Almost everyone who knows me is well aware that I love to live a frugal life. But, many others don’t know the meaning of frugal. Some people actually think being frugal means you’re cheap. But that’s NOT true. I will show you some of the best frugal living hacks I follow that has kept my pocket full.
But, before we go into all these tips you can have up your sleeve to make frugal living not so difficult for you, let’s talk a bit about what being frugal really means.
You already know that putting pennies together would yield dollars.
So, if you gather those small pennies from different places, that is frugal living.
Frugal living simply means being intentional with your spending. It is keeping track of everything you spend and putting the really important things above others. This helps you save money in other areas.
Let’s look at the best frugal living hacks that will save you a lot of money below.
40 BEST FRUGAL LIVING HACKS FOR A HAPPY POCKET.
- Don’t dispose of your leftovers.
- Stay healthy.
- Ditch the cable.
- Air dry your clothes.
- Unplug electronics when not in use.
- Wait a while before making a big purchase.
- Grow something.
- Make your own coffee.
- Don’t eat out every time.
- Plan your meals weekly.
- Buy generic.
- Stay hydrated always.
- Make your cleaning products.
- Don’t spend your money on lottery tickets.
- Buy meat on sale.
- Don’t shop for clothes every time.
- Take care of your goods.
- Use cash envelopes.
- Always negotiate prices.
- Use LED lights.
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
- Try a NO spend week.
- Learn to use a clipper.
- Get your nails done yourself.
- Don’t wash clothes unless they are dirty.
- Cancel subscriptions.
- Get less expensive gym memberships.
- Stop taking fast food.
- Downsize when necessary.
- Get your own shopping bag.
- Make your pizza.
- Quit smoking.
- Pay off debts.
- Buy in bulk.
- Don’t buy a new car.
- Stick to a budget.
- Cut your fruits yourself.
- Try fixing something.
- Take your lunch to work.
- Make a list.
1. Don’t dispose of your leftovers.
Many of us have a very bad habit of throwing away leftover food.
When I was younger, my mother hated having leftovers of food lying around. She would chastise us whenever we wasted her food. Of course, we didn’t understand why she was doing it then. But as I grew and started making my own money, I began to understand my mother better.
The food you eat tonight won’t be spoilt by the time you want to eat it tomorrow. You should preserve it in some ways to keep it fresh.
You can get glass jars to store your food.
We also have refrigerators for food preservation. The next morning or evening when you’re too tired to cook, heat the food on your stove, and you’ll still enjoy it.
2. Stay healthy.
I know that sometimes we may fall ill, and it may not always be at fault. But other times, our health is solely in our hands.
The decisions we make daily determine what happens to us.
For instance, if you are an alcoholic, and you keep consuming large amounts of alcoholic drinks daily, you begin to weaken your liver.
You get similar results when you smoke excessively and engage in other practices harmful to your health.
Sticking to a healthy diet, drinking enough water, and taking care of your body will help you stay healthy.
Also, mind your environment.
A dirty environment indicates a very unhealthy living. You should get someone to clean the place up or do it yourself.
3. Ditch the cable.
With the recent arrival of streaming sites, it is very easy to ditch cable now.
Cable subscriptions take up a lot of money.
If you want to watch movies, subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Prime for a low amount, and stay entertained with movies and television shows all day.
I find it exciting that you will even find free interesting movies on Amazon Prime. Take advantage of these things and save yourself a lot of money.
4. Air dry your clothes.
Where I live, the electric company came every month to drop the electric bill. Initially, it was just a random number they estimated from our meter reading. Then, we started using a prepaid meter. So, we only get what we pay for.
In the first month, we used the entire subscription in a few weeks because we didn’t understand how it worked. We used the washing machine to wash, rinse, and spin clothes to dry every time, and we paid for it.
Later, I understood that cutting the machine off after the rinsing stage saved us a lot of money.
The power which is drawn from the machine spinning the clothes several times is saved.
Except when you need a cloth urgently, try to air dry for a change. It will save you a lot.
5. Unplug electronics when not in use.
Some people travel and leave everything just how they would when they are at home.
This is wrong.
When you’re going out for a while, even when you’re not traveling, turn off every electrical appliance. You may leave the refrigerator on if you’re not going out for a very long time.
But, appliances like pressing iron, microwave ovens, and toasters should be turned off.
So, you may be wondering why.
But it is quite obvious.
Leaving them on only puts more money on your electric bills. Moreover, something could go wrong at any time. There is a greater possibility of a fire outbreak when they are left plugged to the AC outlet. So, turn everything off.
6. Wait a while before making a big purchase.
So, you’ve seen something on Amazon or any other e-commerce store and you are excited to buy it.
It happens to all of us.
But as one who wants to live frugally and save a lot of money in the end, rushing to fill in your credit or debit card details is not the right way to go.
Most times when we see these items, we do not really need to purchase them even though we want to.
To know if it is something you really need, give yourself one or two weeks to see if you will be just as excited as the first time you saw it.
When you rush to buy things that cost you a lot of money without thinking things through first, you’ll end up very annoyed at the end of the day.
7. Grow something.
As mentioned above, staying healthy is one of the best frugal living hacks. And one excellent way of staying healthy is to eat great food.
Now, instead of going to the market or grocery store to get foodstuff every time, have you thought of growing something on your own?
In my house, there’s a small garden where we grow vegetables that we pluck off and cook whenever we want.
When you have these things sprouting from the ground somewhere, you don’t have to spend a dime to get them anymore.
But if you don’t have garden space, you can get large pots to grow important vegetables.
8. Make your own coffee.
Who doesn’t like to go to Starbucks every morning to have a great taste of delicious coffee before going to work? I love coffee, and I think almost everyone else does.
But, do you know that it saves you a lot of money when you make your own coffee? That 20 bucks will go into your savings to be used for something of importance when things add up.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy Starbucks coffee. Just don’t go there every time when you can make your own.
9. Don’t eat out every time.
I am very guilty of eating out. Most times, I don’t cook my meals, and it’s bad. Buying food at restaurants will cost you a lot more than cooking them on your own. So, you should try to get foodstuff to start cooking at home. Moreover, some of the foods you eat outside contain a lot of calories which is not so healthy when taken in large quantities.
This is why not disposing leftovers is important. When you cook at home, only dish the amount you can eat. Then, you store the remaining using the methods described above. Instead of going somewhere to get dinner because you’re very tired from the day’s work, you can just decide to go to the fridge and heat something up.
10. Plan your meals weekly.
To keep things organized and prevent you from going shopping every time, plan your meals during the weekend.
Get a notepad and write out the list of food you’re going to have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the entire week. You should know the recipe for these foods.
So, check for the ingredients you have at home.
With this knowledge, you can then go shopping for the other ingredients you don’t have at home. This would save you a lot of time and money.
11. Buy generic.
You don’t need to always buy things made from a popular brand. Many other generic products are just as good. In addition, most of them are usually sold at a more affordable price.
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12. Stay hydrated always.
Always taking the right amount of water daily is important if you want to live healthy. But do you have to get several bottles of water to accomplish this?
To save you some money, get a large refillable bottle that can be connected to a water dispenser. This ensures easy and less expensive access to clean water.
13. Make your cleaning products.
Instead of buying expensive bar soaps and detergents all the time, you can get materials to make your own soap. For instance, vinegar is very effective in removing dirt from surfaces. Getting the right quantity and mixing it with other ingredients would give you a very effective cleaning product.
14. Don’t spend all your money on lottery tickets.
Yes, participating in a lottery makes you excited, and you’re very hopeful that you’re going to win. But, the chances of your success are very slim. When you don’t win once, you become tempted to do it over and over again.
You could save that money to pay debts or for use during emergencies.
15. Buy meat on sale.
There are times when meat is sold at very affordable prices. If you’re not a vegetarian, this is a very good time to buy meat in bulk. Then, stock up your refrigerator, so you’ll have enough even when the price of meat goes back up.
16. Don’t shop for clothes every time.
Stop buying clothes because you think you don’t have anything left to wear. It’s true that it takes most of us time to get dressed.
We usually attribute this to lack of clothes, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes, we are the problem.
When you are not creative enough to mix your clothes in a decent and attractive way, you always feel the need to get more clothes.
So, try pairing up clothes to see how well they match. You can do this the night before you want to use the clothes so that you don’t waste time the next morning.
17. Take care of your goods.
Being careful with your items allows you to sell them later when you’re tired of using them. If you don’t take proper care of your goods, they will be in no good condition to sell.
18. Use cash envelopes.
Cash envelopes are a great way for budgeting. Get good envelopes and label them properly with things you want to use the money for. For instance, you can have an envelope for feeding, another for repairs, entertainment, etc.
Cash envelopes prevent you from using your credit or debit cards. So, you are able to keep better track of your money, and you suffer the consequences when you dip into the wrong envelope.
19. Always negotiate prices.
Some people have a natural gift of negotiation. When they want to carry out a human-to-human transaction on something that doesn’t have a price tag on it, they can cut down the price so low that you will be amazed.
You can learn this skill too. Be able to communicate to sellers, so you can purchase items at a more convenient price.
20. Use LED lights.
Compared to normal fluorescent bulbs, LED lights save a lot of energy. So, replace the bulbs in your house with LED bulbs to save you a lot of money spent on power.
21. Don’t compare yourself to others.
As humans, we have this habit of comparing ourselves to others. Don’t look at your neighbor who is driving the most expensive cars and living in the fanciest house you’ve ever seen up-close. We all have different journeys. Don’t buy expensive things you can’t afford because you saw it on someone else. Don’t get into debt because you want to look the way a friend does. Live according to your pocket while working to get richer.
22. Try a NO spend week.
Doing a no-spend week, month, or year is one of the best frugal living hacks you can try.
I asked a group of people what their financial resolutions for the year were. Most of them said their resolution was to have a “no spend” year. I was confused at first, but I was amazed by the end of the discussion.
It was exciting to see that people have stopped caring for things that don’t really matter in order to save some money. So, you can start with a no-spend week and see how it goes from there. During this week, only buy things that you absolutely need, like food. Don’t be distracted by fancy things. If you can survive the week, maybe you can then try a month.
23. Learn to use a clipper.
I’m not someone who likes his hair cut. But, if you’re a wife who has a husband and male sons who do not like to keep their hair, learning how to use a clipper is one of the best frugal living hacks.
When their hair is a little grown, you can use the family clipper to give them nice cuts. The only money you spend is on getting the clipper. And after a while, you will have to service it with a small amount of money.
24. Get your nails done yourself.
You don’t need to go to the salon all the time to get these done. You can get the tools and do it yourself at home. Getting a professional touch is not a bad idea. But to save yourself some money, try to do it yourself. You may even like the outcome after the first try.
25. Don’t wash clothes unless they are dirty.
Some people wash their clothes immediately after they pull them off from their bodies. This is fine if you’ve worn it for about three times and it’s dirty, or you did something that made your clothes very dirty.
But if you wore a cloth once, and you wash it even when it is not dirty, it is wrong.
You’re damaging your clothes. The more frequently you wash them, the more they fade out. You’ll have to spend money on new ones in no time.
26. Cancel subscriptions.
When we use the internet, it is easier for us to subscribe to different things. It could be magazines or even websites that provide exclusive content for subscribers only. We even forget that we’ve subscribed to some of these things and others aren’t even important.
Make a list of everything you’ve subscribed to that takes your money monthly or yearly, as the case may be. Then strike out those you’re no longer interested in.
27. Get less expensive gym memberships.
For people who love to hit the gym to get a very attractive body, if you don’t have so much to spend, don’t sacrifice everything for an expensive gym membership. There are decent standard gyms with very affordable membership plans where you still get everything you’re looking for. So, before paying for a membership at a gym, check out their plans and those of other gyms around you.
28. Stop taking fast food.
Everyone loves fast food. They are easy to make and everything can be done in a very short time. But, fast foods are unhealthy. So, when you are taking them for several days in a week, it can add up. Instead of fast food, there are healthier options you can try. If you’re too tired to cook at night, you can have frozen pizza around.
29. Downsize when necessary.
I know you like that big house that you’re living in, or that very nice car that cost you a fortune. But, if it costs you a lot to maintain it, and you have to sacrifice other important things for it, maybe you should downsize.
When you cut things down, you’ll realize that you have more money to save and spend on other things. You can sell the mansion to get a smaller but comfortable house. The cost of maintenance would be less, and you can even put the house up for rent later on. This will bring you extra money.
Downsizing is one of the best frugal living hacks you should always have at the back of your mind.
30. Get your own shopping bag.
When you go shopping, you are given a discount when you use your own bag. This does not apply to all places, but some stores like Target take $.05 off your money. When you keep doing this, the money adds up.
So, instead of letting them give you a bag, you can go shopping with your bag.
31. Make your pizza
Making your own pizza is one of the best frugal living hacks.
I know that it may be difficult for some people to prepare pizza as delicious as the ones they purchase outside.
But, it’s worth the try.
You can save that money for something else.
If you still think you can’t make your own pizza or you don’t have the time, get frozen pizza and store it in your refrigerator. Whenever you feel hungry, bring it out and enjoy it.
32. Quit smoking.
Sometimes, people smoke to warm their bodies during the winter. But some people are addicted to smoking every day. Not only does this affect your health negatively. You will also spend some money to purchase the cigarette. Smoking is addictive.
I had a friend who spent all he had on cigarettes, even when he hadn’t eaten for a day. Many people were wary of helping him with some money because he was going to squander it again.
If you truly want to live a frugal life, try to get rid of addictions that take your money.
33. Pay off debts.
When you have debts, it becomes very difficult to save. Once you get a good sum of money in your bank, you have to pay off those debts.
Handling your debts earlier prevents them from gaining more interest and also enables you to be financially free.
With all your debts settles, you will have more to store in your emergency fund. You will start enjoying vacations and travel around the world with the peace of mind that comes with not owing money. So, try to settle your college debts, credit card debts, and others you may have incurred along the way.
34. Buy in bulk.
The way I live my life is just as my mother does. And on many days, I thank her for it.
Do you know that the cost of items is reduced when you buy them in bulk?
So, rather than buying only one set of ingredients and spices for cooking, get them in bulk. It also applies to other items like clothes, toys, etc. This would prevent you from going shopping too many times. It is one of the best frugal living hacks that will save you both your time and your money.
35. Don’t buy a new car.
I’m sure your mouth is wide open as you’re reading this.
Some of us are thinking about getting a brand new Lamborghini we can’t even afford yet. The scent of a new car and the great feeling of telling your friends about it is something we all want to experience.
But, since you’re just trying to live within your expenses and have something in your bank account, getting a new car should not be on your top priority list. You can find a nice fairly-used vehicle for a decent price to convey you from place to place.
You can put whatever money is left into your emergency fund or to buy other items.
36. Stick to a budget.
We always say that keeping a budget is a MUST for people who want to live frugally. Many people keep a budget, but fewer people are able to stick to it.
If you can’t stick to your budget, there’s no point in keeping it. This also means that you will lose a lot of your money on less important things.
There are different budgeting methods, which you will see in our beginner’s guide to budgeting. You should look for a method that will allow you save better and prevent you from touching whatever you’ve put aside.
37. Cut your fruits yourself.
Where I live, cutting your fruits at the market you purchase them doesn’t mean the fruits would cost more. They are usually very glad to help me cut fruits. They do it very neatly too. But, this is not the case everywhere.
In some places, you pay extra for cutting your fruits where you buy them. Because every penny counts, ask the seller for the price of cutting your fruits. If there’s none, go ahead. But if there is, your knife at home would do the same job.
38. Try fixing something.
When something gets damaged at home, what do you do?
Some people immediately look for the waste bin and throw these items in them. It could be an electric iron or other appliances in the house. Instead of disposing of them, it is wiser to find out what happened and if you can get it fixed at a cheaper price.
The same applies to mothers whose kids have toys that have been ripped by the ear or clothes that are slightly torn. Instead of throwing them away and getting new ones, if the damage isn’t so bad, get a needle and thread. Then, patch it up.
39. Take your lunch to work.
Many people feel shy to take a launch bag to work. Maybe they don’t want others to see how well they can cook. But, taking your home-cooked food to lunch saves you the money you would spend on buying something smaller at the restaurant at work. It is undeniably one of the best frugal living hacks.
40. Make a list.
So many of the best frugal living hacks for you involve making lists. That’s why I’ve made it the final hack on this list. Making a budget involves writing down a list of all the things you spend money on, how much you earn, and your income sources. Planning a weekly diet involves making a list of food you want to eat and an inventory of ingredients for preparation.
Also, when going shopping, you need to make a list to keep you from buying things you do not really need. When we go to supermarkets or boutiques, we see things we really love. Without a list in hand, we spend our money forgetting what we went there to do in the first place. To save yourself a lot of money, have a list and stick to it!
Now that you know some of the best frugal living hacks that will make you free from lack and help you enjoy life better. You should begin to implement these into your daily routine and you will see great changes.
Some of the benefits I have enjoyed from living a frugal life include being able to travel, take myself on treats and never being broke during times of emergencies. Therefore, you should always remember that every penny counts. Lose one penny here, lose one there, and you’ll find out it was a whole lot when you sum everything up.
So, start creating those budgets, getting those envelopes, and living life using some of the best frugal living hacks we’ve provided.
If you’ve tried other hacks that worked, feel free to include them in the comments for others who would need them.