Have you ever wondered what makes frugal people tick? What is it about their brains that are just hardwired differently from the rest of us? And do you want to see what you can do to be as frugal as they are?
But what I think is even better than having these Holy Grail of answers from frugal people themselves is that there is no one answer that is right. Some things work, some don’t.
But the biggest thing that separates those highly frugal people from the rest of us is that they keep trying. They keep moving.
Here are some frugal habits that have the power to save you thousands if you commit to sticking to them. Implement one or two habits at a time until you’ve mastered them all! You’ll be amazed at how much money you can save.
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What is a Frugal Living Lifestyle?
Frugal living is a way to get more for your money and making it go further by spending wisely and buying only the things you need. Frugal people are always finding ways to save more money and avoid waste by using what they already have. It’s about smart money management.
So, what kinds of things do frugal people do that makes them frugal?
Set out a plan and then live the plan
It is crucial that you have a plan for your money. Some people (like myself) would call this a budget. Because a budget at its most basic is simply a spending plan.
You need to know where all your money goes! But before you even look at where it is going. You need to have a plan about where you want it to go.
Ask yourself questions like:
- What are your financial priorities?
- What are your goals?
- What is important to you?
Once you have answered those questions, look at what you are spending money on and if that aligns with your money plan? If not, you need to make some changes.
Second point, once you have the plan you need to make sure that you are then doing the second half and living it! So, tracking your expenses, checking in weekly, consider making the switch to a cash budget, whatever you need to do to stay on top of your money– just do it!
Plus, hopefully, there will be something in here you can take and use to supercharge your frugal life!
Read my post on how to set SMART achievable goals below!
Plan your purchases and pay in cash
Stop impulse shopping all of your money away.
Think about the things that you need ahead of time.
Talk about all of your large purchases with your spouse. Decide together what is a large purchase for your family.
For us, it’s £100 or more. Whenever we’re going to make a big purchase, we think about it and shop around for as long as possible (at least a month). We save money by waiting for a good price.
Sometimes it turns out that we don’t actually need that big thing that we were shopping for. And then we save a lot!
When you do decide to make a large purchase, make sure you can afford it — and that means paying for it in cash. Never go into debt to buy stuff you don’t need. It’s just not worth it.
If you want advice with paying debt then see my below posts!
Keep track of prices of items
It’s important to familiarise yourself with the prices of the items you purchase on a regular basis.
By doing this you will know whether an item is on sale or not, or how good the sale is.
How would you know what the usual price is?
Grocery prices can vary by location, so your best option is to keep track of the prices yourself.
Keep a little note book on you, jot the prices down of the items that you regularly purchase. This way you will soon memorise the prices.
Click on the links above to find out more about saving money through these sites
Also, take a picture on your phone of any items for sale, so you can compare when you get home.
You might feel a little silly doing this at first, but you will soon see the benefit in doing so, when you see the savings you make.
Of course, if you’re actually buying the item, you can save the receipt to record the price.
After a period of time, the prices will soon stick in you mind and you will know what’s a good deal and what’s not from the top of your head.
Utilise vouchers and deals
Honey is a great website for finding vouchers from thousands of retailers online.
I have saved money when making purchases on clothes through Honey on several occasions.
Also, Latest Deals is great website for bargains and deals.
While saving money you also earn points though the above sites, which can them be redeemed into a giftcard of your choice.
These sites are no brainer!
Cashback sites are a great way to save money online, you can earn cash back on your purchase you were going to make anyway.
Simplify your food
One of the highest impact frugal habits is to cut down on your food costs.
Try tracking your expenses for a little while and you’ll probably find that you are throwing away a ton of money on take-out and convenience food. And even though it probably tastes good and makes your day a little bit easier, when you see the huge effect it has on your finances it clearly isn’t worth it.
The easiest way to save money on food is to make your own as often as possible. This does not mean you need to be an expert chef. Just learn one meal at a time.
A great way to be intentional about your food costs is to meal plan. I struggled with meal planning for a while, so I came up with a meal planning alternative that works just as well.
For maximum savings, make sure that you set a grocery budget and actually stick to it!
If you have leftover food and you’re struggling to think of a meal you can make from it, then Supercooks is a website that helps you re-create recipes from leftovers.
Just list out the ingredients and let SuperCooks tell you what to cook! Never again will you have to stare at those leftovers in the fridge and wonder what to do with it.
Read my post of cutting back your expenses below!
Read my post on how to save money with groceries below!
Buy in bulk
Bulk shopping isn’t just for big families.
We shop at Costco and stock up when we can. There’s a lot there that can benefit anyone or any size family.
We buy all sorts from there when we visit and it lasts us a long time. We buy our eggs, frozen veggies, meats (that we can freeze), spices, and olive oil from Costco.
Costco is also great for paper goods like paper towels, toilet paper, and tissues.
Bulk buying is great for saving money in the long run.
Here are some products with a long shelf life:
- Toilet Rolls
- Microfibre cloth
- Toilet bleach
- Laundry detergents
- Garbage liners, dishwashing liquid
- Hand wash
- Diapers, wipes and milk powder
- Sanitary towels
- Shampoo, body wash, moisturisers
- Over the counter pain killers also have a long expiry
- Batteries – can come in handy
- Dried Lentils
- Tomato Sauce
- Cereal, peanut butter, jam
- Frozen food of your choice – vegetables, berries
- Canned food – baked beans, tuna, soup, carrot/peas
- Plain/Self Raising flour
Buy these items in bulk when there is a price drop and watch the pennies you save mount up.
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Fix it, instead of throwing away
People in general, seem too quick to throw things away, I use to be the same.
Instead of being one of those people, try to fix or refurbish what you can.
YouTube is a great place for videos that show you how to fix and refurbish just about anything.
One person’s rubbish is another’s treasure. Just because something is old, broken or worn out, that doesn’t mean it’s at the end of its life.
Give it some TLC, work some magic and give it some more life if possible.
You never know, you might find yourself a new hobby you enjoy!
Before purchasing something new, always browse for used items beforehand.
There is some great stuff out there, and there are more sources than ever online. You can find quality used stuff of just about anything on the internet
Ebay and Facebook Marketplace are just a couple of those available, that are great resources.
You can also buy used items on Amazon. When you’re looking at an item, check below the main price for it to say “new & used from”. Click that link and it will send you to the listing of the used versions of that item.
There are many ways to buy good used goods, when you think beyond only buying brand new.
Just say no
Don’t be afraid to say no to your friends and family when they invite you to an expensive activity. It’s a smart idea to talk to your friends about money and your goals. When you’re invited to do something that it out of your price range – or simply a waste of money – just say no. Offer an affordable alternative. If your friends really want to spend time with you, they’ll be happy to be with you without spending so much. And if they just really want to do that expensive thing, let them do it without you.
Create an emergency Fund
Frugal people are already on top of their finances, so it makes sense they’d have an emergency fund.
It doesn’t matter how much money you make, what’s important is to save 3-6 months’ worth of expenses in case of an emergency and you can’t work.
Never stop looking for Frugal ways to save money
Our last frugal habit is to keep looking for new money saving methods.
The first step is to know exactly where your money is going. Know exactly what your current costs are. Then, be constantly looking for new ways to lower your expenses.
Ask yourself how you can do things better. Talk about it with your spouse regularly.
Frugal Living Lifestyle – Final thought
Money is a tool. Learning to live well on less positions you in a place of power over your life and finances. Don’t be afraid to make changes to your life.
Maybe sign up for a few money saving apps. Check Google for possible coupons before you hit, ‘Buy’. Or maybe it’s finally making a spending plan for your money.
Wherever you start, the most important part is that you start!
I’d love to hear from you, if you’ve got any super frugal tips, I’d love to hear them.
Please comment below.
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