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How to Be Extremely Frugal with these Extreme Thrifty-Living Tips

Updated on April 23, 2016

A penny saved is a penny earned!

Do you like pinching pennies? Try extreme frugal living to learn how to enjoy penny-pinching!
Do you like pinching pennies? Try extreme frugal living to learn how to enjoy penny-pinching! | Source

Frugal living is a lifestyle

To be extremely frugal, frugality must be a lifestyle. Frugal living is a mindset that becomes a way of life. The "extreme" comes in being creative to go even beyond your regular means of saving and cutting back.

Perhaps you have started making out a monthly budget and are following that perfectly. Maybe you have started putting ten percent of your income in a savings account. You may be frugal out of necessity, or you might be practicing the frugal lifestyle in order to accomplish future goals, such as putting money away for a vacation, a house, or retirement.

By living extremely frugal, you will achieve your goals much faster. You might even find that you enjoy the frugal lifestyle, as you feel good about living on what you need without all the excess. Extreme frugal living is challenging. If you are the type of person who loves a challenge, you might see that finding ways to live even more frugally is really quite fun.


What does "frugal" mean?

To live frugally means to live cheaply, perhaps to scrimp, to cut back, sometimes to excess. "Excess" is an ironic term to be used with "frugal," but it indicates the extreme direction that frugality can take.

While "frugal" and "thrifty" are sometimes interchanged in their usage, frugal refers more to cutting back and saving money. Thrifty living does include cutting back and saving money as well, but being thrifty also contains an element of innovation and managing things well. In order to practice being "extremely frugal," we have to commit to be both frugal AND thrifty in our daily living.

Frugal living may require sacrifice

For many, especially those not used to the frugal lifestyle, living frugally will require sacrifice. The thought of buying used furniture and used cars is hard for some. On a smaller scale, frugal living may require cutting out pizza delivery, satellite television, and gym memberships.

Living frugally doesn't mean, however, that you have to cut out everything you enjoy. Practice extreme frugality in some areas in order to be able to splurge in other areas. For example, if you love going to the gym but don't care much for watching television, keep your gym membership, but cancel your cable or cut back to the most basic package. The beauty of extreme frugal living is that you can sacrifice in certain areas on order to splurge in others.


Frugal Moms save on the big stuff

What to Cut Out of Your Budget

In order to be extremely frugal, you will have to get by as cheaply as you can in certain areas. You will have to cut back on luxuries, at least for now. Let's consider some possible luxuries that you can cut:

1. Eating Out--Eating at home is much cheaper than forking out money at a restaurant. You can feed a whole family for a few dollars with a pot of beans, cornbread, and a side of corn or spinach, for example. Cook in bulk and freeze what you don't eat for later. Eating out just doesn't fit in with the frugal lifestyle.

2. Shopping--If you're shopping just for fun, stop! Only shop for necessities. Buy foods on sale and don't buy household items that you can do without. Buy necessities at garage sales and thrift shops. Buy used clothing or hold clothing swaps.

3. Vacations--If you're really wanting or needing to be frugal, you're going to have to put off vacations. Even a simple vacation will require at least food and gas. While you're trying to cut expenses, cut vacations, or opt for cheap ones. Enjoy your local parks and lakes. Visit the museum and other free exhibits. Be creative in your "vacationing."

4. Internet--Visit your local library or coffee shop for internet access to save $20 to $30 per month.

5. Cable TV--Save $20 to $100 per month on cable television. Evaluate your family's usage. Do you mostly watch movies? If so, cut cable and rent $1.00 movies at Red Boxes or buy them at yard sales.

6. Telephone--Sure, you need a phone to reach the outside world, but do you need both a cell phone and a landline, too? Evaluate your usage to consider which one to eliminate.

7. Gym memberships--Do you use your gym membership regularly? Even if you do, you have cheaper options. Walking and running are free. Live near a lake or pool? Go swimming. In the winter, bring out those cheap weights and exercise videos that you bought at garage sales over the summer.

Preparing a monthly budget helps. Sit down each month to decide what you will spend in each category--food, utilities, clothing, medications, etc . . . . See how much money you will have leftover at the end of the month. Apply that extra money to any debt you have (even paying more on the mortgage principal) or put it in savings.

Look every month at your expenses and brainstorm on how you can cut back even more. In the meantime, also look at different ways to bring in more money.



What You Can do to make MORE Money

Extremely frugal living isn't all about what you can cut, but it is also about what you can add. Where are areas in which you can bring in extra income? Here are some ideas.

  1. Have you own yard sale to make some cash.
  2. Sell items on eBay or Craig's list. Look into buying items at wholesale to resell.
  3. Open a flea market booth to sell your extra items of value.
  4. Find a savings account with a higher interest rate (often online).
  5. Plant at least a small vegetable and/or fruit garden in the spring.
  6. Take time to itemize on your taxes--home mortgage, donations, medical expenses, more.
  7. Take a part-tjme job to earn extra money for expenses or splurges


Rewards of a Frugal Lifestyle

By practicing an extremely frugal lifestyle, you will reap benefits in several ways. You will have less worry, as your income will cover your expenses, perhaps with money left to save. In exploring extra ways to make money, you may discover a talent that you enjoy and can utilize to bring in more revenue.

You may be able to get out of debt sooner than you expected. At some point, you may have money to splurge on a vacation or other desire. If you are interested in living green, your less wasteful lifestyle will serve to reduce your carbon footprint on the earth.

Start slowly and practice being extremely frugal in certain areas of your life. You may find that the challenge is something you enjoy. Find ways to cut costs while looking for ways to bring in more money. Keep that frugal mindset, and frugal living will become a way of life. Try it! The rewards are immeasurably satisfying.


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© 2012 Vicki L Hodges

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    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

      My idea of frugal is not spending anything on me and of course that does get away from me sometimes. I think I've been good then I realized that I've bought a couple of things on-line, Opps! guilty.

      Vote up, useful and interesting, Joyce.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm confident I can out-frugal just about anyone I know....I've been doing it now for six years; now Bev is with the program. It's not hard to do but you have to be willing to make sacrifices for the bigger goal.

      Nice job Vicki! Great hub!

    • momster profile image

      momster 4 years ago

      I have always found ways to cut corners and save money. I bargain shop at the grocery store, second hand shop, auctions, trade, and sell what I do not need. We also do not have cable, we use netflix $18 a month. We bought the insantity workout, and have a bowflex that was given to us for a rent payment on our rental house. We are selling our 1st house we bought. We traded the truck for a better gas mileage car. This is an everyday lifestyle for my family and I. My parents have taught us how to spend less and still get more for your money. Great hub. Voted up and shared.

    • g-girl11 profile image

      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Great job as always Victoria. I think the biggest point is to not shop for fun! It's amazing how much we all spend on things we can do without.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      billybuc do you still have a car? I can out-frugal you on that point! I ride my bike everywhere. It can be a real problem if it is raining, so maybe that is not an option in Washington!

      Great article Victoria, voted up!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Joyce--It's easy to be guilty now and then. Have to splurge some, huh???

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Vicki,

      Awesome hub here Vicki! Very useful tips; I try to be as frugal as possibe. I like how you mentioned cutting back in certain areas, and splurging in others. But, I have one question...For your ways to make more money, you didn't include HubPages?? LOL

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      You're right, Bill. Some people just can't seem to do it or don't want to. Thanks for chiming in. You are so appreciated!

    • boundarybathrooms profile image

      Thomas Mulrooney 4 years ago from Colne, Lancashire, UK

      Great tips! I try to be frugal but having a girlfriend means it's hard. She is pretty rubbish with money, and even gives me her card every now and again so she can't spend. I told her just to use self control but she can't seem to be able to, whereas I've always been pretty careful with my money.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Hello Victoria Lynn. Thanks for the great tips. We certainly live a frugal lifestyle. Several years ago I lost my job and then my signup ended so we have lived on very little. We live well though. We also cut the cable off and get NetFlix for $8 a month. The thermostat stays on 82 in summer with fans in place and on 69 in winter with a tiny heater in front of the sofa for our feet. The only time I buy retail is when someone gives me a gift card. Thrift stores and consignment stores are my friend. There are many more ways to be frugal but as you stated, it is a lifestyle choice. Thanks again.

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Interesting. I think that anyone reading this hub can pick and choose what elements of frugality they are willing to live with. I like to think in terms of what I can "cut down on."

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      momster--Thanks for all that input! Those examples are great ones for the frugal lifestyle. Awesome!!!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Interesting hub with some good advise. thanks for sharing.

    • GiblinGirl profile image

      GiblinGirl 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Great hub full of lots of practical advice. I agree with rfmoran that it allows the reader to decide for him or herself what compromises he or she is willing to make.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      good tips vicki. With inflation hitting every household; i too like to live frugally 'cause the job market is still not good :(

      I would also give a tip of chucking out the gardener and doing that instead...all these gardeners do is mere cutting and blowing, which a common man could do (hehe)

      many votes and interesting and useful hub!

    • velzipmur profile image

      Shelly Wyatt 4 years ago from Maryland

      Nice hub, good tips thanks!

    • renyou profile image

      renyou 4 years ago

      Eating out definitely takes a huge part in your expenses. Instead of this, probably making some similar dishes at home is more frugal.

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 4 years ago

      I read a book on how this one woman was so frugal with her money that she even reused disposable utensils and trash bags, and yet, she saved about 10K a year (with an income of just 30K a year) and manages to live on a 2 acre lot in a 4 bedroom two-story house. It's pretty amazing what you can do when you are frugal :) Thank's for sharing this, Victoria!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      So true, ggirl! I stopped shopping several years ago--unless I really, really need something. Thanks for the input!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      DrMark--Great comment! You may be one up on billybuc! He may need that car in Washington, though, you're right about that!!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Josh! Glad you liked it! I did mention HubPages--look in the gray box to one side of one of the sections. :-)

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

      Living frugally has always been a challenge to me -- and practicing it allows me to "spend big" when something comes along I really want or want to do. Super informative Hub -- Best/Sis

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      It is not always easy to frugalize. If you have basic bills that never change. However, being less wasteful is a really good way. Great hub and you hit it all.. Voted UP.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      boundarybathrooms--Interesting how some people are good with money and others aren't. Bad when that happens in a couple relationship!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Hyphenbird--great input! I adjust the thermostat, too, using fans and space heaters. In the winter, I wear layers of clothing and sometimes a hat--indoors! It IS a lifestyle. Thanks for sharing!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      rfmoran--Me, too! What can I cut down on and what can I not? That's how I try to live in order to be frugal.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      lifegate--You're welcome. Thanks for reading!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      GiblinGirl--Exactly--it doesn't have to be in EVERY area!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Ruchira--Oh, I never even thought about getting a gardener, so I wouldn't have anybody to cut. haha. Thanks for coming by!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      velzipmur--You're welcome! thanks for reading.

      renyou--Oh, yes! Eating out is definitely a HUGE expense.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      That's incredible, KD! I don't buy trash bags, as i reuse bags from grocery stores. Saving 10K with an income of only 30K is amazing. I think I should strive to save even more!!!!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hey Vicki - great tips...I do like to be frugal and it kind of is a way of life. I don't want to spend money if I don't have to. I could afford to buy a new car for example, but I refuse to. I buy one that is a couple years old but has been taken care of. I never even use electric or leave it on unless it is being used.

      I could be way more frugal but I just see it as trying to not spend as much of my hard earned money on stuff I don't like to buy - so I can save and buy the stuff that is more fun!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Me, too, Angela! If I am frugal every day, then I'll have money for what I need later--like the down payment for this house I live in! Thanks for sharing!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Yes, carol, there are the basic bills, but I think we can all save on food, clothing, and supplies, at the very least. Thanks for the comment and vote up!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I meant to tell you I save a lot of money by making my own laundry detergent. It is easy and very inexpensive. I use the Dugger family recipe. Five gallons cost less than two dollars.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      This line hit home with me: "You might even find that you enjoy the frugal lifestyle, as you feel good about living on what you need without all the excess." I quit a stressful but very well-paying corporate legal job last year to write full-time and was prepared to live frugally off my savings until I started making some money at it. I soon found that I really didn't need all that stuff I was buying before. I was spending money simply for the sake of spending money and doing it on stupid things - like clothes that hung in my closet with tags still on. My best tip for frugal living is a home vegetable garden, augmented with eggs from a few backyard hens. This time of year all we need to get at the grocery store is dairy. And if I could figure out a loophole in the homeowners association rules that would allow me to keep a dairy cow in my backyard, I'd do it! Great hub.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Exactly, Real! Save your money for the fun stuff!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Fun tips! So, cyber-sis, didya think we'd be different on this? Hehehe. Just kidding. But, really, I am frugal. I just brush off complaints from family members who say I'm cheap - I turn it around and take it as a compliment. When they see it that way. I know I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing: being frugal. Because of my frugality, we paid everything off except our mortgage. It allowed me to leave a stressful job. Yes, I wish I had a little bit more money coming in, but the load of stress off my back is more than worth it. Thanks for compiling these tips. I consider myself frugal, but I learned even more in your hub. ;)

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      For the longest time, I would not give up my Quilted Northern toilet paper. I thought, that would be the day... Well, last week, after comparing the unit cost per roll, I could no longer justify buying the higher priced brand. So, I bought the lowest unit cost brand and it works just fine, but there is something to be said for quilted TP. Great and informative hub about how to be frugal. I want to be like Cathy in the video. Wow, that lady really knows how to go all the way down to the penny.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Hypenbird--I've been meaning to start making my own laundry detergent! I should do that soon! So much less expensive!!!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Deb--Good for you! I too think we spend so much money on things we don't need. If I didn't have a big mortgage, I would have it made! Wonder if my town allows chickens?? Probably not enough room in the backyard. Oh, well. Maybe one day. Love your input--thanks!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      CC, we can keep on learning! I've been called "cheap," too, before, but I'm mostly being frugal. I don't go into debt for anything except my mortgage which is on schedule to be paid off early. I can't do much extra right now, but I'm sure I'll get back to that at some point. Sounds like you're as smart as your cyber-sis. hahahaha. :-) Thanks for all the comments. Frugal living does help take the stress off and helps us do what we want to do with our lives!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Marlene--I figure for what it's for, we don't need quilted toilet paper. LOL. Keep working at it. Perhaps frugality is something to keep striving for!

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

      When I had to start really worrying about money, I found many ways to save. Like you said, it is a challenge and becomes fun. There are so many things we REALLY don't need or that a lesser quality of will do just as well! Great hub!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      catgypsy--Thanks for the input. Of course I totally agree!

    • FrugalFatCouple profile image

      FrugalFatCouple 4 years ago from California

      Being frugal should not be looked down upon. Unless its the extreme, being frugal is simply being SMART - and learning ways to shorten your learning curve when it somes to money. Period. Frugal = Freedom when you have more money to do the things you want to do - or to help others who are in need.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      FrugalFatCouple--Good points about frugal being smart and allowing you freedom when you need the money. Thanks!

    • FrugalFatCouple profile image

      FrugalFatCouple 4 years ago from California

      Great Hub. We like what you said about gym memberships. We just cancelled our gym membership. We're really not fat - We just like livin large. We take our dog for more walks and he seems extremely happy to be ours! Thank you for all the great tips!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      FrugalFatCouple--Livin' large! Sounds cool! Love it!

    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 4 years ago from United States

      I live frugally as a way of life and appreciate others that have a similar mindset. Great Hub!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      MarloByDesign--Frugality as a lifestyle is the way to go! :-)

    • drpennypincher profile image

      Dr Penny Pincher 4 years ago from Iowa, USA

      I appreciate the point made above about enjoying the frugal lifestyle. Living a frugal lifestyle not by choice, but because you don't have much money is a different thing than choosing to live with less. I think coming to the point of view that life is actually more enjoyable when consuming less stuff is a key to succeeding at being extremely frugal.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      drpennypincher--Well said! I don't spend money on much "stuff" these days, and I'm hoping to slowly sell and give away a lot of the stuff I've collected over the years. :-)

    • joym7 profile image

      Joy 4 years ago from United States

      I don't save even a single penny. But Now I am planning to save some for the future and this hub is going to help me for this.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Great, joym7! I'm glad you are inspired. Make it fun!

    • profile image

      Linda Bryen 3 years ago

      Hi! great hub Victoria Lynn, I think I am frugal as I buy my clothes from charity shops, buy our shopping monthly except the perishable ones and I use Poundland shop where everything is costing only a pound. Thank you.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Linday--You are frugal! that is great! I've never heard of Poundland shop--sounds neat! Thanks for the comments.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Great hub with great suggestions. I have done all of these suggestions at one time or another. I just don't do them all at the same time like I should. :)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      phdast7--I know; it's hard to do these things all the time, isn't it? I think whatever we do, whenever we can, will help, right? Thanks for reading!

    • djt5036 profile image

      Daniel J. Taylor 3 years ago from Eddystone, PA

      Living frugally is tough when you're in love with a spender. Luckily, we balance each other out to a standard where we're still saving.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      djt5036--It would drive me crazy to live with a spender! It's good you balance each other out! :-)

    • PattyJane profile image

      PattyJane 3 years ago

      I really enjoyed your hub! I am horrible at being frugal but I am learning. Thank you for the great advice.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Great suggestions, Vicki

      Every penny saved is one tucked away for a rainy day. I retied two years ago and it changed my income to an extent. I am much more frugal and much more conscious of what I spend now.

      Angels are on the way to you this early morning ps :)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Patty Jane--It's never too late to learn! Thanks for reading!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      pstraubie--I agree about each penny saved! It makes such a difference over time. Thanks for the angels. Must needed!

    • profile image

      LMC 3 years ago

      Frugal living also requires one not to hoard but to save what is really necessary. I have saved newspapers and other household items since July so we could make our own fall and winter decorations. We just made our scarecrow out of items we have been saving. I also saved soda and water bottles so I can fill them up with water and orange food coloring. I will then put jack o lantern faces on them for decorations. I have also printed many art and craft projects out from the internet that were free. This way my grandchildren can make all of their own fall decorations without us having to buy anything. I use egg cartons to make our own flowers and we paint them black and put silver glitter on them for a spooktacular flower centerpiece. I also clean out my first aid kit and restock. I then use some of the stuff up such as gauze to make our own mummy. There are so may free things available that I cannot even understand why anyone would even need to spend money on Halloween and fall decorations!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      LMC--I LOVE how you think. So many people think they are "saving" money with their continual shopping or couponing. Even extreme couponers I know consume a lot on items that I rarely even buy. I think you're right on target with at first reducing what we use--and repurposing. I applaud you!

    • profile image

      CinbadCin 7 months ago

      I have always reused baggies except for those containing meat products. I seldom use garbage bags. Instead I use the ads from the grocery stores or junk mail to put in wet trash when I don't have meat baggies to use. My garbage can only gets dirty from the elements. I turn my air conditioning off during the day and turn it on for a few hours after 9:00p.m. I live in Las Vegas where temperature can get over 110. During the day I go to the library or to the office where I work. At night I use the community room to watch TV(I compromise on the stations with fellow residents.) and eat cool or cold foods for dinner I bring from home. I never leave my garbage. I take it and throw out the pure garbage and wash my containers for reuse. I can't tolerate the air conditioner blowing cold air on me. During the winter I cook meals at home and bring them to eat while I watch TV or input surveys from my job to the equipment we use. There is not enough battery life to use the equipment when I interview people. I have the permission of my landlord to use their electric while enjoying the TV everyone is permitted to use. I am not using much electric for my equipment and offset it by turning on only 1 light when no one else is present. (They use about 2 more then I do.) At night I turn off the main lights inside and use the outside lights to guide me to the door. When I go to sleep I use a mattress pad heating pad purchased at JC Penny's a few years ago to warm my bed. When I get up I turn on a space heater to warm my bathroom and one in the kitchen when I eat there. If the temperature is scheduled to get below freezing I let the water drip over night only. It doesn't get that cold often in Las Vegas, Nevada. My electric bill last month was just over $50.00 because I left the air on 3-5 hours a day instead of my usual 2-3 hours a day. I cool the place down and because my place is well insulated I am up and gone before it gets too hot. I buy the discounted meat from the grocery store and most of my vegetables and fruits like whole carrots and strawberries from the dollar store. Many of my meals incorporate rice as it is usually cheaper than potatoes. I buy a chicken from Sam's Club (I get a free membership because my friend buys one and she gives me the second one as part of my Christmas or birthday gift from her.) I can make the chicken last for most of the week if I am the only one eating it. I eat some with vegetables , rice and milk for several meals and then I take the remainder and cook the bones for a broth add vegetables and spices for flavor. The chickens

      there are generally about a pound more than I can get from the grocery store and they cost $5.00 instead of more than $6.00 at the regular grocery store precooked. I add onions and garlic for flavor and the nutrients. I purchase the chicken and take it to my friends place to make a good tasting meal quickly by adding the juice and fat(just a little) with onions pieces and bits of garlic to rice for a tasty meal. I buy fresh spinach for $1.00 a bag from the dollar store and some fruit as well. All the food cost $10.00 or less to purchase and I have left overs for several other meals(except the fruit we eat it in one sitting.) of the rice and vegetables. I need some variety so I buy hamburger, occasionally pork chops and noodles plus some canned vegetables from the regular grocery store. About 2 months ago I bought cereal for $1.00 a box for breakfast and a loaf of bread for $1.00 on sale from Smith's. The cereal lasts for 3-4 meals and I use peanut butter to make sandwiches for lunch. Sometimes I make a cheese sandwich with fresh spinach for variety. My grocery bill is never over $25.00 a week and usually it is $15.00-$20.00. As you can see I am very frugal but I do get my vitamins from food but to be on the safe side I take supplements. I do a lot more frugal things some of which were mentioned here like cutting cable (I use an antenna only) and using the library for my internet. My only bills are food, electric, rent(water and sewer are included) , insurances, clothes, the occasional night out and my vehicle.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Vicki L Hodges 6 months ago from Arkansas, USA

      Cinbadcin--You ARE very frugal! I would have a hard time using NO a/c during the day in 110 weather, but I don't use a/c all the time. I don't like the cold, either. I'm pretty frugal in my shopping for food, too, and I'm nearly always able to save money. I'm downsizing and paying off my house next Spring. I'll be debt-free with money in the bank. I'm so ready to not have a mortgage! Thanks for sharing all the ways that you save money. They are inspiring and make me think that I can do even more myself!

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      Cynthia Calhoun 6 months ago from Western NC

      Saw this on my feed. Just wanted to stop by and say hi! And wow! Some "frugal" comments up there and...I originally commented on this 4 years ago!? Where in the world has the time gone!?

      Hehe. Hope you're well, Cyber Sis! ;)

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      Victoria Lynn 6 months ago

      I know, CC! Time keeps flying by! Good to see you on here again! See you around somewhere soon!

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      Vicki L Hodges 6 months ago from Arkansas, USA

      I know, CC! Time flies, sis! Glad we're still here in some capacity! I'll see you around soon--somewhere!

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      Cynthia Calhoun 6 months ago from Western NC

      Haha, that's right! Well, my friend, I'm trying my own hub challenge: I'm publishing new or re-publishing updated hubs. One per day...so far I have 17. Going to try for 30, but I'm not going to kill myself trying. Haha.

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      Vicki L Hodges 6 months ago from Arkansas, USA

      Wow, CC, that's impressive! One per day is a lot! I do go in and revise a few hubs now and then. I'd like to get back to writing. I haven't been doing any at all, really. :-( You go, girl!

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      Chris Mills 6 months ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Congratulations on having your hub voted as best hub in this site. Very practical and useful.

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      Shauna L Bowling 6 months ago from Central Florida

      After getting myself in deep credit card debt, I was forced to file bankruptcy last year. With no credit cards other than my debit card, I'm finding I can actually pay cash for my basic needs. If I don't have cash, I wait until I do. Had I known it was completely possible to live within my means, I'd have done it long ago. What's even more interesting to me is I'm making $7,000 less a year now than I was when I relied on credit cards. I just had to learn to say no.

      This is a great article. Congratulations on winning the 2016 Hubbie Award for this niche site!

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      Paula 6 months ago

      Hey Vee....CONGRATULATIONS, girlfriend!!! Great Job!

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      Vicki L Hodges 6 months ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, cam8510. I really appreciate your comment!

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      Vicki L Hodges 6 months ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, Paula! Who wouldathunkit! :-)

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      Vicki L Hodges 5 months ago from Arkansas, USA

      bravewarrior--Thanks for the comments! Isn't it interesting how we really can live on so much less? And thanks for the Congrats! :-)

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