The word “frugal” doesn’t get much love these days, and it’s probably far from your mind during the holiday season. December is the month we tend to overspend on entertaining, gift giving, and social events. When you’re out shopping for others it’s easy to buy things for yourself as well, but most of us already have an excess of things that we haven’t used. Let’s challenge ourselves to counteract excessive spending this season by using up what we have before buying more.
This idea struck me recently when I decided to diffuse some essential oils to freshen up my home. I hadn’t used my diffuser in months and my first instinct was to purchase new oils. I took a look at the ones I already had and discovered several barely-used bottles of scents I enjoyed. It got me thinking about other areas in my life where I could save money by making the frugal choice to use up what I have.
1. Clothing - In years past I automatically bought a new outfit for holiday parties, but this year I’m questioning how much use I’ll get out of a formal dress. There’s nothing wrong with wearing last year’s outfit again (no one will notice, trust me), or shopping your closet for pieces you can combine in new ways. One basic dress can be worn multiple times with different accessories.
2. Food - What ingredients are about to expire in your pantry or fridge? Try planning your week’s recipes around those items to use them up before they need to be tossed.
3. Toiletries - New cosmetics, skin care, and hair care products come out every week with promises that they will make you look better than ever. But you probably have a ton of these things sitting in your bathroom already. Resist the urge to buy the newest miracle product and first use up some of those half-empty bottles in your medicine cabinet.
4. Gift wrap - Stores are filled with all new gift wrap at this time of year, but instead shop your stash of wrapping paper and gift bags. If you're like me, you probably have more than you'll ever use!
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Make it fab!