How do you save more money? I’ve compiled 175 frugal living tips to help.
These are just a few things we do in our family, but this list should give you some ideas for ways that work best with your lifestyle and priorities. What could be better than helping others by being kinder on earth by buying wisely and eating healthy foods from scratch whenever possible (especially during these cold winter months)?
I hope these tips will help make your life easier and maybe even relieve the stress of paying all your bills on time.
What Does Frugal Living Mean?
Being frugal is a lifestyle that means you tailor your spending around your current (and future priorities). It’s what this site is all about, living a beautiful life on a budget.
If frugal living means anything, it’s thinking of creative ways to save extra money and spending according to your values.
Frugal living is a great way to prioritize what’s most important in life.
You can spend more time with your family and friends, save for large purchases, build emergency savings or retirement funds, and pay off debt faster.
All without worrying about how much you’re spending on groceries this week! It doesn’t mean you have to live like a pauper: frugality just means being mindful of what we buy so they don’t drain our limited resources.
Frugality is not a sacrifice; it’s the opposite.
But frugal living isn’t just cutting expenses and reducing debt – frugal living means making time for your most treasured possessions. And frugality allows you to make that happen: you’ll be able to spend more quality time with family, friends, and your passions.
Frugality fosters frugal happiness.
Being frugal brings positive benefits to your life. You’ll be able to save for large expenses, start an emergency fund, pay off debt more quickly, or put cash in your retirement account faster! And you’ll be able to do it all without worrying about frugality (or making sacrifices).
Frugality isn’t about depriving yourself of things you want; frugal living means finding alternative ways to get those things at less cost! Being frugal doesn’t necessarily mean you have to live in the smallest house or the frugal lifestyle won’t work for you.
Frugal freedom is the goal of frugal living.
Frugal living isn’t some kind of painful sacrifice you have to make – frugality allows you to live a richer life without sacrificing your important goals and spending time with those that matter most. When frugality is your lifestyle, frugal freedom is the result.
Frugal living builds frugal freedom and is about finding creative ways to get more of what’s important in life without spending money on it! You can live a frugal lifestyle without depriving yourself of anything.
Frugal habits bring frugal mindsets.
It’s all about examining your life and looking for ways to save money. These tips will help you find new (or more frugal) ways to live frugally. The best frugal mindsets come from frugal habits, which can be developed with frugal challenges: set some financial goals for yourself, and you’ll find that your entire mindset about frugality will change!
Frugal information leads to frugal actions.
There are frugal living tips for just about any part of life! Some frugal living suggestions are simple enough (like planning out your meals), while others involve a more drastic change in your frugal habits (like doing a frugal challenge). Ultimately, frugality is all about finding creative ways to spend less.
Being frugal lets you pay off your debts like credit cards and live with intention.
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details.
1. Buy produce in season.
2. Sign up for Rakuten. They will give you a percentage of your purchase back.
3. Hit farmer’s markets right before closing to snag discounted deals on produce. Nobody wants to haul their produce home.
4. Start having meatless Mondays. Meat is the most expensive ingredient in a dish; eliminating that cost and replacing it with cheaper protein sources once a week makes a big difference.
5. Use your capsule wardrobe to pack for a vacation in a carry-on bag, saving the costs of checking baggage.
6. If you don’t already have pets, consider the financial costs of feeding and caring for them before getting them.
7. Keep a “needs” list on your phone and watch for discounts.
8. Research the savings of carpooling or using public transportation to get to work. Consider riding a bike or walking.
9. Give experiences versus gifts for birthdays. They cost less, build gratitude, and will be remembered much longer.
10. Buy groceries in bulk. Flour, sugar, yeast, vanilla, ketchup, crushed tomatoes, cream cheese, pasta, and cases of canned goods are all good bulk purchases.
11. Care for the things that you have. Repair instead of replacing.
12. Consider ditching smartphones and going back to basic phones.
13. Buy gifts when you see them on sale. Include an inventory of people and events for which you’ll need gifts, and when the time comes, you’re prepared.
14. Dye your hair or do your highlights at home.
15. Consider winter an excellent frugal living tip if renting or buying a house. Many landlords or sellers will reduce the price to save on heating costs.
16. If you’re lucky enough to have a choice in electric suppliers, research your options. Many places have this option, but it’s usually difficult to find information on it.
17. If you have adequate savings, increase the deductible on your insurance policies.
18. Always try the free trial of things before purchasing. This works great if there’s a movie you want to see on a premium streaming service. Remember to set an alert on your phone calendar to remind you to cancel when the free trial ends.
19. Sign up for a Target Red debit card. You’ll get a 5% discount on all purchases, making their prices cheaper than Walmart, and free shipping on Target.com with no minimum purchases. This is one of my favorite frugal living tips.
20. Hook an old computer to your TV with a wireless mouse and keyboard. You can stream shows directly from websites for free.
21. Call all utility companies at least once a year to ensure you’re getting the best utility prices.
22. If you go out to eat frequently and don’t plan on changing that, consider looking at Groupon or preferred customer cards that give you free meals by earning points to cut the cost of the meal.
23. Look into when your county or town assesses your home’s value. Contact the county and ask them to reassess your property.
24. Say no to contracts. Make a company earn your business every day.
25. Use a long pan with a lid to bake your sandwich bread. Its shape makes it look like it was store-bought.
26. Stretch your ground beef with beans. Perfect for tacos, burgers, and meatloaf.
27. Grow a garden. Consider just a few plants in containers if you’re new. If you don’t have room for a garden, check out veggie subscription boxes like Misfits Market.
28. Consider buying a full cow with a few friends. Fill your freezer with beef for substantial savings.
29. Pack lunch for work instead of eating out.
30. Reuse paper plates. If you have a sandwich with only a few crumbs, wipe them off and reuse them later. My family looks at me a little odd when I do this, but it’s one of the great frugal living tips. I’m ok with it.
31. Use the library for books exclusively (most have online holds and easy pickups)
32. Compost. Save fruit and veggie scraps, eggshells, and coffee grounds to compost. Add this to grow your flowers and food.
33. Meal plan. Consistently and every meal. This will save you stress, money, anxiety, and stop fatigue ordering.
34. Do your nails. If you enjoy painted toes and fingers, pick a bottle of quality polish and DIY. Or just skip it altogether.
35. During the holiday season, apply for a part-time job at a retailer that you love to shop at and could use a discount for Christmas purchases. I remember working at Bath and Body Works to get everyone BBW for Christmas.
36. Stop buying music. Use the library, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Prime, or the radio for free.
38. Stop buying bottled water and use a reusable water bottle and filtered water.
39. Eliminate buying processed snacks like brownies, cookies, and chips. If you want to eat these, make them yourself.
40. Buy a large water bottle or a Coleman drink thermos for your family and bring it with you on outings, shopping trips, vacations, and events. Consider some collapsible cups to leave in the car.
41. Search the area for discount food stores like Aldi and ShopRite. Also, bread stores and scratch and dent outlets have great deals.
42. Shop the flyers. Know your “best prices” and stock up when you can.
43. If you like purchasing family digital photo albums, create a few in Shutterfly, sign up for their emails, and then wait. About four times per year, they have a free photo book promotion. Also great for gifts.
44. Shutterfly is also one of the few places that let you stack deals. This is great for Christmas gifts! Use retailmenot.com to find out all eligible promotions and start entering codes.
45. Another of the best frugal living tips when purchasing a car (preferably used) is to pay close attention to fuel efficiency and gas mileage. The bigger the car, the more gas it needs.
46. Keep a list of things you may need and check out this chart for the best times to buy. Check out Life Hacker for this info.
47. Inspect your home twice yearly for leaks or cracks to ensure optimal heating and cooling.
48. Share with friends and family that you’re on a money-saving journey. They will likely support you and find cheaper alternatives to spend time with you.
49. Create a stockpile. Compare prices and buy in bulk.
50. Cancel gym memberships. Get used equipment for the house or utilize the outdoors.
51. Start using coupons on things that you will buy anyway. Think of things that you buy name brands of.
52. Unplug unused appliances or use a power strip to unplug them easily.
53. Compare insurance prices every six months.
54. Ditch paper towels and switch to microfiber and cleaning rags.
55. Change your oil or look for coupons to do it for less.
56. Purchase your parts for car repairs, and attempt easier fixes using YouTube videos. Be aware of inflated prices for things like air filters. Mechanics can charge $80 for a $22 part.
57. Pay attention to preventative maintenance, not just in your car but in your home, too.
58. Switch to generic brands. Try the generic brands and make permanent switches on what your family likes (or tolerates).
59. If you have a recurring prescription, call your insurance company to ask for prices for the RX by mail program or 3-month scripts.
60. Another good frugal living tip for the holidays. Talk to your family about alternative gift exchanges at Christmas. Consider picking names or setting a per-person limit. For children, consider the four gift methods (something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read)
61. Stop buying jeans from retail stores. This is a perfect intro to thrift shopping. Jeans hold up great over time, and the racks are full of popular name brands in all sizes for 3-6 dollars.
62. Implement quarterly spending freezes for two weeks. Don’t purchase anything that isn’t an absolute necessity.
63. Try batch-freezer cooking. You can save on groceries and time.
64. Don’t let food go to waste. Freeze leftovers to create easy single-serve dinners.
65. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth, shampooing, or shaving.
66. Switch to cloth diapers. Cheaper and better for the environment.
67. Cover door and window drafts with a door snake, heavier curtains, or window plastic kits.
68. Hang dry clothes in the summer. If you don’t have a clothesline, try an inside drying rack.
69. Ditch plastic zip bags and use reusable food containers and silicone bags.
70. Make your laundry soap. It’s easy and will last for months.
71. Wash clothes in cold water.
72. Use the right setting on your dishwasher. Most everyday loads will be fine on the economy or quick wash.
3. Make your cleaning supplies. A quick Google search will result in recipes for an all-purpose cleaner, tub and tile cleaner, rug cleaner, and window cleaner.
74. Use cloth baby wipes cut out of old tee shirts.
75. A frugal living tip for babies. If you plan to have more than one child, buy gender-neutral baby things to last more than one child.
76. Cut your family’s hair. Buzz cuts for boys and the ponytail method for girls are easy techniques that are hard to mess up.
77. Buy gift wrap at the dollar store or at Costco. Look for neutral wrapping paper on clearance after Christmas. Buy a tag maker at a craft store with a coupon and have bows and tape ready to go to save on last-minute inflated prices.
78. Utilize rewards cards, but never buy something just to get rewards.
79. Be open-minded on vacation. Don’t have dates or a destination in mind; just go where you can get the best discount.
80. Save all leftover vegetables and meat (chop this) from dinner and throw them in a container in the freezer. When the container is full, make soup and eat at home.
81. If you’ve shown you can be responsible with credit, look for rewards, points, or cash back.
82. Planning a wedding? Create a hashtag on social media and have everyone take pictures and tag you instead of an expensive photographer. Use someone’s backyard as a venue and have a friend cater.
83. If you’re searching for wedding dresses, search online and sort by price- lowest to highest. When you see a dress and fall in love, you’ll be excited that you’re looking at the $150 dresses, not the $3,000 ones. Also, consider a seamstress to make your custom dress. The prices might be even lower.
84. Buy a giant box of plain white cards at the craft store to make your cards. Print them from the computer, write your own or use a stamp set, or have kids decorate them for their friends and family
85. Pack shelf-stable snacks for a vacation to eat in the hotel or reserve a room with a mini-fridge and microwave. Eat breakfast and lunch in the room.
86. Pay off all debt and don’t go back.
87. Skip the premade foods at the grocery store. Instead, stock your freezer with breakfast and lunch options. Sausage, egg and cheese muffins, bagels, muffins, breakfast burritos, ham and cheese sandwiches, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (instead of Uncrustables).
88. Plan to contact every company you do business with to inquire about lowering your bill. We did this with our electric company when we first moved in, had an audit done, and got a free new freezer.
89. Look into refinancing your home mortgage for a lower interest rate.
90. A frugal living tip if you’re renting or looking to buy. Find a place that costs less than you can afford to pay.
91. Sell your car and purchase a good, reliable used car. Shop around for the best price and lowest miles. If you get a tax refund, purchasing a used car without a loan is a nice time.
92. Consider having only one car. Consider the cost of having two cars and whether it’s worth the inconvenience.
93. Limit the number of video games that you buy. You can try using Gamefly to rent the newest video games. Consider buying used.
94. As the light bulbs in your house burn out, replace them with LED bulbs.
95. If your water is metered, place a 20 oz. bottle filled with water in the tank of each toilet to reduce water use.
96. Switch to a low-flow showerhead.
97. Buy things for next year out of season. Swimsuits at the end of summer, holiday items after the holiday, and warm coats at the end of winter. This works especially great for kids.
98. Always check to see if you can buy used before you buy something new.
99. Stop drinking soda.
100. Invest in a good travel mug, make your coffee at home, and take it with you (my coffee tastes better than anyone else’s).
101. Make eating out a very special occasion. Have friends over for dinner instead.
102. Wrap a heat blanket around your water heater.
103. Lower your water temperature to 110 degrees.
104. Ask for a haircut that won’t require much maintenance or frequent cuts.
105. A frugal living tip for homeowners. Do your home maintenance. YouTube is a great resource. Barter with friends and family if the repair is above your skill level.
106. If you go out to eat, split an entrée, order water, or use a coupon.
107. Ditch fabric softener. Use dryer balls to reduce drying time and static cling.
108. Stop smoking. Whatever it takes. This will save you a small fortune over a lifetime, including health care costs.
109. Make your baby food instead of buying premade. Consider baby-led weaning.
110. Create a babysitting co-op with trusted friends. You can eliminate the cost of babysitters by taking turns watching all the children.
111. Use your bank’s online bill pay or utility apps to save the cost of stamps.
112. At the end of every shopping trip, take three items out of the cart you can live without.
113. Limit the amount of kids’ extracurricular activities to one
per season. There’s always a cost.
114. Sign up for flexible spending plans to get medical expenses tax-free.
115. If your company has a deferred compensation plan like 401K, sign up for it. Every time you get a raise, increase the contribution.
116. If you travel for business, take a few extra days and bring your family to make it a family vacation.
117. If you’re lucky enough to have a choice in electric suppliers, research your options. Many places have this option, but it’s usually difficult to find information on it.
118. Buy Melamine foam sponges to replace magic erasers.
119. Have date nights at home. After the kids go to bed, cook together, play games, or watch a movie.
120. Consider refilled ink cartridges to save money on printer supplies. Ink cartridges are pricey, and this is a great frugal living tip – especially if you print often.
121. Look into consolidating your debt or refinance. Pay close attention to interest rates and time.
122. Be mindful of large purchases. Take time and consideration when deciding. Make a long-term investment.
123. Focus on behavior modification. What makes you spend? Look for ways to focus those feelings on something besides shopping.
124. Be open to cheaper hobbies. Reading, blogging, bike riding, upcycling, and cooking are all free. Consider a hobby that makes you money.
125. If you have adequate savings, increase the deductible on your insurance policies.
126. Always try the free trial of things before purchasing. This works great if there’s a movie you want to see on a premium streaming service. Remember to set an alert on your phone calendar to remind you to cancel when the free trial ends.
127. Sign up for a Target Red debit card. You’ll get a 5% discount on all purchases, making their prices cheaper than Walmart, and you’ll get free shipping on Target.com with no minimum purchases. This is my favorite tip.
128. Spend one day each weekend at home. You won’t buy anything, and you’ll be able to get everything done you normally don’t have time for.
129. Pack snacks, lunches, and drinks for yourself and the kids when you go out for errands.
130. Set up auto bill pay through your bank or utility companies to eliminate late fees.
131. Stop buying magazines. Read them at the library or buy a coffee or tea at Barnes and Noble and read them there.
132. Don’t buy clothing that needs special laundry services like “hand wash” and “dry clean only” if possible.
133. Start using half of the recommended shampoo, conditioner, dishwashing detergent, and laundry detergent. This cuts the cost of those items by 50%, and likely you won’t notice a difference.
134. Get your free credit report yearly and review it to ensure there are no errors. If there are errors, dispute them.
135. Call your creditors and ask for a reduction in the interest rate or consider a payoff amount and close the account.
136. Perfect frugal living tip in the kitchen…make your kitchen staples: taco seasoning, ranch mix, pancake mix, brownie mix, etc.
137. Make your own face wash, body lotion, eye, and face cream.
138. Make your hand soap.
139. Cancel your home phone service and switch to exclusively cell service.
140. Turn down your home temperature by 2 degrees in the winter and up by 2 degrees in the summer.
141. Switch to a smaller cell service like Mint or Red Pocket with the same coverage
142. Try cheaper makeup. ELF is a great brand, $1-$2 per item. I especially love their eyeliner.
143. Keep a list of really simple pantry meals in your kitchen. When you’re tempted to order take-out, look over your list. Even a frozen Stouffers lasagna is cheaper than pizza delivery.
144. Look for the best bank for your needs.. Look specifically at smaller banks and credit unions.
145. Limit the number of toys that your children have. Exchange old toys for new ones when they receive gifts. This not only saves money but it makes clean-up manageable for little ones.
146. Check gift card recycling sites for good deals if you have a list of stores you frequent. You can save some money combined with coupons and other deals.
147. When you need to send something via USPS, purchase your postage online and print it out (for a discount!), then schedule a pick up right at the house (you can leave it at the front door, and they will email you when they pick it up).
148. Stop buying expensive planners/agendas/schedule books. Grab an instant download, print it off at home (double-sided), and get them bound for pennies at your local print or office supply store.
149. Share streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, or e-learning memberships like Masterclass with a family member or friend.
150. A frugal living tip for the closet: Consider a minimalist wardrobe. Most people only wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time.
151. Try a holding tank for new purchases. Put it in your cart or write it down when you think you want something. Wait 30 days and revisit to see if you still want it. We do this all the time for Amazon.
152. Keep your tires properly inflated to save on gas mileage. Keep a gauge in your car to test them once a month.
153. Keep the number of clothes you have in your closet to a minimum.
154. Serve inexpensive “tummy fillers” with every meal. Bread, rolls, salad, potatoes, or rice work well to stretch a meal.
155. Portion out your meat. Buy ground beef in bulk, then cook and portion it into ¾ pound servings rather than the full pound you usually use. This automatically saves you 25%. Use meat as a side dish instead of the main component.
156. Stay out of stores as much as possible. Try limiting temptation to once per month.
157. Take advantage of “kids eat free” nights at restaurants for special occasions.
158. Scale back birthday parties. Have them at home with snacks and games. Maybe a game night. Be creative. Check out Pinterest for amazing ideas and themes.
159. Quit or reduce alcoholic drinking.
160. Use cash. Stick all of your change in a jar, and roll and cash in at your bank when full. Some banks offer free use of coin machines. Don’t pay for Coinstar.
161. Look for free or cheap entertainment. Most cities and towns will have music or plays in parks. Find a neighboring town to play tourists in.
162. Shop the back-to-school events to get a year’s worth of office supplies for pennies. I’ve always said back to school isn’t just for kids!
163. Stock up on pillowcases, sheets, and blankets when they go on sale. If you’re super thrifty, consider shopping at the thrift store.
164. Sign up for Victoria’s Secret Mailing List. They send out coupons once a month for a free panty. You’ll never need to buy panties again!
165. Consider grabbing undergarments during back-to-school sales or Christmas. Underwear is always on sale then.
166. Cancel your AAA membership. Look at your insurance to see if they offer roadside assistance.
167. Create a budget and stick with it. Figure out what type of budget works best for you. Consider an app and pen and paper.
168. If you go to the movies, get cheaper tickets from warehouse stores like Costco or BJ’s. Bring your snacks.
169. Reuse plastic or paper grocery bags in small trash cans instead of buying them.
170. Breastfeed if possible. Baby formula is expensive, so ask your pediatrician for samples and coupons.
71. Pay yourself first. Have money immediately removed from your paycheck and transferred to a difficult-to-access savings account.
172. If you talk yourself out of a purchase. Transfer that same amount to your savings account for bonus savings.
173. A frugal living tip for your yard: Take advantage of the free plants, dirt, and mulch from friends, family, and Facebook. We are working on our landscaping, and my mom is our go-to plant and flower person.
174. If you need contact lenses, consider the costs of contacts versus a Lasik procedure over your life. Also, look at getting contacts from Costco, Sam’s Club, or online.
175. Ditch Weight Watchers or other paid diet plans and look into a group of accountable friends and Facebook groups.
Final Thoughts on 175 Smart Frugal Living Tips…
It can be difficult to manage your money when you’re living paycheck to paycheck, and it feels like there is never enough.
But the good news is that being frugal doesn’t mean deprivation -it means making thoughtful choices about how you spend your time and money so that they align with what’s important for you in life right now (and down the line).
Living a frugal lifestyle can save money and live your best life.
It’s not about depriving yourself of everything that makes life worth living but rather being mindful of how much you spend on what matters most to you at different points in time.
We hope this post has given you some great ideas for ways to cut back without feeling like it will take away from your enjoyment or quality of life.
If this sounds like something you’re interested in and want to learn more about frugal tips, we have an ebook on 215 Frugal Living Hacks just waiting for you. Check it out today!