Are you willing to go to extreme ends to achieve your goals? Then an extremely frugal lifestyle would work perfectly for you. This lifestyle involves taking tough measures that most people would not dare to. Only some will willingly do it, but tough times require strict measures.
Extreme frugal living is about making sacrifices for that big financial goal, getting out of debt, or sometimes just because you have no option. Some also do it because they want an eco-friendly lifestyle.
For whatever reason you would be doing it, these extreme frugal tips should get you on the right footing.
1. Minimalist Lifestyle
A minimalist does not go out buying just anything. They are people that go years without buying clothes, shoes, bags, and other non-essentials. It is surely a difficult measure, but it will save you good money.
The secret of minimalism is buying good quality, versatile items and using them for years to come. Besides having a minimalist wardrobe, you could embrace it with electronics, kitchen equipment, personal care products, books, and jewelry.
While it is big on saving money, minimalism will help you organize your life better. It always feels nice to be in a house that is not crowded.
Another way to go hard on extreme frugality is quitting being part of the consumerist society.
You can save money big time by using food and other items thrown by others.
While the goal of freeganism is often to find food, it is not rare for freegans to find other hidden treasures from people’s waste.
People live off freeganism, furnish their houses and feed themselves. It is one excellent way to not spend a penny if you are comfortable living off other people’s waste.
There exist local freeganism groups on social media platforms. You could join them to get in touch with people who embrace this ideology.
3. Dumpster Diving
You could do dumpster diving to find items for your use and resale. The secret of dumpster diving is knowing when and where to hunt treasure.
Find out which stores dispose of items without destroying them and when they do it. Stores typically have specific times and days they do this, so you need to know when they let go of their old stock, which you can take and use.
Find places you can dumpster dive without trespassing and begin the treasure hunting for your personal use and sometimes reselling.
4. Tiny House Living
Studies show that people living in tiny houses have about $11,200 more saved in the bank than the average American. Besides, 65% of people living in tiny houses have no credit card debts.
With the current housing crisis and the absurd rent prices, living in tiny houses is the way to go.
Besides, in a tiny house, utilities such as water, gas, and electricity would only be a small fraction of what you would pay in an average house. Also, tiny houses often motivate minimalism; you have no space to buy a lot of furniture.
5. No-spend Challenges
How long can you go without spending money on non-essentials? You certainly can go longer than you thought. The only way to find out would be to participate in the no-spend challenges.
If you are on the extreme side of things, you could get started on the no-buy year challenge. In such challenges, things you could drop include clothes, shoes, haircuts, takeout food, and anything that is not essential.
Start by creating a motivating environment for this challenge by clearing things that tempt you to spend money. Some things you could do to keep going include freezing your credit cards, unfollowing social media accounts that fuel shopping addiction, and joining support groups that motivate you to keep going.
6. Off-grid Living
According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average cost of electricity in American households was $122 per month in 2021, while average gas bills stood at approximately $64 per month.
What if you dropped these and the other utilities and lived an off-grid life?
Start by looking for realistic potential locations where you can successfully pull off an off-grid life.
When you have all things set, going solar, collecting and using rainwater, growing your own food, and hand washing your clothes would be great starting points for your best off-grid life
7. DIY Everything
Need to fix anything in the house? Find tutorials and do it yourself. Need new furniture? Build it yourself.
Refrain from paying people to do things you can learn and do yourself. Learning the skill once and for all saves you money that one time; it will undoubtedly come in handy in the future.
Also, you can always borrow tools to do your DIY projects. This way, the only thing you are buying is the material needed.
8. Free or Wild Camping
Living an RV life or pitching your tent would go a long way in saving you rent and utilities money.
If you have the amenities, try looking for parking lots that allow people to pitch their tents in your neighborhood. Check out local Walmarts, Casinos, or Cracker Barrels. They sometimes let RVers have stopovers to rest.
You could also camp in national forests at lower costs. While rules may differ, many allow people to pitch their tents for at least 14 days every month. Many would pitch their tent in one location and move to the next location when their time elapsed.
This way, you will not only save on rent but on other utilities such as electricity and water
9. Extreme Couponing
A study in 2020 showed that 90% of responders had used coupons in shopping. But, many of them do not take it to the extreme end. With coupons, going harder typically means saving the most money.
The first step would be knowing where to find the coupons. Always collect them from stores you frequently shop at; they will save you money at the checkout. You also want to stack the manufacturer’s coupons and use them at stores that will accept them.
Secondly, look for digital flyers on store’s websites and apps, use apps that provide weekly deals and coupons such as Flipp, look for them in the newspapers and your mailbox, and combine them with cashback apps to maximize your savings.
Thirdly, look up your store’s coupon rules and guidelines, then plan your shopping around them.
Lastly, always organize your coupons and prepare them for when you check out. You want to avoid reaching the checkout point and realizing you forgot them at home.
10. Barter and Trade Networks
You can barter both your skills and items and save money while at it.
For instance, instead of buying new textbooks or toys, you can find people that need them and trade with them. This works pretty well and ends up saving at least 5-15% in costs if there is a double coincidence of wants.
Other than items, you could also trade your time through pet-sitting, babysitting, landscaping and gardening, or even skills like web designing.
11. Free Entertainment
Spending money on non-essentials is not an option for an extremely frugal person. This, however, does not mean that you should live a boring life. You could still find free entertainment when things are tight.
For instance, if you are on a budget, it would be best to drop all music subscriptions and try to find your happiness on Youtube, which is free.
Instead of going to expensive amusement parks, you could take advantage of your city’s free zoos and museums. Camping in the wild or hiking would also be great alternatives.
The secret of this is learning to find fulfillment in the free things which are often overlooked.
12. No Car Ownership
According to The American Public Transportation Association, the “average person” could save $10,000 -$15,000 a year, depending on their city, if they stopped driving.
Many people drive because they think they have no option but to do it. Use public transport to commute and see how much you save. You could also walk, use a scooter, or cycle. This way, you will long forget about the expensive fuel costs, parking fees, car maintenance and repairs, and speeding tickets if things go wrong.
Foraging can save you a lot of money if you know what plants to look for and where to find them.
You need to identify edible wild plants or know how to keep from poisonous ones. Spend your time online studying the different plants and mushrooms to identify the poisonous ones.
If you know what to pick, you can save up to $10 per week per person by making salads and smoothies from the wild.
To save more, you can gather and make acorn flour in the fall, pick wild berries and freeze them for later use, make jellies and jams from wild fruits and berries, brew wine, and pick edible mushrooms.
You could also get some wild plants and grow them in your yard. It becomes easier to forage from your yard than gather in forests.
14. Reusable Everything
Letting go of disposable items and going the reusable way will save you tons of money. You should consider buying reusable products such as coffee filters, straws, paper towels, cloth napkins, water bottles, diapers, menstrual sanitary towels or cups, tea bags, fridge containers, and bags.
Just to give an example of how reusable products can save money, a study found that taking your reusable bag every time you go to the grocery store could save you up to $225 per year. You can save this much by reusing bags, but what if you started reusing everything else?
15. No-waste Lifestyle
A zero-waste life entails recycling and reusing everything. On the extreme, it entails avoiding buying anything that ends up in landfills.
While the goal of a no-waste lifestyle is often sustainability or for the sake of the environment, you certainly can save a huge amount of money doing it.
A no-waste life could look like taking your coffee mug or water bottle everywhere, replacing paper towels with rags, using natural air fresheners or creating your fragrances, repairing items instead of replacing them, and using your library’s books instead of buying your own books.
Extreme Frugal Living
While an extremely frugal lifestyle is not for everyone, it is perfect for people willing to embrace tough measures to achieve their goals. If you are one person looking to achieve your goals no matter what, these tips are for you. Taking some of these steps would be life-changing for you. Start with a few that work for you, and gradually work your way up; it will be worth the sacrifice.
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.