19 frugal habits that will change your life


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Committing to frugal habits will help you live a frugal lifestyle. Making frugal habits part of your everyday life could save you money in the long run. Saving money is all about creating a frugal life that allows you to save money on the things you don’t need and use them for the things that you do need.

Take some of these frugal habits and try to incorporate them into your life. Then, take the money you save and use it to better your life in some way: save up for an emergency fundgive more charity, save for retirement or use it to make more money.

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1. Writing Down Meal Plans

Food is essential and isn’t something you can’t skip; however, it is something you can save on! Since last year, I’ve developed the habit of writing down meal plans for the month, and I tend to go through my food cupboard at the end of every month and utilize whatever has been sat for long or needs to be used soon.

This way, not only does the cabinet get a refresh, but I also end up with things I’d forgotten existed and end up saving quite a lot when grocery shopping.

Since I have become accustomed to meal planning, I save so much money on food, and I am not tempted to order out or go out to eat since I already have my food on hand and ready to make. Therefore, planning and eating many cheap and frugal meals instead of spending more money on takeout is a great way to save a lot of money.

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2. Shop Online

With grocery prices rising and the pandemic still here, lingering in bricks-and-mortar markets looking for bargains is becoming harder and much more inconvenient, especially if what you’re looking for is out of stock. I have found a super-easy way to save significant amounts of time and money in every grocery run.

For over a year now, I have been only using Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods delivery via the Amazon App to get all of our grocery shopping accomplished. If a specific item that I am looking for is currently out of stock, I can easily switch to a different online grocery store or quickly search for substitutions in the comfort of my own home.

Instead of managing a grocery list, I can easily add items to my cart when planning recipes or add things if I notice I am about to run out of an ingredient. Plus, I don’t have to run out to a grocery store, deal with PPE, worry about the line going down the block at local stores, or deal with my costly impulse buying habit for new/random items (my impulse buying adds up).

These grocery delivery services save me hours every week and can be easily copied at home by anyone in the range of one of these ever-multiplying services. The reduced time spent driving, waiting and wandering aisles, coupled with the lack of impulse buying, has been a huge saver of my time and money.

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3. Use Your Freezer

You can save quite a bit on food shopping by buying meat or chicken in large quantities, even if you only need a small amount for a particular dish. While the packaging can be large, use some cheap freezer bags to make it smaller and pop in the freezer to keep until you need it!

You can do this with many different food items besides meat as well. Cheese, sauces, herbs, vegetables and other items that you can buy in bulk freeze really well.

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4. Eat Out Less

Grabbing grub after work or eating out on your date nights can be fun and convenient. But when you look at it practically, the costs can quickly add up.

Try to limit your restaurant outings to once or twice a month. Once you’ve got the hang of it, try creating a simple meal plan that includes a grocery shopping list, and purchase large quantities of beans and other canned foods that can last longer.

Buy your fresh fruits and veggies in a moderate but balanced amount to avoid spoiling quickly.

Start creating meal plans that allow you to cook meals in bulk and package them for work, school or dinner. Make sure to add variety so the kids don’t get bored.

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5. Take Cold Showers

I’ve been taking ice-cold showers for the past five years. At first, it was just a fun challenge to wake me up in the morning. Then I realized cold showers could also save you money.

Hot showers are long and relaxing. Cold showers are a get-in-and-get-out type of ordeal. You not only save money on heating your hot water, but you use way less water to begin with.

And it gets even better. Let’s say switching to cold showers helps you shave off 10 minutes from each shower, and you take two showers per day. That’ll free up over two hours per week, time you could spend on a side hustle to boost your income.

Lastly, did I mention cold showers are good for your health?

Now, you’d have to be pretty hardcore to use this tactic during cold winter months. But during the rest of the year, you can save money, waste less time and feel healthier.

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6. Buy Products from Dollar Tree

I would recommend purchasing cleaning supplies and products from Dollar Tree. Dollar Tree has many products that are not big-name brands but can still work the same magic as name brands that are available at big box stores.

It’s not just products, but cleaning supplies that are regularly used such as toilet brushes, dish sponges, dusting rags, brooms and buckets, to name a few, can all be purchased often at better prices at Dollar Tree.

In fact, such items as dish sponges and toilet brushes need to be replaced regularly, so it’s much more economical to make those purchases from Dollar Tree.

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7. Do a No-Spend Month

Every January, I partake in a no spend month. It helps me recover financially from Christmas, but the challenge is so easily adaptable, and you can use it for any purpose.

The challenge is helpful for fast money-saving and can be changed to suit any budget and family setting. For example, some prefer to do one month per year, others, one week each month, and hardcore money-savers do a no-spend year!

January is an easy month for me as I often need to catch up from the holidays. I don’t have any family birthdays that month and the whole family is happy to cut back on spending and spend the month staying in – but you should choose a month to suit you, as it can be tempting to cheat.

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8. Shop at Local Markets

I love shopping at local markets over large name store brands to save money on groceries (and food when I’m traveling).

I also love shopping at the dollar or 99-cent stores in my area, and this saves me a ton of money on produce and name brands that would typically be two to three times as much at the regular grocery stores. You can also find household items and supplies at these stores for a lower price.

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9. Make Your Own Skincare Products

When it comes to self-care and skincare habits, I often make my own product. Making your skincare products such as body scrubs, face masks and soaps can be beneficial for your skin and your wallet.

Using ingredients in your own house can save you a lot of money compared to buying the product at the store. We all know that skincare products can be costly, so making your own products can help save money and is also beneficial for your skin.

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10. Eat More Plants

I realized changing our diet to more fruits, vegetables and beans is a must-have frugal habit that has a dual purpose. So, I recently began a four-week detox plant-based program to lose weight, reduce inflammation and healthier eating.

My husband and I are long-term carnivores, but this program increases your intake of fruits, vegetables and beans while decreasing meat, poultry, salt, sugar, processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, oils and nuts.

Besides losing weight, we are pleasantly surprised by our lower grocery bills. Buying fruits and vegetables are far cheaper than meat-oriented diets.

So even if you don’t want to be a vegan, going with healthier options rather than processed foods will lower your grocery and doctor bills while you feel better overall.

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11. Embrace Intentional Minimalism

Fully committing to intentional minimalism helped me completely pay off my student loans! My finances before were entirely out of control. My life was a cluttered mess, and much of my insane spending was just me trying to compensate for the fact that I couldn’t find anything or manage my life amidst the chaos.

Wasteful spending was my confidence booster, my therapist, my comforter. However, once I made the concerted effort to remove all the excess from my life and commit to only buying the essentials. Then, literally, every aspect of my life improved, starting with my finances.

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12. Combine Errands

Save money on gas by combining all your errands in one trip.

Making frequent errand trips every week can really add up. With gas prices currently rising, you’ll save some money just by planning ahead and clustering your errands together.

That way, instead of wasting gas and driving around town every other day, you’ll have one big errand run a week. If a once a week isn’t realistic for you, even taking one or two fewer errand trips than what you are currently doing now will help you save.

Not only will this habit save you money, but time as well.

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13. Ride a Bicycle

One frugal habit that I like to do that saves money is to ride my bicycle everywhere. Transportation can suck a budget dry, but if you add a bike to your regiment, you can save money on gasoline, parking, maintenance on a vehicle or even fees paid for public transportation.

The added benefit of riding a bike has some daily exercise. The flood of endorphins that flow through your body on a ride beats having some stress stuck in traffic. After a few months, you may not even miss using your car as much. It is a win-win. Start riding a bike to save more money.

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14. Eat At Home

My favorite money-saving frugal habit is eating at home. I create a very intentional monthly meal plan to ensure we eat healthy and cheap meals while avoiding food waste. In addition, eating at home frees up money to spend on things we value, like family vacations.

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15. Walk More!

Walk more! Seriously, walk anywhere you can. If you have local errands to run, walking can save you money on wear and tear on your car, plus the cost of gas. You’ll also be getting some good exercise, potentially saving you in health costs in the future.

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16. Don’t Upgrade

Whether it’s a TV, phone or laptop, people are addicted to upgrading to the latest, new models. They tend to upgrade regularly when there is a new release. Look at an iPhone, for example. When the iPhone 13 came out, people rushed to the stores to buy it without even thinking about it.

Instead of upgrading to an 11, 12 or 13, why not upgrade when your phone is slow or doesn’t work anymore? If it works perfectly fine, you don’t need to upgrade to the latest version. With the money you save, you can put it in your emergency funds, investments or savings.

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17. Use Cheaper Cuts of Beef

Beef isn’t always a budget-friendly choice, but you can have delicious and juicy meals with the right cuts. For less than $6 per pound (and sometimes even cheaper!), there are plenty of lean options available that will make your family happy without breaking their wallets!

The best thing about these cheap meats? They’re packed full not just in protein content but also flavor, perfect for those looking to save money on food while still tasting great.

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18. Always Look for Deals

When you shop, always look for deals. For example, always use promotional codes, cashback applications, and extensions, such as Rakuten. If you shop online frequently for your own or business purposes, you will save a lot of money every year that you could use for other purposes.

However, don’t rush to purchase, and always weigh your options. Perhaps you can find a better deal with similar product options, the same product but in a different store, or you will figure out a way to not need or purchase the item at all!

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19. Order Water When Traveling

Travel expenses can really add up, especially when it comes to food. You want to be able to enjoy our trips, though, so learning how to cut down on your food budget is important.

One of the best frugal habits to develop and teach your children is only ordering water with meals. This saves quite a bit of money when ordering sodas, especially if you have a large family.

Of course, the health benefit of ordering water instead of sugary drinks is obvious, but your travel budget is healthier for it as well!

Using some, or all, of these frugal habits, will get you in the habit of living a cheap life and saving some money. Why spend money on things you don’t need when you can spend money on the things you need or love?

This article originally appeared on A Dime Saved and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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