The current financial crisis has hit our generation hard, with many of us carefully re-evaluating our current spending habits. Whether it’s cutting down on little luxuries and treats, bargain hunting, or working on side hustles, we are adapting and making our salaries stretch further each month.
One way to save money is to embrace an extremely frugal lifestyle to reduce your outgoings and spending as little as possible dramatically.
Let’s talk through some of the extreme frugal living hacks to try if you want to save more cash this year…
Embrace Reusable Alternatives
We live in a ‘throw-away’ society, where we think nothing of using plastic disposable items, many of which end up in landfill. However, there are often reusable alternatives available that could replace our single-use products.
These items often require an initial investment to purchase, but over time, they can save us a significant amount of money.
One example is reusable toilet roll. Instead of buying large multipacks of toilet tissue every month, you could invest in reusable toilet cloth wipes.
Similarly, new parents could opt for reusable cloth diapers instead of buying endless packs from the supermarket. Babies get through a lot of diapers, so this could save some serious cash!
Keep in mind, however, that you may need to run your washing machine and dryer more often when using reusable cloth wipes or diapers. This increase in laundry and the knock-on effect on household bills is something to factor in when weighing up the cost savings.
Lastly, you could ditch your disposable sanitary products. Moon cups, cloth period pads, and period underwear are becoming ever more popular and can last for years if maintained properly.
Frequent Freebie Groups
We often hear that ‘there’s no such thing as a freebie’. I beg to disagree!
With the rise of social media, the number of freebies we are able to claim these days has increased dramatically.
Join your local Facebook community group, browse Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace, or even set up your own group to connect with people in your area, and you will find there are endless opportunities to grab a freebie.
There are also opportunities in department stores to nab perfume and toiletry testers. Don’t be shy; ask at your local beauty counters for samples, and you’ll be surprised what you can get for free.
Opt for Free Entertainment
The prices of concerts, theatre shows, and gigs have risen over the years, but there are still plenty of ways to grab free tickets to entertainment if you know where to look.
Sign up to seat filler sites to nab free tickets to theatre, comedy, or music shows.
Make the most of local free events, visit parks and nature reserves, stop by your library for some free books, and look out for free open-air cinema screenings in your area.
Avoid Unnecessary Spends
For those serious about saving money, there are a few things you should keep with you at all times.
Firstly, a water bottle. Paying for water can feel criminal. It’s water, after all! Remember to pack your reusable bottle and fill it throughout the day, never paying for water again.
Secondly, always pack a small foldable canvas bag. Purchasing plastic bags from supermarkets and shops feels wasteful, and the costs can rack up, so be sure to take a reusable bag with you at all times to store your purchases.
Lastly, always carry an emergency snack. Throw a cereal bar in your bag before heading out to avoid purchasing food and limit unnecessary spends.
A bonus tip is to avoid paying for parking where possible. The key to finding these spots is to do your research ahead of time. Sacrifice the convenience and walk a little further to your car for free.
Abolish Food Waste
Food is one area of your budget that you can slash while still eating nutritional and filling meals. How, you might wonder?
First of all, get to know where your local supermarket’s reduced section is and when the best time of day is to visit (it tends to be around one hour before closing time, but can vary from store to store).
There are multiple ways to eat frugally, which require a little forward planning but can save you hundreds each month.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Anyone who lives an extremely frugal life will be no stranger to this phrase.
Examples of reusing items could include:
- Storing used wrapping paper to use again for future gifting
- Keeping birthday banners or decorations to use for every birthday or occasion
- Cleaning and reusing plastic containers from your takeaways
- Using one tea bag to make multiple cups of tea
- Repurposing used coffee grounds to make body scrubs
There are hundreds of ways to get better use out of the items we’ve spent our hard-earned cash on, so for those looking to save, it’s time to get creative!
Cut Your Household Costs
There are multiple ways to live frugally, and energy-saving tips are one of the easiest ways to get started today.
Reduce the number of times you boil your kettle by filling a flask and using hot water throughout the day.
Set a timer when showering to reduce the time spent and water used – usually, two minutes is enough for a decent shower. This can be particularly effective if you have a house full of family members who spend hours in the bathroom!
Instead of buying household tools or equipment, borrow from family or friends. The majority of our gadgets sit unused, gathering dust, so avoid spending money on these items unless they will be used daily.
If you’re looking to get serious about saving and embrace some extreme ways to reduce your spending, I hope these ideas helped to spark some inspiration! Remember, you don’t need to try them all at once; try picking one to integrate into your daily routine at a time.
If all of these extreme frugal living tips aren’t for you, that’s okay! Personal finance is personal, and what works for one person may not for others, so do what’s comfortable for you.