25 Frugal Living Tips With a Big Impact

Today I'm sharing 25 frugal living tips with a big impact. The tips are in five categories: how to save money online, on gas, on laundry, on groceries, and in your everyday life. Let's get started.

Save money on laundry

1 - Zippers up

When putting clothes into the washer, make sure that all zippers are up. The claws of the zipper can attach to other clothes, rough up clothes, and cause damage. So make sure that your zippers are all the way up.

2 - Wash clothes in cold water

It's still going to get them clean and it's going to save money on your water heating bill. Cold water also helps preserve clothes and prevents shrinking.

3 - Do a full load

You don't want your wash to be overstuffed, but make sure you're doing a full load of laundry to make it worthwhile. Don't use all that electricity and heat on a few items.

4 - Hang dry

Hang dry as many clothes as you can. This makes your drying load will dry quicker.

When you do use a dryer to dry your clothes, skip the dryer sheets and use dryer balls. They are better for the environment, sustainable, and reduce your drying time by up to 25%!

Save money on online shopping.

5 - Check out once a week

If you shop online at a certain place, such as Amazon, Walmart, or Target; and do a lot of orders, commit to only checking out once a week.

Throughout your week, add things to your cart, but Saturday morning you're going to look at your cart and assess. Do I really need this? If the answer is no, remove it from the cart.

6 - Cancel subscriptions

If you are doing this, chances are your orders will be over $35 and will qualify for free shipping. This is a great way to eliminate an Amazon Prime subscription, which is about $120.

While you're at it, evaluate all current subscriptions and cancel the ones you don't need or use. Also, cancel free trials by setting a calendar reminder to cancel the trial before it ends.

7 - Delete your credit card from your computer

Then, when you go to make a purchase, you have to get up and get the card. Is it worth getting up? If it's not worth getting up, save money and don't buy it.

8 - Return items

Don't procrastinate. It adds up quickly if you are not returning those unwanted items.

Save money on gas

9 - Group your errands

I recommend grouping errands such as going to the grocery store, getting gas, going to the pharmacy, or going to the bank. That way, you're not going back and forth wasting gas.

10 - Get gas on Mondays

Did you know that gas stations have lower prices on Monday and higher prices on Friday? So, fill up your tank on a Monday. It's the cheapest day of the week.

11 - Fill up away from a highway

Gas stations right by a highway are the most expensive. Ones that are 10-15 minutes into town are cheaper.

12 - Use cashback apps.

Use apps like Upside and Fetch Rewards, and GasBuddy to earn cashback or gift cards. You can earn up to $0.20 cashback per gallon when you fill up with Upside. Then, pair that with a cashback-earing credit card to double dip.

13 - Take care of your car

Make sure that everything is working properly so that you're getting the best mileage from your car. Get the oil changed, make sure that your air filter is changed, and you're getting tune-ups and inspections.

14 - Watch how you drive

Are you jackrabbiting as soon as the light turns green and your RPMs are skyrocketing? Or are you slowly accelerating and it's not a race at the green light? I know it's a lot easier just to jack up those RPMs and get right up to it, but that is really going to make your engine work harder and burn through more gas.

15 - Turn off your car if you're waiting

If you are sitting at Walmart grocery pickup or Target pickup, turn off your car if it's going to be a few minutes. If it's going to be quick, then it is going to take more gas to start up your car, but most likely it's going to save money on gas if you turn off your car and restart it, than letting it run idle.

Save money on groceries.

16 - Check your pantry

Check your freezer and fridge before you make your meal plan or go to the store. Make up meal plans around those items and use as many items in your fridge and freezer as possible. Before you go to the store and also use  inventory trackers to easily remember how many of each item you have.  Check out these inventory trackers for your pantry, refrigerator, freezer, and spices

17 - Try grocery pickup

Use grocery pickup to cut back on impulse spending. Another great thing with curbside pickup is you can see as you're adding things to your cart, what the total is. Therefore, if you're over budget, you can cut that item right then.

18 - Buy generic

Buying generic can save you between 10% and 30%. It's incredible how much cheaper generic is, and the quality is just as good. Check out my videoAldi vs Walmart | Which One Is Cheaper? where I broke down the price difference from Aldi compared to Walmart. 

19 - Use cashback apps

Just like gas, you're already going to be spending money on groceries. You might as well get some cashback.

  • Download  Fetch Rewards and earn 2,000 points ($2) when you scan your first gas or grocery receipt with code  QHKBH
  • Download  Ibotta and earn $10 when you scan your first receipt with code  suwetiv.
  • Download  Upside and get $0.20 cash back per gallon on your first fill up with code  FIAB20. (Available with select grocery stores)

Save money in everyday life.

20 - Use the local library

Local libraries have audiobooks, so you don't have to pay for Audible. They also have movies and a lot of activities, especially for kids, and many are free.

21 - Free activities on Facebook.

A lot of cities and surrounding areas have Facebook pages that often post about live events or free events. Those are a great way to entertain yourself for free or low cost.

22 - No-spend challenge by category

  • This is an alternative to doing a full no-spend challenge and not spending on anything. What you can do is no spend on clothes this month, no spend on eating out, no spend on Starbucks, no spend on extra purchases at the gas station, or whatever it may be. But have a category of no-spend. Check out: How To Have A Successful No Spend Month with a FREE PRINTABLE

23 - Pay down your debt

Stop paying high interest on your credit cards or high-interest debt. Pay it down. That's going to save so much money and interest. Now, there are different debt payoff methods. Which debt pay-off method is best for you? The one that you stick to.

24 - Date nights at home

  • Have date nights. It is so important to date your spouse. Cook a nice meal, play a game, watch a movie, just sit and talk. Having those at-home date nights, it's really going to help to keep your marriage or relationship alive. Check out: 16 At Home Date Ideas for some creative ideas!

25 - Travel off-season.

Hotels will give discounts in the offseason. It may not be a prime time to go, but crowds will be less, and the temperature may be a little higher or lower, plus it's going to save you a ton of money.

Frugal living tips with a big impact

That concludes frugal living tips with a big impact. Try them and see how much money you can save!

Kelly Anne Smith | Freedom In A Budget
Want more details about this and other budgeting & minimalist living ideas? Check out more here!
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3 of 15 comments
  • Nancy Redford Nancy Redford on Aug 03, 2022

    I’ve never heard of laundry balls. I’ve heard of the dryer balls to soften towels, etc. , but laundry balls that last for 1,500 washes???? It’s just me and my husband and we’re old. We’ll be dead before we do 1,500 loads of laundry!!! For $5.00 😱! Where have I been? That’s simply amazing. Do your clothes get clean like as if you used Detergent?

    • MELISSA ROTH MELISSA ROTH on Apr 07, 2024

      You don't use laundry balls in the wash. You put them in the dryer with the wet clothes from the laundry. They dry your clothes better than dryer sheets, are non-toxic instead of the load of toxins in the dryer sheets and cut your drying time by up to 25%. I've been using them for years and wouldn't go back. If you like the scented dryer sheets instead spray a little perfume on your dryer balls just before you toss them in the dryer with your wet clothes.

  • Jill Wiegand Jill Wiegand on Aug 05, 2022

    Never heard of wash balls?!? I use wool dryer balls. I heard u can also use tennis balls in the dryer to substitute the wool balls. But not sure it would be smart heating up rubber?