I don't know the origins of the phrase Frugal February, but the idea behind it is relatively simple. During the month of February you try to adopt as many money saving ideas as you can such as spend-free days or eating out less.
Since I'm a decluttering professional and not a financial expert, I wanted to share some different ways you could use Frugal February to help you declutter your home and your mindset which happens organically when you physically declutter your living space.
Below are Neat Little Nest's top 5 tips for leveraging Frugal February from a decluttering perspective this next month.
eat what you have on hand
One way you can decrease your food waste and the money you're spending on food is to eat what you already have on hand. If you've never tried this before, it really can be a fun experiment in creative eating. I know this as my family and I do this before every vacation we go on. What we noticed after several experiments ourselves is just how long we can go before we are really in need of a grocery run. I will admit that as the days go on, the meals become more and more unusual, but if you keep an open mind you just might find some new recipes that you would never have considered before ending up in your meal rotation.
place a moratorium on buying beauty products
Having spent a lot of time in a lot of bathrooms helping clients declutter and organize that space, I know that many people have a lot of beauty back stock - extra lotions, face creams, make up, shampoos, the list is long. One way to lessen your financial load in February (and ideally beyond) is to stop buying beauty products until you are close to using up the old ones. If you've never tried this before, you might be surprised, for example, at how long your daily sunscreen lasts.
find new uses for beauty products and toiletries
It's inevitable that you buy some products that you don't love or those which may have been given to you. It happens to all of us. What I've noticed with many of my clients is the reluctance to want to discard those products because either they spent their hard earned money on them or they feel badly disposing of them if they were gifted. While one way to move through those items is to accept they are creating clutter and send them packing or another way to tackle the same problem is to find new uses for some of those items.
A few examples include:
Use conditioner as shaving cream
Use toothpaste to polish bathroom fixtures
Use hair shampoo to clean your make up brushes
Use old sunscreen to clean up marker on furniture
The number of different ways you can find new uses for beauty products and toiletry items that you don't love is endless and by using them up, you save yourself a little cash by doing so.
consider hosting a swap with friends
If you're really wanting to have a no spend month, but might find yourself in need of something new, consider hosting a clothing swap with friends. If you each have a list of items you are looking for, chances are a friend might have something close enough and be ready to give it away. For instance, you might be wanting to say goodbye to a purse just at the time that your friend is tired of hers. Open those channels of communication and see what you can uncover.
sell items you no longer love
If you have items in your home that you no longer love and are collecting dust - old tech, books and clothes to name a few, Frugal February is a great time to sell those items for cash. Not sure of what options you have, check out our blog post on how to sell your stuff.
Frugal February looks different for every household. For us, it means using up what we have before we buy something new, decreasing our "want" or impulse purchases and getting our financial goals into clearer focus for the year ahead. It's really about being intentional with our spending and by doing so, we live with a lot less excess clutter in our home.
I hope you give Frugal February a try in some fashion to see if it can aid you in saying goodbye to accumulated clutter in your home in a way you might not have thought to previously.