I’m sure you’ve heard it’s the little things in life that count. You know what? It’s true. Knowing what it takes to live frugally or “thrifty’ as some say is something that can significantly impact your life in a positive way.
Being aware of some of the best frugal living tips is one of the easiest ways to save yourself a ton of money or maybe even get yourself out of debt.
If you’re new to this whole frugal living thing you may be asking what’s the difference between frugal and cheap? Let me begin by saying there’s a HUGE difference.
Living frugally is when you live your life with intention. You assess the bigger picture and are resourceful with your spending so that you can have more of the things you really care about. By maximizing your money you’re able to fund your life long dreams.
Living cheaply is just that… cheap! One who saves money at the expense of another.
For example, I would NEVER EVER dream of leaving less than a 10% tip when dining out.- (Don’t worry my standard is 20% , I’ve done my time working as a server;)
But if a person “forgets” to leave a tip at a restaurant that’s just plain right cheap.
Cheap and frugal people both love to save money, but frugal people will not do so at the expense of others. Cheap people use price as their bottom line; frugal people use value as their bottom line.
When a person decides its time to start saving money or get themselves out of debt there are tons of things they can do to accomplish this.
But lucky you, you don’t have to scour the internet for hours for the best frugal living tips because I’ve gathered them into one huge master resource right here
What Does Frugal Living Mean?
The definition provided by Wikipedia for frugality is this: The quality of being frugal, sparing, thrifty, prudent or economical in the consumption of consumable resources such as food, time or money, and avoiding waste, lavishness or extravagance.
Got that? In a nutshell frugal living is simply giving up things that aren’t necessary to get to where you want to be in the future.
Learning to be frugal is about focusing on what you want your future to look like. Do you have an emergency fund so that you don’t have to worry about things later in life? Are you staying out of debt and able to pay all of your bills each month?
Frugal living isn’t about being cheap! It’s also not about deprivation or sacrifice but more about discipline.
Depending on your own life circumstances and long term goals, your idea of frugality may be a bit different to mine. That’s TOTALLY ok.
To begin this whole frugal living thing, pick a couple frugal living tips from the list below and see if they work for you. If not, ditch them and try a couple new ones.
For me, I make my own coffee at home, I bike to work rather than driving, and I never order a dessert while dining out.
The reason for this is because I find saving small amounts of money each and every day adds up to a big savings later on. I’d rather allocate my money to bigger dreams for longterm payouts
Frugal Living Tips To Save Money On Food
- Meal plan
- Set a food budget
- Eat at home
- Use up all leftovers
- Pack your lunch and snacks for work
- Grow your own food
- Purchase food in bulk
- Have meatless Mondays
- Check the clearance sections
- Use a Shopping App like Ibotta to save money on groceries
- Invest in a deep freezer
- Use a crockpot Instapot to cook food, always make enough for leftovers
- Substitute ingredients in recipes if you don’t have the item
- Buy produce in season.
- Meal prep to save time and money
- Grow your own herbs with this
- Make your own stock from veggies and chicken and turkey carcasses
- Save money on your groceries by checking the unit price
- Cut your grocery bill in half by doing some of these things
- Stock your pantry when you find things on sale
- Stop going through the drive thru
- Stop (or just cut back) on your favorite alcoholic beverage
- Buy chicken or turkeys whole and divide/ slice the meat yourself
- Can or freeze seasonal fruits and veggies
- Only buy organic for the dirty dozen
- Try 5 Dollars Meals to help you meal plan affordably
Frugal Living Tips To Save You Money Around Your House
- Install energy saving lightbulbs
- Save money on electricity by reading these tips
- Invest in energy saving appliances
- Fully load both clothing and dish washers before starting them
- Turn off lights when you leave a room
- Use cozy blankets to stay warm in the winter
- Install a low flow water conserver
- Soak your fruits and veggies in a water/vinegar bath instead of running tap water
- Use a device like this to decrease phantom electricity – easily turn off all appliances with one switch
- Adjust your thermostat a couple degrees up or down depending on the season to save a bit of electricity
- Purchase energy efficient thick curtains to keep the heat in or out.
- Don’t block air vents
- Regularly change air vents so they function properly
- Run your appliances during the night to save money on electricity
- Don’t buy single use products like paper towels
- Invest in weather stripping to keep the hot/cold air where it should be
- Keep your freezer full to save on energy costs
Frugal Living Tips For Laundry And House Cleaning
- Save money on cleaning supplies by making some of your own
- Air dry you clothes on a clothes line in the summer
- Make your own frugal cleaning detergents to save you money
- Decrease drying time by using something like this or just a ball of aluminum to speed up the process
- Ditch paper towels and go for something reusable like this microfiber
- Wash your clothes in cold water
- Wear a pair of jeans a couple of times before washing
- Declutter and sell things
Frugal Living Tips To Help You Save Money On Clothes
- Purchase clothes during the off season (or at the end of season)
- Repurpose clothing- Turn old t-shirts into cleaning rags
- Shop with cash or the cash envelope system
- Don’t window shop
- Learn how to do a basic stitch to repair your own clothes
- Focus on value not quantity
- Shop at thrift store or consignment
- Use shopping apps like Honey
Frugal Living Tips To Save You On Entertainment and Activities
- Use websites like Groupon to save you money on activities
- Take a hike-enjoy the outdoors
- Play card games
- Only meet friends for food or a drink during happy hour
- Use these tips to save money when going out with friends
- Participate in a no-spend weekend with some of these ideas
- Picnic at the park
- Relax at the beach or park
- Create your own spa night at home
- Visit a free concert in your local park
- Learn something by attending your local library’s educational series
- See what’s new at the local farmers market
- Have a home movie night by renting them at the library
- Cut yours or your partners hair- There are great youtube tutorials
- Go swimming, for a run, or go skating
- Browse local garages sales or flea markets
- Go fishing
- Create a theme night activity
- Potluck party with friends
- Use your local library or an app like Overdrive instead of buying books
- People watch-I think this is ALWAYS fun!
Frugal Tips For Managing Your Money
- Take advantage of cash back apps like Ebates and Ibotta
- Don’t buy unnecessary things
- Have family discussions about your money
- Use the cash envelope system to manage your money
- Create a budget
- Never pay ATM fees
- Track your money through Personal Capital
- Check your bank statements and bills for any errors
- Track where your money goes
- Track your net worth
- Make Money with Acorns
- Create an emergency fund
- Avoid late fees
- Make extra money with your hobbies
- Sign up with CIT bank to get some of the best banking rates
Frugal Living Tips For Bills
- Don’t auto renew insurances, find the best quotes each year
- Use Trim to monitor your monthly bills
- Switch cellphone carriers to one more affordable
- Fix your broken stuff, don’t jump to buy new – use YouTube tutorials
- Cut cable or reduce to a basic plan
- Cancel gym memberships and find free ways to get fit
- Cancel subscriptions that aren’t necessary
Simple Frugal Living Tips For Transportation
- Drive less- Walk or bike instead
- Don’t buy a brand new car. Believe me it’ll be a mistake, I’ve done it
- Take advantage of public transportation
- Slowly accelerate when driving- abruptly pumping the gas costs money
- Stay below the speed limit
- Don’t leave your engine idling for too long
- Buy discounted gas gift cards
- Treat your car with TLC by routine maintenance
- Clean out your car to remove excess weight
- Download gas savings apps like Gasbuddy
- Implement some of these road trip tips while traveling
- Be smart about your errands and combine them into fewer trips
- Keep tires at the proper pressure to save money on gas
- Be aware of toll routes that will require you to pay money
- Own one car instead of two
- Save up money to purchase your next car by using something like a sinking fund– Don’t finance!
- Wash/Detail your own car
- Do your own oil changes
- Carpool to work or school
Frugal Living Tips For Everyday Living
- Eat at home
- Pack your lunch and healthy snacks everyday
- Stop frequenting the coffee shop make your own
- Implement the 48 hour rule before making big money decisions
- Leave your credit cards at home
- Learn tricks to pay off your mortgage quickly
- Never pay full price – find a discount code or ask for one
- Learn to say no
- Enjoy the outdoors by going camping
Final Thoughts on Living Frugally
I know that this long list of ways to live more frugal may be overwhelming. Perhaps you have some of your own ideas of frugal living.
Please remember living frugally isn’t about deprivation or sacrifice its all about making intentional choices for a better life.
Once again choose a couple of the best frugal living tips and see how they work for you! Curious what my favorite frugal living tip is? My favorite way to save money and live a bit more frugally is by implementing frugal living tips to save you money around your house!
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