This articles shares 55 frugal ways to save money.
Tough financial times need us (or force us) to find ways to cut on our spending or at least minimize the monies that come out of our pockets.
Being frugal does not mean being cheap or stingy. It simply means freeing up some money in order to use it in things that really matter, we value and give us real joy.
It means being intentional on where to put our hard-earned money so that we can work on eventually building passive income, giving us time freedom.
Little things here and there can accumulate and add up. So, these ideas may help us in one way or another.
Best Ways to Live Frugally and Save Money
Food / Drinks
1. Meal Plan
Meal planning is one of the proven ways to save money on food cost because what you will buy are ingredients and food items that are already in your plan. In short, you will have no food waste if you do plan your meals.
2. Limit or Do not Eat out
Dining out is more expensive than preparing and cooking your own food especially if you are many in the family. So, try to skip the restaurant and cook your own meals at home.
3. Pack your lunch
If you are working or if you are a student, it is best to pack your own lunch to avoid buying from the canteen which is pricier compared to home-cooked meals.
4. Grow a home garden
Another way to save on food cost is to grow your own home garden. With the skyrocketing food prices now, a home garden helps lessen your food expenses. Plus, you will get to enjoy freshly picked organic food from the comfort of your home.
5. Buy foods in places where prices are low
There are places where you can buy comparably low prices such as buying direct from farmers or wholesalers from the market . It is way cheaper compared to buying from malls and big supermarkets.
6. Have a list when you do grocery shopping and stick to it
Always keep a list on your needs and what you intend to buy when you do grocery shopping and stick to your list. This is to avoid buying items that you do not actually need.
7. Avoid coffee shops and make your own coffee at home
Coffee shops are great to enjoy your favorite cappuccino or lattes but if you are trying to save, it is best to just skip coffee shops altogether and make your own coffee at home.
You will spend only a fraction compared to getting your coffee from the shop.
8. Repurpose leftover food
One way to not waste food is to repurpose your leftovers. Turn it into another delicious meal by mixing and matching other food items available in your pantry.
Like if you have leftover rice, make it into garlic fried rice or if you have leftover chicken from your lechon, make a stir-fried chicken with vegetables.
9. Use reusable glass containers instead of disposable ones
If you use disposable containers to store your food, you will keep buying when you run out of it. The best way to save from such expense is to go for reusable containers and the glass ones are the best for food storage.
Not only will you be able to save money, the environment will thank you for it.
10. Buy on less known yet quality products
Known products that spend much on advertising are usually more expensive. Look for alternative brands that are not yet known but of similar or comparable quality.
11. Check discounted and reduced section
When you go shopping, check out discounted items or those promo items that has additional items that are useful to you.
Of course, always double check on this. Not all sale items are worth it. Some sale items can be deceiving and if you scrutinize closely, you are not benefitting from the sale at all.
12. Bring your own Water Bottle
You will always need water wherever you are. The best way to save cost on buying bottled water is to bring your own.
13. Cook in bulk or batch
Another strategy to save food-related cost is to cook in bulk. You will save on gas or electricity. You will also save precious time and energy that you could divert into doing other productive endeavors.
14. Check out store brands as they are often cheaper
When you do your grocery shopping, you can skip the branded items and go for the store brands as they are always cheaper.
15. Compare unit prices when shopping and go for the more affordable item
When you do shopping, compare unit prices to determine which item is more affordable. You can do it by diving the price by the number of units of the item you intend to buy.
This is the best way to determine which item will save you money as buying bulk/big items do not always guarantee saving you money.
16. Consume Less Meat
Meat is often pricey as they are commercially produced most often. If you are able to consume less meat, you will be able to save.
Another option is to just use smaller amount of meat then add more on veggies. It is way healthier and Mother Earth will thank you for it.
17. Schedule a cookout for whatever is available in your pantry.
You need to purge unused items from your pantry every now and then. The best way to consume items in your pantry is to schedule a cookout and utilize what is at hand.
That way, you will be able to freshen up food items and avoid reaching their expiration dates which will eventually result to waste.
18. Set a realistic budget for your housing Needs.
The ideal portion of your income that goes to your housing expense should be not more than 30 percent of your income. The lower, the better.
19. Rent if you cannot Afford a Mortgage Yet
Depending on what stage you are in your life, just rent out the space you need for living if you cannot afford just yet to get a mortgage.
20. House Hacking
Another common and popular way to save on housing cost is house hacking. You can rent out a room in your house or your basement.
Of course, there are trade-offs with this arrangement like compromising your privacy. However, you can do it temporarily as your situation now is not permanent.
21. Live Near your Workplace and Vital Establishments.
With the skyrocketing price of gas and commuting nowadays, it is ideal to live just near to your workplace.
If you have a family, it is best to also live near essential establishments like schools, shopping centers and others. This way, you will save a lot in terms of transportation.
22. Walk (if distance to your destination is walkable)
Walking is a healthy form of exercise. If your destination is just a short distance and walking is doable, do it.
Not only will you save money, but you will also get a healthy and fit body.
Biking is another option to save on transportation. Just be careful on the road and wear your safety gears.
This is way faster than walking, but you do save all the same.
24. Plan your destination when going out to save on gas.
Another technique to save on gas is to plan your destination. Like if you are going downtown, do more than one errand so that you will save from driving back and forth and you are able to accomplish more in just one go.
25. Unplug unused appliances
According to power providers, you will be able to save approximately 10% of your energy consumption if you unplug your appliances when not in use.
That is a lot and huge savings!
26. Use and take advantage of natural light
One way to save on power resources is to use natural light. Open your windows and let natural light come in.
27. Air-dry or solar dry your laundry if its feasible in your area
If you live in an area where there is sunlight, use it to dry your laundry. It will significantly reduce your energy bill.
28. Use energy efficient bulbs
Use bulbs that are energy efficient. They have low wattage but provide strong light.
29. Compare prices when buying necessities
When you are buying your necessities, compare prices always and go for the option that enable you to save. Of course, never compromise quality.
30. Cut out your gym membership
Gym memberships can be pricey. If you are really needing to save money, let go of your gym membership and just exercise at home.
There are a lot of exercise videos on YouTube and you can just follow them along.
31. Cut your own hair (or let your significant other do it for you)
This might sound absurd or extreme to some, but this is doable. If you have a significant other, you can request them to do it for you.
In our family, I cut my husband’s and kid’s hair. In return, my husband colors my hair. It saves us a ton of money.
Of course, you can splurge on a professional hairdresser occasionally if you opt to.
32. Do your own manicure and pedicure
Another way to save on cost is to DIY your manicure and pedicure. There are tons of tutorials online on how to do it.
33. Purge subscriptions that you no longer use or are redundant
Go over your subscriptions and cut those you are not using anymore or redundant to you. You will save a ton doing this.
34. Save or invest windfall money
If you have windfall money, do not be too excited to splurge it on unnecessary spending. You can funnel it to your emergency fund or put it to work by investing it.
Your future self will thank you for doing it.
35. Buy second hand – clothes, appliances, even car
Buying second hand yet quality items is a good practice when you are trying to save money. You can buy pre-loved clothes, appliances and car if you want to.
36. Leave your credit card at home and use cash
Credit cards can be tempting and can entice you to do impulse buying if you are carrying it.
The best way to avoid temptation of swiping your card mindlessly is to carry cash and just leave your credit card at home.
37. Avoid Credit card debt
Credit card debt carries huge interest rates if unpaid on time. If you carry credit card debt, compound interest will work against you. So, avoid it as much as you can.
38. Enjoy entertainment that are less expensive or even free
Choose entertainment that does not require huge amount of money. Or better yet, indulge in activities that are free like enjoying in the park, walking and hiking.
39. Put your loose change in a savings jar – this can add up
Your loose change can add up and become a huge amount. To save your loose change, have a savings jar intended for it and you’ll be amazed at how much you can save in few months or a year.
40. Enjoy movie nights at home instead of going to cinemas
Cinemas nowadays are so expensive. Add to that the expenses of food and snacking while enjoying the movie.
The best alternative is just to enjoy family movie nights at home and you will save a significant amount of money.
41. Use the public library
Public libraries have tremendous value. Thanks to the government that invests in our public libraries to make it worthwhile to visit.
42. Cut your cable TV subscription
With the advent of the Internet, I find cable TV subscription unnecessary.
43. Celebrate special occasions at home instead of going and eating out.
You can spend special occasions at home instead of splurging and eating out which can be a bit pricey these days.
44. Avoid incurring fees on money withdrawals and transfer fees
Try to stick to your own bank when withdrawing money from ATMs. Avoid fees and opt for free ways to transfer money online or when paying bills online.
45. Take advantage of online Banking
Banks are investing on improving their online platforms. This saves you a lot like gas because you don’t have to go physically to the bank and of course time and effort.
46. Declutter and sell stuff you are not using anymore
If you have unused items laying around your home, sell them to earn some money. You can just sell them in the FB marketplace. Aside from earning money, you are decluttering your space which is great.
47. Live an active Lifestyle and be healthy
As cliche as it sounds, but health is really wealth. If your health is failing, no amount of money can compensate for it.
48. Do a No Spending Challenge
Follow a No Spending challenge. This way, you will be creative and force yourself not to shell out money to stick to the challenge.
49. Do a Saving Challenge
Another interesting challenge to do is the saving challenge. You will be conscious of your spending because you need to save some money for the saving challenge.
One of the best ways to be frugal is to make a budget and stick to it. This way, you will exactly where your money goes, and you will not just spend anything that is not necessary as you have everything planned out in your budget.
51. Track your spending
Another frugal way to save money is to track your spending. You will know if you are on track with your budget. You can also trim your spending if you deviate from your allocated budget,
52. Use your Hobbies and Skills to make Money
You can hone your skills and use it to generate income. If you are an artist, you can sell your work on etsy. If you are a photographer, you can sell your work online. The list is endless really.
53. Strive to Build Passive Income Stream
Time will come that you will no longer be capable to generate active income. And this is a reality in life. However, as long as you live, you will always incur expenses – food, bills, housing, etc.
The best way to prepare for it is to invest on assets that produce passive income.
54. Find ways to Increase Income (having a side hustle or negotiate for a salary increase)
Sometimes, no matter how frugal you live, you can only stretch so much. You need to focus on increasing your income to meet both ends and more importantly reach your financial goals.
55. Be grateful, be generous and keep a positive outlook in life.
No matter what state you are in your financial life right now, there is always something to be grateful for. Have a grateful spirit and always keep a positive outlook in life.
Positivity brings prosperity, so to speak.
There are plenty of frugal ways to save money. Although not all on this list may be applicable to your personal situation, feel free to apply those that suit your personal lifestyle and needs.