here are a couple of ideas that do take a little bit of time but don't cost money up front.

  • Recycle Ink Cartridges - This is an easy one because there are plenty of web sites that are happy to pay you for used ink cartridges. They are even willing to pay the postage and some will even send you the boxes to package the cartridges in. Just go to your favorite search engine and look for "ink cartridge recycle".

  • Recycle DVD Movies, Cell Phones, Video Games, Digital Cameras, Etc - You get the picture. Same as above, there are a multitude of companies that are willing to pay you for any of these items and they will pay the postage. Some will send you Fundraising materials if you want to collect items from local organizations and raise money for a cause or a non-profit.

  • Earn Free Books! Looking to grow your children's library on a budget! It is simple just host an Usborne Books Eshow. Email out the invitation to your friends and family and shop away on-line. You can earn a percentage of sales in free books. Usborne offers over 1,300 titles of books to choose from.

    If you are interested in earning lots of free books and making extra money, I would highly recommend becoming a consultant! I would love to answer any questions you may have. Thanks - Nancy Murphy

  • For more thrifty ideas about bringing in money, go to About Me and This Site.

The easiest way to save money on food is to eat at home. Not take out or pizza delivery, but food prepared at home from ingredients purchased at the store or harvested from your garden.

Food has gotten more and more expensive even when you are buying it at the store it is hard to be thrifty. Life with a family is even more expensive. But eating at home is still far and above the cheapest way to eat.

For some quick and easy recipes and more food shopping options go to the Thrifty Meals and the Thrifty Grocery Shopping pages.

It can be so expensive to go out especially with the whole family. Many people just stay home and do nothing in an attempt to live a thrifty life. So why not do something different?

Dig out some of those long forgotten movies, pop some popcorn and have a family movie night.

Other option - start a movie swap group -

  • Gather some friends
  • Have everyone put their name on their movies
  • Once a week swap movies

Here are some good popcorn recipes to make movie night a little different.

Cheap Movie Tickets!!
If you really want to go out to a movie here is a link to a site that gets you movie tickets for $5.00 each. It's free! Just go to the site and sign up. They send you a card and each week they send you an e-mail of the movies in your area that are eligible. The club is free and the movies are really a bargain!!

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