How to Live Frugally: 10 Ways I Live Frugally & Save Money

Connie Riet
by Connie Riet

Part of living a minimalist and mindful lifestyle is learning how to live frugally. I look at my finances much like I look at other aspects of my minimalist life. I prioritize the things that are important to me and avoid excess.

Frugal living allows me to spend my money intentionally without being wasteful. Here are 10 things I do to live frugally without depriving myself or compromising my quality of life.

Making coffee

1. I make my own coffee

Specialty coffee drinks can be expensive, especially when it's a daily purchase. I love good coffee so I will spend more at the grocery store for good coffee grounds.

I enjoy my morning ritual of boiling water in the kettle and slowly pouring it over the grounds. It's just the way I like it, and it saves a lot of money.

Neutral wardrobe

2. I don’t buy a lot of clothes

In a world of fast fashion, clothing items are outdated and discarded too quickly. Having a simple wardrobe capsule is the best thing I've done to live frugally.

Neutral colors and timeless clothing allow me to mix and match each item, giving me countless options. Buying quality items means they last longer and in turn, I purchase fewer clothes.

Making a weekly meal plan

3. I make a weekly meal plan

Planning and prepping my meals has been an effective way to live more frugally. I plan my weekly meals, make a list of grocery items, and stick to the list.

When I have everything ready for my meals, I'm less tempted to eat out. I also don't have to put a lot of thought into what I'm going to make every night because it’s already planned.

Impulse items can really knock me off track, both from my budget and my fitness goals. Shopping with my meal schedule in mind, I have everything on hand and don't have to make last-minute trips to the grocery store.

With inflation rising, I am careful to only buy what I need for meals. Having a list prevents me from buying food items impulsively.

Buying whole foods

4. I only buy whole foods

I don't buy overly processed foods. I stick to a whole-food diet, which is usually cheaper and healthier. I buy local and in-season produce at farmers' markets. This supports local farmers, and the produce is always fresh.

Packing lunches

5. Pack lunches 

The cost of lunch for several family members five days a week can really add up. When I plan and prep my meals for the week, I include ingredients for lunches. We pack our own lunches. Taking time to plan and prepare lunch the night before saves money and stress.

We love to travel. Since we don’t eat fast food, I pack a small cooler for meals. If we travel for many days, I'll stop at the grocery store and buy a baguette, fruit, veggies, and hummus for lunch. This is far healthier and more cost-effective than fast food.

DIY toiletries and cleaning products

6. I make my own toiletries and cleaning products

Making my own toiletries and cleaning products costs pennies. I feel better knowing we’re not putting strange chemicals on our bodies and in our homes. My homemade products work just as well, if not better than store-bought toiletries and cleaning products.

I make shampoo and conditioner from regular household items like soap, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and water. My homemade body butter only requires coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter. My homemade deodorant has just two ingredients - coconut oil and baking soda.

Using basic ingredients like water, vinegar, olive oil, rubbing alcohol, and essential oils, I make a variety of cleaning products. I make cleaning supplies for windows, all-purpose spray, dusting spray, and air freshener. These simple to make cleaning supplies cost very little and work great.

How to live frugally and save money

7. I don’t buy disposable products

Buying disposable products requires you to make the same purchases over and over. It also puts a lot of waste into landfills. I prefer reusable items like silicone baggies and cloth bread bags in place of disposables. I don't buy paper plates, plastic cups, or utensils.

In place of plastic water bottles, everyone in the family has a metal water bottle that we fill before leaving the house. An old-fashioned metal razor for shaving works wonderfully and keeps plastic disposable razors out of landfills. A package of 50 razor blades costs under $10 and will last me over two years.

Practicing yoga

8. I don’t exercise at a gym

My health is a priority; however, I've never felt the need to join a gym and run on a treadmill. I prefer an outdoor hike. If I'm not near the mountains for hiking, I'll take a walk in my neighborhood.

I have been practicing yoga for 25 years. Yoga is fantastic because I can do it anywhere. My husband, however, is a total gym rat. Wherever we're living, he finds the local gym with the best prices. Currently, his gym membership only costs $10 a month.

The best ways to live frugally

9. I make a budget for eating out

Being frugal doesn't mean that we never eat out at restaurants. My husband and I love date nights and dining in nice restaurants. I set aside a monthly budget for eating out. This way, I'm never surprised at the end of the month by the amount we spent on restaurants.

How to live frugally

10. I don’t use too much heating and cooling

To offset the cost of heating in the winter and cooling in the summer, I keep the house a bit cooler in winter and warmer in summer. Humans were never meant to always live in perfect 72-degree weather. I bundle up when it’s cold, and wear something light when it’s warm.

How to live frugally

These 10 ways I live frugally have made a huge impact on our budget. I hope that you found value in this article. If you did, I invite you to please comment. Have a beautiful day.

Join the conversation
3 of 26 comments
  • Krista Burkhardt Krista Burkhardt on Mar 11, 2024

    I’d love some of the recipes for your household toiletries or a link to where I can find them.

    • Elizabeth Dion Elizabeth Dion on Mar 11, 2024

      Most of the natural homemade product recipes can be found on Pinterest. Inexpensive to make, unadulterated by chemicals and great outcomes is the way to go!

  • Deborah Frakes Deborah Frakes on Apr 21, 2024

    Love your ideas.