Frugal Living, Money Saving

Easy Frugal Living Tips To Save Money Everyday

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Since having children frugal living has become much more of a priority for us a family.

piggy bank stuffed with notes under text reading Simple and practical frugal living tips that will save you moneyAs well as making it easier financially for me to stay home with our children while they’re small, it’s also helping us to save more money, which will help pay off debt quicker, which in turn will improve our finances in the long term.

Dropping down completely to living off one income makes budgeting and being a bit more careful with money more important, and probably one of the easiest ways to live on less is to start making more frugal choices.



How do you live a frugal lifestyle?

The Oxford dictionary defines frugal as:

  • sparing or economical as regards money or food.
  • simple and plain and costing little.

So frugal living is simply about being careful with your money, knowing where it goes, and finding ways to spend less.

But isn’t frugal living boring and only for cheapskates?

When I used to think of frugal living I would imagine used teabags drying on little washing lines to reuse later. You don’t have to go that far though; it’s perfectly possible to be frugal without being cheap. And actually, it can be pretty simple to just change a few habits or products -once you’ve got into the swing of it, living frugally wont even seem like a challenge anymore , it becomes second nature.

And the best part?

Those savings that you make by using these frugal living ideas all add up over time and can be used to fund things that might not have been affordable before, like days out or even a holiday.

Why live frugally?

There are so many benefits of choosing to live a frugal lifestyle:

  • Gives you more appreciation and value for what’s important to you
  • Helps you save money to achieve financial goals faster
  • Helps to reduce stress over money matters
  • Encourages you to make the most of what you have
  • Frugal living is often more environmentally friendly

There are so many ways you can be a little more frugal in order to make some extra savings; here are some of the easiest and best frugal living tips that provide simple ways to save money at home, on the move and with your grocery shopping.


Cup of tea next to white flowers with text how to be frugal without being cheap

1. Give your home a frugal makeover

There are so many things you can make some easy changes to that will make your home more frugal. Here’s where to start:

      • Replace your light bulbs with LED bulbs

        Assuming the lights are on for about 4 hours per day, you’ll save about £11 per light bulb per year. My kitchen has 10 spotlights – that’s £132 saved in my kitchen alone!
      • Turn off the lights when you’re not using them. 

        This sounds so simple, but if you have kids anything like mine, you’ll know it’s near on impossible to get them to remember to switch off the lights! We’ve got a timer on some of our lights now, so they go off automatically.
      • Replace baths with showers or take shorter showers

        You could try using a shower timer or choose a water saving shower head.
      • Turn off the radiators in rooms that aren’t used

        If you have thermostatic radiator valves you can set the desired temperature for each radiator, but it’s also easy to just switch off the radiators in rooms not being used to save wasting heat.
      • Wear a jumper
        This one sounds pretty obvious but it’s surprising how many people don’t do this. Put on a jumper or layer up before turning up the heating.
      • Get one of these squeezing tools to make sure you use up all the product in tubes such as toothpaste.
      • Give up your TV licence

        You don’t have to give up TV entirely to give up your licence. Other options such as Now TV or Netflix may work out cheaper and still give you all the TV you want.Check out my post here about living without your TV licence and if you actually need one.
      • Go energy efficient on appliances

        Whilst this frugal living tip isn’t one that you can implement straight away – it wouldn’t be practical to rush out and replace all your appliances – it is one that can make a difference long-term. When it’s time to replace appliances, choose ones with the best energy efficiency ratings. The price is usually only slightly higher, but the cost of energy you will save over the years of use make it a good money saving investment.
    • Always check whether it’s worth switching energy or broadband and telephone provider

      I find that a quick check each year when it’s time to renew usually means it’s cheaper to switch. You can often find good cashback deals for these kinds of providers too. If you’re not signed up to cashback sites, check out this post about using cashback sites. I’ve had hundreds of pounds in cashback over the years, most recently we got £40 cashback just by switching our home insurance. We would have switched anyway as it was the cheapest policy available – so the £40 was a fab bonus just for a quick 5 second check on Quidco.

  • 2. Get Crafty With Your Cleaning

    Save money on expensive cleaning products by simply making your own – it works out cheaper and uses less chemicals too!


    Related: The Ultimate Collection Of Money Saving Tips >>


    4. Become a frugal grocery shopper

    Grocery shopping is one of the biggest expenditures for any household. Choose to be more frugal in your shopping and eating habits and you can easily cut down on your grocery spend.


    • Make a meal plan each week

      Create a meal plan, to avoid food going to waste and not buying unnecessary extras in the supermarket. See this post for easy ways to get started with meal planning. You don’t save to compromise on your diet either – it’s possible to still live frugally and eat well while spending less.
    • Don’t buy bags at the supermarket

      Avoid the plastic bag charge by remembering to take bags with you when you go shopping. Keep some in your handbag or the boot of your car so you’ve always got some handy.
    • Use supermarket cashback apps

      There are lots of apps you can add to your phone which give you freebies and cashback when you shop.
    • Buy bigger tubs/packets/tubes of things

      Buying in bulk is usually cheaper, so if you’ve got space, it’s definitely worth it. Things like toilet rolls, washing powder and other household essentials are often work out costing much less when you buy in bulk.

    Buy bulk price comparison

  • 5. Experiment with the brands you buy

    Take a look at shopping and see what brands you buy. Then buy the next brand that’s less expensive and see if you either notice the difference, or are bothered by it. For example, we were buying Weetabix, and now buy supermarket brands ‘Wheat biscuits’. There’s not much difference in taste, but there’s a lot of difference in price.

    However, we tried buying supermarket brand baked beans, and I decided that the difference in taste wasn’t worth the saving in price, so I don’t compromise and carry on buying Heinz. Cola is definitely not the same as Coke or Pepsi, but my children don’t notice a difference between Robinson’s squash and supermarket own brand.

    Here are some examples of the difference in prices of branded vs non branded items at one supermarket:

    Branded Product
    Heinz baked beans tin – 75p
    Weetabix 24 pk – £2.50
    Hovis wholemeal bread – £1.05
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup  – £1.50
    Birdseye Fishfingers 10 pk – £2
    Total – £7.80
    Supermarket Version
    Tesco bakes beans tin – 32p
    Wheat Biscuits 24 pk = £1.30
    Tesco Wholemeal bread – 75p
    Tesco Tomato Ketchup – 65p
    Tesco Fishfingers 10 pk – £1.20
    Total – £4.22

    This is just a quick example of 5 branded products, the more brands you switch out, the more significant your overall saving will be. Start off by just switching one brand/price down – if it works out, you can always then repeat the process switching down again to the Smartprice/Everyday value etc ranges.

    If you properly give this a go for all the branded products you buy, there’ll probably be at least a few things you’ll be happy with the downgrade on, and this could make a great saving on your grocery shopping month by month. Even basic foods like pasta come in a variety of brands and pricing. Give it a try and see what savings you can make – I’d love to hear how you get on.

    6.  Don’t buy what you can get for free

    Before you spend your hard earned money, think about whether there’s a cheaper or free option. For example:

    • Don’t buy newspapers and magazines

      If you have access to the internet, you can read the news on various websites for free.
    • Use your library

      Similarly, live frugally by not spending money on books. You can make good use of your local library to borrow books for free. If you like reading eBooks, some libraries also have a eBook selection to borrow from, or you can get plenty of eBooks for free on Amazon Kindle books too.



    7. Travel frugally

    Travel and transport can be pretty expensive, so here are some frugal living options to lower the costs:

    • Walk or cycle where possible. This has the added bonus of keeping you fit and well as saving money.
    • Take your own water bottle or even hot drinks flask with you when out and about to avoid getting tempted to buy expensive drinks.Avoid using motorway service stations for food, drink and fuel – you pay a premium.
    • Drive economically

      Try to avoid unnecessary braking, keep car tyres inflated to the required levels. This will save (only a little, but it all helps, right?!) on fuel costs. Also, don’t leave it until the last minute to fill up for fuel. If you’re desperate, you’re more likely to fill up somewhere more expensive.
    • Look into multi travel and discount cards.
      If you use public transport a lot, it’s worth looking into what discounts are available for frequent users. Bus services usually offer cheaper multi-trip tickets and you can get Rail Cards to save on train travel.
    • Be a one car family

      Consider if you could save the the cost of running an extra car by walking, using public transport or even living closer to your work.
      • Don’t pay for things you don’t need to such as toll roads.
        Avoid paying the expensive toll charge (£5.50!) to drive on the M6 toll. If the traffic is clear -ie no accidents etc, the toll road is likely to save you only one minute! You can look on Google maps (if you’ve got someone with you!) to check the time of the journey with and without the toll.Think about it in terms of how much your time is worth – at a 1-minute time saving, your time is equated at being worth £330 an hour! A ten minute delay values your time at £66 an hour. At the National living wage, you’d need there to be more than a 42-minute delay to make taking the toll a cost effective choice.

      8. Give your finances a frugal overhaul

      Frugal living means taking control of your finances and making sure your your income, spending and frugal mindset are all aligned. Here are some of the key things you should do to have healthy frugal finances:

      • Budget

        Budgeting is key, both to living frugally and managing your money in general. If you want to be in control of your money you need to make a budget. This is where you can work out the best places to make savings and adjustments and keep on top of your finances.
      • Build an emergency fund

        Saving an emergency fund means you don’t have to panic and stress when things go wrong. Being prepared in advance for emergency boiler breakdowns, car repairs or needing a new washing machine, helps give peace of mind, as well as meaning you wont need to take on debt if that situation arises.
      • Pay off debt

        Make paying off debt a priority. Living frugally is a great way to try and reach financial freedom, so if you have debt, the best and most frugal advice is to pay it off as soon as you can. The earlier you repay debt (in most circumstances) the less interest you’ll pay, so the more money you’ll save in the long term.
      • Always live within your means

        Living frugally means living within your means. Use your budget to work out what you can afford, but if you don’t have the budget and can’t make room in the budget with a bit of rearranging, don’t spend what you don’t have.

      Living Frugal Without Being Tight

    • So can you be frugal without being cheap?

    • Absolutely yes.
    • Hopefully from the tips above you can see that you don’t have to be a cheapskate or tightwad to live frugally. You just have to be more intentional with your finances.
    • For example, being frugal wouldn’t necessarily mean you stop donating to a charity you support – if you decide that giving is a priority, then you might look for an area that’s less important and make savings there, perhaps cancelling a gym subscription or buying less take out.It doesn’t mean not being able to do anything or having to say no all the time either – if a friend invites you to go out for a meal you could still go but be a bit more frugal about it – perhaps suggest a less expensive restaurant, or even just buy a starter. Or if finances are really too tight for that right how, how about inviting them to your home for a meal instead?Trying to find a frugal alternative usually means you can still enjoy the things you want to, just by being a bit more creative about it.I’m sure there are many, many, more frugal living tips out there, from the simple to the much more extreme (family cloth anyone?!) Do you have any other tips for frugal living that help save money?


      Pin it!

      Easy Frugal Living Tips

      Still looking for more? Try this post from Rice Cakes And Raisins for 10 more frugal ways to save money.

      The Best Frugal Living Tips To Save Money

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  1. Great practical advice on cutting costs! I’m a big fan of cashback too. I like using a cashback credit card too, so I get a bit of extra money back on all my shopping. Only a good idea if you’re sure you can pay off your bill in full every month, but I end up with an extra £90 or so every year, and I don’t even do much shopping! Thanks so much for taking part in #MondayMoney.

  2. Fantastic tips that cover so many areas of life – love it! I try to do a lot of these myself, and I’ve learned a lot over the years so I can safely say it becomes easier to be frugal with practice. Brilliant post!

  3. This was a good read! I think buying more plant protein helps the grocery budget too!

  4. Thanks for sharing! I like your brand switch experiment. For some brands, it makes a difference on taste or quality, but other things the difference isn’t there.

  5. Diane taber says:

    Hi we would really want to become more frugal.this year

    1. missmanypennies says:

      Hi Diane, that’s great. I really hope these frugal living tips help you get started! Once you get into the habit it becomes much easier 🙂

  6. candy says:

    There are so many ways to save money and live a better life. You have a great list to start saving and doing.

  7. In the last year I have cut our family grocery bill almost in half! Meal prepping and bulk really help. Thanks for all the other tips!

  8. So many great ideas for saving money. The little things really do add up! After getting tired of always reminding our kids to shut off the light when they left a room, we installed timers on them. If the kids forget, they at least shut off automatically!

    1. missmanypennies says:

      Oh that’s a great idea, thanks! My kids are the same!

  9. Great tips!!! Turning off the lights when you leave a room is a big struggle with my kids and husband. It’s a daily battle that I fight.

    1. missmanypennies says:

      Me too! My kids are constantly leaving the bathroom light on if they get up in the night.

  10. Great tips! I have one of those “squeezy” tools! Works well! I need to be better with meal prep!

  11. Alexandra says:

    These are some great tips – some are so simple, and you wouldn’t notice much of a change – except that you’ll be saving, which is always good!

  12. Oooh I need the squeezing tool for toothpastes! I always just cut mine in half and use it that way.

  13. These are all great tips. I already do some of them, but a few of your ideas are new to me. I’m always looking for easy ways to save money each month!

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