The best way to tame your spending and save more money is to actually change your lifestyle. How well you manage money depends entirely on your behavior. Here are 7 frugal habits that have the power to save you thousands if you commit to sticking to them. Implement one or two habits at a time until you’ve mastered them all! You’ll be amazed at how much money you can save.
7 FRUGAL HABITS THAT WILL SAVE YOU THOUSANDS
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1. PLAN YOUR PURCHASES AND PAY IN CASH
Stop impulse shopping all of your money away.
Think about the things that you need ahead of time.
Talk about all of your large purchases with your spouse. Decide together what is a large purchase for your family.
For us, it’s $100 or more. Whenever we’re going to make a big purchase, we think about it and shop around for as long as possible (at least a month). We save money by waiting for a good price.
Sometimes it turns out that we don’t actually need that big thing that we were shopping for. And then we save a lot!
When you do decide to make a large purchase, make sure you can afford it — and that means paying for it in cash. Never go into debt to buy stuff. It’s just not worth it.
Read: 5 Tips to Shop Less
2. KNOW THE BEST PRICE
Keep track of the best sale prices for the items you buy all the time. You can keep them in a note on your phone, or write them in an actual notebook that you keep in your purse. Another easy idea is to simply take pictures of the price tags and make an album of price photos in your phone.
Always compare prices. When I’m in a store and I see something I need on sale for what I think is a good deal, I use the Amazon app to compare prices to Amazon. Amazon doesn’t always have the best prices but at least it gives you an idea for what it should be going for.
3. SIMPLIFY YOUR FOOD
One of the highest impact frugal habits is to cut down on your food costs.
Try tracking your expenses for a little while and you’ll probably find that you are throwing away a ton of money on take-out and convenience food. And even though it probably tastes good and makes your day a little bit easier, when you see the huge effect it has on your finances it clearly isn’t worth it.
The easiest way to save money on food is to make your own as often as possible. This does not mean you need to be an expert chef. Just learn one meal at a time.
A great way to be intentional about your food costs is to meal plan. I struggled with meal planning for a while, so I came up with a meal planning alternative that works just as well.
Bonus: Get your free Meal Plan Alternative Guide here.
For maximum savings, make sure that you set a grocery budget and actually stick to it!
Here are 5 tips to spend less on groceries.
4. DITCH DISPOSABLE PRODUCTS
Every time you throw away a paper plate or a plastic cup, you are literally throwing away your money.
Make an effort to avoid disposable products and find a reusable option instead.
Here are some places to start:
Before I started thinking about expenses and caring about money, I used to use about ten thousand paper towels a day. I’m not going to tell you to stop using paper towels completely (although if your interested, there’s a thing called unpaper towels). But you can save a lot by trying to use less! Start by using a hand towel to dry your hands. And switch to select-a-size so you’re not using more than you need.
We switched to wool dryer balls, that last forever, and stopped buying dryer sheets completely. If you want your clothes to have a dryer-sheet-scent you can add a little diluted essential oil to the balls.
Instead of wasting money on plastic water bottles, get yourself a good reusable one. Filter your own water and fill your own water bottle every day.
And definitely don’t buy water (or anything else for that matter) from vending machines! They are always drastically overpriced.
Before I was frugal, I used to always shake up my salads in a ziplock bag. I wasted so much money doing that! I switched to these reusable containers and it’s saved me a ton.
Instead of sending your child to school with their lunch in a ziplock bag, you can use these super cute reusable bags instead.
If you want to be super frugal, save the containers that your food items come in (like glass jars). Wash them and tada! Free containers!
Reusable options are better for the environment – and way better for your wallet!
5. BUY IN BULK
Shopping in bulk might not seem frugal, but if you do it the right way it could save you a ton!
Buy things that you use frequently in bulk and then use them at the same rate that you normally would. You’ll pay less per item and they will last you longer.
Here are some items to start buying in bulk:
- paper towels
- toilet paper
- garbage bags
- cleaning supplies
- laundry detergent
There are a few different ways that you can bulk shop.
Of course, one option is to get a membership at a big box store. I love Costco. We always get our gas there which saves us a fortune. And Costco has a phenomenal return policy, which is a huge plus. The only drawback is the membership fees. For us, we save more than we spend in membership fees. But you’ll want to carefully consider if the cost is worth it for your family.
Boxed is another great bulk shopping option. Boxed lets you shop for bulk-sized household items online. Your purchase is delivered for free and you don’t have to pay any membership fees.
Bonus: If you sign up for Boxed with with my special referral here, you’ll get $15 off your first order.
6. JUST SAY NO
I don’t mean drugs, although of course that is an expensive habit! Ha!
Don’t be afraid to say no to your friends and family when they invite you to an expensive activity. It’s a smart idea to talk to your friends about money and your goals. When you’re invited to do something that it out of your price range – or simply a waste of money – just say no. Offer an affordable alternative. If your friends really want to spend time with you, they’ll be happy to be with you without spending so much. And if they just really want to do that expensive thing, let them do it without you.
Read: How to Finally Stop Spending
7. NEVER STOP LOOKING FOR NEW FRUGAL WAYS TO SPEND LESS
Our last frugal habit is to keep looking for new money saving methods.
The first step is to know exactly where your money is going. Know exactly what your current costs are. Then, be constantly looking for new ways to lower your expenses.
Ask yourself how you can do things better. Talk about it with your spouse regularly.
My new Expense Cutting Workbook will walk you step-by-step through lowering or eliminating your expenses. The result will be HUGE savings!
Can you stick to these frugal habits?
These 7 frugal habits will save you thousands of dollars when you make them a part of your life. Changing the way you shop, the products you use in your home, and the way you socialize will make a tremendous difference. Start implementing these frugal habits today and see the savings add up!
Psst… Want to save even more? Hop on my email list here. It’s my favorite place to give you money saving tips and insights that I just don’t share anywhere else. Plus you’ll get lots of free financial tools just for signing up.
Keep reading about frugal living ideas:
This one simple change can save you $100 or more every month
3 Tips to cut your Electric Bill in Half
Let me know in the comments below: What are your own frugal habits?
This was a good read! I agree that food should be simplified. Meat is very expensive and there are cheaper proteins!
Hi, thanks for sharing these helpful tips. We pay for most things by card as it easier but of everything each month and get reward pints. I need to be much better with food shopping #MMBC
Gary @ Super Saving Tips says
Great tips! Personally, we use credit cards but pay them off in full each month while getting the rewards. But not everyone can keep up that habit, and paying in cash never hurts!
Where we could do better is cooking at home more often. We track our expenses so we have a specific budget for eating out and takeout, but eating at home is healthier, less expensive, and helps not to waste groceries.
Jamie | Medium Sized Family says
I’m partial to the just say no tip. 🙂 Our #yearofno changed everything for us!!