Frugal Things I’ve Done Recently

As you may have read recently in my post You May Be Wasting Thousands Of Dollars On These 7 Things, we are watching our spending, living frugally, and always trying to find new ways to be smarter with our money. No matter what your income is, I always think it’s a good idea to eliminate any ways…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 27, 2023

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Frugal Things I've Done Recently - Living Frugally TipsAs you may have read recently in my post You May Be Wasting Thousands Of Dollars On These 7 Things, we are watching our spending, living frugally, and always trying to find new ways to be smarter with our money.

No matter what your income is, I always think it’s a good idea to eliminate any ways you may be being wasteful.

There’s really no need to be wasting money if you don’t even value it. Why spend money just to spend?

Below are several things I’ve done recently so that I can continue living frugally. They are all fairly small, but they all count!

I may turn this into a monthly series. I think jotting down ways to live frugally can be a great way to look back and remember past actions, plus I enjoy reading comments about how others are currently saving money!


1. I meal prepped.

Meal prepping is a great way to start living frugally, especially if you have a problem with food spending (like we do).

We had to come home earlier this week to get some warranty work done on our RV and you better believe I took full advantage of our kitchen inside our home! While RV cooking is similar to cooking at home, our RV kitchen is much smaller so there is less room to cook, less stove space, and more.

I was able to save money by meal prepping some meals for both the RV and for while we are at home waiting on our RV to be fixed. One of the meals I prepped was chicken fried rice, which I’ve been missing since being in the RV. It made around 6 meals and they were all tasty!


2. We stocked up on groceries.

One thing we’ve noticed since being on the road is that grocery stores near national parks and other touristy areas are much more expensive. While this is probably a given, it’s something we did not think about before we left.

Instead, we were stocking up as we drove, which led to a lot of money being wasted. In fact, the other day I needed to cook and bought a few items for twice (and sometimes even three times!) what they would normally cost at the store. UGH!

When we were at home the other day, we went to our local grocery store and stocked up on items such as granola, dried fruit, cereal, noodles, canned goods, and more.


3. We RV camped for free.

Being in the RV has been great so far. We’ve already been to Black Canyon of The Gunnison National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, numerous national forests, and more.

Despite all of the traveling, we are actually spending less money than ever. Plus, we are camping for free about half of the time on BLM land and in national forests. Camping for free is THE BEST – the views are great, being secluded is awesome, and surprisingly I’ve had the best internet when we’ve been free camping as well.


4. We used coupons.

We’ve received a lot of coupons in the mail lately for completely free products. They weren’t for the healthiest items, but we are human and eat unhealthy sometimes. Plus, free is good and I can’t say no to that.

Some coupons we received include coupons for free Hot Pockets, free McDonald’s, and $1 off dog food. No, I won’t become rich but saving money and living frugally are always good in my mind!


5. We attempted to pick up change off the ground.

Ha, yes, I said attempted! The other day we were walking and Wes noticed a quarter on the ground.

He tried to pick it up, but it was actually glued to the ground. It was obviously a trick by the store that the quarter was placed in front of. I’m sure everyone had a laugh while Wes was trying to pick up a glued quarter!

What frugal things have you done recently? How are you living frugally? Share below!


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. I love stocking up on groceries too! I’m a big fan of using coupons and I’m looking for my favorite products that offered a free one.

  2. Erica {}

    Meal prepping is awesome! I’ve done it for years as a way to save money and eat much healthier (so easy to eat junk when you are tired and don’t feel like cooking!)

    My frugal win for the week; finding a pair of $95 Sperry’s I’ve been wanting for ages on eBay for $39 (shipped!)

  3. Luke Fitzgerald @ FinanciallyFitz

    Ha! The glued quarter is a good one! This week we’ve only cooked twice (big meals though) and ate leftovers the rest of week. The way our buget is set right now, we have no choice but to live fruagally if we still want to do any form of entertainment 🙂

  4. Coupons – love to hate them and hate to love them. I couponed away this week! In terms of fun frugal things, my husband and my dad are working on restoring this really old rickety tin can of a row bow. It’s been so fun to see them do it. I can’t wait to get back out on the water this weekend. Oh, and your free RV campsite photos on Insta have me sold! 🙂

  5. Reelika @Financially Wise On Heels

    We currently have “eat-at-home-month,” so I make all the meals from scratch at home. It has saved a lot so far. I have not used any coupons, but probably I should.

  6. Sarah

    Menu planning saved our grocery budget big time. I lowered our monthly budget from $700 for a family of three to $400 for a family of four. I’m working on trying to get it lower. I’ve limited myself to one soda a day (next month I’m going to try to do without) but getting my husband on board with that is an entirely different battle.

  7. I love meal planning and cooking at home. It saves a ton of money, makes your life easier and just feels right. I’m glad to hear that the RV is saving you money. Camping is so fun, but even better when it’s free 🙂

  8. Danell

    I love menu planning. When I do it anyway. . . that’s the tough part sometimes. I do much better if I don’t have to think at the last minute about what to have for dinner. Saves me time and money. This month I’m dropping my grocery/food budget for the three of us from $300 to $275. This includes any meals out. Wish me luck!

  9. I hate it when people glue money to the ground. That makes me crazy!!

  10. Brittany

    HAHA! I read this at the same time I saw one of those Sasquatch prank commercials where the guys stick a quarter to the ground using honey to mess with Sasquatch. Good job staying frugal!

  11. Ha, that is too funny about the glued quarter trick. I ALWAYS pick up abandoned coins on the ground. Thankfully I haven’t been tricked like that yet!

    1. Haha I laughed at Wes forever after that!

  12. Sylvia @ Professional Girl on the Go

    The only thing we do right now to save money is meal prepping. But I was thinking about biking it to and from work. That way I get a workout and don’t have to pay for gas.

  13. Heather aka HoJo

    Great ideas! That coin comment made me LOL! I did that to my students one year on April Fool’s day. The kids didn’t fall for it much, but a few staff members did. 🙂

  14. We buy the “loss leaders” at our local grocery stores. We then plan our meals around what was on sale, fresh, and usually in season.

    Secret to the glued coin trick: give the coin a small nudge with your foot first. If it moves you are good!

  15. Heather @ Simply Save

    I would have tried to pick up the quarter too! It all adds up! 🙂

  16. Corrina

    Unfortunately I hate couponing. It is soooo time consuming and I rarely have the patience or time for it 🙁 But, I’ll share what we’ve done recently. Money has been tight lately and we have a local buy & sell Facebook page and we’ve sold a lot of items we don’t need and would’ve just given away. We still donate items to our local goodwill but it’s nice to make a few bucks! It has put gas in our cars and paid for other necessary expenses! It’s like a community yard sale page! Give it a try!

  17. Ali @ Anything You Want

    I am focusing a lot on meal planning and stocking up on groceries lately. Not only is meal planning better for my budget, but it also really helps me to know what to make for dinner after a long day at work. On the grocery front, I’m trying to get better at buying non-perishables when they’re on sale and keeping a stock on hand. It can be hard since I live in a relatively small space, but I think the savings will be worth making some room.

    1. Yes, meal planning is a great idea!

  18. Karen Hassett

    Meal planning before shopping is the way to go. Besides reducing your dining out expense ( because you didn’t have planned for dinner) or expensive prepared food, it also forces you to inventory your pantry before heading to the grocery store. @finlitlady1

  19. Gina

    Other than the RV camping, my husband and I have done all of those things! Haha. My attempts at frugality lately have been cancelling monthly services that we no longer need (whittling down those bills) and we joined a local CSA to get a good price on local organic veggies. 🙂 That last one has been so much fun and it’s a surprise to see what we get from them each week. I highly recommend it!

    1. We need to join one. We’ve been wanting to!

  20. These are all small things, but they can add up to quite a bit over time. Great job!!

  21. Great idea stocking up when you’re in a cheap grocery area. It’s crazy how much more expensive all the basics are when you’re in a tourist area. Must suck to be a permanent resident!

    Prepping meals ahead of time can make a HUGE difference to your life and your budget – even if you’re not travelling the countryside in an RV.

  22. I prioritize the use of coupons more than paying it full in cash. As a matter of fact, I have small envelops for these coupons separated accordingly like for clothes, food, products, services, and a lot more. This really helps me spend money wisely and save some money.

  23. Car washes can be so expensive!

  24. there are items that you can buy in bulk like toilet paper, tooth brush, food in tin so this no perishable items helps you to stay on your budget….well now you noticed price difference so next timeyou will prepared…

    1. Yes, buying in bulk can help. Thanks!

  25. Ever since Canada phased out the penny, I’m finding dimes on the ground ALL THE TIME. Sure it takes a while to collect enough to make a roll of change, but it’s 10X faster than collecting pennies 😉

  26. Amy @ DebtGal

    Love the quarter trick!

    I do not enjoy cooking or meal-planning, but I do both to save time, money, and my sanity. I’ve also been harvesting lots of veggies from my garden, lately!

  27. I eat at my friend’s house! And use his internet!