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30 Extreme Frugal Tips You Haven’t Tried Yet

Looking for new ways to save a lot of money? These extreme frugal tips can help. 

These amazing tips can help you spend less, save more and live within your means.

Best extreme frugality tips 

I’ve found these frugal tips have made a real fundamental difference to my budget. The great thing is that once you’ve adopted them, I think you’ll save money and wonder why you weren’t doing them in the first place! 

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Make yourself feel poorer 

I don’t mean give away all of your worldly possessions and quit your job. 

I mean on the day you get paid, figure out what you need for essentials and your fun budget, and move what’s left into a savings account. 

This is a psychological trick to stop you buying stuff you don’t need and ensure you are prioritising your savings. 

The extra cash isn’t there, so when you’re tempted by that dress, that new coat, those new shoes, that deal on the new makeup, you don’t think “well great I’ve got the money so I’ll just go for it”. 

Having that extra money can make you think you can afford it, but once that habit of embracing impulse purchases kicks in you may end up spending beyond your means. 

And not only have you not managed to save, but you’re stuck in a habit that leads you to spend what you don’t have. 

Paying yourself first makes saving a habit, not an after thought. 

Take some time for financial education

I don’t think we get taught enough about the fundamentals of managing and making our money work for us. So we miss out on ways to make money.

I used to allow myself to be intimidated by financial matters, investments and accounts. It is so important that you understand the best place to put your money. 

I didn’t start an investment account until I was in my 30s. I wish I had been paying regularly into one for longer because investing is a long game. It’s a smart place for your longer term savings as your rate of return is going to be better. 

So, try to understand what different accounts, different investments can do for you. For example, my investment account is my long haul savings, I won’t use that for an emergency fund because it’s value fluctuates over time, as investments do. 

But over time it will go up. 

My savings account for annual expenses is an easy access account. And I have an ISA too, because it’s tax-free. There are some great money shows on Netflix and most banks have good resources to help you online. 

I’ve also been reading the Psychology of Money and I thoroughly recommend it for changing the way you think about money. 

Look at your big ticket items and your lifestyle choices

Small savings are great, but you can get a lot more for your efforts if you look to the big stuff as well.  

For example, do you need two cars? Find the cheapest and most reliable car to run. 

Could downsizing your home save you money? 

Can paying your mortgage bi-weekly save you money? For some people this can really work, as it effectively means you make an extra payment every year and ultimately will speed up how much time it takes you to pay it off, and therefore save you money on interest. 

When it comes to lifestyle choices, living somewhere with good public transport so you use your car less can have a big impact. 

And cut back on bad habits like smoking, better yet ditch it altogether. 

Fix it don’t replace it

Many of us do not have the skills with a needle and thread to fix torn clothing – my mum has tried to show me so many times and I just cannot get it. 

But there’s another option to avoid having to buy something brand new. Iron on patches add colour to clothes and cover up small rips and holes which happen a lot when you have small kids.

It’s far cheaper to invest in a pack of these than it is to buy brand new replacement jeans and tops with holes. 

Budget and plan for Christmas right now

It’s one of the most expensive times of year. Rather than waiting for that cost to sneak up in its sleigh and leave a whole lot of debt come January, start planning for it asap. 

Set aside money every month to cover the cost and plan gifts early on, so you can get them in the sale at the best price. 

The price of things like Amazon devices fluctuates massively throughout the year. Last minute shopping without a plan rarely leads to money saved.  

You can find more tips for saving for Christmas here.

Buy refurbished gadgets instead of brand new

Things like games consoles and phones can work out so much cheaper if you do it this way, and apart from maybe not getting the original box you won’t notice a difference once you start using it. 

Trim your family’s hair at home

I already save over £150 a year by cutting my children’s and husband’s hair myself at home. 

This year I am ditching the hairdressers and that will save me at least £500 – because getting highlights is expensive! 

Got a dog? Groom them yourself too! 

Stop paying cash at the supermarket 

If you like to use cash only for your supermarket shop then you could be missing out on serious savings. 

With apps like JamDoughnut you can buy gift vouchers for places like Tesco and Sainsbury’s and you get cashback. 

Then just scan the voucher at the checkout to pay for your shop. I’ve got so much money from this app, and the payout threshold is only £10. 

Ask yourself these questions before any purchase 

First of all, how many hours of work do you need to do in order to pay for it? Are you prepared to do that much work to pay for this thing. 

Second of all, imagine someone is offering you the thing or the cash value of that thing. Which one would you rather take? If you would rather have the money, you don’t need the thing. 

Drink water when eating out

Eating out is expensive. But every now and then we all do it! 

But try only drinking water rather than drinks like alcohol or even Coke, or whatever you drink. 

The mark up on drinks in restaurants is insane. I always take bottled water to the cinema as well because their drinks are so pricey as well. 

Have a weekly Freezer night

Aim to use up what is in the freezer, and whatever is laying around in your cupboards and fridge, rather than buying fresh food. Do this once a week. 

You can get creative with it and it turns into a picky tea, which I rather like. 

Do your food shop fortnightly

This very much focuses the mind and means you avoid over buying. Plus you’re buying more in bulk when you do fortnightly, which works out cheaper. 

Want more tips for saving? Check out these tips for cutting your grocery bill.

Cook once and eat twice

When you buy larger packs of meat and veg it costs more in that moment, but the price by weight is less. It’s going to work out way cheaper if you can batch cook meals. 

Things like chili, bolognese sauce, lasagne, fajitas. Cook extra, portion it out so you aren’t tempted to just eat extras, and then store in your fridge or freezer. 

Have meat-free Mondays

Meat is expensive, as is fish. So ditch them both and have a totally veggie meal on a Monday. Soup made from leftovers in the fridge is a great, cheap meal. 

Or an omelette made with whatever veg you have left. 

Try shopping at an Asian or ethnic grocer

Ethnic grocers are often much cheaper than the big supermarkets. 

We needed some very specific ingredients for a curry that I knew weren’t at Tesco or Sainsbury’s so we went to an independent Asian grocer. I was amazed at how cheap it was compared to buying herbs and spices at the supermarket. 

Find one near you and check it out. If you cannot make it to an ethnic grocer then check out the world foods aisle in your regular supermarket – you will often find herbs, spices and canned goods are cheaper here.

Reuse envelopes and packaging

Whenever you receive a parcel or large envelope in the mail save it for another time. 

You can cover over the address with stickers or paper glued onto the front. This saves you buying envelopes and parcels. 

Then you can reuse them, either for scrap paper for your kid’s crafts, or I like to reuse mail bags to send out the stuff I sell on Vinted after I have had a declutter. I always have a stash of these! 

Ditch kitchen paper towels for washable 

Kitchen Paper towels are expensive. Buy some extra tea towels and rely on those for mopping up spills rather than the disposable towels. 

Stop buying so many cleaning products

There are so many cleaning products on the market that it’s easy to end up buying 40 different items that do very similar things.

But there is actually very little that just some dish soap in a spray bottle with water or on a cleaning cloth can’t handle. 

Stop shopping at cheap stores like it’s your weekly entertainment

Shops like IKEA, Target and Home Bargains are cheap and you’re tempted to overbuy because you feel you can get a lot for your money. 

But when you’re spending because it’s so cheap, you’re still spending. Do you need a load of new pumpkin paraphernalia at Halloween? Do you need Easter bunting? 

These shops exist to make money, and they do that by getting you buying stuff you do not need.

Have a box for random stuff that may one day be useful

Random things you should hang on to includes bits of wood, old screws and nails, textiles, thick card, spare tiles, spare floor tiles, spare carpet. 

You will be amazed the stuff you may end up needing. Saving this stuff you don’t need right now could save you money later when you find you do actually need it for home repairs or DIY.  

Save food packaging

Save things like bread bags. You’ll be amazed what you may end up using them for – carrying muddy trainers, bin liners, messy jobs like cleaning out kitty litter. 

And hang on to plastic takeaway containers too because it’s free tupperware! 

Simplify your beauty regime

Cut back on beauty products and only replace stuff you have run out of. 

You actually only need the basics. There are so many different lotions and potions out there. Yes skincare is important, but I know I don’t need a monthly beauty box delivering new oils and moisturisers. 

Find a regime that works for you, but don’t be tempted to add new products to it every single month. 

Use up stuff before buying new 

Squeeze out all the toothpaste from the tube, rinse out the bubble bath bottle for one last bath before throwing it away, and scrape out every last bit using a spoon or spatula. 

And following up on this tip, do not over pour products. For example, you don’t need to lather rinse and repeat. Just lather once, and keep the amount of product you use down. 

With dish liquid use just a small amount. 

And try not to free pour laundry detergent. I wasted so much doing this! Avoid spillages and excess pouring so that stuff lasts you longer, avoiding waste. 

Switch to reusable

There are now lots of washable face wipes, napkins, and period products on the market. 

Reusable period products cost more in the initial outlay but then you save on buying disposable tampons and pads. 

It used to be the case that reusable products were quite niche and expensive but now high street chains are doing their own versions of period pants. 

You can get a three pack of period pants for £14. Let’s say you need six to be on the safe side with your laundry, that’s £28. 

I think you will have actually paid for those in a year with what you would’ve spent on disposables. After that, you’re saving money and the planet. 

Check out these reusable swaps.

Don’t take your kids shopping

I get this is going to be a problem for single parents, so maybe do your food shop when they’re at school or at a club. 

When you take kids shopping to the supermarket, you overspend. 

They want extra treats, one of those horrifically expensive magazines with all the plastic rubbish they never play with and just stuff. They’re a supermarket CEO’s dream. 

Dry laundry outside

Do not dry laundry in a tumble dryer. Use the power of the sun by drying it outside or on rainy days run a dehumidifier to dry your clothes instead. 

Stop buying gifts for your spouse

We occasionally buy each other something we know the other one will like. 

But the last few years we’ve mostly just gone out for a meal together, rather than spent money on stuff for the sake of it.

Incentivise yourself to save 

Find your technique that’s going to get you setting more money aside. It could be the penny savings challenge, or the loose change method. 

Maybe using an app that will round up your transactions and put that money aside into a savings pot.  Whatever it is that’s going to make saving fun for you, do it. 

You may like these savings challenges.

Frugality is a habit 

Just like impulse shopping can become habit, frugality, mindful spending and keeping track of your budget are also habits. 

Once you’ve made the changes in your life that can help you spend less and save more, and you commit to doing it and give it some time, it becomes so much easier and it’s actually fun. 

Final thoughts 

I hope these tips have given you some great ideas for savings to make from your budget!

You may also like these 70 frugal living tips and this budgeting 101 guide

Extreme frugal living tips