For most people retirement is the time to really become frugal. What does this mean and how does one do it?
Being frugal does not equate to being cheap. Cheap has a negative connotation of being miserly. Frugal on the other hand is simply not being wasteful. Frugal is doing things in a way that economizes or maximizes your dollar.
A frugal retiree for example will group all their needed trips into one outing with the trip mapped out to avoid unnecessary back-tracking. This will save money on gasoline and really stretch your gas dollars.
A second way to be a frugal retiree is to buy larger packages of meat, and then cut them down to a size more suited to your needs and freeze these smaller packages. Always date these packages so that they don’t end up with freezer burn. You can also economize buy joining a wholesale club such as Sam’s or Costco. If the membership fee is too much for you alone, partner with someone and shop together. Since many of their items are really too much for just one or two people a partnership would help you split the items you purchase into smaller bits.
A third way to economize is to use the library more. This will save you on books and movies too. Low cost movie rental machines have sprung up outside of many stores. There you can rent movies for just one dollar. If you watch a lot of movies that aren’t available at the library or Redbox, then Netflix is a great choice too. You’ll never have late fees and can rent as many movies as you like each month.
Fourth – turn down the thermostat at night and when you are out of the house. A one degree drop for about 8 hours will reduce your bill by about 1 percent. If you have a regular schedule and are prone to forgetting to adjust the thermostat then a programmable thermostat is a good choice for you. You can set it to be cooler at night, but warm the house just prior to you’re getting up in the morning.
Fifth – become a savvy shopper. Shop yard sales, auctions, eBay and always keep your eyes out for deals. Use coupons and take advantage of double coupon days or Senior’s days when using your coupons. And always try to buy off-season! After the Christmas holiday is the time to stock up on decorations and wrapping paper for next year. The fall is the time to purchase items for your gardening needs. At the beginning of each new season, the stores clear out their merchandise from the last season. That’s the time to purchase your clothes.
You can save a bundle by making small changes here and there. Learning to live frugally in your retirement years is a good way to make your money last longer. If done properly, there is no need to feel deprived or left out from living a great life. Living well on less is not only possible, it’s desirable.