These living frugal tips include tips for thriftiness and some suggestions for recreation and entertainment. We all need some diversion, maybe especially when we are working to live frugally.
You can attend online courses offered by many prestigious colleges and universities for free. You don’t get credit toward a degree program. But if learning is your goal, the information and knowledge you’ll gain is all the same. These schools include the University of Cambridge (in England), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Texas at Austin, and the University of California at Berkeley. Free via YouTube are lectures from Carnegie Mellon, Columbia University, Harvard Univ. Free via iTunes U. are lectures from: Oxford University, and Stanford University. There are many more universities that offer free courses.
Many of the US National Parks never charge an entrance fee. Also at the parks that do charge admission, there are special free entrance days.
Looking for a no-cost weekend activity or maybe some fun stops during a family outing or vacation? Consider checking out factories and other businesses that offer free tours of their facilities — everything from chocolate and auto manufacturers to breweries. Many offer free samples (but not autos) of their products as part of the tour.
Public Libraries offer free access not only to books (and e-books), but to DVDs, computers and the Internet, and a many programs and other services.
Look for free samples at Free Samples. You can get more free goods at www.mrfreestuff.com, www.sweetfreestuff.com, and www.getitfree.us. These sites make it easy to find items you want.
For unclaimed funds go to Unclaimed, a nonprofit website. It is free and covers many sources of unclaimed funds.
Check unclaimed property sites in every state (of the US) where you have lived. Go to Unclaimed Property to see if a state holds unclaimed bank accounts, dividends, refunds, etc. in your name.
Plan significant purchases to correspond with best bargain months: January – furniture & linens, winter sports gear, fitness machines; February – mattresses; March – cameras, humidifiers; April – gardening supplies, computers; May – mattresses, computers, baby goods, June – indoor furniture, fitness equip., summer sports gear; July - siding, decking, stains & paint, summer clothing; August – snow blowers, school materials, outdoor furniture, dehumidifiers, September & after Labor day – grills, computers, digital cameras, lawn mowers & tractors; October – appliances, and November – cookware, TVs & GPS devices; December – headphones, camcorders & Blu-Ray players; and car prices are likely to be lower at the end of any month.
Bargain for any large item, or not-so-large item, you are purchasing. This works best when you can get quotes from more than one seller of the same item and have the sellers compete against each other.
Ask for discounts or suggestions for decreasing your bills from utility companies. Have an energy audit performed on your house and make any repairs recommended for energy savings. Utilities may provide this service for free.
Freecycle Network is a nonprofit movement that consists of more than 5,000 local groups — and some 9 million members — all around the world. It's all about keeping good stuff out of landfills by allowing members to give away items they no longer need, as well as search for things they can use that someone else might want to jettison.
Use credit cards as a convenient means of payment and purchase protection, but pay off the card each month. Don’t use a credit card as a loan: the cost is high. Also, many credit cards now offer several percent cash back, or flight miles, on expenditures. So consider using this type of card.
Repair your house, auto and other possessions yourself (DIY). You can find out how to repair just about anything on YouTube.