Last Updated on 10th September 2020 by Emma
Frugal living strategies make the art of living frugally so much easier.
Being frugal you are going against many of the expected spending norms we now have.
You aren’t focused on having the biggest house, the latest gadget and spending all your paycheck (and some) just to satisfy other people’s view of what you ‘should’ be doing.
But going against the norm, doing things differently can take a little getting used to.
Which is where your frugal living strategies come in.
They are your structure for being frugal.
They are less about saving a dollar or buying used, and more about how you approach living frugally.
With a frugal structure to work within you are no longer lurching from one money saving tip to another.
Strategies and structure help you become organized.
And being organized you are best placed to maximize saving money.
Use these strategies as your frugal backbone, upon which you can add as many of the best frugal living tips that work for you.
Frugal Questions You Might Be Thinking
How do you become really frugal? Luckily there are no secrets to becoming really frugal. It’s all about saving a little bit of money here and there.
Practice saving money, not shopping every day, finding ways to do things more cheaply.
This post will help: Frugal Living For Beginners: How To Get Started
Can being frugal make you rich? Define rich! Rich enough to have everything you want, yes.
Millions of dollars in the bank without earning six figures? Maybe not. But you don’t need millions to enjoy a rich and fulfilling (frugal) life.
This posts tells you more: 11 Simple Things That Rich People Do (And So Can You)
How can I be frugal? Being frugal is a way of life that everyone can embrace.
If you are new to frugal living then why not take advantage of my free email course where I help you build your frugal foundations?
7 Frugal Living Strategies For Ongoing Success
1. Frugal Mindset
The most important thing you need to be successful in becoming really frugal is your mindset.
I can tell you and show you all the best frugal living strategies and encourage you to follow them.
But without a frugal mindset to keep you focused on your long term goals I cannot guarantee your success.
Without working on you, your thoughts and ultimately your frugal mindset I don’t think you can ever be really frugal.
Because you (and your thoughts) will likely sabotage your success if deep down you don’t actually want to be frugal.
You are the key to your success in following these key strategies and all the best frugal living tips you find.
Becoming frugal is not something that gets done to you, it’s what you will choose to do, willingly.
Which is a good thing!
It means you are in control of your success, of how frugal you choose to be.
Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!
2. Focus On The Little Things
There is a saying in the UK – “Look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves”.
This saying nicely encompasses exactly what frugal living is all about.
Frugal living is simply about focusing on the little things.
It’s not about shaving hundreds off your mortgage (because being frugal you wouldn’t ever be paying over the odds).
Or saving thousands of dollars every month (because most of us don’t earn that kind of money).
Never think a few cents here, a few pennies there are not worth your bother. They absolutely are.
Because they add up into dollars and pounds.
Think of it this way.
Save a few pennies on every single item you buy in the grocery store, online, at the mall and it soon adds up.
In a month you’ll see a nice little figure.
In 12 months you’ll be looking at 4 figures.
In 5 years the sum is looking very healthy.
What I love most about focusing on the little things is that you don’t just save once on each thing.
You get into a groove and find another way to save a few more pennies on the exact same thing.
Whether that’s through using a discount code, another store, bulk buying, waiting for a sale, buying used.
This is one of the best frugal living strategies, because it never ends.
As you build your frugal muscles you become adept at finding new frugal living ideas.
New ways to save a little more money. New ways to be living a frugal life, and enjoying it of course!
Related post: 9 Tiny Frugal Ideas To Save Money Every Day
3. Don’t Buy Bigger Than You Need
The average size of our homes has increased by 40% since 1973.
Yet the number of people living in them has not.
40+ years ago the norm was for children of the same gender to share a room and babies slept in with their parents.
Nowadays even babies have their own room and parents use intercoms to hear them cry, snuffle and sleep.
But the new norm comes at a cost.
Most families need both adults to work in order to fund the mortgage and the more expensive lifestyle.
Frugal folk have rejected the new norm. They don’t buy thousands of square footage they don’t need.
They don’t buy larger vans and cars as soon as their first child comes along.
Buying bigger and ‘better’ houses, cars and vacations all come at huge cost in both money and time.
Related post: 11 Things Frugal People Just Do Not Do
Patience is a virtue.
It’s also one of the hardest frugal living strategies to be successful with, in my experience anyway.
Maybe I’m just not a patient person!
This strategy is about knowing what you want, but being willing to wait a long time to get the exact right item at the right price.
I’m not just talking about waiting for a sale on canned tomatoes to stock your pantry.
I’m talking about knowing that you are going to be in the market for a new item but you don’t rush out and buy it straight away.
You don’t even go and buy it when your old one starts playing up.
You exercise patience, day after day, week after week, until the right item at the right price turns up.
This is especially true when you are focused on buying items used.
It’s one thing to pop to the charity shop for something new to you to wear.
It’s another thing entirely when you want to buy a used garden tool. You have to wait until someone is selling one.
Being patient like this though will pay dividends.
Because you decide when the time and price is right and you can save all the money you didn’t spend on it’s more expensive, new equivalent.
Related post: The One Thing That Will Change Your Money Life For Ever
5. Plan Long Term
Going hand in hand with patience is getting used to planning well in advance.
Knowing what you are going to want to buy and working out a plan on how you are going to pay for it is a the perfect frugal strategy for not getting into debt.
How many times in the past have you gone out shopping and suddenly decided you needed a certain something?
To be the best frugalista you can, you need to work on suppressing those spending urges.
Think more instead.
About what you are going to need in the future.
About what you might want to spend your hard earned money on.
Impulse purchases give us a temporary high but don’t always deliver on the long term feel good factor.
Whereas planning ahead and delaying your spending helps you appreciate what you buy all the more.
Planning ahead is perfect for the bigger items like a new to you car or home improvements.
Possibly not so necessary for something that only costs $50.
Sinking funds are the perfect place to save money for future purchases.
Sinking funds (personally I call them money pots because I don’t like the sound of funds sinking!) are used to put money away for expected expenses.
They are separate to an emergency fund which is designed for unexpected expenses.
6. Buy Once
Another one of the frugal living strategies that links nicely to planning ahead is having the foresight to buy once and keep.
Many frugal folk will spend a decent chunk of money on something but then keep it for a very long time.
I’m talking cars for 10-15 years, houses forever.
Rather than trading in every few years for a bigger, newer model, choose wisely and keep.
This doesn’t just apply to cars and houses, it can apply to almost anything.
When you buy something and keep it, you have no need to declutter,
You have no need to be throwing things away as you are not endlessly replacing them.
And sometimes this strategy is about spending more in the first place rather than buying cheap and buying twice.
Related post: Best 11 Habits Of Frugal People That You Need To Know
7. Shop At Reduction Time
Your grocery budget is one of the most flexible areas of your budget.
It can vary from week to week depending on your spending strategies.
Meal planning and using a shopping list are always mentioned as being among the best frugal living tips.
And with good reason.
However, do not be a slave to that shopping list!
Once you have got your grocery budget firmly under control, you can look to increase your savings by utilizing the clearance section of your local store.
Here in the UK it is often referred to as the yellow sticker section (bet you can guess why!).
The clearance section houses all the produce that is going out of date that day.
Stores slowly reduce the price of these items starting in the morning with perhaps a 10-20% reduction.
Later on it will hit 50% and if there is anything left after that it can reach 90% reduction in price.
A great strategy you can use to slash your grocery budget still further is to find out your local stores reduction times and plan to shop at that time.
For my local Asda Walmart it’s around 5pm when they increase the reduction to 50%.
Whereas my local Lidl cut 30% off first thing in the morning and rarely increase it, because they don’t need to.
Make a point of always checking the clearance section first before you then stick to your shopping list.
If there are any reduced items that you could buy instead of something on your list then swap them out.
Remember – just because something is reduced doesn’t mean it’s a bargain.
It could still be more expensive than the generic brand or what you were intending to buy.
Frugal Living Strategies To Maximize Savings
To be success in living a frugal life AND enjoying it, you need to work out what works for you.
You need to create strategies that make sense and work for your life.
For example I used to focus on shopping at reduction time as a way to save money because those extra pennies saved made a real difference to us.
But in recent years I no longer time my visit to the store to coincide with the best reduction time.
A different job meant I was usually at work for another 2 hours so it didn’t work out.
However I still always check the reduced section of every store I visit because there are still bargains to be had if you look hard enough.
Strategies make life easier, they give you a structure to work to.
Choose the frugal living strategies that work for you.
For more help in planning your new frugal life and creating your own strategies for saving money join my free 5 day Frugal Foundations Bootcamp.