Money saving is easily accomplished with frugal living – with all size families! With 6 of our 10 children still at home, we practice the following list of frugal tips to save money. I hope these 50 Frugal Living Tips for Families to Save Money will encourage you to do the same.
Frugality vs Miserly
Merriam Webster defines frugality as,
careful management of material resources and especially money
According to Wikipedia,
A miser is a person who is reluctant to spend, sometimes to the point of forgoing even basic comforts and some necessities, in order to hoard money or other possessions
Frugality can be misunderstood as meaning miserly. But there is a difference.
Being frugal indicates you have a greater goal in mind and you are using your resources accordingly. You could be wanting to save for a house, a vacation or retirement. Saving now to live with freedom later.
A miser hoards and saves for the sake of hoarding or saving – no real purpose.
Why Frugal Living Tips ?
I have 2 main reasons for living a frugal life.
- Be Debt FREE. I want to live within our means – meaning we only spend money we have. If we don’t have the money for something, we wait and save for it.
- Be a Good Steward. I want to use what I have, the best I can and not being wasteful.
There are plenty more benefits of a frugal lifestyle, and you might enjoy reading this article about one woman’s take on it.
Our Frugal Lifestyle Paid Off in a Way We Had Not Anticipated
We have lived frugally since we were married. We have taught our children about frugality. An example would be turning off lights when you leave a room.
In 2008, we moved from Alabama to west Texas to start a commercial vineyard. We could not have done that without our frugal lifestyle.
We had years of saving and retirement to use as we started the vineyard. And, because it takes 3 years to get your first grape crop, we had the opportunity as a family to sharpen frugal living skills.
50 Frugal Living Tips for Families to Save Money
Here is a list of 50 Frugal Living Tips for Families to Save Money that has worked (and still does) for our family.
So, whether you are budgeting, stretching the money, tightening the finances, or just want to cut back and have freedom – I hope you are encouraged!
These separate actions may seem insignificant, but their cumulative effect over time has added up to big savings.
- Tithe to your local church – Remember that God is source of all we have and can do. He has blessed you so you can give to others. One way to do this is with your tithe.
- Write all expenditures down. The purpose is to know where all your money is going so be honest and record even the coke or other “small” items you buy. I use the budget sheets in the Daily Life Planner but, you can use a notebook or online budget app.
- Make a family budget – You can find budget sheets and debt snowball worksheets as part of the Daily Life Planner.
- Compare prices – Look for the best buy. Check different stores as well as brands. Be sure to compare the unit price of items. For example, break the price down by ounces.
- Know your prices – Keeping a price book of commonly used ingredients can help you determine if a sale is really a good sale.
- Buy on sale and stock up. This is a great way to stock your freezer and any provide necessities you know that are coming up.
- Invest in a freezer – you can find these on craigslist used and in good shape.
- Buy in bulk – Be sure to check the unit price (per pound) to make sure it is a good deal. Many stores give an additional 10% off for bulk purchases.
- Plan your meals – Monthly menu plans work great. My Meal Planning on a Budget teaches you the steps I used to cut our grocery bill by 60%!
- Look for healthy and cheap meals – Knowing how much recipes cost to make per serving is covered in the Meal Planning on a Budget. Eating budget friendly meals is key to cutting your grocery expenses.
- Make a master grocery list of staple items – Go through your pantry and make a list of each item you stock and routinely use. Once you have your list, make an Excel worksheet of it. Then when you shop monthly, print off a copy, check your pantry, mark what you need, add items based on your menu and you are ready to go! A master grocery list is included in the Daily Life Planner.
- Shop for groceries once a month – This sounds overwhelming, but with a master list it becomes easy. Planning meals combined with monthly shopping from a master list cut my grocery bill by over 60%.
- Drink more water and less soda – Save not only money but also empty calories and decrease sugar intake.
- Cook at home – Cooking from scratch not only tastes better but is normally healthier and does not have the unnecessary ingredients of processed foods.
- Stop impuse buying – Give yourself a week to think about a purchase and the necessity of it.
- Stay out of the stores as much as possible – What you don’t see won’t hurt you!
- Use Ebates when shopping online – Ebates is an app that will pay you to shop as you normally do. You get a percentage back from your shopping as long as you go through their site. You can choose your payment method – I get a check. By signing up and making a purchase through my link, you will get a free gift card!
- Use Ibotta for in store purchases – Ibotta is similar to Ebates and I use it for in store shopping. For maximum savings, check the offers available on Ibotta before shopping to see if any match you shopping list. Keep your receipt to scan for your cash back. You will also get a free gift for using my link!
- Determine “needs” vs “wants” – Keeping up with the neighbors is an endless task in our society costing you not only money but needless anxiety.
- Pay bills on time and avoid late fees.
- Buy used – Shop yard sales, thrift stores, Craigslist, eBay
- If buying new, shop sales – Certain times of the year are more “sales” oriented than others so wait for these if possible.
- Make your credit card work for you – capitalize on the “cash back” aspect many card have when used to purchase particular items. Example: 5% cash back offered for gasoline purchases for the first $150/month. Warning: If you have trouble with self control – don’t use credit cards at all.
- Use coupons – Coupons are a tool for you to use to save money. Be sure that you only use them for what you would normally buy.
- Combine coupons with sales to maximize savings.
- Utilize store “rewards” programs – Example: Walgreens- Register Rewards or CVS- Extra Care Card and Extra Care Bucks.
- Drive older cars – If it still works and is reliable, keep it!
- Combine trips to save gasoline.
- Walk or bike instead of driving.
- Adjust your thermostat so as to save energy.
- Turn off room lights when leaving a room.
- Turn off ceiling fans when leaving a room.
- Do not window shop in front of the refrigerator – Determine what you want to remove ahead of time to avoid unnecessary time spent with the fridge door open.
- Wash your clothes when they are dirty – This may be after one wearing, but then again, maybe not until several wearings.
- Hang your clothes out to dry – Save energy and get that fresh, line-dry smell in the summer. In the winter, use a drying rack inside to help humidify your house, which is healthier and feels warmer!
- Make your own laundry detergent – Homemade laundry detergent is easy and economical.
- Use cloth diapers instead of disposable – They are both economical and “green”.
- If applicable, nurse your baby – Nursing is definitely more economical than formula, healthy for the baby and helps you lose “baby weight”.
- Plant a vegetable garden – Space is not an issue as even small areas can produce large amounts. Incorporate veggies into your flower beds. Read books pertaining to gardening to learn more. Start seeds indoors for your garden rather than buy plants for additional savings.
- Freeze or can your own vegetables. This is both economical and rewarding. See How to Freeze Squash, Freezing Avocados
- Homemade gifts – Gifts can get expensive but don’t think this means low quality! Try Homemade Peppermint Sugar Scrub, Whipped Body Butter, DIY Bath Salts, Make any of these and put in cute glass jars and add an all occasion printable gift tag or an inspirational gift tag.
- Fix-it-yourself – Not sure how? Find how-to’s online or a book at the local library.
- Do-it-yourself – even big projects can become DIY when you try! Check out DIY Water Fountain, DIY Brick Patio and even a Duck Pond.
- Cut your own hair – at least your husband’s and sons’. Having 1 husband (of 35 yrs) and 7 sons, I have saved a bunch!
- Eat out less – your budget and your health with thank you!
- Fix your lunch and carry it with you – This option is healthier and you are able to control the ingredient, calorie and fat content of your food.
- Don’t eat out at all – Homemade meals are healthier as well as more economical.
- Use the local library – Depending on the size of your local library, they will have many current books and DVDs and are able to order ones they do not have on the shelf.
- Discontinue cable – Stop watching television. Read books together (from the library) and have more quality family time together.
- Exercise – Taking care of yourself through healthy eating and exercise can decrease your health bills. And, it does NOT have to be an expensive gym membership – go for a walk.
Those are my 50 Frugal Living Tips for Families to Save Money – have I left any out? Leave a comment and let me know your tips for living frugally!
As a final word, as my husband says, “Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without!”