When we started our debt free journey in 2019, we knew we had to learn everything there was about living frugally! If you are looking to pay off debt, buy a house, save for the future, or reach another important financial goal, learning to live a frugal life will help you get there.
What does it mean to be frugal?
I used to think living frugally was the same as living cheaply or living stingy.
This just isn’t true!
Frugal living is living with less stuff, less clutter, less stress, and more freedom!
In fact, most people that have a million dollar net worth live frugally.
This means they budget, save, and are 100% intentional with every dollar they make.
They give, invest, and YES, even enjoy their money!
You can’t get to millionaire status by spending like crazy, going in to debt, and trying to keep up with a “more is more” lifestyle.
Don’t be discouraged by the thought of frugal living.
I will show you how to live well, while spending less, and living a frugal life.
The Benefits of Frugal Living and Living Simply
Before you jump in to living a frugal life, you might want to know what the benefits are!
As I mentioned above, most people that have REAL wealth (not pretending to have wealth with credit cards), live frugally.
Frugal living allows you to save for emergencies, pay cash for things you want to buy, and feel less stressed because you aren’t as worried about money!
Frugal Living Tips with a Big Impact
- Keep housing expenses less than 25% of your income
- Learn how to create a budget and stick to it!
- Pay Off Debt to improve your household cash flow (don’t use credit cards for emergencies!)
- Stop eating out, and create a meal plan
- Use cash envelopes to prevent overspending
- Practice gratitude and contentment for the things that you have.
- Switch from a “large” cell phone provider to Tello. With plans as low as $5 to $39 / month, you can save hundreds in your monthly budget!
Related Post: How to Drastically Reduce Your Monthly Expenses
Frugal Living Tips for Families
- Take STAY-cations (Camp outside, take a road trip, or get a hotel in the “city” near you!)
- Use Amazon Prime to get free shipping and take advantage of “subscribe to save” discounts (Related: How to Save with Amazon)
- Host a monthly budget meeting so you can plan ahead for expenses.
- DIY your family Birthday Parties and other costly events.
- Search for travel deals in advance (6 weeks for the best flight deals!)
- Start a side hustle to earn extra “fun money” or savings.
- Use Trim to find and cancel your unwanted subscriptions.
- Shop an insurance broker like Zander Insurance to make sure you’re getting the best home and auto insurance rates.
- Adjust your heat and air by one degree (it really makes a difference!)
- Buy non perishable items (toothpaste, hand soap, birthday cards, wrapping paper), at The Dollar Tree!
Living Frugally to Save Money on Food and Drink
- Try a delivery service like Amazon Prime Pantry so you can plan your list and prevent impulse buys.
- Use coupons, or cash back apps like Ibotta
- Meal Plan to save BIG on groceries
- Ditch Starbucks or earn free Starbucks gift cards with Swagbucks.
- Buy in-season Fruits and Veggies
- Grow your own food and herbs
- Drink water instead of soda or juice
- Buy in bulk.
- Shop around for the best deals. Sometimes we will buy a few things at different grocery stores if the deals are worth the extra trip!
- Buy generic brands.
- Learn freezer cooking to save time and money! Free workshop here.
Frugal Living Tips to Save Money on Clothing and Shopping
- Use Cardpool to buy discounted gift cards
- Earn cash back with apps like Ebates
- Shop off season clearance sales (buy a coat in the summer, and swimsuit in the winter!)
- Research big purchases before heading to the store
- Stick to a capsule wardrobe and learn to create new, timeless outfits without shopping.
- Sell your outgrown or never worn clothes on Poshmark, and use the credit to buy something you love!
Frugal Living Tips to Save Money on Entertainment
- Negotiate rates on your cable and internet bill
- Cut cable completely (Use streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, or Amazon)
- Find a brick and mortar video rental store (they still exist!)
- Use the library for free movies, books, and activities for kids
- Bring your own snacks to the movies (you know you do it!)
Living Frugally to Save Money on Health Care, Fitness, and Beauty
- Use a health cost sharing ministry like Christian Health Ministries or Medishare
- Ask for a discount on large medical bills
- Do at-home workouts or take walks instead of a gym membership
- Use GoodRx to save on prescriptions
- Buy eyeglasses and contactsonline
- Dye your hair at home
Extreme Frugal Living Tips
We are not always this extreme, but these are some things you can do to really live on a dime! Here are some of my favorites.
- Make your own laundry detergent and cleaning products
- DIY your deodorant
- Save water by hand washing and drying your dishes and clothes
- Ditch your smart phone
- Rent out a room in your home on AirBnB.
- Become an extreme couponer
- Rent out your car when it’s not in use
- Walk or ride a bike everywhere to save on gas
There are so many ways to achieve living frugally every day, without sacrificing happiness and fun!
Which of these frugal living tips and ideas will you try?
Let me know in the comments!
Wonderful tips. I quit my gym membership and do all my yoga at home
Great tips and tools to saving extra cash! I never knew amazon had a trade in offer. Most of the time, we don’t know what to do with our old phones or games. Using the Amazon Trade is a great alternative.
By reviewing my small refrigerator/freezer every Sat. I keep track of leftovers and the saving was easy. I left a small day planner with entries like no spend no car checked. Between not running to the store to get something I already knew what was in my refrigerator/freezer. The savings has been 1st month small budget of $125.00 for 2 people no coupons $25.00 and grow to $30.00 reduction so we can survive on our pension.
However I’ll never skip out on social interactions because of money. I’ll never tell my spouse no to going out and I will never live in a shithole. Most importantly I never give two thoughts about spending money on things I love doing.