How To Be Frugal – Frugal Living Mini Series Part 5
Knowing how to be really very frugal and thrifty is a great skill and one that will help many people save money for their future life.
With the frugal lifestyle it is often about learning from others and by working out what works best for you.
In fact if you want to be really very frugal you would do well to look at the frugal living tips from the great depression.
Those times were seriously hard and our relatives from that era had no choice but to learn some extremely thrifty living ways.
There was no social security to act as a back up in those days, or credit cards. If you didn’t have any money, you went without.
You had to live as cheaply as possible and sometimes you still didn’t have enough. It was simple frugal living at it’s best.
But please don’t think that frugal living is cheap living. It isn’t, it’s purposeful, enjoyable living where you make active choices about how to spend your hard earned money.
The differences between frugal and cheap can become blurred if you are not focused on living frugally for the right reasons.
It is often a simpler way of living that allows you to be thrifty, to save money, to have the time to learn about frugal living and find ways to stretch your money.
When you are able to make wise choices about your money it provides you with the freedom to choose how to live your life. You are one step ahead of the game.
When you want to know how to live frugally and save money, you want a go to place with all the best tips to help you embrace the frugality lifestyle and create your own frugal habits.
I have collected these 130+ simple frugal living ideas and tips from all over to provide you with just that. A go to place of all the very best tips on how to live frugally and save money.
Some I learned from my grandparents, some from reading books on the great depression.
But many I have picked up over the years are from other people, from articles, books and friends. Some of my favourite thrifty tips are from the frugal books I have read.
Books are a fantastic resource for learning about what a frugal lifestyle can offer you. And the great thing with books is you get to read those handy thrifty tips over and over.
What Does Frugal Living Mean?
Wikipedia explains frugality 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.
130+ Best Frugal Living Tips You Will Want To Try In 2019
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Learning how to be frugal is about focusing on living within your means and having enough. What frugal living means in reality is having enough food, enough money, enough little luxuries.
What frugal isn’t is depriving yourself or sacrifice or going without unnecessarily. Fabulously frugal people aren’t martyrs! They love living frugally.
And these frugal living ideas will help you (and me) save money, stop living beyond your means and love your frugal life.
Some of these ideas won’t suit your personal circumstances, but that’s okay because I am sure some definitely will.
Some of these tips might be new to you as you work out how to be frugal. Try them out, see whether they work for you. Then decide if you want to continue using them.
Choose the best tips to suit you and your family/life. Focus on what will work for you so that it becomes second nature to do these things.
Some don’t work for me, for instance I have no intention of giving up my go to convenience food of chocolate!
Money Handling While Learning How To Be Frugal
How you spend your money is key to living frugally. You want to get the best value for your money whilst still spending where you need to.
- Have regular money chats with your partner to keep your frugal living focus
- Create money goals – give your money saving a purpose
- Have guilt free fun money every month (even if it’s only a fiver)
- Use the cash envelope system to keep your money focus
- Learn how to create a budget
- Don’t pay ATM fees
- Track where your money goes
- The best way to be frugal is don’t buy stuff!
- Learn to say no
- Have no spend days each week
- Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses – they’re in debt!
- Have a spending freeze
- Have a no spend weekend of fun
Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal living tips!
Frugal Living Ideas For Transportation
- Walk more – for all distances under 2 miles
- Don’t buy a brand new car – 3 years is the sweet spot
- Save up for your next car – don’t take out finance
- Learn to drive hypermiling style
- Don’t leave your engine idling when stationery
- Do your errands on the same day by combining car journeys to use your car less
- Wash your own car
- Plan your route to avoid toll roads
- Clear out your car to keep excess weight down
- Keep your windows up to reduce aerodynamic drag
- Invest in a bike to extend the miles you can travel without a car
- Investigate and make use of public transport in your area (buses, trams, trains)
- Consider dropping down to become one car household
- Do your own oil changes
More frugal living ideas:
5 Frugal Tips to Save Money on Long Car Journeys
- Pack your lunch and healthy snacks everyday
- Stop buying coffee on the go – invest in a flask mug and make your own
- Don’t buy new clothes for work – create your own work uniform
- Instigate a new clothes shopping ban
- Use charity shops if you need a new (to you) clothing item
- Wait 2/3 weeks before making big money decisions
- Leave your credit cards at home – less temptation to spend
- Buy for Christmas in January and throughout the year
- Don’t treat shopping as a leisure activity
- Don’t take extra cash or cards ‘just in case you see something’
- Never pay full price – find a discount code or ask for one
- Have a camping holiday
Entertainment And Activities
- Use your local library instead of buying new books or magazines
- Don’t buy a daily newspaper, read them online for free
- Close down your internet browsers before you buy anything
- Enjoy the outdoors exploring your local area
- Unsubscribe from your favourite store emails
- Have a BBQ or pot luck supper to spend time with friends
- Have an old fashioned games nights with games from your childhood
- Repair your clothes – sew on that missing button, learn to replace a broken zip via YouTube tutorials
- Recycle paper scraps and envelopes into your to-do and shopping lists
- Cut your own hair or get your partner to do so – YouTube tutorials will help
- Do your own nails or swap with a friend
- Reduce the number of toys you buy
- Give your child time and space to get creative (without electronic toys)
- Reduce the number of out of school activities you sign your kids up to
- Declutter your home and sell unwanted items
- Master the art of making homemade gifts
- Embrace free & frugal entertainment ideas
Live Cheaply – How You Can Win At Living On Next To Nothing
Frugal Living Tips For Laundry and Cleaning
- Use the sniff test to determine if clothes really need washing
- Wash clothes on a short 30c cycle unless they are really dirty
- Wait until you have a full load before starting your washing machine
- Reduce or stop using your tumble dryer
- Use a wind and solar powered dryer (clothes line)
- Use an indoor airer to dry clothes on rainy days
- Make your own cleaning spray with vinegar and baking soda
- Don’t buy and pay for air fresheners – fresh air is free to use by opening a window
50 Frugal Habits That Are Also Eco Friendly
Utilities Money Saving Ideas
- Keep your energy bills low
- Check your on the best energy price plan, if not consider switching companies
- Take regular meter readings to ensure you aren’t over-paying
- Turn down your thermostat a little in winter
- Turn up the air conditioning in summer (if you have to have it on)
- Wear extra layers rather than turning the thermostat up
- Increase the insulation in your attic/roof space
- Turn off lights when you leave a room
- Use blankets to keep warm
- Go to bed earlier instead of heating your house for longer
- Invest in thick curtains to keep the heat in and the cold out
- Don’t block your radiators – allow their warmth to circulate
- Unplug electrical appliances, don’t leave them on standby
- Wait to use your washing machine until you have a full load
- Save water
- Turn the tap off whilst brushing your teeth or washing your hands
- Boil only the water you need
- Have a 4 minute shower
- Have a cold shower!
- Fit a tap aerator
- Wash fruit and veg in a bowl instead of under a running tap
Save Money On Your Household Bills
- Don’t auto renew insurances, find the best price each year
- Increase your insurance deductibles
- Swap mobile/cell phone price plan to a lower contract
- Learn DIY skills
- Fix your broken stuff, don’t jump to buy new – use YouTube tutorials
- Cut cable or reduce to a basic plan
- Wait for your favourite movies to be shown on TV instead of the cinema
- Cancel gym memberships and find free ways to get fit
- Join your local ParkRun to get fit for free
12 Things You Should Never Pay For
How To Be Frugal With Food – The Best Frugal Living Tips
- Grow your own fruit and vegetables
- Substitute ingredients in recipes if you don’t have something
- Create your grocery shopping list from your meal plan
- Only buy what is on your food shopping list
- Use coupons wisely – when you would buy the product anyway
- Grocery shop just once a week (or less)
- Don’t succumb to top up shops midweek
- Don’t shop on an empty stomach
- Forage for food in season (e.g. blackberries and wild garlic)
- Buy produce in season – always cheaper than out of season goods
- Cook your own fakeaways instead of buying takeaways
- Don’t eat out
- Forget about drive thru restaurants
- Have a big freezer
- Freeze home grown or vegetables and fruit or bargain buys
- Incorporate more meatless meals into your meal plan
- Create a meal plan around what you have in your pantry/store cupboard
- Build a pantry stockpile of regularly used foods, bought at the cheapest price
- Shop for clearance items – buy only if significantly cheaper than your planned meal items
- Always check your receipt for overcharging – it happens more often than it should
- Have a soup and toast meal once a week
- Don’t buy pre-packaged convenience foods
- Cook from scratch
- Shop from your pantry to extend the time between grocery shops
- Use a slow cooker for cheap, tasty meals
- Batch cook to save time
- Make your own bread (I use a bread maker like this)
- Grow your own herbs
- Bake your own cakes, cookies and other treats
- Drink more water
- Buy in bulk your pantry staples
- Create a list of frugal meals you can make from your store cupboard
- Make your own stock from chicken carcasses
- Brush up on and save your top 10 cheap recipes
- Have a go to pantry meal for busy nights
- Grocery shop online to reduce temptation
- Use up leftover food
- Save money on your groceries by being guided by the unit pricing of products (£/kg)
- Cut out junky snacks such as crisps and nuts and stick to healthy ones
- Set a grocery budget you will stick to
- Give up or cut down on alcohol
- Drop down a brand on your food items
- Don’t buy paper towels, use microfibre cloths (or rags) instead
- Don’t use surface or floor wipes, use microfibre cloths (or rags) instead
- To save extra money focus on buying the best cheap foods for when you’re broke
Bonus tip: Sign up for my FREE Resource Library and download the weekly meal planner and recipe cards to help you maximise your food savings.
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 for you from the above list and I hope you have a fantastically frugal 2019!
Other Posts In The Fabulously Frugal Living Mini Series