No being frugal dose not have rules. But it helps to have your own rules set in stone for your family as they are the key to transitioning into a frugal life with out sacrificing to much. Here are my rules that my family fallows and why they are our rules.
- Waist not, Want not. Yup the use it up wear it out or do without way of thinking. This is a key step for everyone. I love candles but they are not cheap. I use candles until the wick will no longer stay lit. Yup all the way until theirs no wax covering that little mettle base. Those pillows flat and past the fluffing stage. Stuff two to a pillow case or wash dry and pull apart to stuff a homemade stuffed animal or a new throw pillow. No one knows my little girls fluffy Dora throw pillow was at one point a very flat bed pillow. Seeing even the Dora front and plan pink back where scraps her pillow was essentially free just because I refused to waist.
- Never pay full retail price for anything. Yes it takes time to get to this point but you can do it. Look for sales, use coupons, buy clearance, buy used, but never buy full price unless you have no choice.
- Don't be shy. Yes a hard one trust me I know. What dose that have to do with being frugal? Here goes, the best way to save money is to ask questions. Lets say your like me. I can cook I can sew but darn it I can not do many other things. Yes spelling is one of them. Anyone interested in being my spelling checker? The computers spell check only goes so far. On a serious note old fashoned bartering is a great way to save money. I needed someone to mow my lawn wile my husband was a way for Army training but could not afford the crazy prices people where charging in my area. I wonder what happened to kids mowing laws for cash? Anyways a neighbor needed someone to watch his kids sometimes so his wife and he could go out. It was the perfect solution. He dose the dirty work and mow's my lawn and I watch his kids for a bit. Get some guts and find a trade for the things you need you will be glad you did.
- Always check the clearance rack. This is how I save money every chance I get. My candles, clothes even the kids holiday gifts are all clearance. If you check every time you go in you may find something useful. The filter for my bagless vacuum less then $2 on clearance. For my vacuum that's a $5 savings. you never know what you will find.
- Never pay more then $1 on a cleaner. If you can't get it on sale with a coupon for under $1 or at the local dollar store in exception to laundry detergent you don't need it. You would be shocked what you can do with a bottle of vinegar and some baking soda.
- Stock pile wisely. people look at the Extreme Couponing Show and see the crazy size stock piles that will count as hording and that's what they think of when they here stock pile. That's not the case. A smart stockpiler dose so the smart way. Only buy what you can use before the item expires. Whats the use of a room full of toothpaste that will dry up and be useless. Anything made with anything natural even your laundry soap can go bad. So don't waist by over buying. Besides how happy are you being frugal if you can't live in your own home?
- Budget. Yup make a written budget and stick to it. Meal planing is a great way to do this. You don't have to plan what meal will be what day just make a list shop for that list and mark meals off as you use them.
- Learn new skills. Learn lots of new things like how to sew your old clothes into new things or how to refurnish your old items or found items. You will be happy to see how much you can save with a little DIY.
These are my rules take them or leave them. Some with work for you others will inspire you. Create rules for your family that you can teach everyone even your kids. You will be glade you did. What are your frugal living rules?