Whether you are tackling your debt or looking for ways to save money and ensure you stay out of debt, these 101 frugal living tips are for you.
Now to some people these frugal living tips will sound like things they already do everyday, and they are probably reading this and thinking “what’s the big deal?”.
But for many other people these frugal tips will be an eye-opener because they are probably use to spending a lot of money on anything and everything, much like my husband and I did.
If you are currently in debt, or close to it, implementing these frugal living tips will help you regain control of your money.
Each month as you implement a new tip your spending will decrease, which in turn will allow you to put more money towards paying off your debt, or into your savings account, or both.
Trying something for a few days and then stopping will not get you very far.
Choose items from this list that you want to begin with and create a plan that will work well for you and your family.
As well, make a point of getting started immediately, because you already know that if you put it off it probably won’t happen.
101 Frugal Tips to Help You Save Money
1. Choose one debt and make it disappear by applying any and all extra cash towards it each month.
2. Organize your bill paying and filing process, whether it is online or manually done.
3. Use financial software for easier tracking and planning.
4. Contact your utility company to see if they have a monthly budget plan for gas, water, and electricity.
5. Turn off the lights when you leave the room.
6. Install a programmable thermostat and pre-set the temperature in your house. In the winter leave the temperature in your home a little lower and wear a heavier sweater. In the summer wear lighter clothes and keep your drapes or blinds closed to stop the heat from coming in.
7. Create a budget that includes all of your current debt, monthly payments, and living expenses.
8. Write down all of your sources of income and calculate exactly how much money comes into your home each month.
9. If cable TV costs a lot, look for alternative ways to watch your favorite TV shows and movies.
10. Make a choice – cell phone or landline? You don’t need both.
11. If only 2 people in your house drive you don’t need 5 cars sitting in the driveway, especially if you owe money on the cars in the driveway. Sell them and pay off the car loans.
12. Quit the gym and find alternative ways to exercise like playing softball at the park, running, yoga, etc.
13. Walk or bike to work, school, or the store, whenever you can.
14. If walking isn’t an option, carpool.
15. Instead of paying for babysitting, take turns with your friends. You look after theirs, they look after yours.
16. Never buy a grocery item at a convenience store.
17. When it comes to spending your money, make a list of your priorities and stop spending money on things that you really don’t need.
18. Limit how much you spend on dining out. Try $50 a month, and if you want to spend more, than save from one month to the next until you have enough money to go where you want to.
19. Use credit wisely and make sure you have a definitive plan on how you will pay off the amount you spend.
20. Save first. Every month when you pay your bills, make sure you put money into your savings account first. Start with $50 a month and watch that account grow.
21. Check your furnace and air conditioner every year to make sure they are working properly. Regularly clean any filters.
22. Shop at the dollar store and discount grocery stores as much as possible.
23. Dye your own hair and do your own manicures and pedicures.
24. Reduce the amount of money you spend on gas by driving carefully and always ensuring that your tires are balanced and well maintained.
26. Never overstock when buying perishable grocery items that have an expiry date, as you will most likely end up throwing some of it out before you get a chance to eat it.
27. Always do full loads of laundry and full loads of dishes in the dishwasher.
28. When it comes to laundry products only use a half a cap of laundry detergent and a half a cap of fabric softener for each load of laundry.
29. Stop or reduce the number of clothing items that you buy that are “dry clean only”.
30. Drastically reduce your grocery bill by going grocery shopping after you eat instead of on an empty stomach.
31. One of my favorite frugal living tips is to create a weekly or monthly meal plan and prepare less expensive meals.
32. Take your lunch and snacks with you to work.
33. Bake cupcakes, cookies and muffins at home instead of paying $3.00 for one in a cafe.
34. Learn how to bake your own bread.
35. Make large batch meals with groceries that you can buy in bulk and freeze them for later.
36. Use public transportation.
37. Sew your own clothes.
38. Sell clothes you no longer wear, but are in good condition, at a consignment shop.
39. Sell those expensive purses to a consignment shop.
40. When the air conditioner or the furnace is on in your house, keep your windows and doors closed.
41. Make fruit smoothies at home instead of paying $5.00 for one cup at a juice cafe.
42. Host potluck parties instead of paying for all of the groceries for a party by yourself.
43. If you do use credit cards for your monthly spending, make sure you are using reward cards.
44. Grow a produce garden.
45. Get a jar of extra virgin coconut oil – this is an excellent beauty treatment for hair, the face, and even your teeth! It can be used to create a homemade conditioner, as a skin treatment either in soap or by just applying a bit to your face as a deep moisturizer. You can also mix it with a bit of sugar and salt to create a gentle exfoliating scrub. Coconut oil can also help you prevent and reverse tooth decay and whiten your teeth.
46. For small children start a clothing exchange with a group of other moms from your church, kid’s school, or local community centre.
47. Instead of buying another book, borrow it from your local library.
48. Start a hobby you can do at home instead of spending money going out to clubs and movies.
49. Sell items you no longer use online or hold a garage sale, or both.
50. Set money aside every month for Christmas and birthday gifts.
51. Don’t charge that next big purchase. Save up for it, and then buy it.
52. Make extra mortgage payments as often as possible.
53. Shop around for car, home and life insurance, and make sure you are getting any discounts that you qualify for.
54. Avoid ATM fees.
55. Draft proof the doors and windows in your house.
56. Collect your spare change and put it in your savings account.
57. Repair household items whenever possible instead of buying new ones.
58. At dinner use linen napkins instead of paper ones.
59. Cut back on how often you use paper towels around your house.
60. Consider a basic cell phone instead of one with all of the bells and whistles, and try to only use it for emergencies.
61. A simple frugal living tip that is quite fun on the weekends is to make restaurant or pub type food like Nachos or Tacos, at home instead of going out to a restaurant.
62. If you need furniture for your home, shop at Estate sales, or moving sales.
63. Stop buying magazines. Read them online or borrow them from the library.
64. Read the newspaper online instead of buying the paper copy.
65. When it comes to entertainment, look for free or cheap things to do like going to the beach, biking, hiking, playing tennis, and so on.
66. Only buy greeting cards at the dollar store, or make your own at home.
67. Make simple, healthy meals that only require 5 or less ingredients.
68. Instead of buying new kid’s toys and storing or throwing out the old ones, join a children’s toy swap. If you can’t find a local one, start one.
69. Avoid late fees and interest charges by paying your bills on time each month.
70. Shop for clothes at the end of each season when all of the stores are having sales.
71. Invite friends over and watch movies at home instead of going to the theatre.
72. Don’t get trapped by technology. You don’t really need the latest cell phone to arrive on earth, or the most powerful laptop out there.
73. Make your own cleaning supplies with baking soda or vinegar. Vinegar works miracles on stains within minutes.
74. Buy generic or store brand products whenever possible. That goes for groceries, household supplies and personal hygiene products.
75. Save money on insurance by raising your insurance deductibles.
76. When dining out with kids look for restaurants that offer “kids eat free” deals.
77. Make your own croutons and bread crumbs.
78. Grind your own coffee beans.
79. Make sure everyone in your house goes for regular medical check-ups so that you are not surprised with a sudden medical issue that could have been nipped in the bud if you had discovered it earlier. This includes your pets too.
80. Do your own personal tax returns.
81. Instead of doing a ladies night out, start a book club or a scrapbooking club where you can spend time together, laugh, and have fun.
82. Shop online, and always do comparison shopping before buying to ensure you get the best price.
83. Need a new appliance, such as a new dishwasher? Look for appliances at scratch and dent sales.
84. Stop going to the mall just to hang out. Chances are you are spending money unnecessarily while you are there.
85. Are you an impulse spender? Stop it! People that are focused on frugal living plan every purchase, especially the large ticket items.
86. If you are painting a room in your house, ask the paint store or home hardware store if they have “mistinted paint”. They typically sell a gallon for around $7.00. If you do not find a color that you like, shop around or wait a week and go back.
87. If you are going on a trip, shop for the cheapest flights and accommodations online.
88. Look at downsizing your home. Sell or rent out your current place and move to a smaller home.
89. If you work in an office ask your boss if you can possibly work from home either full-time or at least a few days a week.
90. Plan to do your errands and appointments in one day and plan out your route so that you are not darting around the city.
91. Stop smoking.
92. Make good use of leftover foods before they go bad.
93. For entertainment attend free movies in the park or live outdoor plays in the park.
94. When you do need to buy clothes or household items, always shop for good quality products that will last for 3 to 5 years, or more.
95. If you occasionally need to use a power tool that you do not have, see if you can rent it from a local home hardware store, or borrow from a neighbour.
96. When shopping avoid all buy now pay later financing plans.
97. If you want to go on vacation or want to redecorate your home, come up with a budget of how much it will cost and put money aside each month until you can afford to pay in cash.
98. If you own a house, consider replacing your water heater with a tankless on demand water heater. The upfront cost may be high, but each month you will save money.
99. Create a maintenance plan for your home and clean and fix things on a regular basis in an effort to avoid something breaking down and costing more money.
100. Make apple pancakes or potato pancakes for dinner. My mother did when we were kids and we loved it. We never knew she was doing it to save money.
101. Cook with a crockpot to avoid using the oven, which uses more electricity and warms up the house.
You will often hear people say money is meant to be spent, or money is meant to be saved. Actually, money is meant to be managed in a way that you are able to live happily, with food on the table, a warm home to live in, and your expenses covered. Along with that, you do want to have some savings, and you do want to have as little debt as possible.
Frugal living allows you to enjoy the things that are important to you, while still being able to add money to a savings account, or to investments. Frugal living does not mean you need to deprive yourself. What it does mean is that you are very selective on when to spend money and when to save it. And that happens by taking your time, making plans, and making smart choices.