Expert Interview with Lynette from Cleverly Simple About Fun, Frugal Living

Enjoying a relaxing dinner at home

Lynette Rice knows what it takes to live life to the fullest without overspending. That’s why she created her own website, Cleverly Simple, and shares what she knows with readers.

Here, Rice shares some tips with readers looking to save money, cut back on overspending, and find ways to save on everyday items.

Cleverly Simple offers numerous tips for those looking to live life without overspending. What are some of the most popular frugal tips that you offer?

I think one of the most important tips is to live within your means. What that looks like is different for every single person. However, figuring out that magic number is very important. It doesn’t mean you give up on your favorite things, but it does mean you’re intentional when you buy them. Knowing how much you can spend each month is the very best thing you can do for your budget.

People with fixed incomes, especially retirees, often find themselves looking for ways to save more and spend less. In what ways can Cleverly Simple help these people?

Cleverly Simple offers delicious recipes that are simple. Healthy recipes with few ingredients help keep the cost low. I also share freezer meals quite often. Freezer meals allow you to enjoy a cooked-at-home meal on a busy night when eating out feels like the answer. Cleverly Simple also offers local grocery store ads with the coupons that match. You can make your shopping list each week and base it on what’s on sale.

How do you go about finding the deals that you write about? In what ways can individuals find deals for themselves?

To know if something is a deal, you have to know how much you should be paying for that item. A lot of that comes from experience. However, if you know your budget each month, you’ll know if you’ve found a deal if you find it’s worth buying and it stays within your budget.

In the time that you’ve been running Cleverly Simple, what are some things that have surprised you or caused you to think about something in a different way?

I never thought I would use coupons less and still save money. Over the last few years, digital coupons have become very popular. I like having savings at my fingertips and being able to price compare very easily. I use apps like Favado to find the best deals at my local grocery store. I also do a lot of my grocery shopping at Aldi. Because of those two things I’m using coupons less and still saving lots of money.
There are some people who see the word “frugal” and feel that means they will sacrifice some of the things they love the most. What do you say to that?

That could not be further from the truth! I don’t think I’ve given up on anything being frugal. Instead, I am intentional when I buy things that we love. I wait for a sale or when something fits into our budget. It also means that I have a sense of peace when we do finally purchase that item since I know it’s not going to impact us financially.

What kind of tips do you offer on Cleverly Simple that pertain to retirement? This could involve saving for retirement, working while retired (in another position or side job), or finding ways to cut the budget while retired.

Cleverly Simple shares budgeting tips that would be applicable in retirement. At any stage in life, planning is important.

What would you recommend as an easy way to live life more simply?

It’s hard to keep life simple. I struggle with it every day. One thing I’m doing this year is making lists each morning of a few things I want to accomplish. In the past, I would look back on my day and wonder what I had completed. Now, with a few items on a list, I feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day with the tangible goals I’ve completed.

Many individuals are nervous about the idea of retiring and running out of money. In what ways do you think individuals could calm these nerves and ensure that they have enough for their golden years?

The key is always knowing where your money is and where your money is going. If you know exactly how much money you need for the necessities in life, you’ll feel much more calm entering retirement knowing that you’ll be able to make ends meet.

What is some of the best feedback you have had from your readers?

My readers are very helpful at letting me know when something isn’t working on my website. I guess that’s the best feedback I can ever receive since I don’t know how to fix anything if I don’t know if it’s broken. Having an engaged readership means that we have a community that is helping one another.

Tell us about the biggest lesson you have learned through saving money.

You will make mistakes. No one is perfect when it comes to saving money. There is temptation all around us. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to “take it back” or “cut back” on other areas when big purchases have to be made. Sometimes it’s an “oops” moment and sometimes it’s a necessity we didn’t plan for. Either way, you move forward with what you have and adjust.

How can someone who might not consider herself creative implement frugal DIY tips and tricks to address some of the suggestions you offer?

I try to always give step by step instructions so that anyone can achieve the same results. I really think that DIY is about the process and not just the end product. It’s fun to make things. If you don’t think you’re creative, think again. Jump in and try!

Please share any tips you may have for retirees pertaining to saving money, frugality, couponing, and DIY.

It’s never to late to get started! If you find yourself wondering how to save money at the grocery store, you can start now. There are quite a few resources available today from smart phone apps to digital coupons. The key is knowing how to use them. If you find yourself overwhelmed, pick one grocery store and learn everything there is to know about their coupon policy. You’ll find yourself confident in a few short weeks of shopping there with coupons. And as always, if you have a question, ask for help!

Please share anything else you would like individuals to know about Cleverly Simple.

I’m really proud of the website I’ve built the last four years. I never dreamed it would have such a following. I take great pride in everything I do over at Cleverly Simple and I hope you’ll join me there!

Follow Cleverly Simple for more money-saving tips on Facebook and Twitter.

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