Being frugal is a really amazing way to save money, but sometimes it can be easier said than done.
We all know ways that we can save money that are seemingly simple but can seem really hard to implement, so we can just give up.
Learning to be frugal is a good way for you to kick start your attempts at savings, so I needed to compile a list of really simple ways for you to start living more frugally that can help you save a ton in the long run.
1. Air dry Your Clothes
Using large appliances like our washers and dryers can be extremely expensive and can make it even harder for you to save money. Thankfully, you can air dry your clothes entirely for free.
All you need is a decent quality clothes drying rack (I love this one from Amazon!). You can put this in any room in your house, or go the old school route and get a clothes line instead.
This is a really simple way to save a few dollars a month on electricity and end up with dry clothes either way.
2. Use Rakuten (Formerly Ebates)
To be extremely frugal, you can cut out shopping entirely, however, we can’t all stop shopping forever!
Thankfully, there are ways to be more frugal and more intelligent when shopping online that can save you a bunch.
One awesome way to earn cash back on your online purchases and use that money to be more frugal is to use Rakuten (formerly Ebates).
Rakuten has all your favourites stores like Amazon, Walmart, Sephora, and so many more for you to earn cash back. You’ll be paid quarterly and can even make money when you get your friends to sign up to Rakuten.
Sign up for Rakuten for free today!
3. Have a Meal Plan
Other than housing costs, eating is one of the biggest expenses for a lot of families. We all need to eat and the costs really do add up quickly.
Unfortunately, making meals at home can be really hard when you don’t have a plan or recipes to follow.
Most people out there aren’t the best cooks and are just trying to get through it so they can eat and move on with their day.
Thankfully, you can meal plan and really think about what you’re going to make for a week so you can save money on groceries and stop impulse purchases at the grocery store.
I’m not a fan of meal planning for myself, currently, we’re testing out Hello Fresh, but I also use $5 Meal Plan.
$5 Meal Plan is awesome because they will send you a weekly meal plan including a grocery list each week that you can follow simply at the grocery store.
The meals are inexpensive and family friendly, my little sister is so picky and I can always get her to eat dinner at my place if it’s $5 Meal Plan!
You can read our review of $5 Meal plan, or go right ahead and sign up for two weeks free!
4. Automate Your Savings
One of the smartest things you can do for your future is to start saving money and make financial plans for your future. However, sometimes it’s hard to save money actively.
Setting up a way to automate your savings where you can save passively can make it easier to save money before you have a chance to spend it.
My absolute favourite way to automate my savings is to do it in a way where you don’t have to think about it or worry if I can afford it.
There’s an awesome app called Acorns that will connect to your accounts and round up your purchases. Let’s say you spend $5.50 at Target, Acorns will put the other 50 cents into savings for you!
Sign up for Acorns and start automating your savings today!
5. Cut the Cord
We all love to watch television and it’s a really awesome way to relax at the end of a long day or work, but having cable can be extremely expensive each month.
More and more families are choosing to cut the cord and get rid of their traditional cable packages. Personally, we haven’t had traditional cable since 2016 and it’s one of those things that we really don’t miss.
If there’s a show that you must watch each week, you can usually find a website where you can watch it the next day for free. I can’t miss my Survivor, and The Challenge!
You can sign up for an Amazon Video free trial and test it out before cutting the cord!
If you decide to sign up to Amazon Prime Video, I highly suggest you watch The Marvellous Mrs Maisel. It’s my favourite show ever.
6. Eat Less Meat
When most families go grocery shopping, one of the most expensive things in their shopping cart is going to be meat. Purchasing beef, fish, pork and poultry can really add up when you eat it with every major meal.
A really awesome way to live more frugally is to have a few meatless meals a week that will help you save a few dollars each week when you buy your groceries.
There are some really incredible meatless recipes out there, and you don’t have to just eat salads to have a meatless meal.
You can grab a copy of this awesome meatless cookbook on Amazon!
7. Walk More
We all know that we should be moving and walking more but what a lot of people don’t realize is that walking more is a simple way to be more frugal.
If you walk to places that are close to your house (around a 30 minute walk) you’ll not only get more exercise, but you’ll also spend less money on gas and need less money saved for car maintenance.
It’s even better and more frugal if you can walk to work or school!
Did you know you can even get paid to walk?
There’s an awesome app called Sweatcoin that will let you earn money to get things like gift cards and special offers just for walking!
I use sweatcoin and have earned tons of money just from walking my dog twice daily, and from my morning runs. It’s been a really nice way to earn a bit.
Sign Up to Sweatcoin for FREE!
You can also check out a website and app called Step Bet. This app lets you join competitions against other people where you pay a bit of money and it goes into a pot.
Then, if you reach your step goal in the competition you’ll get your share of the pot, meaning you’ll get your money back plus a share of the money from the people who didn’t reach the goal!
8. Downsize Your Life
There are so many people out there who are struggling to make ends meet but they are living way above their means.
It’s a common thing for people in North America to be house poor where they are spending the majority of their monthly pay on their rent, utilities, and insurance, leaving barely any money left to make financial progress.
A really smart place to start when you’re trying to live more frugally is to try and cut down your monthly fixed costs, the things that never change.
This could start by getting a smaller place to live to decrease your rent or mortgage, getting a less expensive car, or getting your monthly bills lowered if possible.
9. Audit Your Monthly Subscriptions
There’s a new phenomenon where every company seems to be creating a monthly subscription for their products and these things can really add up.
If you’re trying to be frugal you should avoid most monthly subscriptions since a lot of them aren’t actually necessary.
There’s actually an awesome app called Trim that will tell you about all of the subscriptions you’re paying for monthly and let you know which ones you can probably live without.
10. Have a Budget
Budgeting isn’t fun, it’s not sexy. However, budgeting is one of the smartest things you can do to be more frugal and start thinking more about where your money is going.
Having a budget isn’t just about tracking expenses and pinching pennies. A budget is there to help you plan for your future and for all of the awesome things you want to accomplish in your life!
You can make a plan for your money through budgeting that will teach you how to be more frugal by showing you where you’re spending your money in silly ways, like buying snacks every time you get gas, or grabbing lunch at starbucks when you buy your morning coffee.
You should grab a copy of our $5 Budgeting Binder to help you!
11. Shop at a Thrift Store First
Being frugal is all about spending money on things that matter to you, and trying to save on things that aren’t that important to you.
So, why not try and save money on anything you can buy at a thrift store?
One of my favourite things to do is buy inexpensive furniture at a thrift store that I can DIY into something absolutely unique and beautiful. You can turn a $50 table into a masterpiece with a couple hours of work and some elbow grease.
You can find tons of really awesome items that you would have otherwise paid full price for at a thrift store for a heavy discount. Just make sure you are going to the inexpensive thrift stores and not the trendy ones where a t-shirt is $50.
12. Pay Off Your Debt
Having debt can really be soul crushing and make it hard for you to make any kind of financial progress. When a huge chunk of your monthly pay goes toward your debt payments, you can feel like you’re never going to be able to get out from under them.
If you really want to get your finances to a healthy point, you should try and pay off your debts as soon as possible for you.
Paying them off will take a huge weight off your shoulders and free up a ton of money each month for you to put towards savings or investing and will really improve your future finances!
Here’s a couple articles to read about debt payoff that may help:
- 10 Things to Do Before You Pay off Debt
- 15 Mistakes People Make When Paying off Debt
- How to Payoff Debt with the Debt Snowball
13. Get a Side Hustle
If you really want to have more money in your bank account each month so you can save and spend frugally, you should think about starting a side hustle.
A lot of people view having a side hustle in addition to their main job as greedy or money hungry, but the honest truth is that most people aren’t able to live solely off their full time income, especially if they have kids.
You can get a side hustle that you work on for one hour each evening instead of watching TV that can change your financial future forever. Here’s a few awesome articles we’ve written about side hustles:
- 4 Non-Computer Side Hustles
- 10 Awesome Work From Home Jobs
- Ways to Make Money From Your Phone
- How to Flip Furniture for Money
14. Plan for the Holidays Early
One thing we need to realize is that the holidays are going to happen every year and there really is no excuse for not planning ahead.
Most people end up putting their holiday expenses on credit cards and end up having to deal with them in January and February instead of making a plan.
You should try and use sinking funds to plan for the holidays early, so you don’t get a scary surprise at the end of the year.
15. Wash Clothes in Cold Water
Washing your clothes in warm water every week is not only more expensive because of the cost of actually heating the water, but it’s also going to cause more wear and tear on your clothes.
Clothes are really expensive, so washing in cold water is a great way to get them to last longer and save money on the water as well.
Being frugal and focusing on your finances doesn’t have to be a bad thing, you can learn a lot about yourself and your money habits just by doing a few of the things on this list!
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