I was reading through forums this past weekend on a site that isn’t personal finance related (shocking!), and one of the topics was how to be more frugal. I was really surprised by how many posters didn’t know where to start, in terms of cutting back and saving money on simple things. For people just starting to get into a more frugal lifestyle, here are 30 easy frugal tips that you should be using:
Never buy these items without a coupon:
- drugstore cosmetics
Sign up for loyalty rewards cards with stores that you frequent, like CVS. These cards are totally free, and they allow you to earn rewards for shopping for essentials. It’s a simple way to get special deals and coupons.
Line dry your clothes. In the winter, use a folding rack indoors. In the warm weather, hang a line outside.
For the men and boys: Buy a hair trimmer and skip the barber shop visits. You’ll easily save tons over the years.
Look up DIY recipes for skin care and hair care. There are tons of easy skin scrubs that you can make with basic items you probably already have in your pantry.
Don’t buy books- check out your local library. Many now offer Kindle loans, and you won’t even need to leave your house to get them!
Ditch cable. Subscribe to Netflix or Hulu instead.
Turn off lights and fans when you leave a room. It’s an easy habit to adopt, and will save you on your electric bill each month.
Shop at discount grocery stores for staples. The no-frills products are often just as good as name brands, and the savings are significant.
Cook in big batches. Soups and casseroles can really stretch! You can portion and freeze leftovers.
Take lunch to work.
Brew coffee at home and use a thermos.
During the winter, set your thermostat low at night.
Layer up in the winter to stay warm inside, and use blankets when you’re just sitting around on the couch.
Make your own cleaning products with vinegar and baking soda.
Make your own laundry detergent. A large batch can last for months!
Use a credit card that offers rewards or cash back, then pay off the balance in full every month.
Attempt easy home repairs before calling in an expert. There are thousands of YouTube videos and tutorials online for every kind of home repair that you can imagine.
Check out thrift stores for clothing.
Don’t buy baby and toddler clothes brand new. You can find brand new or like new items at flea markets, yard sales, local swaps, and in thrift stores. Believe me, kids outgrow things way to quickly to invest in stylish, trendy clothes. Aim for clean and cute.
Check Craigslist for furniture and appliances before buying new. You may be surprised at what you can find locally for cheap or free!
Take a walk or ride through your neighborhood on trash night to see if anyone is tossing out something good. We’ve scored some decent furniture this way.
The same goes for home improvement supplies like pavers, stones, bricks, etc. Once people finish a project, they may have extras that they simply want to unload, so do a local search on Craigslist before heading to the store.
Maintain your appliances by checking them out and giving them a tune up when needed. It’ll save you money in the long run.
Keep tabs on your checking account balance so that you never pay overdraft fees.
Start tracking your spending so you can see where your money goes. Cut out the unnecessary expenses.
If you tend to overspend, take a list to the store and only buy what’s on it- no extras!
Do a spending freeze, whether it’s for a few days, a few weeks, or even a month.
Set savings goals and track your progress.
Get rid of your gym membership and instead, do body weight workouts at home.
You don’t have to use all of these frugal tips to see a difference in your budget, but implementing them certainly will help. Sometimes it’s the simplest changes that can make the biggest difference in the long run!