178 Best Frugal Living Tips to Save Money in 2021

canned food candles and iced tea sitting on table with clipboard of list frugal living tips on table

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Are you looking for the best frugal living tips so you can cut your living expenses to build up your savings account faster or make it easier for financial ends to meet?

If so, this list of 178 frugal living tips was created just for you!

It will immediately help you save cash every month in the main budgeting areas of housing, transportation, and food.

Plus with this ultimate list packed with frugal tips, you will start saving money in other areas such as health and wellness, clothing, bathroom, laundry room, general shopping, and more!

Let’s dive in!

What does it mean to be frugal?

save coupons laying on dollar bills

Being frugal doesn’t mean you are cheap or miserly.

Being frugal means being careful with your spending so you can save more money to reach your financial goals quicker.

Being frugal allows you to pay for the things that matter in life instead of wasting hard-earned cash on unnecessary expenses.

For example, things like eating out, buying expensive clothes, paying for entertainment, and such, are typically not part of a frugal person’s spending habits.

Frugality is a state of mind where you will go out of your way to make something last longer and find value in every purchase by avoiding excess spending wherever possible while still getting what you need.

What’s really cool is that once you start living frugally, you will likely enjoy it because you’ve become more money conscious and you start to see the reward that comes from being disciplined.

Imagine being able to save thousands of dollars every year just by shopping smartly for groceries, cutting out cable TV service, getting rid of your landline phone, changing the showerhead, or canceling your monthly gym membership (just to name a few ways to save money and still live a comfortable lifestyle!)

I’d take all that savings over designer purses any day! (Speaking of purses, this is a fun read on why you should never put your purse on the floor!)

To live frugally gives you a personal feeling of success because you are in total control of your money and financial future.

How do I get the most out of the frugal living tips?

To get the most out of this ultimate list of frugal living tips you need to first understand where you want to cut expenses and by how much (after you grab your favorite beverage and find a comfy place to read. There is a LOT of valuable information in this post!)

You can also use these tips to determine what areas of your life you can reduce spending in and save more money now in areas you may not even think about!

blue marker checking boxes how to use the frugal living tips on yellow paper

Once you have decided which areas you are willing to cut down the cash going out, I recommend you make a list on a piece of paper and mark those that you are willing to change your spending habits in.

Start saving right away by using just one frugal living tip at a time.

As you start making small changes and see how they make a difference in your monthly budget, you will know which areas to expand even further or try out other options.

Once you have planted the seed of an idea on how to save money, it will begin to grow into more money-saving ideas.

Since everyone’s situation is different some of these tips may not apply to you. Keep that in mind before moving on to the list below.

That’s OK because I’ve given plenty of ideas so pick up the ones you can use right now!

Just take the money-saving tips to help you live frugally and start applying them.

I hope you get some value from my ultimate list of 180+ frugal living tips!

Save money on food

1. Set a food budget

Know how much money you have to spend on food and follow it.

The best way to budget for food is weekly.

2. Eat at home

When you cut the money it costs to eat at a restaurant or run through the drive-thru, you will be amazed at how quickly money starts accumulating in your account!

If you struggle with not turning into your favorite stop on the way home, take a snack to work and eat it before you leave so you aren’t so hungry when you drive by.

3. Double all your meals

When you cook a meal at home, make double what you typically cook.

Take the leftovers for lunch at work or heat them up when you are home. Many times we choose not to cook because we’re tired and that pushes us to grab fast food.

When there is food ready to eat, there isn’t a reason to go out.

4. Take lunch and snacks to work or on outings

brown bag sack lunch and apple for frugal living tips to save moneyPlan ahead so you have snacks and lunch to take with you when you leave your home.

This means thinking forward when you make your grocery list so you can buy what you need so it is on hand and you aren’t tempted to grab something out of the vending machine.

5. Purchase meat in bulk

Purchasing your meat in bulk will cut the price per pound too much less than when you don’t purchase in bulk.

Look for the section in the meat refrigerator that says things like ‘family size’.

Another way to save money by purchasing in bulk is to shop at membership warehouse clubs like Costco or Sam’s Club.

6. Eat more meatless dishes

Jessica from goodcheapeats.com kale and mushroom pizza

One of the most expensive products at the store is meat.

Cut your grocery bill by eating meals without meat to see a quick upswing with more cash in your pocket.

Jessica shares over 60 amazing meatless meals in her post, Best Meatless Meals to Help Save You Money. Her Kale and Mushroom Pizza in the image is one of my favorites!

What I really love about this post is every recipe is her own and there is a variety of all types of food to make everyone in the family happy!

7. Create a meal plan

fruit & veggie meal planner plus smart mom hq sale tag

The Smart Mom HQ Fruit & Veggie Meal Planner Plus is a great addition to stay on track with your frugal living lifestyle!

Knowing what you are going to fix for the coming week or two is a big save at the grocery store.

It doesn’t matter what day you fix it, so if you aren’t one of those people that post the weekly menu on the refrigerator door so everyone knows what meal will be served on which day, that’s ok!

Keeping a list for yourself so you know what you plan to fix is good enough, and you will be assured you have the ingredients you need to make the meal.

8. Keep an ongoing grocery list

When you keep an ongoing list of what you need at the grocery store, you aren’t trying to remember what you need when it is time to shop.

If you shop for groceries by guessing what you’re out of, you will purchase items you don’t need and spend more than necessary.

When I had my kids at home, I kept a list on the side of the refrigerator they could add to. When we ran out of something, whoever used the last of it would add it to the grocery list.

This was also great when they would complain we were out of something.

All I had to say was, “Who used it up?” Whichever one it was would go to the list and add it on!

QUICK WIN TIP

If you use the idea of putting a magnetic notepad on the side of your refrigerator for an ongoing grocery list, be sure to include a pen close by if you expect your family to actually add items to the list!

This magnetic pen holder works great for us!

9. Make a grocery list centered around your meal plan

Before you make your grocery store run, plan all your meals for the next 1-2 weeks.

Check your recipes to see what you already have in the pantry to use, and add the ingredients you don’t have to your list.

Shopping for exactly what you need will save many pennies in the long run and grow your money. However, for this to work, you need to follow the meal plan you created!

10. Drink more water

Water is the cheapest thing you can drink. Even if you need to purchase your water, it costs far less than other drinks.

If you don’t like the taste of the water out of your faucet, using a water filter system can make your water taste better and be less expensive than purchasing bottled water.

If you do have to purchase bottled water, buy it by the gallon, not individual bottles.

11. Eat leftovers

Leftovers make great meals that are easy!

I actually cook to intentionally have food leftover so I can take a few nights off from cooking each week.

Keep in mind just because you have leftovers doesn’t mean you have to eat the exact same meal. For example, if you have leftover roasted chicken, make your next meal chicken noodle soup.

12. Go to farms that allow you to pick your fruits and vegetables

We have a local blueberry farm that opens up during the season to pick your own blueberries and several other types of fruit and vegetables.

I can spend about an hour there and $12 to get 8-10 times more blueberries than if I were to purchase them at the grocery store.

Do a search and see if there are any farms within driving distance of your location you could pick your own and save some cash.

13. Buy the generic brand

Store brand items are typically much less than name-brand.

In most cases, there is no difference in taste and you can keep money in your pocket and get the same item by buying the generic brand.

14. Invest in a deep (or upright) freezer

The initial purchase of a deep or upright freezer will pay for itself long-term.

If you have a place to freeze meat, chicken, vegetables, etc., you can stock up when there is a big sale and cut your grocery bill.

15. Can or freeze seasonal fruits and vegetables

Buying fruit and vegetables out of season sends a large spike to the grocery bill.

You don’t have to go without these foods most of the year or live withpreserving canned food in jars spending more on them and messing up your budget.

Enjoy them year-round by purchasing extra amounts when they are in season and can or freeze them.

This is another reason to invest in an additional freezer.

16. Eat whole/healthy food

The opposite of eating whole foods is eating pre-made ‘microwaveable’ or ‘heat and serve’ options.

Quick foods may be convenient, but they will impact your grocery bill in a negative way.

Save by eating whole foods. If you aren’t sure how to identify whole foods, think of items that don’t have a product label that takes up the entire back of the package.

17. Use a slow cooker

A slow cooker is one of my favorite kitchen accessories.

Crock-Pot 7-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker | Stainless Steel (SCV700-S-BR)

There isn’t anything like walking in the house after a long day at work and smelling dinner ready to be served.

You can make almost any food in a slow cooker, so even the typical tough meats and other inexpensive grocery items can make a delicious meal while saving you money.

It is worth investing in two slow cookers for your kitchen accessories so you can make two recipes at the same time, just as a dessert and a main dish.

They will save you so much time and money over the course of the time they last.

This is one of my favorite slow cooker cookbooks. I love the spiral-bound version so it lays open on the countertop.

You can’t beat 5-ingredient meals to save time and money!

The Easy 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Cookbook: 100 Delicious No-Fuss Meals for Busy People

The Easy 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Cookbook: 100 Delicious No-Fuss Meals for Busy People

18. Brew your own coffee

Brewing your own coffee doesn’t only make the house smell great, it also saves you money!

Even if you stop at the local gas station instead of a leading brand like Starbucks, you’re going to spend a lot more money than brewing your own at home before you leave.

19. Use an instant pot

We have a way of wanting everything to be quick in today’s fast-paced world.

If you use an instant pot to cook your dinner, you will get fast and yummy. This is the instant pot I have and wouldn’t want to live without.

20. Invest in a multi-purpose convection toaster oven/air fryer/broiler

Cuisinart Airfryer, Convection Toaster Oven, Silver

When you use a small convection or air fryer oven it heats up quickly and cooks your food quickly, so it doesn’t have to be left on very long.

This is the first place you save.

It also doesn’t heat up the house, giving you more savings on your electric bill.

This is the Cuisinart Air-Fryer oven I have owned for several years. I use it practically every day.

Since I purchased it I can count the number of times, on one hand, I’ve used my full-size oven in 4 years.

21. Ask your grocer when they do markdowns for bread, meat, etc.

When products are getting close to their expiration date, the price is marked down and they are put in a specific place for discounted products.

Most grocery stores have a place for discounted bakery goods, meat, and other products.

22. Use a grocery pick-up or delivery service

The major retailers offer grocery pickup.

You complete your order on the merchant’s website, schedule a pickup time, then a store employee gathers the items for you and you drive up and pick them up.

Stores like Walmart, Target, Sam’s Club, and many others offer this valuable service.

Target doesn’t require you to select a time so you can pick up anytime, which is an added convenience that is super helpful because you can pick up when you are in the area instead of making a special trip.

The first time I used a grocery pickup service I thought it was the best thing ever invented!

It saves so much time and money.

The time is saved because you don’t have to spend time walking around the store finding the items on your list, and the money is saved because you don’t put things in the basket that you don’t need.

It is normal to walk past items and think we need them at that moment when we don’t need the item at all!

PRO MONEY TIP

If you do your shopping at a retailer that stocks household and other items, not just grocery items, you can do an order for these items or add them to a grocery order.

For example, if you need light bulbs, dog food, over-the-counter medication, etc.

23. Grow your own herbs

Growing your own herb garden can save you lots of money. Especially if you buy herbs at specialty grocery markets.

Herbs, such as Rosemary, are simple to grow and will make your meals taste delicious.

To get the most out of spending your money, you want to plant the cost-effective herbs that will save you from buying at the store..

24. Start a garden

Growing a garden can be a fun activity for the whole family, plus save you money at the store!

In addition to these benefits, nothing compares to the taste of fresh garden vegetables freshly picked!

25. Join a co-op

A food co-op is just like a grocery store except for the people that shop there own it.

However, people that are not owners can also shop at a food co-op and pay higher prices.

Typically, if you choose to become a member there is a lifetime membership for a flat fee.

26. Make your own bread

butter with a side of bread homemade bread

Image courtesy of Butter with a Side of Bread

Homemade bread tastes heavenly, makes the house smell amazing, and with a simple recipe, it can save you money on your grocery bill!

It’s also a great family activity with a sweet treat to enjoy together when it comes out of the oven. I use my Cuisinart for this loaf and it works perfectly.

I love this recipe from Jessica and Nellie at Butter with a Side of Bread.

27. Ditch mixes

Mixes can be a good buy when they go on sale or if you can pick them up at a store like Dollar Tree.

In most cases, they cost you much more than making the recipe from scratch and should only be used in an emergency situation if your focus is on saving money and frugal living in general.

28. Use Ibotta when when you grocery shop

29. Try Amazon Fresh for a month – FREE

30. Use Supercook and the Supercook App

If you have never visited the Supercook website, you have a treat coming your way!

Do you have odds and ends ingredients in your pantry and are short on cash this week? Not sure what to fix?

Enter the ingredients you have on hand into Supercook and you will get a list of recipes to use them!

31. Cook cheap meals

Food is a large expense in the budget that can be trimmed down immediately for quick savings.

It is also one of the budget categories you have complete control over.

There are plenty of ways to save money on groceries, and the best way to start is with planning your meals and using cheap food to keep your cost down.

32. Ditch ‘heat and eat’ meals

Food that is prepared before you buy it is convenient, and it is also much more expensive than making the dish yourself.

If you are buying meals or even side dishes that have the directions to heat it up and it is ready to serve, take them off your list.

You will be amazed how much money you save at the grocery store when you stop buying this type of food.

33. Prep meals before your week gets busy

If you wait until the last minute to figure out what your meals for the week are going to be, I can almost guarantee you will have a larger grocery bill than if you plan it out and have your food for the week prepped and ready to prepare.

For example, if you need to chop up a head of lettuce for salads, do it on Sunday if your week starts on Monday.

If you are making a casserole on Wednesday that requires fresh broccoli, clean and cut the vegetable up before you go back to work for the week.

If your food is not prepped and ready to cook, there is a much higher chance you will tell yourself that is a good reason to stop at the drive-through burger joint on your way home, throwing out your intentions to whittle down the food bill.

34. Use veggie scraps to make homemade broth

Using everything possible when you cook will add up to hundreds of dollars over time.

For example, instead of buying vegetable broth when you need it in a recipe, pull out the frozen cubes of broth from the freezer you made with the leftover steamed veggies the week before.

35. Save bread ends and make croutons

This is a perfect example of using all the food you have so you don’t have to buy it at the store.

Many people don’t like to eat the heel of the bread, and sometimes even cut the crust off around the edges.

Don’t throw it out! Save it and find a recipe that calls for bread crumbs for one of your meals, or bake them into homemade croutons for a salad topping.

36. Cook in batches

The Batch Lady: Shop Once. Cook Once. Eat Well All Week.

Cooking meals in batches saves time and money.

If you have never tried batch cooking, The Batch Lady: Shop Once. Cook Once, Eat Well All Week is a must-have for your kitchen.

In her international bestseller book, Suzanne Mulholland teaches you how to prepare different dishes using similar base ingredients.

Known as the batch lady around the world, she shares her secrets to save time and money in the kitchen, as well as making it fun, all at the same time.

Her secret falls in the importance of planning and preparation.

When you’re finished reading this book, you will know how to prepare 10 different meals in one hour!

37. Grocery shop on a schedule

It might feel odd to do your shopping on a schedule instead of when you feel like you need to go in the beginning.

In the long run, it will save you money because you buy what you need on your list without going overboard because you feel like you are out of everything.

For example, if you prefer to shop early mornings, make Saturday morning before the weekend rush hits your grocery shopping scheduled day.

If you are trying out grocery delivery or pickup, keep your schedule the same and just change the method of how you get the groceries.

38. Shop your pantry when making your grocery list

When you create your menu for the week and make your grocery list, be sure to check any items you have in your pantry you might have forgotten about.

39. Add a small amount of water to salad dressings, bbq sauce, etc.

This trick will make your product last a bit longer without anyone ever knowing that you mixed in a small amount of water.

You can do this with salad dressings, pasta sauce, bbq sauce, etc.

40. Make you own Keurig pods

If you use a Keurig coffee maker, using refillable pods can save money on every cup of coffee.

This definitely adds up over time, and more so if you drink multiple cups a day.

Save money on household expenses

41. Shut off your house phone

If you still have a phone connected through a telephone company, it may be time to think about having it shut off if you have a cellular phone with good service coverage.

This could save you several hundred dollars a year.

42. Stop using paper towels

If you are used to using paper towels, it can be a challenge to go cold turkey and stop using them. Keep in mind how much money it is going to save you!

Almost everyone has rags they can use to replace them, and even old towels can be cut into squares or worn-out socks can be used as rags.

If you use paper towels to clean with such as when you dust, clean mirrors, etc., consider swapping them for a Microfiber Magic cloth.

These are the microfiber cloths I use to clean my mirrors, stainless steel appliances, fronts of cabinets, glass tables, and so much more!

Microfiber Magic Streak Free Cloth 6 Pack Clean Any Surface with Just Water Eco Friendly Environmentally Safe Perfect for Window, Mirror, Kitchen, Counters, Appliances, Car, Cycle,...

Microfiber Magic Streak Free Cloth 6 Pack Clean Any Surface with Just Water Eco Friendly Environmentally Safe Perfect for Window, Mirror, Kitchen, Counters, Appliances, Car, Cycle,...

I wet one with water and use it to clean the surface, then follow behind with the dry microfiber for a gleaming clean surface.

Not all microfiber cloths are created equal! Microfiber Magic Streak Free Cloth is amazing and does everything it says! I wouldn’t clean without them!

If you love to save time and money with cleaning hacks this is a great read!

43. Fill the dishwasher completely

If you find yourself running the dishwasher when it is half full, save some money by waiting until it is full so you get more out of the money you are spending on electricity and detergent you are buying to put in it.

44. Purchase your internet router, don’t lease it

If you have wireless internet hooked up in your house, you are using a router to carry the signal throughout the home or apartment.

It can seem like a great deal to pay $5 or $10 a month to lease one from the company because you don’t have to spend a chunk of money to purchase your own.

Over the course of the year, you could easily have paid for the cost of your own router. Year after year the monthly lease fee adds up to many hundreds of wasted dollars.

The important part is to ensure the one you purchase is compatible with the company’s equipment.

45. Use insulated curtains

This type of curtain is also known as blackout curtains, light blocker curtains, or drapes.

Whether you live in a hot or cold climate, these all-purpose curtains can help you cut your home energy bill. They block cold out and hold heat in, and they block the heat out and hold cool air in.

The biggest reason people use insulated curtains is that their windows are not efficient with heat or cold.

However, these curtains are also nice if you have littles that take naps during the day or work a night job because they make a room feel like it is nighttime outside in the middle of the day!

These are the blackout curtains I use. I love them because they are easy to slide open on the rod when I want to let the outside light come into the room.

46. Don’t open a product until the first container is empty

This seems to be a struggle for a lot of my friends and family!

I go to their house and start setting the table for dinner, only to find 3 opened bottles of ketchup in the refrigerator!

Not only does this lead to waste, but it also adds to the grocery bill because you’re buying an item before it is necessary.

47. Don’t use the heat dry setting on the dishwasher

Using the air-dry setting will save money on electricity and make your dishwasher run more cost-efficiently.

This is an easy one, just turn off the heat setting and you’re good to go!

48. Quit using disposable

Using disposable products may seem like they don’t cost much, but over the course of a year they can add up to a chunk of hard-earned money that is the same as throwing it in the trash.

Think of how much it costs year after year for a lifetime of using disposable products! That can be a depressing number, or at least a nice family vacation!

49. Use less water when hand-washing dishes

There are some dishes that need to be washed by hand, even if you have a dishwasher.

It just takes a small amount of water to mix with the detergent and you have sparkling clean dishes!

Tips to use less water on hand-washed dishes:

  • Use a small dishpan (sit it in your sink) and cover the bottom with warm soapy water
  • Use a soap-dispensing dish brush (this is the one I use)
  • Before you rinse the dish make sure it is completely clean
  • Don’t leave the water running while you wash

50. Use rechargeable batteries

Batteries are expensive, and if you have a lot of items (think remote controls, flashlights, etc.) that use them they are a big chunk of money when you run out.

You can get rid of battery expenses by using rechargeable batteries.

I keep an extra set charging so when batteries go dead, I swap them for the charged ones.

They cost more up-front but will save hundreds of dollars year after year, especially if you have children because almost every toy makes some kind of noise that needs a battery to operate.

Energizer Rechargeable AA and AAA Battery Charger (Recharge Pro) with 4 AA NiMH Rechargeable Batteries, Auto-Safety Feature, Over-Charge Protection

This is the rechargeable battery set I use.

51. Unplug small appliances when not in use

You obviously don’t want to keep everything in your house unplugged when you aren’t using it, especially the things you use several times a day.

If you have appliances or small electrical items that you only use once a week or less, unplug them so they aren’t pulling any electricity and adding usage to your bill.

52. Don’t use the oven in the summer

Using your oven in the summer months adds heat to your living space, making your air conditioner have to run more often to cool it down.

Of course, this can make a difference where you live, but if you are in a hot summer climate keep your oven off during the summer months!

I use my Cuisinart Air Fryer and Convection Oven year-round and seldom even turn my kitchen oven on!

53. Use cloth napkins

Using disposable napkins is like throwing money in the trash.

You use them a couple of times and sometimes not at all, then when cleaning up the meal they all go into the garbage.

I understand the need for napkins at mealtime.

Discount stores like Dollar Tree are a great place to pick up all-purpose cloth napkins. This might also be an item you want to hand-select to match dishes or kitchen decor.

54. Keep your freezer full

Fill your freezer to the top if you want it to use the least amount of energy possible.

When a freezer is full, the frozen food keeps the unit’s temperature low so it takes less electricity to keep the food frozen.

QUICK WIN TIP

If you don’t have enough food to keep your freezer full (and I don’t recommend purchasing food you don’t need) fill up gallon water bottles about 3-4 inches from the top and put them in the freezer.

Plastic milk cartons or two-liter bottles can be filled with water the same way!

55. Cut down the amount of everything you use – detergents, shampoo, lotions, shower gel, toothpaste, etc.

I would venture to guess most people use way more of this type of product than necessary, making it run out faster than it needs to.

This means purchasing it more frequently than necessary, which is unnecessary money out of your pocket!

Start with a very small amount, and if it isn’t enough add a small dab at a time until you get enough. Once you squeeze toothpaste out of the tube, it can’t be put back inside, but you can always get more out!

56. Reuse jars and containers for food storage

Jokari Erasable Food Labels 2 Pack Refill, Reusable, Freezer, Microwave and Dishwasher Safe Kitchen Tool for All Purpose Meal

Jokari Erasable Food Labels 2 Pack Refill, Reusable, Freezer, Microwave and Dishwasher Safe Kitchen Tool for All Purpose Meal

When I was a child and visited my grandmother, I loved helping her cook dinner.

However, I still recall how frustrating it was to open the tub of butter only to find gravy or beans or any food besides what the container said it was!

Now I understand why, and it totally makes sense! Why pay money for storage containers when you already paid for them once when you made a purchase!

If you struggle like me with not being able to see what is in a container, these erasable and reuseable food labels work wonders! I bet my grandma would have loved to have these in her kitchen!

57. Keep gallons of frozen water in the refrigerator

This tip isn’t about keeping your refrigerator full, but more about keeping the temperature colder easier so the unit doesn’t have to pull as much electricity to stay at the correct temperature.

58. Use insulation weather stripping to stop drafts in the winter

If your doors don’t keep a tight seal around the door frame, insulation weather stripping will stop the draft from seeping into your living area.

You will stay warmer and your furnace will not have to run more frequently to warm the cold air coming in.

59. Stop buying plug-in air freshener

stop using plug in air freshener is a frugal living tipI love the smell of fresh scents throughout my home, and plug-in air fresheners are fabulous at this.

However, not only are they using electricity (although a small amount), they also don’t last nearly as long as the manufacture states they will last.

Did I mention they are also expensive, especially for only lasting a small amount of time and you’re back purchasing more refills?

There are plenty of natural and inexpensive ways to get a fresh smell in your house, choose that route instead to keep your hard-earned money in your bank account.

60. Buy printer ink online

If you need to print documents very often, you understand how expensive printer ink is to purchase.

This is especially true for laser printers and even more so for color laser printer toner.

You can save hundreds of dollars in one purchase by researching and comparing online prices for generic brands.

Keep in mind this will typically void a warranty if your printer has a warranty, it quits working, and the manufacturer is aware generic toner was used.

Shop on websites that provide a large number of reviews so you feel confident the generic toner cartridges will work and not damage your printer.

61. Print double-sided copies on your printer

You can save money on paper if you print documents on both sides.

Another way to save money on printer paper is to reuse the opposite side of single-side print pages on documents that aren’t for legal use.

62. Go paperless in your office

It is almost impossible to make your home office 100% paperless.

However, you can get pretty close if you have a maintenance system set up and take the time to complete the initial setup to get your documents out of a filing cabinet and into a digital file on your computer.

You can save time and money to make the jump to a paperless home office so it is worth considering.

It was a huge weight lifted off me when I went paperless just with the large decrease in the mail that I had to go through each day.

63. Go on budget billing with your electric company (if available)

Your electric company may call it something different, so call and explain what you are looking for and they may be able to help you with a more stable monthly bill.

Utility bills make it hard to follow a budget in that category because they change depending on the weather and the season.

Most electric and some water companies have a program to average your usage over 12 months and then level out your bill by charging you that amount monthly.

This can be a real lifesaver if you live in a climate with super hot summers or frigid cold winters.

64. Move to a pre-pay cellular phone plan

Prepaid cell phone plans are typically less expensive than plans at a major carrier.

If you truly want to cut your monthly expenses and save money, this option would be a good choice for you.

There is often a difference in perks and additional offerings are less with a prepaid plan, which is one reason they are cheaper. However, most are not a necessity so it is worth weighing the pros and cons of each when you balance your budget.

65. Add timers to lamps

I like to leave dim lights on at night so I can see if I need to get up, and it also adds a warm feeling to my home.

I got tired of turning my lamps off and on so I set a couple of them up on timers so they automatically turn on around sundown and automatically turn off when the sun comes up.

This saves electricity. I also use a low-wattage light bulb of only 7.5 watts for additional energy savings.

This is the programmable digital lamp timer I use. I love it because it includes an outlet so I don’t lose a place to plug something in where the timer plugs in.

Save money in the bathroom

66. Buy generic brand toiletries

Buying generic can save hundreds of dollars over the course of a year, and toiletries is a category that offers multiple store-brand products.

Items such as toilet paper, baby wipes, etc., can be just as good, and often times you may even like the product more than a name brand.

It can take trial and error to find what you like and if the generic just doesn’t get the job done, move up one step to a mid-priced product to see if it may get the job done for you. You would still get a small amount of savings.

67. Take military showers

I understand military showers are not for everyone!

However, the less electricity and water you use, the more savings you have in your bank account!

This is how you take a military shower:

  1. Turn on the water
  2. Get wet including hair (if you’re washing your hair)
  3. Turn off the water
  4. Wash up body and hair
  5. Turn on the water
  6. Quickly rinse

QUICK WIN TIP

If you decide to take military showers for the additional money savings, it is helpful to have a shower head that turns on and off. This is especially helpful if you have two shower handles for hot and cold water instead of one.

This showerhead is perfect for military showers at an inexpensive price.

It has 6 water settings, has a detachable head, and an on/off switch.

68. Shut the water off while you’re brushing your teeth

This tip speaks for itself.

Wet your toothbrush and shut off the water. Brush your teeth. Turn on the water for a quick rinse off and you’re done!

69. Fix leaking faucets

Not only are leaking faucets irritating to hear dripping nonstop, but they also eat up your money.

According to South End Plumbing, their research shows a dripping faucet will cost you about $20 a month. If you do the math that is $240 per year, per faucet.

If you have leaking faucets, this video will show you how simple it can be to fix so you can keep the money in your pocket instead of throwing it out on wasted water.

70. Install low-flow showerheads

A low-flow showerhead works in several ways to save you money.

  1. Conserves water
  2. Conserves energy by heating up less water
  3. Decreases monthly water bill
  4. Keeps about $50 in your pocket every year

According to Brothers Plumbing adding a low-flow showerhead can decrease your water consumption up to 40% or even higher.

Keep in mind low-flow does not mean low-pressure.

The new low-flow showerhead models have perfected the product so you won’t even be able to tell the difference except in your savings account.

71. Install a low-flush toilet

Toilets use more water in your home than any other fixture or appliance, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

By making the switch to a low-flush toilet you will use about 20% less water per flush and save approximately $140 a year.

FUN FACT

Did you know over the course of a lifetime you will flush the toilet about 140,000 times?  [source]

It makes sense to replace old toilets, spend a little money on a water-efficient model, and enjoy the savings for a lifetime!

72. Turn down the hot water heater

Studies show most people set their hot water heater temperature at 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you follow the Environmental Protection Agency, you will drop that temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit for safety reasons as well as saving energy consumption.

The bottom line is to set it as low as you can while still getting enough hot water when you need it.

73. Buy toiletries in bulk

Purchasing in bulk is a good idea if you know you love the product and you don’t put it away then forget you have it.

Toiletries shouldn’t have an expiration date; however, check any product that is bought in bulk to be sure.

74. Dry your razor

Drying your razor thoroughly after each use will make it last longer, keeping your blade purchases minimal.

Other ways to make your razor last longer:

  • Rinse the blade before you dry it so all hair is completely removed
  • Store it in a cool dry place (not in the shower)
  • Prep your skin before you shave
  • Use a cover when you travel so it isn’t exposed to any elements
    • Wrapping it in a rag or old sock is the perfect transportation method

75. Skip upgraded toiletry products

Toiletries are made to do a specific job, and typically they are all created equal.

Skip the name brands and marketing ploys that all the special add-ins are worth a lot more money and go basic.

76. Use up toiletries

Why is it we can’t walk past a new scent of shower gel without stopping to smell it, which then makes us believe we need to buy it at that exact moment?

When you get home to put it in the shower because you can’t wait to try it out, there are 3 other shower gels nearly full that aren’t used up.

Does this sound familiar?

If you love a product that much, snap a picture of it and add it to a file title “products to buy” and when you run out of shower gel give it a try.

Save money in the laundry room

77. Use a drying rack or clothes line

If you really want the fresh clean air smell as an added benefit to drying your clothes on a clothesline outdoor, that is an option that will definitely save you money!

I used to help my grandma hang her clothes outside when I was a little girl and loved every minute!

However, this tip is more about cutting the amount of time your dryer is running to conserve energy and save money, not revert to life 40 years ago (unless that is what you prefer.)

outdoor clothes line with clothes hanging to dry to follow frugal living tips and save money

Research shows you will save about $200 a year if you stop using an electric dryer, and this is just from keeping your dryer turned off.

The exciting part is you will save money in several ways:

  1. Save energy
  2. Save on clothes because what you have will last longer
  3. Save on clothes because they won’t shrink creating the need for new ones
  4. Save on air freshener because freshly washed clothes hanging in a room make the room smell fabulous

If you struggle with the thought of air-drying your clothes straight out of the washing machine, dry them for a few minutes to get the initial wetness out and then hang them up.

This is the collapsible clothes drying rack I use. It effortlessly folds for easy storage when not in use. I also use this over-the-door drying rack. It is on the back of my laundry room door for quick use.

78. Wear clothing more than once before washing when possible

Depending on what your daily schedule looks like and you aren’t outside sweating in the heat, playing with littles in the dirt, etc., consider wearing your clothes more than once before you toss them in the laundry to be washed.

80. Wash full loads of clothes

The less you run your washing machine, the more money you save on water and energy consumption.

Fill it up before you turn it on to save money every month, year after year.

If you struggle with laundry overwhelm, you will love the laundry tip in this post, check out #12.

79. Use a color catcher and wash all your clothes together in a large load

If you struggle to have enough clothes to fill up your washing machine before you need clean ones, use a color catcher and throw all your clothes in the washer together.

This is one of my favorite products.

I use the Shout Color Catcher and it works every time. However, there are other brands on the market I have not personally tried.

Shout Color Catcher Sheets for Laundry, Maintains Clothes Original Colors, 72 Count

Shout Color Catcher Sheets for Laundry, Maintains Clothes Original Colors, 72 Count

Not only does it save me money because I can wash all colors together in one large load, but it means I can get my laundry done faster instead of dragging it out one load at a time.

81. Buy generic laundry detergent and fabric softener

Generic laundry detergent and fabric will typically do the same cleaning job on your clothes as the name brand but cost you a lot less.

82. Reuse dryer sheets

Depending on how large your load of clothes is and how long you leave them in the dryer before hanging, there is likely still product in your dryer sheets to reuse them once and possibly more.

QUICK WIN TIP

Love the smell of freshly washed clothes?

After you are done using your dryer sheet put it in a drawer with your clothes to keep them smelling great.

In the closed area, the smell is held in and it will give you a fresh scent each time you open the drawer.

83. Buy high-quality used clothing

There are several differences in the quality of clothing that should be considered when you make a purchase.

Name-brand clothing is typically made with a higher quality of fabric that is heavier so it lasts longer, and is stitched together to last.

You don’t have to spend a lot on quality clothing. Find outlet stores, end-of-season sales, or thrift stores to save money and still get the quality.

84. Keep the lint filter clean on the dryer

A clean lint filter saves money by:

  • Creating more efficient dryer use so less energy is used
  • Drying the clothes faster so there is less run time

An important side note is this also is precautionary for fire prevention.

85. Remove clothes from the dryer as soon as they are dry or damp

The shorter time the dryer is running, the more money you will save.

86. Use less laundry detergent

It typically doesn’t take a full washing machine dispenser or detergent capful to clean a load of clothes.

Cut the amount by one-fourth and see how your clothes turn out, then gradually increase if that isn’t enough to find the least amount you can use and still get your clothes clean to your satisfaction.

87. Wash clothes in cold water

Washing your clothes in cold water saves the energy of heating the water.

Wash in cold as often as possible.

However, if you have a load that needs to be sanitized because a family member has been ill, for example, skip the cold and use hot water to stop the spread of germs.

Save money on clothes

88. Buy clothes at the end of the season

clearance sale rack on clothes to follow frugal living tips for end of season shoppingA couple of months before a new season starts to phase in, clothes, shoes, etc., go on clearance to make room for incoming merchandise.

This is the best time to shop for quality clothing and enjoy spending less.

89. Stick to simple, classic items that can be worn in many ways

Fill your closet with clothes that mix and match easily so you have numerous outfits with fewer items.

Also, when shopping, look for classic styles that will last for years to come.

Examples of clothing pieces that never go out of style:

  • Wrap dresses
  • Blazers with three-quarter length sleeves
  • Tailored pants
  • Pencil skirts with stretch
  • Oversized cardigan
  • Vests

90. Turn dark clothes and jeans inside-out when you launder them

Save the color of dark-colored denim and keep your clothing looking new by turning it inside out before tossing it in the washer.

91. Use a fabric shaver for pilling clothing rather than get rid of it

Some fabric pills even when it is high quality.

Don’t get rid of these items because they are looking overly worn, use a fabric shaver to make them look new.

92. Shop at second hand stores or thredup online

Locate the second-hand or gently used clothing stores in your area and you will likely find great deals with mega savings.

93. Keep thread and needle handy to fix buttons and small tears

Coquimbo Sewing Kit for Traveler, Adults, Beginner, Emergency, DIY Sewing Supplies Organizer Filled with Scissors, Thimble, Thread, Sewing Needles, Tape Measure etc (Black, S)

Don’t toss clothing because the hem unravels or buttons are about to fall off.

If you aren’t a sewer with sewing supplies, get a small sewing kit to use in an emergency or when small flaws can be repaired so you can keep wearing the clothing piece.

94. Sell clothing you don’t wear on eBay or Poshmark

95. Repurpose clothing by turning worn-out t-shirts into cleaning rags, etc.

There is always a use for extra cleaning rags.

They can be used to clean the car, the garage, the bathroom, the list goes on and on.

As you wear your clothes out, repurpose them into rags to get a second life from them.

96. Read clothing labels before purchasing

Don’t wait until you get home to read the label on the new dress you just found on a clearance rack.

After a wash, it may not look the same, leaving it either unwearable or wearable but unliked, and both are a waste of your money.

For example, I don’t like to iron clothes, so I make sure not to buy fabric that requires ironing.

97. Exchange clothing with friends

If you have friends and family that share your style and they are similar in size, consider swapping clothes so you have something different to wear.

New to you clothes are fun, and the exchange doesn’t have to be permanent (unless you want it to be.)

98. Borrow clothing you are going to wear only once

You may need something to wear for a special event that happens only once.

Ask friends or family what they have in their closet you can wear for the evening. Don’t spend your hard-earned money on an evening dress, for example, that will be worn once and then tossed aside.

The same goes for shoes, accessories, scarves, and other items.

Remind yourself how much money you will be adding to savings or keeping in your account to NOT make this unnecessary purchase.

Save money on entertainment

99. Cut the cable and use a TV antenna instead for FREE

Cable TV is expensive and over the course of a year, you can gain a lot of savings by not paying for it.

If you are worried you will miss the news, weather, or favorite show, there is another way you can get these channels for free.

Purchase a TV antenna and watch all your local channels without paying a dime.

This is the long-range antenna I use. I put mine in the attic and my channels look the same as if the cable TV company was providing them.

There are a variety of antennas available, each has different specs, reaches different distances, etc. Do your research then get what you need and start saving!

100. Use the Kindle Unlimited free trial for FREE reading

101. Use Groupon and similar websites for cheap fun outings like bowling, movies, water parks, etc.

102. Get B1G1F (Buy One Get One Free) gift cards around holidays throughout the year

This type of sale can save you a nice amount of money on eating out.

Typically, the most popular times you will see B1G1F food gift cards for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Christmas.

Remember to ask the cashier if any expiration dates apply so you don’t get a gift card then miss the dates for use.

103. Check local credit unions for discount tickets to places like aquariums, rodeos, etc.

Make it a goal to never pay full price for a ticket that will get you into an activity.

I understand this is a high goal and it may not always be possible, but don’t give in and pay full price without doing your research.

If you are going to an event out of town, call several of their local merchants, visit the city Facebook page, or listen to a local radio station and you are sure to find a deal.

104. Get the Sonic app and get half-price drinks 24/7 (not just during their happy hour)

Apps are the new craze, and each one has its own perks to entice you to spend money in their store.

The Sonic app is a favorite because they have a vast menu of drinks available, plus you can’t beat a Route 44 on a hot summer day. Paying half price is a nice treat if you need a break.

Of course, they offer other weekly specials.

Don’t let the drive-in drink pickup be an excuse to spend your money on fast food that you can make cheaper at home.

105. Pitch a tent in your backyard

Oftentimes, the silliest and cheapest activities are the ones that create the fondest memories.

106. Check out high school and college sporting events

High school and college activities are typically inexpensive and offer something fun and different to do. There are also activities going on year-round, with the exception of a couple of months in the summer.

Check out the schedule of your local teams and give it a shot.

Save money on health and wellness

107. Use DIY beauty recipes to save money on toiletries

108. Color your own hair

109. Barter haircuts or your kid’s haircuts with the stylist – what do you have (service or product) you could trade?

110. Set a limit on your screen time and monitor it

111. Ditch the nail salon

112. Invest in an office chair and desk with proper ergonomics

Save money on transportation

113. Invest in an eBike

114. Walk to work (if possible)

115. Wash and vacuum your own car

116. Research the ‘sweet spot’ for your vehicle’s gas mileage and follow it

117. Shop your vehicle insurance at least once per year

118. Don’t cut corners on normal maintenance

119. Use the Gas Buddy app or similar to find the cheapest gas before you leave your house

120. Do all your errands in one day … strategically

121. Carpool if possible

122. Drive Smarter

123. Hop onto public transportation (if available)

124. Avoid toll roads

125. Be a one-vehicle family

126. Find a work-at-home job or ask your employer if you can telecommute

127. Schedule doctor visits via teleconference when possible

128. Sign up for a gas station rewards program for a gas discount

129. Buy a discounted gas card (and earn with Rakuten at the same time)

130. Lighten up the load

131. Turn off the AC and roll down the windows

132. If you have a high car payment get rid of it

Save money on general shopping and living expenses

133. Make DIY gifts

134. Make your gift list for the year in January and start shopping when there is a good sale

135. Find deals on misspelled name brand products using websites like Fat Fingers

136. Use only FREE banking accounts

137. Use Rakuten

138. Cancel bank autodraft protection

139. Know the return policy before you make a purchase

140. Only purchase online if the return shipping is free

141. Set up an automatic savings plan with Acorn

142. Plan at least two no-spend months throughout the year

143. Cancel subscriptions

144. Bypass free trial subscriptions

145. Always look for free before you buy

146. Use a cashback credit card

147. Get good at all DIY projects

148. Shop for broken items that are easily fixable

149. Negotiate before you buy

150. Don’t make a big purchase without sleeping on it first

151. Travel in off-peak seasons

152. Consider living in a tiny house

153. Consider minimalism after watching the documentary minimalism

154. Know when the semi-annual and annual clearances take place at your favorite stores

155. Ask your bank if they offer a ’round-up’ program

156. Set all bills to be paid once or twice a month

157. Don’t purchase online courses, get them free at Lynda.com

158. Read books for free from your local library

159. Skip coffee (and all drinks) when you go out to eat

160. Shop at stores that price match

161. Drop your gym membership and workout at home

162. Use autopay for bills

163. Create a budget

164. Don’t carry credit card balances

165. Buy discounted gift cards

166. Use generic medication and prescriptions

167. Sell unused gift cards for cash

168. Buy in bulk and split half the product and cost with family or friends

169. Get a bank account that reimburses for ATM fees

170. Pay less for prescriptions

171. Go to a cosmetology school for your haircut

172. Get your massages at a massage therapist college

173. Set a schedule to fill your car up with gas

174. Order name-brand toiletries from eBay

175. Take advantage of an Amazon Prime Free Trial and Amazon Prime Discount

176. If you need a product right away, ask the local retailer if they will price match with online retailers

177. Quit shopping at convenience stores

178. Order online using Rakuten and then go pick up your products in your local store

Can living a frugal lifestyle make you rich?

If you live a frugal life it probably won’t make you rich unless you’re already wealthy.

Frugal living encourages spending your money on needs and not wants, which can set you up for life-long habits of saving more than most people do today.

However, some frugal living tips and tricks will save you enough cash to make a big difference in the long term.

Being smarter with your cash flow is always better!

Frugal living isn’t only about being cheap or spending less money. It’s about getting the most out of everything that you buy.

For example, a person who drives an inexpensive or older car may be considered “frugal” because they are maximizing their use of what they own.

On the same token, someone who owns a luxury car may also be considered frugal if they work to pay for it but don’t overspend in other areas.

What is frugal living?

Frugal people have a mindset that allows them to be more aware of their spending habits and find ways to save money in every area of their life.

What does frugal mean?

Frugal means being careful with how you spend money to help you save money.

It means you are willing to make changes in your daily living that are focused on spending money in a different way, a way where awareness is part of every dollar you spend.

The goal is to make sure you are getting the most value for each dollar spent so you can build a strong financial future.

There is a multitude of frugal tips to save you money, you just have to be willing to follow them and your money-saving journey to live frugally is on its way!

How do I live a frugal lifestyle?

The beginning step to a frugal life is to make a plan on what areas in your life you want to focus on first to save some serious cash.

The next step to help you save is creating a monthly budget and then an annual budget to lay out the picture of ways to help you save a lot of money.

Be aware of how much money goes out and try not to overspend on anything, even though it’s hard! If there are areas in your life you can cut back on, do it.

Look for ways to save you money with everything you do.

This is the first step towards building a solid financial foundation for yourself and your family.

The more money you are able to save each month, the faster you will achieve your financial goals and build wealth in the long term. That’s what being frugal is all about!

What are the benefits to live frugally?

The benefits of frugal living are plentiful!

For one, you have the opportunity to take the money you are saving each month and invest it into a better interest-earning account, which is just one personal finance benefit for frugal people.

If you continue to follow the mantra of living frugally for years, you will likely be able to retire early if that’s what you want.

You could also choose to use the extra money for college expenses for yourself or your kids later on in life if that is a priority.

purple piggy bank for frugal living tips

It is possible to live well without spending a ton of money if you are willing to do research, find the best frugal living tips to save, then commit to living frugally as a way of life.

It’s not easy to spend less money when you first start but following a budget gets easier over time once you experience the positive benefits of saving money.

When financial changes start to happen, such as a lower electric bill and extra money in your bank account after all the bills are paid, it is extremely motivating to continue.

Frugality is the key to building wealth, and wealth (if used wisely) allows you to live life on your own terms.

What are the disadvantages of frugal living?

If money is spent on everything that crosses your mind then the desire to be a frugal person won’t last long.

Frugality means making better use of your money by being more careful with how you spend it so you can get the most value for each dollar spent.

This is just one way to save money, but without following frugal tips your road of living a frugal life will be short-lived.

It’s about not wasting any cash and getting what you need out of each purchase whether big or small.

There are no real disadvantages to frugality other than that some people could view it as being cheap or miserly just because they don’t want to join the frugal movement.

Even though they could save in many areas, they enjoy spending money on things, typically do not want to save, and don’t have a real plan for their future.

As a wise man once said, “Frugality isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about how little you spend.”

I’d have to agree with that quote!

How do I live a frugal life on a tight budget?

Frugality is not only for people on a tight budget.

It’s for everyone who wants to enjoy life without going into debt or getting into financial trouble.

It’s about being sensible, following the best frugal living tips you can find, and making wise choices with your money so you can save some cash in the long run, invest wisely, and build wealth over time.

It isn’t meant to happen overnight, and it won’t.

So if that is your plan you will be very disappointed.

When you are aware of finding a way to save money with everything you do whether you shop online, do meal planning then go to the local grocery store, etc., you will save money and see the benefits over time.

You won’t likely save a ton of money in a short time, but over time it will save you a lot.

What if I like to live expensively? What should I do?

If you want to live an expensive lifestyle then you have two choices: either find ways of making more money or spend less!

You could invest your money, start a business, or even get another job in order to be able to afford everything that catches your eye and goes out the door in a flash.

In the end, it is up to you to decide how you want to live your life, whether it’s cheap or expensive!

Of course, you can still follow frugal tips to help you save money, but if you do it randomly you won’t see much of a difference in your overall personal finance portfolio.

But you can’t do both and see results!

What are some free tips for saving money?

Some people find that they spend too much money on clothes and eating out every week so they want to start being more frugal with their purchases.

Learning how to save money can be one of the biggest challenges when you make the decision to live a frugal life.

Here are some practical tips anyone can use to help you save:

  • Have a list of priorities
    • Before spending any cash make sure you know what items are top priority and which ones aren’t as important (only buy necessities). This way there is less chance of you overspending and more money to be saved.
  • Save on everyday items
    • If it’s possible to get the same thing at a cheaper price then do so (shop around). You could also check out websites like SlickDeals.com for bargains that make shopping online very affordable.
  • Buy used goods
    • Buying used goods can save a lot of money if you know where to look for them.

There are lots of places like garage sales, Goodwill, Craigslist, or even eBay that have great deals on all kinds of stuff including designer clothes and brand new laptops!

It takes time but it’s worth it in the end when you find what you are looking for at a fraction of the retail cost.

Final thoughts

Frugal living is an art and a lifestyle.

It requires careful planning to make sure you are getting the best value for money on everything purchased.

You’ll most likely have to do without a few things here and there but by being sensible with your money this can be accomplished without feeling as though anything in your life has been compromised (unless they were non-essential items).

It’s all about how much you spend over time and how much debt you could incur when considering the future.

Choose wisely where you spend your cash and try to get more value each time from each dollar spent!

PRO MONEY SAVER

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