We believe that being frugal is not something you do every now and then. Rather, it's a way of life. For some, it's learned behavior that takes practice and discipline. For others, it's inherent based on values passed along from generation to generation. And regardless of what makes one frugal, it seems that a common thread is a desire to make the most out of what one has, to "waste not, want not".
Sara Noel of FrugalVillage.com seems to share a similar point of view, as she notes in her recent article titled "Ten habits for successful tightwads":
Frugalitarians have many small habits. Some of these strategies don't necessarily save much money. They might seem silly or insignificant to others because of the time spent doing them, too. But the fact is that these decisions reflect the creativity and determination by penny pinchers (called this for a reason) to be less wasteful. The thought process of living gently carries over through all aspects of your daily life.
Here's a sample of a few of Sara's habits we really liked, but we recommend that you click through the link at the bottom of this post to read all ten:
On saving those little plastic bread tabs:
They are great little scrapers for counters, floors and dishes. Use as bookmarks or to hold rubber bands. Or attach one to a roll of tape so it doesn't fold over. They're perfect for closing open plastic bags, such as rice or confectioners' sugar.
Another habit/tip Sara suggests is to re-use envelopes:
Simply cover the address sections with new labels (cross out any bar codes) or simply use for scrap paper and you're good to go.
We love this one, as we often find ourselves throwing out perfectly good envelopes that we get in the mail, such as those that are for mailing in your credit card payments (if you pay online) or for signing up for a credit card (if you don't need or want additional cards).
And on re-using dryer sheets:
Keep used sheets to clean your lint trap, wipe down your washing machine, dust, to help remove nail polish, line a trash can, or attach to a toilet-paper holder to give a fresh scent in the bathroom. Tuck them into a pillow or drawer, or attach them to a Swiffer mop.