Cryptocurrency is not doing too great, UK inflation hits a 40-year high, one kilogram of cherries costs 35€, real estate prices have sky-rocketed, and have you seen the petrol prices? The times are tough, man.
It’s time to start saving up, like seriously. No more “next month.” Prepare that dinner at home tonight. But on a serious note, everything gets more expensive each day, and, unfortunately, the numbers on paychecks don’t grow at the same rate as prices do.
Recently, a Reddit user asked fellow members of the Frugal community to share “The most frugal hack you’ve discovered that made the most difference,” and folks delivered. Look at some of the money-saving tips people have shared that made the most dent in their life. Do you use any of these tips? Perhaps you have more ‘frugal’ tips to add to the list?
More info: Reddit
Image source: OneFingerIn, Max Delsid
It’s not a hack of any sorts, but learning how to cook really well has been my best money saver. I almost never want to go out, because I can generally cook better food at home.
Today’s dinner (egg roll in a bowl made with marinaded chicken thighs) came out to less than $2 per portion and was within my veggie-heavy diet.
Image source: barkle, Nick Page
Hang drying clothes helps them last longer
Image source: PuffinStuffinMuffins, Waldemar Brandt
Being environmentally conscious. You’d be surprised with how much overlap there is between frugal and sustainable living. It’s the mindset more than anything else that cuts down my expenses.
I buy second hand. Catch public transport. Gone vegetarian. Bring my own package free snacks. Learned to repair clothes. Compost to feed the garden that feeds me. I use reusable hygiene products (cups and safety razors). I use tea towels instead of paper towels. I use soap bars rather than liquid soaps that come in plastic containers (they last waaay longer). I buy quality clothes/electronics that last longer. I use my library rather than buying physical books. And most importantly, I’ve stopped buying plastic garbage I don’t need.
Image source: artlessdodger10, Creative Christians
Put stuff in a virtual cart. Leave it. Mull it over for a few days. The urge usually passes, and that’s when I realize it wasn’t a real need and something else — boredom, insidious advertising, etc.
Image source: deltacurious, National Cancer Institute
Any meds that are out of pocket, I asked the doc to prescribe the generic ones
Image source: nava08al, Sincerely Media
– Taking advantage of residual heat when cooking saves me on gas and electricity.
– Learning how to make sauces (mostly for Asian dishes) and dressings from scratch.
– Not buying cleaning products for every part of the house. If you have bleach, dish soap, vinegar, and baking soda, you’re pretty much set for any mess in the house.
– Making a list of the dishes you most frequently make
– Setting a time limit for certain appliances. For instance, I’ll only turn on the TV after 7pm and I’ll try to towel dry my hair to keep hair dryer use at a minimum.
Image source: MotherOfGeeks, Becca McHaffie
I buy all my furniture and clothes (except underwear) in thrift stores.
Image source: ThatChicagoDuder, Funky Tee
Some of these are kinda weird but here we go:
1) Get a bidet: it takes a little bit to get used to, but once you do, you’ll never feel cleaner. That and your TP will go a lot longer.
2) Get a bunch of old rags and wash & reuse them instead of paper towels or anything to wash your hands. You can usually find these cheap if you look around and will save you a ton of money in the long run compared to paper towels.
3) Costco Membership: costco is extremely brand conscious and their products are really high quality and depending on what you buy, can last you a considerable amount of time. More so, the buying in bulk helps out, their gas is noticeably cheaper than anywhere else, and their customer service and the way they treat their employees is light years ahead of any other retailer i ever dealt with.
4) Switch to LED bulbs – they last longer, are cost effective now to other lightbulbs and use a fraction of the energy so you save more money too.
5) Make sure you keep your tire pressure right and to also change air filters yourself. These seem like easy things to gloss over but will save you a ton of money on getting better gas mileage and also just saving you maintenance costs as well. Also, the air filter replacements at most garages cost for some reason way more than they should. Go on YouTube and you’ll find videos of how to do it, and you’ll be more well-rounded. It’s pretty dang easy.
6) Get sleep (and a good mattress if you can). I found i spend more money or dont function as good and spend more time on needless stuff/redoing things if im sleep deprived. Getting that good sleep is free and you’re health and happiness…..health is wealth!
Image source: ss111, Alexander Mils
Budgeting with cash envelopes. Having a budget for everything has been the ultimate frugal hack. Do I want to spend my $60 food budget on a takeout dinner or go wild at an outlet store and get two weeks worth of food?
Image source: Seminolehighlander, Van Tay Media
Sharing streaming services with friends/library card (so easy to get, please just do yourself a favor and check out your library’s requirements).
Image source: Neither-Welder5001, Volha Flaxeco
Buy good quality clothes, learned basic sewing and hemming to tailor them and look good. I air dry them and they look good for a long time.
Sometimes there are great sales on jeans that are too long for my size. I learned to sew a French hem to keep the original hem.
Image source: Exekiel, Markus Spiske
Having spares. Took me a long time to get my wife to do this. You have a toothpaste, or a tin of coffee or whatever. The next time it goes on sale, you buy it, even if it’s next week. Then once you finish the first and open the second you watch for sales again.
Image source: Lopsidedlopside, Artem Makarov
Cutting my sponges in half. There’s nothing a whole sponge can do that a half one can’t. It’s easily the most simple frugal thing I’ve done that literally doubled my life of a product.
Image source: dahlhouse21, Dan Gold
Definitely growing our own veggies and herbs! I dry the herbs and use all winter!
Image source: dayglo_nightlight, r. nial bradshaw
This is more environmental than frugal, but I started using kitchen towels instead of paper towels for most tasks. A roll of paper towels used to last me two weeks. Now I buy a three pack once a year.
Image source: very-simple-guy, Irma Sophia
I am dying my black clothes black, its great. The stuff looks like new, even though i had those short pants for 14 years
Image source: GiveMeThePeatBoys, Millie Mae
I can’t stress this enough. Porridge for breakfast. It’s roughly €0.06 per person if you only added water and salt. With a little milk, fruit, and other toppings it can still be as little as €0.50 per person. Plus oats keep you full for a long time and are amazing for your health.
Here in Ireland a 1.5kg bag of rolled oats is €3. You don’t need to spring for expensive brand names. Any rolled oats will do.
Mix 0.5 cups of dry oats with 1.5 cups of any preferred liquid per person. Leave this mixture in a saucepan on medium heat and walk away for 15 to 20 minutes. Go take a shower. Get dressed, etc. Cooking oats slow gives them their creaminess. When you come back, give it a couple of stirs and add more liquid if you like a creamier consistency. Add your desired topping. And that’s it. Even plain salted porridge with a little bit of milk can be really delicious and very easy on the stomach. It’s actually really great hangover food.
Image source: ReadingReddit9898, Leif Christoph Gottwald
We keep two 5L bottles by the shower and fill them up before taking a shower so we aren’t wasting the running water while waiting for the water to be hot enough to shower. We then use this water to mop the floor and water plants. It has actually reduced our water bill quite a bit and helps us save water.
Image source: sydj_k941, Burst
Using curbside pickup through my local grocery store app. My account is connected, so I get points and can apply discounts from the ad. But the main takeaway is that I have removed all temptation to buy things I don’t need! It probably cut my grocery bill at least in half at this point.
Image source: _-Mayday-_, Rebecca Manning
Menstrual cup a one time expense that may last for up to 10 years. I’ve had mine for 5 years and I really I had known about these since my early 20s.
Safety razor, I think I paid like $15 bucks for it and a 250 pack replacement razors. It’s been 5 years and still haven’t had to buy more.
Bonus is less stuff going to landfills.