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50 Tips for Frugal Living

50 Tips for Frugal Living

There are so many ways to save money. Sometimes the simple things are the ones we overlook. Here’s 50 tips for frugal living that will help you save money in all areas of your life.
Written by Zen Habit’s, Leo Babauta, with some ideas for me sprinkled in.

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Confession time: I’m a cheapskate. Some would say frugal, which sounds much more positive, but in reality I can be a real cheapskate.

I am fairly frugal (though not always), but sometimes I take it too far: I have T-shirts with holes in them, I never buy new clothes, we’re shopping for a new couch because our current one has holes in it, and I ran my current pair of running shoes until the soles fell off.

However, I have gradually learned to be frugal in many ways that I would recommend to others. I don’t think you should have holes in your couch, and you should definitely replace your running shoes more often than I do, but there are many ways to cut back on spending and live a more frugal lifestyle.

Why live frugally? First, because it allows you to spend less than you earn, and use the difference to pay off debt, save or invest. Or all three. Second, because the less you spend, the less you need to earn. And that means you can choose to work less, or work more but retire early. Or take mini retirements. You have more options with a frugal lifestyle.

TFFL

1. Go with one car. Many families have two or more cars. Besides your house, your car is probably your most expensive item. If you can do with one, you should. My wife and I both work, and we have six kids, and yet we have learned to manage with one car.

2. Go with a smaller house. Just because you can afford a larger house, doesn’t mean you should live in one. Live in as small a house as you can and still be comfortable. I don’t mean you should live in a one-room apartment with a family of four … you know what I mean. You can save thousands a year with a smaller house. Many times, if you get rid of a lot of clutter, you don’t need a large house.

3. Go with a smaller car. Again, you can save thousands by going with a smaller car. A car instead of an SUV, for example, is a big savings. Be comfortable, but don’t overdo it. You’ll save a lot on gas this way too.

4. Rent rather than own. This will probably spark a huge debate, as it always does. The thing is, just don’t assume that buying is the better investment. If you calculate the interest you pay on a mortgage, the cost of insurance and maintenance, buying is often much more costly than renting … and if you rent, save money, and then invest the difference, you can actually end up well ahead in the long run. Now, it’s not a given, so do a comparison, factoring in all expenses.

5. Look for used first. If you need something — I mean really need it, not just want it — see if someone you know has one that they don’t use or need anymore. Send out an email to family or friends, or just ask around. You might be surprised. I was about to buy a printer, and then found out my mom just bought a laser printer and didn’t need her old inkjet … saving me close to 100 smackeroos. If no one you know owns one, try freecycle.org or craigslist.org. Then look to buy used, at garage sales or thrift shops. You can find a bargain if you look around. (note from Joanne): Leo is right – take a look at these adorable snowman dishes I picked up for five bucks!

6. Eat out less. One of the biggest expenses in our daily lives is eating out — the average person spends well over $2,000 a year on eating out. Restaurants are expensive, including fast-food (not to mention the health hazards). It’s much cheaper to cook your own food. Our family creates a weekly menu, then we buy the groceries, and cook dinner (and lunch) each evening. Lately I’ve even been prepping it in the morning, so it’s a snap when we get home.

7. Eat out frugally. If you do eat out, check out these money-saving tips.

8. Brown bag it to work. Instead of eating out for lunch, bring your lunch.

9. Strive for a minimalist wardrobe. This tip won’t be for everybody, but I try for a minimalist wardrobe. I generally wear jeans or casual pants, a T-shirt or Polo-type shirt, and sandals or shoes. Plain, solid colors are my favorite. Everything goes with everything else, and I don’t have too many clothes. This saves me the stress of picking out an outfit, and I don’t need as many clothes.

10. Stop online impulse buys. This was a problem for me before I canceled my credit card. I used to buy online a couple of times a week. Now I buy maybe once every couple of months, using PayPal or someone else’s credit card. I’m not saying you have to go to this extreme, but realize that online buying can be way too easy (you don’t even have to go to a store) and therefore, we make too many impulse buys. Buy online if you really need something and it’ll save you money, but beware the impulse buy.

11. Don’t shop. Don’t go to the mall or other shopping area or department store to look around and shop. Go to a store if you know what you need, and then get out. Many times people go shopping, with a vague idea of what they want, and get caught up buying much more. Or they go just for fun, as a form of entertainment. That ends up costing a lot. It can really add up. Instead, stay away from shopping areas and find other ways to have fun.

12. Use a 30-day list. To curb impulse buys, create a 30-day list. When you want to buy something, other than a true necessity (medicine or food, for example), put it on this list, with the date you added it to the list. And make it a rule that you can’t buy anything for at least 30 days after you put it on the list. And stick to it. You’ll find that you buy a lot less with this system.

13. Cut out cable. I’ve talked about how I cut out cable before. It saves me money every month (in my area, about $60, or more than $700 a year), and also forces me to do things like read and have conversations and go outside. Win win.

14. Use the library. Instead of buying books, check them out. The library often also has a great selection of DVDs (depending on your area), saving you even more. Now who needs cable?

15. Find free entertainment. Find cheap ways to have fun. Entertainment often ends up costing a lot of money, if you go to the movies, buy concessions, or go out at night, go to the bar, etc. The average person spends about $1,800 a year on entertainment (not including eating out). Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have fun … but there are cheaper ways to do it.

16. Frugal exercise. Exercise is important, but it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Here are some tips.

17. Stay healthy. Easier said than done, I know, but staying healthy can save you tons of money on doctor’s visits, hospital bills, and medicine over the long run. An ounce of prevention, and all that. Eat healthily, and exercise. Simple and effective.

18. Commute by bike. Even if you own a car, commuting by bike will save you gas, and get you in shape at the same time. I highly recommend it.

19. Carpool or ride the bus. OK, you don’t want to bike it. So find a friend or neighbor who works near you, and arrange a carpool. Or take public transportation. Simple advice, but something a lot of people ignore.

20. Walk. Often we drive to the corner store, or to a school that’s less than a mile away. Leave a few minutes early, walk, burn some calories, and save gas.

21. Sell your clutter. This is not so much saving money as making it, but the frugal, simplifying cheapskate, like myself, will want to declutter and make a few bucks doing it. Hold a garage sale or sell it on eBay. It’s amazing what some people will buy.

22. Frugal gifting. Gifts can cost a lot of money over the course of a year. Look for ways to do it cheaply. Make a gift, or give a consummable. My family enjoys getting and giving cookies, for example.

23. Quit smoking. Not the easiest way to save, I know. It’s hard. But I did it, and so have many, many others. Not only will you save on cigarettes (which are expensive over the long run), but also associated costs (I used to buy a soda or beer to go with my cigarettes) … and of course the huge, long-term medical costs. In less than 2 years of not smoking, I’ve saved well more than $3,000.

24. Alcohol in moderation. If you drink one beer or a few beers a day, that adds up to big money each month. Some drink even more than that. It’s expensive. If you can cut your drinking to the occasional party, and once in awhile with friends (not all the time), you’ll save tons.

25. Sweets in moderation. Desserts and sweet snacks give us lots of calories with no nutrition. And we pay a premium price for that, in dollars and in our deteriorating health. Cut back on sweets (don’t eliminate them entirely of course) to save money and cut calories.

26. Drink water. Often we drink lots of calories through sodas, coffee, alcohol, juices, tea, etc. And that costs a lot too. Drink water, save money, save calories. Here are some tips for forming the water habit.

27. Batch your errands. Instead of running an errand or two every day, batch them into one errand day, and plan your most efficient route, to save gas and time. Also do as much bill-paying online as possible, to eliminate some errands.

28. Stay home. Becoming a homebody might not sound like a lot of fun, but it really can be. I love staying home with my family. We can do all kinds of fun things at home. Or I can spend a day alone, if the family is at school, and really enjoy it. It’s quiet and peaceful, I can read or watch a good movie or respond to comments on my blog or write. Staying home can save tons, in eating out expenses, shopping expenses, gas, and incidentals.

29. Stop using credit cards. Credit cards are not evil. And before you flame me, once again, I realize that they can be used to good purpose. If that’s how you use them, then that’s good, skip this tip. For others, credit cards make buying too easy, and end up making them buy too much.Not only that, but if you don’t pay your bill in full each month, they will cost you a lot in interest. The average American with at least 1 credit card has more than $8,500 in credit card debt. Don’t make that mistake.

30. Cancel subscriptions. With the wealth of information and entertainment online, do you really need magazine subscriptions? With all the news online, do you really need a newspaper subscription? If you can get DVDs for free or cheap, do you really need a Netflix subscription? Don’t flame me if you think you do need any of these — I’m just asking you to consider whether they’re really essential — the answer might be yes. Also consider other subscriptions you might be paying for — I’m not saying you should cancel everything, but seriously consider whether they can be canceled without much loss of value.

31. Make your own. I won’t go into all the possibilities here, but many times we buy things when really, we could make them ourselves for much cheaper if we get a little creative. Now, this might take a little more time and effort, but it can be fun, especially if you make it a family project. We recently made our own (very simple) bookshelves with only a couple of pieces of lumber, instead of buying them. If you don’t know how to make something, search for it online. You’ll most likely find some instructions.

32. Do it yourself. Instead of hiring someone to do something, try doing it yourself. Sure, it takes some time and effort, but it’s satisfying, and of course cheaper. It’s also educational, if you don’t know how to do it — again, do an online search, read up on it, and give it a go. Frugality freaks are DIYers.

33. Stop paying interest. I mentioned the interest of credit cards, and auto loans, and mortgages. I consider them a waste of money. I’ve talked about how to live without credit before, and I recommend it for a frugal lifestyle. Consider any other accounts or loans where you pay interest, and see if you can eventually eliminate as much of these as possible.

34. Reduce convenience foods. Frozen foods, microwaveable stuff, junk food … anything that’s packaged and prepared for our convenience is not only more expensive than something you cook yourself, but also most likely less healthy. I’m not saying to eliminate these completely, but reduce consumption.

35. Travel frugally. I actually don’t travel (or haven’t for years), but if you do have to travel, some advance planning can save you money. Airfare is most expensive, usually, so look to buy your ticket in advance, and look for deals. Also consider train travel. Shop around for car rental rates, as they can vary greatly (or use public transportation). Look for cheaper accommodations, or stay with a friend or relative. Just a note: I do plan to travel, but not until I finally eliminate all of my debt.

36. Cut the cell phone. This will not be a popular suggestion either. If you don’t like it, move on to the next one. It’s not for everybody. But think about this: 20 years ago, most people didn’t have cell phones. And miraculously, they survived. A cell phone is not a necessity. It’s a convenience. When people needed to make a call, 20 years ago, they either waited until they got to a destination (wait to make a phone call?! omg!), or pulled over and used a pay phone or a phone in a business establishment.

37. Cut your own hair. Again, this one isn’t for everybody. Personally, I use electric clippers to shave my head. It’s easy, it’s cheap, it’s minimalist, it’s care-free. I don’t worry about my hair getting messed up, or having to fix it in the morning. However, I’m not saying you should shave your head. Many people cut their own hair, in many simple but nice hairstyles, long or short. Saves money, and time.

38. Maintain stuff. This is a no-brainer, but we don’t often think about it: if you take care of what you have, it will last longer. You’ll then spend less on buying new stuff. When you buy something worth maintaining, take a few minutes to read the maintenance manual, and create a maintenance checklist that you can attach to the item. For important things like your car’s oil changes or tune-ups, put them in your calendar.

39. Save energy. There are little things we can do to lower our power bill. I don’t use a dryer or hot water heater, although those are a little extreme.

40. Save gas. With the rising price of gas (and no end in sight), fuel has become a major monthly expense for many people. Small things can add up to big savings.

41. Only buy bargain clothing (when you need clothes). OK, so you’re a cheapskate like me who only buys clothes when the old clothes have too many arm or leg holes. But now you need new clothing. I mean really need it. So instead of buying new, look for thrift shops with good clothes. Or buy new, but only buy the stuff that’s 50% off. Look for the bargains, and you’ll save a ton.

42. Telecommute. Telecommuting doesn’t necessarily give you your dream job, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. But in addition to allowing you to work in your underwear (and who doesn’t have that dream?), telecommuting saves money on gas, on eating out (if you eat lunch at a restaurant), and on buying expensive work clothes (all you need to buy is underwear, right? And no, don’t buy used underwear).

43. Plan ahead. Sure, easy to say, hard to implement. But if you make it a habit to think ahead to things that are coming up in your life, you can save a lot of money. For example, if you think about where you’re going to get your meals when you go out to do errands, you can pack a lunch or dinner instead of eating out. If you pack a big container of iced water, you don’t need to buy expensive bottled water. If you know that a birthday is coming up, you can buy a gift on sale instead of spending more at the last minute.

44. Cook ahead. If you have one free day a week (or even a month), cook food in big batches and freeze in dinner-sized portions. I don’t do this all the time, but I have done it and it saves money (buying big can often save) as well as time. You have to plan it out a bit, coming up with a menu and shopping, cooking enough meals for a week or a month. But once you’re done, your meals each night (and for lunch if you like) are quick and easy. This saves you from eating out or eating convenience food when you’re hungry but too tired to cook.

45. Wash clothes less. Some people wear clothes and then wash them, but I’ve gotten into the habit of wearing my clothes more than once if they’re not really dirty. I use my nose as a test — I don’t want to wear clothes that smell, but most times the clothes are still perfectly clean. This saves on washing.

46. Sun-dry clothes. When my parents were young, everyone used a clothesline to dry clothes. Now dryers are ubiquitous, because they’re fast. But if you don’t wash a ton of clothes, it’s not that hard to take a few minutes to hang them up. You’ll save a lot in electricity, plus your clothes last longer.

47. Eat less meat. I’m not saying you have to become a vegetarian (although you could always give it a try), but once in awhile, eat meatless dishes. Pasta, vegetarian chili (see my recipe halfway down this article), vegetarian Indian or Thai dishes, falafels with hummus and pitas and tomatoes and lettuce … there are plenty of tasty dishes without meat. And as meat is expensive (well, the fresh kind is … Spam is cheap), you’ll save money on meatless dishes. Again, I’m assuming you cook with fresh meat, not canned.

48. Save on groceries. For my family of eight, groceries is a major expense. With some simple habits, we’ve been able to save a lot of money.

49. Frugal Christmas. Christmas is expensive, especially in America (if you live in an area that doesn’t celebrate Christmas with a huge amount of buying, or doesn’t celebrate it at all, skip this tip). People go on crazy shopping gorges. It’s insane. While it makes the retailers and manufacturers happy, it doesn’t make our bank accounts happy. Break out of the cycle and find cheaper ways to celebrate Christmas.

50.  Trade and barter with friends and neighbors. If you want or need something, see if you can trade or barter first. You never know what connections you can make and how it might benefit both of you in the future.

 

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53 Responses to “50 Tips for Frugal Living”

  1. NightSquid says:

    Great Information I hope you don’t mind me putting a link to this page from my page Eat Like a King
    Cheers NightSquid

  2. joanne says:

    Of course not…and I will return the link back to your site! :)

  3. Love these tips. I am rather frugal myself. Also, you don’t mine me asking, what plugin are you using to display the social networks at the bottom of your post?

    Shamelessly Sassys last blog post..The End of An Era: A Break-Up Letter

  4. joanne says:

    Hi! The plugin is called Sociable. Here’s the link. :)

  5. Keri says:

    This was a great post, but in some places where you had “more here” and places where you had “more tips here”, there wasn’t a link. Just so you know.. but other than that.. awesome article!

    Keris last blog post..Manic Monday

  6. kailani says:

    I love to “sell my clutter”! LOL! I used to use eBay a lot but lately I’ve been using Amazon.com to sell my books and DVDs. Works great!

    Thanks for stopping by earlier!

    kailanis last blog post..My Little Exhabitionist

  7. joanne says:

    Thanks for letting me know Keri. :)

  8. This is a great list.

    Wish I could do the haircutting thing but my daughters would never forgive me, so I take them to the local beauty school where have services for 50% off.

    My ex cuts our son’s hair when he goes to visit. It’s all good….and cheap. :)

  9. Lee Hall says:

    Great tips! I also agree that life is a balance. You want to live humbly in a humble place, however you shouldn’t go as far as to feel uncomfortable about the area you live. Our environment is very important to maintaining health and happiness. It let’s us create the dreams that we want to fulfill in life, which is why we are frugal in the first place.

    Lee (aka www,cheaplee.com)

  10. Sara says:

    Thanks for sharing these great tips at the Frugal Tuesday Tip. Would you mind linking back to one of the hostesses or adding our button either in your post or on your side bar? Thanks.
    Sara recently posted..Hy-Vee Deals Week of 3/6-3/12My Profile

  11. Sara says:

    Oh sorry, I see you had our button already on the bottom of your page. Thanks so much for spreading the word.
    Sara recently posted..Hy-Vee Deals Week of 3/6-3/12My Profile

  12. Heather says:

    Great List! I’m right with you on these! Save your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves…

  13. Gregg says:

    Very nice blog post. I definitely love this site. Thanks!
    Gregg recently posted..GreggMy Profile

  14. Louanne says:

    My brother suggested I might like this web site.
    He was entirely right. This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!
    Louanne recently posted..LouanneMy Profile

  15. Stevie Wilson
    Twitter:
    says:

    great tips and many are easy to put into place. I do believe that you don’t need a gym. Depending on your area, you might need cable but you don’t need all the channels. Personally I use less cable than I do streaming netflix– I can see all those series via netflix.
    Vintage or slightly used clothing.. sell yours. buy some used or super clearance clothing and other things.
    for classes or books– used books are often a great way to go — also kindle/ebooks that you can borrow are perfect way to save
    Stevie Wilson recently posted..ALMAY Brand Ambassador and Actress KATE HUDSON Glows at CLEAR HISTORY Hollywood Premiere!!My Profile

  16. Ave
    Twitter:
    says:

    Thanks for sharing great tips, as always! We try not to use car, only when really needed. I really like sun-drying pur clothes, they are so fresh afterwards and saves energy too.
    Ave recently posted..DIY Toys – A Posting CanMy Profile

  17. Rhonda - YVSG
    Twitter:
    says:

    Awesome tips, especially 6, 8 and 14! Wow there are so many great things on this list, it’s very ‘pin worthy’ that’s for sure.
    Rhonda – YVSG recently posted..Money Saving Tips for the Stay At Home Mom by Becky Mansfield – eBookMy Profile

  18. Marika says:

    Frugal is good, and especially when it’s also healthy (e.g. using iodine for cuts and bruises rather than taking unhealthy pills and chemicals that treat only symptoms and are not cheap either), it’s definitely a winner!

    Btw Joanne, thanks for the name of the plugin, I need to add it to my blog as well.
    Marika recently posted..Free Wire Wrapping Tutorial – How To Make A Copper PendantMy Profile

  19. Thanks for the tips. With three kids I definitely need all of the guidance that I can get when it comes to being frugal.
    Giveaways 4 Mom recently posted..Coupons: Baby (+Organic) + Back-to-School + MoreMy Profile

  20. Erica says:

    A lot of these tips are things we should already know, but it is nice to be reminded so I can take a step back and evaluate our current spending.

    Erica
    We Three Crabs
    Erica recently posted..Cleaning The Floors on the CheapMy Profile

  21. Malia
    Twitter:
    says:

    These are some good tips. Thanks for sharing!
    Malia recently posted..Genie Bra ReviewMy Profile

  22. Great list!
    Right now we are in the process of heading back to school so to save some extra money we pre-purchased school supplies at the end of last year to make sure we got a great price.
    My oldest is starting university too so we started looking at the local bookstore and we have saved a ton of cash NOT buying from the university bookstore.

  23. Kristin says:

    Great tips!! I have learned to live frugally since I became a wife and a mother. Love it!
    Kristin recently posted..FREE Ham Classic SandwichMy Profile

  24. I also consider myself frugal, but I do spend what I save. If I budget $60 for groceries, and only spend $40, I will buy something fun with the extra money.
    Amy Lynn Desrosiers recently posted..BabyGanics: Safely Clean Your Babies’ High Chair, Toys, and More!My Profile

  25. Cyndie says:

    I love the 30 day rule/idea!

  26. These are some really great tips. I would have never thought that buying would have worked out to be more expensive. I admit that I don’t live frugally, I tend to spend a lot but I need to take your advise into consideration and maybe I’ll be able to save a little more.
    Growing Up Madison recently posted..PlasmaBike Review and GiveawayMy Profile

  27. These are the tips that we need to save money! We have a pick up truck and it is not gas wise. We are planning of trading it into an SUV at least that way, we can save some gas money.
    Healy Harpster recently posted..I Have The Fun Today, Mommy!My Profile

  28. Very very useful tips. Each worth following. Thanks for sharing.

  29. This by far is the most useful lists of tips I’ve ever read. Such a nice post.
    Paula Nicolas recently posted..Touring Singapore: The Three Great Gardens in the Heart of the CityMy Profile

  30. Susan says:

    I love the tip to eat out frugally,. it can be done, we do it all the time!
    Susan recently posted..Let’s Talk About a Clean Routine a Cottonelle Clean Routine #LetsTalkBums #adMy Profile

  31. These are excellent tips, thank you! We adhere to quite a few of these – one car, no cable, make most of our own, recycle clothing, etc. I also use only a pay-as-you go cell phone plan, so I don’t take calls on it (with the exception of emergencies), and this costs me only $20 every six weeks.
    Danielle – Woven Stars & Chocolate Bars recently posted..New Photography Classes with Craftsy!My Profile

  32. There were a lot of good tips here. If we live frugally, it allows us to have a better lifestyle and to be more comfortable. It is important to understand that being frugal, does not mean being deprived. The tips you gave here will help someone have a better quality of life.
    Janeane Davis recently posted..You Know A Conference is Good When A Year Later You Still Use ItMy Profile

  33. Liz says:

    Talk about packed with wise advice! I’m totally with you on not using credit cards. It’s too easy to fall into a hole with them, WAY too easy! I think you’re probably right about convenience foods too. Guilty as charged!
    Liz recently posted..Summer’s Last Hurrah! #99SummerDays #HebrewNationalMy Profile

  34. Robyn
    Twitter:
    says:

    Wow, this must of took a while. Great information. Will take the ones I don’t do into account.
    Robyn recently posted..Immortalising your Baby Bump With Belly CastingMy Profile

  35. Ronnie says:

    Amazing list, Joanne. I’m all about frugal living, I love to save money so I can feel secure in my savings. I think I’m actually following all your tips above. I managed to save $45,000 in two years actually!

    Btw, I think you meant to place a link in tips #7 and #16?
    Ronnie recently posted..6 Things You Can Do To Immediately Increase Your Car’s Fuel EfficiencyMy Profile

  36. I needed to read this article today. I have done some of the tips listed above. I canceled our cable and we don’t eat out that often. I will admit, I didn’t know name brands until I started shopping at thrift stores. When I worked in the corporate world I had $200 suites that I paid $5 for. I really like tip number 12 with the 30 day rule. I struggle with that a lot and I find myself over my monthly budget because of that. I am now going to incorporate that rule TODAY! Thanks for sharing.
    mommy2jam ( adrianne) recently posted..The New Happy Hour Menu at Daily GrillMy Profile

  37. Nice tips I am rather frugal myself I have a used couch.. a glass dining room table I found on the side of the road… clothes with holes in them that I wont get rid of and most of my furniture has been given to us by family, friends, or my husbands work.. so You can save on some things to use on another.. we also only have 1 car because we save on gas and insurance…
    Carmen’s Coupon Blog recently posted..The Balboa Baby High Chair Cover Product ReviewMy Profile

  38. Stacey Myers says:

    WoW! What a fabulously extensive list!! You have some really great ideas. Not sure about the cutting my own hair one. Trading and bartering is a great idea as well.
    Stacey Myers recently posted..How to Write Great Headlines – with a little help from Google!My Profile

  39. WHAT an AWESOME roundup of tips on how to live frugal.. WOW.. thanks for sharing, we are totally frugal, most our furniture are 15+ years old and with a coat of paint look brand new; we use coupons on everything and the list goes on.. thanks for sharing
    Melanie a/k/a CrazyMom recently posted..Daniel Tiger will be celebrating his new show with a #NeighborDayMy Profile

  40. I love your tip about washing clothes less. I’ve started doing that with my daughter’s school uniform. When she wears to dark plaid skort, I have her wear it twice before we wash it.
    Caroline Murphy recently posted..10 DVDs for Kids Under $6My Profile

  41. There are a lot of great tips here! I want to start living more frugally, so I am definitely going to pin this so I can reference back to it later!
    Courtney Pies recently posted..My Favorite Way To Enjoy Diet Coke! #DietCokeTime #sponMy Profile

  42. This is a very extensive list! I thought I lived very frugally until I saw a few of the things on this list, lol. We do choose to live the way we live, so as to have more time for each other, and our family. We do without, and we are happy. But, we do choose to pay a lot for cable with DVR services, it is something we truly enjoy, so we go without certain other luxuries, or even necessities, to maintain the ability to pay for that one thing we love together.
    Cindi Thornton recently posted..What happens at Grandma and Grandpa’s house….gets posted on my blog, apparently!My Profile

  43. Wow! what a list… some great tips… thanks for sharing
    luxury travels recently posted..Luxury Family Break at Center ParcsMy Profile

  44. Brett
    Twitter:
    says:

    #2
    And just because the bank says you can afford a bigger house doesn’t mean you can!!

    We are pretty frugal here too.

  45. I am actually doing alot of these things. I am a frugal momma!

  46. Scott says:

    Thanks for this Joanne! Some of these tips seem simple, but most people might not think of them. Here’s to saving :)

  47. Emerald says:

    I’m trying to live more frugal these days. I only shop sales and lately I try to gift things when I’ve purchased to much.
    Emerald recently posted..Firmoo Eyewear GiveawayMy Profile

  48. Danielle
    Twitter:
    says:

    WOW! These are fantastic tips – love them! I’m not so sure about the renting vs. buying though… I don’t think I’ve ever seen a situation where renting was better financially.
    Danielle recently posted..Wordless Wednesday | First Bee Sting and a Natural RemedyMy Profile

  49. Sophie S says:

    Tons of great tips here. I was raised in a family of 9 kids and we learned to make things stretch right alongside my mum. Many of those habits are still with me and I am a firm believer that by saving half my income I am better off than those that make twice what I earn but spend it all.
    Sophie S recently posted..Add Impressionism, #Fashion, and Modernity at @artinstitutechi to Your #BackToSchool List! #ChicagoMy Profile

  50. Cynthia L. says:

    Wow! What a comprehensive and wonderful list! I follow some of these, but need to follow more. Thanks for sharing this great information at the Living Big on Less Money Series!
    Cynthia L. recently posted..Crescent Roll Recipes – A Roundup with Feeding BigMy Profile

  51. Teea Lynn
    Twitter:
    says:

    I see a few ideas that I really like and will have to try. Great post

  52. Sue Orten says:

    I’m very interested in becoming frugal…

  53. Amy says:

    I agree with most of your tips. I am extremely frugal and do most all of these tips. However, one tip….the renting thing. In most markets that do not have rent control, renting is much more costly than owning. I am a Realtor, and own rent houses, and help others buy and rent out rent houses. The average land lord makes AT LEAST $350/month on each property. If the return is less than $350/month, they dump it. (for single family houses. For duplexes or bigger, the returns are greater). I make more than that on my properties. So, by purchasing instead of renting, on average, you save $350/month. That is pretty substantial. Also, do not buy more square footage than you need, ie. if you are a family of four, you probably do not need a house with 8 bedrooms, but if you have Grandma and Aunt Jennie living with you, that is very frugal, and you will need more space. So, get the space you NEED, and don’t fret that you are not being frugal.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. pligg.com - 50 Tips for Frugal Living... Lots of good money saving tips. A penny saved is a penny earned!...
  2. Great finds at Fairly Ordinary - [...] 50 tips for frugal living [...]
  3. Festival of Frugality #136 - Summer School Edition | Student Scrooge - [...] Saving provides an exhaustive list of fifty tips for frugal living. Some are straightforward, but some I hadn’t thought …
  4. Monroe on a Budget » Frugal tips from Festival of Frugality 7/30 - [...] Saving presents 50 tips for frugal living: “Go with one car. Many families have two or more cars. Besides …
  5. Links Extravaganza 8.1.08 « Red Sea - [...] Fifty Tips for Frugal Living | Hat tip to Kirtsy. I’m all about saving money! [...]
  6. Pinterest Picks – Budget and Frugal | Sixty Payments - [...] I have actually been a reader of Zen Habits for years.  This is a great find/read! [...]
  7. @calabasascpa - Here some helpful tips I came across to spend less money. Which ones will you try? http://t.co/1ftaH1acBU http://t.co/tktb1UYHcz

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