Today I will discussing extreme frugality and everything about the practice.
When your finances are in a deep decline, going all out for extreme frugality can help you stay on budget.
You can find plenty of advice about how to be frugal and how to save money. But advice on extreme frugality with the emphasis on extremely cheap living can be harder to find.
Sometimes saving money like other people do is just not enough.
If you’ve tried all the mainstream frugal tips but your finances are still not going in the right direction then perhaps it’s time to look at what extremely frugal people do.
Maybe you’ve just lost your job or maybe you’ve had your light-bulb moment and are determined to learn how to pay off debt fast as possible.
There are ways to ramp up your money saving attempts if you are prepared to go where others fear to tread.
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What is extreme frugality?
Extreme frugality is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of sticking to the usual money-saving tips like everyone else, extremely frugal people find ways to save money that most people would never even consider.
In fact, even if you think you live an extremely frugal life, you’re probably not taking it anywhere near as far as some of the extreme frugal living tips below go.
So, the question becomes:
Why would anyone live such an extremely frugal life anyway? Well, I think there are two main reasons:
- They like to be resourceful
- They need to in order to survive
If you’re person #1 and you learned how to live super frugally just because you love being resourceful, keep doing you! As long as you’re happy, who cares what anyone else thinks.
However, if you’re person #3 and you’ve learned how to be extremely frugal just to get by (but you’re completely miserable), keep on reading until the end of the post. I’ll talk about how you can escape the extreme frugality life for good.
But first, let’s get into some of these tips to see what extreme frugal living is really about.
Warning though, some of these are crazy!
12 Extreme Frugality Tips
Live in your car
This is another one that is pretty common and not too extreme. It also has the potential to save you the most money as you won’t have to pay rent! Just shower at the local gym and you’re good to go.
If you want to really embrace car living, join the RV Life movement and live in a small RV or van. It’ll be a lot better than living in a coupe. There’s actually a skateboarder I follow on Instagram that lives in a refurbished ambulance which I think is pretty cool.
You could also potentially turn this into a side gig (if you wanted to) by starting a blog. People love reading about RV extreme frugal living. I’ve seen some RV bloggers making over $100,000/month (not a typo).
Raise your own farm animals
We all know hunting is a good way to supply meat in the freezer for months. You can buy a young calf and have a farmer raise it, and you can triple your investment and eat good, quality grass-fed beef for months off of that single purchase.
Likewise, I know someone who has a chicken farm and raise hens for eggs!
You’ll definitely need a deep freeze for storage, and Amazon Prime has several options to choose from with free shipping (especially handy if you don’t have access to a van)!
Eat out of date food
In day’s gone past the money mantra was waste not, want not.
If food has a small amount of mould on it, does it mean all of that food is now inedible and off?
If you want to reach the heights of extreme frugality then using mouldy food can definitely help you save money.
I account my cast iron stomach (no food poisoning for me) with having been given food that had the mould cut off when I was a child.
My Mother’s response to our disgust at this practice was to point out the premium people pay for blue cheeses like Stilton – mouldy cheese!
This one is actually quite popular.
Basically, people will go to grocery stores to find tossed out food and they’ll take it home for themselves. I’ve seen people get some pretty good hauls doing this too:
Honestly, it’s mind-blowing how much fresh food gets thrown out every day. I’ve seen it myself too, I have friends that work in grocery stores, and they have told me they’re constantly told to throw out perfectly fine food just because it was past its date.
Oh, and it’s not just food either. I’ve also seen people have some pretty good finds dumpster diving at electronics stores! My girlfriend told me people do it at makeup stores too.
Shower less often
Filling the tub is a no-no when you’re practicing extreme frugality. You’ve got to take showers only and limit to once every few days (at most). Been to the gym? Apologise to your significant other for me!
Do you stink? No problem! Take a sponge bath!
Yes, I’m cringing as I’m writing this, but there are people who practice this method of frugality. I will admit I take 2 showers a day, this sounds like an absolute nightmare to me!
Another example of extreme frugality food is to eat the road kill you may come across on your travels.
In the UK it is widely accepted that if you accidentally run over an animal you cannot pick it up as road kill. However, the person behind you can.
I have no idea whether this is an urban myth or buried in some law. But what I do know is there are people who supplement their protein intake with road kill.
Not my thing, but there are people out there that do!
This is a pretty common one. There’s an old saying that goes something like, if it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down. That’s the soft version.
The real hardcore people treat their toilet like an outhouse and at most flush once a day. Doesn’t matter if it’s brown, yellow, chunky or soft.
Take cold showers
For me, this one isn’t actually that extreme. I actually take cold showers just for the benefits but it’s also a good way to save money as you won’t have to heat any water.
After doing it for a while, you actually get used to the cold pretty fast. It will surely wake you up in the morning too, so maybe you’ll save some money on coffee as well.
You could also just shower less to save money, that would be pretty extreme.
Beards are very much in fashion these days so no shaving for men is not difficult to achieve.
Nor is it extreme. You won’t seem different from many others around you, indeed you’ll blend right in.
But how about no shaving, waxing or hair removal for women? Are you willing to be more extreme with your personal care in order save money?
Don’t wash off you makeup
Another way to save money for women (or men if you’re into that kind of thing!) is to not wash makeup off your face.
Makeup is expensive and wearing it every day will make your supply go down super-fast.
Instead of washing your makeup off your face at the end of the day, just skip it, so you can stretch your makeup wear a bit further.
This one sounds pretty crazy but it’s a way to keep your makeup longer and people really do this!
Live in a Storage Unit
Similar to living in a car, living in a storage unit is another extremely frugal way to save money on rent.
I saw a video from a guy who did this and he actually had a pretty decent setup in his locker. He had running water, electricity, a bed, a TV, and more.
The only problem is that living in a storage unit is illegal, and the guy in the video ended up getting kicked out after 2 months!
Collect and reuse grey water
There are plenty of typically normal ways to save money on your water bill.
But how about reusing your bath water to flush your loo?
Or using water from your washing machine to water your plants?
When you are going all out to learn how to be as frugal as possible, reusing your grey water makes financial sense.
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12 extreme frugality tips – Final thought
Even if you could follow some of the extreme saving tips above, how long could it really last? Some of them are just so extreme that I don’t know how you couldn’t get burnt out eventually.
By adopting these extreme frugal living tips, you can hang with the cheapest of the cheap. But at what cost? There are many other ways to live frugally without sacrificing your quality of life.
I can see why some people resort to the extreme frugality tips above. It’s resourceful, it can help the environment, and the savings are there. If you’re doing any of the things above because you actually want to and they work for you, then I see no problem with that. You do you.
Now I want to hear from you and your opinions on extreme frugal living
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Hello! My name is Adam and welcome to my space on the internet. Here you can find me writing about topics such as lifestyle, self-care, self-development, finance, saving money and making money. Come and join the community!