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33 Tips for Living Frugal and Saving Money

Updated on July 23, 2017
Robert P Sullivan profile image

Robert Sullivan is a self-published author, blogger, social media manager, and more.

There are a lot of ways to live frugal and save money if you just put your mind to it. And while I can’t say that I am the most persistent in this endeavor, I do recognize the value of putting effort into saving where you can. So I put together this list of 33 tips for living frugal and saving money!

Automotive

33. Carpool when you can

This is a great method for saving some real cash if you live near a coworker and have a long commute. Instead of paying full price you can split the gas. It not only helps you and your buddy out, but also the environment too! What’s not to love… unless their annoying.

32. Shop for cheaper car insurance

I know you get blasted with this everyday on the T.V. and radio, but it’s true, 15 minutes really could save you 15% or more on your car insurance. Although, I wouldn’t trust that marketing gecko outright, shop around a little, you can find a better deal. And make sure to check customer reviews, you don’t want to get insurance that’s worthless.

31. Buy a used car instead of a new one

Used cars can get a bad rap, especially if the previous owner didn’t treat them so well. That’s why you should always take a car you are considering buying to a mechanic to have it checked out. Their usually happy to do the service, and you’ll greatly lower the chances of getting a lemon. I bought a used Toyota Camry this way, and that car was a champ. I had it for seven years and it never broke down on me once! Not bad for only 3,800$. Plus I got to resell it.

30. Air up your car’s tires

If you aren’t getting as great of gas mileage as you would like then make sure to check your tires’ air pressure. It’s the number one factor detracting from fuel efficiency. This one tip could easily save you a hundred dollars a year.

29. Use your car as a tax writeoff

If you are using you car as part of a business then you owe it to yourself to look up how to write off your mileage for tax purposes.

28. Learn how to fix your own car

This is the big one for cars. If you have to do just one thing on this list, then learn how to fix your own car when it breaks. This alone can save you thousands of dollars. Take changing your brakes for example, if you are a heavy driver, this can easily save you over 300 dollars a year. Add that up over 60 years and that’s 18,000$, enough to buy a new car!

Save a little every time you eat.
Save a little every time you eat.

In the kitchen

27. Make meals in bulk

This is simple enough, just make a lot of food at one time, then sort it out into ready to go meals. It will save not only money, but a lot of cooking time as well.

26. Get a deep freezer

You’re going to need somewhere to store all those meals you just made, and if you want to keep them for a long time, you’re going to need a bigger freezer.

25. Grow your own food

Learning how to grow your own food can save you a fortune if you’ve got the patience to do it. You might think it’s not possible where you live, but there are plenty of examples online to show you how you can even pull this off in an apartment.

24. At least grow your own green onions

If you don’t have the tenacity to grow anything else, at least grow these. Look at this.

I took a plastic bin, and planted some old onions that were way past the point of eating, and add water to it every couple of days, and they are growing like crazy! They hardly take any effort at all, and you can just eat the tops over and over again.

23. Wash dishes by hand

Give that poor old dish washer a rest! Seriously though, you can save a couple of bucks each month in power if you are willing to do this by hand. It takes a little bit to get used to if you’ve been using the machine for a long time, but it can be worth it.

22. Bring lunch to work

The brown bag still has its place in the world, and that place is in your pocket. Taking your own lunch to work can easily save you 10 bucks or more each day. 200 bucks a month isn’t a bad pay raise for eating food you cooked yourself.

21. Ditch bottled water, and buy a filter system

They are cheap, and can save you a ton of money if you don’t like the taste of your tap water. Plus these are quite easy to install.

20. Make your own beer or wine

If you just can’t give up the drink, but still want to pinch a few pennies then you should take a look at how to make your own beer and wine.

19. Eat more vegetables

Not only are they good for you, but vegetables are cheap! If you want to save some real money on food costs, and probably health expenses down the road, then load up on these.

18. Don’t buy pre-cut vegetables

Speaking of vegetables, don’t buy the pre-cut stuff, it’s 2-3 times the cost. If you can afford it get a food processor. Or just get used to chopping.

17. Buy a vacuum sealer

I love this thing. They save you a ton if you don’t raid your freezer enough. See when you vacuum out the air it takes much longer for food to get freezer burn.

16. Make a fridge inventory list

If you often forget what’s in your fridge, and don’t want to dig through it frequently you can make an inventory list to help you keep track of what’s in there. If you write the expiration dates on it too you can make a point to eat things before they go bad.

Around the house

15. Clean your own carpet, rent a rug doctor

Don’t hire a cleaning service, you can rent a rug doctor for around 40 bucks from most grocery stores nowadays. You’ll need to buy the cleaning solution too, but you can save a couple hundred bucks this way.

14. Make gifts

If you’re crafty with your crafts then you can save a lot of money on gifts by making personalized items for people. It doesn’t take a lot of cash to spruce up a picture frame turning it into a gift they’ll cherish for years.

13. Mow your own lawn, or better yet replace it with one that doesn’t need water

Don’t hire someone to do it. I know it gets hot in the summer, but mowing your own lawn isn’t that bad. But if you really want to save, then try replacing it with a low maintenance solution. Do it right and you don’t even have to water it anymore.

12. Set up a clothes line

There is no cheaper way to dry you clothes than to hang them up. But if you don’t like the feel of line dried clothing, then you should check out this article to make clothes soft again.

11. Rent out a room with airbnb

If you’ve got a spare room then you can save a lot of money on rent with airbnb. I had some friends that watched their rent jump from 600$-1200$ overnight! Yeesh… So they decided to rent out a room with airbnb. It not only covered the rent increase, it actually covered their entire rent for the month and more. Granted they lived walking distance from the strip in Nashville, but hey you can probably still get something.

10. Recycle

Tried and true, stack those cans up and take them to get recycled and you can make a few bucks.

9. Insulate your hot water heater

You can save a bit of cash by throwing an old blanket around a hot water heater. It doesn’t take as much energy to stay warm that way.

8. Replace the weather stripping on your home

Weather stripping is dirt cheap. Go to the hardware store and replace this as soon as possible to save on your heating and cooling bill.

Because we all know you're still going to shop.
Because we all know you're still going to shop.

Shopping and haggling

7. Buy a desktop computer instead of a laptop.

It may not be as convenient, but desktops regularly price a few hundred dollars below laptops for the same amount of processing power and RAM. If it’s just going to stay put, save the money for something else.

6. Use that coupon page

Remember that flyer from the grocery store you always throw away? You know the one, well use it. You could at least save a couple bucks.

5. Start at the dollar store then work your way up

When I am shopping for things I like to do it this way. I start at the dollar store, getting the cheapest things there. Then I move to Marshalls or T.J. Maxx, from there Target or Walmart, and just keep going up. I usually get everything I was looking for at a fraction of the price.

4. Double check your bills

Billing departments make mistakes all the time. Keep an eye on what they are charging you for, or you’ll pay for it… literally.

3. Haggle with your internet and phone provider

Phone, internet, and cable providers really hate losing customers, tell them you’re thinking about switching services, and ask to talk to their customer retention department. You can usually get them to give you the promotional prices again. The only downside is you have to do this every six months or so.

2. Get cheaper stuff on ebay with fatfingers

Every once in a while someone makes a typo in a posting on ebay. Well that keeps them from getting bids, which keeps the price way down. Fatfingers, finds those deals.

1. Buy refurbished items!

I saved the best for last. You can get top brand quality items for hundreds of dollars off if you are willing to buy refurbished models. Need a new refrigerator? How about 400 off a brand new one! How about a window ac unit? 200$ off! This can really add up over time, or you can use it the other way. You can get items that are same price but nicer than you would have gotten. These are really simple to shop for too, just go into Google shopping and type refurbished after the product. Chances are you can find a great deal.

If you look long enough, you can easily find great ways to live frugal and save money. Just keep at it, and you can save up quite lot actually. And if you want more advice then here's 33 More tips to Live Frugal and Save Money.

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