5 Simple, Minimalist & Frugal Ways to Save Money
In today’s video, I’m sharing frugal ways to save money. Many of us are feeling the squeeze of inflation. I thought it might be useful to give you some frugality tips to save money. I hope you find inspiration. Without further ado, let’s get into the frugal ways to save money.
1. Saving on electricity
Electricity and gas prices are high right now. The frugality tip to save money is to beware of energy leakage. Every plugged-in device leaks energy, even when it's on standby or switched off.
We unplug devices, like our juicer, when they aren’t in use. Of course, some things are just impractical to unplug. But, the things we can unplug, we do, and we also don’t use gadgets we don’t need.
Check if you have an off-peak rate for electricity. Here in the Netherlands, it’s common for electricity to be cheaper on nights and weekends. I usually do laundry and baking on the weekends.
It might also be cheaper to charge your laptop or phone at night, but beware that there’s leakage if you keep your phone plugged in overnight after the phone is already full.
A tumble dryer uses up a lot of electricity. Basically, anything that needs to warm things with electricity is expensive. That includes things like dryers, dishwashers, microwaves, and boilers. Air-drying your laundry is really easy and simple. It can save money and help the environment.
Charge your phone or laptop at work to save a little. You can take advantage of anything you get for free at work. If your work offers free coffee, don’t make yourself a coffee before work, but drink it at work. Those simple things add up.
Another frugal way to save money is not to boil more hot water than you need. Or, if you drink a lot of tea, cook the whole pot and keep it in a thermal, insulated can to use throughout the day.
If you have a greasy pan of course you need hot water to wash the dish. But many things don’t need hot water, like our juicer, which just has celery residue. Since we started rinsing these things with cold water, we’ve seen our gas usage go down.
Every month we get a review of how much we used that month compared with the past. It’s fun and insightful to see if we can lower our gas and electricity usage.
2. Save water
In the Netherlands, water is really inexpensive, but it’s still better to use less because even if we can’t save money, we can save the planet a bit. These water-saving tips may help.
While we wait for warm water in the sink, we catch the cold water that comes first and use it for watering our plants. When I was growing up, we put a bucket in the shower to catch the cold water and used it to flush the toilet.
You could also do gray water, but that’s more complicated. It means catching the water going down the drain and using it for your garden, but you can’t use chemicals, and you need something to catch the water. We tried but didn’t find it practical. It may be something you want to look into.
3. Save on disposables
Another thing my mom did was smash our toilet rolls, so they would be oval, not round. This prevented us from overusing the paper, by making it harder to roll down. If you have small kids or tend to overuse toilet paper yourself, this little hack may help you.
For those with menstrual cycles, try a menstrual cup or reusable pad. I use an AllMatters cup. After four years, my cup’s in perfect condition. It costs around 25 euros (about $30) and saves me so much. I used to spend around 10 euros (about $11) a month on chemical-free tampons. And, it’s way better for the planet.
4. Save on food
When you are grocery shopping, buying in bulk is cheaper. You can also consider vegetarian or vegan meals because meat is expensive. If you try vegan meals, look for meals that just don’t use animal products, because meat replacements are often not cheaper.
Batch cook and meal prep. If you’re making things like pasta or hotchpotch (a Dutch mashed potatoes and greens dish) make a batch and eat it throughout the week or freeze it.
Buy what’s in season and look at what is on sale at the supermarket. Avoid the really off-season things that ship from the other side of the world, because that’s not good for the planet or our wallets.
You can also consider skipping your snacks every now and then.
Another tip about food: make sure to use what you have in your pantry. I’m doing a project pantry, where I try to use everything that’s been in my pantry for a while.
I cooked dry beans that were in my pantry into bean burgers and froze them. Every time I want a bean burger now, I can just grab one from the freezer. I’m going to do the same with my chickpeas – boil a bunch and make hummus and falafel.
5. Save on travel
Try to walk or take a bike. If you avoid taking your car that’s great because gas is really expensive. Public transportation here can be inexpensive if you use it daily, but if you go every now and then, you have to buy full-price tickets, instead of membership, so I also don’t take public transportation if I don’t need to.
I read that, in our heads, we have categories for our money that we don’t like to switch between. When car fuel is expensive, we look for cheaper fuel to save, when we could just get regular fuel and save by spending less at the grocery store. In our heads gas and groceries are different things.
See if this is something that you do and if you can save money in several areas at the same time instead.
Frugal ways to save money
Thanks for being here. It was fun talking to you. I’d love to hear your tips regarding frugal ways to save money. Leave a comment and let me know how you save.