Money Savings

Reader Question: How Can I Be More Frugal and Increase Savings?

September 2, 2016
70+ ways to be more frugal so you can save more money. Read this so you can get your money right today!
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I’m not the most frugal person by any means, but I can save a dolla and I’m glad this reader reached out with this question – “I know I need to automate more in terms of saving and frugal living. Any tips?”

Easy enough, right?

I have PLENTY of tips (73 tips at that) I’m going to share with you today and I’m going to leave this list open because I’m sure there will always be room to add more to the list.  

Before we get started let me give you the rundown on this reader’s question series.  I’ll be featuring a question each week as long as you keep them coming.

You can ask in the comments or I’ve created a special Google Form for you to submit your questions. If you have a question don’t hesitate to reach out!

Now, let’s tackle this week’s question!

70+ ways to be more frugal so you can save more money. Read this so you can get your money right today!

 

The Never-ending List on How To Be More Frugal (So You Can Increase Savings!)

 

Money

  1. Monitor your expenses and figure out your money leaks.
  2. Create a budget!  You won’t save a dime without one of these.
  3. Open up an online account with Capital One 360 and set up an auto-deposit from each paycheck. This will solve all of your savings issues because your savings will grow in no time!
  4. Consider a cash-only budget for spending (entertainment, groceries, dining out, etc)
  5. Overestimate expenses rather than not having enough. Bank the savings.
  6. Set a date in your calendar to increase your retirement and other short-term savings goals by 1 percent (preferably around the time you receive an annual increase or bonus).
  7. Adjust your tax withholdings and stop letting the government borrow so much of your check. Use this IRS calculator to help you determine the correct amount you should withhold.
  8. Shop for new insurance yearly.
  9. Use Google Calendar for bill reminders. Pay your bills on time and avoid late fees!
  10. If you don’t have the money for a bill, call the people so again – you can avoid late fees!
  11. Sign up for FREE banking!  You should not be paying the bank to hold your dolla bills.
  12. Instead of paying ATM fees for cash, ask for cash back when you make purchases.
  13. Sign up to take surveys and immediately deposit earnings into savings. I made $21 dollars from Pinecone this month and there are plenty of others like Harris Poll, American Consumer Panel.

Entertainment

  1. Dump the cable box, grab an antenna, a streaming device, and a Hulu/Netflix subscription.
  2. Don’t eat out without a coupon.
  3. Speaking of eating out, how about catching a deal using Restaurants.com. Major savings there!
  4. Have popcorn/pizza and a movie night at home.
  5. Have game night with the kids.
  6. Forget Redbox, stream movies using Amazon Prime TV (try Amazon Prime TV free for 30 days to see if you like it)
  7. Visit your local museum on free days (ours is on a Sunday… look yours up!)

 

Around The House

  1. Get organized. Having a bunch of clutter sometimes ends up in you buying stuff you already have.  I like having a place for certain things and here are some organizational tools you’ll find around my house: clear shoe boxes, under-bed storage, shelf-buckets, drawer dividers, etc.
  2. Make your own laundry detergent with these ingredients: 2 bars of laundry soap, 4 lbs of baking soda, 1 box of Borax, 1 box of washing soda.
  3. Make your own home cleaner. My favorite is regular old white vinegar and Dawn dish detergent.
  4. Hang your clothes to dry on a rack like this one instead of drying using a dryer.
  5. Shop online using Ebates and receive cash back rebates for online purchases.
  6. Learn how to bargain hunt at drug stores for household goods.
  7. Ditch bottled water and purchase a water bottle.
  8. Wash your own car, don’t let a machine do it.
  9. Wash dishes by hand or wait until you have a full dishwasher.
  10. Wash clothes using cold water.
  11. Get a programmable thermostat. This one is similar to ours except ours is black.
  12. Don’t buy those disposable plastic containers. Invest in some Pyrex (I have two sets like these and love them!)
  13. Don’t buy those aluminum casserole or cake pans unless you’re bringing dinner to a potluck and don’t won’t to worry about Aunt Pearl keeping your stuff. Purchase your own glass casserole or aluminum cake pans if you use them all the time.
  14. Ditch the paper plates.
  15. Ditch paper towels. We use cloth dinner napkins like these for eating and washcloths for cleaning.
  16. Don’t buy something that you will use only once. For example, a table saw (unless you’re mister and miss handy) — see if you can borrow.
  17. CFL bulbs last longer. Cost more, but last waaay longer. And the power people say you can save money on your electrical bill too.

 

Food

  1. Create a meal plan.
  2. Earn cashback on groceries with Ibotta. Plus, all new users get a $10.00 bonus for trying the app. Sign up here!
  3. Don’t brown bag it. Buy a lunch box for crying out loud.
  4. Stock up on basic goods and groceries at a discount grocer such as Aldi.
  5. Eat breakfast for dinner.
  6. Rotisserie chicken is cheap at Wal-mart whenever you’re facing a time crunch.
  7. Speaking of that bird, use a whole chicken for MULTIPLE meals. Use it all the way down to making chicken broth using the bones!
  8. On Taco night, use less meat and slide some more beans up there. I fool my hubby and kids all the time!
  9. Eggs are cheap and you can use them to whip up all kinds of culinary creations.
  10. Buy frozen veggies and fruits on sale.
  11. If you catch fresh veggies and fruits on sale, buy extra and freeze them.
  12. Need spices? Check the ethnic aisles of the grocery store OR head on over to the dollar store to check out their selection. I hardly worry about spices though because Aldi has me covered.
  13. Buy containers and reusable lunch baggies and portion out snacks or chips for your kid’s snacks and lunches.

 

Clothing

  1. Use the clothes strategy I use for my kids.
  2. Shop children’s consignment stores. ThredUp is a good online consignment store for kids!
  3. Limit your choices. If you have two great work suits, invest in more work shirts and create a capsule wardrobe of sorts.
  4. If you shop retailers like JcPenney, Kohl’s, or Macy’s online, do not forget to use Ebates!
  5. Stick with simple clothing that can be mix/matched together.

 

Credit

  1. Kill your credit card debt. You’ll save so much interest!
  2. If you absolutely need to build credit, try building it without credit cards!  Read more about Self Lender here.
  3. Never carry a credit card balance.
  4. Transfer high-interest debt to a credit card with a lower interest rate or an introductory no interest rate card. Be careful with transfer fees!
  5. If you’re a responsible consumer of credit, utilize credit card rewards for travel.

 

Hobby/Recreation

  1. Don’t shop for recreation. Get a new (and preferably cheap hobby)
  2. Never buy what you don’t need just because it’s on sale.
  3. Don’t buy stuff just because it’s cheap. Some products are worth paying extra money on because of the quality and the amount of use it’ll receive.
  4. Learn a new skill that will pay off like plumbing or basic electrical work. Then you can be your own handyman or handywoman.
  5. If you love to read and buy a lot of ebooks, you might want to hit up Amazon Kindle to read for free. Amazon Kindle has a free 30-day trial so sign up and give it a go and see if it will benefit your pocketbook long-term.
  6. Speaking of Amazon, did you know you get free 2-day shipping with Amazon Prime?

 

Health

  1. Drink water. Everything has sugar nowadays and it’s bad for your health.
  2. Focus on preventative care. Don’t just react to being sick. Prevent it.
  3. Ditch the gym membership and stream your workouts online. Take a walk. Lift your 27 pound 1-year-old (talking to myself).
  4. Don’t want to stream, here is one of my favorite walking dvd’s. I don’t even have to leave the house to walk. I can get a mile (or two) in right in my living room.

 

Gifts

  1. Set a monetary gift limit for birthdays and holidays.
  2. Purchase clearance toys only for kid’s birthdays and keep a hidden stash in the house.
  3. Re-use gift bags.
  4. Purchase cards from the Dollar Tree (they are only 50 cents!)
  5. Give a meal as a birthday gift or a family that’s just had a baby.
  6. Give baked goods.

 

Wrapping Things Up

I’m sure there is plenty more to add to this list and I will update it often. Don’t go and try to do all of these at once either. You’ll quickly give up your new frugal and fab lifestyle if you rush into this. Pick a few from each category that will have the greatest impact on your finances. Once you’ve crossed a couple of the list, come back for more!

 

Any more ways this reader can get their frugal on? Share in the comments below!

 

 

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Latoya Scott
Writer/Creator
Latoya Scott is a personal finance writer and blogger for hire who loves talking about budgets and money. Her mission is to help women create better finances so they can live a carefree lifestyle.

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  • Terri September 2, 2016 at 11:49 am

    This is a great list! Being the frugalista I am, I was sure there would be something for me to add but I can’t think of anything else. I will say that I’ve been actively trying to buy everything online so I can get those cash back rewards on Ebates or Mypoints. So instead of buying things like vitamins, diapers and socks in the store, I just buy them online. The key is to wait till I need to purchase enough things so I can avoid paying for shipping. Not only does shopping online allow me to earn cash back rewards, it limits the amount of times I need to set foot in the store and get tempted to buy other things I don’t need.
    Terri recently posted…How to Save Money Without Falling for the CatchMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott September 2, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Hey Terri, that’s a great point! Thanks for sharing!

  • Kayvona September 2, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    These are really great tips. I definitely ditch cable and just stick to Hulu and Netflix and I rarely go to the Redbox unless I have a 1.25 off or free coupon! I need to be more frugal with my household and food items like shopping at Aldi more and using coupons and those saving apps like Ibotta. I’ve got my second baby on the way so I want to figure out ways to be frugal with my new baby items too
    Kayvona recently posted…5 Non Traditional Diaper BagsMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott September 2, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      Thanks, Kayvona! I find the most savings for baby items at the drug store using their rewards and coupons or either Amazon subscribe and save! I’ll have to add a baby section to this list now that you mention it!

  • Kristin September 2, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE #10 – there is nothing wrong with knowing you have to pay a bill late and calling and asking for help! I think most companies want to work with their consumers and keep the situation positive. A lot of time if you just explain the situation, they will wave the late fees, change your due date and/or give you an extended due date.

    GREAT LIST!!

    • Latoya Scott September 2, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      Thanks, Kristin!!

      • Bernadette February 2, 2017 at 3:56 am

        Great list and place to come to for ideas. Thank you, LaToya.

        • Latoya Scott February 2, 2017 at 10:04 pm

          Thanks, Bernadette:)

  • KenyaRae September 3, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    This list is awesome! You put in WORK on this! Thank you for that! I need to revisit it and treat it like a checklist.
    KenyaRae recently posted…5 Ways to Stay Positive During Tough TimesMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott September 3, 2016 at 9:40 pm

      Thank you, Kenya! Glad it was helpful:)

  • Ty September 3, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    I love your blog and this post. You have been helping me out big time!!! Thank you!
    Ty recently posted…Taraji P. Henson Collabs With MAC for the Taraji CollectionMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott September 3, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      You’re welcome, Ty:)

  • Tiffany H. September 4, 2016 at 12:04 am

    I bought a fire stick, still haven’t used it because I’m waiting on my sister to insert the channels..smh
    I don’t consider myself to be a big spender but from this list i can see areas that I def can work on .
    Tiffany H. recently posted…Solo Travel does not mean you have to be alone!My Profile

    • Latoya Scott September 4, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      You should definitely get those channels on your fire stick. You’ll stay entertained:)

  • Pamela September 4, 2016 at 10:34 am

    These are great tips. I especially like the meal plan one. I find that is a great way to be frugal and bank the savings

    • Latoya Scott September 4, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Yes, it definitely is, Pamela:)

  • Mimi Green September 4, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    I’m so keeping this because I need reminders. This is a great list, I’ve added it to my Pinterest boards. I like to be frugal when I can.
    Mimi Green recently posted…Ubiquitous Expo RecapMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott September 4, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      Awesome! Thanks so much, Mimi!

  • Preschool2teen September 4, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Ibotta is my best friend! lol Great tips.
    Preschool2teen recently posted…Greenhorn Book Review – Take A Stand Against BulliesMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott September 5, 2016 at 12:00 am

      It’s slowly growing on me too. I just need them to put my grocery store, Aldi, back on there and we’ll be good.

  • Elle Cole September 5, 2016 at 1:23 am

    We’re pretty good about saving, but I would love to learn more about investment options and the stock market.
    Elle Cole recently posted…Finance Friday: Can You Stop Hidden Fees?My Profile

    • Latoya Scott September 6, 2016 at 11:02 pm

      Me too, Elle! This is definitely something I plan to work on in the near future.

  • BriannePatrice September 5, 2016 at 1:45 am

    Girl. I’m printing this for my husband lol. We are trying to be more financially aware. Great advice!

    • Latoya Scott September 6, 2016 at 11:01 pm

      You’re welcome, Brianne!

  • Artney (My Pretty Brown Fit) September 5, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Wow!!! What great tips! I’m sharing this with everyone. Thank you so much for compiling this list.
    Artney (My Pretty Brown Fit) recently posted…10th Anniversary Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2015 Expo + Meet-UpMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott September 6, 2016 at 11:00 pm

      You’re welcome, Artney!

  • Antoinette September 5, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    These are awesome tips. I practice many of them already, but I see many more that would be so very useful. Thanks for this.

    • Latoya Scott September 6, 2016 at 10:59 pm

      You’re welcome, Antoinette!

  • Joanna September 6, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Great tips. I’ll definitely be sharing. I see some that I didn’t even know about.
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  • Kim September 6, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    I love CapitalOne360. I have an account set up for my nephew, daughter and myself to automatically transfer money every pay check

    • Latoya Scott September 6, 2016 at 10:52 pm

      Yes, I love them too! Makes saving so much easier!

  • Kirstin Fuller September 11, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    A lot of great tips. I can’t deal with Capital One anymore, I prefer my credit union or an online bank like ING for the untouchable savings account (lol).
    Kirstin Fuller recently posted…Don’t Pack Your Samsung Galaxy Note 7!My Profile

  • Laurie September 18, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    I love my programmable thermostat. I got one a little while back and have noticed savings for sure! I try to save in anyway that I can. Great tips, thanks for sharing!

    • Latoya Scott September 19, 2016 at 12:55 am

      You’re welcome

  • Faith Wessels February 4, 2017 at 2:21 am

    when you pay your bill, put the amount of the late fee in your savings as often as you can afford it. It can add up quickly. I try to pay the equivalent of the late fee as extra on my house payment.

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