Frugality starts with learning how to be creative with your spending. It is not about being cheap but finding deals and quality to help your money last longer. Many people need to realize that little actions can help save a ton of money. Here are 11 frugal ways to save money that most people don’t realize.
1. Take Good Care of Things You Own
Taking care of your stuff is one way to make your things last longer. A poster said, “Take good care of the things you currently own and use them for as long as you can. Buy replacement things less often. Cars, phones, clothes, etc.” The better you can take care of your valuables, the longer they last, and the more money you can save.
2. Budget for “Fun Money”
Most people budget for the necessities of life like rent, food, clothing, and transportation, but do you ever budget for fun money? One poster suggested, “if you are being super careful with money and don’t do anything fun…it gets old. And then you make some silly expensive purchase that maybe you can’t undo.” If we constrain ourselves, we could go a little wild and waste a ton of money. So always budget for some fun money.
3. Forget About Black Friday Sales
Black Friday sales are great if you are looking for a specific item and it gets marked down, but many people buy things they don’t even need and waste money. It’s better to forget about them if you do not need anything.
4. Pack lunch
Packing a lunch can save so much money. You can make a sandwich way cheaper than buying one from a deli or cafe. One poster commented, “Cooking your own food, in general, is a good way to save money in addition to being able to customize everything to your taste and knowing exactly what goes into the food.” That is an excellent point about making your food how you want it, plus it cuts down on food costs.
5. Go Shopping on a (Very) Full Stomach
So many people go to the grocery store hungry. It means you buy things just because you need and want to eat. If, instead, you go to the store when you are full, you will be more likely to buy the things required. A poster said, “You’d be surprised at how little junk food you walk out with.” Saving money on food is a great plan.
6. Buying in Bulk for Food
Costco, Sam’s Club, and many other wholesale warehouses can be great places to buy in bulk. One poster recommended, “Most dried foods are much cheaper in a large sack. Same with meat, buy the bulk pack, portion it into smaller amounts, and freeze most of it.” Those tips can help on saving with your grocery bills.
7. Plan Your Meals and Grocery List Ahead of Time
It is said, “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” As you work on saving money, planning out your meals and grocery list ahead of time can cut out time and effort. It can also help you find the items that are on sale instead of going the day before purchasing what you need.
8. Ask Your Bill Companies How To Save on The Bill
Calling up your credit card company, insurance company, or other bill companies can help you save money. One poster shared his example, “I do this periodically, and there almost always is a way to lower bills. I just lowered my car insurance by $100 just by asking.” It is unique how one phone and asking can help lower your bills.
9. Get Water From Home
In many countries, beer can be cheaper than water. It saves bringing your water from home. A poster mentioned, “Nothing saves money more than bringing your water bottle places instead of paying for drinks or water!” Drinks can be expensive if bought every day. So bring your own.
10. Living With Family as an Adult
Living with family may be different from the cultural norm for many people. People all over the world do, and it can help save money. A poster commented, “If you need to live with your parents/relatives until you get a pay bump or a better job, do it.” Parents love their kids, and it beats going broke while trying to get something better.
11. Swallow Your Pride and Look for Creative Solutions
Often, many people do not think outside the box when saving. One poster gave several examples of creativity: “my brother got a perfectly good TV from a dorm dumpster. You can scour the thrift store for things new in packages that can pass for gifts.” You never know what you can find in a thrift store or someone’s garbage. So check that pride at the door and find something worth it.
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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.