I hear excuses all the time. People are posting on Facebook or chatting 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 to their emergency funds or retirement.
How far are you willing to go before you realize that changes need to be made? It is time to get frugal, 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 are living 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 personal finances.
Budgeting your money will allow you to know where your money is going and when you need to pull back on spending.
Money Saving Hacks for 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 bag of animal crackers for $3.55 less than twenty 1 ounce bags! So not only is it $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? If you store it in a glass container, it won’t taste any different.
6) Drink more water. Not only is it a budget hack, its 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 at the same time — 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 on 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 in you to come up with something on your own, try a program like $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 many times are 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 internet legal?
16) Make your own cleaning products. One more money saving hacks: make cleaning products to clean anything. Make laundry detergent, window cleaner, leather cleaner, even stainless steel cleaner. Just google it!
Financial Tricks Around The House
17) Increase your insurance deductibles. But, make sure you have a sinking fund for those deductibles so you won’t have to dip into your emergency fund.
18) Avoid “Dy Clean Only” clothes. Most of the time, you can find nice clothes that are machine washable. 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 are running.
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.
22) Air dry clothes. Either hang them outside on the line in nice weather or set up a drying rack to dry your clothes. The money you will save – can you say frugal life hack?
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 every year on annuals, invest in flowers that will bloom every summer.
25) Adjust thermostat. Raise it a few degrees in the Summer and lower a few degrees in the Winter. You can always put on a sweater or wear 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
26) DIY Mani/Pedi. Save at least $25 each time you go! You can buy your own polish and nail tools to DIY! You can even get a paraffin treatment wax warmer off Amazon!
27) Cut your hair. I usually cut my hair using the ponytail method with a pair of 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 oil or olive oil that 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, its 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 a 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) Chose alternate stores. Do not buy things like gift bags, wrapping paper and card 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 seasons. 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 might 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.
Coastal and Goggles4u are two places that I have used to buy glasses from.
38) Shop second hand. 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 number. 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 do that first shopping trip might take some creativity but after that, you will see substantial savings.
I pack my lunch for work and bring my coffee from home in one klean kanteen and I have crystal light in another to have with my lunch. Usually leftovers from the night before I put in a pyrex dish to microwave and some fruit (frozen from our garden).
We have a large garden of fruit trees, berry bushes and plants as well as planting plenty of vegetables we can, freeze and I dry the herbs.
We don’t do cable tv, we have internet and an antenna on the roof, 26 free local channels.
I take a seat every other month for hubby to cape me and takes his shears in hand to trim my elbow length hair. He does the full sectioning, pinning it up and trimming each layer, he is very meticulous. I get compliments on my hair and my best friend and my mom have had him cut theirs. He gives my boys their monthly haircuts as well using a combination of the clippers as well as the shears.
We do hand me downs among family and friends. I bag up the clothes my boys have outgrown and pass them on and I receive bags that others have outgrown that my boys can wear.
We keep chickens to get eggs and sell the extra eggs which more than covers the cost of the feed.
Two deer in the freezer from last season is a lot of venison we have been eating and I have told huuby I would like other kinds of meat, so we have ham, and chicken as well.
Carolyn, you guys are ROCKING it! I wish my husband would cut my hair. I think if I could talk him into it, he would be good at it! Thanks so much for stopping in. We sound a lot alike!
No way is my family not using toilet paper. So unsanitary!
LOL!! Right there with you Faith! But I just HAD to throw it out there!!
loved your post. To save on food you can add that you can learn how to freeze and refrigerate food to last longer. It is recommended to freeze in portions and take out only what you are going to consume. get away from the supermarkets and look for farmer’s fairs or direct from the producer. greetings from chile 🙂
We used reusable wipes for our third baby when he was using cloth diapers. I felt good that we had the trifecta of saving money on wipes and diapers, helping the environment, and he wasn’t exposed to any nasty chemicals from the commercial diapers and wipes. So, that just got me thinking, if I did that for him, why not us? If you take care of them properly and laundered them daily I think it could work.
Thanks for stopping by, Mollie! I think I would be just fine with reusable wipes. I cannot convince the boys in my family to get on board. I think I am going to keep trying!
Thanks for stopping by all the way from Chile. I love your ideas! My gram used to freeze the loaf of bread and every morning take two slices out for her lunch. It is a great idea!!! In my area, Farmers Markets are very expensive. My friend who lives near a bigger city buys all her produce there!
With all due respect, some of us need to get a grip. It wasn’t so long ago that we washed our babies’ diapers. Even if you use cloths for just pee, that can be a big saving and not unsanitary. Urine has little or no bacteria. All the while, the forestry companies are cutting down trees. They may be replanting, but the tendency is towards monocultivation when it comes to reforestation. This is not healthy for the forest. Not to mention the amount of fuel that it takes to get that product to the store
Make two lists….things I need and things I want. Now take a good hard look at the list and see what you can shift from “need” to “want”. You would be surprised how many things end up on the wrong list.
A year and a half ago, I gave up driving. Since I take the bus or walk to the store with my little buggy, I have to really consider how much I want to haul home. It works like a charm! I do order groceries for delivery but have a second look at my order before sending it. It’s a good way to cut down on impulse buys.
We invested in solar panels 3 and a 1/2 years ago and in that amount of time they totally paid for themselves. They cover 100% of our power. We also have a huge garden and fruit trees so we do a lot of dehydrating and freezing. Have been an avid coupon shopper and frugal my whole life. My husband and I are on the same page as far as money goes and we save more than 1/2 of his paycheck and I have not worked in 28 years…and he only works 2 days a week. I have cut his hair the whole 30 years we have been married and he cuts mine about 70 percent of the time. We firmly believe in budgeting and we write down every penney we spend. We prefer to eat at home most of the time because we feel it is healthier and we love to travel
You might be my hero! Fantastic job!!
Great ideas here. The disposable wipes should never be flushed! My friend the septic guy will be sending his kids to great colleges due to this.
Eating leftovers is good for you financially and cuts food waste. Taking your lunch to work cuts out the frustration of waiting in line somewhere to overpay for lunch.
I found square glass, Pyrex type storage containers at a market on sale. I bought a stack. I put lunch sized meals into them and stack them in the freezer. Today’s leftovers go on the bottom of the stack. I’ll take the choice on the top for lunch or maybe a fast dinner. It helps me not get bored with the food choices. When my kids were in high school and always hungry , they often had a “ boxed meal “ in the middle of the night. In those days, I used plastic containers, before we knew better.
If I don’t have enough of a left over for a meal, I may start a box , and and add tomorrow’s left overs to it as well, making a different meal entirely.
These are some really great ideas. Thank you for sharing!
A fantastic blog!!! Thank you
Thanks so much for your kind words!
simply you can install a hand faucet easily available in amazon, and install it in your toilet, you will feel squeaky clean every time!