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33 Tips for Saving Money and Living Frugally

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

Whether you're shopping, cooking in your kitchen, or taking a shower, find some tips to help you save money along the way.

Whether you're shopping, cooking in your kitchen, or taking a shower, find some tips to help you save money along the way.

Earning more money is always great, but making the money you already have go further can be just as rewarding. Using these tips for living frugal and saving money can make your money go a lot further than your month.

In the Kitchen

33. Save glass jars for canning and pickling.

Don’t go to the store to buy jars when you have plenty of them going into your fridge all the time. Any glass jar that has a lid should be reused to store more food.

32. Buy staple ingredients in bulk.

Staple ingredients, like sugar, flour, rice, and beans, can be stored for a very long time. So spending the extra up front to buy these in bulk can save you quite a lot of money in the years to come. Just make sure to cycle through it as you go. It can eventually spoil.

31. Manager’s specials are your friend.

There are tons of reason why a grocery store may discount an item, and manager’s specials are usually a great buy—which is why you should keep an eye out for them while you are shopping.

30. Buy and use a dehydrator.

Dehydrators may seem like an unnecessary buy, but they are actually quite amazing at saving you money, if you know how to use them. For example, if you find that your fruit keeps going bad, then you can cut it into strips, dry them out in one of these, and turn them into a delicious snack that will last for months.

29. Turn off the burner early when cooking.

When you’re cooking and getting near the end, turn off the burner. The heat from the pan will finish the job, and you’ll save a little cash for no extra effort. That’s what I call a bargain.

28. Sign up for grocery store rewards programs.

Grocery store rewards programs save you money for doing nothing. Use them; that’s what they are there for.

27. Slice your own lunch meat.

If you like keeping lunch meat around, then you need to get an orbital slicer. The cost of lunch meat is heavily marked up, and you can enjoy all the same meats without that extra cost just by slicing it yourself. Like ham? Buy a whole one and cut it into thin slices!

Around the House

26. Make your own lamps.

Making a lamp is not hard; there is no reason they should cost as much as they do. Learning how to make your own lamps could not only save you some cash, but if you got into selling them it could make you some as well.

25. Participate in free workshops.

There’s a lot you can learn how to do yourself; you just have to know where to look. Lowes, Home Depot, and Michaels all have free workshops to teach you new skills. You should check them out.

24. Become your own electrician.

You don’t have to take this very far to save a lot of money. What I mean is, you don’t have to get certified to learn how to safely change an electrical socket, but doing it yourself can easily save you 40 bucks.

23. Use vinegar where you can.

Oh, the many, many uses of vinegar. You are in for a surprise.

22. Wash clothes in cold water.

Washing clothes in cold water actually makes them last longer, and it can save you quite a bit on power as well.

21. Insulate your central heating and cooling ducts.

Central cooling and heating can use an absurd amount of power if the ducting in your attic isn’t insulated. I even have a friend who went up into their attic to find that their AC wasn’t connected to their ducts at all. By fixing this, you can cut your heating and cooling bill drastically.

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20. Check your attic insulation.

Speaking of insulation, you should climb up into your attic and make sure that the insulation up there is in good shape. If you have a room that you have a hard time keeping the temperature controlled in, chances are it’s got a leak somewhere.

You're literally pouring money down the drain!

You're literally pouring money down the drain!

19. Take cold showers.

It’s not fun, but if you get used to it, it’s not so bad. In fact, they can actually be pretty nice in the summer time.

18. Use power off of peak hours.

Electric companies struggle to produce enough power to keep everything running during the peak of the day. So they often charge different rates for power at different times of the day. From 12pm to 6pm, you should power down. Then do your energy-hungry tasks like washing and drying at night.

17. Use fans instead of AC.

Fans make it feel 10 degrees cooler while only costing one tenth of central air conditioning.

On the Go

16. Bundle your errands, and plot the most efficient route.

If you wait and bundle up all your errands into one trip, then you can plot a route between them that saves the most gas. It also saves the most time, coincidentally.

Libraries are still the cheapest form of entertainment and education.

Libraries are still the cheapest form of entertainment and education.

15. Go to the library.

If you haven’t been to the library in a couple years, then you would be surprised by what they rent out now. You can often times get movies and video games, and not even old ones at that. We’re talking stuff that came out this year. It’s pretty awesome. Just make sure to send it back before you get any late fees.

14. Use a dental college.

If you live near a dental college and are willing to take a little more risk, then you can save a bundle by having students practice their skills on you. Most of the time, you can get the same quality work done that you would anyway, but it’s cheaper—much cheaper.

13. Go to a barber’s college or beauty school for haircuts.

You can do the same trick by getting your hair cut at a beauty school. These places are full of students who want to practice doing the hardest haircuts they can, so you can often get the pinnacle of fashion for cheaper than a regular haircut.

12. Learn how to cut your own hair.

Of course, if you want to save the most, you can learn how to cut you own hair.

Shopping and Haggling

11. Get a credit card and use it right.

I know that sounds like a terrible idea, but hear me out. You are only to use it for booking hotels and flights, then pay it off immediately. The few cents in interest you have to pay are nothing compared to what you can get with frequent flyer miles.

10. Claim lost money.

If there’s a check from a business you forgot to cash, then guess what? They aren’t allowed to keep that money. Instead, it goes into a system where the government holds onto it for a few years before it’s given to certain causes. Even if you aren’t aware of any lost money, it’s worth a check. You never know if some relative you never even heard of passed something on when they died, and it could be yours.

9. Ask about car insurance discounts.

Most people get a quote for car insurance, then leave it at that. But make a habit of calling your insurance provide every year, because there are all kinds of discounts that they provide. Are you a good student? Well, good grades get you a discount.

8. Abandon your online shopping cart.

It’s been common practice that companies will try and get revenue by emailing people who abandon their online shopping carts and offering them a discount. You can get a discount on a lot of items online by trying this.

7. Use price matching.

You have to find out what the store you’re working with price matches to (some won’t do online stuff), but a lot of stores nowadays will give you the best price just for showing them a picture.

6. Get free books with Smashwords.

If you love books but don’t want to spend a fortune on new ones every month, then check out Smashwords. They offer a crazy amount of free books.

5. Take free online courses.

A bunch of the major colleges out there decided to start offering courses online for free. If you want to learn something new, then take a look.

4. Ditch cable and try Crackle.

Cable T.V. is expensive, but Crackle is free! True, you have to put up with ads, but I suppose you have to do that with cable anyway. So why not give it a shot?

3. Try the Dollar Shave Club.

If you shave every day, then Dollar Shave Club is for you. It offers cheap, quality razors delivered right to your doorstep.

2. Use the Magicjack.

The Magicjack—you’ve probably seen the infomercial for these things, but guess what? They work. If you want to save some change on your phone bill, then make sure to get one of these.

1. Buy things with student discounts.

If you’re in college, then you’re in luck. A crazy amount of businesses offer student discounts. Software, for example, will often have hundreds of dollars off the asking price for students. So start asking around; you might get some good deals.

So there you have it, 33 tips to save you some serious cash. If you'd like even more ideas, here's a link to another 33 tips. However, I would suggest doing more than just saving. There are plenty of ways to earn more money through passive income as well.

If you have any questions, then please leave them in the comments. I would be happy to answer them.

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