When people think of the word “frugal”, and frugal living, they may think of extreme examples like reusing paper towels, or making your own dish detergent.
However, being frugal doesn’t mean you have to be a penny-pincher. Frugal living means having plans for your money and being more intentional with your spending.
Living frugally tends to get a bad rap, but it’s an easy and quick way to make changes in your life that add up to big savings.
In this post, you’ll learn nine money saving tips which will can help you live more frugally.
By applying these frugal habits in your life, you will be able to keep more of your hard-earned cash!
Money Saving Tips to Live More Frugally
Living frugally and saving more money is possible with the right guide and tips.
The 9 frugal living tips in this post include:
- Imposing Self Spending Limits
- Buying Last Year’s Model
- Avoiding Bank and Interest Fees
- Buying in Bulk
- Use What is Needed
- Find and Use Reward Programs
- Use Apps to Maximize Your Savings When Shopping
- Take Advantage of Offers
- Plan Ahead
Let’s now dive deeper into each of these money saving tips for frugal living.
Impose Self Spending Limits
One of the easiest ways to be more frugal is to put limits on your spending. After setting spending limits, you then need to hold yourself accountable to those limits.
For example, I generally avoid eating out for lunch at work because it’s expensive and bad for me.
Another limit I put on myself is how much I feel comfortable spending on one meal. Many times, I don’t like spending more than $15 for an entree.
Putting limits on your spending isn’t about depriving yourself. Putting limits on your spending is about making better decisions and then ingraining those decisions in your mind so they become second nature.
Over time, these self-imposed limits can become habits which will be difficult to break.
Buy Last Year’s Model
The second frugal living tip is to buy last year’s model.
Whether you’re buying a fridge, a computer, or a car, there’s something special about buying it new.
A great way to be a little more frugal when you’re buying something new is to purchase last year’s model instead.
Depending on what you’re buying, you can save anywhere between 10% to 50%, simply by buying the older model.
For example, a new 2019 Honda CR-V has an MSRP of $29,695, while a new 2018 Honda CR-V has an MSRP of $26,599.
That’s a savings of over $3,000 – just over 10 percent.
That’s a pretty big savings just for buying a slightly older model!
Buying new might be the only option for you, but if you can look to buy a slightly older model to save money.
The third frugal living tip is to avoid fees.
Fees, whether they’re from credit cards, banks, media rentals or subscription services, are a sneaky way to separate you from your money.
Fees are small enough to go unnoticed, but when put together, they can really put a dent in your budget.
Checking your statements frequently is a great way to make sure you aren’t getting charged any excessive fees. If you are, don’t be afraid to call the company up to see if they can remove it for you. If you’re nice and polite, they should be willing to work with you.
Buy in Bulk
The fourth frugal living tip is buying in bulk.
Buying in bulk is another great way to be frugal.
Not only does buying in bulk keep more product on hand in the event you need it, it also saves you money by spreading the cost over more product. Buying in bulk lowers the cost per unit.
While buying in bulk can save you an average of 20%, for some items, buying in bulk can save you almost 100% on your purchase price.
No, that’s not a typo. You can save over 100% by buying some items in bulk!
For example, you can get a box of 500 Kirkland dryer sheets from Costco for $7.99 a box, or 1.6 cents a sheet.
Compare that to a 120 count box of Meijer brand dryer sheets, which cost $4.29, or 3.5 cents a sheet.
That’s more than a 100% difference! To get the same amount of dryer sheets at Meijer, you’d have to spend over $17!
I always recommend bulk buying items which don’t have expiration dates, like garbage bags, paper towels, toilet paper, dryer sheets etc. for the maximum amount of savings.
This way you get them for the cheapest possible price and you always have them on hand.
Use What’s Needed, Not Recommended
The fifth money saving tip is to use what’s needed, not recommended.
A super easy way to be more frugal is to simply use less product than recommended.
When it comes to stuff like shampoo, dish detergent, laundry detergent and the like, they can be easy to overuse – even if you’re following the manufacturer’s directions.
Over time, this wastes product and money!
For an easy fix, try using half the amount of product you normally use and see if you can tell the difference.
For example, you could try using 1/4 cup of laundry detergent, rather than the 1/2 cup the box recommends. If your clothes still come out clean and fresh, you’ve just found a way of getting twice the laundry done at the same cost.
Buying in bulk and only using what’s needed for the job will have a great effect on your finances.
Use Reward Programs
The sixth frugal habit is to use reward programs.
If you frequently shop somewhere with a reward program and you’re not a member, you may be missing out on substantial savings.
Being a rewards member typically comes with many benefits, like:
- Targeted coupons
- Free items
In fact, many stores only allow you to take advantage of sales and promotions if you are a reward’s member.
Also, many of these programs reward you with personalized coupons and offers – sometimes put directly on your reward card or mailed to you.
A few years ago, I got the Target Red Card and have saved hundreds since.
If you’re not using the rewards program at your store, you’re leaving money on the table.
It only takes a moment, and over a lifetime of shopping will save you thousands of dollars.
Speaking of rewards programs…
Use Apps to Maximize Savings When Shopping
The seventh frugal living tip is to use apps to maximize savings when shopping.
Using cash back apps, like Ibotta, can help you maximize your savings from grocery shopping.
Here’s how it works:
- Check Ibotta for offers
- Go shopping
- Snap photo of receipt
- Collect cash back
It’s really that simple.
It doesn’t require you to change your shopping habits or your grocery store. Just shop like you normally would.
Using apps in conjunction with rewards programs and coupons can save you even more money.
For example, let’s say you open Ibotta before you go shopping and see that there’s a $.50 cash back for shredded cheese (which was on your list!).
You also received a coupon for $1 off a bag of cheese from your grocery store. Furthermore, your store is having a buy one get one free sale on cheese.
If you buy a bag of cheese for $2, you’ll also get one free. Then you can use the coupon for $1 off, and finally then redeem the offer in Ibotta for $0.50 off.
With all of this savings, you’ve effectively paid $0.50 for two bags of cheese!
Using money saving apps like Ibotta are a great way to squeeze some extra money out of your grocery bill.
Take Advantage of Offers
The eighth frugal living tip is to take advantage of offers.
There are multiple ways to get discounts and save money, simply by being clever.
For example, many stores offer discounts to college students.
If you are a student or have one in the family, you may be able to use this to your advantage.
Apple, for example, offers educational pricing for students on many of their products, which can easily translate to a savings of 10 to 20 percent.
When you’re talking about fancy computers, this can be a savings of $100 or more!
Maybe your college-bound kid will let you use their name to order a computer at a discount?
Just pay it forward by feeding them or doing a load of laundry 🙂
Finally, the ninth tip for frugal living is to plan ahead.
Planning ahead is a great way to be frugal.
Depending on the situation, planning ahead can save you tens or even hundreds of dollars.
For example, let’s say you’re a family of four going to a theme park for the day.
You grab sunscreen, towels, a change of clothes, and you’re on your way!
Unfortunately, you forget to pack drinks or food, and have to resort to eating and drinking at the amusement park.
I hope you brought extra cash, because for a family of four to eat, one meal will cost over $60! That’s almost twice the price of a ticket!
If you had packed your own food, you could feed a family of four with homemade sandwiches, chips and pop for less than $5 a person.
Planning ahead can help you can avoid a lot of unnecessary expenses.
Save More Money by Living Frugally Today
Being frugal usually makes you think of images of people going to extreme lengths to save money, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Being frugal means living intentionally and being mindful of how we spend our money.
Sometimes we can be frugal without even changing how we spend money – we just do it with more thought!
Hopefully these nine tips can help you live a more frugal life, freeing up money to pursue more of your own goals.
Readers: what frugal living tips do you practice to save money?