How To Be Frugal: Frugal Living Tips For Financial Success

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 too extreme for you.

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

In my opinion, becoming frugal gives you choices. Whereas 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 Organize Their Finances

What Fabulously Frugal People NEVER Do Organizing Their Finances

mother and child putting savings into a piggy bank which shows how to be frugal
How to be frugal? Save a little money each day

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!

FAQs on daily frugal living

How can I become very frugal? 

The first step is to live below your means by spending less than you earn. Then ramp up becoming frugal by following these steps. To become very frugal you need to think about never spending money just because you can.

Can being frugal make you rich?

Absolutely! In my book, being rich means having more than enough money for your needs. Being frugal can make you rich but it can only make you a millionaire if you earn a lot of money. But you don’t need millions to be rich!

How can I save money when I am already frugal?

If you’re already frugal then you can save money by turning up the frugal dial a notch. Review everything you think you are saving money on. Could you save a bit more? Could you buy it from a different store?

Can You Be Too Frugal? 

Most definitely! Go too far and you end up being cheap, not frugal.

How to be frugal – the best frugal living tips for you

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.

girl in red top turning piggy bank upside down above her head to show how to be frugal
Being frugal is not just about saving money!

(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. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read more here)

Frugal tips and tricks for your finances

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 an emergency 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

couple on a pale blue motor scooter with shopping bags
Frugal people don’t have huge cars they don’t need

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 for most people
  3. For bigger savings buy a beater car
  4. Save up for your next car – don’t take out finance
  5. Learn to drive hypermiling style
  6. Don’t leave your engine idling when stationery
  7. Do your errands on the same day by combining car journeys to use your car less
  8. Wash your own car
  9. Do your own minor repairs such as changing windscreen wipers
  10. Keep your tires at the correct pressure to prolong their life
  11. Plan your route to avoid toll roads
  12. Research free parking for places you visit
  13. Find your cheapest local petrol/gas station and fill up there
  14. Team up with a colleague to carpool and take turns driving to work
  15. Clear out your car to keep excess weight down
  16. Keep your windows up to reduce aerodynamic drag
  17. Invest in a bike to extend the miles you can travel without a car
  18. Investigate and make use of public transport in your area (buses, trams, trains)
  19. Consider dropping down to become one car household
  20. 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 grocery store with shopping basket on her arm and checking a list to signify best frugal living tips
Living simply and frugally often starts with your groceries

Best Frugal Living Tips For Shopping

  1. Pack your lunch and healthy snacks everyday
  2. Stop buying coffee on the go – invest in a hot drinks flask 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 camping in the woods as a vacation is one of the frugal living tips with a big impact.
Camping is a great frugal vacation for the whole family

ways to be frugal and save money on 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!

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

wooden house and small succulent pot plant with coins and financial paperwork.
Your home can be a money saving adventure

frugal ways to save money on utility bills

  1. Keep your energy bills low
  2. Check you’re on the best energy price plan, if not use a comparison site 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 barrel to collect rainwater and use on your garden

ways to 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!

3 young people cooking together and throwing vegetables in the air to show how to be frugal
My best frugal living tip – cook at home

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.

how to be 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
Old fashioned blue kitchen collection to show how to be frugal
You can live simply and frugally and still love life

150+ unique frugal living tips to try

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?

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

Pinterest image for how to be frugal
Pinterest image for how to be frugal

Last Updated on 8th March 2022 by Emma

About Emma

I'm here to help you become confident in making the best money decisions for you and your family. Frugal living has changed my life, let me help you change yours.

13 thoughts on “How To Be Frugal: Frugal Living Tips For Financial Success”

  1. Living in a frugal life is like adventures. You wanna make a way to finish the trail. It’s enjoyable and make you more resourceful in your own little way.

  2. I’m not kidding when I tell you we saved over $20 per month , not by installing NEW insulation but by MAINTAINING our existing insulation.

    • Hi Demille! Thanks for the suggestion, hadn’t thought to maintain insulation that we already have and that is a decent saving to be had. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I took a challenge to keep NO SPEND Days for eating 1 month. It turned out that instead of buying every week I could go for 3 weeks without spending. By reviewing my small refrigerator/freezer every Sat. I keep track of leftovers and the saving was easy. I left a small day planner with entries like no spend no car checked. Between not running to the store to get something I already knew what was in my refrigerator/freezer. The savings has been 1st month small budget of $125.00 for 2 people no coupons $25.00 and grow to $30.00 reduction so we can survive on our pension. Next I trade in my printer which only printed one side to one that printed 2 sides and color. I also checked how many per ink cartridge. You would not believe the difference. Look before you buy.
    Another savings of $5.00 per month. I am archiving my recipes for the granddaughters Xmas presents.
    Since I get bored easily I made it a hobby to review sites like this for FRESH ideas to help .

    • Hi Marge! Thanks so much for your comment. I love your Xmas idea for your granddaughters, what a special and thoughtful present. And your grocery savings are great. 3 weeks with no shopping, I’m so impressed. I get so locked into my habit of weekly shopping that I think I need to try a no spend month too – just to start thinking outside the box and use up everything I possibly can. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Wow, this is an awesome and comprehensive list! I have to admit frugal living is hard especially in the beginning but once you get the hang of it, it is actually fun as you see your savings build up. Food was used to be our weakness, took a huge chunk in our budget and it does not help that I ‘m not a good cook. But thank goodness for slow cookers! Saved the day 🙂 Thanks for the tips!

    • Hi Charity! Ha, you and me both in the not-so-good cook department, I love my slow cooker for the exact same reason 🙂 Frugal living definitely can be hard in the beginning, especially if you are used to overspending and paying for convenience but it’s so worthwhile to keep working towards being more frugal, especially once you start to reap the rewards with bigger savings. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  5. I recon I have saved £££££ by only using rechargeable batteries. And I still have a first generation low energy light bulb which I bought 22 years ago!
    I drive into town once a week only, combining all my shopping and a weekly hospital appointment. I try to take all my decluttering to the charity shop at the same time. I’ve stopped buying newspapers because I realised I really bought them for the crossword and the sudoku!
    Make do and mend has got to be one of the biggest money savers. And you get a real buzz out of DIY
    I’ve now persuaded my son to plan meals too so that he shops more frugally.

    • Hiya Grace! I am so impressed with your 22 year old light bulb, that is a fantastic saving. I’m glad you’ve got your son on board with meal planning, it really does make a huge difference to your grocery budget doesn’t it?

  6. Decluttering your home and selling items you don’t need is a favorite of mine. You can then reallocate the money you earn on other important budgeting items.

    • Hi Jason, absolutely! If you’re not using something and it’s just hanging around then it’s dead money, better to gain some of that money back and put it to better use. Ideally of course we wouldn’t be buying too many things in the first place that we then don’t use! Thanks for stopping by.

  7. I live in the United States, but a lot of what you have shared can be done right here as well. For the past three years, I was without any income due to health issues and I was forced to medically retire from work. I now have an income again and I have been downsizing and reorganizing all that I can right now. The little apartment I live in has zero storage space, so it has been very challenging for me with this. As I can, I am working on ways to find storage and places to put things away where they are better organized and accessible. It is still a work in progress right now. Yes, I need to sell a lot of what I am going through, but right now, I am just trying to get through everything at this point. I look forward to becoming more frugal and saving what I can. I have already started getting my credit straightened out and I am very pleased with what I have accomplished so far. Eventually, I am looking forward to purchasing a small parcel of land and building my own tiny house. This is my ultimate goal. Becoming better disciplined about everything I am doing will make things work out more smoothly. I look forward to more ideas from you. Thank you so much. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.


Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.