I hear excuses all the time. People post on Facebook or chat in line at the grocery store about how the taxes are too high, or they have too much debt. All the reasons they can’t save for their emergency funds or retirement.
How far are you willing to go before you realize that changes must be made? It is time to join the Frugal Money Saver Club, my people. Time to get a little crazy and maybe a little extreme.
And it is time to increase your savings and get out of debt with these frugal hacks.
Cutting back in certain areas will give you some breathing room if you live paycheck to paycheck. It will also give you some extra money to pay off debt or save for something you need.
It is also a great way to save some extra money if you want to go on a fun vacation! Cut back or earn money. Two ways to increase your finances.
Budgeting your money will allow you to know where your money is going and when you need to pull back on spending.
Frugal Money Saver in the Kitchen
1) Meal plan. My grocery ebook comes with a meal planner. Amazon sells meal planners, too! Either way, plan out your meals so you know what items you need to put on your grocery list. This brings me to the next frugal hack.
2) Create a grocery list. And then, after you do, do not stray from said list. If you forget something, go without until the next planned trip. Do not shop without a grocery list!
3) Avoid pre-packaged foods. They are such a scam. Yes, easier, but so much more money. Let’s use animal crackers as an example. Amazon sells 32-ounce bags of animal crackers for $3.55 less than twenty 1-ounce bags! So it costs $3.55 LESS, but you also get 12 more ounces!!!
4) Save bones and vegetable scraps for soups and stocks. So easy to do right in the crockpot or electric pressure cooker. Just cover with water and let cook all day. Cool, strain, and store in the freezer. I use glass mason jars in the freezer. Just leave room for expansion so they don’t break.
5) Eat leftovers. Don’t be like that. It’s the same meal you had last night or two nights ago. You liked it, remember? It won’t taste any different if you store it in a glass container.
6) Drink more water. Not only is it a budget hack, but it’s also better for you. The majority of us (myself included) are dehydrated. We all need more water. Don’t buy bottles of water; invest in a refillable water bottle. Klean Kanteen water bottles are my favorites, but they are not cheap. Ask for one for your birthday or your next holiday!
7) Batch cook. When you are making macaroni and cheese, make enough for two meals. Or, when you are making chicken, make enough for lunches the rest of the week. Such a great money-saving hack. I love to make two casseroles simultaneously — one for now and another for the freezer.
Frugal and Environmental Hacks
8) Stop buying zip bags. We use these reusable silicone bags. I buy ground beef in bulk and then freeze them in these. I was so impressed with how well they worked. And then throw them right in the dishwasher. The smaller silicone bags are great for lunches and snacks.
9) Meal prep. Take one day a week and meal prep for the entire week. Put everything in a bowl to dump in the crockpot one day. Slice up all the peppers and onions for sausage grinders.
Cook the rice for beef stirfry. Boil the pasta for baked ziti. This way, dinner is so close to ready you won’t be tempted to call the pizza place and have dinner delivered — also, prep for lunches.
If you don’t have it to develop something independently, try a program like the $5 Meal Plan. This will give you everything you need to make meal planning easier.
10) Shop your pantry. Before making your meal plan and grocery list, go through your cupboards and pantry to use up what’s in there first.
11) Buy Generic. From ketchup to cheese, the store brands are often just s good as name brands. Sometimes they are even better.
12) Stock up. If you can’t stomach the thought of using anything but Hellmann’s Mayonaise (guilty), stock up when it goes on sale; I bought enough for a year during the summer.
13) Use Coupons. Even better than stocking up is using those coupons on top of the sale. I am not a big fan of coupons, but I will message my friend Kim (who writes for our local paper about couponing and saving money), and she might have a coupon (or six) to spare if I see a deal.
Extreme Frugal Hacks
14) Stop buying paper towels and toilet paper. Maybe the paper towels aren’t so severe (you can use inexpensive clothes for spills or Norwex products for cleaning), but reusable wipes for toilet paper could save you some money. Toilet paper is not cheap!
15) Cancel Cable and Internet. For some, this is an extreme frugal hack. How will they watch the local news or Jeopardy?
Could you get buy with public wifi and an unlimited data plan? What if you shared with your neighbor and gave them a meal each month? Is sharing the internet legal?
16) Make your cleaning products. One more money-saving hack: make cleaning products to clean anything. Make laundry detergent, window cleaner, leather cleaner, and even stainless steel cleaner. Just google it!
Financial Tricks Around The House
18) Avoid “Dy Clean Only” clothes. Most of the time, you can find nice machine-washable clothes. There is no need to spend money on dry cleaning unless you need to.
And then, try to get a few wears out of it before you have to do that. Consider one of those at-home dry cleaning kits.
19) Negotiate bills. Every year, I know people who call their cable/internet company and ask what type of promotions they run.
They also call around for insurance quotes to see if there are better deals. You may also try lowering your cell phone bill.
20) Multipurpose items. Vinegar. It can be used to clean your windows, as a floor cleaner in a refillable mop, in place of fabric softener, to clean your coffee maker, AND will make a delicious salad dressing.
PLUS, it is SO CHEAP! Think about items that will fit more than one purpose.
21) Unplug items. Unplug the items that you are not using. They will suck up phantom power like little vampires. You can also buy an energy saver power strip and turn it off when they are not in use.
23) Switch light bulbs. As your lightbulbs burn out, replace them with LED bulbs. They will last longer and have you so much over their lifetime.
24) Invest in perennials. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars annually on annuals, invest in flowers that will bloom every summer.
25) Adjust the thermostat. Raise it a few degrees in the Summer and lower a few degrees in the Winter. You can always wear a sweater or a sundress to regulate body temperature. This is one of those money-saving hacks couples argue about all the time. One’s hot, one’s cold.
Personal Care Life Hacks To Save Money
27) Cut your hair. I usually cut my hair using the ponytail method with professional scissors. Every once in a while, when I want something fancy, I will head to Supercuts.
My husband cuts my son’s hair with one of the Wahl’s hair-cutting clipper tools.
28) Oil to remove makeup. Instead of buying expensive eye makeup remover, use the coconut or olive oil you already have. Works great, and I also heard it was an excellent preventative measure for wrinkles.
More Frugal Tips To Save Money
29) Pack a lunch, even if it is a quick PB & J; it’s cheaper than buying one out. Find a pretty little lunch bag to make it fun! And don’t forget those reusable goodie bags mentioned above.
30) Consider a Stay-cation. Explore your city as a tourist or take some day trips to save money. There are countless fun, frugal places within driving distance, no matter where you live!
31) Find free hobbies. Research some of your favorite things and discover free hobbies. If you like birds, go bird watching. Maybe you are an animal lover.
You could cuddle the pups at the animal shelter or hold the babies at the hospital nursery.
32) Look for free local activities. Did you know some museums have free days? Talk about a frugal hack! And in our area, every Thursday in the summer, they have concerts and plays in the park! Check your local paper.
33) Choose alternate stores. Do not buy things like gift bags, wrapping paper, and cards at stores like Target or Hallmark. Instead, explore Dollar Stores like Dollar Tree.
Dollar Tree is the home base for frugal hacks and one of my favorite places to buy these items.
Shopping Budget Hacks
Clothes And Accessories
34) Shop off-season. I just got a beautiful black winter coat for $30 at JC Penny. And I had a gift card. All the winter coats were on clearance in February.
Always shop the clearance racks at the end of the season. You may find items that you can still wear. This also goes for Holidays and Summertime, too.
35) Shop your closet. Stay out of stores and wear what you have. Come up with new outfits that you might typically think of.
Look through Pinterest for ideas to pair that black blazer with to see if you have something that works.
36) Sell or swap unused clothes. Places like Thred Up will give you credit for your old clothes so you can shop for new ones!
37) Buy glasses online. Going to your eye doctor and buying glasses is not cheap. Try the frugal hack of shopping online for your glasses.
38) Shop secondhand. Check Craigslist for everything from used appliances to new building materials. Check out consignment shops, church thrift stores, and Habitat For Humanity Re-stores for something before you buy it new. You might find a great deal!
39) Negotiate prices. Many places will give you a discount if something is damaged or missing pieces. Never pay full price if you don’t have to!
40) Pay cash. This might be my favorite frugal hack. Not only will you spend less (scientifically proven), but you may also be able to negotiate the price with a handful of benjamins!
41) Delete stored debit card numbers. Do not save your debit card number on shopping sites like Amazon. It is just too easy to order when your card is ready for use.
42) Try an all-out Spending Freeze. Decide your time and rules, and see if you can do a Spending Freeze. A no-spend month is a great frugal hack and a great way to reign in your spending!
43) Unsubscribe to emails. Yup. Get rid of the temptation of DSW sending you the sale on wicked cute boots or the new arrival of sandals for Spring Break!
44) Consider a once-a-month grocery shop. Only grocery shopping once a month can save you time and money.
Finding the money upfront to make that first shopping trip might take some creativity, but you will see substantial savings after that.
Final Thoughts On Ways To Be A Frugal Money Saver
Incorporating frugal hacks into your daily life can significantly impact your financial well-being. By adopting these strategies, such as comparing prices, using coupons, and embracing DIY projects, you can become a frugal money saver.
Small changes, like cooking at home and reducing discretionary expenses, can add substantial savings over time. Additionally, being mindful of your spending habits and prioritizing value over luxury allows you to make more informed purchasing decisions.
Remember, frugality doesn’t mean sacrificing the quality of life but finding smart and resourceful ways to stretch your dollars. By embracing frugal hacks, you can achieve financial freedom and enjoy a more secure and fulfilling future.