Are you looking for the best frugal living tips to help you save money? I’ve got you covered.
Post updated to 100 Frugal Living Tips (5/31/2022)
What Is Frugal Living?
Frugal living is often thought of as being synonymous with the word cheap! However, there are some HUGE differences between being cheap and being frugal.
In fact, you don’t need to be an extreme cheapskate to live a frugal life.
According to Google Dictionary frugal by definition means: “sparing or economical with regards to money or food.” But to many people, frugal living means much more.
Grab your budget freebie here:
You don’t have to only eat from your garden and raise your own chickens to be frugal either – although be it pretty cool!
Instead, do your homework when making a purchase and make sure what you are buying is quality and NOT cheap. The goal of my frugal tips is to NOT waste money.
For example, I bought a pair of Asics running shoes which cost more than an average pair of tennis shoes. In my opinion, this was a frugal hack because I know these shoes are of high quality.
After running nearly three times a week for around two years these shoes have held up! They protect my back, knees, hips, and joints and for that, it is worth the extra money to buy a quality brand. This was a matter of choosing quality over something cheap!
Making purchases like the above mentioned is part of my super frugal living journey and being frugal is something anyone can do. Did you know many millionaires choose to live frugally? By using frugal ways, you will be able to save and perhaps one day, be a millionaire yourself.
Benefits of Frugal Living
But let’s not forget that frugal living not only means getting the most value out of items you buy so you do not waste your money, but it also means living within your means so you can get out of debt.
Frugal living can be your way out of debt and you can set yourself up for new life experiences and travel.
Frugal living is life-changing because you can put money away for retirement and build an emergency fund all because you made a choice to live frugally.
Because of choosing to live more frugally, I have been able to do the following:
- take at least one budget vacation per year
- pay off debt including student loans and car loans
- save money for my retirement
- save for my kid’s college funds
- invest money in the stock market
- save up for nine months of expenses in an emergency fund
- create sinking funds
At this point, frugal living hacks sound great! Yet, if you aren’t used to living below your means you will definitely need some pointers. Below you will find 75 of my best frugal living tips.
Keep in mind, that you do not need to do all 75 frugal tips. Start small and pick 3-5 to try each month. Find ideas that work for you so you will stick with them. Now, are you ready to save some money?
How to Start Using These Frugal Living Tips
Changing your way of life will be difficult; however, if you start small and try 3-5 new tips each month, you will be a frugal living pro by the end of the year. I have provided you with a frugal living checklist you can print out below. This will help you as you continue on your frugal living journey. Make sure to print it out and pick which tips you will try this month.
Are you ready to Master Your Money? Check out the Master Your Money Bundle and get your finances under control today!
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How to Live With Little Money
If you have fallen on hard times, there is no shame in asking for help. Check local churches, and food pantries and call utility companies to ask for discounts. I’ve found one of the best ways to cut costs immediately is to meal plan and use coupons. I often refer back to some of my old meal plan posts when I need to save money. You can check them out there.
Budget-Friendly Meal Plan
Cheap meal Plan for Two
I also buy a lot of my personal items at CVS. If you can afford the Carepass (Which is $5 per month), you get $10 Extrabucks to spend in the store. so an extra $5 per month to spend which can be combined with other coupons for some really great deals. They often have great cereal deals we take advantage of combining extra bucks with coupon offers. Also, I often get shampoo and personal care items for free or at a very low cost. You can read more about CVS deals here.
100 Best Frugal Living Tips to Try Right Now
1. Patience is your frugal friend
If you are thinking of buying a big purchase, WAIT.
Give it some time and think about it. Can you afford it? If you find after a few weeks you still really want the item, shop around and find the best deal for your money. And only buy it if you have the money. Do not splurge if you cannot afford it.
2. Use Coupon Apps to save even more and live frugally
This is my number one favorite cashback app!
Ibotta is an awesome money-saving app that allows you to receive rebates for stuff you already buy. I have earned the most money with Ibotta. In fact, I have almost $100 sitting in my account right now. I usually save my Ibotta earnings and cash out in December so I can use my earnings for Christmas shopping!
I have a total of $ $1400 in lifetime earnings. I am averaging about $100 per year and keep in mind I don’t actively seek out Ibotta offers before I shop. I shop as I normally would and check to see if what I bought is on the app after I shop.
All you have to do is find your store and search for the available rebates for that week. Once you find your rebates, start shopping. Next, send your receipt by taking a picture and uploading it which is super easy. Use my link and receive a $10 sign-up bonus when you redeem your first rebate!
Earn $30 this month with Rakuten’s special promotion. Yes, Rakuten is offering a $30 sign-up bonus when you spend $30, and most of will spend this on Holiday gifts so, why not earn your money back? Use this link to sign up for Rakuten and earn your $40!
This is my favorite app for online shopping.
Formerly known as Ebates, Rakuten is a money-back site that rewards you for doing something you already do: shopping online.
Click through Rakuten before you shop online and you will receive a percentage back of what you spent.
How it works: They make money by referring you to shop at a store and then share their commission with you. The best part is it costs you nothing.
Also, they have thousands of the BEST stores to choose from including Target, Kohl’s, Best Buy, Priceline, Macy’s, Petco, Bed Bath & Beyond, Groupon, Amazon and so much more. Sign up through my link and receive a $10 bonus just for signing up. (Currently $20 if you act fast!)
I find the best way to use Rakuten is to install the browser extension so you don’t forget to use it. The extension will alert you if the store you are shopping offers cashback.
Have you heard of Dosh? Dosh is a newer app that offers cash back on online shopping. You can redeem your money directly into your banking account or collect gift cards.
This app is awesome because it collects free money for you!
Sign up for Dosh and get your free $1 welcome bonus today.
Since Dosh is automatic, no need to save receipts or worry about clicking. Sign up and find out more!
This newer app is super easy to use!
This cashback app is also a great option because it is so easy to use! All you have to do is scan your receipts. Most of the stores listed are for groceries, yet there are a few select other stores listed on Fetch.
You get points for scanning your receipt but you get more points if you are buying name-brand at grocery stores because they partner with this app.
You can cash out at 3000 points which would equate to a $3 gift card for restaurants, home decor, or my favorite Amazon.
How to get the app: Click this link and it will direct you to the app in your app store. Sign up and get 2000 bonus points
3. Meal plan on a budget (My best frugal habit!!)
One of my favorite and best frugal living hacks is to use meal planning! In fact, my most popular post on Google is a Meal Planning post. You can check it out here: Budget-Friendly Two Week Meal Plan
Meal planning allows you to save time and money by using what is already in your cupboard, eliminating waste, avoiding extra trips to the store, and knowing you have what you need to make dinner tonight.
Those extra trips to the store can really kill your budget because you end up throwing extra items in your cart. Meal planning is an excellent way to save money.
Check out this amazing meal planning book to get you started
4. Drinking water to be more frugal
Drinking water is very frugal and healthy. Don’t waste money on juice and soda pop that are both full of sugar and bad for you. Drink water instead.
Unfortunately, I do not like the taste of our tap water so I started buying bottled which is still cheaper than juice and pop, but an idea to help with this problem is to buy a Britta Water Filter. They work great and you will make your money back within a few weeks. We love our Britta water filter and use it every day for cooking water and for our morning coffee. It was a great investment. I don’t need to buy plastic water bottles anymore and I have great-tasting water. I’m in love!
Check out my favorite home water-filter here
5. Only eat out a few times per month (but still treat yourself frugally)
Eating out is WAY more expensive than cooking at home. Save dining out as a treat and then use my tips to save on eating out such as ordering water, going out for pizza, and taking advantage of happy hour prices.
Suggested Reading: 10 Outstanding Ways to Save on Eating Out
6. Save on frugal healthcare
Many companies offer an incentive if you decline healthcare and use your spouse. Take a look at both plans and decide which one works best for your family and try to plan ahead for mishaps. My son broke his arm last year and we had to pay out-of-pocket because we had not met our deductible. Luckily my husband put money away in a tax-free health spending account to pay for situations such as this.
7. Cut the cord and save money on your cable bill (this frugal hack will save a ton!)
Getting rid of cable can save you SO much money. In fact, if you use Netflix or Amazon Prime you will save money and you will never run out of shows to watch.
This was a tough one for my hubby because he needs his sports. So we cut our cable to the basic package and use Netflix for movies and kid’s shows. I really don’t watch T.V. (except Grey’s Anatomy – LOVE) but I can catch that on Netflix too!
I also love Amazon Prime’s free shows! Check it out here!
Check out this low price streaming service
8. Use the library to be frugal
In the land of the frugal, we don’t buy books. Books create unneeded clutter and let’s face it, most of us don’t reread books.
If you have a lot of extra books I recommend selling them, but check your local library before you buy anything. My library has a system called Overdrive where you can check books out electronically and don’t even have to leave your house.
Also, my library did not have a few books I wanted but they borrowed them from another library. Sure I had to wait a week, but it was so easy picking up my books at the “hold” desk and not having to search for my books with two kids in tow.
9. Stay healthy to be more frugal
Staying healthy will save you money in the long run. If you are able to stay fit, you will be less likely to become injured or end up on high-priced medication. According to Physiciansnow the cost of the average hospital stay is $7400 for the average 18-44-year-old and the cost goes up the older you get. Staying healthy is a key frugal living hack!
10. Ride your bike and save on gas
If you live close enough, why not ride your bike to work.
I have to admit, I like my car as an option, especially during Michigan winters, but I actually rode my bike (or walked) for three years in college because I could not afford to buy a car.
I was paying for tuition by taking out student loans and working full-time to pay my bills so a car was not in the budget. Luckily the campus at Central Michigan University is small, but I worked at daycare at 5:45 in the morning and on a snowy Michigan morning I would bike or walk in the chilly weather.
My point is if I can do it, so can you! Use your bike to save on gas and stay healthy!
11. Cut your lotion bottle to get all of the product out
This may sound funny, but my son uses an expensive lotion for his extremely dry skin. Normally we wouldn’t spend $8 per bottle of kid’s lotion but we found one that works for his itchy skin and had to stick with it. Before we used this brand, he would wake up with scratches all over his body. then we found Aveeno for Eczema.
This lotion is pricey so we try to use every last drop. When we ran out one night, my husband decided to cut the tube in half with sharp scissors. Sure enough, we got three more uses out of the lotion and had time to go out and buy more.
It is amazing how much product is wasted because of packaging. Try cutting your lotion tube when you think you can’t get any more product out.
12. Use half to live frugally
Try using half the amount of products such as toothpaste and shampoo. You really only need a small amount to clean your teeth, so if you are one to slop on toothpaste or shampoo, try conserving.
On a side note, toothpaste is one item I NEVER pay full price for. I either buy it at the dollar store or use coupons at CVS. Often I get my tube of toothpaste for $.50 or less by playing the drugstore game.
13. Make your own cheap cleaning products
Making your own clean products is easy and cheap. I make my own glass cleaner by pouring 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and it works great! There are SO many great recipes on Pinterest for homemade cleaning products!
14. Forget the dryer and air dry to save money
Although I am frugal, I do not do this all the time, but even if you only do it during the summer you will save.
Try saving energy by air-drying your clothing. According to home guides the average to run your electric dryer per hour is between $.25 and $.70. If you are doing one load per day that is a savings of $7.50-$21 per month. Many people wash more than one load per day.
Although $7.50 isn’t life-changing, if you do more laundry, you will be saving WAY more and every bit adds up. By air drying your clothes for even half of the time, you will be saving money and conserving energy!
Try AmazonBasics Foldable Drying Rack – White
15. Grow some flavor with a frugal garden
Instead of buying pricey spices, try growing your own herb garden. We live in a condo, so a garden is not an option; however, a window herb garden works great and my sons can’t wait to plant the seeds and watch them grow.
Try Sustainable Seed Company Windowsill Herb Garden Kit, Indoor Herb Garden Kit Complete with a 10 Variety Non-GMO Heirloom Herb Seed Collection
16. Find free or frugal family things to do
There are SO many free things for families to do together! You do not have to break the bank to spend time with your family. Here are some great frugal living suggestions:
- bike ride
- coffee and donuts after church
- free museums
- nature walk
- bird/animal hunt
- sidewalk chalk
- family game night
Need more ideas for frugal activities? Here are 55 Summer Activities for Kids that are Frugal or Free.
or 50 Free or Frugal Family Activities
17. Unplug electronics before you leave and save on household expenses
We do this any time we take a trip and daily for smaller appliances we are not using. For example, we always unplug our toaster and our Keurig when we are done using them in the morning.
When we go out of town, we unplug our T.V., DVD player, computers, lamps, and so on. When you come home, you will have a small electric bill for the month!
18. Buy a programmable thermostat to save on your heating bill
All of these frugal living tips start to add up and a programmable thermostat will not save you thousands but it will help you save on your energy bill.
Yes, it is only a few dollars off your bills here and there, but $5 on one bill and $5 on another and you have just saved $10 per month. If you keep at it, your costs will be low and you can use your extra money to pay off debt or save for a family vacation!
Our family motto is to spend money on experiences instead of owning a bunch of stuff.
19. Switch bank accounts to earn more interest (shopping around for the best everything -even banks- is frugal)
Is your bank account charging you a fee? If so, shop around and find a bank that does not charge. Try an online bank that pays a higher interest rate.
Check out the best bank that is FDIC insured with the highest rate I have found by clicking here.
20. Make your own coffee (but still treat yourself once in a while)
Frugal people like coffee too! Including me! I love me some Starbucks! Yet,I know my money could be better spent elsewhere (like investing) so I will limit my trips to Starbucks and make my own coffee most days.
Again, one of my favorite frugal living hacks is to make your own coffee. I know those pretty drinks at Starbucks are SO tempting and hey, I do think you should treat yourself every once in a while! But for the day-to-day, it will save you so much to make your coffee at home.
We use a Keriug with a refillable cup to save!
This is our favorite coffee maker ever!
Here are some great gourmet coffee drinks to try at home.
Related Frugal Living Blog Posts:
- 25 Smart Ways to be More Frugal
- What is Frugal Living and Is It For You?
- How to Make Money Fast: 25 Side Hustles to Earn $100
- How to Budget and Still Buy What You Love
- Frugal Living in 2020
21. Don’t Buy K-cups
These refillable packs are great because you can fill them up ahead of time and keep them in the fridge. Plus, they are much cheaper than your average K-cup.
22. Trim Savings
I was able to lower my cable bill several times, by calling and asking for a lower price. If there is competition in your area, this is a good way to negotiate. Try this with your phone bill too!
Don’t feel like doing the work? This company will handle it for you. Check them out here.
23. Couponing is frugal
I have a love/hate relationship with coupons. For a while, I was REALLY into couponing, but then I realized I was actually spending more by buying things with coupons I didn’t need. Yes, frugal living often involves coupons, but only use them if you were going to buy that item anyway.
If you are an extreme couponer and are building up your stockpile, really think about if you need those items and if you have space for them.
It may be better to save on food by using meal planning. Try my Cheap Meal Plan for Two Under $30
Also, using coupons is stressful. I like using the Ibotta app so I don’t have to carry a stack of coupons with me! If I coupon, I usually limit it to 5-10 coupons per store visit but I use the circle app at Target and Ibotta or Checkout 51 rebate apps.
Coupons powered by Coupons.com
24. Shop Craigslist and Facebook groups for frugal deals
As far as frugal living is concerned, buying used is SO easy today! Facebook groups allow for porch pick up which is very convenient.
I really wanted a ladder shelf that I saw several friends have but they cost upwards of $100 new. However, I found almost the exact one I wanted on a Facebook marketplace for $20. I had to drive around 20 minutes to pick it up, but it was worth the $80 I saved.
25. Create a frugal stockpile
Creating a stockpile is an amazing frugal living tip if you stockpile items your family will actually use.
For example, my family eats a lot of cereal. So it makes sense for us to stock up when cereal is on sale. At times, we will buy 10 boxes at a time. Other things that are worth stockpiling are toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, soap, shampoo, and toothpaste.
Related frugal living post
- Are You Broke? You Should Never Buy These Seven Things
- 55 Date Ideas that are Frugal or Free
- 50 Cheap Meals That Will Fill You Up – Most Under $10
- How to Travel on a Budget and Have a Blast
- 55 Summer Activities for Kids that are Frugal or Free
- 7 Retail Hacks Exposed – Don’t Shop Without Reading This First
- Ebates Review: Is It Worth It?’
- Ibotta Review: Awesome Rebate App
- $35 Aldi Meal Plan
Ready for My Next 25 Frugal Living Tips to Help you Save on Food, Groceries, and Everyday Items?
26. Make a list
One of my best frugal living hacks is to make a list and stick to it. I rarely go into a store without a clear plan of action and I create my list before I shop and write down estimated prices so I know just how much I will be spending on that shopping trip.
I try to stay in one area of the store (It is very hard in Target at times! 🙂 but, then I am not tempted to add a plethora of items to my cart that I don’t need.
27. Only grocery shop bi-weekly
This sounds so simple, but have you counted how many times you have been to the store in the last week? Most of us stop twice to grab some milk or pick up a special ingredient for our dinner. However, if you use meal planning as mentioned above, you will cut extra trips. And let’s be real, most of the time we end up with extra items on these special trips!
Not confident in your meal planning skills to save money? Try my Meal Planning Series and get some pointers!
28. Check the unit price
It always pays to check the unit price of an item. You can do this by dividing the price by the amount you are getting. For example, If I buy applesauce pouches for $4.97 for a 12-pack, that is $.41 per pouch, which may be WAY cheaper than buying the four-pack for $2.97.
If you are only getting four you are paying $.74 per pouch which is almost double. Therefore, it is almost always better to buy the bigger pack!
29. Buy generic to live more frugally
Don’t be brand loyal. Many store-brand products are just as good. I can vouch for Target’s Market Pantry, Archer Farms, and Simply Balanced as well as Kroger-brand, Costco’s Kirkland brand, and Meijer-brand of most products. You can save so much when you ditch the brand name!
30. Take your own lunch (big frugal hack!!!)
If you buy lunch Monday through Friday for $6 per day, you are spending $30 per week on your lunch alone! Pack a lunch and save. It is easy to eat leftovers or make a quick sandwich the night before so you are not in a rush to make your lunch in the morning rush.
Related Frugal Living Posts:
- How to Create a Stockpile on a Budget
- CIT Bank Offers and Review
- How to Overcome Budgeting Challenges
- Are You Tired of Struggling Financially?
- Frugal Hacks to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
31. Eat leftovers
I was raised to eat all of my food and try not to waste it! Even at Catholic schools, we were not allowed to dump our milk out and I absolutely DISLIKE milk (those were some bad memories). Yet, this instilled the value of eating food and not wasting it.
We try to eat all the leftovers in our house. I put them on my meal plan and if they have been in there for a few days I won’t eat them, but my iron-clad stomach of a husband will!
32. Buy a frozen pizza (or make your own)
Instead of ordering a pizza from your local pizza place with five items costing upwards of $20, buy a frozen pizza and save it for the nights you do not feel like cooking. My favorite brands are Digiorno and Freschestta which you can usually buy on sale for around $4.50. We also got a Kroger self-rising crust pizza last night for $2.99 on sale or make our own!
33. Use a crock-pot
Crock-pots are not only a great frugal living hack, but they make your food taste great too!
There are so many frugal crock-pot recipes it is hard to leave my favorite social media platform – Pinterest! Seriously, if you go on there you will get sucked in, but in a good way when you are looking up money-saving recipes. Add a board to your profile for budget slow cooker recipes of the week and start trying some of those babies out!
Don’t have a slow cooker? I use my favorite stainless steel crock-pot and it has lasted me eight years and is still going!
34. Refinance your house
Refinancing your home loan can save you SO much on your monthly payments. Shop around and find a lower rate. Use a mortgage calculator to find if this is a good option and will save you money. My husband and I refinanced our loan and saved around $400 on our monthly payments.
35. Don’t smoke (at all!) or drink too much
Smoking is such a money-waster! If you are willing to give frugal living a try, then smoking is not an option. I highly recommend a book called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
Although I do not smoke, I have read the book and I’m using it to kick some of my own bad habits. Give it a try!
Drinking is expensive! I admit, I like to enjoy a beer or glass of wine now and then, but I only drink maybe twice per month. It is SO easy to cut this from your grocery list.
Both of these tips will help you live a healthier life which will save you doctor’s bills and health care.
36. Don’t buy lottery tickets
Your chances are as great as finding a contact lens in a swimming pool! So why waste your money?
I get it! It gives you hope and it’s exciting. But so is living a debt-free life, traveling, being prepared for an emergency, and building your own wealth. If you can’t give it up, at least cut back to $1 per week!
37. Discount gift cards
You can check sites such as cardpool.com and buy gift cards for a discount. You will be saving 2-10% right off the top of your purchase by using this method. This works great for gas, restaurants and groceries. Sign up for the mailing list because they often have sales on gift cards! Don’t forget, you can sell unwanted gift cards too. Sign up for Cardpool here.
38. Pay off debt
This is a BIG one! If you live frugally, you can use your extra money to pay down debt and then start saving for retirement and an emergency fund. Paying interest on debt makes most frugal people cringe! That is money out of your pocket every month, literally buying absolutely nothing! Get rid of your debt and save.
If you still have student loan debt, consider refinancing and getting a lower rate. Learn more here.
39. Prep your food
Prep food so you do not waste anything. Use gallon-sized freezer bags to portion your meat before the “use by” date. Cut up vegetables and onions for recipes and keep them in the refrigerator for the week. This saves you so much time!
40. Fix it instead of tossing
My son has a favorite stuffed animal bunny and the arm got ripped off. He was really sad about it so I decided to fix it. I’m not the best sewer but I figured it out and now the bunny is as good as new! I think it is important to teach kids to fix items instead of throwing things away.
Also, we bought a new water heater (thank you once again emergency fund) a few years back. Instead of putting the old one by the curb, my husband posted it for free on Craigslist.
He had seven people offer to take it within the first hour. We could have just thrown it away and left it for a landfill, but others were able to take it and use the parts.
My sons have a bad habit of putting holes in the knees of every pair of pants they own! We cut them off into shorts so they still get some good use out of them!
It pays to fix items and you can find tutorials on YouTube on almost anything today.
Related Money-Saving Posts:
- Learn How to Budget
- Money Help When You Can’t Pay the Bills
- 7 Money Mistakes and How to Fix Them
- 52 Week Penny Saving Challenge
- Best Savings Hacks Without Clipping Coupons
41. Buy in bulk to save more
Often buying items such as beans, rice, dried fruit, and snacks can save you money.
42. Buy meat on sale and freeze
If you see a good deal on meat, scoop up as much as your freezer can hold! It will also help to buy a deep freezer and freeze the extra meat!
I often freeze chicken, ground beef, pork chops, and ground turkey and it still tastes great after thawing and cooking. Why pay the regular price when you can stock up on a sale?
43. Use a deep freezer to stockpile deals
This is on my wish list. There have been SO many times, I wanted to buy more of a sale item such as meat, frozen veggies, frozen pizzas, fish, and so on, but I do not have room in my freezer! This is something I definitely want down the road!
44. Cut your own fruit
Yes, it is WAY more convenient to buy cut-up fruits and veggies at the store, but it also costs twice the price, and let’s be honest, cutting fruit and vegetables is SUPER easy. So for the sake of being more frugal, do the cutting yourself, especially if you are buying for a big party!
45. Buy used clothing
You can find some amazing deals on good-quality clothing on sites such as Poshmark and Threadup. I personally sell used clothing on Poshmark to make extra money but have bought items on Poshmark as well.
Thredup is a site that does the work for you. Just send them your used clothing and they will decide which items are sellable and then return the rest to you or donate.
46. Never buy a new car (your car loses value as soon as you drive it off the lot.)
This is one of my best frugal living tips because it could literally save you thousands.
You may not have known this, but your car depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot. You can still get an almost new car for so much less. This tip could literally save you $10,000!
We bought a used Ford Explorer when my last car died (side note – I wanted to drive that Saturn into the ground but the engine died).
Since the car had 36,000 miles on it, we got around $15,000 off the “new car” price and it still had the new car smell!
Side note – We have almost paid this car off in a year’s time! – Only buy a car you can afford.
If you lease a car, you will never know what it is like to not have a car payment.
47. Only buy organic for the dirty dozen
Buying organic is better for you and your family. You are not feeding your family foods covered in pesticides. But organic can be expensive. I mean REALLY expensive.
So save yourself some cash by only buying organic for the dirty dozen. For those of you that haven’t heard of the dirty dozen here they are:
- Sweet Bell Pepper
Typically if you can peel a fruit or vegetable such as an avocado or a banana, you do not need to buy organic. Simply wash it before cutting into it and you are safe!
Learn more about buying cheap organic here
48. Be store loyal
Two things about using the same store:
- You know where everything is and aren’t wandering and adding things to the cart as you shop.
- You can take part in the store reward program. I would never shop at Kroger without my Kroger card, Mperks at Meijer, and I use my REDcard to get 5% off at Target. It pays to be store loyal.
49. Stick to a budget
This is a HUGE part of my frugal living strategy. Most frugal people learn to live within their means or below their means by using a budget. In turn, they use the extra money from all their frugal savings to save for an emergency fund, pay off debt, save for retirement, fund vacations, pay cash for cars, and so on.
Being frugal can open up a whole new world of paying cash and being able to travel!
This frugal living tip certainly won’t be easy.
But if you cannot afford the house you are living in, it is time to downsize, and sometimes renting is a better option than paying for home repairs, PMI insurance on your house, and high interest on a mortgage.
Crunch the number and if it makes more sense, sell your house and buy a smaller one or rent if this is your best financial option to get back on your feet.
- Frugal Living Fails and Frugal Living Wins
- Secrets to Saving for an Emergency Fund
- Are You Broke? You Should Never Buy These 7 Things
- How to Live Frugally and Save Money for Beginners
- 25 Tips to Save Money as a Busy Mom
25 More Frugal Living Tips:
51. Batch errands to save on gas
To save on gas, try getting all of your errands done at the same time. It wastes gas to drive to one side of town to go grocery shopping and then the next day drive back to go to the bank. Make a list – you can see I’m a list person – of all the errands you need to complete this week and do them all at once.
52. Cut back on sweets
Sweets are not good for you, but they are also pricey. I like to enjoy a treat every now and then, but if you are going out for ice cream every other day and buying candy as part of your grocery bill, this IS something that can be cut out. You will be healthier too!
53. Cancel subscriptions
Subscriptions can start to add up over time. I bought a subscription to Redbook magazine for $5.00 on Groupon; however, after the year was up, I saw a $25.00 charge to my credit card for the following year. I could have easily let it go and paid the $25.00 but I got online and canceled my subscription ASAP.
If I renew again, I will wait for another sale. If you have two magazines you subscribe to, that could turn into a $50 unexpected bill in one month’s time. I find it is better to be patient and wait for a sale, or head up to the local library for reading material.
54. Buy a cheap gym membership
My husband and I are both runners, but we live in Michigan. We take advantage of the beautiful summers (although it is 90 degrees now on May 28th) and run outside when we can. But when it is negative 10 hitting the pavement is not an option. Therefore, we found an economical gym called Planet Fitness.
It only costs $10 per month per person and it is a great gym with a lot of machines and very clean. The best part is it is open for 24 hours!
We used to belong to a gym right across the street from us and it costs us $35 per person. Yes, it was convenient, but we are now saving $50 per month using the other gym, so shop around.
55. Stop eating fast food
Fast food is SO quick and easy and I admit to grabbing it every once in a while! Yet, most fast food is unhealthy and even though it is supposed to be cheap, if you are eating it a few times a week, it can quickly add up. It is better to meal plan healthier options and keep a frozen pizza on hand for the nights you are too tired to cook.
Frugal Fast Food Hack: I often stop at Subway when my husband is working late and pick up a $5 foot long to split with my kids. My frugal living self loves a complete meal for $5!
56. Learn how to use the clippers
I cut my husband’s hair, and my son’s, and I used to cut my dog’s hair (with separate clippers) before she passed away. You can learn by watching YouTube videos and start by doing a shorter cut so if you do mess up you can have someone fix it for you until you get the hang of it. It is SO easy to cut a little boy’s bangs. If you can do just this part of haircutting, you can stretch the space between cuts.
57. Color your own hair
I’ve done this since high school. When I started I had a horrible freak accident where the dye was mixed up in the box and my hair turned a crazy greenish color (SO embarrassing for a high school junior). I had to have a salon fix the color and I didn’t want to leave the house.
Yet, once I was over that snafu and found I color that worked with my skin tone, I never looked back.l My hair is really long too, but it is easy to do. I buy LO’real Excellence on sale and only spend $5 every eight weeks to color my hair! That is a savings of over $50 per month or more, depending on where you get your hair done.
58. Do your own nails
Getting a mani/Pedi is super expensive, but some ladies go religiously every week. Hey, if you have the money and this is your thing then go for it! Yet, if you are trying some frugal living ideas, this is another area that can be cut!
Consider doing one pedicure at the beginning of the summer to get your feet on track and then paint those piggies yourself for the rest of the summer! And in winter, cover those toes up with socks and boots! (Most women know what I’m talking about! – No pedis, weekly shaving, #winterperks) I also paint my own nails and my best tip is to buy a light color so it is not noticeable if it starts chipping. This will save you so much time. After kids, I often just put on a clear coat!
58. Take care of your stuff
I like to look at everything I own as if it was rented. That way, when I’m ready to get new stuff, I can sell the old stuff and it is still in good condition. Now, this can be harder said than done, when you have kids! We were just talking about how there is no point in getting new chairs at our kitchen table until our kids are older because the leather is ruined and the kids like to pick it off, but for other things such as spills on the couch, clean it up right away and don’t let it sit.
59. Only wash your clothes if they are dirty
My kids have a habit of throwing all of their clothing items in our dirty clothes hamper; however, if they just wore something to church and didn’t play in the mud – like they love to do – then I just hang it back up for next week.
Of course, if they were running, sweating, and playing in the sandbox, then I’m definitely going to wash those items! But if I wear a dress out to lunch and didn’t spill on myself or my kids didn’t wipe their hands on me, then I will wait to wash it. By washing your clothes only when dirty they will last longer too.
60. Take your info out of online stores
Storing your credit card information in the store’s database makes it SO much easier to make an impulse buy. By taking it out, you are giving yourself time to think about if you really need it!
61. Two-Week rule
As mentioned above, you need to take some time before making that purchase. I say wait two weeks and if your “want” to have that item is still there, then go ahead and splurge if you have the money.
62. Take care of your teeth and floss
Dental bills are expensive! My last crown cost around $1500! I used to forget to floss often in college and I ended up with four cavities. When I started flossing daily, I haven’t had a cavity since. Learn from my mistakes…Take care of your teeth and save yourself a HUGE amount of cash.
63. Organize your finances
Use apps such as Mint or Personal Capital to organize and keep track of your finances. One of the best frugal living tips is to know exactly where your money is going and these services help you do just that. Consider doing a Financial Checkup once per year.
64. Bring your own bag
This is better for the environment and you can save money. Target takes $.05 off if you use your own bag and other stores do the same. Buy a few big shopping bags and take them with you! This may seem minuscule, but in frugal living, every penny counts because one small drop can make a puddle.
65. Ditch Paper products
Instead of using paper towels and napkins, buy cloth ones and wash them! You can also use old T-shirts for this too!
66. Have a frugal or “No Spend” week
Plan a no spend week once a month. Find free activities for you and your family. Use meal planning to stock up on food and set a date when you and your family will not spend a penny! (Except for your mortgage and bills, of course!)
67. Use YouTube to save on house and car repair
You can learn to change your own oil or fix a dent in your wall. You may want to leave the BIG stuff to a professional, but little fixes can become your new DIY!
68. Replace lightbulbs with LED lights
These lights are energy savers and last longer. Such a quick, simple trick!
69. Use the cash envelope system for budgeting
This is a simple method. Use envelopes to budget your money for categories such as groceries, entertainment, clothing, and utility bills. Then pay cash and put away your credit cards. You are forced to stick to a budget because when the cash is gone, you are done spending!!
70. Take advantage of your credit card
Most frugal living bloggers will tell you not to use your credit card. I agree unless you are very disciplined.
However, use my credit card to pay the bills which will allow for credit card payments and rack up the points. My cell phone and electric bill are paid by credit card and I’m getting free points for something I would do anyway.
71. Eat Vegetarian
Plan a few vegetarian meals per week. I like bean burritos and black bean quesadillas. These meals are typically cheaper than meals with meat.
72. Buy in Season
Buy fruits and veggies that are in season to save money and they usually taste better in the season as well!
73. Refill Your Soap
I bought a huge jug of soap from Target on clearance for under $3.00. That is almost the same price as a regular container of soap for some name brands. I refilled my plastic store-brand bottles, but you can take it a step further and buy a refillable soap container.
74. Plan ahead to save money
If you wait until you absolutely need something, you will always end up paying more.
Target just had a sale on kid’s toys, buy $50 get a $10 off coupon. So I stocked up for my son’s birthday, even though it is two months away. It pays to plan ahead and shop sales. If you wait until the last minute you will not have time to shop around.
75. Forget about your neighbors
Finally, stop comparing yourself to others. Your neighbors may have a brand new Land Rover, but they also may be buried over their heads in debt. It is amazing how many people making six figures are still in debt because of spending issues.
Worry about your own money, live frugally, and eventually, you will be able to pay cash for all the things you want or need.
76. Cook in Bulk
Make food in bulk and stretch your food budget. You will save time and money by buying in bulk and cooking in bulk. YOu can freeze leftovers and save them for later or eat a few of the same meals each week.
77. Sell things for extra money
If you have things you don’t use, sell them to make extra money. You can use your money to invest or stock up.
78. Cut the cord
Cable prices are super high lately. Try cutting the cord and opt for a cheap option such as Netflix or Hulu.
79. Cook Cheap Meals
Finding cheap meals to cook will help you save money each week. My Tuna noodle is a super cheap meal I make a few times per month to save on my grocery bill.
80. Buy frozen fruit/veggies
We often buy frozen fruit which is cheaper and lasts longer. We also enjoy frozen veggies with most of our meals.
81. Use Amazon prescription
You can save money on your prescriptions by sighing up for Amazon prescription. You can check it out here and see if the prices for your monthly prescriptions are lower.
82. Cook from what you have
Shop in your own pantry and create a meal plan from what you already have.
83. Stock up when there are sales
If it is something you use often, stock up and you know it won’t go to waste.
84. Learn to Invest and Watch Your Money Grow
Investing is one way to watch your money grow. You can take advantage of compound interest and grow your money throughout life.
85. Grow your own food
Plant a garden and eat from your own garden to save money.
86. Avoid late fees
Late fees can really eat up your budget. Create a bill tracker and hand it up so you know when each bill is due.
87. Buy larger meat cuts and slice yourself
Buy meat in bulk and cut it yourself, You can even buy from a farm and spilt the meat and butcher fees.
88. Refill ink cartridges instead of buying new
Instead of spending money on pricey ink cartridges, buy refillable ink cartridges or ones that are already refilled if you don’t want the mess.
89. Try online pickup so you don’t buy things you don’t need
I often spend more when I am in a store, as opposed to doing an online order pick-up. I don’t see extra items; therefore I don’t buy them.
90. Cook cheap meals: 55 Cheap and Frugal Meals
Find your favorite cheap meals and add them to your weekly rotation.
91 Use your own modem instead of renting
Renting money will waste money over time. You can buy your own from Amazon and save in the long run.
92. Don’t lease a car
Leasing a car is nice because you always have a new car, but you also always have a car payment. If you buy used, you can pay off your car and save up for your next one.
93. Use sinking funds for things like vacations, cars, house repairs
I also set aside money for car repair since we buy used and pay off our cars. I figure we will spend about $500 every year or so on car repair, which is still way less than leasing a car. You can use sinking funds for vacations or house repairs by setting aside some money each month for a specific purpose.
94. Take a peek at the clearance each time you are at the store
I often walk through the show section each time I visit the store. I have two boys and their shoes are expensive. I have found so many of their shoes on clearance and I also buy a size up if I find something. You can do this for clothing or anything.
94. Check your digital coupons before checkout
It is the worst when you realize you forgot to clip a coupon. Make sure to double-check before you checkout.
95. Check your cart before checkout to make sure you aren’t buying things you don’t need
Do a double-take and if you see items you really don’t need, put them back before you checkout.
96. Hang out with frugal people
Frugal people will help you save money. They will understand your goals and why your live frugally. Find your frugal people.
97. Ride your bike
My husband often rides his bike to work, especially since gas prices have gone sky-high. It helps us save money on gas.
98. Fix things that break instead of tossing
Learn to fix things and repair things if you can before you decide to toss them.
99. Make luxury beauty products such as bath bombs and sugar scrubs (YOu can sell them too!)
Learn how to make beauty products on Pinterest. You can use them or sell them. You can also make items for Christmas gifts or teacher gifts.
100. Stock on manager’s specials
When you see the manager’s special coupons buy as many as you can fit in your freezer.
How can I be frugal and save money?
If you use the ideas listed above, you can learn to be frugal and save money. Saving money should not be hard and if you learn to live below your means, you can start paying down debt and building up your bank account. Track your spending and bills and create a simple budget you can follow and chances are you will still have some extra money for fun stuff too.
Frugal Living Related Posts:
- 1. Budget-Friendly Meal Planning
- 14 Effortless Dinner Meals That Will Make Your Kids Smile (under $60)
- How to do a Weeks Worth of Summer Budget Meals that Rocks
- The Ultimate Fall Slow Cooker Recipe Roundup – 70 Seriously Good Recipes
- Budget-Friendly Chili
- How to Live Your Best Life: 15 Life-Changing Tips
- 13 Spectacular Ways to Save on Gas
- 41 Clever Ways to Cut Your Food Bill
100 Best Frugal Living Tips Final Thoughts…
Although frugal living may mean something different to you than it does to me, anyone can use these frugal living hacks listed above. The key to frugal living is to have discipline and make a plan for your money. Frugal living can save you SO much money and that money can be put to good use elsewhere in your budget.
If you save more now and stay disciplined, just think of the amazing life you could be living a year from now when your debt is an afterthought of the past. Use your extra money to travel, invest, save for retirement! These small simple frugal living hacks can change your life!
Take care – Sarah
Do you have an amazing frugal living tip that did not make my list? Please leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you!
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48 Comments on 100 Frugal Living Tips That are Surprisingly Easy
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This is the best list of frugal living tips I have ever seen. your item #74 Plan ahead is my favorite. I use that approach with everything I can car repairs, birthdays, vacation, and everything else. Not only do I save a lot of money, but I also enjoy the peace of mind knowing I’m covered. Great Article.
Thank you so much for your comment, Douglas! I really appreciate it! Planning ahead is definitely a key piece to frugal living!!
This is a really interesting list! I love it when you stated “Patience is Your Friend. If you are thinking of buying a big purchase, WAIT.” So true!
Thank you so much! It does take patience and discipline to live a frugal life, but in my opinion, it is worth it! Thank you for the visit!!
This was a great list. I do almost all of them except hanging my clothes to dry — that will never happen. Also, I won’t give up my Kierig and I would never ever buy frozen pizza. I also would never order pizza in — I make my own 🙂 Thanks for the list — will share
Thank you so much, Carol! We love making our own pizza and using our Keurig too! I use the refillable coffee pods to save money! Thanks for the visit!
yes drinking water is something I deff have to get better at doing!!
Thank you! Yes, so much healthier and cheaper!!
wow, you have listed a lot of great ideas and tips. thank you for sharing these suggestions. I agree with all 🙂 plan ahead, patience, finances 🙂
Thank you so much! I’m glad you found it helpful! Take care!!
These tips are awesome! This past year I have started doing my own nails, highlighting my own hair and buying meats on sale to freeze! Now I need to start working on these two suggestions you made: batching errands & using Facebook groups for purchases! Thanks for a great post!
What a great list. We buy our meat in bulk from a butcher and then portion it and freeze it (like you suggested). Not only is it cheaper but I love the fact that I save trips to the store/butcher.
I love these ideas! I especially liked the two week rule! That would also be a great lesson on patience!
Love all of these great ideas so many of them are things we do. We love drinking water and adding in drink mixes as needed to change things up. thanks for sharing.
I love buying meat on sale and freezing it to save money. At Target, they mark their meat down a few days before it’s sell by date, but will still accept coupons on it. I get great deals that way!
Thank you! I LOVE Target coupon stacking! I save so much there!
Great list! Do you have any additional info for #22? I’m curious to see how that works! And want to try #27 and #28 this month too, if only I can stick to meal planning!
For number #22, negotiating your bills, I simply called up my cable company and told them my bill was too high and I needed to cancel. They then lowered it, but I still thought it was too high and asked to cancel again. Finally, they lowered to an amount I was willing to pay. However, I had to really be willing to cancel and I was at the HUGE amount they were charging me. Try it out! The worst they can say is no. Take care – Sarah
This is indeed a comprehensive collection of Frugal living tips. Sometimes saving money can be on simple things like just taking your coffee at home! Thanks for sharing these helpful tips.
You are so welcome! Thank you for the visit!
What great tips! I like to wait on big purchases too. A lot of times I keep them in my cart and then when I go to show my husband, I’m like never mind, we don’t need this.
Such great tips! I think we do about 90% of them!
Thank you!! That is great!
So great! Thanks for the visit!
I had never thought of using half! Love that idea.
Thank you! It really helps save money!
Saved, pinned, everything! This list is amazing, thanks so much!
Thank you so much!!
Thank you! I really appreciate the shares! Take care!!
I try to live as frugal as I can for my family. One of the best things we recently did was stop buying water bottles and invested in a water filter for our faucet.
Thank you! Such a great tip and better for the environment!
This is such a great list!!! And so many practical, simple ideas! Thank you for sharing!
You are so welcome! Thank you for the visit!
Thank you so much!
There are some really great tips here I will have to put into practice. I think you are right that doing a few a week will help with a growth towards being more frugal and saving more money.
Thank you! I think it is easier if you only do a few a week instead of trying to make huge changes all at once! Best of luck to you!
These are great tips! I will definitely save these.
Thank you! I’m glad you liked them!
You can save much more money by buying professional hair dye instead of the one time use boxes. One small bottle of professional hair dye that costs $5 or $6 and a large bottle of creme devoeloper that costs around $6 will last for 4 or 5 dyings. Well, it does for me with shoulder length hair. Equal amounts of dye and developer, use medium weight developer like 30.
Thank you for the amazing tip!! I never realized that! I would be slightly worried I would mess up the color.
Wow, SO many great tips! I need to show my hubby this!
Thank you! I hope it helps!
I hope it helps! Take care – Sarah 🙂
Hi there and thank you for these tips. I do some of these myself like cut the dryer out, eating out less, drinking water more. Some I hadn’t thought about like using your credit card…I hardly ever use mine.
Thank you again
That’s good! Paying cash is the best! Take care – Sarah
Thanks for these practical suggestions. My parents used some of these when we were growing up.
This was a great read! I do a lot of these things now; I can implement some ideas from your list!
I am so glad you found my frugal living tips useful, Melissa! It always helps to hear what other people do! Please share if you have a favorite tip that wasn’t listed! I would love to learn!!