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Ten Frugal Tips for Simple Living

Bill is a writer with his own garden, and he has a wealth of useful tips about living simple.

Live simple to start saving!

Live simple to start saving!

Say Hello to Living Simple

There are some who will read the title of this article and read no further. They simply are not interested in living frugally, and to them, I say, “more power to you.” I understand that this is not for everyone. I understand that lifestyles are learned behavior and that there are those out there who are quite comfortable and have no desire to learn a new behavior that will take them out of their comfort zone.

I also understand that those in the top 1% certainly have no desire to live frugally. Wealth, and all that it can purchase, is intoxicating, and asking someone like Bill Gates to downsize his mansion is a fool’s mission.

However, there are millions upon millions of people (the lower 99%) who can benefit from these suggestions and could definitely benefit from living simply. Frugal living does not have to be about living in misery. It is entirely possible to live happily with fewer possessions.

This author has been doing it now for six years, and in reality, most of my life has been about frugal living. I was raised by parents who grew up during the Great Depression, and the lessons they learned were naturally passed down to me. For that, I am grateful!

Of course, they wanted the best for their son, and of course, they wanted me to have a better life than they had; however, they did not define “better” as having more money. Their primary concern was that I learn to be happy in life and that I grow up with a set of principles that would carry me through the trials and tribulations that would most certainly arise as I traveled my path.

So here I am now, a happy and contented man who does not need the trappings of life to validate my self-worth. I have found happiness without an abundance of possessions, and I am embracing a frugal lifestyle. You can too!

Where our money goes

Where our money goes

Why Go Frugal?

This is a valid question, especially in today’s world, where everything seemingly revolves around possessions. From my way of thinking, there are four main reasons to adopt this lifestyle:

1. Frugality allows you to spend less than you earn

2. Frugality means you can earn less because you spend less

3. Frugality allows you time to enjoy life and appreciate those things that have no price tag.

4. Frugality simplifies life; it de-clutters your physical world and thus de-clutters your emotional world.

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.” Henry David Thoreau

What follows are ten tips to help you achieve what I believe to be a wonderfully simple lifestyle.

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Read More From Toughnickel

1. Live in a Smaller House

This is the difference between what you want and what you need. If you were to seriously de-clutter and get rid of unneeded items, you would be amazed by how little room you need to live. I have lived comfortably in 500 square feet. When I was a single parent, we lived in a home with 1000 square feet.

Living in a smaller home means less furniture, less house payment, fewer property taxes, fewer utilities, and less upkeep. Do you really need all of that space, or do you just want it?

Check out These Great Mini-Homes

  • Tumbleweed Tiny House Company
    Tiny Houses from 65 to 874 square feet. Buy house plans and build it yourself, or buy ready made houses delivered to you. Jay Shafer's Tumbleweed Houses set the standard for small house living.

2. Buy Used First

Obviously, used costs less unless, of course, we are talking about antiques or collectibles. When I needed a new printer for my freelance writing business, I put out the word among my friends. Turned out one of my friends had an extra one, and he just gave it to me for cost.

If you aren’t lucky enough to have such friends, check or go to garage sales or thrift shops. About the only thing I won’t buy used is underwear. Even I have my limits regarding frugality.

3. Eat Out Less

Yes, this is a sacrilege to a fast food society, but stop and think about the nickels and dimes spent during a year on those quick trips to McDonald’s or Starbucks. The average American spends close to $3000 per year eating out.

This writer grew up on fast food. I love a juicy burger and some greasy fries, and I love the fact that I can have it all for $5, and I don’t have to cook. However, if I do that twice a week, I have wasted $520 on just fast food. I also loved having a mocha each morning. Four dollars per day for 365 days is $1460 per year. I now have two mochas per week; still an extravagance but one I feel I deserve for working hard for forty-five years.

Life looks like this without money worries

Life looks like this without money worries

4. Eliminate Half Your Wardrobe and Replace as Needed With Used Clothes

This step helps de-clutter the house and greatly reduces shopping costs in the future. How many pairs of shoes do you own? The average American woman owns 19 pairs of shoes; over 15% own more than 30 pairs. Please! Why does someone need that many shoes? Take half of them to a charity drop-off and do not replace them. If you want an incentive, it is tax-deductible. A win-win situation if ever there was one.

Over half of your clothes are only worn once a year! Get rid of them! Give to charity, save more on taxes, and if you have to replace any, go to a secondhand store to do so. The last coat I bought was a North Face heavy fleece, and I bought it at Goodwill for $7. Get rid of the status-symbol thinking and start thinking frugally.

5. Stop Impulse Buying

We all do it! We walk through a shopping mall, and something catches our eye, so we buy it. We had no intention of buying it when we entered the mall, but some inner urge triggered our shopping impulse, and now we own it. Kiosks at the shopping malls thrive on impulse buying, and we Americans feed the economy on a regular basis because we can’t seem to curb this unintentional buying habit.

Shopping online is every bit as dangerous to the pocketbook. Craigslist, eBay, and Amazon are all there to lure us out of our good intentions and into further debt. And we fall for it time and time again. If you want to save some big bucks, stop impulse buying.

6. Buy in Bulk

I have to tell you, I hate Costco, the warehouse giant. I get around all of those people, and I start breaking out in hives. Not really, but you get the point. However, the deals there are incredible, and I’m all about saving money. If I have to buy fifty rolls of toilet paper to save fifty cents a roll, then I’m doing it. It’s not like I won’t use it, right?

One added bonus to shopping at Costco or other large, bulk stores: if you get there at the right time of day, they are giving out free samples. You can literally save money on lunch by eating for free while saving money on necessary items. How cool is that?

Living simple

Living simple

7. Get Rid of Your Television

I’m sorry, but television is unnecessary! Save on the expense of cable and save about nine years, on average, of your life. Plus, watching less tv means you will be more active, which means better health, which means fewer trips to the expensive doctor.

I know it seems unimaginable, but it is possible to be happy without television. This writer has not owned one for six years. Time saved is used to read, visit with loved ones, go for walks, and in general, just to enjoy life. Money saved on cable is money I don’t have to earn in the future.

Statistics on Television Use in America

  • Television
    How often do Americans watch television? Read these rather startling stats on America's number one pastime.

8. Go to the Library

This is coming from an author. Books are expensive! Owning books is unnecessary. Join your local library and get unlimited books for free. That is one sweet deal that keeps on giving.

Better yet, take all of your old books and sell them online or have a garage sale. Now we’re talking! Clean out your house, take all your old CDs, DVDs, and books, and make some extra cash. Now you have a savings account for emergencies, or a vacation, or whatever. Do you see how this frugal lifestyle thing works?

9. Walk More Often

What does gasoline cost nowadays? $4 per gallon? It fluctuates for sure, but one thing that is certain is it won’t be dropping down to the $2.50 per gallon we all dream of. Those days are long gone. Start walking more. If possible, for that trip to the grocery store for a loaf of bread, walk it!

If you live somewhere that makes it impossible to walk to the store, then make sure you coordinate your errands so that you only make one trip. It’s amazing how much gas is wasted each week on needless trips. Start charting your car trips and then plan a way that saves on gas. The added bonus is that you are saving on wear and tear to your vehicle.

10. Drink More Water

Yes, drink more water! You are already paying for it; you might as well drink it! Stop buying soda and flavored water at the grocery store. Do you want some flavor with that water? Grow your own peppermint or spearmint and put a sprig in your water.

Remember, what do you need vs. what do you want? That’s the question any frugal person will ask every time. You do not need soda; you do, however, need water. Pretty simple, really!

More to Come

Oh, there is so much more, but that’s all we have time for in this installment. Never fear; we will have ten more tips for you next week. I’m loaded with them, and I want to share them with all of you. It is my hope that once you start on this road, you will begin to see the benefits of this frugal way of thinking, and then you will embrace it as I have.

Repeat after me: Less is more!

Or, as Henry David would say: “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.”

Questions & Answers

Question: I can live frugally...however my wife of 20 years was born with a silver spoon and a mom who is all about money and more...what can I do to let my wife know that "less is more"?

Answer: It's pretty hard to change a person with that kind of upbringing, I would think. If it's really an issue it sounds like you two need to sit down and work it out. If it's not really an issue, and you can afford her extravagance, then I say there really isn't a problem. Bottom line: how far do you want to push this matter?

Question: What about vacations? Can they be frugal?

Answer: Good luck doing a vacation frugally...camping?


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 14, 2020:

I certainly do, Rashunda! Best wishes on your frugal journey. Blessings to you always.

Rashunda Watkins on June 12, 2020:

I have already started my journey of being frugal. It's time to start investing more into ourselves. Don't you agree?

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 24, 2019:

I love your attitude, Wendy. Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us.

TripleAMom from Florida on October 23, 2019:

Hey great advice. We do a lot of these things. Love shopping at thrift stores. There are great deals to be found. We cancelled our cable subscription and just have Hulu and Netflix so we still have movies when the kids are home. We even do vacations on a budget by not eating out as much and buying groceries, doing presentations for free tickets or hotel rooms, finding deals on Groupon or other coupon sites. It's like a challenge to save money.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 22, 2019:

Wonderful, Sharon! Thanks for sharing that. I think we are close to getting rid of our cable subscription too.

Sharon Lopez from Philippines on October 21, 2019:

It's a great article about simple living which is worth emulating.

When I started working online, I don't anymore have the desire to watch television. I decided to stop the cable subscription but I retained the internet because I need it for my online work.

My biggest expense as of now is my daily fare which I am planning to get rid of by renting a house near my workplace.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 20, 2019:

Sandra, there is no doubt, it was very hard for us to do too.

Sandra Meyer on June 20, 2019:

I do a few of these things but dropping the cable is difficult because it is my entertainment most of the time.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 21, 2017:

Susan, I'm not sure what retirement looks like, and I'm sixty-eight, but I do know what the simple life looks like, and I love it. Thanks for checking in.

Susan Sears on June 21, 2017:

Great advice..I am not living frugally as evidenced by my charge cards. I am slowly working to pay those off and cutting up as I go. As I see retirement in the future I realize I need to look seriously at living a frugal life.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 19, 2017:

You are well on your way, Tamara! Thanks for digging up one of my oldies. I'm glad you enjoyed it. This kind of lifestyle was taught to me by my parents. We always had what we needed, but rarely bought what we didn't need. :)

Have a superb week


Tamara Moore on June 18, 2017:

I like articles about living frugally, and being a minimalist. I actually only like to keep what I need, and not have a bunch of unnecessary items. Too many things overwhelm me, and take away from the more important items.

I would much rather eat homemade food than fast food or even restaurant food. And, I've always preferred small house to bigger houses. I also enjoy thrift stores and consignment shops.

Excellent to read this!



Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 02, 2017:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Lauren! I'll check out your blog.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 10, 2017:

Sue, I don't even know you and I'm excited about your upcoming year of traveling. Safe travels, my friend. I'll be along in spirit.

Sue on January 10, 2017:

I'm surprised--in your Costco comments, you fail to mention the cost of Costco membership--you'd have to spend a lot of money to save after factoring in the $$ for membership. Or do you go there everyday for the free lunches?

I plan to spend a year traveling around the US interviewing for 2 books, "It's Easy to Smile When You Love Your Work" and "Heroes Beyond War" --You will recognize me if you see a van with CA license plate "EZ2SMIL". This year, I am struggling with getting rid of stuff that has accumulated in my 43 years in CA. The hardest are things that are part of my history. I am taking pictures. It is a process. I have lived frugally my whole life, but still I have lots, but most of the real joys in life are free.

simplehappylife on January 02, 2017:

Thanks Bill! I am too :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 02, 2017:

I'm glad you're here, SA!

simplehappylife on January 02, 2017:

You're Very Welcome :) I'm happy to do it.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 02, 2017:

Thank you for sharing, SA! I appreciate that very much.

simplehappylife on January 01, 2017:

Great article Bill :) I'm starting to see what you mean, regarding our like-mindedness :)

I'm sharing this on flipboard :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 01, 2016:

Swalia, I think it would top my wife's list as well. :) Happy New Year to you.

Shaloo Walia from India on January 01, 2016:

Saying no to impulsive shopping tops my list. Thanks for sharing this!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 19, 2015:

I'm so happy to hear that, creditcomedy...thank you very much.

Credit Comedy on June 19, 2015:

This one Article has truly changed my life...

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 30, 2015:

Marlo, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I totally agree. Life is just much simpler when the clutter is removed.

MarloByDesign from United States on April 29, 2015:

I agree ~ Frugality de-clutters your physical world and thus de-clutters your emotional world. I am trying that in my life right now, and I can relax in the rooms in my house in which I have done so. Great Hub!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on April 26, 2015:

Thank you Voucherix. I'm glad you found them useful.

Voucherix on April 26, 2015:

Great frugality tips. thanks for sharing.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 16, 2015:

:) Jacobb

Jacobb9205 on February 16, 2015:

No problem, billybuc

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 16, 2015:

Thank you Jacobb....I appreciate you stopping by.

Jacobb9205 on February 16, 2015:

Great ways to live cheaper! Thank you

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 17, 2014:

boutiqueshops, that reminds me of the saying "I was country before country was cool." I may be wrong but I think a lot of people are going to join us in this movement before too long.

Have a great weekend.

Sylvia from Corpus Christi, Texas on January 17, 2014:

You hit another one right out of the ball park! AWESOME wisdom; thank you so much for passing it on. I was a fan of the Tightwad Gazette before some thought it was cool to play at being frugal. ;)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 24, 2013:

cheap uggs, that is fantastic. I love your enthusiasm, which shines through in your words. Best wishes to you as you move forward.

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Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 26, 2013:

FBohman, thanks for stopping by. As you said, financial planning starts with the simple act of cutting costs and then making the decision to change your lifestyle.

Fred Bohman from Orange County, CA on March 26, 2013:

Reading through your hub I found the part about living in a smaller home. This is definitely something I see on a regular basis, people living in a home that is too big for their needs simply to hold onto clutter.

Great article, I think the first part of financial planning is always cutting costs and living a bit more frugal.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 26, 2013:

tebo, it is an adjustment at first but very liberating once you do it. Good luck to you and thank you!

tebo from New Zealand on March 25, 2013:

Lots of great ideas here. Getting rid of stuff is a great idea. I am slowly chipping away at that one. And a smaller place to keep in order is sound advice too.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 10, 2013:

Jainismus, I agree with you about the lemonade. Thank you for stopping by my friend.

Mahaveer Sanglikar from Pune, India on February 10, 2013:

Those who are not interested in drinking just water, they should drink homemade lemonade, which costs very less. This will save a lot of money on cold drinks.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 07, 2013:

Moms, thank you again for the visit and the share. Greatly appreciated!

MomsTreasureChest on February 07, 2013:

Great hub with lots of practical tips, thanks for sharing!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on February 01, 2013:

Thanks Pinkchic; it's good to see you again. Now go back to your coupon clipping. :)

Sarah Carlsley from Minnesota on February 01, 2013:

I use coupons regularly! Couldn't live without 'em :) Nice hub!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 29, 2013:

Wiley,that is fantastic. What a great savings for your family. I applaud you on taking those steps. Your children will grow up understanding what is important in life, and that's a lesson that will serve them well for their entire lives.

Thank you for sharing that message with my readers.

Anna from Auburn, Indiana on January 29, 2013:

Thanks Billy for taking the time and writing this hub. I completely agree that you can better your quality of life by letting go of unnecessary things. I want my children to learn that you can have a full life and not have all the clutter. We too have recently got ride of cable and cut back on our phone bill as well. Yes, it was nice to have two cell phones but not needed. We have a house phone through Vonage which is 10.00 a month and one pre-paid cells for emergencies just by doing those two things we have cut our bills by almost $400 a month!! Can't wait to hear more ideas from you!!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 29, 2013:

jainismus, thank you my friend! I hope these ideas help in some way.

Mahaveer Sanglikar from Pune, India on January 29, 2013:

Great advice for frugal living, thank you for sharing the tips.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 28, 2013:

AlliOop, sometimes we are forced to do that which is so good for us. I faced tough decisions like that about six years ago, and they became the decisions that turned my life around. I am incredibly happy now, but I would have never guessed it possible six years ago. Shows you how much I knew. :) Thank you for sharing your experience.

AlliOop on January 28, 2013:

Wonderful tips to live by. Due to a medical condition and a pretty severe car accident, I was put out of the workforce several years ago, so my husband and I have to survive on just his income. Being forced to live a frugal lifestyle is probably one of the best things that ever happened to us. Making a conscious decision not to pursue the materialistic trappings of society eliminates so many money worries. The only tip you mentioned that we don't live by is the no television. I rarely watch it, but my husband would probably divorce me if I suggested getting rid of it. We don't pay for cable though. Strictly over the air broadcast. Voted up and useful.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 12, 2013:

Learning, I would too. I wouldn't make a living without my laptop, and that's the truth. Some things I will not give up.

Thank you so much; it's time for me to pay you a visit.

Megan Garcia from Florida on January 12, 2013:

I think the only "possession" I would go crazy without is my laptop and internet. lol I would give up running water to have my internet if I had to choose.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 12, 2013:

Learning, it is an uphill battle for sure. We are such a possession-oriented society, and most people cannot conceive of the concept of need before want. I live it and have no problem at all, but convincing most people is maddening.

Thank you for the visit.

Megan Garcia from Florida on January 12, 2013:

I love the simple and frugal lifestyle but it is hard when your friends and family don't really realize it. Any birthday or holiday, we get so much "crap" we don't need. I appreciate the gesture but I feel like I need more space just to house the stuff I get from others. For example, my 15 month old daughter had the biggest room in the house just to fit all her toys. I've only bought her things she NEEDS.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 03, 2012:

I will, Kathy; I'm enjoying it too! :) Thank you!

Kathy Sima from Ontario, Canada on October 03, 2012:

Another great hub! I'm really enjoying this frugal living series Bill. Keep them coming, please!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 02, 2012:

Kaiyan, it's amazing how little I miss television. When we want a movie we always turn to Netflix or Hulu Plus....for us there is just no need for tv. Thank you for the visit; I always like hearing from fellow frugal people. :)

kaiyan717 from West Virginia on October 02, 2012:

Some pople cannot live without a television, so there is other options. I have 1 that gets turned on a few times a month, I am still in the debate of getting rid of it. A computer pretty much takes over the need for a television, very few things cannot be found on line. There is also sites like Hulu Plus and Netflix that can give you a large virtual library to choose for under a hundred a year or just go to the library of course. I think I have finally decided to go through my closet and get down to the donation site in town. Voted up and great hub, I am always looking for frugal tips!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 04, 2012:

Thank you Audrey; our city is about 40,000 so it is relatively easy to get from Point A to Point Z in no time at all, and the cost of living isn't that bad either. Having said that, we still have a long way to go.

Audrey Howitt from California on September 04, 2012:

I had to scroll down for a long time before I got to the bottom of this to leave my comment--so perhaps your hub hits a common nerve or interest among people. I love the idea of living more simply. Sometimes it is difficult to do--especially when you live in a larger metropolitan area--yet some people manage to do it well even in the bigger cities. Passing this one on!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 02, 2012:

Olive, I love your it possible to have more shoes than Kelly??? :) Isn't it interesting how two siblings can be so different? I've seen that many times while teaching and I find it fascinating. Thanks for the great comment and I really appreciate your visit.

Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on September 02, 2012:

Hi Billy, whoa! What a long comment thread! I enjoyed it just as much as your hub. We are five in our family. I have four brothers and they range from super frugal to downright frivolous. My frugal brother has had EVERYTHING paid for for years now and lives VERY comfortably with his teacher's salary. I have another brother that would blow the lottery if he ever won it. He can't save a cent. I have greatly improved my budgeting skills. My weakness is the occasional meals out...they can certainly add up. I do go to Sam's warehouse for many items and I also take advantage of the dollar store for cleaning supplies. I scan the Sunday ads for deals too. It also helps to know where all the clearance sections are. You can get some pretty good deals on things you are going to use anyway. Thanks for a great hub and for helping me create more the way, confession, I'm pretty sure I have more shoes than Kelly hahaha

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 31, 2012:

Thank you Carter; it's always nice to see you drop by. Have a great weekend!

Mary from Cronulla NSW on August 31, 2012:

Thanks for this one Billy...they all make such good sense to me... we are thinking that we will need to downsize in a few years and a smaller house appeals already...Up & awesome...cheers

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 30, 2012:

ElleBee, thank you! I appreciate the tip.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 30, 2012:

Thank you Kaikai....much-appreciated.

ElleBee on August 30, 2012:

Great tips. Don't forget for those second hand items. Often what you can find thrift for cheap you can find on freecycle for free! Even better deal :)

kaikai from TX on August 30, 2012:

Great hubs, excellent information. Kaikai

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 30, 2012:

Thanks Jamie; these hubs are fun to write because I believe in it so much. Glad to hear you are into frugal but it doesn't surprise me. :)

Jamie Brock from Texas on August 30, 2012:

Love these tips, Bill.. I'm all about being frugal, as much as I can anyway. You bring up a LOT of great points here :) The thought of giving up TV is difficult but you are SO RIGHT about the high cable prices. It's getting down right ridiculous. Voting up, useful, sharing :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 28, 2012:

Cyndi, I seem to be here to give others hub ideas. LOL Three people commented about that yesterday. Fill me in and tell me what you are going to do. Frugal living is the only way to go....I've got many more of these up my sleeves and I'm really enjoying writing them. Thanks Sis!

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on August 28, 2012:

You gave me a hub idea, Big Bro!! Thank you for these tips and tricks. I actually DO abide by these and got into a very interesting discussion with my mom on the phone last night about my lifestyle choices. *sigh* But, living frugally is helping me to achieve my dreams. It REALLY is. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 28, 2012:

Relationship, great comment....and I understand about the challenge of not watching tv.....but my goodness, the life you can have after tv.....very liberating for sure.

Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 28, 2012:

Mary, what is frugal to one may not be frugal to another, but the point is to begin to cut way back; it becomes a lifestyle and somewhat of a challenge to see what else you can do to cut expenses. Thank you my friend; I always enjoy you stopping by.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 28, 2012:

Stephanie, you are right on! It is easy to do once you decide to do it. Congratulations for making the only intelligent decision, and thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 28, 2012:

Kris, thank you so much; people don't believe that I don't miss tv, but the truth is, I don't. There is so much more time to do other live. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 28, 2012:

Thank you Deepak; I appreciate you visiting.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 28, 2012:

Thank you Rajan; I will be by to see your new hub shortly. You are very much appreciated my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 28, 2012:

Frugal, I'll be stopping by to visit shortly; thank you and it's nice to meet fellow believers.

Kari on August 28, 2012:

My husband and I do live in quite a big house, and we now realize that we don't need (or want) all this space. In fact, we would be great in one of those tiny houses!

We recently visited a friend in Newfoundland, and we stated in a little house/cottage, and it was absolutely perfect for us. One room, living room and kitchen separated by a counter, and a bathroom.

In any case, we have been trying to get rid of unnecessary things and downsize our life because it actually feels better and more structured.

Also, I'm someone who has done a no-t.v. challenge (yes it was a challenge for someone who watches T.V nightly) and it was so freeing. It felt like we were actually living and present in our own lives, not in the characters lives...imagine that.

Mary Craig from New York on August 28, 2012:

As always you get to the heart of the matter. I must admit there are a few things I can't do (from your suggestions) but others not mentioned I do...for example, my kids intend to put "Mary CLEARANCE Craig" on my tombstone...if it isn't on sale or clearance, I don't buy it!

Since I was diagnosed with Celiac we rarely go out to eat because there's so little I can eat...forced to save money!

Our main shopping area is oh, about 15 miles from our house....I save up and try to go only every three weeks or, even though I may not be frugal, I have cut waaay back and try to be economic.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Stephanie Henkel from USA on August 28, 2012:

You've really nailed the most important points about living frugally and simply. In our materialistic society, it's easy to get caught up in the "gotta have it" lifestyle. Unfortunately, all that stuff doesn't make us happier, it just keeps us on the merry-go-round of working harder so that we can spend more so that we have to work harder.

My husband and I made a conscious decision to get off the merry-go-round about 10 years ago and it was the best thing we ever did. It's easier than one might think to implement many of your excellent tips. Our hardest thing to cut back is gas, but we make up for it by setting priorities and cutting back in other areas. Terrific hub, voted up and tweeted!

Kris Heeter from Indiana on August 28, 2012:

Excellent tips! I have been working more on buying in bulk (healthy foods and staples) and rediscovered the joys of home canning last year. And, I'm contemplating ditching the cable TV service (cable is the only way we get stations here). My brother and his family have lived for years without a TV and I think that's been great for their kids. I think they are so much more active and creative because of it.

Passing this great article on to some friends and fellow hubbers!

Keep up the great hubs!

Deepak Chaturvedi from New Delhi, India on August 28, 2012:

Great hub about frugality.frugal lifestyle gives happiness in fact.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 28, 2012:

Bill, once again an awesome hub! You have laid out the merits of living frugally very nicely and shown how it can be done practically.

Voted up and useful and sharing.

FrugalFatCouple from California on August 27, 2012:

Thanks for a great hub. We admit it. After spending like drunken sailors - We've gone frugal. Love all the great advice. It's spot on for our 'new lifestyle' and we are wearing it well. With your helpful tips of course!Love the chart "Where does the money go?"

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 27, 2012:

Thank you Patty; I always appreciate you taking the time to visit and leave a meaningful comment....and for sharing.

Patty Kenyon from Ledyard, Connecticut on August 27, 2012:

Excellent Tips that everyone should live by!!!! We always buy used when we can...most of the furnishings in my house are actually from family who passed it down to us. We only eat out on special occasions such as Birthdays, walk when we can, and we do buy soda (12 pack) but it last nearly 3 weeks.

I do enjoy reading these installments!!!

Voted Up, Interesting, Useful, Awesome, and Shared!!!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 27, 2012:

Dianna, love it....who couldn't use free toilet paper? Thank you my friend; I had no doubt you were conscientious.

Dianna Mendez on August 27, 2012:

If everyone followed these suggestions, we would see a lot less credit card debt. The one suggestion we follow most, is buying used. The second is the Library. Books, movies, research ... all free and for your personal enjoyment. By the way, your google's top ad featured "free toilet paper".. that was a good match for your content (he, he, he).

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 27, 2012:

Lost; thank you! It really is a frame of mind thing...changing the way we think about purchasing. I appreciate you stopping by.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 27, 2012:

Learn....thank you! The car is a tough one. We are going to get a motor scooter in a year or so to cut down on gas consumption even more.

LostInRevery from Maine on August 27, 2012:

Great Hub! It is true you can save a ton of money just buying used, especially clothing. You can buy brand name clothing at Goodwill. I bought my daughter a pair of American Eagle shorts there for $2! There was nothing wrong with them. I also liked your tip about drinking water instead of buying soft drinks that are loaded with sodium.

LT Wright from California on August 27, 2012:

I'm already doing some of these. One I wish I could do is use the car less but we don't live close to any place we need to go to and buses don't run anywhere nearby. We'll be moving in a couple of years and one of my requirements will be being close to public transportation.

KDuBarry03 on August 27, 2012:

Bill, this is an outstanding hub filled with truth and money saving tips. I usually go to B&N to read books for free and trust me, I save a fortune that way! I'm passing this on via twitter, pinterest, and my fellow followers.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 27, 2012:

Trinity, ten for ten??? Hooray! You are our big winner today....of course, you don't win anything other than my admiration, but that's a pretty rare commodity. :) Thank you my dear and hugs to you as well.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 27, 2012:

Sue, thank you as always for stopping by; I'm sure you are much more frugal than you even think you are.

Trinity M on August 27, 2012:

Great hub as always Bill :) I’m happy to say I score 10 out of 10 on your great tips and the wonderful thing about it is I haven’t missed a thing! My husband and I agree that if we won the lottery tomorrow nothing would change… except for my suitcase, which would have to be upgraded for all our upcoming travels! You are a man after my own heart and a great friend. {Hugs} to you always.

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