I recently read an article that said about 40% of Americans are not able to cover one of the basics. That would be food, shelter, transportation. That really blows my mind and it also scares me a little bit. The reality is that most of us are one lost job away from losing everything – home, cars, lives. Which is why I think that these simple ideas to live frugally are so important to share.

Even though we are truly blessed and relatively comfortable in our family’s circumstances, we still look for ways to cut costs in our budget and live frugally. While there are plenty of money-saving ideas on the internet, this list of over 100 ways to save money and change your overall lifestyle, without it being painful! My family personally employs these ways to cut costs from the family budget.

100 PLUS Ways to Simplify Your Life, Save Money, and Live Frugally

What most families spend on food is the third highest cost, that is after Housing and Transportation. So it should not come as a surprise that to live frugally and save money, your food budget needs to be looked at. If you can be disciplined, you can shave a fair bit out of your budget. Saving money on your food budget is one of the easiest. Here are 25 thrifty ideas.

FOOD

  1. Bring Lunch Everyday
  2. Utilize leftovers
  3. Make Coffee at Home – make hot coffee or Cold brew
  4. Buy in Bulk – learn how to with Grocery Budget Makeover
  5. Meal Plan – try $5 dollar meal plans or freezer meal plans
  6. Buy on Sale
  7. Freeze excess food before it goes bad
  8. Buy Veggies and Fruit in season
  9. Keep bread, bagels, etc. in the freezer (that way you can buy more on sale)
  10. Skip eating out (or at least go where kids eat free)
  11. Make homemade takeout
  12. Make homemade pizza
  13. Batch cook freezer meals
  14. Invest in an instant pot or slow cooker
  15. Clip coupons, use apps
  16. Use Filtered water with a reusable bottle
  17. Skip Soda – use a soda stream at home
  18. Skip alcohol
  19. Buy generic
  20. Use a CSA
  21. Shop at your local farmers’ market
  22. Grow your own veggies and fruit
  23. Make baking mixes from scratch
  24. If you must eat out, try to use a Groupon, local coupon, or restaurant.com deal
  25. Make your own single serve – rather than spending on the convenience

TRANSPORTATION

If you have to get to a 9 to 5 job every day, cutting costs on transportation may not be as easy. Especially if you have to add the time to drop off kids at school or childcare. The task of cutting this budget is daunting. Here are nine ideas to cut costs in transportation.

  1. Save gas by running all errands at the same time
  2. Buy gas at the club warehouse / use the gas buddy app
  3. Keep your car maintained
  4. Keep your tires inflated
  5. Bike or walk when you can
  6. Carpool / off-peak commute
  7. Try to work from home (telecommute or a job at home)
  8. Change your own oil
  9. Use one car for your family

HOME

Looking for simple, frugal ideas to cut costs in your home budget? There are plenty of ways to save money at home. In fact, I believe that by making cuts to the home budget, I save more than in the food budget. That is pretty awesome in my book. Here are 29 ways to cut costs and save money when it comes to your home.

  1. Cut your cable out – use ONE of these – HULU, PRIME, NETFLIX (ok or two?)
  2. Change mobile plan to less/month, share with other family members for a better deal
  3. Cut subscriptions you do not use
  4. Unplug appliances when not in use
  5. Cut out music subscriptions
  6. Seal windows and doors, add insulators
  7. Wear extra layers (to be warmer)
  8. Turn off the heat when not needed
  9. Use a small space heater for where you are
  10. Use a programmable thermostat
  11. Keep HVAC air filters clean
  12. Keep home cool by closing blinds
  13. When running AC – keep temp higher when you are not home
  14. Put flaps on the bottom of the door
  15. Turn off lights and open blinds during the day
  16. Review insurance coverage and check for better deals
  17. Hang your clothes to air dry
  18. Cut sponges in ½
  19. Give up paper products – use reusable towels and napkins
  20. Give up plastic – use glass, silicone, and stainless steel in place
  21. Use CFL or LED light bulbs
  22. Adjust your water heater
  23. Weather-strip doors
  24. Use low-flow shower heads, faucets
  25. Make homemade soap, laundry detergent, and dishing washing soap
  26. Make homemade cleaning supplies – like this homemade orange vinegar household cleaner
  27. Mow your own lawn, upkeep your own garden
  28. Repair items, whenever possible
  29. Share memberships – Prime, warehouse clubs, etc.

HEALTH / BEAUTY

Thrifty living often means making things yourself, rather than spending more money on the already made version. In health and beauty, there are plenty of ways to cut costs. These money-saving ideas are easy to do too! Check out the five ideas to save money on health and beauty.

  1. Skip the gym and work out at home, in the park, free videos on YouTube
  2. Make homemade beauty supplies
  3. Do your own nails/pedicure
  4. Do your own eyebrows
  5. Use a Groupon if you plan a trip to the salon, spa, etc.

ENTERTAINMENT

A huge savings category in my home is entertainment. I really get a ton of bang for my buck on the first on the list. The main issue is that you have to be patient and wait your turn sometimes. But to save several hundred dollars a year and lead a more minimalist lifestyle, I feel it is totally worth it! Check out these 8 ideas to cut your spending on entertainment.

  1. Go to the library – rent movies, read books, magazines, and music for free
  2. Go to a matinee movie, special deals, or $1 movies
  3. Look for free activities in your area
  4. Go to a local park
  5. Take a walk, a hike, or play a sport
  6. Play board games
  7. Start a free hobby or one that makes money!
  8. Do a staycation

MONEY

This category may be counterintuitive to some. I get it, how can you save money on your money? Well, let me count the ways! There are plenty of ways that you can save money when using your money, saving your money, or investing your money. I have detailed 16 of my absolute favorite ways.

  1. Use a free checking account
  2. Pay all bills on time
  3. Do not carry a balance on credit cards
  4. Avoid overdraft fees
  5. Keep in the network for ATMs
  6. Avoid credit card fees
  7. Open a Money Market Account or Savings account
  8. Set up sinking funds
  9. Track all spending
  10. Budget
  11. Set up a Stash account, acorn account, etc.
  12. Complete a money-saving challenge
  13. Refinance debt
  14. Automate savings
  15. Save half of any windfall – taxes, bonuses, salary increases
  16. Invest in your 401K, IRA, or SEP – make sure to get the match at a minimum

KIDS

I have seen estimates of the cost to raise a child from birth to age 17 of $250,000 or more. That is an insane amount of money. Which makes this a great category to look at for savings. You can live frugally and have kids. It just may take a little more work and a little less convenience. I have used each of these tips personally and although the cash investment for cloth diapers up front is a fair bit. I believe I spent around $300.00 Anyone who has ever purchased disposable diapers knows they are not cheap!! What was even better is that I was able to sell my entire collection and recoup more than half of what I spent. That totally made it worth it. Give these 10 ideas to save money on kids’ costs a try.

  1. Buy big-ticket items at garage sales or mom to mom
  2. use hand me downs for clothes
  3. check out Facebook mom-to-mom groups to buy gently used clothes at a great discount
  4. Reign in the birthday party budget
  5. Look for a convertible crib
  6. use a dresser as a changing table (or just do it on the floor!)
  7. Think about cloth diapers – or check out Krazy Koupon Ladies who come up with awesome ways to save on disposable diapers
  8. make your own baby food and freeze it
  9. shop around for daycare
  10. use scent-free Castile to wash baby, rather than shell out

OTHER WAYS TO SAVE AND LIVE FRUGALLY

With all these great ideas in major spending categories, there are plenty of other places to take a good hard look at what you spend and cut. These ideas can help you pay down debt or invest when you thought you would never be able to. You can live frugally and still live your dreams. Try them out!

  1. Shop at dollar stores – while there are a ton of great items to buy at the dollar store and save money, I have listed only a few of my favorites.
    1. Cards
    2. Party supplies
    3. Cleaning supplies
    4. Organization supplies
  2. Put spare change into a jar, or use an app like acorns
  3. Sell items you no longer need
  4. Make a DIY Gift
  5. Create a gift cabinet
  6. Use Swagbucks, Inbox Dollars, Branded Surveys, SurveySavvy, and other survey sites to earn gift cards
  7. Try a no-spend challenge/weekend
  8. Buy second-hand – clothes, furniture
  9. Get a side hustle
  10. No impulse buys – use the 30-day rule
  11. Need to buy something – use Honey, Wikibuy, Ebates, or Swagbucks to get cash back online

I hope you find some truly awesome and simple ways to transform your personal budget. Then use those windfalls to start paying off debt and saving money to meet your goals. It is possible!

If you want to save this love list of ideas for later…. PIN It!!

 

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