60 Frugal Living Tips to Help You Save Money

This list is no particular order, but I’ve got 60 practical, interesting and sometimes extreme frugal living tips and hacks that I think you should try this year!  If you can adopt some of these tips and make them habits, you'll find that frugal living can be both sustainable and enjoyable!  Let’s get into it!

  1. Track your expenses throughout the month if you use cash mostly or at least once a month if you do most of your spending with a debit card – you want to know that you’re staying on budget or if you need to wrangle in your activity a bit. You can write down your spending in a notebook or track it on a smart phone app.
  2. Keep an eye on your checking and savings accounts a few times a week to make sure no unexpected expenses or fraudulent activity is causing your account to be overdrawn.
  3. Set up an automatic transfer to your savings account or emergency fund. If you have a set amount automatically going to your savings account weekly, bi weekly or monthly, you can save money almost without even noticing.
  4. Always know how much things cost before you get it to the check out counter and make sure you can afford it. If you wait to find out the price at the checkout, you’re less likely to put it back if it costs too much and you’re more likely to overspend.
  5. If your bank account has online banking, look through and activate cash back deals. You can usually get up to 15% of your purchase back into your bank account from the stores or online vendors where you frequently shop.
  6. Have more than one way to make money. This doesn’t mean you have to have an ongoing side hustle.  But there are times you need to be able to generate a little extra cash for any number of reasons so you want to already have a way to do that in your back pocket.  It could be braiding hair, babysitting or even selling handmade crafts and baked goods.
  7. Put spare change or coins you find around the house in a piggy bank or empty jar each day.
  8. Separate your spending money from your bill money. Have two separate accounts.  For me, its just easier to keep track and reduces confusion and overspending.
  9. Set short term and long term savings goals – Setting short term goals helps keep you motivated by allowing you to achieve quick wins on your way to your bigger goals.
  10. Don't wait to pay bills when they're due, pay them as soon as you have the money. You’re less likely to end up spending the money on something you’re not supposed to.


Now here are a few tips I employ in the kitchen that you can try.

  1. Extend the life of fresh veggies by storing in ziploc bag with a paper towel to reduce moisture.
  2. Use an Insulated thermos that keeps hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold and carry drinks from home whenever possible instead of buying them on the go.
  3. Pack lunches for work. This can be leftover food or even frozen meals bought on sale from the grocery store are cheaper than eating out at lunch time everyday. Just get an ice pack to keep in your Insulated lunch bag
  4. Make foods from scratch. Pre-processed foods always cost more than the raw foods needed to make a meal.
  5. Grow your own food. Even if you don’t have space for an outdoor garden, try growing your favorite herbs instead of buying them.  Its pretty easy to do right in your own kitchen and the plants just keep giving and giving at no extra cost.
  6. If you buy disposable items like resealable bags, plastic utensils, or cups – reuse them a couple of times before throwing them away.
  7. Shop the international food aisle at your grocery store when you’re looking for spices and grains because a lot of times they’re cheaper than the same items in the regular spice and grain aisles.
  8. Sign up for free rewards programs at the stores where you shop most often – you get automatic coupons, and can often redeem points for free foods.
  9. Try those store brand foods when they are cheaper than name brands. You’ll be surprised by the quality and taste of a lot of them.
  10. Don’t waste food. Eat your leftovers.
  11. Use meal themes or capsule meal planning to make food shopping simple and cheap. Capsule meal planning in a nut shell is making a lot of meals from just a few select ingredients. Here's some more information on what it is and how to do it.  https://crossfitmorgantown.com/capsule-meal-plan/
  12. Go meatless two times per week and replace with beans or just go vegetarian altogether.
  13. You want the real secret to saving money on groceries and a lot of people are gonna think this is radical and extreme. Eat less food.


Now here are some ways to be entertained and have fun with family and friends for little to no money.

  1. One of the things we do in our house is alternate between streaming services. Like one month we’ll pay for Paramount+ then pause the subscription and switch to Starz for a month depending on whatever new movie might be out. And we also use those free trials to watch new movies.  But here’s the trick - as soon as you activate the trial, cancel it.  Most streaming services will still let you use the service for the rest of the week. If not, I always put a reminder in my phone or calendar to cancel it so I don’t get charged.
  2. We love to have family game nights. It could just be the people in your house or you can invite friends and have some snacks and drinks.  We do board games, card games, multi-person video games – we just have fun and it costs almost nothing.
  3. We almost never go to the movies but we have movie night every Friday - we pop popcorn, fill our insulated thermoses with Kool Aid, have pizza and watch the latest release on whatever streaming service free trial we're working with that week.
  4. Do date nights home - I recently saw where a couple set up two small canvases on some table top easels and turned on a Bob Ross video and had their own private Painting with a Twist event - at home. And you can get the canvases, paint and easels from the Dollar Tree.
  5. Go to the public library. Not only do they have books , but they have dvds, free family activities, in my area in the summer time, they serve kids lunch every day while they do story time.  In the fall they have Halloween costume exchanges. Just look it up and take advantage.
  6. Stop eating out! You can cut down the amount of times you eat out but if you really want to see some savings don’t eat out at all!  This would’ve been extreme to me before the pandemic, but because of covid we didn’t eat out for a year and a half and I got see just how much money we were able to save.


Now here’s a few tips for saving on utility bills.


  1. In the winter, try to keep the temperature of your house between 68 and 72 when you’re home and active and no lower that 62 when you’re away or sleep. Having the temperature too much higher than 72 will dry out the air and too much lower than 62 can potentially cause pipes to freeze among other issues.
  2. While you’re keeping the temperature of your house low use an electric blanket or keep some warm fleece blankets around the house.  My favorite way to stay comfortable at home in the winter is to have a nice selection of fleece-lined hoodies and sweatshirts.
  3. Turn out the lights when not in the room or even when in the room and just open the blinds and use daylight.
  4. Wash clothes in cold water only. So much of the energy used by your washing machine is used to heat the water.
  5. Go #1 while you shower – Depending on whether you have a newer or older model toilet, you can save between 1 ½ to 7 gallons of water by avoiding that one flush and you also save a little on the toilet tissue. Alternatively, you can opt to not flush every single time you go – unless it’s a number 2. Moving on… But in case you're interested: https://www.healthline.com/health/shower-pee#benefits


  1. While we’re in the bathroom, here’s one my grandmother taught me years ago - Brush your teeth with baking soda. It’s a safe and effective fluoride-free cleaner and mild whitener for your teeth, it helps neutralize mouth odors and it’s a lot cheaper than toothpaste.
  2. Use a small sock to get the most from that small piece of soap . You know how your bar of soap gets so small that it breaks and its hard to use with your wash cloth.  Don’t throw it out! Grab a small chenille footie or a sweat sock, drop those pieces in and put the sock on your hand, wet it and lather up!
  3. If you buy liquid hand soap, when the bottle is half full, add water to fill it back up, shake and stretch the soap. You still get a great lather.
  4. Here’s another one I learned from my grandmother - save a little money on shoe shining by just applying a little Vaseline to your hands and rubbing it on your shoes. Just don’t try it on suedes or really soft leathers.
  5. If you’re someone who loves to personalize gifts and home décor – invest in a die-cutting machine like a Cricut Joy or Cricut Maker and do the customizations yourself - custom personalization can be expensive - for the cost of the materials you can do 10 customizations yourself vs 1 done by someone else.   Over time, it will save you a lot of money.
  6. Exercise at home instead of paying for a gym membership. There are so many dance and exercise channels you can subscribe to on Youtube to help you keep fit.  And do not tell yourself that lie that if you pay for the membership you’ll be more motivated to stay consistent with working out.  I personally don’t know anyone that that has worked for.
  7. Pack a capsule wardrobe when traveling to save on baggage fees. If you’re not sure what a capsule wardrobe is, here's some articles that can help explain it. https://blog.tortugabackpacks.com/travel-capsule-wardrobe/; https://thefashionfrill.com/fashion/travel-capsule-wardrobe/
  1. Use Google maps to find the cheapest gas near you – it shows you the price so you’re not driving around wasting gas trying to save money on gas.
  2. Make your own valances and curtains – for about 4 dollars worth of material and some hem tape, you can dress your windows to help block light and heat in the summer and let in the light and heat in the winter.
  3. Wear the same clothes often – This goes back to having a capsule wardrobe even at home. This way, you focus only on having a few quality, classic pieces that are interchangeable instead of spending a lot of money on the latest style of this and that.  Just remember – one good pair of basic black pants will go with everything.
  4. Avoid dry clean only clothing when it comes to things you plan to wear regularly. Check the tags before you buy to make sure its machine washable.  Those dry cleaning bills will really add up.
  5. Buy hats, gloves and scarves from the dollar tree. Every year, they come out with cute new sets and the ones I’ve gotten from there have lasted for years.
  6. Only use half the cup of clothes detergent. The agitation cycle in the washing machine is doing most of the work anyway.
  7. Use raw foods and food oils for your hair instead of buying expensive hair treatments. Use bananas for deep conditioning, apple cider vinegar for clarifying your hair and scalp. Think about it - this 4oz hair oil is $7 but this 24oz olive oil is $8 and its great for detangling thicker, coarser hair textures.
  8. Use dish liquid and water as a quick clean up spray - you only need a drop or two and the spray last for weeks
  9. Accept used items - furniture from friends, clothes for your kids or yourself - if someone is giving you free stuff and you can use it, take it! Then you can spend your money on things that people aren’t giving you for free – like electricity and water.
  10. Don't replace – repair. Whenever you can, fix what’s broken instead of buy a new one.
  11. Buy clothes and furniture from thrift stores.
  12. Buy used cars and use Youtube to learn how to fix and maintain it.
  13. Charge your phone in the morning instead of keeping it plugged in unnecessarily all night long.
  14. Trim or cut your own hair. Not sure how? Learn on Youtube.
  15. Reuse paper towels – if you use one to dry your hands after thoroughly washing them, just hang it to dry and use it again the next time you wash your hands.
  16. If you buy 2 ply paper towels or facial tissues, there are times when you just don’t need the full strength of both layers. Separate the sheets and stretch that box or roll.
  17. Save plastic shopping bags to use as small wastebasket trash bags
  18. Use or learn a new skill – It can be a crafting skill like making your own jewelry or clothing, learn how to do basic repairs on your own car or your home. When you pay for a product or service, so much of the cost is for the labor.  But you can save so much money when you know how to do certain things yourself.
  19. Upcycle and Repurpose as much and as often as possible. Before you buy anything ask yourself "Do I have something around the house that I can use to make what i need?" I'm a crafter so over the years I have built up a decent supply of tools and materials needed to craft so many things.  And there’s no telling what you can come up with when you decide to spend less and create more.



Posted in Featured, Frugal Mindset, Money-Saving Tips.

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