Frugal Tips for Saving Money – 13 Best Tips

Focusing on key areas to become more frugal in will likely end up saving you a very significant amount of money.

I like to take a look at my expenses and determine what are the biggest areas where I can improve.

The 13 best tips to save money include:

Check Craigslist for Used and Discounted Items

Buy Clothes at Thrift Stores and Discount Stores 

Develop Good Habits

Calculate Your Expenses

Review Cell Phone Plan

Prepare More Meals For The Week

Watch Out For Those Miscellaneous Expenses

Review Car Insurance and Car Maintenance Details

Cut Out or Reduce Cable Plan

Freeze or Cancel Gym Membership

Spend Less on Eating at Restaurants

Search for Fun and Free Activities

Travel and Fly During Less Busy Time

These tips will give you a stronger chance to find areas where you can save.

Through this post I will show some of the best frugal tips for saving money and how useful these tips can become.

Check Craigslist for Used and Discounted Items

Check Craigslist for Used and Discounted Items

Checking Craigslist for furniture, machines, appliances and all kinds of items could land you big savings.

Take the time to search this valuable resource for a ton of different items including:

  • Couches
  • Tables
  • Washing Machines
  • Cell Phones

There are many items that are listed on Craigslist that are cheap and not advertised that well. These are the ones that you want to hone in on and try to learn more about and potentially buy.

This is because many people are simply trying to get rid of items, such as an extra couch or table. They aren’t that interested in making a profit from this transaction as much as they are interested in getting this furniture item out of their place.

Craigslist can have tons of valuable items for a inexpensive prices and there can be other opportunities to save or make money using this resource.

Clothes in Closet
Buy Clothes at Thrift Stores and Discount Stores 

Buy Clothes at Thrift Stores and Discount Stores 

Shopping for clothes at thrift stores and discount stores could help you save much more than you would think.

Good discount stores to try out include GoodWill, Ross and then thrift stores and you are likely to find cheap and sometimes surprising amount of good quality items.

List of some great discount stores in U.S. include Target, Costco, Dollar Tree, Old Navy and Ross.

It can sometimes be a hit or miss shopping experience but more often times you will find many clothes items that are good quality for much cheaper than normal clothing stores.

I like to use a combination of thrift stores, Ross and GoodWill for my clothing shopping and I have saved hundreds by going to these stores primarily.

If you want to read more about saving money on clothes, read How to Save Money for Clothes.

Develop Good Habits

Developing good habits can lead to you making more financially intelligent decisions with any of your decisions.

Try to start small and focus on consistently practicing the new tasks to instill good habits such as the following:

  • Create A Shopping List
  • Research Effectively
  • Review Expenses Regularly

You can save money grocery shopping by creating a list of all your grocery items and sticking to that list so that you don’t buy unnecessary foods.

Don’t grocery shop hungry because then you won’t be as tempted to buy extra food.

When you are shopping online, effectively researching the product and getting all the important details will allow you to make an informed decision.

Take the time to look at the reviews for each product and make sure that you actually need this new product that you’re purchasing.

I like to spend some time once a month reviewing my expenses so that I can come up with new strategies for saving money and for seeing how much improvement I’ve made during the previous month.

Doing this can help you come up with new ideas for saving money and also remind you of where you were one month ago and how much improvement you have made.

It will take some time to get used to doing these new routines so focus on consistently practicing them.

Calculate Your Expenses

Taking the time to effectively calculate your expenses is critical for understanding where you financially stand.

I like to type out all my expenses and determine what each expense costs so that I can accurately understand where I can improve.

I use Numbers because I am using a Mac but Excel has a Simple Budget option that can make it visually easy to see where you stand.

The Simple Budget option also includes a few easy to read categories including Money In, Money Out and Money Left Over, which can all show you efficiently where you stand.

Write out the complete list of expenses until you have them all and then break them down into improvable or not improvable categories. After you do this, then you will have an idea where you can reduce your expenses.

Doing this can help you see areas where you can better yourself and focus on those areas in your budget.

Review Your Cell Phone Plan

This can often be an area where people pay for extra features that they do not need and could be paying less. Taking the time to review your current phone plan and determining if there are areas where you could change or cut down on.

Cell Phone
Review Your Cell Phone Plan

Reviewing your monthly bill will allow you to see how much you are shelling out each month and potentially see areas where you could be spending extra.

You could be spending extra on Unlimited data, Enhanced voicemail, Extra minutes or Emergency roadside assistance.

Keeping your phone and continuing to use it for longer will allow you to save some money because you will not be spending extra money on the newest phone.

When you do eventually move onto a newer phone, you should keep the old phone so that you can sell it later.

If you want to read more about selling your phone and making money through Craigslist, read How to Make Money with Craigslist.

Also, take the time to set up automatic payments online will allow you to not have to think about paying for this expense and potentially save you money.

Prepare More Meals For The Week

Taking the time to prepare more meals for the week will set you up in a critical way to save a lot of money.


Food can be broken down into two key expenses including going out to eat and preparing meals at home.

  • Going Out To Eat

Most people tend to spend more in the going out to eat area but don’t spend as much on the preparing meals at home area.

Buying more food at the grocery store and cooking and preparing that food at home, could end up saving you a significant amount.

  • Preparing Meals at Home

Try to go for simple to prepare foods, such as rice, spaghetti and sandwich ingredients.

A great idea is to always prepare the next day’s meals the day before because then when you wake up you are primed and ready for the day.

A key trick to use is to spice up the food with whatever topping you like that you are often craving.

Doing this could make your food tastier and get you to stay home and want to eat your home cooked food.

Finding ways to want to be eating at home could be critical for preparing and cooking more food at home consistently.

Watch Out For Those Miscellaneous Expenses

The miscellaneous expense can include a lot of extra sneaky expenses that can add up to a big expense.


The miscellaneous expense includes just about any extra expense that cuts into your bank account.

These can be sneaky expenses that often times can go unnoticed for months, such as an unused subscription.

Coffee Being Poured
Watch Out for Miscellaneous Expenses

Miscellaneous Expense examples could include Coffee, Movie Tickets, Unused Subscription, Car Wash Service or Housecleaning.

A key way to track down what could be in this expense is by using online banking and looking at your payment history.

Doing this could lead you to discover a few expenses that are slipping through the cracks and give you the information to start cutting down on some of these miscellaneous expenses.

If you buy coffee frequently, then purchasing a coffee maker and using it daily could be a great way to save you money and time.

Actually spending a little more money on a new streaming channel such as Hulu or Amazon Prime could allow you to save money each month because you will not be as likely to go out to the movie theater.

Paying a little more each month on a new streaming channel could help you stay at home more, which could in turn help you prepare more food and practice good habits.

Blue Car Hood Open
Review Car Insurance Details and Wear + Tear Expenses

Review Car Insurance Details and Wear + Tear Expenses

Reviewing your car insurance plan and increasing your deductibles, especially if you are a safe driver, could save you a ton of money.


Car can be broken down into two key expenses including car insurance and Wear and Tear.

  • Car Insurance

Car insurance can often be an area where you can reduce your expense and it never hurts to review your current policy online on your phone. Wear and tear expenses include tires, brakes, car wash, oil changes and more.

I usually review my car insurance policy twice a year to make sure that I am not over paying for a specific part of my policy.

Use good judgment to make sure that you are still covered in the event of an accident but there still can be room to reduce how much you are paying here too.

I like to focus on each of the main categories included in car insurance and go through it one at a time and determine whether there is any room for reducing the expense.

If you want more helpful information to save on car insurance, read Most Affordable Car Insurance Companies.

  • Wear and Tear Expenses

A big way to reduce your car expenses is to focus on driving your vehicle less. Try using public transportation if you live in a populated area.

By driving less you will definitely save on gas and you could find yourself getting more done because you suddenly have more free time not behind the wheel.

To reduce driving more, you can also walk or bicycle around more which could lead to you becoming physically stronger too, which is always a plus.

Wear and tear expenses can become a significant financial burden. But as your vehicle begins to age and have more mechanical issues then there can be a dependability problem too.

If your vehicle is beginning to have more and more issues, then cutting down on your driving could end up saving you money and make your life less complicated.

If you want to learn more about reducing car expenses, read How to Save Money on Car Maintenance.

Stacks of Coins
Reduce Cable Plan to Get Key Savings


Cut Out or Reduce Cable Plan

The cable bill is a changeable expense that can be reduced by going for less streaming channels.

If you have a cable plan, then take the time to review the channels that you really want and write them down. Review your cable plan and determine how much you can cut back on and then search your current cable provider for options.

See if there are any options for your reduced plan with your cable provider but also research other providers in your area to see if there are any better offers out there.

Freeze Gym Membership and Exercise Outside More

Freeze or Cancel Gym Membership

You can usually freeze your gym account for a couple months to save yourself some money and be able to return to the gym after those months have passed.

It could be time to cancel your membership if you are not going enough to get your money’s worth for the monthly payment.

Adopting an at home workout routine could give you many of the same exercises while also allowing you to save consistent money each month.

I sometimes freeze my gym membership whenever I am about to go on a trip or if I am not using the gym enough.

Spend Less on Eating at Restaurants

You can not only reduce how much you go out to eat but also focus on not spending as much when you do go out at a restaurant.

Bread Being Shared
Share Food More

Focus on using certain tips including Drinking Water, Sharing a Meal and Not eating Dessert.

Following these tips will allow you to go out to eat but still save some money. Drinking water will help you avoid the costly drinks that can quickly add if you get these overtime you eat out.

Sharing a meal could help you enjoy a new dish without having to spend as much.

Dessert is the notorious extra expense in going out to a restaurant that can theoretically be a big place to save. Find a way to eat desserts at home instead of at the restaurant and this will save you a lot.

If you want to learn more about saving money at restaurants, read How to Save Money at a Restaurant.

Search for Fun and Free Activities

There can often be fun and free activities in your area to explore and experience.

Take the time to review your local area about any new activities and hopefully you can find a way to have a little fun and save money too.

Try a new activity for Friday night or go on a hike in a new area so you can explore.

Travel and Fly During Less Busy Time

Traveling and flying during the less busy time is going to save you a lot of money because you will not have to pay as much for traveling expenses.

Especially when buying airplane tickets, traveling during the non busy times such as really early or really late, will give you great savings.

But this goes for driving long distances too because you can travel at earlier times to miss traffic and drive when there is much less cars on the road.

Get into the habit of leaving earlier or flying earlier and you will get consistently affordable tickets.

Determine Your Willingness to Be Frugal

It is very important to determine what your willingness is to become more frugal and if it is a change that you really want to go through.

It can be a significant challenge to become slightly more frugal in your life and not everyone wants to live this way.

I personally find that living a slightly frugal life is empowering because it allows me to not have to work as much and have more free time.

But I have many friends who would rather work more instead of living frugally because that is easier for them.

I hope that this post gave you some frugal tips for saving money that you are able to use to effectively reduce your expenses and save money.

If you have any questions, please leave them below and I will answer them as best as I can.

14 Replies to “Frugal Tips for Saving Money – 13 Best Tips”

  1. Really nice post. I started to use some of those strategies 1 year ago and my life really became more frugal. Now I have like 2 salaries saved so my opportunities riced a lot. Now I started to give money to my family, to learn, and will use the money to buy a car in the future. Oh, and I didn’t use that money they are just the buffer that makes me more confident.

  2. Hi,
    I really like how you categorized the tips which we can use to save money. It’s always not about our income and expenses. Of course they are important. But it is hard on us to save money if we have to forcefully stop our habits. So I think learning good habits first, will make us happy and in turn it will help to save money more easily.

    Thanks for the tips Jesse Lee. 🙂

  3. The tip about online banking was really useful, I really need to use it to keep track of where my money is going. I’m such a technophobe but being more frugal is something I’m determined to be so I have to get over it and start!
    Thanks for this post, I’m feeling empowered and inspired to be more frugal.

    1. I am glad that you liked the online banking tip!
      I like to check my online banking account to make sure that no expenses have somehow slipped by.
      I am happy to hear that you feel empowered!

  4. Hi Jesse! You seem very frugal, indeed. Me – not so much. Here I sit craving a pizza and you have to remind me that there are two perfectly good pieces of chicken and some leftover roast in the refrigerator. The good news is, I don’t go out much anyway. I watch movies at home and rarely drive anywhere. Thanks for sharing your tips. Chicken, it is.

  5. I wish I could really save on food. Even though I really enjoy preparing my own meals at home, it still adds up to quite a bit. Overall, great tips to keep in mind.

  6. Excellent tips on how to live a frugal lifestyle. My wife is big on coupons. At any time if you were to look into her purse, you would find at least 20 coupons, that’s her way of being frugal.

    I just showed her your site, and she seems pretty impressed with your methods. She’s already written down a couple of your tips. We do eat out a lot so that something that has to change.

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