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Frugal living is not about depriving yourself of the finer things in life. Frugality is more of a mindset that you adapt to get the most out of the things you have and spending less on things you need. I’ve put together a list of 99+ frugal living tips to get you started living a frugal life without feeling deprived.
What is Frugal Living
Some people think that living frugal means that you are living the “Little House on the Prairie” lifestyle. They think that it’s all about growing your own food, making your own clothes and living off the land. Although that lifestyle is very frugal, you don’t have to take it to that extreme to save money.
The definition of frugal is “being prudent and economical of the consumption of resources such as food, time and money”. It just means that you are careful about how you spend your money and time and that you are not being wasteful.
Benefits of Living a Frugal Life
There are many benefits to living a frugal life, your setting yourself up for a better financial future. You’ll be saving more money while still meeting your needs. It’s not at all about depriving yourself of things you want and need. It’s about being mindful of how you spend your money.
By implementing some of these frugal living tips into your daily life, you’ll benefit in many ways such as…
- You’ll be able to start living below your means
- It’ll allow you to finally get out of debt
- Stop always worrying about money
- You will be able to create a budget that you can live with and actually stick to
- Save money for the things that you want without using credit
- Build an emergency fund which you know you need
Sound good? Great! Let’s get started!!
Frugal Living Tips to Save Money On Food
- Shop for produce at your local farmer’s market. Produce purchased at a farmers market is usually way cheaper than buying them in a grocery store. Plus fresher so it’ll last longer reducing food waste.
- Always shop with a list to save on groceries. When you grocery shop with a list, you spend less money than you need to by avoiding impulse purchases.
- Buy generic items when possible. Did you know that most generic brand food is made by the same manufacturer as the big brands? You are basically getting the same product while not paying extra for the fancy packaging.
- Plan meals around what is on sale. Shopping sales is a great way to save money on food. You can literally cut your grocery budget by 25% – 50% buying food when it’s on sale.
- Buy in bulk when possible. There are many items that you probably use on a daily or weekly basis that can be purchased in bulk to save money.
- Use coupons to save money on groceries, there is no need to go to extremes, just clip coupons for things that you are planning on purchasing anyway. You can also take advantage of double coupon days to save even more.
- Take advantage of rainchecks if a sale item is out of stock. A raincheck is simply a guarantee from the store that you’ll be able to purchase the item at the sale price when it’s back in stock.
- Stockpile grocery staples when they are on sale. When you find a great deal on products you use regularly, buy enough to last until it comes on sale again. This is typically between four and eight weeks depending on the store’s sale cycle.
- Invest in a chest freezer and stock up on meat when it is on sale. Meat is one of the biggest expenses on our grocery list. It’s worth investing in a chest freezer to stock up on meat when you can get it cheaper.
- Don’t buy single-serving packages, you just pay for all the extra packaging. Instead, buy larger packages and make your own single serve packs at home.
- Eat less meat, make a few meat-free meals a week. Pinterest is a great resource for finding tons of recipes.
- Repurpose leftovers to cut back on food waste. There are many ways to repurpose leftovers. My favorite way is to use them in casserole dishes. You can also use them to make work or school lunches throughout the week.
- Start a garden to save money on fresh produce. Gardening is as hard as it looks and it feels really good making meals with food that you grew yourself. If you don’t have any land to grow a garden, you can start a container garden on a porch or balcony.
- Pack a lunch for work and school as much a possible. It doesn’t take all that long to pack lunches every evening and it can really save a lot of money every month.
- Utilize a crock pot as much as possible. Crock pots are not only a really efficient way to cook but the time savings is also a plus. What’s better than getting home after a long day at work and having supper ready and waiting?
- Cook more and eat out less. Eating out and grabbing takeout is a huge expense that can easily be avoided by planning ahead of time. This is where meal planning and slow cooker meals come in really handy.
- Drink more water and less soda. Soda is not only bad for your health, but it’s also bad for your wallet. Water is so much better for you and it’s free.
- Invest in a food saver. Just as the name suggests, a food saver will help save food from freezer burn, and going bad prematurely reducing food waste.
- Use couponing apps such as Saving Star, Checkout 51 or Ibotta. Using couponing apps doesn’t require a big time investment and can save you quite a bit of money on groceries. It’s worth taking the time to use them.
- Buy fruit and veggies in season when they are less expensive and freeze to enjoy all year long
- Grow your own herbs with a window sill garden. Buying herbs from a grocery store is expensive, you can grow your own on your kitchen window sill for so much less, even if you don’t have a green thumb.
Frugal Living Tips To Save On Utilities
- Line dry clothes outside when possible. Your clothes dryer is one of the biggest energy-sucking appliances in your home. If you can cut down on using it as much as possible, it’ll save you a bunch of money. If you can’t line dry your clothes, a drying rack works well too.
- Turn lights off when not in use. This is such a simple thing to do and it saves energy.
- Don’t use the dry cycle on your dishwasher. Your dishes are going to dry on their own, why waste money and energy when you don’t have to.
- Utilize power strips when you can. We all have a few places in our homes where there are a cluster of electronic or small appliances. These are perfect places to utilize power strips.
- Use CFL or LED light bulbs. There is no need to spend a ton of money on light bulbs all at once, just replace bulbs as they burn out with a better, more energy efficient bulb.
- Take shorter showers. Yes, we all love nice hot showers to relax but it not only takes a lot of water, but it also takes quite a bit of energy to heat that water.
- Install low flow aerator faucet heads and shower heads. This is a simple way to save water and you won’t even notice the difference in water pressure.
- Install a programmable thermostat to save money on heating fuel. You can program them to a lower temperature when everyone is at work or school and higher before you get home. You won’t even notice the difference. Do the same at night when everyone is snuggled up under the blankets.
- Use cold water to do laundry. Most loads of laundry don’t require hot or warm water. Yes, there may be times when you need to but those are few and far between.
- Insulate your water heater to conserve energy. Think about it, when you put on a warm jacket before going outside, your conserving your body heat. The same is true for your water heater. Keeping the heat in will mean it runs less often, saving energy.
- Slow down your internet service. Most times when signing up for internet service, you are given the highest speed by default. Slowing down this service saves money and you probably won’t even notice the difference.
- Give up your landline if you have cell phones. Why pay for a service that you don’t even need.
- Turn down your water heater temperature. Water heaters are a big energy suck so turning it down a few degrees will make a noticeable difference in energy savings.
- Clean air conditioner filters regularly. Clogged filters in appliances make them work harder than the need to. It takes a few minutes to clean them off every few weeks.
- Close heat registers in unused rooms and keep the doors closed. No need to heat or cool rooms that nobody is using anyway.
- Plant trees and shrubs strategically to shade and block the wind. Trees and shrubs not only give your home a good curb appeal. They also help conserve energy by blocking wind and shading your home when strategically placed.
- Bundle services if you get a discount. You can bundle your phone, internet, and cable together or homeowners and vehicle insurances to save money. Most companies offer money-saving discounts for bundle packages.
- Keep your home well insulated. Insulating your walls and attic to prevent heat loss is a major money saver. It does require an upfront investment but the energy saving will pay for it many times over.
- Use window shades to your advantage. Letting the sun in when it’s cold outside or keeping it out on in the summer make a huge difference in energy bills. The same is true for blocking wind from seeping through cracks in your windows and doors.
- Seal leaky windows and doors. This is an inexpensive and easy fix that makes a huge impact on energy savings.
Frugal Living Tips to Save Money On Transportation
- Keep tires well inflated
- Ride bike or walk when possible
- Drive your vehicle as long as it is safe
- Shop for better insurance rates
- Try to get by with one vehicle if you have two
- Use gasbuddy.com to find the lowest price on gas
- Keep your vehicle well maintained
- Use gas discount cards
- Buy used instead of new
- Run errands once a week to save gas
Frugal Living Tips To Reduce Spending on Clothing
- Shop at garage sales, thrift store and online consignments shops like Swap.com & Thredup.com
- Purchase classic staple clothing/colors that you can mix and match easily
- Buy quality clothes that will last longer
- Learn to sew on a button and make minor repairs
- Avoid purchasing dry clean only clothing
- Shop at discount outlets
- Take advantage of the end of season sales
- Dress minimally
- Embrace hand me downs
- If you do need to dry clean items purchase a DIY home dry cleaning kit
Check out 10 Brilliant Ways to Save On Kids Clothing for more tips
Frugal Living Tips for Household Savings
- Make your own all-purpose cleaners, laundry detergent, etc
- Eliminate services you don’t need
- Use rags instead of paper towels to clean messes
- Learn how to DIY
- Use plastic shopping bags in small trash cans
- Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones
- Wash and reuse freezer bags
- Keep appliances well maintained
- Make your own gifts
- Fill your dishwasher to capacity before turning it on
Frugal Living Tips to Save Money When Shopping
- Search for coupon codes or use extensions like Honey Chrome Extention that search for you
- Utilize cash back sites like Ebates.com (you will get $10 automatically deposited into your account once you make a $25 purchase by using my link to sign up) or MyPoints.com
- Use extensions such as Priceblink that alert you when there is a lower price for a product you are looking for
- Shop after season clearance
- Sign up for store loyalty programs
- Review receipts while still at the store for errors or keep a close eye on the scanner screen.
- Compare unit prices
- Check out clearance aisles regularly
- Research all big-ticket items
- Buy energy star appliances
- Use rewards cards to pay for purchases
Frugal Living Tips to Save on Entertainment
- Check out local community events
- Rent or borrow movies instead of going to the theater
- Take your kids to the beach or local park for free and have a picnic
- Scope out local festivals and free concerts
- Invite friends over for a potluck instead of going out
- Host game nights instead of going out
- Rent books and DVD from the library
- Read magazines online
- Replace cable with a digital HDTV antenna
Frugal Living Tips to Reduce Health and Wellness Expenses
- Focus on maintaining good health and staying active
- Attend wellness clinics to take advantage of free or low-cost tests
- Get your flu shot
- Quit the gym and head outside to workout
- Buy generic prescriptions
- Brush and floss regularly
- Take advantage of flexible health spending accounts
- Utilize walk-in clinics instead of emergency rooms if possible
- Quit smoking
Being frugal doesn’t mean you are cheap, it means you are being smart about how you spend your money. Please leave a comment if you would like to share tips that you use to save.