Looking for frugal living tips and ways to save money? We have a huge list to show you an easy way or two to save extra money. Whether using gift cards to save money, saving money at the grocery store, at thrift stores, we have creative ways and the best frugal tips.

50 Ways to Save Money this Year - Kids Activities Blog

Tips For Frugal Living

Would you love to know 50 ways to save money?

Here are some  general tips on how to be frugal, ways to save money in your household, with your kids, and when feeding your family.   Do you have a tip for frugal living?

What does it mean to be frugal?

Frugal living is a lifestyle where you actively learn ways and go out of your way to not spend as much money and save money through the different aspects and areas of their lives. Through budgeting, using less, going without, or changing how you use things and spend money will allow you to live a more frugal lifestyle which will make more comfortable in the long run.

How To Be Frugal

To be frugal means use less money. Whether it’s a good deal or learning to use what you have, like they did in the great depression, a frugal person will avoid spending a lot of money, avoid food waste, and learn basic life skills that will help them buy less.

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Best Frugal Living Tips

1. Goal Chart

Make a goal chart and as you save the amount of money or pay off debts, mark them off and reward yourself. (Ex: we can’t get that camera until our car is paid off). The expense of the camera is minor compared to the interest I’ll save by paying off debts early.

2. Budgeting System

We do the packets budgeting system. All spending money we take out at the beginning of each month. We then pay for everything with that cash, when it is gone there is no more till the next month. This budgeting method works for us, find one that works for you!

3. Wait Before Making Large Purchases

Wait for a minimum of 24 hours before purchasing any pricey item. Oh, and see if you can find something comparable used first!

4. Fix It Before Replacing

If something breaks try to fix it or do without before going out and purchasing a replacement. Try not to hire someone to fix things, rather swap services (see Craig’s list).

5. No More Impulse Buys

To curb impulse buys, create a 30-day list. When you want to buy something, other than a true necessity (medicine or food, for example), put it on this list, with the date you added it to the list. And make it a rule that you can’t buy anything for at least 30 days after you put it on the list. And stick to it. You’ll find that you buy a lot less with this system.

6. Surround Yourself With Frugal Minded Friends

Surround yourself with frugal-minded folk. If you don’t have any friends who are willing to make a frugal journey with you try looking online, maybe get a  great frugal book, or browse the websites One Income Dollar or the Prudent Housewife. Both great inspirational blogs. We found it is easier to save when we’re not surrounded by spend-happy folks.

how to be frugal image with text: 50 Tips to Save - Kids Activities Blog - child looking over table stacking pennies
There are so many ways to save money!


7. Price Sheets Comparing Prices

Use a price sheet so that you can know if a sale is really a bargain or if you can find it cheaper elsewhere.

8. Buy Manager Special Meat and Freeze It

Buy meat that is on Manager Special (expiring that day or shortly after). Cook that day and eat/freeze.

9. Make Meat Go Further

Mix ground beef with an egg and several handfuls of quick oats (makes the meat go farther). Use in meatballs, meat loaf, etc.

10. Bake Your Own Bread

Bake your own bread “ let the yeast sit in sugar water till it smells fermented and use half the yeast (the most expensive ingredient in bread). Artisan bread is the cheapest to make per loaf.

11. Make Your Milk Last Longer

If you are big milk drinkers, buy whole milk and a box of dry milk and make your own mock-2% milk by mixing half whole, half non-fat dry reconstituted milk. You have two gallons for a fraction of the cost.

12. Go Meatless A Couple Nights A Week

Go meatless 1-2 nights a week. You can substitute dry beans. They are VERY cheap and filling.

13. Make A Meal Plan

Meal plan and coordinate so that leftovers can be utilized fully, yet keeping variety. (Ex: Tacos day one, use left over taco meat day 2 for stuffed peppers).

14. Stretch Your Groceries

Try to stretch as much time between shopping trips. The fewer times you go shopping, the fewer chances you have to impulse buy.

15. Make A Shopping List and Stick To It

ONLY shop from a list. If it is not on the list DO NOT BUY IT. It is best to make a check off inventory list of all things you could need and highlight what you’re out or low on.

16. Eat Before You Shop

Eat something small before you go. It is harder to resist the temptation to over buy when you have an empty tummy.

17. Keep Your Change

Keep your change (dollar bills and coins) use this as your fun fund.

18. Buy Generic

Buy generic “ many times this is considerably less than the alternative even if you have coupons.

19. Use Coupons

Use coupons if you prefer something name brand and only if you buy that item regularly. Also, ask if your grocery shop has double days.

20. Ask If You Can Clip The Coupons From Library Newspapers

Rather than buy a newspaper for the coupons, go to your library, usually they do not mind allowing you to clip the coupons you need ¦ and your kids can attend story time at the same time! If you are new to couponing, then this book is a helpful start.

frugal living image with text: Save Together 50 Tips - girl on floor with piggy bank placing coins inside - Kids Activities Blog
There are so many ways to save around the hosue.


21. Do You Dishes By Hand

Wash your dishes by hand. I have a hard time with this one, I know it saves water/energy, but I love the convenience of my dishwasher!

22. Air Dry Your Clothes

Wash clothes in warm water and only if you have a full load to do.  Dry your clothes on the line and if you don’t like the crunchy feel, stick them in the dryer for 5 min with a wet rag after they’ve hung out.

23. Wash Your Clothes Less

Wash your clothes inside out so they will look nicer longer and only wash if something is truly dirty.

24. Save Fabric Softener

If you like fabric softener, put some on a towel and throw it in with the dryer.  A quarter size spill on the towel can do about 3 loads “ a great way to save softener!  Also, to make your detergent go farther, add a tablespoon of baking soda to the load and use half the detergent. Baking soda is a soap booster and is cheaper than Arm & Hammer.

25. Use Your Dryer/Stove To Help Heat Your Home

In the winter, use your dryer and stove during the early evening to help heat your home. In the summer, use them in the very early morning (or not at all) to help keep your home cool.

26. Long Term Meal Prep

Cook all your meals for a 2-week period (esp. in the summer) so that your oven only has to do the work one time for multiple meals.   Keep meals in the freezer and re-heat with the microwave “ uses less energy, and you save time. Also, having home-cooked freezer meals cut down on the tendency to order take-out when you’re having an exceptionally busy day. It is possible to do this with a refrigerator’s freezer.

27. Turning Your A/C Up

In the summer take a cold bath/wash rag to help you feel cool before bed, and keep the thermostat as high as possible or the A/C off if possible (we live in TX “ its not possible). Each degree change can save up to 3% on your energy costs!

28. Lighting A Room With A Mirror

In a room that has a tendency to be dark, put a mirror near the light to refract the light around the room. One light bulb has the power of two with this trick!

29. Unplugging Appliances

Unplug items (toaster, shaver, cell phone charger, TV) when not in use. Small amounts of electricity are still being used even if they are off, but plugged in.

30. Buy From Garage Sales Or Places That Sell Used Items

Use Craig’s List to purchase used items (furniture, etc.) or freecycle or go to garage sales. We’ve even gotten a number of items from the curb on trash day!

31. Buy Paint From The “Oops” Counter At Home Depot Or Lowes

Buy paint from the oops counter at Home Depot or Lowes. Also, if the color of your walls allows, add a faux finish over the existing color. This uses a lot less paint and allows you to spruce up more rooms at a fraction of the cost.

32. Use Cell Phone Or House Phone Not Both

Cut your cell-phone or house phone, you don’t need both. If possible, become a single-phone family. For long distance, calling cards are great! You can usually find cards with under 2 cents a min! Pay-as-you-go cell phone plans are great if you are not a big phone user.

33. DIY Cleaners

Make your own household cleaners. Vinegar, baking soda, Hydrogen peroxide, borax & bleach are all really cheap and you can make any and every household cleaner from laundry detergent to the equivalents of Windex and Comet from mixtures of those ingredients.

34. Shop Around For Insurance

Check your insurance. We were able to save $600 a year when we switched companies, combined our house and auto onto the same plan, and added $500 to our deductible.

35. Get A Programmable Thermostat

Get a programmable thermostat for your household heat and water heater. You can turn the temps down an hour or two after you go to bed, or during the warmer times of the day, or the times when you typically don’t use your hot water. No reason to heat what is not being used!

50 Ways to Save that Add up Fast - Kids Activities Blog

Frugal Living: Saving Money on Personal Errands

36. Learn To Cut Hair

Get a hair cut kit  and cut your hubby’s hair. I have been cutting my husband’s hair for over 20 years which has saved us conservatively $5000. Cut your kid’s hair! For yourself, if you don’t trust your husband or friend to cut your hair {I don’t}, be aware that longer hairstyles do not need to be maintained as frequently as shorter ones.

37. Buy Used Clothes

Buy clothes for your kids used “ they grow out of them so fast new is not worth it! And used usually look just as good!

38. Buy Less Toys

Limit the number of toys your children are able to have in the house. This will lower the clutter, increase the value of the toys you currently own, increase your children’s creativity as they learn to play with less, and also will decrease spending on toys.

39. Try Home Remedies For Minor Illnesses And Injuries

Try home remedies before Doctor visits. Those co-pays can add up and its amazing how a humidifier, Vitamin C & some good ole ™ rest will make the bugs go away!

40. Make Gifts For Holidays

Make gifts for holidays and birthdays, often these mean more than ones purchased at the store as they show you put time and effort into the recipient.

41. Make Your Own Personal Hygiene Products

Make your own personal hygiene products (or do without). 

42. Use Cloth Diapers 

Cloth diaper your kiddos. If you use this cloth diapering method your whole stash can cost less than a hundred dollars and can potentially be handed down to future kiddos. Cloth diapering also encourages early potty-training!

43. Make Your Own Baby Food

Make your own baby food by pureeing what the rest of the family is eating, or you can use dehydrated and powdered veggies “ if you like the convenience of those pricey jars.

Ways to Save Money - Kids Activities Blog


47. Don’t Eat Out

Eat out rarely if ever!  If you do eat out, only drink water. Also, check your newspapers for discounts and grand openings; you can usually get more for your buck then.

48. Have Get Togethers At Home

Invite people over to your home rather than meeting them at a restaurant. You’ll have more time to chat and if you plan your meal well, will save a bundle too!

49. Watch Movies At Home

Get movies for your Friday night from the library or Netflix. They are free or a small monthly charge much less than cable/satellite.    Amazon has many movies to stream for a dollar.

50. Make Popcorn At Home

Make your own homemade microwave popcorn bags! They taste better and are both cheaper and healthier!

51. Eliminate One Of Your Bills

Either eliminate or see if you can combine any of the following: Internet, Television, Long-Distance, Cell Phones “ We found that a calling card saves us tons on what would have been a long distance phone bill, and we get the TV shows we want through online streaming for free.

52. Baby Sitting Swap

Set-up a baby-sitting swap with a friend who has children. You’ll save money and know that someone experienced is watching your kids.

53. Find Events For Date Nights

Find dates that are more events than just going out to eat. These can sometimes save your budget and are usually more memorable.

54. Skip The Zoo Go To Cabella’s

See if you are near a Bass Pro shop or Cabella’s. We take our kids there instead of the zoo. It’s free to walk around and the stuffed animals don’t move so you actually get to see them! Call ahead of time and be there for the fish feeding.


What are the benefits of frugal living?

  • Less debt
  • More money saved for emergencies
  • Learn to choose experience over stuff
  • Learn to appreciate what you have
  • Waste less
  • Practice life skills
  • Will learn how important a budget is
  • Will have a tendency to be more generous

And there are many other benefits as well!


What is the 50 30 20 saving method?

The 50/30/20 saving method is a budgeting technique that divides after-tax income into three separate spending categories:
1. 50 percent of income should be spent on needs like rent or mortgage payments, groceries and utilities.
2. 30 percent of income can be spent on wants like dining out, entertainment, travel, and clothing.
3. 20 percent of income should be saved for long-term goals like retirement or saving for a down payment on a house.

What is the 30 day rule for saving money?

The 30-day rule helps people avoid impulse purchases. The 30-day rule is a strategy to help you save money by creating a buffer between the purchase decision and your actual payment. Under this method, when you want to make a big purchase, stop and wait at least 30 days before pulling the trigger. The 30 day time frame allows you to assess if they really need or want the item, if there are cheaper alternatives, and if you really can afford to make the purchase.

How can I save money when I am already frugal?

Yes! You actually can save money even if you already are leading a frugal life. Here are some things that might have been overlooked:
-Sticking to your budget.
-Cutting back on luxuries or finding cheaper alternatives.
-Automate your savings with automatic transfers.
-Maximizing your use of discount and loyalty programs.
-Cut out unnecessary recurring expenses like gym memberships, cable subscriptions, etc.
-Barter, negotiate and shop around for things you do want to buy.
-Find extra money with a side hustle or freelance gig.

What kind of behavior makes you frugal?

Frugal behavior involves making informed decisions about spending and managing money.


Looking for more money saving discounts and tips? We have some more! We hope these tips help you and your family save money this year. We have a few more ideas on how to be frugal. Take a look at these additional ideas for frugal living:

What money saving tip do you have? Share it with us in the comments section!

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  3. Well… Thanks for such great tips. Making little changes in your today’s life can help you to minimize you expenses and hence save money. Here are some more tips : Save on fuel cost. Walk a bit more for healthier body and some extra bank balance. Save on mortgage : if you are applying for a loan look for the best and cost effective one. Save on food : Instead of eating out more often try to get habitual of home made food. Book airline tickets in advance to get the best prices and saving. Get more tips at : http://www.financeandbusinessoutlook.com/10-money-saving-tips/

  4. Thanks for these … I have a couple to add that have saved me money here (in the UK).

    1. I realised that I was wasting a lot of cooked rice and pasta because I was making too much. So I’ve gotten into the habit of freezing it in a ziploc bag, even if it is just a little. It freezes well and is easy to quickly microwave, especially for a kid-sized or small portion, when you don’t want to make a whole pot of rice.

    2. I also noticed how easy it is to waste vegetables, so I have gotten in the habit of freezing fresh veg before it goes off … for example, with peppers I slice them, freeze them in a ziploc and then cook from frozen. I also have put fresh ginger in the blender with a bit of water and frozen them in an ice cube tray. Some of these are blended with green chilis too. Otherwise I end up buying ginger and chilis and don’t use them all before they go off.

    3. Also, i don’t know if this is a UK thing … but my city has a fresh fruit and veg market (run by wholesalers but open to the public). The produce is very good but is sold in large quantities with a shorter shelf life than the supermarket — but it is EXTREMELY inexpensive. I go about once a week, but for some items using the freezer is a necessity.

    Hope that helps someone!

  5. Thank you for the inspiration.! One of my New years resolutions was to finally make a menu plan and shop the sales and really use my crock pot and freezer.

  6. If you have a SCHEELS AllSports, it’s just as good as a Cabela’s or BassPro’s. They’ll typically have a playplace for kids, a ferris wheel you can ride for $1.00 as well as NASCAR Simulator, 5 Sport Simulator, Big Hunter arcade games, old time shooting gallery, free fudge samples and $.99 ice cream cones! If you don’t have one near you, see if there’s one nearby whenever you go on a vacation. http://www.scheels.com

    1. Oh and of course…they have fish tanks, and taxidermy animals in their hunting section. SO many things to do there!

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