80 Ways to Live a Frugal Life {Tips on how to be frugal}


Are you looking for tips on how to be frugal with money? Even though I have lived a frugal lifestyle for years, I am always looking for tips for living with very little money. I’ve compiled a list of some of the best frugal living tips.

Some of these tips on frugal living you may be already doing. Others you may find fall under the extreme budgeting category and are just a little too much for you personally. But even if you can take a couple of these ideas and adapt them to your life, you will find that every little bit helps.

ways to save money

Sometimes people wonder how something so small like washing a milk bag out to use as a freezer bag can make a difference in your budget. When you decide you want to save money by frugal living, combining small changes adds up to savings in your budget.

Also, sometimes it is those little changes that help us get into the mindset of frugal choices. Sometimes it’s just the momentum you are building to push and motivate you to continue to do little things to save money and live within your means.

Speaking of budget, maybe you don’t have one that’s working.  If that’s the case, that is the first change you want to make.  Having a budget is the single most important way to start working towards financial freedom and to have less financial stress.  That’s where a workbook can really get you ahead.  Over at The Budget Mama, Jessi Fearon has an amazing budget workbook to help you get started.  She has a pretty amazing financial freedom story as well – this woman knows what she’s talking about!

Click here to visit The Budget Mama to check out the Budget workbook and get on the path to financial freedom today πŸ™‚

Some of these tips on how to be more frugal are easy money saving options, others will require a little more commitment.  Read on to see how to be super frugal and start working towards financial freedom.




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1. Use coupons when applicable.

(Try Coupons.com or Red Plum coupons for printable coupons or if you prefer apps where you don’t have to cut coupons but can still save money, look into Checkout51 app  or Ibotta to get you started!)

2. Use Cashback programs when shopping online

(Rakuten, which used to be Ebates, will give you cashback for things you were going to buy anyways.  Think of all you can do with that cashback!)

3. Cook more foods from scratch.

4. Use the cash envelope system.

5. Use cloth napkins instead of paper.

6. Use cloth towels to clean up instead of paper towels.

7. Add meat as a stretcher and not as a main event in your meals.

8. Buy a programmable thermostat and set it a few degrees lower while you sleep.

9. Grow a garden.

10. Preserve and can your harvest.

11. Shop secondhand for clothes and furniture.

12. Pack a lunch for work or school.

13. Pack snacks and meals when travelling.

14. Exercise at home or outside instead of buying a gym membership.

15. Make gifts for birthdays and holidays.

16. Give up alcohol or cut back.

17. Make your coffee at home.

18. Hang your laundry instead of using a dryer.

19. Drink water instead of juice or pop.

20. Rent movies instead of going to the theatre.

21. Take data off of your cellphone and just use wifi, or consider a cheaper plan. 

Check out Republic Wireless for some really cheap cell phone plan options.  Stop overpaying and start saving money on your cell phone bill.

22. Cut hair at home.  Try these clippers for all your haircuts.

23. Eat meals made with cheaper food options.

24. Sell some of your items you no longer need or use.

25. Invite friends over instead of going out.

26. Sew and repair ripped clothes instead of buying new ones.

27. Make use of the library instead of buying books.

28. Price match at the grocery store.

29. Cancel magazine subscriptions.

30. Shop for Christmas gifts all year long.

31. Buy generic brands.

32. Downsize your vehicle to a more gas efficient car.

33. Downsize to a smaller home.

34. Trade babysitting services with a friend.

35. Learn to fix things around your home instead of hiring someone.

36. Attend free local events.

37. Use public transportation instead of owning a car.

38. Buy in bulk.

39. Shop around for a cheaper insurance rate.

40. Make your own cleaning supplies.

41. Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use.

42. Turn lights off when you leave a room.

43. Use wood heat if you have a woodstove.

44. Buy eyeglasses online. Zenni and Clearly have excellent prices.

45. Camp instead of staying at a hotel on vacations.

46. Use Netflix instead of cable or satellite.

47. Carpool.

48. Grocery shop online to avoid going over budget.

49. Do a 30 day no-spend challenge.

50. Don’t impulse buy. If you see something you want, wait 30 days before buying it.

51. Involve your children in extra curriculars that are on the cheaper side.

52. Apply for subsidy for children’s extra-curriculars if you qualify.

53. Use the bigger size garbage bags if you live in a community that charges per bag.

54. Cut back on waste to minimize garbage disposal expenses.

55. Use your tax refunds for debt or expenses.

56. Buy homeschool materials used when you can.

57. Weatherproof your home.

58. Find the cheapest gas prices with Gasbuddy.

59. Don’t drive around with extra weight in the trunk of your vehicle.

60. Wash milk bags to use as freezer and sandwich bags.

61. Use reusable lunch containers.

62. If you have a cell phone, get rid of your landline.

63. Switch our your incandescent lightbulbs for LEDs.

64. Use a low flow shower head.

65. Eat out of your pantry before you go shopping.

66. Stock up on items during a grocery sale.

67. Grate your own cheese instead of buying it pre-grated.

68. Cut up your own veggies instead of buying them pre-cut.

69. Skip the bottled water and invest in a reusable water bottle.

70. Pay more than the bare minimum on your student loans and credit card debts.

71. Switch to a bank that has low or no service fees.

72. Dye your hair at home rather than going to a salon.

73. Shop the sales.

74. When eating out order water instead of a pricey beverage.

75. Make Halloween costumes or buy them secondhand.

76. If you live on your own, get a roommate.

77. Don’t grocery shop while hungry.

78. Make a meal plan.

If making a menu sounds daunting to you, try this 5 dollar meal plan.  All you do is pay 5 dollars a month, and each week they send you a weekly meal plan.  While spending money might seem counterintuitive to saving money, sometimes we spend WAY MORE than that 5 extra dollars when we DON’T meal plan.  This 5 dollar meal plan does all the work for you, along with recipes and shopping lists which means you won’t spend money on food you don’t need.  Oh, and they also have a 14 day free trial so you can test it out.  

79. Use natural remedies when possible.

80. Grow your own flowers instead of buying them.

81. Wash your car at home yourself.


It’s no secret on my blog that I really believe that another great way to live frugally and cut your budget is through your grocery bills.  You can see on the above list I share various ways to save at the grocery store, like using coupons, shopping sales, etc.  I like to use as many money saving tips at home as possible.

On top of that, one of my favorite ways to save in the kitchen is by making cheap meals that are delicious but use budget-friendly ingredients.  

I often use one of my favorite cookbooks, Dining on a Dime, which is full of recipes that can be made on a super tight budget.  Be sure to check it out as they also have it in eBook form now.  The more frugal living tips you have in your back pocket, the more money you save!

If you have a tight budget and are struggling to live within your means, apply some of these best frugal living tips for ways to incorporate saving money into your everyday life.

Whether you chose to implement every single tip on this list for some extreme budgeting, or you apply just one or two to start your journey towards a more frugal lifestyle than you are currently living, your bank account can benefit in some way.  I hope these ideas for frugal living can help you save in some big ways.

Related:  Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression





15 thoughts on “80 Ways to Live a Frugal Life {Tips on how to be frugal}”

    1. if you just need reading glasses, the Dollar store has great ones for $1.25 a pair. I have several pairs all over the place, and if and when a pair breaks, its no great loss, just go on to the next one.

  1. For those of you who read this article and thought, “oh, what a nice list… I should try a few of those things,” let me encourage you to book mark the article, print it and put a star next to five things that you’ve found… that’s it… just five things. The next thing is to take ACTION on those five things because that is the only way that you can develop the newly found habits. And let me tell you… it WILL work and you’ll be back to incorporate five more and five more once you see the results. How do I know? Well, about six years ago I did just that with a book that I read (and then bought) by Clark Howard with some 250+ tips. I could not get overwhelmed by trying 25, 50 or 100 of them… I started with five. I cut $100 a month from my cable bill. I cut $25 from the home phone by going with an Ooma VOIP service. I cut $150 a month by rolling my own cigarettes instead of buying by the pack. I cut $20 a month by getting a lower price (but higher speed) internet service. And, I paid off a credit card with those savings and reduced not only the minimum payments but the accumulating $100 a month finance charges. Add those five things up… $100 + $25 + $150 + $20 + $275 = $570 a month. Yes, friends… $575 a month that I could roll onto other credit cards and then onto paying off the balance of my car payment, freeing up another $300 a month… and then learning and applying the concepts of shopping around, of couponing, of reducing costs of monthly medications, of getting a new energy supplier, of using Ebates and Groupon and promo codes for online ordering, using Dollar Stores and getting freebies and moneymakers from stores, asking for senior discounts and senior menus, rinse, rather, repeat… more than $1250+ a month now saved over the past with zero inconvenience to my lifestyle, near debt-free. And that was from listing just FIVE tips found in a book that I had gotten from the library. Take my story and start NOW to write your own. It just takes action to get reaction. And you can have more by paying less.

      1. 1/24/2023 … Do you ever wonder “whatever happened to…?” Ok, time for *my* update since the 2020 Pandemic and crazy political changes and challenges over the past 5 years since this article.
        I suppose the “biggie” (tip #16) was in July 2018 when I quit the behavioral addiction to beer drinking just about every night (not alcohol, per se) and zapping $8+/day from my “allowance” spending, ($250/mo), not including the lottery tickets that I was buying at the same time as the beer from the most expensive gas station closest to home, saving well over $100 more each month. My wife and I have also consolidated almost all consumer debt into a five year fixed loan repayment and the rest paid within twenty months we will snowball onto our mortgage and our condo should also be paid in full within the next five years also. I hope to check in again in another two years with another update. Trust all is well with everyone reading this.

  2. I enjoyed reading all of these ideas to live a more frugal life style. I am one of those people who can not walk away from a challenge. This is all good as long as I compete only with myself. I am always looking for ways to live a more fugal lifestyle.

    1. Competing with ourself is the best way to do a challenge! So glad you enjoyed reading these ideas. πŸ™‚

    1. Oh man, I realize now that many countries don’t have milk bags. Here in Canada our milk comes in a bag, not a jug. I know, it sounds weird, and it probably is. haha.

      1. No…actually that’s very smart ! And probably cost effective for farmers also . You just transfer the milk over to a reusable jug or pitcher ?

        1. We have a milk pitcher that you put the whole bag in…like, the milk and the bag. You cut a hole in the corner of the bag for when you need to pour some. πŸ™‚

  3. I feel I am a frugal person. Love the post getting more ideas. One thing that really helps me out was I took four dish towels and cut them in four equal pieces I use instead of paper towels in my kitchen. I probably have not use a roll of paper towels in a year. I have a container on my kitchen counter I keep them in and wash them with my kitchen towels. I cut up old pillow cases up to use for my floor. I also use the cloth napkins when company comes and I give them cloth napkins they usually say something like fancy. Then I usually say no just cheap. I get them from yard sales. They can be used over and over again wash them with my dish towels

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