Need more ways to be frugal and save money? You can cut almost $5,000 out of your yearly expenses by adopting these 9 simple strategies for cutting costs, saving money and living more frugally.
9 Ways to be Frugal and Save Money
Despite how frugal we already are, I’m always looking for more ways to save money. But when I decided to research more frugal tips for saving money, what I found was the same thing over and over again. Things like:
- Cut the cable
- Carpool to work
- Make your own coffee
- Wash with cold water
- Hang clothes to dry instead of using the dryer
- Refinance your home
- Don’t pay for a gym membership
- Quit bad habits (like smoking)
- Eat at home
- Turn your thermostat down
- Don’t drink bottled water
- Don’t have a landline
- Consolidate debt
But what if…..
- You don’t have cable anyways?
- You don’t use a dry cleaner?
- You can’t carpool to work because you live in a rural area?
- You don’t drink coffee (or at least you don’t drink the drive-thru version)
- Refinancing your home isn’t a smart option for you? (And neither is consolidating debt?)
- You already wash in cold water
- You don’t smoke or eat out
- You don’t have a landline or drink bottled water
- Your thermostat is already down as low as you can handle it (in the winter)
- And you don’t even know where the nearest gym is located.
If you are like me and fit all those categories above, how are we supposed to further cut costs and save money? Well, any frugal family knows that sometimes it takes more than the easy things (like those above) to really save money and cut costs! Sometimes it takes doing things that are more work or put us out of our comfort zone. While I’m not saying you should necessarily cut everything out of your budget and live super frugally at all times, I also know that sometimes there are little luxuries we just can’t afford. Here are 9 frugal tips to help you save more money when cutting out the “easy” stuff just isn’t enough.
9 Ways to be Frugal and Save Money
1. Frugal tip if you’ve already cut the cable
Cut out Netflix, Amazon Prime or any other entertainment subscription service and watch Youtube and DVDs instead! There are tons of great clips and full episodes of even the most current shows on Youtube, and if you have a DVD collection, you can just rematch old favorites when you want to watch a movie. You can also visit your local library and rent DVDs for free, or organize a DVD exchange with family and friends. Better yet, switch family movie night into family game night instead!
Money Saved Per Year (based on canceling basic Netflix) = $120+ per year
2. Frugal tip instead of carpooling to work
Stop making extra, unnecessary trips! Could you go to town only twice a month? Not only will this help save us money on gas but it will also save us money on un-necessary groceries and things we might buy while we’re in town.
Money Saved Per Year (based on 2 gallons of gas (@$3 per gallon) per trip to town, 3 trips per week) = $936 per year
3. Frugal tip instead of drinking coffee at home
Why stop at drinking store-bought coffee at home? Drink herbal tea instead! You can grow the herbs and flowers like mint, lavender, and chamomile yourself and dry them to make your own tea blends at home. Or make your own Warm Cinnamon Tea Latte with ingredients from your pantry.
While we’re at it, let’s stop buying all the things that we can easily replace with a homemade version! Here are a few things you should always make at home yourself: Frozen Waffles, Applesauce, Pizza Crust, Hamburger Helper, and Rice Roni. (Of course, there are SO many more things!)
Money Saved Per Year (based on 2 packages/jars of each of the above per week, average priced) = $1248 per year (with the potential for SO much more savings!)
4. Frugal tip instead of hanging clothes to dry
Forgo buying new clothes for buying second hand instead. My goal for this year is to not spend ANY money on new clothes and buy used clothing only. Used clothing saves you at least 75% off the regular retail purchasing prices so if you normally spend $100 a month on new clothes, buying used would cost you only $25 for the same or comparable items.
Money Saved Per Year (based on saving $75 a month on clothing) = $900 per year
5. Frugal tip instead of refinancing your home (or consolidating debt)
While those 2 options may not be viable or smart for everyone, a much better option is to use any extra money to make extra payments on the debt you already have. If you are paying any kind of interest rate this is going to save you a lot of money in the long run. Use the money you save following the other frugal tips in this post to pay off your debts and stop wasting money on interest. Make it a goal this year to make at least one extra payment on each of your debts.
Money Saved Per Year = Varies
6. Frugal tip instead of washing in cold water
Make your own laundry detergent! You can make your own laundry detergent for just pennies a load. Making your own also means you’ll be avoiding harsh synthetic chemicals which aren’t good for your body and the environment. Once your clothes are clean, hang them to dry outside or on an indoor drying rack to save money on electricity. You can check out my full Frugal Laundry Strategies here for more tips!
Money Saved Per Year = $100-$200 per year
7. Frugal tip instead of cutting out expensive habits and eating out
If you’ve already cut these habits from your budget it’s time to look for another way to save. How about cutting out plastics or paper goods? There are great alternatives to just about everything: cloth diapers, cloth pads, cloth napkins, and cloth towels! We already utilize all of these things and I’ve noticed huge savings.
Money Saved Per Year (based one 3 packages of diapers, 1 package of pads, 2 packages of napkins, and 8 rolls of toweling purchased per month) = $504 per year
8. Frugal tip instead of cutting bottled water and the landline
If you are like me you already don’t have a landline and drink water from the tap or filtered so you are unable to cut out both of those things. How about this year we looking into saving on our cell phones? If your plan is up this year it’s a good time to consider an alternative. We switched to a cheaper $35 a month plan several years ago and haven’t looked back. You could also call your provider and ask for a better deal. They’ll want to keep your business so don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. If you have any other tips to help cut down on your phone bill, let us know in the comments!
Money Saved Per Year (based on average savings of switching plans) = $900 per year
9. Frugal tip instead of cutting the gym membership and turning down the thermostat
Better than both of those things…how about you take the time to see which appliances and items in your home are using the most electricity and cut them, find an alternative, or at least cut down the usage? A good way to do this is a pick up a Kill-A-Watt and actually see what is costing you the most money to run. You can read more about cutting down your energy usage on existing appliances here.
Need to warm up AND can’t afford a gym membership? Go for a run outdoors! It’s not only good for your health, it will warm you up even if it’s cold outside!
Money Saved Per Year = Varies
To sum up, here’s where we are cutting the costs this year (and where I hope you will try to too!)
- Cutting out Netflix/movie rentals
- Lessening our trips to town
- Making more things from scratch
- Not buying any new clothing
- Making extra payments on our debt
- Drying clothes without a dryer (and washing with homemade detergent)
- Cutting out plastics and paper goods.
- Slashing the cost of our cellphones
- Monitoring and reducing energy usage.
Since I had a couple of categories where the savings varied quite a bit, I couldn’t add everything up neatly, but if we do all the things above, our savings per year will be at least…
Total Saved Per Year = $4900+ per year!
I don’t know about you, but I would LOVE to add an extra $4900 to our yearly income.
Will you join me in saving huge amounts of money by cutting out some unnecessary things from your own life? Which one will be the hardest for you? What additional frugal tips for saving money will you add to this list this year?
This blog post about 9 Ways to Be Frugal and Save Money was originally published on Little House Living in February 2014. It has been updated as of March 2019.