My husband and I lived in the suburbs of Chicago for the past 14 years. Sure, Chicago and the surrounding suburbs can be ridiculously expensive, but we learned how to cut costs. My husband took public transportation every day, and I drove our vehicle only a few times a week. It was not unusual for us to fill up the gas tank only once or twice a month. We learned what grocery stores to shop at to get the best deals.
We learned how to stretch our money in Chicago, and we were fairly good at it.
Recently we just relocated to Tucson, Arizona, and we’re finding that in some ways we need to start all over learning to be frugal in a new town.
If, like us, you’re planning on relocating or just have, consider these tips to learn how to live frugally in your new location.
Recognize that Some Frugal Skills Are Universal
There are some frugal tricks you have that will be applicable no matter where you live. For instance, we regularly do the following frugal activities:
- Hang clothes to dry indoors on a wooden drying rack,
- Buy food in bulk when it is cheap and freeze the excess or store it,
- Buy used (for clothing and furniture),
- Cut my son and husband’s hair
- Have my husband dye my hair
- Make our own laundry detergent
- Cook all of our meals from scratch at home
All of these general frugal skills can and are being implemented in our new town. However, there are many skills we need to learn all over because we’re in a different environment.
Ways to Learn New Frugal Skills in Your New Location
When you move to a new place, you often need to learn about new stores and new ways to pay rock bottom prices. Here are some ways to do just that:
Search out frugal bloggers in the area where you live. Frugal blogs can be an excellent way to learn about how to save in your new locale. Simply type in “frugal blogs” and your city, and you will likely find several blogs.
In addition to searching Google for this information, you can also search Facebook.
Don’t be surprised if some of the blogs have not been updated in a year or two. That is okay. You can still read the archives and learn new ways to save. In addition, some bloggers have other frugal blogs listed in their sidebar. If these are listed, you can search through them and immediately find many more frugal blogs for your area.
Ask the locals. The locals can be full of information about how to save money. My husband and I were shopping at a local grocery store when the cashier asked for my store loyalty card. I told her I didn’t have one because we were new to the area, so she gave me one and also gave me a quick run down about how you can use the rewards to save money on gas.
Then, the man in line behind me chimed in on the different ways he uses the card to grow his rewards points to save up to $1.00 per gallon of gas for one fill up every month. Both of the cashier and the customer were happy to share their savings strategies.
Ask on Facebook. Are you a member of some groups on Facebook? If so, that might be a good place to ask people for information about how to save in your new location. I belong to some Facebook groups that are nationwide and have over 10,000 members. Those kinds of groups can be excellent resources because chances are, there are at least 50 to 100 members who live in your area or know someone who does.
Living frugal is more about mindset than location. While learning to live frugally in a new location does have a learning curve, if you ask around, you can make that learning curve much shorter.
What’s your favorite strategy for learning to live frugally in a new location?