This post is all about the best frugal living tips.
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The term “frugal living tips” conjures up images of people scrimping and saving, wearing old clothes and eating cold beans straight from the can. But that’s not what frugal living is about at all.
Frugal living tips is all about making smart choices with your money so you can really spend it on the things you value most. That could mean traveling more often, taking cooking classes one night a week, or contributing more to your retirement accounts.
Whatever it is for you, frugal living tips are about making those things happen—but in a way that still leaves room for the occasional latte splurge (hey, no one’s perfect!).
So read on for some frugal living tips we’ve learned along our own journey to live more frugally but also happily.
Frugal Living Tips
1. Reuse Everything
Reuse everything. I don’t mean hoarding things and giving them away to others if you can help them, but rather be creative with your resources so that those things have more than one life.
For example, clothes can be turned into rags, or old containers can become planters.
Old newspapers are great for composting, as is old cardboard. Make sure you shred them first to avoid any unsightly surprises later!
You could also use newspaper and cardboard to line the bottom of garbage bins instead of buying expensive liners from the store (which you might not need if the bin is deep enough).
If there are any leftovers from a previous meal that won’t be used up before they spoil, put them in an airtight container in the fridge until they’re ready for next week’s lunchbox or dinner…or tomorrow night’s dinner!
If there are too many leftovers for this method though (you know what I mean), throw away whatever food isn’t fit for human consumption without feeling guilty about wasting anything.
2. Give Up cable TV.
You’re probably thinking: “What? Cable TV is a waste of money?”
Well, yes. The average cable bill for a family of four is around $100 per month, and I don’t know about you but that doesn’t sound like a frugal choice to me.
If you cut the cord and start watching free, over-the-air local channels instead of paying for cable or satellite TV service (with its high prices), then you’ll save yourself hundreds of dollars each year.
Or if you want to see a sports game you can head to a local sports bar and watch it there (just be extra cautious about how much you spend).
In addition to saving money by ditching your monthly cable bill, there are other benefits as well:
- You can still watch sports games on your big screen without having them interrupted by commercials every few minutes (which drives me crazy). Just buy an antenna at your local electronics store—they cost less than $50 and some of them really work!
- You’ll have more time to do fun things with friends and family rather than being stuck in front of the TV all day long.
3. Learn to Love Leftovers.
Leftovers are an excellent way to save money, but only if you have enough variety and options and a good way to practice frugal living tips. Make sure you have at least five different types of leftovers in your fridge at any given moment so that no matter when hunger strikes, there will be something available to satisfy it.
Also, make sure that your leftovers last a few days before they start going bad because no one wants to eat stale food!
Lastly, make sure the food isn’t too complicated for heating up or serving cold. If reheating is too much trouble for you then stick with things like pasta salad or casserole.
These are simple dishes that can be quickly prepared from cold ingredients without needing much attention from the cook (which is good since we’re trying to cut down on overhead).
4. Get Spiritual About Entertainment.
Use your imagination to create your own fun and practice frugal living tips all at once. If you have kids, make up games for them to play inside or out, such as hide-and-seek in the house or backyard.
Use what you have to create one-of-a-kind entertainment options: make an indoor slip ‘n slide with a tarp and water hose you can fill up balloons and toss them at each other.
Build a fort out of couch cushions and bed sheets. Climb trees or hop across logs (make sure they’re stable!); use boxes from pizza deliveries as building blocks for castles, houses, and cars.
Make your own playhouse by using cardboard boxes as rooms for dolls or toy soldiers—you can even draw furniture on them with a permanent marker if you want it to look more realistic! Truly you can do anything with your imagination. Just look up arts and crafts on Pinterest.
Instead of going out for ice cream after dinner every night, save money by making your own frozen treats in advance—they taste just as good but are cheaper this way!
5. Think Second-Hand First.
You can save a ton of money by purchasing second-hand. Look out for clothing, furniture, and appliances in thrift stores.
Consider buying used cars and electronics as well, especially if they’re of top-notch quality that has been well cared for over many years (e.g., a Toyota Camry, Hondas, etc.).
Don’t forget to also check out other people’s bookshelves for bargains on hardcover fiction—you never know what you might find!
6. Buy in Bulk.
Buying in bulk is a good way to save money, but you have to be careful. If you don’t have proper storage space for all of your bulk items, buying them can actually end up costing you more money than if you bought them in smaller quantities.
Make sure that you have room for everything before buying in bulk and make sure that it will fit into your freezer or pantry once it arrives. This means measuring out the space available and making sure that there is enough room for all of those items.
7. Understand the ‘True Cost’ of Things You Buy.
The true cost of something is what you pay for it, plus the opportunity cost of not spending that money on something else. For example, let’s say you want to buy a new pair of shoes.
The true cost will be how much money you spend on them, plus the amount of time you could have used if you had instead spent that money on other things (like paying off your student loans), or invested in a business or something else that could potentially earn more than what you paid for your shoes.
The true cost gets even more complicated when we start thinking about humans: buying someone dinner means giving up an opportunity to watch TV with your dog instead! LOL.
Do what you can to save money essentially is what I am trying to say. That way you can have enough to save up for that trip you’ve always wanted to go to.
Understanding the true costs of these decisions—and comparing them against one another—will help us make better choices over our lifetime and save ourselves some cash along the way!
8. Become a One-Car Family.
You’ve probably heard this advice before. Maybe you have a second or third car that you never use, or maybe you don’t even own a car at all.
However, if you’re still thinking about keeping two cars in your family, there are plenty of reasons to reconsider. Remember: owning a car costs money! Here’s what those costs look like:
- Car ownership: The average cost of owning a vehicle is over $10K per year. That’s not including parts and maintenance!
- Car insurance: If it makes sense for your budget, getting rid of the extra cars on your policy can save thousands of dollars every year.
- Car maintenance: Most people don’t think about it until they need it—but that oil change is coming up soon! You might also want to consider other regular maintenance such as tire rotations and changing air filters (which usually only cost about $30).
- Gas/parking/car repairs/car accidents/etc.: These expenses add up quickly when there are multiple drivers in one household driving multiple vehicles on any given day.
9. Eat in season; Grow your own food.
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy meals outdoors and practice some frugal living tips. Make the most of the season by firing up the grill or hosting a picnic. Gather friends and family together for some good food and conversation in the warm weather.
Vegetables are freshest in the summer, so take advantage of them while they’re in season. Add more fruits and vegetables to your plate to make nutrient-rich meals. Shop at farmers’ markets or grow your own produce to get the most flavorful and nutritious food.
Summertime is a great opportunity to explore new recipes and cook with seasonal ingredients to get the most out of frugal living tips. Get out of your cooking rut by trying something different. Experiment with grilling, baking, or cooking over a campfire. Use this time to create memories for you and your loved ones.
10. Use Cash More Often.
The beauty of cash is that it’s tangible. When you’re using cash, it feels like your money is actually leaving your body and going elsewhere.
The tangible nature of cash makes it less likely to be spent or stolen, and also less likely to be spent on impulse. It’s easier to resist the temptation when you can see exactly how much money is in your wallet at any given time.
It may take a while to get used to this system if you’re used to paying with credit cards or other forms of plastic, but trust us: once you start using cash regularly again, things will become much clearer—and more frugal—in no time!
11. Make Your Own Cleaning Products (and Cosmetics, etc.)
Make your own cleaning products (and cosmetics, and…)
Making your own homemade cleaning products is a great way to save money on cleaning supplies. The most commonly used ingredients are:
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Castile soap (I like Dr. Bronner’s) or other liquid castile soap
Frugal living tips are not about doing without things you need or want but finding ways to get them for less money.
Frugal living tips are all about spending your money wisely. It’s not about being a miser or depriving yourself of the things you enjoy, it is simply a way of making sure that what you spend your money on is worth it and makes sense in terms of improving your life.
You’ll be able to make the most informed decision about where and how to cut back with these frugal living tips. In the end, whether you adopt all of these frugal living tips or just a few of them, you’ll be on the path toward a happier and more sustainable lifestyle.
This post was all about the best frugal living tips!
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