Are you toying with frugal living?
Are you held back because you don’t understand how to live frugally?
Would you appreciate some practical frugal ideas to start you off?
Look no further. We give you:
- A brand of frugality that helps you live a cheaper and richer life.
- The unexpected benefits of frugal living.
- 60+ effective and fast working frugal living tips to save you hundreds per month.
Let’s dive in!
What is frugal living?
The word “frugal” is from Middle French and was first used in the 1530s. It means ‘economical in use’. According to Wikipedia frugality is about
“…being economical with consumable resources like food, time or money and avoiding waste…”
Frugal living has many meanings. We promote a frugal living brand, mindful frugality, that is about:
- Eliminating waste.
- Ensuring the best value for your money.
- Escaping the clutches of consumerism.
5 Unexpected benefits of frugal living
Living a simple frugal life can save you money to:
- Pay off debt
- Reduce your mortgage
- Chase financial independence or
- Survive the month.
Are you still unsure whether frugal living is worth it? Consider these unexpected benefits:
- Frugal living can transform your whole life. It demands learning, mindfulness, imagination, discipline, and organization. These spill into other areas of life.
- You will learn how to have anything but not everything. Living a fulfilled and happy life is about knowing what matters to you and focusing on that.
- Frugal living is liberating. You never comprehend how little you need until you live on less.
- Living a simple life makes you resilient. Circumstances change. You may need to live on less.
- Reducing waste is good for the environment. Yes, our brand of frugality is good for your wallet and the environment.
Frugal living is worth it. It will make your wallet sing and transform your life.
4 Pillars of simple frugal living
Here are the four fundaments of frugal living.
1. Don’t ignore your wants, learn to want less
Contrary to most personal finance, we urge you to recognise your wants; even the extravagant ones. Learn to want less and your wallet will thank you for it.
2. Make living a frugal life easy
Here is something my dog knows but many people don’t – the easier you make things the more likely it is they will be done.
Plan, prepare and enable. Make frugal living easy. You have this!
3. Make cheap living fun
You know that when something is fun it is more likely to stick with it, right?
4. It is your life and you can do anything
This is your life, goals, and aspirations. Your lifestyle is no one’s business but your own.
You can live cheaply without being cheap
Do you know what is the difference between being frugal and being cheap?
Frugal living is about saving money by minimizing waste, maximizing value for money, and not compromising your quality of life.
Being cheap is spending less by using someone else’s resources. Examples? Taking salt, sugar, and toothpicks from the diner. Pocketing sweets at a reception. Living in your parent’s basement rent-free.
You don’t have to be cheap to live frugally.
Frugal living won’t make you rich but you will live a richer life
To become rich you must learn how to make money and how to spend it wisely. Frugal living is unlikely to make you rich on its own.
Embracing a simple frugal lifestyle will teach you the beauty of living better on less.
60+ Frugal Living Tips to Slash Your Spending and Boost Your Living
Here are the tried and tested frugal living tips to help you slash your monthly spending by a third.
We have organized them into ten groups. Also, we have prioritized the groups where you can save the most faster.
According to recent statistics, people in the UK spend most of their monthly income on food, transport, and housing. Energy is moving up because of rocketing costs.
Frugal living ideas to slash your food budget
Spend less on food by becoming a low-waste household
Did you know that:
- In the UK we throw away 9.52 million tons of food per year.
- This waste emits 25 million tonnes of CO2e.
- One-third of the food produced globally goes to waste.
Likely a third of the food you buy goes straight in the bin as well. Here is how to stop wasting food.
1. Commit to making a weekly menu
Planning what you will be cooking during the week goes a long way to eliminating food waste. It also means you will spend less on take-outs.
2. Shop for ingredients to cook the meals on your menu
Buy only the ingredients you need to cook the meals on your weekly menu. Okay, you can get some treats as well.
3. Create a store cupboard
Store cupboards are excellent for saving money and feeling more secure.
4. Use the cooking ‘by-products’
Recipes sometimes need only part of an ingredient. Find ways to use what is left.
5. Keep and use the leftovers
Don’t throw away leftovers. What is left from your evening meal could make a tasty, healthy lunch the next day.
6. Stock up your freezer
Batch-cook and freeze meals to save money and time. You will have meals on demand and not be tempted to order in.
7. Cook (and freeze) soups.
You would be surprised how far £5 worth of vegetables go when you cook soups.
Make your food budget go further by cooking from scratch
8. Learn to cook from scratch
Cooking from scratch is not only cheaper, but it is also healthier. Ready meals are expensive and buffed up with sugar and salt.
9. Bake bread
Breadmaking is easy, delicious, healthy, and therapeutic. You can have artisan bread for a third of the price. Use a breadmaking machine.
Save on food without compromising on quality by changing the way you eat
10. Cook (and eat) more stews
Stews are tasty, nutritious, and cheap(er). You can use cheaper cuts of meat, add carrots and celery, and buff the stew up with bulgur. They also freeze well.
11. Eat vegetarian
Vegetarian meals are generally cheaper than meat. Pulses also contain unique proteins.
12. Make eating out an occasion
Eating out all the time is expensive. Make it a treat, a celebration.
13. Share when eating-out
Portions have got larger. Do your waist a favour and share when you eat out. You will also save on your bill.
5 Kitchen appliances to help you eat better on less
These kitchen appliances are an investment in the new frugal living, healthy you.
14. Get a slow cooker (Crockpot)
Slow cookers are convenient and excellent for healthy cooking. You will save on time, and energy and can use cheaper cuts of meat.
15. Buy a pressure cooker (instant pot)
This will save you time and energy. Great for cooking pulses and stews.
16. Add a handheld food blender to your kitchen
A handheld food blender can be used to chop, blend soups, beat eggs, and mash potatoes.
17. A breadmaker is a game changer
Photo by Kate Remmer on Unsplash
Homemade bread is delicious. Use a breadmaker for fresh bread on demand. It also cuts by up to two-thirds the cost of bread.
18. Get a coffee maker
If you love high-quality coffee but hate paying coffee shops’ prices, get a coffee maker.
Pay less for energy and utilities while staying warm and clean
Tips to save on gas and electricity you probably don’t use
19. Invest in draught excluders
Draught excluders keep heat in. You may also invest in heavy curtains.
20. Carpet is warmer
Carpets will keep your house warmer.
21. Insulate, insulate, insulate
You can never have enough insulation. It keeps heat in during winter and out during summer.
22. Invest in a smart thermostat
This will save you on heating by regulating your house temperature.
23. Install a smart meter
Knowing how much energy you use will help reduce your bill.
24. Use your electric appliances at off-peak times
Electricity is cheaper in the UK between 10 pm and 8 am. Double-check that with your supplier because times vary.
25. Use the economy programs
The economy cycles are sufficient and cheaper to run.
26. Put the heating on only when you need it
It is cheaper to have your heating on when, and where, necessary.
How to use less water
27. Check for drips
Dripping taps mean waste and high bills.
28. Take showers not baths
Showers use less water and energy than baths.
29. Take ‘military’ showers
Take short showers and stop the water when soaping yourself.
Keep the costs of housing down
Photo by Andrea Davis on Unsplash
30. Have ‘just enough’ house
Having too much living space is cumulatively wasteful – higher rent/mortgage, bills, and maintenance costs.
31. Live within a walking distance
Rent/buy accommodation where you can walk to amenities, work, and schools.
32. Maintain your house
Keep your house clean and well-maintained.
Save on transportation using these frugal living tips
33. You don’t need two cars
You probably don’t need two, or even one, cars. Share.
34. Drive Electric
If possible drive an electric car. It is approximately five times cheaper than driving petrol.
35. Walk short(er) distances
Walking, you save on transport and get an excellent exercise.
36. Cycle when possible
Cycling is also excellent exercise though it is not for everyone.
Frugal tips for cutting the cost of insurance and banking
37. Compare the cost of insurance every time you renew
Insurance is a competitive business and it often doesn’t favour loyal customers. Shop around.
38. Do you pay account fees?
Some banks charge for a current account. Check whether the perks justify the fee. Or better look for a free bank account.
39. Never go into overdraft
Overdrafts are expensive and avoidable.
40. Pay off your credit card in full every month
Pay off your credit cards in full every month and save on the interest.
Entertainment on a frugal living budget
Photo by Madie Hamilton on Unsplash
41. Much fun is free
Walking in the countryside, playing in the park, attending public events, and visiting museums and art galleries are either free or cost very little.
42. Streaming is cheaper than the cinema
Does streaming a premiering movie sound expensive to you at £15.99? Think again. Going to the cinema with your partner will cost double that.
43. Cut out the treats
You don’t have to eat and drink sugar while watching a movie.
44. Host dinner parties
Hosting a dinner party for your close friends (family) instead of going to a restaurant is a major saving.
45. Have game nights
A game night is a lot of fun and costs little.
46. Host movie nights
Host movie nights streaming new and classic movies.
47. Start or join a book club
Book clubs are fun.
Frugal tips to save on fitness
48. Do you need a gym membership?
You may find walking or cycling to/from work, starting your day, 30 press-ups, and yoga using an app is all you need.
49. Use your gym’s facilities
Make sure you use all facilities your fitness club offers.
Frugal living ideas to cut the cost of services
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash
50. Outsource what you hate doing
Outsource the household tasks you hate. Using productively the energy you spend on avoiding the ironing is worth it.
51. Do what relaxes and brings you joy
Stop outsourcing the tasks you find tasks relaxing.
52. Barter where possible
Bartering is excellent when you cannot pay for services. Surely someone will do your gardening in exchange for your mending skills.
53. Inventory your paid apps
Paid apps are wholes in your pockets. Inventory your paid apps and only keep the ones you still use.
54. Take stock of your subscriptions
Take stock of your subscriptions and cancel the ones you have not used in the last couple of months.
Extend the life of home appliances by maintaining them
55. Clean your appliances
Keeping appliances clean saves you money by extending their life and by keeping them efficient.
56. Mend appliances
Mend your appliances instead of scraping them. And you can find anything on YouTube, right?
Important frugal living tips that don’t fit elsewhere
“One of my favorite lifestyle hacks is waking up at 5 am and getting the day started on YOUR OWN terms. I’m also a huge fan of thrift stores, not only for picking up name-brand quality stuff for pennies on the dollar but also for finding gems to flip for profit. Lastly, I 100% approve of spending money on coffee if it makes your life 10x better like it does for me, however, instead of splurging on lattes all the time I’ll save money by ordering what they call a “poor man’s latte” – drip coffee that you pour into a cup full of cream *first* so it mixes all up and froths as if it were a latte! Tastes almost as good.“
J. Money, BudgetsAreSexy.com
57. Stop smoking
Smoking tobacco is very expensive and harmful. You only think you enjoy it, you are an addict. Better cut it out.
58. Drink less or not at all
Alcohol is another unnecessary expense. Cut down or give it up entirely.
59. Become a minimalist
Changing your beliefs will make living a cheap frugal lifestyle easier. Try minimalism.
60. Buy quality
You are not wealthy enough to buy cheap stuff, trust me. Buy quality. It ages well and lasts.
61. You can have anything but not everything
You will never feel deprived once you understand that.
62. Put your money where your mouth is
Spend your money on what matters to you. Unwaveringly.
63. You cannot spend money twice
You can never spend the same money twice. Remember that when doing mental accounting.
64. Debt is expensive
Debt is expensive and paying it all off is an excellent frugal living step.
65. How much you keep matters more than how much you earn
Controlling your spending by applying mindful frugality is essential for building wealth. Irrespective of how much you earn.
Is your budget pinching?
Have you outgrown your doubts about frugal living?
Are you impatient to embrace a life low on waste and high on value?
Great. Here is what you must do next.
Go through the frugal living tips we shared and select the five with which you feel most comfortable.
Apply them to your daily life.
Go on, I dare you. Make a menu, host a dinner party, take a “military” shower, stream a movie or a concert. It doesn’t matter – just go for it and start saving.
Expand gradually to other frugal ideas.
Or you could continue doing what you do, and getting the results you get.