You may have heard of the term frugal living, but what exactly does it mean? Frugal living is being conscious of your spending habits, and reducing unnecessary spending, whilst focusing on your financial priorities.
If you’re wishing to live more frugally, it’s important to think about your financial goals, and the way in which you can change your financial habits, in order to reach that goal.
Being financially frugal, means you’re more resourceful, and you’re not wasting money. It just means you’re spending less, and you’re happy living with less.
I have a list of some top frugal living tips, to help you cut back on the less important things in life. This isn’t an all-inclusive round-up, but I hope you find these 21 practical frugal living tips useful. Regardless of your financial goals, we could all do with some of these tips.
21 Practical Frugal Living Tips for Saving Money
Budget Your Finances
The first step to saving money is to budget your finances. This means being aware of what you’re spending your money on, and allocating a set amount of money to each area of expenditure.
There are various ways in which you can budget your finances. You could use a simple notebook and write down everything you spend for a month, so that you’re aware of where your money is going. Alternatively, there are various budgeting apps and websites available which can make the process easier.
Save Money On Recurring Purchases
One way to save money is to reduce your spending on recurring purchases. This could include things like your weekly food shop, your utility bills or your phone bill. There are various ways in which you can save money on these regular expenses.
For example, you could cut down on the amount of food you’re buying each week, by meal planning and only buying the ingredients you need. Alternatively, you could switch to a cheaper energy supplier, or haggle with your current provider for a better deal. Reducing your phone bill could involve switching to a cheaper phone contract, or using a SIM only deal.
Cut That Cable
Cable television is a very expensive bill each month, and are you sure you need it? With services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, many of us are making use of the tonnes of channels we have at our disposal.
If you’re not using the vast amount of channels with your cable package, consider reducing your plan, or getting rid of cable television entirely. It’s a quick and easy way to save a chunk of change every month!
Plan Those Meals
Eating out all the time can be very expensive, and it’s often not the healthiest option. Meal planning is a great way to save money, as you’re only buying the ingredients you need for each meal. This also reduces food waste, as you’re not letting food go to waste which you won’t eat.
When meal planning, it’s a good idea to make use of leftovers, so that you’re not wasting food. You could also batch cook meals, and freeze them for another day.
Plan Your Grocery Shopping List
Another way to save money on your food shop, is to plan your grocery list in advance. This means you’re only buying the items you need, and you’re not picking up any unnecessary items.
It can be helpful to create a meal plan for the week ahead, and then make a list of all the ingredients you need for each meal. This means you won’t forget anything, and you’re not wasting money on food you won’t eat.
Consider Grocery Phone Apps
Grocery stores all have their own phone apps, and they always offer good deals, discounts and vouchers. So load up the app next time you’re instore, and see what discounts and deals there are to be had.
Buy In Bulk
If you have the storage space, buying in bulk can save you a lot of money in the long run. This is especially true for items which you use on a regular basis, such as toilet paper and toothpaste.
You could also bulk buy ingredients for meals, so that you’re not wasting money on food which will go off before you get a chance to eat them.
Try Packed Lunches
It’s so convenient just grabbing lunch on your dinner break when at work, but it’s a massive expensive, especially if you do it daily. If you get into the routine of making lunches the night before, it saves money, as well as time. Not to mention, it actually being more healthy too.
Ditch The Expensive Coffee
Coffee shops are expensive, and if you’re buying coffee every day, it’s costing you a fortune. Invest in a good quality coffee machine, and some good beans, and make your coffee at home.
It might take a bit of time to get used to making your own coffee, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run, and you can experiment with different blends. Make sure you buy an electric frother, it’ll transform your home coffee, and you can tip it into a Thermos flask, to keep it hot all day long.
Grow Your Own Food
If you have a garden, think about sectioning off a place in which you can create your own vegetable patch. Homegrown produce is always better, and you can’t beat the fresh flavor of freshly picked produce. Not only is it healthier, with fewer pesticides, but it’s also more delicious, whilst also saving you money.
Consume More Water
If you drink a lot of soft drinks, drinking more water will save you a considerable amount of money. I’m not talking bottled water, either, as that’s still an expensive. Instead, consider buying something like a Brita Water Jug, with a filter, which will transform tap water, and you’ll never look back. Plus, your teeth will thank you for it!
Prepaid Cellular Services
Monthly mobile phone bills are always expensive, and you’re typically locked in for a super long period of time, too. How about changing your plan to a pre-paid service? Even pay-as-you-go is a more frugal living alternative, and if you shop around, you’ll be able to find a great deal.
Save Money On Your Bills
A lot of people don’t realize that they’re overpaying on their monthly bills, as they’ve never changed providers. If you haven’t shopped around for a better deal in a while, it’s definitely worth doing, as you could save a considerable amount of money.
You might also be able to get a discount by paying your bills on time, or by setting up a direct debit. It’s definitely worth asking about, as it could save you a lot of money in the long run.
Do It Yourself
Have you got a task in your home that needs doing, and you’ve been considering paying to hire a professional to do it for you? Well, try loading up YouTube and looking for some tutorials. It might be something you’d be able to do yourself, and you’ll learn skills by trying it yourself, as well as saving a load of money.
The next frugal living tip is a fuel saver, and it’s combining your weekly errands. We’re all guilty of heading to the store, the pharmacy, the garden center, or the post office each day.
How about, instead try to combine a day when you can do everything on one trip. It’ll cut back on fuel consumption, thus saving money, as well as saving time!
Use Your Local Library
If you’re an avid reader, this frugal living tip is for you. Libraries are free to join, so why not sign up and start borrowing books instead of buying them?
It’s a great way to save money, plus you can return the books when you’re done with them. And, if you don’t finish the book, you’re not out of pocket.
Make Savings With Your Electric Bill
Many people don’t realize that they can actually save money on their electric bill, without having to make any changes. If you contact your provider and let them know that you’re interested in saving money, they might be able to offer you a cheaper tariff. It’s definitely worth asking about, as it could lead to some serious savings.
If you have a long commute to work, or if you have to travel often for work, carpooling is a great way to save money. Not only will it cut down on your fuel costs, but it will also mean you can share the driving, and take turns behind the wheel.
Air Your Laundry Outdoors
Airing your laundry outdoors is a great way to save money, as you won’t have to use your tumble dryer. It’s also much better for your clothes, as they won’t be subjected to the heat of a tumble dryer. Simply hang them on a clothesline or drying rack, and let nature do its thing!
Use The 30 Day Rule
We are all guilty of impulse purchasing. We see something we want, and simply have to have. How about waiting 30 days and seeing if you still want it, once the 30 days are up? Chances are, you’ll talk yourself out of it, or you’ll see a better deal elsewhere and end up saving money.
Save An Emergency Fund
Last but not least, one of the best frugal living tips is to save an emergency fund. This will come in handy if you ever lose your job, or if you have an unexpected bill to pay. It’s always good to have a little cushion, so you’re not dipping into your savings every time something comes up.
In conclusion, there are many different ways to save money and live a more frugal lifestyle. By doing things like combining errands, carpooling, or using your local library, you can save money without making any major changes to your lifestyle.
And, if you’re ever faced with an unexpected bill, having an emergency fund can help you to avoid dipping into your savings. So, start making some small changes today, and you could see big savings in the future!