What Frugal People Always Do With Their Money

laptop screen showing graphs with a tablet to the left side

Some people were born frugal.

Some were brought up by frugal parents.

Others have become frugal through choice or necessity.

What frugal people have in common is a way of approaching their finances, spending and approach to life.

You don’t get sucked into keeping up with the Joneses or following the latest spending trends.

You carve your own path according to your priorities and personal situation.

I started on the path to being frugal when I became a teenage single mum. 

Being frugal started out as a necessity but became a habit that is now deeply ingrained.

I love saving money and organizing my family’s finances so that we get the most for our money.

Although of course I am not perfect and still make some mistakes.

 

laptop screen showing graphs with a tablet to the left side

 

When you have a frugal mindset you can’t help but apply it to every aspect of your life.

Whether that is your finances, your shopping or the way you live your life.

There are so many frugal tips that can help you that I have created a frugal mini series to help share all the frugal do’s and don’ts.

Today’s post is about how fabulously frugal people always organize their finances.

Other posts in the series are:

15 Things Fabulously Frugal People NEVER do Organizing Their Finances

7 Secret Thrifty and Frugal Living Tips Of Fabulously Frugal People

The Fundamental MUST Haves For Your Fabulously Frugal Home

How To Be Frugal: 200+ Best Frugal Living Tips To Try Today

 

Follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and financial tips!

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What fabulously frugal people always do to organise their finances.
What fabulously frugal people always do to organise their finances.

 

 

 

13 Simple Tips That Frugal People Consider Mainstream

Spouse Chat

If you are married or in a partnership then getting your partner on board is key to being successfully frugal.

If you’ve hooked up with your frugal equivalent then great!

However it’s more likely you are not on the same page at the same time.

This is where having regular money conversations becomes so important. Talk through:

  • your bills
  • what you plan to spend
  • what you actually spent
  • money goals
  • future finances

In the UK it is very much a thing to NOT talk about money.

Not with your partner, your parents or your friends.

Why is that? If you can talk about making love, why not money?!

Related posts:

How To Manage Money As A Couple: 9 (Successful) Strategies

How to save your marriage with a fun money allowance

 

Money Goals

Having money goals gives you something to aim for. Without goals you will spend money aimlessly.

Your money needs a purpose.

We’ve all been brought up to aim for goals, whether that’s learning to talk, passing our exams or learning to drive.

Apply the same principle to your money. Have financial goals to strive for. Monthly, yearly, even 10-yearly.

 

 

Understanding Want vs. Need

Frugal people understand the key differences between want and need.

Need is about the basics in life – shelter, fire, food.

OK, maybe not quite as basic as that but you know what I mean!

You don’t need a large car. Your children don’t need to have separate bedrooms.

You do need to put food in your bellies and a roof over your head.

It’s not that you can’t have what you want, it’s understanding that what you want is just that, a want.

Wants are optional.

Separating out wants from needs allows you to identify what is most important in your life and make the right financial choices for you.

If you want to spend money on that widget then go for it. But don’t deceive yourself into thinking you need it.

 

woman with financial documents a calculator and open coin purse laid out in front of her

 

All About The Budget

Most frugal people have budgets. There are a few exceptions and if you can work your finances without a budget then that’s great.

However having a budget ensures you know exactly what money you have, what you plan to spend it on.

You can make sure every penny of your income has a job to do. It might be to pay for groceries or build your savings.

If you fall off the budget wagon one month then get right back on it.

Related posts: 

How To Budget Your Money When You Don’t Know How

Cut These 10 Monthly Expenses and Crush Your Budget – Today!

Cut Your Budget With Tips From The Experts

 

overhead shot showing woman and mans hands reviewing paperwork with credit cards and calculator surrounding them

 

 

Tracking

Frugal people know exactly what they spend, when and on what.

They track their spending to make sure their budget is on track and to keep their money focus.

Whether you use a spreadsheet, an app or an online tool, tracking what you spend allows you to understand your money habits.

It allows you to find new ways to save money and identify when you need to make changes.

 

Emergency Fund

Having an emergency fund (or rainy day fund) allows frugal people to sleep easily at night.

Knowing that you have a chunk of money in readily accessible savings to cover an unexpected bill is great.

The ideal emergency fund would be enough to cover 3-6 months worth of living expenses.

However having £1000 would make a big difference if your car needs repairing.

Related posts:

 How To Kickstart Your Rainy Day Fund When You Are Broke

Why You Should Have Two Emergency Cash Accounts

 

open glass jar with white lid and dollar bills in it and spilling out

 

Pay Your Future Self

If you are frugal you will have an eye on the future.

Not only will frugal people have an emergency fund, they will also be saving for their long term future.

This could be through a workplace pension, stocks and shares or property.

In fact most frugal people have their long term savings spread across different investments.

Frugal people are risk adverse but not against taking risks.

To have money when you retire, whether that is early retirement or a more traditional age you need to take some risks with your money.

Leaving your savings in cash is the fastest way to lose money as you watch inflation eating away at its value.

You may also like:21 Money Saving Tips For Beginners – How To Start Saving Big NOW!

 

NSDs

No, this is not some form of infection!

No Spend Days or NSDs are a way frugal people build and flex their frugal muscles.

Some people aim to have a certain number of no spend days each month and stretch their goals each month.

For others it comes more easily. I work long hours at work and always pack my lunch.

Therefore I don’t spend any cash 4 days a week.

OK, maybe I do the odd spot of online shopping but rarely as my brain is fried by the time I sit down after work.

Having no spend days every week and month helps frugal people to reduce the focus on spending.

Related post: How To Be Successful With A No Spend Challenge

 

womans hands with open empty red wallet and crcedit cards and calculator on table

 

 

Credit Card Rewards

Depending on which country you live in you will have access to credit cards that provide you with the opportunity to earn rewards.

These could be:

  • cashback
  • air miles
  • free flights
  • free hotel stays
  • loyalty points

Frugal Kings & Queens make sure they make the most of the credit card rewards on offer.

They will use their credit cards for everything, from grocery shopping to petrol to a frugal night out.

Because they always pay their balance in full they don’t pay any interest on their credit card balances and get to use the rewards the card offers.

 

Best Things In Life Are Free

You can spend an awful lot of money in a short space of time to be entertained.

Some people may fall into the trap of thinking that you have to spend a lot of money in order to have quality time with your family and friends.

Not so the frugal person.

Money does not equate to happiness

Quality time is all about what you do with it and with whom.

For instance having a pot luck supper with family is much more appealing to a frugal person than a meal in a restaurant.

You don’t worry about whether your toddlers tantrum is impacting on other diners night out.

You can guarantee the food quality at a pot luck and you get more space to move around.

 

calendar with coloured pins in it alongside a bluw alarm clock and piles of coins

 

Timely Bills

Paying your bills on time, preferably by automating them is the bread and butter of a frugal person.

If you are late paying your bills it will cost you money, stress and a bad credit report.

Frugal people always pay their bills on time, usually on receipt so it’s once and done – no doubling handling of that bill.

 

Unnecessary Interest

These days if you choose to pay monthly on many insurance products (e.g. car insurance) you end up paying a high rate of interest.

Yes, it means you don’t have to pay the bill in one lump sum. But 22% interest?

Frugal people around the world say NO!

Paying interest on a regular bill is unnecessary and something to be actively avoided.

Use that money for something else more fun.

Related post: 12 Things You Should Never Pay For

 

woman at at a white table putting money in a pink piggy bank with a calculator and a spread of money notes

 

Money Making Opportunities

If a money making opportunity pops up you can bet frugal people will be checking it out and seeing if it’s something they can do.

Money making opportunities are not just daytime activities like mystery shopping.

They can also be something you can do in the evening on your sofa.

Like getting paid £100s to switch your bank account.

If you are not always doing all of the above then why not start today and set out your frugal goals?

 

 

I’m taking part in the Monday Money linky with Lynn from Mrs Mummy PennyFaith from Much More With Less and Emma from EmmaDrew.Info

 
 
I really like how frugal people have got their finances so sorted! They make the most of their money allowing them to achieve their money goals. Being frugal allows you to stick to your budget and save money for your future. #frugal #frugalliving #savemoney #savingmoney #savings #budgeting

What fabulously frugal people always do to organise their finances. Frugal people look after their finances and make the most of their money allowing them to achieve their money goals. Being frugal allows you to stick to your budget and save for your future. #frugal #frugalliving #savemoney #savingmoney #savings #budgeting #goals
What fabulously frugal people always do to organise their finances. Frugal people look after their finances and make the most of their money allowing them to achieve their money goals. Being frugal allows you to stick to your budget and save money for your future. #frugal #frugalliving #savemoney #savingmoney #savings #budgeting #goals
What fabulously frugal people always do to organise their finances. Frugal people look after their finances and make the most of their money allowing them to achieve their money goals. Being frugal allows you to stick to your budget and save money for your future. #frugal #frugalliving #savemoney #savingmoney #savings #budgeting #goals
What fabulously frugal people always do to organise their finances. Frugal people look after their finances and make the most of their money allowing them to achieve their money goals. Being frugal allows you to stick to your budget and save money for your future. #frugal #frugalliving #savemoney #savingmoney #savings #budgeting #goals
What fabulously frugal people always do to organise their finances. Frugal people look after their finances and make the most of their money allowing them to achieve their money goals. Being frugal allows you to stick to your budget and save money for your future. #frugal #frugalliving #savemoney #savingmoney #savings #budgeting #goals
What fabulously frugal people always do to organise their finances. Frugal people look after their finances and make the most of their money allowing them to achieve their money goals. Being frugal allows you to stick to your budget and save for your future. #frugal #frugalliving #savemoney #savingmoney #savings #budgeting #goals

12 Traditional Frugal Living Tips To Supercharge Your Savings

plate of blueberry muffins

Being frugal seems to be becoming more fashionable.

We now have TV programs about spending less but living well.

But what about the traditional frugal living tips that can help you stop living beyond your means and save money?

These traditional skills were actually just the normal way of life for our grandparents both before and after they retired.

Yet these frugal skills had a big impact on our grandparents ability to successfully live on a low income and make ends meet.

They didn’t have labor saving devices that you spent half a week’s wages on.

Their wages were too low to buy convenience so they had to live cheaply.

What they had was the knowledge of how to live frugally and spend less than they earned. 

These traditional skills are now seen as the latest and best frugal living tips yet were previously handed down from generation to generation as normal activities to do in your daily life.

Over the years many of us have lost these traditional skills as more time saving gadgets have been invented and I think we are poorer as a result.

Poorer of knowledge because we don’t know these skills and poorer in money because we have to pay for something or someone else to do them instead.

More and more of us are living paycheck to paycheck and with that comes the worry about every bill that comes through the door.

If you can learn these skills and adopt them in your life then the worry will go away and you will be on target to successfully living within your means.

7 Benefits Of Living Frugally: The Gains You Make

 

homemade muffins and a rolling pin

 

12 Traditional Frugal Living Tips To Supercharge Your Savings

Thankfully you can make a start on being more frugal using these traditional skills straight away.

They are all easy to learn and will have a big impact on your ability to make ends meet and manage your finances.

Living a frugal life and altering the way you think about things can take a little getting used to.

Convenience comes at a price.

If you’re not willing or able to pay for convenience then taking a little time to learn from your grandparents will help you cut your spending down to more frugal levels.

The most important aspect in this is to not automatically reach for your wallet or purse when something happens.

Think differently:

How can I deal with this without spending money?

What would my grandparents have done?

All of these tips are actions that were the absolute norm 50 years ago. They are certainly not in the realms of extreme frugality

Extreme frugal living is not ordinary, not then, not now.

Not that there is anything wrong with going to extremes – but let’s concentrate on just being normal frugal for now!

 

 

Make Do And Mend”

Mending

We now live in a world where you can get a brand new t-shirt for a couple of quid.

People think nothing of getting rid of clothes after a few wears in order to make room for the latest must have item.

Sewing your own clothes is an art and can be quite expensive these days as the price of fabric is not cheap.

However mending what you already have is one of the best tips I can give you to help you become more frugal by stretching your money and making your clothes last longer.

When DD1 first started school I was too lazy to sew her buttons back on if they came off.

I knew how to do it having been taught in school just couldn’t get myself organised enough to put this frugal tip into practice. Shameful!

Now that I have embraced the frugal lifestyle I sew buttons on and take up trousers if necessary.

I’ve even undertaken a sewing course to increase my mending knowledge.

Many mending jobs don’t even need a sewing machine, just a needle, thread and your willingness to get stuck in.

 

sewing equipment and a cut up pair of denims with a denim flower crafted

 

Making Do

Making do is at the very heart of learning how to live within your means. Yet I feel it is something many people have lost.

Making do is about accepting what you have even if it isn’t as much as what others have.

It’s about knowing when you have enough.

It’s about not always wanting the latest and best technology or chucking something out just because one corner needs fixing.

Our TV is 10 years old but we make do with it because it works, the picture is good and why not keep it?

No it’s not HD or 3D or 60” but we like it, it does exactly what we need it to do so why would we spend hundreds of pounds on a replacement?

We can get bombarded with adverts for the latest must haves along with adverts on how to buy everything NOW by paying for it later.

But this is not going to help you be more frugal, it comes with a cost – paying interest and lack of savings.

I like my TV and I like the savings I have in the bank. Why would I get rid of both just because there is a bigger and ‘better’ TV out there?

You may also like: Frugal Living Strategies – How To Make Frugality A Success

 

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

Traditional frugal living tips to supercharge your savings. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugallifestyle #budgeting #savemoney

 

 

Baking

The older generations knew how to bake. Not just bread but cakes, biscuits, pies and crumbles.

There really is no comparison between home baked bread and supermarket bread.

Making bread the traditional way is a multi step process including allowing your dough to rise, bashing it down again before allowing a 2nd rise.

But the smell!

Oh my, I think the smell of freshly baked bread is one of the best things about being frugal.

There are also recipes for artisan and sour dough breads that do not take so long from start to finish.

Indeed Mr2p makes 5 minute artisan bread which smells just as divine coming out of the oven.

Baking enables you to know exactly what ingredients are going into your food and keep the additives and preservatives to a minimum.

For families with allergies baking at home allows you to remove those allergens from your food and kitchen completely and have food that can otherwise be very difficult or expensive to buy.

67 Cheap And Easy Savory Snacks To Make At Home

 

2 young children in aprons and chefs hats baking at table with eggs and rolling pins

 

Cooking From Scratch

I once worked with someone who never cooked. When I say never, I really do mean never!

She bought microwave meals for her family of four for every night of the week including a roast dinner meal on Sundays.

I’m not the best cook in the world but if there is one tip for living more frugally I try my best to follow, it’s cooking from scratch.

And of course not buying a bunch of convenience food.

Cooking your meals from cheap frugal foods and basic ingredients enables you to use what you have in the cupboards and stretch some items further than if you were buying it ready made.

For instance when Mr2p makes lasagna he stretches the meat to make a very large dish of lasagna padding it out with fresh seasonal vegetables (think cheap).

Meat can be expensive when you are living on a budget so stretching it further helps you to be frugal with money.

You can also make extremely frugal meals to make the most of foods that are in season saving you money on your groceries.

Meal Planning On A Budget: 8 Tips For Success

7 Meal Planning Strategies All Beginners Should Know

 

traditional kitchen utensils hanging on ship lap wall and worktop

 

Bartering

Bartering is an age old tradition and pretty much pre-dates actual money.

It’s all about exchanging something of yours for something of someone else’s.

It could be your time, your skills or goods that you have produced.

You might be a dab hand at fixing cars and could exchange time spent fixing your neighbors car for produce from their garden.

Perhaps you need a babysitter or the use of a leaf blower?

Your friends might have invested in a leaf blower themselves but want to use your lawn mower.

Bartering is alive and kicking in some communities but much less so in cities.

Frugal living tips such as bartering really are an easy way to save money.

No need to buy every expensive tool you need as you can share what you have in exchange for what others have.

 

green enamelware saucepan set on stove top and wooden kitchen surface with white painted wall

 

Batch cooking

Cooking from scratch combined with batch cooking are two of the most useful frugal living tips I can recommend to you.

Batch cooking will provide you with a home cooked meal on a busy night within a few minutes.

Cook big batches of your favorite foods such as bolognese, chili and casseroles and freeze in family size portions.

You just need to pull the meal out from the freezer in the morning and reheat when you get home.

Batch cooking will save you time when you most need it.

9 Meal Planning Mistakes You Need Solutions For

 

womans hands with turquoise nail varnish pulling dollar bills out of a red purse

 

 

Paying cash

In times gone by credit cards hadn’t been invented, everyone got paid in cash and if you didn’t have the cash you couldn’t spend.

Now we have credit cards and contactless payments now so you can spend on your cards without ever seeing cash.

The problem with that is your spending is hidden and you are much more likely to spend more.

When you are in debt or on a tight budget paying by cash is an excellent way to not overspend.

If you want help in sticking to your budget each month then using the cash envelope system is something I highly recommend.

I still use it myself when I need to refocus my spending habits.

There is something about having to hand over physical money that makes it that much harder to spend too much.

How To Start Saving Money: 7 Tricks You Can Easily Do

 

 

Foraging

Foraging for blackberries is something I look forward to every year but did you know there are many other plants you can forage for?

Wild garlic is lovely and abundant in woodlands in May.

Beech nuts are another favorite but you’ll have to fight the squirrels for them!

It has become quite the in thing to forage for herbs such as wild garlic and sorrel and they are used on trendy restaurant menus.

More experienced, fabulously frugal folk forage for mushrooms but you really have to know what you are looking for.

So many mushrooms can look the same but are poisonous.

I may love being frugal with money but I don’t know one fungi from another.

If you want to delve further into foraging why don’t you look into getting on a foraging course of some sort run by an expert?

There’s nothing like having real life examples being shown to you rather than using a reference book.

 

shiny red watering can with pin flowers in on a red gingham check cloth

 

Gardening

One of the reasons I haven’t investigated foraging as much as perhaps I could is that we have an allotment and grow a lot of our own vegetables.

Even if you don’t have a large garden you can grow many vegetables in pots on a patio or balcony.

Plants such as tomatoes, beans and potatoes all work well grown this way.

A large punnet of tomatoes will cost the same as one packet of tomato seeds.

Yet that packet will provide you with hundreds of tomatoes over many weeks.

Growing your own garden is one of my favorite things about being frugal.

You get great food, moderate exercise and it’s an integral part of the frugal lifestyle. What’s not to love?

 

Preserving

The art of preserving is an integral part of the homesteading movement.

You preserve the food you have grown to use it during the winter months to feed your family.

But you don’t have to be a homesteader or a gardener to make preserving part of your frugal lifestyle.

When you find a ton of produce reduce to clear you want to be able to buy and use it.

Preserving is the frugal way to save money and turn that produce into food for your family.

Preserving takes many forms but the most common are:

  • freezing
  • canning
  • dehydrating
  • pickling & making jams

You don’t need any special equipment to freeze food or make pickles and jams.

Although a jam pan and jam thermometer can make the process of jam making a little easier.

This is great frugal recipe to get you started if you’ve got green tomatoes that need using.

 

colour painted eggs on straw and white wooden background

 

Keeping chickens/ducks/guinea fowl

We looked into keeping chickens and ducks last year with a view to getting some once we moved to the Lake District.

They require very little hands on work mainly keeping them safe from foxes.

You need to shut them up at night and let them out during the day.

Keeping birds isn’t one of the best frugal living tips as the cost of the feed and pellets you need cancel out the savings you make from not paying for your eggs.

But you do get the most wonderful eggs for almost free.

These days you cannot feed your chickens on kitchen scraps if you intend to sell or give away any excess eggs (UK rules).

However if you are living on a budget and have the space then you’ll get the most delicious free range eggs at little or no cost from keeping birds.

 

Fishing (and maybe hunting?)

Did you know that fishing is the most popular sport in the UK?

The sport of fishing does not include keeping the fish to eat but you can fish to eat in many places.

Mr2p loves sea fishing when he gets a chance and can bring home a few mackerel if we’re lucky.

It’s his job to fillet the fish though – not my thing!

Hunting and fishing are traditional skills taking us right back to our ancestral times.

Humans started out as hunter gatherers and it’s a skill you can use when you are living on a budget.

Meat and fish bought from the supermarket can be exceedingly expensive if you want something other than fish fingers or mince!

 

notebook wrapped with lace on desktop with pink tulips in jug

 

Frugal Living Tips For Today’s World

When you are wanting to learn about how to live frugally and save money, these traditional skills can help to supercharge your savings.

Not all of them will suit you and your situation. Why not choose the ones that are the best fit and start saving money today?

What frugal living tips do you use? Do you have another tip to share?

Traditional frugal living tips that will help you save money. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugallifestyle #budgeting #savemoney
Traditional frugal living tips that will help you save money. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugallifestyle #budgeting #savemoney
Traditional frugal living tips that will help you save money. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugallifestyle #budgeting #savemoney
Traditional frugal living tips that will help you save money. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugallifestyle #budgeting #savemoney
Traditional frugal living tips that will help you save money. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugallifestyle #budgeting #savemoney
Traditional frugal living tips to help you save money. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugallifestyle #budgeting #savemoney
Traditional frugal living tips to supercharge your savings. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugal #budgeting #savemoney #moneysaving skills
Traditional frugal living tips to supercharge your savings. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugal #budgeting #savemoney #moneysaving skills
Traditional frugal living tips to supercharge your savings. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugal #budgeting #savemoney #moneysaving skills

15 Things Frugal People NEVER Do With Their Money

open book with quotes next to blue and purple flowers on dark background with woman's hand holding a full cup of coffee on a saucer

Being frugal can be a life choice or a necessity.

Frugal people often start out on the frugal path out of necessity and it then becomes a habit that they chose to continue with.

I started down the frugal path when I was teenage single mum on benefits/welfare.

I had to be frugal for a long time until the point came when I realized I didn’t need to be frugal but wanted to.

If you can live your best life by saving some of your hard earned money each month why not be frugal?

 

a girl and boy with dollar bills holding them and playing with them

 

Being debt free is a great place to be and often you strive for years to get to that point.

Once there you don’t want to slip back into debt by making financial mistakes.

I am not a frugal queen as I have to occasionally concentrate on sweating the small stuff as a way to keep my frugal muscles strong.

The 1st part of this frugal mini series looked at the financial actions fabulously frugal people always take. 

Today we will look at the opposite, what frugal people never do with their finances.

If you are already a frugal King or Queen then you will probably nod in agreement as you run through this list.

If you are still developing your frugalness then this list should help you build your frugal muscles.

Other posts in this series include:

7 Simple Tips of Fabulously Frugal People to Live a GREAT Life

The Fundamental MUST Haves For Your Fabulously Frugal Home

How To Be Frugal: 200+ Best Frugal Living Tips To Try Today

 

Follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and financial tips!

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pinterest image for what frugal people never do with their finances

 

15 Things Fabulously Frugal People Never do With Their Finances

Buy more house than they need

Have you seen the programmes where a couple are looking to buy a house and stipulate that they need at least 4 bedrooms?

For 2 people? Who don’t have children?

That’s not a need, it’s an absolute want.

Frugal people recognize the difference between want and need and don’t buy huge houses.

Huge houses cost more in so many ways:

  • to buy
  • maintenance
  • bigger mortgage payments
  • higher utility bills
  • furnishing every room
  • time spent cleaning

The bigger the house you buy the more money and time you have to spend on it.

Frugal people recognize that a house is a home and a roof over your heads.

What they don’t want is a millstone around their necks.

 

open book with quotes next to blue and purple flowers on dark background with woman's hand holding a full cup of coffee on a saucer

 

Let the bank decide how much to borrow

Buying a house is the single most expensive thing you will likely do in your lifetime.

The credit crunch is long gone and house prices in the UK are still way too high for most first time buyers.

As a result your mortgage is likely to be far higher than those people who bought 20+ years ago.

And you’ll likely stretch it over 30 or even 35 years as opposed to the traditional 25 year mortgage of yesteryear.

The banks will often surprise you with how much they are willing to lend you based on your income and affordability.

Frugal people don’t let the banks decide how much they will borrow.

They decide how much they are willing to get into debt for.

Fitting in with not buying more house than they need frugal people don’t take on more mortgage debt than is necessary.

Related post: 15 things we gladly gave up to be mortgage free

 

 

Forget where they spent money

With contactless payments it is very easy to forget when you have bought something.

Because contactless is all about quick payments you often don’t hang around to pick up the receipt.

Your bank statement, should you look at it, doesn’t always show contactless payments for up to 48 hours so these spends can be very much hidden.

Frugal people always know when and where they have spent money.

They are highly likely to pick their receipt even if it’s for just £2.

They track their spending so they know what they spent last month and the month before.

Related post: 21 Money Saving Tips For Beginners – How To Start Saving Big NOW!

 

bank statements and notebooks with pen and keyring house

 

Have large cable bills

These days with all the different sports channels and movie packages you can easily spend a fortune on cable/satellite TV.

Not so frugal people.

For those who do have a TV they cut their viewing costs to the bone.

Cable channels are not paid for – there’s plenty of free channels to be had.

You can watch TV for free, you might not be able to watch the latest programmes and films but frugal people may well make that choice.

Netflix is shared among family members if taken out.

You can save £100 a month by not paying for cable/satellite.

That’s £1200 a year or £12000 over 10 years – not to be sniffed at!

Related post: 12 Things You Should Never Pay For

 

Only do the 9-5

Most of us have a day job that may well be a traditional 9-5, shift work or something else.

Frugal people recognize that having your 9-5 is not the end of your earning potential.

There are other earning options out there and they take advantage of them.

Whether that is a part time job/side hustle that takes you back out of the house.

Or it might be earning money from home, possibly online.

Related posts:

41 Awesome Hobbies That Can Make You Money Right Now

Make money from your bank account – in just 1 hour!

100 legitimate ways to make extra money

 

desktop with calculators pens and pencils, dollar bills and bank statements

 

Take out extended warranties

These days whenever you buy any electrical item you are presented with a hard sell on an extended warranty.

I recently needed a new kettle and so checked Argos.

For every kettle over £10 I had a pop up window encouraging me to purchase a 3 year extended warranty.

Kettle costWarranty price
£10 – £14.99£2.59
£15 – £19.99£6.29
£20 – £29.99£7.99
£30 – £39.99£10.99

Seriously? Those warranty prices are up to 1/3 the price of the kettle.

Frugal people put money aside to fix things or buy replacements.

If you bought warranties for every electrical item you’d have a lot less money to play with.

 

Pay interest

Apart from their mortgage interest frugal people make a point of never paying interest.

If you are paying interest it means you have had to borrow money in order to buy something.

Save up your money for the widgets you need to buy, do without until you have saved enough.

If you know you are going to need to replace your car in 3 years time. Save up the money between now and then.

If you take out a car loan you’ll be paying X per month for 3-5 years.

Save X for 3 years before you buy that car and not only will you not pay any interest, you’ll earn it instead on your savings!

 

couple with shopping bags

 

Impulse buy

When you are conscious about your spending and every penny you earn has a job, you are less likely to impulse buy.

Shopping as a leisure activity is dangerous to your purse.

Frugal people have financial purpose in their lives.

They earn money for a reason.

They save money for a reason.

Buying something which hasn’t been carefully thought about, researched and price compared is not something a frugal person does.

You may also like: Live Cheaply – How You Can Win At Living On Next To Nothing

 

Upgrade their mobile phone every year

First off frugal people are very unlikely to buy their mobile phone (if they have one!) as part of a monthly package deal.

If they do they will have worked out it was cheaper to buy this way.

I bought my mobile phone without a package and pay for a sim only deal.

When you are on a monthly payment plan which includes the handset you do not need to upgrade just because you are entitled to one.

Indeed its not a free upgrade, it’s a costly way to keep you paying that same monthly fee.

The alternative is to switch your monthly plan to one that doesn’t include a phone. These can start from just £5 a month at GiffGaff. 

Frugal people keep their phones until they no longer work.

Then they replace them with something that doesn’t cost £700 or £40 a month.

 

woman's hands counting out coins from an open black purse

 

Spend money instead of time

Time is something we often have plenty of. We might not use it efficiently but we all have 24 hours in every day.

Frugal people always spend their time wisely to ensure they don’t spend money unnecessarily.

Frugal people don’t outsource chores they are perfectly capable of doing themselves.

Chores such as:

  • gardening/yard work
  • ironing
  • cleaning
  • washing their car
  • basic DIY

Related post: 12 Traditional Frugal Living Tips To Supercharge Your Savings

 

Overuse heating and aircon

We are lucky in the UK in that our weather is usually fairly mild in comparison to some countries.

We don’t need air conditioning as standard and we can have many months where we don’t need to run the central heating.

Frugal people take active steps to keep their electricity and other utility bills to a minimum.

They despair when they see bedroom windows open on a cold winters day.

They know the central heating is on and the heat is flying straight out of that window!

Frugal people never put the heating on at the first sign of the seasons changing.

They know once the heating is on, it will likely stay on until the following spring.

Frugal people also keep the temperature down low, although  I think Tanja and Mark are seriously hardcore!

It’s all about layers in the winter – the more the better and closing curtains in the summer.

Related reading: How To Keep Your House Warm And Your Energy Bills Low This Winter

 

womans hand holding a credit card with multiple multi colored shopping bags over her arm

 

Max their credit cards

Credit cards are a great tool much used by frugal people.

What they don’t do is max out their credit cards and end up with interest payable.

Credit cards are a tool to be used for you.

Not something for you to end up paying for the privilege of using.

Frugal people don’t pay for privileges.

 

Use vending machines

Ever stayed in a hotel and there is a vending machine in the lobby?

I swear the chocolate in those machines talk to me – even through 2 floors of the hotel.

Have I ever given in and bought something from a vending machine?

Not in the last 20 years.

Have you seen the price of the chocolate in those machines?!

When I know I can get 4 chocolate bars for £1 from my local shop, I am not prepared to pay £1 for one bar just because it keeps talking to me!

Frugal people never give in to the instant gratification that vending machines offer.

They come prepared, they have snacks in their bag or they know they can wait until they get home.

They recognize that they don’t need whatever is in the vending machines.

 

various flowers in old fashioned room

 

Get rid of stuff they could sell

One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure. You will be surprised what can be sold on Ebay or Craiglist these days.

Frugal people don’t automatically throw their stuff away.

Whatever they buy you can bet they make fine use of it.

When it comes time to get rid they will look at selling it on to someone else.

Every penny counts as the saying goes so if you can make a few pounds selling your old stuff you can bet a frugal person is going to do this.

If this fails they will seek out a charity shop/thrift store to keep that item in circulation rather than ending up in landfill.

You may also like:

50 frugal habits that are also eco friendly

How To Declutter Your Home FAST When You Ain’t Got Time For That!

 

glass jar with orange filling, open fabric colored lid tied with raffeta and sunflower on the front

 

Buy newest and latest

We live in an age where technology is moving so fast that things you bought a few months ago have been superseded by the next best thing.

Have you seen the size of televisions you can now get?

I still have the 1st TV my parents bought so they could watch the 1970 Football World Cup (it’s in the attic for nostalgic reasons).

I think its a 10” black and white Sony TV.

For many years a large TV tended to be in the 28-32” category.

Now you can buy 75” televisions.

Frugal people aren’t against buying large TVs but what they refuse to do is get rid of perfect good, working items just because something new, bigger and better comes along.

If your TV is broken and cannot be fixed then chose your next TV based on your budget.

Don’t get suckered into thinking bigger is better.

At the time of writing the most expensive TV at Argos was £3600.

That’s the cost of a small car!

If you invested that for 10 years instead and gained 6% each year you would have £6,549 (excluding investment fees).

How frugal are you? Do you follow these frugal must never do’s?

 

 

I am taking part in the Monday Money linky with Lynn from Mrs Mummy PennyFaith from Much More With Less and Emma from EmmaDrew.Info

pinterest image for things frugal people never do organizing finances 

15 simple things fabulously frugal people never do when organising their finances. Read these finance tips to help you with your budgeting and saving money and find out what you can do to organise your finances. #budget #savemoney #personalfinance #finances #savingmoney #savings #budgets
15 simple tips fabulously frugal people will never do when organizing their finances. Read these finance tips to help you with your budgeting and saving money and find out what you can do to organize your finances. #budget #savemoney #personalfinance #finances #savingmoney #savings #budgets
15 simple tips fabulously frugal people will never do when organizing their finances. Read these finance tips to help you with your budgeting and saving money and find out what you can do to organize your finances. #budget #savemoney #personalfinance #finances #savingmoney #savings #budgets

7 Benefits Of Living Frugally: The Gains You Make

wooden shutters in background, white jug with flowers in and shabby chic wire basket with wooden spoons in to signify declutter your home challenge

 

The benefits of living frugally are many but being a millionaire is not usually one of them. (Sorry about that!)

Why would I say that?

Because it’s true.

Sure there are plenty of millionaire who are frugal, check out Warren Buffett or the book Millionaire Next Door for your proof.

But there are more frugal people who are normal people like you and I than those who have millions.

Frugal folk really are exactly the same as you, they’ve just made a few different decisions along the way.

The best thing about this is it means you too can be frugal.

You can be living a frugal life and enjoying it if that is what you choose. The choice is firmly in your court.

 

old fashioned stove with old kettles and vintage plant pots with various plants growing out of them to signify the benefits of living frugally

 

Financially Frugal

Being frugal means making good, sensible decisions about your money.

It means not going into debt and getting out of it if that is where you are.

If you are currently in debt then this is your frugal 101 – things have to change.

You cannot be in debt forever, it’s soul destroying and stressful. You don’t need that in your life.

Getting into debt and staying there means you are spending more than you earn.

For what? Stuff? For a lifestyle that doesn’t make you truly happy?

If this is you then this post is for you. I love being frugal and would love it if you and everyone else also loved being frugal.

What do I have to do to convince you to that frugal living is the way to go?

How about these 7 benefits of living frugally for starters?

Of course these aren’t the only benefits but I think they make a great case for everyone to start being more frugal don’t you?

The Best Money Saving Tips Of 30 Frugal Living Bloggers

 

If you are new to basic frugality then why not take advantage of my free email course where I help you build your frugal foundations?

 

Is It Worth Being Frugal?

Too right it is!

You only have to look at these 7 benefits of living frugally to see it is worth it.

These are not the only benefits, why not make a start and see for yourself?

 

Why Is It Important To Be Frugal?

I believe that you should be able to make life decisions based on what is best for you and your family.

Not based on earning a certain income or even being chained to a job forever.

Frugal living helps you break free from those chains.

10 Secrets To Lasting Frugal Success

 

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

pinterest image for the benefits of living frugally

 

The 7 Best Benefits Of Living Frugally

 

1. Less Reliant On Each And Every Paycheck

Lurching from paycheck to paycheck is not a fun place to be.

When you spend every penny of what you earn you only ever a paycheck from disaster, and that leads to stress and worry.

Living below your means allows you to free up a portion of your money to be put to good use elsewhere, like:

  • Paying off debt
  • Building an emergency fund
  • Saving for retirement
  • Saving for future purchases

How To Pay Off Debt Fast And Still Have A Life

 

Difficult Times

It also means when difficult times hit you have a cushion.

Firstly it means you can survive on less money because you don’t spend every paycheck.

Secondly it means you have that emergency fund to fall back on. You have no debt repayments you must meet.

For this reason alone it’s got to be worth considering frugal living surely?

How To Live On Less Money In Difficult Times

 

blue enamelware saucepan set on stove top and wooden kitchen surface with white painted wall to signify benefits of living frugally

 

2. Helps You To Define What Is Important To You

I didn’t use to be frugal. Like most people I had debt, a low income and too much month for my money.

I had to get frugal to make ends meet.

It wasn’t until a few years later that I actually embraced frugal living rather than wanting to spend more as soon as I earned more (I was a slow learner).

I realized that I had choices and working (or not) until I was 67 was one of them.

So I chose not to and prioritized saving as a result.

Whether you have your frugal 101 moment or it creeps up on you like it did me, deciding on your priorities is an incredibly important part of frugal living.

When you commit to frugal living and living below your means you know that you are going to have to prioritize your spending.

You cannot go impulse buying things whenever you feel like it, therein lies the way back to debt.

You need to work out what is important to you.

Is having the latest gadget important enough to have less money in your retirement account?

Is being able to live on one income more important that eating out twice a week?

The benefit of living frugally is that your decision making is made easier.

No matter what you earn, you only have a finite pot of money so choices have to be made.

Work out what your priorities are so you can focus your spending and saving on them.

Impulse purchases go down and your bank balance goes up.

10 Of The Best Financial Goals You Should Have

The One Thing That Will Change Your Money Life For Ever

 

wooden kitchen utensils on various white ceramic pots against a whitewashed background to signify the benefits of living frugally

 

3. Frees Up Time

Frugal living can often mean undertaking tasks and chores the old fashioned way.

Like making your own bread and mending clothes.

So you might wonder why one of the benefits of frugal living is that it frees up time.

Being on the merry-go-round of constantly spending and wanting new things takes up an enormous amount of time and energy.

Shopping at the mall can take all day and set you back some serious cash.

Even if you only spent $20, think how much time it took?

Being frugal in your outlook means you won’t be chasing every hour of overtime, because you can live on what you already make.

You’re not constantly scouring the internet for the next best gadget to buy, the latest fashions and the new trend in interior design.

You can let go of all of that.

It’s not that you won’t spend money, of course you will. But you will plan it and prepare for it at the right time.

 

sewing equipment and a cut up pair of denims with a denim flower crafted

 

4. Opportunity To Learn New Skills

These days you could out-source almost every household task if you wanted to.

From having meals delivered to garden maintenance to DIY (by someone else) you can have the convenience of someone else doing those chores.

But you have to pay for them.

Being frugal means you are much more likely to not outsource these tasks and instead do them yourself.

Sure you might not know how to do some of the DIY tasks that crop up but these are opportunities to learn new skills.

Why pay someone to do something for you that you can do for yourself?

Developing your skills is extremely satisfying too.

Who wouldn’t get a great sense of satisfaction when they fixed something broken or redecorated their house themselves?

12 Traditional Frugal Living Tips To Supercharge Your Savings

 

vintage kitchen worktop with vintage equipment including electric mixer and scales to signify the benefits of living frugally

 

5. Helps You Become More Self Sufficient

If you can fix things and make things for yourself, you are less reliant upon others.

Relying on others not only costs money, it doesn’t always result in the job being done exactly as you wanted it does it?

Living on less money enables you to save money toward your future allowing you to be less reliant upon working in later life.

Learning new skills and doing your own tasks means you are less reliant upon others to live your life.

You can just crack on and do.

 

2 shelves filled with assortment of glass jars of dried goods

 

6. Reduces Waste

We now live in a very wasteful time.

We think nothing of buying a takeout coffee on our way to work when we could easily make it at home.

We regularly buy new clothes, not because our old ones have worn out but because we feel like it.

The amount of rubbish each UK adult throws away has increased such we now throw away our own body weight in rubbish every 7 weeks!

In our grandparents time the motto was ‘waste not, want not’.

We now waste a lot and want more.

But when you are frugal you will be more mindful of what you buy and what you throw away.

You look to see if you can use something for an alternative use.

Like toilet roll inners as seedling planters.

Or old t-shirts as floor cloths.

You don’t have a cupboard full of cleaning products, having streamlined it to just a few.

You might even make your own homemade cleaning products.

And you use all your food leftovers to reduce your grocery bill.

Why do this? Because reducing waste just makes sense.

If you waste less you buy less to replace it. Thereby spending less money.

Related reading:

How To Save Money By Cutting Your Food Waste To A Minimum

How To Reduce Your Grocery Bill: 10 Steps To Cut Right Back

 

kitchen tableau with green casserole dish and various wooden utensils in background

 

7. Complements A Simpler Lifestyle

Creating less waste, reusing what you have, doing your own DIY and other tasks around the home all result in a simpler lifestyle.

You are not constantly out spending money, seeking some form of paid entertainment.

You are enjoying time at home, gaining satisfaction in a job well done.

A nice loaf of homemade bread smells wonderful but tastes all the better for you having actually made it.

Frugal living is partly about adopting a simpler lifestyle.

You spend less money therefore you usually have less stuff. I’m not talking minimalism but definitely less.

You enjoy simple pleasures like growing your own tomatoes, your own herbs on your windowsill.

21 benefits of having an allotment and growing your own

 

various shabby chic kitchen items including wooden spoons in glass bottles and a wire mesh basket against a painted wooden backdrop

 

More Benefits Of Living Frugally

Needless to say these aren’t the only benefits of being frugal.

They’re just the ones I think will help you sit up and take notice.

They are my sales pitch to you for being financially frugal.

If you like the idea of these positives then think about all of these ones too:

  • Able to give more generously
  • Being debt free
  • Financially confident
  • You have financial security
  • Retiring early
  • More time for you to do what you want to do
  • Free exercise
  • Set a great example for friends who are struggling financially and kids
  • Strengthens your relationships (money problems being the 2nd biggest reason for divorce)
  • You have less stress
  • You are no longer envious of what others have

How To Love Living Within Your Means Every Day

 

old fashioned kitchen table with vintage kitchen scales and other wooden equipment on shelves behind the table

 

I love Being Frugal

With all of these benefits of living frugally what is there not to love about frugal living?

If you hadn’t already guess I love being frugal. I have been living a frugal life and enjoying it for many years.

Full disclosure though – I started out being frugal because I HAD to be.

Because I didn’t have enough money and it ran out before my next paycheck. Every time.

If you are brand new to frugal living then I’d love to say you’ll love it from day one and every day thereafter but I wouldn’t be being totally honest.

Because being frugal means living life a little different to others.

And if you have been regularly overspending and have debt then you have got to change your lifestyle to become financially frugal.

Frugal Living For Beginners: How To Get Started

The 3 Biggest Mistakes People Make Trying To Be Frugal

 

womans hands holding folded money notes in one hand and coins in another above a desk with calculator and paper on it

 

Downsides To Being Frugal

Nothing is perfect, even frugal living isn’t perfect.

You gain a huge amount in being frugal but there is a cost.

And the cost is parts of your old life.

Because obviously you haven’t been frugal up until now so something has to change to get you there.

So you need to consider these changes:

  • Not shopping as a leisure activity
  • Paying off your debt (as fast as possible preferably)
  • Spending less than you earn
  • Not thinking that you should or must have what everyone else has (they have debt remember)
  • Saying no to others and yourself when the money isn’t there

How To Embrace The Joy Of Being Frugal

The One Thing That Will Change Your Money Life For Ever

 

young boy in apron looking very surprised at large zucchini

 

Enjoy Being Frugal

The truth is you don’t need millions to enjoy life, there are many things in my life that I cannot put a monetary value on.

Things like retiring early, moving to my favorite location in the countryside.

I couldn’t do these if I still had a mortgage, still had to work to earn money to pay my bills.

These are the benefits of living frugally that were important to us.

By being frugal we were able to achieve our goals.

And no, we are not, have never been and never will be, millionaires.

We are financially frugal and love our frugal life.

Now I want that for you. Sign up for my free 5 day email course and start building your frugal foundations.

 

pinterest image for the benefits of living frugally

Frugal Living Strategies – How To Make Frugality A Success

small boy in black leather jacket sat in large chair in front of table covered in piles of bank notes

Frugal living strategies make the art of living frugally so much easier.

Being frugal you are going against many of the expected spending norms we now have.

You aren’t focused on having the biggest house, the latest gadget and spending all your paycheck (and some) just to satisfy other people’s view of what you ‘should’ be doing.

But going against the norm, doing things differently can take a little getting used to.

Which is where your frugal living strategies come in.

They are your structure for being frugal.

They are less about saving a dollar or buying used, and more about how you approach living frugally.

With a frugal structure to work within you are no longer lurching from one money saving tip to another.

Strategies and structure help you become organized.

And being organized you are best placed to maximize saving money.

Use these strategies as your frugal backbone, upon which you can add as many of the best frugal living tips that work for you.

 

old fashioned tableware in shades of blue to signify frugal living strategies

 

Frugal Questions You Might Be Thinking

How do you become really frugal? Luckily there are no secrets to becoming really frugal. It’s all about saving a little bit of money here and there.

Practice saving money, not shopping every day, finding ways to do things more cheaply.

Frugal Living For Beginners: How To Get Started

 

Can being frugal make you rich? Define rich! Rich enough to have everything you want, yes.

Millions of dollars in the bank without earning six figures? Maybe not. But you don’t need millions to enjoy a rich and fulfilling (frugal) life.

11 Simple Things That Rich People Do (And So Can You)

 

How can I be frugal? Being frugal is a way of life that everyone can embrace. 

If you are new to frugal living then why not take advantage of my free email course where I help you build your frugal foundations?

 

retro woman with red and blue curlers in her hair holding a rolling pin in a blue kitchen to signify frugal living strategies

 

7 Frugal Living Strategies For Ongoing Success

 

1. Frugal Mindset

The most important thing you need to be successful in becoming really frugal is your mindset.

I can tell you and show you all the best frugal living strategies and encourage you to follow them.

But without a frugal mindset to keep you focused on your long term goals I cannot guarantee your success.

Without working on you, your thoughts and ultimately your frugal mindset I don’t think you can ever be really frugal.

Because you (and your thoughts) will likely sabotage your success if deep down you don’t actually want to be frugal.

You are the key to your success in following these key strategies and all the best frugal living tips you find.

Becoming frugal is not something that gets done to you, it’s what you will choose to do, willingly.

Which is a good thing!

It means you are in control of your success, of how frugal you choose to be.

How To Stay Frugal And Avoid Temptations

 

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

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2. Focus On The Little Things

There is a saying in the UK – “Look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves”.

This saying nicely encompasses exactly what frugal living is all about.

Frugal living is simply about focusing on the little things.

It’s not about shaving hundreds off your mortgage (because being frugal you wouldn’t ever be paying over the odds).

Or saving thousands of dollars every month (because most of us don’t earn that kind of money).

Never think a few cents here, a few pennies there are not worth your bother. They absolutely are.

Because they add up into dollars and pounds.

Think of it this way.

Save a few pennies on every single item you buy in the grocery store, online, at the mall and it soon adds up.

In a month you’ll see a nice little figure.

In 12 months you’ll be looking at 4 figures.

In 5 years the sum is looking very healthy.

What I love most about focusing on the little things is that you don’t just save once on each thing.

You get into a groove and find another way to save a few more pennies on the exact same thing.

Whether that’s through using a discount code, another store, bulk buying, waiting for a sale, buying used.

This is one of the best frugal living strategies, because it never ends.

As you build your frugal muscles you become adept at finding new frugal living ideas.

New ways to save a little more money. New ways to be living a frugal life, and enjoying it of course!

9 Tiny Frugal Ideas To Save Money Every Day

 

rustic tableau of wicker planter, ceramic lidded pot and galss bottles against a distressed wooden background to signify frugal living strategies

 

3. Don’t Buy Bigger Than You Need

The average size of our homes has increased by 40% since 1973.

Yet the number of people living in them has not.

40+ years ago the norm was for children of the same gender to share a room and babies slept in with their parents.

Nowadays even babies have their own room and parents use intercoms to hear them cry, snuffle and sleep.

But the new norm comes at a cost.

Most families need both adults to work in order to fund the mortgage and the more expensive lifestyle.

Frugal folk have rejected the new norm. They don’t buy thousands of square footage they don’t need.

They don’t buy larger vans and cars as soon as their first child comes along.

Buying bigger and ‘better’ houses, cars and vacations all come at huge cost in both money and time.

11 Things Frugal People Just Do Not Do

 

various white and pale blue enamelware kitchen items against a whitewashed wooden background to signify frugal living strategies

 

4. Patience

Patience is a virtue.

It’s also one of the hardest frugal living strategies to be successful with, in my experience anyway.

Maybe I’m just not a patient person!

This strategy is about knowing what you want, but being willing to wait a long time to get the exact right item at the right price.

I’m not just talking about waiting for a sale on canned tomatoes to stock your pantry.

I’m talking about knowing that you are going to be in the market for a new item but you don’t rush out and buy it straight away.

You don’t even go and buy it when your old one starts playing up.

You exercise patience, day after day, week after week, until the right item at the right price turns up.

This is especially true when you are focused on buying items used.

It’s one thing to pop to the charity shop for something new to you to wear.

It’s another thing entirely when you want to buy a used garden tool. You have to wait until someone is selling one.

Being patient like this though will pay dividends.

Because you decide when the time and price is right and you can save all the money you didn’t spend on it’s more expensive, new equivalent.

The One Thing That Will Change Your Money Life For Ever

 

rustic kitchen items and wicker planters against a whitewashed wooden panel to signify frugal living strategies

 

5. Plan Long Term

Going hand in hand with patience is getting used to planning well in advance.

Knowing what you are going to want to buy and working out a plan on how you are going to pay for it is a the perfect frugal strategy for not getting into debt.

How many times in the past have you gone out shopping and suddenly decided you needed a certain something?

To be the best frugalista you can, you need to work on suppressing those spending urges.

Think more instead.

About what you are going to need in the future.

About what you might want to spend your hard earned money on.

Impulse purchases give us a temporary high but don’t always deliver on the long term feel good factor.

Whereas planning ahead and delaying your spending helps you appreciate what you buy all the more.

Planning ahead is perfect for the bigger items like a new to you car or home improvements.

Possibly not so necessary for something that only costs $50.

Sinking funds are the perfect place to save money for future purchases.

Sinking funds (personally I call them money pots because I don’t like the sound of funds sinking!) are used to put money away for expected expenses.

They are separate to an emergency fund which is designed for unexpected expenses.

How To Stop Spending Money: 11 Tips To Prevent Wasting Your Cash

How To Stop Spending Money You Really Don’t Have

 

white jug fill of colourful flowers on white background

 

6. Buy Once

Another one of the frugal living strategies that links nicely to planning ahead is having the foresight to buy once and keep.

Many frugal folk will spend a decent chunk of money on something but then keep it for a very long time.

I’m talking cars for 10-15 years, houses forever.

Rather than trading in every few years for a bigger, newer model, choose wisely and keep.

This doesn’t just apply to cars and houses, it can apply to almost anything.

When you buy something and keep it, you have no need to declutter,

You have no need to be throwing things away as you are not endlessly replacing them.

And sometimes this strategy is about spending more in the first place rather than buying cheap and buying twice.

Best 11 Habits Of Frugal People That You Need To Know

 

womans had writing out meal plan in front of supermarket shelves of food

 

7. Shop At Reduction Time

Your grocery budget is one of the most flexible areas of your budget.

It can vary from week to week depending on your spending strategies.

Meal planning and using a shopping list are always mentioned as being among the best frugal living tips.

And with good reason.

However, do not be a slave to that shopping list!

Once you have got your grocery budget firmly under control, you can look to increase your savings by utilizing the clearance section of your local store.

Here in the UK it is often referred to as the yellow sticker section (bet you can guess why!).

The clearance section houses all the produce that is going out of date that day.

Stores slowly reduce the price of these items starting in the morning with perhaps a 10-20% reduction.

Later on it will hit 50% and if there is anything left after that it can reach 90% reduction in price.

A great strategy you can use to slash your grocery budget still further is to find out your local stores reduction times and plan to shop at that time.

For my local Asda Walmart it’s around 5pm when they increase the reduction to 50%.

Whereas my local Lidl cut 30% off first thing in the morning and rarely increase it, because they don’t need to.

Make a point of always checking the clearance section first before you then stick to your shopping list.

If there are any reduced items that you could buy instead of something on your list then swap them out.

Remember – just because something is reduced doesn’t mean it’s a bargain. 

It could still be more expensive than the generic brand or what you were intending to buy.

How To Reduce Your Grocery Bill: 10 Steps To Cut Right Back

18 Things We Cut From Our Food Shopping List To Save Big Money

 

green enamelware saucepan set on stove top and wooden kitchen surface with white painted wall

 

Frugal Living Strategies To Maximize Savings

To be success in living a frugal life AND enjoying it, you need to work out what works for you.

You need to create strategies that make sense and work for your life. 

For example I used to focus on shopping at reduction time as a way to save money because those extra pennies saved made a real difference to us.

But in recent years I no longer time my visit to the store to coincide with the best reduction time.

A different job meant I was usually at work for another 2 hours so it didn’t work out.

However I still always check the reduced section of every store I visit because there are still bargains to be had if you look hard enough.

Strategies make life easier, they give you a structure to work to.

Choose the frugal living strategies that work for you.

 

For more help in planning your new frugal life and creating your own strategies for saving money join my free 5 day Frugal Foundations Bootcamp.

 

pinterest image for frugal living strategies

9 Meal Planning Mistakes You Need Solutions For

worried little girl stiring a pot of food on the cooker to signify meal planning mistakes

Meal planning is often touted as being the number one way to save money. 

Make too many meal planning mistakes and not only will it cost you money, you’ll give up on planning your meals.

And I don’t want that because trust me, you can save a lot of money when you know how to meal plan successfully.

The key is learning from mistakes – both yours and other peoples and finding the right meal planning system that works for you.

I’m actually a bit of a late comer to meal planning.

Which might seem strange given I’ve been frugal for many years.

Somehow I managed to bumble through many years of trying to be frugal without a structured weekly menu plan.

In fairness, I had an outline plan on a scrap of paper, but I was never as organized as I could have been/ should have been.

My saving grace that kept my grocery bill low was my focus was on the cost of each meal. I had a set of rules that I stuck to.

Self imposed rules that stop you spending too much are always a good idea in my book.

 

young girl in apron looking intently at her rolling pin to signify meal planning mistakes

 

Menu Planning Rules

My rules included:

  • Pay no more than £1 for a pack of mince/ground beef or pork
  • Stretch each pack of mince to 2 family meals (for 4 people each)
  • Each meal to cost no more than £2 in total for a family of 4 (includes all ingredients)

I stuck to these rules even when prices kept going up.

To the point that I didn’t buy minced beef for 3 months because I couldn’t get it for £1 any more!

I did update my rules after that because the idea of never having spaghetti bolognese again was not acceptable!

I’d have saved my poor brain and my constant mathematical workings if I had learned how to meal plan and taken time to work work through some of the more common mistakes.

Of course once I started trying to plan our meals in a more structured way I made mistakes.

Meal planning mistakes are part of the natural learning process. We learn through our mistakes.

And that’s the thing, learning what works and what doesn’t helps you find the right system that works for you, your family and your life.

Related posts: 

7 Meal Planning Strategies All Beginners Should Know

Meal Planning On A Budget: 8 Tips For Success

 

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

 

collage of meal prep containers and children in aprons pretending to roll pastry and cook to signify meal planning mistakes

 

(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)

How To Meal Plan

Planning your meals can be as simple or as hard as you make it.

In a nutshell, how to meal plan effectively is about knowing what meals you are going to be making for the coming week.

It’s about menu planning.

What is on each day’s menu to keep you all fed and watered.

However many meal planning mistakes will come out of your menu planning, especially if you are still a relative beginner.

 

young boy in apron looking very surprised at large zucchini

 

Overwhelmed By Meal Planning?

It is very easy to feel overwhelmed by the idea of meal planning and worried that you just won’t be able to do it.

When you are juggling jobs, kids, home and chores overwhelmed can be a constant feeling.

Being able to meal plan successfully can really help you with menu planning and getting to grips with your grocery budget.

When you are feeling the overwhelm, don’t try and do it alone. Take the chance to use a meal planning service that suits you.

My favorite is Myfreezeasy because I love having my freezer full of meals ready to go when I need them.

And I have the time to prep in advance (10 meals in 1 hour!).

You can grab yourself a free sample meal plan when you watch the free Freezer Cooking 101 Workshop.

 

 

However, if I still had children at home and their activities to plan around then I would be opting for Eat At Home Meal Plans in a flash.

They offer a full meal plan – I’m talking 3 meals a day, 7 days a week.

Having someone help you plan all your meals will give you a fantastic boost.

You can choose meals from all 4 different menu options: Plant based, Traditional, Slow Cooker/Instant Pot and No Flour/No Sugar.

And the cost?

On the annual Eat At Home Meal Plan you pay just $1.61 a week. You’ll save that in the first week when you don’t end up with takeout because plans went wrong.

Or save it on wine and chocolate not bought as your stress levels are that much lower!

 

advert for eat at home meal plans

 

 

Meal Planning Mistakes And How To Fix Them

 

1.You Don’t Have Time & It’s Too Difficult

A weekly meal plan can be done in 30 minutes.

What may or may not take time is the act of cooking your meals.

And this is where you want to get tactical with planning your menu.

 

  • Opt for recipes that you know off by heart.
  • Choose meals that take less than 30 minutes from prep to table
  • Aim for fewer ingredients – less prep time and cheaper.
  • Cook once, eat twice – making double the portion gives you a night off cooking another time. Freeze that second meal for the following week.
  • Batch cook at the weekends to save time.
  • Use myfreezeasy to prep 10 freezer meals in just an hour
  • Watch the free Freezer Cooking 101 workshop and get a free meal plan to try it out.

 

 

2. Start All Over Every Week

There is no meal planning law that says you must create a brand new meal plan so don’t do it.

If your family love tacos, have them every week.

A friend of mine has spaghetti and meatballs every Saturday night, without fail. It’s her husbands signature dish and his opportunity to cook the family a meal.

Some people have the same meals week in week out and that is OK.

Stick to family favorites, switch them around to suit what’s going on in your week.

Try out new recipes when you know you have a little extra time to experiment.

Tacos can have different flavors and spaghetti can be made with different sauces.

My meal plan had family favorites and staples each week then other recipes to fill out the week.

Family favorites like:

  • Spaghetti and meatballs
  • Tuna pasta bake
  • Chicken casserole
  • Chilli and rice

I can make these meals with my eyes closed.

They don’t take long and I always have the ingredients in my cupboards and freezer.

10 Frugal Meals For When You Feel So Broke

 

boxes of prepared food to signify meal planning mistakes

 

3. Don’t Take Advantage Of Systems That Can Help 

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by meal planning and it might seem simpler to not try if you are worried you are going to make a hash of it.

Firstly, practice makes perfect and if you follow your meal plan for 3 days out of 7 then that is a great start.

Secondly, learning how to meal plan is about finding out what meal planning systems work for you.

The best meal planning system might be that you plan a menu for a whole month.

Or maybe take advantage of someone else’s menu planning expertise to get rid of your overwhelm.

If spending just $7 a month on the Eat At Home Meal Plans eliminates your overwhelm and ensures you stick to the plan then you are going to be saving money.

Because the Eat At Home Meal Plans can do it all for you.

Meal plan, recipe instructions and color-coded grocery list.

21 meals a week every week, that you get to choose.

Tailor your Eat At Home Meal Plans according to family preferences and mix and match between the different plans (plant based, traditional, slow cooker/instant pot and no flour/no sugar).

 

advert for eat at home meal plans

 

 

Or perhaps what might work best for you is planning your meals based on theme nights (e.g. mexican, italian, curry night, pizza night etc).

 

4. Having No Backup Freezer Meals

No matter how good you are at planning your meals, the fact is life never goes according to plan.

Your cupboards and your freezer can save you from resorting to more expensive options like takeout and restaurant meals.

Cupboards can often provide you with a meal that you can make from scratch, such as pasta and sauce.

However your freezer can go one step further and provide you with a meal that you have already prepared.

If you don’t already I would encourage you to build up a stock of pre-prepped meals in your freezer that you can pull out and eat at short notice.

Your stock can be built up in a couple of ways.

Using Myfreezeasy will provide you with the recipes and tools you need to prepare 10 freezer meals in an hour. And many different meal plans to suit everyone’s taste.

You can also create freezer meals by batch cooking, perhaps on your day off, and by preparing double quantities when cooking.

 

 

5. You Just Don’t Do It

I can’t help you get meal planning if you don’t do it!

I know the idea of planning food a week in advance could be seen as not spontaneous enough.

And perhaps you have always gone with food you feel like having on the day.

The problem with what you feel like is that is usually ends up costing you much more money.

  • You feel like pizza – so you have takeout
  • You feel like meatballs but don’t have any so you go to the store and spend $40 on meatballs and other bits
  • You don’t feel like cooking – so you go out for a meal

 

Deciding what to eat when you are coming home from work does not help you lower your grocery bill.

The meals you plan can easily be switched around during the week.

Just because your plan says meatballs on Tuesday doesn’t mean you can’t have them on Monday instead.

Creating a 7 day meal plan allows you to have all the ingredients in the cupboard.

It stops you from having to decide what to cook and then wonder if you have the ingredients.

And most importantly it stops you from spending extra that wasn’t part of your original plan.

You might also like:

When Money Is Tight, How to Enjoy A $35/£30 Grocery Budget For 2

 

cupboard shelves full of food packages

 

6. Not Checking Existing Food Stocks

Creating a successful meal plan does not start with you sitting down thinking about what recipes you might cook next week.

It should start with you checking what you already have in your cupboards, freezer and refrigerator.

You’ve already spent the money on your existing food supplies so starting there is key to keeping your costs down.

Choose recipes that utilize what you already have. Otherwise why did you buy those ingredients if you are not going to use them?

Your refrigerator is your first port of call because food in there has a limited shelf life.

If you haven’t used it yet then you can safely bet it will need using next week.

Related posts:

How To Stockpile Food On A Budget – 10 Easy Tips

Why You Should Eat Your Pantry Stockpile

 

young toddler licking a wooden spoon to signify meal planning mistakes

 

7. You Don’t Focus On The Simple (Recipes)

I’m not a great cook, I don’t love doing it and I dislike complicated recipes calling for exotic ingredients.

They are off putting for most people and seriously off putting when you’re trying to get food onto the dinner table after work.

The trick to successfully meal planning week after week is to focus on simple recipes.

Simple doesn’t mean basic or boring. Just less complicated.

Simple dinners like:

  • One pot meals
  • Slow cooker meals
  • Pasta or noodles
  • Tray bakes
  • 5 ingredient or less recipes

109 Of The Best Cheap 5 Ingredient (Or Less) Recipes

 

happy young child making pizzas

 

8. Don’t Build Flex Into Your Plan

It doesn’t matter how carefully you plan your week, something invariable happens to change things.

If your menu planning is too rigid, it can fail when change creeps in.

A weekly meal plan rather than a strict daily one helps you with having flexibility built in.

Spaghetti might have been planned for Thursday but you’re late from work so you have Friday’s tacos instead.

If you don’t have that flexibility and willingness to deviate form the plan a little then you are much more likely to end up going out for a meal.

Which costs money that you don’t have.

You may also like: How To Reduce Your Grocery Bill: 10 Steps To Cut Right Back

 

young child in apron and chefs hat baking

 

9. Having Failed Means You Can’t Do It 

Getting the perfect meal planning system is a skill that takes practice to get good at.

You’ve probably tried meal planning previously. If it doesn’t go right first time you can feel put off by it.

Not achieving the perfect week of meals immediately is all part of the learning.

It’s like cooking a new recipe for the first time, it doesn’t always go according to plan. Doesn’t stop you from ever making it again though does it?

Don’t let a not-so-perfect experience make you think you can’t do it.

As you know there’s no such word as can’t (!)

You can do, it just takes a little practice.

Meal planning ideas:

  1. Focus on family favorites
  2. Cook once, eat twice
  3. Be flexible with meals and days
  4. Start with existing supplies
  5. Use simple recipes with fewer ingredients
  6. Stick to 30 minutes prep to table meals
  7. Check your calendar for planned activities and plan around them

 

2 young children in aprons and chefs hats baking at table with eggs and rolling pins to signify meal planning mistakes

 

Your Successful Meal Planning

I’m a great believer in doing what works for you. As long as it doesn’t mean getting into debt of course!

When Mr2p is in charge of cooking, as he often is these days, he does not stick to my plan. Because he is all about spontaneous.

But his spontaneity doesn’t cost us more money because he only ever cooks from the fridge, freezer and cupboard.

If we don’t have it, he doesn’t use it.

And as I am still in charge of the shopping our grocery bill does not increase when he is chef.

Meal planning mistakes are meant to be learned from.

If finding new recipes takes way too much time then stick to a list of favorites or use the Eat At Home Meal Plans to ensure you stick within budget each week.

If you prefer theme nights as a way to guide your meals then use them.

Any system is better than making these meal planning mistakes or regularly resorting to takeout or another trip to the store.

 

For more help in reducing your grocery bill why not sign up for my free 7 day email course?

 

collage of meal prep containers and children in aprons pretending to roll pastry and cook to signify meal planning mistakes

Basic Frugality: How To Reset Your Frugal Life

old fashioned tableware in shades of blue to signify declutter your home

 

You might consider me to be a pro at being frugal but I still find it helpful to revisit basic frugality every so often.

Because although I’ve been frugal for a long time it is just so easy to slip back into bad habits isn’t it?

Sometimes life just gets busy and complicated and things happen that mean you aren’t focused on your money as much as you might want to.

You don’t always have the time to concentrate on keeping every plate spinning and you can easily lose sight of why you want to.

Getting back to basics with simple frugal living gives us a chance to take a little time out and focus on those basics.

There are hundreds of different ways to practice frugality, but in my book the basics can be counted on your fingers.

 

purple pan ware on hob and worktop against white brick wall to signify basic frugality

 

Basic Frugality

Is it ok to be frugal? Absolutely! Frugal is not cheap nor something that is bad.

Frugal living is about focusing on what is most important to you and spending your money on that.

Some of the richest people on earth are frugal.

If you want to know more check out what rich people do.

How can I be frugal? Being frugal is a way of life that everyone can embrace.

If you are new to basic frugality then why not take advantage of my free email course where I help you build your frugal foundations.

If you want to know the differences between frugal and cheap then check these posts.

How To Be Frugal Without Being Cheap

5 Frugal Myths And Why Frugal People Hate Cheapskates

 

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

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7 Ways To Get Back To Basics With 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)

1. Make Your Own Food

We all need food and we often use food as a way to reward and treat ourselves.

Pay day means having a meal out.

Friday night is takeout night.

Stressed about work? A chocolate bar is just the ticket.

In fairness I never need an excuse to have chocolate!

Meal planning is one of the most basic frugality tips I would encourage you to adopt.

When you meal plan successfully you eat at home.

You use the food you have in your pantry and don’t end up with a huge unnecessary stockpile.

More importantly meal planning helps you to keep your grocery bill  low as you will eat at home more.

If meal planning is not your thing or you always end up resorting to a meal out part way through your meal plan then what you need is the $5 meals plan.

For just $5 a month you get a weekly meal plan and associated shopping list.

The meals are not repeated more than once every 3 months (no more spaghetti every 3rd day) and the best part is you can try before you buy with their 14 day free trial.

Start my free trial

For more help on the 7 best strategies to make your meal planning a success why not have a read of this post:

7 Meal Planning Strategies All Beginners Should Know

 

Try $5 Meal Plan!

 

2. Use Every Last Drop

Every time I buy something in a bottle or jar I look at it and wonder just exactly how much am I going to end up wasting.

Some sauces lend themselves to getting every last drop out yet others are more of a challenge.

Mayonnaise is my personal bugbear to the point where I often buy it in wide necked jars, precisely so I can get every last bit out with a spoon.

When you buy products in jars and bottles you are paying for all of its contents.

So why would you willingly leave 10% behind?

I swear manufacturers design their bottles precisely so that last 10% is a struggle to get out.

If you don’t persevere and get it out you are paying 10% more for every bottle and jar you buy.

Basic frugality is about the little things. The basic things. Like using up every last drop.

Because why wouldn’t you when you have paid for it?

Frugal tip – add a little vinegar or water to the bottle and swish around. This will encourage that last 10% out.

Eco tip – Given we want to be recycling all these jars and bottles, we are usually required to wash them out before adding to the recycling bin. Don’t wash that 10% away – use it.

50 Frugal Habits That Are Also Eco Friendly

 

lightbulb with money sign in green background

 

3. Don’t Waste Energy (Or Water)

Unless you live off grid (kudos if you do!) then you will have regular utility bills.

Both energy bills (gas, electricity, oil) and water bills.

Your utility bills are a flexible part of your budget but they are a permanent feature so it’s easy to get a little lax about them give you pay them every month.

Your energy bill is about how much energy you actually use. If you use more, you pay more.

But reducing these bills can be done with a tiny effort. Energy frugality examples are:

  • Switch lights off when you leave the room
  • Unplug chargers
  • Reduce your thermostat a degree or two
  • Use a power strip for your electronics
  • Wear an extra layer on cold days

 

You’ll also want to ensure you are with the cheapest energy supplier.

In the UK, Look After My Bills helps you not only switch to the cheapest supplier.

They keep an eye on your account and automatically switch you to another cheaper supplier when your deal runs out.

 


 

If you are in the US then TRIM will negotiate on your behalf to switch and lower bills such as your internet, cable, phone AND medical bills.

TRIM also helps you save money by finding old and unwanted subscriptions.

Advert for the TRIM app

 

4. Pay Attention To The Small Things

Have you fallen into the habit of saying “It’s only $x” as you justify buying something that perhaps you wouldn’t usually?

Do you not worry about spending a few extra cents/pennies in order to gain some convenience.

Basic frugality is about keeping every cent and penny you have a prisoner.

Until you must let it go (and be spent on something).

There is a saying in the UK – “Look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves”.

This actually encompasses exactly what frugal living is all about.

Frugal living is simply about focusing on the little things.

It’s not about shaving hundreds off your mortgage (because being frugal you wouldn’t ever be paying over the odds).

Never think a few cents here, a few pennies there are not worth your bother. They are.

Because they add up into dollars and pounds.

Frugal tip – if you can get something a dollar cheaper by crossing the road to another store then do it.

Do that once a week and in a year you’ll have saved $52. And that is not to be sniffed at.

9 Tiny Frugal Ideas To Save Money Every Day

 

woman at at a white table putting money in a pink piggy bank with a calculator and a spread of money notes to signify basic frugality

 

5. Stretch Your Comfort Zone

Getting back to basic frugality means getting back out of your comfort zone. Do things a little different.

Maybe you’ve got a little too comfortable with paying someone to wash your car each week.

Maybe you’ve slipped into the habit of buying lunch at work a bit more often than you did before.

Getting back to basics gives you the opportunity to save that money instead.

Wash the car yourself.

Pack your lunch more often.

Frugal living is often about doing things the old fashioned way.

You don’t pay for convenience of someone or something doing a job for you. You do it yourself.

Wash your car, mow your lawn, try a different (cheaper?) recipe.

12 Traditional Frugal Living Tips To Supercharge Your Savings

11 Things Frugal People Just Do Not Do

 

a persons hands holding a shopping receipt to scrutinise it

 

6. Reset Spending

When you are newly frugal, you are often hyper conscious of every time you spend but over time that focus can dim a little and extra spending can creep in bit by bit.

A trick to get back to simple frugal living is to reset your spending.

How to reset your spending?

Sometimes just making more of an effort to think about when and if you need to spend is enough to get back on track.

Alternatively you can help your self with a no spend challenge.

I like no spend days because they give you a sense of achievement after just one day.

These are especially helpful if you have slipped into bad habits of spending a few times each day.

For more focus on not spending you could also try a no spend challenge for a longer period, say a weekend, a week or even a month. (Not for the faint-hearted!)

How To Be Successful With A No Spend Challenge

How To Make No Spend Days Successful (And When Not To)

 

traditional kitchen utensils hanging on ship lap wall and worktop

 

7. Know Your Why

Many people turn to frugal living deliberately. Often because you are having difficulty paying all your bills or have debt to clear.

But once you have cleared your debt and have embraced living below your means then to keep practicing frugality you need another reason.

Your reason is your why. Why so you want to be living frugally?

I came to frugal living through the usual route of not enough money to pay my bills and basically feeling poor every month.

Eventually I had spare money each month but it took me years to get to that point.

And then I had to make the decision as what I wanted.

Did I want to continue to frugal living and saving money, or did I want to increase my spending?

I chose frugal living because it meant I could save more money and aim to do more with my money.

Like retiring early, moving to the countryside.

Knowing my why helped me keep focused on being frugal.

When I got a pay rise I saved it. When I saved money on car insurance I saved it.

Because I knew what I was saving for.

You need to know why you are being frugal so you can remember it when you get tempted to spend a little more.

10 Secrets To Lasting Frugal Success

 

2 young children in aprons and chefs hats baking at table with eggs and rolling pins

 

Frugality Fresh Start

Getting back to basics is like resetting the clock. It helps you to take a fresh look at why you are intent on frugal living.

It helps you to reconnect with your why and to strengthen your frugal mindset in order to practice basic frugality at home and at work.

Are you are interested in being more frugal, more deliberate with your money, making your money stretch further?

Then sign up for my free email course where you will learn how to build the strong frugal foundations you need.

 

 

pinterest image for basic frugality

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Frugal Living For Beginners: How To Get Started

teapot and cup with dollar bills

Being a beginner at anything new can seem daunting, even simple frugal living for beginners will seem hard and possibly very different from what you are used to.

I say ‘seem hard’ because it’s not really, not once you know how and that is exactly what you and I are talking about.

How you can be living a frugal life and enjoying it.

Let’s start at the beginning though.

You are new to being frugal and you probably have been overspending for a long time.

You need help to change your lifestyle and develop your frugal mindset.

You have heard enough about frugal living to think it could be the answer to your spendy lifestyle but you have no idea how to get started.

And you think you are going to have to cut back massively and go without, which doesn’t sound enticing does it?

In fact you have tried cutting back before and failed and you hated that feeling, right?

Frugal living for beginners, or the seasoned frugalista is not about doing without.

You can definitely live happily AND frugally.

I will show you what to do first so you don’t fail whilst dipping your toes into frugal living and show you how to build your frugal muscles.

 

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

pinterest image for frugal living for beginners

 

The Frugal Lifestyle

You need to know straight off that there is no one size fits all.

How you do frugal will be different to how I do it and how your neighbor does it.

Because it’s not a cookie cutter approach. It’s more a mindset and you apply the parts that mean the most to you, to your life.

You might have a decent income but have massive debt. Whereas your neighbor might have 5 kids and only one income.

You can both be learning about frugal living for beginners and embrace the frugal lifestyle but it will look and feel very different.

 

Wikipedia explains frugal as thus:

Frugality is the quality of being frugal, sparing, thrifty, prudent or economical in the consumption of consumable resources such as food, time or money, and avoiding waste, lavishness or extravagance.

 

To me the frugal lifestyle simply means being smart with your money.

Ensuring your money has purpose and is not wasted on things you do not need, only want (temporarily).

Your frugal life is about making the right spending decisions for you so you can afford the things you want and be happy about the things you don’t have.

 

gold piggy bank withcoin piles and watering can vector

 

Frugal Living For Beginners – What Can It Do For You?

Perhaps the question should be what can frugal living NOT do for you?

Because when you are living a frugal life and enjoying it you cannot think of anything you are missing out on.

There are going to be things you won’t do that perhaps you used to, but once you have moved past the frugal living for beginners stage you won’t be interested in those things.

Not to the point where you miss them.

To me it’s simple; frugal living helps you embrace a full life, one where you are not getting into debt, worrying about money or are surrounded by stuff that you bought on credit.

Frugal living will help you:

  1. Pay off debts
  2. Plan for your future
  3. Stop worrying about money and sleep easy at night
  4. Enjoy a more simple, rewarding lifestyle
  5. Stop asking why am I poor?
  6. Save money towards things you truly value
  7. Appreciate the things and people in your life
  8. Know the difference between frugal and cheap

 

dollar bills and notepad overlaid with orange ad pink flowers - frugal living for beginners

 

Frugal Living Vs Cheap Living

When you are just starting to learn about thrifty living and frugality you can get caught up in the popular confusion of frugal vs cheap

When you are frugal you have a purpose for being so.

It could be you have debt to pay off or you have long term financial goals you are determined to achieve. 

Saving money at any cost is not being frugal, it’s being cheap.

Being cheap is about saving money no matter what.

No matter the impact on other people, no matter the impact on the environment, indeed often its no matter the impact on yourself.

So many cheap people seem to cut their noses off to spite their faces. i.e. they will focus on being cheap at the expense of their own enjoyment.

No going out for a meal with their friends, ever.

No warm fluffy feeling when they buy a present for a friend, because they just wouldn’t buy that present.

All in the name of saving money.

My advice? Don’t be cheap, be frugal and love it.

 

How To Be Frugal Without Being Cheap

  1. Be really clear about your goals
  2. Understand what you are doing and why
  3. Be aware of how your decisions could impact others
  4. Take steps to minimize your impact on others by tweaking frugal decisions
  5. Save money for the right reason
  6. Don’t penny pinch for pinching’s sake
  7. Don’t be frugal at the expense of others

 

pile of books with pink roses in white jug

 

Frugal Living For Beginners, 9 Easy Ways You Can Get Started

Here you are right at the beginning of your frugal journey, what can you do today, this week that will set you on the right course?

Try really hard to not fall into the trap of making these common mistakes people make when trying to be frugal.

Mistakes happen but steer clear of these 3!

First things first, if you make a mistake, know that it is not a mistake only a learning experience.

Thomas Edison (inventor of the lightbulb) said:

“I have not failed, I just found 10,000 ways that did not work”

These 9 actions will get you started and help you make a difference to your money situation this week.

 

1. Have Goals

I loves me a goal. And I want you too.

Goals give you something to aim for, without them you can wander aimlessly along, spending money you don’t have.

Start with goals that you feel you can achieve in the next week and month.

The focus is on achievable.

Many people start with cutting their grocery budget.

If you usually spend $200 on groceries every week, please don’t set a goal of just $100.

Cut yourself some slack.

Set a goal of say 10% less than you usually spend. Once you have achieved that, set a new goal of 10% less again (e.g. 20% down).

Lock these achievements in by achieving each week and move on to a further goal.

Within 6 months you could easily achieve that $100 grocery budget.

As you are starting out please don’t set yourself too many goals.

Focus on 2 or 3 that will make a difference right now.

Next month you can focus on other goals.

 

 

2. Start Small

Too many of us reach a crisis point and think the only way to survive is to go big.

But when you go big with changes you run a huge risk of failing and going back to your old ways.

I’m not a lover of the term ‘baby steps’ but it fits what I am trying to say here.

Start small with your changes.

We are talking about lifestyle changes, changes that you and I hope you make on a permanent basis.

Money saving swaps are a great way to start small, you’re buying a similar product, just cheaper.

When you’ve been living life a certain way, many of your spending habits are just that, habits.

And we all know how hard habits can be to break or change.

 

freesia posy in glass bottle with water jug behind

 

3. Pace And Reward Yourself 

It’s all too easy to make a few changes, see success then jump feet first into making all the changes you think you need to make.

You may well need to make those changes but you are not running the 100m sprint, it’s more of a walking marathon. I love this saying:

“Less haste, more speed”

Don’t be hasty in making too many changes, you will achieve more by pacing yourself, being successful in some of your new spending and frugal habits.

When you achieve your small goals make sure you reward yourself.

I’m not talking a slap up meal at a swanky restaurant. That’s not a treat when it derails your budget and your spending plans.

Rewards can take many forms and don’t even need to cost money.

Rewarding yourself for small achievements helps you focus on what you want to achieve.

 

4. Learn To Say No

Only you spends your money.

So if you are overspending and need to stop then I’m afraid to say it sits firmly at your door.

When you are used to spending too much, it can be very hard to stop spending money and start saving.

The best way to achieve savings and reduced spending is to learn to say no to yourself and to others.

You need to stop the lifestyle creep of always spending everything you earn.

Never feel bad about saying no, if it’s what needs to happen to help you start living a frugal life and enjoying it then say no and be proud to do so.

Other ways to help you say no is to set money challenges for yourself. These posts will help you get started:

How To Be Successful With A No Spend Challenge

How To Make No Spend Days Successful (And When Not To)

 

orange and yellow flowers in glass bottles

 

5. Know What You Are  Spending

I am sure you sort of know how much you are spending. After all, you know how much you earn and roughly what you owe on credit cards.

But having a deeper knowledge of not only how much you are spending but on WHAT makes life so much easier.

It’s what you are spending your hard earned money on that will help you to live more frugally.

One of the easiest ways to know what you are spending your money on is to note down everything you spend.

You can use an excel spreadsheet, a budgeting app like Mint or YNAB or a plain piece of paper.

Personally I use a very basic spreadsheet and focus on my main categories.

Categories You May Want To Track

  • Groceries
  • Pets
  • Kids
  • House stuff
  • Presents
  • Tools
  • Bills
  • Entertainment

 

I find it easier to track my spending by noting down what I spend regularly.

If I wait for 2 weeks before updating my spreadsheet I can guarantee that not only will I miss off a few things, it doesn’t help me focus on being more careful about my spending habits.

Whereas when I keep my spreadsheet update weekly or more often not only is it more accurate, it helps me keep a good, frugal mindset.

Being as accurate as possible helps you to identify where your problem areas are.

You can start today by going back over your bank and credit card statements for the past month to see where your money was spent.

You could pinpoint your spending problem right now with this little exercise. Which will then allow you to take the next step below.

 

yellow tulips in white jug with clock in background

 

6. Address Your Worst Spending Issue

When your finances are a mess where do you start?

No matter how keen you are, when you start out on the frugal living for beginners journey you can’t do everything all at once, you will fail.

I can’t tell you how many times I tried to focus on achieving every line of my new, improved (badly made) budget.

Needless to say I failed more times than I succeeded.

It wasn’t until I decided to focus on my worst problems that I turned a corner.

We all have a problem area when it comes to our money.

It could be your grocery budget, it could be costly entertainment costs or it could be clothes shopping.

What I have found, as others have, is that if you focus on your problem area and make changes, you will notice an improvement in the other areas as well.

My worst spending area has always been grocery shopping. I just love a bargain and I justified my overspending every month on the basis that it was food, it was cheap and we would use it eventually.

So not a waste.

But that mindset trickled out into other areas of spending. It’s for the kids, it’s for work.

They are called excuses and we do it to ourselves constantly.

You probably know what your worst spending area is without even looking at your credit card statements.

If you don’t, or are in denial, then use the step above to understanding what you are spending and identify it that way.

Then set yourself a goal to reduce that spending – remember baby steps though.

 

glass jars of stored dried goods

 

7. Tackle Your Food Budget

I think everyone has wriggle room in their food budget.

If you really don’t then frugal living for beginners is absolutely not what you need to be reading!

There are so many ways to reduce your grocery budget. You can:

  • Drop down a brand
  • Reduce the amount of protein you buy
  • Use cheaper cuts of meat
  • Have more meatless meals
  • Shop at discount stores
  • Shop from your cupboard
  • Focus on cheap and easy meals 
  • Reduce how often you go shopping
  • Meal plan
  • Shop with a list

 

And so the list can go on and on.

I can’t tell you how much your grocery budget should be because it is completely dependent on where you live and what stores you have access to.

What you will want to figure out, is how you can cut your grocery budget.

Aim for a 10% cut. If you achieve that 2 months running, drop it by another 5 or 10%.

These posts will help:

When Money Is Tight, How to Enjoy A $35/£30 Grocery Budget For 2

18 Things We Cut From Our Food Shopping List To Save Big Money

10 Simple Reasons Your Grocery Bill Is So High & How To Cut It

 

 

8. Don’t Spend For Fun

Fun doesn’t have to cost any money at all.

If you are used to paying other people to entertain you then you could save a good chunk of money quite quickly.

I remember I used to go shopping for fun.

Spending money is fun, until you get your credit card bill and don’t know how to pay it.

You need to learn how to stop spending money on unnecessary things because these are the things that blow your budget.

It’s very easy to spend $50 – $100 in a couple of hours when you have a night out at the movies with a meal.

But you could have almost the same experience at home for just a few dollars or even free.

Grab a free movie or buy an old DVD at a thrift store and make something easy and delicious at home.

Other free activities could be:

  • use your library for free books and activities
  • have friends round for supper
  • have a traditional games night
  • activities in your community

 

couple with shopping bags

 

9. Be On The Same Page As Your Partner

If you are part of a couple then being on the same page as your partner is one of the best frugal living tips I can give you.

Being a frugal couple means you are both working towards common goals together. There is power in joining forces and being a team.

Often couples find that one is more spendy than the other, this is fine when the money is there. Not so fine when you are racking up debt.

And it can be hard to get your other half to see the light just because you suddenly have.

When you are a couple with very differing money habits then it can cause no end of problems.

Resentment of the other persons spending habits (whether you are the spender or saver).

Secrecy over money to avoid confrontation.

A feeling of ‘if you can’t beat them, you might as well join then’ – which doesn’t help your finances one iota.

Being part of a frugal couple is worth fighting for and supporting your other half in seeing the benefits of getting on the same page.

Have a read of these posts about couple finances:

How To Manage Money As A Couple: 9 (Successful) Strategies

Debt In Marriage – How You Can Prevent It Ruining Your Relationship

 

notebook wrapped with lace on desktop with pink tulips in jug - frugal living for beginners

 

Start Your Frugal Living For Beginners Journey Today

Today is the day.

No need to wait until tomorrow.

No need to wait until you are paid.

You don’t need to buy anything to start your frugal journey.

These 9 simple actions will make a difference to your money today:

  1. Write down 3 goals you are going to achieve this week and this month
  2. Make sure they are small and achievable goals
  3. Pace yourself and have a reward when goals are achieved
  4. Learn to say no to unnecessary things
  5. Start tracking what you spend each day, week and month
  6. Set a goal to tackle your worst spending problem, today
  7. Attack your grocery budget – there is money to be saved
  8. Don’t spend for fun
  9. Get on the same page as your partner

 

Once you have tackled these frugal living for beginner steps why not take the next step in saving money and grab your copy of the Money Saving Mini Bundle today?

 

 
pinterest image for frugal living for beginners
pinterest image for frugal living for beginners

 

9 Tiny Frugal Ideas To Save Money Every Day

brown checked open purse with coins inside with lightbulb = cash concept drawing above - to signify frugal habits

 

Being frugal is not just about reducing big bills, it’s about the small frugal ideas that you can do every day to save money.

Tiny frugal habits that add up to a whole frugal life, one where you do things just a little bit differently than others.

Many of us start out being frugal because we have to be. Because we are in debt, or have too many bills for our income.

And we look to cut all the bills as fast and by as much as possible.

But being frugal doesn’t stop there. There are probably a million and one frugal living tips that can each save you a tiny bit of money.

If each tip saved you just one cent, a million tips would help you save a lot of money.

Some frugal ideas are less about saving money and more about doing things in a different way.

Perhaps because you want to use less plastic or have less of an impact on the environment.

Or perhaps because you treasure the old fashioned ways of doing things. When frugal living was about living simply.

The key for me is that frugal ideas come in all shapes and sizes.

And some of the easiest ones to adopt are the small, simple ideas.  Simple and effective.

12 Traditional Frugal Living Tips To Supercharge Your Savings

 

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

pinterest image for tiny frugal ideas to save money

 

9 Tiny Frugal Ideas To Save Money Every Day

(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)

 

1. Use It All Up

Being frugal, you want to get value for money for everything you buy. 

One way to do this is to ensure that you use every last drop of the things you buy.

When you buy 500g of ketchup, you expect to receive 500g of ketchup. So why not make sure you actually use all 500g?

I don’t know about you but I can get frustrated with packaging that makes it difficult to get the final 10% of a product out.

Instead of getting annoyed, I get creative and determined to not throw that final 10% away.

For toothpaste, lotions etc I used to spend minutes daily flattening and squeezing the remaining contents up toward the top.

To make life easier I purchased a tube squeezer for a few pounds. I definitely get more out using this tool than doing so by hand.

For sauces, ketchup, mayonnaise etc you can add a tiny amount of either water or vinegar to thin the contents slightly which helps them move down the bottle.

 

various baked biscuits stacked together on white background to signify frugal ideas

 

2. Save Leftovers

Leftovers can form an entire meal in their own right if you batch cook or make too much.

But what about the leftovers that amount to a small pot or only a 1/4 portion? Do you throw them away?

The idea of being frugal is about using all your leftovers no matter the size left.

Small amounts can be added together to create a unique, one off meal.

Alternatively you can have a tapas type meal of various leftovers, all super small portions.

You bought the food, don’t waste it!

 

 

3. Be (Very) Patient

Saving up in order to buy something without credit is a sensible piece of financial advice that I hope you follow wherever possible.

That requires you to be patient and wait until you have the full amount.

One step on from that is to exercise more patience and wait until you can get what you want at the right price.

Frugal folk often buy used items and willingly wait for a long time, months, in order to get what they want at the right price for them.

It’s one of the frugal ideas that can take a bit of getting used to as once you’ve made the decision to buy something, it’s natural to want it fairly soon.

The 30 Day Rule: How To Save (More) Money

How To Be Successful With A No Spend Challenge

How To Make No Spend Days Successful (And When Not To)

 

bowl of blueberries and raspberries on white background

 

4. Freeze Food

If you are not going to eat it, freeze it. Better that than to waste it.

Whether you’ve got leftovers, limp vegetables lurking at the bottom of your refrigerator, bread or meat you were going to cook but haven’t yet.

By freezing food you are effectively freezing time, time you can get back when you make a plan to use your frozen food.

Having little to no food waste means you are keeping your grocery spend as low as possible and is an integral part of the frugal lifestyle.

How To Save Money By Cutting Your Food Waste To A Minimum

 

5. Drink Water

This is one of the simplest frugal ideas that you can follow at no cost at all. Water is basically free from your faucet/tap at home.

In some countries like the UK you pay for the water you use but it’s a tiny cost in comparison to buying bottled water.

Water can taste different according to it’s source, whether it’s filtered through chalk or picked up minerals along it’s way.

Different doesn’t equal better or worse, just different. 

Drinking water from your home instead of soda, cordials, coffee, tea or alcohol could be one of the best frugal living tips you embrace.

Just consider how much you spend each month on drinks and drink additives.

And it doesn’t just need to be when you are home. Take water with you, wherever you go using an insulated water bottle. It keeps water refreshingly cold for hours.

10 Ways To Save Money On Your Water Bill

 

wine glass filled with water and bubbles and overflowing

 

6. Ask For A Discount

You can take it as read that a mainstream frugal tip is to shop around to find the best price for anything you are considering buying.

In additional to this, a simple frugal idea to get a better deal is to be upfront and ask for a discount.

Finding the best price is not just about your research, you can go one better when you ask.

As the saying goes – there is always a deal to be done.

 

7. Shop At Reduction Time

Frugal folk make great use of planning meals but they are not a slave to their meal plan because you never know when you could save money by not following it.

What do I mean?

Humans are creatures of habit and one habit we have is doing our grocery shopping at the same time and on the same day. 

We tend to work out what is easiest, whether that going to the store on the way home from work or taking a separate trip on our day off.

We follow patterns because there is less to think about.

A simple and effective way to reduce your grocery spend is not to shop when it fits in with your existing schedule.

Instead you should shop at very specific times, specific to your particular stores.

 

bright pink purse with white spots open with coins spilling out to signify frugal ideas

 

Clearance Bargains

Going to the grocery store at the time when they are reducing their clearance items is one of the frugal ideas many folk forget.

Most stores have a clearance section for products near their use by date with the marked down price starting off fairly small.

Later in the day though, goods gets marked down again because the store has to either sell them or bin them by the end of the day.

This second mark down tends to be in the region of 50% of the full price.

If items are still not sold after this price reduction then in the last hour or so of closing they will be marked down again, often to 90% or more off.

Timing your grocery shop to fit in with your stores reduction times can lead you to some great bargains.

Change your meal plan to take advantage of your bargains or freeze them for a future meal.

You are of course going to be among other frugal folk who are doing the exact same thing. 

To get the best bargains you would need to visit your store on a more regular basis, like 2-4 times a week.

Living near your store or driving past at the right time will definitely help.

Before we moved I would drive past my grocery store at least 5 times a week, now I have to make a special effort to get within 5 miles of it.

It’s a great way to be more frugal, but only if your time, location and finances say it works.

There is little point in going out of your way and using more fuel only to find there are no bargains that day.

10 Simple Reasons Your Grocery Bill Is So High & How To Cut It

 

couple with shopping bags

 

8. Avoid Late Night Online Shopping

Online shopping has revolutionized our shopping habits and allows us to find the best price at the click of a button.

But it has it’s downsides.

One click of a button and you have spent money, possibly money better used elsewhere.

Shopping online means you can shop any time of the day or night. But this comes with risks.

Late night browsing is likely to lead to poor shopping decisions.

You’re tired, you’ve had a long day, perhaps you are not in the best mood.

If you were going to the mall, you perhaps wouldn’t bother going as far as getting out of the car.

But shopping online means you can scroll and click whilst half asleep and not paying full attention.

To save money and keep your frugal goals intact, avoid all late night shopping.

Your purse will thank you later. 

How To Stop Shopping: 9 Tips For Success

 

9. Pack Snacks

It can feel slightly easier to be frugal when you stay at home, compared to venturing out.

But with a little planning and forethought you can keep on being frugal out of the home.

Whether going out to work or out to play, take food and drinks with you so you don’t need to spend money on expensive food.

Snacks can be homemade, they don’t need to be store bought, ready to go style snacks.

And your drinks could be your water bottle or a nice flask of tea (I am a Brit so it’s always tea for me) .

67 Cheap And Easy Savory Snacks To Make At Home

 

map covered notebook with ruler and pen and green succulent plant

 

How To Become Really Frugal

Wanting to become really frugal is not about doing a bunch of one off big things.

It’s about the little things, its about how you approach going about your normal day.

Having a strong frugal mindset helps you to become more frugal over time.

 

How can I be frugal without being cheap?

Being frugal is about getting value for your money and making good money decisions.

Being cheap is about getting something as cheaply as possible without considering the impact on others.

You can be extremely frugal without ever impacting negatively on others.

How To Be Frugal Without Being Cheap

 

woman with red open purse pouring coins into her hand to signify frugal ideas

 

How To Start Being Frugal

Starting your frugal journey is about taking one step at a time. Few people are successful at becoming frugal right from the get go.

You need to find what works for you as not every frugal living tip will.

A classic example of this is cutting cable. Every article I read about saving money talks about cutting cable and using alternatives.

But for us the alternatives do not add up to a cost saving that fits into our lives.

Watching TV via cable is a source of cheap entertainment for us. And Mr2p likes watching sports – that are only available in the UK via cable.

We are very frugal in many ways but cutting cable is a step too far for us.

Frugal Living For Beginners: How To Get Started

Basic Frugality: How To Reset Your Frugal Life

 

Another Tiny Frugal Idea

If you are interested in being more frugal, more deliberate with your money, making your money stretch further.

Then sign up for my free email course where you will learn how to build the strong frugal foundations you need.

 

pinterest image for tiny frugal ideas to save money

 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

35 Of The Best Cheap Foods To Buy When You’re Broke

crate of fruit and vegetables - being broke

What is the best cheap food to buy when broke?

You have so little money but you’ve still got to feed you and your family so you need a lot of food for cheap as possible. 

Free would be great but not usually possible!

When you are broke you need to buy food as cheaply as possible but what to buy?

My grocery budget was always the place I tried to cut down on when times were hard.

With so many food choices out there you can always buy something cheaper.

But finding the cheapest healthy meals and food to buy on a tight budget can be hard.

What can you buy that will fill your family up yet still enable you to eat well?

You don’t want to be eating crap, you need healthy foods that fill you up and taste great.

Otherwise you’ll blow your budget by buying something extra because your taste buds aren’t satisfied.

I know I had to fight hard against buying cheap processed food.

It looked good on my small food bill but it didn’t taste great and I knew it wasn’t the right healthy food for my family. 

I cut processed food out of my food shopping list and focused on finding and buying healthy food.

It did mean a little more effort in finding the right recipes and cooking time.

But you know it’s worth it when your family eats healthily and aren’t constantly looking for extra snacks.

(Discounting teenagers who are seemingly always hungry!)

 

Top Tip – Subscribe to the 7 day Grocery Budget Bootcamp and learn how to take back control of your spending on groceries in just a week!

 

Cheap Food To Buy When Broke

Your grocery budget is one of the few places where you can really cut costs right down when times are hard.

When you are broke you have so many bills that need paying that there can be very little left.

If you can focus on dirt cheap meals for a month or two then the savings you make may well help you stop feeling so broke.

In order to do that what you need is a master list of cheap food to buy when broke that you can refer to and use to meal plan.

With the list of cheap foods below you can make dozens of great meals.

Below your master grocery list I’ve also listed 12 recipe suggestions to get you started.

If you haven’t cooked with dry beans before please do read the packets, almost all need 12 hours of soaking time.

Meal planning on a budget requires planning ahead so you know what ingredients you need for your meals ahead of time. 

Use this master grocery list and the recipes for broke and hungry people to plan your meals for the next two weeks and see how much you can save.

For more recipe inspiration check out this mammoth post of 55 cheap and easy meals: 55 Cheap And Easy Meals You Are Going To Love.

 

table of fresh peppers and mushrooms - best cheap food to buy when broke

 

Your Ultimate Broke Grocery List

Every item on this grocery list will help you eat cheaply and healthily.

You won’t need to buy every item on this broke grocery list every week or month.

If you buy a selection of these cheap foods each week then you have the makings of a great food cupboard for future weeks.

I would encourage you to start a little pantry stockpile.

Add something long life from the list below that won’t be used up in the coming week.

Having a small pantry stockpile helps you plan ahead for busy nights.

Stick to this grocery list whilst you are feeling the pinch and you’ll be amazed at how low your grocery bill will get.

If you need are looking to find ways to save money in other areas and live more frugally then these posts will definitely help:

How To Be Frugal: 200+ Best Frugal Living Tips To Try Today

11 Extreme Frugal Living Tips You Should Try

 

crate of fruit and vegetables - cheap food to buy when broke

 

Best Stores To Buy Cheap Food

The best stores to buy a lot of food for cheap will be subject to your local area.

If you have an Aldi or Lidl or another discount store then they are a great place to often buy cheap food.

If you have a warehouse type store like Costco nearby then you could save money shopping there.

When you are broke and every penny counts it often works out cheaper if you split your grocery buying.

Each of your local stores will have loss leaders – highly reduced products designed to draw you in to shop there and buy other things.

Do your research and work out which store is the cheapest for each item on your shopping list. 

When every penny and every cent counts, it is worth crossing the road to another store if you can save money.

When our money was really tight I regularly shopped in 3 stores each week. All on the same day, one after the other.

I was lucky that I had a few stores all within 2 miles of each other to choose from.

It is not worth driving miles between stores if that is your only choice. You’ll potentially pay more in petrol than you save on groceries.

How To Build A Stockpile Quickly

 

cupboard shelves full of food packages

 

Your Questions About Cheap Food To Buy When Broke

What should I buy at the grocery store when broke? Check out my list of the best cheap food to buy when broke as your starting point.

When you have only a tiny budget choose the absolute cheapest food.

It might mean temporarily eating a lot of beans and rice but if it stops you from getting into debt that’s got to be a good thing right?

 

What is the cheapest food you can buy? This will depend on your local stores.

If there is a really cheap loss leader in your store that works out the cheapest food to buy then buy that.

Rice, oats, noodles and pasta are all super cheap and can be almost meals in themselves when you have to make do.

 

 

What can I do if I have no money for food? In many counties and countries there is help available from food banks and charities that can help you if you literally have no money.

These can often supply you with a few days worth of food to keep you going. 

Do please contact your local help if you are struggling, that is why they are there. To help you.

 

How can I spend $10 a week on groceries? For one person this could be doable. But it would be very repetitive and not the healthiest of diets. 

Choose cheap foods like rice, potatoes and oats.

A couple of cans of beans and you can make very basic meals for a week from these.

If you’ve already got a couple of herbs and spices all the better.

Because plain rice is well, plain!

 

Glass jars with grain, nuts, butter, jam on the wooden shelf  on background of a dark wall to signify cheap foods to buy when broke

 

The Cheapest Foods To Buy On A Budget

Cheap food to buy in bulk is the best of both worlds as you get a lot of food for cheap money.

Luckily many of the food items below are available in bulk, even from your local grocery store.

Rice can often be bought in 5kg bags, pasta in 3kg bags, as can oats, rolled or steel cut.

There is a saying that if you want to save serious money then live like a college student.

I’m not advocating a change of lifestyle but cheap foods for college students can also be cheap foods for you.

 

Protein 

  • lentils (red, yellow, green or brown)
  • dry beans (kidney, black eye, haricot, chickpeas)
  • Canned baked beans
  • eggs (free range if you can although caged eggs are cheaper)
  • chicken thighs
  • chicken legs
  • whole chicken
  • sausages (own brand but not value brand)
  • tinned tuna
  • peanut butter
  • block cheese (often cheaper than grated)
  • any meat reduced to under £2 a kilo (e.g. pork, minced/ground beef)

 

4 glass open lidded glass jars with different pulses filled to the brim - to signify best cheap foods to buy when broke

 

Carbohydrates

  • rolled oats
  • brown rice (healthier than white)
  • whole wheat pasta (healthier than white)
  • wholewheat bisks (non-branded weetabix)
  • wholemeal bread (healthier than white)
  • breakfast cereal (focus on the bran ones)

 

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

pinterest image - best cheap food to buy when broke

 

Fruit and Vegetables

  • canned tomatoes (chopped or whole)
  • apples (whichever variety is on offer)
  • oranges
  • bananas (buy smaller ones to get more servings)
  • cabbage
  • swede
  • lettuce (iceberg tends to be cheapest)
  • potatoes (whichever variety is cheapest)
  • carrots
  • white onions
  • broccoli
  • pumpkins (in Autumn/Fall they’re almost free!)
  • garlic
  • frozen mixed vegetables
  • home grown vegetables and fruit of any type

 

Miscellaneous

  • flour
  • sugar
  • seasonings/condiments inc salt, pepper & dried herbs
  • milk (fresh or powdered)

Top Tip – Subscribe to my FREE Resource Library and download a copy of the 30 best frugal pantry staples, 12 frugal meal ideas and more!

 

12 Meal Ideas For When You Are Broke And Hungry

When you are broke and hungry, recipes that give you a lot of food for cheap money are exactly what you need.

I’ve listed below some dirt cheap meals that won’t break your budget and will fill you up.

These meals are all designed to stretch the meat content and pad out with cheaper grocery items such as beans, lentils and vegetables.

Because these have lots of vegetables in them and whole grain carbohydrates they are some of the cheapest healthy meals you can eat and will keep even the hungriest person filled up.

You want cheap food to buy when broke, not expensive things that mean each meal costs a fiver.

Many of these dirt cheap meals will cost less than a pound or dollar per person.

Especially if you go easy on the meat portions and fill up on cheap vegetables and carbohydrates.

 

collage of healthy meal pictures to signify best cheap foods to buy when broke

 

  1. Jacket potato with baked beans (don’t buy special ‘jacket’ size potatoes)
  2. Vegetarian bean chilli and brown rice
  3. Chicken curry and brown rice (use leftovers from a whole chicken)
  4. Sausage & tomato pasta bake (use ½ pack sausages to reduce cost further)
  5. Sausages and mashed potatoes (heavy on the mash, light on the sausages)
  6. Chicken thigh casserole with dumplings (try 1 thigh per person to keep cost down)
  7. Bacon, potato and onion pie (1 or 2 rashers per person)
  8. Tuna pasta (1 tin can stretch to 4 people)
  9. Lentil soup and wholemeal bread
  10. Omelette and stir fry vegetables
  11. Poor man’s kedgeree (use tuna instead of smoked haddock)
  12. Home made pizza (make your own pizza dough)

For more cheap healthy meals have a read of these posts: 

10 Frugal Meals For When You Feel So Broke

55 Cheap And Easy Meals You Are Going To Love

 

line of glass jars filled with homemade preserved vegetables and fruits

 

The Best Cheap Food To Buy When Broke

I hope this master list of cheap groceries will help you plan some great frugal meals and help you save some serious money on your groceries.

Being broke and trying to feed your family can be a challenge, but it’s a challenge you can win when you know the right healthy frugal foods to buy. 

Top Tip – Subscribe to the 7 day Grocery Budget Bootcamp and learn how to take back control of your spending on groceries in just a week!


 

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pinterest image for best cheap food to buy when broke

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