It’s a nightmare when the cost of living is higher than your earnings.
When you work hard but see your income disappearing just a few days after pay day, desperation starts to set in.
You are hoping to achieve financial independence or retire early but you are not anywhere close to achieve that goal.
If this sounds like you, try applying the below frugal living ideas in your day-to-day life for the next 12 months – you’ll discover the key to achieving financial freedom in 2022 and beyond.
What does frugal living mean?
Frugal living doesn’t mean being cheap. It means spending smart and being responsible with your consumption.
- reducing the cost of less important things to save money
- being responsible towards nature by reducing waste
- and only spending your money on good quality products or things that matter to you.
What is a frugal person? 5 qualities to define a frugal person in 2022
- Frugal people live within their means. This comes down to simple maths: they don’t spend more than they have.
- They are minimalist. They might own fewer things, but they are not necessarily cheap. They buy quality over quantity (for example, buying a good pair of running shoes that will last for years, instead of needing to replace them every six months).
- A frugal person is eco-consious. They want to do their bit for the environment. Some are vegan, or buy second hand.
- A frugal person knows the importance of meal planning and batch cooking.
- Frugal people are financially literate. They have financial goals, they know about budgeting/saving/investing, and they get cash back when they shop.
6 Benefits of frugal living: why living frugally will make your life blossom
- FINANCIAL FREEDOM
It means being debt free, with enough savings and investments to enjoy the kind of life we want.
- EARLY RETIREMENT
Frugal living will help you also in the long term as you’ll have enough savings and investments to retire earlier.
- MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS
When you stop trying to keep up with others’ lifestyles, you’ll experience less stress, and more freedom and fulfilment… Better health.
- SAFETY SAVINGS
If life throws you a curve ball like a career change or losing your job, you can face those challenges with less stress because you’ll have savings that can see you through for a while.
- FRUGAL LIVING IS ECO-FRIENDLY
You’ll generate less waste by buying less stuff you don’t need. You’ll recycle by buying second hand or selling your old things.
- PROMOTES CREATIVITY
You will keep your brain active and creative by thinking of ways to be more money smart and also doing some DIY at home.
How to live a frugal life: simple truths to find more with less
- Realise that money or material things don’t bring happiness.
- It doesn’t happen overnight, living frugally is a process. Be patient and enjoy the journey.
- Start changing your spending habits slowly by adding the below tips step by step.
- Stop comparing yourself with others. We tend to think other people have it all and we don’t, and we feel bad about ourselves. That’s a toxic position to be in. If you feel that way, stop following those people on social media. Be kind to yourself.
How to Live a Frugal Life: Saving on FOOD in 11 Easy Steps
For most of us, our biggest day-to-day expense is probably food. Learn how to save on your daily meals with these simple frugal living tips.
- MEAL PLANNING
Meal Planning means thinking ahead about what you’ll eat for the next week, or even the next month! You’ll save time thinking about what to eat because you already planned for this beforehand, and you’ll avoid eating out because you don’t know what to eat.
Once you have your plan, do your shopping online and stick to it.
- BULK SHOPPING/ BULK COOKING
Spend less money per meal buying and cooking in bulk.
You’ll have to buy more food, but the cost per gram or per litre will be cheaper.
Cook your food in bulk, freeze part of it, and eat it at another time.
Click here to check out “How to make a grocery list on a budget + batch cooking plan”
- STOCK YOUR FREEZER WITH FOOD
Freeze your bulk shopping if you don’t cook it.
A simple way to do this is to put together small bags of food so you can defrost small quantities at a time.
- BUY REDUCED
Reduced price food is good to eat, but the expiration date is getting close so the shop wants to sell it quicker. This means it often comes at a discount.
- USE EVERYTHING YOU HAVE IN YOUR KITCHEN (BE CREATIVE)
If you think you don’t have anything to eat at home, you’ll end up ordering take away or buying more food.
Instead, check everything you have in the cupboards and use your imagination to combine some of the ingredients or leftovers you have at home.
- GROW YOUR VEGGIES
You can grow tomatoes, basil, chillies, spring onions, coriander, cucumbers from the comfort of your garden or your balcony. You’ll save money by getting free food from your garden. Plus, it’s free of pesticides and you’ll reduce carbon emissions as food doesn’t need to be transported to you.
- PACK YOUR FOOD TO WORK
Buying your lunch every day at work is one of the surest ways to see your pay packet disappear.
By meal planning and cooking in bulk, you can pack your lunch the previous night to take it to work. You could save around £300 pounds a month!
- EAT AT HOME
Cooking at home will make a huge difference to your savings. Going out for dinner is nice, but keep it to a minimum. Make a date dinner at home with your partner. You’ll save money and eat healthier.
Check out my book here for Mediterranean recipes to start living frugally while cooking delicious dishes.
- GO VEGGIE SOMETIMES
Buying meat can be quite expensive, depending where you live. Reduce your expenses by making 1 or 2 days a week meat-free.
- MAKE YOUR DOG’S FOOD
Dog food marketing is powerful, it’ll make you believe you need to spend a lot of money to have a healthy dog.
However, the truth is that with a little research you can cook your dog’s food. It’ll be cheaper in the long run, and you’ll make healthier meals for your pet.
- FREEZE THE FRUIT
When buying in bulk, fruit sometimes goes off before you have time to eat it. So put the fruit in the freezer and make smoothies, or add it into your porridge or your pancakes.
12 Frugal Living Tips You Should Know About SHOPPING
- STOP IMPULSE BUYING
Impulse buying is terrible for your budget.
Unsubscribe from tempting email lists. If shopping online, leave purchases in the basket for at least a couple of days to think if you really need it. Most of the time, you don’t!
- BUY GOOD QUALITY CLOTHES FOR CHEAP LIVING
Buying good quality clothes is great for your pocket. They will last longer so you will avoid buying the same piece of clothing all over again.
- BUY SALES OR CLEARANCE
Good quality things also go on sale. Think of waiting for Black Friday to buy something you need. This is good for your pocket and for the planet.
- SHOPPING IN YOUR OWN CLOSET
The good thing about clearing up and organising your wardrobe Marie Kondo-style is that you’ll find things you like but haven’t worn for a while.
Rediscovering an old favourite is like wearing it for the first time.
- HANDMADE PRESENTS
Handcrafted stuff are great gifts for birthdays or Christmas presents. They are unique pieces that nobody can find otherwise.
- BUY SECOND HAND
A lot of people buy things they don’t need and end up selling them on Facebook Market or Ebay. You can find things on many selling platforms. I bought a cute vintage-style bike on Gumtree for £50!
- BUY GENERIC CLEANING BRANDS
Cleaning brands have very good marketing to make you think you need to buy their products.
Don’t fall for the marketing. You can have a clean floor using generic brands.
- BUY A CAR YOU CAN AFFORD
Don’t spend your money buying a brand new car to impress people.
If you need a car, go to the second hand market. You can buy an almost-new car for half of the price.
- COMPARE INSURANCE
Insurance companies are always giving discounts to new customers. Compare insurance every year for your car or house. If you find a better deal, don’t be afraid to change.
- CHECK OUT THE LIBRARY
Spending money on books you only read once isn’t money smart. Go to the library to get unlimited books for free.
- USE COUPONS
Use supermarket rewards cards when you shop. You’ll get coupons with cash to shop in the future.
- GET CASH BACK
When you purchase with some credit cards, you can get cash back in certain shops. For example, I use AMEX, and I get cash back in shops and also I accumulate avios points to get free flights.
The Best Frugal Living Tips to Save Money on Your LIFESTYLE
- LOOK AFTER YOURSELF
Eating healthy and doing exercise will help you in the long term. You won’t only be in a good shape, you’ll also save on hospital bills, medications and time at the doctor.
- WALK OR CYCLE
Try to walk or cycle to work. If it’s far, consider moving out somewhere closer or try to work from home. If not, change jobs!
- CREATE DATE NIGHTS AT HOME
Eating out is expensive, if you want to do something special, put some candles out, take a nice table cloth and prepare something delicious. It’s romantic and intimate.
If you live in a huge house, think about if you need so much space. Sometimes we pay more for something we don’t need. Maybe you would be happier in a smaller place if you had more money to spend on the things that really matter to you.
- FRUGAL TRAVELLING
When going on holidays, you can cut the expenses in many ways. Try to fly to cheaper airports. Check local AirB&B options instead of hotels. And make sure to look out for free tours and museums.
- CUT COFFEES
Getting a coffee every day in Starbucks is expensive. It can add thousands to your expenses every year. No joke – do the maths.
- FREE GYM CLASSES ON YOUTUBE
Stop spending on expensive memberships when you can do it for free.
- CUT THE CABLE
Paying for cable TV is ridiculous when you can pay so little by comparison if you subscribe to Netflix or any other online streamer (from £3 a month).
Many YouTube videos are available to learn how to fix things. During the pandemic, I removed the carpet in my bedroom and changed it into flooring myself just by watching instructional videos on YouTube.
- SAVE ON SALON TREATMENTS
If you want to see the difference in your bank balance, dye your hair and do your nails at home.
- NEGOTIATE EVERYTHING
Negotiate the price of almost everything you buy, especially big purchases. If you are buying a house, always negotiate, if you are renting a house, or buying a second hand car, also negotiate the final price. Over time, these big purchases would make the most difference in your monthly spending.
- EDUCATE YOURSELF FOR FREE
Money is not an excuse to not learn. If you want to learn something you can always master it by learning for free on platforms like YouTube.
How to Live Frugally Saving on HOUSEHOLD Expenses
- USE LED LIGHT BULBS
LED light bulbs use less energy and they last longer.
- LOWER ELECTRICITY BILL
Use the oven only in winter, not in summer. Your home will get warm with the oven on and will be using less energy. And instead of turning on the heating, think about wearing more clothes instead.
- INSULATE YOUR WALLS AND CAULK YOUR WINDOWS
It’ll be warmer in winter and you will use less energy.
- MAKE YOUR OWN CLEANING PRODUCTS
This is a frugal living tip from the Great Depression era, but you can check out YouTube videos now to make your own cleaning products using simple ingredients like vinegar.
- BUY GENERIC
When you use specific brands, you’ll be paying more for the marketing they do. Generic brands will often do the same job just as well, but for a cheaper price.
- USE DRYING RACKS INSTEAD OF THE DRYER
Using the dryer to dry your clothes is more expensive than using a drying rack. You’ll notice the difference in your energy bill.
- UNPLUG BEFORE YOU LEAVE
Unplug all the electrodomestics around the house. Switch all the sockets off. Little savings like this to your energy bill will add up over time.
- FULL UP THE DISHWASHER
This will save electricity by using the dishwasher less often. Also, don’t use a heat dry setting as this option consumes a lot of energy.
- TAKE MILITARY SHOWERS
You don’t need to spend 30 minutes in the shower. Open the tap, get wet. Get some soap and clean yourself. If you use only cold water at the end of your shower, it will be easier to get out – and it’s good for you!
- DECLUTTER BUT DON’T BUY MORE
Spring cleaning is great to get rid of things you don’t use anymore. You can donate them or sell them to make extra cash. Facebook market is a good place to sell. However, if you buy more things to fill the space again you won’t be making any savings.
FINANCES: Frugal Living on One Income
- AVOID CREDIT CARD DEBT
Credit cards are good to build credit up your record, but they are not an unlimited source of money. You need to pay the card bill every month, so don’t spend more than you have.
- CHECK MONTHLY STATEMENTS
Understand where your money is going. Unsubscribe to anything you don’t use.
- AUTOMATE PAYMENTS
Pay yourself first. I always transfer my savings and investments into a different account so I don’t spend what I don’t have in my normal account.
- HAVE AN EMERGENCY FUND
Life is better when you have an emergency fund. Save until you have enough to live on for 3 to 6 months. Put it in a different account and never spend it. This is only for emergencies.
- USE MONEY MAKING APPS (INVESTMENT APPS TOO)
Open an investment account app like Nutmeg. You need only £500 to open an account and monthly minimum payments of £100. They will manage your money, investing in different things depending on the level of risk you want to take. Seeing your money grow is fun.
- START A SIDE HUSTLE
Sell handcrafted products on Etsy, start a blog, self-publish a book on Amazon or teach English online. The sky’s the limit.
Discover the Benefits You Can Get with Frugal Living.
Frugal living is using your imagination to spend smart.
One of the habits of most rich people is being frugal – that’s why they have money.
You can’t feel cheap for being clever with your finances.
Action all the frugal living ideas you’ve learned here to start your journey towards financial freedom.
For more bulk cooking tips for frugal living, check out the recipes in my book
“The Little Mediterranean Cookbook: How to Cook Simple Mediterranean Dishes from Spain”.
you’ll find something delicious here:
…or Click here to check out The Little Mediterranean Cookbook on Amazon.
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