Did you know that the best frugal living tips with a big impact are ideas that will not only make you save money but add more value to your life?
The word frugal is often perceived as a negative one.
Many think it to be a state of living in slavery, absorbing yourself off from the goodies of life, but that is by far the opposite of what it means.
Although living a frugal lifestyle may require some level of financial discipline and sacrificial quality. It is undoubtedly beneficial to anyone who practices it.
Frugality adds more value to your life rather than reducing your living value as widely perceived.
In truth, the majority of Americans are not a fan of the frugal lifestyle. They welcome the idea of living below your means as it is logical.
But the process of achieving that they do not find enjoyable and don’t have the willpower to stick to the enduring yet fruitful process.
Some go the distance to give the impression that they can afford to buy the best when in reality, they cannot.
Others simply just live below their means and save money just to offload a debt or save up for a planned vacation which isn’t supposed to be the case.
The truth that many Americans have failed to realize is that you can choose to be frugal in ways that will add value to your life and enjoy all that life has to offer while saving a lot of money.
Firstly, before revealing the best frugal living tips with a big impact and ideas that will help you save more money, let’s understand what frugality means.
- What is Frugal Living?
- Does Living Frugal Mean Living Cheap?
- Can Being Frugal Make You Rich?
- Benefits of Frugal Living
- How to Start Living a Frugal Lifestyle
- The Best Frugal Living Tips with a Big Impact & Ideas to Save Money
- 1. Start budgeting
- 2. Sell things you don’t need
- 3. Determine what things you can do without
- 4. Buy used
- 5. Have a meal plan
- 6. Cook in bulk
- 7. Buy in bulk
- 8. Check out coupons
- 9. Return things you don’t need
- 10. Repurpose the fabulous clothes you already have
- 11. Take a look in your pantry
- 12. Take advantage of money-making apps
- 13. Get cashback on your shopping purchases
- 14. Stop impulse buying
- 15. Shop around for the best insurance
- 16. Automate your savings and investments
- 17. Take on a part-time job
- 18. Evaluate your subscriptions
- 19. Ditch cable
- 20. Try a low-buy or no-spend challenge
- 21. Buy a car you can afford
- 22. Consider downsizing
- 23. Consider walking or take a bike when you can
- 24. Frugal traveling
- 25. Have date nights at home
- 26. Fun for free
- 27. Fitness at home
- 28. Avoid credit card debt
- 29. Pay down your debt
- 30. Reduce your electric bill
- 31. Switch your lightbulbs for LED
- 32. Make gifts instead of buying them
- 33. Cut expensive coffee
- 34. Grow your own vegetables
- 35. Skip the salon
- 36. Pay with cash
- 37. Combine your errands
- 38. Use your handyman skills to repair and reuse
- 39. Fix your tattered threads
- 40. Enjoy free entertainment from the library
- Bottom Line: You Can Live a Frugal But Great Life
What is Frugal Living?
Frugal living means spending consciously and directing your financial focus to few financial priorities or the things that matter most to you.
You aim to spend on things you hold in high value or matter most to you and cut back spending in other areas.
It doesn’t necessarily mean living the caveman life just to keep your spendings to the minimum.
Frugality isn’t about forgoing your favorite cereals for a generic brand or quitting adventurous vacations favoring staycation.
It may surprise you to know that most of the reputable millionaires you know live a frugal lifestyle. So, you could host the biggest party your city has ever seen and yet be living the frugal life.
Frugality means different things to different people. There isn’t an exact approach to adopting the lifestyle.
It’s all about deciding the aspect of your life where you choose to live stingily and where you choose to live largely.
Does Living Frugal Mean Living Cheap?
Many people confuse the frugal lifestyle with living cheap—perhaps buying from thrift stores and the likes.
However, as stated earlier, being frugal does not mean living the caveman life. You could live frugally and yet drive the most expensive car on Earth.
Living cheap is in contrast to living frugally—cheap means purchasing the lowest-priced item and not giving thought to quality or your desires.
On the other hand, being frugal means weighing your desires and making an effort to spend less on things that are not of priority to you or, in other words, don’t matter much to you in comparison to other desires.
For example, I may cut down on spendings on my purchases of clothing and accessories to fund my next vacation.
In a sense, it is money budgeted for clothing that is financing my next vacation and not my savings or money already set aside for my financial growth or other financial endeavors.
The difference is crystal clear and easy to grasp.
Can Being Frugal Make You Rich?
To some, living a frugal lifestyle is an enduring task; to others, it is an intriguing lifestyle.
Learning the willpower to control your spendings, save more money and increase your net worth are some of the rewards that come with adopting the frugal lifestyle.
It is evident that living frugally will reduce your expenses, but the million-dollar question is, can being frugal make you rich?
Frugality in itself will never make you rich, yet adopting a frugal lifestyle is a step you must take in the path to building wealth.
Living a frugal lifestyle will help you learn lessons and adopt habits that are of core importance in creating wealth.
For one to build wealth and be financially free, it is fundamental to develop healthy financial habits, and being frugal can help build and cultivate those habits.
Learning financial discipline, managing your finances, and budgeting are some of the habits you’ll develop living the frugal lifestyle.
You take control of your financial life and control your money rather than have your money control you.
Benefits of Frugal Living
The benefits of living a frugal life, no doubt, are rewarding.
Firstly, living a frugal life helps you to build more towards financial freedom and quickens the pace of achieving your financial goals.
It helps you incorporate the habit of spending less money on things that are not of value or matter less to you to spend on your priorities.
Below is a list of other benefits of frugal living.
- You get to save more by prioritizing your spendings.
- Better management of personal finances.
- Financially disciplined to stick to a budget.
- It teaches you how to research and shop for the best offers in accordance with your desires.
- Frugality teaches you how to make tough financial decisions.
- It helps you to be financially disciplined.
How to Start Living a Frugal Lifestyle
Are you attempting to live a frugal lifestyle, and you’re wondering how to start?
Your efforts are commendable. At first, it would not seem easy.
However, do not be chicken-hearted; attempting something new is always challenging but overcoming such challenges is what makes your efforts worthwhile.
In your attempt to start living a frugal lifestyle, you’d have to make some significant changes along the way.
You would have to incorporate several frugal tips into your daily life and see if you’re comfortable with it.
If you’re not comfortable with a particular tip, try a different idea or strategy—and with an open mind.
Remember, frugality means different things to different people.
Thus, you’d need to experiment with several tips to find the balance you are comfortable with and that best works for you.
Please do not overdo it, rather take them slowly. Don’t go cold turkey—don’t just suddenly cut down on your expenses.
That would be outrageous, and too many cutbacks would backfire.
Instead of achieving the intended goal of prioritizing your spendings and saving in the long term, you may wind up spending more and even forgo saving.
Hence, it is imperative you slowly implement these frugal tips and strategies in your life.
Try a tip out; if you like it and are comfortable with it, then stick to it and add another.
If you don’t like a strategy or recommendation, let go of it and try something else.
After experimenting with several ideas and strategies, you’ll definitely find what works for you.
So, in this article, you’ll find the best frugal living tips and ideas that will help you to live a very frugal life. They will save you money in the long term and help you live a better life.
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The Best Frugal Living Tips with a Big Impact & Ideas to Save Money
1. Start budgeting
Creating a budget and sticking to it is one of the key principles in the foundation of building wealth.
It isn’t particularly fun, but its importance cannot be neglected.
You create a budget and prioritize things that matter most while cutting out or minimizing spendings on things that don’t matter.
However, in budgeting, you should note that it doesn’t mean you are not allowed to occasionally splash money on the things you like to do or purchase in the name of cutting down spending.
You are perfectly allowed; the difference is that this time around, you would ensure you have saved up for these spending sprees ahead.
For instance, if you do enjoy going on a particular trip with friends on the weekends, you would have saved up for your next trip ahead of time from money within your budget rather than cancel going on such trips.
2. Sell things you don’t need
If you take a thorough look around your home, you likely may find a bit of clutter lying around.
It could be in the form of extra collections of designer handbags you don’t use anymore or items such as clothing that your kids have outgrown.
If this is the case, then it is time to downsize and convert the clutter into cash.
Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark, and eBay are a few places to sell items you don’t need anymore.
Also, you take advantage of the Amazon Trade-In to trade used items you don’t need anymore.
These items could be textbooks, video games, and old phones. You’d be paid in Amazon gift cards for your traded used items.
3. Determine what things you can do without
The fact that you have the money to purchase something even after budgeting doesn’t necessarily mean you should.
In your effort to prioritize your spendings, you should find out things you can do without and not spend on them.
You could decide to do without them temporarily or perhaps permanently as you see fit.
The benefit is that doing this will give you a boost by saving much more money you probably would have spent.
4. Buy used
When you have the opportunity to purchase used items that are still in good condition, do it as you would save a reasonable amount of money buying lightly used items.
Online marketplaces and local thrift stores are some places where you can find lightly used items at a better price.
However, please take note that as much as you want to minimize your spendings by buying used items, it doesn’t hurt to treat yourself to new and lovely goodies occasionally.
It’s still part of the frugal lifestyle; make sure you save in advance for such treats and still fall within your budget.
5. Have a meal plan
Meal planning is another tip to add to the list in your effort towards living a frugal life.
Rather than order lunch and let loose $10 to $20, which you could have saved, take the plunge and start meal planning, eating what you cook.
When you save money you’d have spent on ordering lunch, you’d be surprised how much those few dollars would add up to.
6. Cook in bulk
Cooking dinner after a long day at work can prove very stressful.
It may lead to succumbing to the temptation of resorting to fast food, thereby spending loosely, especially when you try to spend within your budget.
To avoid this trap snare, cook in bulk.
Cook bulk meals that would last you the whole week and store enough portions in your refrigerator.
You would only heat them up during the week at dinner time.
Doing this would make you avoid the stress of cooking after a long day at work and save time and money you’d have instead spent cooking or ordering fast food.
7. Buy in bulk
One way to cut down on your grocery bills is by buying all frequently used items such as soaps, detergents, paper towels, and toilet paper in bulk.
When you buy in bulk, the price tends to be lower and also cuts down the number of trips you’d have to make to the store, thus saving you time and money.
If you follow this same approach and buy perishable food items in bulk to cook in bulk, do not forget to store them up in a refrigerator to avoid wastage.
8. Check out coupons
The purchase of groceries can be expensive, even when bought in bulk.
However, you can take advantage of coupons and save some dollars every time you go on a trip to the store.
Those little savings do add up quickly.
As regards the coupons, look thoroughly, and you’ll be sure to find them.
9. Return things you don’t need
Go through your recent purchases.
There might be one or a few things you might have purchased that you do not necessarily need.
If you find one, make a trip back to the store to return such an item and get back your money.
You can return almost any item, including non-perishable items and groceries as well.
10. Repurpose the fabulous clothes you already have
If you’re the type who enjoys shopping, adorning the nicest of clothes and shoes as I do, then the chances are that you may already have your closet filled with items you rarely do wear.
It would be wise to consider shopping in your closet rather than spend on new clothing or a pair of shoes you’re likely to wear once and forget.
Organize your closet, find some of these dresses you hardly wear, repurpose your fabulous clothes already in your possession and save up the money you might have spent.
Being frugal doesn’t mean you should be less fashionable.
11. Take a look in your pantry
When you inspect your pantry more closely, you may be surprised to find the amount of food lurking in your cabinets.
This shouldn’t go to waste; instead, you can make a meal out of what’s left in your pantry and thus save yourself at least a weekly trip to the grocery store for the month.
The aim of doing this is to ensure you do take advantage of all leftover ingredients before buying more.
12. Take advantage of money-making apps
As much as you are trying to prioritize your spendings as well as cutting down on it in accordance with your budget, it would be an excellent idea if you can rake in some extra cash without actively working.
This would go a long way in your endeavors to live frugally.
Unsurprisingly it is very much possible.
There are several apps or websites on the internet that you can earn cashback and earn some extra money.
Survey Junkie and Swagbucks will reward you with some cash payment for taking on surveys; InboxDollars will offer cash rewards for completing online tasks on their website; and by listing your extra space if you do have any on the Airbnb site, you can make a few dollars almost on a daily basis.
13. Get cashback on your shopping purchases
When you go shopping at your favorite stores, you can earn cash back on whatever you purchase through the Ibotta app and save money.
You could wind saving up hundreds of dollars.
The app is free to use and pretty straightforward.
All that is required of you is to shop, save your receipt and log on to the Ibotta app to take pictures of your receipts.
14. Stop impulse buying
In today’s modern age, impulse buying has never been easier and luring, especially with the inception of e-commerce.
With just the click of a button, you can find everything and buy anything and fall into the trap of impulse buying, which may cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Learning how to shop wisely both online and offline, is one of the crucial frugal living tips that will save you money.
15. Shop around for the best insurance
Insurance, no doubt, is essential.
However, it sometimes can eat you up and become enormous expenses to deal with.
Quitting insurance altogether is not the answer to this.
The solution is to seek out insurance plans that best fit your life and your budget.
Take your time to contemplate the best insurance plan for you and shop around for a policy.
16. Automate your savings and investments
After setting up your budget and making plans on your spending goals, it would be wise to automate those goals.
If you don’t, you could easily fall back to the trap of overspending.
To start, you could begin automating your retirement savings through your employer.
You could also consider automatic payment of your bills.
Go through your finances and seek ways to automate your money.
Automating your savings is undoubtedly one helpful tip to aid your frugal lifestyle.
17. Take on a part-time job
Another way to increase your savings while prioritizing your spendings in a frugal lifestyle is by working part-time jobs in addition to your primary job.
You possibly may find a job in your local community.
A job that has you working from your home would be the ideal part-time job.
However, in working part-time, you should consider working on something that interests you; otherwise, you may find it difficult to work after long hours at your day job.
18. Evaluate your subscriptions
Subscriptions are among those things that slowly eat deep into finances, and I guess you aren’t likely to notice.
It would be best if you took the time to evaluate your subscriptions and make a decision on the ones that need to be canceled and the ones to be kept.
You can enjoy one or two subscriptions and cancel the rest.
Your finances will thank you as this will put more money in your pocket.
19. Ditch cable
Ditching cable is yet another frugal tip that will help you save a significant amount of money.
It would be best if you opted for a less expensive streaming service.
You probably might be paying $100 monthly for cable service. That adds up to $1,200 in a year.
You could focus such money towards emergency savings or savings to treat yourself to a luxury purchase of your choice.
20. Try a low-buy or no-spend challenge
Suppose you’re still having difficulties tracking your spendings despite already having a budget; you could challenge yourself to do a low-buy or no-spend month.
You will find out that it is sometimes easy to inculcate a prudent spending habit when you see your obstacles as a challenge.
If trying a no-spend month scares you, you could start with a week and progress from there.
21. Buy a car you can afford
A car can be an essential but significant purchase.
However, in purchasing a car, many stab themselves financially by buying a car they can’t afford to maintain, which reflects poorly in their expenses.
So when buying a car, don’t let the fanciness, intrigues, and sweet talks of the dealer lure you into buying what you can’t exactly afford.
Before heading down to a car dealer, you should have decided what you can afford and be committed not to go beyond that.
22. Consider downsizing
Do you live in a large home?
Living in a large house has its perks, but also it costs much as you would be paying for the extra square foot.
You may be able to afford it; however, if you’re going frugal, you should think of downsizing your living space to a more affordable living situation.
That way, you save that which you would have spent on the cost of paying for more square feet for your home.
23. Consider walking or take a bike when you can
Having an affordable car is a good thing, but walking or biking can sometimes prove to be more cost-effective.
You get to save your gas while exercising your body which no doubt is healthy for your body.
Hence, whenever you have the opportunity to bike or walk, please take advantage of it.
You would be doing your finance as well as your body a great deal of good.
24. Frugal traveling
When it comes to vacations, you can travel frugally and reduce your spendings.
However, this is an exception if you consider your vacation a priority and have saved well in advance for it.
Notwithstanding if it’s just a regular vacation to break free from the normal activities of life, you can travel frugally, reduce spending on your expenses and save a significant amount of money.
There are places you can travel to during what is termed their “off-season” and enjoy a wonderful vacation.
Also, you could try cutting down on your eating out.
One way to do so is by picking a place with a kitchen so you can be able to make your own meal during your vacation.
25. Have date nights at home
When the word date night comes to mind, one might imagine having a meal with loved ones at an expensive restaurant or a movie out.
On the contrary, date night could also mean enjoying a peaceful walk through your neighborhood or playing board games at home in the company of your loved ones.
These are creative ways to enjoy the company of your loved ones while spending less.
26. Fun for free
Indulging in fun activities is a part of life.
However, there are many options to have fun in this modern age that will turn out to be fun at your financial expense.
Indulging in fun activities at the expense of your finances is not responsible spending, especially when living frugally.
There are ways you can have fun for free without spending much.
For example, consider having a picnic or going to the park. Also, having a bonfire is another free fun activity.
27. Fitness at home
It is a good thing to keep fit as it is beneficial to your health. However, it would be best if you opted to work out at home rather than at the gym.
The gym is the ideal place to work out as tons of workout equipment is there to ensure good fitness exercise.
Notwithstanding, the average gym membership now costs about $58 a month, and that sums up to $700 in a year.
When you look at the cost, you’ll realize that working out at home rather than at the gym does sync with the goals of the frugal lifestyle.
Besides, you can enjoy a good fitness exercise at home that will reflect well on your health and more importantly save money.
There are tons of home workout videos on YouTube to guide you.
28. Avoid credit card debt
Accumulating credit card debt is not healthy for your financial life and militates against the goal of frugal living.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of those little square plastic.
If you do use a credit card, strive to pay off your balance in full every month. If you can’t, then it is best to do without a credit card.
Staying clear of credit card debt will do you a lot of good in the long run.
29. Pay down your debt
Credit card debt is not the only thing that can be a burden on your financial life.
Debt in any form is a burden as they drain on your financial resources.
In living frugally, paying off your debt should rank high among your priorities; otherwise, it would continue to derail your path to financial freedom.
Seeking frugal ways to live within your means will help you break free from the financial burden of debt.
30. Reduce your electric bill
Just as you are prudent in the spending of your money, you can be conservative in the usage of electricity to lower your electricity bills.
For instance, you could cut back using your air conditioner as possibly as you can, perhaps switching to fans instead.
You could avoid cooking in the oven on hot summer days.
There are several frugal tips to implement to reduce your electricity bill and save money.
31. Switch your lightbulbs for LED
Still, on the reduction of your electric bills, you should take advantage of LED lightbulbs.
They use little energy in comparison to standard bulbs, and yet they last longer.
One may not immediately see the financial significance of a light bulb imprinting on your finances.
Still, over time these energy-saving bulbs could save you a great deal on your electricity bill.
32. Make gifts instead of buying them
During the festive season, like the Christmas holiday, it is typical to get gifts.
This period can prove difficult for those on budget with the urge to buy an expensive gift for loved ones.
However, before getting a gift, you may want to reconsider.
Why not make them rather than get one?
This will help you cut down on your spendings or avoid credit card debt, and best of all, making gifts is more meaningful than purchasing them.
There are lots of DIY gift ideas on the internet to get you started.
33. Cut expensive coffee
Do you know that millennials spend more than $2,000 a year on coffee? (The Simple Dollar)
The point here is not to cut off sipping your favorite coffee but to minimize your spending on them.
That way, you would save more money that might have been spent chiefly on coffee.
34. Grow your own vegetables
Fun fact, you can grow your vegetables indoors.
It doesn’t matter if you live in an apartment or own a house within a yard; you can grow your own vegetables and save money that would have been spent buying them.
This is one unique frugal living tip that would prove helpful in saving you money long term.
35. Skip the salon
Don’t be scared to skip the salon every once in a while.
Beauty treatment and care are essential, but you should try to reduce your visit and save money if you visit the salon regularly.
For instance, if you visit the salon twice a month to get your nails done at $25 for every visit, that adds up to $600 in a year.
You could reduce your visit by getting your nails done once a month and save the extra $25 monthly.
36. Pay with cash
Strive to pay with cash, and avoid paying via your debit/credit card.
Doing this will help keep your spendings under control, encouraging you to stick to your budget.
37. Combine your errands
To save on the cost of your fuel and time, including the wear and tear on your vehicle, take on several errands in one go rather than spreading them over.
You can buy gas, make some withdrawals, and pay your bills all at once.
38. Use your handyman skills to repair and reuse
You could save yourself a lot of money long-term by learning to fix and reuse some of your household and personal items.
You could learn to do things like doing your own oil change, roof-patching, electrical work, and plumbing on the internet.
39. Fix your tattered threads
It is common knowledge that a lot of Americans spend a ton on clothing.
You likely may be spending more than you need to replacing damaged clothing when you can save yourself these extra expenses by fixing your torn clothing with a sewing kit.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey shows that the average American household spends $1,866 per year on clothing.
Do not go about wearing a repaired shirt that once had a massive rip; such cloth needs to be replaced.
However, cloth with a bit of tear on a seam can be sewn and used rather than spending to replace them.
If you don’t know how to sew, there are tutorials on YouTube to teach you.
40. Enjoy free entertainment from the library
Do you have a newspaper subscription or a magazine subscription?
It would be advisable to drop that subscription to save money and opt for free entertainment at your local library.
Libraries are known to have a vast selection of books, e-books, and DVDs, as well as local newspapers and magazines that you can check out.
Bottom Line: You Can Live a Frugal But Great Life
In summary, as the best frugal living tips and ideas with a big impact to save money above have shown, you don’t need to be a cheapskate to live frugally.
You can still do the things you do, enjoy life, and live a frugal lifestyle.
Yes! You can live frugally and yet have a great life. Take a critical look at the positives.
Many tend only to see the sacrificial part of frugal living but do well to remember that these sacrifices are beneficial in the long run.
You are living frugally to enjoy the things you prioritize.
Does your idea of a great life mean traveling around the world?
If this is your priority, frugal living wouldn’t deny you this; rather, it will ensure you minimize spendings in other aspects of your life to save up costs for your sightseeing of the world.
So it isn’t as difficult as people think it to be. Even millionaires tend to live frugally.
The path to financial freedom operates around the basis of intelligent management of your financial resources, and the frugal lifestyle teaches you exactly that.
Frugal living is all about being intentional with your finances and controlling your money instead of vice-versa, which is the case with many.
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