Whether you are saving up for something special or you just don't have a lot of money to spare, living life on the cheap can easily be done, and you can live cheaply without sacrificing all of the things that you love. You will have to cut back on the big ticket items like frequent holidays and new cars, but the odd trip to a restaurant is not going to kill you if you plan it right; you just have to go about things a little bit differently.
I'm not about to tell you to give up everything you love to save money, because what kind of life is that? You want to have a cheaper life, not a dull one! And besides, it's a fact that if you feel like you are missing too much then you are far more likely to fall off the wagon and splurge. So you just need to find different ways of getting what you are looking for.
Rule Number 1
The biggest key to living life as cheaply as possible is to get as much as you can for free, and by that I mean legally and morally. Don't be a thief or a freeloader, just figure out ways to get what you want for free, and if it doesn't sound easy I will teach you how.
Rule Number 2
The second most important thing when it comes to living a cheap life is not to waste your money; spend it wisely. Rich people don't become rich by spending their money on junk; they spend it on sensible stuff. So think carefully before you spend your money. Do you need that? Will it be worth how much you have to work in order to make that money back? If not, put it down and walk away.
Let's start with free food.
Food is great, but good food can be very expensive, there are legitimate and perfectly legal ways to get free food to help lower your food bills whilst still having decent meals every day.
Finding your own food is great, it's free and it's fresh; it doesn't get any better than that! There are so many things you can forage if you are willing to have some new and creative meals! Obviously some things are seasonal such as blackberries, but with a bit of research you can find out what grows when and near where you live.
Believe it or not, you can forage for fish too! My wife and I were on the beach recently when thousands of whitebait washed up onto the shore, we saved the ones we could by putting them back in the ocean, but people were taking the dead ones, so we joined in and put them in a fish pie later that day!
You can forage for:
- Wild Garlic
These are just a few things to look out for. There will be loads of different things depending on where you live! Please note, always be safe when dealing with nature, never stray anywhere in the sea you could be cut off from the shore, and NEVER eat anything if you are not 100% sure that it is safe. Plus, avoid low hanging food in dog walking areas as the fruits will be covered in pee.
Grow your own.
If you have the chance to grow your own vegetables then I would definitely recommend it. You have to pay a small amount for seeds and pots first of all, but the food will quickly pay for itself when it grows again and again! You will have a long lasting supply of fresh, chemical free food and you will be so proud that you grew it yourself.
And don't be fooled into thinking that you need a huge garden in order to grow food; if you have windows, you can have window boxes. They won't be suitable for everything, but you can grow a decent amount!
Look online for local farms and see if they offer a scheme where you pick fruit and vegetables on the land and in exchange you are fed! Some places will cook you a meal, some will give you fruit and veg to take home, either way, you have got exercise and free food. They expect you to work for your haul though, some places require a minimum of six hours. Always check before you commit yourself. Other places will even offer you accommodation and food in exchange for work!
Let companies know how much you love their products and include your mailing address on the email. They might send you some free food, they might not, either way, you are not losing anything by emailing them! It works for a lot of people!
Alternatively, if you have a genuine complaint (don't make anything up, don't be that person), let them know and include your address on the email too. They might send you stuff to compensate. It's no guarantee, but it happens a lot.
The blood nurses don't care why you are giving blood, they just care that you are giving it. Free food, and you will save someone's life. That's a good day, right there.
Whether you get it from free sample sites or free samples in the supermarket, you won't get full up on them, but they can satisfy as a snack.
Make food with what you have.
Rather than going out and buying food, use what you already have in the house. This might require a little bit of effort, but it is worth it if it saves you money!
Learning to cook will make using food that you have in the house much easier. You will be willing to try new flavor combinations and experiment with cooking methods. And learning to cook is easy with so many food bloggers, YouTubers and food channels. You have literally no excuse for not learning how to cook!
You can save money.
These ways of getting free food will help you to live a life that is a little bit cheaper, so whether that leaves you with more money for savings, or more money for every day life, you're a winner either way!