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40+ Frugal Living Tips: How To Save Money

Last modified: Jul 25, 2023

Living a frugal lifestyle is a great way to save money and live within your means. There are many different ways to be frugal, and today we're going to help get you started. 

By saving money on groceries, utilities, transportation, and other expenses, you can spend more money on what matters most to you.

So, without further ado, read on for some frugal living tips!

How to Live Frugally

The key to living frugally means to live within your means. It is a lifestyle choice that allows you to save money and live a debt-free life.  

Some people choose to live frugally because they want to save money for a specific goal, such as retirement or a down payment on a house. Others do it because they want to simplify their lives and reduce their environmental impact.

Benefits of Frugal Living 

We know you came here to find out how to live simply and cheaply, but first, let us list some obvious benefits:

  • It’s a great way to save money: If you can cut down on your spending and stop wasting, you'll be able to keep more of the money you earn. This means that you'll have extra cash in your budget for entertainment or fun activities. 
  • It helps you focus on what's important: When you're living simply and making use of every resource at hand, it's easier to stay grounded and put less emphasis on material possessions. You might find yourself feeling happier and more fulfilled as a result!
  • Great for the environment: If you're not buying new things all the time and throwing away perfectly good items, you're helping to reduce waste and live a more sustainable lifestyle. Plus, when you save money by being frugal, you can often reinvest that money into green initiatives like solar power or energy-efficient appliances.

To start your frugal lifestyle, make a plan and stick to it! Even small steps can lead to big savings over time. 

Frugal Living Tips: Food

There are many ways to eat frugally by taking advantage of deals and smart shopping habits. Here are some tips to help you save money on your food:

  • Grow your food: This is a great way to save money on groceries. You can grow vegetables and fruits in your backyard or containers on your balcony or porch.
  • Become a CSA member (Community Supported Agriculture): With a CSA, you pay a farmer up front to share the season's harvest. This is a great way to get fresh, local, and often organic produce at a reasonable price. 
  • Purchase in bulk: When you find good deals on meat, grains, or other items, buy them in larger quantities and freeze what you don't need right away.
  • Stick to a list when you're grocery shopping: This will help you avoid buying expensive items that you don't need, like fancy gourmet foods or pre-made meals. 
  • Make everything from scratch: Making your food is almost always cheaper than buying prepared dishes at the store. Plus, it's healthier and tastier!
  • Limit the number of times you eat out each week: Find ways to save money on eating out by signing up for special promotions, using coupons, or dining out during happy hours.
  • Plan your meals in advance and then stick to that plan once you're at the store: This will prevent you from buying too much food or spending money on items you won't use.
  • Make creative use of leftovers: Don't let perfectly good food go to waste! Make soups, stews, or casseroles from leftover meat and vegetables, or use them to create new meals the next day.
  • Avoid processed and packaged foods: These items are often more expensive than whole foods, and they're also generally less healthy. Stick to simple, whole foods whenever possible, and your wallet—and your body—will thank you.

Read more: 21+ Statistics About the Health and Wellness Industry (2022)

Following these tips can help you save a lot of money on food costs. By growing your food, shopping at farmers' markets, and cooking from scratch, you can get the same high-quality ingredients for a fraction of the price of store-bought items. And by being mindful of how often you eat out and what you purchase when you're grocery shopping, you can easily cut down on your food expenses without sacrificing taste or nutrition.

Frugal Living TipsHome

Next up is the "Home" frugal living tips edition. There are quite a few, but we're going to list some of the best ones below:

  • Install LED lights: Installing LED lights can help you save money on your electricity bill. They last longer and use less energy than traditional bulbs. Interestingly, 47% of US-based Millennials have at least one smart home product in their homes.
  • Keep the lights and fans off: Turning lights and fans off when you're not using them can save you a good amount of money on your electricity bill. If possible, open the window to let some fresh air in instead.  
  • Ditch plastic wrap: Instead of using plastic wrap to cover leftovers or food containers, use reusable containers or mason jars. This will help you avoid buying new plastic wrap and keep your food fresher for longer. You'll be saving on grocery bills and helping out the environment! 
  • Use natural cleaning products: Many commercial cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can harm our health and the environment. Instead, use natural cleaners like vinegar or baking soda—they're cheaper and more effective.
  • Sell the stuff you don't need: Unused items that you no longer need can be sold online or at a garage sale. This will help you make some extra money and declutter your home! 
  • Use blackout curtains: Blackout curtains can help you save on your energy bill by keeping the heat in during the winter and the cool air in during the summer. They're also great for blocking out light to get a better night's sleep.
  • Hang your clothes to dry: Drying your clothes on a drying rack is a great way to save money on your energy bill.
  • Cut off unnecessary cleaning products: Focus on buying the essentials like dish soap, laundry detergent, and all-purpose cleaner. This will help you save money and declutter your home.  
  • Buy a programmable thermostat: A good programmable thermostat will let you set the heat or AC to turn off when you're not home. It will also let you adjust the temperature depending on the time of year.
  • Don't clean it if it's not dirty: This seems obvious, but many people still clean their homes more often than necessary. 

There's so much more to this topic, but these are easy and effective ways to save while living at home. With a little bit of effort, you can make a big difference in your financial situation.

Frugal Living Tips: Transportation

Transportation can play a huge role when it comes to your overall budget. Whether you use a car, walk, bike, or take public transportation to get around, it’s crucial to be as frugal as possible when it comes to your transportation costs. Here are some tips for traveling without spending too much money:

  • Work from home: If you can work from home or do your job remotely, this can be a great way to keep your transportation costs low. Many jobs offer to work from home, either part-time or full-time. Even if you can telecommute once per week, the small savings can add up over time.
  • Invest in public transportation: Investing in a monthly or yearly pass can save you money in the long run. Plus, it can be more convenient than driving and searching for parking. 
  • Carpool: If you need to drive to get around, try carpooling with friends, family, or colleagues. About 25% of the entire US population uses ride-sharing at least once a month.
  • Bike or walk: If the weather is good and the distance isn’t too far, walking, or biking can be a great way to get around. It’s also a great way to get some exercise!
  • Turn off the AC: If the weather is warm, try turning off your car’s AC and drive with the windows open instead. This will help cut down on the amount of gas that you use.
  • Travel Cheaply: You can book flights and hotels at discounted rates online or try traveling during the off-season when prices tend to be lower. Try also using rewards points or travel miles for booking flights and hotels. 
  • Become a one-car family: If you and your partner both commute to work, it might be a good idea to think about becoming a one-car family. This might mean that one person has to carpool or take public transportation, but by doing this, you could save hundreds of dollars per month on gas, maintenance, and insurance costs.
  • Shop around for the best insurance rates: When it comes to car insurance, shopping around for the best rates can help you save money. Get quotes from different providers and compare premiums before settling on a plan.
  • Combine your errands: If you have a busy schedule and need to run errands, combine them into one trip whenever possible.
  • Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle: If you are in the market for a new car, consider choosing one that is fuel-efficient; it will benefit you in the long run.

These simple tips can help give you some peace of mind as far as your budget is concerned. So why not give them a try today? 

Frugal Living Tips: Shopping

Shopping can be tricky when you're trying to stick to a frugal budget since the wrong choices can quickly eat away at your budget. However, if you follow these tips, you'll be able to get more for less.

  • Use a cash-back credit card: If you're careful about not overspending, a cash-back credit card can be a great way to save money on groceries. Just make sure to pay off your balance in full every month, so you don't end up paying interest.
  • Shop the sales: If you know when your favorite brand goes on sale, you can save big.
  • DIY everything: From homemade bread to jam, there's almost nothing you can't make at home for a fraction of the cost. Get creative in the kitchen and start making your affordable staples! 
  • Look for coupons: Almost every store now offers a coupon or discount program, so look for deals before hitting the grocery store. Some stores even let you download digital coupons so that you don't have to carry around paper coupons.
  • Try a no-spend month challenge: Try a month-long challenge where you don't spend any money. Instead, look for free or very low-cost ways to get your needs and wants. This might involve trading with friends and neighbors, borrowing from the library, or scouring garage sales. 
  • Before replacing a broken item, try to fix it: With a little creativity, you can often fix broken items rather than replace them. This can be handy, especially if the item is something expensive that would be difficult to replace. 
  • Understand the price of convenience: When you buy something prepackaged or pre-made, you're paying a premium for the convenience. In most cases, it's cheaper to make things yourself, especially if you have access to cheap ingredients and tools.
  • Educate yourself for free/cheap: Online courses on Coursera, Udemy, and edX can be taken for free or at a very low cost. Additionally, most public libraries offer access to a wide range of books and DVDs you can borrow for free. 
  • Create a budget when you shop: This will help you avoid impulse purchases and stick to buying only what you need. 
  • Always pay your bills on time: This will help avoid racking up debt making it harder to afford groceries and other essentials. Always pay your bills on time and avoid using too much credit.

When trying to stick to a frugal budget, shopping for groceries can be tricky. By following these simple tips, you'll be able to shop for less. 

Frugal Living Tips: Entertainment

Having fun shouldn't cost much, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself without spending cash. Here are some frugal living tips for entertainment:

  • Go campingEnjoy the great outdoors! You can find campgrounds for a reasonable price or even free if you're willing to rough it. 
  • Take up a new hobby: A new hobby can be a great way to entertain yourself and meet new people. It can be as simple as taking up photography, drawing, or knitting.
  • Visit your local library: The library is a great resource for entertainment. You can find books, movies, and music to enjoy, all for free.
  • Take a walk: Sometimes the best entertainment is just getting out and enjoying nature.
  • Host a game night: Gather your friends for a fun gaming night. Board games, video games, or even card games can be entertaining and cost-effective.
  • Do a puzzle: Puzzles are a great way to pass the time. They're also relatively inexpensive, so you can get a lot of entertainment for your money.
  • Organize a potluck: Invite some friends and ask them to bring their favorite dish. Enjoy food and conversation with people you care about.  
  • Host a movie night: Have a fun night of movies with friends. Pick some great films, pop some popcorn, and enjoy!

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to be entertained without spending too much money. Whether you're an outdoor adventurer or prefer more low-key activities, there's something for everyone with frugal living.

How to Live on $1,000 a Month?

There are several reasons why someone might need to survive on $1,000 or less each month; However, it’s very possible with extra careful budgeting and lifestyle choices. Here are some tips on how to live on $1,000 a month:

  • Living Standards: The cost of living in different parts of the country can vary greatly. In general, big cities tend to be more expensive. Therefore, consider your location when making a budget. 
  • Realize where your money is going: It can be easy to lose track of how much you are spending eating out, transportation, entertainment, and other non-essentials. Make a budget and track your expenses to know where your money is going each month.
  • Find areas where you can cut expenses: There are probably several areas to save money, even on a limited budget. Some ideas to consider include: cooking your meals at home, using free online education, and canceling unused memberships or subscriptions.
  • Free transportationAs mentioned previously, transportation costs can add up quickly. If you live in a city, consider walking or biking to get around instead of taking public transportation or driving. 
  • Learning a hobby and earning from it: Whether you start your own business, sell goods online, or find other ways to monetize your skillset, there are plenty of opportunities to turn what you love into a source of income. 

Read more: 24 Hobbies That Make Money [20+ Resources Included]

  • Cooking at home: As previously mentioned, this will save you money on food and it’s the healthier option.
  • Discipline: Be disciplined with your spending. It can be tempting to overspend when you have extra money, but it’s important to stick to your budget to make ends meet. 
  • Perspective: It’s essential to have a clear goal if you are living on $1,000 or less each month. This can help you stay motivated and make the right choices for your budget. 

Ultimately, living on $1,000 a month is possible with careful planning and discipline. You can make ends meet by tracking your spending and making wise choices your budget. 

Just remember to keep your goals in mind to stay motivated throughout the process.

Bottom Line

These are some of our favorite frugal living tips to help save without sacrificing your quality of life. From cooking at home to couponing to negotiating a better deal, these tips will have you saving money in no time. 


How to live simply and cheaply?

Because of the high cost of living in the US, it can be difficult to live cheaply in the US. However, there are a few things that you can do to help reduce your expenses. One way to save money is to cook at home instead of eating out. You can also save money by shopping for groceries at discount stores or clipping coupons. Additionally, you can save money on utilities by turning off the lights when you leave the room and using energy-efficient appliances.

Is frugal being cheap?

Frugal living is the practice of being prudent with one's finances. This includes the ultimate frugal living tips we provided earlier, like spending money wisely, making wise investments, and living within one's means. On the other hand, being cheap means only being interested in getting the best deal possible regardless of the consequences.

Policy Advice is a website devoted to helping everyday people make, save, and grow money. While our team is comprised of personal finance pros with various areas of expertise, nothing can replace professional financial, tax, or legal advice.

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