Frugal living is absolutely necessary if you are to work towards a life of financial freedom! It’s essential that we take more care in how much we spend and how we spend our money.
What do I mean by this?
Well, if we spend everything we have now, how on earth can we expect to live a more fulfilled life and one free of money worry in the future?
That’s why for me, I make it a daily mission to be more intentionally with my spending. I have key monthly saving goals that will lead me to the life of financial freedom I desire.
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One way I save more money is to live a little more frugally. You will find it very difficult to find a wealthy person who spends up all they have each month. Saving money and encompassing frugal living in some areas of life is needed to create and maintain wealth.
And that’s why I’ve put together a list of a few frugal things that I do, that demonstrate how I save money.
Believe it or not, these are the very same frugal living ideas that have seen me save li-ter-ally 1000s over the years!
But first, in case you are new to the whole frugal lifestyle thing, let me go ahead and explain what frugal living is.
What does frugal living mean?
I have described frugality here before but for the benefit of those who don’t know…being frugal to me means being more careful and intentional then the average when it comes to spending money.
You are a frugal person if you know where your money is going and clever when it comes to finding ways to spend less of it. The result? Increased savings as you get more bang out of your buck and make the things you do buy stretch further.
Sounds good right? I’d say so. I mean, who wouldn’t be happy with more savings?
I’m fairly proud of my frugal lifestyle. It’s not high up on the extreme thrifty living scale of things but it has served me well to the point where I was able to save £70k for a deposit on my first home.
And not only that, but frugal living has allowed me to move more of my spending over to other areas where I can’t be or rather where I don’t want to be frugal. For example, helping others and any other general giving.
Let’s just get this straight. Frugal living is not being tight or stingy or holding back money for selfish reasons. No.
You see, I am a firm believer in making the best efforts to get value and a bargain out of most things. This is certainly possible and definitely needed if you want to save more money and increase your chances of hitting key financial goals.
You don’t have to give up life’s pleasures or forfeit having nice things. Get them! Just be creative, and get them for less.
The key here is to see this as an opportunity to secure a better future. It is not because you lack adequate resources to have a nice life. But rather to sustain your nice life in your later years where you will not have to worry about money but enjoy it doing the things you love.
Cheap V Frugal
One other thing to note here is it’s important not to be cheap. Don’t buy or do the thing that is the cheapest but in the end, it doesn’t fulfill its purpose for you. As this will only result in you buying another and you could end up spending more in the long run. The saying goes: buy cheap, buy twice!
Again, we want to be all about getting the best stuff but for the fraction of the price or come up with imaginative ways to make what we do buy stretch.
So who’s with me as we accelerate our savings to another level? Great!
Let’s get started!
Discover Frugal Living That REALLY Saves 1000s!
Table of contents
- Squeeze it ALL out!
- Spilt wipes into two!
- Ditch wipes! Use water instead!
- Washing up liquid
- Minimise toilet flushes
- Wear it out, before you throw it out or buy another
- Save gift bags
- Repurpose / recycle
- Pay annually
- Sign up for free trials
- Hold on to your receipts
- Search for cashback offers
- Shop with coupons and discounts
- Buy out of season
- Get a budget
- Renew insurance products in advance
- Overhaul your financial accounts
- Beauty online
- Recycle your empties and get rewarded
- Recycle mascara wands
- Apply foundation with your fingers
- DIY lip colour
- DIY haircare
- Add lemons to your skin care
Frugal living // Home
#1 Squeeze it ALL out!
Get everything out of containers before disposing of them. I’m talking about tubes, bottles…anything that can sometimes require extra effort to get the product out. Make the extra effort and save money. Don’t waste anything.
FRUGAL TIP: for thick creams in a bottle (i.e body cream): Make sure there is a little air that can escape from the opening and then flip/ swing the bottle away from you (still holding the bottle!) This moves all the leftover product to the top of the bottle for you to get out. It’s amazing how much gets trapped down there and gets thrown away
#2 Spilt wipes into two!
My mama showed me this one many years ago and that is tearing up wipes into two. I use to watch her rip (mainly baby wipes) into two and it has stuck as a memory every since!
I would recommend doing this only if appropriate. i.e if your baby nappy is really soiled then splitting the wipes into two isn’t wise. But to clean tiny hands or wipe after changing a wet nappy is fine. The results are wipes that last longer and are not wasted.
You could do the same for face wipes and home cleaning wipes only if necessary. If you have really gone to town with the makeup (say) then splitting a wipe into two probably won’t be adequate enough for you.
I know, I know! We should stop using wipes. I’m getting there but until that point, I dispose carefully and not down the toilet and seek a more eco- friendly version.
This leads me onto my next one…
#3 Ditch wipes! Use water instead!
I’ve recently stopped using baby wipes for my baby when he only has pee in his nappy. Instead, I get a soft sponge solely for this use and just clean up with water and a little soap.
This saves money, better on the environment and it is also nice on his little booty too.
I could take it a step further, and take him to the bath when he has done more than pee. But honestly, he is so fidgety that it could get a little messy!
#4 Washing up liquid
Every few washes, I wipe the tip of the washing up liquid bottle to collect any residual liquid. There is always plenty build up there to get the dishes clean.
If you buy a good quality brand you only need to use a tiny amount. Buy cheaper and you’ll use more and it will finish a lot sooner.
Don’t forget to buy a good quality brand of washing up liquid from discount stores such as Wilko, Home Bargains, or Savers. They are far cheaper there and you will save money.
#5 Minimise toilet flushes
Do you have more than one small child in the house? Encourage them to go to the toilet one after the other so that the toilet flushes only one time. Save water, pay less, and save the environment.
#6 Wear it out
Don’t buy something new unless your current item is worn out or no longer presentable. I don’t believe you should wear tattered clothes for the sake of saving money. However, I just can’t understand having 10 pairs of similar-looking black shoes all of which are in good condition!
Try a ‘one in, one out approach’ when it comes to buying clothes, shoes etc. For a couple of reasons:
- If you have a small number of items you will see clearly what you have and avoid buying the same types of clothes over and over again.
- It produces a good mindset. The less stuff you have the clearer your mind will be.
Besides, the item that you have swapped out can be put to good use, i.e can be given away to charity. This produces a good feeling and you help others less fortunate than you too.
#7 Save gift bags
In my home, we have a drawer full of gift bags acquired over the years. Ready to rummage through when we have a gift that needs a suitable bag to go along with it.
You could take this a step further and recycle gift paper and ribbons/ties. As long as you unwrap carefully this is certainly a possibility and another way to save money.
#8 Re purpose / recycle
I try to repurpose anything I can. Have you ever bought one thing and when it was done with fulfilling its initial purpose you found another use for? No? You should try it.
It takes a little creativity sometimes but the benefits are great as you make what you have last longer and be put to good use. It also means you avoid spending more money buying something since you have found an alternative already sitting in your home.
Some things I like to repurpose are:
- Large chocolate plastic boxes into a storage box for my daughter’s colouring pens and pencils etc
- Large muslin cloths are great for extra mattress covering for the kid’s beds and a great hair drying alternative to towels too!
- Glass jars for candles into storage for small trinkets /jewelry
- Storage baskets as baby changing units and depending on the size you can also use for storing books, makeup tools, hair tools, etc
- Re use sandwich bags (I particularly do this when they have been used to store dry foods)
Frugal living // Food and Drink
#9 Diversify your shopping
It’s tempting to do all your shopping in one spot due to convenience but try to split up your shopping destinations i.e for all cleaning products, body and beauty supplies, or certain healthcare products go to places like Home Bargains, Savers, Wilko, or Bargain shops like 99p store, £1 land, etc .
Then for your meat, fruit, and veg go to markets. There are even markets dedicated to each of these areas too with plenty of cost savings to be made.
#10 Make your own
Got kids who love fizzy drinks? Make your own, it’s very simple. All you need is a fruit cordial of your choice and mix with sparkling table water. Voila! Cost much less and you can get natural fruit cordial so it’s a little healthier. The kids hardly notice the difference!
How about sauces for your pasta or spaghetti? Get to making these too. Doing this saves money and is a healthier option as you control the level of ingredients.
FRUGAL TIP: Make these sorts of sauces in batches and pop them into your freezer ready to use for the next time.
#11 Get FREE coffee (or tea)
I had a colleague who knew that if ever he saw me with a coffee from a coffee shop that it was free! Haha! But how did I get it for free? I hear you ask.
Well, if you have an 02 sim card then sign up to their priority moments program. You will get access to plenty of offers and freebies including free coffee from Cafe Nero each week! (Subject to T’s & C’s and availability). Click below to get yours especially if you are in the market for a new sim card.
FRUGAL TIP: Cafe Nero will still stamp your rewards card even for the free coffee. So you can build up rewards to get a free coffee outside of the priority program. Sweet!
Another place that offers free tea and coffee is Waitrose. It’s their bid to stop the growing disposal of throwaway coffee cups.
To sign up, simply visit their website and register for this service. Then bring in your own reusable cup and swipe your myWaitrose card at the checkout each time you visit.
Admittedly, Waitrose isn’t the cheapest of places to shop but this isn’t a bad deal at all!
Save money and help save the environment too.
#12 Get yourself a thermal flask
Do you make cups of hot drink multiple times a day at home using your kettle? Then get yourself a flask and use it to hold enough boiling water for what you need for the day. I do this and save money from not having to boil water so many times using the kettle.
FRUGAL TIP: If you are going to use the kettle each time fill your mug up with water first and pour it into the kettle so you only boil what you need. The kettle is one of the biggest culprits for using up electricity.
FRUGAL TIP: If you stay by your kettle, shut it off before the automatic shut off does. You can save quite a bit of power and over time will result in significant savings.
#13 Use water instead of milk in porridge
If you are like my kids and love a bowl of porridge each morning, try adding more water to replace milk. Water from the tap is free! Honestly, the taste is just as nice and I actually think the texture is more smooth. Besides, if you add toppings (my favorite is banana) then you will definitely not notice the difference! Yum.
Also, porridge itself is cheaper (I find the supermarket brand just fine) than a lot of these cereals and it does a better job of keeping you full for longer!
#14 Take stock of what you’ve got
Before you go on your shopping trip – check right to the back of your food cupboards, fridge, and freezer. If this is your face time doing this, you will find a whole load of goodies that could be used up instead of items you were planning to buy.
Check out my super easy ‘waste not’ challenge to see if you can get some savings on your food shopping:
READ THIS RELATED POST: Super Simple Tactics To Save Money Fast!
#15 Cut meat out
This is not a big deal for me as I don’t always like eating meat (for health reasons mainly). Besides, meat is expensive and we save a ton not indulging in so much of it.
Frugal Living // Finances & Purchases
#16 Pay annually, save money
Pay for things upfront on an annual basis and save money. This includes most insurance products (car, home, etc) or services like tv licenses. Basically any service that gives you the option to pay in full for less money, do it. If you did this across a hand full of products you will save hundreds over the years.
If at all possible, stop paying monthly and pay in full on an annual basis. You can save up to 20% if you pay upfront for the year.
This is something I make the effort to do and most of my bills and expenses that fall into this area are paid upfront in full.
But I go one step further and use a 0% credit card to do this. Not because I don’t have the money to pay but because I want to keep as much of my money performing in a high performing savings account. I explain more about how I do that here: What to look for in a credit card to save money and avoid the danger zones!
#17 Sign up for free trials
Stick to trials or free versions of products or services. It’s tempting to be persuaded by the slick sales pitch. But be sure to know if you really need it before you upgrade to the paying version.
These days companies will do what they can to get your custom so take advantage of the many free trials out there.
FRUGAL TIP: Many providers will considerably lower the price of the paying package when you attempt to cancel or end the trial. So if you really did want to keep the service, you may be able to bag it for a discount!
Gyms and mobile network providers are good examples of this as well as online service providers.
#18 Hold on to your receipts
Be sure to hold on to your store purchase receipts as you can sometimes find an offer at the back. Superdrugs are usually good at this. You can get offers such as money off your next shop if you feel a survey or provide feedback on your shopping experience.
Also, scan your receipts into apps that pay you to do so. Companies are always trying to identify how to best market to us consumers and they can know that by identifying our shopping habits. This is why they are willing to pay you for your receipts.
My favourite is the Shoppix mobile phone app. Swagbacks have recently started this feature too!
#19 Search for cashback offers
I have made at least £600 from cashback alone. Not bad considering you get the money just doing the shopping you are going to do anyway. That is how you save and make money.
Be sure to visit a cashback site before you make any online purchases and earn some extra cash while you shop.
You will get the biggest payouts for taking out a new mobile contract, or an insurance product or even a utility contract.
Try Quidco* for FREE now!
READ RELATED POST: How To Get Cashback From Your Purchases and Get Paid To Spend!
#20 Shop with coupons and discounts
Always and I repeat always search the internet for possible coupons and discount codes for your purchases.
It’s simple to do, just type in the retailer’s name + coupon or discount codes into a search engine to see if there are discounts available that can be applied to your shopping.
You can also download browser extensions that will do this on your behalf. Pouch is an option.
Don’t miss out on any huge saving potential.
#21 Buy out of season
Buy all of your seasonal products out of season and save up to 90% off the RRP. After a particular season, retailers are desperate to get rid of anything that they didn’t sell to make room for the next season’s goods.
Christmas is the perfect example. Once all of the festive joy is over head to the shops and take advantage of those huge discounts.
Put the items purchased somewhere you will remember so you don’t make the mistake of buying the same stuff in season at full price.
#22 Get a budget
I don’t think I know a frugal person who does not have a budget. This is paramount to how to live a frugal life.
A budget gives you control over where to spend your money. It will help you stick to allowable amounts for your different areas of spending. Watch your savings grow and your spending decrease with this bad boy of a budget!
#23 Renew insurance products in advance
Did you know that if you wait until the very last minute to renew an insurance product that you could be paying more?
Yes, that’s because you could come across as unreliable or someone who doesn’t consider these things as a priority and therefore you may pose a higher risk.
It is said about 21 days before your renewal date is the best time to lock in a new deal at the best cost-saving renewal price.
#24 Overhaul your financial accounts
Take a day out and focus on making sure all is well with your financial accounts. This is another must do task of a frugal person.
Some questions to ask are:
- Are you still paying for things you have forgotten about or no longer need?
- Are you getting the most out of your savings accounts?
- Could you save money by switching accounts?
- Are you utilizing and getting the most out of your allowances?
You can save hundreds by switching and updating accounts just by doing this on an annual basis.
Frugal Living // Beauty
#25 Beauty online
Buy beauty products from online discount retailers. I particularly like getting my products from https://www.allbeauty.com/.
Sometimes it can be hard to buy beauty online especially when it comes to colour matching so it might be better to do this for things you have purchased already and like.
FRUGAL TIP: If you want to buy a beauty product for the first time online, go to a store and trial it there first. This hack works well for perfumes too. Perfumes or so expensive, so I would go to a perfume store and smell as many as you desire. Then keep a list of the smells you like. Then when the time comes to buy, you will know exactly which ones to buy and save plenty of money doing so.
Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina Eleganza Eau de Parfum Spray 100ml cost £89.00 on the high street (yikes). But from allbeauty.com you get the same perfume for £33.85. That is a saving of 62%!
#26 Recycle your empties and get rewarded
Do you shop at any of the following beauty retailers? If so, when you finish with your beauty product take the empties back to the store and get rewarded for it.
OK, I admit these brands are a bit pricey, to begin with, but it’s a ‘good to know’ just in case…
- MAC– Bring back six MAC primary packaging containers to one of the brand’s counters, stores or online for recycling, you’ll receive a FREE MAC lipstick of your choice worth £17.50
- Lush – Bring back five empty Lush black pots to any Lush store for recycling and receive a FREE fresh face mask.
- The Body Shop – For every 5 bottles/tubs/tubes returned, you’ll be rewarded with a £5 voucher.
This particular frugal living tip might only be applicable to the UK only so please do check where you are. I know these brands are international so these schemes may still be relevant.
#27 Recycle mascara wands
Try reusing the mascara wands as DIY eyebrow brushes (washed and cleaned first of course!)
#28 Apply foundation with your fingers
Makeup brushes are very expensive. Although I appreciate they are a key tool in the makeup kit, but why not try to apply your foundation with your fingers instead? It works well and allows easy application of the product to your face. Besides, it’s FREE!
#29 DIY lip colour
This one is fun to do. I have a few key lip liners and lipsticks in a few colours which I’m able to mix together and make my own colour. I just apply a lip liner around my lips and a lip colour on my lips and mix.
You can try different combinations each time to get different results.
The result is you don’t have to have such a large collection of lip colours and you save money.
#30 DIY haircare
I’m one of those women who do their own hair and have been doing so since I was in secondary school. I have no doubt saved thousands from this. I do my daughter’s hair too.
There are a multitude of hair care videos/ how to’s and recommendations to help you. I believe it is worth while investing the time to do this and take care of your own hair. Leave the salon visits for special occasions!
FRUGAL TIP: A cheaper alternative to expensive hair treatment products are eggs! Eggs are jam-packed full of protein and can do wonders for your hair. Be careful, it can cook on your head if applied to warm hair.
#31 Add lemons to your skin care
Lemons are full of vitamins and antioxidants that can reverse sun damage, lighten and brighten skin and even out skin tone to reveal a clearer looking skin.
So why not replace some of your beauty products with lemons and save some money.
You can try rubbing it into your skin daily or making your own lemon and water spray solution and doing it this way.
Lemons in warm water is also a fantastic digestion/ indigestion remedy. I swear by it! Have it first thing in the morning and say goodbye to pricey over the counter remedies!
Other frugal living ideas
Here some other frugal living ideas that are more commonly known but for completeness i’ll list them out:
- Wear more layers at home in the colder seasons
- Switch electricity off when, not in use
- Get more than one cup of tea from a single teabag
- Buy items in bulk
- Buy larger sized items
- Have a shower instead of a bath every day
There you have it, just some of my favorite frugal tips that have helped me saved thousands over the years.
I would recommend trying a few and seeing how you get on. I am pretty certain you will notice the savings and as you continue to change your habits, the benefits will only get better.
What will you try today? Let me know in the comments below.
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