Looking for frugal tips for 2023?
Living frugally can help so many people, and this is why I love researching and sharing frugal tips.
Sure, you may already do a lot of things on this list, but hopefully you can find a few thrifty tips and tricks that you may have forgotten or overlooked.
Learning how to save money helped me pay off my nearly $40,000 student loan debt, and I practiced many of the frugal tips you’re going to learn about today.
I budgeted, cut my bills, found ways to make extra money, and more.
Practicing the best frugal living tips can be a life-changing thing. I know it can be hard at times, especially if you feel like you are already doing everything that you can to save money.
I actually get many questions from readers asking, “How can I save money when I am already frugal?”
I know saving can be hard at times.
I remember getting frustrated when I was living paycheck-to-paycheck and when I was paying off my student loan debt.
I was saving every last dollar I made to put towards my debt, while lots of the people around me were spending money and didn’t seem to be living as frugally as I was.
From the outside, it looked like they were having more fun, but I have no idea if they were taking on debt, living paycheck-to-paycheck, spending because they were stressed, etc.
I learned that I had to focus on my own goals, which was paying off my debt. Once I hit my goal, I kept practicing many of the same frugal tips that I used to pay off my debt. That’s how I was able to quit my job, become a full-time blogger, travel full-time, and more.
Learning new frugal tips and finding more ways to save money opens you up to new possibilities.
Always remember, every little bit helps when you’re trying to save money. $10 here, $20 there, etc. – it all adds up over time!
What does frugal living mean?
Before I get into my frugal tips, I want to explain what frugal living means.
Frugal living is being conscious of your spending. It’s thinking about how you spend your money and therefore spending less of it.
It doesn’t mean being cheap, although some people get that idea. You have different financial priorities when you’re frugal, and that’s why you end up spending less money.
What are the benefits of frugal living?
There are many benefits of living a frugal life. This may include:
- Paying off your debt sooner
- Stop living paycheck-to-paycheck
- Being able to retire earlier
- Living a more minimalist life
And so much more. Being frugal does not mean that you have to hate your life and live on rice and beans for all of your meals.
Being frugal means that you can be in more control of your life and stop wasting money on things that you don’t need to.
Below are over 50 frugal tips.
Frugal tip #1: Find creative ways to live frugally
There are so many creative frugal tips!
I recommend reading 60+ Extreme Things People Have Done To Save Money to see some of the most interesting ways to save money used by personal finance writers and Making Sense of Cents readers.
These include ideas such as:
- Shaving your head or cutting your hair short. This is a great way for men and women to simplify hair care and save money on hair care products.
- Cut your own hair. Haircuts are extremely expensive, especially if you get your hair colored too. Instead of spending money at the salon, Wes now cuts my hair, and he does a great job!
- Dumpster dive for free food. This is super extreme, but there are people out there who dumpster dive to save money on food. Surprisingly, restaurants and groceries throw out a lot of food that is still considered good.
- Make your own toilet paper. I know this sounds extreme, but I know many people who make their own toilet paper because it’s one of the frugal tips that’s also environmentally friendly. You can make your own toilet paper by cutting up things like old t-shirts or rags.
- Freeze water bottles instead of using the AC. Not only will this help you save money on cooling costs, it’s good for the environment.
- Fill your name brand cereal box with an off brand. If your family says they “need” brand name cereal, then this is one of the frugal tips that will help you save on groceries.
Frugal tip #2: Save money on your TV bill
Surprisingly, many households still pay high costs for cable and satellite TV, with an average cost of around $100 a month.
If you are looking for one of the easiest frugal tips, no longer paying for cable is easier than ever. There are so many low-cost alternatives now, and many streaming services carry major cable network shows.
Here’s what some popular streaming services are currently charging per month:
- Netflix – $8.99 to $17.99
- Sling TV – $20 to $40
- Amazon Prime Video – $8.99 (requires an Amazon Prime subscription, which is $119 per year)
- HBO Now – $14.99
- Hulu – $6.99 to $70.99
You can learn more at 16 Alternatives To Cable TV.
Frugal tip #3: Live more simply
Living simply has a natural connection with being more frugal.
By leading a more simply life, you may be able to save money in ways such as:
- Learning to be more organized (and not buying things you don’t need!)
- Paying off your debt because you’re tired of it hanging over your head
- Spending less time on social media, which in turn means that you aren’t sold as many things through advertisements
- Decluttering and possibly downsizing your home
- Having less clothing options and spending less money on clothes
You can learn more frugal tips for simple living at 18 Ideas To Simplify Your Life.
Frugal tip #4: Think before you make a big purchase
This is one of the frugal tips that everyone can benefit from.
I’m sure we’ve all made a purchase at one point in our lives where we realized later that it was a huge mistake. Maybe you don’t realize it at first, but later on you realize you’ve wasted money, taken on debt for something you didn’t need, and more.
You may want to ask yourself questions before making your next purchase such as:
- Can I afford this purchase?
- What else is the item going to cost me?
- What else could I spend this amount of money on?
- Can I wait 24 hours to make the purchase to make sure I need it and have looked at all of my options?
- Can I borrow the item from someone instead of buying it? Is this something I only need once or twice?
- What is the return policy?
- Do I actually need this right now?
You can learn more at 11 Things To Ask For A Regret Free Spending Decision.
Frugal tip #5: Split your costs with a roommate
My husband and I have had roommates in the past in order to save money. I do recommend that anyone with an extra room in their house think about giving it a try.
While renting a room in your house will not make you rich, you can earn a good amount of side income with little effort.
Related content: What You Need To Know About Renting A Room In Your House
Frugal tip #6: Go on almost free vacations just by using your credit card
Yes, you can use credit cards to your advantage and still live a frugal lifestyle.
One way I do this is to earn bonus points and cash back on my credit card purchases.
For more information on this idea, I recommend reading How To Take A 10 Day Trip To Hawaii For $22.40 – Flights & Accommodations Included.
You need to be good with credit cards to start using them to earn points and travel miles. That means you pay off your balance each month and do not pay interest charges, otherwise this is one of the frugal tips that will backfire.
Frugal tip #7: Sign up for birthday freebies
You can score a lot of free birthday stuff by simply showing your date of birth on your driver’s license or by signing up for a company’s email club to receive a coupon for your birthday.
Here are 31 Birthday Freebies You Should Sign Up For.
Frugal tip #8: Get a college degree for less than $10,000 a year
Yes, you can attend college for a more affordable price.
The average cost of programs for college abroad in Europe is around $8,000 per year, which is a huge savings over what you may pay in the U.S.
There are also hundreds of options under $4,000 per year, and there are even 50 programs that are tuition-free for international students.
Plus, bachelor’s degrees in Europe tend to only be 3 or 3.5 years long, which makes the cost per year even better.
You can learn more at How To Go To College In Europe For $8,000 Or Less A Year.
Frugal tip #9: Start meal planning
Meal planning is one of the best frugal tips, and it’s a great way to start frugal living for beginners because it’s easy and has a big effect.
This is because meal planning helps you reduce your food waste and save money on groceries.
If you have trouble eating at home, then try the $5 Meal Plan. It’s only $5 a month, and you get meal plans emailed directly to you along with the exact shopping list you need in order to create the meals. This allows you to save time because you won’t have to plan meals anymore, and it will save you money as well!
You can learn more about this at The Power of Weekly Meal Planning.
Frugal tip #10: Sign up for a cell phone plan that is less than $30 per month
How much do you spend on your cell phone bill each month? If you’re spending more than $30 a month, this is one of the frugal tips you should seriously consider.
Many people don’t realize that there is a growing list of affordable cell phone companies that provide great service and even use the same networks as the larger, expensive carriers.
I know it’s hard to switch to another company if you have a cell provider you like, but think about how much money you could save each month. If you have multiple people in your family on your cell phone plan, then this can save you hundreds of dollars each month.
If you are looking for a more affordable cell phone plan, then check out Republic Wireless. They have monthly cell phone plans for as low as $15 per month.
Please read Saving Over $2,000 A Year With Republic Wireless Review for more information.
Frugal tip #11: Get rid of your timeshare
Timeshares typically cost money every year, sometimes more than $1,000 a year in maintenance costs – whether you use the timeshare or not.
Many people haven’t used their timeshare in years, which has cost them a ton of money.
I know many people who have been tempted to buy a timeshare after attending a presentation, and it can be very tempting. Companies get people to attend by offering free gifts or vacations, and then you sit and listen to a presentation that makes it sounds like you could save thousands and thousands of dollars if you buy a timeshare.
Even though you told yourself that you weren’t going to purchase anything, the salesperson is well-trained, and you can’t resist something that seems like such a good deal.
But, timeshares are expensive because:
- They have annual maintenance fees.
- You may not actually use them as often as you thought you would.
- They are nearly impossible to sell (you may have difficulty selling them for just a $1 even).
- There are plenty of ways to vacation for a more affordable price.
If you are interested in learning more about this subject, please read the free guide The Consumer’s Guide To Timeshare Exit.
Please read more at How To Get Rid Of A Timeshare.
Frugal tip #12: Install a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat can be a great purchase for most homes, and they are quite affordable for what they do.
A programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperature in your home at exactly what you want it to be, and you can have it scheduled to change throughout the day.
This can help you save money because:
- You can set your adjustable thermostat to come on less when you’re away at work. You won’t be wasting money cooling a house that no one is in.
- You can set your adjustable thermostat to use less electricity when you are sleeping.
You can find programmable thermostats here.
Frugal tip #13: Create a household budget
Budgets help people manage their money better, no matter how much money they make. That’s why this is one of the frugal tips that I believe everyone should follow.
Budgets are great because they keep you mindful of your income and expenses. A budget helps you plan for big expenses, not overspend on things, and help you find areas in your budget where you can save money.
No matter what your financial situation is, creating a budget may be a great idea, and you can download a free budget printable here.
Budgets have helped people reach their goals, pay off debt, make more money, retire, and more. This is one of the best ways to save money that will completely change your financial life.
Learn more at The Complete Budgeting Guide: How To Create A Budget That Works.
Frugal tip #14: Read your free credit report
Having a good credit score can help you save money on interest charges, cell phone plans, and more. And, checking your free credit report is the first step in improving your score.
You can receive one annual free credit report from the three main credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian).
Yes, this means that you get one from each, so three each year. I recommend spacing them out so you can get one every four months.
You can learn more about this here.
Frugal tip #15: Find an online job
Finding an online job is one of my favorite frugal tips because it’s a way to make more money to put towards your savings. Plus, you can cut out your commute and save money on transportation!
Working online is more flexible than most traditional jobs, and there are lots of online jobs that allow you to earn a full-time income while working at home.
Being able to work online helped me pay off my student loan debt and quit a job I didn’t love. Now, I get to work while I travel full-time, which I love!
There are more online jobs that ever before, so if you want to make extra money or start a new career path that lets you earn money from home, here are some ideas:
- Make Money At Home By Becoming A Bookkeeper
- How To Work From Home Selling On Amazon FBA
- How I Make Money Selling Printables On Etsy
- How to Make Money Self-Publishing Short Romance Novels on Amazon
- How Kayla Earns $10K/Month From Home as a Virtual Assistant
- How To Become a Search Engine Evaluator
- How To Make $1,000+ A Month Selling Stickers Online
- How Jenn Makes Over $10,000 A Month With Her Online Store In Less Than 10 Hours Per Week
- How Melissa Made $40,000 In One Year Flipping Items
- How To Become A Freelance Writer
- How To Become A Proofreader And Work From Anywhere
- How I Make $2,000+ Monthly Selling Canva Templates
- How I Make $1,500 A Month As A Podcast Virtual Assistant
- How To Become A Voice Over Actor And Work From Anywhere
- How I Earned Up to $4,000 Per Month Baking Dog Treats (With Zero Baking Experience!)
- How To Start a Blog
Frugal tip #16: Earn passive income
Passive income is when you are able to make an income while doing very little work to maintain that income source. It’s different from the normal income you earn from your job, which pays you for your time.
Passive income allows you to earn money while you sleep, travel, work another job, and more.
Every passive income source takes some kind of investment to start, and that can be either a time or financial investment. But, your investment gets easier to manage over time, and income continually comes in without much effort from you.
There might be a little maintenance here and there after you set up your passive income source, but overall the passive income stream should continue to operate on its own.
Various passive income ideas include:
- Affiliate marketing
- High yield savings accounts
- Rental real estate
- Rent out a room in your home
- Writing a book
- Starting an online store
- Creating an online course
- Shopping at cashback websites
- Earning credit card rewards
- Paying off your debt
You can learn more at 12 Passive Income Ideas That Will Let You Enjoy Life More.
Frugal tip #17: Unplug unused electronics.
Computers, TVs, chargers, and more all use power even when they’re turned off.
By unplugging items that you’re not using, you’ll lower your electric bill and save money.
You may want to put some kind of reminder around your house to help you remember to unplug things, but it will eventually become a habit.
Frugal tip #18: Drive a more affordable car
According to credit reporting agency Experian, the average monthly payment on a new car loan in the U.S. is $568 and $397 for a used car payment.
While those payments may sound affordable to some people, they don’t include paying more for taxes, registration, and insurance.
On top of all of that, many people take out high-interest loans in order to pay for their car. My husband used to work in new car sales, and he told me about new car buyers who sometimes would take out loans with rates close to 20%.
I am a big believer that your car expenses should be less than 10-15% of your monthly income in order for it to be affordable. That includes payments, taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.
Remembering that there are alternatives to taking out high-interest rate car loans on expensive new cars is one of the best frugal tips that can save you hundreds of dollars each month.
Frugal tip #19: Read frugal, savings, and early retirement stories
I think that reading success stories from people who are on a similar path can be a great way to learn new ideas, and it can also keep you motivated to reach your own financial goals. Some great articles I recommend reading including:
- How I Retired At Age 30 with $500,000
- How This Couple Retired at 38 and 41: Interview With OurNextLife
- How This 34 Year Old Owns 7 Rental Homes
- How We Travel Full-Time On $1,400 Per Month
- How I Made $100,000 Selling Used Items
Frugal tip #20: Get rid of (some of) your monthly subscription services
There are a lot of really fun subscription services out there – clothes boxes, meal kits, streaming services, beauty products, craft kits, dog treats and toys, shaving kits, gym memberships, and much, much more.
Subscription services can feel really affordable at first. A $20 month beauty bag doesn’t sound that expensive, and that’s the problem. The costs add up quickly when you subscribe to too many because you feel like you’re getting a great deal month after month.
This is one of the easiest frugal tips to save money each month because all it takes is going to the company’s website and clicking “cancel.”
Frugal tip #21: Frugal tips for the grocery store
Learning how to save money on food and groceries doesn’t have to be difficult.
Here are frugal tips to use when you shop:
- Meal planning
- Use this cell phone app for cash back on your groceries.
- Shop with a grocery list.
- Look for things above or below eye level – eye level is called the “buy level” for a reason
- Pay attention to per unit costs
- See if there are any sales for the items you are already buying.
- Use coupons when grocery shopping.
- Buy in bulk for ingredients that you know you will use.
- Grocery shop when you’re full
- Skip the pre-made and pre-cut items
- Sign up for a grocery store’s loyalty card (this is such an easy one and so many grocery stores give you massive discounts on each item you buy for simply having a free card!)
These are tips you can use week after week at the grocery store to keep saving more over time.
Frugal tip #22: Refinance your student loans
Refinancing your student loans is when you take out another loan at a lower interest rate. It can be done with both private and federal student loans, but federal loan borrowers will lose protections like income based payments, deferments, etc.
Refinancing can be a good way to save money on your student loan payments if you’re the right candidate. And, I highly recommend Credible for student loan refinancing if you’re interested.
The reason I’ve added this to my list of frugal tips is because refinancing can significantly lower the interest rate on your student loans, which may then help you shave thousands off your student loan bill over time.
Through Credible, you may be able to refinance your student loans to a rate as low as 3.35%!
Plus, it’s free to apply.
Learn more at Credible Review – Refinance Your Student Loans And Save An Average Of $18,668.
Frugal tip #23: Ride your bike more
Riding your bike is a great way to be more frugal. Many people already have a bike, so this can help you cut back on your car usage, maintenance costs, and fuel costs.
This is one of my favorite frugal tips because riding your bike can save you money and help you get in a great workout.
I recommend getting a basket or saddle bags for your bike to make it easier to carry things when you run errands. You may even become more mindful of what you buy because you can only carry so much on a bike.
Frugal tip #24: Get cash back on your purchases
One of the easiest frugal tips is to get cash back on things that you buy online.
Signing up for a website like Rakuten where you can earn cash back by spending how you normally would online is an easy way to save money. If you’re already shopping online, you might as well get some cash back on your purchases!
You can use Rakuten at stores like Walmart, Target, Macy’s, Amazon, Kohls, and more.
Rakuten is free to sign up for and use, too! Plus, when you sign up through my link and make your first purchase, you will also receive a free $10 cash back.
Frugal tip #25: Eat meatless meals
You don’t have to go completely vegetarian or vegan, but cutting meat out of one or two meals a week can save you a ton of money.
You can do something like a Meatless Monday or having meat with just one meal a day. This is another one of the frugal tips that’s also good for your health and the environment.
Frugal tip #26: Get rid of your storage unit
One main theme you’ve probably noticed with these frugal tips is to get rid of things you’re not using.
So, if you have a storage unit that you are not using to its fullest, then I recommend seeing if you can get rid of it and eliminate this monthly expense.
Nearly 10% of households rent a self-storage unit. However, many people don’t really have a use for them – it’s just unwanted stuff that people forget about and don’t want to deal with, so they continue to pay for their storage unit.
Frugal tip #27: Read money books
There is a lot of valuable information, motivating stories, and practical advice in money books.
Reading them can completely change the way you approach money, help you gain control of your financial life, and improve your financial lifestyle.
Here are some books I recommend starting with:
- Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way
- The Year of Less
- Quit Like A Millionaire
- The Simple Path To Wealth
- The Millionaire Next Door
- Meet the Frugalwoods
You can find the whole list of personal finance books I recommend here.
Frugal tip #28: Be frugal when giving gifts
The holidays and birthdays are a time when many of us spend more than we want, but there are some great frugal tips that will help you save, such as:
- Buy second hand
- Give the gift of time
- Wrap gifts in recycled materials, like newspapers or paper bags
- Do Secret Santa instead of buying gifts for everyone
- Host a potluck dinner instead of going out to eat or cooking for everyone
- Make homemade holiday decorations
Those are just a few ideas you and your family can try.
Frugal tip #29: Get paid to complete online surveys
One of the easiest and best ways to save money is to take paid online surveys. Taking online surveys isn’t really a way to cut back your budget, and it’s not going to make you rich.
But, you can earn a little bit of extra money without doing much work, and you may occasionally receive items to try for free and review. You can get paid through PayPal, check, Amazon gift cards, and more.
The survey companies I recommend signing up for include:
- American Consumer Opinion
- Survey Junkie
- Branded Surveys
- Pinecone Research
- Prize Rebel
- Opinion Outpost
- User Interviews
- Springboard America
Frugal tip #30: Negotiate your car and home insurance bills
Insurance is a necessary expense for most people, but many people are paying more than they need to pay for car and homeowner’s insurance.
You can stop wasting money on insurance by:
- Shopping around at different companies to see what other offers are out there.
- Evaluating whether or not you should change your deductible.
- Changing some of your coverage amounts.
- Understanding insurance terms better.
- Possibly taking a driving class.
I also recommend simply calling your insurance agent and asking for a discount, and many times they will have some kind of discount to offer. All you have to do is ask!
Taking a few minutes to find ways to save on insurance can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars over the course of the year.
You can shop car insurance rates through Get Jerry here.
Frugal tip #31: Research before you buy
This is one of the tips I use on a regular basis. I always spend a decent amount of time researching products before I buy them to make sure they are worth the money I’m spending.
There are times when I may end up spending a little more on an item to get better quality, but you would be surprised by the number of times inexpensive items have the highest ratings.
When you research things, pay attention to common complaints in customer reviews, like if there’s something that lots of people have seen break. You can also read blog posts, and Consumer Reports is good, but it does have a subscription fee.
Researching helps you find the best products so you’re not wasting your money, and you can research used things too.
Frugal tip #32: Save money on your next vacation
If you want to learn how to be frugal but not cheap, then you’ll still need to take vacations. Fortunately, there are some great frugal tips that can help you plan your next vacation.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to be frugal on your next vacation:
- Be flexible with your flight dates. A difference of just a day or two can sometimes save you over $100 per flight. Most booking websites will let you choose a flexible date option to browse rates and days.
- For tourist destinations, travel in the mid or off season instead of the peak travel season.
- Stay in an Airbnb. Airbnb is often much more affordable than a hotel, and you may get a larger space with more amenities as well.
- Ask for a discount at the hotel you are staying at.
- Eat like a local.
- Buy groceries and eat out less (if you’re staying in an Airbnb, this is easy because many have kitchens).
Related: How To Travel On a Budget
Frugal tip #33: Join a Buy Nothing group
The Buy Nothing Project is a network of over 65,000 hyper-local gift economies where neighbors come together to fill each other’s needs.
You can use these groups to ask for practically anything and everything. My sister-in-law is a moderator for her local group, and she shared some of the things people have given and received through her group.
- Winter coats for an entire family
- A small amount of cinnamon when someone needed a little for a recipe and didn’t want to go to the store
- Borrowing a steam cleaner to clean car upholstery
- A meal train set up for a family who just had a baby
- Dog walking services
- Packing supplies for a move, like boxes and bubble wrap
- Graphic design services for someone who was starting a business
You can find your local Buy Nothing group by searching on Facebook.
Frugal tip #34: Open a high-yield savings account
High-yield savings accounts allow you to be more frugal because you earn money on what you save, but most people have their money in accounts with low rates. Unfortunately, that means many of you are losing out on some easy cash!
Savings accounts at brick and mortar banks are known for having really low interest rates. That’s because they have a much higher overhead – paying for the building, paying the tellers, etc. Many people still use savings accounts they opened years ago at a brick and mortar bank.
Read more at How To Earn Over 20x The National Savings Rate.
Frugal tip #35: Visit the local library
Your local library is a great way to live more frugally because many libraries let you borrow more than just books these days.
Besides books, you can borrow movies, music, cameras, GoPros, even telescopes, and more.
I have even heard of libraries that lend kitchen utensils, power tools, state park passes, and sports equipment!
This is definitely one of the best frugal tips because all you need is a library card, and those are free. Just don’t forget to bring your items back on time so you’re not charged late fees.
Frugal tip #36: Have an emergency fund
An emergency fund is something I believe everyone should have. It may not sound like a way to save money and be frugal, but let me explain how it can.
When you set money aside for emergencies, you are preparing yourself for unexpected expenses, job loss, a pay cut, etc. Instead of relying on credit cards or borrowing money (which can cost more in the long run because of interest charges), an emergency fund can protect you from taking on debt.
Learn more at Why You Need An Emergency Fund and How To Start One Today.
Frugal tip #37: Find free local activities
I am sure there are some great free activities in your area if you spend a little time looking for them. All you have to do is search “free events in [enter the name of your city].”
I did a quick search of where we’re at and found over a dozen ideas, and many of them are things I’ve never done before.
This is one of the most fun frugal tips that can help you plan your next date night, a day with your kids or friends, and help you explore your city.
Frugal tip #38: Buy second hand
Purchasing used furniture, clothing, and more is one of the best ways to save money on a tight budget, but I honestly recommend it for everyone.
You may be able to get secondhand items through:
- Seeing what friends, family, and neighbors are trying to get rid of
- You can also find free items listed on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace
- There are also local Buy Nothing Groups on Facebook that focus on gifting things as a way to build community.
Trust me, people want to give away their stuff! It’s much easier than trying to find a place to donate things (some places actually have too many donations and have to say no), plus it can mean the person doesn’t have to haul it away.
Frugal tip #39: Use a water filter instead of buying bottled water
Unless you live in a place where the water is not clean enough to drink, buying bottled water can be an unnecessary expense.
According to The Water Project, the average person in the U.S. spends around $100 per year on bottled water.
Instead of spending that much money on bottled water each year, you can probably drink the water from your own home. You can even buy a water filter if you want to and save money in the long run.
Frugal tip #40: Downsize your house
Downsizing can be hard for a lot of people, but this is one of the frugal tips that can have very major effects.
Some people think a small house isn’t practical, but a large house isn’t practical for many people when you consider all of the costs. You are probably spending more each month on:
- Mortgage or rent
- Maintenance and upkeep
- Things to put in your house
Your home is an important part of your life, but it can cost you a ton if you don’t really need the space. You might actually be surprised by how little space you can comfortably live with.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to save money with a smaller than average home, read Smaller Can Be Better – Maximize Your Savings With A Small House.
Frugal tip #41: Mend your clothes
Most people just throw away their clothes when they get a hole or rip, no matter how small the tear may be. However, you can get a lot more life out of your clothing and save money if you learn how to mend.
Even a simple thing like learning how to sew on a button can be a great start.
If this is one of the frugal tips you’re interested in learning more about, search for “visible mending” or “sashiko.” You will find some beautiful examples of how people turn their mended clothes into wearable art.
Frugal tip #42: Go out for lunch (not dinner)
Going out to eat is a big expense, which is why many frugal people avoid it. However, if you do want to splurge, you can still save money by going out for lunch instead of dinner.
The dinner menu is often more expensive than the lunch menu, even though the meals are very similar.
Frugal tip #43: Plant a garden
Starting a garden is one of the best frugal tips to try as a family, and you probably don’t need as much space for your garden as you think.
Simply planting small pots with herbs, lettuce, or tomatoes can help you save money on food. I also recommend starting small so you’re not overwhelmed, and you can always add to your garden in future years.
If you want to be even more frugal, you can collect seeds to plant the following year and fertilize your garden with compost you make from kitchen scraps.
Frugal tip #44: Fix things when they break
I’m not talking about fixing your AC or heater on your own (unless you actually know what you’re doing). But, there are many things around your house you can learn how to fix, such as:
- Leaky pipes under the kitchen or bathroom sink
- Replacing tail or blinker lights on your car
- Patching drywall
- Unclogging drains
- Tightening loose knobs or screws
YouTube is a great resource for learning how to fix things.
What is the difference between being frugal and cheap?
The difference to me is that cheap means you’re being stingy or tight with your money. I know of very wealthy people who I would consider to be cheap because they do things like not tip servers when they go out to eat.
However, being frugal is watching your spending and not being wasteful.
How can I become very frugal?
I get this question often from people who suddenly find themselves in a tight spot. Fortunately, there are some quick ways to save, such as:
- First, start a budget and figure out exactly how much you are making and where your money is going. You’ll be able to see where you can save.
- Cut unnecessary spending like going out to eat, new clothes, entertainment, etc.
- Go through your house and see if there is anything you can sell.
- Find a side job – if you’ve exhausted as many of the frugal tips on this list, then you may need to find ways to make money.
Once you are through this stressful financial period, hopefully you can use some of the frugal tips in this article to build a good emergency fund. This can prevent a lot of stress in the future.
What are your best frugal tips? Please share in the comments below.
Monica P says
What do you do for internet if you cut your cable? Internet is around $80 in my area so not sure if you are saving much to stream still?
Tracy K says
Monica – look into different internet options. How is T-Mobile service in your area? I live in a rural area and don’t have many internet options. I used a semi-local company and had nothing but problems. A friend signed up for T-Mobile internet and was loving it so I thought why not. It is just a plug-in device that works like a hot spot and is only $50 per month. We have had multiple people streaming and have multiple devices running simultaneously with no problems. May be worth looking into. You can see coverage for your area by entering your zip code on their website.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner says
In some areas, internet is tied to cable, but that’s not everywhere. I got a new internet plan over the past summer and it was $50 a month for good internet – with no TV service required.
Covid forced me to look at each spending item and implement more frugality in my life and I honestly couldn’t be happier. These are fabulous tips – many of which I’ve done – but there are some more that I need to take a look at.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner says
Gary Grewal says
So many good ones, especially #12, 23, 27..heck most of them are so important! I’m a big fan of biking and buying things second hand. Transportation is the second biggest cost for most, and most things we buy new lose their utility or appeal faster than we think…good mix of ideas here. I would also add volunteering is a free way to gain entry to events and have a more immersive experience.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner says
Oh yes, volunteering at events is a great idea! I have done that before many times.
I love the fact that 2022 gives everyone the opportunity to regroup in changing their mindset and building their businesses from the ground floor up, while having a mind to save more money. 🙂