Your frugal living journey isn’t about depriving yourself of things. Frugal living is simply about living well, while spending less money.
Deciding to pursue a more frugal lifestyle is an important step in your long-term personal finance journey. Whatever your financial goals, having more money in your bank account is a positive first step in meeting them.
So what does frugal living look like and where do you jump in? Check out 137 of the best frugal living tips (I updated recently to add more money-saving tips)!
This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON CLOTHES
Clothing is a necessary expense, but it doesn’t have to mean you need to break the bank to do it. Check out these tips to shop for clothes on a budget!
Swap with friends or other moms.
Kids out grow clothes crazy fast.
Why not swap with fellow Mamas to save money on something that your child will have grown out of in a matter of months too!
Shop garage sales.
Garage sales can be a great place to source items. Not only are they a fraction of the cost of the item new, but you can also sometimes negotiate.
The other side bonus? You can sometime find some really great vintage items that you wouldn’t regularly be able to find elsewhere!
Consignment shops have become quite popular. They even have high end consignment shops. Depending on what you are looking to buy, there’s a good chance you can find what you need (or something quite close to it) at you local consignment store.
The added benefit of utilizing a consignment shop over say a garage sale or a thrift store is that they often have more stringent requirements about what they accept to sell.
Thrift stores often have treasures just waiting to be found. If you have the patience to dig through the racks, you can often find some great pieces!
I often will wait until the end of summer when everything goes on clearance to buy for my kids the following year. Target has great clearance racks and you just can’t beat shorts and t-shirts for $2-$3 brand new!
Buy a size larger to get extra use.
You can squeeze a little extra use out of coats, shirts, etc if you buy one size up. I’ve been buying my toddler 2 sizes up in dresses and she’s gotten about 3-4 years out of them.
Start at the back of stores.
The back of the store is usually where the sale and clearance items are. Y’all please don’t pay full price for clothes. Nothing is worth that full price dollar tag. The markup on clothes is crazy. Do yourself a solid and head straight for the back, If you don’t see what you want, give it a minute. It’ll eventually go on sale!
Search online for coupons or sales.
I am a big fan of online shopping. Anything that means I don’t have to schlep my kids to the store is A+ in my book. You know one great thing about shopping online? There are tons of good resources for coupons and discount codes. Some of my favorites are:
Honey helps you find the best price on Amazon. It shows you available coupons for the website you are shopping on. It’s as easy as clicking “apply coupons” button on your taskbar (You have to install Honey plugin on your computer). Lastly, you can leave something in the “save for later” part of the cart and Honey will let you know when the price drops– aka the Drop List.
Bonus! When Honey makes a commission from the sale of an item, they split it with you, it’s called “Honey Gold”. Once you receive a certain level of “honey gold” you can redeem for gift cards to a variety of vendors (Target, Amazon, etc.).
Rakuten (formerly Ebates).
Want to earn cash back for shopping online buying things that you would have purchased anyway? Then this is for you. Rakuten is huge.
First, you find the store on rakuten.com, click “Shop Now” and shop like normal on the store site. After you make an eligible purchase, you’ll earn Cash Back and get a check or PayPal payment every quarter.
Note: Rakuten also offers a browser extension that you can use that will allow you to earn cash back but also will find coupons you can apply during checkout to save you even more money.
Pretty awesome right? I love Rakuten and have been using it for many many years to save money when shopping online (including travel!).
How to get started with Rakuten?
- Sign up for free (if you use my referral link, you’ll get $30 after your first purchase of $25 or more!)
- Shop with Rakuten at your favorite stores
- Earn Cash Back on your orders
Get paid by check or PayPal — no fees, no forms . You can use this for booking hotels, airfare, buying clothes, toiletries, groceries, etc.
Download the plugin or search through their website and find coupons and promo codes to help save you money.
Make your own clothes.
This particular frugal living idea feels like one that is often over looked as not a viable option or a skillset that we don’t see as much any more.
But if you are handy with a sewing machine? Know someone who is handy with a sewing machine? Go crazy choosing your own pattern and fabrics!
Not only can this be a cost savings, but a fun creative outlet as well.
Buy versatile pieces.
You know what’s better than buying one really awesome shirt. Buying one really awesome shirt you can wear 5 ways and create 5 different outfits with. Think classic pieces that can be worn a variety of ways.
Shop outside your section.
I sometimes find great deals when I check out the boy’s department. A white t-shirt for my 3-year-old is a white t-shirt, girl or boy. #amiright?!
No one needs 5 different black t-shirts. If you don’t know what your wardrobe really consists of, maybe its time to take a minute and go through and organize.
Save gift cards.
If or when you receive gift cards. Look at those as your opportunity to get ahead in one area of your budget. Yes, you could blow it on the newest thingy-ma-whats-it. OR you could save it for a time that you really have a need for something.
Think of ThredUp as an online consignment shop.
The reason I am in love with this website is that, not only am I getting a great deal on gently used, or never worn items are available for great prices, but they also will accept your clothes.
They will send you what they call their “Clean Out bag”. It gets processed (they go through everything) and then they’ll send you an email with your earnings. The first 14 days, you can use your credit to purchase items from the thredUP.com. After 14 days, you can cash out using PayPal or a thredUP Visa Prepaid Card.
I’m kind of obsessed with this website. Bonus! If you sign up through my link above you get a $10 credit.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON GROCERIES AND HOUSEHOLD ITEMS
After housing costs, your food budget is most likely your most expensive budget category.So lets take a look at some thrifty tips to save a bit of money on groceries and household items.
If you’ve not read it yet, check out my blog post on frugal living tips for rocking your grocery budget and how to come up with a budget grocery list!
I’ve included a few tips from that list here, but it also offers a number of different ideas and ways to plan that I don’t mention below.
Compare unit prices.
The best way for you to find the best price on items is to check the sale per unit price. This is usually found on the price tag on the shelf at the grocery store.
Shop the sale papers.
Many grocery stores have circulars that will show you what’s on sale that week. This would be a great place to start when you are meal planning so you can see what ingredients are on sale and will save you the most money. A few of my favorite ways to check the circulars are: Flipp. and search the grocery directly.
Shop with a grocery list.
In order to stay on budget, you have to first know what your budget is. Once you have that budget in place, you can then sit down and meal plan accordingly. Once you’ve got your meal plan you can shop your list.
Shop your own pantry.
This is something that can often be overlooked. You’ve already spent the money. You might as well use the food you’ve already got on hand.
Stock up on frequently purchased items when they are on sale.
If you find a product that you use alot and you find it on super sale, that’s when you’d want to stock up right? Make sure you know what you typically pay for these items, so when you see there’s a sale, you know whether or how much of a deal it actually is!
Keep a price book.
This goes hand and hand with what I mentioned above. I have a little spreadsheet that I keep of items that I buy regularly and how much they cost at the places I frequently shop. Once I have that, it’s really easy to plan where and what I want to shop for.
Top and bottom shelves at the grocery store tend to have the cheapest products.
Did you know that the middle shelves are where grocery stores stock the more expensive items? Check the top and bottom shelves for the best prices.
Buy generic and skip the name brands.
Did you know most name brands and generics are made in the same factory? Buying generics is a crazy easy way to save yourself some money without expending alot of extra effort. Target brand cleaning products are amaze-balls!
Skip convenience packaging.
Yes, convenience packaging is super…well, convenient. But you are paying a premium for it. It’s worth the extra 5-10 minutes to repackage it yourself. You can throw your cookies in a Ziploc bags just as easy and cheaper than buying individual serving packs.
Make your own cleaning products.
I’m a fan of making my own cleaning products for alot of reasons. Yes, its almost always cheaper, but I also know exactly what’s in them. No mystery ingredients for me. Most of the time, its as simple as vinegar, essential oils, and a little water. Pinterest is full of DIY cleaning product recipes.
Buy reusable items.
Why pay for something over and over when you can make a small change and just pay for it once. Paper products especially can add more to your grocery bill!
With a small initial investment, why not consider some reusable substitutes!
Some of my favorite reusable substitutes: microfiber cloths instead of paper towels, washable sponges, cloth shopping bags instead of all of those plastic bags, instead of buying your to-go coffee you can brew your own at home and take it with you in your own mug (also a money saving tip here as well!), buying metal washable straws instead of the plastic disposable ones, and many more!
Buy in bulk.
You can often get a much better deal per unit if you buy alot at once. I like buying diapers, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, and meat in bulk.
Skip the soda and juices and drink water.
A much cheaper and healthier option. On average soda and tea cost when purchased out to eat are around $2. If you are a family of 5, that’s an extra $10 just for drinks!
Shop less often.
The more often you go to the store, the more chances you are giving yourself to go off budget or make impulse purchases.
Check out co-ops and farmer markets.
I love farmer’s markets. Not only are the prices usually quite good, but I love supporting small businesses. Alot of cities will have farmer’s markets on the weekends or once a month. Definitely worth checking out!
Cook more vegetarian meals.
Meat is definitely one area in your grocery budget where you tend to spend more. Consider incorporating a few vegetarian meals into your weekly meal plan!
Make your own laundry detergent.
I’ve been making my own detergent for a while now and I adore it. Not only is it crazy cheap, but it lasts forever!
Grind your own coffee.
Yes, this requires a one-time investment into a good grinder, but whole beans are usually cheaper than buying a bag of ground coffee. For all you serious coffee drinkers, give it a consider!
Instead of using k-pods, use the reusable k-cups.
I have these and I love them! So much cheaper using my own coffee than paying something crazy like $10 for 18 k-cups. More environmentally friendly too!!
Buy in-season produce.
If you’ve ever strolled by a package of strawberries for $10 and then months later saw that same carton for just $3, then you understand the money saving power of sticking with in season produce.
Check out this handy list of when produce is in season!
Sign up for loyalty programs.
Sign up for your local store’s loyalty program. They sometimes offer discounts or coupons. A super easy way to save money.
Take advantage of online grocery shopping.
Save yourself time, money and gas by shopping for groceries online.
Don’t buy precut fruits and veggies.
When you buy pre-cut fruits and veggies you are paying for the convenience. Save yourself some money and spend 30 minutes when you get home and cut everything up yourself!
Skip the bottled water.
Buying bottled water isn’t just a waste of money, but there are certainly greener options!
Buying bagged produce vs individual pieces.
The next time you find yourself buying apples at the grocery store. Check out the cost difference in pre-bagged apples versus the loose fruit.
Buying sandwich meats at the deli usually can be cheaper than pre-packed meats.
Obviously, this depends on the brand of meats you buy, but price compare. For the store brand, I’ve found it to be cheaper.
Make your own pancake/waffle dry mix.
There’s nothing more satisfying on a Saturday morning than a stack of hot pancakes. Try this super yummy recipe from Inspired Taste!
Use overripe fruit for muffins or smoothies instead of throwing it away.
Don’t waste your money by throwing good produce away. There are still great ways to use up what you have!
Utilize Money Saving Apps like Ibotta*.
Ibotta is absolutely my favorite money saving app, it’s so simple to use.
You just upload your receipt and earn cash back on certain items that you purchased!
You should check what items are earning cash back prior to going to the store to see if anything you need would qualify.
Some stores will price match so do your homework and find out. Also, if I’m using a price match I usually save those items at the end of the transaction just to help for a smoother checkout.
Don’t linger in the store.
The longer you are in the store, the longer you have to talk yourself into items you don’t really need. Shop your list. Get in and get out.
Prepare your own food.
Eating out is a spending habit that can cost your big! Save money by eating at home instead of expensive meals out. If you just need a break from cooking and just can’t, buying a frozen lasagna or pizza is still a cheaper option than going to a restaurant!
Spread ingredients between multiple meals.
There’s a bag of tomatoes on sale? Think through meals you can make with those tomatoes. You can make salsa for tacos, or cut them up to make Tuscan pork chops or even Bruschetta.
Plus, since you are sharing that same bag of tomatoes, you are doing this at a reduced cost!
Cheap food doesn’t have to mean a cheap meal– it can just be a strategic one!
Organize pantry to keep foods visible.
How do you know what you have if you can’t see it? Take an hour or two, help yourself by going through your pantry, seeing what you have an organizing it in a way you can find everything.
Before I got my ish together, I found myself accidentally buying duplicate spices or canned veggies, because I’d missed that I’d had them in the first place.
Subscribe and save.
I love the crap out of Amazon Subscribe and Save. It’s so easy and convenient, you also can get an additional discount depending on the item and if you are buying several in one order.
You can save up to 15% off plus free shipping on a huge list of items. If you are buying diapers, wipes and some baby food items, you can save up to 20% on those items when you buy 5+ in the same order going to the same address.
Things I typically buy on Amazon subscribe and save are diapers, wipes, razors, a particular kind of toothpaste, but there are tons of Subscribe and Save items to choose from. I’d still recommend price comparing, but with that extra 15% many of these items end up being cheaper!
Use your freezer.
Using your freezer is a great way to manage bulk meat or meals you can make in advance and double. So. convenient.
Grate your own cheese.
This deserves its own point because it’s cheese and cheese is awesome and those huge bags of pre-shredded cheese are a total rip off if you don’t mind my saying. In case you were wondering you can make close to 8 cups of shredded cheese from 1 of the big blocks of cheese for about $8. OR you can buy the 2 cups of shredded cheese for about $4-$5. This one tip alone saves a lot of money at our house! Bonus: shredded cheese freezes beautifully if you can’t go through that much cheese in a week!
Create a Meal Plan
Creating a meal plan doesn’t just help you answer your favorite question every.single.night., “What’s for dinner?”.
But it also also you to keep your grocery store run lean because you are only shopping for what you need and you can be strategic with your purchases.
You can plan cheap meals based around what stores have on sale as well as what you have already on hand.
Next time you head the the grocery store, try a meal plan and create your shopping list from there.
Try meatless meal options to save even more.
It’s no surprise that meat is expensive, so why not sprinkle a few meatless meals in your your weekly meal rotation. There are plenty of great meals that you can load with protein without pricey meat incorporated.
Use up leftovers
Don’t forget about the food you’ve already prepared! Being the savvy frugal person that you are take advantage of what you already have on hand.
Not only does it save you time, but it saves you money.
One of my go to frugal habits is to store my leftovers in single portion sizes. Saving leftovers this way allows you to either store the food for later or it’s a quick pop in the microwave for lunch or dinner the next day.
Cook from scratch
Some of the most delicious meals I’ve had have been made from scratch!
Cooking from scratch can be time consuming, but I’d encourage you to really look at the cost benefit of cooking from scratch some of your more common staples.
Bread made from scratch is a fan favorite at my house.
Not only is it super delicious, it can save you half or more compared to purchasing a loaf from the store.
If you are short on time, check out one of my favorite super easy bread recipes.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY WHEN YOU EAT OUT
Check for coupons before you go.
You would be surprised how much money you can save, with a little pre-planning!
Check Groupon and Living Social.
I regularly check both sites for dining and great entertainment options! NOTE: You can use with Rakuten!
Skip the appetizers, desserts, and drinks.
We recently went out to dinner with friends and split the bill and was shocked to see that it was close to $15 for 5 drinks (tea/soda/lemonade). That is crazy ya’ll!
Check to see if the restaurant offers happy hour, specials or deals certain days of the week!
Many businesses will offer happy hour and special deals during slower times of the day to increase their business.
Be sure to check with places your frequent often to be sure to maximize your savings.
Starbucks happy hour is one of my favorite times to indulge in my favorite fancy coffee splurge!
Kids eat free!
There is a great post over on Wallet Hacks with a list of TONS of Kids-eat-free eateries and it’s organized by day of the week. Cha-ching!
This website offers restaurant gift certificates worth a certain value, but pay less for it. For example, pay $10 for a $25 gift certificate. Note: some restaurants do require a minimum to use the gift certificate, so plan accordingly. NOTE: You can use with Rakuten!
Gift Card Granny.
Gift card Granny offers discounted gift cards, including restaurants. If you are worried, they guarantee your purchase (the fine print is on their website).
Follow on Facebook or other social media.
Sometimes you can score deals or they’ll let you know about specials they’re running.
Join their email list.
Similarly to social media, another great way to get coupons or find out about deals
Order an appetizer for your meal.
Skip the entrée and save yourself some dough. (Badumpsh—ya see what I did there. Thank you! I’ll be here all week!)
Don’t forget your doggie bag.
While this doesn’t save you money at the restaurant, per se, it still saves you money. So don’t be scared to ask to take your leftovers home.
Check for restaurant reward programs.
Some places offer discounts if you visit often. Others offer discounts with punch-card type rewards, a la buy 10 ice cream cones, get 1 free. #nojudgements #iloveicecrea
Restaurant portions can run on the large side. Why not split a meal?
Family style dining.
Whether it’s pizza or pasta, you can really save a ton of money on one dish everyone can share. A $20 pizza between 5 people is quite a deal when dining out.
Take it to go instead of dining in.
I like this option for a couple of reasons. This is a great option for a frugal date- you can get take out and eat it at the beach or a park. You also can supplement your take out with things at home. Lastly, servers hustle and deserve your tip. However, if you aren’t dining in, that’s extra money you don’t have to spend.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR UTILITIES
There is no escaping your monthly utility bill, but you can absolutely do something about consumption and making smarter choices to lower your water and electric bills. Check out these 15 ways to help save money on utilities!
Use LED light bulbs.
While LED lightbulbs can be a bit of an initial investment, over time they have the potential to save you more money than their cheaper counterparts.
Try to use fans more and the A/C less.
To keep yourself comfortable and save money during the summer months, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends that you set your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius). If 78 sounds on the warm side to you, turn on a fan to create a more comfortable room, without the added cost of lowering your AC.
Buy energy efficient appliances.
I am not saying run out and buy a new dishwasher if the one you currently have works fine, BUT if you are in the market for purchasing an appliance, go for the more energy efficient option!
Turn off what you don’t need.
If no one is in a room, are the lights really necessary? Something else to consider for your outside lights is a sensor!
Use blackout curtains to help with room temperature.
Consider using blackout curtains like these (over 30,000 5 star reviews!) to help block the sun, subsequently raising the temperature of the room.
Shop around to compare utility costs.
Some companies offer a plan where you pay your electric bill as a set amount each month. Call your provider to find out.
Start using a smart power strip.
You can turn the strip on and off (through wifi) your phone when you don’t need it.
Draft blockers for doors.
When your doors aren’t sealed well air can pass between inside and outside your house. Grab or DIY draft blockers for the bottom of your doors to stop air leaking in/out of your house.
Change air filters regularly.
There are lots of good reasons to change the air filters in your house regularly but here are 2 as it pertains to saving you money (and potential hassle!):
- The HVAC’s blower fan has to work harder to push air. When it’s working harder, it’s drawing more energy which can cause energy bills to increase.
- When you’ve got a clogged filter, the heated or cooled air can’t travel out of the furnace/ heat pump, or AC as easily which subsequently can lead to the system runs the risk of overheating or freezing up. You’ll be paying the same amount of energy or using the same amount gas/oil, but with no change in the indoor temperature.
To save even more money, consider turning your thermostat up seven to 10 degrees F (two to three degrees C) higher while you are away at work, or any time you’re out of the house for more than two hours.This can help you save as much as 10 percent on cooling costs.
This is where a programmable thermostat comes in super handy.
Instead of running to the thermostat every time you run out of the house, you can set it to adhere to a certain schedule– automating the entire process.
Don’t run the dishwasher or washing machine unless it’s full.
Running your dishwasher or washing machine when it’s partially full is a waste of energy and water, consider waiting an extra day or hand wash your dishes if it’s something you really need sooner rather than later.
Create a maintenance plan for appliances.
You need to take care of what you have. It’s important to maintain those expensive appliances or systems in your home.
For example, every winter I have my furnace serviced to make sure everything is working as it should. It’s better to be proactive and keep it running smoothly than not taking care of it and then you are forced to pay what could be a hefty repair bill. Wanna know a great way to track your maintenance plan?
Use a Low Flow Shower Head
Click here to see my post about how to keep your life organized!
Low flow shower head like this one, can decrease water consumption by 40% or more! This not only conserves water, but it can reduce your monthly water bill.
Showers take energy to heat the water, so when you cut down on water usage it also cuts down on energy usage.
Wool dryer balls.
These are everything! I adore them so much. No chemicals, money saver, they work great and they can save you up to 25% on drying time-– winning!
Wash your clothes in cold water.
Heating water to fill your washing machine can cost you. Why not save money and start washing in cold water?
Yes, you will likely have some things that you’ll still want to wash in warm (or even hot water), but likely not everything.
This is a super simple way to find a little extra money savings.
Turn down the hot water heater
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that turning the temperature on your hot water heater down to 120 degrees saves 6 to 10 percent each year on your hot water heating costs.
Which translates into a family who spends $415 a year could save $25-$42 a year by lowering the temperature to 120 degrees.
WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON OTHER EXPENSES
Still looking for more ways to save money? Here are even more frugal living tips to level up your money saving game!
Consider carpooling to work or school.
Save money on gas by sharing a ride with your classmates or coworkers!
Ditch the car and related expenses and utilize public transportation.
If you live in a city with fantastic public transportation, why not ditch a car payment and all the monthly bills associated with owning a car? You could potentially save yourself a bunch of money.
DIY your beauty services.
Mani- pedis are wonderful, but consider investing in your own quality tools and polishes and do it yourself.
If you are an avid reader- consider Kindle Unlimited.
It’s like the Netflix of books. You pay one low price and you get to read unlimited books in the KU Library. I’m a subscriber and love it!!
Skip stops at convenience stores.
While these stores are…convenient. They also charge a premium. Unless you absolutely have to have something right away, you (and your wallet) would be better served visiting elsewhere.
Consider Netflix, Amazon Firestick, Hulu, etc as other frugal options! Edited to add: If you are a football fan, I found out you can watch NFL games without cable, with an antenna! Seriously, cut the cable cord. There are tons of cheaper options to keep up with your shows.
Go old school with a TV antenna.
TV antennae have come a long way. Say goodbye to your old rabbit ears antenna and check out a digital antenna!
Make it a matinee
Movie prices are already crazy expensive, but if you are in the mood to treat yourself, but you are still on a budget try a matinee and skip the crazy expensive snacks!
Another option we found is that there is a local theater who plays older run movies for a few dollars a person. Check your local area– you may have something similar!
Cancel unnecessary subscriptions.
Go through your expenses and see if you are using all the subscriptions you are paying for and if there’s a way to cut or combine these expenses.
Businesses make it surprisingly easy to automate these $10 monthly charges, sometimes making it easy to miss.
Try an audit of your expenses and make sure you are using everything you are paying for!
Family membership to places you’d visit often.
If you are always going to a certain museum or the zoo. It may be cheaper to buy a year-long membership than paying for each individual trip.
Sign up for a membership at your local library.
Did you know that your local library isn’t just a place to check out books? They also offer movies and audiobooks? And it’s all free!
Do yourself a favor and sign up for a library card at your local library and start saving on your entertainment!
Ride your bike instead of taking the car.
While this may not be practical for everyone all the time. Consider swapping your bike for your car on short trips, close to home!
Repurpose and reuse what you already have.
Do you have a ton of empty baby food jars? Maybe you could use them to organize your craft supplies? Empty milk carton? Perhaps you can use it as a planter for an herb garden. There are tons of ways to re-purpose what you already have instead of just throwing it away!
Optimize trips to save gas.
Make a list of your errands and plan the most efficient and effective way to get everything done with as few trips possible.
Bring your own coffee/pastry/breakfast to work.
Yes, $3 doesn’t sound like much to some people, but when you consider spending those same $3 5 days a week every month, it really adds up!
Negotiate with your bank and credit card company for lower rates.
I have successfully negotiated my rates down. I leveraged being a good customer and making consistent on-time payments to get them to lower my interest rate.
Sell unused items.
Why not make a little money off things you don’t need or want any more.
I’ve mentioned organization a few times through this post, but it’s worth making a specific point about. The better organized you are, the better handle you have on what’s in your house, what you are spending your money on, and where things are getting off track.
Yeah, getting and staying organized requires effort, but you can save yourself alot of money and heartache if you stick with it.
Swap babysitting services with your friends and family!
Anyone who uses a sitter regularly can tell you that a sitter for even just a handful of hours is expensive. Why not trade in-kind services. You babysit one night and your friend takes a turn another.
Cut the gym and find free ways to get in your exercise.
A monthly gym membership can cost you hundreds of dollars a year. With Youtube and free apps, there are tons of great options that can be both effective and budget friendly!
Shop around for cell phone service.
There are TONS of prepaid and postpaid cell phone providers and services. Check out what’s available in your area. Republic wireless has flexible, no-contract plans that start as low as $15 and $5 per GB of data. That’s a pretty good deal!
Budget ahead and sinking funds.
Make a list of any irregular expenditures and start planning out the savings for them, so it’s not an unexpected expense and wrecks that month’s budget. Examples: yearly auto insurance, girl scout dues, vacation, property taxes, etc.
Comparison shop, don’t accept the first price you come to. In the Honey app, if you put something in the “save for later” in Amazon, it will track the price and let you know when it changes.
Buy greeting cards/invitations at the dollar store.
Only $1. Worth it!
Raise your car insurance deductible.
If you establish a sinking fund to make up the difference this should be no problem and allow you to save some extra money every month.
Shop around for insurance.
Not all insurance is equal, however, it still needs to be competitive. Check out multiple quotes.
Check out scratch and dent sales if you need new appliances.
Scratch and dent can save you $100’s of dollars on what is otherwise a brand new machine.
Use up your leftovers.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, check out my post on my 1 trick to cut down on food waste and saves you time and money!.
Buy school supplies at the Dollar Store.
They offer quite a variety and typically have a good selection. I’ve been going here for years to pick up pencils, paper, tape, etc. for my kids.
Shop used for toys and books for kids.
One of my all time favorite ways to get toys for my kids is on Facebook’s swip swap groups. You can get these items for absolutely free.
Depending on the group’s rules, you may have to list something to partake of the swap, but check and see if your area has a Buy Nothing/ Swip Swap group!
Buy used cars.
Sick of a monthly auto loan payment? Why not save up and pay cash for a used car? This can save you hundreds every month.
Buy discounted gift cards for stores you frequently shop.
I like using Gift Card Granny or Raise!
Buy after the holiday for next year.
Wrapping paper, Easter baskets, valentines day cards. Buy them when they are on clearance for the following year.
Sign up for surveys to make a little extra cash or earn gift cards.
One of my favorites is Swagbucks, but there are lots of good options. ** Note, that just added a feature where you can earn 1 SB for every coupon printed! BOOM– that’s double savings, ya’ll!
Try a no spend month challenge!
A no spend challenge month, is just what it sounds like-it’s a month when you commit to not spending money on non-essentials.
Refinance student loans.
Investigate if you are getting the best rate on your student loans. We managed to save a significant amount by consolidating all of our student loans and the company offered an even deeper discount if we elected for automatic payments each month.
You never know until you ask!
Set ceiling fans clockwise during the winter months and counter-clockwise in the summer months.
This creates an updraft in the winter that will redistribute warm and in the summer months, it’ll suck up the warmer air and push it out creating a cooler down draft.
Plan a staycation instead of going somewhere.
If you are ready for a vacation, but your bank account says they only play you should be going to work, consider a staycation.
Fall in love with where you are. Check out local festivals, go visit the local touristy spots.
Or do something simple at home like cooking up a favorite meal and having a board game night or a movie marathon.
Utilize the Dollar Store to stock up on Holiday supplies.
Birthday cards, wrapping paper, thank you cards, party supplies, tissue paper, tape, ribbon. The Dollar Store is stocked!
They even sell packs of 8-10 cards for just $1 versus Target or Walmart where you are looking upwards of $5.
Next time you are getting ready for the holidays, do yourself a favor and make the Dollar Store your first stop!
Build an emergency fund.
Life happens at 100 mph, get ahead of it by giving yourself a cushion just in case. It will ultimately save you money in the long run.
Instead of buying something, make your own gifts. Knit a hat or scarf. May your own candles or lip balm, bath bombs. Tons of good options that are great gifts, but that you can also make relatively inexpensively.
Save on gas with Gas Buddy.
Gas Buddy is a free app that shows you gas prices in your local area, allowing you to find the cheapest gas.
Round-up on mortgage and car payments to save on interest.
While it might not feel like a huge amount of savings, rounding up your payments, to pay a little extra to principal every month, can add up over time.
Google and research on Youtube for simple repairs.
Replacing a fuse in your car, sewing your own curtains, installing a fence. Youtube is a veritable treasure trove of tutorials. So the next time you’ve got a simple repair that needs doing, check online and see if it’s something you can safely do yourself.
Don’t be afraid of basic products.
When something is labeled as ‘basic’ it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily inferior. It’s sometimes just about marketing or branding. Think about it in terms of name brand and generic.
Just because it’s marketed with additional features doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better or more useful for you.
Next time you are out shopping don’t automatically discount ‘basic’ items– do your research!
Plan a family game night, go for a hike, check your city’s homepage for upcoming festivals and concerts.
If you are on a tight budget, or even if you are just looking for ways to tighten the budget belt a bit, give a few of these a try!
I’d love to hear from you! Do you have any tried and true frugal living ideas? Please comment below.
BEING CHEAP vs BEING FRUGAL
Cheap is cutting costs to the exclusion of everything else while being frugal is focused on being mindful and careful with your spending.
While they may feel like two sides of the same coin there is one primary difference between them– the focus and intent of the purchase.
When you are cheap, the only consideration is cost. When you are frugal, cost is a consideration, but it isn’t the only consideration.
An example would be a haircut.
A cheap person may get a haircut but refuse to tip their hairstylist to save money. A frugal person may utilize a coupon or visit a hair cutting school to save money.
The key to being frugal instead of cheap is to consider the value of the purchase and frame it within your priorities- a fine line to be sure, but a distinct difference to be sure.
29 thoughts on “137 of the Best Frugal Living Tips to Save More Money in 2023.”
Thank you for all the great saving ideas! Love your site!
Thank you–This is so nice to hear!
This is really helpful. I love articles like this!
Thank you, Rose. I’m so glad you found it helpful. I’m always on the lookout for more ways to save money!
Thank you, Sarah! Happy to hear it. =)
I have never left a comment before on anyone’s website but after reading your lists I just have to tell you it was the most helpful and well written one I have ever read!! Thankyou so much !
This was so helpful! I agree that buying strategic wardrobe pieces, even if they cost a little more, does save in the end.
Thanks for sharing! I agree that being in stores less cuts out the temptation and helps you stay focused!
Hi Suzanne, I’m so glad it was helpful. Yes! Classic pieces are the way to go.
Hi, Vanessa. Thank you for the comment. Yes, every time I’m at the grocery store it looks like I’m in a race! Hahaha.
Holy cow! This list was awesome!
I was wondering if you have heard of the DOSH app? I just downloaded it the other day and you would be amazed at the savings! Just download the app, connect a card and you automatically get cash back if the retailer is on the list. I was able to save 6% at Walmart the other day.
Hi, Steph. Thank you. No, I have not heard of it, but I’ll be sure to check it out!
I just added this website to my feed reader, excellent stuff. Cannot get enough!
Thank you, Katie. I’m so happy you found this helpful.
Hi Eda! You just made my day– thank you!
Love all your ways to save. Thank you Kristen for sharing them with us. Looking forward to your website…….kay
Thank you, Kay!
Thank you for all the great ideas! It was really helpful.
Thank you so much for the kind words, I truly appreciate them. Glad you found the article helpful!
I stumbled on this post. It is really jammed packed with ideas I shared it with my audience. Thanks
Hi,Henrico! Thank you so much for the kind words. I very much appreciate it!
Hello! You have great ideas! I also look for end of season seed sales! I’ve gotten flower and veggies for $0.10/pack!!I sew, crochet and do crafts! I find these materials at thrift stores! I make my own spices and spice blends and marinades! I can my own fruits and veggies! And we have 3 freezers!! Plenty of make your own healthier groceries online and Pinterest!!
Some other ways I save are: My husband is a Plumber & I do nails & crafts. If we need something we will trade one of our services for someone else’s trade or item. Such as; If we need our car repaired, we have certain friends/people we go to & they will trade the price of a repair for a future plumbing/construction service. People trade other things with us as well. Some of the items we get in barter or trade are clothing, food such as veggies or eggs, salon visits for future nail visits with me.
Also, someone commented about crafts. If you are crafty, you can make any gift. Not sure what to make or how to make it. Look at Pinterest, YouTube or do a search for a blog that post on that subject. Need craft supplies? Look around your house, there are MANY things you can make out of craft supplies. Some you would never think of. Look on Pinterest, YouTube or do a search for “DIY Craft Supplies” You can find instructions/videos online for just about anything these days.
This is a simple one, but some people don’t think about it. DO NOT go to the grocery store hungry or thirsty because you WILL spend more, trust me. Pay your bills early or on time to keep from paying those late fees (They add up too) Some utility companies charge a fee to pay with a credit/debit card but they do not charge a fee if you have automatic withdrawal set up to pay your bills.
Last one. Like you mentioned Kindle unlimited saves you money if you are an avid reader. If you can not afford the membership fees, look for free alternatives such as Wattpad or Bookbub which sends you emails on who has what book for free this month or what is on sale.
Hope this give you even more ideas to help save you money.
This tip will drive book keepers crazy. Every time I write a check, I round up the amount I enter in the debit space. This slowly builds up, giving me a safety net for emergencies or to buy an unexpected good deal.
This post really gave me more motivation to be frugal, not that I was lacking in motivation but I’m just more motivated now! Most purchases seems trivial but it’s all about the long term. Save, invest and be patient!
It always excites me to cut back on spending and live more frugally.
Love all the tips!
One thing though, the public library deserves it’s own section. If you don’t know what your public library offers ask a librarian (we love 💕 telling people). Libraries aren’t just a place to borrow physical books. Where I work they have: concerts, movie nights, art gallery openings with free food, crafts/activities, streaming services (movies, TV, music, magazines, books, and audio books), access to sites like consumer reports, boardgames, seeds, and musical instruments!
If you are looking for something to do come check out your local library.
Thank you for the tips. I’m down with the flexible meal planning, the on-going list, using the freezer, and so on. The stumbling block I have with less-frequent shopping is fresh produce. We’re big on fresh produce and getting enough of what we want for even a week, is a challenge. My hat’s off to you for making it work for you.
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