40 Tips for Frugal Living
1. Trim down TV packages. If you have cable or satellite chances are you have tons of channels that you never watch. Call your cable or satellite company and ask if there are cheaper packages available.
2. Cut out cable or satellite all together. We cut out cable and satellite a couple of years ago. We use Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Amazon for our TV viewing. The only time that we miss having cable or satellite is when there is a Kentucky basketball game on, but we can always find a friend’s house or a restaurant to watch the game at.
3. Disconnect your home phone line. If you live in an area where you have good cell phone service, cut your home phone and just use your cell phone.
4. Create a meal plan based on the sale items at your local grocery stores.
5. Cook at home rather than eating at restaurants.
6. Pack your lunch. If you cook at home, chances are you may have leftovers. If so, take those leftovers for lunch the next day.
8. Coupons! I’m not saying you have to go all Extreme Couponing and stockpile 100 bottles of mustard, but use coupons for the items that you buy on a regular basis. I always use coupons for hygiene items like shampoo, razors, shaving cream, toothpaste and toothbrushes. You can ALWAYS find coupons for hygiene items. Another great source for coupons that I recently discovered is Groupon. Did you know they have coupons? Check it out!
10. Avoid daily and last minute trips to the store. Plan your shopping trips to avoid unnecessary purchases.
11. Grow your own fruits and veggies.
12. Preserve your garden harvest by canning, freezing, or dehydrating. In our garden we grow tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, various types of squash, corn, peppers, and other vegetables. Throughout the year we are able to enjoy home grown vegetables because we canned or preserved those veggies during the summer.
13. Take advantage of local farmers and farmer’s markets. If you live in an area where you can’t grow your own food, shop at local farmer’s markets for fresh produce at great prices. In my town we have a market that is ran by a Mennonite family. I usually visit the farmer’s market for fresh potatoes and apples.
14. Create a budget…and stick to it.
15. Sell unused items in your house. Do you have clothing in your closet that you haven’t worn in over a year? What about books that you have already read, or exercise equipment that you just HAD to have but never use anymore? There are many sites you can use to sell your items online such as Ebay and Craigslist. In my area there are a lot of Facebook groups where people list their unwanted items.
16. Shop consignment stores and thrift stores for clothing items. April is an expert at finding awesome clothing deals at local thrift stores and consignment shops.
17. Create a savings account. If your paycheck is direct deposited, set it up so that a certain percentage goes directly into your savings account each paycheck. I have found it’s much easier to save money when I never see that money to begin with!
18. Evaluate your car and home insurance. Get quotes from other companies and shop around.
19. Save gas. If you have errands to run, do those on the way home from work so that you don’t have to make extra trips around town.
22. Use rebates to earn cash back on your purchases.
23. Create a stockpile. Now I’m not talking about crazy stockpiles of items you will never use, but rather a stockpile of staple items. When you hit a tough time financially and your budget is tight it’s nice to know that you have items stockpiled and do not have to spend extra money. Here’s a great article by Southern Saver’s on Why a Stockpile is Necessary.
24. Reuse items that you already have. When your towels get old and worn out, cut them into smaller pieces and use then to clean with or dust with.
25. Don’t buy convenience items. You know those boxes of quick meals that you just add the meat? Why use one of those that can be expensive and full of preservatives when you can make your own? Breadcrumbs are another great example. Don’t buy breadcrumbs when you can easily make your own.
26. Cook in bulk. We love the idea of freezer meals. Stock up on items that are on sale and then spend a couple of days a month cooking and prepping those meals to place in your freezer. When I find a great deal on ground beef I will often make some into patties for burgers and then freeze them or brown ground beef which can then be used for chilies and casseroles.
27. Drop the gym and exercise at home. Walking and running are free. If you like the group fitness glasses at the gym, you can find fitness videos online that you can watch for free.
28. Stock up on gifts throughout the year to avoid last minute purchases. I always hit up after Christmas sales and stock up on gifts that I can use throughout the year such as bath sets, perfume sets, picture frames etc. We also have a candle factory nearby that has an “outlet” store in their factory. I like to visit there a couple of times a year and stock up on candles. These are candles that may have imperfections such as a bubble or maybe the colors aren’t exactly right. These are the same jar candles that you will find at your local stores but these candles are only $1.25 at the outlet store.
29. Utilize travel sites such as Booking Buddy to take advantage of discounted prices when you travel.
30. Save on electricity. Turn off lights, TV’s, etc. when you are not using them. Keep your thermostat set at 68 degrees in the winter and 72 in the summer.
31. Get creative with your meals and create cheap but good foods. Check out this graphic on creating cheap meals.
32. Check out misspelled items on Ebay. Often sellers will list items on Ebay that end with no bids because the description of the item is misspelled, so no one can find the item. Check out this site to help find those misspelled items.
33. Take advantage of discounts on medication. GoodRX.com has coupons and discounts for many medications.
34. Designate certain weeks or even months as “No Spend” times. Pay your necessary bills and then for the remainder of that time period pledge to spend $0 except for necessary purchases like medical care and gas to drive to work. This means no eating out, no renting movies, no purchasing clothes. You will cook using the items that you have in your fridge, freezer, and pantry.
35. Shop at salvage grocery stores. When I was living in Tennessee I would shop at United Grocery Outlet and always found great deals! They stock items that may have damaged packages or were items that did not sell well in the traditional grocery stores.
36. Read for free. Use the local library or take advantage of the thousands of free Kindle books on Amazon. Some libraries even have books that you can check out and read on your Kindle or other E-reader.
37. If you use credit cards pay them off each month.
38. DIY. Rather than hire someone, do it yourself. If you don’t know how to do something, you can almost always find a video or tutorial online to show you how to do it.
39. Maintain what you have. Take care of what you have and you won’t have to replace it as often.
40. Consider the store/generic brand. Sometimes buying the generic or store brand is cheaper. However, I will admit there are some items that I prefer to buy the name brand. Tomato soup is one of those items. I have tried various generic or store brand tomato soups and they are just not as good, in my opinion, as the popular brand name soup.
For more Frugal Living tips, check out these other posts on Two Chics and a Blog.
Finding Meat Sales
Step by Step Guide to Saving Money on Purchases and Meals
Feeling the Pinch at the Pump: Ways to Save on Gas
Great Tips for Frugal Grocery Shopping
Frugal Thrift Store Shopping
Ten Ways to Live Frugally
Twelve Ways We Live Frugally