Being frugal is a mindset of not being wasteful. Whether you are trying to save money or be more sustainable, there are many reasons to live a frugal lifestyle. Here are 75+ easy tips to help you get started!
Frugal living is not about being cheap. It’s a lifestyle of not being wasteful. It’s a lifestyle that not only helps your bank account, but also the environment. It’s about making good decisions, not spending money needlessly, and saving for those times when you want to enjoy a special occasion.
I learned the value of a dollar many years ago in my single days and long before the internet. My kryptonite was designer clothes. I learned to shop at thrift stores and consignment shops and put together gorgeous outfits (for pennies) for work and play.
Fast forward, when Hubby and I got married, we both had very good jobs. We saved first, we lived way below our means, and we each had an indulgent splurge that didn’t break the bank. Even though we could afford to pay full price, I still cut coupons, looked for discounted food at the grocery store, waited until things went on sale, and bought 80% of my clothes at the thrift store.
In 2017, I experienced a health crisis that forced me to resign from my six-figure career and our income was cut in half overnight. It was a hit both to my health and our finances and was devastating to my family.
The uncertainty was palpable.
We tightened our belts as much as we could, and made a few important adjustments, but then realized that we were already doing all of the right things. At the end of the day, this tragedy was a blessing in disguise as it allowed me to focus on my health and our family, and also grow Pink Fortitude from a hobby blog to a legitimate full-time business.
We also realized that at the end of the day, yes, our lifestyle did have to change some when our income was cut in half. But we were already doing all of the right things and once the dust settled, we really weren’t making any sacrifices.
I don’t feel “less than” because I cook at home instead of going out all of the time. I enjoy the hunt for beautiful clothes at the thrift store. Cutting the cable was one of the smartest decisions we’ve made.
I guess what I’m trying to say, is that being frugal is a way of life. And it’s also on a continuum. If you need to be tight, then be tight. If you can splurge a little, then splurge a little. Do what’s best for you and yours.
The article is divided into the following sections:
- Create a Plan
- Free & Deals & Shopping
- Cleaning & Organizing
- Kitchen & Food & Eating
- More Saving at Home
- In the Garden
- At Work
- Even More Ideas
Create a Plan
Create an emergency savings plan.
Create a household emergency preparedness plan.
Cut up unnecessary credit cards and use a cash-based system as much as possible.
Pay off your credit cards so you are not paying interest.
Negotiate bills and necessary payments.
Free & Deals & Shopping
Find free activities in your community.
Save money or get kids’ clothing for free.
Find restaurants where kids eat free.
Use apps like Nextdoor, Facebook Marketplace, Freecycle, or Craigslist to get free or gently used items. Drive around your neighborhood the day before trash day and look for curb alerts. (Always practice safety when meeting up with strangers! If we are meeting someone other than a direct neighbor, we always conduct the transaction in the parking lot of the police station.)
Get on newsletter lists of your favorite stores and be alerted for coupons. Or on the flip side, unsubscribe if you find yourself shopping too much!
Use Rakuten (formerly eBates) when shopping online.
Look for Groupon deals.
Attend free summer concerts and movies in the park.
Go directly to the clearance racks.
Purchase generic instead of name brand.
Find the thrift stores or Goodwill in the nice neighborhoods. You will be amazed at how many designer clothes you will find with the tags still on. Even better – ask if they have special discount days.
Host a clothing swap with your friends.
Check out YouTube videos and tutorials to handle minor tasks and DIYs around the house instead of outsourcing.
Cleaning & Organizing
Make your own laundry detergent.
Use/make wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.
Use Swiffer Microfiber Pads instead of disposable sheets.
Make all of your own household cleaning supplies.
Kitchen & Food & Eating
Cook your own meals instead of going out to eat or getting take-out all of the time. Plan one night a month to go out instead.
Meal plan every week and prep your meals to work together with each other.
Use reusable bags and wraps instead of buying plastic bags.
Use reusable K-cups. Or just make regular coffee.
Ensure you have the pantry staples for daily use and also in case of emergency.
Dedicate one night to a “fridge blast” night and eat all of the leftovers.
When shopping for fresh food, only purchase what you need.
Most grocery stores have a discounted section for many items and especially meat – ask if you can’t find it.
Make your own coffee instead of buying at Starbucks.
Learn how to purchase organic groceries on a budget.
Once a month, participate in a $5/day food desert challenge.
Purchase larger cuts of meat and use the crock pot.
Buy in bulk (Costco, Sams, etc) but only when necessary.
Drink water out of the faucet instead of bottled water.
Cut your own produce instead of purchasing pre-cut.
Double recipes and freeze.
Say no to a bunch of junk food for yourself and kids. (our teenage son still thinks that an orange is a proper dessert and has not been traumatized that we only purchase Doritoes for special occasions).
Carry a snack in your purse to eliminate hangry impulse purchases.
More Saving at Home
Monitor the thermostat to a few degrees higher in the summer and a few degrees cooler in the winter.
Turn the lights off if you are not in the room.
Cancel cable and stream Netflix, Hulu and/or Amazon Prime.
Unplug appliances you are not using.
Practice proper home maintenance for upkeep and as things break.
Use fans and ceiling fans.
Watch exercise videos and work out at home instead of joining a gym.
Or if you have mad athletic skills and are certified, many gyms will waive the monthly fee if you teach so many fitness classes a month.
Learn to sew and mend your own clothes.
In the Garden
Start a vegetable garden.
Make and can pickles.
Pack your lunch instead of buying.
Ride your bike if you live close enough.
Take public transportation instead of driving.
Carpool with neighbors.
Even More Ideas
Sell unwanted items on Nextdoor, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or eBay.
AirBnB your guest room or house.
Get a roomie or tenant.
Refinance your mortgage.
Get rid of your storage unit and stuff in it.
Don’t speed (tickets are expensive).
Plan your weekly errands in one trip.
Cut back on alcohol.
Save your change.
Get a library card and check out books instead of purchasing them. Or host a book swap with friends.
Make your own gifts and cards.
Find the savings apps that work best for you.
If you have a skill, trade for someone else’s skill.
You’ve got this, my friend! Have fun, be creative, and enjoy your new frugal lifestyle!
Are you Inspired?
Be sure to download your FREE Back to Basics Frugal Living Guide!
Love, hugs, and a penny saved is a penny earned.
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