Some people believe being frugal means being stingy, but that's not the case! Being frugal means being smart and making sound decisions when it comes to spending.
This is not just a way to save money but also to be more mindful about what you buy and how you use it. This is more like a lifestyle that helps you prepare for the future rather than focusing on living a luxurious life right now.
However, it doesn't have to be a challenging process, and even minor adjustments can make a big difference in your financial situation. It might take some time to master, but with proper planning and a little effort, you can become a pro at being frugal.
Here are 20 Frugal Living Tips To Start Saving Money
So if you have decided to take control of your finances and don't mind being a little bit creative, here are 20 ways to be frugal today:
1. Start With a Budget
A budget is your best friend when it comes to being frugal. It allows you to track and plan your finances accurately so you know exactly how much money you have left to save or invest.
Start with listing the expenses that you spend every week or month. Once you have detailed all the major and minor costs, you can eliminate unnecessary expenses and save money.
For example, let's say you are sending $200 a week to eat out. Now to save money, you can start eating at home or only go to restaurants once or twice a week.
You can also reduce entertainment expenses like going to bars or spending on TV streaming services.
Related: How to Budget Using Zero-Based Budgeting
2. Start Planning Your Meals
Food and groceries are one of the most significant expenses that can take a toll on your wallet. Meal planning is a great way to save money while still eating healthy.
Start by making a list of meals that are affordable and easy to make. Then, create a shopping list for all the necessary ingredients to get the most out of your budget.
You can go online or ask your friends and family for cheap, delicious, and healthy recipes. Once you have the recipes, purchase only what's necessary and not overstock your kitchen with unnecessary items.
3. Coupons Are Still One of the Best Ways to Save
Coupons are a great way to save money on everyday items as they can save you tons of money. Try looking for coupons online or sign up for newsletters from your favorite stores and brands to get notified about special discounts and sales.
You can also download coupon apps on your phone and take advantage of the deals offered by local businesses. Just remember to use only the coupons you need and avoid getting carried away with impulse buying.
With a little bit of effort, you can have access to tons of amazing discounts and offers.
4. Shop With a List in Your Hand
Impulse purchasing is a reality! How often have you gone to the store for a specific item and come home with more than you needed? You are not alone; it happens to almost everyone.
To avoid this urge, start shopping with a list in your hand. Ensure it includes only what's necessary, so you don't get tempted by unnecessary items or sales.
You can even compare prices online before heading out to the store to buy the exact amount of what you can afford and save more.
5. Swap Your Light Bulbs for LEDs
A small change but with a significant impact! Switching the light bulbs in your house to LEDs can help you save up to 90% on electricity bills.
LED bulbs are made to last longer than traditional bulbs and are more energy-efficient. This small change can make a huge difference in your electricity bills, especially if you have multiple rooms with lights on all the time.
LEDs cost more than regular bulbs but the savings over time are more than makeup.
6. Automate Your Finances
One of the most brilliant things you can do with your money is automate everything you control.
When you don't get the money in your hands, it's less likely that you'll be tempted to spend it on unnecessary items. Automating your finances can help you save money in more ways than one.
For example, you can set up automatic bill pay so that you never miss a payment and don't get hit with late fees. You can also automate savings deposits so that you reach your goals faster.
You can also automate your investments; for example, if you are an employee, you can set up an auto contribution to your retirement funds, which will automatically transfer a certain percentage from your paycheck.
Talk to your bank or financial advisor for more information about automation options.
7. Buy Only High-Quality Products
High-quality products are expensive – so how can you save while spending? The answer is simple: buy high-quality products that will last longer and will only need to be replaced sometimes.
Items like electronics and furniture should be bought with the intention of it lasting a long time. When you buy cheap, low-quality items, they will break faster and need to be replaced more often – not precisely a money-saving tip!
Investing in good quality products once will save more in the long run as they won't need replacing as often.
8. Sell Unused Items
Everyone has something sitting around their house that they don't need or use anymore. Don't just let it sit there collecting dust – why not make some money out of it?
You can sell unwanted items on websites like eBay and Craigslist or even organize a garage sale to eliminate all your old stuff. This will help you earn some extra money and declutter your house at the same time!
For example, fishing gear, furniture, clothes, jewelry, and home accessories are all items that you can quickly sell online.
9. Learn to Differentiate Between Needs and Wants
One of the best money-saving tips is learning to distinguish between needs and wants.
We often buy things we don't need because we get tempted by sales or feel like we need them. It can be a 50% off coupon for something you will never use or a dress you don't need.
Understand what is necessary and stick to it. Don't just buy things just because they are on sale – only purchase them if you really need them. This will help you save money in the long run and also reduce clutter in your home.
10. Do More DIY
DIY means do-it-yourself, and it can be a great way to save money. You don't have to be an expert craftsman – you need the right tools and some creativity!
From home repairs to decorations, there are lots of DIY projects that you can do yourself without spending too much. Plus, you'll feel accomplished by completing something yourself and learning a new skill!
Research online to find different DIY projects you can tackle in your home. From painting a wall to making furniture, the possibilities are endless. And remember – if it's not working out as planned, feel free to call in the professionals for help.
11. Stay Away From FOMO
FOMO means Fear Of Missing Out, and it's a vast trap when spending money unnecessarily.
It can be hard to resist the temptation of buying something just because others are, or going out with friends and spending money when you don't need to. Not every purchase has to be shared or double-tapped on Instagram!
Take a step back and think twice before buying something because other people have it. Ask yourself if you need it – if the answer is no, walk away!
12. Change Your Lifestyle
It's never too late to change your lifestyle for the better. Start by making small changes, like eating out less or taking public transport instead of driving everywhere.
These small steps will soon add to significant savings and help you build a healthier financial future. Remember – it's all about finding ways to save money without compromising quality!
You can also make more considerable changes, such as downsizing your house or moving to a cheaper area.
13. Make Changes to Your Subscriptions
You might have already noticed that most of your money is being spent on subscriptions. From streaming services to newspapers and magazines, it's easy to get lost in all your different subscriptions!
Take a look at all your different subscriptions and see which ones are worth keeping. You can find cheaper alternatives that offer the same content but with a lower price tag.
You can save a lot of money in the long run by making changes to your subscriptions!
14. Buy in Bulk
By buying in bulk, we mean only the items you regularly consume, such as food, toiletries, and cleaning supplies.
Buying in bulk usually means spending more upfront, which will help you save money in the long run. You'll be able to buy items that are on sale or discounted, which can save you a lot of money.
It's also great for stocking up and ensuring you never run out of something – no more late-night trips to the store!
15. Start a Side Hustle
If you're looking for ways to make some extra cash, why not start a side hustle? Many different opportunities are available that only require a little bit of time or money to get started.
The possibilities are endless, from freelance writing to working as a virtual assistant! You don't have to quit your full-time job – look for ways to make extra cash in your spare time.
This can help you boost your income and save more money in the long run – you have to be willing to put in the effort!
Related: 15 Best Side Hustles For Busy Moms
16. Don't Go Out Daily
Is it worth paying hundreds of dollars for going to bars every day? It's great to have fun once in a while, but it shouldn't be at the expense of your finances.
Try to limit your nights out and replace them with cheaper activities such as going for a walk or having a movie night with friends. You'll still have plenty of fun without spending too much money.
17. Buy Second Hand
Second-hand items are a great way to save money, especially if you're looking for furniture or electronics.
You can find great deals at thrift stores, garage sales, and online sites like eBay and Craigslist. Just do your research before buying – look for reviews and ratings, so you know what you're getting!
Double-check the item's condition before buying – if it's in good shape; you can save a lot of money by opting for second-hand instead of new.
18. Pay Off Your High Interest Debts ASAP
Debt is the biggest enemy when it comes to saving money, so it's essential to pay off your debt as quickly as possible so you can start to save and build wealth.
This is where budgeting can also help – by setting aside money for debt repayment, you can work towards getting out of debt and start saving for the future.
It might not be easy, but it's worth it in the end; remember to keep at it and don't give up – with enough discipline and hard work, you can get out of debt and build a secure financial future.
19. Negotiate Whenever You Can
Negotiation can be a great way to save money, especially regarding bills and services.
Take the time to call your service providers and ask if they can offer you any discounts or lower rates. It might sound intimidating, but often all it takes is a polite request for a better deal – you'll be surprised by how often they are willing to help!
You can also use negotiation when buying new items – often, retailers will be willing to offer a discount if you ask. All you have to do is try!
20. Save on Your Transportation Costs
It can be a considerable expense if you have to commute to work or school. Instead of driving your car, try taking public transportation such as a bus, train, or bike!
Also, consider using ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft instead of hailing a taxi. Cycling could also be an option – it's a great form of exercise and a cheap way to get around.
So there you have it; these are the 20 frugal living tips to help you save more money. The options are endless – all you have to do is find the best ones. With a little effort and determination, you can make sure your hard-earned money goes towards something more important than last-minute purchases or impulse buys. Good luck!
I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.