When trying to save money, the phrase “one step at a time” is your mantra. The way I see it, every little bit helps when you’re trying to build up your savings account.
That said, a few things on this list could make a big difference in your savings if you do them daily or weekly—so if any of them sound like something that would work for you, give it a try!
Frugal Ways to Save Money:
1. Look at where your money goes
Just look at your bank statement, credit card statement, and credit report. You’ll get a lot of information about what you’re spending money on and where it’s going.
You can also go through your budget or create one if you don’t already have one. Look at income and expenses to see if there are places where you can cut back on spending.
2. Understand your triggers
Understanding your triggers and spending habits can significantly help you save money. The average American spends $156 per month on impulse buys, according to an American Express Spending & Saving Tracker Survey. That’s almost $2,000 per year!
To combat this, grab a piece of paper and write down everything that inspires you to spend money when out and about. This can be anything from seeing a new pair of shoes at the mall or considering a vacation. Write it all down so you know precisely why you spend money on these items.
Once you have identified what triggers you to spend money, think about how else this could be avoided by either having less access to cash (like only carrying enough for essentials) or simply having more willpower when shopping around town (i.e., not buying anything unless it’s on sale).
3. Eat out less
Eating out is expensive, and it’s also not very healthy. That’s why you should try to eat at home as much as possible. The easiest way to do this is to plan ahead and make your meals.
If you can’t plan, try to avoid eating out at lunchtime — instead, bring a sandwich or salad from home and eat it at your desk (or if you’re feeling fancy, eat at a park).
4. Make dinner from scratch
If you’re going to eat a lot at home, you’ll want to ensure that the food you’re cooking is healthy and delicious. You can make dinner from scratch — but not every night! It’s better if you only do this once or twice weekly so that you don’t get bored with the same recipes repeatedly.
5. Eliminate your soda habit
Soda is one of the most expensive things you can buy for yourself, especially if it comes in a bottle. If you are trying to save money and want to drink something sweet, try water with some fruit juice or other natural sweetener.
Water is also much better for your health than soda. Soda contains phosphoric and carbonic acids, which can be hard on your teeth and digestive system. Carbonic acid also causes bloating when consumed in large amounts over time. Water doesn’t have any of these problems!
6. Start a garden and grow your food
Do you have a green thumb? If so, starting a garden could be the frugal way to go. You can grow your herbs and vegetables in your backyard or on a balcony. If that’s not an option for you, there are also community gardens in most major cities.
You’ll not only save money by growing your own food, but it’s healthier than what you can buy at the grocery store, too!
7. Learn how to plan healthy & frugal meals
Planning meals in advance is one of the easiest ways to save money on groceries. It’s also a great way to get your family to eat healthier.
Planning meals ahead of time allows you to use coupons, sales, and special offers that are only available at certain times of the year. You can also plan around leftovers from previous meals so they don’t go to waste!
In addition, cooking in bulk lets you make an entire week’s worth of meals quickly and easily so there’s no waste or extra trips back and forth from the grocery store.
If you need help getting started with meal planning, plenty of websites are dedicated solely to helping home cooks find easy, budget-friendly recipes, too!
8. Save energy by making simple changes to your home & lifestyle
You can save energy and money by making simple changes to your home and lifestyle. You might not be able to afford a new roof, but you can insulate your attic for less than $200.
You may not be able to replace all your old appliances, but you can buy energy-efficient models that will help reduce your utility bills. And you don’t have to spend a fortune on new windows or other upgrades — ensure they’re well-sealed against drafts and leaks.
Here are some additional tips:
- Use less hot water. Installing water-saving showerheads and faucets can reduce water consumption by up to 30 percent.
- Turn off lights when they’re not in use. Installing motion sensor light switches can save energy and money by automatically turning off lights when no one is in the room.
- Set your thermostat higher during the day and lower at night. Adjusting the temperature by 10 degrees for eight hours daily can save about 10 percent on cooling costs.
- Lower your heating or cooling bills by selecting Energy Star products when you replace old appliances, electronics, or lighting fixtures.
9. Reduce the number of devices connected to the internet
This is an easy one but can be difficult for some people. You should disable the WiFi on devices you don’t need to access the internet. For example, if you have a smart TV or game console that is not used often and only needs to be used as a media player, you should disable its WiFi connection. This will reduce the number of devices connected to your router and the amount of power they use when powered off because they don’t need to be constantly connected to your network.
10. Plan ahead for significant expenses
Planning for enormous expenses can help you save money if your budget is stretched thin. Some of life’s most significant expenses are house repairs and car repairs. If you know that either of those is coming up, it’s best to start saving money before they happen so that when they do happen, you don’t have to go into debt to deal with them.
The key factor here is knowing what the enormous expenses in life are for YOU and YOUR family. You might look at your local newspaper or search online for coupons for items like diapers or toothpaste. If there aren’t any coupons available for these items where you live, then ask around among friends who may be able to share as well!
11. Make saving automatic
The best way to ensure you’re saving regularly is by setting up automatic deposits from your checking account into a savings or investment account. You can do this online or through your financial institution’s website or mobile app. You’ll never even see the money leave your account, but it will build up over time.
12. Set financial goals and reward yourself when you reach them!
Instead of making a massive change in your finances at once, set smaller goals you can achieve.
For example, if you want to get out of debt and save money, try setting a goal to pay off one monthly credit card bill. Once you’ve done this for six months, reward yourself with something small but meaningful—maybe buy yourself a cup of coffee or go out on the town with friends.
Then set another goal, like paying off two credit cards per month for six months in a row. When you have reached that goal again, reward yourself! The key is setting financial goals and rewarding yourself when you reach them—this will help keep up the motivation until the end of your journey!
13. Be consistent and persistent
- Consistency and persistence are key.
- Don’t give up.
- Don’t be discouraged by setbacks, and don’t let any minor distractions get in your way of reaching your goal.
- Stay focused on what matters most to you, even if it sometimes gets tough!
Final Thoughts on Frugal Ways to Save Money
There are many ways to save, and you must find the best methods for you. If one of these tips doesn’t work, don’t worry! You can always try another one until it does work for you.
Remember: no matter how much money is coming in each month, it all comes down to how much goes out each month. If we can control our spending, some will always be left over for savings or splurges.