24 Tried-and-Tested Extreme Frugal Living Tips For Saving Money

Shireen Fitzgerald
by Shireen Fitzgerald

Looking for some advice on extreme frugal living? I have come up with my own daily frugal living tips to help anyone looking for advice on how to be extremely frugal. Let's get started!

1. The dishwasher

Dishwashers can help save money on your water bill, but if you are buying expensive washing tablets then it could defeat the purpose. Think wisely when deciding how you would like to wash your dishes. It might be more cost-efficient for you to buy the cheapest dishwasher detergent or perhaps washing by hand would be better.

2. Dishwashing liquid

If you choose to wash dishes and are trying to be extremely frugal it is a good idea to buy the cheapest dishwashing liquid possible. You might need to scrub a bit harder, but it is a way to save money.

3. Fridge and freezer temperatures

Why waste energy when your fridge is running, and you don't need it to be that cold? If you can control the temperatures of your fridge and freezer you can conserve energy and bring down your bill.

4. Fridge door

Avoid frequently opening and closing the fridge door, leaving it open unnecessarily, and staring at what's inside. When getting something from the fridge, try to get everything you need at once and spend the least amount of time with the door open.

5. Cooking large

Batch cooking is a great extreme frugal living tip. The same amount of power is used to cook just one meal, so you may as well cook five times as much.

6. Sponges

Sponges are costly and terrible for the environment. You cannot get the stink out of them and need to replace them often. Instead, use microfiber cloths which work well for any job, and you can clean them in the washing machine and use them again.

7. Breakages

When something breaks, take the time to decide if you really need to replace it immediately. Maybe you can hold off to meet your larger goal. You may find over time that you don’t need to replace it at all!

Vegemite on toast is a cheap meal

8. Cooking cheap

You don’t only have to eat vegemite on toast. Be creative, use the internet and find meals that you can cook on a low budget but are still satisfying.


9. Maintaining your appliances

Caring for your appliances correctly is essential If you don't want to spend money on a costly service or you do not want them to break. It's not going to give you money now, but in the long term, that's going to save you a heap of money.


10. Fillers

Adding fillers such as rice and beans to meals is a good idea to help you stay fuller for longer and spend less money on snacks. Be creative with this, there are many different foods you can use to fill up your plate on a budget.

Making meals using what's in your pantry

11. Pantry meals

Look in your pantry and make meals from the ingredients you have on hand. There might be food you don’t feel like eating but rather use it up and buy something new that you know will be used. This not only gives your pantry a huge turnover but allows you to see what you don’t eat and should not waste your money buying again.


12. Oats

Oats are versatile and satisfying. They are significantly cheaper than other cereals and can be used for a lot more. You could even buy generic brand oats and save a bit more.


13. Cling wrap or foil

I do not use any plastic food wraps or foils. Firstly, they are terrible for the environment but from an extreme frugal living perspective, they are costly. Instead, use containers or reusable food wraps, and when cooking use lids.

Wiping down surfaces with a cloth

14. Wipes

Like cling wrap and foil, wipes are terrible for the environment and are an unnecessary expense when trying to conserve your money. Rather clean up with a cloth, wash it and reuse it.


15. Meals in advance

Meal planning is not only frugal but saves you a lot of time. Planning your meals ensures you know exactly what you need to buy at the store, so you don’t overspend, and it reduces food wastage.

Buying seasonal fruit and vegetables

16. Buy seasonal

Fruit and vegetables out of season are costly. The amount that you will save when you enjoy them in season is worth it. Another great idea is to use frozen fruit and vegetables. They are picked fresh and can last in the freezer for a long time.

How to be extremely frugal

17. Don’t buy cookbooks

Cookbooks are gorgeous and nostalgic but when you are trying to be frugal the internet is a much better option. You can find an abundance of recipes on the internet, so take advantage of that.


18. Ready chopped

Ready chopped food is convenient, but it comes at a price. It does not take long to cut up ingredients and it tastes much better when it’s chopped fresh.


19. No paper towels

Like wipes and cling wrap, paper towel is an unnecessary item. Microfiber cloths can be used to clean up mess and tea towels can be used to wipe your hands. Tea towels are another versatile option that can be used, washed, and reused.


20. Crockpots

Crockpots are energy efficient and extremely convenient. They also come in handy when bulk cooking. If you cannot buy one, see if anyone in your family has a crockpot they aren’t using and are happy to pass on to you.


That is a bonus tip, share items with family and friends. You never know who has items they are not using, and you might need.

How to use a kettle efficiently

21. Kettle

Kettles draw a lot of electricity, so if you have one make sure that you don't fill it up to the top when all you want to make is 1 or 2 cups of coffee.


22. Defrosting

An icy build-up in your freezer means your fridge motor must work harder and therefore use more energy. Be mindful of giving your freezer a regular defrost to down your bills.

Putting lids on the top of pots

23. Temperature

Putting lids on pots and pans while cooking is also economical. The heat stays inside the pot reducing cooking time and saving energy.

Extreme frugal living tips

24. Water temperature

Hot water is a huge home expense. Turning down your hot water tank will help you save a nice percentage on your bills.


Extreme frugal living tips

These are my go-to extreme frugal living tips. I'm keen on sticking to the list and getting to my goal by the end of the year. Let me know if you have any more ideas to share in the comments below.

Join the conversation
2 of 47 comments
  • Kyle Kyle on Sep 05, 2022

    In our house, we don't use paper towels. I instead use dish towels. We also, don't buy toilet paper. We use a "butt bucket". It's a small plant watering bucket to wash the behind. Works great and we also don't get clogged toilets anymore. It's a win win solution.

  • Caitlin Caitlin on Sep 13, 2022

    I rather disagree with 2...cheaper dishwashing liquid is usually filled with more water so you end up using twice as much. It is better to buy good brands which many cost a bit more and learn to use less in my opinion. Also, in 17, it is easy to find cheap used cookbooks at a thrift store or online or borrow one from someone. I find it is time consuming to find recipes online that are good. Also, it may just be me but most of the recipes available make you scroll through this long article to search for the actual recipe. I find it incredibly frustrating. A cookbook is a time-saver.