21 Practical Frugal Living Tips for Saving Money
Let’s start by answering a question. Some of you may know what this means, and some may not. What exactly is frugal living?
In a nutshell, frugal living means that you are resourceful and don’t waste more than necessary! It does NOT mean you are pinching pennies and are miserable. You spend less money and are happy living with less.
It doesn’t mean you are a cheapskate at all. It means you are a careful spender!
I have compiled a list of some frugal living tips for cutting back on some of the lesser important things in life. These are not “genius” or “the best” frugal living tips by any means, nor is this list all-inclusive. Nevertheless, I think these tips are essential, and some of them are quite invaluable for getting out of debt.
I have no doubt that whatever your financial goals are, at least some of these frugal living tips will help you in that journey!
21 Frugal Living Tips to Reduce Your Spending
1. Budget Your Finances
Have you heard this before? It is imperative to have an effective budget if you want financial freedom! A budget helps with knowing WHERE your money goes, and on the same token, it limits where your money goes.
Further, you cannot reduce your expenses if you don’t know your income and expenses! Creating a budget will tell you everything you need to know to cut as much as possible from your expenses!
2. Save Money on Recurring Purchases
You can save up to 15 percent on everyday essentials. For example, toilet paper, toothpaste, body wash, laundry detergent, etc. Join Amazon Subscribe and Save program to take advantage of this.
How does this work? Well, it is simple. You set up scheduled deliveries of the essential items and if you have 5 or more items being delivered, you save 15 percent.
3. Cut That Cable
Is cable television unavoidable in the internet age? I don’t think so!
We live without it just fine. We have internet and use streaming such as Netflix and Hulu. Also, most networks have a website that has their shows on it.
I can watch all of my shows that I like on the internet, however, it is ordinarily online the day after it airs!
I am sure some things can’t be watched without cable such as some sports maybe, but I know everything we watch is online.
4. Meal Planning
Meal planning may not seem like a money saver, but it is. Planning your meals in advance saves money in numerous ways. Meal planning is one of my favorite frugal living tips that we do all of the time now and I swear by it.
It allows you to organize your meals so there is no guesswork. I save hundreds each month by meal planning!
Further, don’t forget to check out 5 Dollar Meal Plan for meal planning made easy! They have a 14-day free trial, so you have nothing to lose to check it out. Also, most of their recipes are very frugal and can be prepared for as little as two dollars per person!
5. Make a Grocery List
In the same fashion as meal planning, making a grocery list is very important. If you go into the grocery store without a list, and you’re wandering around the aisles shopping for food, how often do you grab stuff that you don’t usually grab or impulse buy?
Oh, by the way, if you planned all of your meals, making your grocery list just got easier!
Making a grocery list prevents the majority of those impulse buys. Do you realize some brilliant people set up those stores in such a way to force more impulse buys on you! Make a list and shop for the items on that list!!
Further, make sure you pick up the Ibotta phone app. Ibotta has given its savers more than 575 million dollars combined! Take advantage and get some of that money!
Oh, by the way, the 5 Dollar Meal Plan service includes grocery lists for each meal!!
6. Get That Grocery Store App
You can get additional coupons on those grocery store apps! Every little bit of money helps when you’re paying off debt!
7. Buy in Bulk
Go to the big box stores and buy certain products in bulk. You can save a fair amount of money by doing this.
8. Pack a Lunch!
As you can see here, if you eat out every day on your lunch break, it can cost a lot of money! When you meal plan and prep make sure you make meals to take with you to work!
Also, do NOT forget to make enough to have leftovers.
9. Ditch That Expensive Coffee
Do you drink Starbucks every day? I know it is very delicious and I used to drink it every day and sometimes two times a day! Do you realize how much money that costs?
I happily quit drinking it a few years ago, but if you must have it, do yourself a favor and make some extra cash to pay for it! I routinely earn over 100 dollars per month just casually doing some surveys in my spare time!
Another great way to fund your expensive coffee habit is Swagbucks. Earn some extra cash by watching videos or playing games, even doing some online shopping.
10. Grow Your Food
Do you have a garden? Have you ever had a fresh tomato picked out of your garden? Talk about sheer bliss!
I will be honest here and tell you I don’t garden; however, my lovely wife does, and we save some serious cash! She grows so many vegetables and freezes them! Most importantly, she LOVES doing this, so it keeps her from spending money to entertain herself!
11. Drink More Water
How much money do you spend on soft drinks and monsters?
I am not telling you to stop buying that and buy bottled water! Bottled water is a multi-billion business per year, and each of us is contributing over 100 dollars per year to that number.
Buy a good water filter for your home and drink filtered tap water and cut down on those monster drinks! I need to do this as well because I drink two of them per day!
12. Prepaid Cellular Service
Do you know going with prepaid is substantially cheaper than having regular cell service? I need to implement this frugal living tip as soon as possible; however, being under a contract prevents that!
You can get prepaid cell service for as low as THREE DOLLARS per month! That does NOT include any data but it is three dollars!
13. Save Money on Utilities and More
Speaking of that cellular bill and your cable bill. Get the Trim app to save money on those items.
Trim will find savings for you on your utility bills, cell bills, and internet bills. I am on track to save over 500 dollars this year! Further, Trim can now help with your budgeting needs!
14. Do it Yourself
I have wasted a lot of money in my life hiring people to do things that many of us can do ourselves!
Pull up that youtube video on drywall repair or that vehicle repair you need to make! At a minimum look into the job and how difficult it is going to be before you immediately hire someone! Sometimes we will still have to because the task is above our comfort or knowledge level. However, other times, we can save that cash!
15. Combine Errands
I think most of us are guilty of this. Leaving the house numerous times during the week to go to the grocery store, gas station, pick the kids up from practice, etc.
However, just put a little bit of thought into those errands before you jump in the car and go! If it is something that can wait until later, then wait! Now, on your day off work, combine all those errands you put off into one trip!
16. Use Your Local Library
Do you enjoy reading? Stop buying those ebooks and visit your local library!
Check those books out for free and read them! However, don’t forget the last frugal living tip! Make sure you visit the library when combining your errands!
17. Save on Your Electric Bill
Do you have a smart thermostat? How about LED light bulbs?
A smart thermostat can save upwards of 145 dollars per year!
LED light bulbs can save you four dollars per year per bulb! Now, I realize that it is NOT a substantial amount of money. However, LED bulbs are much cheaper now than when they first came out so if your old bulb burns out, replace it with LED.
Speaking of combining errands, do you have any coworkers you can carpool with to work?
How much gas can you save if you carpool with a coworker two weeks per month and they carpool with you for two weeks per month?
19. Use a Clothesline
This frugal living tip isn’t a huge money saver as some of the others. You will save roughly 36 cents per SMALL load of laundry.
Also, to go along with this, you can start making your laundry soaps and hand soaps! I have been reading more on this subject lately as I am going to try it. You can make laundry detergent that will cost you six cents per load compared to over 50 cents per load depending on what type of soap you buy.
20. Use the 30 Day Rule
Is there a large purchase you want to make?
As I discussed in this article, I was debating on buying a good bicycle. However, I waited before purchasing to ensure I did want it.
I did not buy it because I realized that the expense was too high for my current goals. Eventually, I will get one once I accomplish my financial freedom journey!
Anyways, wait 30 days and make sure it is what you want before making that purchase!
21. Save an Emergency Fund
Expressing the importance of having an emergency fund may or may not be a frugal living tip, but this is the MOST IMPORTANT tip I can give!
Please save up an emergency fund! Having an emergency fund is of utmost importance to get out debt!
For example, when you can’t DIY your vehicle repair, having an emergency fund will save putting more money on your credit card.
You can read here about 1200 dollars I recently had to pay for a vehicle repair that I could not do myself! My emergency fund saved that credit card! Also, speaking of, our washing machine recently quit working, so we had to purchase a new one!
If you have trouble saving money I recommend Digit! I effortlessly save money towards my emergency fund with this service! You have nothing to lose to check it out!
To sum up…
I understand that several of these frugal living tips aren’t giant money savers! However, if you do several of them, they add up!
To become debt-free, to gain financial freedom we need to cut spending where we can, we need to make extra money where we can, and we have to stay motivated! Paying off all of our debt is not easy, but it is achievable!
Above all, remember these frugal living tips are only my opinion and the things I do or want to do for saving money! These tips may or may not work for you in your situation!
YOUR TURN – What frugal living tips do you have? What are some ways you save money? What are some ways you have been researching or thinking about doing to save more money? Let us know in the comments, please!