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Looking for the best frugal living tips?
Frugal living may mean different things to different people, but most can agree that being frugal can help you manage your finances well, get out of debt, and enjoy your life in the best possible way.
By living frugally, you can improve your family’s way of life and achieve certain financial goals.
Table of Contents
What is frugal living?
Frugal living is when you are able to prioritize the things that are important to you and to minimize spending for things that aren’t. Being frugal is different from being cheap because when you are frugal, you aren’t looking for the “cheapest price”, but rather you are choosing to spend on some things and not to spend on others.
It is when you are living within your means, paying your bills on time, but not completely depriving yourself of things that make you happy. What’s important about frugal living is that you should match it to your family’s lifestyle so that you will be able to become successful in practicing frugalness.
Benefits of frugal living
Pay off your debt
When you learn how to live frugally, you may be able to save enough money to pay off debt. This depends on a variety of factors including how frugal you are willing to be, but with dedication, it can come in time.
Save money for investments
When you acquire savings due to frugal living, you can use those savings to invest in things like real estate, businesses, insurance, and other things that you may not have had the option to have before.
Start your own business
Whether it is a physical business, an online business, or starting your own blog, learning how to live frugally can help you on your journey of having your own business and working for yourself (and not for others). The savings you get can be used for your startup capital, working finances, and others.
Go to school without gaining debt
If you have always planned on getting a degree or finishing school, by living frugally, you can do so without having to worry about incurring so much debt by the end of it.
My husband and I lived frugally during college and were able to pay off all of our student loans before we graduated!
Because you are controlling your expenses and minimizing or getting rid of debt, you won’t have to worry so much about these things and other financial issues. In other words, you can sleep better at night knowing that you aren’t a slave to money.
Having more money for things that are important to you
When you live frugally, you are budgeting for things and prioritizing those that are of great value for you. This means you are getting rid of those other expenses and things that you don’t really need.
When you do this, you end up having more funds to spend on the things that do matter to you. This could be taking that family vacation you’ve always wanted, crossing off things on your bucket list, or saving enough money to quit the job you don’t like.
Learn to appreciate the simple way of life
Being frugal helps you to take a look at your spending habits and reevaluate them. Previously you might have bought something that you thought you needed, but in reality, it’s not of any benefit and value at all to you.
When you start to get rid of these excessiveness and unimportant habits, you can learn to cherish a more modest way of living.
Here are some best frugal living tips:
The Best Frugal living tips for food
When you create a meal plan, you can save money when you go to the groceries by knowing exactly what you will be eating for a specific period of time. When you do this, you won’t be tempted to buy random things at the grocery store and end up going over your budget.
You can also work around the food items you already have at home so you can create meals to complement them. Creating meal plans will also decrease the number of times you go out to eat because you have already planned out your meals ahead of time.
2. Cooking in batches
In order to save time, electricity, energy, and cleaning, try to cook in batches. It’s also convenient and easy for when you need a quick meal or two.
3. Grow your own produce
You can save money on fruits, vegetables, and herbs when you plant your own. This can either be through regrowing or when you buy your own seeds to plant. This will also prevent you from buying bags of vegetables and herbs and wasting them if ever you only need a little amount.
We have two small garden boxes that we grow produce in every year. If you are tight on space you also can try container gardening or growing herbs in mason jars on your window sill.
4. Buy pantry staples in bulk
It’s generally cheaper to buy in bulk, especially for those food items that you would always need. This could be things like rice, flour, sugar, dried herbs, beans, and grains.
5. Go meatless
Since meat is generally more expensive, having meatless meals more often can help you save money. In general, it’s also better for your health to eat less meat. You can always go for beans and legumes for your source of protein.
6. Use up your leftovers
If you have any leftover food from your meals, don’t throw them away but rather make sure you have them the next day or for another meal or even for a snack.
7. Utilize your freezer
When you freeze your food, you can keep them for longer. When you have food that is almost expiring, you can prolong their shelf life and use them again for another time. When you have batches of food, you can keep those and reheat them for another day.
When you see a bunch of food or produce for sale at one time, you can buy them and put them in the freezer until you would need to use them.
8. Bake your own pastries and other baked goods
If you are fond of baked goods like me, you can save a lot of money by making your own cookies, cakes, brownies, and other desserts. There are lots of recipes online that you can try out. You can also make your own bread and up your savings.
9. Use a water filter
Instead of buying bottled water, use a water filter in order to filter out your tap. You can make your drinking water safer without having to buy lots of bottled water. When you’re out of the house, you can also fill up your own water jug/bottle so you don’t have to buy water when you are out.
10. Save veggie scraps and repurpose them
You can use leftover vegetable scraps to make a broth for soups. If you have some lemons that you are only buying for lemon juice, you can zest them first for marinades and dressings.
11. Compare prices at the grocery store
When doing your grocery shopping, try to compare different prices based on per ounce. This is because even it seems like the item is cheaper, you might be getting a smaller volume.
12. Eat at home more often
If you are fond of eating out at restaurants, this may be a significant and challenging change to make. The more you eat at home and make your own meals, the more money you would save since it is more expensive to eat out. You can also save on gas and public transport fares.
13. Make your own coffee
Some people make going to Starbucks or cafes a regular thing. If you must need your dose of caffeine, try to refrain from buying your coffee outside and create your own. You can look for different coffee recipes online if you want something interesting and recreate them yourself. This can really help with your savings since having a cup of coffee outside nowadays would really cost a lot.
14. Buy the generic brand
Buying store brand can help you save money since the price is cheaper and the quality is just the same. Specialty brands/brand names are more expensive simply for just that- their names.
15. Stay away from pre-packaged food
They may seem convenient to buy and tempting to get especially if you are too busy to cook, but buying them would only end up hurting your budget in the long run.
16. Clear out your pantry
Most likely you have food in your pantry right now. Instead of going to the grocery to create new meals, use up the existing food you have right now before heading out to the store.
17. Drink more water instead of other drinks
By sticking to just water, which is also the healthiest choice, you can save money and also keep yourself healthy.
18. Go to restaurants where kids eat free
If you are going out with the family to the restaurant, pick one that offers free meals for kids in order to save some money.
19. Only go for the main course at a restaurant
When eating out, you can save on your restaurant bill by only getting the main course and skipping appetizers, desserts, sides, and drinks.
20. Go out for breakfast instead of dinner
Many restaurants have lower prices for breakfast than for dinner. This allows you to fill your eating out craving without breaking the bank.
Best Frugal living tips for around the house
1. Use a line dryer or clothesline
You can save on electricity when you use line drying. Aside from having a clothesline outdoors, you can also set one up inside your house in case the weather won’t cooperate.
2. Don’t use paper towels and other paper products
When possible, utilize reusables since they will help save you money and also save the environment. Instead of using paper towels to clean up, use a washable rag.
3. Declutter often
When you take a second look at all your possessions and get rid of those things that you don’t use, you are making room and leaving space for only the important things. You can get rid of the unnecessary things and you can even make money out of old things when you sell them. You can also give them away to charity.
4. Use a smart thermostat
This is a great way to save up on your heating and cooling bills. It might be an investment at first, but you can reap the rewards later on.
5. Unplug your electronic devices
You can lower your electric bill by unplugging your electronics when you are not using them like fans, lamps, toasters, cell phone chargers, and others.
6. Collect rainwater
You can collect rainwater in barrels and use it to water your plants and even wash your car. This will help you save on water bills.
7. Try to DIY
From creating your own household cleaning supplies to making your own containers/ holders, you can think out of the box and learn different DIY tricks to save money on household items.
8. Wash clothes only when they are dirty
This will help you to save water bill as well as time and energy. You can even try wearing a shirt an extra time before washing if you did not get dirty or sweat.
9. Switch to a basic cable plan
You don’t need to spend a lot on cable tv, a basic plan will do or cancel it altogether and get Netflix or Hulu.
10. Fix broken things in your home
Don’t buy new things for your home right away when it gets broken, but rather, learn to fix them. There are lots of resources out there, especially online, that can give you tips.
Our washing machine broke just last week. After 30 minutes on YouTube and a $5 trip to the hardware store, my husband was able to fix it. That was a huge savings!
11. Renting out an extra space
If you have space you aren’t using, rent it out on Airbnb for extra income for your family.
Best Frugal living tips for transportation
1. Walk more
If the distances you are going to don’t require a vehicle, try walking. It won’t only save you gas and commute expenses, but it is also healthy for your body and mind.
If you need to ride a car, try to carpool with colleagues or friends. This is also good for the environment.
3. Wash your own car
Savings can pile up and the more you save on washing your car, the better. Plus, it can be a fun activity with the kids!
4. Do all your errands in one day
Plan out your runs/errands and you can save up on gas by going out on a specific day and achieve your goals.
5. Invest in a bike
A bike is another form of transportation that you can use to get around. It is also healthy for you and also benefits the environment.
6. Pay off car loans
Sometimes car payments are taking up a lot of our budget. You can sell your existing car and buy an older one, without any financing.
Best Frugal living tips for finances
1. Increase your debt payments
So that you can save on interest, try to increase your debt repayments. By allocating
Even setting aside a little extra to repaying your debts, you’ll be a step closer to financial freedom.
2. Earn extra income
There are a lot of ways nowadays that you can earn extra money. You can look online for opportunities like taking surveys, watching videos for money, downloading apps, and many more.
Here are some of my favorite ways to earn an extra income:
3. Create a budget
Especially if you have a family, making a budget is vital so that you can learn to allocate the right expenses and save more money.
4. Do a no spend weekend
Designate a weekend or a few days that you won’t be spending anything and try to stick to it.
5. Use cash
Sometimes when you use cash and not credit, you will spend less since you are limited to the amount of money you have and you physically have to give something away in exchange. It will also prevent you from getting into debt and spending on things you can’t afford.
6. Don’t buy unnecessary things
It’s a simple enough tip, but something that we might find hard to do. If it doesn’t fit into your financial goals, then don’t purchase it.
7. Create an emergency fund
It’s always good to be prepared and we wouldn’t know when emergencies will happen. Instead of borrowing money and getting into debt, try to have an emergency fund ready on hand, in case anything happens.
8. Get Cashback
There are various sites and apps that help you to get cash backs. This is useful to get back money on the expenses that you have to spend on anyway.
My favorite (and the easiest) way to get cash back is through ebates. I’ve used them for years and have earned hundreds in cashback!
9. Avoid late fees
10. Cancel subscriptions that aren’t necessary
This could mean gym memberships, club memberships, and other subscriptions that aren’t being used.
11. Get insurance quotes
Canvas different insurance companies to get the best one for you to save money.
12. Get lower life insurance rates by living healthier
13. Be a more careful driver
Be a more careful driver to avoid accidents and traffic tickets. This will lower your car insurance rates.
14. Refinance your loans
15. Switch bank accounts for smaller bank fees.
16. Check your bank statements and bills for any errors or double take-ups.
17. Monitor prices of different items so that you can compare if ever they do go on a sale.
18. Explain to your children the importance of frugal living.
Best Frugal living health & beauty tips
1. Use DIY beauty products
You can save on toiletries and other beauty products by searching for recipes and other DIY ways that you can make your own.
2. Work out at home
There are many ways you can stay fit at home, without having to spend for the gym. You can follow workout videos online, set up your own gym at home, or go for a run around your neighborhood.
3. Cut your own hair
You can save from going to the salon and take care of your own locks (or have a family member help you out). My husband cuts his hair and our little boys (I’m not brave enough yet to let him cut mine though!).
4. Do your own mani/pedi.
5. Lessen over the counter medicines
Instead of buying medicine first try DIY remedies.
6. Create your at-home spa
You can make your own facials, masks, soaks, and more!
7. Include your doctor’s checkups in your budget
When possible try to breastfeed. This isn’t only healthy for you and your baby, but this can also help you save on expensive formulas
It’s a free and healthy way to relax and get rid of stress.
Best Frugal living tips for shopping
1. Use gift cards
You can earn gift cards in many ways and they are great to give out as gifts too.
2. Shop online
Sometimes, you can find great deals online. There are lots of sites out there to choose from. You can also save on gas and transport since you can have those items delivered directly to your home.
3. Shop for used things
Whether you are shopping for clothes, electronics, toys, baby things, and others, you can save money by looking at places that sell used items. You can check out Ebay, Craigslist, and other consignment or thrift stores.
4. Check out Amazon
This site is one of the best ones out there that can help you get various items at a more affordable price.
5. Get the best price
Use shopping apps like Honey, to help you get the price possible for an item you want to buy.
For shopping on Amazon, you also can use the free tool camelcamelcamel to check the price history of the product you are looking for.
6. Use shopping apps
7. Wait for 30 days
This is useful to prevent impulse buys. Especially if you are thinking about buying something really expensive, it can help you to give it time. When evaluating the purchase, you might find that you don’t need that certain item after all.
8. Create DIY gifts
Instead of buying a gift at a store, you can also try to make one yourself. You can be more creative and use your imagination. It will also be a more thoughtful gift.
9. Watch out for discounts all throughout the year
You’ll never know what promos, clearances, and discounts pop up, so if there is one, take advantage of it. To be even more effective keep a list of items you need in the notes section on your phone or on a paper on your fridge so when there is a sale you can check to see what you need!
10. Become a mystery shopper
Companies often offer this position for market research purposes. If you have the time, you can become a mystery shopper and get free meals, gift cards, and others.
11. Make the most out of your wardrobe
Don’t buy new outfits, but rather, mix and match and create your own “uniform”. Create a capsule wardrobe.
12. Easy to clean clothing
Check the labels on clothing before you buy them to ensure there are no expensive cleaning costs involved. Dry cleaning costs can add up quickly.
13. Borrow clothing
Especially if you will only be using a dress for example for one occasion, don’t buy them but instead, try to borrow from a friend.
14. Don’t buy just because it is on sale
If you don’t need them, don’t buy clothes just because they are on sale.
15. Keep your gifts simple
You don’t need to gift extravagant gifts. Often, simple and thoughtful ones are more than enough.
Best Frugal living tips for entertainment
1. Go to the library
If you are fond of reading, you can read books and magazines at the library since you wouldn’t need to spend anything.
2. Free activities for the family
You can go to the park, go to museums that are free, go to a local fair, parks, splash pads, or take a free city tour.
3. Use Groupon
You can go to their website and check for fun family activities that are affordable.
4. Happy hour
If you are planning on going out with your friends, go for happy hour to get the best discounts on drinks and food.
5. Free concerts
Free concerts are a great way to have some fun and hear some music.
6. Watch a movie at home
Pick from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Direct TV, and other entertainment options you may have.
7. Buy board games from a thrift store.
8. Play card games
9. Create A Game
Create your own family games at home and make them your tradition. My kids love this one!
10. Borrow from a friend
Borrow movies from friends, family, and neighbor. You can also share your own movies/ do a swap.
11. Listen to Free audiobooks
12. Have a potluck with your friends.
13. See a local football/basketball game.
14. Invite friends over to your house.
15. Catch a Matinee
Going to the cinema earlier during the day can often help you save on movie ticket prices since they are generally cheaper.
16. Pack a lunch
Pack your own food if you are going somewhere for a long time so that you don’t have to buy food while you are out.
17. Go on a nature walk
Explore nature. Sometimes all the fun and exciting things to do are just around the corner.
18. Use rewards points
Use your credit card rewards for any gift cards you can use for family outings.
When it comes to how to live frugally, the main idea is to live within your means while still living the best life possible.
This can be achieved not only by spending less but also having a solid goal to fuel your commitment. Different choices you make when it relates to your expenses can make a big difference in your overall finances.
What are your best frugal living tips?