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Frugal Living Ideas - Smart Ways To Save And Thrive

The cost of living keeps going up in our fast-paced world, so following frugal living ideas is more than just a way to save money - it's a smart way to save and do well. You can get useful and creative tips in this book that will not only help you save money but also give you the power to live a better life.

Stefano Mclaughlin
Jan 09, 20244287 Shares63978 Views
The cost of living keeps going up in our fast-paced world, so following frugal living ideasis more than just a way to save money - it's a smart way to save and do well. You can get useful and creative tips in this book that will not only help you save money but also give you the power to live a better life. We'll talk about how to live cheaply and how it can improve your health, from recipes that don't break the bank to smart shopping habits.

What Is Frugal Living?

Contrary to common misconceptions, embracing a frugal lifestyle is not synonymous with being financially selfish or miserly. Instead, it involves adopting a thoughtful and informed approach to how and where you allocate your funds to maximize their value.
It's crucial to recognize that frugal living is inherently subjective and tailored to the unique circumstances of each individual. The key takeaway is that to truly live frugally, one must personalize their approach.
Living frugally doesn't mean eliminating all indulgent activities, such as vacations. Rather, it revolves around attaining the same quality of life through the most economical means available. The emphasis is on finding efficient ways to meet your needs and desires without unnecessary extravagance.
In essence, the journey to frugal living is a personal one. By navigating it according to your preferences and circumstances, you'll discover that cutting back on expenditures doesn't necessarily equate to a diminished lifestyle.

Maximizing Savings Through A Frugal Lifestyle

The potential savings achievable through a frugal lifestyle hinge entirely on the willingness to make sacrifices and the essential living requirements. For instance, an individual practicing frugality may realize higher savings compared to a frugal family.
Nonetheless, the undeniable outcome is that adept, frugal living can pave the way for increased financial freedom. Even a modest monthly saving, such as an additional £50, can yield substantial rewards in various aspects of your life.
A woman calculating her expenses
A woman calculating her expenses

Best Frugal Living Ideas

Frugal living doesn't entail being stingy; rather, it centers on resourcefulness. It involves discovering avenues to save, be it through coupons, freebies, or do-it-yourself hacks. The objective is to channel your financial resources and attention towards the things that hold value for you, whether it's building a nest egg for retirement, exploring new destinations, or enjoying a debt-free existence.

Create A Budget

Creating a budget is a must for those who want to save money. With that in mind, taking an hour or two to sit down, draw up a budget, and visibly pinpoint where you can make your savings is a fantastic way to start your path to a more frugal way of life.
So, be ruthless, and from groceries to toilet paper, make a note of every aspect of how you spend money and see where you think you could shave off a pound or two. Once you have, it’s important to stick to your budget. Don’t get us wrong, it’s fine to treat yourself on occasion (in fact, we actively encourage it), but sticking to your budget as often as possible will maximize its impact on your bank account.

Grow Your Produce

In this post-pandemic world, growing your own vegetables has become more commonplace. If you have the outdoor space to do so, nurturing your crop of seasonable vegetables can slice a juicy chunk off your food bills. Even if you live in a property with no outdoor access, popping an herb garden on your sun-trap windowsill is not only financially rewarding but can even be therapeutic!

Get A Cheap Meal Recipe Book

We’re not going to name names, but in recent years, a whole host of your favorite chefs have jumped on the frugal living bandwagon, producing loads of decent recipe books designed for those who want to live life on a budget. So, even if you think you have expensive tastes, the odds are that the recipe book to appease your rich palate while saving extra money is out there. All you have to do is find it.

Bake Bread

Just like growing your vegetables, making your bread can prove (anyone?) to be a long-term, money-saving marvel. Admittedly, the initial investment in a bread maker and ingredients will cost a little more money, but it is an investment.
Over time, you’ll find yourself producing many loaves of bread out of bulk-bought ingredients and thus saving more money than you’d normally spend on shop-bought bread. Worried about the price of ingredients? Why not whip up your sourdough supply? All you need to do is take what you need to make a fresh loaf and feed the yeast for it to regrow—there's only one breadwinner there!

Buy Used Goods

Today’s society has an unhealthy appetite for ‘new’. Every year, a new phone comes out. Every year, a new fashion trend hits the shelves. However, used and refurbished goods are, more often than not, just as good as their factory-fresh counterparts.
Moreover, the majority of electronics companies offer a “like-new” refurbishing service. So, the next time you need a new phone or coat, ask to see their refurbished range or pop over to the local charity shop. You could get a fantastic new item for a fraction of the price.

Sell Your Clutter

We’ve all got it. From old electronic devices to material goods that we’ll never use again, selling your clutter is a fantastic way to make a bit of extra cash while also helping someone else buy secondhand. Happily, from eBay to musicMagpie, there is a wealth of options for those steely souls who can bring themselves to part with their clutter. So suck it up and turn your clutter into cash.

Walk Or Cycle Where Possible

The health and climactic benefits of walking and cycling are plain to see. However, cutting back on ever-more expensive public and personal transport systems can be a major way of saving money on fuel. So, whether you’re going to work or popping to the shops if it’s within walking or cycling distance, it might be time to leave the car keys at home and give up the railcard.

Make Your Laundry Detergent

Laundry detergent can cost a small fortune, particularly for large households that have multiple washes every week. With that in mind, one of our simplest frugal tips is to make your own detergent (recipes are available online) or use an Ecoegg. Do so, and you can instantly slash the cost of clean clothes and make a significant saving on your family’s money.

Hang Your Washing Outside

Perhaps the simplest of our frugal tips is to hang your laundry outside. Yes, tumble dryers and radiators are brilliant for drying your clothes in the winter, but they’re also a massive drain on your energy usage.
So, when the weather turns bright and breezy, hang your laundry outside if you have the space. You’ll be amazed at the savings you make. When it comes to winter, or if you have no outdoor space, follow these tips to dry clothes indoors.

Re-Dye Old Jeans

If your old jeans are intact but faded, why waste money on buying a new pair when you can make your old pair as good as new? Fabric dye is readily available online, so unleash your creative side and give it a go. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? You were going to chuck them out anyway!
A couple preparing their meal
A couple preparing their meal

Meal Planning And Preparation

Yes, yes, this pointer brings back haunting memories of school dinners, but gone are the regimented days of macaroni cheese and sponge cake. Instead, you’re in charge, and if you plan your food well, you’ll be able to eat top-quality meals economically.
What’s more, by scheduling and preparing your meals, you’re also less inclined to break rank and order a pricey takeaway spur of the moment or pay as you go-during your lunch hour at work. So, plan, prepare, and save more money.

Invest In A Good Freezer

The freezer is our frugal friend, and, as such, it should be used in tandem with the planning and preparation of your meals. More specifically, if you plan to cook large batches of freezable meals once or twice a week, soon you’ll accumulate a stockpile of your cheap meals.
Essentially, just as frugal living aims to stretch your money as far as it can go, investing in a freezer and cooking in bulk enables you to stretch your food as far as it can go. Think chili con carne, soups, pasta sauces, and even frozen vegetables! All taste just as good thawed as they do fresh.

Take Stock Of Your Pantry Before Shopping

Food waste is one of the biggest issues facing global society today. We produce more than enough food to feed the entire world several times over; however, in the UK alone, we waste over 6.5 million metric tons of food every year.
So, check your pantry before drawing up your shopping list. That way, you can eliminate needlessly buying more of what you already have and needlessly wasting it, to boot. It saves money, saves food, and, as a bonus, even saves the planet!

Buy In Bulk

Bulk-buying is a tried-and-tested saving tip that many of us have been practicing for years. From groceries to clothing, just about anything and everything is cheaper when you buy it in bulk. So, if you have the opportunity, bulk brands such as Costco are your frugal-living friend!

Wait For Sales

Ask yourself: Do you need that thing now, or can it wait? Sales can be difficult to predict; however, you can bet on Black Friday and the January sales. So, if it can wait, let it. That way, you can pick up your new item and make a massive saving.

Haggle Your Bills

Once you understand that, concerning your bills, the power is in your hands, it can be a freeing experience. This is because the onus is on the company to keep your custom. So, as you approach the end of your current contract, give them a call, and don’t be afraid to haggle. It’s the same for insurance and TV subscriptions.
Check out Sky deals for existing customers. If you tell them that you’ve found a cheaper deal elsewhere, then they’ll either have to reduce their prices or lose you to a rival - no prizes for guessing which option they’ll choose. Just make sure you’re nice about it - aggression gets you nowhere.

Travel In The Off-Season

Traveling prices can double (and then some) during peak times, so plan your journeys carefully and, yes, frugally. Whether you’re planning a staycation or a vacation, the off-season is the way to go and could save money that could be injected into your family budget or insurance bills!

Make Your Gifts

Making your gifts is often frowned upon as a cheap way of getting out of spending for birthdays, weddings, and more. However, do it well, and a handmade gift provides more value than an expensive, shop-bought present while helping to save you money; it’s personal, it’s bespoke, and it’s you. So, if you have the time and talent, don’t be afraid to put yourself to work.

Make Your Coffee At Home

Cafe culture has swept through cosmopolitan society, and as a result, countless chains and indy shops that charge the earth for a simple shot of caffeine have a vice-like grip on our cups. Swap your shop-bought brew for a cup of your coffee and you’ll make a daily saving of at least £3. That’s £15+ a week, £60+ a month!

Work Out At Home

There are thousands of free home-based workouts and HIIT routines on YouTube alone. So, save your pricey gym membership, spend it on a few pieces of equipment, and take your workout to the back room. More to the point, easier access to a workout equals more likely to do it!

Refrain From Impulse Buying

We’ve all got an impulsive side, but more importantly, we all have a bit of willpower to boot, so don’t be afraid to flex the latter. If you can curb your late-night spending habits, you could stand to make a saving of hundreds, if not thousands of pounds over time. So, put the laptop down and step away from the phone - you don’t need those microwavable slippers or the same coat but in yellow.

Avoid Late Fees

Late fees or hidden charges can be a killer for those who already have to deal with crippling credit card debts and other payments. So, when organizing the repayment of your debts, one of the best things you can do is ensure that you won’t incur any additional fees on top of your pre-determined payments. If you’re worried about late and hidden fees, speak to a financial advisor. In the long run, it could save you hundreds of pounds.
A couple caluclating their living expenses
A couple caluclating their living expenses

Automate Your Finances

Once you’ve thrashed out a budget, it’s a good idea to automate your finances to avoid lapsing into old habits. You can do this in several ways but arranging direct debit for your household bills and automating your day-to-day and retirement savings with your employer is a solid place to start. You should even look to automate your savings and see them add up for a rainy day or a special occasion.

Use Your Local Library

Libraries still exist!? Yes, they certainly do, and what’s more, they’ve moved with the times more than you might think. With tonnes of books, films, magazines, music, and more available to those who sign up for a library card, using your nearest library could save you a small fortune on home entertainment. They might even have their section on money-saving tips!

Check In On Your Subscriptions

Another easy way to save money is to check out your subscriptions. So, ask yourself: do you need that Amazon Prime subscription? How often do you listen to Spotify? And, now that you have a job, is LinkedIn Premium worth the outlay? Canceling redundant subscriptions can be a fast-track way to spend a lot less money – so keep a keen eye out for self-renewing subscriptions!

Consider A Part-Time Job

Most of us are rushed off our feet due to our 9-5, but if you can muster the time and energy, picking up a part-time job can be a fun way to put away a few extra pounds and make a big difference in your frugal living journey. Also, with a wealth of genuine work-from-home job opportunities available today, if you want to earn money from the comfort of your sofa it’s possible. It’s more achievable than you might think to find high-paying remote jobs (which save you on commuting costs).

Prioritize Clearing Debts

Paying off your debts can represent a substantial outlay. However, due to paying interest rates and long-term repayment plans, not paying them can be an even greater hindrance to those who want to save money.
With that in mind, where possible, we’d recommend prioritizing clearing arrears such as credit card debt. Try to view it as the start of living a frugal lifestyle. Once you’re paid up, the monthly payments you once had are immediately freed up for savings or redistribution elsewhere in your life.

Improve Home Insulation

Energy prices are going through the roof, and aside from the climactic benefits of home insulation, where possible, it’s also a fantastic way to save money on energy bills. It’s simple enough. By improving your home’s ability to retain heat with cavity wall and loft insulation, double or triple glazing, etc, you’ll need less energy, and therefore more money, to heat and retain heat in your house.

Frugal Living Ideas - FAQ

How Can I Live A Full Life Without Money?

For example, people can grow their food, build their shelters, and make their clothing. They can also participate in a bartering system, where they exchange goods and services with others without using money. This is how people lived in many societies before the advent of money.

Does Frugal Mean Cheap?

A frugal person will try to buy quality stuff but probably wait for a genuine sale and find a coupon or use the cash back (or both) to offset some of the costs. A cheap consumer just buys whatever they can find at the lowest price possible. In other words, frugal is good, while cheap (with a person) is bad.

What Is Very Frugal Food?

Rice, lentils, and beans are such good value for money, and they make a little go a long way. Proteins for frugal meals tend to be pulses rather than meat, dairy, or eggs. Pulses stretch sauces and salads a lot more effectively than meat, cheese, or eggs. They are cheaper and last longer.


Through the use of these frugal living ideas, you have managed to protect your finances while simultaneously making space for self-improvement, significant life events, and improved prospects. You have the potential to save and prosper, and with these frugal living ideas, you're prepared to find your way to financial security and happiness.
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