The New Frugality
Being Frugal Means That You:
Be Intentional with Your Purchases
Embrace Practical Minimalism
Buy Experiences, Not Things
Embrace Quality Over Quantity
Go Low Waste
Keep Your House & Head Decluttered
You Have A Positive Impact On Environment
You live a Financially Stable Life
Have Fewer Things To Be Stressed About
Live a Happier, Healthier and a More Fulfilling Life
The best way to treat yourself is to be financially stable and the easiest way to that is to become intentional with your money. So let’s discover 20 simple ways to save money on everyday expenses and embrace a frugal lifestyle!
20 Extremely Simple Ways To Embrace A Frugal Life
1. Create A Realistic Budget & Stick To It
I fully agree that being spontaneous is a great ability that enables us to make the most of every situation we face in life while planning out every detail to the nth degree can be quite boring, monotonous or even counterproductive. A little chaos DOES make life more interesting, exciting and fun BUT not when it comes to making financial decisions, staying out of debt and saving money. The only effective way to achieve these things is to create a successful budget and STICK TO IT! So if you want to be financially stable, avoid questionable financial decisions and save a substantial amount of money in a relatively short period of time you need to set a realistic budget ASAP. You can easily do it by using budgeting tools and financial apps I mentioned in the previous paragraph or by downloading Budget Template and create your own budget in Excel.
- Calculate your monthly income
- Determine your monthly expenses (fixed and variables)
- Divide your expenses into different categories to know where your money goes
- Decide the ideal percentage of monthly earnings to save
- Decide the ideal percentage of monthly earnings to put into your Emergency Fund
What Should Be Included In Your Budget
2. Prepare Your Meals & Snacks At Home
Eating out and ordering takeaways is an expensive habit. We all know it. But for some reason, we forget about that. Most people think that cooking at home is extremely difficult and time-consuming but that’s not true. Preparing your meals and snacks at home it’s convenient, quick and fun! Not to mention that you have full control over ingredients and meal preparation. This means that you don’t have to stress about the quality of ingredients or harmful food additives anymore. All you have to do is to plan your meals, buy high-quality ingredients and do some meal prep in advance. (I usually prepare my weekly meals on Sunday) And if you think that you can’t cook use the internet, search for food blogs or food Youtube channels and see how easy, fun and creative preparing meals and home can be! Bring out your inner chef and prepare healthy versions of your favorite meals at home!
3. Must Haves
Preparing your meals and snacks at home is one thing but taking them with you at work, to school, on a trip or in your car when you have some errands to run is a completely different experience. But still a GREAT one! All you have to do is to get a fancy lunch box, travel coffee/tea mug, and a glass water bottle! This way you will have a delicious meal, healthy snack, your favorite coffee drink, and some water always at hand and you won’t be spending your money on eating out. It’s a great option especially for those who spend most of their day outside the home. I used to buy up to 3 coffees, 2 croissants, and 3 water bottles every single day and spend a LOT of money on that stuff. Honestly, I wish I had bought a lunch box, a travel coffee mug, and a glass water bottle years ago. That would have saved me a LOT of money! Don’t make the same mistake I made! Become frugal and eco-friendly right now!
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4. Organize Your Pantry Like A Boss
Trying to spend less money on food? Well, it’s actually easier than you think. And no, I don’t mean buying low-quality and highly processed food. Because that would be the opposite of what I am preaching for on my blog. I was actually thinking about stocking your fridge, cupboards, and pantry with healthy, nutrient-dense delicious food so that you can prepare your meals and snacks and home! If you are busy during the week, do your clean eating grocery shopping and some serious meal prep on the weekend! Shop delicious, high-quality ingredients, prepare healthy & nutritious meals for the week and fill your lunch box with tasty lunches! That’s how I make it every single Saturday!
Tips, Tricks & Hacks To Organize Your Pantry
- Get some food inspiration online (Pinterest, youtube, food blogs)
- Plan your weekly meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks)
- Make a grocery shopping list
- Go to a grocery store well-rested and well-fed to avoid unhealthy food choices
- Stock your fridge, cupboards, and pantry with healthy, nutrient-dense delicious food
- Do some meal preparation that will save you time cooking meals during your week and help you to stick to more nutritious meal choices
- Keep your meal prep more entertaining try daily themes ideas such as meatless Monday, taco Tuesday, pasta Wednesday, Pizza Saturday, slow-cooked Sunday dinner, breakfast for dinner, Mediterranean lunch (that’s my favorite one!)
5. Shop By Yourself & Pay With Cash
Who carries around cash nowadays? Well, the simple answer is, those who want to avoid mindless shopping and overspending.
Cash is STILL King!
Of course, I’m not encouraging you to get rid of your credit and prepaid debit cards and carry around a lot of cash because that would be incredibly inconvenient and a bit irresponsible, especially if you mostly shop online or plan an expensive purchase. Not to mention that it wouldn’t be safe. What I mean is that carrying some cash instead of having multiple credit cards in your wallet will help you to avoid mindless shopping. Let’s face it, when you hang around with your friends on Friday evening it’s easy to spend way too much than you planned… and then regret it. But when you carry no more than $20 in cash, you don’t have to worry about that. You’re not only avoiding internal and external triggers of impulse buying but you also practice self-discipline! And if you’re going shopping just put a price tag on your expenses, pull a certain amount of money out of an ATM and pay for your purchases by cash. Trust me, if you pay for your purchases by cash it’s MUCH easier to stick to your budget and keep track of your spendings. And don’t forget to use money-saving and cashback Apps!
Best Apps To Save Money On Shopping
- Rakuten here – shop using Rakuten and receive up to 40% cashback from your purchases!
- Ibotta – Earn Cash Back & Save With In-App Offers here
- Dosh – cashback app here
- Amazon Coupons AMAZON US / AMAZON UK
- Groupon – Shop Deals, Discounts & Coupons here
- SnipSnap here – digital coupon app
- ShopKick here – rewards for shopping online and in-store app
- GroceryIQ here – intuitive shopping list app
- Venmo here – splitting bills and sharing transactions app
6. Budgeting Tool & Financial Apps
As much as I love old-school methods for planning, organizing and controlling different spheres of my life when it comes to my finances I rely on mobile technology. In my personal opinion budgeting tools and financial apps make controlling your personal finances much easier, more fun and definitely less time-consuming. Especially if you generate different sources of income, your expenses are variable and you love to save money on shopping. Because let’s be honest, we all love discount codes, Vouchers, and Coupons for the things we buy. Besides, is there a better feeling than purchase something you need for a half-price?
Best Apps To Manage Your Finances
- Qapital here – Banking designed with your goals in mind
- Wally here – professional expense report app
- Mint here – saving and budgeting app
- Digit here – saving app
- Every Dollar here – budget tool and expense tracker
- Acorns here – saving and budgeting app
- You Need a Budget here – create a budget within your actual income
- Prism Bills&Money here – organizing and paying bills app
- Bill Watch here – managing, organizing and reminding bills payment app
- Albert here – saving, budgeting and paying a debt app
- Tycoon here – Freelancers app
- Personal Capital here – investment optimization app
- PocketGuard here – extra money spending app here – categorizes and organizes your expenses, monthly bills, and subscriptions
- Travel Wallet iOS / Android – travel budget and expense app
7. Plan In Advance
Well, it comes as no surprise that if you plan everything from shopping to travel itinerary in advance you will save lots of money. First of all, you will have enough time to search for money-saving offers, discounts, promo codes, freebies and a reduction in prices. And secondly, you will save yourself a lot of stress. So plan, prepare and schedule everything in advance. Use money-saving apps, be frugal but still have fun!
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8. Amazon Subscribe And Save
Ok, let’s talk about maximizing your savings on everyday essentials. Did you know that with Amazon Subscribe & Save you can save up to 15% on your regular purchases and get it delivered to your house on your schedule? How amazing is that?! It’s the easiest, fastest and most convenient way to buy your regular purchases. And of course, shipping is FREE. Let me tell you something. Once you’ve tried it you will never go back. And least, it’s how I see it. But if you change your mind you can cancel your subscription at any time. Honestly, I love this program. I’ve never saved more money and time buying my everyday essentials than I do it with Amazons Subscribe & Save. Learn more about it here or here.
9. Sell Your Clutter
Well, that’s might sound crazy but did you know that you can earn money selling your clutter? How, amazing is that?! And you thought that you should just throw it away. Nothing more mistaken! There’s a lot of people who prefer to buy good-quality used items! As for me, I absolutely love buying used books and textbooks! It’s a hobby of mine and a great way to save some money on buying things I need. But there are many other products you can sell or buy used such as furniture, fitness machines, workout equipment, home decor, hand tools, toys, sports equipment or even board games for Friday night money-free entertainment! So next time you clean out your clutter and you decide to throw away some well-maintained stuff you don’t need or use anymore, ask yourself if you could sell it at a good price. The same with buying things, if you can buy something used just search on the internet for some good offers. Trust me there’s plenty of them!
Places Where You Can Sell & Buy Used Items
10. DIY Like A Pro
What connects all frugal people? Well, they love DIY-ing things! Why? Because It’s fun, creative and money-saving! As for me, I love DIY-ing gifts, natural beauty products and of course home decor. This is my idea of a good time. Not to mention that my inner child is extremely happy and excited when I engage myself in some creative activities. So as you can see DIY can not only save you a lot of money but also improve your wellbeing and life satisfaction. It’s time to bring out your inner artist (or creative beast) and create some unique piece of art! Need some inspiration? Go on Pinterest or on Youtube and see how fun DIY-ing really is!
12. Cancel Subscriptions & Memberships
Keyword: “unsubscribe”. And I don’t mean unsubscribing from annoying emails you receive every single day for some years now because it doesn’t cost you anything except time. Although technically you could declutter your email inbox and keep it that way for the rest of your life. But since you don’t pay for it… it’s not a priority right now. I mean, you should cancel all the unwanted subscriptions and memberships you completely forget about but you’re still being charged for. And let me tell you something, all those unused subscriptions, services and memberships in social and professional organizations are draining your bank account every single month. You’re paying for the stuff you don’t need, want or even use. So if you want to stop wasting your money and start living a frugal life you should cancel all the unwanted subscriptions, memberships and services ASAP. Cut off all unnecessary expenditures and put more money into your savings account.
11. Get Rid Of 1 Hobby That Costs You Money
We all know that I am a self-proclaimed coffee lover. Honestly, I think that coffee is the best thing ever. I go to bed and I cannot wait for this cup of coffee in the morning. I wake up and I cannot wait to take that first sip of my morning coffee that puts me in a good mood. I’m not even kidding. That’s my life. Is it an addiction? I don’t know. Maybe. Even if, it’s the greatest addiction ever… but this coffee addiction used to cost me a LOT of money. Because let’s face in Italy coffee is insanely delicious and it’s extremely hard to resist the temptation to buy a creamy cappuccino or a strong espresso in every single bar that you come across… That’s why I used to buy up to 3 coffees every single day! That’s insane especially if you want to be intentional with your money. But since I’ve bought my fancy travel coffee mug and I’ve started to brew my coffee at home I’ve saved a lot of money on my caffeine addiction. But hey, it does not mean that I stopped drinking coffee in my favorite coffee shops! I still do it but on weekends! And it’s not the only hobby I got rid of to save some money. Besides, treating yourself in moderation is much better for your mental and physical health! So think about habits that cost you a lot of money and try to get rid of at least one of them! Trust me, you will not regret it! Just think about this extra money you will be able to put into your savings account!
13. Avoid Impulsive Shopping
It’s time to become a conscious consumer, learn to spend your money intentionally and regain control over your finances. Let’s face it, the temptation is everywhere. We are constantly bombarded by a variety of external stimuli that make us buy the things we don’t need or even want. Marketers create artificial needs that have to be fulfilled immediately and advertising… Oh my gosh, advertising constantly and mercilessly manipulates our purchase choices and spending habits so that we buy the thing that we don’t need or even want for money we don’t have… Internal and external factors of impulse buying are hard to avoid BUT it does not mean that it’s impossible. You just have to be mindful. And it wouldn’t hurt to practice self-discipline and self-control. The easiest way to do that is to create a spending budget and shopping list before you proceed with a purchase. Paying by cash can also help you to take control of your finances. So as always it’s all about being prepared, organized and mindful!
Tips To Avoid Impulsive Buying
- Know your triggers and learn to avoid them
- Make rational consumer decisions based on your real needs, not artificial ones invented by marketers to sell more and more products
- Plan your shopping in advance (always make a grocery list, use the internet to search for discounts, coupons, and special offers)
- Improve your customer behaviour
- Identify the factors influence your purchasing habits
- Stop mindlessly spending your money constantly buying new stuff you don’t even need or use
- Become a mindful buyer who knows exactly what their real needs are
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14. Embrace Money-Free Weekends
Have you ever search for FREE and FUN things to do in your city? Because I am sure that there are some cool options for all the frugal converts! Call me a freak, but I plan my weekend on Monday morning. I’m not kidding. Planning my weekend is an important part of my Monday evening routine. And you know what? You could do the same! Still not convinced? Well, let me just say that planning your weekend on Monday morning is not only a wonderful way to avoid Monday blues but also a powerful motivator to keep you productive during the week! Because what’s a better feeling than a well-deserved fun and entertaining weekend, right?! So plan your weekends in advance and search for some fun and FREE things you could do with your family and friend! Maybe there’s an open day at a museum or an open-air concert you could see? Maybe you could go on a hike or bike ride? There’s plenty of things you can do on weekends without spending money. You just have to do a small research. By the way, watching your favorite show on Netflix and treating yourself with some delicious healthy homemade snacks it’s also a great idea to spend a Saturday or Sunday evening!
15. Natural Remedies
Natural remedies are effective, non-toxic and incredibly affordable! Of course, I’m not against conventional medicine. I’m just saying that we are accustomed to taking a pill for treating every single minor health condition such as bloating or indigestion. That’s completely insane! There are many fantastic natural remedies that really work. And most of them are even clinically proven! My favorite ones are:
- Ginger for nausea, stomach cramps and bloating
- Turmeric – it’s anti-inflammatory properties are known from ages
- Himalayan Salt Water to treat a sore throat
- Ceylon Cinnamon – it’s a powerful antioxidant
- Raw Organic Coconut Oil – is antibacterial
- Apple Cider Vinegar – it’s definitely my favorite one! I write about it here
- Ayurvedic tea improves digestion
- Garlic – ok, maybe it does not smell the best BUT it has immune-boosting properties!
- Thyme – a powerful herbal disinfectant
- Oregano – antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties
- Chamomile and peppermint tea – reduce inflammation and relieve stomach pain
- Raw organic honey – has antibacterial and antifungal properties
16. Create Your Own No-Spend Challange
I love the idea of “No-Spend Day”. First, it was more like a challenge aimed to rethink my shopping habits, learn the difference between needs and wants and become a more conscious consumer but after a while, it became a solid part of my routine. Honestly, I didn’t even realize how much money I was mindlessly spending on things that I didn’t even want or need. I used to buy one or even two coffees every single day, some groceries and of course takeaway food. Not to mention buying a completely useless home decor that only cluttered my house. It’s really hard to resist not buying super-cheap items from IKEA. But ever since I implemented non-spend days (Monday-Thursday) into my weekly routine I not only have full control over my finances but also I don’t buy unnecessary stuff only because I like them. That’s why I highly recommend you have this non-spend day once, twice a week and really commit to it. Of course, it does not always have to be the same day of the week because it may not be attainable but try to have at least one day a week where you hold back from purchasing anything. Make it a fun challenge, commit to it and then build a rock-solid habit!
17. Save Money On Utilities
Most people are outraged and shocked when they see their monthly utility bill but they don’t do anything to reduce the consumption of electricity and water. This is kind of weird especially given the fact that reducing utility bills is easier than most people think. Here are my tricks to save money on utilities:
- Unplug your electronics
- Only wash full loads of dishes or clothes
- Turn off lights during the day & use natural light
- Use less hot water
- Install a digital thermostat (or turn your thermostat down)
- Limit your water usage
- Turn your water heater down
- Change your air filters more often
- Switch light bulbs
- Caulk and weatherstrip windows and doors
- Run your major appliances in off-peak hours
18. Fix It By Yourself
Before you even think about getting rid of something that no longer works and replacing it with a new item try to fix it by yourself. I mean it. We tend you throw away things that can be easily repaired without even trying to fix them. Not to mention the most common home repairs that you can easily do it on your own. Of course, I’m not suggesting you do electrical repair, major basement renovation or fix gas appliances by yourself because that could be dangerous unless you really know what you’re doing. Because let’s be honest some repairs should only ever be handled by qualified experts. BUT there are a lot of things you can fix yourself such as fixing a patchy lawn, unclogging clogged drains (I did it yesterday!), repairing a noisy outdoor faucet, patching a hole in the wall, replacing the engine air filter or even change a car’s oil. So next time when something needs to be repaired before calling for an expert, google it and find out if you can fix it on your own. Trust me, fixing something yourself is a wonderful feeling!
19. Start A Side Hustle
Probably one of the best financial advice you can get is to diversify your income sources. Having a steady job is great, but earning extra income aside is fabulous! A side hustle will not only help you to improve your financial situation but also you will be able to reach your financial goals faster and more easily. I bet you like this idea! That’s why I highly recommend you to look for new, creative ways to earn extra money. Maybe you have some books or clothes to sell? Or maybe you have the talent to create unique handmade gifts you could sell? And if you are self-employed or you have a hobby you could easily monetize you should search for job opportunities online. You should REALLY give it a try! And maybe, in the near future, your hobby will become your main source of income! Use your spare time to make more money, start a side hustle and save money like a Pro.
Side Hustle Ideas
20. Save Whenever & Wherever You Can
Being frugal is not about giving up on everything you love and converting in penny-pinching skinflint BUT about being intentional with your money, making smart financial decisions and saving for the future. So if you thought that you living a frugal life means not spending money at all that’s a huge misconception. It’s more about practical minimalism, embracing quality over quantity and creating the foundation for financial stability. It’s about setting yourself for a successful future. We live on planet earth and like it or not, money is an important factor in achieving your goals. Of course, there are plenty of things you cannot buy true love, happiness, authentic friendship, peace of mind or time but you need money to buy food, pay for rent and utilities or have better health care. For this reason, it’s better to be a great savour and an anxious spender. that’s why I highly recommend you stop paying for the stuff you don’t need or even want. Save money whenever and wherever you can and put it into your savings account. Save today and invest tomorrow. Invest in a financially stable future for your family and yourself.
Best Posts About Achieving Goals:
- Perfect Morning Routine to Reduce Stress & Anxiety HERE
- The Ultimate Guide For Setting & Reaching Your Goals HERE
- 6 Self-Improvement Habits To Adopt in 2020 HERE
- Get into the Habit of Being Seriously Organized in 2020. HERE
- 8 Simple Steps to Set Yourself Up for a Successful 2020 HERE
- Powerful and smart ways to manage your time efficiently and effectively HERE
- 5 steps to success in achieving your goals HERE
- The ultimate way to overcome procrastination and become a highly productive person HERE
- The science of motivation HERE
- 10 powerful habits to boost your confidence HERE
and Embrace A Frugal Lifestyle For Better, Healthier & Financially Stable Future!
4 thoughts on “Frugal Living: 20 Practical Tips On How To Save Money But Still Have Fun.”
Great tips! Thank you.
Hi Laci! Thank you for your comment and positive feedback! I’m currently reading your post about Denali National Park and I love it!! Congratulations on your blog!! Take care and have a great weekend!
Thank you! And I’m glad you enjoy my blog! Have a great weekend.
Thank You, Laci!!