10 Best Pieces of Media Depicting a Frugal Lifestyle To Inspire You

Most media is all about excess. Characters drive flashy cars, live in expensive cities, wear the finest fashions, eat the best foods, and never run short of cash before payday. Sure, we know it's fiction. But a teeny-tiny part of our brains might tell us that we deserve to have all this great stuff, too. The reality is that most of us couldn't keep up a lifestyle like that without going into debt. Not a good look!

Frugal Living

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A reader on a popular online forum wondered, “What about media that highlights a frugal lifestyle?” Other readers responded with their favorites. Keep calm and frugal on!

1. Maid (Book and Movie)

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television.

Based on the story of a single mom living below the poverty line in modern America. It became a Netflix miniseries in 2021 that did “a great job showing how every single cent matters,” one forum user says. Careful use of money plus college grants helped the author finish her degree, write her memoir and become famous. Well done!

2. Nomadland (Book and Movie)

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The 2017 nonfiction book focused on folks who took to the road, often because they were laid off or couldn't afford a home of their own. The 2020 film won three Oscars for its story of people who don't earn enough but share what they have to get by. Sound familiar?

3. The Complete Tightwad Gazette

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A mom of six wrote a wildly popular 1990s newsletter that turned into a book. One forum user was delighted to learn they were not alone: “I learned my extreme frugality was a thing that real people engage in.” Indeed it is!

4. Roseanne and The Conners

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Comedian Roseanne Barr co-created this TV show about the blue-collar Conner family that often lived paycheck to paycheck. “You'd see them juggling which bills to pay. Totally believable and very well done,” one forum user notes. Roseanne has been killed off in the sequel, which shows the Conners still struggling yet making it through tough times with a healthy dose of humor.

5. Fresh Off the Boat

Fresh Off the Boat
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox Television.

The Taiwanese Americans in this autobiographical TV comedy pinched every penny, including hand-washing dishes and letting them air-dry in the dishwasher racks. That rang true to a forum user who remembered the “many years we were too broke for dishwashing soap.” But hard work  does pay off: “All that frugality got us to where we are today!”

6. Malcolm in the Middle

Malcolm in the Middle
Image Credit: Fox Television Studios

This TV comedy was about a dysfunctional lower-middle-class family. Their frugality is part of the humor, such as seeing the mom repurpose a torn jacket repeatedly until there's almost nothing left — at which point it becomes a necktie. The joyous satisfaction on her face was “like a drug addict getting a hit,” one viewer recalls.

7. FunCheapOrFree

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Jordan Page, a frugal living expert and mom of eight, is famous for her YouTube videos about how to stick to a budget. One forum user praises Page's work as “a wealth of ideas and tips about how to be prudent with money and still have things.”

8. The Ramona Quimby books

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This children's book series about the lower-middle-class Quimby family includes details like hand-me-downs, generic groceries, and sisters sharing a small bedroom. One forum user recalls being grateful for that realism: “Most of my friends were better off than my family. Ramona's family struggles (were) all extremely relatable.”

9. Everybody Hates Chris

Everybody Hates Chris
Image Credit: Paramount Network Television, Inc.

In this semi-autobiographical TV show, the crazy-frugal dad does things like unplug the clock at bedtime (“You can't tell time while you sleep!”) or suggest Robitussin instead of a doctor's appointment when someone gets sick (or even hit by a car). “That show, while sometimes extreme, reminds me of my family struggling to survive with us five kids,” one viewer says. Art imitates life!

10. Walden

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American philosopher Henry David Thoreau spent two years living in a hut in the woods. His book, Walden, was published in 1854, and it's been in print ever since. Modern minimalists appreciate Thoreau's reflections, such as “A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone” and “Shall we always study to obtain more (things), and not sometimes be content with less?” Preach!

12 Cheap Items That Save Money While Living Alone

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Are you living alone and finding it tough to manage your expenses? Living solo doesn't have to mean spending more. With a little bit of smart shopping, you can save quite a bit! In this blog post, we'll share 12 cheap items to help make your solo living experience easier on the wallet. From kitchen tools to energy-saving gadgets, these essentials are affordable and practical.

12 Cheap Items That Save Money While Living Alone

10 Most Humble Celebrities Who Live Frugal Lifestyles

Jennifer Lawrence
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While some celebrities live lavish lifestyles, others prefer low profiles. They may not be making headlines for their extravagant lifestyle. Still, they are certainly making an impact in the world. Despite their fame and fortune, some live modestly and give back to society. Here are some of our favorite celebrities living the most frugal, happy lives!

10 Most Humble Celebrities Who Live Frugal Lifestyles

10 Frugal Living Tips From Warren Buffet That Can You Save You Big

Warren Buffett
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Are you looking for ways to save money without sacrificing your quality of life? You're in luck because we've gathered 10 frugal living tips from none other than Warren Buffet himself.

10 Frugal Living Tips From Warren Buffet That Can You Save You Big

12 Frugal Habits That Will Revolutionize The Way You Live

Frugal habits to Revolutionize Your Life
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A frugal lifestyle can be one of the best decisions you make. It allows you to save money, reduce stress and live a simpler, more meaningful life. Frugality is about making wise spending choices and being mindful of how your actions affect your finances.

12 Frugal Habits That Will Revolutionize The Way You Live

10 Best Purchases Frugal People Said Amplified Their Quality of Life

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What is frugality? By definition, frugality refers to saving money and approaching monetary transactions with mindfulness and care. Whatever the word means to you, sometimes frugal individuals spend more than they usually would improve an aspect of their life.

10 Best Purchases Frugal People Said Amplified Their Quality of Life

Source: Reddit.

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