10 Ways I Live Frugally: Minimalism & Saving Money

10 Ways I Live Frugally: Minimalism & Saving Money

Frugal living has become a passion of mine over the past few years. I strive to spend mindfully on only what I truly need and what brings me joy. The benefits of living frugally extend far beyond simply saving money. A frugal lifestyle helps declutter your living space, frees up mental bandwidth previously focused on shopping, enables deeper connections and time with loved ones, and promotes healthier habits. Adopting a wise, minimalist approach to spending money gives you the power to control your finances proactively and achieve financial goals faster.

In this article, I will share ten tips to spend less and cultivate positive frugal habits in my daily life. They range from strategic meal planning and sales shopping to creating capsule wardrobes and using public libraries over buying entertainment. I’ll also provide real examples of these frugal hacks in action. I want to inspire you to implement even just one or two money-saving strategies. Small, consistent changes genuinely make a significant financial difference over time. A frugal life doesn’t have to feel restrictive – it can provide more joy, freedom, and opportunities.

1. Meal Plan Based on Sales and Use Grocery Lists

As someone striving for financial freedom, I carefully spend only what I need and what brings me joy. The benefits of frugal living go beyond saving money – it reduces clutter, frees up time and mental space, and enables focusing on priorities. In this article, I’ll share ten daily tips I use to spend mindfully and live frugally. They involve meal planning, shopping smart, minimizing possessions, and budgeting. Even just a couple of these frugal hacks can help save significant money over time.

2. Buy Mainly Used Items

I practice buying most items used or on sale – except for undergarments and socks; I shop almost exclusively at thrift stores, consignment shops, Facebook Marketplace, and garage sales for everything – clothes, furniture, home goods, electronics, etc. The savings are tremendous. I also make extra cash by selling gently used items I no longer need.

*Jeremy furnishes his apartment stylishly by shopping at thrift stores in higher-income neighborhoods. He also sold his used bike on Craigslist when he moved to a walkable city.*

3. Create a Capsule Wardrobe

I embrace a minimalist capsule wardrobe of versatile, high-quality basics I can mix and match creatively. Avoiding cheaply made, trendy, disposable fashion saves enormously. I invest in tailored pieces and quality fabrics. With a streamlined wardrobe, I also spend less time deciding what to wear.

*Allison’s wardrobe contains 20 staple items in a neutral color palette that pairs endlessly. She splurges once yearly on a designer piece from consignment to elevate her look.*

4. Use the Public Library Extensively

As an avid reader on a budget, my library membership saves me hundreds per year I’d otherwise spend on books and movies. I check out all my reading materials, films, and music for free. Most libraries also offer massive ebook collections to read from home. The library enables almost endless entertainment.

*Dan reads 2-3 books monthly by reserving popular titles at his local library. He also attends free movie showings, author book readings, and other library events.*

5. Negotiate Bills and Look for Cheaper Services

I don’t let bills automatically renew without first calling to negotiate a better rate. Being willing to switch providers prompts companies to offer discounts to retain customers. I also proactively research to find affordable phones, internet, insurance, subscriptions, and more options. A few calls can lead to big monthly savings.

*Terry saves $15 per month on her internet bill after negotiation. She switched to a cheaper phone plan with the same coverage and got a lower insurance premium by comparing rates.*

6. Bring Lunch to Work and Limit Eating Out

Preparing my work lunches saves at least $100 monthly over buying lunch out. I enjoy cooking healthy, delicious meals and making extras for leftovers. For social occasions, I suggest affordable restaurants or potlucks. Takeout is limited to an occasional treat or on busy days. Overall, I eat out far less than before, getting severe about frugal living.

*Brown-bagging lunch and dinner prep on Sundays helped Nadia reduce her food spending by 40% while eating healthier. She’ll now grab takeout as a gift to herself vs. a regular habit.*

7. Live Minimally and Declutter Often

As a minimalist, I believe in owning as few material possessions as possible and avoiding clutter. When I get the urge to shop, I declutter something first. I immediately donate or sell any unused items. Living with less saves money, feels liberating, and makes cleaning easier.

*Adrian’s 500-square-foot apartment appears spacious because he only keeps essentials like a bed, two chairs, and a laptop. He donates clothing he doesn’t wear for over six months.*

8. Take Staycations Over Big Trips Every Year

Most years, I enjoy low-cost but fun staycations full of local free activities rather than expensive faraway vacations that drain funds. Local hiking, community events, neighborhood explorations – staying local can be adventurous! I’ll plan an ambitious international trip every few years.

*Rather than an annual major vacation, Josie plans free staycations like picnics in new parks and museum visits with discounted days. She saves up for a big trip abroad every three years.*

9. Use Cash-Back Apps and Credit Card Rewards

I use free cash-back apps like Rakuten, Dosh, and Drop, which add up. It’s like getting paid to shop or dine! I also use credit cards strategically that offer high cash back for categories like groceries and restaurants. The rewards add up quickly, earning me hundreds annually.

*Liam uses his Chase Sapphire Reserve card for all dining out and travel, racking up points to redeem for gift cards. He also scans every receipt into apps like Dosh for easy cash back.*

10. Frugal Living in Action

Tina decided she wanted to get serious about spending mindfully and saving more. She created a minimal capsule wardrobe, started meal planning to cut grocery costs, and took the bus instead of Uber. She also did a no-spend month and tracked all her expenses.

Within a year of making small, frugal changes, Tina paid off $5,000 in credit card debt with her savings. She also felt empowered by her mindful spending habits. Tina realized you don’t have to sacrifice joy or entertainment to live frugally – just be creative! Her frugal living tips opened up new financial opportunities.


Living frugally provides massive benefits beyond saving money – it declutters your life, frees up mental bandwidth, enables mindful spending habits, and helps you achieve financial goals faster. Adopt small, gradual money-saving practices like meal planning, minimizing clutter, leveraging library resources, and budgeting tracking to lower expenses. You may be shocked at the extra money you save and reduce debts within months. A frugal life ultimately leads to more freedom and financial control. You can decide exactly how to spend your hard-earned money based on your priorities and values. Why not start developing some frugal habits this week to prepare for future financial success?