16 Frugal Habits That Work For ME

My husband and I have been through some very tough times with little or no money in our pockets and made it work.  I have seen many lists on what to do to be frugal, what things to adapt and I just wanted to share some things that have worked for US.  They may not work for you and that is fine but perhaps in my list there are a few things that might help you!

  1. Meal Planning – I think this is my number one habit that helps me keep my budget and is the easiest thing for me to do personally.  I decide pretty much what we will have and buy the things I need for those meals.  Generally I try to use what I have on hand before buying something.
  2. Making a grocery budget and sticking to it.  I personally do NOT use coupons because most of the things I buy don’t have coupons.  I buy a great many store brands which generally saves me more than a coupon might. I shop the sales and stock up on only those things.  Yes I have a nice reserve at home so I can do this.  It takes time to get to know your sales cycle for your store but for instance I buy coffee when it is on sale from 5.99 a package.  I buy six of them because I know in six weeks or so they will be on sale again.
  3. I use it up.  I work to save my leftovers in individual containers and freeze.  I use these for lunches all the time and dinners when we don’t feel like cooking.  I store left over bread pieces, left over bits of veggies etc in baggies in the freezer and put them in all sorts of things.
  4. I mend my clothes.  I have a pretty small wardrobe but things happen.  I mend my socks, my bra’s, my shirts.
  5. I am VERY good at getting stains out of clothes and then when I couldn’t for the kids I’d applique flowers over them.  I mean it was a perfectly good shirt otherwise.
  6. I go to the library.  First of all it is one of my favorite places but also they have so much more than books, free passes to things, movies to take home and I just love to read!
  7. I let my kids get bored.  If they told me they were bored I’d give them chores to do.  They figured out how to entertain themselves pretty quickly.
  8. Game Night.  I wish I had done this more but we played games all the time!  I still do with my grandchildren.  There is a special cupboard for all of that and they love it.
  9. I already mentioned this but pack your lunch and make your own coffee for on the way to work.  The savings here are astronomical if you can manage to do it daily.
  10. Buy used clothes or better yet source out hand me downs from family and friends.  I got six garbage bags of clothes for my grandson from our cousin.  We are up to using size 4 T and I still have a bunch of 5’s for when he is bigger.
  11. Save for your purchases.  We always save for what we want. Sometimes it takes a long time but we have NO credit cards or credit card debt because of it.
  12. Dress in layers and have plenty of blankets around for when it’s chilly.  We heat with wood in our main living area and the rest of the house is kind of chilly.
  13. We pay our bills on time, every time.  In years past we struggled with this and once we got things all organized and straightened out we haven’t had a problem since. Late fees and bounce fees can cost you a whole bunch of money.
  14. Get a side hustle.  We once sold a section of oak trees on our land to a business that sells firewood.  We got $500 for that!  I have refinished used furniture and sold it at a profit.  We sell the eggs from our chickens.
  15. Sell your stuff you don’t use anymore.  I have bundled up bags of kids clothes and sold them at consignment stores.  It wasn’t a ton of money but otherwise I would have gotten nothing for them. Might as well get some cash.
  16. Do without.  Yes, you heard me. Just do without.  SO many times we just don’t buy the thing we want or even think we need until we can afford it.  I used to get upset about it but now it’s just the way we are.  We have become so conservative in our spending.  We have worked hard to identify our needs and wants.  We live simply and that is worth So much to us.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Heather | The Unraveled Mitten says:

    Great list! We practice many of these at our house too. My motto is “make it, make due or do without.” 😉☺

    1. Exactly!!! It is amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.

  2. A.J. Sefton says:

    I’m going to send this to my daughter at university! Brilliant tips!

    1. You will laugh at me but I taught my girls about unit prices and buying store brand items when they were in their teens. Maybe before that I am not sure. We tried so hard to give them good money habits.

  3. this is a wonderful post! Well done!

  4. These are all comment sense ideas. Problem is common sense is not very common any more. Thanks for the reminders.

  5. josypheen says:

    All excellent habits. 🙂

    I think my best frugal habit is walking. My husband and I walk to work (rather than taking a bus or the underground.) It saves us hundreds of pounds every month. I realise that only works if you live close-ish to work. We might not be able to if we were more than an hour away.

    1. How far do you walk, I am curious. I do walk to work (up the stairs to my office, LOL)

      1. josypheen says:

        I walk about 5km to work, and then about 5km to come home again. It only takes about 10 mins longer than the bus (as traffic is normally so bad!!)

        Another plus point is that I need the gym less.

  6. Great post! I struggle with being frugal. The best tip I ever got was when you go to the grocery store, put anything that wasn’t on your list in that little seat area. That way, it’s in your face and as it adds up, you see it and think twice.

    1. I think food is the biggest thing I am frugal with because I can control the spending there pretty well. I mean you can spend $100 or $200 on food right? I like your idea! When money was very tight and I HAD to meet a certain budget I would add it up on a calculator! Then I got to rounding things off and doing it in my head which I still do!

  7. claireboh says:

    Love your frugal habits list! Meal planning and simple game nights stood out most to me, as those are some great habits that work for me as well! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Thank you. We really do enjoy the simple pleasures of just spending time together!!

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