Recently I was reading through forums on a website that isn’t personal finance related, shocking for me! However, one of the topics discussed in the forum was how to be more frugal. Posters were interested in practical frugal tips that they could use right away.
I was really surprised by how many of the posters didn’t know where to start, in terms of cutting back and saving money on simple things. As someone who’s been living a frugal life for many years, this was eye-opening! It’s easy for me to forget that not everyone knows how to be frugal, or even how to try to be.
The posters in that forum inspired me to come with a list of seriously simple frugal tips & tricks for anyone to use. Implementing any of these smart frugal hacks will help you save more, and many of them are just simple tweaks! Little lifestyle changes can go a long way to saving you more money each month.
Whether you’re just starting to get into a more frugal lifestyle or looking for even more ways to save, here are 30 easy frugal tips that you can start using today:
Never, ever buy these items without a coupon:
- Laundry detergent
- Cleaning supplies
- 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.
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!
Rent movies from the library instead of paying to stream them.
Shop at discount grocery stores for staples. The no-frills products are often just as good as name brands, and the savings are significant.
Make a weekly meal plan. Having a plan allows you to shop once for the week and avoid those extra supermarket stops.
Use a credit card that offers rewards or cash back, then pay off the balance in full every month.
Check out thrift stores for clothing.
Always shop the end of season sales for clothing and shoes to get amazing clearance deals. Then you can put the clothes and shoes away until next year.
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!
Find a local free store or freecycle group in your area on Facebook. You can donate or give away your unwanted items and get what you need for 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.
If you tend to overspend, take a list to the store and only buy what’s on it- no extras!
Use the Cartwheel app and apply for a Target Redcard to maximize your savings.
Before buying, ask youself if you really need it.
Don’t shop while hungry– you’ll be more tempted to buy foods you don’t actually want or need.
Buy paper products like tissues, napkins, and paper towels in bulk. It’s typically cheaper and saves you from making trips to the store when a roll runs out.
Browse the weekly circular before meal planning and shopping.
Switch to a discount grocery store like Aldi for staple items.
Cut out window shopping. Don’t go to a store unless you know what you need and are ready to buy it.
Always research before making big purchases. Compare prices and determine whether you really need the item.
Shop for big-ticket items when they’re on their steepest discount. For example, shop for appliances around major holidays when stores run their best sales.
Frugal Tips for Banking & Budgeting
Keep tabs on your checking account balance so that you never pay overdraft fees.
Switch to a bank or credit union that allows you to open and maintain an account with no monthly fees.
Start tracking your spending so you can see where your money goes. Cut out the unnecessary expenses.
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.
Create a budget that actually works for you so that you can stick with it.
Use Mint.com to track spending, set a budget, and keep tabs on your money.
Switch to a bank account with no monthly fees, or find out what you need to do in order to avoid account fees with your existing bank.
Start building an emergency fund so you won’t have to turn to credit cards or loans when unexpected expenses pop up.
Create a gift budget for Christmas to keep spending in check.
Start a “gift closet” by buying cool gifts when on sale. When a birthday comes around, you’ll be able to “shop” from your stash. Works great for kid’s birthday gifts!
Sign up for a cash back rewards credit card and use it for all of your everyday expenses.
Sign up for hotel loyalty cards to save when traveling.
When dining out, choose restaurants that offer “kids eat free” nights.
Put any extra income into savings, rather than spending it.
Use the cash envelope budgeting method.
Make a plan to pay down debt. Tackling your debt can be overwhelming, but having a plan will allow you to begin.
Check your tax withholdings and make adjustments, if necessary. You can do this at any time throughout the year!
Have a no-spend weekend or week.
Create a visual of your financial goals so you can see it and stay on track.
Keep receipts so you can track your monthly spending in each budget category. This will help you get a better picture of where your money is going each month.
Start saving, even if it’s just money in a jar in your bedroom! Commit to putting something away each month.
Find a money-making hobby to earn extra income.
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.
Line dry your clothes. In the winter, use a folding rack indoors. In the warm weather, hang a line outside.
Brew coffee at home and use a thermos to take it with you when you’re on the go.
Upgrade old appliances. They’ll be more energy efficient, giving you noticeable monthly savings on your utility bills.
During the winter, set your thermostat lower at night.
Layer up in the winter to stay warm inside, and use blankets when you’re just sitting around on the couch watching tv.
Make your own cleaning products with vinegar and baking soda.
Make your own laundry detergent. A large batch can last for months!
Cook in big batches. Soups and casseroles can really stretch! You can portion and freeze leftovers.
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.
Run a fan when the weather is warmer to cool down the room that you’re in.
Check your home for leaks, both air, and water. Seal up any spots where air gets in. Fix any faucet leaks asap.
Stop using paper towels. Switch to washable clothes instead.
Frugal Tips for Personal Care & Health
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.
Make your own makeup remover wipes with these DIY hacks.
Drink more water! Staying hydrated has numerous benefits for your body.
Use coconut oil on the ends of your hair to combat breakage.
Get rid of your gym membership and instead, do bodyweight workouts at home.
Use YouTube videos to find a workout that you actually enjoy.
Walk more! It’s great for heart health and easy to do. Take a daily walk around your neighborhood, a local school track, or even try aerobic walking at home.
Skip the processed foods. Change your diet to focus more on fresh food, rather than convenience items.
Start a meatless meal dinner plan for a few nights a week. It’ll save you money and it’s good for the environment.
Find DIY copycat recipes for your family’s favorite restaurant meals. You’ll save by not dining out and will have more control over the ingredients.
Cut back on alcohol. You’ll feel better and save more money!
Take a bagged lunch to work.
Reduce your family’s sugar consumption. It’s so much better for your health and you’ll spend less on processed foods.
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!