The Best Books On Frugal Living You Need To Read

an uneven pile of books

 

Wherever you are on your frugal journey, being able to read up on a whole bunch of frugal lifestyle tips from people who have been doing it for a long time really does help.

Of course I hope frugal living blogs like mine have a place in your go to reading but if you are anything like me, a blog cannot replace good old fashioned frugal books.

Frugal books that have stood the test of time.

Where the author has proved their authority with dozens of tips and lived their life according to their own advice.

Where you can hear the authenticity in their written word.

Books on frugal living range from those aimed at beginners to those that really encompass the full range of frugal living tips.

The more detailed books also include advice that some people may feel is much more into extreme frugality territory.

But of course what may seem extreme to you may be completely normal to me!

 

an uneven pile of books

 

A Slimline Frugal Bookshelf

As someone who has lived below my means for a long time in order to save enough money to be financially free and retire many years early, I’ve read a lot of frugal books.

A lot.

But I don’t have dozens of frugal living books on my bookcase, because many unfortunately don’t live up to the hype of their reviews.

Not for me anyway.

For frugal books to make it onto my bookshelf, and stay there, they’ve got to offer a lot more than basic budgeting and saving money advice.

These books needs to offer us readers solid actionable tips, and lots of them.

Pictures, lists and diagrams all help to turn words of advice into real, actionable advice.

And for me, it needs to be obvious that the author continues to embrace frugality even though they now have, perhaps, a best selling book.

In essence I want the author to not just talk it, but walk it, and prove it.

(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)

open book with dried rose

 

Building Your Frugal Book Shelf

If you don’t currently own any frugal books I am not advocating you rush out and buy any or all of these books, far from it.

We are talking frugal living here after all!

Your first step towards building your frugal bookshelf should always be to check out your local library.

Libraries are a wealth of knowledge and are free to use.

Checking out these books from the library first allows you to read them and see if they are right for you. 

I’ve read some books on frugal living and they really haven’t resonated with me.

Thankfully I didn’t spend out on them as I got them from my library.

In the ideal world, only once I have read a book via my library, and loved it, will I invest my cold hard cash in my own copy.

Having your own copy enables you to re-read your favorite parts and refer to the advice it contains time and again.

It isn’t always possible to get every book you want from your library, but don’t go out and buy brand new.

 


 

The second step in building your frugal bookshelf is for any book you read and love, try and find it used.

Buying something used or second hand is a great frugal habit to embrace. 

I have tried to find books in my local charity shops/thrift stores but when you want a particular title it never seems to be there!

If you can’t find it used in a charity shop/thrift store then your next best place is to turn to the internet.

Most of my frugal books that I’ve bought used have come from Amazon.

And I often find new titles to read and research through Amazon.

I still try and read them via my library first though!

 

The Best Books On Frugal Living You Need To Read

These 11 frugal living books are all books I have read more than once and rate highly. 

You absolutely do not need all of them as there is a fair amount of overlap between them.

But they all talk about frugal living and how to stop living paycheck to paycheck in different ways.

There are great personal stories to read and learn along with different ways of doing things.

If you’re itching to know the titles without reading my reviews then here are the best frugal living books I really think you ought to check out:

  1. The Complete Tightwad Gazette 
  2. Your Money Or Your Life 
  3. The More Of Less
  4. Six Dollar Family: From Six Dollars To Six Figures
  5. The Simple Living Guide: A Source Book For less Stressful, More Joyful Living 
  6. Dirt Cheap Adult, A Millennial’s Guide To Life On A Budget
  7. Low-Cost Living: How to Live Well for Less Money
  8. The Self Sufficient-ish Bible: An Eco-living Guide for the 21st Century
  9. How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck 
  10. How to Manage Your Money When You Don’t Have Any
  11. Thrifty Ways For Modern Days

 

1. The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn

396 reviews on Amazon.com scoring 4.5 out of 5

My absolute number one favorite frugal book. By far

You’ve probably seen other reviews of this book so mine won’t be news to you.

I just want to say – I love this book!

It’s fun, it’s informative, it’s wacky, it’s extreme, it’s eclectic but more than anything it’s a creative collection of thrifty living tips.

Many of which are still  relevant today.

Originally a newsletter published in the early 1990’s, The Complete Tightwad Gazette is all those newsletters rolled into one book.

There are simple recipes, money saving calculations, tips from the newsletter readers and diagrams of how to make items such as a solar powered cooker.

Or how about 19 different ways to re-purpose milk jugs!

 

Two slight downsides to the book are:

1) the layout is in the style of the newsletter so not neatly segmented into different aspects of frugal living. It means you need to bookmark your favorite pages, the ones you return to time and again.

Alternatively the book becomes so well read and used that you instinctively know where certain tips are. Ahem.

2) Some of the advice is dated, think pre-internet. So advice that might include ringing around garages for the best priced car is out of date.

But the principles still hold true. The principles of getting the best price and value for your money. 

And Amy did exactly what she set out to do.

Have a large family and a rural pre-1900 New England farmhouse (with attached barn) and successfully live on one income.

She hasn’t written any more books or newsletters since she retired after this book came out.

She doesn’t do publicity interviews, she is fulfilling her dream of living a fabulously frugal life.

You can buy a (used) version of The Complete Tightwad Gazette here.

 

 

2. Your Money Or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez

489 reviews on Amazon.com scoring 4.1 out of 5

Your Money Or Your Life, often referred to as YMOYL, is very different from The Tightwad Gazette.

There is advice on how to save money and live frugally but much more discussion on why you might want or need to live life differently.

What YMOYL focuses more on is around tracking your money and understanding what it does for you.

The biggest wake up call that YMOYL gave me was in Chapter 3 when Vicki talks about how money is something we choose to trade our life energy for

That really hit home.

We give our life’s precious energy to a job that we likely wouldn’t do if we were millionaires.

 

The book is detailed and quite profound – You’re not making a living (in your job), you’re making a dying.

Do you come home from your “making a living” job with more life, feeling refreshed, ready for a fun family evening? 

No. You’re using up your life energy to earn money to buy things that mean you have to go to work to earn money in order to pay for them.

It’s not a book to flip through casually but an added bonus of the 2018 edition is a forward by Mr Money Mustache!

I so need to read this new edition. 

You can buy a (used) version of Your Money Or Your Life here.

 

3. The More Of Less by Joshua Becker

624 reviews on Amazon.com scoring 4.6 out of 5

Minimalism isn’t frugal living. But there are many crossovers between the two.

I am no minimalist but I love some of the messaging in Joshua’s book.

Frugal people don’t buy too much stuff, they don’t buy too much house and they don’t try to compare their lives with others such as the Jones.

All of which come from a more minimal viewpoint.

Many minimalists aren’t living with just 33 possessions. Far from it.

What they are not doing though is spending all their hard earned cash on stuff and going into debt because of it.

 

A word of warning, Joshua was a pastor for 15 years and his religion is an important part of who he is.

If you are not of a similar religious persuasion then my advice is to skip over those parts that don’t resonate with your personal values.

But don’t let this put you off the book. There is much to gain from living with less stuff.

You can buy a (used) version of The More Of Less here.

 

4. Six Dollar Family: From Six Dollars To Six Figures by Stacy Barr

73 reviews on Amazon.com scoring 3.9 out of 5

A much shorter book than some of the others on my list but I’ve included here as I think it’s a good resource for someone new to frugal living.

If you need to be cutting back and start saving money then this frugal living book covers all the basics for saving money on your groceries, making your own household products etc.

 

A couple of reviews have complained that the advice in this book is very time consuming.

Well, yes on one level but on another, what else would you be using your time for?

Spending money?

When you need to be frugal, time is something you have, money is not.

So yes time is money. But is that a bad thing?

You can buy a (used) version of The Six Dollar Family here.

 

5. The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs

83 reviews on Amazon.com scoring 4.4 out of 5

Although the focus in this book might talk about simple living, when you take a step back and get your frugal living hat on you just know it’s really inclusive of all things frugal.

All the advice centered around achieving simple living has all the hallmarks of frugal living.

Janet talks about ‘living under your means’, having savings to give yourself choices in life.

Reducing material needs and of course getting out of debt. Sound familiar?

 

This is a big book of 440+ pages and full of stories of her life and many others.

What I love about it is that you gain a wealth of information through the experiences of others.

I get a real sense of peace when I read this book.

It includes detailed chapters on money, inner simplicity, family, virtues and many more.

Full of ideas to live more simply which equates to a book full of frugal living tips.

You can buy a (used) version of The Simple Living Guide here.

 

6. Dirt Cheap Adult, A Millennial’s Guide To Life On A Budget by Amanda Kintz

No Amazon.com reviews yet but watch this space

This book on frugal living is the new kid on the block.

Brand new for 2019 with advice and tips based on living life today in a digital world.

Amanda and her husband got married in 2013 and lived on an extremely low income ($16k/£13k).

They had a baby, paid down student loans and sponsored 2 overseas children through monthly payments.

 

Amanda’s focus is on a healthy lifestyle on a very small budget. 

Her unique take on DIY hygiene products and natural medicine cabinet essentials are a refreshing change from other books I have read.

A few basic, practical recipes are all you need, not an entire garden full of herbs.

Full of no-nonsense advice on healthy food, nutrition and how to really stretch your budget as far as you can.

You can buy Dirt Cheap Adult here.

 

7. Low Cost Living by John Harrison

501 reviews on Amazon.co.uk scoring 4.3 out of 5

Many books on frugal living are written by US authors for the US market.

Whilst many tips work wherever you live, it’s nice to have a book written for the UK market by an author living in the UK.

Low Cost Living is exactly that.

The author, John Harrison, has had allotments for over 30 years and so there is a strong focus on the self sufficient lifestyle growing your own food brings, coupled with reducing costs by focusing on home made wherever possible.

 

This little book is packed full of tips on food – growing it, storing it and making it which I have found seriously useful. 

He has included a few recipes in each chapter, enough to get you started on your self sufficient journey without turning it into a recipe book.

John’s aim is to provide enough information to enable you to have a higher living standard at a much lower cost than you have had.

He’s also a strong proponent of looking after the environment so lots of eco friendly frugal habits to embrace. 

You can buy a (used) version of Low Cost Living here.

 

8. The Self Sufficient-Ish Bible by Andy & Dave Hamilton

36 reviews on Amazon scoring 4.6 out of 5

This book will appeal to those of you who are trying to live a more eco friendly lifestyle, one where your tread more lightly upon the environment. 

The focus of this book, if you haven’t guessed from the title is being self sufficient. In growing your own food.

And very much focused on getting rid of chemicals in your daily life and being as natural as possible.

So not frugal per se, more frugal by virtue of being more self sufficient.

What I like about this book is that they don’t presume you have loads of money, 5 acres and farm animals.

The twins live in the center of Bristol city! 

Yes, they have allotments but they also have normal working lives and families. Normal as in suburbia.

 

The book is split into 4 main sections of Home, Outdoors, Food and Lifestyle. 

The Home and Lifestyle sections focus on being eco friendly with lots of pictures and diagrams of things like making a pot-in-pot cooler and reusable baby wipes.

The Outdoors is focused on growing your own food and herbs with the food section on using all that you grow to feed your whole family.

Nothing is wasted with the twins.

Kitchen scraps? – Read the section and diagram on building your own wormery.

No greenhouse? – Read how to make your own cold frame, with diagrams of course!

You can buy a (used) version of The Self Sufficient-Ish Bible here.

 

9. How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck by Avery Breyer

309 Amazon.com reviews scoring 4.4 out of 5

This book is actually more about personal finance than a book of frugal living tips.

I’ve included it because in order to be successful in your pursuit of the frugal life you do need to manage your finances.

It is aimed at people who are at the beginning of their money journey, who either have debt or aren’t saving money regularly. 

There is a free downloadable Money Tracker which will really help you to master your budget from now on.

 

Personal finance books can be really dry and boring and this is where this book differs.

Written in a more personal style with some really inspiring money quotes. 

If you haven’t yet mastered your money then this book will be a great help.

You can buy a (used) version of How To Stop Living Paycheck To Paycheck here.

 

10. How to Manage Your Money When You Don’t Have Any by Erik Wecks

506 Amazon.com reviews scoring 4.3 out of 5

This is also more a personal finance book than one on the frugal lifestyle.

What I think makes this stand out from many personal finance books is the author is not trying to teach you how to invest and grow rich.

It’s about doing the best you can with the income you have.

Which dovetails nicely into frugal living and living below your means, whatever they are.

 

Through sharing his own personal financial difficulties he lays out a financial plan that requires more of you than just to follow some tips.

The author explains that you also need to believe in the changes in order to make them permanent.

His focus on avoiding expenses is particularly helpful as is his focus and advice on how to survive the day to day life of being in a bad place financially.

You can buy a (used) version of How To Manage Your Money When You Don’t Have Any here.

 

11. Thrifty Ways For Modern Days by Martin Lewis

118 reviews on Amazon.co.uk scoring 4.4 out of 5

This book is actually a curated compendium of fantastic tips from the MoneySaving Old-Style section of the Moneysavingexpert forums.

The forums are a place where people ask advice and share tips.

Essentially all the tips have come from frugal folk like you and I.

As a long time Old Styler forumite I bought this book as soon as it came out.

No getting it out of the library. Mainly because all the proceeds go to the MSE charity.

But also because I knew it would be good because the Old Style forum is so good.

 

If you are already extremely frugal you might not find it so useful as many of the tips are for people looking to save money and get back to basics.

Some of the tips are timeless (Old Style), some are a little dated as what was cheap in 2006 when the book was compiled, isn’t so cheap now.

You can buy a (used) version of Thrifty Ways For Modern Days here.

 

The Best Frugal Living Books For You

These 11 books are my recommendations to read and shortlist the ones that resonate the most with you.

Books written in the 1990’s might not be right for you, in which case choose a more up-to-date one.

Alternatively perhaps you prefer the old style advice from before we all went digital.

If possible get them from the library to read and judge for yourself.

Then buy them used if possible.

No need to spend out on brand new when used is just as good!

Happy reading!

 

 

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

 

The best frugal living books to help you save serious money and embrace a thrifty lifestyle. These frugal books are packed with frugal living tips & tricks. #frugalbooks #frugallivingtips

The best frugal living books to help you save serious money and embrace a thrifty lifestyle. These frugal books are packed with frugal living tips & tricks. #frugalbooks #frugallivingtips The best frugal living books to help you save serious money and embrace a thrifty lifestyle. These frugal books are packed with frugal living tips & tricks. #frugalbooks #frugallivingtips The best frugal living books to help you save serious money and embrace a thrifty lifestyle. These frugal books are packed with frugal living tips & tricks. #frugalbooks #frugallivingtips

 

 

 

8 Healthy Habits of Fabulously Frugal People

children lying in grass with daisies in their toes

 

We spend millions and billions of pounds every year trying to lose weight and get fit. 

But what about if you don’t have the money or are following a frugal lifestyle?

We buy special diet foods, fitness products and join gyms, often in January as part of our new year resolutions.

We buy equipment to help us track our weight loss such as fitness trackers and gym equipment to work out at home.

How can you get and keep fit frugally without spending a ton of money?

Many people view a frugal lifestyle as one of  cheap living or doing without.

They think if you are watching your pennies you must be frugal to the extreme.

People can wrongly think that your frugal ways mean you are buying the cheapest, most unhealthy foods to save those extra pennies.

But actually a frugal lifestyle and being healthy can be very much joined together.

You absolutely can buy cheap frugal foods yet still eat healthily.

 

family lying down in the grass with daisies

 

How Does The Frugal Lifestyle Help You Stay Healthy?

Use Fewer Chemicals

Some of the best frugal living tips involve making your own cleaning products.

Using natural products such as baking soda, vinegar and bicarb you can clean your entire home for very little money and chemical free.

Other frugal ways include making your own washing powder, over cleaners and rust remover.

This fantastic list of homemade cleaning products provides you with all the frugal ways to clean your home. 

You may also like:

The Fundamental MUST Haves For Your Fabulously Frugal Home

 


 

De-stress Your Frugal Lifestyle

Embracing frugal ways of living will help you live below your means.

Saving the difference between what you earn and what you spend can really improve your health.

This might seem strange but think about it. 

If you are living paycheck to paycheck spending all that you earn or worse, more than you earn, then you are leading a very stressful life.

Any unexpected bill can derail your finances and cause you sleepless nights worrying about money

Worse still it can lead you into debt which puts further stress on you.

Living below your means enables you to be smart about managing your money.

You make wise decisions about what you spend your hard earned money on and you will sleep better at night as a result.

A good nights sleep is the foundation we all need to be healthy.

 

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

pinterest image for health habits of frugal people

 

 

Cook From Scratch

Cooking from scratch rather than ready prepared, processed foods is healthier than eating out or eating convenience fast food.

Convenience food can often be laced with salt, sugar and various chemicals to make it ‘taste’ nice.

Yet it doesn’t necessarily taste right or natural.

After all a lot of the taste may well be artificially created.

The frugal lifestyle of cooking from scratch doesn’t mean eating rice and beans every day, far from it.

If you want, you can cook the same type of foods you would buy from a takeaway but you can also ensure it is made with the right amount of fat, salt and sugar for your health.

Not artificially high levels to make poor ingredients taste nice.

Home made pizza is delicious but much healthier for you than ordering pizza delivery.

Although I would encourage you to NOT learn how to stuff a pizza crust as that is asking for trouble!

 

Controlling Portion Sizes

How often have you gone out for a restaurant meal only to be met with a huge plate of food?

And how often do you end up eating significantly more than you would have done if you had been at home?

Following good portion control is key to both a healthy frugal lifestyle and a healthy lifestyle in general.

Focusing on portion sizing is a healthy tip I would strongly encourage you to embrace for 2 main reasons.

  • Health – correct portion sizes limit your calorie intake and keep you healthy
  • Money saving – Over eating costs you more money than smaller portions and being frugal.

Don’t worry about cooking too much though, all the best frugal living blogs mention using left overs to stretch your grocery budget. As do I!

Left overs are a fantastically frugal way of forming the basis for another meal or can be the perfect size for a lunch to take to work.

 

woman in purple dress holding out the skirt in a field of purple and yellow flowers

 

 

Enjoy The Outdoors

A frugal lifestyle embracing the great outdoors provides you with multiple health benefits. 

You benefit from fresh air, plenty of exercise and good endorphins from the exercise you do.

Activities can include walking, running, skiing, going to the park, gardening and swimming.

All can be free or low cost. Unlike gaming, shopping or watching the latest movie release.

You get to enjoy the company of others with you whether that’s your partner, your kids or your dog.

No distractions of computer games and you can’t eat a bucket load of crisps when you are walking!

My favorite frugal exercise is walking and I try to do 4 miles most days with a longer one at the weekends. 

I’ve lost 7kg since I started walking regularly last year and I’m still eating the same amount as I was before. 

Which is probably a good thing as I do like my food and wouldn’t want to eat much less than I currently do!

 

Find Your Frugal Lifestyle Tribe

Surrounding yourself with like minded people provides you with a nurturing, supportive network of friends and people you can learn from and share with.

They understand why you have certain frugal habits ingrained into your psyche and have usually embraced the same habits.

Being the lone frugal person in a sea of consumers provides for a less satisfying life.

Frugal people are keen to share what they have learned, share their best frugal living tips with others who appreciate and understand their frugal lifestyle choices.

Sharing skills and each others tools is also a benefit you gain from surrounding yourself with like minded friends.

 

apricot halves on white background and wooden board

 

 

Growing Your Own Food

Growing your own food is another way to keep chemicals to a minimum.

You can choose to grow organically and not use pest control products.

Gardening is a great form of both gentle and more vigorous exercise and provides you with plenty of fresh air.

You also benefit from great tasting fresh fruit and vegetables in season which haven’t been flown half way round the world nor artificially ripened ready for selling in the grocery store.

 

Practicing Gratitude

Appreciating what you have and being grateful that you bought it free and clear of debt makes for a very healthy relationship with money.

Being content and positive about where you are in your life and the frugal lifestyle choices you have made, makes for a healthy mind and a healthy body.

Your relationships also benefit from this healthy mindset.

 

wooden table with metal jug, green apples and plants

 

8 Frugal Lifestyle Ideas

These healthy habits will help you lead a healthy frugal life which in turn makes for a happy life.  

I have been frugal for a long time, penny pinching and saving money wherever I can.

But my lifestyle wasn’t very healthy. I was overweight and I had a lot of money stress in my life. 

Having finally embraced all of these I only wish I had done so sooner.

Do you have a healthy lifestyle tip to share? Why not leave a comment?

 

pinterest image for health secrets of frugal people

I love that a frugal lifestyle is healthy and helps me save money. 8 great ideas and tips on how to be frugal AND healthy. #frugallifestyle #frugallivingtips #frugal2fab

I love that a frugal lifestyle is healthy and helps me save money. 8 great ideas and tips on how to be frugal AND healthy. #frugallifestyle #frugallivingtips #frugal2fab

I love that a frugal lifestyle is healthy and helps me save money. 8 great ideas and tips on how to be frugal AND healthy. #frugallifestyle #frugallivingtips #frugal2fab

10 Best Homemade Gifts For Christmas – No Cooking Required!

red tea light lantern in Christmas scene with fake snow and handmade fabric stars

If you’re like me and not a brilliant cook who can rustle up little delicacies to give as beautiful gifts.

What gifts can you make that don’t involve cooking?

What are the best homemade gifts for Christmas you can make that don’t cost a fortune in materials and don’t involve intricate kitchen skills?

We all know Christmas and holiday time can become very expensive, very quickly.

Learning how to do Christmas cheap, by focusing on homemade gifts can really help cut these costs.

When you’re determined to save money for your longer term goals, spending out hundreds of pounds on gifts you hope family and friends might like doesn’t make sense. 

Giving gifts that have cost you time rather than money is the answer.

The best homemade gifts are made with love and your family member will enjoy it all the more.

red tea light lantern in Christmas scene with fake snow and handmade fabric stars

Top 10 Best Homemade Gifts For Christmas: Frugal And Easy To DIY

I’ve put together my top 10 best homemade gifts for Christmas.

These are all fabulously frugal handmade, homemade gift ideas that you can make easily.

They don’t cost much and they are all super easy to make. Being simple to make is my number one criteria.

I’m just not artistic and can’t be dealing with too many separate steps and ingredients!

You may also be interested in: 

24 Easy Recycled Gift Ideas Your Family Will Love

Best Stocking Stuffers – Your Last Minute Perfect Gifts

11 Simple And Beautiful Homemade Food Gifts For Christmas

8 Affordable DIY Advent Calendar Ideas

How To Buy Xmas Gifts – When You’re On A Tight Budget

 

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

pinterest image for best diy xmas gifts homemade

10 Best Homemade Gifts For Christmas – No Cooking Required!

 

Easy Beach Christmas Ornaments

Image credit: Coastal Wanderings

close up of shell ornaments on a christmas tree

If you live near the sea or have a shell collection that needs a new lease of life then this homemade gift idea is perfect for you. 

It’s very frugal, it’s re-purposing things you can pick up for free.

And they look super cute on your Christmas tree!

 

DIY Hand Warmers

Image credit: The Mummy Front

DIY handwarmer with instructional note attached

For those of you who can follow instructions and don’t mind a bit of sewing, these hand warmers are the best homemade gifts to make.

You could churn out quite a few in one go and I know everyone who receives them will love them.

Use warm, Christmassy fabric and you’ve got some great stocking fillers people will love.

 

Wall Mount Bookshelf

Image credit: Spring Lake Homestead

wall mounted bookshelf DIY project

For something different but super useful, how about this lovely little bookshelf? 

Practical, stylish and lovely to look at.

You don’t need to be a carpenter, just able to follow the simple instructions (and we can all do that can’t we?)

 

DIY Holiday Star Sign

Image credit: Family Food and Travel

DIY holiday star sign made from red ribbon on a wooden block

Another fabulous homemade gift to make using wood is this gorgeous holiday star sign. So simple! 

But such an effective decoration don’t you think? 

Perfect for those family members who are always a bit harder to buy for.

 

Easy DIY Photo Coasters

Image credit: Fun Money Mom

DIY coasters with photographs on them

When you’ve got kids, I promise you that the best homemade gifts for Grandparents will always be pictures of them.

But we only have so many surfaces for pictures so why not give pictures in a slightly different form?

A useful, usable form?

These tile coasters are functional and fab. And so easy to make!

 

 

Reindeer Handprint Towel

Image credit: Midget Momma

reindee handprint tea towel hanging up on cooker

Staying with the theme of kids, how about a towel adorned with your child’s hand print?

Grandparents and family members will love the thought that has gone into these homemade Christmas gifts.

Getting your kids actively involved gives it that added fun factor.

 

Sugar Scrubs

Sugar scrubs make the best homemade gifts for Christmas for both friends and family.

Teens especially will love them.

The fantastic thing about making sugar scrubs is they use everyday cheap ingredients and take no time at all to prepare. 

These 3 sugar scrubs are among my favorites:

 

Clove Cinnamon Sugar Scrub

Image credit: Total Wellness Choices

pinterest image for homemade body scrub clove cinnamon

This body scrub has Christmas written all over it with the cinnamon and cloves.

There’s nothing like those two spices to get you into the Christmas spirit.

 

 

Skin Nourishing Rose Sugar Scrub

Image credit: Beauty Crafter

rose sugar scrub in open topped glass jar

This rose body scrub will delight the teens in your life who are loving the pink look.

In fact I think most females in your family would love to receive this scrub as a Christmas gift.

It’s so beautiful and the smell is gorgeous.

 

Peppermint Sugar Scrub

Image credit: Pink Fortitude

overflowing glass joar of peppermint sugar scrub on wooden tabletop

Who doesn’t need a bit of peppermint to pep them up occasionally?

The answer is to have a peppermint sugar scrub.

You get the peppermint aroma whilst having the luxurious feeling of a gently sugar scrub.

 

Weighted Tie Blanket 

Image credit: Parenting Chaos

pinterest image for how to make a weighted blanket

Finally, this gift will take a bit more time and is for a very special recipient.

If you read through why a weighted blanket is so important for some children then you’ll know that every minute spent making one will be worth it.

Still very easy to make, just more time required. 

But so very worth it don’t you think?

 

 

10 Fabulously frugal homemade Christmas gifts that don't involve cooking. Christmas gift ideas that you can make on a budget. These are cheap DIY gifts perfect for Mum, for Dad and for Grandparents. #christmasgiftideas #christmasgifts #christmasgiftsdiy

10 Fabulously frugal homemade Christmas gifts that don't involve cooking. Christmas gift ideas that you can make on a budget. These are cheap DIY gifts perfect for Mum, for Dad and for Grandparents. #christmasgiftideas #christmasgifts #christmasgiftsdiy

10 Fabulously frugal homemade Christmas gifts that don't involve cooking. Christmas gift ideas that you can make on a budget. These are cheap DIY gifts perfect for Mum, for Dad and for Grandparents. #christmasgiftideas #christmasgifts #christmasgiftsdiy

10 Fabulously frugal homemade Christmas gifts that don't involve cooking. Christmas gift ideas that you can make on a budget. These are cheap DIY gifts perfect for Mum, for Dad and for Grandparents. #christmasgiftideas #christmasgifts #christmasgiftsdiy

10 Fabulously frugal homemade Christmas gifts that don't involve cooking. Christmas gift ideas that you can make on a budget. These are cheap DIY gifts perfect for Mum, for Dad and for Grandparents. #christmasgiftideas #christmasgifts #christmasgiftsdiy

24 Easy Recycled Gift Ideas Your Family Will Love

christmas craft supplies including buttons and scissors

 

Why am I talking about upcycling and recycled gift ideas?

Because gift giving can be hard when you are on a budget or knee deep in debt.

Yet I know you still want to give beautiful, thoughtful gifts.

You love your family and friends and you want them to know how much you appreciate them being in your life.

But at the same time you don’t want to be going into debt or giving up your frugal ways every time a holiday comes round.

And then there is your growing awareness of the environment and the impact so much spending on stuff can have on it.

So how do you marry your budget, your environmental concerns and your keenness to give thoughtful, useful and beautiful presents to family and friends?

I tell you how, by making your own handmade unique gifts through focusing on recycled gift ideas. 

Up-cycle and re-purpose things that you already have around your home into something completely new and unique.

All for a few pennies and a little time.

You can be frugal, save money and be eco friendly when you know how.

different coloured thread bobbins and pins - recycled gift ideas

 

Recycled Gift Ideas Are Fabulously Frugal

Up-cycling, as it is known, is very much the thing now.

By up-cycling something you are taking something you have, recycling it into a new item and giving it a new purpose.

Up-cycling is a fantastic way to keep things out of landfill, give new life to something and it can all be done on a small budget, possibly even for free if you have enough bits and bobs lying around.

These 24 recycled gift ideas are all focused on re-using items for another purpose, breathing new life into something that has been discarded.

Where you haven’t got some of the materials then you will be able to find them cheaply in thrift stores, car boots or yard sales.

Related posts:

How To Go Green When You Live A Thrifty Lifestyle

50 Frugal Habits That Are Also Eco Friendly

 

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

PINTEREST image for recycled gift ideas

 

Love Frugal Gifting

Being frugal is not about saving money at the expense of others.

You can still give beautiful gifts when you are on a tight budget or living on one income

Some of the best frugal living tips focus on doing things for yourself.

When you do your own gift making, gardening or home maintenance you gain new skills.

Making your own eco friendly presents using recycled gift ideas will save you a good chunk of money and stop you going into debt.

Related reading:

How to Save For Christmas – 7 Easy Tips to Get Started

The Perfectly Simple 12 Week Christmas Savings Plan

 

 

24 Easy Recycled Gift Ideas

I love how creative these up-cycling and recycled gift ideas are. So many easy gifts that you can make, some in only minutes. No matter your creative skill level you are going to love making and giving these crafts.

Recycled Gifts On A Budget

When you want to treat family and friends to the gifts they deserve what better way to do so than with something homemade. 

Being frugal is not about going without or keeping your money to yourself.

Being frugal is about making smart decisions about your money and choosing to do things differently without.

These recycled gift ideas are not about buying something and then making it into something else.

These are absolutely about using what you already have.

With 24 fun and unique recycling gift ideas you are bound to find gifts to make that you already have the basics for.

You may also like:

11 Simple And Beautiful Homemade Food Gifts For Christmas

10 Best Homemade Gifts For Christmas – No Cooking Required!

 

PINTEREST image for recycled gift ideas

How To Embrace The Joy Of Being Frugal

small boxes of rosy red apples

 

These days being frugal isn’t something that comes naturally to most of us.

Yes, we can be frugal, and yes, we can save money, but it doesn’t happen naturally or easily.

It’s often because we HAVE to be, due to stretched finances.

In fact if you are reading this, chances are that you are looking for inspiration.

Because you know you need to be frugal but as for loving it?

Well it’s just not happening right now.

And your money situation is telling you that not only do you need to be frugal, it would be best to be so for a long time.

So not only do you need to cut costs, for your own sanity you need to love it and embrace it wholeheartedly.

And I get that. I may be a long-time frugalista but I wasn’t born frugal, nor did I grow up to be a naturally frugal adult. 

Like you I turned to being frugal because I had to.

I had no money and no access to credit (or debt) so had to make ends meet.

And no I didn’t love being frugal to start with, I was itching to spend more money as soon as I got it.

 

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

(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)

pinterest image for the joy of being frugal

 

The Battle Of Frugal Vs Cheap

I have no doubt that some of your reluctance to embrace frugal living is because of others around you.

Being frugal for some people has very negative connotations.

It’s like there is an ongoing battle of Frugal vs Cheap, and cheap keeps winning because no-one really understands frugal.

Everyone thinks they both mean:

  • Doing without
  • Always being cold and having no heating
  • Never having a holiday
  • Penny pinching for pinchings’ sake
  • Never leaving tips
  • Swiping condiments from fast food places for later use at home
  • Being tight with your money toward others

Let me reassure you, there is a wealth of difference between frugal and cheap.

Being cheap says more about your personality than your bank balance.

Being frugal is all about making ends meet.

You are living below your means so you can live the life you want, not get into debt and feel secure about your money situation.

 

small boxes of rosy red apples to depict the joy of being frugal

 

How To Be Frugal And Love It

So how do you go from learning how to be frugal because you HAVE to, to loving it and embracing all that it can be?

It’s simple, but it’s also not so simple.

Let me explain.

Being frugal is more about your frugal mindset than your bank balance.

Rich people are often very frugal yet they have plenty of money.

If you look at what rich people do then you can see that much of it is about how they view money, life and the importance of non-material things.

Your mindset, how you view your situation, can make or break your new habits.

I don’t mean that to be negative, because it’s not.

YOU can make all the difference to your personal situation when YOU put your mind to it.

YOU are in control of your ability to thrive, whether that is about extreme frugal living or more mainstream loving your new life.

 

colorful flowers with notebook and pen in the background

 

Creating Your New Mindset

It’s all very well for me to say, it’s all about your mindset, but how do you get the mindset you need in order to be controlling your finances the way you want and need to?

I don’t have the perfect answer because obviously you are involved in this as well.

But I’ll do my best to give you the tools you need to make it happen.

 

 

Create Challenges For Yourself

When you challenge yourself, and achieve, you give yourself a real buzz of self-satisfaction.

And that gives you positive feelings and a bit of warm fluffiness.

(Best way I can describe it, sorry!)

Because you are challenging you, no-one loses except you if you don’t achieve.

Your challenges don’t have to be hard, just something that makes you think a little, maybe take you out of your comfort zone.

You can try no spend days as a challenge, especially good if you are used to spending daily.

Or if you already tend to have no spend days just because that is how your life is organized, then try another no spend challenge.

A weeks worth of no spending would be a good stretch.

I challenge myself at micro levels, just because.

These are some of my regular challenges:

  • Never buy large bags of crisps for more than £1 (they are usually £1.99)
  • Don’t turn the hot water on in the shower until I get to the rinse stage, even in winter
  • Complete 10,000 steps at least 5 times each week, regardless of the weather or how busy I am
  • Don’t pay for car parking

By challenging yourself on a very regular basis, especially challenges that are connected to saving money in some form, you are building your resilience.

Being resilient means you can bounce back more quickly from adversity and are more adaptable. Great traits to have.

 

desktop stationery with paperclips and coffee cup

 

Gain Inspiration From Others

Seeing how others live successfully with little money can be a game changer in your outlook.

I credit Amy Dacyczyn and her book The Tightwad Gazette for helping me develop my mindset.

She also gave me some of the best old fashioned living tips I’ve ever had and still use today.

But more importantly she gave me an insight into how she lived her life, how she approached money challenges and how she got over them.

Some of her tips are a little dated now (the book was written in the 1990’s) but most of it is still relevant today.

 

 

Another book that sits pride of place on my frugal bookshelf  is Your Money Or Your Life by Vicki Robin.

The new version has a forward by Mr Money Mustache himself.

YMOYL is not so much about the best frugal living tips, it is more about your mindset.

It discusses some of the reasons why you should want to live differently to others and spend less money in your life today.

 

 

Other books have provided me with hints and tips but these two are by far my favorites.

If you read no other frugal books then read these two.

To save money try and get them from your library for free or buy used on Amazon

 

Learn New Skills

The traditional skills of yesteryear are missing from many modern homes.

How many people mend their clothes, make their own bread or barter with their neighbors?

Learning the traditional skills of our grandparents generation helps you to be self sufficient and increases your ability to look after yourself. 

Whether that’s sewing on a shirt button, an oil change or preserving food.

These skills increase your capabilities and make you a stronger person.

They also save you money, because you don’t need to pay someone to do these tasks. Win, win.

 

Make Saving A Game

Games are fun and enjoyable. Games where you set the rules even more so.

Make saving money a game.

Whether that’s just for you or you get your partner involved. 

This might sound really sad but one of my games is to see how long I can make a tube of something like toothpaste last AFTER it seems finished.

I will squeeze diligently to get an extra 3 day’s worth. Then I will cut the tube open and carefully use up every scrap.

Now you might think that’s tight.

But why would I waste toothpaste that I have paid for just for the sake of a tiny bit of effort?

And look how much fun I have doing it!

Another not so extreme game of mine is to never buy something without finding some sort of voucher or discount code.

And it goes without saying that I always go via Swagbucks, Quidco or TopCashback to ensure I get cashback on anything I do buy.

In the US you will want to be using Swagbucks, Ibotta and Ebates.

 

white desktop with various pale dried flowers

 

Start Saying No 

Unless you are a millionaire you cannot afford to give in to lifestyle creep and say yes to every spending opportunity.

If you look at what rich people do, they don’t say yes to everything, they quite clearly say no, on a regular basis.

You need to say no.

You need to do it more often. 

And you need to be comfortable saying no.

Why?

When you say yes to all the demands on your money, you end up with not enough money to do what you think you should be able to do.

You feel restricted because your money situation is stopping you from doing these things.

Being comfortable saying no will help boost your mindset and build your resilience and money saving muscles.

If you are going to need more help in developing your ability to say no then these books will help:

 

front cover of the art of saying no for help in being frugal

You can buy The Art Of Saying No here (try and get a used copy to save money)

 

front cover of the power of no for help in being frugal

you can buy The Power Of NO here (try and get a used copy to save money)

 

Simplify Your Life

Have you noticed how everyone is so busy these days?

Kids are busy with numerous out of school activities, parents are busy chaperoning their kids and fitting in work, social activities and regular meals out.

All of these activities cost a big chunk of money.

Move away from cramming every spare minute of your time with yet another activity and slow down.

Simplifying your life isn’t about becoming bored. It’s about taking the time to enjoy what you do have in your life more.

Kids enjoy their lives just as much without daily, organised, expensive activities.

And adults can and should enjoy some down time.

Do you ever stop doing? Spend time just appreciating what you have, what is around you?

Simplify and enjoy the simpler things in life.

Which happen to be either free or much cheaper than endless activities.

 

Think Long Term

Right now you may be feeling poor. And saving money month after month might feel hard.

But your mindset needs to be about the long term.

It’s not about what you don’t have today or tomorrow, thinking like that won’t help you create a positive mindset.

Think about the long term.

The future you. The you in your 50s, 60s and 70s.

Changing your money habits now could be the best present you can give the future you.

Because in the future you won’t have debt, you will have savings.

All because you didn’t focus on spending all your money right now.

Instead you planned for your future and ensured you were managing your finances.

 

silver case of dollar bills

 

Be Inspired For Your Frugal Journey

Be hopeful, be inspired, be ready to make the changes you need to make to create your new mindset. 

A mindset that takes you away from overspending and towards your new, more powerful life of being frugal.

You are in control of your mindset and that’s a good thing.

No-one can stop you from becoming a frugalista and a money saver, only you.

It’s on you to do this and I know you can do it, after all you’ve made it this far which proves to me that you are committed.

 

For more help in saving money grab your copy of the Money Saving Mini Bundle today.

 

pinterest image for the joy of being frugal

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Save Money When You Always Buy These 9 Things After Christmas

red Christmas baubles and berries on white background

 

Christmas is the one time when it is all too easy to pay full price for every present you buy.

And it’s because you need to give the presents AT Christmas so you can’t wait until after Christmas to grab a bargain.

Or can you?

As a card carrying, money saving, frugalista I dislike the idea that I HAVE to pay full price for presents and Christmas décor because I need them before the day.

If you plan far enough in advance and budget carefully, you can grab all the bargains you need after Christmas.

And save up to 70% on everything you buy.

How To Do Christmas Cheap: Without Feeling Like Scrooge

 

red Christmas baubles and berries on white background

 

What Not To Wait For

If you have your eye on particular gifts then you may not want to run the risk of them either being sold out or not in the sale.

If you can grab them on a deal before Christmas then do it.

If you are aiming for more general gifts and Christmas décor then hold your nerve and check out the bargains once Christmas has finished.

 

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

pinterest for things frugal people never buy before Christmas

 

Top 9 After Christmas Bargains

1. Christmas Décor

I’m talking tree decorations, table ornaments, lights and themed place mats.

These all last more than a year so don’t get caught out paying full price when you can wait a week or two and get them half price.

They store nicely in their boxes and you can use them next year.

 

2. Gift Wrap

I literally cannot remember when I last bought full priced Christmas gift wrap. Nor gift bags.

These items last about 5 minutes after the recipient has opened their present and then they are chucked in the bin.

Why pay full price for something that nobody keeps, is ripped apart and chucked away immediately?

You can always find gift wrap at 50% off in the days and weeks following Christmas.

Play your cards right and you can even find it at 90% off.

Frugal tip – I try to buy plain gift wrap (think gold, silver and red) without Christmas motifs.

I then use this for birthday presents throughout the year.

Not only do you get Christmas gift wrap for 50% off, you get birthday wrap too!

 

red christmas star with cherries and berries on sage background

 

3. Gift Tags

I’ll be honest, I don’t ever buy gift tags, reduced or not, and haven’t done for a very long time.

Nor do most frugal people.

We use the picture side of Christmas cards received the previous year. One card can be cut up into 2, 3 or even 4 gift tags.

If you really want to buy gift tags then pay 50% of their price buy buying after Christmas.

They get ripped off and chucked in the bin so quickly you don’t want to spend more than a few pennies on them.

4. Christmas Greeting Cards

Cards can be anything from pretty cheap to down right expensive.

I’m not a fan of sending all and sundry a greeting card but I know family members appreciate them.

But I refuse to pay upwards of a £1 a card. And I don’t fall for the charity gift cards packs either.

If you check out the small print they charitable donation is around 40p, on a pack you are paying £4 or so for.

I’d rather give my money to charities direct and buy cheaper cards.

Cards are often quickly reduce to 50% or even 70% immediately after Christmas which is when I snap them up.

 

white 3d Christmas tree with pine cones and gold ribbon

 

5. Christmas Trees

There is a good environmental argument for not buying a plastic tree, and I get it.

But I can’t get my head round paying £30 or more for a real tree only to kill it over the following 2 weeks.

And do the same all over again the following year.

If like me you steer away from real trees then when your tree needs replacing (and they do last a long time) then grab yourself a bargain tree AFTER Christmas.

Our previous fake tree lasted us 15 years. We carried on making do as I never remembered to buy one in the January sales.

Until one year Asda Walmart had prelit trees on sale in my local store for £5. Total bargain!

If your tree needs replacing, buy one in the sales for 70% or more off.

Don’t pay full price!

 

white baubles with glitter covered brown leaves for Christmas

 

6. Gift Sets

I love buying gift sets after Christmas. Not just for next Christmas but for people throughout the year as birthday presents.

Most of the time they don’t have any Christmas motifs or themes so you can gift them at any time of the year.

I don’t go out of my way to visit shops for gift sets as I have one date booked into my January calendar every year.

The Boots 70% off sale.

I am there when the doors open with my gift present list and large carrier bags.

And I can almost always buy all the gift sets I need at 70% off.

You don’t even need to purchase them just for being gifts.

A friend of mine buys gifts sets then breaks them up and uses them for her own use. She gets lovely smellies for a fraction of the full price.

 

7. Christmas Sweets

If chocolate and sweets are something you buy throughout the year then consider buying in the Christmas sales.

Depending on the item you can get them super cheap.

Be wary though, having a stockpile of sweet things is not always a good idea.

Especially if you or your family don’t have great willpower when it comes to eating these things in moderation.

Christmas chocolate is something I don’t buy before OR after Christmas.

Because I have no willpower when it comes to chocolate.

 

couple wearing winter clothing

 

8. Winter Clothing

I’m not sure why but as soon as January comes the stores start filling their shelves with spring stock.

Here in the UK the weather doesn’t become spring like until late March!

But I’m not going to complain too much because I can often pick up winter walking trousers (lovely fleeced lined ones) for 30% of their full price.

You will also be able to pick up some grab bargains for kids.

If you plan ahead you can buy their entire winter wardrobe for next year at less than half price in January.

 

9. Household Goods

In the UK the 3 weeks after Christmas are a peak for buying expensive, large household goods – in the sales.

I’m talking whole new kitchens, sofas and new TVs.

If these have been on your shopping list AND you know what you want AND you’ve kept an eye on prices in the preceding months, you could grab a bargain.

Just be wary as not all sales are as good a deal as they seem.

 

dollar note rolls tied with red ribbon

 

Save Money By Buying After Christmas

The after Christmas sales are a great time to grab yourself some great bargains.

As long as they are things you need.

Some of the stores actually start discounting prices before Christmas but the real bargains are afterwards.

Don’t settle for 10% or 20% off when a few days later you can score 50% or more.

Me – I shall have my usual date with the Boots 70% off sale.

I’ve just got to work out between now and then which is the best store to go to, having moved 300 miles from my usual store.

The bigger the better is my tip as the bigger stores stock a wider variety of lines and are more likely to have left over stock.

 

If saving money is something you want or need to be doing more of, have a read of these posts for help and inspiration:

How To Save $500 A Month When You Stop Buying These Things

Live Cheaply – How You Can Win At Living On Next To Nothing

 

 

pinterest for things frugal people never buy before Christmas

How To Save Electricity Doing Absolutely Nothing

hanging lighbulbs with one shining brightly against blue background

 

Am I really saying that you can save electricity by doing absolutely nothing?

Yes, I am.

Not only that but when you save electricity, you save money.

And what’s even better than just saving money, not using as much electricity is good for the environment, as you are using less fossil fuels.

But really?

How can you save money on your electricity bill by doing absolutely nothing?

There are lots of ways to save money on your energy bills, especially during the winter months but this one is not only the simplest, it’s potentially the most money saving of them all.

Doing just this one thing has the potential to save you 20% or more on your electricity bill.

That’s a good chunk of money right back in your pocket every month.

Related eco friendly post: 50 Frugal Habits That Are Also Eco Friendly

 

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

pinterest image for save electricity

 

How To Save Electricity – The Tip

Unplug every electrical appliance you aren’t using right now.

That’s it.

I actually feel a little silly talking about this because in many ways I reckon you know this tip already.

I did but I wasn’t doing it, not properly.

But are you actually doing it?

Fully and completely?

Probably not because I certainly wasn’t and I thought I was a super frugalista!

Many appliances these days have mini on board computers and electronic elements to them and these draw down electricity even when you are not using them.

Any appliances that have a little green or red light to show you they are on or in standby mode are using your money and your electricity to tell you that.

Any charger or appliance that kicks in as soon as you add something like a phone or camera or toothbrush to it means it’s on standby and using some of your money to keep it ready to go.

 

hanging lighbulbs with one shining brightly against blue background - save electricity

 

Phantom Electricity Users

Here are just a few of the things that were using this phantom electricity in our home:

  • Phone chargers
  • Laptop charger
  • Television
  • Microwave
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Electric toothbrush charger
  • Printer
  • DVD player
  • Coffee machine
  • Kettle

 

Like you I knew about the tip to switch things off to save energy.

I am great at turning lights off when I leave the room (and turning them off when others leave them on).

And I don’t leave the TV or radio on when we are not listening to them.

But turning everything else off?

No, I hadn’t got that far.

After all, how much money can it actually save you?

20%

That’s how much we saved.

20% on our electricity bill in just one month!

Now that’s worth saving isn’t it?

More money saving posts:

33 Ways You Are Wasting Money [And How To Stop Right Now]

How To Spend Less Money (And Save) – 6 Easy Tricks

The Best Money Saving Tips Of 30 Frugal Living Bloggers

 

 

lightbulb with money sign in green background

 

How To Save Electricity: What We Did

(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)

In the summer months our gas bill for hot water and heating is negligible, literally a few pounds, mainly made up of the daily standing charge.

But I noticed our electricity bill is no lower in summer really than winter.

Yet we have the lights on for less time so surely that would make a some difference to our bill?

And having followed all the other frugal ways to save money on utility bills I felt it was time to revisit tips that perhaps we say yes to but don’t actually follow properly.

I read our meters every month so our bills accurately reflect our usage.

It helps to then see when bills month on month are going up.

And when they go down.

After I read my electricity meter I went round our entire house (it’s not that big so I didn’t have to walk far) and unplugged every single electrical and electronic item I could.

What I turned off:

  • TV
  • Cable box (I turned it off every night before bed and it went on again the following day when TV was back on)
  • DVD player (it’s used about once a month, why did I have it plugged in?)
  • Microwave (it’s not built in so the plug is easily accessible)
  • Broadband router (turned off at night)
  • Printer
  • Computer cable
  • Phone charger
  • Washing machine (socket is easily accessible)
  • Electric shower
  • Oven (we have a socket above the work surface so easily accessible and I never set the clock anyway)
  • Coffee machine
  • Kettle
  • Toaster

 

Appliance Exceptions:

  • Fridge & Freezer (for obvious reasons)
  • Dishwasher – it’s integral so I cannot access the plug as it’s behind the built in appliance
  • Alarm clock – too much faff to be resetting it every night when I am too tired to think
  • Dryer – I don’t have one to turn off!
  • Lamps and main lights– they don’t draw electricity when switched off.

 

For one month I had absolute focus on keeping all these appliances turned off the moment we didn’t use them.

Mr2p was skeptical about this experiment so I followed him around just to make sure he didn’t inadvertently sabotage my money saving challenge!

 

vintage hanging lighbulbs against black background

 

Electricity Savings Results

I made sure I read my meter exactly 1 month later to find the results.

Of course when I provide these to my electricity company it takes them 24 hours to produce my online bill.

After a tense 24 hours the results were:

20% reduction!

(Actually it was 19.76% but who’s counting?)

 

Convenience And Saving Electricity

Now going around and turning everything off takes a little getting used to and if you’ve got a bunch of electrical items around your TV like we have it can be a bit of a faff.

So the next month we invested in a power strip for the TV, Cable box and DVD player.

When we want to watch TV we turn it on, but when not in use none of these items are in standby mode which is what uses your phantom electricity.

The power strip still use electricity when they are turned on – you can tell because of the little red light.

But having all your equipment plugged into one means you only need to turn one thing off not many.

For our computer/office equipment we invested in a surge protector.

These work the same as a power strip but also protect your equipment from power surges.

Surge protectors are little bit more expensive but as an insurance policy against your equipment being fried in an outage, totally worth it.

 

hanging lighbulbs with one shining brightly against blue background - save electricity

 

Inconveniences To Saving Electricity

What downsides can there be to saving 20% on your electricity bill?

Not many but I have to be honest and say there are a few downsides, or things I consider to be niggles.

But niggles are worth having if they are saving you money right?

 

NIGGLE ONE – You don’t easily get used to the idea of having to turn appliances like your kettle and microwave on before using them.

I can’t tell you how many times I ‘boiled’ the kettle, only to find it was still switched off at the wall.

 

NIGGLE TWO – If husband or other family members are not with you on this money saving mission, you could end up feeling like the electricity police.

Do it for one month and see how much you can save. Then you have a much better chance of getting them to join in.

 

NIGGLE THREE – If you have cable then switching it off and back on again means it can take a little time to ‘warm up’ and turn on.

Mine takes about 8 minutes (yes I have timed it because yes it can be a little annoying).

I know it’s not super frugal to have but Mr2p lurves his sports channels and I don’t have the heart to deny him now times aren’t so tight.

 

NIGGLE FOUR – Again if you have cable and have a series link on any shows, they will not record when your router is turned off.

It took me about 5 years (honestly) to realize this!

I’d always turned our router off when we went on holiday and could never understand why shows didn’t record while we were away.

It’s only when I was doing this electricity reduction exercise that I made the connection, sigh.

 

You Can Save Electricity

I hope now you can see that you really can save money on your electricity bill by doing nothing (other than turning your appliances off after use).

This is a golden oldie tip that’s been around for a long time, but much under used I think.

Take the time today to do your own experiment and see how much you can save in one month.

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9 Homemade Cleaning Products That Will Save You (Big) Money

black and red butterfly on orange slice on wood

 

Do you really save money with homemade cleaning products?

And do they work as well as the ultimate and superior products on the store shelves?

I am not the worlds biggest fan of cleaning by any means but I do like a clean home so I understand why you would feel you have to buy cleaning products.

But it pains me to see how much money you could be spending on cleaning products when there is no need.

No need.

Let’s take a walk together down a typical grocery store cleaning aisle.
What do we see?

 

list of non DIY cleaning products

 

 

Each of these products can vary between $1-$6 (£1-£5).

If you bought all of these not only would you have a bulging cleaning cupboard, but you’d be poorer by upwards of $80.

Yikes.

With that level of cost to your tight budget it makes sense to consider cheaper alternatives.

And what can be cheaper than making your own?

Homemade cleaning products can be made for pennies in comparison to the premium/ultimate/superior cleaning products we get dazzled by in the grocery store.

Or you could spend that $80+ every year and achieve the same clean result.

 

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

pinterest image for homemade cleaning products

 

DIY Natural Cleaning Products

If you want to focus on buying and using natural cleaning products then these come at a premium too.

I am sure their contents are better for the environment (although not many seem to come in non-plastic packaging) but they are no better for your purse.

That’s for sure.

In fact I often find that trying to find eco friendly natural cleaning products is very difficult for those who are on a tight budget.

And just because you don’t have the money doesn’t mean you should have to use chemicals to clean your house or spend too much on standard cleaning products.

DIY natural cleaning products solve both the problem of keeping your spending down low and being environmentally friendly.

These posts have more eco friendly money saving tips:

50 Frugal Habits That Are Also Eco Friendly

How To Go Green When You Live A Thrifty Lifestyle

natural cleaning products on white background with twigs

 

My Frugal And Simple Cheats Alternative

What if you are not confident about making your own DIY cleaners?

How can you save money, focus on being frugal and eco friendly when the DIY isn’t going to happen today?

Likewise, if you don’t have the storage for large quantities of your newly homemade cleaning products, or you feel finding the time to make them will stop you from doing this.

If the idea of making your own homemade cleaning products is likely to remain just that, an idea, then I have a simple and extremely frugal shortcut you will love.

And I’ll be honest, this was my go to way of saving money on cleaning my home for many years.

I just didn’t feel confident enough to start making a batch of say homemade all purpose cleaner. 

What if I did it wrong? Or couldn’t find the right ingredients?

Not only will my shortcut still save you a lot of money, you can be more eco friendly and get rid of 90% of the products above.

 

FRUGAL SHORTCUTTurn a concentrated cleaner into a homemade all purpose cleaner.

I used a homemade all purpose cleaner made from a concentrated cleaning product to clean my kitchen, bathroom, shower, toilet, floors, tiles.

You name it, I cleaned it with my (diluted) concentrated cleaner.

And how much does a concentrated cleaner cost?

Anything from £1 to £10 a bottle, depending on brand and shipping.

My concentrated cleaner of choice has always been Stardrops which you can buy from Amazon.co.uk if you can’t find it anywhere else.

Frugal Tip – In the UK most bargain home stores stock Stardrops cheaper than Amazon.

In the US, Biokleen is a recommended concentrated cleaner.

Again, look for it in home stores, it could well be much cheaper than Amazon.

 

green cleaning products and items against green background

 

The Frugal Way To Use A Concentrated Cleaner

To get maximum value out of your concentrated cleaner you will want to create your own ready to go diluted homemade all purpose cleaner spray.

Get yourself a clean, (reused) spray bottle and follow their instructions to make up your cleaning spray.

For instance Biokleen instructions say to use 1-2 capfuls per gallon of water.

Your spray bottle won’t hold a gallon so reduce accordingly.

If you are using Stardrops then my recipe is to fill a standard 500ml spray bottle with about 2cm of Stardrops then top up with water.

One bottle of Stardrops will last me an entire year of cleaning bathroom and kitchen, tiles and all.

My last but one bottle cost me 99p from HomeBargains.

And yes I did clean everywhere at least once a week – honest!

99p for a years worth of homemade all purpose cleaner – super frugal don’t you think?

 

 

Homemade Cleaning Product Ingredients

The great thing about these recipes is that most of the ingredients are items you could already have in your store cupboards:

The main ingredients you will need for the recipes are:

White vinegar
Essential oils
Baking soda
Castile soap
Washing soda
Borax

These are the standard products that were in every households cupboards in the olden days.

Followers of old fashioned living keep these products in their cupboards for a multitude of different uses.

Not just cleaning.

 

white alarm clock on white scrunched bedding

 

9 Homemade Cleaning Products For Your Frugal Home

Firstly, my super frugal tip for all homemade cleaning products – don’t buy glass or spray bottles for your DIY products, use old spray bottles that you have washed out.

My concentrated cleaner spray is in a bottle that is at least 3 years old now.

I keep them going until they fall apart. Which doesn’t happen often because plastic (or glass) lasts forever.

 

1. All Purpose Cleaner

Personally I prefer an all purpose cleaner.

It means less bottles cluttering up my cupboards, although I do often end up having a bottle each for upstairs and downstairs so that defeats that plan!

I like this recipe because it’s a homemade cleaning product with essentials oils so smells great with the lavender and orange oils added.

Frugal Tip – if you have empty plastic spray bottles then use these to save your pennies, don’t buy a glass one as suggested.

 

2. Laundry Detergent

This is the one I have shied away from to be honest.

Every recipe I read back when I had a family of four to wash for talked about 5 gallon buckets of liquid.

I really couldn’t see myself storing such a large quantity, or making it.

However this recipe looks a game changer. It’s a powder not a liquid and much more easily stored.

Frugal Tip – there are a few comments that suggest using 2 tablespoons, not one, of the detergent works best.

It’s a case of see what works best for you.

/

 

3. Fabric Softener

Disclaimer – I’m not a great lover of fabric softener.

I think it stems back to reading somewhere that if you use (too much?) fabric softener then it reduces the absorbing powers of your towels. 

And of course it’s one less thing to buy if you don’t use it.

But if you do use it then a 3 ingredient homemade natural product makes perfect sense.

/

 

4. Dishwasher Tablets

Now this is a recipe I don’t mind trying given how every dishwasher tablet you can buy is now encased in some form of plastic.

How companies can think soluble plastic is a good thing I really don’t know.

Extra Frugal Tip – I do as she does and have used vinegar as a rinse aid for many years.

/

 

5. Heavy Duty Kitchen Cleaner

To cut through grease you might need to substitute your all purpose cleaner for a dose of this heavy duty cleaner.

Grease, especially more than a drop, can require a bit more and this does the trick.

/

 

6. Homemade Wood Floor Cleaner

As much I try to use an all purpose cleaner for every task, including floors, sometimes you need something specific, without vinegar, especially when it comes to wood flooring.

The easiest way to solve the wood floor cleaning jobs is to use a homemade floor cleaner designed to cut through grease without damaging your floor.

And this is just the ticket.

3 ingredients plus water, what could be simpler?

/

 

7. Toilet Cleaner

This is an all natural home made toilet cleaner with just 2 essential ingredients. That’s my kind of simple and easy.

/

 

8. Shower And Bathroom Cleaner

I love it when my shower glass doors are clean and shiny but in our previous house that was a once a week treat on my cleaning day.

We had hard water and others in my home (mentioning no names in case DD2 is reading) seemed incapable of wiping down after their shower.

This shower and bathtub cleaner will cut through the (too many) soap suds left behind by girls who use too much product.

And leave the glass shiny which is exactly what I like.

UK Frugal Tip – Fairy liquid would seem to be a good alternative to Dawn Ultra.

.

 

 

9. Dusting Spray

Dusting is my least favorite cleaning job, hence leaving this cleaning product until last. I’d rather clean a dozen toilets than dust.

But dusting has to be done (occasionally) and this spray can help keep the dust down a little so less dusting.

/
 

Homemade Cleaning Products

Making your own DIY cleaning products makes so much sense in many ways.

You save a ton of money and you reduce your use of plastics and chemicals.

If you are a little fearful of making your own products then take heart from me. I didn’t make my own for very many years.

But I still saved so much money by using my Stardrops diluted all purpose cleaner around my home.

Do what works best for you and your money.

For more help with being frugal at home and saving your pennies then do check out this posts:

18 Fundamental Items In My Frugal Home You Need To Have

11 Best Ways To Boost Frugal Living To The Extreme

How To Be Frugal: 200+ Best Frugal Living Tips To Save Money

 

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How To Live Frugally When It’s All New To You

girl sitting cross-legged with jar of money - newly frugal

 

How to live frugally when you’ve never done so before?

Frugal living is not a destination to arrive at as quickly as possible and then you are done.

And that’s a good thing.

It’s much more a continual journey, an experience that you are constantly discovering new things, new ways to be thrifty.

While you are newly frugal be reassured that you do not need to try and play catch up with other frugal folk.

The frugal lifestyle is one that many of us end up living without ever particularly planning it.

You might have had frugal parents who showed you how to stretch your money.

But many of us start out being frugal because we have to.

Because we don’t have enough money to live on, because we can’t pay our bills and we’ve got to do something to make ends meet.

That something, frugal living, can be difficult to embrace if you are doing so because you have to not because you want to.

If you are new to being frugal then I completely understand that reading posts like my 200+ best frugal living tips will make you want to run a mile.

Who can suddenly learn how to live frugally by following more than 200 tips?

Not you and certainly not me when I was newly frugal.

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

 

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

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The How To Live Frugally Journey

I’ve been frugal for a long time but it didn’t come naturally to me. I fought against it as perhaps you might do.

When you HAVE to do something I think it’s natural to fight against it.

More so when you look around and you see other people seemingly having so much more money than you.

I say seemingly because often it’s just a mirage, it’s not real, those people have got debt coming out of their ears.

The difference between you and them is that you are ready to do something about it.

And you’ve come to the right place because I am going to help you start your frugal journey and learn to absolutely love living within your means.

As a frugal newbie I know you want some easy, clear steps you can take that will help you start saving money straight away without having your mind blown by things like 25 different ways to use duct tape.

Rest assured I don’t have a post on that!

The Fabulously Frugal Club

But firstly – welcome to the fabulously frugal club! Learning how to live frugally will totally help you to cut your bills, start saving money and help you enjoy life.

Being frugal is absolutely not a one size fits all thing. You get to choose what frugal means to you.

Everyone does it differently which is what is so great about learning how to live frugally.

But where to start when you’re new to frugal life and what it may contain?

I don’t want to overwhelm you, when you are so new.

I want you to see that not only is being thrifty enjoyable but you can also save money easily.

There are hundreds of frugal living ideas but to get you started lets focus on these 16 tips.

I don’t want you to do them all immediately. Always start small and build upon each success you have.

 

flowers and stationery bits on white background - newly frugal

 

How To Live Frugally And Happy – 16 Tips To get Started

(This post may contain affiliate links. You can read more here.)

 

1. Financial Goals

Let’s start at the beginning, your why, the reason you are newly frugal and determined to do things differently.

Financial goals are about what you want to achieve with your money next month, next year, in 10 years time.

When you have goals you know WHY you don’t want to spend too much money. 

You know WHY you’ve decided to give up eating at restaurants.

Without your why, your goals, you have the potential to feel deprived.

And that ain’t fun.

No-one will keep doing things if it makes them feel deprived.

Start with goals that you feel are achievable in the next 3, 6 and 12 months time.

If your goal is to pay off $2,000 of debt in 6 months, set it and then review your progress every month to make sure you are on target to do so.

Knowing your why helps you to build a frugal mindset that will help you avoid lifestyle creep and achieve your goals.

 

2. Cook At Home More

Eating out costs a fortune. And it’s such an easy place to save money when you are newly frugal.

But if you are used to eating out and not used to organizing your grocery shopping and food stores then it can feel like an uphill task.

Meal planning before you go to the grocery store is the cornerstone of every frugalista’s life.

If you don’t meal plan and list out your ingredients then you buy what you think you might eat and run a big risk of wasting food.

Even worse you might end up buying takeaways rather than cooking at home as you don’t know what to make for that night’s dinner.

However if this feels a little overwhelming to get right and keep doing every week then the $5 meal plan could be your savior.

For just $5 a month you not only get a weekly meal plan, you get a grocery list of all the ingredients you will need to make those meals.

That’s less than $1.25 a week to ensure you don’t waste food and have easy, yummy meals to make every night.

Given we can waste up to 30% of all the food you buy, $5 a month for recipes and a grocery list emailed to you every week will definitely save you a ton of money over the next few months.

And you can start with a 14 day FREE trial, that way you can get a feel for how it will work for you, without spending any money.

 

Try $5 Meal Plan Today!

 

Stupidity Alert – Sometimes I can be a bit slow. I loved the idea of the $5 meal plan but thought I couldn’t take advantage of it because I am in the UK.

Doh! It’s sent by email – of course I can use it. I wasted months with that thought, aargh!

open burger with dripping cheese - newly frugal

 

3. Always Consider Buying Used

We all know how much a brand new car costs over and above one that is a year or two old.

But did you know the same applies to everything else you might buy?

Once you’ve bought something brand new and used it a few times, it’s no longer new.

So why not buy used in the first place?

Living frugally and not buying new each time, you can save thousands of pounds when you buy second hand cars, tools and other items.

When I created my work uniform I sourced everything ‘new’ from charity shops and still do to this day.

 

4. Pack A Lunch

Taking a packed lunch to work is one of the best frugal living ideas as it can save you a significant amount of money over a year.

More so if you buy hot food/eat out at lunch time rather than buying a more basic sandwich lunch.

I take a home made salad every day, which along with some fruit, will keep me going until the evening.

I use these meal prep containers as they are so versatile.

I also use an insulated lunchbox like this one so I can keep my lunch by my side (no chance of co-workers stealing my yummy lunch!)

You might want to make sandwiches or even take leftovers from last nights dinner and reheat in the office microwave.

If you usually buy lunch out then consider this little sum:

Lunch $8 x 5 days = $40 x 50 weeks = $2,000

Think what you could do with an extra $2,000 every year.

 

bowls of food on plain table - how to live frugally newly frugal

 

5. Have Fun Money

Everyone needs a little fun money in their lives. Even if it’s only $20.

Fun money is your money to do with what you will, no guilt tripping. 

Without fun money you are much more likely to resent your new lifestyle and blow it.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to be frugal is to cut all spending to the bone.

And then give up because it’s too hard.

That’s why you need fun money.

 

 

6. Stop Using Your Dryer

Tumble driers are expensive to buy and can significantly increase your electricity bill.

Save your pennies and take 10 minutes to hang your clothes outside on a rotary dryer.

I ditched my dryer for good about 5 years ago and have never regretted it.

Now I wash according to the weather forecast and take advantage of mother nature’s fresh air.

On a fresh day I can get 3 large loads of washing completely dry on my outdoor clothes line.

If your local weather is not reliable or it rains too often then use an indoor drying rack rather than letting your washing pile grow too big.

I can get a whole load of washing on my drying rack if I want to but I tend to hang the bigger items on hangers in the doorway as they dry faster that way.

 

You can buy this indoor drying rack here.

It takes me 10 minutes to hang a load of washing, inside or out. And I love the fact they are less creased than when I used my dryer.

Hanging clothes in your doorway might take a little getting used to but they are helping you to live frugally and saving you money – gotta love them!

If line drying or indoor drying isn’t feasible for your right now then you can still quit buying the dryer sheets.

Wool dryer balls are a cheaper and better option as they don’t contain all the chemicals that dryer sheets do.

You can buy the dryer balls here.

 

 

7. Understand Your Spending

Knowledge is power.

Knowing where you spend your money means you can make informed decisions about whether to continue to do so or not. 

Stop asking ‘why am I poor?’ and look back at your bank and credit card statements.

Look for patterns and repeated buys.

How many times do you eat out?

How often are you buying coffee to go?

How much do you spend on clothes every month?

Resolve to cut back on those areas that are obvious big spenders.

My big spender was grocery shopping. I was shopping multiple times a week and it sure added up.

By cutting back to once a week I cut our grocery budget by 20% overnight.

 

8. Ditch Disposable Items

Every penny and dollar counts. If you can save a dollar a week then you would, wouldn’t you?

Paper towels don’t cost a huge amount but using a roll every week soon mounts up those dollars.

I now use microfiber cloths which are reusable and last for years.

Not only are they easy money saving swaps, they leave no smears and wipe very dry.

I prefer the multi colored cloths as I like to designate different colors to different jobs (sorry, I am that person).

I don’t think that Mr2p (the husband) is so keen on the bright pink kitchen cloth though!

You can buy these cheap, fun and colorful cloths here.

 

9. Create Your New Frugal Budget

Budgets can get a bit of a bad press and many of us have a love:hate relationship with them.

We hate doing them but we love the results when we follow them.

Learn to love and understand your budget as it can help you save money in so many ways.

Your budget in a nutshell is the sum of your income minus your outgoings.

When you are in debt and living beyond your means your outgoings are more than your income.

Think carefully about how much money you really have and budget for everything accordingly.

Look at your bank and credit card statements for the last month to see everything that usually goes out of your accounts.

These posts will help you create the best frugal budget for you:

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

How To Live Fabulously On A Budget (And Save Money)

 

money in glass jar with plant - how to live frugally

 

10. A Family Affair

Getting your spouse and family on board will fast track you from newly frugal to frugalista.

When you are all working together to save money you are a force to be reckoned with.

If family are not on board with learning how to live frugally then it is down to you to show them how they can be.

Role model the positive benefits of saving money.

Show them how you save money, encourage them gently to see how they can help.

These posts will help:

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

How To Spend Less Money (And Save) – 6 Easy Tricks

The Best Money Saving Tips Of 30 Frugal Living Bloggers

5 Wonderful Ways Being Frugal Will Improve Your Life

 

 

11. Cut Unnecessary Expenses

When you’ve created your budget you will find that there are things you have been paying out for that in reality you don’t need or even want.

It’s scary how often people I know find regular subscriptions being taken out they thought they had cancelled long ago.

Check through everything that has gone out of your account for the past 30 days and see what could be cut.

Things like:

  • gym memberships
  • magazine subscriptions
  • duplicate life insurance policies (a friend found she had been paying 2 life policies she didn’t need for a whole year, just when she had no money!)

When you’ve got debt or a need to save a lot of money there are other things you might need to consider cutting from your budget in order to make those savings:

  • Cable
  • Expensive cell phone plans
  • Shopping at upmarket grocery stores
  • Branded medications
  • Brand name clothing

And then of course you need to look at how you are going to stop spending money on unnecessary things.

Because these little, unnecessary things can really add up and blow your budget.

Related post: Cut Your Budget With Tips From The Experts

 

white calculator with scattered plastic lettering - newly frugal

 

12. Pay Your Future Self First

Right now I bet you work hard and are trying to make ends meet.

Hence the reason to embrace living frugally.

What about when you are 60, 70 or 80, do you still want to be working hard and trying to pay off debt?

We both know the answer is no.

But in order to make that a reality, where you can afford to finish work and be debt free, you need to be saving for that time.

Your future self is you at age 60,70 and 80. You need you to be thinking about the future you.

If you continue to spend all of your money now, and some, then how are you going to survive in your later years?

After debt, the first line of your budget should be saving for your future.

When money is really tight it might only be $20 or $50, but save you must.

Get that money habit deeply ingrained and when you have more money, save more money.

You will thank yourself later.

Related post: Best 11 Habits Of Frugal People That You Need To Know

 

13. Use The 30 Day Rule

The 30 day rule is a simple way to reduce your impulse spending.

It isn’t about deprivation or stopping you from spending any money.

It’s about giving some thought to what you intend to spend money on.

By applying the 30 day rule you identify something you want to buy but press pause for 30 days.

When you are new to frugal it’s a great way to give yourself breathing space to consider whether you can afford it.

And if spending that money fits within your budget and your financial goals.

 If after 30 days you truly still want that item then absolutely go for it.

 

phone and stationery items on white background

 

14. Turn Down The Thermostat

Turning down your thermostat by just 1 degree can add up to a nice saving over the year.

If you also have fans or air con then keeping them a little higher or off will continue the savings.

There are so many things you can do to keep yourself warm in the winter without turning up the heat. Things like:

  • Wear an extra layer
  • Add a blanket to your bed
  • Keep doors closed
  • Don’t sit still for too long – get moving
  • Use draught excluders
  • Have a blanket for cosy sofa nights

For more info on cutting your electricity bills read these posts:

How To Save Electricity Doing Absolutely Nothing

How To Keep Your House Warm In Winter And Save Money

 

15A. Renegotiate Your Bills – Cable

If you have cable then would save a lot of money if you got rid of it completely.

Now I am not going to tell you that you must get rid because we still have cable.

It’s our main form of entertainment so for the price we get a good deal (it’s higher than I would like due to Mr2p needing the sport channels, sigh).

We don’t have movies or premium kids channels, but we do have it.

But if we had to drastically cut our expenses we would get rid and it would save us $100 a month.

If getting rid of cable is a step too far for your right now then review your usage and renegotiate your package.

You could easily save $15 a month with one phone call.

 

15B. Renegotiate Your Bills – Utilities

Utility companies rely on us not questioning our utility bills.

In some states and countries you have a choice of utility company to use.

This makes for a great way to save money as these companies always offer new customer discounts.

Even if you can’t change company, you can certainly contact your existing company and ask for a discount.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Look After My Bills is a fantastic new service in the UK that will automatically switch you to a new provider as your existing one becomes more expensive.

Not only is LAMB free to join, they keep checking the market and switch you again as your existing deal ends, so you know you will always be on the best deal.

How fab is that?!



 

 

note book with inscription of 'learn to say no' on page - how to live frugally

 

16. Learn To Say No To Yourself

Only you spends your money.

So if you are overspending then 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.

Never feel bad about saying no, if it’s what needs to happen to help you balance your budget and save for your future 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 Make No Spend Days Successful (And When Not To)

How To Be Successful With A No Spend Challenge

 

How To Live Frugally And Happy

Any one of these 16 frugal tips will help you save money. Do two of them and you’ll save more.

When you are new to being frugal it pays to embrace your new lifestyle with positivity.

Related post: 15 Money Affirmations That Will Inspire Your Life

Don’t think that you are giving up anything by reducing your spending and saving money.

No, you are prioritizing what is best for you right now and making an active, positive choice.

As a newly frugal member of the fabulously frugal club you are starting on a glorious journey towards a richer, more satisfying life.

One where you have no debt and have savings.

That’s got to be worth being frugal for, right?

 

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How To Be Frugal: 200+ Best Frugal Living Tips To Save Money

Wow! So many frugal living tips to help you learn how to be frugal. Best frugal living tips for 2019 to help you save money. #frugallivingtips #frugalliving #frugal #moneysavingideas #moneysavingtips

mother and daughter checking out theri money

How To Be Frugal – Frugal Living Mini Series Part 5

If you want to learn how to be frugal and are looking for all the best frugal living tips, then have I got a few tips for you!

I loving frugal living and all that it can provide. For me, the number one positive that I think you can gain from a frugal lifestyle is FREEDOM!

Freedom from debt, from worrying about money, from being a wage slave forever more.

And what I love about the frugal lifestyle is that it isn’t one size fits all.

We are all different, we all have foibles that mean what I might think is just normal money saving behavior, you might consider to be extreme frugality.

When times are hard you can live cheaply, when times are less hard you can focus on saving money and achieving your financial goals.

Frugal living gives you choices.

Debt takes away your choices.

 

Other Posts In The Fabulously Frugal Living Mini Series

The Fundamental MUST Haves For Your Fabulously Frugal Home

7 Secret Thrifty and Frugal Living Tips Of Fabulously Frugal People

What Fabulously Frugal People ALWAYS Do To Organise Their Finances

What Fabulously Frugal People NEVER Do Organising Their Finances

 

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

(This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read more here)

 
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Wow! So many frugal living tips to help me learn how to be frugal. Best frugal living tips for 2019 to help you save money. #frugallivingtips #frugalliving #frugal #moneysavingideas #moneysavingtips

 

The Meaning Of Frugal Living

Wikipedia explains the frugal lifestyle as being:

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 frugal living simply means being thoughtful about your money.

Ensuring your money has a purpose and you don’t spend for spending’s sake.

Depending on where you live and the lifestyle you choose, your ideas of frugal living and being frugal could be different to mine. 

But what we would all agree on is that we want to avoid waste and we make prudent decisions about our money.

After all we earned it so we don’t want to be wasting it!

 

 

 

How Can I Be Frugal? The most important thing to do is to live below your means by spending less than you earn. Start with a few of these frugal tips and slowly add more.

How Do You Live a Simple And Frugal Life? Enjoy not having too much stuff. Be deliberate with your money and only spend when it brings you joy. 

Can You Be Too Frugal? Most definitely! Go too far and you end up being cheap, not frugal.

 

200+ Best Frugal Living Tips You Will Want To Try

Learning how to be frugal is an ongoing journey, it’s about focusing on living within your means and having enough.

What frugal living means in reality is about building your frugal mindset, having enough food, enough money, enough little luxuries.

Without going into debt or wondering how YOU will pay your bills next month.

What it absolutely isn’t is depriving yourself or sacrifice or going without unnecessarily.

Being frugal is NOT being cheap! There is a world of difference between being cheap and being frugal.

Being cheap says more about your personality. A cheap person saves money at the expense of someone else.

Being frugal means making sensible decisions about your own money. You still spend, but you do so wisely.

Fabulously frugal people aren’t martyrs! They love living frugally.

And these old fashioned frugal living ideas will help you (and me) save money, start living below your means and love your frugal life.

 

pink roses on white background with coffee cup

 

Money Handling While Learning How To Be Frugal

How you spend your money is key to your frugal lifestyle. You want to get the best value for your money whilst still spending where you need to.

To live a simple and frugal lifestyle, you want to get your money organized.

If your money is organized, you can concentrate on enjoying life rather than constantly trying to sort your money out.

 

  1. Have regular money chats with your partner to keep your frugal living focus
  2. Create financial goals – give your money saving a purpose
  3. Have guilt free fun money every month (even if it’s only a fiver)
  4. Use the cash envelope system to keep your money focus
  5. Learn how to create a budget
  6. Don’t pay ATM fees
  7. Pay for recurring products annually, e.g car insurance as it is often cheaper than 12 monthly payments
  8. Switch bank accounts to get the best rates & take advantage of cash back promotions
  9. Create a survival budget for future tough times
  10. Track where your money goes
  11. Make sure you have a rainy day fund in place
  12. The best way to be frugal is don’t buy stuff!
  13. Learn to say no
  14. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses – they’re in debt!
  15. Have no spend days each week
  16. Try a no spend challenge for a week or a month
  17. Don’t pay just the minimum on debt repayments
  18. If possible, refinance loans onto better terms and lower interest rates
  19. Pay off debt as fast as possible to save on interest repayments
  20. Learn to love living below your means
  21. Earn extra money with a flexible work from home job
  22. Pay extra off your mortgage each month to save interest
  23. Declutter your home and sell your excess stuff for cash
  24. Have a spending freeze
  25. Have a no spend weekend of fun

Related post:

30 Budgeting Mistakes I Have Made – And The Solutions You Can Use

 

white calculator with scattered plastic lettering 

 

Frugal Living Ideas For Transportation

  1. Walk more – for all distances under 2 miles
  2. Don’t buy a brand new car – 3 years is the sweet spot
  3. Save up for your next car – don’t take out finance
  4. Learn to drive hypermiling style
  5. Don’t leave your engine idling when stationery
  6. Do your errands on the same day by combining car journeys to use your car less
  7. Wash your own car
  8. Do your own minor repairs such as changing windscreen wipers
  9. Keep your tires at the correct pressure to prolong their life
  10. Plan your route to avoid toll roads
  11. Research free parking for places you visit
  12. Find your cheapest local petrol/gas station and fill up there
  13. Team up with a colleague to carpool and take turns driving to work
  14. Clear out your car to keep excess weight down
  15. Keep your windows up to reduce aerodynamic drag
  16. Invest in a bike to extend the miles you can travel without a car
  17. Investigate and make use of public transport in your area (buses, trams, trains)
  18. Consider dropping down to become one car household
  19. Do your own oil changes

More frugal living ideas:
10 Secrets To Lasting Frugal Success

Basic Frugality: How To Reset Your Frugal Life

 

 

woman in red placing money in large white piggy bank

 

Best Frugal Living Tips For Shopping

  1. Pack your lunch and healthy snacks everyday
  2. Stop buying coffee on the go – invest in a flask mug and make your own
  3. Don’t buy new clothes for work – create your own work uniform
  4. Instigate a new clothes shopping ban
  5. Always compare prices to find the best deal
  6. Have a smaller wardrobe with key pieces that can be worn different ways
  7. Use charity shops if you need a new (to you) clothing item
  8. Use the pound shops and dollar stores for cheap essentials
  9. Don’t buy single use products like paper towels
  10. Reuse wrapping paper or use alternative items as wrapping e.g. wallpaper samples, pretty magazine pages
  11. Use the 30 day rule for making big money decisions
  12. Leave your credit cards at home – less temptation to spend
  13. Buy for Christmas in January and throughout the year 
  14. Don’t treat shopping as a leisure activity
  15. Don’t take extra cash or cards ‘just in case you see something’
  16. Shop at the season’s end for next year’s clothes
  17. Never buy clothes that must be dry cleaned
  18. Never pay full price – find a discount code or ask for one
  19. Have a camping holiday

 

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

How To Stop Living Paycheck To Paycheck The Frugal Way

 

family of 4 walking along the beach shore line

 

Frugal Living Ideas For Entertainment And Activities

  1. Use your local library instead of buying new books or magazines
  2. Don’t buy a daily newspaper, read them online for free
  3. Close down your internet browsers before you buy anything
  4. Enjoy the outdoors exploring your local area
  5. Pack drinks and snacks when out and about
  6. Unsubscribe from your favorite store emails
  7. Rent DVDs from your library instead of going to the movies
  8. Have a BBQ or pot luck supper to spend time with friends
  9. Have a present drawer to take advantage of bargain buys ahead of time
  10. Cancel magazine subscriptions
  11. Don’t smoke or vape
  12. Have an old fashioned games nights with games from your childhood
  13. Repair your clothes – sew on that missing button, learn to replace a broken zip via YouTube tutorials
  14. Recycle paper scraps and envelopes into your to-do and shopping lists
  15. Cut your own hair or get your partner to do so – YouTube tutorials will help
  16. Do your own nails or swap with a friend
  17. Read frugal books to gain inspiration
  18. Use Groupon for money saving deals
  19. Reduce the number of toys you buy
  20. Swap toys with friends and family
  21. Give your child time and space to get creative (without electronic toys)
  22. Reduce the number of out of school activities you sign your kids up to
  23. Declutter your home and sell unwanted items
  24. Reuse, re-purpose and repair your things to make them last and reduce the need to buy replacements
  25. Master the art of making homemade gifts
  26. Encourage adult family members to agree to a secret Santa 
  27. Embrace free & frugal entertainment ideas

 

Related posts:
Live Cheaply – How You Can Win At Living On Next To Nothing

The Easy Way To Save Money – 15 Tips to Save $14,000 a Year!

 

white sofa with red striped carpet and purple cushion

 

Frugal Living Tips For Laundry and Cleaning

  1. Use the sniff test to determine if clothes really need washing
  2. Wash clothes on a short 30c cycle unless they are really dirty
  3. Use less soap powder than the manufacturers recommend, my sweet spot seems to be 1/2 – 2/3 of the amount
  4. Use an all-purpose cleaner and forget about the different specific cleaners
  5. Wait until you have a full load before starting your washing machine
  6. Reduce or stop using your tumble dryer
  7. Use a wind and solar powered dryer (clothes line)
  8. Use an indoor drying rack to dry clothes on rainy days
  9. Make your own homemade cleaning products
  10. Don’t use fabric dryer sheets, use wool dryer balls (if you can’t line dry)
  11. Don’t buy and pay for air fresheners – fresh air is free to use by opening a window

Related post:
50 Frugal Habits That Are Also Eco Friendly

 

Utilities Money Saving Ideas

  1. Keep your energy bills low
  2. Check you’re on the best energy price plan, if not use Look After My Bills to find the best deal


  3. Take regular meter readings to ensure you aren’t over-paying
  4. Turn down your thermostat a little in winter
  5. Turn up the air conditioning in summer (if you have to have it on)
  6. Wear extra layers rather than turning the thermostat up
  7. Increase the insulation in your attic/roof space
  8. Turn off lights when you leave a room
  9. Use blankets to keep warm
  10. Go to bed earlier instead of heating your house for longer
  11. Invest in thick curtains to keep the heat in and the cold out
  12. Keep doors closed to keep the heat in
  13. Only heat the rooms you use in winter
  14. Turn appliances off at the socket to save electricity
  15. Don’t block your radiators – allow their warmth to circulate
  16. Unplug electrical appliances, don’t leave them on standby
  17. Install energy saving light bulbs
  18. Use an energy efficient power strip
  19. Buy energy efficient appliances
  20. When using your oven fill it with multiple meals
  21. Use pan lids so you can reduce the heat source, it also speeds up cooking times
  22. Don’t leave chargers plugged in
  23. Switch to a water meter
  24. Save water
  25. Turn the tap off whilst brushing your teeth or washing your hands
  26. Consider using the “if it’s yellow let it mellow” method of toilet flushing!
  27. Boil only the water you need
  28. Use an energy efficient shower head
  29. Have a 4 minute shower
  30. Have a cold shower!
  31. Fit a tap aerator
  32. Wash fruit and veg in a bowl instead of under a running tap
  33. Use a water butt to collect rainwater and use on your garden

 

coin piles and a piggy bank

 

Be Frugal And Save Money On Your Household Bills

  1. Don’t auto renew insurances, find the best price each year
  2. Increase your insurance deductibles
  3. Work out how to cut monthly expenses
  4. Swap mobile/cell phone price plan to a lower contract
  5. Learn DIY skills
  6. Don’t pay for someone to groom your own pets, do it yourself
  7. Fix your broken stuff, don’t jump to buy new – use YouTube tutorials
  8. Cut cable or reduce to a basic plan
  9. Wait for your favorite movies to be shown on TV instead of the cinema
  10. Cancel gym memberships and find free ways to get fit
  11. Join your local ParkRun to get fit for free

 

Related posts:
12 Things You Should Never Pay For

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

 

vegetables being prepared on a wooden table

 

How To Be Frugal With Food – The Best Frugal Living Tips

  1. Grow your own fruit and vegetables
  2. Exchange your surplus produce with neighbors
  3. Substitute ingredients in recipes if you don’t have something
  4. Create your grocery shopping list from your meal plan
  5. Only buy what is on your food shopping list
  6. Use coupons wisely – when you would buy the product anyway
  7. Grocery shop just once a week (or less)
  8. Always turn bottles of sauces and liquids upside down to use up every last drop
  9. Shop alone – others (especially kids!) increase the risk of impulse buys
  10. Don’t succumb to top up shops midweek
  11. Sign up for your grocery stores rewards/club card
  12. Check your fridge regularly for lost foods and the best before dates on open products
  13. Plan meals around the weather – don’t use the oven on hot days as you’ll want the air con on afterwards
  14. Don’t shop on an empty stomach
  15. Forage for food in season (e.g. blackberries and wild garlic)
  16. Buy produce in season – always cheaper than out of season goods
  17. Buy frozen vegetables, especially those out of season
  18. Cook your own fakeaways instead of buying takeaways
  19. Don’t eat out
  20. Forget about drive thru restaurants
  21. If you want to eat out, choose one where kids eat free
  22. Have a big freezer to stock up when you find bargains
  23. Cut out or down on your alcohol consumption
  24. Freeze home grown or vegetables and fruit or bargain buys
  25. Incorporate more meatless meals into your meal plan
  26. Create a meal plan around what you have in your pantry/store cupboard
  27. Build a pantry stockpile of regularly used foods, bought at the cheapest price
  28. Shop for clearance items – buy only if significantly cheaper than your planned meal items
  29. Always check your receipt for overcharging – it happens more often than it should
  30. Have a soup and toast meal once a week
  31. Cut down on food waste

 

Related reading:

7 Meal Planning Strategies All Beginners Should Know

Bonus tip: Sign up for my FREE 7 Day Grocery Budget Bootcamp to help you maximize your food savings.

 

 

picture of the earth and how to reduce food waste wording

 

 

Frugal With Food Cont.

  1. Don’t buy pre-packaged convenience foods
  2. Cook from scratch
  3. Shop from your pantry to extend the time between grocery shops
  4. Use a slow cooker for cheap, tasty meals
  5. Batch cook to save time
  6. Make your own bread (I use a bread maker like this)
  7. Grow your own herbs
  8. Bake your own cakes, cookies and other treats
  9. Drink more water
  10. Avoid buying sugary and fizzy drinks – see above instead
  11. Buy in bulk your pantry staples
  12. Create a list of frugal meals you can make from your store cupboard
  13. Focus on 5 ingredient or less recipes
  14. Make your own stock from chicken carcasses
  15. Use vegetable scraps and limp produce to add flavor to your stock
  16. Brush up on and save your top 10 cheap recipes
  17. Have a go to pantry meal for busy nights
  18. Grocery shop online to reduce temptation
  19. Use up leftover food
  20. Save money on your groceries by being guided by the unit pricing of products (£/kg)
  21. Cut out junky snacks such as crisps and nuts and stick to healthy ones
  22. Set a grocery budget you will stick to
  23. Give up or cut down on alcohol
  24. Drop down a brand on your food items
  25. Don’t buy paper towels, use microfiber cloths (or rags) instead
  26. Don’t use surface or floor wipes, use microfiber cloths (or rags) instead
  27. To save extra money focus on buying the best cheap foods for when you’re broke

 

How To Live Frugally

What a long list of frugal living tips that is! And I bet you can think of more.

Remember living frugally isn’t about depriving yourself.

Oh no, it’s about having enough for what you need and want without worrying yourself to sleep each night because you’ve spent too much money.

For me, learning how to be frugal with food is probably the quickest way to save some money.

After all you probably eat 3 times a day, so saving money every time you eat is the perfect way to be frugal.

Choose the best frugal living tips that work for you from the above list and I hope you have a fantastically frugal life!

Why not check out the best habits of frugal people they always do and the things they just do not do.

 

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