Creativity: Your Ticket To Saving Money

17639130_s“I’m just not that creative…”

How many times have you said that or heard someone else say that?  You might think of creativity as simply being an accomplished artist, a good writer, or being able to make a cute craft. But it goes far beyond that.

Creativity can save you money.  Lots of money.

Creativity with Food

According to The Huffington Post, “the average American family of four ends up throwing away an equivalent of up to $2,275 annually in food.”  Imagine what you could do with an extra $189.50 a month if you didn’t waste food?

Creativity can help you minimize food waste.  If you hate leftovers, you can repurpose a meal into something else.  I made a triple batch of homemade tomato soup only to discover my family was less than thrilled with the meal.  I threw the other two batches in the freezer, and a few weeks later I served it as spaghetti sauce with meat.  My family liked it that way, and we avoided throwing out food.

Another reason why food is wasted is because it’s in less than perfect condition.  However, soft strawberries might be delicious in a smoothie.  Less than perfect spinach can be disguised in a soup.  Be creative, and you’ll find many ways to use up food.

Other Ways Creativity Can Save You Money

Food is one area where we waste a lot of money, but you can benefit from creativity in other ways, too.  If you’re crafty, sheets that you buy at a garage sale for $1 can be repurposed as a dress for your daughter.

Instead of buying a humidifier for the dry winter months, you can put a tin pan filled with water under your radiators to put moisture in the air.

If your coffee maker breaks, until you can buy a new one, you can simply put the coffee filter and grounds over the coffee pot and pour in boiling water.  Voila, coffee.

There are literally hundreds of ways creativity can save you money.

How to Develop Creativity

If you don’t feel that you’re creative enough, there are ways to develop your creativity.

1.  Read frugal and crafty blogs.

Many people who are frugal are excellent at being creative with what they have.  The more you read these blogs, the more you’ll learn and develop your own sense of creativity.  An excellent book, though now a bit outdated, is The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn.

2.  Learn to cook.

If you don’t know how to cook, take the time to learn.  Start by finding good recipes on the web and following them.  The more you cook, the more you learn what flavors go well together.  Within a few months to a year, you’ll be creating your own recipes, which is a great way to use up what you have.

3.  Experiment.

Don’t be afraid of failure.  Experiment.  After all, you have nothing to lose.  If you try to make a little girl dress out of a pillow case and fail, you’ve not really lost anything.

4.  Make frugal friends.

You can get the most inspiration from frugal friends.  You can share tips and ideas, which can make your creativity blossom.

Creativity comes naturally to some, but it can also be learned.  The more creative you are, the more you can improve your finances.

Are you creative?  If so, how does it save you money?

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Posted in: Minimalism and Frugality

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  1. Dear Debt says:

    Experimenting for me is the best way to foster creativity! I think it’s also important to find frugal friends, learn new skills and share what you can. That amount of money you quoted on wasted food is so sad and gross 🙁

  2. Jack says:

    Great article! I had a very similar conversation with a co-worker today at lunch. We talk about saving and investing from time-to-time and I mentioned the key to successfully saving money by brown bagging it, is to make interesting lunches. There’s nothing worse than dreading the same old sandwich or leftovers from last night. Having a boring (or uncreative) lunch is just looking for an excuse to go to the nearest restaurant.

  3. I love cooking and I love experimenting new recipes! I’m an introvert type of person, I’m comfortable when I’m just here at home together with my daughter.So for me, it’s a best way to save money too, being at home always. 🙂

  4. Love the make frugal friends one! It’s so true though. I’m so glad all my friends are in general frugal and don’t expect to always go out and do expensive things. Makes sticking to my budget way easier.

  5. Jim says:

    I need to be more creative, however, I am always looking for creative and free ways (like picking and shelling pecans) to entertain my daughter. I use it as a life lesson, that everything fun, doesn’t have to cost money. She digs it!

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