Was one of your New Year’s Resolutions for 2020 to save more money? Paying debt off is one of mine. I reach my goals with the best frugal livings tips available.
Even if you’re financially stable, there’s always a reason to save more money whether it’s for your dream vacation, your child’s college education, or you’re saving for retirement.
When I talk about frugal living, I don’t mean you need to deprive yourself of the things you love or sacrifice what’s important to you. It simply means that you have financial peace of mind knowing your bills are taken care of and you’re preparing for the future. I’ve broken out my best frugal living tips for 2021 into different categories: Food, Transportation, Household, Shopping, Entertainment, Health & Wellness, and Miscellaneous.
Let’s kick this off with my miscellaneous best frugal living tips for 2021. These are some of the most important tips for living your best frugal life.
Best Miscellaneous Frugal Living Tips 2021
The Bucket List
At the beginning of the year, create a bucket list of things you would like to do and cost out how much each item would cost. Then create an action plan and budget on how you can accomplish as much as you can. Planning ahead is half the battle!
Celebrate Your Birthday
Visit your favorite company’s website and register your information including your birthday. Most companies will send out discounts and coupons when your birthday is coming up.
For example, I am a huge movie goer and on during my birthday month I received a free treat worth almost $10.
Be On time
Paying bills on time is imperative. Most bills are always due on the same day of every month. Set up calendar reminders so you never miss them. This will help you avoid unnecessary late fees.
I like to pay my bills every first, I do my bills once and don’t worry about it for the rest of the month. If it’s due any other day than the 1st, that’s ok, I just pay it early.
Save Your Spare Change
Use apps like Acorns to help you put a little money away each month or with every purchase. I currently round up my purchases and the extra change goes into an investment account that I don’t touch. In one year, just by adding my “spare change,” I have accumulated almost $800!
The Power of No
Learn how to say no to purchases you don’t really need. For me, this means avoiding Target altogether. You know that place is a trap!
Unsubscribe from any brand promotional emails you are currently registered for. Avoid temptation!
Budget, Budget, Budget
Create a budget that works for you and stick to it. Every month, I create a budget of what my income will look like versus what my expenses are. This helps me to allocate money where it needs to go and when. Click HERE for some great budget templates to get you started.
Track every expense. This can be a little time consuming at first but it’s extremely helpful to see on paper where your money is going. You’ll be surprised to find out just how much you’re spending on things like eating out and alcohol.
Seeing your expenses in front of you will help you change old habits and keep you accountable. It also helps you account for every single dollar you earn and spend.
Best Food Frugal Living Tips 2021
Eat At Home
Eating at home can save you well over $3,000 per year per family member. That’s not to say that you should never enjoy a nice meal at your favorite restaurant, but ordering in and buying lunch every day can add up quickly.
In addition, eating at home is way healthier. If you’re anything like me, and have some weight to lose, start planning out your meals weekly and preparing them at home.
You probably mostly do this due to the current circumstances but this includes slowing down on the ordering out.
When you do go out to eat, try and find BYOB restaurants that allow you to bring your own alcohol. Or save it for a nightcap when you get home. Alcohol quickly makes your dinner bill high.
I completely understand the attractiveness of a cocktail with dinner, but how annoying is it to overpay for a drink for dinner when water is free and soda is so inexpensive.
One of the best frugal living tips for 2021 is to purchase a water filter. This will save you countless amounts of dollars on bottled water. In addition to the filter, purchase a reusable water bottle and cut out other kinds of drinks like soda and energy drinks. This will keep you healthy and hydrated and your bank account happy!
In addition part two, take water with you everywhere! Grocery shopping, running errands, etc. Every time I don’t, I end up buying one. That’s money I didn’t have to spend.
Coffee at Home
Along with eating at home, you should absolutely be making your coffee at home instead of buying it. You can save up to $2,400 a year!
If you’re in a rush in the morning, get a Keurig. That’s what I use.
Make a Meal Plan
Every week, create a meal plan including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. List out all the ingredients you’ll need for the week. This will help you stay on track at the grocery store. THIS link will help you great a meal plan and stay on a budget.
Eat Your Pantry
Check out this great website to find recipes based on what is already in your pantry.
I have an echo, and I ask Alexa what I could make with what I have all of the time.
Utilize Apps to Save on Groceries
Apps like the Walmart Savings Catcher and Ibotta can save you up to 50% on items you purchase every week at your local grocery store. Check out my post on the best apps to save you money on groceries!
If you can, purchase your produce from a local farm. They’re almost always cheaper (and fresher) than the produce you find at your local grocery store.
Buy in Bulk
Buy your groceries in bulk. Stock up on items that you use often and have a long shelf life like pasta and rice. Items in bulk are almost always cheaper than individual packages.
Grocery shop at stores that offer lower prices everyday such as Aldi. You can get great groceries at low prices here and save up to $100 per week. If you don’t have this kind of store near you, buy generic instead of name brand! Many generic brands are the same product just with different packaging.
Do not grocery shop when you’re hungry! I am totally guilty of doing this and I always end up spending more money than I need to. Eat a balanced meal before you shop to avoid all the yummy temptations staring at you in the aisle.
Best Transportation Frugal Living Tips 2021
Try Alternate Options
If you can, always walk, carpool, or take public transportation to work. This cuts down on your vehicle expenses and helps the environment. Win-win!
Do All of Your Errands in One Day
Completing all of your errands in one day can help you save on time and fuel expenses.
I really dislike running errands, and they seem to never end. Seriously. I use Walmart’s Grocery Store pick up and avoid the supermarket but I still have a million and one day to day errands to run. I try to do them on Saturdays or during a lunch break.
Remove all excess weight from your car. Keeping a clean, light car helps reduce gas mileage. And is better for your mental health!
Your gas mileage is best when driving a consistent 55mph. This plus no fast-breaking or turning can make your gas go farther.
Shop and Compare
Check competitor’s insurance rates to make sure you’re receiving the best deal. You should also be comparing prices of your local gas stations. Download the Gas Buddy app and know which gas station near you has the best prices.
Gas Buddy is a lifesaver when I’m away from home, even just a few towns over and unfamiliar with the area. It shows comparative pricing so I avoid over-spending.
Keep Your Car Healthy Too
Keep up with your regularly scheduled car maintenance such as tire rotations and oil changes. Your car is the most important thing you own when you really think about it. It gets you everywhere you need to be. Make sure you keep your car as healthy as you!
When shopping for airline tickets, always purchase them on a Tuesday or Wednesday and browse in a private browser. Airlines track your searches and will raise the prices on flights you’ve previously quoted. Another great tip is to create a twitter and follow every airline for quick alerts of when flights go on sale.
Best Household Frugal Living Tips 2021
Keep your temperature consistent at home. Kicking the temperature up and down even just a few degrees can cause your system to work harder and use more energy. It’s also a good idea to utilize fans in the summer and blankets in the winter. You’ll get used to the temperature adjustment and love the savings.
Keep it Clean
Keep your home organized and tidy. This allows you to be aware of what items you already have so you don’t double purchase. Plus, who doesn’t love a clean home?
Ditch Your Landline
Ditch your house phone and only use your cell phone. You should also check out how much data you’re using and see if you can move to a cheaper data plan.
I share my phone plan with friends and family. Why? More lines means a cheaper plan.
Pay Only for What You Can Afford
Try and pay for your phone upfront and avoid signing up for an installment plan. If you can’t pay for a phone in full, you can’t afford it and should choose a different phone. You can download Instagram on any smart phone these days.
Shop around and compare prices with various wireless phone companies. They are always offering deals to switch companies. Take advantage of these deals!
Don’t Lease Your Internet Router
Purchasing your own saves you in the long run! I just helped my mom save a ton of money on her cable bill. She isn’t ready to not have cable yet HOWEVER, I set her up with her own modem/router, that saved her $19 per month, and I she kept only one cable box and knocked $20 more dollars off of her bill.
Lose the Paper
Try and ditch your paper products for items that can be reused. For example: swap paper napkins for cloth ones and paper towels for cloth towels. It’s great both for you and the environment.
Change Your Laundry Routine
Instead of drying your clothes in the dryer, air dry or hang dry them for energy savings. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about clothes shrinking or losing their shape. Always wash your clothes in cold water too.
Full Loads Only
It may seem obvious but only run your dishwasher when it is completely full. I haven’t had a dishwasher for the last year and I definitely miss it.
Invest in good curtains to help keep your windows insulated during fluctuating temperatures.
Turn it Off
Did anyone else’s parents always yell at them when they forgot to turn off the lights? Mine too. But now I know why they did it. Turning off lights and unplugging unused appliances can equal large savings in the long run.
Best Shopping Frugal Living Tips 2021
Always price check online before purchasing anything. Amazon is a great place to do this.
My three go to’s are Walmart, Target, and Amazon.
Rebates with Ebates
Always shop through apps that provide rebates on your purchases such as EBates. You can find coupons and receive cash back from over 2500 stores!
Sit on it
Wait 20 days before making any large luxury purchases such as TVs. My mom taught me this trick when I was younger about getting tattoos. She always told me if I ever wanted a tattoo to sit on the idea for a year. If I still wanted the tattoo a year later, then go ahead and get it. This is a tip I have taken with me in many areas in my life, including larger luxury purchases. It helps the “impulse” subside so you can make a clear decision on what you actually want and need.
Never Pay Full Price
Download the Honey onto your computer. The Honey app automatically searches any available coupon codes and applies them to your shopping cart.
But the best way to do this is to look up thrift shops near you. Even if they seem “not so great” try it out once, you’ll be surprised what you find.
Buy During the Opposite Season
Try and purchase clothes at the end of the season. Summer clothes go on sale at the end of the summer, winter clothes go on sale at the end of the winter season, etc. If you buy classic, traditional pieces, they won’t go out of style.
I love to go shopping on Cyber Monday. That’s when I get the best bang for
Learn to Repair
Learn how to make small clothing repairs so when you have a small hole or tear, you can fix it yourself. There are tons of Youtube videos you can learn from! When you can’t fix something, repurpose it into something else like a cleaning rag.
Sell and Make $$$
Shop at Discount Stores
Shop at discount stores that offer great items such as TJMaxx and Marshalls. The best days to shop at these stores are the days the trucks come in with new merchandise. Unfortunately, the trucks never come on the same days so make sure to visit them frequently to score the best deals! I especially love these stores when I’m need of gifts for others.
I recently bought a lotion that I love for $7.99, it’s over $20 everywhere else.
Cut the Subscriptions
While subscription services are convenient and fun (who doesn’t love opening boxes at home? It’s like Christmas!), on average, you’re spending more for that convenience. Check your subscription services and see where you could be saving by canceling.
Truebill is a free app that helps you save money by find recurring charges you don’t use, fees, etc.
Best Entertainment Frugal Living Tips 2021
Ditch the Cable
One of the best trends recently is ditching traditional cable boxes in favor of streaming services like Hulu and Netflix. You can find many of the same shows you watch on cable in addition to some fun originals. Be on the lookout for deals that they offer too. Last year, Hulu offered a $1 per month subscription service when you opened (or linked) your Spotify account. Since I already had both platforms, I was about to save almost $10 per month by bundling during this deal.
Utilize your Local Library
When is the last time you visited your local library? It’s been a while, right? Well now’s the time to go old school and go back! Library cards are free and provide you access to thousands of books, magazines, and movies.
This is one of those subscription services that may be worth it If you read a lot of eBooks. Sign up for Kindle Unlimited and you’ll save money by paying a monthly subscription fee rather than individually for each book. Plus, they offer a free trial!
Check out your town’s webpages or Facebook pages. Many towns consistently offer free events. Enjoy other free activities like bike riding, walking, or spending time in your local park.
Check out Groupon.com for all kinds of discounts ranging from fitness discounts to fun activities for the whole family.
Invest in some board and card games and have game nights with your family! My family and I love board games and play them together any chance we get. It’s a great way to disconnect and focus on each other. And be in a competitive spirit!
Best Health & Wellness Frugal Living Tips 2021
Work Out for Free
There’s no need to pay for expensive gym memberships when you can work out at home for free. Youtube offers tons of great workout videos that you can utilize at home at no cost. I especially love using Youtube for HIIT videos.
Budget in Advance
Schedule your doctor’s appointments in advance as much as you can so you can build them into your monthly budgets. I just spent over $100 on my contact appointment.
Skip the Salon
Cut out the nail salon. If you can, cut and dye your hair at home. Skipping the salon will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year! Even things like your eyebrows, a lot of women have naturally nice eyebrows that don’t need shaping. You won’t know if that’s you unless you let them grow out fully.
Take Care of Yourself
Take care of yourself, drink lots of water, and floss your teeth. Enjoy mental health days. The better you take care of yourself, the less you’ll spend on doctor’s visits. Invest in items that will save you money and help you live healthier. I asked for a stainless steel canteen for Christmas. It’s the perfect thing to make sure I am drinking enough water daily.
Living frugally gets easier the more you practice some of the best frugal living tips of 2021 mentioned above. It’s also a lot easier than you think! Making small changes in your day to day life adds up quickly to huge savings. What’s your favorite frugal living tip?