How to Be Frugal – 8 Easy Tips

how to be frugalLiving with the word ‘budget’ hanging over your head everyday isn’t a very nice way to live, and besides the stress that financial worries can cause, living on a budget often leads to families favoring the cheap option over the frugal one. After all, being frugal is about making the most of your money and not always going with the least expensive option!

Cutting corners is great; just be sure you’re cutting the right ones!

Taking care of your family is obviously going to be your top priority, so you’re not going to want to skimp on the essentials; however, there are loads of little ways in which you can streamline your spending and make lots of little –and not-so-little – savings that can really add up in the long-term:

  • Take advantage of special offers at the supermarket by cooking in bulk and freezing batches for use throughout the next week or two. This way, you can still eat plenty of fresh meats and vegetables but at a vastly reduced cost.
  • As well as cooking in bulk, learn to cook generally! If you can whip up a delicious, restaurant-standard meal for your friends and family, you won’t have to spend as much money on expensive nights out, with the added benefit of everyone coming to you so you don’t have to waste fuel!
  • Rather than paying for commercial cleaning products, why not try making your own? Simple ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda can be used to clean pretty much every part of your home, including tiled surfaces, faucets, kitchenware, drains, stained fabrics, coffee mugs, and so much more.
  • Check parts of your home that could help bring down your energy costs. Things like cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, pipes, and boilers are all worth checking for damage or general wear and tear because oftentimes you can make cheap minor repairs that will save you a pretty penny over time.
  • Set yourself a weekly or monthly budget, calculating your expenses and allocating funds to the things you and your family need before anything else. This is a simple and effective way of determining how much disposable income you’ll have available each month so you don’t find yourself overspending.
  • There are countless ways of saving money when it comes to entertainment – encourage your children to trade games with friends instead of buying them; use services like Netflix instead of buying DVDs; and download your music in digital format instead of buying CDs.
  • Learn to adopt a mindset of “if I can’t afford it right now, I can’t have it right now.” With this approach, you’ll be less likely to rely on credit cards and loans to afford the things you want immediately. Set a certain amount of money aside each month for savings, be patient, and you’ll have the money to pay in full rather than accumulating unnecessary debts.
  • Avoid using a drier for your laundry. A $10 clotheshorse provides a ridiculously high return on investment, even if it only lasts for one year, while a drier will be using electricity and requiring periodic maintenance or even replacement. This is also a good time to suggest washing your clothes less often; obviously you don’t want to walk around smelling, but try making some of your clothes last just one day longer before washing them and imagine the savings you’ll make on electricity and detergent over the course of a year.

Readers: What frugal tips would you like to share?

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16 Responses to How to Be Frugal – 8 Easy Tips

  1. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank 02/14/2016 at 3:14 am #

    Whenever there’s a buy one take one at Costco, I always take advantage of this as I can save much money on my grocery items. I can’t afford to pass this opportunity.

  2. Jamie 02/13/2016 at 3:42 am #

    I have that kind of mindset on controlling my urge not to use credit card to get what I currently want to buy. It feels better doing this because I know I don’t get myself into credit card debt by the end of the month.

  3. Jesse 02/06/2016 at 8:05 pm #

    Setting a budget is one great advice that everyone should do because when there’s a budget, all I have to do is to follow it strictly and religiously. And, it makes it easy to save and to spend because there’s a guide to follow, spending and saving in control.

  4. Marissa @ Thirty Six Months 07/27/2013 at 6:33 am #

    I definitely do most of these tips especially #7. I wait until the product is on sale and that’s when I buy it.

  5. Felix Lee 07/04/2013 at 7:04 pm #

    There are indeed a lot of ways to be frugal without having to sacrifice the welfare of the family. I personally set on a weekly budget and try to stick to it to avoid any overspending.

  6. Martin 07/03/2013 at 11:34 am #

    I like your idea of weekly budgeting. I had issues of following monthly budget. It is too long to follow (at least for me). I might still have monthly budget, but break it into weekly parts which may be easier to control, follow, and manage. Thanks for the tip!

  7. Derek | 07/03/2013 at 4:12 am #

    One tip I like is to cut cable and get Netflix. You can also call up the provider and haggle for lower prices.

    If you’re interested, I covered how I did this here:

    Hopefully you can use it and learn from it!

  8. Paul 07/01/2013 at 6:53 am #

    It’s a pretty simple concept: Know how much money you have and then don’t spend more than that! Aside from a car and a home, if you don’t have the cash for it you probably should not be buying it.

  9. David @ PBC 06/30/2013 at 5:22 pm #

    Nowadays, frugal seems to be the key word for a lot of people. You are right. it is essential to live within a budget. Energy savings is one important thing to learn. It is also important to set a regular budget and compute your expenses to know how and where you are going.

  10. Mark Ross | thinkrichbefree 06/25/2013 at 2:08 am #

    Those are great tips, I’ve been doing some of those things for a while now and I can say that it really works. It saved me a lot and cut down my expenses significantly.

  11. Canadianbudgetbinder 06/23/2013 at 10:14 am #

    We’ve been using a budget for a few years now and it’s never caused to favour cheap options. It’s the best thing we ever did for our finances. It has infact helped us to save more money than we were when we didn’t budget. We spend money on quality items by saving up the money for what we need. I think there comes a time when people have to be smart with their money just as you pointed out with your tips. We know when to be frugal and when to spend. No one likes having to spend money twice because they buy something that maybe spending a few more bucks on might have saved them in the long run. We do just about everything you mention in your post and it’s helped us find our way to saving for the future..

  12. Paul 06/22/2013 at 9:29 am #

    Everything in moderation…there are degrees of frugality and driving miles to save a couple bucks doesn’t make sense (no pun intended ;)). I budget and watch my spending so that I can splurge on things that I want. Thanks for stopping by Kayla!

  13. Kayla @ Drowning My Debt 06/22/2013 at 8:32 am #

    It can be really hard to find ways to be frugal without letting it rule your life, especially when you’re first starting out. Your list is so straight-forward and helpful! We are already doing things like limiting expensive entertainment and buying in bulk when a good sale hits, but we still need work in areas like making homemade cleaning supplies and making the house more energy-efficient. Thanks for a great post!


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