19 Frugal Habits That Will Change Your Life Forever

Committing to frugal habits will help you live a frugal lifestyle. Making frugal habits part of your everyday life could save you money in the long run.

Saving money is about creating a frugal life that allows you to save money on the things you don’t need and use them for the things you do need.

Write Down Meal Plans

Lunch box meatloaf, bulgur, nuts, cucumber and berry.
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Food is essential and isn’t something you can’t skip; however, it is something you can save on! Since last year, I’ve developed the habit of writing down meal plans for the month, and I tend to go through my food cupboard at the end of every month and utilize whatever has been sitting for a long or needs to be used soon.

This way, not only does the cabinet get a refresh, but I also end up with things I’d forgotten existed and end up saving quite a lot when grocery shopping.

Since I have become accustomed to meal planning, I save so much money on food, and I am not tempted to order out or go out to eat since I already have my food on hand and ready to make. Therefore, planning and eating many cheap and frugal meals instead of spending more money on takeout is a great way to save a lot of money.
 

Shop Online

close-up view of young woman shopping groceries on online supermarket with her mobile phone.
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With grocery prices rising and the pandemic still here, lingering in brick-and-mortar markets looking for bargains is becoming harder and much more inconvenient, especially if what your looking for is out of stock. I have found a super-easy way to save significant amounts of time and money on every grocery run.

For over a year now, I have been only using Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods delivery via the Amazon App to get all of our grocery shopping accomplished. If a specific item I am looking for is currently out of stock, I can easily switch to a different online grocery store or quickly search for substitutions in the comfort of my home.

Instead of managing a grocery list, I can easily add items to my cart when planning recipes or add things if I notice I am about to run out of an ingredient. Plus, I don’t have to run out to a grocery store, deal with PPE, worry about the line going down the block at local stores, or deal with my costly impulse-buying habit for new/random items(my impulse buying adds up).

These grocery delivery services save me hours every week and can be easily copied at home by anyone in the range of one of these ever-multiplying services. The reduced time spent driving, waiting, and wandering aisles and the lack of impulse buying have greatly saved my time and money.

Use Your Freezer

Woman Looking For Food In Refrigerator
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You can save quite a bit on food shopping by buying meat or chicken in large quantities, even if you only need a small amount for a particular dish. While the packaging can be large, use some cheap freezer bags to make it smaller and pop it in the freezer to keep until you need it!

You can do this with many different food items besides meat as well. Cheese, sauces, herbs, vegetables, and other items you can buy in bulk freeze well.

Eat Out Less

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Grabbing grub after work or eating out on your date nights can be fun and convenient. But the costs can quickly add up when you look at it practically.

Try to limit your restaurant outings to once or twice a month. Once you’ve got the hang of it, try creating a simple meal plan that includes a grocery shopping list, and purchasing large quantities of beans and other canned foods that can last longer.

Buy your fresh fruits and veggies in a moderate but balanced amount to avoid spoiling quickly.

Start creating meal plans that allow you to cook meals in bulk and package them for work, school, or dinner. Make sure to add variety so the kids don’t get bored.

Take Cold Showers

Portrait Of Young Man Taking Cold Shower In Bathroom,
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I’ve been taking ice-cold showers for the past five years. At first, waking me up in the morning was just a fun challenge. Then I realized cold showers could also save you money.

Hot showers are long and relaxing. Cold showers are a get-in-and-get-out type of ordeal. You not only save money on heating your hot water, but you use way less water to begin with.

And it gets even better. Let’s say switching to cold showers helps you shave off 10 minutes from each shower, and you take two showers per day. That’ll free up over two hours per week — time you could spend on a side hustle to boost your income.

Lastly, did I mention cold showers are good for your health?

Now, you’d have to be pretty hardcore to use this tactic during cold winter months. But during the rest of the year, you can save money, waste less time, and feel healthier.

Buy Products From Dollar Tree

Dollar Tree Discount Store.
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jetcityimage2/DepositPhotos.com.

I would recommend purchasing cleaning supplies and products from Dollar Tree. Dollar Tree has many products that are not big name brands but can still work the same magic as name brands that are available at big box stores.

It’s not just products, but cleaning supplies that are regularly used such as toilet brushes, dish sponges, dusting rags, brooms, and buckets, to name a few, can all be purchased often at better prices at Dollar Tree.

In fact, such items as dish sponges and toilet brushes need to be replaced regularly, so making those purchases from Dollar Tree is much more economical.

Do a No-Spend Month

Sad woman beside ATM bank machine.
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Every January, I partake in a ‘no spend month.’ It helps me recover financially from Christmas, but the challenge is so easily adaptable, and you can use it for any purpose.

The challenge is helpful for fast money-saving and can be changed to suit any budget and family setting. For example, some prefer to do one month per year, others one week each month, and hardcore money-savers do a no-spend year!

January is easy for me as I often need to catch up from the holidays. I don’t have any family birthdays that month and the whole family is happy to cut back on spending and spend the month staying in – but you should choose a month to suit you, as it can be tempting to cheat.

Shop at Local Markets

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I love shopping at local markets over large name store brands to save money on groceries (and food when I’m traveling).

I also love shopping at the dollar or 99c stores in my area, and this saves me a ton of money on produce and name brands that would typically be two to three times as much at the regular grocery stores. You can also find household items and supplies at these stores for a lower price.

Make Your Own Skincare Products

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When it comes to self-care and skincare habits, I often make my own products—making your skincare products such as body scrubs, face masks, and soaps can be beneficial for your skin and your wallet.

Using ingredients in your own house can save you a lot of money compared to buying the product at the store. We all know that skincare products can be costly, so making your own products can help save money and is also beneficial for your skin.

Eat More Plants

Squash summer squash on display at the farmers market
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I realized changing our diet to more fruits, vegetables, and beans is a must-have frugal habit that has a dual purpose. So  I recently began a four-week Detox plant-based program to lose weight, reduce inflammation, and healthier eating.

My husband and I are long-term carnivores, but this program increases your intake of fruits, vegetables, and beans while decreasing meat, poultry, salt, sugar, processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, oils, and nuts.

Besides losing weight, we are pleasantly surprised by our lower grocery bills. Buying fruits and vegetables are far cheaper than meat-oriented diets.

So even if you don’t want to be a vegan, going with healthier options rather than processed foods will lower your grocery and doctor bills while you feel better overall.

Embrace Intentional Minimalism

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Fully committing to intentional minimalism helped me completely pay off my student loans! My finances before were entirely out of control. My life was cluttered, and much of my insane spending was just me trying to compensate for the fact that I couldn’t find anything or manage my life amidst the chaos.

Wasteful spending was my confidence booster, my therapist, and my comforter. However, once I made a concerted effort to remove all the excess from my life and commit to only buying the essentials. Then, every aspect of my life improved, starting with my finances.

Combine Errands

Jaw dropping woman looking amazed about shopping dress sales.
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Save money on gas by combining all your errands in one trip.

Making frequent errand trips every week can really add up. With gas prices currently rising, you’ll save some money just by planning ahead and clustering your errands together.

That way, you’ll have one big errand run a week instead of wasting gas and driving around town every other day. If a once week isn’t realistic for you, even taking one or two fewer errand trips than you currently do will help you save.

Not only will this habit save you money but time as well.

Ride a Bicycle

quirky woman riding on a bike with a basket
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One frugal habit I like to do that saves money is riding my bicycle everywhere. Transportation can suck a budget dry, but adding a bike to your regiment can save money on gasoline, parking, vehicle maintenance, or even public transportation fees.

The added benefit of riding a bike is having some daily exercise. The flood of endorphins that flow through your body on a ride beats having some stress stuck in traffic. After a few months, you may not even miss using your car as much. It is a win-win. Start riding a bike to save more money.

Eat at Home

Man tasting spaghetti pasta while smiling woman look at him.
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My favorite money-saving frugal habit is eating at home.   I create a very intentional monthly meal plan to ensure we eat healthy and cheap meals while avoiding food waste. In addition, eating at home frees up money to spend on things we value, like family vacations.

Walk More!

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Walk more! Seriously, walk anywhere you can. If you have local errands to run, walking can save you money on wear and tear on your car, plus the cost of gas. You’ll also be getting some good exercise, potentially saving you in health costs in the future.

Don’t Upgrade

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Whether it’s a TV, phone, or laptop, people are addicted to upgrading to the latest, new models. They tend to upgrade regularly when there is a new release. Look at an iPhone, for example. When the iPhone 13 came out, people rushed to the stores to buy it without even thinking about it.

Instead of upgrading to an 11, 12, or 13, why not upgrade when your phone is slow or doesn’t work anymore? You don’t need to upgrade to the latest version if it works perfectly fine. With the money you save, you can put it in your emergency funds, investments, or savings.

Use Cheaper Cuts of Beef

Muscular man eating beef and flexing biceps.
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Beef isn’t always a budget-friendly choice, but you can have delicious and juicy meals with the right cuts. For less than $6 per pound (and sometimes even cheaper!), there are plenty of lean options available that will make your family happy without breaking their wallets!

The best thing about these cheap meats? They’re packed full of protein content and flavor—perfect for those looking to save money on food while still tasting great.

Always Look for Deals

Coupon Purchase Order Discount Concept.
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When you shop, always look for deals. For example, always use promotional codes, cashback applications, and extensions such as ‘Rakuten.’ If you shop online frequently for your own or business purposes, you will save a lot of money every year that you could use for other purposes.

However, don’t rush to purchase, and always weigh your options. Perhaps you can find a better deal with similar product options, the  Same product but in a  different store, or you will figure out a way to not need or purchase the item at all!

Order Water When Traveling

Ice cube splashing in water, isolated on blue
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Travel expenses can really add up, especially when it comes to food. You want to be able to enjoy our trips, though, so learning how to cut down on your food budget is important.

One of the best frugal habits to develop and teach your children is only ordering water with meals. This saves a lot of money when ordering sodas, especially if you have a large family.

Of course, the health benefit of ordering water instead of sugary drinks is obvious, but your travel budget is healthier for it as well!

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Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.

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