What are the best frugal living tips with a big impact on your finances and lifestyle?
Those traditional frugal tips and skills that can help you stop overspending and start saving money?
These skills were actually just the normal way of life for our grandparents both before and after they retired.
Yet these frugal tips had a big impact on our grandparents ability to successfully live on a low income and make ends meet.
They didn’t have labor saving devices that you spent half a week’s wages on.
Their wages were too low to buy convenience.
What they had was the knowledge of the best frugal living tips from the great depression to help them live frugally and spend less than they earned.
Over the years many of us have lost these traditional skills as more time saving gadgets have been invented and I think we are poorer as a result.
Poorer of knowledge because we don’t know these skills and poorer in money because we have to pay for something or someone else to do them instead.
If you can learn these skills and adopt them in your life then the worry will go away and you will be on target to successfully living within your means.
Related post: 7 Benefits Of Living Frugally: The Gains You Make
Frugal Living Tips with a big impact now
Thankfully you can make a start on being more frugal using these traditional skills straight away.
They are all easy to learn and will have a big impact on your ability to make ends meet and manage your finances.
Living a frugal life and altering the way you think about things can take a little getting used to.
Convenience comes at a price.
If you’re not willing or able to pay for convenience then taking a little time to learn from your grandparents will help you cut your spending down to more frugal levels.
The most important aspect in this is to not automatically reach for your wallet or purse when something happens.
How can I deal with this without spending money?
What would my grandparents have done?
All of these tips are actions that were the absolute norm 50 years ago. They are certainly not in the realms of extreme frugality.
Extreme frugal living is not ordinary, not then, not now.
Not that there is anything wrong with going to extremes – but let’s concentrate on just being normal frugal for now!
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Modern Frugal Living tips with a big impact
I may be talking about being traditional and doing things the way your grandparents did years ago but I’m not advocating ignoring the more modern money saving methods.
Quite the opposite in fact. Combine the best of both worlds and you can make really significant savings.
Here are a few modern frugal living tips that our grandparents would have done if they had access to them all those years ago.
Do these in addition to the traditional ways of stretching your money and see how quickly you can build your savings.
Related post: Frugal Living Tips for Seniors
Always Cancel unwanted subscriptions
Some subscriptions renew automatically every year causing you unnecessary expenses. If a service has stopped being useful to you make it a priority to cancel.
Ask yourself these 3 questions:
- Do I get value from this service (or product)?
- Can I find it cheaper?
- Do I need it or can I do without it for now?
Cancel any that fail these questions.
An even better way is to get TRIM to do this for you. Trim is a virtual personal assistant that constantly works to save you money.
keep reducing your monthly bills
We’ve all got bills to pay and some feel fairly fixed, like your utilities, insurances, TV service etc. But whose to say these bills are set in stone? They’re not, they are actually a great place to shave some money off your budget.
Pull all your recurring bills out, such as utilities, car insurance and home insurance and shop around to see if you can get them lower.
You could save hundreds each month with the help of professional bill negotiators at BillShark, starting today!
Related post: How To Save Electricity Doing Absolutely Nothing
Scanning your receipts
Fetch Rewards is a free grocery savings app that rewards you just for snapping pictures of your receipts. What can be easier than quickly scanning your receipt on your phone and uploading it?
Fetch Rewards works anywhere you buy groceries and anything else! No hoops to jump through. No pre-selecting offers, no scanning barcodes, no surveys, no ads – you scan your receipts and you’ll earn points! You can cash out rewards as low as $3.
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My top 12 traditional frugal living tips with a big impact on your money and life
“Make Do And Mend”
One of the best frugal living tips with a big impact on your wallet is mending. When you mend you don’t spend.
We now live in a world where you can get a brand new t-shirt for a couple of quid.
People think nothing of getting rid of clothes after a few wears in order to make room for the latest must have item.
Sewing your own clothes is an art and can be quite expensive these days as the price of fabric is not cheap.
However mending what you already have is one of the best tips I can give you to help you become more frugal by stretching your money and making your clothes last longer.
When DD1 first started school I was too lazy to sew her buttons back on if they came off.
I knew how to do it having been taught in school just couldn’t get myself organised enough to put this frugal tip into practice. Shameful!
Now that I have embraced the frugal lifestyle I sew buttons on and take up trousers if necessary.
I’ve even taken a sewing course to increase my mending knowledge.
Many mending jobs don’t even need a sewing machine, just a needle, thread and your willingness to get stuck in.
2. Making Do
Making do is at the very heart of learning how to live within your means. Yet I feel it is something many people have lost.
Making do is about accepting what you have even if it isn’t as much as what others have.
It’s about knowing when you have enough.
It’s about not always wanting the latest and best technology or chucking something out just because one corner needs fixing.
Our TV is 12 years old but we make do with it because it works, the picture is good and why not keep it?
No it’s not HD or 3D or 60” but we like it, it does exactly what we need it to do so why would we spend hundreds of pounds on a replacement?
We can get bombarded with adverts for the latest must haves along with adverts on how to buy everything NOW by paying for it later.
But this is not going to help you be more frugal, it comes with a cost – paying interest and lack of savings.
I like my TV and I like the savings I have in the bank. Why would I get rid of both just because there is a bigger and ‘better’ TV out there?
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3. Cooking From Scratch
I once worked with someone who never cooked. When I say never, I really do mean never!
She bought microwave meals for her family of four for every night of the week including a roast dinner meal on Sundays.
I’m not the best cook in the world but if there is one tip for living more frugally I try my best to follow, it’s cooking from scratch.
And of course not buying a bunch of convenience food.
Cooking your meals from cheap frugal foods and basic ingredients enables you to use what you have in the cupboards and stretch some items further than if you were buying it ready made.
For instance when Mr2p makes lasagna he stretches the meat to make a very large dish of lasagna padding it out with fresh seasonal vegetables (think cheap).
Meat can be expensive when you are living on a budget so stretching it further helps you to be frugal with money.
4. Batch cooking
Cooking from scratch combined with batch cooking are two of the most useful frugal living tips I can recommend to you.
Batch cooking will provide you with a home cooked meal on a busy night within a few minutes.
This is where Myfreezeasy can help, it is a personalized freezer meal plan to suit your time, tastes and budget.
Myfreezeasy meal plans come with videos, shopping lists and simple to follow directions to get your bulk meal prep done in no time at all.
It’s about making 10 meals in just one hour!
With recipes that require little to no pre-cooking, you can quickly and efficiently get them ready to freeze.
Choose the freezer meals you want to prep on the mobile app with their simple drag and drop tool.
All the freezer meals are budget friendly recipes.
When you join the workshop you will also get a free sample freezer meal plan to try it out for yourself.
You just need to pull the meal out from the freezer in the morning and reheat when you get home.
The older generations knew how to bake. Not just bread but cakes, biscuits, pies and crumbles.
There really is no comparison between home baked bread and supermarket bread.
Making bread the traditional way is a multi step process including allowing your dough to rise, bashing it down again before allowing a 2nd rise.
But the smell!
Oh my, I think the smell of freshly baked bread is one of the best things about being frugal.
There are also recipes for artisan and sour dough breads that do not take so long from start to finish.
Indeed Mr2p makes 5 minute artisan bread which smells just as divine coming out of the oven.
Baking enables you to know exactly what ingredients are going into your food and keep the additives and preservatives to a minimum.
For families with allergies baking at home allows you to remove those allergens from your food and kitchen completely and have food that can otherwise be very difficult or expensive to buy.
Bartering is an age old tradition and pretty much pre-dates actual money.
It’s all about exchanging something of yours for something of someone else’s.
It could be your time, your skills or goods that you have produced.
You might be a dab hand at fixing cars and could exchange time spent fixing your neighbors car for produce from their garden.
Perhaps you need a babysitter or the use of a leaf blower?
Your friends might have invested in a leaf blower themselves but want to use your lawn mower.
Bartering is alive and kicking in some communities but much less so in cities.
Frugal living tips such as bartering really are an easy way to save money.
No need to buy every expensive tool you need as you can share what you have in exchange for what others have.
7. Paying cash
In times gone by credit cards hadn’t been invented, everyone got paid in cash and if you didn’t have the cash you couldn’t spend.
We have credit cards and contactless payments now so you can spend on your cards without ever seeing cash.
The problem with that is your spending is hidden and you are much more likely to spend more.
When you are in debt or on a tight budget paying by cash is an excellent way to not overspend.
If you want help in sticking to your budget each month then using the cash envelope system is something I highly recommend.
I still use it myself when I need to refocus my spending habits.
There is something about having to hand over physical money that makes it that much harder to spend too much.
Related post: How To Start Saving Money: 7 Tricks You Can Easily Do
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Foraging for blackberries is something I look forward to every year but did you know there are many other plants you can forage for?
Wild garlic is lovely and abundant in woodlands in May.
Beech nuts are another favorite but you’ll have to fight the squirrels for them!
It has become quite the in thing to forage for herbs such as wild garlic and sorrel and they are used on trendy restaurant menus.
More experienced, fabulously frugal folk forage for mushrooms but you really have to know what you are looking for.
So many mushrooms can look the same but are poisonous.
I may love being frugal with money but I don’t know one fungi from another.
If you want to delve further into foraging why don’t you look into getting on a foraging course of some sort run by an expert?
There’s nothing like having real life examples being shown to you rather than using a reference book.
One of the reasons I haven’t investigated foraging as much as perhaps I could is that we have an allotment and grow a lot of our own vegetables.
Even if you don’t have a large garden you can grow many vegetables in pots on a patio or balcony.
Plants such as tomatoes, beans and potatoes all work well grown this way.
A large punnet of tomatoes will cost the same as one packet of tomato seeds.
Yet that packet will provide you with hundreds of tomatoes over many weeks.
Growing your own garden is one of my favorite things about being frugal.
You get great food, moderate exercise and it’s an integral part of the frugal lifestyle. What’s not to love?
The art of preserving is an integral part of the homesteading movement.
You preserve the food you have grown to use it during the winter months to feed your family.
But you don’t have to be a homesteader or a gardener to make preserving part of your frugal lifestyle.
When you find a ton of produce reduce to clear you want to be able to buy and use it.
Preserving is the frugal way to save money and turn that produce into food for your family.
Preserving takes many forms but the most common are:
- pickling & making jams
You don’t need any special equipment to freeze food or make pickles and jams.
11. Keeping chickens/ducks/guinea fowl
We looked into keeping chickens and ducks last year with a view to getting some once we had moved to the Lake District.
They require very little hands on work mainly keeping them safe from foxes.
You need to shut them up at night and let them out during the day.
Keeping birds isn’t one of the best frugal living tips as the cost of the feed and pellets you need cancel out the savings you make from not paying for your eggs.
But you do get the most wonderful eggs for almost free.
These days you cannot feed your chickens on kitchen scraps if you intend to sell or give away any excess eggs (UK rules).
However if you are living on a budget and have the space then you’ll get the most delicious free range eggs at little or no cost from keeping birds.
12. Fishing (and maybe hunting?)
Did you know that fishing is the most popular sport in the UK?
The sport of fishing does not include keeping the fish to eat but you can fish to eat in many places.
Mr2p loves sea fishing when he gets a chance and can bring home a few mackerel if we’re lucky.
It’s his job to fillet the fish though – not my thing!
Hunting and fishing are traditional skills taking us right back to our ancestral times.
Humans started out as hunter gatherers and it’s a skill you can use when you are living on a budget.
Meat and fish bought from the supermarket can be exceedingly expensive if you want something other than fish fingers or mince!
Frugal Living Tips with a big impact For Today’s World
When you are wanting to learn about how to live frugally and save money, these traditional skills can help to supercharge your savings.
Not all of them will suit you and your situation. Why not choose the ones that are the best fit and start saving money today?
What frugal living tips do you use? Do you have another tip to share?
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Last Updated on 26th April 2022 by Emma