photo credit; IbrahimRifata @photoripey - unsplash

“Be studious in your profession, and you will be learned. Be industrious and frugal, and you will be rich. Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy. Be in general virtuous, and you will be happy”. – Benjamin Franklin

Frugality is not a luxury; it is a necessity. It is also a habit built into our character and our legacy – what we pass on to our children. Understanding frugality is the first step to making it an integral part of your lifestyle. It is not just about saving money; it is, more importantly, about living our values and determining who and what is important to us Being frugal does not equal being cheap. Being frugal means making sound decisions based on:

  •  Values
  •  Priorities
  • Goals
  • Needs

We could all do with a little frugality in our lives. The benefits awe awesome and it really can become not only a lifestyle but also very addictive once you get started. I wanted to share with you 25 frugal starting tips many of which I have incorporated into my life and some I am still working on. I hope this will inspire you.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started.

1. Live below your means

This is a very obvious tip and one we should all be doing anyway to avoid credit card debt and having to eat macaroni and cheese for lunch and supper every day.

2. Have a budget

Again, a very straight forward step. If we don,t know what is going out and how much as well as what money is coming in we will definitely be upside down in our finances.

3. Have an emergency fund

Always a good plan. We never know when (not if) we will have some kind of emergency to pay for. Job loss happens and circumstances change. Plan for change.

4. Plan and set goals

This means thinking long term. What are you saving for? What expenses do you foresee down the road? What would you like to be able to do?  Plan your dreams and set them to goals.

5. Redefine fun and entertainment

Fun can be both free and fun. Entertainment does not need to be expensive. Take advantage of free or inexpensive activities and services available. Also, consider all the free or low-cost entertainment which can be enjoyed at home.

6. Be a smart shopper

A smart shopper asks questions and compares prices. A smart shopper evaluates the quality and thinks long term utility.

7. Question purchases

A smart shopper also asks pertinent questions such as:

  • Do I need this?
  • Do I already have something that will serve the same purpose?
  • Do I have somewhere to put it?
  • Can I find it cheaper elsewhere?

8.  Buy second hand, used items where possible

This can include used clothing, baby items, furniture or just about anything. There are so many used marketplace groups on social media and by purchasing used, you can definitely save a good deal of money (to take that trip you have been wanting to go on).

9. Learn from Youtube

You can learn just about anything on youtube, new skills, how to fix things, new ways of making money – anything you want is there. Frugal people make good use of youtube for ways to save and earn money.

10. Save ALL your change

Every nickel, dime and quarter counts when you add them all up. Don,t disregard small change – it is still money. Keep it in a jar, save it until you have a lot. Then take it to the coin machine and turn it into bills. You will be surprised at how much you have.

11. Think long term

Thinking long term is helpful right across the board.  When it comes to our money and how we spend it, we want to be sure that we are getting value and usefulness for our money. we want to make sure that the hard-earned money we spend will be for items or services that will last a long time and serve us well in the long-range.

12. Bring your own lunches

lunches bought day after day or even occasionally can dig into your wallet over time. It really is far cheaper, not to mention healthier to pack lunch from home. you will know what you are eating and won,t have to pay the extra to eat it.

13. Cancel subscriptions

These can include magazine subscriptions, online subscriptions, 30-day trials that you forget to cancel after the trial period. all of these can add up if not attended to. anything that a magazine or other subscription can offer can be easily found on the internet. often theses subscriptions entice us with exclusivity, but who needs exclusive these days when information is available everywhere?

14. Drive your car to the end of its life

In a society where everything is disposable, it is unusual to drive the same car to the end of its useful life. Frugal people do this and frugal people save money to do things that really matter to them in the long run. It is inconvenient, but it does save you money.

15. Cook and eat at home

Going back to point # 13, cooking and eating at home can save an individual or family tons of money. It also can be fun trying new recipes and getting creative with how to use up the food we already have on hand. Cooking and eating at home is also a much healthier option.

16. Find hobbies that can produce products or income

Hobbies can be fun and they can turn into income producers as well. For example, a garden can provide seasonal food (saving you money at the grocery store) and can also be a source of income from selling overflow. A craft or a new skill can produce items to sell or services to sell. For example, learning to sew clothes can produce good quality clothing, help you save money on clothing and could possibly turn into a business.

17. Learn to fix things

Let’s face the facts – we pay out a lot of money for other people to fix and repair things that we can do ourselves (guilty as charged here!). There is nothing wrong with delegating out jobs that we don’t have time to do, but we have come to a point where we have delegated our ability to fix things. Youtube can teach us a lot about fixing and repairing and, in the process, save us a lot of money.

18. Consider a plant-based or mostly plant-based diet

Disclaimer; I am not trying to convert everyone to veganism. What I am saying is that a mainly meat and dairy-based diet is much more expensive than a plant-based diet and better for the environment as well. If you are looking to cut back on expenses, this is certainly one way to do it.

19. Reduce waste in the home

A lot of wasting, especially food waste, happens in the home. One way to avoid this waste is to try to use up what you have in the fridge as much as possible before buying more. Another way is to take an inventory of what you have in stock before shopping. For clothing, it may be helpful to find new ways to wear your clothes or, alternatively start a capsule wardrobe where every item is mix and match. There are so many ways to reduce waste in the home and these are just two ways.

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, traveling, learning, and pursuing a debt-free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through