Last Updated on 28th September 2020 by Emma
Are you looking to save money or are you aspiring to be a true super frugal?
They are not so different.
People who are into super frugal living save a lot of money, whereas those looking to save money, save money!
But probably not as much as those who take their money saving to the next level.
Your circumstances will dictate just how much scrimping you have to do right now to get by, tight times call for more extreme measures.
And that is where becoming more extreme in how you save money and where you save money can really help you keep going, without getting into (more) debt.
The question is, are you prepared to go as far as some frugal folk to save money?
Extreme frugal living
(This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read more here)
Disclaimer: You may consider me to be super frugal in comparison to where you are right now.
However, I didn’t start out super frugal nor do I consider myself to be extreme, but I have done most of these more extreme ways to save money.
Initially because circumstances dictated that I had to, to make ends meet, then later because I chose to.
Super frugal living folk are prepared to do things differently to what is now consider to be ‘normal’.
The norm being things like having a car on finance, a large mortgage and an eating out budget that runs into the hundreds every month.
The problem with this normal is that for many folk it’s just not sustainable, it costs more than they earn and so debt builds up.
Extreme is a strong word and I’m not keen to use it to describe many frugal habits because I don’t consider them to be extreme, more like very sensible ways to save money.
However some habits are just out and out extreme and we are going to have a look at them and think about how they can help you save money.
7 Super frugal habits
1. wear a hat at home
We all know a woolly hats keep your head warm on a cold day although it’s a myth that you lose 40% of your body heat through your head.
Side not: I have always believed that myth, right up until I just googled it to include in this post!
Whether frugal folk know this is a myth or not, the fact of wearing a hat at home is not just about body heat.
Frugal folk keep their heating off or down much lower than you might find comfortable, they layer up to combat the cold instead.
Keeping your heating down low will save you money, and in the winter quite a lot.
Are you willing to wear an extra layer or two to save money?
This is one of the super frugal living habits that is deeply ingrained into me, starting out purely to save money because I literally could not pay my bills.
And it’s a habit that I continue to this day.
Today is the first frost of the year but the heating isn’t on and it won’t be on for a good while yet.
Instead I am wearing fleece lined joggers, thermal socks and a thick jumper. If it gets colder then I’ll add a gilet.
If you’ve never worn fleece lined pants you are missing a very cosy experience, they make my winter.
Sign up for the frugal foundations email course and start your frugal journey
2. Repetitive diet
We’ve all heard about a rice and beans diet and no doubt you shy away from such a boring, repetitive diet.
But what if I told you that you could save hundreds every month by becoming more repetitive with the food you eat?
Especially when beans and rice are involved?
Super frugal living is of course not about only ever eating plain rice and beans. But they do play a big part and save a huge amount of money as a result.
Think about the cost of meat, then replace that with the cost of a cup of beans, that’s the kind of saving you can make every day.
Both beans and rice are extremely cheap foods that people often resort to when they are broke. Whereas frugal folk incorporate them into their regular diet.
Eating the same food multiple times a week saves on prep time, gas and electricity to cook the food and of course allows you to focus on buying in bulk.
I will happily eat the same breakfast and lunch every day and have done for more years than I care to mention.
And I can eat the same dinner a couple of times a week but that is as far as I will go. My hubby will begrudgingly eat the same thing twice, but only if they are a few days apart.
As he’s the cook these days I’m happy to go along with that!
3. Washing baggies
Ziplock bags and other plastic bags are extremely useful for holding leftover food, produce from your garden and many other things.
How often do you re-use them though? And how often do you buy another box?
You can probably get a box for a dollar or so, maybe less if you shop at Aldi or Costco.
How much do you actually save when you wash your baggies time after time?
Not much, not much at all, but you do save a little, perhaps a few dollars a year.
Super frugal living is all about taking care of every tiny aspect of your life and making it be the most cost effective way of doing things.
And yes I have and do wash my plastic baggies and have done ever since I read The Tightwad Gazette where Amy actually did a cost analysis on how much she saved by doing so.
For extreme frugal living ideas and practical help The Tightwad Gazette is a must. Although some of it has been replaced by being able to Google best prices.
I reckon every super frugal person has their own copy of it on their bookshelf.
Yes I have my own, much used copy!
4. reusing foil wrap
Wash and reuse foil wrap in exactly the same way as you do plastic baggies.
Same reason, same savings.
And yes, I got this tip from The Tightwad Gazette too!
5. cut your own hair
I’ve been cutting my own hair since my 20’s. When you have very long, fine hair as I did, going to the salon wasn’t a luxury.
Standing up to have your hair cut is just not the same pampering experience that short haired people get.
Nor have I ever seen the point in having my hair washed when the bit they are going to cut is about 24 inches away from my roots.
Going to the salon is a luxury the super frugal quite frankly don’t consider to be worth the money spent.
These days you don’t need to cut and hope for the best, YouTube has thousands of tutorials you can watch to learn how to get your cut just right.
Even better if you can rope in a friend or partner to do the trick bits at the back.
Both hubby and I cut our own hair and help each other do the tricky bits.
6. shower with a bucket
Water is a precious commodity and whether you pay for the amount of water you use or just a standing charge, it is a good thing to reduce your usage.
Showers use much less water than baths but they still run to a lot of litres of water being flushed down the plughole.
Much of which is perfectly clean and could be reused.
This is where your bucket comes in. Place your bucket next to you when you are getting wet and on your final rinse.
This water is perfect for being reused around the garden, and for washing your car.
You do wash your own car don’t you?
Move the bucket away when you are covered in soap because that’s not so great for your plants.
It goes without saying that frugal folk also have short, functional showers to save more water.
Turn your shower off as soon as you are wet and don’t turn it back on until you are ready to rinse your soap off.
7. make your own cleaning products
You’ve only got to look at the number of different products in the cleaning aisle to know that they are big business.
And if they are big business then it means many people are paying out a small fortune for all these products every year.
There is no need to do this, make your own homemade cleaning products instead.
You get to choose what ingredients are in them (helps with allergies) and where you buy them (helps your budget).
The great thing about homemade products is that most of the ingredients are items you could already have in your store cupboards:
The main ingredients you would need for most recipes are:
And you don’t need 20 different products to do 20 different cleaning tasks, literally a couple will do.
I’m not great at making my own products so I cheat. I use a homemade all purpose cleaner made from a concentrated cleaning product.
You name it, I’ve cleaned it with my (diluted) concentrated cleaner.
Stardrops cost anything from £1 to £10 a bottle, depending on brand and shipping.
I’ve not yet bought it from Amazon because I’ve always been able to get it from the likes of Home Bargains or B&M.
In the US, Biokleen is a recommended concentrated cleaner.
Again, look for it in home stores, it could well be much cheaper than Amazon.
Super frugal people tips
When you need to know how to live super frugally then always look to those who are already living that lifestyle.
No need to reinvent the wheel, do what they do and see how much money you can save.
Even if you don’t want to follow all these frugal living tips, you get the idea don’t you?
Think outside the box a little, don’t presume you have to do things the same as everyone else.
Don’t think you have to spend money in certain ways just because others do.
It’s your money, you choose whether to spend it on plastic baggies or save it!
For more help in becoming frugal join the frugal foundations framework today
Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!