Whether you are trying to get out of debt or boost your savings account, cutting back on spending is the first way to jumpstart your efforts. Increasing your income is another option, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. It seems that everything, from groceries to utilities, is constantly on the rise, which makes it even more important to save money any way we can. To give you some ideas, I’ve come up with a list of frugal tips to help you save money and help to get your debt snowball rolling.
If you’re new to the frugal lifestyle, start by implementing a few of these tips at a time. When you see what a difference they can make in your budget and lifestyle, you’ll want to see how many more you can do to make an even bigger difference.
Being frugal doesn’t mean you’re poor. Quite the opposite. Being frugal means more money staying in your pocket and having a choice in how and where you’d like to spend it.
So, without further adieu, check out these frugal tips to help you save money every month, almost painlessly!
85 Frugal Tips To Help You Save Money:
- Make and stick to a budget. Set one up the old school way with pen and paper or use Dave Ramsey’s Every Dollar or Mint.com.
- Implement no-spend days or weeks. I make a game out of this and try to see how long I can go before I have to write a check or use my debit card.
- Stay away from convenience stores, malls or anywhere you may be tempted to spend. No sense in deliberately putting temptation in front of you.
- Shop online. It keeps you from impulse spending. I’ve done just about ALL of my Christmas shopping this way. And guess what?! I only purchased exactly what was on my list!
- Do price matching.
- Shop thrift stores and garage sales before you pay retail for anything.
- Shop consignment sales for kids clothes. When they out grow them, consign them back. My daughter does this and dresses her children for next to nothing with usually name brand clothing.
- Sell clothing and unused/unwanted household items on VarageSale, Craigslist or Ebay.
- Stock up when things go on sale.
- Shop after the holidays for huge discounts.
- Budget in for holidays and birthdays. They come around the same time every year. Don’t get caught off guard. Start saving in January.
- Never go grocery shopping without a list. And I would also like to add, to never go shopping on and empty stomach.
- Buy in bulk, divide and freeze.
- Use coupons, but only if you would buy the item anyway.
- Meal plan to avoid the last minute drive thrus.
- Cook from scratch.
- When dining out, order water instead of soft drinks or tea.
- If you do eat out, opt for lunch instead of dinner. It’s cheaper!
- Eat at home more often.
- Have a meatless dinner.
- Have breakfast for dinner. My family loves pancakes and bacon! It’s cheap, easy and filling!
- Use your crockpot. Check out my 10 Slow Cooker meals for some easy, cheap and delicious recipes.
- Plan a week where you eat what you have on hand. Get creative.
- Weigh pre-packaged fruits and vegetables. If you’re paying for 3 lbs of onions, make sure you’re getting at least 3 lbs.
- Grow a garden or have a container garden. If it produces enough, try doing some canning!
- Don’t waste leftovers. Eat them or freeze them for another meal when you don’t feel like cooking.
- Keep your freezer full.
- Eat frozen veggies. They’re just as healthy as fresh, they last longer and you use them when you want to.
- Take your lunch to work. It’s cheaper and healthier.
- Skip the line at Starbucks and make coffee at home.
- Buy generic on medicine and groceries.
- Stop buying water bottles. Invest in a water filter for your faucets or a Brita water pitcher.
- Wash clothes on Cold or Cool setting.
- Use a clothesline to dry your clothes.
- If you’re not using electronics or appliances, unplug them.
- Drop your landline. We did this over 5 years ago and the only we miss are unwanted sales calls.
- Adjust your thermostat. (Tip: If you spend most of your time in only a portion of your house, only heat/cool those rooms. We purchased a portable, no bucket-no drip AC unit (from Lowes) that vents out of a window. During the summer months, we turn the central unit up and air condition only our bedroom, at night. During cold weather, wear layers and socks around the house and turn the heat down. This saves a ton on our energy bill.
- Take shorter showers.
- Turn water off when brushing your teeth.
- Use half of things, instead of what manufacturer instructions say to. Think shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, clothes detergent, dryer sheets, hand soap, etc. (Little tip: when your hand soap gets down to the bottom and you can see there’s a little left, but the pump won’t pick it up, add a little hot water to it and swirl. There’s still a few more hand washes left.)
- Keep your dryer lint trap and vent clean.
- Switch to energy saving lightbulbs.
- Change your AC filters every three months. Write it on the calendar.
- Use a small toaster oven, instead of firing up the kitchen oven.
- Wear clothes more than once (except for underwear) between washings.
- Cut the cable/satellite.
- Look for no spend entertainment.
- Call your cell phone provider (at least once a year) for better rates on your plan.
- Use Ibotta, Ebates or Checkout 51. These apps pay you back for grocery purchases.
- Use Walmart Savings Catcher, where you scan your store receipt, Walmart compares other area store prices. lf it finds a lower price, Walmart will pay you the difference.
- Buy reliable, used cars. Let someone else eat the depreciation.
- Car pool as much as you can.
- Bundle your errands and try to do as much as you can in one trip. Less gas and less wear and tear on the car.
- Maintain the correct air pressure in your tires, rotate them and get oil changed regularly.
- Keep your car as clutter free as possible. The heavier the car, the more fuel you use.
- Always ask for lower rates.
- Never pay late. Set up automatic bill pay, if you have a hard time remembering due dates.
- Skip the extended warranties and service plans. This is where retailers make the most money.
- Cancel gym memberships, magazine subscriptions and any other memberships that are unused or you can’t afford. You can effectively exercise at home. There are so many fitness apps available, that it’s almost like having your very own personal trainer any time you would like. (Don’t like exercising alone? Get an exercise partner or look for free exercise classes through local churches or community centers.
- Don’t postpone yearly visits to the dentist and doctor for checkups. Letting small problems like a cavity or toothache can lead to BIG expensive problems, later if ignored.
- Borrow books and movies from the public library.
- Save your loose change.
- Make your own cleaning products. Vinegar and baking soda are amazing all purpose cleaners. Also, add vinegar to your dishwasher for a fantastic rinse aid.
- Set your water heater to a lower setting.
- Use cheap hair conditioner to shave with.
- Use your towels more than once.
- Reuse grocery bags for trash can liners.
- Stay organized. When you know what’s in your pantry and refrigerator, you won’t duplicate purchases.
- Use a check register to keep track of expenditures.
- Use the cash envelope system.
- Have savings automatically deposited.
- Use cash (and not credit) for everything. Studies show that people who use cash instead of debit/credit cards tend to spend less.
- Make savings a game. See how much you can put away every day/week.
- Travel/vacation in off peak months.
- Instead of taking a trip out of town for vacation, plan a “Staycation”. Look for activities and fun things to do that are close by.
- Pay annually, if possible, on car insurance, homeowners, etc.
- Sign up for birthday freebies for restaurants, etc.
- Smash your toilet paper rolls. This will keep from spinning the roll and wasting it.
- Recycle cereal boxes for storage to organize drawers. These are great for holding office supplies.
- Make your own greeting cards or go to Dollar Tree, where they’re only .50-$1.00.
- Use YouTube to learn to make and repair, just about anything.
- Avoid sales, unless you’re looking for something specific. Impulse purchases will wreck your budget.
- Don’t pay full price for anything you don’t need immediately. Shop around for the best price.
- Learn to say “No”! There’s no shame in saying no to your family or friends, if you can’t afford to say “yes”. Take a raincheck for when you’re on better financial footing.
- You may need to downsize if your home is costing you more than 30-35% of your monthly income. Being house poor is no way to live. This includes monthly payment, taxes, homeowners insurance and maintenance.
Voila! That’s It!
As you can see, the list above describes many ways to save money every month. I’m sure there are many more that I haven’t even listed, but by putting in practice some or all of these simple ways to save money, you can end up saving thousands per year!
What are some of your frugal tips to save money every month or year?
I’d love to hear your comments!
Be sure to subscribe to Love to Frugal so you never miss a post!