20 Best Frugal Living Tips To Save You a Lot of Money

20 Best Frugal Living Tips To Save You a Lot of Money

Frugal living is all about spending less and maximizing value for every dollar you spend. It’s not about depriving yourself or leading an austere lifestyle. Frugality is about being smart with your finances to save money and achieve goals like getting out of debt, building an emergency fund, or saving for retirement.

Implementing some practical money-saving hacks can lead to huge savings over time. This article will share 35 excellent frugal living tips that can easily shave 50% or more off your spending without sacrificing your quality of life.

1. Make a Detailed Budget

The first step is to track where your money is going each month. Make a comprehensive budget detailing your income and expenses. This will identify areas where you may be bleeding cash unnecessarily. For example, Chelsea realized she was spending $200 monthly on takeout coffees after tracking her spending. She now makes coffee at home, saving $150 a month.

2. Pay with Cash

Using cash instead of cards for purchases can help curb overspending. The physical act of handing over bills brings more awareness to what you are buying. One study found that people spent 70% more using credit than cash.

3. Use Coupons and Loyalty Programs

Research before any significant shopping trip to find applicable coupons, discounts, and loyalty program savings. Signing up for a grocery store rewards card could save you 20% or more on your bill. Claire saves 30% on groceries by combining coupons with her supermarket loyalty card deals.

4. Buy Generic Brands

Opt for generic store brands rather than name brands to get the same quality for less. Medicines, canned goods, clothes detergent, batteries, and office supplies often have store-brand options at half the price. Susan switched from brand name to generic over-the-counter medicines and now saves $15 monthly.

5. Cook Meals at Home

Eating out is one of the biggest budget killers. Even grabbing a $10 lunch every workday costs you $200 or more monthly. Plan out recipes for the week and cook at home. Bring your meals to the office to save even more. Cooking at home and bringing his lunch to work helped Alex save $300 a month.

6. Cancel Unused Subscriptions

Audit your monthly subscriptions and identify services you can cancel to save money. Do you watch all those streaming services, or need a year-round gym membership? Melissa canceled two streaming services and a clothing subscription box service, saving her $50 monthly.

7. Shop Thrift Stores

Visit thrift stores in affluent neighborhoods to score great used clothes, furniture, books, kitchenware, and more at huge discounts. You can find quality items if you hunt carefully. Joan furnishes her entire apartment with stylish thrift store furniture and décor for less than $1000.

8. Use Cash Back Apps and Browser Extensions

Apps like Rakuten give you cash back for purchases made through their links. Browser extensions like RetailMeNot automatically apply available coupon codes at checkout. Lucy uses her cash-back apps religiously and averages $100 back yearly.

9. Buy Used Instead of New

Consider buying gently used cars, appliances, furniture, sporting goods, musical instruments, and other big-ticket items. Items just a few years old sell at significant discounts but still have plenty of life. Karen saved 50% by buying a 2-year-old certified refurbished washer and dryer set instead of a new one.

10. Switch to Online Banks

Online checking accounts at banks like Chime and Capital One offer plenty of fee-free ATMs and charge zero monthly fees. Traditional banks load on fees for basic services. Chris switched to an online bank account three years ago and has saved over $500 in fees.

11. Make Your Gifts

Make your own instead of spending on gifts for birthdays, holidays, and other occasions. Bake favorite goodies, create personalized coupons for free babysitting or household chores, cook a nice meal, or give experiences like event tickets. Molly saves at least $300 annually by making gifts instead of shopping for them.

12. Use Local Library Resources

Public libraries offer so much more than free book lending. Take advantage of the extensive selection of movies, ebooks, magazines, online courses, workshops, and family activities available free with your library membership. Registering for her local library card saves Cindy over $100 a month in entertainment costs.

13. Fix Things Instead of Replacing Them

Don’t toss out slightly broken items right away. Look up DIY YouTube tutorials to mend clothes, repair appliances, sharpen tools, and more. Invest in a basic toolkit and some instructions to save on repair costs. James has saved over $2000 in one year doing his repairs around the house.

14. Drink More Water

Stay sufficiently hydrated by drinking water instead of paying for sodas, juices, coffee, tea, and other expensive beverages. Carry a reusable water bottle and habitually drink water throughout the day. Drinking mainly water instead of buying drinks has helped Liam drop his beverage spending by $75 per month.

15. Meal Plan and Use Leftovers

Plan weekly meals around ingredients you already have and leftovers that need eating up. Look for recipes to repurpose leftovers into brand-new dishes. Meal planning has reduced Kevin’s grocery costs by 30% and reduced his food waste.

16. Shop Discount Grocery Stores

Grocery stores like Aldi, Price Rite, and Grocery Outlet offer discounts on pantry staples, fresh produce, dairy products, and meats. Purchasing all his groceries from discount grocery stores saves James 15% on his monthly grocery spending.

17. Leverage Cash Back Credit Card Rewards

Use credit cards strategically just for the rewards, bonuses, and cash back they offer when paid off each month. Rotate between cards to maximize bonus categories. Sheila earns over $800 a year in credit card cash rewards on her daily spending.

18. Unplug Devices and Lights

Get in the habit of unplugging devices when not in use and switching off lights in empty rooms. Replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs that use far less electricity. These simple changes have reduced Chris’s monthly energy bill by $40.

19. Have a Garage Sale

Hold an annual yard sale or garage sale to remove gently used items you no longer need. Everything from clothes and toys to furniture, electronics, and sporting goods can bring in extra cash. Jess earned $1200 last summer selling off items from her garage and closet cleanout.

20. Invest Wisely

Letting money sit long-term in low-interest checking and savings accounts means losing value to inflation. Invest wisely instead to grow your money over time. Start with retirement accounts like 401Ks and IRAs to benefit from tax savings. Beginning retirement investing at age 22 helped Julia grow her net worth to over $500,000.

Case Study

John and Jane struggled with over $15,000 in credit card debt and constantly living paycheck to paycheck. They decided to get serious about budgeting and implementing some frugal living strategies.

First, they made a detailed budget to clarify where all their money was going. Next, they started cooking more meals at home and brown bagging lunch to work instead of eating out. They switched to low-cost prepaid cell phone plans and canceled unused streaming services. The couple started using grocery loyalty rewards cards and coupon apps to get discounts on their regular purchases.

For entertainment, they occasionally used free trials for streaming services instead of paying full price year-round. They also leveraged their local library for books, DVDs, and community events. Shopping at thrift stores allowed them to refresh their wardrobes and home décor at rock-bottom prices. Selling unused furniture, clothes, and other items at yard sales generated extra cash.

Within one year of focused frugality, John and Jane paid off $7000 in credit card debt and built a $2000 starter emergency fund. They are now aggressively growing their retirement savings and have peace of mind knowing they can cover surprise expenses without going into debt. Frugal living gave them freedom from financial stress.


Frugality requires some habit changes but allows you to align spending with your values and reach financial goals faster. Try implementing a few new money-saving hacks each month until frugality becomes second nature. Use the extra savings to pay off debts, build an emergency fund or invest more toward retirement. Let these frugal living tips start you on the rewarding path to financial freedom.