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How to Live the Frugal Life - and Have Fun Doing It!

-- 2011-05-23 1:00 am --

There are a lot of articles on how to save money, stick to your budget and cut corners. When the economy is down, people tend to get down too - but there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to learn how to live frugally and have fun at the same time. Changing your spending and learning how to be more frugal can be a challenge, but learning to cut down on your spending while still getting "the good things" for yourself and your family can actually be exciting!

Let's start with the biggest challenge of all - the grocery bill. One way to save is to only shop once a month. By making out a 30-day menu for your family including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, you can make one big list and buy all of your big items on one day. The more times you go to the store, the more opportunities you have to become tempted to buy things you don't really need. You can get some great tips on shopping, freezing and even cooking once-a-month at websites like http://onceamonthmom.com and http://simplemom.net/how-to-menu-plan.

Another great way to save on the grocery bill is to learn how to clip coupons and get great deals that combine sales and coupons. One of the best websites that will help you to live the frugal life is http://dealseekingmom.com. You can learn how to get free items, low-cost to no-cost magazine subscriptions, amazing deals on multiple items and much more. There's nothing quite like the happy satisfaction of seeing your store receipt and finding out that you saved 40-50% or more off your bill!

Entertainment is always a concern when people begin to live a frugal lifestyle. When it costs over $40 for a family of 4 to go to the movies - sans popcorn or drinks - you know it's time to look for alternatives. Netflix is a great source of low-cost entertainment. For under $10/month you can get unlimited movie rentals and access to movies online via your wireless Wii, Playstation or XBox 360 devices. Redbox is another great source of low-cost and sometimes free entertainment. By joining their website you can get a FREE movie rental once a month and enjoy $1/day movie rentals all month long. There are even websites such as http://www.insideredbox.com that give you FREE codes - for FREE!

Vacations are another place where we tend to over-spend and with summer just around the corner, it's time to think of some alternative ideas. Planning a "staycation" is becoming a popular solution, with many people spending their vacation money in other ways to get more fun out of each dollar. Check out the "Best Staycation Ideas" at Better Homes & Gardens or go through the top "16 Ideas for an Exciting Staycation" at Yahoo's Shine website.

Once you learn the ins and outs of frugal living, you'll be able to spot even more ways to save - and that's when the real fun begins!