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(Last Updated On: February 15, 2019)

Maybe your finances are out of whack and you need to get them back on track, or maybe you’re trying to save up for a big trip or a loan payment. Living frugally is the answer many budgeters turn to in hopes of saving some cash and future headache. For beginners to the lifestyle, frugal living, in essence, is all about saving a few dollars wherever and whenever possible. This means couponing, taking advantage of freebies, and cutting back on extras even if the guac only costs another dollar.

Frugal living takes focusing on your money and spending habits to a new level— it’s far more intense than regular budgeting and takes patience and careful calculation to be properly executed. Whether you’re ready to dive in and start saving a lot and want a few tips and tricks to save a little, these budgeting tips are essential to frugal living!

Save on car expenses

For most Americans, their car is not only one of the most expensive purchases they’ll make, but it's also one that depreciates faster than any of their other possessions. Buying and owning a car comes with a number of other ongoing expenses that can be forgotten during the excitement of the purchasing process. From paying for insurance to filling your tank, there are a number of inevitable costs that can be reduced in more ways than one.

Frugal tip #1: Shop around before you decide

Even if your heart is set on the perfect car, check for a secondhand version of it, too. For instance, you might have eyes for that Audi sitting in a Seattle dealer’s lot, but make sure you look for that same used Audi in Bellevue. Car prices will vary sporadically depending on the city and the dealer. Shop around your local area and neighboring cities for the car you have in mind. The last thing you want for yourself is to end up getting ripped off by a money hungry salesman.

Frugal tip #2: Use the Zebra to compare insurance prices

The Zebra is one of the best tools for finding and comparing the best insurance rates for your vehicle. With over 200 insurance companies ready for comparing, the Zebra will set you up with the best rates each company can offer in your area and with your driving history.

Save on entertainment

From our cell phones to our smart TVs, we spend a fortune on keeping ourselves on the grid and in touch with the digital world. Bills start to pile up and revisiting our receipts from Best Buy and the Apple Store can strike a nerve in our hearts. Save on entertainment costs with these ingenious tips.

Frugal tip #3: Rethink your subscription services

There’s no skirting around the fact that Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime all have different movies and TV shows, but there’s also no way to manage every subscription without a bill comparable to a typical cable bill. Figure out one service that can serve as your one-stop shop for TV entertainment and stick with it.

Frugal tip #4: Sell your old electronics

Got an old iPhone lying around? Or maybe you could sacrifice your tablet and source all your work into your laptop. Whatever you don’t use could be more money in your pocket. Simply list your items for sale on popular resale apps and sites to make a quick hundred bucks. Try these:

Save on groceries

Food is one thing that you never want to skimp on. Instead of reducing your dietary intake, shop frugally to save a few dollars while still maintaining your balanced diet. In addition to shopping smarter at the grocery market, forgoing nights out at local eateries can save you hundreds of dollars every month. Learning to cook can give you the tools to make your favorite meals at home.

Frugal tip #5: Cut or download coupons

Couponing has come a long way from snipping the weekly ads that somehow end up in your mailbox. Apps like Ebates and SnipSnap make couponing easier than ever. With these apps, you can access coupons to all of your favorite retailers from Target to Wal-Mart.

Frugal tip #6: Buy more canned goods

Canned goods have incredibly long shelf lives, so anytime your favorite soups, beans, or veggies are on sale, make sure you stock up. You can easily make meals out of these essentials and you’ll never have the excuse of “there’s no food at home” to justify a Taco Bell stop.

Living frugally comes in many shapes and forms. At the end of the day, frugal living is what you make of it. Whether you want to save a lot or save a little, where there’s a will there’s a way.


27 / Nottingham, UK. Trying these things since 2007. Writing about these things since 2014. Doing this full-time since 2018.