9 Simple Things I Do Every Day To Save Money And Live A Frugal Life

9 Simple Things I Do Every Day To Save Money And Live A Frugal Life

Living a frugal lifestyle is one of the best things you can do for your financial health. It lets you spend less, save more, and achieve financial freedom. The great news is frugality doesn’t have to be complicated or deprive you of life’s enjoyment. It’s simply about making intelligent choices day-to-day.

In this article, I’ll share nine easy habits I practice daily to cut expenses and embrace frugality without feeling restricted. Adopting just a few of these can lead to significant savings over time.

Why Live Frugally?

Before diving into the habits, let’s look at some of the significant benefits of frugal living:

  • Saves money- Obvious, but worth stating. Spending less and avoiding waste directly leads to savings.
  • Pay off debt – The money you save can go toward paying down debt faster.
  • Build an emergency fund- Growing savings helps cushion unexpected expenses.
  • Invest for the future- Money saved can be invested for retirement and long-term goals.
  • Reduce stress- Having savings and manageable expenses leads to less financial stress.
  • Gain freedom- You gain freedom over your money and time with prudent spending and saving.
  • Live intentionally- Frugality enables more intentionality in spending aligned with your values.
  • Help the environment- Consuming and wasting less is also better for the planet.

As you can see, frugality lays the foundation for financial stability and flexibility. Now, let’s get into the habits.

1. Make Coffee at Home

Brewing my morning coffee at home instead of buying it saves me at least $50 monthly. I believe in good quality whole-bean coffee that I grind fresh. With a simple drip machine and insulated tumbler, I can make delicious coffee for a fraction of what I’d pay at a coffee shop.

Try it: Calculate how much you spend on coffee drinks per month. That’s likely $200+ yearly that could be saved or spent elsewhere.

2. Have No-Spend Days

I designate Sunday as a no-spend day each week. I pack food and entertainment for that day and avoid non-essential spending. This helps curb impulse purchases and reinforces more intentional spending habits.

Sometimes, I’ll extend the no-spend streak several days or weeks if I have other saving goals.

Try it: Schedule a no-spend day. Plan alternate activities that don’t require spending, like hiking, cooking together, and game night.

3. Track Expenses

Monitoring where my money goes each month is eye-opening. I use Mint, but a simple spreadsheet works too. Tracking helps me identify waste and make cuts in problem areas like dining out, alcohol, or impulse buys.

Try it: Download a budgeting app and categorize where every dollar was spent last month. Look for apparent areas to reduce.

4. Meal Plan and Batch Cook

Planning weekly meals and grocery shopping accordingly saves money, reduces food waste, and ensures healthy eating. I like to cook 2-3 big batches of recipes on Sunday, like soups, grains, and roasted vegetables that provide leftovers during the busy workweek.

Try it: Map out seven breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Make a grocery list to buy only needed ingredients.

5. Pack Food and Snacks

Eating out is super costly. Packing breakfast, snacks, and lunch saves me $50+ per week. I keep my work fridge stocked with yogurt, fruit, veggies, hummus, hard-boiled eggs, and kvass beverages that I make. Resist the temptation to eat out!

Try it: Spend a Sunday prepping snacks and meals for the week ahead. Things like trail mix, roasted chickpeas, or chia pudding make great snacks.

6. Drink Water

Hydrating with water from home saves money spent on beverages outside. I refill an insulated bottle and flavor with citrus or cucumber. Sparkling water with lemon is another affordable option if I crave bubbles.

Try it: For a week, track how much you spend on bottled drinks, coffee, tea, and alcohol. That money could fund a vacation!

7. Use Cashback Apps

Apps like Rakuten give cash back for purchases at hundreds of retailers. Over time, the passive income adds up. I use it mainly for groceries and gas.

Try it: Download Rakuten or a similar app. Use it when shopping online or in stores. The average user earns $150+ yearly.

8. Buy Generic

Opting for generic or store-brand items saves 25-50% easily without sacrificing quality. I buy generic pantry items, over-the-counter medicine, and household cleaning supplies.

Try it: Next grocery trip, replace a few name-brand items with generic ones and see if you notice a difference.

9. Use the Library

Free library resources save a ton on books, movies, music, classes, and activities. I borrow books and magazines, stream films, and take my kids to free activities. Libraries are an excellent free resource.

Try it: See what your local library offers. Mine has museum passes, Wi-Fi hotspots, and instruments you can borrow!

Ellie’s Story: Living Frugally Changed My Life

Ellie, a 32-year-old social media manager, was drowning in $8,000 of credit card debt. She felt she earned a good salary but could never get ahead and lived paycheck to paycheck. After discovering some frugal living blogs, she decided to make changes:

  • Ellie started packing daily snacks and lunch to stop reliance on the work cafe.
  • She switched to generic brands for non-perishable grocery items.
  • Ellie did an expense audit and was shocked by her spending on take-out, alcohol, and random online purchases. She started cooking more and going alcohol-free during the workweek.
  • She tried Rakuten and earned over $300 cashback in a year on necessities.
  • Ellie got a library card and borrowed books, movies, and music instead of paying for subscriptions.
  • She found terrific free local hikes and activities instead of costly weekend endeavors.

In 14 months, Ellie paid off all her credit card debt! She spent the $650 monthly debt on building an emergency fund and retirement investing. She is now saving for a down payment on a house.

Ellie says frugality gave her freedom over her money. She spends more intentionally, saves aggressively, feels financially secure, and still has fun without spending a fortune.

Start Living Frugally Today

Frugality is life-changing. It doesn’t require depriving yourself. Try adopting a spending habit or two from this article. Over time, the savings add up, allowing you to pay off debt, build wealth, reduce stress, and live freely.