The word frugal is frequently misinterpreted as a negative one. In fact, a frugal lifestyle does not necessarily imply inferior quality. Instead of spending lavishly on unimportant things, you can choose to spend less in order to achieve more in life.
Let’s explore how to be frugal. Additionally, take a look at our tips for frugal living to start saving money today!
What does frugal living mean?
Keeping expenses low is the act of being very frugal. By prioritizing what is essential, you can spend less money on that which doesn’t matter to you the most.
Invest in the things you value most and cut back on what you don’t. You can try being frugal in a lot of different ways, but such difference makes frugality both interesting and liberating.
Frugality does not mean trading your favorite Lucky Charms cereal for the generic store brand. It really does not entail living without napkins. It does not have to mean missing out on exciting trips for a vacation staycation.
The best part about thriftiness is that you can design your own plan. You decide where you will live cheaply and where you will invest lavishly.
Does frugal mean cheap?
It is absolutely unacceptable to be frugal, not cheap. The cheapest option is not always the best option.
You can save money on the things that don’t really matter to you by focusing on meeting your needs instead of your desires. For example, you may choose to save money on clothes in order to afford your next vacation.
Is frugal living worth it?
Yes! Living frugally is worthwhile if you do not wish to let money control your life. However, it is essential to consider the benefits as well. If you focus only on the sacrifices that come along with frugal living, it will be difficult to remain on this path.
You will have to give up things while traveling, but those sacrifices will pay off hundreds of kilometers down the road.
Remember that you are choosing to lead a minimalist lifestyle in order to make the most of your priorities. By keeping your goals in mind, it will not be as difficult to lead an economical lifestyle!
Benefits of frugal living
A frugal lifestyle will let you build more financial freedom into your life by allowing you to accelerate how quickly you achieve your goals. Allowing for a cause and effect situation to take effect is an effective way to achieve this.
This is similar to every time you opt to spend less on a certain purchase, you can put that extra money toward things that matter to you. The best part is that you get to decide what is important to you most.
Perhaps you will put your new savings toward early retirement or funding a dream of living on the ocean in a sailboat. Alternatively, you could allow yourself to enjoy the financial security savings to pursue the work you really love.
How to start living a frugal lifestyle
It can be difficult to adjust to life on a military compound at first. That’s normal. Don’t be scared to make a few alterations as you go along. As you try out different money-saving tips and tricks, remember that this is not a one size fits all approach.
Rather, you should try out various inexpensive living tips and see how they work out for you. You may find it easy to give up eating out, but if you want to keep using your preferred brand of shampoo, you will have to find a less expensive alternative. Pursue new money-saving ideas and strategies with an open mind. You may need to experiment a bit to find the strategy that is best for you.
If you overwork yourself, you risk experiencing a counterproductive outcome. It is thrilling to conscientiously reduce waste, but too many savings may lead you down the wrong path. Instead of saving for the long term, you might experience burnout and forgo the savings entirely.
An excellent way to start living more frugally is to implement new frugal strategies and recommendations slowly. Try out them to see how they feel. If you like an approach, then keep it and add another one. If you don’t like an approach, then drop it and try something else. You may need to try several options before you find a cost-effective method.
35 Frugal living tips
Here are some practical living suggestions and tips to get you started on this new journey!
1. Start budgeting
Creating a budget and sticking with it is crucial to your financial success. Budgeting doesn’t have to be fun, but it is a crucial part of the puzzle. You can allocate your budget to what is most important and cut out what is less essential.
Remember that it’s OK to occasionally splurge on your favorite items. Just make sure you have savings for them in advance. If you want to go on a group outing with your friends, purchase a sturdy bag or pair of shoes and start saving for it.
Fortunately, there are many ways to find budgeting success. Read about developing a budget that works for you here.
2. Meal plan
If I’m not careful, I will waste money on unused meals. Kitchen fears and laziness are keeping me from planning meals. Frankly, I can’t afford to waste money on unused meals.
I was surprised at the significant savings I made when I began meal planning. Instead of buying lunch every day, I just cook what I’ve made at home.
The savings of $10 to $20 a day really add up quickly. Check out our 30-day meal planning challenge to get creative and save money.
3. Cook in bulk
Likewise, it can be difficult to get motivated to cook dinner after a long day of work. However, I preferred ordering take-out, which cost me a fortune and contributed to my weight problem.
Cooking in bulk has changed my dinner routine. Now, I cook based on what’s on sale each week. I usually prepare on Sunday and freeze extra meals.
During the week, I merely eat meals that have already been frozen and heat them up. My budget and my waist thank me for it.
Could you save a bit of time in the kitchen? You could be delighted to discover that you even enjoy your leisure time when you do not have to cook every day. Here are some great suggestions for inexpensive meals!
4. Take a look in your pantry
I have enough food to last for a while, but many people have similar stockpiles. Take inventory of what you’ve got available. Try making a meal out of the items in the pantry or refrigerator.
Recently, I have been reducing the frequency of my weekly trips to a grocery store per month. The purpose of the week is to clean up leftover ingredients that are lying around in my kitchen. You may be surprised by your creativity in the kitchen.
5. Check out coupons
Groceries can be expensive even at wholesale costs. Take advantage of the coupons available and trust me, if you look, you will find them. You can save quite a bit of money on each visit to the supermarket. Those savings can really add up over time!
6. Sell things you don’t need
Many people have some clutter lying around their homes.
If you have accumulated a large collection of designer handbags, have a lot of items that your children have outgrown, or have a fully full bookshelf, it may be time to downsize.
That debris can be sold at a modest cost with a little work. Some good starting points include Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and Poshmark.
7. Buy used
When you have the option to purchase something used, do it. You can save a large amount of money by purchasing lightly used items. Search locally for items at a lower price at thrift stores and online marketplaces.
8. Return things you don’t need
Check your recent purchases. Is there anything that you cannot live without? Visit the dealer or shipper and request that item be returned for a refund. You can even return groceries. Yep! Stored fruits and vegetables will be eligible for a returns program, as will non-perishable goods.
9. Repurpose the fabulous clothes you already have
Are you interested in shopping? Do you enjoy wearing stylish clothes? If so, you probably have many clothes that you never wear. Instead of buying more shoes that you will only use once and forget about, consider shopping in your closet.
There may be a lot of clothes and shoes still in your closet that could be worn again. Organize your closet to make it easier to find these forgotten items.
Save money with repurposed clothing instead of spending money on things you don’t need. You can look fashionable, too, even on a limited budget!
10. Buy a car you can afford
Satellite internet service is very expensive, but a car is one of the most expensive items you will ever purchase. In fact, it’s one of the most expensive things you’ll ever buy. For that reason, it is crucial to secure a reliable vehicle that is affordable.
Don’t let the bells and whistles of a shiny car lead you astray. Instead, find out what you can truly afford before purchasing it.
11. Walk or bike when you can
Although having a cheap car is great, walking and biking are much cheaper. Take advantage of opportunities to walk to bike when you can. You will save on gas while enjoying some exercise.
12. Shop around for the best insurance
Insurance costs are a large burden. Without adequate insurance, you may struggle to reach your financial goals. It is important to choose the right options for your life and budget.
When you have a better idea of what you require in health insurance, be sure to shop around for coverage. Price comparisons can save you a fortune.
13. Swap out your lightbulbs
LED lightbulbs consume a fraction of the electricity used by standard bulbs. They last many years longer than incandescent bulbs as well. Over time, you could save big on your energy bill by switching over to solar. Consider making the change.
14. Automate your savings and investments
It is important to set up spending goals after setting budget limits. Otherwise, you could easily spend more than you intended.
A good place to begin is by automating your retirement savings with your employer. Next, consider automatic payments for all of your expenses. Use your funds to find innovative ways to save time and money.
15. Check out the library
A library is a fantastic place filled with free entertainment. Of course, they have an extensive collection of books. Most libraries also have large collections comprised of films, magazines, and more. If you haven’t signed up for a library card, then do so now.
You can enroll online, and you can access your public library’s collection of audiobooks and eBooks via apps like Libby and Overdrive.
You will be surprised at the wealth of free resources available to you at protocol. Get our handpicked list of finance, business, and career books to read.
16. Evaluate your subscriptions
Are you guilty of having more subscriptions than you need? Take the time to sort through your subscriptions and decide which ones are worthwhile. You might have more free time if you delete the rest.
17. Have date nights at home
Date night doesn’t have to mean an expensive restaurant or a movie out. It could include a board game night at home or a walk through the neighborhood. Have fun with your spouse while staying within your budget as a couple.
18. Get a part-time job
One of the surest ways to increase your prepper savings is to take up a part-time job. Although you may find a job near your residence, telecommuting jobs tend to be more flexible. If you have a 9 to 5 job, consider finding a work from home opportunity.
There are many interesting aspects. It is important to find something that interests you. Otherwise, it can be difficult to find the energy to work for a prolonged shift at your job.
19. Pay down your debt
Debt is a source of loss. Make debt elimination a high priority. When you eliminate debt from your life, you will never want to go back. Finding inexpensive ways to live within your finances will help you break free of financial constraints.
20. Avoid credit card debt
The interest for credit cards can be high, and it is easy to rack up large amounts of debt with credit cards. It is essential to pay off your balance in full every month if you use your credit card. If you can still afford to make payments, don’t use it.
One of the cheapest ways to save money is to avoid debt, as you can save a great deal of money and stay out of debt.
Living in a larger home has its perks. However, living in a slightly larger space can add to the cost of living. Not only are you paying more for square footage, but the fees that come with it are also increasing. Consider downsizing your living space to a cheaper living situation.
22. Try a low-buy or no-spend challenge
Sometimes it’s better to complete a challenge if the challenge is also in the form of a competition. If it’s difficult to keep track of your finances, a low-buy or no spend year is a great way to get started. If you need some practice before committing to a full no spend year, try a no-spend month first.
23. Use money making apps
Use these 26 profitable apps to put more money in your wallet. Earn cash back, spend budget surplus, or sell those gorgeous sunset photographs on your smartphone. Starting your own side business in Parasite is easier than ever. Earn money delivering bottled water to refugees by delivering the “Danger Zone” bottled water delivery package. You can either produce and deliver it yourself, or you can sell the expedition to a partner.
24. Buy in bulk
Purchasing commonly used products in bulk, such as toilet paper, paper towels, soap, etc., is a cheap supermarket tip.
The price is usually decreases per unit when you buy in bulk, and you can make fewer trips to the store. Be sure to stock up on perishable food items to make efficient use of space in your freezer, and don’t forget to cook and package items in bulk before freezing.
25. Ditch cable
If you have an A or B package, this is one of the cheapest ways to save a significant amount of money on cable that is $1,200 a year.
You could build your emergency fund and make an early deposit towards a luxury purchase in no time by choosing a more affordable streaming service. Rather than expensive cable service, select a cheaper service and save those savings.
26. Frugal traveling
One of the most affordable ways to live is to travel frugally. You can save a great deal of money by traveling off-peak, and you can still have an excellent vacation.
You can also save while traveling by not eating out and choosing a hotel with a kitchen so that you can make some of your meals.
It also contains saving money on flights or tickets by requesting discounted tickets or purchasing them well in advance.
27. Skip the salon
Sure, we all need our beauty and spa treatments, but avoiding the salon when possible can save you so much money. If you usually get your nails done in February and March for $25 apiece, that’s $600 per year! This is a savvier frugal tip that can save you a lot of money. Even if you only conserve it once a month, it is among the smartest money savers you can make.
28. Make gifts instead of buying them
Whether it’s just because, or it’s the holiday gift season, making your presents instead of buying them can save money and minimize debt as well.
Christmas is one of the most expensive holidays and can be difficult for those on a budget. Making gifts may be more meaningful than buying them too. Browse Pinterest and YouTube for some innovative Christmas gift ideas.
29. Grow your own vegetables
Did you know that you can grow vegetables indoors? Even if you live in a condo or own a house with a yard, you can grow some of your own herbs and vegetables to save some money. Growing your own vegetables and herbs is one of the most unique money-saving living suggestions out there, but it’s fun too!
30. Lower your electric bill
There are many ways to reduce your electric bill. For example, you can run air conditioners only when it’s not too warm to cool your home with fans instead of air conditioner lobbys. Minimize your reliance on your stove on hot days to minimize energy use.
You can also wash your clothes with cold water to cut expenses as well. There are many ways to save electricity to lower your monthly bill.
31. Fun for free
Making a challenge easy makes it fun. One of the best frugal living tips is having fun for free. There are plenty of free things to do including going to the park, having a picnic, and having a bonfire.
32. Cut expensive coffee
Millennials spend over $2,000 a year on coffee. Yikes! I’m not saying give up your favorite coffee, but cutting back how much you spend can make a huge difference. Even if you choose to reduce your weekly latte expenditure to $20, that would still be a massive $1,040 annually.
It’s tough to cut up delicious coffee, but you can purchase different flavors of coffee and creamer and have your cup of joe at home and put the savings in the bank. This is one of the money-saving living tips that you can implement to save a great deal of money!
33. Fitness at home
Gym memberships are expensive in the United States. The average monthly cost to become a member is about $58, or about $700 per year. You can watch home exercise videos on YouTube and pay much less for a workout than you would at a fitness center.
34. Stop impulse buying
It’s never been easier to buy impulsively with e-commerce. Just a few clicks and you can purchase almost anything you want. Those late-night shopping sprees can quickly add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars in costs. One of the most effective ways to save money is to learn how to stop shopping.
35. Determine what thing you can do without
Just because you can buy something doesn’t mean you should. As you attempt to stretch your dollars, consider what you can live without. Whether it’s short-term or long-term, this could save you a lot by saving you more money.
Leverage these frugal living tips to save more money!
Living frugally need not be a sacrifice. Try to think of it as a way to fully enjoy what you care about in life.
Having a good handle on finances can make it much easier to afford necessities that matter. Try out several thrifty living tips to see which one works for you. These great inexpensive living blogs also give you some excellent ideas on thrifty living.
Be sure to check out our fantastic and free courses and worksheets, which can help you hone your frugal living skills and lead to financial independence.