13 Things Only Extremely Frugal People Will Understand
Do you love frugal living or are you intrigued by extremely frugal people? Either way, you are bound to understand and share my joys in the list below.
I decided to live a frugal life at a young age. However, as a child, it wasn’t really a choice. We were not rich and my parents taught me how to bargain shop and coupon. I used to LOVE grocery shopping with my mom and totaling up the items as she put them in the cart. Those experiences made me who I am today. My parents taught me the importance of budgeting your money and striving to pay less for items to keep money in your wallet and save more.
Living frugally has taught me patience, financial-discipline, and how to handle my money. I value the fact that I am ready for an emergency and I don’t have to worry if my car breaks down or I end up in the hospital (happened last month but that is another story) because I have the money to pay the bills. Why? I live frugally in many aspects of my life (balance, balance, balance) and I try to save as much as possible so I can spend my hard-earned money on the things that really matter to me and my family.
You see, we all have different relationships with money that are influenced by other factors in our lives and how we grew up. We all have priorities and we all spend money on something or another. What is important to you may not be important to me. For example, my family likes to travel. We save our money for these life experiences instead of buying the latest iPhone on the exact day of release.
Yet, maybe you are one of those super techy people and you need that phone. That is okay, as long as you have the money to pay for it.
How do you get a surplus of money? It is simple, live a frugal life and save for what matters.
Nonetheless, if you are a frugal person by nature, you will totally understand the list below and laugh out loud at some of the items. If you do not live frugally you will laugh too, but probably in a different way. Just consider living frugally if you want to save more money and spend intentionally on things that matter.
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13 Things Only Extremely Frugal People Will Understand:
1. Our Trash is Empty
We try to limit the number of items we throw away. Have you ever reused a piece of paper towel? I have! Why throw away a perfectly clean paper towel, my son used as a plate for his waffle or sandwich. Save it and reuse it to wipe up something messy, like spilled coffee. This goes for many other household things that can be reused.
We have an empty plastic salad container from a restaurant under our sink. I washed it to let my children use for messy projects. They had a great time digging in dinosaur dirt in that used container. I decided to wash it after and let them use it again and again! If something is gross than by all means throw it away, but if it is something that can be used for art, such as a toilet paper holder, then save it and make a fun pair of binoculars or search Pinterest for thousands of toilet paper holder crafts!
I have heard of people washing and reusing baggies. I am afraid of germs so I am not comfortable with this and I use pyrex containers to limit the number of baggies we use. Find what works for your lifestyle and stick with it.
2. Frugal People Only Use One Tissue
Do you cringe at the thought of someone taking five tissues to blow their nose? Guilty! I only use one tissue at a time and then go back for another if I need it. I don’t automatically assume I need five every time I have a cold. It’s the simple rule of only using what you need as not to waste products, which waste your money. Now that is not to say, I haven’t gone through an entire box of tissue while being really sick, but take what you need and go back for more if you have to. And this goes for anything, not just tissue!!
3. Frugal Living Peeps Understand Recycling
Reduce, reuse, recycle. The thought of everything I take out to the trash being dumped into a landfill is mind-boggling. I feel guilty if I am out and about and there is no recycling bin. So I often carry that used plastic home with me, just so I don’t have to throw it away. Take care of your earth and your earth will take care of you!
4. The Highly Frugal People NEVER Throws Away Our Clothing
We always have a “donate box” going at our house and we drop off items to stores such as the Goodwill, St. Vincent De Paul, or the Salvation Army.
Yes, some clothes have holes and are junky, but I even found H & M has a used clothing recycling program. They will give you a coupon for 10% off if you donate your used clothing at an H&M store. Since they are recycling your clothing, it doesn’t matter what shape it is in.
Pro Tip: If you don’t wear the items and they are still in good shape, then you can try making a little extra cash by selling them on Poshmark, Facebook Selling Groups, or Threadup.
5. Frugal People Eat Leftovers
We often split meals when we go out to because if you take leftovers home they go to waste after being forgotten in the back of the fridge. Make a note to yourself to take that leftover food for lunch the next day.
However, when I cook at home I plan for leftovers. I like to cook a big batch of chili and plan on having it for two days. This saves me the time of cooking another meal and cleaning up another mess. If you find ways to cut cooking and cleaning you will have more time for yourself or to side hustle and earn more money. Think of all the money you will save on food by simply eating leftovers.
I think the biggest complaint I hear about eating leftovers is the leftovers don’t taste as good the next day. Yet, if you can still manage to eat it, that is one less meal you will have to cook and pay for. Treat yourself with something yummy the next day and remember to eat to live, instead of living to eat!! It’s only one day.
6. It’s Not Rare for Frugal Living People to Have 10 Bottles of Hairspray
This may sound crazy to you, but I own around ten bottles of hairspray as we speak. I have used the same brand of hairspray for at least ten years or more. I use Tresemme super hold and love it. This brand is also one of my Target deals. Target frequently offers a Tresemme hairspray deal or any personal item deal where you buy four and get a five dollar gift card. I stack this with coupons and sometimes the Cartwheel app. and I can bring my price down to around $1 per bottle. So I stock up!
The point is to stock up on your favorites when they are on sale. I didn’t have to buy hairspray for a year and a half and I got each bottle at a really good price. I often do this with Pantene Pro V conditioner and pantry staples such as pasta, tuna, paper towels, toilet paper, snacks, canned foods, pasta sauces, and cereal.
Pro tip: Pay attention to your store’s sale cycles which are usually every six to eight weeks for most stores and stock up on staples when you can.
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Keep Reading for More Frugal Living Hacks…
7. Frugal People Eat Store Brand With Pride
Are you a brand snob? I am when it comes to store-brands! In number six I mentioned my hairspray and Conditioner. There are certain things I will not buy store brand. However, most other items in my house are either Target brands (Market Pantry, Archer Farms, and Simply Balanced), Kroger brand, or Costco’s Kirkland brand. These store-brand foods are of good quality and I know my family will eat them. I refuse to spend WAY more to buy a name-brand box of pasta when I can buy the store brand for much less.
8. Frugal People Have Full Washers and Dishwashers
Do you want to save on water and electricity? Then save your laundry until you have a full load. I rarely wash a 1/2 load of laundry unless there is a special occasion and I need something right away. Also, it is not hard to fill up our dishwasher nightly being a family of four. We often have the opposite problem and do not have enough room. This is when I wash by hand. I refuse to run another load if the dishwasher only has a few items in it. This is one of the little things that will add up over time.
9. Frugal People Don’t Use a Keurig Timer
We unplug our Keurig daily after we use it. We also unplug our toaster and phone chargers. Leaving items plugged in when not in use is a costly mistake. If you are not using your electronics, it is best to unplug to save money. Also, if you are going on a trip, unplug everything in your house and turn off the air if it is summer. Enjoy the savings on your electric bill that month.
10. Second Hand is a Frugal Persona’s Friend
I do not shop second-hand for everything because I often find kid’s clothing at Target and Kohl’s when it is on sale; however, I have bought toys, strollers, coats, and shoes on second-hand mom to mom sites. If you are lucky enough you can score great deals. I bought my son’s fully lined Captain America jackets for $4 each on a Facebook Mom to Mom site. I have also sold an entire bag of clothing in one size (such as 2T) for $10. Keep an eye out and you are sure to find some amazing deals!
11. Frugal People Plan Ahead
–Meal plan that is! This is one of my favorite money-saving tips. Not only because I like to stay organized, but I love to save money. By sticking to a meal plan you will have the ingredients on hand to make your dinners and you will cut last minute trips to the store where you are bound to throw extra items in your cart. Trust me, it feels good knowing what is for dinner and that you are prepared to make it.
12. The library is our Go-To for Frugal Books
My children and I spent so much time at the library over the summer. In fact, I have some books to return today as I type this. We love our local library! I let my kids check out as many books as they want. We get new children’s movies for free and I buy them books to keep from the used book section.
I once paid $1.00 for a $15.00 batman sticker book that was donated and 98% of the book was brand new. My son spent hours working on it. I joked that it was the best dollar I had ever spent! We encourage our kids to read daily and they never, ever run out of books with the local library right down the street. We have also participated in several learning experiences they offer for free. Our favorite was the magic show, meet the author day, and the nitro science guy that made ice-cream out of dry ice. Thank you library!
13. Scoring a Great Deal is a Rush for Extremely Frugal People
Getting something I was already going to buy for a bargain is an adrenalin rush for me. I enjoy bargain shopping for items and I am so happy when I score a great deal. In fact, I often stack coupons with the Ibotta app. If you haven’t’ heard of this app it gives you cashback on items you buy. You have to check it out!
Sign up here with my Ibotta link and earn $10 the first time you use the app.
13 Frugal Hacks Only Frugal People Will Understand Conclusion…
In life, you have to make a choice. How do you want to live? Do you want to be in debt and always wonder if you have enough to cover everything, or do you want to live intentionally with your money? I choose to live intentional, even if that means living frugally. This way of living allows me to save money so I can do the things I want to do in life. Getting great deals is fun for me and I love buying items that will last.
Come on this frugal living journey with me.
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Take care – Sarah
Do you have any frugal living ideas that only our frugal tribe will understand? Leave me a comment! I would love to hear from you.