In this post, I’ll uncover 133 frugal living tips to help you save more money and get financial freedom.
The prices are rising rapidly since the beginning of COVID19.
Data shows that 7.5% inflation hit the US in January 2022. This means the dollar is devalued by 7.5% and prices increase by the same ratio in a single month.
During the COVID19 outbreak, 40% to 46% of US households are facing serious financial problems.
And COVID19 is still there for more waves. No one knows how long it takes for the COVID19 to extinct. Maybe 4,5, or even 10 years into the future.
But how can you overcome these financial problems? The answer is frugal living.
You need to be careful about your income and spending. So that you can put more money towards your financial goals and minimize current financial problems.
For adopting a frugal lifestyle you need to know the exact tips and tricks.
Let’s dive into the list of 133 frugal living tips.
What does frugal living mean?
If you search about meanings of frugal living on Google you get this:
“People who are frugal or who live frugal lives do not eat much or spend much money on themselves.
Meanings are somewhat relevant but not correct. Frugal living doesn’t mean stopping eating, spending, and living stingily.
Frugal living is about carefully spending your money. You differentiate important expenses from low priority and useless ones.
But what types of expenses are important and useless and what goals a person wants to achieve change the meanings. That’s why frugal living definitions may vary among different people.
Using frugality you can cut back on unnecessary expenses and devote that money to priorities.
In simple language, smartly managing your money is called frugal living.
The frugal lifestyle doesn’t stop you from buying expensive products or force you to buy low-quality products. It just makes you conscious about your spending to make sure you become financially strong on each incoming day.
Why is frugal living important?
Here are some important benefits of a frugal lifestyle and the following frugal living tips:
- Enables you to differentiate between important and unimportant expenses
- Helps you cut back on useless, unnecessary costs, and spending
- You can devote more and more money towards paying off debt and make life easy
- When you save more money you can retire early with a big sum of dollars
- You don’t get short on money in case of emergency or any unexpected need
- Helps you avoid social comparison and live with confidence and financial satisfaction
- Low financial stress and more money for savings and investing purposes
- Your risk tolerance increases for high risk and returns investments like mutual funds
- Boosts your net worth and you can give away more money to charity
- Gives you the power to face financial downtimes like losing a job and bad economic conditions
- Uplifts your financial creativeness and you become intelligent in finding ways to save money. In shopping, buying a house, and getting a credit card
- You feel financially secure and easily afford vacations and other enjoying moments
The above benefits are just a few. It’s just for giving you a taste of how your life will become if you follow frugal living tips. The more you dive into reading the tips you eventually see benefits yourself.
Is frugal living worth it?
Absolutely yes. Following frugal living, tips help you become conscious about spending and prioritize your expenses. That way you can avoid spending on unnecessary expenses and take into consideration the important ones.
Along with that, you cut back certain expenses that aren’t useful and devote that money towards your financial goals. For example, buying a house, paying off debt on credit cards, paying a student loan, buying a car, or an insurance policy.
In the overall scenario, you save more money by acting on frugal living ways. Your goals are more achievable as compared with living a normal life. Which gives you more financial confidence and freedom.
Does frugal living mean cheap?
Not. Cheap means you getting stingy and diminishing your standard of living. You start buying low-quality food items, stop going on vacations, a crackdown on entertainment, and try to save every penny. To avoid spending on things wisely.
On the other hand, frugal living is related to the wise management of money. You create a balance in your spending pattern and prioritize expenses. This not only involves finding ways to save money on spending but also increasing your income. In short, you manage your money smartly and control money instead money controls you.
How to live frugally?
Frugal living can be tough when you initially start to follow tips and tactics. To make it easy for you, I breakdown the steps into the following three:
- Analyze your situation
- Take a lazy start
- Increase the techniques
In step one, you need to see where you’re standing financially. The simple way is to write down your income, debt, insurance, savings, and personal as well as household expenses on paper.
Doing this helps you visualize your financial picture to find out where you’re lacking behind. You also discover which tip to follow for converting the current living style into frugal living.
In step two you start to follow some tips that apply to your current situation. For example, if you have a higher number of credit cards you can cut down some of them or consolidate them into one single credit card loan with low interest.
In the third step, you slowly increase the number of tips. But remember don’t try to follow too many tips at the beginning. Because if you’re not subjected to following frugal living tips before then you may end up tired, frustrated, and demotivated. That’s why take a lazy start and add more frugal living tips as you adjust.
If you follow this process you can adopt and live a frugal lifestyle fast. When you’re completely adopted then you automatically become financially creative to save money and spend wisely.
Now diving into the next section.
133 Best frugal living tips
Now here onwards I’m going to briefly explain 133 frugal living tips related to budgeting and saving money. You can apply them to your financial situation and live a worry-free life.
Budgeting is the most important part of personal finance management. If you’re not doing it properly and regularly then you can’t control your expenses and spending. Because you can’t be able to know where your money is going.
1. Budget money each month
That’s why you can choose to budget your income and expenses each month. This helps you know how much you’ve earned that month and what are the expenses you spent on. You can cut back any unneeded things to save money and make sure each dollar is working for you.
For this purpose, you can either signup for a budgeting application. Which makes most of your budget-making tasks a breeze. Otherwise, you can download monthly budgeting templates where you just need to enter data and insert formulas to find required values.
Whether you want to find the best budgeting app or download an Excel or Google spreadsheet budgeting template, below is a resource.
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2. Make a budget that you can follow
Be flexible in your budget values. Don’t make your budget too tight that it falls into cheapness instead of a frugal lifestyle. And don’t make it too loose that you can’t afford it and all of your income wipe out that nothing is left for savings.
Avoid cutting down expenses that make sense to you and are necessary to some extent. Likewise, control any new expenses so your budget stays reliable.
List projected values according to your 3-month previous income and expenses data. Also mention the actual values at the end of the month which helps you build next month’s budget.
3. Download free budget templates
Everyone can’t budget money using pen and paper. It’s a hard, time-consuming, and less accurate method. It isn’t easily updated and creates a mess on the paper.
While learning or affording budgeting apps is another problem for most people.
Here the best option is to download budgeting templates and use them. They’re editable, portable, and printable for keeping a record. Provide graphical analysis as well to better visualize your income and spending variations.
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4. Use budgeting apps
If you can afford and learn budgeting apps then it’s a superior option. In budgeting apps, you only need to enter a few transactions manually and all other data is automatically downloaded from your bank and credit card accounts.
They’re available for free and paid as well. If you want to choose a paid option then YNAB is the right option. While the free Mint by intuit suits best.
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5. Update your budget regularly
Updating a budget is crucial as making it. Regular updates give you accurate figures at the end of the month. It covers all ups and downs in your income and spending.
If your income is variable like freelancers, bloggers, vloggers, small business owners, and commission-based workers then updates adjust those figures. If you cut back on expenses or lower some expenses in amount those are also adjusted which gives a complete picture at the end of the month.
6. Use an envelope budgeting system
This method is amazing if you don’t want to spend more money on any specific expense. Or if you want to budget in a traditional way.
Using this method you take envelopes and write down the names of expenses on every single envelope. This means one envelope has only one name. Like grocery expense envelopes, insurance expense envelopes, and other food items envelopes.
After that, you put cash inside each envelope on the basis of the previous month’s estimation. For example, $400 for groceries, $200 for insurance, and $500 for credit card payments. You do this for all envelopes.
And now you’re done. You can start spending from each specific envelope amount on the given expense for the whole month.
When the amount ends in that envelope you don’t further spend on that expense in that period of time. You can spend little amounts if it’s too necessary.
7. Follow the zero-based budgeting method
Zero-based budgeting helps you utilize each penny of your income. It makes sure that nothing is left idle in your wallet.
Here when you minus the income and spending, you get $0 at the end. Savings and investments should be categorized into expenses.
The best rule that follows ZBB is the 50/30/20 budget. You spend 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% on saving and paying off debt.
In the end, all of your income and spendings are justified, which is a major benefit of ZBB.
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Frugal living tips for saving money on food and groceries
Food and groceries are major expenses when it comes to all household expenses. On average Americans pay $550/month and $2641/year. There is a lot of room for applying frugal living tips to groceries.
Here I’ve 17 tips for saving money on groceries:
8. Write down a shopping list
Each week when you go for shopping groceries then keep a shopping list with yourself.
The shopping list is a small piece of paper or excel sheet where you list down all the items you need to purchase. It makes the shopping lot easier and what to purchase. Your mind doesn’t stick to remembering each item.
Having a list helps you avoid making impulse buying and stay budget efficient shopping tour.
According to a survey of 2500 shoppers, 44% said they spend less money when having a shopping list. While 27% said they stay on budget.
Next time make sure to keep a shopping list with yourself.
9. Stick to your shopping list
Just making a shopping list isn’t enough to save money. You need to strictly follow it. You can show some flexibility for purchasing any item out of it or that’s necessary.
But in the normal course, you should have a clear idea of which item is unnecessary. So you don’t through away money on impulses.
10. Limit dining out
Each month Americans spend $383/month eating in restaurants and buying meals.
If you like to dine out and buy meals multiple times a month then cutting this expense will be really helpful. The reason is that outside meals include the cost of food, chefs, and people who serve as well as other maintenance costs. Which makes them expensive.
For example, you can compare two options of making a pizza at home vs purchasing from outside. I think preparing at home will be a lot cheaper.
According to Journey Food, the cost of outside meals on average is $20.37 while home-cooked foods are only $4.31.
You can imagine saving $16.06 on each meal you prepare at home. If you do outside dining 5 times a month then you can save $90 each month by replacing them with home-cooked food.
11. Do not drink alcohol
Drinking alcohol is a bad habit. It’s not only a waste of money but dangerous for health.
According to a survey, Millennials spend $300 per month on alcohol and it’s increasing each year. A huge waste of money.
12. Get into loyalty programs
Retailers offer different loyalty programs to attract and retain new and existing customers. Here these retail stores offer discounts, rewards points, special discounts, and coupons.
You can join these loyalty programs to stay updated regarding any incoming discount offer. You can enjoy incentives for being part of their program and previous shopping.
13. Grow your own groceries
If you’ve some space in your house, lawn, backyard, or free land then growing your own groceries isn’t a bad idea. A number of groceries that you buy from the market can be grown yourself with a little effort.
You can save up to $600 each year if you have a well-maintained garden of 600 square feet. You only incur a $70 cost and get $530 a year in savings.
If you’ve more land then you can grow more vegetables and fruits like watermelon, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, ginger, etc. And it’s fun as well.
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14. Check out discounts and coupons
There are lots of online websites and apps that help you find coupons for stores and brands.
According to Coupon Follow on average Americans save $1,465 each year using coupons and discounts on their purchase. Which decreases their household cost by 6.4%.
These coupons can be used at restaurants, clothes brands, groceries, supermarkets, etc.
15. Cook meals in bulk
It’s also called batch cooking. You can use either of three methods for bulk for batch cooking meals.
First, cook whole meals and then freeze them in your refrigerator. When needed you can reheat them and your meal is ready.
Second, you bulk cook the meal items and freeze them without preparing the final meal.
Third, you freeze uncooked or cooked components of the meals and store them in your freezer.
This not only saves you time but you don’t need to go to market and purchase items for every single meal each day. Instead, you preplan the meals for a whole week and store them as cooked. It can be used by reheating at the time of launch or dinner.
16. Use existing food stock to plan meals
You may have food stock in your freezer and kitchen. It’s the best option to plan out meals using this stock. Especially if you stored vegetables in your freezer. Because it’s a perishable good and lost for a week maximum. So why not utilize it for preparing tasty meals.
This not only helps you consume all of your food material and avoid waste but lessens your tour to the supermarket.
17. Purchase food items in bulk
Some food items are non-perishable like dry food items, ginger, garlic, and dry fruits. The best choice is that whenever any discount and coupon is going you buy them in bulk and store them. This will be sufficient for at least a few weeks up to a few months.
But remember don’t buy too much quantity or make an impulse purchase for the sake of a bargain. Make a justified purchase and follow your shopping list.
18. Completely empty existing containers
Some foods are packed in containers and boxes of Aluminum, plastic, paper, and glass. We need to take them out using spoons.
Here the trick is to make sure that you make the container empty. Usually, children make the mistakes of not finishing the existing ones till the end and opening a new jar of jam.
So completely empty the before opening or buying a new container. This helps you avoid wasting that type of food. The most common examples are foods like packed yogurt, jam, oil bottles, and other marmalades.
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19. Invest in a coffee maker
If you’re a coffee drinker then this frugal living tip is important for you. The reason is that the average cost of a coffee cup is $2.7 in the US. And if you drink 5 times a week then it cost you around $700 a year.
But you can save that money by purchasing a $50 coffee maker to brew it yourself. Which costs you just 16 to 25 cents and your coffee is ready. That means you saved more than $600 a year.
So crackdown on buying coffee from Starbucks and other brands.
20. Stop eating junk food too often
Junk food is tasty but not good for your health. It has a huge amount of fats, oil, and sodium. These ingredients can result in laziness, higher bp, higher weight, and cholesterol. And most importantly wasting your money.
On average people spend more than $1200 on junk foods each year. This comes down to $100 a month. If you lower eating junk food by at least 25% you can save $300 a year easily.
21. Avoid cold drinks
Cold drinks and other soft drinks are tasty and fantastic to drink. In summer they make a good combination with your meals.
But drinking them too much can be dangerous for your health. They are rich in sugar, caffeine, and carbon dioxide which can cause diabetes.
The best option is to make your own organic drinks using fruits juices and flavors. That is not only cheap but also healthy.
The average cost of cold drinks is around $850 a year. If you cut that by 50% your savings increase by $425.
22. Try to consume maximum
According to Feeding America, Americans waste $218 billion worth of food each year which comes down to $1600 for each American family.
You can imagine how much food we waste each year. What to do to save this money?
First, do shopping according to your need that you can consume easily in a week. Second, freeze food items properly so that no more chance of occurring fungus. Third, consume maximum stock by planning different types of meals to make sure waste produce as little as possible.
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Frugal living tips for saving money on electricity
The average monthly electricity bill ranges from $75 to $150 in the US which costs around $900 to $1800 a year. A big expense in home utility bills.
If you’re like Bill Gates then don’t care. But if you’re a normal person either middle class or below like me then it makes sense to follow tips to save on electricity.
23. Turn off appliances after use
When you’re done with using a certain electric appliance then turn them off to avoid unnecessary energy consumption. For example, microwave, iron, water heating rode, tea and coffee makers, washing machine, water motor, and dishwasher.
24. Switch of electronic devices
When you’re out of the house for more than one day then switch off your electronic devices before going out. They don’t waste electricity for the time you’re not taking benefit from them. These appliances include deep freezers, refrigerators, geysers, etc.
25. Properly close the refrigerator door
I saw many people who don’t carefully close the refrigerator door which results in losing cool air. The food gets spoiled inside the refrigerator and the energy it consumes. That’s why whenever you take something out or place something inside close the door properly.
26. Purchase a crock-pot
Crock-pot or slow cooker is more energy-efficient than traditional cookers and cooking on a burner. Buying one for your kitchen is beneficial both from a cooking and a saving perspective.
The data shows that if you cook for 8 hours straight in a slow cooker then it only costs you 16 to 22 cents. Because it uses only 1.2 to 1.7 KW energy.
27. Don’t forget to switch off appliances
I don’t know whether you are following this habit or not. But I personally follow it strictly that it’s become a part of my memory.
Whenever you go out of your room to gossip with friends or play foot table or what else, turn off fans, bulbs, and AC. Make it your habit so you don’t face loss of electricity for no benefit at all.
28. Save electricity on AC
The inverter 1 ton AC consumes around 900 watts an hour. It’s the most energy-consuming device in any house.
But you can follow some tips to save money on air conditioning during summer. Here they’re:
- Replace old less energy-efficient ac with new inverter ac
- Turn off ac while you’re not in a room
- Keep its the temperature of default at 24 degree
- Properly insulate your house and close windows at day time to prevent outside heat
- Avoid any activity inside that produces heat and increases house inside temperature
- Use a ceiling fan which gives you cool air and is much better for your health
Follow them and cut down your AC cost as much as you can.
29. Avoid electric blower
An electric blower is used to heat rooms in the winter season. It’s a high energy consumption device with 700 to 3,000 watts an hour. I recommend you don’t use this device because it climbs electric bills very fast. I purchased it last year and my electric bill shot up.
30. Check meter for proper functioning
Sometimes your meter gives inaccurate readings due to malfunctioning. It either gives more reading than actual consumption or less than what you’ve used. If it’s not properly functioning then contact the electric authority to fix or replace it.
31. Purchase an efficient electric heater
Electric heaters usually consume 1.5 kWh which costs you 15 cents. This doesn’t seem too much but it adds up quickly for a whole month. If you want to purchase one then go for energy-efficient heaters. Also, turn them off as your room hits the required temperature you need.
32. Review electricity bill
Carefully review your electric bill each month before paying it. This helps you check whether the reading is accurate on the bill as on the meter. Ensure that rates applied and calculations are accurate.
Other most popular variables to watch include, previous bills are paid, calculations for per unit cos is accurate, and units listed are accurate.
If there is any mistake which is costing you more money then go to electricity authorities office and tell them to cut your bill. So you only pay what is fair.
33. Keep water heater temperature at 60
At 60 degrees temperature, the microorganisms like legionella don’t grow and your water remains good for your health. Your heater also consumes less energy at 60 instead of increasing the temperature to 70, 80, or boiling point.
34. Replace old filaments with LED bulbs
Don’t use old-style Edison-made filament bulbs with transparent glass covers. They consume a lot of energy and have no guarantee at all.
Use LED bulbs instead of filaments because they lost longer usually more than 2 years. Consume very little energy and give lots of bright light which is good for your eyes. They have a guarantee of around 1 year in which you can replace them if they don’t work properly or fuse.
35. Avoid heating all the house
Heating all of the house is worthless. Because it consumes more time and energy and lost heat suddenly after you close the source. The best option is to heat just the space you’re sitting in as a room or office.
For that purpose, you can either use an electric heater, central heating system, or gas heater. This way the heat inside the room will last longer and you don’t need to use the device frequently.
36. Turn off your TV
If you watch drama, movies, matches, or listen to the news, turn off the TV after you finish. Don’t let it run while no one is watching. This lets your TV last longer and lowers your electricity bill.
37. Don’t leave appliances in standby mode
If you leave certain appliances like TV, receivers, gaming computers, microwave, and stereos in standby mode then turn them off. In this mode, they’re ready to be used but their machinery suffers and consumes energy.
38. Purchase an energy-efficient washing machine
A washing machine is another home appliance that consumes a lot of energy. Depending on the weight or load it can consume up to 2 KW for running for an hour of time. The best option to save electricity on the washing machine is to either choose a front load washer that consumes 50% less energy as compared with top loading.
39. Dry clothes in the open air with sunlight
Modern washing machines come with dryers as well. You usually use them to dry clothes after washing. But I think using a dryer in a normal course is not a good idea. You only use it when dry clothes are needed in urgent.
Otherwise, hang clothes in the open air in sunlight so they dry naturally. This is good for a long life of clothes and saves you money by not running the dryer. Dryers usually damage clothes fiber.
40. Switch off bulbs in the daytime
When the sun shines in the morning turn off the inside and outside light bulbs. Set aside the covers on the windows to let the light come inside the house.
41. Pay electricity bills before the due date
This frugal living tip is my favorite one. The reason is that electric authorities put a penalty on late bill payments. It’s around 2% to 5% of the total bill.
The best way is to pay your bill online or you can go to the bank and pay there. But pay on time to avoid late fees.
42. Buy an instant pot
An instant pot is a multiple-purpose cooker. It helps you do slow cooking, rice cooking, pressure cooking, meat cooking, and steaming. You don’t need to purchase a separate cooker for different types of meals.
The other benefit is that it saves more energy as compared with traditional cookers, ovens, and gas burner cooking. According to Margin Making Mom, instant pot saves 70% more energy.
43. Keep your freezer full
When the freezer is empty the cooled air inside goes out as you open the door. And the new air coming inside takes more time to be cooled.
A filled-up freezer has less space and cool items inside help the freezer last its cooling longer. Along with that the air coming outside when opening the door suddenly cools down due to items inside.
This way your refrigerator and freezer consume less energy to cool.
44. Replace old appliances
Old and traditional appliances use 3 to 5 times more electricity as compared with new efficient devices. Usually the devices like fans, old refrigerators, water heaters, geysers, TV sets, water motors, and AC.
If you have these kinds of old devices then replace them with new models. This will cost you a bit when buying but provide cost-saving benefits in the long run. They cut down your existing electricity bill and save lots of dollars
Frugal living tips for saving money on gas
The average gas bill in the US is $63.34 while it’s more in some states. It totals down to more than $760 a year.
So let’s explain some frugal living tips related to saving money on gas bills.
45. Pay your gas bill on time
I’m repeating it for the second time after the electricity section. The gas bills also charge a 1.5% to 2% late fee depending on the company. That’s why pay it before the due date to avoid this penalty.
46. Ensure no leakage in meter and pipes
I analyzed this problem in my own hometown. Most of the old pipes and gas meters have leakage due to rust or any damage. This not only wastes gas, and money but is dangerous to the surrounding environment. That’s why check all your gas pipes inside the house and gas appliances to avoid paying more.
47. Check out the meter
Check your meter for proper functionality and reading. Sometimes gas meters get inaccurate due to any damage which costs you more. If it’s not working properly then replace it in no time.
48. Close stove after cooking
Stoves and burners use a lot of gas to help you cook food and boil meat. When you’re done with cooking food then turn it off as soon.
49. Turn off the gas heater
Like stoves and burners, gas heaters also consume gas very fast. If you’re not in a room or sitting outside then turn it off. Remember to not use heaters for a longer time in winter because they continuously produce carbon dioxide which can damage your health.
50. Make sure the geyser is on pilot mode
When I need hot water for taking shower in winter, I turn the geyser to full for 30 to 60 minutes. After the water heats up then I turn its button to normal or pilot mode. I leave it on pilot mode at nighttime also. So when I wake up in the morning I get warm water and I don’t need to turn it to full.
51. Have a timer on your geezer
Today automatic geyser timers are available in the market. You can install it and your geyser will automatically turn on and off when needed. This way you can save a lot of money.
52. Close windows in winter
In winter the outside air cools down your house in seconds. When sunset in the evening closes your windows as soon. This prevents outside cool air to interact with warm air inside your home.
53. Insulate your house properly
Insulation helps you prevent cold air to come from any space under your windows, door, or any other place inside your home. You can insulate your home with paper or any insulation material. It prevents inside hot air to get mixed with cold air and your house stays warm for a longer time.
54. Wear warm clothes
Gas heaters, electric heaters, and other home warming equipment have side effects as well. The best alternative for all is to wear warm clothes. They protect each part of your body from being affected by winter weather. If you wear quality warm clothes then no need to use any gas heater. And it saves you a lot of money on the gas bills also.
55. Avoid gas mantles for light
If there is a problem with load shedding in your area then avoid using gas mantles to produce light. Instead have UPS installed or batteries that you can use in that kind of event. Because gas mantles consume gas like your burners and stoves.
56. Review gas bill and meter units
Don’t pay your gas bill as it comes under your eyes. Check it for any mistakes and properly see calculations and the number of units listed. Compare it with a meter reading and the previous month’s bill to see it’s fair. This prevents you from paying a big amount by mistake.
57. Heat specific areas
In the winter season, the good idea is to not heat up all of your houses. Because it doesn’t benefit you and consumes a lot of gas if you’re using the heater. Instead, use the gas heater in specific places where you’re present. It helps you heat up the surroundings fast and warm stay for a longer time.
58. Sit in sunlight in day times
During the daytime in winter if it is sunny outside then sit there. This is good for your skin and you don’t need to waste gas as well. You can take heat directly from your precious sun.
59. Roll down the carpet on the floor
Insulating your house windows, doors and small spaces isn’t enough. You should also insulate the floor to make the house warm. For this purpose, you can spread carpets which prevent the warm air and floor interaction.
60. Solar water heater
Nowadays different types of solar heaters are available that can replace your gas heater and geysers easily. They not only provide heated water and keep warm your house but also use a free source of fuel which is sunshine. If you can afford them, you can get long-term benefits.
61. Instant gas geyser not vertical
Instant gas geysers provide hot water suddenly as needed. You don’t need to wait like manual geysers and vertical geysers. Its sensor turns its burner on when you open the shower and closes when the shower is turned off.
62. Use conical baffle
If you can’t afford to install an instant geyser and want to go with an existing vertical geyser then put a conical baffle inside. It reduces your gas consumption by 25%.
63. Insulate hot water pipeline
I analyzed it so much that hot water cools down in minutes in metal pipes coming from the geyser. The reason is not having insulation around them. As a result outside cool material suddenly downs water temperatures. To make water stay hot for a long time then insulate pipes with quality material having enough thickness.
64. Make sure mixers are off
Another way your hot water cools down is by leaving mixers on. The cool water mix with hot water and all your gas used is wasted.
65. Don’t boil water on a stove or burner
As I early mentioned the stove burners consume so much gas. If you need hot water for shower purposes or washing clothes then don’t heat it up on your stove. Here more gas is used and less water is boiled. Instead, use your geyser.
66. Heat up food at the same time
Reheating food for each member of the family consumes the same amount of gas each time. In case you have a family of 4,5 or 6 people then serve dinner and launch at the same time. Instead of reheating food for each individual separately.
67. Use a microwave to reheat food
The microwave takes a minute or two to heat up your food as needed. It’s the best way to avoid using gas stoves multiple times. A microwave uses a lot less energy and time as compared with stoves.
68. Install energy-efficient burners
Not all gas stove burners are equal. Some consume more gas but have small flames and provide less heat. While the burners like aluminum burners provide good efficiency and mix gas with air properly to produce more heat and flame.
69. Maintain gas appliances
Whether it is a gas heater, gas geyser, instant geyser, stove, or any other gas appliance. You should maintain it properly and keep them clean from dust, oil, and ash. This help appliance provides more efficiency and lasts longer.
70. Replace old devices
Change your old boilers, geysers, heater, and stoves with new more efficient models. Old gas appliances lack multiple functionalities as compared with a new ones. Their models consume more gas and provide less performance as compared with today’s efficient models. It will cost you some dollars but saves thousands of dollars in the future.
71. Choose the right gas provider
There are over 40 natural gas providers in the US. You can compare gas companies on the basis of rates and plans. Also, see their service quality and check that it is a certified gas provider in that state.
Frugal living tips for saving money on debt
Each American on average has $90,460 in personal debt which includes credit cards, personal loans, student loans, and mortgages. If you’re going to take debt in the future or have an existing debt of any type, you should know related frugal living tips.
72. Avoid debt if possible
There are many ways you can avoid debt. The most common ones include: increasing your income, avoiding buying a house and living on rent, taking grants and scholarships to avoid student loans, and many others you can apply for today.
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73. Get grants and scholarships
If you’re studying in a college or university then different grants and scholarships are offered by the government and universities. They cover a lot of your educational expenses. Other than you can take financial help from family. Using these strategies if you go for a student loan then less debt burden will come on you and less interest cost.
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74. Avoid multiple credit cards
With multiple credit cards, you spend more money and as a result, more debt will build up. The higher the debt burden the more interest you pay and your credit history also suffers. If you’ve existing cards then cut down some of them and avoid doing this in the future. Only keep one credit card which you can afford easily.
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75. Pay off debt fast
The more time it takes to pay the debt the more interest cost will incur. The best choice is to spend all the extra money on paying your debt and you save money in the long run.
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76. Avoid credit card
If your bank account can afford it and you’ve enough income, then avoid credit cards at all. Pay with your debit card and enjoy interest-free spending.
77. Make payments on time
Debt payments have a 35% weightage in credit score calculations. And if you don’t pay them on time you may face a penalty. That’s why make repayments before the due date each month.
78. Live on rent
If you can’t afford to buy your own house then instead of going to a big mortgage debt choice, live on rent. Here you enjoy living in a house or apartment made by others and you pay only monthly rent out of your income. The strategy will save you from paying debt and interest over 30 to 40 years and build savings and retirement funds faster.
79. Take benefit of 0% APR
If you’re paying a higher interest rate on the existing credit card then move it to a 0% APR credit card. Here most banks offer a 0% interest rate for 1.5 years if you follow certain terms and conditions. This will lower your debt burden and you can pay back existing debt fast.
80. Consolidate your debt
Do you have two or more loans? Consolidating them into a single loan with low interest is the best option. There are many ways you can consolidate your existing loans. Like if you’ve multiple credit cards then you can use the balance transfer method to take a low-interest credit card.
If you’ve other high-interest loans then you can take a low-interest personal loan and or home equity loan to pay that debt. This strategy helps you make a single payment to a single lender and enjoy low interest. Which saves you thousands of dollars in the future.
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81. Go for debt settlement
Whether you have a credit cards loan, private student loan, personal loan, or any other. If you’re delinquent on payments and do not have enough money to pay back then settlement is a choice. Here you negotiate a settlement amount with the lender by yourself or through a settlement firm for less amount than the original due.
If you get successful with this strategy then you can save up to 20 or 30% in debt expenses. Which isn’t a bad idea.
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82. Refinance your mortgage
Majority of people who want their own home take mortgage loans and then it becomes difficult for them to repay it. The best strategy here is to refinance an existing mortgage with a new one. It saves you more money in interest and you can throw off mortgage insurance expenses as well.
83. Refinance your student loan
Like a mortgage, most people have lots of student loans which isn’t an easy task to get rid of. You need to pay every penny and for some people, it takes more than 10 years. That’s why they can’t build their savings and retirement future.
You can swap an existing student loan with a new low-interest loan if you see any opportunity. Here you are likely to get two benefits. One is saving money in interest costs and the other getting longer repayment term to pay flexibly.
84. Analyze the interest rates
Everyone is going into debt these days. This is because debt is a cheap source of financing their needs and requires monthly payments to return it to lenders. But a fraction increase in interest rate can lead to paying extra money of hundreds of dollars in interest.
Here you need to be intelligent before going into debt. Whether it’s a credit card, student loan, personal loan, or mortgage. You should analyze current interest rates offered by different lenders. Choose the one which is at the lowest rate so you incur less cost in the future.
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85. Go for federal student loans
Higher education requires money at the college and university level. And it’s also going to be more and more expensive day by day. In this situation, if you decide to take a student loan then avoid private lenders. Because they charge huge interest rates and have hard to follow terms and conditions.
The best option is federal student loans. They not only provide a low-interest rate but you don’t incur interest during study time. Also, you get other benefits like forbearance and forgiveness as well.
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86. Take a loan from family
If you have a rich uncle or father then take a loan from them at a low-interest rate for studying in college. It is possible that they don’t charge you interest which is a good strategy.
87. Devote emergency savings
Do you have enough amount in emergency funds? If yes then to lower your debt burden in the future and pay less interest, spend 50% to 70% of emergency funds to pay off debt. This seems a bad idea at first but in long term, you pay less interest in debt and rebuild your emergency fund with that sayings.
88. Use the balance transfer method
I touched on this trick earlier but here I explain it in more detail. The balance transfer method is a strategy used to consolidate credit card debt. If you’ve 1 or more credit cards with debt and a high-interest rates, you can take a new credit card and pay the existing ones.
Here people usually go for low-interest lenders which save them a lot of money and headaches of making multiple payments.
89. Take home equity loan
Home equity loans are taken by placing ownership received in a home for paying the existing mortgage as collateral. Using that ownership you can take a new loan and pay off your exisitng high-interest debt. Here the main purpose is to save money on interest costs. This isn’t a bad idea because home equity loans are secured so have very low-interest rates as compared with credit cards.
90. Take a 401k loan
Taking a 401k loan is like lending from one pocket to another pocket of your genes. You take a loan out of your retirement fund and use it for your existing debt payments. After that, you deposit this amount to your retirement savings with interest as well.
It doesn’t cost you anything and you lend to yourself and then pay yourself. It can hurt your retirement funds goal a bit but not too much.
91. Improve credit score and history
Taking unsecured loans like personal loans, credit card loan or student loans highly depend on credit score and credit history. As good your credit score is the more loan you can take and enjoy lower interest rates. So pay attention to building a good credit score of over 700 or more to enjoy money-saving benefits on debt.
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92. Become part of DMP
DMP refers to the debt management plan. Here the debt management companies help you group the existing credit cards into one single loan and lower your interest rate by negotiating with lenders. They give you 3 to 5 years of repayment plans which makes it flexible to pay your credit card debt.
93. Take care of credit usage
Whether you’ve one or multiple credit cards, keep your credit utilization ratio less than 30%. The more you spend, it puts a bad effect on your credit score and history. You need to do the same if you take a 0% APR credit card. Here if you break a certain credit usage limit the risk level increase and your 0% APR period ends there which results in a higher interest rate up to 29% suddenly.
94. Use the debt avalanche method
It’s a debt repayment method that is used to accelerate the debt repayment process.
Here you list down all your debt from higher to lower interest rates in descending order. After that, you make minimum payments on other debts and devote the maximum amount to high-interest debt. When the higher interest debt totally repaid then you devote that money to the next high-interest one and repeat it till all debts are repaid.
The debt avalanche method is the best option for making just minimum payments which take years to repay and thousands of dollars in interest cost.
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95. Use the debt snowball method
Most people are not flexible with the debt avalanche method and get demotivated or haven’t enough money to pay using this method. For those the alternative method is snowball. Here you lsit down all your debts from lowest to the highest order in respect of amounts. You don’t pay attention to the interest rates.
After that, you start paying the debt with the lowest amounts first and make minimum payments on all others. When the lowest one is paid then you spend that money on the next lowest till all debts are paid off. This is for providing you with the motivation of seeing big results soon and save money.
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96. Avoid sharing credit card
Don’t share your credit card with friends, colleagues, or even family members for shopping. Because that person spends using your credit card and the debt as well as interest burden come on you. Which isn’t a good thing.
97. Avoid just making the minimum payment
Making just the minimum payments on debt takes years to pay back the whole debt. The longer it takes the more interest you incur. Which isn’t a good choice and hurts your other financial goals.
Devote as much as money to making payments. Even make payments multiple times a month and lower the overall debt amount. It takes just a few years to pay the whole debt.
98. Sell your land or downsize the house
If you’ve land area or a big house then you can sell it to pay off debt. Here you sell the existing house and choose to either live on rent or buy a smaller one with less cost. The remaining amount can help either totally pay off debt or lower it significantly.
99. Avoid cashback credit cards
Cashback and other rewards cedit cards seem very interesting and beneficial. But in actuality companies are trapping you into a debt net. Their offers give you a small amount of cash or points on each purchase you make but in reality, they are looting thousands of dollars in interest. If you’re one then cut back it.
100. Pay in cash
Cash payments are easy. You can put some cash in your wallet and pay small or even for large purchases with it. This helps you avoid credit card and interest costs. An amazing way to save money.
101. Use your debit card
If you do a lot of online shopping then instead of using credit cards which only build debt, you can choose to use a debit card. This may incur you a small fee on each payment from the bank but in the end, you’re using your own money.
Frugal living tips for saving money on water bill
According to Statista, the water bill cost is rising each year. It was $44.39 per month for using 100 gallons of water each day in 2010. While 72.93 in 2019 for using the same amount of water per day. Here are the upward trends each year:
But according to US EPA, each American family on average uses 300 gallons of water each day. Where 70% of what is used inside the house like toilet, shower, faucet, clothes washing, leakage, and other uses. Here’s the graphic representation:
If you’re using 300 gallons of water on average costs around $220 a month. This is a huge amount and it’s important to try frugal living tips to save money on the water bills.
102. Check your pipes for leakage
From the above graph, you can see that 12% of water leaks through pipes and faucets. Which is a huge waste of water. What you can do is check all of your pipes including inside the home and the ones that you use for watering garden plants.
And if you’re successful at doing this, you can save $26 a month on using 300 gallons of water each day. Which is a big saving when it comes to yearly.
103. Turn off faucets and taps
Carefully turn off your faucets and taps after using water. Don’t leave them loose to allow water to run. A small leakage can waste dozens of gallons of water in a short time.
104. Water plants at the right time
American families use 30% of the water for outdoor purposes and 50% of that water is used for watering lawns and gardens. For saving more on this water you should water plans at the right time.
The best time is in the morning before 10 AM. In this time winds are slower and the environment is cooler which helps water absorb into the soil and roots of plants. The evaporation is very low and your plants take full benefit of water. You don’t need to give water multiple times a day if you do it in the morning times.
105. Go for water-efficient toilets
But how do you save money on water usage in your toilet? The answer is water-efficient or low-flow toilets.
The normal toilet used water volume to clean the waste while efficient toilets use water pressure and speed. That’s why water-efficient toilets use 1.28 gallons per flush as compared with 5 to 7 gallons for standard toilets.
106. Take fewer showers
Around 66% of Americans take shower each day and their shower lasts for 7 to 8 minutes and uses 15.8 gallons of water. In a month 20% of water is used for taking showers.
I take shower each day during summer times and each 2 to 3 days in winter. Your schedule may differ from mine. But I think it’s a good way to save money.
In summer a single shower each day is an optimal level. While in winter you sweat less and therefore no need for taking daily showers. You can switch to after 1 day or 2 days schedule. Using this tip you can cut shower water usage to 50% or more a month.
107. Wash full loads of laundry
From the above statistics, 17% of water is used in washing clothes. Means 17 to 51 gallons a month.
For saving water on washing clothes you can switch to washing full loads of laundry. Here all of your clothes for the past 2 to 3 weeks are washed in a single load and no need to use a washer multiple times in a month. That way less water is consumed.
108. Use dishwasher
According to data, a standard-size dishwasher (energy star certified) uses only 3 liters to clean a full load. On the other hand, manual washing takes up to 27 gallons per load. I think manual dishwashing is so expensive.
That’s why it’s beneficial to invest in a dishwasher that costs between $400 to $700 to purchase and install. But saves you hundreds of gallons of water in the future.
109. Cover the swimming pool
Do you have a swimming pool in your house? I don’t but dream of having one in the future.
But at the same time did you know how much water evaporates from your pool each day if you don’t cover it. According to Dengarden, if you have a 500 square feet swimming pool then it normally loses 0.25 inches of water which means 78 gallons per day.
Now you can compare how much money you invested in filling that pool with water. And how much you’re losing each day.
The best way to avoid this is to cover your pool with a tarp. According to Texoma Pool covering a pool reduces evaporation by 95% means saving a lot of water. It also helps you keep the pool clean and reduces chemical consumption from the surrounding.
110. Off the shower, while soaping
Showers consume 20% of your house water. While taking a bath turn off the shower when you’re soaping. Because you may take 2 to 5 minutes to completely soap your body. During this time your shower will waste the water at 2.1 gallons per minute rate if you leave it running.
111. Don’t leave water flowing
Whether you’re cleaning dishes, washing clothes, watering plants in your garden, or washing hands, turn off faucets after use.
112. Replace water shower heads
Replace your standard showerheads that run more than 2 gallons per minute with new efficient water heads of 1.5 GPM. As a result, water will flow in a controlled way.
113. Collect rainwater
From all the frugal living tips related to saving water, this strategy works crazy. The reason is that water rains every month. And it’s free at all which you can use for multiple purposes. For doing that you need to have a system in place for collecting rainwater.
You can use 4 to five big tanks and insert a pipe connected from your house ceiling to the tanks. So during rainfall, all of your house water goes to the tank and is stored there.
This water is usually very clean and you can use it for car washing, watering plants, cleaning the floor, even washing clothes and other purposes. According to Rain Harvesting, you can save 40% to 50% on your water bill if you collect and use rainwater.
Frugal living tips for saving money on car insurance
In America, each person spends between $600 to $1714 each month on insurance. This is around $7,200 to $20,000 a year expense. So let’s explain some frugal living tips on how to save money on insurance expenses.
114. Compare your insurance providers
Comparing insurance companies on the basis of different factors must be your first step. Many companies charge huge premiums that you can’t afford to pay. And picking one that best suits your income and financial status is the first tip for saving money on insurance.
115. Choose the right insurance
Go for insurance that can benefit you the most and your family. For example, if you have an expensive house then it’s good to go for home insurance, not car insurance. If you’ve children and they are dependent on you then life insurance will be a better option. Analyze your situation and make choices like these to take maximum advantage.
116. Readout terms and conditions
Before signing the insurance contract you should carefully read its details. It’s necessary because there may be any mistake that can affect your overall costs, coverage, and benefits.
117. Be a safe driver
If you’re a safe driver and joined the safe driving course then insurance companies give you a lot of discounts. You can expect to save 10% to 30% on your auto car premiums. Just maintain a good track record and history of driving.
118. Take benefit of multiple vehicles
Do you have more than one eligible vehicle like cars? If you insure them with the same company you can get a 10% 25% percent discount on your insurance premiums.
119. Downsize your vehicle
If you currently own an expensive and luxurious car then sell it and purchase a new less costly one. The reason is that the more expensive your car is the more insurance premiums companies charge. Because in event of an accident or repairing the car spare parts cost more money.
Usually, foreign and luxurious brands, as well as sports cars, have higher insurance premiums than the local car brands. Therefore downsize existing cars and buy another low costly one to save on your car insurance.
120. Raise your deductibles
Deductibles are an amount of money that you pay from a pocket in the event of a collision or overall loss of your car. Normally it starts at $500 and goes upward to $2,500. The more your deductible is the more you save on insurance premiums.
These deductibles can save up to 40% on your insurance premiums. But before choosing a deductible you should first see your pocket. That is how much you can afford to pay in the event of a loss. If your income level is higher then you can choose to pay more. Otherwise, limiting it to $500 is a good option.
Frugal living tips for saving money for retirement
One day you retire from your job. The normal age of retirement is 62 years. And for covering expenses after 62 years you need to plan from today.
There is a number of strategies for retirement savings and investment. Here I’m going to reveal some important ones:
121. Estimate your retirement needs
How much money you need after retirement has to be estimated today. This will give you an idea of how much sum you should retire with and how much return will cover the income needs.
Estimating income after retirement you need to take several factors into account. For example, inflation rate, current income, year until retirement, life expectancy after retirement, current expenses, etc.
For more information visit this article here: How to estimate your retirement income needs?
122. Start saving early not late
Savings and investing for retirement have to be early as possible. If you’re doing the job or earning money from any source at 20 years of age then start investing for retirement now. The reason is as early you start the big sum will accumulate until retirement and vice versa.
123. Take benefit of the 401K plan
If you’re doing a job in a company and your employer is offering a 401K plan then take full advantage of it. Because employers usually offer a matching amount which is free money that grows your overall retirement savings. If he is contributing then you should invest the matching amount to take full benefit.
124. Open an IRA account
Sometimes your employer doesn’t offer 401k and you need to open a retirement savings account only on your own. In this strategy, you need to go for IRA. it’s called an individual retirement account.
There are two types of IRA. First is the traditional IRA where before-tax income is contributed while the second is Roth IRA where after-tax income is contributed.
If you want to take a tax advantage then go for Roth IRA where no tax will be deducted on your return and withdrawals. While in a traditional IRA your saving grows tax-deferred but when you withdraw then liable to pay taxes.
If you’re an employer or employee then investing in social security is a good option. It provides full benefits to people who invested in social security for at least 10 years and are above 62 years of age. Usually, social security helps you cover more than 40% of your retirement expenses and you can invest upto a $142,800.
126. Invest extra income
The extra money from side hustles, business, or any other asset can be invested to generate more income and live a more luxurious life. Here you can either go for high-risk investments like mutual funds, stock market, build a house and give it to rent, invest in real estate, or any other opportunity.
127. Avoid spending retirement savings
Spending retirement savings and investments will damage your retirement income and goals. So without a hard need don’t take out funds from retirement savings. Leave them to fully grow until you retire.
Frugal living tips for saving money on taxes
Last but not least is tax. We all need to pay taxes on our income and in-country like the USA the rate goes from 10% to 37% a year. So finding ways to save money on taxes will be a good strategy to achieve other financial objectives.
128. Purchase treasury bonds
This strategy works for you if you want to pay zero tax on your investment. Treasury bonds offer a good interest rate of 1.5% to 2% and are tax exempt. Buying these bonds lets you avoid lots of taxation.
129. Open Roth IRA account
In Roth IRA you contribute after-tax income therefore nothing is charged on your investment growth and when you withdraw it. If you’re under 50 then only $6,000 a year can be contributed while over 50 can only contribute $7,000 a year.
130. Keep a record of medical expenses
If you have medical expenses like dental and others that aren’t reimbursed to you, then Internal Revenue Service allows their deduction from your AGI income. The amount must be above 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. AGI is calculated by subtracting specific deductions from your total gross income.
131. Take tax refunds
You can file a tax return before the date if you have paid more tax to the government in a specific time period. But you need to apply online on the IRS website.
132. Contribute to 401K
In this plan, your money grows tax-deferred until you withdraw at retirement. No tax is deducted on any return, dividend, or contribution. This will help lower your tax expense till you retire.
133. Open different types of saving accounts
Savings accounts like flexible, health-saving accounts, education saving accounts, and permanent insurance saving accounts are tax-free.
Follow these frugal living tips and save money on your taxes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is extreme frugality?
In extreme frugality, you try every way to live a frugal lifestyle and become too conscious about spending. This isn’t a good idea because a person may become cheap to some extent and behave in a stingy way.
What are some easy frugal living tips for beginners?
The easy frugal lifestyle tips for beginners include: avoiding debt, saving money on food, cutting down extra credit cards, and avoiding bad habits.
Can being frugal make you rich?
To some extent but not too much. If you’re an average person with an average amount of income each month then frugal living tips can give you some financial freedom. But can’t make you a millionaire. They can help you save money that was draining on unnecessary things.
If you earn a substantial amount of money then following these tips can build you wealth. You can accumulate a big sum in retirement savings and achieve lots of financial goals.
Is being a cheapskate good?
No. Cheapstake people are stingy and don’t spend money wisely and instead try to save every buck of money. They get adopted to bad habits like mooching and not spending on essentials. They always try to purchase low-quality items including food, clothes, and other life necessities.
How can I be frugal with groceries?
Following frugal living tips for groceries include different tips that save you money. For example, finding coupons and discounts, not purchasing from eye-level shelves, getting into loyalty programs, purchasing from bulk bins, etc.
What are frugal living tips from the great depression?
The frugal living tips for the great depression are the same as discussed in the above list. Just read and follow these tips and they help you avoid the effects of any economic downfall.
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Now it’s time to conclude the whole article on frugal living tips.
Frugal living is a great way to have control of your expense and spending which saves you money in the long run. It’s a financial intelligence where you spend money wisely on essential things and avoid what’s just eating hard-earned money.
There are 133 frugal living tips explained in this post. All of them may not apply to you but many of them may.
You don’t need to start following all that apply to you instead slowly adopt a frugal lifestyle. First, follow one or two tips and when get adjusted to them, start adopting more and more.
If you try to adopt all of them at once then it’s higher chances are that you get frustrated and become unsuccessful at following any of them.
So try to follow the easiest ones and then slowly move upward.
I don’t stop on just 133 tips and add more to this list as I further update the post in the future.
If you’ve any frugal living tips in mind then share them in the comments below. I will be glad to include them in the above list.
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