Are you searching for legitimate ways to save money by embracing a frugal lifestyle? You’ve got company. After someone surveyed a frugal online community, these are the top-voted tips to save real money.
1. Buy What You Needed First
It’s an old dad joke, you get to the register with your cart full of stuff, and the cashier says, “did you find everything ok?” and you reply, “And then some!” Then you get home and realize you don’t have the item you originally went to the store for in the first place.
One explained, “If I go into a store intent on looking for one specific thing, I don’t put anything in my shopping cart until I find that one thing.” This plan forces you to get the item you came for, and if that item isn’t there, you walk out with nothing rather than a cart full of stuff you didn’t need.
2. Eat the Food You Have
Many people in the thread agreed that food waste could be our most significant money waste. Before buying more food, eat what you have. Buy fewer groceries and store what you have correctly. For example, freeze your bread, store fruits in glass-sealed jars, etc.
One user suggested, “batch cook your foods that won’t store separately. This way, you have a frozen meal to defrost for later, and you don’t let food spoil.”
3. Write a List of Wants
One suggested writing a list of items you don’t need immediately but that you need and want. Then you can take your time and shop at thrift stores and yard sales looking out for these items. “Make sure to wash and inspect them, but I have found several gently used items I wanted and used daily.”
4. Find the Deals
Every grocery store has particular days they do markdowns and new sales drop. Find out what these days are at your local stores and shop on those days for the best deals.
For example, you can score a cheap cut of meat just because its expiration date is the next day. Just make sure to cook it that night or freeze it for later.
Additionally, download the Too Good to Go app to be connected with local cafes, restaurants, and grocery stores that hook you up with massive discounts on foods that need to be sold before being tossed out.
Related: How To Save Money on Groceries
5. Learn How Things Work
Learn how the things you own function. If you understand how something works, it’s easier to fix yourself or recognize if it’s worth replacing. You don’t have to be an expert, but basic working knowledge can save you time and money.
Someone replied, “The internet is full of valuable education that costs nothing more than internet access, which most of us pay for already. YouTube is your best friend for DIY and free tutorials.”
6. Pay Bills First
Several in the thread stated to always pay your bills and necessities before spending money on unnecessary fun.
We all need to have a little fun now and then, but if you spend money you don’t have for a night out, you will stress when you can’t pay your bills. One added, “Setting this habit will help in the long run as you increase your income over your lifetime.”
7. Public Transportation
Another volunteered, you should take public transport where you can. Riding the bus may seem tedious, and it takes longer to reach your destination. Still, you can use this time for work, hobbies like reading, or listening to music.
Public transportation saves money because you spend less on gas, less wear and tear on your car, and additional upkeep like oil changes.
8. Dollar Stores
Many noted that Dollar Stores are great for cleaning supplies, cheap storage solutions, and random home goods. However, they’re only sometimes the most affordable option, so check your prices at your regular stores.
For example, someone warned, “you can get two cake pans at Walmart for less than a dollar versus one for $1.25 at Dollar Tree.”
9. Auto Program Your Thermostat
“Auto program your thermostat, and get used to throwing on a hoodie or sweater when chilly rather than cracking up the heat,” one replied. “And turn off lights when not in the room. LED bulbs. Invest in suitable insulating drapery or curtains.”
10. Use Cash
Finally, one explained that it’s easy to grab extra items at the store when you pay with plastic. When your paycheck is deposited, go to the bank and pull out your weekly cash allowance. This way, you leave your card at home and only have the cash to spend.
There is something psychological about holding cash and not wanting to spend it. They elaborated, “when you see the cash in your hand, you’re less likely to spend it on unnecessary things since it’s all the money you have.”
We hope you enjoyed this Reddit list of people’s favorite frugal tips for saving legit money.
This post originally appeared on A Dime Saved