Frugal Tips for Surviving a Layoff
We are using frugal tips to survive a layoff and you can too.
On December 3rd my husband had the misfortune of being laid off during a company restructure. This isn’t the first time and it has given me the opportunity to find and share some frugal tips for surviving a layoff.
A place to start:
- Cut the cable – we actually haven’t had this in years and we don’t miss it.
- Switch your high speed internet to dial up
- Get rid of your land line phone service
- Get rid of your “smart” phones and use plain ‘ol cell phones
- Keep your thermostat under control (not too warm in the winter or too cool in the summer)
- Stop getting coffee on the run and brew it at home
A step further:
- No eating out
- Consolidate your driving (literally map out your errands for the shortest routes to conserve gas)
- OR consider public transportation to save on gas and insurance
- Plant a garden you can eat out of (this is more of a long-term savings)
In the Kitchen:
- Cook with 2 meals in mind (dinner and then lunch the next day)
- Get creative with what is already in your pantry, freezer and fridge BEFORE you start shopping
- Buy in bulk to save money on groceries
- Stop using convenience foods and cook from scratch
- No pre-bottled water
- Stop using paper towels and use washable/reusable towels
- Use coupons and buy generic – most generic brands are pretty close to their name-brand counterparts!
- Make your own dishwasher soap
- OR wash dishes by hand to save electricity costs
- Cut sponges and scrubies in 1/2 (you really don’t need the whole thing for cleaning well!)
- Make your own counter sprays (vinegar is a great and inexpensive cleaner)
In the Bathroom:
- Consider making your own bath soap
- Use bleach/water to clean
- Only flush for #2 (big water savings)
- Clean toilets with white vinegar – it works!
- Don’t let the water run when you’re brushing your teeth
- Add water to your shampoo and conditioner to stretch them out
- Shower every other day (if you’re looking for a job, shower daily)
- Hang up you towels and don’t use a new one with every shower
In the Laundry Room:
- Wash everything in cold water
- Dry outside as weather permits
- Make your own laundry detergent
- Wash full loads only
- Hand wash your dedicates instead of using the hand wash cycle
- If you must dry clean, use an at-home kit
- Wear some clothes more than once before washing – jeans, sweaters, etc
For the Family:
- Entertain yourself with books, games, movies at home
- Consider cloth diapers for babies and making your own wipes
- Make gifts or re-gift
- Shop thrift if you must shop
- Mend clothes
- Unplug anything that isn’t in use
- Cut out snacking, sodas and other unhealthy foods – use your money wisely on healthy homemade eats and drinks
- Cut out the gym memberships and go for a walk, bike ride, etc
- Shop for better insurance rates on housing, cars, etc.
- Don’t use your credit cards to survive – you’ll regret it in the long run (personal experience)
- Avoid borrowing, if you can
- If you don’t have a church with a food pantry, look for one that does. You don’t always need to be a member – it is ok to ask for help.
- If you are in debt, contact creditors about your payments. Many will reduce your payments for a time.
I know, all too well, how hard a layoff can be. The best way to survive one is to already be doing the things above plus having a savings, garden, stocked survival pantry (not just for dooms-dayers), etc. BUT you can survive this even if you haven’t done those things. Remember that saving money can be fun too – I love seeing how much I can save with coupons and the like. Get your kids involved, don’t be afraid to explain that changes must be made.
I hope these tips help you as they have helped us.