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.
Frugal living gives you choices.
Being in debt takes away your choices.
Other Posts In The Fabulously Frugal Living Mini Series
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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.
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.
- Have regular money chats with your partner to keep your frugal living focus
- Create financial 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
- Pay for recurring products annually, e.g car insurance as it is often cheaper than 12 monthly payments
- Switch bank accounts to get the best rates & take advantage of cash back promotions
- Create a survival budget for future tough times
- Track where your money goes
- Make sure you have a rainy day fund in place
- The best way to be frugal is don’t buy stuff!
- Learn to say no
- Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses – they’re in debt!
- Have no spend days each week
- Try a no spend challenge for a week or a month
- Don’t pay just the minimum on debt repayments
- If possible, refinance loans onto better terms and lower interest rates
- Pay off debt as fast as possible to save on interest repayments
- Learn to love living below your means
- Earn extra money with a flexible work from home job
- Pay extra off your mortgage each month to save interest
- Declutter your home and sell your excess stuff for cash
- Have a spending freeze
- Have a no spend weekend of fun
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
- Do your own minor repairs such as changing windscreen wipers
- Keep your tires at the correct pressure to prolong their life
- Plan your route to avoid toll roads
- Research free parking for places you visit
- Find your cheapest local petrol/gas station and fill up there
- Team up with a colleague to carpool and take turns driving to work
- 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
Best Frugal Living Tips For Shopping
- 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
- Always compare prices to find the best deal
- Have a smaller wardrobe with key pieces that can be worn different ways
- Use charity shops if you need a new (to you) clothing item
- Use the pound shops and dollar stores for cheap essentials
- Don’t buy single use products like paper towels
- Reuse wrapping paper or use alternative items as wrapping e.g. wallpaper samples, pretty magazine pages
- Use the 30 day rule for 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’
- Shop at the season’s end for next year’s clothes
- Never buy clothes that must be dry cleaned
- Never pay full price – find a discount code or ask for one
- Have a camping holiday
Frugal Living Ideas For 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
- Pack drinks and snacks when out and about
- Unsubscribe from your favorite store emails
- Rent DVDs from your library instead of going to the movies
- Have a BBQ or pot luck supper to spend time with friends
- Have a present drawer to take advantage of bargain buys ahead of time
- Cancel magazine subscriptions
- Don’t smoke or vape
- 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
- Read frugal books to gain inspiration
- Use Groupon for money saving deals
- Reduce the number of toys you buy
- Swap toys with friends and family
- 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
- Reuse, re-purpose and repair your things to make them last and reduce the need to buy replacements
- Master the art of making homemade gifts
- Encourage adult family members to agree to a secret Santa
- 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
- Use less soap powder than the manufacturers recommend, my sweet spot seems to be 1/2 – 2/3 of the amount
- Use an all-purpose cleaner and forget about the different specific cleaners
- 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 drying rack to dry clothes on rainy days
- Make your own homemade cleaning products
- Don’t use fabric dryer sheets, use wool dryer balls (if you can’t line dry)
- 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 you’re on the best energy price plan, if not use Look After My Bills to find the best deal
- 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
- Keep doors closed to keep the heat in
- Only heat the rooms you use in winter
- Turn appliances off at the socket to save electricity
- Don’t block your radiators – allow their warmth to circulate
- Unplug electrical appliances, don’t leave them on standby
- Install energy saving light bulbs
- Use an energy efficient power strip
- Buy energy efficient appliances
- When using your oven fill it with multiple meals
- Use pan lids so you can reduce the heat source, it also speeds up cooking times
- Don’t leave chargers plugged in
- Switch to a water meter
- Save water
- Turn the tap off whilst brushing your teeth or washing your hands
- Consider using the “if it’s yellow let it mellow” method of toilet flushing!
- Boil only the water you need
- Use an energy efficient shower head
- 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
- Use a water butt to collect rainwater and use on your garden
Be Frugal And Save Money On Your Household Bills
- Don’t auto renew insurances, find the best price each year
- Increase your insurance deductibles
- Work out how to cut monthly expenses
- Swap mobile/cell phone price plan to a lower contract
- Learn DIY skills
- Don’t pay for someone to groom your own pets, do it yourself
- Fix your broken stuff, don’t jump to buy new – use YouTube tutorials
- Cut cable or reduce to a basic plan
- Wait for your favorite 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
- Exchange your surplus produce with neighbors
- 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)
- Always turn bottles of sauces and liquids upside down to use up every last drop
- Shop alone – others (especially kids!) increase the risk of impulse buys
- Don’t succumb to top up shops midweek
- Sign up for your grocery stores rewards/club card
- Check your fridge regularly for lost foods and the best before dates on open products
- Plan meals around the weather – don’t use the oven on hot days as you’ll want the air con on afterwards
- 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
- Buy frozen vegetables, especially those out of season
- Cook your own fakeaways instead of buying takeaways
- Don’t eat out
- Forget about drive thru restaurants
- If you want to eat out, choose one where kids eat free
- Have a big freezer to stock up when you find bargains
- Cut out or down on your alcohol consumption
- 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
- Cut down on food waste
Bonus tip: Sign up for my FREE 7 Day Grocery Budget Bootcamp to help you maximize your food savings.
Frugal With Food Cont.
- 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
- Avoid buying sugary and fizzy drinks – see above instead
- 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
- Use vegetable scraps and limp produce to add flavor to your stock
- 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
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!