(Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links meaning I get a commission for recommending the products to you guys. Read full disclaimer here).
Anyone can live frugally. It's just how you use your money daily. Do you go out and buy coffee every day, or do you make your own? Do you shop on impulse because you are bored? These mini habits you do end up costing a lot of money towards the end of the year. By changing your habits, you can adjust your lifestyle. It's just are you willing to do it.
I know we all want to make money and like a luxurious lifestyle. We like things to be easy because we are lazy. Living below your means can be extremely difficult when you see advertisements everywhere – on newspapers, social media, and the internet. These distractions persuade you to keep buying and buying.
However, I tried to declutter myself and live a frugal life over the years. I realized I didn't need a lot of things to live. Just the necessities to survive. I now want to share my frugal living tips to help you save some money.
Grocery Shopping Once or Twice a Week
How often do you go grocery shopping in a week? According to Statista, Americans go about 1.6 times a week. We go about once or twice a week in my family because we need to go to the Asian market too. Since I am Vietnamese, I have to make another trip to make Vietnamese dishes.
However, we would always try our best to do our grocery shopping on Sunday. If we do it all on Sunday, we don't have to go back until next Sunday. If we forget something major, which we usually don't, one of us would get it. It is one of the best frugal living tips I can give you.
The best part is I don't get pressured into something I don't need. When you go to Target or Walmart, don't you see things you want to buy? I get tempted sometimes. However, if I go to the store less, I don't have the urge to buy anything, which is a bonus.
Time to Start Cooking
I know most people love to eat out. Sometimes you crave random food like sushi, steak, fried chicken, burger, and noodles. Once you crave something, you go and buy it because you are too lazy to make it yourself. That's how most scenarios go. But the best frugal living tip is to cook at home!
Because you'll end up spending a lot more money than you need to. If you want to save more and live frugally, you should cook more at home. It's healthier and cheaper.
If you have trouble cooking at home, I suggest you start meal prepping because that will save you a lot of time and money. You can also signup for HelloFresh, a meal kit where you can whip up your dinner in no time. Most people signup for it because it's easy, fast, and affordable.
Have you ever gone into your closet and seen how much junk you have? If you are a hoarder, it is time to say goodbye to some things. You can sell them or give them to charity. When I tried to declutter some stuff in my closet, I would give them to my relatives if they needed them or sell them on Poshmark, Facebook Marketplace, or Ebay. Once you clear out everything in your home or wardrobe, it feels rewarding because everything looks fresh and clean.
Decluttering yourself is the best because you realize how much you don't need. All that dust would be gone, and you don't have to worry about having a mess in your house ever again.
We are all guilty of wasting a lot of things from paper, toothpaste, electricity, water, and so forth. Let's try our best not to be wasteful! I know it's hard, but if you make it into a habit, it'll be a piece of cake.
What I've seen people do that is wasteful:
- Turning on lights in every room
- Letting the water run
- Not finishing their toothpaste
- Using too many paper towels
If you change these small habits, you can save extra bucks that used to go to your bills. Just by changing these, you are living frugally.
Full Price? I Think Not
I bet many of you buy things at full price. Let's be honest; we are all guilty of doing it. Back then, I saw my classmates and relatives purchasing expensive items at full price without even thinking about their budget. I saw them buying new shoes, clothes, and accessories in one go. If I was to do that, I'm afraid there would be nothing left in my bank.
You don't ever want to do that because it is a waste of money.
A sale will come around. Why buy it at full price when you can wait? Or you can look for discounts or coupons. That is a great start when you want to save an extra buck here and there.
If you want, you can do your research on the brand and company to start shopping like a pro.
Most of the things I buy are usually on sales and clearance. I'm that cheap! But then again, I don't shop at expensive places like lululemon, Nordstorm rack, Sephora, and so forth. I shop mostly at TJ Max, Ross, and Shein. But if I ever wanted to treat myself, I would go a little expensive, I go to YesStyle.
Bye, Bye Starbucks
I know you heard of this one. Starbucks can become so expensive if you buy it every day of the week. That's like $100 if you buy Starbucks for five days a week in a month. If you have a coffee maker, why not use it to your advantage. You can adjust to your taste and make it healthier too.
I know it is attempting too. I go to Starbucks too, but I don't go often. It's more like once a week or once a month. I go when I need to treat myself or when someone treats me to some free Starbucks.
Overall, it's okay to go once in a while, but not every day. You need to have self-control because it'll be good for your health and diet. This frugal living tip is probably hard for most people.
Make it Last
Before you throw anything away, you should always try your best to make them last. In this world, I see many people buying a lot of things and not using them. We are so accustomed to buying new stuff because we get tired of our old things.
Let's take clothes, for example. How many leggings or t-shirts do you have? I talked to one of my coworkers before, asking how many leggings she owns. She doesn't know because she had way too many. Since college, I have had a pair of leggings, and it eventually had a hole in it. And guess what I did? I sew it right back LOL.
My mom taught me not to be wasteful and try to take care of our things because my parents used to be poor. They always taught me to be grateful for all the things we had because there are people who have nothing.
So before you throw something away, think about the people who have nothing compared to you.
Why Buy When You Can Make
Making gifts, food, or things for people has more value than buying them at the store. I know during Christmas, things can become expensive when you are trying to be on a budget. If you make some gifts, it'll help you save your wallet during Christmas. You might be able to save half of your money.
Same with food. There are many simple recipes you can make without buying them at the store or restaurant. If the food is easy to make, there is no point in buying it and spending an extra dollar or so.
This may be a no-brainer, but please try not to increase your debt by buying unnecessary things. Interest can be really high if you don't pay your debt back in full. You don't want to pay your debt forever right? So before you do anything or make a decision, you should evaluate your budget.
The majority of the people rack up debt so fast that they can't afford other things. Whether you invest, gamble, or buy unnecessary things, you should always look at your budget. Don't do it blindly without thinking about the consequences.
Look at people in the show, Squid Game. You'll surely learn a lot of money lessons from Squid Game. You don't want to spend several months, years, or a lifetime to pay off your debt, do you? If you think about the things before you buy or invest, you won't be in so much debt.
Walk or Bike When You Can
Gas is expensive these days. If you live in the city, transportation can be expensive. Whether you are using a bus, subway, taxi, Uber, or whatever it may be, the cost can slowly add up.
If your destination is nearby, why not walk to it? If you Uber or Lyft, it'll be more expensive. Do you want to pay around $1-2 to get to your destination that is less than a mile a way?
When you walk, it's good for your health and saves the environment as well.
You don't need to sacrifice a lot of things to live frugally. Think about frugal living as a way of adding value to your life. If you think about it that way, you can prioritize the things that matter to you the most. If you take control of your money, you'll be able to create your own lifestyle.
Thanks for reading, and I'll see you in the next post!
She started her blog, The Money Dreamer, when she realized the 9-5 job was not the lifestyle she wanted anymore. After designing for a while, she wanted a more meaningful life, which was freedom, so she decided to venture out. She took action so that she can live her dream life and decided to help people to live theirs by helping them how to save, budget, and invest.