Living frugally often gets associated with being a miser or not enjoying life. Those stereotypes are often wildly incorrect. As anyone who practices frugal living will tell you, frugality is spending in line with your values so you can achieve your goals. This allows you to enjoy the things you want and apply your spending to what matters most to you. Thankfully, there are some easy, frugal living tips most people can follow to save money without really requiring much sacrifice. Here are 11 simple actions to follow to maximize your savings.
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Watch Free TV
There’s little need to spend upwards of $200 a month for cable or streaming. If the majority of what you watch is comfort TV or classic shows and movies, you can satisfy that need with free streaming services.
You will have to deal with ads, but paired with a couple of on-demand platforms, you can reap significant savings.
Make Your Meals at Home All Week
The average American family spends $300 monthly dining out. If that’s you and you’re struggling financially, it’s time to slash that expense.
Try making your meals at home all week. This will instantly slash your dining expenses. Even if you reduce meals by half, you will have nice savings.
Use Coupon Codes
Couponing is a fantastic way to save money, but it takes time. You can reap the same savings by simply using your phone.
You can use an app like Ibotta when you shop. Make your purchases and then take a picture of the receipt when you’re done shopping. Ibotta identifies the available rebates and credits your account.
Visit Your Library
Your local library is an excellent resource to save money. You can get not only books but also entertainment like movies and music.
Many libraries also provide other resources, such as workshops, to aid you in various areas of life.
Drink More Water
Sure, it’s fun to have a soda or some other drink to go to in your house. Unfortunately, drinks add up in price. And, if you’ve been to the store lately you know how expensive six-packs of soda can get.
Drinking more water is a terrific way to save more money. According to WiseBread, you can save up to $1,000 a year by choosing water on three different occasions each week. That doesn’t even consider the long-term impacts of potentially reduced healthcare costs by avoiding sugary drinks.
If you prefer purified water, purchase a filter and a reusable water bottle so you can avoid expensive bottled water.
Doing things yourself is a long-held method for frugal people to save money. If you’re averse to DIYing, give it a try.
YouTube, for example, is a terrific resource to use to learn how to do basic things. Save the big projects for the professionals, but take the small things on yourself.
Cancel Subscriptions You’re Not Using
When was the last time you performed a subscription audit? If it has been over a year, it’s time to review what you pay for monthly.
Ditch the subscriptions you’ve not used over the past year and pocket the savings.
Automate Your Saving
Many people forget to put money in savings simply because they don’t remember to do it. If that’s you, automation is your friend.
Select an online bank, such as CIT Bank, and establish a regular transfer. Online banks typically pay competitive rates and have little to no fees.
Turn Down Your Thermostat
It’s easy to overpay for utility costs. However, there are ways to reduce your spending with minimal sacrifice.
According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to ten percent on your annual bill by turning your thermostat back seven to ten degrees for eight hours a day. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can easily set it to do this while you’re at work.
Get Cash Back on Your Gas Purchases
We’re all feeling pain at the pump. Thankfully, there are ways to get rebates on your fuel purchases.
The Upside App is a helpful, free tool to use. After creating an account and connecting a credit card, it works with participating gas stations near you to get rebates.
You claim an offer, make the purchase, and receive a rebate in your account.
Buying used is a fantastic way to save money. Additionally, it helps reduce waste. In many cases, you can’t even tell if the item in question is used.
Our family shops at Goodwill for clothes for our children. We also go to the Habitat for Humanity Restore when we need to make an upgrade in our home. Oftentimes, we can save good money and still get a quality item.
35 Proven Ways to Save Money Every Month
Many people believe it’s impossible to save money. Or, they think saving $20 or $50 a month won’t amount to much. Both are incorrect.
There are many simple money-saving tips that can add up to big savings. You just have to start one, then another, to increase your savings.
How to Watch Local TV Without Cable
Do you want your local networks, but don’t want to overspend for an expensive live service? You have options.
15 Best Coupon Apps to Save Money
Saving money at the store is as simple as using your phone. Better yet, you can redeem savings for free PayPal money or gift cards. That’s a win-win.
10 Powerful Things to Do if You Have Over $5,000 in Your Checking Account
How much cash do you have in your checking account? It’s possible that you have too much in it. Here are ten things to do if you have over $5,000 in the account.
Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half
Going to grocery store is an increasingly painful experience, but there are ways to save. Here are 12 proven ways to slash your grocery bill with minimal sacrifice.
I’m John Schmoll, a former stockbroker, MBA-grad, published finance writer, and founder of Frugal Rules.
As a veteran of the financial services industry, I’ve worked as a mutual fund administrator, banker, and stockbroker and was Series 7 and 63-licensed, but I left all that behind in 2012 to help people learn how to manage their money.
My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to become financially independent with personally-tested financial tools and money-saving solutions.