We all could use a few new frugal living tips…
I remember when we first started to build our farm money was tight and every penny had to be accounted for. Over the years I’ve collected hundreds of ways to be frugal. Some of the frugal living tips I’ve used are great while others were not worth keeping. However, I’ll let you be the judge to see if any of these will make it to your save list.
I hope you find a few things you can implement into your life to save you a little bit of money and learn how to be more frugal.
- Purchase in-season fruits and vegetables at your farmer’s market and preserve them to eat year-round.
- Make your own food staples. For example, home-baked bread can cost about 50 cents per loaf, and homemade cheeses cost about one-third of what you’d pay at the store.
- The library requires no membership fee, and you can get thousands of books to read for free.
- Print on both sides of copy paper.
- The netting that avocados and oranges come in can be repurposed as little scrubby cleaners. Just roll it into a ball. Works perfectly.
- Buy dry beans in bulk at a fraction of the cost of canned products, and pressure-cook them to save time. Pressure cooking also tenderizes inexpensive, tougher cuts of meat in a fraction of the time than conventional cooking.
- Slice up and freeze bananas that are going bad and use them in smoothies.
- Cloth napkins and handkerchiefs save on paper napkins and boxes of Kleenex.
- Cut your family members’ hair yourself. A quality set of clippers will cost less than $50.
- Do all your own housework (cooking, cleaning, yard work, and house repairs.)
- Switched to LED light bulbs – LEDs are pretty cheap these days so if you are still using incandescent or halogen, it’s time to change.
- Use plastic grocery bags as trash bags
- I switched from paper towels to cloth towels for 90% of my cleaning and drying needs and just keep a roll on hand for super gross emergencies.
- Use a tennis ball to fluff things in the dryer if they need to be softened.
- I also almost never buy gift/greeting cards except for major events like weddings – my family and friends love handmade cards, and I challenge myself to make them out of art supplies I already have.
- Hang laundry to dry, rather than using a dryer. Clothes last much longer.
- If you use a dishwasher, shut it off just as it hits the drying cycle and leave them to air dry.
- Completely use up cosmetics, cleaners, etc. I’ll rip a bottle in half to get another shower’s worth of conditioner out of it.
- Wear clothing (minus socks and underwear) multiple times before washing unless you’ve stained them or sweat a lot. Wash your clothes in cold water. Friction, rather than heat, does most of the cleaning.
- Whenever we open a jar of salsa or spaghetti sauce, we only use less than half, and the rest goes bad. Now when we open a new jar, I automatically put half in the freezer, and the small amount left in the fridge.
- I buy thrift shop clothing from the big women’s section because you can get a lot of fabric from one garment and use the material to make new clothes.
- Buy the 1.5L/2L drinks and distribute them into reusable water bottles. Less plastic bottles at the end of the day. To really cut down the plastic bottle consumption, you can buy powdered drink mix instead.
- When the toothpaste is empty, cut the end off it, and you’ll have toothpaste for at least another week,
- When my shampoo is empty, I add water to it and have shampoo for at least 2 more washes.
- When your razor is blunt run it down some old denim, and it’s as good as new, new blades are ridiculously expensive,
- The next one is simple, but a lot of people don’t do it – when buying medicine never go for the brand names the cheaper plain packaging products contain the same ingredients so why pay more.
- If I only have a few items that need washing, I will wash them while I’m in the shower depending on how many items there are and how desperately I need them,
- Don’t give up on second-hand Especially in nice neighborhoods, second-hand stores can have fabulous clothes at affordable prices. Much of the stuff we buy has never been worn, and some still have original labels on it.
- The only thing you should ever purchase from a gas station. Is gasoline.
- Cook extra for dinner to take the rest for lunch the next day. (Or, better, pre-cook for the week/month)
- Only get water to drink when eating out.
- Always sleep on buying something new. If you don’t remember to buy it the next day, then it wasn’t something worth buying.
- Slickdeals.net Make a “deal alert” for whatever you want, sit back, wait, get an email when it’s half off.
- Never buy a new car. Never buy from a dealership. Your new car loses thousands of dollars the moment you drive it off the lot. The dealership will tack on an extra $3000 to the cost of anything you buy there. Buy used from the classifieds and save 10s of thousands of dollars.
- Yard sale every Saturday. People literately give stuff away.
- When buying chicken, buy the whole bird. The cost is so cheap compared to buying pre-cut, and you can do so much with the entire chicken.
- Keep the tire pressure up on your car. Low air pressure costs fuel and wears your tires poorly (shortening their life). I have seen 10% boost in mpg from pumping up tires.
- Went from T-Mobile monthly phone bill and phone payment to a Tracfone. Realized I did not use many minutes a month or much data.
- Wash and dry, dark clothes inside out. It keeps them from fading too quickly.
- Buy day-old bread to make a bunch of French toast. Then put two pieces in each plastic baggie and place in freezer. At breakfast, just grab a bag and put in the toaster.
- Start vegetables from seeds rather than buying seedlings. If you want more gardening tips, hop on over to Happy DIY Home and check out their article on 25 Incredible Benefits of Gardening.
- Eating well may be the most enjoyable form of preventive medicine. Organic foods stock your body with nourishing nutrients and are free of toxic chemicals.
- Plug your appliances into power strips, and flip the switch off when you’re not using them.
- Adjust your computer’s power-management settings so that it powers down into sleep or hibernate mode after several minutes of inactivity.
- Rather than relying on air conditioning, open and close windows to regulate home temperature, and use fans to move air throughout your home.
- During cold weather, use a heated mattress pad to keep you warm at night. Similarly, wear sweaters and use a small space heater in a room you can close off.
- Learn how to change your own oil and perform other maintenance on your vehicle to avoid service fees.
- Use free hot spots to avoid paying for Internet use.
- During the holidays, save a bundle on gift-giving by crafting handmade gifts. If you do buy gifts, discuss with loved ones the possibility of setting a gift-spending cap.
- Pallets are beyond useful on the homestead for a variety of projects from chicken coops to flooring to sheds. We practically built all our livestock stalls from pallet wood.
What does frugal living mean to you?
For me, it means learning how to use everything at my disposal without having to rely on buying something new. It means being creative and finding different uses for things I may normally throw away.
What tips do you have that may help those looking to be more frugal?
When you harvest your garden, save the seeds for next year. The Old Farmer’s Almanac website has info on how to do it for many different veggies. Use Epsom salts, egg shells, banana peels as fertilizers for your crops instead of buying them from the garden store.
Great tips…thanks for sharing it with us. WHen we planted gardens we always had jars of seeds we had saved from year to year.
I love this list! Great tips. I personally make homemade waffles, they are way cheaper that the store bought stuff. I usually make a whole bunch and freeze the leftovers. Whenever we feel like waffles we just take a few out, pop them in the toaster and voila!
We do that with waffles all the time. Sure is a life saver when the time is short. Thanks for visiting with us!
I actually found that most of these ideas, I already use. Just a note regarding palettes: PLEASE be careful how you use them. I know they are free or cheap, but they contain dozens of nails each, and when they disintegrate, which they do rather quickly, the nails are left for your livestock to step on, potentially harming them!
I bought 5 acres where the previous owners used pallets for fencing, just leaving the old to rot and adding new ones on ‘top’ of the old. I had to rent a ‘mowing magnet’ and literally found thousands of nails in the grass and dirt where their horses, sheep and cows as well as my cows walked daily. It isn’t worth harming your animals to save a few bucks.
Thanks for the great ideas and tips.
Thank you so much for reminding everyone about the nails. It took us a long time to get all the nails out of the boards when we used pallets to make our garden fence.
put some ice elements in your refrigerator to keep it cold, is saves electricity