There are many tips on how to “live frugally.” With inflation out of control and the soaring cost of living, it’s clear that giving up your daily coffee won’t save your way into buying a new home.
The good news is that there are practical, lifestyle strategies that you can integrate into your everyday life to help slash your expenses and save more money.
According to personal finance experts, a smorgasbord of frugal living tips is available. The hard part is figuring out which frugal living tips work best without bogging you down.
1. Understand Your Expenses
Getting acquainted with your finances is the key to making any frugal living tips work for you. Most of us have a rough idea about how much we make per year, but not all of us break that down to each dollar of our monthly income.
- The best way to get started is to sit down and calculate your expected monthly income.
- Then, add up your regular monthly expenses, such as food, housing, utilities, gas, car payments, unsecured debt (such as credit card payments or medical bills), and other necessities.
- Next, create a realistic budget based on your cash flow.
If you’re trying to live as frugal as possible, these tips will give you ways to enjoy the things you need while cutting your expenses.
2. Make a List to Buy
Most of us are guilty of running out to buy stuff we might not need right now. Other times, adding items to our cart at the store or online without checking our list is easy.
Avoid overspending by creating a master list of things to buy now or down the road. Then, take that list with you when you shop and stick to the list as closely as possible. Making a to-buy list can help you plan to save for specific future purchases. It’s also an excellent way to avoid temptation and avoid impulse spending.
3. Buy in Bulk
Many people don’t buy in bulk because they live paycheck to paycheck. However, if you can afford to buy a bulk bag of rice, a case of canned beans, a side of pork or beef, or even a whole ham to slice and freeze. It’s cheaper, in the long run, to buy in bulk.
For instance, half a beef or a side of pork can often feed an entire family for a year. You may want to invest in a deep freezer to store your haul.
Finally, do the math to determine if you’ll save money by buying bulk sugar, flour, or toilet paper. You can often find bulk products at Costco or Sam’s Club.
4. Order Meds Online
Many people have no clue that they can get cheaper over-the-counter medicine from Amazon. This can be a lifesaver for many people looking for frugal ways to save money on medical bills. On the plus side, Amazon has great deals, and Prime members get fast shipping.
5. Pay Bills on Time to Skip Any Late Fees
No one wants to pay extra in late fees. One of the best ways to avoid paying extra is to set up a separate bank account for bills. That way, you can set aside money to pay on time without incurring expensive late fees.
6. Pick Your Produce at Local Farms
It’s no secret that food is getting more expensive. Instead of filling up your cart at the grocery store, check out pickyourown.org to head to a local farm. You’ll find that it’s cheaper to pick your own food than to rely on more expensive fruits or veggies from the store.
7. Hunt for Grocery Store Markdowns
Cooking at home instead of eating out is one of the best ways to save money. Meal prepping at home means that you can cook in bulk.
Another way to save money is to shop for grocery sales, hunt for bargain deals, and check for “manager’s special” stickers to pick up discounted meat, milk, or other items.
Mr. Money Moustache has more great tips on their blog.
8. Borrow Instead of Buy
Many of us make the mistake of buying an item we rarely use. For instance, if you only print stuff occasionally, buying your own printer might not make financial sense.
Instead, check with friends or family to borrow a printer, or head to your local library next time you need to print something.
9. Review Your Bills
This is different from slashing the fat from your bills and cutting out subscriptions you don’t need. Instead, check your monthly bills to ensure that companies charge you the correct amount.
It’s an excellent way to ensure that you aren’t automatically overpaying.
10. Insulate Your Home
With sky-high energy prices, this frugal living tip can help you keep your house cooler and warmer while reducing your utility bill.
Most air is lost through leaky doors and windows. Roll up towels and stuff them against your entries for the cheapest solution. You can also install insulation strips. Furthermore, caulking around your windows will help stop air from escaping and drive up your electricity bill.
Image by [emikogal] via [Shutterstock.com].